Meeting a mole (or a mouse?)

This tiny guy crossed the walking path on my evening walk.

At least I think it was a mole. It might have been a mouse. The lil guy looked confused about where it was going. It managed to cross the path (grassy fields on both sides) in kind of a zigzag and stop when hitting the grass.

I walked by carefully trying not to disturb and took this photo:

I made the drawing several days later trying to remember what the creature looked like.

I ended up googling some images of the front end of a mole and changing the placement of its paws a bit ๐Ÿ˜†

What do you think, was it a mouse or a mole? Does my drawing look like either, or both?

Meeting a mole (or a mouse?)

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 ๐Ÿ˜ณ

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) ๐Ÿ˜…

Baby knows best

Garden life ๐Ÿ˜ณ๐Ÿฅฐ๐ŸŒฑ

I drew this flattering self portrait last week after a task that made me feel some type of way about gardens… and adulthood!

Just a grown-up dealing with life, nothing to see here.

Tbh I really love being a garden owner. We moved into an old house with an old (and kind of unkempt) garden a little over a year ago.

That means that this is our second summer in the house and we’ve gotten to enjoy all the different days of spring and early summer here.

There’s green everywhere, weeds and flowers and trees and all sorts. These are some of the plants that were already in the garden when we moved in:

  • Magnolia trees
  • Giant poppies
  • A lilac tree
  • Oak trees
  • Cherry trees
  • Hazel bushes
  • Berry bushes: gooseberry, black currants and red currants
  • A very tasty rhubarb
  • Oregano
  • Lavender
  • Loooots of flowers that I don’t know the names of
Just poppin’ up

I also planted some leeks last year that didn’t really turn out. So they’re still there. I think they might flower and produce seeds this year, maybe?!

I’m not a garden expert if you can’t tell.

But I’m a greenery lover! And so is our little 8-month-old. Being an Autumn baby this is her first time experiencing summer in a garden.

She’s simply loving it, constantly smiling, squealing and generally marveling at things outside.

It’s become a tradition for me to let her give the lilac flowers a loving, though not very gentle, squeeze when we pass them.

Our garden definitely doesn’t get enough attention, mainly because of said baby girl – not to mention the old house that also needs some care.

But it’s kind of magical to have all those plants that are there because a previous owner put them there.

That turned out to be quite a positive post about gardens.

I still hate untangling the friggin’ garden hose though!

Garden life ๐Ÿ˜ณ๐Ÿฅฐ๐ŸŒฑ

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.

โค

MSG on my mind

I drew 3 Spring doodles (and rambled a bit about veggies) ๐ŸŒท๐ŸŒค๏ธ

… and then Winter returned ๐Ÿ˜ณ๐Ÿ˜„ 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 ๐Ÿ’š

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! ๐Ÿฅถ So I think I’ll wait an extra couple months to remove my woolly layers ๐Ÿ˜„

I drew 3 Spring doodles (and rambled a bit about veggies) ๐ŸŒท๐ŸŒค๏ธ

Maternity leave Maksy binge

I discovered Rachel Maksy on YouTube back in September when I was waiting for the baby to arrive. So me and my belly binged all her videos โ˜บ๏ธ And now I made some fanart, I guess!

If you’re at all interested in fashion, vintage clothes, cosplay, hair, makeup or just laughing, you need to check out Rachel Maksy (link to YouTube). Such a hilarious and beautiful lady boss, and so many memes! Of which I understand only a few, but that’s fine.

Yesterday I drew this portrait of Rachel on my phone:

I had fun with a more paint-like style than I normally go for and went ham with different brushes. It turned out fine, I think, but I’m still practicing how to draw properly in ibisPaintX (check out my previous post for more on that).

Makeup or hairstyles are completely out of my comfort zone, so I’m sorry if I messed up the details. Especially Rachel’s wonderful, messy, curly bangs were very difficult to draw!

I watched a bit of video while I sketched the outline but didn’t look a lot at reference images, so the portrait isn’t based on a specific Rachel look.

I put her in a blue shirt/dress because I liked the colour, even though I know she prefers brown, hobbitty colours ๐Ÿ˜Š

You can check out a 1 minute video of the drawing process over on my Instagram.

Btw I’ve decided to try to draw and post something there every day for the month of March, so stay tuned for that. We’ll see if the baby allows it! Maybe I’ll do some roundups here on the blog as well if there’s time.

Maternity leave Maksy binge

Yelling farts

Life with a three-and-a-half-month-old involves many farts and much yelling. Sometimes at the same time.

At least in our house it does!

This morning I made another “nap doodle”:

Better out than in!

Not very creative to draw a baby while sitting next to my sleeping baby… But I had fun drawing her little round face with that teethless mouth.

The noise, noise, noise, noise!

Before having a baby I didn’t expect such a small human to be able to make so many (and so loud) noises!

But I actually thoroughly enjoy the cooing, sputtering, sighing and sneezing as well as the gurgling and farting.

Call me childish, but farts are never not funny to me. And I guess it’s generally cool to hear sounds coming out of a cute person you made.

Even the yelling is ok, especially when we figure out what’s wrong and it doesn’t go on for too long ๐Ÿ˜ฌ

Yelling farts

Good parenting ๐Ÿ˜ฌ

My first comic of 2021, and the first since baby. Woohoo!

After starting to draw again yesterday, I was apparently on a roll and managed to sketch out a comic.

Btw you can check out my previous comics via the tag: comic.

As you can see, me and my BF are just as goofy as ever even though we’re now parents.

Drawing process

I worked a bit differently this time. Normally I draw a sketch and then redraw it either on a new piece of paper or digitally, sometimes several times.

To make my drawing process quicker, however, I picked up my pencil sketch from yesterday and made a couple of adjustments, and then made the clean black line directly on top.

I don’t mind that the final result isn’t perfect and still shows some pencil and smudges.

I actually think I prefer working like this, because my initial sketches are always cooler than the redraws, I think. Don’t know why, but I’ve heard other artists say the same about their work. The first doodles somehow have more life.

Sorry for the blurry bits of text, photographing the pictures was a bit rushed.

Materials

I used a random, cheap black ballpen and my Faber-Castell PITT artist pens in the colours Warm Grey V 274 and Warm Grey III 272. And I use a sketch pad with cheapish, yellowish paper ๐Ÿ˜ƒ

Good parenting ๐Ÿ˜ฌ

Baby nap doodles

I’m back! Ok so I’ve barely produced any doodles since producing a baby from my uterus. But today I decided to try to draw at least a BIT while the baby sleeps.

Nap doodles!

It’s an idea, let’s see if I can make it happen. Here’s a 10 minute doodle of some babies.

I don’t really know how to draw a good baby even though I look at one 90 % of my time ๐Ÿคท๐Ÿผ I guess I’ll have to practice!

Post baby posting

I probably won’t write very much for each drawing. But it’ll be a success if I can draw some doodles, because I know it makes me happy. And I hope they also bring you a laugh or even some creative inspiration.

For a while after the baby came, I didn’t even think of drawing. I guess I didn’t have the energy or mind space.

Now she’s 3 months old and thriving and I really want to get back into drawing. It’s good for me to have down time that’s not screen-related – even though I still love my YouTube and Instagram scroll time.

Precious naps

I’ve realised that the challenge with having a hobby as a parent, or just getting anything done, really, is that nap time is so short and precious.

During baby’s naps I can eat or go to the bathroom. TBH I often take a nap myself. Or try to read the news, which is sad but obviously as important as ever. But really hard when your brain is occupied with poop, enough burps, milk, “is she cold/warm/bored/tired??!” and many baby smiles ๐Ÿฅฐ

Fun fact ๐Ÿ‘–๐Ÿ‘–๐Ÿ‘–

Today I put on jeans for the first time since before Christmas. I dont know what it is, but wearing them always makes me feel somewhat accomplished, even before really doing anything.

Maybe they were part of the reason I got a doodle made ๐Ÿ˜… I only have one pair that fits my postpartum body, though, so I’ll probably stick to sweats most days still.

Thanks for reading all the way through! I definitely haven’t gotten less rambly now that I’m a mom, lol! But if you’re following this blog, you probably don’t mind the word vomit ๐Ÿ˜†

Baby nap doodles

Inktober 2020 – getting started

I managed to draw something every day for this first week of October. Which is already a great success!

You can follow along on my Instagram, but I’ll try to do weekly roundups here on the blog as well. The thing is, I’m also very pregnant, which means we’re having a baby this month!

I might not be able to draw or post anything for a while after she pops out ๐Ÿ™‚ So that naturally takes the pressure off the challenge, which is probably a good thing. I’m going to try to draw every day until baby time, though. So far it’s been fun.

Here are my first seven #inktober drawings, some more “inspired” than others ๐Ÿ˜›

I’ll be posting today’s drawing on my Instagram in a bit – the prompt for October 8th is “teeth” ๐Ÿ™‚

Inktober 2020 – getting started