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!