In my illustration studio

What I'm currently up to... 



The Assassin's Cloak

, which has nothing to do with assassins or cloaks, but it's a pretty awesome title, don't you think?  It's actually a book of daily readings from famous diarists: Samuel Pepys, Anne Frank, Virginia Woolf, Anne Morrow Lindbergh, Katherine Mansfield, and Noel Coward (for example).  It's divided into months and days, and there are five or six readings for each day ordered chronologically though history.  It's compulsive reading; voyeuristic; a bit like getting into the heads of famous people without them knowing.  I started off disciplined, only reading the excerpts for the current calendar day, but now I'm steaming through towards the end. December here we come!

Feeling Thankful For

//  Time to work.  A chest cold steamrolled me last week, and I spent all my time curled up in bed, drinking tea and feeling sorry for myself.  I woke up on Saturday morning and took a deep breath, the first breath in days that didn't hurt. You know that wonderful feeling when you've recovered from an illness, and life feels renewed.... fresh.... full of possibility... That's how I feel right now.  Which is good, because I have an awful lot of illustrations to finish before the end of the month.

Also, I'm so thankful for the amazing blogging community I'm rediscovering. My new blogging friend, Wendy, has featured me on her blog today.  Check it out here.... 

New Mom's Talk



//  Now that my husband is so busy with the business, I've become the chief cook and bottle washer.  He is a fantastic cook, and I'm constantly in awe of his passion for combining new flavours and discovering new recipes.  It's a lot to live up to.  I've been trying to make meal plans for the weekdays, but I'm getting bored with my standard recipes. Any recommendations?  We don't eat much meat (beef), but love chicken, fish and vegetarian meals...

Please send me ideas, and I'll try them out! 

Listening to

// I really love silence.  I was recently asked by a journalist what I listen to while I paint, and I didn't really have an answer.  I don't really listen to anything in particular.  But I love the sounds of the house: the traffic zooming down the hill, the neighbours doors banging, the birds in our garden.

Making me happy

// Lots of little things: hot chocolate, cadmium red, fresh air, sunshine.  Ellie (see above) is keeping my company in my studio today.  She's more of a fashionista than I am.  Underpinning all these little things is the the warm glow of progress. It really feels like things are starting to fall into place in many aspects of my life.