Photo dump – Sunday the 26th

I thought it would be fun to do one of those day in the life photoshoots! Last Sunday I took some photos as I went about my day. This definitely isn’t a typical DAY for me, but it is a typical SUNDAY, if that makes sense. During the weekdays I go to my day job from 9-5, but this is a pretty typical weekend for me.

Anyway! I woke up at about 7:30 and immediately made coffee.

Coffee on a countertop
Delicious, delicious nectar.

And then got to work! I’m working on a new painting. I’m a little embarrassed to show it when it’s still “in progress” but whatever, good to get out of one’s comfort zone!

Painting in progress
My messy studio with painting in progress – yep, I sit in the floor.
In progress!
In progress!

LOTS more to do. I’m really excited about it, but also really intimidated! Anyway, I worked until about noon, while listening to my trusty radio. I LOVE the radio. It’s much better on weekdays than weekends, but it’s still pretty good on weekends. I tuned into 92.9 FM, “90s til today”! Felt good to indulge in some nostalgia! I like the radio while I work because it doesn’t engage me too much that I’m distracted, but still enough that I can get into that creative zone.

After that, I packed Rob lunch. He works at a rehabilitation hospital that’s a short walk away. Obviously I don’t always take him lunch, but it was a beautiful day for a walk. It was also freaking hot outside – I was drenched in sweat the whole way. Summer here is BEAUTIFUL. Seriously, gorgeous.

Roses on a rosebush

Purple flowers on window boxes outside of a bar/cafe

Little free library

I always feel super self-conscious taking photos while I walk around. How do other people do it? There’s ALWAYS other people around looking at me like I’m a crazy lady!

Anyway Rob enjoyed the lunch I brought him very much. It was just leftover momos and samosas from our local Indian momo place!

Sitting on the grass with momos and samosas.
DELICIOUS MOMOS.

Finally, I headed home and settled down to playing some video games – Xenoblade Chronicles. I FINALLY finished it (120 hours total, 4 YEARS since I started, yikes).

Augustus the cat laying on me, with a wiimote in my lap
Augustus helped.

And that’s it! Not much to report for the rest of the day – I read some books, played some games, Rob got home and we made dinner, which was vegan shatshouka – yummmm. It was delicious! All in all, a very wonderful Sunday, and very productive for my art, too! Though I’ve been doing a fair amount of painting, I REALLY want to get back into sketching/drawing. Painting is really great, but you also need to improve your drawing skills too!

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La Typographe lead holder review

I feel really stupid writing about a product you can’t easily get in the States or online… but my local knick-knack store happens to carry the La Typographe lead holder and I wanted to talk about it, because the price is right and it’s so beautiful and well-made.

Pencils in box

Rob and I each bought one – I bought the white, and Rob bought the orange. We were so excited we couldn’t even wait until we got home to open them (local people: you can find these in Black Ink in Harvard).

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Trying it out!

The lead that it came with is pretty standard, nice and soft (but not too soft!). I was able to shade with the point pretty easily, which is really nice. I also did a quick sketch with it, and it was nice (good thing, too, because I lost my mechanical pencil that I use for undersketches…). I prefer to do undersketches with blue lead, but luckily the La Typographe pencils take standard 2mm lead, so I can buy lead refills online or maybe even at Blick.

Okay but the best part is…

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Augustus was VERY interested in batting it around!

I know that doesn’t look exciting, but it is. It’s the top of the pencil, which screws off to reveal a mini sharpener! So you don’t have to buy a separate, fancy lead sharpener – you can just manually twist the tongs around the lead and it’ll sharpen for you!

Also the lead holder is around $10, which is on the cheaper end of lead holders. Given that it has the built-in sharpener and takes standard lead and is also far cuter than most brands of lead holder out there, I’m really happy with my purchase. It’s going to replace the mechanical pencil (that I can’t find anywhere now… hm) that I usually use. It’ll be nicer to get the benefits of a real wood pencil while ALSO getting the refills and durability of a mechanical pencil.

Anyway I can’t believe I have to say this, but this is definitely not a sponsored post (please, I don’t have enough readers for that!). I’m just super happy with this pencil!

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Sketch dump – lots of flowers

Hello hello! It’s a rainy Tuesday here in the ol’ Boston area, but it’s supposed to get HOT today. I’m looking forward to it, actually, even if a lot of people’s idea of the worst weather ever is Hot and Humid. It’s just… we haven’t had rain in forever, and my tiny rooftop garden (which I want to post about!) needs some love!

Anyway, time for a sketch dump! I draw nearly every day, probably about 6 days a week on average – I usually draw in the mornings before I go to my day job, which means I wake up really early. I actually felt weird about it for the longest time, like, maybe I’m doing it wrong? Aren’t artists all supposed to be night owls? Am I not a real artist because I’m a morning person? But you know what, it’s okay. Artists often work weird hours in general, whether it’s morning or night.

Anyway! A few sketches from last week!

Green and pink girl with flowers
Done with watercolor
Done in ink in my old Moleskine cahier. Moleskine paper is... really really bad, haha.
Done in ink in my old Moleskine cahier. Moleskine paper is… really really bad, haha.
Watercolor painting - I was super inspired to do this one, so it only took a few hours to do, and most of that was waiting for the paint to dry!
Watercolor painting – I was super inspired to do this one, so it only took a few hours to do, and most of that was waiting for the paint to dry!

What have you been working on lately?

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Freebie: Printable weekly planner!

I desperately need a planner of some sort. I’ve always been a planner girl – just a plain, simple planner, nothing special. In college I kept medium size soft-cover planners for writing everything in. I definitely didn’t take the time to decorate them or anything – it was just a way to keep myself organized. Since college I haven’t needed to keep a planner because the only things I had to manage were either in my work calendar or they were just social engagements. But now that I have to juggle commissioned design work, scheduling and keeping track of art, art shows, and more, and also ten tons of other projects, all on top of my 9-5, I need something more to keep myself organized.

These days everything has gotten so fancy and beautiful when it comes to stationery! I’m impressed! But a friend made me a midori traveler’s notebook cover, and I’ve been trying to use it as much as possible. Buying a completely separate planner just didn’t feel right, so I decided this morning to whip up some weekly planner pages.

Planner pages all ready to go!

I made them as simple as possible – just boxes for each day of the week, plus a to do list, plus a space for notes. That’s it! I specifically didn’t want lines on mine so I could write as much or little as I wanted, plus be able to put little sketches or doodles in them. I might even turn it into a mini-sketch-a-day page!

I made it so that two templates fit on one 8.5×11 inch page (standard paper size). This way they should fit pretty much anywhere – they fit fine with some trimming in my traveler’s notebook, and I’m really excited to use them.

Journal pages in the traveler's notebook
Feel free to spy on what’s going on with me next week!

And since they didn’t take very long, and since it was a fun project, please feel free to download them for your personal use (or give as gifts!). Let me know if it helps you out!

Click the image below to download the template (or right click and hit Save Link As)!

Template

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My new printer

For the longest time I scoffed at printers. They were cheap plastic, the ink was expensive, the print quality wasn’t even that great for the price, etcetera. Iin my defense, printers from 5 years ago weren’t nearly on par with printers today – the technology has gotten far better, both from a hardware and software standpoint. But for the time being I’ve just used a black and white laser printer for the little printing I ever did.

Just last week I, the Queen of Frugality, splurged on an engagement present for myself! I bought the Epson Artisan 1430 wide-format printer, using a discount Rob had. I haven’t opened my print shop yet, but this will be perfect in preparation for that. I’m also preparing my artwork for a super secret popup shop that may be happening here in the Boston area soon! I wanted to have full control over my prints and start producing them in a way that will ultimately be cost effective, and given that I just don’t have a color printer at all, this was the thing that made sense.

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Look at the SIZE of this thing! It’s huge! Check out my (large and dusty) scanner for scale beneath it.

I had to clear off an entire shelf so it would fit. And I couldn’t be happier with how it works! The quality is really good, and it prints up to 13×19 inches, which is ridiculous. I’ve since printed out so much stuff, including making some of my artwork into stickers!

stickers

LOVE. One of the tacos is hanging out on my laptop right now, and yes, that’s Neil deGrasse Tyson. I can’t wait to make even more – I have so many ideas. Honestly, the stickers turned out so much better than I thought they would! They’re crisp and gorgeous, and they stick so nicely and feel so good. I love how this is letting me put my creativity into something tangible, something that I can hold and see and use. This printer is letting me actually hold my digital artwork in person, and letting me reproduce my traditional artwork, and it’s bringing me so much joy!

So yeah, definitely an investment but one that I’m happy I made so far! What’s bringing you joy today?

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