Monday, 17 October 2016

Inky River (Inktober 2016, week 2)

My second Inktober week has gone pretty much local … one can see that our river valley is one of my main sources of inspiration. Let's go on a little river jaunt!

Day 9: "11 o'clock Bridge" features our main bridge over the Lahn River. It's a quiet spot on the evenings and nights and I love how you can see the fogbanks rolling in from the hills.

Day 10: "The Glowing Tree",  inspired by a bike ride when I saw these flaming yellow and orange trees on the riverbank. It was pretty strange to do this in ink only … must def revisit it in full colour!

Day 11: The "River Goddess" says hello … she just turned up …

 Day 12: I am calling this "River Goddess 2".

Day 13: This is a beautiful and sometimes a bit spooky spot on the riverbank, that we call "Owl Hill". It is a derelect quarry, now just a wooded hill with lots of rocks hidden inside, and it is home to several brown owls. When you pass by in the evening or night, you can hear their calls echoing through the sky. Sometimes – depending on the direction of the wind – you can even hear them from our house.

Day 14: "Owl River" – inspired by drawing no. 13. It shows a personal and not so very accurate map of my favourite part of the river, featuring one of the valley's brown owls.

"Floating" for day 15. That's what I always think when I come by this spot in the evening or night … The drawing shows our local castle, "Count's Castle", illuminated by spotlights and floating above the city.

Let's see what I will come up with next week!

Curious about what "Inktober" means? You can find a short explanation at the end of my last post, please just scroll down!

Wednesday, 12 October 2016

Black Ink Nights (Inktober 2016, week 1)

So I decided to jump on the Inktober Challenge* again, like last year. Here's my first week!

Above is how I got started, drawing a little toad lily from our garden. For Inktober 2 the lily quickly morphed into a little night-time story, that then turned into a whole "Nocturne" series.

Nocturne 2 and 3 above were inspired by some evening hikes along our local river Lahn, as was the night-time scene for Inktober 5 below.

On day 6 I felt a bit uninspired, and turned to some floral/ garden motifs for help. The "Flutterby" drawing below might be a nice starting point for a pattern later on.

Day 7 continues with the "Nocturne" series. The black cat for sure is related to our own cat Dikkertje,  but I was really wondering where that ladder idea came from …? Then on the next day I realized that it was inspired by the view into our neighbour's garden, where a huge ladder for cutting the ivy is perched on a wall. Funny how the mind works!

Finally more black cat adventures with "A little night-time stroll" for day 8!
I am curious myself how this will go on … I have no real plan, I just draw what comes into my mind. Maybe I'll end up with a full night-time Inktober?

*(For those who don't know, "Inktober" is a drawing challenge happening all over social media. It was  created a few years ago to inspire people to draw and be creative. Taking part means to do (and post) one ink drawing per day for the whole month of October. Inktober has a huge response all over the world and you'll find many artists, designers or people who love to draw posting their sketches/drawings mainly on Facebook and Instagram. Just search for #inktober2016 and have fun!)

Sunday, 2 October 2016

Goodbye blue-green September!

We had some gorgeous late summer days in September, with lots of greens and blues everywhere … they made me feel a bit like living in a fairytale :-)

Now it looks like autumn is here …
But sorting through my sunny photographs I just can't help posting some more garden pics!

House and Garden at the beginning of September …

… and mid September. The Morning Glories are growing …

… and that's at the end of September!

I have been asked quite a few times if the plants might bring a lot of insects into the house? Amazingly (and fortunately!), that is not the case. Maybe it's just more attractive for them outside, with all the pollen of the many blossoms ;-) And maybe these chaps help too:

We have many of these, forming a kind of second veil in front of the morning glory curtain. I find them a bit spooky, but interesting to watch nevertheless. And their webs are just beautiful, like mini works of art! (So far I refuse to think about where they might retreat to when it gets really cold …)

Some more blue September blossoms …

The Bluebeard is always humming with bees.

A little Toad Lily.

… and other colours are there too:

Hibiscus …

… Clary …

and Brown Sunflowers.

Plus lots of green foliage that add to the jungle feeling:

Dwarf Tamarillos and Caiguas.

The Dwarf Tamarillo umbels form beautiful silhouettes against the afternoon sun.

 Now we are hoping for a mild October, we just want to enjoy all this a bit longer!

Friday, 9 September 2016

For your notes

One can never have too many notebooks! I am a bit of an addict when it comes to journals, notebooks, sketchbooks … anything book-like and bound with nice papers and a beautiful cover really. So it was clear that I had to jump on the new Minted challenge about stationary gifts (personalizable notebooks, calendars and wrapping paper): the "Wrap it Up" Holiday Quickfire Gifting Challenge.

I had way too many ideas. And not enough time. I could easily have come up with more, but I finally ended up with 15 notebooks and 4 wrapping paper designs. Only ;-)
I will share my faves here with you. Like always with Minted comps, votes are very welcome – thank you!! Voting is open until September 23. (To vote, please just click on the image, that'll lead you directly to my submission on the Minted page.) To look at/ vote for ALL of my submissions, feel free to hop over here to my "Voting Now" page.

Ok, here's some of my ideas! Starting with a pretty "everyday" notebook inspired by Eastern European folklore:

What about journaling all these precious moments, practising a bit of mindfulness? This notebook featuring a watercolour painting could be the right fit for that.
"Floral Moments"

Recipes journals are an essential too. My design features a root pattern made with handdrawn and papercut elements – good food for your soul!
"Soul Food Journal"

 For all travellers! This actually is one notebook out of a series of four, all featuring my watercolours and a rather classic design inspired by old travel journals and maps. You can find the other 3 on my "Voting now" page.
"Wanderlust Notes – Distant Horizons"

Certainly, pirates need to take notes as well! For that, this playful journal for kids and the young at heart is best!
"Pirate Clouds"

Finally, here's two wrapping paper designs for the holidays.
"Little Forest"
"Winternight Lace"

Hoping that you'll like my submissions! Thank you so much for looking and voting :-)

Friday, 19 August 2016

Wild August Garden

Thanks to the head gardener's efforts and to a summer sprinkled with rainy days we now have our own piece of jungle! And this year it's as lush as never before. My own under gardener contribution is not that big: mainly watering (lots) and listening to the head gardener's plans and ideas (lots too). And well, ok, taking photographs and admiring it all!

"Project Overgrowth" from mid July to mid August! A cloth woven by blue Morning Glories and Nasturtium.

The green curtain leads to an amazing atmosphere inside and gives good shade too. Here's the view through the bedroom windows … well what is left from the view that is!

The head gardener loves to introduce unusual and exotic plant species. Here are this year's new inhabitants:

Pepper Leaf, or Hoya Santa, a native plant of Mexico. Our black Dikkertje is a normal sized cat … it's just that these leaves are enormous!

And below there's Dwarf Tamarillo, from South America, with little orange fruits that taste very sweet but with a hint of bitter, a bit like Physalis.

Our little Elderflower Tree is in it's third year already and growing fast. This is the first summer that it has got fruits.

The Hyssop plants have established themselves very well. They are a favourite of the bees, so there's often a humming cloud of insects around them.

Brown Sunflowers just because (they are so beautiful!) and Salvia Officinalis, another fave plant for the bees.

As all our plants grow in pots on the rooftop, there's a lot of watering to do on hot summer days. The garden hoses are everywhere! Tripping over a garden hose is one of the most likely accidents over here …

Dikkertje loves to lounge near to the Cat Thyme.

Below is another traveller from far away: Tree Spinach is a native plant of Nepal and South-East Asia. It can be cooked and tastes similar to leaf spinach. The young leafs are fab for salads too.

With sunflower greetings :-) I hope you enjoyed this little garden tour!