Sunday, December 9

Introducing Londonberrie

A week later and I'm finally announcing mine and Alexandra's new joint creative venture — Londonberrie, celebrating home, hygge, inspiration and art! Our lifestyle brand will serve as not only an avenue through which these anchors will be celebrated through artwork, photography, editorials, workshops and such, but also as a central location where others can conveniently find our artwork. Eventually, anything offered on Etsy previously will be rebranded under Londonberrie and available through our website.

Speaking of which, after I designed the logo, Alexandra worked up finalizing this collaborative piece that is now available on our site as the first official annual Londonberrie Christmas Holiday card! While it's a limited press run, we did put aside three of the cards to include in a fabulous giveaway we're doing with two other establishments here for some lucky winner somewhere in the world! Come celebrate with us by checking out our Instagram or Facebook and find more details there. (Thank you to those of you who have already signed up.) Wouldn't it be so fun if one of you won? Hurry though, as the deadline in this Friday!

So, as you can see, we're pretty busy here. Last week on our anniversary when, yes, I was planning to announce everything, Alexandra unexpectedly tweaked her back which rather set us back with getting our website launched and thus the delay. Sorry about that, guys! On top of that, Alexandra has her own deadlines in the children book publishing world for her illustrations there, which by the way, will remain separate as will indeed my design agency where I was handed the keys to the new digs just this last week too.

Ooh, and one final thing I should mention: Alex and I head out in a truck rental back to Colorado this Monday for a little over a week to see family and friends as well as pick up those few items we couldn't take with us on the first drive out here. Wish us luck! Luckily, the weather looks like it's going to be clear for the way out West which is relief, let me tell you, when having to drive over two long days. :)

OK, I'll see you back here for our next Scribble Picnic this Wednesday. Still need to do that, actually. :) Well, I've already mentioned a few of my favourite things in this blog post, but I'm sure I can come up with a couple more too. In fact, I already have an idea brewing.... :)

Wednesday, November 28

Seasons change

Say, "Goodbye Autumn, Hello Winter!

Like with this lil' bundled up hedgie, we're ready for the new season. How about you?

As if we haven't already had enough change actually, with our move here to Kentucky from Colorado and all that entailed! Nevertheless, I'm slowly adjusting to a whole new country paradigm, and in the midst of it, new opportunities arise. Alexandra's been literally painting the town white with drawing beautiful winter scenes for 5 of the establishments in our tiny little downtown. It's really looking festive. We're hoping it draws people into the area too to come shop local and explore the quaint little shops in old town. We're doing out bit to help bring new life here, hopefully.

It's slow but steady going and with it, new developments are underfoot. Aside from the branding design agency that's soon to launch with my business partner, Alexandra and I actually have some new venture we're launching soon. I know, I've alluded to it before, but next week, we'll officially announce things so... stay tuned! We're flapping our wings and learning to fly higher through various unseen challenges, obstacles and a fair bit of unexpected. In fact, we're pretty excited about this project.  Can't wait to tell you more...

Now, back to this drawing which ties in to these above developments too. Having figured out an idea and rendered the illustration, I'm handing this off to Alexandra to sprinkle in her own particular charm, painting in the colour, etc. As it is, we often bounce ideas off each other — she'll inspire me  and I'll art direct her pieces or some combination thereof. Creatively, our process really is a match made in heaven. As with that New Year bear drawing/painting a few years back (anyone remember that?), it's fun again to literally both work on an actual piece together where it ends up being truly our shared cozy vision. What can I say? We love winters and the holidays!

So, would you like to see the final piece when it's completed? Want to learn more about our newest venture? Check back here, Sunday, December 2nd, which happens to be our anniversary, by the way. :) Magic is in the air... :)

Speaking of which, let's see how the each of you interpreted this week's theme. Can't wait to discover what you've done. Already having made a few cups of hot chocolate this month, I think we'll bring that along to the picnic here as well. If you're gonna be cold, you might as well enjoy it!


Wednesday, November 14

If you go into the woods today

If a phone rings in the FOREST does it make a call? Here's my evening stroll into this week's Scribble Picnic. I've bought along some cherry pie and a pot of tea, should anyone get cold or need to huddle in that phone booth out of the rain.

Let's see how we all decided to picture this gathering, shall we? Looking forward to seeing what each of you worked up! Thank you so much for playing along. 

P.S. The next prompt is on the side bar. Happy Thanksgiving to any of you here who will be celebrating. Enjoy!

P.P.S. I don't know what happened to the sign up, so I just went ahead and redid it again! It's now extended to Friday 2am EST for all of you out there. I'll come back to see everyone's contribution later then. Hope each of you get to sign up. So sorry about that inconvenience. Oy! But, just think, for any of you not done yet, there's still time! It doesn't have to be complicated. It could just be a relatively quick sketch like this one. Messy is fine. :)

Tuesday, October 30

Double Jolt?

OK, Blogger seems to be working again so hopefully by now most of you have been able to put up your piece for one of this week's prompts (either Jolt or Double). Can't wait to see what you've done and will have time tonight to actually get through them all. Whee!

I struggled with which challenge to choose but then thought about one of the logo comps created for the design agency my biz partner and I are currently putting together. This isn't actually the final version but simply one I created, helping get us there. The idea though was to show that ours is a two man ship (thus the double windows) and, of course, power is implied by the gears and lightning bolt/jolt powering the ship along as it rockets past this orb's eclipse. An intriguing story telling image at least, aligning with how we will be focusing on launching and building people's various brands.

Our final version is currently underway, employing elements from this one but also quite different.  While the main concept is done, each individual character will be stylized (reshaped) and fine tuning is in order on certain other elements to make it that much compelling and unique. Also, funnily enough, unbeknownst to me, as red and black (dark grey here) are actually the local university teams' colours we didn't want that as obviously the idea is to have our logo immediately recognizable and standing out from other designs and graphics that abound around here.

You peeps are actually the very first to see this in the general public, even the agency name, but keep in mind this isn't actually the final design and is only a concept comp anyway. Still, it works well enough for the prompts so there you go!

Right, now, off to see what the rest of you have mustered up. Tonight promises to be rainy and I think there's even a potential threat for a tornado out here in the boonies. We shall be huddled up inside and I highly doubt anyone will come by expecting candy as 1. There's no pavement to safely walk along, and 2. There are no kids around here but some Mennonites who pretty much stick to their own traditions, and, as it is, they never alter from wearing the same style clothes each day anyway.  :)

Hope everyone has a safe and good night. Thanks again for your contributions!

Hi everyone, blogger is having issues, as you may have discovered. So, I'm not staying up late to work on completing my art piece for one of these prompts...and, in fact, am not even sure I can post or schedule this? We shall see. As it is then, I'll work on my piece through the day (Wednesday) and catch up with you here later then! Oy.

If this post indeed gets up, please sign in when able. Thank you to each of you for taking the time to create something and leaving your lovely comments. Happy Boo day or Reformation day or whatever! Here, it promises to rain with a flood warning and as we are in the boonies, no one will come by for sure. (If they did, all I have to offer are some non-iced plain pop tarts! Hahaha)

P.S. Just read a few of the comments that went to moderation as they were written several days after the initial post went up. All of those are posted now.  Thank you so much. (Wanda, we miss you too and good to hear from you, Tracy, and Cathy!)

P.P.S Alex's tailbone is doing a bit better but she still has quite a bit of pain in the back but is mustering along as well as can be hoped for, if not better than expected. Thank you for the good will, prayers and comments there too. I've shared them all. 


Wednesday, October 17

Who needs a Genie when...?

You never know what you'll find in a bottle these days, well at least here! No, nothing so tongue-in-cheek as these but there are years' old leftover pickled whatnots laying around, tucked away on  darkened dusty shelves in the old farm house pantry.

I had initially started inking this up for Inktober's "Drooling" prompt last week, per Alexandra's rather witty "stop drooling" label suggestion but then various things* came up so never did finish it until now. I'm not actually terribly into scary per se but hope you can appreciate the offbeat humour perhaps?

Let's now find out what the rest of our scribblers came up with. And, no, please don't offer me any pickled anything. Thank you very much!

* Alexandra had a hard fall on some wet steps 10 days ago as is now on largely forced bed rest with minimal movement. She cracked her upper-spine C6 vertebrae and has a compression of the sacrum which is essentially the area pressing in around her tailbone. The continual pain should start residing in another week or so. In about a month, she should be feeling considerable better but it will take another 4-5 months to fully heal so she needs to be careful.  In the meantime, Alex is told the only thing she can do is rest, not work, it away. So, anyway, that's taken a lot of our focus now. Another "unexpected" here. Alexandra's such a trooper though and just lays on the recliner chair, with ice packs and hot water bottles (rotating them for each area), trying not to wince or "bother" anyone but, of course, I'm all about making her comfortable and meeting her every request. :) (But, hey, now, she better not get toooo used to this!) 

P.S. JOLT or DOUBLE is the next Scribble Picnic prompt, due on the 30th. (I decided to add the latter as the first one may be too hard!) Sign up on the date or hashtag it anytime between now and then on Instagram or Twitter. Thank you.

Wednesday, October 3

Polish Sausage? No, - Chicken!

Have you ever seen Polish chicken with their peculiarly plumed heads? Fancy as they might be, the chicks with their scrawny long necks and odd feathered tufts are particularly funny looking  As with most babies though, they're still awfully cute!

This was my first foray into ink dip pen work since last year's Inktober. (If at all interested, you can see my latest here.)

So, nothing too imaginative this time around and even then, I ended up redrawing it as the smaller I got, the better and more inky it looked. Now, let's see what the rest of you fried up! (Um, is that Ok to say? Maybe it's being in Kentucky influencing me here but have to say, we've only seen one KFC since getting here, oddly enough.)

Thanks for playing along, guys, and joining in. New theme is up on the side bar. That will be fun! :)


Thursday, September 20

Scheduling Scribble Picnics

Hi everyone! The tiebreaker between having these meetups weekly vs. every two weeks was broken by the fact that someone voted for once a month! So, let's give it a go and see how it pans out (or not)! If it seems like people are less engaged then I'll probably revert back to weekly but for now, at least for me, twice a month allows for more time to get things done as the holidays will be soon upon us. Shocking, I know. And consider this, Alex and I will be moving yet again in November...but this one will be merely local so way easier. Oh, and we have a drive back to Colorado in December to pick up some longer items that wouldn't fit into our little car and for that chance to see the grand/kids too. :)

The next theme (chicken) ties in with the 2018 Inktober prompt due around then for anyone possibly considering doing that as well on Instagram. It's a really fabulous way to get exposure, by the way. Working with ink encourages you to go bold too. Using ink may be less forgiving but there's something to be said for being more intentional and less non-committed as can happen when working with pencils, knowing one can always erase.

Whilst I loved exploring fables alphabetically last year, this time I'll most likely follow the actual Inktober prompts for more of a feeling of collaboration with the other creatives also playing along. Anyone care to join me? 

Regardless, see you back here on October 3rd, if not before then. Happy scribbling!

Wednesday, September 19


UPDATE: OK, back again and so excited to see your names pop up on the sign-in below! Can't wait to see all your selections tomorrow over breakfast. What fun! Thank you. Oh, and I'll be sure to reply to everyone then too for this week's and last week's posts.

For today's Scribble Picnic entry, I decided to focus on what I said below — that whole idea of actively exploring without ever going anywhere physically. For many of us, that's often found through reading and for me, when working up designs, brainstorming is another avenue. As you can see here for this current logo ideation, I usually try to first scribble down some quick thumbnails.

A quick designer tip: sketching out your ideas beforehand keeps the focus on the design itself, helping you fine-tune it before ever getting to the computer. Too many people will jump straight to executing something digitally, relying on the computer to hopefully magically make it good, before properly thinking their ideas through to ensure they truly work. Quick thumbnails allow you to avoid wasting valuable time where it's too easy to let some software program dictate your design's look and feel, rather than being driven primarily by the strong concept itself. (Software's various features should only help embellish a piece within moderation, not become front and centre where all one sees are those certain affects and not the design which can then so easily become secondary by that point.)

Anyway, so for this week, no actual completed piece. Truly scribbles for our picnic! As it is, I still have too many other ideas knocking about in my head for this logo* that I want to capture first then sort through what's worth taking to the next level or not. For most designers, the joy is more so found in coming up with the actual idea, not so much its exact execution with all the various details that can later follow.

Happy Scribble Picnic everyone. Into Fall we go...

*P.S. More on this later. :)


(Artwork TBA later Wednesday)

Time once again to muse artistically and reconnect. The long heat and brashness of summer will soon be over, for most of us at least. In it's place? Tartan shirts, sweaters, scarves, creamy lattés and slow contemplative sips. Ahhh... can there be any better time to reawaken one's creative spirit than in Autumnal promise?

Isn't it ironic that for many of us, the days spent indoors is the time where we most explore? After all, it's not just limited to what our mere mortal bodies can muster, as thrilling as that can be too. Whether it's winter, autumn or even spring, those colder days seem to gently beckon the heart and soul. Often our wanderings may take us far farther than one could ever reach by pedal, pedestrian or plane.

So, what artistic paths have you explored lately? For me and Alexandra, this is certainly a time for change. While on a new creative journey, we've also moved from the front range of the glorious Rockies to rolling hills and the distant edge of the cozy Appalachians. Life is in transition. All the while, we've brainstormed so many ideas along the way, distilled our artistic passions and found new footings. With that, I can't wait to later share the exciting news of what we're about to launch, both together and individually! Stay tuned.

But in the meantime, go ahead and join in our picnic when ready. My contribution will be up later Wednesday night where I'll be sure to add a few words about it too.

Oh, and finally, guess what? I'm rather in a muddle. The results of the our Scribble Picnic survey indicate there's equal preference among you for every week vs. once a fortnight. Hmm.... Well, let's first see how many sign up and if there's any more input on that here. Then I'll choose, although must admit, am rather inclined towards every two weeks but didn't vote, although Alex likes the idea of continuing weekly. (So, if you haven't done the survey, be sure to do that soon. Just go back to the bottom of the last post and help us out!) I'll be sure to announce this evening the new due date and picnic prompt on the side bar as well as on Instagram.

Thank you for rejoining, everyone. It's been quite the summer break, I know, but good to be back here. I'm bringing a massive baked berry pie and a tub of vanilla ice cream to our Scribble Picnic. Time to join in!


Monday, September 10

Rolling Hills, Moody Skies, Surprises & Picnics!

(Read below for a Scribble Picnic update and our new theme!)

Rolling hills, lush fields full of promise under brooding clouds and lashing rains. A somewhat apt description of our move here but also Sunday's drive to Somerset, KY, where we went searching for a few choice items for Alexandra's next downtown Campbellsville Artisan Market. (Last Friday's was fabulously successful. Aside from selling most of her original artwork — on greeting cards, tote bags, change purses and xmas ornaments, etc. — she also made further connections with people in the community.) Court & Main, by the way, is a wonderful shindig held once a month for any of you who might happen to live anywhere nearby and have thought of visiting this rising town that's throwing off its shackles from years of decline with various people moving into the area and investing into making it a newly forthcoming quaint downtown urban surprise.

Change is exciting and scary too all that the same time! Well, I should say, Alexandra is walking in total faith that we're to be here and stays focused on all the doors that have indeed opened up for us or will very soon. For me, it can be a little bit more of a challenge some days adjusting to a slower pace of life, a distinctly different use of grammar and some things not rolling out quite as fast as I had hoped. Leaving behind a long time job that I had always loved was not easy either. Yet these new horizons helped with that professional need to keep being challenged, fully utilized and growing.

There have been days, admittedly, where I've had to remind myself not to focus on things past but embrace the present, being thankful even for the so many spots along various drives where we feel like we're back in Norfolk, England again. Ha, I mean, there are even some quite narrow hedge-rowed country lanes every now and then! I'm actually surprised at just how quickly I've fallen for the landscape here and how much more in sync it is with my natural aesthetic preference for greenery. It truly delights my inner "city boy" heart and certainly helps when driving past areas not quite so lovely, shall we say? (Not to say that any Colorado town doesn't also have similar challenges with junk yards and the inevitable affects of economic decline, mind you.)

One of the biggest surprises here is that with Campbellsville also being a small university town, there is actually quite a lot of diversity for a hub this size in central rural Kentucky. On any given day in the coffee shop downtown, one can find a table or two filled with students (and some professionals) from other countries. Just this week alone, for example, I came across three suave looking eastern Europeans walking in with cuffed shorts and hair coiffed like George Michael (à la his Wham days); a table filled with Japanese students all speaking Japanese; a couple of Caribbeans(?); half a dozen Italians, and most recently a handful of Brits: two visiting who head up Vineyard worship in the UK, one who came here 18 years ago on a college basketball scholarship from Leicester and another just met today who's from Ipswich currently at uni here.

Just this last week, we were invited to a couple's lovely designed loft which is across the street from where we will be living, come November or so. (Alex had met them through one of the markets where the lady was thrilled to find that we too love English teatime and such as she grew up with an English nanny, having spent all her formative years in Malawi and Tanzania, former British colonies, and then later returning with her husband for another decade in Botswana.)  My mind kept on spinning that here was this couple, soon to be new neighbors even, who knew exactly where my oldest son is in the Kalahari with Peace Corps, having been to his neighbouring villages and pronouncing them with ease! Then when we learned their previously homeschooled son was now in Edinburgh studying for his masters degree where he's combining his fluency in Gaelic with his love of video gaming, I kept on having to pinch myself. Ha! So, all that to say, you never know what any place might hold. Every place has its own surprises and this is definitely no exception.

Oh, and in the meanwhile, I'm getting a chance to capture some beautiful scenes along the way. :)

UPDATE: Being that today is now Monday, the 10th, I think we best prolong Scribble Picnic for another week, for meeting here anew on Wednesday, the 19th, next week. Hope that's Ok with everyone? Thanks! Oh, and how about our next theme have something to do with... Exploration? :)

P.S. Please considering doing two other things, if you would:
1. Fill out this quick 1-question Scribble Picnic survey!
2. Read our very own Mary's fabulous write up from our super great visit when she and her hubs, Bob, came to Fort Collins. We had a blast. So much fun!


Wednesday, August 29

A New Season

Hellooo, everyone! We're back and in time for the long days of summer to soon be replaced by golden Autumnal hues for those of us on this side of the world, at least.

Speaking of change, guess what? We've moved. Across the country, no less, with 98% of everything we own packed into our little Suzuki SX4 with a canvas cargo bag strapped atop for the two day, 1,300 mile journey. It wasn't an easy initial decision to come to, let me tell you. Naturally, the hardest part was leaving the kids and grandchildren, but we're only a fairly short flight away, yet in a whole different world... the Commonwealth of Kentucky! Yup, you heard it. Big change. Must say, never ever expected to move anywhere down south but as my southern friends inform us, it isn't even officially considered "the south" by them apparently. As with everything, depends on one's perspective, I suppose.

Who would have ever guessed when first coming to Fort Collins, Colorado, as a young adult that I'd leave decades later feeling so incredibly touched with having been blessed with an enriched life here of family, friends, a long term dynamic design career (most of it with an awesome company) and even growing to not only like, but actually love this self-named "Choice City"? Keep in mind that, while always a university town, it was far smaller and different back when I arrived — no coffee bars, galleries, ethnic cuisines, or any other various cultural events now so easily found.

In fact, as a fresh off-the-boat Londoner, I bemoaned my decision to leave everything familiar behind, let alone big city life, for this crazy fresh bold start, moving to what I would later deem as nothing more than "Sticksville, USA!" In the days of snail mail, I was so cut off, alone and miserable. While desperate for a change and an adventure, none of it panned out as expected. The lovely downtown area alone was more a place to avoid than actually visit in those days and I actually lived on the outskirts which made it even worse. Admittedly, snobbishly, I pretty much despised everything about "the Fort," seeming to also be the only person who was totally craving (any) urban growth. Whenever discussed, most locals seemed to want nothing but the same old, same old. (Curiously, one doesn't hear peeps complain anymore about such growth now that they can see the various benefits that come along with it, traffic aside.)

So, all that to say, when we started telling others fairly recently that we were considering moving and where to, people were somewhat (politely) incredulous, offering words to the wise to prepare for the inevitable culture shock. Ha! But the funny thing is, what they didn't get is this is absolutely nothing compared to moving from the heart of London to a smallish town in Colorado, especially back then and doing it on one's own! But now moving with someone who loves and supports me — doing this together with Alexandra — makes such a huge difference! While all this is admittedly a big jump with lots of inevitable change and some losses, it also affords us the adventures associated with a new paradigm.

As some of you no doubt know, Alex's mother moved here in 2009 and recently married last year. We are temporarily staying with her and Pops until a certain beautifully remodeled old loft in downtown Campbellsville becomes available to rent in a couple of months. This, along with new work opportunities and a chance to really plug into the community here, along with some other crazy unexpected things, are just some of the reasons why we heeded this wild new call! Wish us the best and let's see where this journey takes us. Alex doesn't feel we'll be here long-term but who knows.

Some change is good and even needed. Stay tuned while I periodically post developments and life stories along the way, mainly adding them to our art co-op. In a few days, I'll provide our next Scribble Picnic theme, due Sept 12th.**  Hopefully, by then, each of you who play along will see this. Please help me spread the news! Thank you.

I hope everyone's had an eventful summer! Well, maybe not quite as venturesome, but you know what I mean :) Thanks for your best wishes, thoughts and prayers. Life is never dull.

* Picture: a recent drive through Liberty, Kentucky, near the Lincoln Heritage Trail.
** OK, It's going to have to be another week out. See the post above. Thank you!

Wednesday, July 18

Hot Dogs and scribble picnics

Can you tell I was thinking of ketchup and mustard here? Admittedly, while already having the idea of drawing a hot, sweaty, rugged bulldog, the color scheme didn’t come to me until seeing Alex’s piece earlier Tuesday (wait till you see it, so fun, and she had no idea what I had in mind — great minds think alike).

OK, your turn now....

P.S. Important announcement: due to increasingly fewer people visiting the sign ups and a couple of our regular contributors unable to make it the last several weeks, I’ve decided to postpone our Scribble Picnics here through at least the hot days of Summer (for most of us). So, ignore the other sign up themes for now please. I’ll announce something on that Wednesday, Aug. 22nd. In the interim, like many of you, we too have a fair bit going on anyway. I will still try to do a few pieces but maybe with Colour Collective on Instagram instead? We shall see. Sorry to rain on the picnics, so to speak, for those of you, like our wonderful Rain, who enjoy the ongoing weekly prompts to keep motivated! I hope you understand. Thanks for playing along today. :)

Wednesday, July 11

A Star studded picnic

Welcome back everyone! How's your week going? Here, it's horribly hot but at least it quickly cools down to the mid 60's later evening. :)

For stars this week, my piece is actually inspired by this Instagram challenge where an artist gives permission to "copy" their art work, or more so be inspired by it, to then come up with their own rendition. So, when I saw the example listed below, I decided I simply had to give it a shot...and figured out how to tie it into our challenge this week too. It's been fun seeing how people interpret someone's work. Of course, normally, one shouldn't copy anyone's art without giving proper credit (let alone then try to sell it as one's own "original" which Alex and I have unfortunately seen on IG periodically). However, here's one of those exceptions and a fun one at that. Whilst doing this, I took liberty to change her around a bit, add my own flair and so on. What fun!

Thanks for signing up. I know all of us are getting busy this time of year. We might need to even take another break again, depending on how many sign up or not this week. Let's find out....


Wednesday, June 27

Crunchy picnic

Crunchy concrete! Something crunching this way comes. My rather tongue-in-cheek take on this week's Scribble Picnic theme. It was the first idea that came to me so I just had to ink it up. (Rain, I'm thinking this will be right up your alley, at least.) :)

OK, so did anyone bring anything a little more savoury to our gathering today? Crunchy cucumber perhaps? Do tell....

P.S. Reminder: no picnic next week for those of us in the States to enjoy one of the very few national holidays given, July 4th.

Wednesday, June 20

Plump, you said?

Plump delicious plums, pears or what have you is not what I chose for this week. Ha. As it is, I've really wanted to go back and complete my initial Opera illustration.Sure, she's plump but, wow, those hamster vocals will blow you away! :)

In the meantime what did you plump out for this challenge? Can't wait to check later. Thank you.


Wednesday, June 13

3-Coloured Challenge (Details)

Wednesday evening update: Scribble Picnicers, as you can see, I've not yet completed my piece and actually have only barely begun drawing it. Unfortunately, we had some unexpected news to contend with yesterday which has rather taken my mojo, if you will, so I do apologize. My hope is that perhaps I can submit it here later, maybe tomorrow? Not sure currently. For now, being 10:30 pm here, it's probably best I just get some sleep!

As it is, go glad to see a few of you here. Always good visiting. It seems that this "compelling" challenge turned out to be perhaps too much of the latter though for many of us? Again, my miscalculation. I'd far rather inspire us all to go further than stop in ones tracks or feel overwhelmed. I suppose sometimes things are unnecessarily more complicated than need be. Well, at least the next theme, PLUMP, should be easier, I hope. Hmm, let's find out next week, shall we?  

Oh, and if I get back to the 3-coloured piece (which could end up quite fun), I'll be sure to let each of you know. Thanks again, team!


Scribble Picnickers, our next challenge is to create any picture you want but only employing three colours! These examples from the German artist/designer, Christoph Niemann, are a case in point.

Note that you can use white for negative space, so if including that, you could potentially have up to four "colours" or three if using only two colours for the piece itself. If doing watercolours or such, shades of any one colour are also fine. The general idea though is for us to think how we can depict something with a very limited colour palette.

One of the potentially compelling things here, is how the negative space (background colour) can potentially interplay with your image, adding extra emphasis than it might otherwise enjoy.

Hope this inspires you? If you are still stuck, I've added a few other samples in the Scribble Picnic Pinterest board. Can't wait to see what we all create. Sign up below when ready.


Wednesday, June 6

Scribble Picnic: CLASSIC!

Well, we are back...and it's a classic! I wonder what each of you came up with?

My initial thought was something or someone with "classic style" as shown in my Pinterest board of the same name. Then whilst we had Alex's step dad ("Pops") and "Mumsie" here (which went great), we happened to be in old town twice during different car shows whereupon I snapped photos with one being somewhat similar to this kind of car but silver instead. So, all that to say, here's my fun take on a 1960's AC Shelby Cobra. Not that I really know anything about cars or am a gear head but I do appreciate classic design in its various forms... and it just happens that this is an Anglo American car, as it turns out. :)

I hope everyone enjoyed their creative break. So glad we had that as there was no way I would have had time to add anything to Scribble Picnic. Now, I just need a break from my break. Hahah.

Can't wait to see what all of you have done and have already spotted a few very clever takes on our theme this week. Speaking of which, our new themes will be up Thursday.

As always, thank you for playing along. Whilst you're at it, let me know how your creative break went. I'd love to hear.


Wednesday, May 16

A Storm's perfect for a picnic!

Oh, we don't mind a spot of stormy weather, now do we? In fact, we rather relish it. That's our challenge for this week's Scribble Picnic, after all. :) So, put your wellies on and let's go splash about in the creative tempests below. I'm thinking a quick cuppa might be in order beforehand. How about you? I dare say though that lil' hedgie here, isn't quite as fond as we might be about such things. Aw, poor lil' fellow.

P.S. BTW, as indicated on the side bar, we have a whole two week break with school over and summer plans beginning for many. By the time this gets posted, I'll be waking up to Alexandra finally back home, her "folks" here and places to take them to around this area. It's actually been quite cold and rainy lately too, but again, I don't mind — it just means it's that brief period of time (a few weeks) when it's weirdly green here in this otherwise arid, rocky, high plains Colorado desert.


Wednesday, May 9

Pass the Strawberry Jam, would you?

What could go better than strawberry anything with a nice Scribble Picnic Spring day? Well, here's my attempt at drawing my teatime snack this (Tuesday) late afternoon. Actually, it was a low sugar, all-natural strawberry spread but I made it look more like a chunky jam and added a bite out of it, just for fun. :)

So, yes, another still life of sorts, and since the last one was so enjoyed, again, a fairly scribbly, looser sketch... although, admittedly, the details on the English muffins took ages. (No wonder I was getting quite nippish all over again by 10:30pm!)

By the way, these are based off some little plates we own — perfect for Tea. Ours though don't actually have the decoration as shown here, added for a further tie-in to the theme.

Anyway, I do so love strawberries, how about you? Can't wait to see what everyone else provides. Thank you!


Wednesday, May 2

Garden tea parties, scribbile picnics & picket fences

Spring is in the air and what goes better than blooms, blossoms and picket fences? This sketch is actually not entirely from imagination as its based off of a photo of one of my favourite homes here in Fort Collins. I've taken some liberties though, such as with the fence in front, table and tea cup but nevertheless, wouldn't this be a fabulous place to celebrate our picnic and show off each others' work? Yes, I thought so. I'm thinking dry climate, low 70's, sunshine, fresh gentle breeze off the foothills... and limeade. Or, somethings stronger for some of you perhaps?  :)

This piece is in dedication to my mother who died last year (May 1st). She loved gardens and particularly relished this style of art — loose and sketchy, done with feeling over perfect accuracy. I dearly missed her today (May 1st) even though in reality she wouldn't be around but all the way across the pond and I probably wouldn't get to see her any time soon anyway. You know what particularly got to me? That I couldn't make her another cup of tea or let her try my instant Cuban coffee as I'm guessing we won't be sipping that in heaven (being perfect and all) but I miss Mama with her foibles and such. As I noted today on one of my Instagram stories, our flaws also make us so compelling and complex. Hers were hilarious, heart warming even, whilst, yes, sometimes maddening too :)

On a brighter note, it's with super expectation that I can announce Alexandra is heading back home on the 15th...finally! She booked the tickets today, in fact, and her folks (mother and new step pops) will join her for the journey, getting to enjoy their very first holiday EVER for either of them! (She will also help them with flying as they've only done it a few times prior, the last times being way pre-9/11.) They've not been to many places and certainly never Colorado so I am looking forward to showing them around a bit. It's been a good, productive and needed visit for Alex and them. I'm so glad she could go, yet, equally, am thrilled to have someone's feet to rub at night have her to take over tea-making responsibilities again, for starts! (Queen LaTEAfar has been sorely missed, let me tell you. Time to wear her crown again for sure.) :D

OK, the gate is open, bring your artwork, something to share for the picnic, and come right on in...

Wednesday, April 25

Who brought the quilts to our Scribble Picnic?

Work in Progress: "You had him in stitches!" :D

Hi everyone. Feels like it's been ages since I've had a good picnic...and not only with being gone in Kentucky but STILL needing to make the rounds for the Pajamas one! I'll do that when visiting you THIS week. Double visits then at least. :) Sorry, I've simply been quite inundated as of late but by this Friday night things should start clearing off a bit.

OK, this is not completed yet but is up just to show you where I'm at now. I'll be sure to update this quilt pic later on, if not Wednesday night! (Fingers crossed.)


Re-purposed, fixed and sewn together, is it any wonder Frankie has a penchant for such? :)

Why Batman though? You’ve no doubt seen the “I believe” stickers for the Yeti or Aliens which some peeps truly get into. But what if everyone knows you’re meant to be just a work of fiction? Perhaps you too would embrace another conflicted soul of focition, one who likewise summons fear except is also idolized?

Behind that horrific facade nevertheless beats a human heart, lost in moments of pensive loneliness and still needing genuine human connection... as indeed do we all. Such are the thoughts that stir my creative musings.

Tune in later to catch the final piece. More unexpected coming your way...


So, who bought some comfy quilts to sit on?

Let's now see what YOU stitched...

Thursday, April 12

Pajamas and Picnics

Mummies in Pajammies

Welcome back to Scribble Picnic! Yes, my piece is coming along but am running behind. I'll have it up though by end of day. There's still a fair bit of detail yet to add even though it's already drawn out (as you might have seen if following my Instagram video stories). It's also a bit tongue-in-cheek, so do please check back here later, whilst too discovering who else contributes to our flanneled feast today! :) For my part, I'm thinking pajamas & banana splits. Anyone with me?

P.S. Don't forget that you have two whole weeks to come up with something for Quilts! Ha, I've already an idea but will likely not get to that until after my return from Kentucky, having visited by that point Alexandra who's been there helping her family and such.

Wednesday, April 4

Plant a Seed and Watch it Grow!

I decided to go with a more traditional interpretation for this one, following along with that imaginary lil' redhead from my entries last year for "tie it up" and "gift-wrapped" pieces. Perhaps, this is a little further into the future, and here we find her ready for the growing season. She's got her heart and watering can filled to the brim and is hoping to blossom one of those incredible magical plants... or at least a lil' one to box up and give to a friend. :)

OK, ready to shower us with your own pieces? Sign up below!

P.S. Please note: I will be dashing off to central Kentucky in about a fortnight (seeing Alexandra whilst she's still there for a while longer helping family). As such, we're going to have a one week break and skip April 18th, sorry to say... but that only means you'll have even more time for the prompt after that! :D

Wednesday, March 28

Egg Salad, anyone?

Well, these lil' chickies are certainly hatching all over the place and keeping Mama Henrietta very busy indeed on the hunt after them!

You know, I actually had four ideas for this particular theme but decided on this, with its subtler reference to Easter without scrambling farther down that track As it is, I had quite a bit of fun with this one...even though it took me ages to complete -- the chickies were not cooperating at all, let me tell you!

OK, let's see what everyone bought to Scribble Picnic this week. Drop off your dishes, then join us in the Egg Hunt right over there! It was was a toss up to bring Cadbury's yummy Mini Eggs or something more savoury and as it is, something less sweet won out (leek and goat cheese being my present penchant). How about I just leave the sweetness to the young lil' ones instead, adorable as they are...or any of you other sweet peeps out there? :)

Happy Easter and Spring everyone! So glad to celebrate all this season brings...

(Hopefully you've all seen my comments from last go around by the way. I'll update the sidebar with new themes later today or tomorrow perhaps. Please feel free to submit any ideas along in your comment if you'd like.  Thank you so much!) 

P.S. Please note: I dressed to match the occasion even and my art work here, no less. :)


Wednesday, March 21

Did anyone bring the cream?

I wonder how many of you chose to focus on creams, as in those one can pour vs. the ones found in a colour palette? Having played a few rounds of chess this last week (all but one I lost), I've been thinking about just how dynamic this game is and equally how unpredictable it can be! My hope here was to experiment with creating a sort of mash up of Picasso line work and loose painting blocky panting styles of Matisse and maybe a little Cezanne thrown in as well? Not sure I really accomplished this (certainly not as beautifully)  but it was a good exercise in pushing my artistic comfort zone's boundaries! I did things never done before, for sure.

As for the creams, I was reflecting back on some of the cheap plastic school chess sets we would use when too sick or injured to play sports mid-week. Not only were they cheap and plastic, I always wondered why they coudn't have been black and white instead of combination of browns and creams for the chess pieces themselves as well as the checkerboard's hues.

Well, haha, enough on my piece, time to see what other possibly delicious offerings you might have prepared for us today for this week's Scribble Picnic. Table cream anyone? :)


Wednesday, March 14

Love across the miles

It's Scribble Picnic time once again and this time as far flung as Across the Universe! When your love is strong, vibrant, and your connection deep, the miles between you can fade away where even if you can't call, there's always the power of imagination! :) Love knows no bounds.

So, how far flung did you throw your picnic blanket this week? Let's find out! (Oh, and yes, I still plan to visit everyone from last week's Opera so will be making double the rounds this week. Sorry to have kept everyone waiting there. Speaking of which, my Viking hamster is still not complete but I did go back and re-imagine it to something possibly more engaging.)


Wednesday, March 7

sandwiches, cider and...opera!

 Update WIP: March 13th.

Well, as you can see, this Viking Opera hamster is certainly not nearly as dramatic or finished as I had hoped! (That's what I get when putting things off too late.)  It is truly simply a scribble for now. My hope now is to add the colours needed for the IG Colour Collective challenge which for this week is a golden yellow. If I can get back to it, it will be ta wonderfully fun and engaging piece but for now, instead of Wagner, per se, you're more likely to end up with a wimpy shrill chipmunk style warble for Scribble Picnic this week! My apologies, but as I say, it's OK to even toss out an idea, just to have engaged our minds even a bit more creatively.


Opera will always make me think of my mother, amusingly. She loved it! My indelible memory there of her would be Sunday mornings as a teen. I'd often make her a simple breakfast (toast and tea with marmalade) and then carry it up the stairs on a tray, following a few steps carefully behind her as she'd quite carefree saunter (i.e. waddled) up the stairs stark naked, singing opera at the top of her lungs in her VERY fruity English voice! (She'd sometimes carry the cassette tape player with her, if not draping a towel.) All the while, she'd throw handfuls of talcum powder over her shoulders, usually missing her back though and hitting me in the face with it or landing like snow on her "bum" ledge.  Ha. Yes, seriously! She was very much a child of the tropics as she'd say — at home anyway — but oh so proper (while still warm and engaging) the rest of the time. :)

In years prior when I was 13, she'd have the same routine but would take us to HTB church beforehand so we could get eventually confirmed. After that though, she fell into the leisurely routine above as it was the only day off she had to sleep in, and hey, who wouldn't want breakfast served my one's loyal son? When we'd arrive at the top of the several flights of steps to her bedroom, she'd then place the cassette player down, still singing jollily, and walk back and forth across the little room...on her derriere. ("It's good for the bum, darling!") Oh, and then do a Tarot card reading for me and her! Yes, my mother was truly beyond stereotypes, enigmatic even, one might say. My dear Mama. There will never be another one like her.

OK, will catch up with everyone later.... Can't wait to see what kind of shows, as it were, we all put on here! :) Meanwhile, I'm going to be floored again by this 9 year Dutch girl's talent.


Tuesday, February 27

Scribble Picnic's One-of-a-Kind!

There's always gotta be one of them, doesn't there? That class clown! Yes, remembering Serena's dancing flamingos a couple of week's ago led me to conjure up this idea. More rushed than I'd like but you get the idea.

Who among you, I wonder, has embraced your own one-of-a-kind?


Wednesday, February 21

Scribble Picnic's "Fill in the Blank" Week
(stumpy rectangle)

"Bits & Bobs & Spare Parts. RoBoT REpaiR."
It's just one of those days for this lil' robot!

I've wanted to draw up a robot for ages and this shape allowed for the perfect opportunity! Not planning on colouring this one in though, actually — I'm liking it as is with that sort of sketchbook notation type feel.

So, what did you do for stumpy rectangle(s)? Let's find out... Oh, and Robot's brought a bag of Licorice Allsorts by the way — his favourites. But, I should probably tell you to watch out! He's rather known to have a penchant for soaking them in oil beforehand. :)


Friday, February 16

Picture Details for "Fill in the Blank" - due Feb 21st

You Picnic Mission, should you choose to accept it, is to fill in the rest of the picture, using a rectangle like this. Notice, it's not square but not a long rectangle either. It doesn't have to have a black line and could be filled in but the shape should be close to something like this.

It could be a place mat, TV tray, laptop or such but what do you see? Let's find out on the 21st. See you then! Thanks for playing along.

Hope everyone had a good Valentine's. We went and enjoyed hot fudge sundaes from McD's which actually was a such a treat. No Braveheart watched but of those on the ice in Pyeongchang! :)

Wednesday, February 14

Mushy Valentine's Day Scribble Picnics!

"Mushy Peas" — Oh Peas, just kiss me!

Happy Valentine's Day! I know, I know, some note how it's a horribly commercial holiday and all that, but as it is, aren't all the holidays these days, especially Christmas and Halloween? Well, be that as it may, I'm choosing to focus on romance, love and kindheartedness this day (and every day)! How can you go wrong with that? :) Speaking of which, hmm, it might be time to watch again my favourite romantic movie... "Braveheart!" Oh yes, it IS incredibly so! I mean, for one, the protagonist is a brave man fighting for his wife's honour and even Sophie Marceau comes in later as the beautiful lovelorn princess. Oh, and it quite possibly has the most stirring musical score ever. Sigh. OK, time to snap out of it and pull myself back together!

As most of you probably already know, I'm not terribly into doing representational art — it rather leaves my imagination disengaged. This lil' peas of art is rare indeed then! Trouble is, I didn't have any actual peas to look at, so in the end did get to imagine something after all. Aren't they just too sweet? Kind of like my parents' mantra: sometimes in life, you've just got to go for it — you never know how much longer you've got!

Right, now it's your turn to bring something maybe not so mushy, per se, but certainly depicting such. Can't wait to see what everyone's brought. Split pea soup anyone? :)


Tuesday, February 6

Let's Dance through our Scribble Picnics!

You're the one that I want, Snort-snort-snort...!

Can you tell which movie this is inspired by? Yup, "Grease" and that final scene where Sandy came out dressed to impress Danny. I thought it would be funny to do a similar tongue-in-cheek take off as this remarkably awful, English comedic version that actually worked it's way up the charts, no less! All joking aside, back then, I developed quite a crush on Olivia Newton John, let alone wishing I could also slick my hair back like Travolta's. 

In fact, years later, I actually waited outside BBC studios with my best friend, hoping to catch a glimpse of Olivia coming out of her Noel Edmonds interview. We laughed at how silly those teeny-bopper girls were who gathered outside the gates alongside waiting for Paul McCartney, also on the same show. There they stood like Beatlemania had never ended, waving their "I Love Paul" signs and singing various Beatles and Wings songs! Well, never mind, we were mid-teens and more mature... That is, until the gates opened and I actually saw Olivia through the limousine window bundled up in her black coat, a mere 5 feet away or so, looking out and seemingly right at me! She was far more beautiful and feminine in real life than ever on any record album, her smile beaming so gloriously. She was the most beautiful, perfect human being I had ever laid eyes on! I was in love...and she was in her mid 30's. Ha! Something happened right then—I totally snapped and just knew it was now or never or I'd never see her again. As she was whisked away, I dashed off down the road chasing the limousine, shouting her out her name, shrieking and declaring mad love! Oh my gosh, as soon as that limo sped around the corner and out of view, I suddenly realised (in horror) my own lapse of judgment into... fan euphoria! Having to turn to face the crowds, I acted like nothing happened while trying to casually walk back through the throng of schoolgirls all gobsmacked, signs hanging down, as they looked at me so incredulously. "Right, let's go...NOW!' I insisted to Laljie and off we took into the cover of night with me hoping never to be seen again or worse yet, caught on TV cameras and broadcast later on the LWT (London Weekend Television) evening news!

A few years later still, in summer camp, funnily enough, I actually was given the honourary nick name, "John Travolta," due to my spastic dancing whilst impressing an American girl who loved to dance to the Go-Go's (again, totally out of character)! Well, as you can see, dancing and all that entails doesn't exactly jive with my normal relaxed manner, but let's see how it goes for each of you... :)

Wednesday, January 31

Spice is the variety of Scribble Picnics!

Lil' Monster's Spicy Dreams!

This little chap just loves his spicy pepper snacks. Munch, munch, munch. All morning long Monster eats to his heart's content then sleeps the afternoons away, enjoying that comforting burn down in his furry belly — every monsters dream!

If you like a lil' bit of pepper crunch to your sandwiches, feel free to pick up one.  I'm thinking though, let sleeping "dogs" lie. How about you?


Wednesday, January 24

Magic Tablecloths

Master Magician, Monsieur Luc Pierret, was legendary for his infamous magic tricks! They never seemed to quite work out as expected though but he took his craft very seriously indeed, regardless. Making that hat appear under the tablecloth was really quite magnifique, however, his pesky lil' rabbit was another matter altogether!

Time now for you to show us your own tablecloths for this marvelous Scribble Picnic. Here, do bring me one quickly please... so I... err... can cover up all those baguette crumbs someone's dropped onto the grass! :) Thank you.


Wednesday, January 17

Cheers to Hot Chocolate and Winter Scribbles

Molten Hot Chocolate Pour

Chocolate is best when melted. Maybe that's why I like to dunk any double-chocolate Milano or dark chocolate Digestive into my hot cuppas? :) How about you?

Imagining this molten chocolate glaze poured over fresh, soft, strawberried gooey goodness made for quite a sweet tooth day all round in the real world, let me tell you. But, was it worth it? Totally!

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Speaking of sweeter fair, I have a special announcement to make! With my birthday coming up soon, I've been contemplating a personal creative challenge of getting in the habit of drawing something (no matter how quick, small or silly) every day! Yes, that can be rather daunting but the benefits are plenty too. As it is, posting only once a week (to Instagram, at least) doesn't exactly help build a greater reach as much as publishing more regularly. Doing this challenge would not only help to that end, but, more importantly, also exercise my raw skills and creative mind further, engaging my imagination more so in turn—something which I think is so crucial to creativity.

Several days ago, I asked on my Instagram what people thought about it. Overwhelmingly, others liked the idea and some had suggestions of what to focus on. So, I've decided to keep my daily sketches quite loose, quick and just exploring various styles of lines, expressions, gestures, or even what's in front of me—whatever comes to mind that day, as a sort of logue of daily muses.

I wonder then if any of you would like to join in? (No need to answer that here though if not able, btw.) Andrea (@ falling ladies) is already on board! This wouldn't require any formal sign-ups, follow-ups with others or anything like that. Rather, it's simply an opportunity to see how far this year you can go with making time for sketching. Simple really. Just get a pad of paper and start doodling! We can check in with each other every now and then for encouragement, if you want, and you don't even have to have Instagram to play along. Andrea's already come up with #dailysketchplan2018 for those of us who want to post to IG their work, but you certainly don't have go/be there. January 20th will be the official launch, btw! (We wanted to give you some heads up for consideration.)

So, how about it? Invest in your art and watch it grow! It would be so lovely knowing there was even just one of you out there, sitting at your kitchen table or wherever, and playing along. Whether you show the work or not is entirely up to you and if you miss a few days now and then, no problem. (It's really more about your intent.) I'm thinking it might be fun to present a collection of my most fun pieces every week or so here too. Hmmm.... We shall see. Thank you! :)