Monday, January 12, 2009

Ink that runs!

Originally uploaded by jjs_37
So the strange feature of my new favorite pen is that the ink is very watersoluble. Usually this could be considered a drawback but I have decided to just get into the Zen of that. If you think about it, watercolor does all sorts of things you don't expect and you have to be open to the medium doing it's thing. This is just another parameter for me to let go of.
This is a little birdhouse that I use as a Christmas decoration. I stick it in my house plants. This year it is still out so that it can go with the votive holders.

votive holder

closeup votive holder
Originally uploaded by jjs_37
We got these charming votive holders from an old friend of Adam's mom. They look fabulous with the candle on in them and they are much too cute to put away as Christmas decoration. I think they should be my spring decor.

Friday, January 09, 2009

New tools and some old ones too

One of my Pitt pens ran out of ink and after coaxing it along for a few days I decided that I should get a new pen. Of course I have a box of perfectly good pens in the cabinet in the garage where I hide the shameful bounty of crafty stuff I own. And it has black pens in it. And a backup water brush. The brush I have been using was being weird and was probably getting old after a couple of years of use. So clearly I needed to go to Jetpens and order a new waterbrush (one must have backups) and pens...
I got a Pentel Tradio pen, a Pentel brush pen and refills, a Signo white pen (this is really a good pen for white writing on a dark background). They were out of my favorite waterbrush (pentel!) and the Tradio pen was an impulse buy. But I love it. It is my new favorite pen. It is kind of like a fountain pen but the tip is synthetic and not mental. The line is very smooth and organic with variation in the line thickness. I am having fun using this pen though I have made some discoveries which I will go into in the future.
Meanwhile I also took a picture of the other pens that live in my pen case. The caligraphy writer by Zig and a Koh-I-Noor pen.

Monday, January 05, 2009

Micro Hike

Originally uploaded by jjs_37
This morning I had a plan. I was going to clean the house and then head out to Edgewood park and race around the 3 mile loop stopping exactly once to sketch before I would have to pick up Julia from preschool. As soon as Julia was picked up by my friend with whom I carpool to preschool this morning I implemented phase I of this plan. Then on to phase II but I swung by the coffee shop first. As I am intently driving to the park I realize that the windshield wipers are on and that in fact, if I were to actually go on this hike I would get really wet.
Instead I went to a different entry of the park, thinking I would sketch from the car, but the rain cleared for a bit so I ran up a very muddy trail, did a 1 minute sketch of the foggy view and dashed back to the car. This fog is the most beautiful thing in this area and I love it. One day I hope to capture it.

Saturday, January 03, 2009


Originally uploaded by jjs_37
from the farm.

End of the Season

Originally uploaded by jjs_37
Little Poinsettia which survived holiday neglect

Oma's chair

Originally uploaded by jjs_37
Without her in it it feels like this chair is levitating.


Originally uploaded by jjs_37
Plants on the vensterbank (window sill) at my Oma's house. She paid attention to those plants every day. This painting would not cooperate in terms of colors and feeling. It has come out very light and foggy as if it is a memory and not so much a concrete place but considering that this was drawn while we were at her house for her funeral it seems appropriate.

Beer is Yummy

Originally uploaded by jjs_37
On Christmas day we tasted several beers head to head with an American lager. The verdict:
Duvel: delicious with a hint of lemon or citrus. A perfect compliment to mussels or fish and chips (actually Pommes Frites!) Barend ranked this beer tops.
Leffe: A good everyday beer with carmel notes that would go well with everything but particularly hearty meat dishes and little smokies. Adams favorite beer was this one.
Chimay: A slightly sweeter beer (but not really sweet like a framboise which I had at a terrific Belgian restaurant) similar to a nut brown Ale. I thought it went really well with Peanuts but then I can't think of a single thing that does not go well with peanuts if it is worth drinking or eating. This is a family trait. Josh and I both preferred the Chimay as an easy drinking beer.
Yuengling: A locally brewed American beer. We all agreed that it is important to drink water and that this sparkling water was a nice change from tap water.