Thursday, November 28, 2013

December 2013 Desktop Calendar

December 2013

I really thought I might not have a calendar to post for December.  It was not easy coming up with one image that sums up December for me. Then I read Tammy's post at My Flower Journal  with a tutorial on how to paint watercolour lights. It reminded me  that as much as I love everything about December and Christmas, it's the lights that I love best.

When I was a child, I used to love sitting in the dark with just the glow of the lights on the Christmas tree. It was magical.

Lights were sketched and painted in Sketchclub on my iPad, transferred to Artrage for the watercolour paper texture.

To use, double click on image and save.

Linked to Art Every Day Month, Day 29.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Need to do something creative

Stitches came out today but thumb is still really bruised and sore. I'm bored! Can't knit, can't sketch. I missed Monday's Pen & Ink class. I can play around on Sketchclub if I don't work on anything that require fine motor I made a couple of backgrounds.

Wet paper texture

Paint drying texture

Sometimes you do need to watch the paint dry even if it's only virtual paint.

I did say I was bored.

Done on Sketchclub on the iPad.  The layers are left intact so I can change the background colours to use in other projects.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013


Today started like any normal wet November day - typical Vancouver weather. Despite the weather, things were going well. Quiet day anticipated at work. Come home on time, knit, work on my drawing, lounge on the sofa.

That would have been the plan had I not tripped on a door and cut my thumb, which resulted in spending the rest of the day in emergency for six stitches.


No knitting, no sketching but lounging on the sofa is still doable.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Remembrance Day

We won't forget

Thank you doesn't seem to be enough to say to all the men and women who served in our military so I can have the life I have today. I am grateful and thankful for the sacrifices you and your families have made for me and my family.

Wednesday, November 06, 2013

A slow day in my brain.

Today's creative thing so far was just a couple of rows of knitting.  It was a rough day at work, followed by a frantic phone call from the son.  Everything's ok now but still feeling a bit stressed out.  I think I will go work on my Sunflower picture some more. 

I had decided to take this Pen and Ink drawing class because I wanted to learn more about the traditional art techniques and to see how I can use the techniques to improve my digital art.  Now, I'm finding that I really enjoy drawing with actual pen and paper.  I love the meditative aspect of zoning out when working on a drawing.  It's very calming. 

Tuesday, November 05, 2013

Pen and Ink Sunflower

Pen and Ink sunflower

Homework for the week - pen and ink drawing of a sunflower. This is one of my favourite pictures. The original photo was taken with my cellphone two summers ago of a giant sunflower in our backyard. The thing was huge!

This drawing is not quite finished yet. I'm still working on the fence.  The assignment was to do a stylistic drawing of a photo, using patterns and texture to show tonal contrast.

I've decided to take part in November Art Every Day Month at Creative Every Day.  I may or may not create something every day but I'm going to try. The point is to do something each day, no matter how big or small, and share it with people. I love going to the different sites and seeing what other people are making. It's a great way to get inspired. I know there's going to be days where I do nothing. That's ok too.

Painting done on iPad 

This is a painting I did on my iPad, using the Sketchclub app. I'm really getting my money's with from this photo.

Original photo

Monday, November 04, 2013

Kitchen Sunday - Blueberry Muffins

I love blueberry muffins. I make a batch every weekend and freeze them for the week. This is the easiest, quickest blueberry muffin I've found. The recipe was adapted from the Joy of Cooking cookbook.

Preheat oven to 400 deg F.

In first bowl, mix together:
2 cups all purpose flour
1 tbsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg

Mix well and add in 2 cups frozen blueberries.  I've used fresh but found a great brand of frozen  berries. It's the Snowcrest Farm brand from Costco. Make sure all the berries are separated and coated with the flour mixture.

In second bowl, mix together:
2 large eggs
1 cup of milk
2/3 C Demerara brown sugar
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp vanilla rum (original recipe called for vanilla extract)

Vanilla rum is Demerara rum with vanilla beans soaking for a couple of months. I keep a bottle of this just for baking and top it up with more rum as needed. I throw in a new vanilla bean every so often also.

Make a well in your dry ingredient bowl and pour your wet ingredients in. Mix well with a few strokes until the dry ingredients are just mixed. Scoop into your muffin cups.

I use a 6 muffin silicone tray because we like the big muffins. You can make 12 normal size ones. The silicone trays are great - no greasing needed.

Bake for 35 mins or until done when checked with a wooden toothpick or skewer.  Original recipe says bake for 17 mins but that's for the smaller no-blueberry muffins.  Time may vary depending on your oven and the size of your muffins.

Let cool completely on cooling rack before wrapping up to freeze.

Friday, November 01, 2013

2013 November Calendar

2013 November calendar 

November was a tough month to do. To me, it's always been the in-between month. The month between Halloween and Christmas.  It's neither here nor there. Weather-wise, some days are gorgeous and sunny and other days it could be cold and dreary - typical Westcoast weather. We don't get the drastic changes in our foliage like back East. The landscape is still green, soggy but green.

The photo was taken with my cellphone on one of our walks along the Deboville Slough in Port Coquitlam. It wasn't raining but it was a very foggy day. The mist clung onto the spider web and the droplets looked like little pearls. Other than the calendar overlay, I felt it didn't need any tweaking.