Saturday, May 30, 2009

some owl-y postcards

For those of you who might be unaware, there is this wonderful website called swap-bot that lets people all over the world share postcards, recipes, books, photographs, all sorts of delightful things.
I'm not really into artist trading cards (they're very big on swap-bot) but I do enjoy creating + sending postcards, if only to receive a few little pieces of handmade art in return!

Here are few little owl postcards I recently made for such a swap!
(that's my best owl-noise)

The fun thing about making postcards is they're great for all sorts of experimenting.
For these, I used a bit of crayon first for texture then some loose watercolor washes.

This one is my favorite:

On the back of each card I wrote out this quote from Winnie-The-Pooh:

'Owl, wise though he was in many ways, was able to read and write and spell his own name WOL, yet somehow went all to pieces over delicate words like MEASLES and BUTTEREDTOAST.'


Sunday, May 24, 2009


I know it seems like things have been really quiet and uneventful around here in Little Storyland, but I promise things are happening. In fact, today I was finally able to finish some chalkboards I illustrated for Look Up Lodge's gift shop!
My friend Kevin is the art director over there (not to mention a very talented artist himself) so I was pretty flattered + excited when he asked me to do this job. 

They were incredibly enjoyable to design... I got to be so imaginative and just have fun with different textures + techniques. I think they turned out pretty well, and Kevin liked them, so yay! Everybody's happy.

Tomorrow morning I'm leaving for a very-long-needed and very-looked-forward-to vacation. It's not exactly a vacation in the technical sense (I'll be going with some friends and babysitting their kids periodically, so there is work involved) but I'll be getting away from here and I think that's going to help the most. 
I feel like I still haven't fully recovered from all the shenanigans of the past month, so I think a few days away will be just the ticket to giving me a fresh perspective.

See you guys on the other side!
Have a beautiful week!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

rice balls

I've wanted to make onigiri for a long time.

I have to admit this desire mostly began when I saw characters eating them in my favorite anime. Okay... so my interest was piqued entirely because of anime, just like 90% of the rest of my Japanophile tendencies (I credit 10% to the fact that Japan was the birthplace of my first love and temporary home of his sister, my best friend... it's only fair).

(I try not to talk about my nerdy side too much, so let's move on, shall we?)

While poring over my favorite bento site a few days ago (nevermind, this whole post is just going to be nerdy) I came across an excellent description of how to make the stuffed rice balls. I gathered my ingredients:

(smoked salmon + brown rice)

I didn't have any nori (the seaweed used to wrap most onigiri), but the recipe assured me that plain riceballs were just as authentic.
Of course, wanting to be even more authentic, I ignored the clever advice about using plastic wrap to shape the salted and freshly-cooked grains. I would to do it with my hands like I had seen over and over again, like a real Japanese person! How hard could it be?!

it hurt. a lot.

So, as I was saying, I decided to be smart and use the plastic-wrap method, since I was a beginner.
Lay some plastic wrap in a tea cup, sprinkle in salt + walter, add rice, make a little hole, insert filling (salmon in this case), cover, twist up plastic wrap, squeeze and shape...

And voila!
My quick and tasty Japanese-style dinner.
Smoked salmon onigiri,
salad with sesame-ginger dressing,
and of course kukicha (green tea made from the twigs of the tea plant).

I was pleasantly surprised to find that the rice grains stuck together even after several bites. I had done it! 
I had made onigiri like a real Japanese person (sort of)!

(so tasty and delicious)

Yes, it was a wonderful accomplishment. 
I promptly celebrated by watching the next episode of Kaleido Star.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

a few things that are making me happy right now...

secret, tree-lined passageways

shadows of all shapes and sizes

meeting a giraffe at the zoo

complimentary colors
being able to draw outside, even if it's just practice sketching

watching Winnie play with sticks that are twice as big as her


Friday, May 8, 2009

I was shopping at Ingles this morning when I came across these amazing beauties:

Does anyone know what they're called? Are they hard to grow? 

I'm in love!!!

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

a smattering

After all these crazy goings-on I'm really excited to be getting back into my old schedule of Making and Doing Things. The past few days have been a rather messy blur of walks, feedings, and LOTS of cleaning up... I used to make fun of young married couples who introduced their first dog as their "child," but now I am officially humbled. There are happy times too, of course, but I think it'll all be tremendously happier on Friday, when Winnie gets her very own crate! 

Winnie + home alone = lots of havoc and mayhem to my belongings and house = I don't leave house as much and start to feel resentful = I spend hours cleaning and deodorizing

Winnie + crate + home alone = no more surprises when I return = happier me and Winnie!
As Michael from The Office puts it, "It's a win-win-win situation!"

So I'm not really there yet, but one of the projects I'm most excited about beginning is my next animation.
Of course, it's still in the pre-production phases (the er.... "storyboard-in-your-head" phase, to be precise...) but I've already got a happy soundtrack picked out!

So in the meantime, here's a VERY delightful animation about animation and why it's so magical in the first place. 

(by the very talented radibo!)
(P.S.- All that stuff that happens in the beginning really does happen.)