Tuesday, 27 July 2010

spontaneous excursion

I'm off on a last-minute break (we literally booked it tonight) with my family up in Yorkshire until the weekend, so I'm afraid it's goodbye until next week. We will be staying in a crazy little hotel that has its guest rooms in old train carriages. I will take lots of pictures to show you when I get back.

Have a good few days!

(Image from laterooms.com)


I baked a carrot cake, which is yet to be tasted. Fingers crossed.

I am twiddling my thumbs.

I seem to have ripped a chunk of skin off one of those thumbs.

I want to go on holiday but can't bear the cost.

Monday, 26 July 2010

my life

right now...

the weekend

We tried to relax this weekend and get away from thinking about all the things that have been bothering me these last few days. So we went picnicking at the seaside, this time at Frinton-on-Sea where they have the most amazing Modernist and Art Deco seafront houses. I mean, jaw-dropping white beauties like this one and this one, and there are loads of them. Whilst I am all for Georgian farmhouses for my own home, I can't help but wonder what it would be like to own something as stunning as those. I can just imagine the kind of decor I would like to use inside!

We also went to play on the helter skelter at cheesy Clacton-on-Sea, and to explore the site of special scientific interest at The Naze. The latter borders Hamford Water and the creeks and saltmarshes where Arthur Ransome set his Swallow and Amazons book, 'Secret Water'. Being the geek (here and here) that I am, I was pleased to at least have seen a part of it from a distance. We never quite made it to Hamford Water itself, but the sailboats that now navigate those waters were clearly visible from our walk on the sea wall.

Friday, 23 July 2010

one more thing...

Is it wrong to like this sofa? I think sometimes that I need to be hauled out of my grey, austere home-furnishings aesthetic and made to consider brightening up my life with stuff like this. I think it could be kind of fun to have something surprising like this amongst all the wood and greyish stuff I've got. Lord knows I need cheering up a lot of the time...


Dear Friday, I love you. But why don't you come round more often?

Have a good weekend, all.

Thursday, 22 July 2010


I just realized that I've spent the day researching oil tank gauges, plumbers and Mozart sheet music and not even stopped by for a hello. I am busy doing house-selling and house-renting business, which involves a hell of a lot of scanning of bits of paper that were never very well-filed away. What a mess!

Wednesday, 21 July 2010

Poor Bob

Poor thing. Nobody likes him much...


Image by Mola Mo.

Today I would like to share two lovely people who have just featured me on their blogs. The first is Kat Black of Anything Goes, who is from South Africa and has a great eye for design and art. The second is Mola-Mo from Norway, who writes about artists that inspire her and also posts up sweet drawings from her sketchbook. I am constantly amazed at how the internet can bring people together who would never meet in ordinary circumstances. And I am amazed by the generosity of the people I come into contact with through this blog. Thank you, everyone!

Cat bird house by John Casewell, seen via Kathblack.

Hopefully I'll have time for another drawing this afternoon. Things are a bit quieter here this week... for now!

Monday, 19 July 2010

house hunting and the weekend

View from Offa's Dyke Path near Bodfari. Photo by the husband.

We spent a windswept and squally two days in Wales, looking for a house to rent. Happily I can report that we have found somewhere! It is a little converted stable in the grounds of an old rectory. The last occupier was an old lady who taught piano until the age of 93, and the piano is still in there. I think we will ask to keep it and try to find some piano duets to play! There is also a stair-lift, which we will ask to be removed :-) Fingers crossed that we can secure the tenancy, as the rent is cheap but the area is stunning. There is a footpath just opposite that leads up into the Clwydian Range, from which there are gorgeous views of the Vale of Clwyd and places as far away as Snowdonia.

Bwlch Pen Barras.

Bwlch Pen Barras.

I hope you had a good weekend. I got to see my family and make fun things to eat, like black sesame daifuku-style mochi, ice-cream mochi (hilarious and messy fun). I helped my dad make wontons for lunch, which was just the kind of thing I was hankering for last week. His filling is so much better than mine and I can't work it out, even though I use the same ingredients. Like him, though, I am a cook who feels her way around the composition of a dish rather than following a recipe, so I suppose I am just getting my proportions a bit wrong!

Wednesday, 14 July 2010


I know you probably have worked this out already but I am having a tough time at the moment. There are so many things going on in my life and consequently my head, that sometimes I feel like I'm going to burst and collapse into a big, weepy pile. The combination of work and house-selling/renting is driving me to the brink of my already limited sanity. I just wish I could escape it all for just a little while.

If I could, right now I would like to:
1. Eat pierogi and borscht at Veselka, New York.
2. Play on the beach. Any beach.
3. Make silly stop-frame animations with my teddies. Pure idiocy.
4. Go swimming somewhere hot, or in the lake at Annecy.
5. Go hiking in Scotland.
6. Gorge myself on panzanella and trippa alla Fiorentina (that's tripe, oh yes) at the amazing diner in the Mercato Centrale in Florence.
7. Go home and get my Dad to teach me all, like, EVERYTHING, he knows about Chinese cooking because he is so talented and I want to cook like him.
8. Go somewhere out of my comfort zone (and no, that doesn't include moving house to somewhere 250 miles away): Indonesia, South America, India. Somewhere fabulous. But armed with insect repellent.

The husband and I will be away on Thursday and Friday, looking for a hovel to rent up north. Have a good couple of days, and enjoy the weekend! Wish me luck.

Tuesday, 13 July 2010

canine expressions

I have descended into childishness this morning whilst going bonkers waiting for feedback.


Here's a sneak peek at some illustration work I recently completed for an Avis promotion. It will be animated by my friends at Jelly.

Monday, 12 July 2010

the weekend...

was lovely. Seeing my university friends in Devon, eating lots of food and messing around in the countryside. The drive to and fro wasn't too much fun but it was well worth the trip. I miss them already. (That's the husband with the red jumper around his waist. I am, as usual, hiding behind the camera lens).

I'll be busy again this week and then we will be going up north to find a house to live in. I'll keep trying to stop by and write something here. Hope you had a good weekend too.

Friday, 9 July 2010

work in progress...

These last few days I have been:
1. Drawing cats and dogs for Tesco
2. Mapping Paris and illustratively travelling on the Eurostar.
3. Eating financiers baked by the lovely husband
4. Worrying about moving house and the fact that we don't have anywhere to live at the end of the month.
5. Worrying that I have a deadline for this paper cutting job pretty much bang on the date when we will complete the sale of our house and be henceforth homeless (unless I find the time to go up north house-hunting with the husband next week).
6. Reading Middlesex, where the best line so far has been 'real life doesn't live up to writing about it'. Tell me about it.

Have a good weekend, kids. I need a holiday.

Wednesday, 7 July 2010


Guys, I'm sorry. Things are getting out of hand here. The work just keeps coming in and I've been unable to put much effort into thinking about stuff to blog. Here's a quick drawing I did for you.

Monday, 5 July 2010

Great Chishill

We stayed closer to home this weekend and went on a gentle eight-mile walk from Great Chishill on Sunday. Despite the terrain being not more interesting than a variety of gently undulating fields, we bypassed lots of pretty villages and everywhere abounded with wildlife, including some magnificently-fruiting wild cherry trees that lined the road all the way from Langley Upper Green to Duddenhoe End. I love summer.

The husband has bought loads of stuff, including a car

So I've been thinking about what I would splurge some money on, if I could bear it. A new bag and casual jacket for summer, a new pair of sandals, swimwear, something light to wear, and a bit of bling (my goodness, do I like that little grey-diamond bit of bling!)

Friday, 2 July 2010

just a note...

I don't often re-blog things here. There are plenty of other people doing that, but sometimes I like to save images that I like for reference, and for when we finally move into a new house. For this I use Tumblr. If you're interested in seeing the kind of interiors I like (mostly vintage, scruffy, rough-edged, subtle-coloured stuff), click over there for a gander.

Images from Design Sponge.

Thursday, 1 July 2010


The husband and I are teetering on the edge of big changes. For two years we have lived here and worked on our respective careers, enjoying being married and owning our own home. But things are about to go a bit mad around here - the husband finished working as a researcher in engineering at Cambridge Uni last Friday and has been at home with me for the last few days, trying out the wonderful feeling of being blissfully and temporarily unemployed. He will start work at the BBC in Manchester in September, so we are in each other's company until then. This means a few things:

1) I am likely not to make an appearance here when the weather is good and I have a day off.
2) I will eat much nicer lunches now that I have him to share them with.
3) We will be moving house soon - end of July, we hope.
4) We will be renting a house somewhere temporarily, which may depress me, because:
5) I STILL cannot sell my London flat. Until it is sold we can't buy another house. Buyers are very cautious right now. Grrrr.
6) We will be undertaking our first real and proper house move, with removal men and lots of boxes and a piano - I am already worrying about it.
7) I am distracted and can't seem to come up with anything interesting to say or draw.