Monday, October 25, 2010

A buzzsaw for a hand!

Lately, Harper has been demanding drawings of Transformers. After fobbing him off repeatedly by saying, Mummy can't draw, sweetheart, why don't you ask Daddy? I eventually crumbled under his pester-power and decided to just give it a go. The first one I copied from the DVD case. It took me about half an hour and bore a vague resemblance to a Transformer. The second one I copied from the first, with some refinements. It looked quite a lot like a Transformer. The third one I drew without copying, with some pretty awesome accoutrements I made up myself including a buzzsaw for a hand. Rockin'! After that I was cooking with gas. I have now drawn 12 Transformers, and counting, including some pretty evil baddies. Yeow!

I realised that drawing, like many other things in life, is something that can be improved with practise. So, I've been practising a little more. I can still only draw things which are in front of me, and my craft supplies have been under my nose a lot since I started the Sketchbook Project, so here they are, my trusty cutter and snail glue.

Earlier this year I gave a short presentation to my students about sustainability. As part of my preparation I did some reserach into and gathered some images of landfill sites. They are pretty darn ugly. I became mildly obssessed with reducing my contribution to landfill. I made a pledge to never buy another disposable pen. Dramatic, yes? I now use pencils, and a fountain pen with a refillable bladder which I received as a gift for my 18th birthday. It's got my name engraved on it. Fancy, eh? I do my drawings with my fountain pen, so I also drew my handsome pot of ink. I threw a few splotches around, just for the hell of it. Why wouldn't you? It reminded me of a time when I used to carry my ink bottle around with me to write my diary. Once, the ink started leaking while I was on the train. I had no tissues but I managed to find a tampon lurking at the bottom of my bag, so I uncompacted it and astounded all the morning commuters with its super-absorbent powers.

What can you keep out of landfill? Do you want to take the NEVER BUY ANOTHER DISPOSABLE X,Y,Z pledge? I think you do.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

My Poor Toothypegs

When I was  a child we used to drive for 45 minutes to see the dentist, not because we lived in the middle of nowhere - there was, in fact, a dentist only 5 minutes from home - but because my dad liked to visit a dentist he went to school with. My dad, who would have a gash in his eyelid sewn up on the side of a rugby pitch and then go back for more rough stuff, was scared of the dentist. Which is, to my way of thinking, intelligent. I mean, what's NOT to be scared of? They stab needles into your gums: scary. They drill holes inside your teeth: scary. Sometimes, if you're really unlucky, they take a mould, and stuff putty into your mouth until you almost choke: terrifying. Yes, it's official, the dentist is probably one of the most frightening and horrible experiences you can have, within the realm of the everyday.

Which is why I like to leave a healthy gap between visits. Twelve years to be precise. Even then I only went to the dentist because Duckers nagged me. (He flosses DAILY, what a goody-two-shoes).  The first session included the dire prognosis of everything that was wrong with my teeth, followed by calculations of how many vital organs I'd need to sell to pay for the treatments. All in all, not too bad. In the second session though, things really got swinging. As soon as they propped open my mouth I started hyperventilating and sobbing. They had to sit me up and let me calm down for a few minutes. And this was before the first needle. Then, once the treatment started I was convinced I could feel the drill. They ended up giving me so much novocaine that I was still drooling 6 hours later. That was 2 years ago. Needless to say, I haven't been back. But lately it's been bothering me and I know I need to return to the torture chamber once again. Until I pluck up the courage, this apology is to my teeth: sorry I forgot to take care of you.

Friday, October 15, 2010

A Little Bit Like Darth Vader

My last post was about self-control and how I needed to aquire some of it (can you buy it on e-bay, by the kilo perhaps?) This post is about control  and how I need to let go of it.

The other night I was giving my husband a hard time about the way he stacks the dishwasher aka the magic box. This has been a recurring theme in our house as I believe he stacks it wantonly, yes, wantonly, with whole cubic centilitres of space wasted willy nilly. I find this particularly galling as being an architect he is supposedly a spatial expert.

Writing this down makes me even more keenly aware of the pettiness of it. And of course, I've had enough therapy to understand that my insistence on having the dishwasher stacked a certain way is not really about 'domestic efficiency' and is actually about CONTROL. 

When it comes to control, I'm a little bit like Darth Vader. (Although luckily for those around me I don't have the power of the Dark Side to strangle someone who displeases me without even touching them).

This sketchbook entry is for my husband, the ever-patient Duckers: sorry I forgot to relinquish control.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

My Chocolate Habit

There are a few things in life I find it difficult to say no to, champagne and brie being two of them, but chocolate is the only thing I crave on a daily basis. And when I say 'crave' I don't just mean I have the fleeting thought "Mmmm, I wouldn't mind some of that tasty goodness right about now." It's more like "If I don't get some of that chocolatey action in the next half hour things are going to go badly for all parties."

I know it's all about willpower and self-control. Turns out I don't have much in the way of those qualities. Lately I gave in to my cravings and got myself a hardcore chocolate habit. 100 grams a day of Lindt Extra Creamy. I wasn't quite at the stage of having to sell my booty on the street but I knew it wasn't doing me any good either. So this one is really an apology to myself:

The soundtrack for today's post is Amy Winehouse's Rehab. Because I think I might need to go there.

What can't you live without? Got any cravings?

Thursday, October 7, 2010

sorry i forgot your birthday...every year

I have known my dear friend Sally since I was seven years old. I remember us watching the video of the movie 'Cocoon' the first time I went to her house. I couldn't look at her because I didn't want her to see that I was crying - turns out she was doing the same thing. (We both love to cry).

Sally is one of the most organised people I have ever met. In all the years I have lived in Australia (she lives in the UK) she has never, not once, forgotten my birthday. Her card always arrives on time. I appreciate this so much. And yet, I somehow can't manage to reciprocate. I am ashamed to say that I miss her birthday almost every year. It is not that I forget her birthday. Nope. I know her birthday without even having to think about it: January 2nd. But it always gets sucked into the vortex of Christmas and before I can say Happy New Year! I realise I have once again neglected to send her a card. I'm going to keep trying. In the meantime, I made her a 'perpetual card' in my sketchbook.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Tell Me Your Secrets

Currently more than 10,000 people worldwide are participating in the Sketchbook Project. It feels exciting to be part of a community this big! (And a little bit scary too... What if my sketchbook is the least interesting/professional/colourful/edgy/creative? What if people find out i don't know what gesso is?)  

The project finishes in the new year, (2011, so futuristic-sounding) and then all those sketchbooks will be on tour. People all over the US will be able to visit the sketchbook library and flip through someone other people's books. (It would be like opening a little trapdoor and taking a peek inside someone's head).

I noticed that Jess from Maken Art had put dares in her book for her readers. I decided to pose some questions in mine. After making my Sorry I Forgot to Call page I asked: Who have you forgotten to call? What would you say?

And following from my mixtape picture, I asked, Who would you like to make a mixtape for? What songs would you put on it?

I made little envelopes so that people can post their secrets to me. But, if you can't follow the sketchbook tour, you can post your secrets to me in the comments below. Don't be shy.