Friday, October 31, 2014

Happy Friday #28 : Happy Halloween!!!


Happy Halloween everyone! It's definitely chilly here now and apparently rain is in the forecast for today! How strange that my Chicago weather has followed me here for this momentous occasion. The kids are a bit disgruntled by the prospect of not going trick or treating, but we shall see.


This here mama is a Chicago native! If I can wade through 4 ft. of snow, shovel a driveway the size of a basketball court, and have icicles form on the tips of my eye lashes while sweating profusely under layers of clothing... sure I can go brave the cold winds ripping at my hair and the cold sharp teeth of the rain as it bites down into my clothes. Not a big deal, none at all, uh..... Ok the truth? I'm a weakling... I'm old and I've been living in sunny Cali too long and that my friends is what I'll stand by come 5:30 pm and 2 sets of baby brown eyes stare at me pleadingly haha.


Any who here are a few pages from the trusty Hobo, Moleskine, and Stillman & Birn sketchbooks. I'm really having fun with my watercolors and enjoying in the pumpkin festivities this week as I ramp up for NaNoWriMo! One day left till we start whoo hoo! Hope you all have a wonderful spooktacular day!






Music of the Day:
M83 : Midnight City








Friday, October 24, 2014

Happy Friday #27 : Inspirations... Books



Hello everyone! Fall is finally whispering it's chilly presence over here in the Bay area and I must say I am absolutely loving it. It's funny while most people envy the rarely ever changing weather of California, I miss the cool down cast weather of London.

It's all perspective I suppose having grown up in Chicago. Where the only real tolerable season is Fall. I absolutely adore wearing layers, scarves, and boots! The mood a nice chilly breeze, a cup of tea, and some really good  books and music... what more can you ask for. It is the perfect recipe for inspiration no? Speaking of inspiration, the focus of today's post are the inspiring books I recently acquired in order to help me along my NaNoWriMo journey.

The first set of books I wanted to talk about are these fantastic little thesauruses on : EmotionNegative Traits, and Positive Traits. I first purchased the Emotions book for my daughter as her interests in writing kicked up quite a bit, but as I leafed through it, I just loved how it broke down emotions. Roughly speaking, they state an emotion and give examples of it's physical signals, internal sensations, mental responses, cues of acute or long-term anxiety, and cues of suppressed anxiety. I find it to be quite handy for developing compelling characters and really digging into their underlying psyche.


The next book, 'The Trickster's Hat', is more of a creative's exercise book. With mischievous little prompts, the little illustrated book encourages getting lost in order to find yourselves. If you find you have a creative block or like to warm up before working on bigger pieces, I would definitely pick this book up. There are some really fun and unexpected exercises in it that is enhanced by all the imagery. It will definitely spark your creativity.


For my next selection, 'Syllabus' I highly recommend for not only those who need a creative boost, but those who believe they can not really draw or write. If you haven't noticed by now Lynda Barry is one my creative block gurus I like to refer to consistently. She isn't particularly hung up on the mechanics of writing or of the creation of art, rather she is focused on sparking ideas and helping you dig deep into your innate abilities to create.


And lastly, I thought I'd share the little bedside book I've been engrossed in. I know I'm a little late to the game as book number three in the series has already come out, but I'd thought I'd share anyways. It is considered the adult's answer to the Harry Potter series. Although I'm not quite sure if it's quite to that level, it is fairly similar thus far, but in a teenage angst sort of way. Many of the complaints about this book was about the main character's emo persona in the beginning, but I must admit the beginning made it lack luster for me as well. However, as I am heading in about a third ways in, my interest is picking up. I'll share more later as I dig in, but I have to say if you're into magic, this might be a good read for you.




Music of the Day:
Emelie Sande : Here It Comes



Tuesday, October 21, 2014

E + M Pen Journaling


Since I got this beauty E + M pen from my hubby, I've been sketching with it on a daily bases.  I've always loved doodling with my old Papermate ball point pens, but I guess you can say this kicks it up a notch. Not only because it is beautiful to look at, but because I love how smooth and soft it is.


As you can seen here, I'm mostly using it in the Hobonichi, which is the thin Tomoe River paper, and yes, if you apply too much pressure you do get the relief on the other side, but this doesn't bother me too much. Its just plain fun ^_^.




Music of the Day:
Goyte : Somebody That I Used to Know



Friday, October 17, 2014

Happy Friday #26 : NaNoWriMo


Hi everyone! Don't know if you've heard the buzz around town or if you ever heard of the illustrious NaNoWriMo, but if you haven't had the pleasure this not so little acronym stands for National Novel Writing Month. Yes, you heard it one whole month to finish a novel. It begins on the first of November and ends at the end of November of course.

The idea is that you dedicate time to write really. The ideal scenario is of course that you actually write 50,000 words by the end of the month, but hey here is my take on it. I know it sounds over whelming and yes the coma inducing turkey holiday lands during crunch time, but if you look at it more as an inspirational or motivational tool, I think you lose nothing by at least trying.


Like minded people from around the globe write and you have lovely support in the form of forums, everything from genera, location, etc. to forums on specific items such as questions on plot, or if your stuck you can post a question for some help on ideas. I also, adore the motivational emails they send you, at times from famous authors cheering us on.

Many people do prepare before hand to have all their ducks in align, and you may want to as well. You still have a few weeks to do so, but it isn't completely necessary. It will make it easier of course to have at least and idea or a bit of a summary in your head on what it is you would like to write about no doubt, but I wouldn't want the lack of preparations to stop you from trying it out.


If your interested, some folks dedicate a whole notebook, like the Midori Traveler's Notebook insert, to the novel they are interested in writing, or a section of a notebook like I did here (the images peppered through out today's post). In it you can put, some notes on characters, pictures drawn or cut out from a magazine of the characters, etc., bits of research perhaps on setting, or any historical facts you may want to weave into your story. You could look at it as your research / mood board for your novel. It is great fun to do.

The site just went live for the 2014 session so if you are curious or want to join head on over there and take a gander and if your so inclined, would love some writing buddies. My name over yonder is JSLKIM.



Sooo... any who I know some of you might be wondering if I 've won yet? To be honest the answer is no, but hey... if you want a place for camaraderie, an extra kick in the butt, or a reason to put pen to paper. I would definitely recommend going for it ^_^!

Music of the Day:
Kimbra : Cameo Lover


Thursday, October 16, 2014

Inktober & Illustration Friday : Octopus



Doing the Illustration Friday Challenges again with my Hobo group on Face Book. Come join us! You can post to both the challenge and the group or just the group if you like ^_^.


Music of the Day:

Röyksopp & RobynMonument



Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Ripped Off


Hmm... just had to share. So about 20 years ago my husband and I designed the blue notebook on the left and a smaller pocket version and sold it at Urban Outfitters. We originally had eyes by the mouth, but Urban Outfitters came back and asked us to blow out the eyes and make it to fit their fall season color palette. This was a time when there weren't any plastic being used on notebooks, or different colors for that matter.

Any who back in the day, we had to have every element made separately, delivered, and put things together by hand. I remember the process well as I had to put together notebooks in between studying for my finals haha. It was tough and when a larger toy company asked us for a whole line unfortunately we were not ready for the volume nor confident enough to continue.


A few years later, we found our exact design knocked off by PaperChase. 20 years later my daughter comes home with her writer's journal she got from her writing teacher. I started laughing when I saw the enclosure and when I opened it, it says... made in China.

Surprise, surprise... I mean they obviously did a more cost cutting version, but good grief. It reminded me of a few incidents in the past few years where some artists from this side of the continent were having their art lifted from companies from China, and made into home products like pillows and being sold in the Target in Australia. Luckily someone alerted the buying team in Target and they took it seriously which was nice.

Any who I know we've been long out of the notebook market, but I thought I'd share. I guess if I look at it in a positive light... its good enough design to last 2 decades? haha...

Monday, October 13, 2014

Watercolors Watercolors Watercolors


Hmm... can you guess what today's post is about? Haha... you got it, those Daniel Smith Watercolors! My paint box came in and I pretty much spent the weekend, setting things up and making test pages in both my Hobo and Moleskine while I waited for my Stillman & Birn to come in.




The colors are really luscious and popped out on the watercolor Molskine journal. They were pretty good in the Hobo as well, accept for very light colors. They tend to just fade into the sheet such as Titan Buff and Malachite, but that is too be expected, since the paper is very white in color.


I have to say... I'm loving the colors quite a lot. To be honest I wasn't sure if it would be that much of a difference than some of the other watercolors I was using, but from the richness of the pigments, to the variety of sophisticated colors, I am definitely on board. This is just a work in progress, I usually like to punch things up a bit and add color pencil and a bit of black pen, but now that I think about it... I may just leave it as is and keep the softness this medium allots for.


Oh and here is a close-up of the Iridescent Topaz on the Stillman & Birn journal. I'm not sure if you can see the almost gold like gleam to the paper here, but I must say I am amazed that an iridescent watercolor could have so much pigment in it.

In terms of the journal, I purchased the Zeta series and it does remind me of some of the mixed media journals that are out there. It's not bad, however if I have a lot of water on it,  it seems as though it wants to pill a bit. So I have to back off, wait for it to dry a little and then add more pigment. In other words... have patience ha.

I would definitely say the Daniel Smith watercolors are the way to go. If you are curious about this tasty paint, I would definitely recommend purchasing the dot cards from the Daniel Smith site. A great way to test out which colors are a must have for you!

Music of the Day:
Kimbra : Settle Down