Baby knows best

Or at least she knows how to eat with a spoon in the most fun way…

The baby recently started accepting that food on a spoon is ok. It took about three months of trying mushy vegetables and porridge for her to realise that she in fact likes food.

Letting her practice eating on her own is obviously the next step. So it’s part of mealtime on especially patient days…

It’s very messy. But apparently this is the way to eat with a spoon.

And don’t try to teach a strong-willed 8.5 month-old something different!

Drawing process

I sketched this comic out on paper and then used that as the basis for a digital drawing on my phone. I’m still using ibisXPaint whenever I sit down to draw (not often enough!) and I still really like the app. I used a pencil type brush for the line work and some “watercolour” for the colouring.

I didn’t realise until I was invested in this comic that I had given myself a massive challenge with drawing hands 😳

It took a lot of alterations and looking at my hands and the baby’s hands before I liked the result of the drawing. Some very good drawing practice that I didn’t anticipate beforehand (hand, heheeeh) 😅

Baby knows best

MSG on my mind

Today I listened to a podcast about MSG. It’s is a very interesting food additive, and something I only knew very little about.

Doodle style drawing of the letters MSG inside the mouth of a person.
A silly doodle and a serious post.

The Food Programme (BBC Radio 4) is one of my favourite podcasts. While the baby was on her way to a nap in the garden, I listened to the first half of the episode “Pure umami: should we learn to love MSG?” from May 2021. And I was eager to hear the rest.

The thing that struck me the most was the points about racism and the stigma around MSG and Chinese food.

As I learned from the podcast, MSG is used in a wide variety of foods, such as chips (crisps). The science does not show that it’s unhealthy, even though many people think that it is. I’m one of the people who had an idea that “MSG is bad”, but I couldn’t tell you why I thought so. I also couldn’t tell you why I mostly related this to Chinese food without giving it a second thought.

Racism is a hard word for me to say or even type, but it’s something that I know I have to care more about than I have. Especially because it is so ingrained in things that I would never think of, because I’m so privileged that I don’t see it.

Besides an important wake-up call about racism, what I gained from the podcast is that I probably shouldn’t worry about MSG in restaurant food. I could even consider using it in my home cooking. A whole other issue addressed in the end of the episode is additives in processed foods. Long story short, things like MSG or sweeteners can make a product taste good even though it has very little nutrition. And that might be a bigger problem.

Did you know a lot about MSG already, or did you learn something reading this?

Please listen to the whole podcast episode if you’re interested, I probably didn’t do it justice!

Anyway, thanks for reading this, I know the post was more serious than my usual stuff. Maybe it’s because I’m a mother now, maybe it’s because of the state of the world. I can’t promise my next post won’t be about a fluffy bug that I saw, or something even more silly. But I’ll probably continue to write about things that are close to my heart, I hope you’re here for it.

MSG on my mind

I drew 3 Spring doodles (and rambled a bit about veggies) 🌷🌤️

… and then Winter returned 😳😄 But here they are anyway.

Here are 3 Spring-themed doodles I made in the first week of March. Still doodling away on my phone in ibisPaint X whenever I have the chance.

I love illustrating food, especially veggies 💚

I didn’t really plan out this drawing but just added things bit by bit. I try to eat what’s in season (and not grown in heated greenhouses), because it’s a way for me to be more sustainable. That means I haven’t had a fresh tomato or cucumber in a long time.

But living in this country can get a bit boring foodwise, especially in Winter. We love potatoes, carrots and all sorts of kale and cabbage in this house, but do get fed up with it. So we allow ourselves to get imported veg, especially peppers and lots of oranges and lemons, I just can’t live without them. And on rare occasions an avocado, yum!

I think I’m going to be a bit more loose about my “local and in season” food goal, because our daughter will soon start to eat solid food. And I want her to taste everything. But I’m torn, because I also want to teach her about sustainable lifestyle and give her a good Earth to live on!

When you think about it, it’s quite ridiculous that we have become used to being able to buy fresh fruit this far North in the middle of Winter.

Umm, that was quite a blurb about food. Anyway! Here are the other two Spring doodles.

Weeeeee! *sniffle

Just a lil’ Spring flower who is maybe now reconsidering the choice to come up and say hi.

You can find speed videos of my drawing process for both of these last doodles on my Instagram.

It was great to have some days with nice weather, especially since all you can really do is go for walks at the moment. But then the cold came back to bite us all in the, well, cheeks! 🥶 So I think I’ll wait an extra couple months to remove my woolly layers 😄

I drew 3 Spring doodles (and rambled a bit about veggies) 🌷🌤️

This week’s things

Some stuff involving food and animals happened in the house this week…

drawing peanutbutter and coffee sketchbook doodle
The heatwave + my pregnancy brain makes me do weird things and not remember I did them!
drawing cat and frog sketchbook doodle
But they apparently like to visit.

Neighbour Cat knows she doesn’t live in our house (I think). So she walked out the door willingly with a look that said “Oh hello Neighbour Humans, I was just stopping by. See you!”.

The frog, however, took a while to get to leave the basement. It escaped from my hands the first time I grabbed it, jumped onto the table and then hid under a closet. But in the end, I managed to get him into a bucket and ran out into the garden before he did another wild jump for freedom.

He didn’t seem to believe one bit that I was trying to help, that I would do my best not to squish him, and that living outside is much better for a frog.

This week’s things

Orange pepper

Gardening is new to me, and I get VERY excited when something new happens with my plants. Sometimes things change colour from one day to the next! So I had to make a drawing about it.

My sister gave me a pepper plant and a tomato plant as a housewarming gift in Spring, and they are both thriving in the greenhouse. There are soooo many fruits!

Colourful fruits

So far, all the peppers have been green, but a couple of days ago one of them turned orange! And it made me a very happy garden owner.

How do they know when to stop growing and start changing colour? It must be some kind of garden magic. Now the challenge is to leave it for a couple more days and see if it turns red. If I don’t eat it before it happens!

Drawing process

Here’s a look at my original hand-drawn sketch from my sketchbook:

I imported it into Gimp, coloured it in and added some layer effects to keep the hand-drawn vibe. I’m happy with the style, it turned out kind of children’s book-ish. Which I think fits the little story well. If you can even call it a story… To me, it’s headline news!

Also, I started work again last week after the summer vacation and today was the first very busy day. So colouring in this little doodle felt very calming and nice.

I’ve been doodling and drawing digitally a lot this summer, and I really want to keep it up as much as possible – even though I use up some of my creative energy at work. Drawing is so good for my mental health, so I need to try to stay in the habit.

Orange pepper

Swol sourdough is back!

I’ve been baking sooo much bread lately, and it reminded me of a dough doodle I made for #inktober 2018. If you love baking too, you can get the new, colourful Swol Sourdough as a sticker, on a mug or notebook (among other products) in my shop.

The old drawing looked like this:

sourdough yeast rise #inktober doodle by wordsanddoodlesblog
Read my Inktober post from 2018 here

And here’s the fresh version of “Swol Sourdough” as I’ve decided to name it:

You’d better pop it in the oven soon, before it spills out of its tin.

I put this design on stickers, mugs and more products in my Redbubble shop for other baking nerds flexing their dough muscles – you can see them all here:

Drawing process

The new and improved version of my dough doodle was drawn on paper using Windsor & Newton Promarkers and coloured pencils. Afterwards I did some digital editing in Gimp and Adobe Illustrator to give it some clearer colours and contrast. I also ended up using Adobe Draw to do the final line art. Needless to say, I spent many hours on perfecting this sourdough!

If you follow the blog, you might also have seen this sourdough doodle that I made a couple of weeks ago – also inspired by the doodle from 2018.

It’s funny how old drawings sometimes pop up in my head and inspire something new. I draw a lot of new things on paper and screen at the moment, too, but redrawing old stuff is very fun and challenging at the same time.

Swol sourdough is back!

My happy sourdough

Here’s a drawing of someone who’s been a bit neglected for the past couple of months…

Look how happy my sourdough starter is when it gets fed with some new yummy flour and water 😀

I haven’t been baking very much sourdough bread in 2020. But now that I’m on my summer vacation at home, I have more time and energy for baking – and drawing! Look at me posting on here three days in a row, woohoo!

I that noticed online that a lot of people kind of discovered sourdough during quarantine/self isolation. And it was very fun to follow and made me remember my own starter journey 😀

Sourdough starting

I started my starter in June or July of 2018. That summer was incredibly hot here in Denmark (and Europe in general), and I think that made the process get a bit out of hand. For about a week our apartment smelled quite… sour… To say the least!

Now that my starter is older, however, it’s a lot easier to bake with and maintain and it lives happily in our fridge, as long as I feed it once every 2 or 3 weeks.

For the baking nerds still reading

I don’t always manage to plan a couple of days ahead when I want to bake, though (dough, lol). Which means we also get a lot of non-sourdough bread and obviously store-bought bread, which is nice too. But I really love the final result, when I do bake my own. I’m also not a sourdough purist – I mostly add some yeast to my dough.

Drawing process

Today’s drawing was drawn digitally in Gimp with my Wacom tablet and without a hand drawn sketch as the basis (which I often use). I tried to keep the style a bit more simple than my two previous drawings while I’m still learning to use the programme, so I don’t burn out 🙂

I think this bread doodle from my Inktober 2018 was a bit of an inspiration for today’s drawing. If you’re a proper doodle/sourdough nerd, you can check out all my sourdough-related posts under this tag: sourdough.

Thanks for reading all the way through, please share your sourdough stories (good or bad) in the comments, if you feel like it.

My happy sourdough

Pumpkin pie, coffee and a sassy city bird – The start of #inktober 2019

Hello guys, it’s the first day of October! It’s the middle of the afternoon in Denmark right now, and I’m ready to post my first #inktober post of this year, wooooo.

The drawings I did for Inktober 2018 all hang out here.

Let’s get to it! My first page of doodles for Inktober this year looks like this:

inktober 2019 wordsanddoodles doodle drawing pumpkin pie coffee bird
I just realised I wrote the date in Danish – oh well, it’s close enough 🙂

I decided to follow the Inktober prompts from @katnippillustration (Instagram link).

Today the prompt was “pumpkin pie”. I’ve never actually made or eaten pumpkin pie, since it’s not really a thing in Denmark. But I’ve seen it in cooking shows on YouTube, so I kind of know what it looks like… maybe…?

I went and got brand new drawing materials this morning and it really motivates me to draw every day.

If you want to know exactly what materials I use, let me know in the comments. Maybe I’ll do a review of the new stuff I got when I’ve tried them out this month.

After drawing the pumpkin pie doodles at a cafe, I walked home and saw the sassiest city bird I’ve ever seen. Look at that one leg stretched out behind the other!

So I had to add her to the page of doodles when I got home. And then I also got a newsletter from another illustrator: @viktorijaillustration (Instagram link) with her prompts for Inktober.

So I decided to add some coffee doodles, since her prompt for today is “coffee” and I already had 3 very nice cups 😀

Maybe I’ll continue to follow both lists and add in something I see IRL every day. It would be kind of fun to doodle some different bits and bobs and not have the pressure of producing one perfect drawing.

I know I probably won’t have time to write a whole blog post every day (let alone a really long one, like this one, word vomiiiittt timeee), but my goal is to post something on my Instagram every day of October. So hop on over there and follow me, if you don’t already:

@wordsanddoodlesblog on Instagram

October is my ffaaavoouriteeeeee month of the year, I just love the cold air, the coloured leaves and woolly things – and it’s also my birthday month 😀

Last year was my first time participating in Inktober, and I kind of hit a wall of doodle exhaustion after 2-3 weeks. I had just stopped working at my old job at the time, so I even had a lot of time during the day to draw.

I work part-time now, but have a lot more positive energy, so I’m hoping I’ll have fun all the way through October. We’ll see! I’m not going to knock myself over the head with my notebook if I don’t draw every day.

I hope you have a great month of looking at doodles or going about your autumn business. And if you feel like doodling something just **one** day of October, try it out!

Pumpkin pie, coffee and a sassy city bird – The start of #inktober 2019

Pancakes #2

Here’s my second, gruesome pancake comic from the same doodle session:

I don’t know what got into me with these! How could anyone eat that tiny cute blob?! But they were fun to draw. And pancakes are delicious…

If you didn’t see the first pancake comic featuring my bf it’s here.

With this one, I thought I would erase the handwritten text and rewrite speech bubbles like I usually do with comics. But I decided to keep the hand writing in, because it’s a different look and easy enough to read (I think).

Also, it saved me a bit of editing time. I’ve been practicing my digital editing of drawings a lot this past year. But at the moment I feel like spending some more time on the hand drawing process (on paper).

In my last post I promised to share the original sketch book page, so you can get a glance at the chaotic ways of my doodlings 😀 Here you go!

Pancakes #2

The berry thief

I went to see my parents this weekend, and they have the most amazing, giant garden full of colourful flowers and plants, fruit trees, berry bushes and butterflies.

Earlier in summer they had rhubarb, gooseberries, red currants and black currants, and now the plums, raspberries and blackberries are ready to eat, while the grapes and apples are ripening.

However, you have to be quick, because sometimes a brown and fluffy beast with a sweet tooth got there first!

*Update: I noticed my comics can be a bit hard to read, at least on my screen, so I’ve uploaded the individual images here as well:

Don’t look directly into the eyes of the berry thief, or he will make you feed him.

He fears nothing, not even the prickly branches of gooseberry bushes!

The berry thief