if: savour (spelled the British way)

November 30, 2010
Digital illustration
We had a houseful of guests for Thanksgiving, including several toddlers and crawlers. 
Lots of kids + lots of food = lots of food on the floor =
"Hey, what are you doing? Let me see if you have something in your mouth . . . 
. . . oh, no, you don't want to eat that!"

if: Sneaky

November 23, 2010
For this IF prompt, I dug into my archives for some quick sketches I did for the Swedish folk song "Nikolina". There was a sneaky couple! I remember my grandpa singing this in Swedish. The words always make me laugh--though I must quote Jane Austen:
I leave it to be settled, by whomsoever it may concern, whether the tendency of this work be altogether to recommend parental tyranny, or reward filial disobedience.
    When you're in love, you're in an awful torture,
    whoever's tried it would not disagree.
    I was so very fond of Nikolina
    and Nikolina just as fond of me.

    I asked her papa for her hand in marriage
    and got the answer in the strangest way.
    I never yet have left from any doorstep
    in such a hurry as I did that day.

dress design

IF: Burning, among Other Things

November 18, 2010

 Illustration Friday . . .

This is my Illustration Friday entry for "Burning," illustrating something that I try to avoid burning...but sometimes I'm distractible. :) This was also my entry for They Draw and Cook, and it will be published in the TDAC cookbook!

. . . & Other Things

When I get a few sketching moments, I've been working on an illustration inspired by J.R.R. Tolkien's beautiful poem, "The Last Ship." There are still a lot of willow leaves to finish . . . and sketching has been a bit slower because I've also been working on . . . 

. . . a new 18" doll dress pattern, inspired by the "Hooverette" house dresses of the 1930s, now available for download at my sewing pattern site, Hint of History.

And . . .
If you love golden age illustrations like I do, here's a link to the online book Old French Fairy Tales, with high-resolution illustrations by Virginia Frances Sterrett.

They Draw and Cook

November 11, 2010
They Draw and Cook is a fun blog full of recipes that are pictures--er, pictures that are recipes . . . well, something like that! One hundred recipes were chosen to be included in the to-be-published TDAC cookbook, and I was surprised and delighted to find that my recipe illustration will be among them! The illustration is pen and ink with watercolor, and then a bit of digital touch-up on the highlights. (Oh, and the black bean & chicken soup recipe? It's one of our favorites!)

IF: Afterwards

November 10, 2010
Over the summer I read The Wind in the Willows to my youngest sister. As we neared the end of the book I started to wonder . . . what happens afterwards? Toad will surely need a new hobby . . .

. . . perhaps stamp collecting?
 pencil & digital color

Or perhaps not . . .
 pencil & digital color
What do YOU think?
fairy tale

IF: the Princess spent a miserable night

November 02, 2010
    Once upon a time, there was a Princess who found herself alone on a stormy evening, knocking at the gate of a strange castle. How she came to be in this predicament I cannot say, though I think it was most likely the fault of the Royal Travel Agent. Presently the gate opened, and the Princess cried, “Oh, kind sir, please let me in out of the rain--I am a poor lost Princess, and so cold and wet and miserable!”

    Now, when the Queen of the castle heard there was a strange Princess knocking at the gate, she was delighted, for she was on the lookout for Princesses. She ordered the second-best guest room to be prepared, and went to make sure the maid had aired the mattresses properly.

     The second-best guest room had only nineteen feather mattresses (the very best guest room had twenty-three, and the Royal Bedchambers even more), but the maid was still likely to skip a few mattresses to save time. As the Queen examined the bed, she slipped a single pea beneath the bottom mattress. (I am sorry to say that she also removed a shriveled pea from last week’s test, which tells you something about the maid’s mattress-airing habits.)

    At last the bed was ready and the Princess was shown to her room for the night.

    “How did you sleep?” the Queen asked anxiously next morning.

    “Alas!” cried the poor Princess in great misery and distress, “I slept very, very poorly--not even a wink!”

    “Do not distress yourself,” the Queen said artfully. “I am sure that the rest of your party will turn up in a month or two--if the dragon hasn't gotten them,” she added as a cheerful afterthought.

    “I wasn’t worried about that,” the Princess replied.

    “Indeed,” said the Queen. “What
did keep you awake then? Indigestion?--excessive travel fatigue?--that shocking cold you've caught from standing in the rain?”

    “Oh, no,” answered the Princess. “None of that troubled me in the least. What kept me awake was the horrible lumpy-bumpiness of the mattress! I could have slept as well in a stone-field--I am sure I am all over black-and-blue.”

    “Excellent!” exclaimed the Queen, which the Princess thought quite unfeeling in a hostess until she explained about the pea. 

    “Now that I know you are a True Princess, my dear, will you marry my son?” asked the Queen.

    “Certainly, if I like him and he likes me,” the Princess answered. 

     This, fortunately, turned out to be the case, so the Princess and the Queen's son were married. The Queen never tired of telling how she discovered a True Princess with the aid of a pea--though I think it more likely that the maid forgot to air the top mattress and the feathers had got all in clumps.
Whatever the case, they all lived 

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