Wednesday, 25 September 2013


I don't know what I've been doing with myself of late. Next week it's October! October?! I suspect I won't be committing to Blogtoberfest this year...I can barely commit to my weekly meal plan (well, it's often just a 4 day plan if I'm honest and even that's sometimes a struggle). So, here's some more stuff:
Well, at least one part of my brain must have realized that autumn is close at hand. However the brain part which deals with camera focus was obviously napping.

Pacifier, dummy, bummy...she only gets it for sleeping and long car journeys and it will be a sad day for all when the dummy fairy comes (soon, I guess).

One of my first forays into DIY - changed a bedside table into a play kitchen. I am disproportionally pleased with myself despite the (in places) dubious workmanship.
...speaking of which...This toddler handbag I made for Elaine's upcoming birthday doesn't look too bad from this angle but the other side is more puckered than and old wifie's (insert body part of your choice). I guess when I  put the zip in something went awry with the lining. Well, she's only 2, eh? Won't notice!

Sunday, 1 September 2013

Foot, Sharpe, Caravan!

A foot, a fictional character and a caravan? No, there's no logical connection, they've just been on my mind and in my sketchbook this past week.

Elaine did some painting...self-portrait I guess you could call it:

I did some reading. I'm currently working my way through the Sharpe novels. It's a series detailing the adventures of a Rifle officer set (mostly) during the Penisular (Napoleonic) war. The female characters are, frankly, a bit rubbish but the battle scenes and storytelling are great. The books are so easy to get into and get lost in that I've tended to save them for long journeys but I don't think I can resist the lure...only got about 8 to go...what will I do without Sharpe? Hmm...move on to Horatio Hornblower I guess!

Another Sharpe novel was devoured during last weeks mini-mini-break (one night only) in the van. I dragged myself away from the Kindle to sketch the neighbouring caravan. 

Monday, 26 August 2013

Popeye arms and new words

 It was a wet weekend but we can't complain as we have had a very hot and sunny summer so far. Unfortunately we don't have a garden - just a yard which doubles as a customer car park during the week. However, if you bung a paddling pool in the middle and add an heroic older man (the nine year old next-door neighbour, Lukas) it is enough to make a toddler very excited.
Elaine eyes Lukas' snack. Her forearm has taken on Popeye-like proportions here.
I don't think Elaine's vocabulary is as extensive as some of her peers because of the bilingual complication. But the words are starting to come thick and fast now.
 Since I drew these pages she's added quite a few new words (English and German) to her collection. 
Finally, if you ever wonder why my photos are so dodgy..I blame my assistant:


Monday, 19 August 2013

Rather random Scottish stuff...

...from my holiday in (ahem) July. Will have some more up to date(ish) stuff in the next post!

Strawberries in my parents garden (Elaine hat already eaten mst of the ripe ones).
An Orkney reed-backed chair in the house we rented with friends

The Skerray jetty. Billy Mac drove up in his Ford Transit, hauled up lobster pots from the side of the jetty for us to choose our victims. I was in the car with (sleeping Elaine) sketching from a distance. I was quite happy to avoid pointing the finger of death and even more happy not to be in the house when the lobster were quickly killed (before cooking). Tasted amazing! Yeah, I'm a hypocrite, I don't deny it!

Looking down to Ben Kilbreck in the distance. I can't tell you what a lovely view this is...and how disappointed I am at my poor effort. I just haven't mastered the light to dark background/foreground at all. It all went haywire. Maybe drinking gin at the same time wasn't the best idea.

The Aga

The poor stag's head in the snooker room. Wonder if deer also look a bit cross-eyed when alive?

Wednesday, 31 July 2013

French holiday part 2

Here are some more rather random sketches from my holiday in June. I won't ramble on about it as: a. it would make for a boring read and b. I've really got to get back to drawing rather than faffing about on the laptop and I-pad. However, I can assure you that a lovely time was had by all.
Sleeping toddler...hurrah! (NB: her head is a completely normal shape in real life)
Found on the ground  - didn't eat them!

Vieil Ucel - a hilltop village near our campsite at Vals les Bains. Painted peering at the (very small) village in the distance and trying to politely ignore the campsite handyman who kept asking for my opinion on his shrubbery maintenance (sadly that's not an innuendo!).
An alley in Vieil Ucel

Sunday, 28 July 2013

French Holiday part 1

Way back in the mists of time (first two weeks in June) we had great holiday in the Ardeche with the campervan. We met up with my parents (in their own van) and their constant babysitting allowed my to sketch all day really. Too busy stuffing in another pain au chocolat. But here's a few drawings at least:

Dad absorbed in his Kindle

A back street in the village Pradons. (For once actually drawn in situ and not from a photo! It was really quiet so I didn't feel too shifty).

My parents' van with washing line hanging from the awning.