Sunday, December 30, 2007

Off To Edinburgh!

Happy New Year everyone!
I'm getting ready to go to Edinburgh for a week, I might blog from an internet-cafe if I remember my password!

I just bought a second travel bag, a sturdy leather satchel that will serve as a handbag and sketch-bag abroad. I was a bit puzzled when the shopkeeper was overjoyed about my choice of brand... I thought it was a bit silly, myself, for being "pre-distressed" but I figured real life will catch up with it. He explained that he can't really shift them in this area because "black people don't like it". Hm!!! For a minute I had visions of being caught out with a white supremacist bag quite unexpectedly, but then I realised that was... stupid.

I picked up provisions from the supermarket, which took longer than expected because the lady in front of me was paying with three plastic bags of un-sorted coins, which the checkout lady counted through patiently for a while, then she sent her away to the cash-counting machine. It turned out she only had five pounds when she needed sixteen, so two of her bags had to be un-bleeped again, item by item. The whole thing took a long time, and everyone seemed very cheerful about it and saying "it's hard to judge these things, isn't it". That was so unusual... I so often get people physically fighting in the queue before me for smaller reasons.
The customer seemed very nice, too, I wondered what her life was like.

Tra la, off I go!

Thursday, December 27, 2007

New Year Plans Already

As you see, the jumper is progressing. I've started on the sleeves. I haven't finished the back yet, but I thought starting on the sleeves would be good for morale.

Also I have started making up New Year Two aims: see things and make things. I want to travel to places I really want to see, and go exploring, rather than try to get the best out of London (I know it's one of the most vobrant and exciting places in the world, but... oof... we don't really get on). And then I want to make things that aren't books. Books, too, but not ONLY books. Objects, useful ones and beautiful ones, and maybe I can learn some new skills. So! Tomorrow I'll go and find myself a good backpack and then I'll start planning properly! I'm planning to try and visit friends around the world, and do some exploring day trips, too... it's all very exciting!

Now my parents will phone and tell me to get a suitcase on rolls instead of a backpack. It's an ongoing discussion, that. I firmly stick to backpacks being the most useful thing if you have to do any walking outside airports.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Almost Christmas Now

Last night I went to the South Bank to watch Kneehigh's "Rapunzel", which was very pleasant. I didn't quite know what to expect, and it turned out to be almost a panto. That is, there were all the elements that I (as a non-Brit) am aware of, but toned down. The hissing was very polite, and the shouting optional. And there was a HUGE live rabbit on stage. So - I can tick off another Christmas item, have gone seen Christmas entertainment. Now I need to get back into town and look for the last couple of Christmas presents. Yawn.

Here's a lovely plate I inherited from my Gran... isn't it pretty? I'll keep useful things on it.

Oh, and if any of notice me missing on their Facebook friends list: I deleted myself, on a whim really. I just never kept up with the virtual ham sandwich/head driller/morris dancing/sumo wrestling/cheese fondue invites and was starting to feel a bit bummed off as well about the compatibility quizzes. ("You and Jim have a TV taste compatibility of 12%. You secretly think he's a sentimental prat for liking Sleepless in Seattle and he never told you he only watches Star Trek at your place because he's lonely on week-ends. We have posted these results to everyone you know and suggest they have all their favourite things in the world laughed at and dismissed by clicking HERE.") So far, it's lovely to be rid of it, and I'm finally catching up with my emails.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

RIP Henry-bird

I am a bit tired, because Henry the finch died this morning after a night of sad scrabbling. We're burying him in a Coer de Lion camenbert box with the millet I bought him yesterday so he could have some for breakfast (he had a bite). He was the smallest bird in the house, but with the biggest beak, and he was in a pityful way when I bought him last year, but he'd perked up a lot inbetween and spent most of his time here all-singing, all-dancing and lording it over the feeder. I was very fond of him.

All I have to do today is re-letter some speech bubbles, and then I can go off to town, bay some paper and see a show.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Beedle Madness...

Soooo... J.K. Rowling auctioned off a handwritten copy of "The Tales Of Beedle the Bard" (for a sensible charity, I v. much approve) and all we can say from the pictures is it looks a bit like it's written with a BIC (which I find very endearing, actually). So now I recommend watching the prescient web reviews of the stories within while there's still bits of raunchy fan fiction being mistaken for the real thing. There's a Beedle Wiki going already, and I recommend reading the plot of "The Warlock's Hairy Heart" before it gets deleted by people who know better... Quote: "the horrible heart is "pierced" by the beauty of her skin and the scent of her hair. "Grown strange" from being disconnected from his body for so long, the now "blind" and "perverse" heart takes savage action."
Mmmm'kay.... I really hope Amazon won't hurry with their "official" reviews!!!!

(NOTE ...and the second after I posted this someone deleted it all, but I saved it for my collection!)

(ANOTHER NOTE) ...and now Amazon HAS posted their official reviews and... the peculiar fan-fiction WAS the real thing!!! OK, I'm happy now.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

It's Printed!!!

It's just an uncorrected proof, some of the colour needs adjusting and I need to re-letter some speech bubbles... BUT it's all there, on the right paper and with a snazzy dust cover. This is my favourite spread! Thanks to the whole world knows: cats like cardboard boxes.
I think I should try and get an edition printed in LOLspeech - the original script almost was, actually, but we decided to try and offer complete sentences to the human toddlers wherever possible. Not on this spread, though :)

Friday, December 14, 2007

Back from Germany!

I'm back! And quite tired, because I had a meeting in the morning directly after arriving last night. Last meeting of the year, and lots of good feedback!
I looked quite amusing because I was wearing the new clothes I brought back from Germany - all very elegant items chosen to make me look understated, tasteful and generally respectable. In Germany, that worked pretty well. In London, I suddenly look like a Timelord. Not a bad look, makes me feel I'm on a mission.

Meeting went well, I got a copy of my latest book, uncorrected proof, and I'm very proud. I must post some pictures soon... But now I'll go and look what groceries I bought, I was going so fast today I did it fully subconsciously...

Sunday, December 9, 2007

The full spread!

Good no?

The Sushi rolls and Sashimi are from a shop. The rest is home-cooked and sliced... SO MUCH FOOD!!!! AND there was Miso soup...

And now I have to run off and catch a plane, seeyoulater.

Saturday, December 8, 2007

Blade Runner

Oof. Am preparing food for some guests who are coming around for an evening of watching the Blade Runner Final Cut and eating Japanese style food. Uh. Still have to set up the projector and arrange a whole lot of foodstuffs... well Alexis is doing most of the arranging. I don't find food presentation is my forte. The best I could come up with is a Cityscape of bamboo skyscrapers with carrot smog, after failing to do any abstract compositions. I don't think I got Zen or whatever you need. Am a bit worried that it might come across less "wow, elegant!" than "ew, someone touched my food" to food-savvy Londoners. Well, more for me if so.

Also have to pack to fly to my Gran's funeral tomorrow, and there is a craft fair on at Lordship Lane, but I'm too tired to go there... oh and I got to prepare for a meeting the morning after I come back from Germany. Moo.

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Painted birds

More morning paintings. The parrot looked a bit poorly so I worked on him some more, now he's less painterly but more happy. Am learning to do thin washes, as you see, hence paintings getting more fuzzy and light in places. - Hooray!
I much prefer painting on cardboard to canvas...

Wednesday, December 5, 2007


I've discovered it's a better start into the day do do some painting exercise than to throw myself straight into picture book work...

Today's painting.

Old Horse

How funny! Just got this picture in the mail, it's a scan of a T-shirt I designed in school as a souvenir of a school trip... I'd forgotten about that. Just about everyone in my year must have been wearing this at the time... apparently there was a popular song about a horse and a fly going round on that trip.
Style hasn't changed massively in the last... uh... fourteen years, no?

Saturday, December 1, 2007

London Life - Sun in your Eyes

Good News Everybody, I've just decided to do some observational work.
Here's a conversation I caught earlier today while going out to buy some crisps and cut-price electronics from the German discount store.

Click to make big.