Sunday, August 31, 2008

Sunday Morning Knitting

wolly basket in the morning

This morning I got up early to finish knitting my jumper. I've had some gloomy days, Alexis says I've put on my winter face now. I guess it happens every year this time, something hormonal that makes me want to build a warm house out of top quality bricks and sit in it and get ready to shout insults at the big bad wolf of winter, and I feel restless and critical of anything less then top quality brickwork.
Yesterday was an incredibly sunny day - I hope the tomatoes soaked it all up! We fried some of the green ones up to see what that is like, and they tasted great. I don't actually understand why they don't sell green tomatoes in the shops, I'd eat them all the time.

fried green tomatoes

I am really enjoying my little stereo... I only wish I hadn't got rid of so much of my old tapes and CD's, I especially like listening to any that survived over the years at the moment. I miss my cheesy Sting tapes, and the Michael Jackson albums, and the dreadful crooning cover albums as sung by the cast of Star Trek (oh yes). If I'd buy that stuff again I'd feel a bit silly, they'd sound all different from the same tapes I had years and years ago. I discreetly shunted all that stuff out when I found myself going out with a guy who had a more refined taste in music. He didn't tell me to, I just wanted to get rid of them before he could explain to me why they were bad... Then he was gone, and I found I didn't have any music left that I actually really liked (but a heck of a lot of stuff that sounds to me like some woman burning a thumb piano full of insects while complaining about something). Now I've decided never to throw away another collection out of shame. If I ever find that box of toenail clippings from my early childhood, I'll treasure it, oh yes I will. (Won't add any new ones though. That would be kind of weird.)

I got a friendly mail from a young cousin who I didn't actually know existed this weekend, and now I am trying to work out if she was the baby I accidentally dropped almost two decades ago. I've felt kind of guilty about that ever since and avoided holding any more babies. If it was her, I'm glad that she seems to have grown up well, she sounds nice and sprightly.

I've got one more square of knitting to do, and then I shall write a synopsis for a comic book proposal and stick the rough text Alexis dictated me yesterday into a blank dummy, and cover it in hopefully meaningful Sharpie scrawls. Seems like a very good day so far!

Friday, August 29, 2008

decorative borders

Am designing decorative borders for this book still, to be cut in Lino eventually...
Mostly I am cutting bits off at the moment, like this part, which I still like, but it's Too Much.

I've always found ornamentation really hard to do!
It's almost tiome to go and find reference and do some copying, but I want to try for a bit longer to find what I do by myself, I'd really like it to have a feel of doodles in margins of things.

dreams of houses

Meh, slow morning here. I've been thinking about future plans a lot, which I don't do often (not much point, I find) because I figured it would be lovely to have a dream to indulge in sometimes about what I'd like to be doing in, say, ten years' time. I would like to be able to buy a little house, just for myself, with a beautiful kitchen with a window out into the garden, and a separate studio and bedroom, with lots of well-designed storage space so I can have one very tidy room to wake up in and a reasonably tidy one to work in. And an attic, to store things I don't want to see all the time. And a basement, to have a real laundry room. - I used to think the best way to get a house was to get a boyfriend who can pay half the money but I soon realised that that means you have to actually let them live there, too, and that negates the whole idea, I find. ESPECIALLY in the mornings, when other people by right shouldn't even EXIST yet. - I want it to be MY house. Potential boyfriends can live in the shed or Kent or wherever. Actually not in the shed, I need the shed for woodworking.
That sounds greedy, I know, but remember it's my dream. I don't dream of being pope and going into space to find magic treasure, I just want a pretty little house and garden just for me. When I was small, I liked to sit in cardboard boxes and spend ages deciding what colour to paint the inside and which books to keep in there with me... oh I would love to pick out some kitchen curtains one day and hang them up and sit at a table drinking tea just looking at them.

Well, I better get some work done... LOTS OF WORK... GET VERY RICH... :)
...Until then I can have a fun time living in my best friend's studio looking out on my potted balcony garden, which I really rather like, I just want to have my little house to dream of, too.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Oh! Shirts!

Oh dear - sales at again.
Do I need another T-shirt? Of course I do.

This one I've almost bought before. Now I'll have it.

Argh! Will they Live?

Are the Sleepwalkers continuing their mission today?

Here - Page Thirteen!


Today I think is a good day to try out my new watercolour box...

I bought it last time I was in the art shop, it used to be over a hundred quid. I've always wanted a nice watercolour box with enamel pans, I've still got the one that I got given at an education fair I went to with my mum when I was small, there was a PELIKAN stall and they let me try out their materials because I was bored. Then they gave me a very nice paintbrush (since lost) and my mum bought me a watercolour box. And then I somewhere acquired a second one, it's someone's old one but I can't remember whose. Anyway! I've wanted an enamel travel box for ages but they are so heavy... now they had a lightweight one for less than half price, and sionce I am going on a painting trip to France with my sister soon anyway I figured it's time to buy it at last!

Otherwise... my parents just put one of their old PCs in the post for me, I'm planning to try and run Linux on it and have it as my main everyday computer, so next time I pour coffee into my laptop it's not potentially the end of the world.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

On the Lower Shelf This Week...

lower shelf

Last Night's Lino

Whatever next...


I've finished this and printed it off by now, it's part of the design of a new book. Have to do lots more...

Eddie Don't Like Furniture

Something good: while tidying up, I found a bunch of tapes my friend Mattew made me in college, and am now listening to them - my favourite re-discovery so far is John Hegley's Eddie Don't Like Furniture.
I like John Hegley.

I don't like furniture neither. It does keep bumping into me.

Bad Morning

I started this morning by pouring a cup of coffee into my laptop. The next couple of hours were kind of boring, so probably best described by a quote from the Myth of Cúchulainn.

The first warp-spasm seized Cúchulainn, and made him into a monstrous thing, hideous and shapeless, unheard of. His shanks and his joints, every knuckle and angle and organ from head to foot, shook like a tree in the flood or a reed in the stream. His body made a furious twist inside his skin, so that his feet and shins switched to the rear and his heels and calves switched to the front... On his head the temple-sinews stretched to the nape of his neck, each mighty, immense, measureless knob as big as the head of a month-old child... he sucked one eye so deep into his head that a wild crane couldn't probe it onto his cheek out of the depths of his skull; the other eye fell out along his cheek. His mouth weirdly distorted: his cheek peeled back from his jaws until the gullet appeared, his lungs and his liver flapped in his mouth and throat, his lower jaw struck the upper a lion-killing blow, and fiery flakes large as a ram's fleece reached his mouth from his throat... The hair of his head twisted like the tange of a red thornbush stuck in a gap; if a royal apple tree with all its kingly fruit were shaken above him, scarce an apple would reach the ground but each would be spiked on a bristle of his hair as it stood up on his scalp with rage.

(—Thomas Kinsella (translator), The Táin, Oxford University Press, 1969, pp. 150-153)

And then a jet of blood shot straight up from my head and the mist of it killed all my enemies, they all died of sheer fright.

Kind of ok now, most letters work and I got it out almost everywhere except the touch-pad. Back to work I guess.

Monday, August 25, 2008

New Things...

Yesterday I spent some time going through a new story I am working on with Alexis. He's writing it, but it's featuring all things I like to draw most, and I make quick sketches of what I think things will look like (ish) and throw them back at him.
At some point we laughed so much I couldn't speak for a while. And then we agreed that it was one of the best stories ever. - I already know how to illustrate it, it's going to involve me going to some jumble sales to track down peculiar-shaped objects.
I hope it'll go through editing more or less as it is - most of the time I work on a story it becomes funnier as the editing goes on, but this time it's just right already...

Saturday, August 23, 2008


Mm, sleepy. I went to town to buy some lino printing stuff and knitted some new sleeves for my favourite jumper on the train, because it is getting colder.
I also bought the album of "MONKEY - Journey to the West", which is the first one since I got a stereo, and I intend to buy more music from now on. Am saving on DVD's since there is a DVD recorder in the house, you see, making use of my TV license, hoovering films out of the air, giving me a budget all of a sudden when I pass the shop.
I love MONKEY in all his incarnations, and am glad to have music for dreaming adventures to.

Also went to see Hellboy Two and really liked as good as everything about it, to my surprise. I kept noticing quotes of all sorts of things I knew and loved, and expected to be annoyed about that, instead I just really felt at home. Quite often I laughed because I was so pleased about something or other. It seemed innocent, and sort of brave that way. And not trying massively hard to be cool. I like that. It made me feel like some eighties fantasy films did, and like later ones just didn't. I believed it, even the daft parts.
No one I know here who's seen it liked it, but I don't mind.
Oh, and someone told me Prince Nuada used to live just round the corner from here!

Friday, August 22, 2008

Back from the Asleep

With apologies for the extended break... The Sleepwalkers are back, now hopefully at a rate of a page per day or so!

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Lovely evening!

Last night I went out to visit a friend for dinner - she just moved house and now just lives ten minutes away. Which is amazing! It was very strange, I used to think life would be like this all the time - quickly visiting someone with a bottle of wine and sitting in their kitchen chatting until the food is cooked and then eating it and chatting some more - but that's actually become a very rare thing since moving to London, which used to make me very sad until I gradually forgot about the possibility.
So... that was GREAT!
And when I came back home I downloaded LocoRoco Cocoreccho and played it until midnight (I probably was shouting "Cocoreccho!" in my sleep, kind of felt like that in the morning). I am so happy that somehow 2D games seem to be back in fashion even though games consoles and computers can handle detailed 3D environments. I wish I could get involved... I used to spend long hours when I was quite small drawing and dreaming up adventurous 2D platformer maps. Maybe I'll do some designing in my spare time. Hang on, "spare time"? Ha ha ha ha ha ha... oof...

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Have I got anything to say today? Hm.

We bought a new drying rack, which is nice... and I spent about a day installing the most complicated gizmo I ever came across, a Freeview DVD recorder (surprisingly baffling). I successfully recorded the Synchronised swimming, so that's done I think. And I have my own stereo now.
That's my life at the moment, cables and cables, and me reading theory books and using rolls and rolls of sticky tapes and post-its making ambitious dummies. And sleeping. My head is completely full of work and I haven't communicated much with most of my friends for weeks... Ah well.

Thursday, August 14, 2008


Bobo the biggest budgie ran out of steam while flying about and tumbled right down the stairs into the studio.

We could not convince him to try and fly back up. He remained on the lightbox until carried home.

Friday, August 8, 2008

Cow Gum

I think I'm getting a cold.
Well, it's a good day anyway. I got a coffee machine in the post that makes one cup of coffee exactly, to keep beside my bed to help me start the day. What I didn't expect is that the cup is very very small. It's not an espresso machine, it's just a machine for making an incredibly small cup of coffee. I hope it'll mean that I get to drink more than one cup a day... I always make my breakfast coffee so big and concentrated that if I have any other caffeinated drink later in the day it makes my head explode, which is bad socially.
Also, I was hunting mice and found an old tin of cow gum under the sink, which is incredibly brilliant since I was wondering where to get rubber cement to glue the spine of my new book without having to leave the house because I think I'm getting a cold.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Guts and Glory!

Yayy! I found time to stick the next couple of pages of Sleepwalkers online.

Click on the picture to see the rest of this riveting episode. The white sheep has her sword out and everything! And... might they actually find the swallowed child tonight? Suspense!!!

Otherwise it has been POURING with rain in the most impressive manner, and now the sun came out and the world looks car-washed and radiant. SO I will set off and buy some dental floss to bind my new book. Dental floss is very good for bookbinding in the absence of real bookbinding thread, which is not often to hand when one needs it I find. I hope they have something that doesn't smell too minty.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Hand Drawn Map Association

I came across this lovely site of hand-drawn maps and send them a submission, a map of Battersea that has been in my handbag for years. Here they posted it!

I like that map, it makes me happy to look at it.

Book-binding again

Am binding a new book, it's VERY exciting, this time it's a photo album/scrap book with cut-out frames and loads of different paper stocks... it's for a new project. Technically, I don't really need to do this but, well, it's just that I find it helpful to bind exactly the right kind of book for every project phase, it helps me come up with ideas. I always put a best of the Beatles album on because when "Let it Be" comes around it reminds me I should take a break. In fact my flatmate sometimes comes into the studio when he hears it and sings along to make me stop working.
Which I am doing now. Ok. Taking break now. Yes.
Oh, and, after that song, "The Long and Winding Road" comes on which always makes me very happy because I think it sounds like it's sung by a small rodent on a big journey. (In a good way.) - That happens to be my favourite kind of story, actually. I have a collection of books about small rodents having adventures. I once wrote one myself but it ended up in a drawer because it was MUCH to long. I wonder if Paul McCartney was aiming for that effect. I mean, did he actually ask them to, hm, contrast his voice with a full orchestra like that? It makes him sound the size of a rat...
Deja Vu happening. I probably posted the exact same thing last time I bound a book.
It's good to have some structure in life, isn't it.
I think I've had more than enough coffee today.
Better go for a walk and pick up some tasty snacks.
What do I usually eat when I'm binding books?
Aaah yes, chip butty and a pickle!
Right, I'm off.

Grote Flappen! Veel Humor!

That's what I like to see. Cats abroad!
This is my very promotional double spread in the catalogue of Uniboek. I very much enjoyed reading it out loud.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008


I cleaned the shower with vinegar, just to see what happens, and it got sparkling clean. Now I'm ashamed. I thought as soon as you can see any limescale at all you need, I don't know, emergency measures... something that comes in a brightly coloured spray bottle and plays a fanfare when you pull the trigger. I thought vinegar was just good for cleaning burned pans.
I wonder what other stupid things I do, maybe I'll take a day off some time just to have a good think about that.

Desk Flooding

This is my desk today, after going through the contents of my camera and using up a printer cartridge yesterday.
Now all I have to do is finish this cup of coffee and draw the background of one illustration before a meeting this afternoon. That's mainly why I went and took sea photos, I figured I needed some reference... am working on a seafaring story, and couldn't remember the shapes water makes when at large.

Sunday, August 3, 2008


I went to the seaside with Inga Kristin to take a close look at things of the water.

The train was tilting towards the sea, and when we got off it the rain started.

We got rained on for a week which was ok because that way I got to see water from all sides.
I oiled up my sketchbook so it didn't get too soggy.

When we got back, enough things had grown on my balcony for a salad.