Thursday, December 22, 2011

Wilma's Obsession

Ahh! The smell of a busy oven in the holidays. Food is such a part of it all. Watching Wilma cook up a series of confections gives me the idea for a sketch, so I get my gear out and sketch to the smells that only fresh baking can produce.

As the journal says, she has a love/hate relationship with the baking tradition. It's stressful and rewarding. She has trimmed down the quantity from a few years ago. Back then she did candies, too, like chocolate covered cherries. Very talented. Very addicted to creating confections. The whole extended family knows it, too, and has come to expect tasty treats when Christmas rolls around. They even put in a word for their favorites in the hopes she'll keep making them. We'll end up freezing some, too, so we can extend the good times.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

A Late Present

I wanted to get a camping stove for my daughter and her husband. They're just starting out and don't have much in the way of camping gear. Unfortunately my normal retailers were all out of them. So, I decided to sketch it and give them an IOU. I don't think my daughter ever gets out to my blog so I'm safe in posting it before Christmas.

As for the stove, it's a model I've had for many many years. It's still produced, and still gets great reviews and hasn't been replaced by anything that impresses me. I'm prejudiced.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Enough Already

We had two events this year to make it the worst weather damage year we've ever had. We've been dealing with replacing and fixing things ever since a hail storm in April and a lightning hit in July. I had these telephones and electronic gear ready to throw out but wanted to sketch them first. They are now in the garbage can. The TV was fixable, which required replacing 2/3 of the electronic boards. Unfortunately the damage from the lightning wasn't enough to exceed our deductible so repair and replace was on our dime.

As for the vehicles, we had to junk two of them and we bought one back from insurance. We fixed the Suburban. Local body shops were inundated with jobs and will take a year to get back to normal.

Just had our roof replaced. The local contractors have enough repair work from that one 10 minutes storm to work through next Spring. We were in the house when the hail hit, and we could tell from the low rumble sound that we were in trouble. Some more car damage needs to be fixed, but we're basically through it all. Dealing with insurance for hail damage was a protracted effort but I can't complain. They paid out as they said they would in our policies.

As for the sketching, this is the first time for using Noodler's Lexington Gray in my flexible fine nib fountain pen. For journaling I have always used my Pitt Artist marker pens but this time I used my Namiki pen and used varying pressure to get the variety of widths I needed. I think it worked well. The Lexington Gray didn't bleed like the Noodler's Black does. The pen gets carried to work, too, for day-to-day writing. If I need a quick pick-me-up I'll secretly do some warm-up calligraphy exercises with it just to watch the flexible nib do it's thing.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

A Cold House

Just one more thing that needed to be fixed, which gave me something to sketch. Our furnace stopped working this morning. It's not freezing out yet, so it's not dire straits, but it's a very cool rainy dreary day. The bones get cold faster that way. I call a service guy. While we wait, I decide to bring in some wood from our wood pile so we can fire up our small wood-burning stove. But wait, it's been raining all night and is raining now, so the wood is soggy. With a rain jacket on I dig for drier wood and build a pile in the cold and wet weather. Seems like I wait for the worst weather to stock the wood pile. Doesn't take long for the repairman to arrive. He diagnoses the problem and changes out the ignitor and we're all fixed. I start up a fire anyway and brew up some coffee so I'm quite cozy as I sketch. Not a bad day after all.