Mid-Week Mini

Mid-Week Mini: Bastet and Bee Notepads

Bastet and Bee sent me a couple of their notepads to play around with and review here on the blog. All thoughts expressed here are my own.

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Bastet and Bee produce notepads in unconventional designs with the aim of encouraging you to think differently.

They have a handful of designs available but I was drawn to the Stack and Play notepad. I really liked the playful designs but also the balance of colours. The grey and yellow are complimentary and aren’t too imposing.

The Play notepad I actually think is the more subdued of the two designs I have. I thought this option would be easier to use with the number of boxed off areas. It is less vibrant too.

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The Stack was my favourite of the two and the one I ended up using a lot more. The boxes were great for jotting down tasks that popped into my head or for taking random notes on calls.

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In terms of writing tools on these notepads they fared well. The paper quality isn’t too bad and could handle most of the pens I used with it. Some did feather a little, mostly the fountain pens. But markers help up well and didn’t bleed through onto the next page.

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I like what Bastet and Bee have created. The notepads come in a number of good designs and the colour scheme is really nice, but I am a fan of anything yellow.

Glue binding along the left hand, long side of the notepad

Glue binding along the left hand, long side of the notepad

I’d like to thank Bastet and Bee for sending me their desk pads to review here on the blog.

Mid-Week Mini: NaNoWriMo 2018 Conclusion.

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I have been taking part in NaNoWriMo this year. I took the opportunity of the month to edit the story I wrote by hand last year. This year wasn’t about taking part fully, working towards a 50,000 word goal because frankly I don’t have another story idea and I hadn’t quite managed to do anything with last years NaNoWriMo attempt.

My aim this month was simple. Get the analogue version into a markdown editor, which I have achieved, and secondly to edit.

I have been making good progress on the editing. I haven’t managed to edit everyday. Some days I ran out of time, or steam, and on other days I just didn’t have the motivation.

But then in amongst that there were those magical moments when everything just seemed to work and flow well. I managed to edit a lot of content, or really make some big improvements to plot, or dialogue.

The end of the month is coming to a close and I still haven’t finished with this story. There is more editing required and additional content to bring everything together. There is something that keeps bringing me back to this story and when I am immersed in it I enjoy it. I’m taking that as a good sign and a reason to commit to finishing this story.

I think in some ways NaNoWriMo can look pressurised and competitive. But if you take a small step back from the madness I have found that this month has given me something to focus on, a little encouragement when I chose to find it and the time to write…or in my case edit.

I hope for those who took part in NaNoWriMo this year you’ve all had fun with it and perhaps there are some wonderful stories out there in the making.

Mid-Week Mini: My First Inktober Completed.

Today is the last day of Inktober and I have drawn everyday this month. I am really pleased with what I have produced, that I was able to stay focused and to complete a drawing each day.

In this post I have included each drawing I completed, the good, the bad and the ugly.

My Inktober drawings.

Things I have learnt from Inktober.

I have enjoyed drawing with a Tombow brush pen. I like the line width variation from using one pen. It’s handy to just have one pen to use, rather than several drawing pens with different nib sizes. I had never considered using a brush pen to draw with but it works really well.

I restricted myself to using pen and pencil only. I didn’t want to distract myself with anything else. This has made me start venturing into line work but I really have no idea what I am doing. I have looked at a lot of other sketchers trying to see where and how they use their line work to guide my own drawings.

During this challenge I have found that I have no imagination and need to copy or follow something. Finding the time to sketch is tricky and means I am mostly drawing in the evenings. I have found Instagram and Pinterest the best tools and I have been drawing things that I find interesting. I make a note of where the drawing has come from and found this really helpful in developing my skills. Getting my perspectives right is still a major challenge and I just can't seem to wrap my head around this.

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Overall thoughts.

I am really pleased to have taken part in Inktober. I have found drawing extremely calming and a good way to keep myself occupied especially at times where I normally waste time. In some instances my daily drawings have linked back to my day and my Inktober sketchbook has almost become a mini journal. I didn't plan that but I have drawn about things I have on my mind and things I have done. As always the test now is whether I can continue to draw regularly. Every day may be tricky, but finding a balance and routine is where I need to be.

Plus I already have my next sketchbook lined up, so I need to make sure I carry it with my and sketch whenever I can.

Mid-Week Mini: Inktober Progress so far...

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In my previous post I gave a brief sketching update and committed to taking part in Inktober this year. Sketching is something I have flirted with since the beginning of this year and I haven’t really found my groove. So the hope is that Inktober will help make my drawing aspirations a routine and eventually improve my ability. Basically I just want to get better.

My initial thoughts was that I would just draw the everyday and with this I expected to draw physical things around me, but this hasn’t quite panned out that way.

The good news is I have kept to drawing each day. I have enjoyed being limited in my tools and not having distractions. I know what I am using and I just get on with it. Finding things to draw has been the challenge. My thoughts beforehand haven’t panned out because I have to want to draw a thing, there has to be a level of interest there. I have also relied on the work of others and worked towards mimicking and trying to use this as a way to better understand proportions, line work and how to get the pen to move of the page. I have lots of thoughts on this and will share more on this in a future post.

Anyway below are each of my photos with a brief description of each…in case you find that sort of additional information interesting.

Day 1.

I drew the exterior of a new cafe that opened up near me. I am always drawn to buildings but I really don’t think I am very good at drawing them. This would benefit not only from improvement but also from some colour as the exterior is a wonderful bright pink.

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Day 2.

I was in the office, around actual people, and so drew a colleague who I don’t really know very well (slightly awkward) but I just felt compelled to draw him. The other face was taken from instagram by @ojhaderashish.

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Day 3.

I drew over two pages on this day. The first was a lotus flower and the second was a train platform because I was listening to Freya Ridings album and her song Lost Without You was going round and round in my head.

Day 4.

My thoughts on this day were around my body and so I ended up doodling body parts. Sounds a little odd when you write it down. The two head images were mimicked (poorly) from @todoxerrado.

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Day 5.

I drew a few pencil sketches again of a body image, a few flowers but the main one was a chicken, again taken from someone on Instagram @drawings.s.p. The chicken is hilarious and I had a lot of fun with this one.

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Day 6.

I was rushed on day 6 and ended up drawing pylons. I’d spent a lot of time in the car and it was the first thing that came into my head. Not my best day.

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Day 7.

I like drawing little houses. Simple. I found this one through Pinterest by an artist called Chris Lee, who’s work looks wonderful.

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Day 8.

I drew my living room. I was watching TV and hadn’t found anything else to draw. Again not my best.

Day 9.

This is a sketch in progress and I did manage to do another. I found this again through Instagram (@jessicalewerin) and I found it very funny. It seemed to reflect how I was feeling.

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And so we are up to date. Today is day 10. I have no idea what I am drawing but I am sure I will find something. I hope you have enjoyed todays post. I will aim to do another in a week or so sharing the next batch of questionable drawings.

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