geekery, drawing and then some

Posts about creativity (old posts, page 1)

Happy drawings

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This week I made two drawings for two family-related projects. I don't think any of my family reads my site anyway, so I'll post them here tonight (they'll see them tomorrow)

I've started to get the hang of colouring the background before the foreground. Usually I want to jump right ahead to the fun parts in the foreground, colour those and make them look nice.

Doing the background first brings on a new challenge. Before I based my background-colour on what I used in the foreground. Having to start with the background means I have to think more about the colours I use in the foreground, and I don't always do that.

Ah well, still learning, I guess ;)

I like these drawings.

Still drawing

Swing !

I haven't done much drawing but I did do a happy one recently that I haven't posted yet.

I drew this one on a rainy day right after a really sunny day. Aaah, sunshine! Swings!


Step 1: refuse

I got into a bit of a drawing-funk and as soon as I mentioned it, it got better. Funny how that works.

Recently, I've re-injected some of my focus and energy into creating less waste. I (briefly) participated in Rodale's Plastic Free Challenge (in February) and researched the Dutch recycling system. I found out that (according to the official numbers) we recycle 90% of our paper / cardboard. Not bad!

With plastic we do less well. Until recently we had no real plastic recycling facilities. Some cities do post-collection separation (like Amsterdam, where I live) and some do consumer separation, where people separate their plastic trash. Not much of this really gets recycled and they ship it to Germany to begin with (from what I understand) and incinerate the non-recyclables. Not ideal, but you have to start somewhere I guess.

I've looked into ways to make less waste (of any type, mostly plastic because that never ever goes away and burning it doesn't really do any good either) and this morning I decided to start drawing the four steps with which I believe I can make a difference:

  1. Refuse
  2. Reduce
  3. Reuse
  4. Recycle



Before the other three steps, you can start by simply refusing. No, I don't want a paper or plastic cup to drink my drink from. No, I don't want throw away plastic cutlery. No, I don't want a plastic straw. No, I don't want a plastic bag. No, I don't want throw away containers for my food.

Somehow we ended up in a situation where people look at you funnily when you don't want something, even if it's free and you can simply throw it away! I brought my own bag for quite some time now, and it still surprises me how much some people insist on the plastic bag. They'll tell me my purchase won't fit in my bag. Since I've had it for a while, I have a good idea of what will fit and what not and one single shirt will always fit. I will stomp it down so hard it'll fit, thanks :)

Most of us -- myself included -- spend a lot of time in a consumer coma, consuming without thinking, without looking, without caring. I have no idea how we can break that cycle easily, however, I have decided that I do care about the food I eat, and I do care about how I treat my body, and my surroundings. I bring my own food (in my own container and with my own napkin and my own cutlery) because I care about what food I put into my body, and by bringing my own things I control my waste (which I won't have because I reuse my cutlery and containers).

Check out this video on YouTube by Beth Terry from My Plastic-free Life and see if you squee like I did when she pulled out her backpack (because that's the kind of girl she is -- me too! me too!)

For products that might help with refusing (and naturally, only go buy something if you don't already have a proper solution, but myeah... I know...):

drinking bottles / mugs

  • Klean Kanteen (stainless steel in various sizes and thermos-mugs, also with stainless steel caps so no plastic touches your drink, if you care about that)
  • Sigg (mostly aluminium, but also stainless steel and thermos-mugs)
  • Purica Steel (steel, also thermos-bottles)
  • Thermos (take a wild guess what they make)

storage containers for lunch or freezer / fridge

  • LunchBots (lunchboxes of stainless steel, as drawn in the bottom right corner)
  • To-go ware (tiffins and cutlery)

a little bit of everything

  • Life Without Plastic (sells a variety of plastic-free products, including containers, cutlery, bags etc)
  • Reuse it (sells a variety of reusable products, containers, bottles, bags etc)


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I took part in the Sketchbook Project 2011 Tour recently, and after some delay in receiving the book (the first one got lost in the mail, and the nice people of the Art House co-op promptly sent me a new one) I got started. I didn't have the energy to fill it up in the allotted time-frame, so I ended it by inviting readers to draw along. I hope they do and send me photos! :D

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Meet Semli

Semli .

She lives in the forest in a house between the roots of a big old tree. She likes feathers and playing.

Her father likes fishing and cooking, her mother builds things. Mostly furniture.

The no-experiment

I've not felt well lately, very tired and stressed. Part of this comes from having a lot of appointments scheduled. A big part of it however comes from wanting to do to much. I don't want to do extraordinary stuff -- although for my condition it would qualify as such. I want to do stuff other people consider normal.

  • Walk the dog for an extra long time.
  • Buying groceries.
  • Hanging out with friends.
  • Visit family.
  • Go to the movies.
  • Randomly hop into the car with TG and go for a nice beach-walk.

All of these things require planning on my side, which also sucks up precious energy.

A couple of days ago I read Michael Nobbs' new book Sustainable Creativity in which he discusses the importance of learning how to say 'no'. For some areas I know when to say 'no': I can easily say it when I don't want to do something, or I don't have the time, or I have other plans. But at those times when I don't have plans yet, I really want to do it and think I have the energy, I won't say no. And this backfires. I rarely do have that much energy, and end up canceling many things. This does not make me happy.

Tonight I watched the movie 'Yes-man' and it gave me an idea. What if I say 'no' instead? I have things planned (and one not-yet-planned-but-sorta) and won't _pre_cancel them. I will not make new plans however, excluding the ones where I go to the hospital (or other medical stuff) or where people come to my house (less tiring).

This may sound a little drastic, but I gave it some thought and it seems like a cool experiment. Worst case, I'll feel bad the day after for saying 'no' and then I'll have learned I said 'no' to something that matters to me. In a way, this will force me to re-evaluate things that matter to me most, and these may or may not include the things I think matter the most.

It will also, hopefully, give me some practice in saying 'no' when I do think I have lots of energy (but actually don't and I end up wasting all of my reserves).

I have no idea about how long I want to do this, considering a month or perhaps until New Year

Having a bloody week


I've done a drawing over at InkBlobChronicles every day for roughly two weeks now and for almost two weeks before that I did one almost every day. I guess the habit slowly forms. One of the drawings resulted in me changing my twitter icon, because I really like how the drawing on the side turned out (a self-portrait with new hat).

Yesterday Nano hurt herself again during our walk, and she started bleeding from her paw. Today I went into the hospital and had some blood taken. This week has already turned into a bloody week. Wonder what else will happen in the next few days...

Total sucker for art supplies

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Other people suffer from enjoy it too, right? An abundance of art supplies? I could do without of course, but I so very much like them....

I got a few more Faber Castell Pitt Artist pens. I like them a lot. I think I need a lighter brown though. Not sure yet, have to try all of these out first, hehe.

In other news, I made a new little website over at http://inkblobchronicles.com (and a matching twitter-account on ( @inkblobs). I will post my dailies there mostly. Some still here, but I like to have a dedicated space for those dailes. I will keep the site as low-text as possible.

Daily: 2010.09.18+19

Daily: 2010.09.18+19

I very much enjoy doing these dailies, they keep me drawing. I've also managed to set up a system to make scanning a lot easier. My beast (a nickname I gave my laser-printer / scanner combo) can email scans so I have it set up to send the image to my emailprogram, which then extracts the attachment.

This weekend we took it easy. It rained a lot and I felt very tired -- these two share a clear link -- so I spent a lot of time on the sofa, wrapped in a blanket sipping tea and watching a lot of MacGyver.

Nano didn't seem to mind.

She did, however, mind the attack of little stickyweed balls. They got between her toes and in her mouth. It took a bit of work getting them all off. We did eventually managed to free ourselves from them and will avoid that area for a while.

You know, just in case they lie there in the bushes. Hiding. Waiting. Planning. Ready to attack...