April just flew by for me, but it was a good month full of favorites. It was my birthday month to boot, so I got lots of fun goodies. Jeff and I are at that stage in life when we enjoy just getting some extra spending money so we can buy what we want. I don’t know what bit of camping gear he might like and he doesn’t know which antique art supply I’ll be smitten with! So, I did a little shopping for myself with some money from my used art supply sale and with my birthday money and bought an antique drafting box and a Victorian watercolor box. Those are just two of my favorite things in April…
birthday watercolor box
As I said, this was one of my favorite things in April and it’s continued to be one of my favorite things. I had acquired a Victorian-era Reeves watercolor box just after Christmas, but the interior pieces were all missing. It’s a beautiful box and I like the versatility of it, but when I spotted this box on Etsy, I knew it was special and very well priced. All of the interior compartments were intact and it came with four ceramic palettes, ceramic paint pans, a key, and the lock for the bottom drawer. It was also in beautiful condition. So, even though I wasn’t planning on purchasing another one, I knew I would regret not getting it. I let it sit in my cart for 24 hours to make sure it wasn’t an impulse buy and then I purchased it.
And, let me tell you, I am so in love with this box. Some of the joints were a little loose, so Jeff helped me glue it all up and now everything is good as new. I filled some of the ceramic paint pans with my most-used colors and filled the box with fountain pens, pencils, brushes, erasers, and rulers…
I even added ribbon to some of the components that had lost their little “handles.”
I am in and out of that box most days and I am so glad I bought it.
I have also loved the antique drafting box I purchased (also off of Etsy.) It came with beautiful brass tools and I’ve enjoyed using the ebony parallel ruler for architectural sketches, the ruling pens for some pen & ink projects, and the large brass compass for making my cyanometer. Again, I am in and out of this box and lot when I’m working in my studio and it makes me smile every time. I still need to figure out what everything does to get the most out of it. Any old-school architects out there?
sketching with Calvin
I’m going to share about this more in tomorrow’s post, but Calvin and I have been taking an online illustration class together and it has been so much fun. Not only have we been sketching together, but we’ve both been in our sketchbooks almost daily since taking the class. We need to go back and finish it, but it served its intended purpose and gave us the inspiration needed to sketch from life and imagination.
new website look
We launched the new look to my website in early April and, after several months of working on it, it’s awesome to be using it! We had a few tweaks to iron out (and there are still a few things we’re working on), but I love how it looks each time I open a page.
Well, of course, these are a favorite! I have been studying and making sketches from the Kitchin sketchbooks for about a month now and I have only just scratched the surface. These are some of my most treasured items right now and I thoroughly enjoy my time spent with them. I can’t wait to explore them even more and put some more structured ideas together for sharing these.
french art shop
One of the things I enjoy most about this online space is finding kindred spirits and I certainly found one in Hanna of The French Art shop. She introduced herself to me as a potential blog sponsor, but we’ve since become Instagram friends and are following each other with genuine interest. I have loved learning about her adventures in France along with her partner, Paul, and how they started a business from their love of vintage and antique art. It has just been a joy and a pleasure.
As a side note, I named my Belgian schoolboy Audrick after this reader’s story…
“Old soulful-looking boy in the painting. When I was growing up we had a neighbor, a wonderful, kind man from Belgian.
His name was Audrick. He was a painter too!!! He was a master craftsman and could fix anything. He believed in reusing and “making do with a little elbow grease”….as he put it. He had a son named Phillippe. When you said the boy was from Belgium I immediately thought of dear Audrick.”
Feels Like Home Reveal
Not only did I enjoy finally sharing the book name and cover of Feels Like Home with my blog and social media audience, but the response was amazing! Even though the book doesn’t come out until September, it shot to number one on Amazon in several categories on the day of the reveal. Thank you for that! I really love this book and it was so nice to see it being well-received so early in the process.
interviewing Philippa Stanton
Oh man, talking about kindred spirits, Shaunna and I had the chance to interview Philippa Stanton of @5ftinf on Instagram and author of Conscious Creativity and she was just delightful! It was such an inspiring conversation and if you need a creative pick-me-up and a smile, I suggest you put it on the next time you’re working on something or out for a walk. You can find that episode HERE.
making a cyanometer
This was one of those projects that felt completely indulgent, but I loved it! (You can find my post on it HERE.) It was so fun to make and it has proven to be a useful tool when painting and studying the sky. I do plan to make a little video tutorial showing the mixing process soon.
Those were some of my favorites in April. What were yours?