Holiday Happiness

Sun Bow | Whims And Fancies

 

It was a very good holiday.  It started with a 4-mile run/hike in the park after quite a few foot injuries over the last 12 months.  As I stopped for a breather, I looked up and was greeted by a beautiful sun bow which I have never seen before.  Even though my latest broken toe suffered a little after the run, it felt so good to be out there under the open sky again.

 

 

Annual Book Drive At Barnes And Noble | Whims And Fancies

 

We went to the Barnes And Noble bookstore for the annual children’s book drive. We have been doing this for over a decade now.  Every year, we happily browse through the children’s section to pick out books, then purchase them at the register and leave them there to be distributed amongst disadvantaged children.  I hope these books provide them an escape like they still do for me.

 

 

Sticky Toffy Pudding Nigella Lawson | Whims And Fancies

 

Once a year, I indulge the child in me by eating my favourite dessert – sticky toffee pudding and vanilla ice cream – for breakfast.  I make it using Nigella Lawson’s easy recipe with reduced sugar for the sauce.

Imagine me sitting in my pyjamas, wearing fluffy house shoes, firing up the video game console with a bowl of this on my lap. 

 

 

Artists And Craftsman Art Supply | Whims And Fancies

 

We visited the Artists And Craftsman art supply store in San Francisco.  My husband waited very patiently with me while I browsed the shop.  During this first visit, I was elated to find so many of my favourite art supplies under the same roof.  Afterwards, we walked up to one of the many cafes in the area for a fabulous lunch ending with a decadent tiramisu.

 

 

Fabric basket | Whims And Fancies

 

I received a package from Kris.  The box was packed with sweet little things, beautiful fabrics, a hand-embroidered pincushion AND this lovely basket using penguin fabric.

I often paint sitting at the dining table. It gets great afternoon light.  Now I have this lovely basket to carry all my art supplies over from my atelier to the table.

 

 

Watercolour Paint Swatches | Whims And Fancies

 

New Year’s Eve, I started making paint swatches.  Approximately 7 hours later, after watching a few of our favourite movies and having a few small drinks, I finished painting all the swatches at 3:30 AM.  I made a total of 151 cards.

 

 

 

I also played with a few design ideas for new projects.  I am using very bold, minimalist graphics for this set.

 

 

Napa Woodland Hike | Whims And Fancies

 

The holiday concluded with a long hike on Saturday, followed by a mountain trail hike for my birthday on Sunday.  I had to nurse the injured foot, but that was not going to thwart me.  I suffer from severe acrophobia.  Mountain hikes are great for facing my fear.  My camera provides the distraction and my husband is the best companion.  The trail was exceptionally quiet that day and we had an exhilarating woodland hike.

 

My pre-holiday ennui has now disappeared.  I have a number of plans for the future.  Taking that next step is always daunting, but I feel ready to face that fear.  I can’t wait to share with you these new ideas.

-Soma

 

I am linking up with the linky parties on my Events And Links page.  Please pay a visit to some of them.

 

 

 

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Sketchbook – October 2017

Sketchbook 2017 - Nigel The Orange Cat | Whims And Fancies

 

Meet Mr. Nigel Forsythe Castleton, proprietor of the Lost Pages Bookstore.  Owing to the bookstore being in a very old stone building, it is very drafty and cold, even on the warmest of days.  Mr. Castleton loves nothing more than to spend his days in the bookstore, but the poor thing is always very cold even though he is made of wool.  Luckily, the bookstore has a wonderfully big fireplace, where he keeps the fire going at all times.  He pours himself a glass of ginger wine and sits by the fireplace, perusing those lost pages.

 

He is my first foray into making knitted toys.  I can’t wholeheartedly recommend the pattern I originally started following, since it has mistakes.  I ended up making most of Nigel on my own.  He was such a relaxing thing to make.

Since Mr. Castleton loves that fire in his fireplace so much, he makes me think of winter.  Just in time too.  I am linking up with Winter Project Linky Party hosted by Jennifer at Thistlebear.

Of course, me being me, I had to make a cat and promptly give him a story.  Lost Pages was the very first painting in this little sketchbook, the last 5 pages of which I get to share with you today.

 

 

Sketchbook 2017 - Alien Planet Painting Derwent Metallic Watercolour Pencils & Winsor Newton ink | Whims And Fancies

 

Alien World

 

A very Technicolor alien world.  Nothing in this world is shy about its use of colour.

 

Sketchbook 2017 - Elemental Doorway Painting Sennelier Caput Mortuum Watercolour | Whims And Fancies

 

Elemental Doorway

 

The Ancients of this world used a type of white element for their ‘ironwork’ on wood with Caput Mortuum stain.

 

Sketchbook 2017 - Steampunk Fleur De Lis Painting Marker & Winsor Newton Ink | Whims And Fancies

 

Steampunk Fleur de Lis

 

This steam-powered golden Fleur de Lis is floating through time and space.  I love the challenge of figuring out how a steampunk mechanism might work. 

 

Sketchbook 2017 - Lavender Field Painting Derwent Pastel Pencils | Whims And Fancies

 

Lavender Field

 

The stone farmhouse not only has a lovely view, but the heady aroma of lavender makes it an even more inviting place.

 

Sketchbook 2017 - Solar Eclipse Nebulosity Schmincke Horadam Ivory Black Watercolour | Whims And Fancies

 

Eclipse Nebulosity

 

I wanted the sense of nebulosity of the solar corona extending into the background space, as if space itself is made of a black nebula that, like the solar corona, is only visible during an eclipse.

 

Photographing the eclipse was a special event for me, and I had to make this one my last painting in this sketchbook.  You can follow our journey to capture the solar eclipse on this post.

 

Sketchbook 2017 - Stillman & Birn Sketchbooks | Whims And Fancies

 

I am exclusively using Stillman And Birn Beta sketchbooks for these little paintings.  I love to see the side of a finished sketchbook, with its wavy pages and colours peeking out.  I have already started on my next sketchbook, and I can’t wait to see what journey awaits me in that one.

 

Previous Sketchbook Pages

June 2017

July 2017

 

 

Charlie’s Adventure – A little Halloween story

 

Much to my horror and surprise, I completely missed the mark on Halloween this year.  It was not until a cute little Winnie The Pooh rang the doorbell that I remembered why.  Good thing I wasn’t without candy!

Charlie and the rest us hope you had a good All Hallows Eve, whether or not you celebrate Halloween!

 

-Soma

 

I am linking up with the linky parties on my Events And Links page. Please pay a visit to some of them, they are a lot of fun!

 

 

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