Monday, October 31, 2005


Not really despondent, just bending over the coffee table playing with Xavier and his toys, but interesting how that curve in the back and head facing down is visual shorthand for sadness.

What I see first thing in the morning

This is the view from my bed. Robin can’t be seen because he’s busy in the kitchen making my breakfast of an orange cut into pieces and a giant mug of Earl Grey tea. Robin has, I think, made sure that all of our friends know that he makes me breakfast in bed almost every morning, so I thought that I would let anyone who doesn’t already know, MY HUSBAND IS A SAINT, HE MAKES ME BREAKFAST IN BED EVERY MORNING!

This is also another EDM drawing challenge completed.

Sunday, October 30, 2005

My father's ears and nurture versus nature

Look at that lovely big leathery ear. My brother as a toddler loved to suck his thumb and hold on to one of those ears. In the absence of one of those ears he would settle for holding on to one of his own. Now for anyone who doubts how much you can inherit from a parent, imagine my astonishment when my brother’s second son – without any prompting from anyone – liked to suck his thumb and hold on to his father’s ear. Who
’d have thought there was a gene for thumb-sucking and ear-holding?

As my Dad was visiting for lunch today, I thought I'd draw him and catch up with the EDM challenge of ‘Draw something Dad

Friday, October 28, 2005

BCF 13 - Tom and Julie

To pass the time on the train, Tom and I took turns to do blind contour drawings of each other. First off I drew Tom. I don't know whether he was trying to get back at me for his nose falling off his face but you’ll see that in his first drawing of me I sport a luxuriant moustache and am completely bald. My second go was a bit better. Tom has a nice strong manly jaw even if it’s only on one side. He doesn't however have teenage acne yet, the spots are down to the Sharpie pen ink bleeding through from page to page. Tom I think appreciated the more flattering portrait and so was a bit kinder to me by giving me some hair in the final drawing.

Illustration Friday - REMOTE

This is a joke about my son’s entry to illustration friday. Read his post here

Thursday, October 27, 2005

Tom's birthday treat

To the theatre and a meal out for Tom’s fourteenth birthday. Personally I prefer ‘difficult’ and ‘challenging’ theatre but I’d recommend ‘Ducktastic’ to keep a range of entertainment tastes happy (so long as you’re not offended by ‘naked’ suits).

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Evening walk

I had to get out after being hunched over the computer completing the first late VAT return I’ve submitted in 17 years. I just forgot about it. I explained to the lady on the end of the phone that having a two year old at this stage in my life has completely thrown the life I was getting into some kind of order into total disarray. However apparently I don’t earn any brownie points for 17 years of good behaviour and if I do it again a couple more times I'll get fined – so HUGE note in diary for the next VAT return.

This will probably do for the EDM challenge of drawing in public – a few dogs, several horses and even one or two people did see me.

Sunday, October 23, 2005

Tower Bridge is opened for Tom and Flo

Now you have the answer to my previous post!
Robin and I and Xavier didn’t want to miss this once in a lifetime occasion. Tom and Flo and other Sea Cadets had been invited to sail on HMS St Albans from Portsmouth and up the Thames to join in with Trafalgar Day celebrations. I don’t imagine many people experience Tower Bridge being opened for them so we wanted to be there to record the event. Our train was unexpectedly delayed so these sketches were all done on the run. To get a more accurate picture of the afternoon and to see the cadets all standing to attention on the bridge of the ship take a look

Friday, October 21, 2005

BCF 12 - Can you guess where I was?

On the basis of my previous post this was a blind contour of somewhere very famous, but the drawings were so abysmal I bet you can’t guess where I was standing.
If this one is a 12 o’ clock view

Then this one is a 9 o’ clock view

No colour this time to help you.

Blind Contour Friday 11

I didn't have time to upload these last week. I had to use a photo but I reckoned if you drew something that everyone was familiar with it stood a better chance of looking half OK.

Illustration Friday - COLD

A bit of a tenuous link, but in the time available, all that I could manage. I walked up to the bluebell wood yesterday and the cold weather has definitely started — but if it’s a cold crisp sky like this one I don’t mind.

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

EDM Chair drawing challenge

A chair in the darkened dining area drawn from the comfort of my settee. A bad back meant that you're stuck with what was in front of me.

He won't stay still

Even when he’s watching ‘Bob the builder’ trying to draw Xavier is like trying to catch a butterfly

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

I've been tagged

Cream tagged me, so:
1. There are always lemons in my kitchen, and I had a craving for salted lemons whenever I became pregnant.
2. My hair is waist length, but I've probably been to a hairdresser less than half a dozen times in my life.
3. I have a perfectly rational terror of heights.
4. I learned how to ride a bicycle for the first time when I was eighteen.
5. I have been through the Panama Canal and the Suez Canal but I've never ferried across the Mersey.
6. Like David Hockney, I went to the Royal College of Art, and like David I failed to complete my post graduate degree.
7. Despite having 'childbearing hips' I had to have four ceasarians.
8. I've eaten bird's brains, frogs legs, fried grasshoppers and jellied eels, all of which I would rather eat than rice pudding.
9. Three months after meeting my wonderful Robin, I married him.
10. I used to play Ouija when I was a child, and I thought there was a mechanism in the board that made the glass move.
11. I have a vivid memory of a childhood friend cutting themselves and bleeding blue blood.
12. I am so grateful that life has been so good to me that the only thing I ever feel short of is money.
13. If I could have a completely different career I would be an actor with the National Theatre.
14. I am hopelessly untidy but love a tidy environment.
15. They always used to pick me last for school sports teams.
16. I believe that happiness comes from within.
17. I am still in a state of shock over having a baby at the age of almost 45.
18. My children are the best thing that ever happened to me.
19. I get rid of marketing calls by telling the caller that as I am already over half way through my life I cannot afford the time to answer their survey.
20. This is the first and last time I will accept a tag challenge.

Friday, October 14, 2005

What blogging can do to your back

Any of you with back problems probably recognise my attempt at a variety of sleep positions after spending too much time sitting in front of a computer.

Illustration Friday - LOST

A very quick picture of a family story. My little sister was found wandering down the road wearing nothing but a smile and brandishing a lavatory brush. When the kind man, who brought her back, said to my mother that he thought this might be her home because he thought he'd seen her in our garden previously, my blushing mother's response was 'Oh yes, I know her mother, I'll make sure she gets home safely!'

I wish I'd had more time to produce a picture that did the story justice. Anyway I'm really pleased with my son's picture for 'Lost' have a look at it here.

Saturday, October 08, 2005

Bye-bye masthead

I promised you that my inability to stick to one style means that my masthead will change regularly. But in case you miss the September masthead it’s immortalised here.

Friday, October 07, 2005

Brother and sister

I drew this quick little sketch of Rebecca at the Steiner mother and toddler group this morning. Her brother Michael was fascinated so I asked him if he’d like me to draw him as well. He nodded and assured me he still wanted to suck his thumb.

When I finished I showed their mother, Melissa, who was delighted when I said I’d scan the pictures and give her some print outs. I was pleased that it was Rebecca and Michael that I ‘caught’ today because they’re leaving the area next week and we probably won’t be seeing them again.

Blind Contour Friday 10

Very quick drawing of cafetiere, mug and coffee jar

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Illustration Friday - FLOAT

I’ve always thought that this old distressed polaroid had a look of ‘Ophelia’ about it, so the topic this week gave me an excuse to play around with it and develop it further. Plant photography is courtesy of iStockphoto

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Generous Papa

Papa (Robin’s father) is taking all the family away for the weekend in November. The passport office keep on rejecting the photos I send them of Hugo. First of all it was the shadows—which I photoshopped out. Then they rang today and said that they now didn’t like the same photo because his mouth was open. I’d had enough and said that he physically couldn’t shut his mouth because of his prominent teeth and that if I could somehow get him to distort his face to shut his mouth he wouldn’t look like he normally looked. The passport office staff member eventually caved in and said that it would be our problem if passport control wouldn’t let Hugo through. I think I'll take the risk—I can’t see passport control wanting to entertain an eleven year old boy for the weekend!

Monday, October 03, 2005

Xavier's new phrase

At the mother and toddler group today. ‘Would you like to play with the bricks?’ , ‘I think not’. How about joining in with the singing? ’ , ‘I think not’. ‘ Wouldn’t you prefer orange squash?’ ‘I think not’.