Tag Archives: Animals

Happy Egg Hunting Day!

Happy Easter everyone!

happy easter

We had an early Easter gift yesterday when my mum and step-dad came over wielding an arsenal of garden tools to help us tackle our jungle of a garden!

The boyf pointed out we should have taken a before picture, as it was truly a huge mess, but now we have proper borders, healthy plants, a tidy little lawn and cute hedge ball things! Weeds have been scared away, wild honeysuckle has been tamed and we actually used our outdoors tap for the first time (turns out it wasn’t covered in as many spider webs as we thought)!

garden

So although it isn’t quite egg-hunt ready yet, by summer it will be the perfect sunbathing and barbecuing spot!

I hope you all have a day filled with egg hunting, chocolate and bunnies 🙂 and I’ll leave you with this little close up as he’s just so cute!

x

happy easter crop

Working from home – I could get used to this!

This month, I’ve had a lot of days working from home, which I absolutely love! No more 3 hour daily commute, no more 6am starts and no more worrying about bad hair days – what more could I want!

To help me to try to concentrate and get into work-mode while I’m at home, I’m trying to turn part of the spare room into a little office space with a cute little desk and some pretty art prints on the wall – I know, I’m a walking Pinterest cliche!

I’ve started my collection by treating myself to the most amazing Audrey Hepburn sketch by Ileana Hunter, its so gorgeous and Ileana’s based in Norwich, so I’m loving supporting a local artist! I’m looking forward to growing my collection, so let me know if you see any great illustrations, art or sketches I could add on my wall.

In the meantime, I’m trying a few different things in my sketchbook as I’d love to add a few of my own illustrations to the wall! Firstly, is Hoot my purpley little owl, isn’t he cute?!

hoot

I’ve also been doing some more ladies, such as the below, who’s based on a Ginger Rogers pose.

ginger

And the below, which I still need to finish!

leaning

I’ve also been trying to think of some more postcard ideas based on the broads, and I thought, what better to focus on than my favourite place on the broads.

I love this house, so I wanted to give it warm, bold colours and lots of life by trying a different style using ink outlines and painting wet on wet. It feels warm and sunny, but it’s not quite how I expected! I think it just needs a few more attempts, then I’ll get there.

rainbows end

So after nearly a month of working from home, I’m going to Geneva on Saturday for just over two weeks for work. I can’t remember the last time I went away for longer than a week, so I am not looking forward to packing… which I was meant to have started today…

Two weeks of smart client-safe clothes… eek! I’m going to have to empty the wardrobe and do a mega trying-on session this evening, and even worse, I’ve already heard that it’s super cold onsite from some of the crew already out there. Snuggly socks and a woolly hat are apparently a must have, which I’m sure will look great with my work dresses!

Then hopefully, when I’m back home with my puss cats and the boyf, Spring will finally be on its way here!

x

spring bear

A new year, a new approach to blogging

Last year I tried a 52 week challenge, blogging weekly about what I’d been up to – it was hard! It turns out that illustrations of me binge-watching Supernatural are both uninteresting and hard to draw, leading me to quietly give up around week 18.

I realised that I blog to share my illustrations (contact me if you like what you see and you want one of your own!), to connect with people that I don’t see regularly (hello long distance friends and family) and hopefully to connect with new people.

This year, I’m going to post monthly, around the last Wednesday of every month, sharing a bit more about myself and multiple illustrations and use my facebook page and instagram for smaller updates throughout the month. So, here we go…

Now that Christmas is a distant memory, I can share one of the illustrations I did as a present for my friend to give to her niece.

jan ella

This is the fifth name illustration I’ve done and it’s one of my favourites, just because of the cute toadstools! I love doing these name illustrations, I remember getting one from one of my mum’s friends when I was younger and it felt so special that it had my name on.

I’ve been drawing quite a few little animal illustrations over the last few months, although I’m not entirely sure what to do with them! I drew one the other week, inspired by the Roald Dahl Esio Trot film on the tv over Christmas.

jan tortoise

I hope you had the chance to see it (maybe it’s still on catch up?), it was such a lovely film! I watched it snuggled up on the sofa with the kittens (the boyf was at football) and it was one of those films that give you a warm happy feeling inside! I’m hoping that in true BBC fashion, they’ll have it on tv again next Christmas!

Over the last few months I’ve been trying to create a selection of post cards based on the Norfolk Broads and I have been hit with the most unhelpful painters block (I’m sure that’s totally a thing) and aIl I’ve managed to do so far is a little illustration of the cutest door stop I’ve ever seen.

jan duck

And as lovable as this little duck doorstop is, I’m not really sure what I can do with him (it’s wearing a bow tie thing, so obvs a boy) to make a postcard?! Every so often I sit down with my pencils and paints and try again to create something I can use for these postcards and more often than not, the page stays blank and I get extra wrinkles from frowning at the sketchbook.

If anyone has any ideas on solving painters block or what I can do with my duck, please get in touch!

As I’ve been focusing on Christmas requests, non-successful postcards and little animals in general, I seem to have drifted away from the girly illustrations that filled my first few sketchbooks when I got back into painting.

jan bench

They haven’t disappeared completely, but they are definitely less frequent in my latest sketchbooks. Perhaps I’m going through a small animal phase? or perhaps I’ve run out of interesting girls to sketch?

So this has been rather a long post, thank you if you made it this far! I promise they won’t always be quite so ramble-y once I get back into the swing of things!

I would love to hear what you think on my illustrations, cures for painters block, and on the new monthly plan, so please get in touch on my facebook page (comments sections on the blog attract way too much spam!).

To celebrate a new year and new blog approach, I’d like to leave you with my final illustration: party sheep.

x

jan sheep

ps. apologies if there are any typos, I’ve been dancing to the new Fall Out Boy album as I type 🙂

8 weeks old tomorrow!

After starting to worry slightly that we were going to end up with 5 adorable puss cats on a permanent basis, today we finally confirmed the new homes for two of our little kittens…

Now I’m really sad that we aren’t going to end up with 5 adorable puss cats on a permanent basis.

I had it all planned out, this was the perfect excuse to buy a gorgeous farmhouse deep in the countryside, private woodland and stream optional but preferred. Then we could get a couple of dogs, possibly huskey-esque, some fat fluffy chickens and maybe even a little piglet. I would, of course, expect squirrels in my woodland and perhaps a couple of ducks in my stream, but that might take time.

So now it’s back to reality with a bump, much to our bank accounts’ relief, and we only have two more weeks of a crazy kitten filled home (with no private woodland or stream), then we’ll need to get used to just having 1 degu, 1 big kitten and 2 not-so-little kittens – I can’t imagine I need to worry about having a quiet house again for quite a while!

So here’s a look at them today, the day before they reach 8 weeks old:

4kittens

The top two are the two leaving us, aren’t they just the cutest! Lucky new owners! Top left is Tom, she’s a big purr-er and likes lots of strokes, top right is Ghost, she is a soppy snuggly kitten except for when she’s chasing jingly balls.

We are keeping the bottom two, who are also super cutie pies! Bottom left is Loki, he’s rather mischievous and loves his dreamies, bottom right is Bitey, we can’t quite seem to decide on a proper name for her (we are open to suggestions!) as one minute she’s a feisty hunter, the next she’s snuggled next to us on the sofa!

We’re so lucky to have had these gorgeous puss cats with us for the last 8ish weeks and we’re going to be so sad to see Tom and Ghost go to new homes. Maybe when I get my farmhouse we can get some more lovely kittens…

x

 

Indie and Meeko

With all of my excitement around the kittens, it could be easy to forget that the first little arrivals to our household were two adorable little degus, that we got exactly 2 years ago tomorrow.

I was at the Reading Festival with my bestie, it was so much fun, seeing the Cure, Foo Fighters, GreenDay, Paramore and dozens of other brilliant bands.

In the months leading up to this, me and the Boyf had been making regular trips to the pet shop on days off just to have a look at the fluffy little animals hopping and jumping around their cages, but always deciding it wouldn’t be a good idea to get pets while we were renting our little flat.

But on the way home, travelling through central London after 4 days without showering, I got a text from the Boyf: there was a surprise waiting for me at home! My imagination immediately went to the adorable little creatures we’d seen at the pet shop, but I knew he was far too sensible to have got some pets while we were still in the flat, so I didn’t get my hopes up.

The Boyf met me at the station and walked me home, with a good couple of metres between us because of my general unwashed state! As we came out of the lift, I was getting pretty excited, he hadn’t let anything slip.

As we came in the door I casually rushed into the living room, and straight in front of me was a huge metal cage and two of the cutest little things ever bouncing from shelf to shelf. It turned out cute totally won over sensible!

We named Indie first, it was an easy choice, he was an adventurer, always the first out of the cage and exploring his surroundings. Meeko was always a little more interested in the treats on offer, just like the Disney raccoon.

That was August Bank Holiday 2012, now 2 years later, my two adorable degus have become just 1 adorable degu.

Degus are amazing little animals, filled with personality and energy. They come to the cage door to greet you, they argue which way to run round the wheel, they rearrange the cage if things aren’t quite how they like it, they go crazy for nuts (they prefer monkey nuts to cashews), they love tackling the stairs and hiding amongst cables, they aren’t scared of cats, they get annoyed if you don’t let go of the nut, they like sitting in hoods and big pockets and they snuggle up together to go to sleep.

Now there’ll just be one in the cage, our little adventurer and resident escape artist isn’t with us anymore. So we’re going to have to give Meeko extra nuts and get him out for extra cuddles and stair runs, to make sure he doesn’t feel alone. I just hope he doesn’t get cold at night now he’s on his own.

x

degus

Photos to make you go awwww

The whole point of this post is just to make you go awww, and possibly, make you all a little jealous of my beautiful little kittens.

I know I did a series of posts focused on different ideas of happiness, but I think I’ve found the true root of happiness, and it comes in the form of adorable bundles of mini cats with wide blue eyes, pointy little tails and chubby tummies and legs.

I won’t hold you in suspense for too long, I’m just not that cruel. So without further ado, some awwwww-inducing photos, one from the day after they were born and a couple from this week – look how they’ve grown!

kittens 3wks

Look at their little faces!

So for me, this week everything is just coming up kittens, even in my sketchbook!

kitten sketch

Right, well I’d better go save the kittens from launching themselves off the sofa 🙂

Hope you’ve all had a great, if wet, bank holiday!

x

Busy little worker bee

For the last couple of weeks I’ve struggled to find time to post; work has been busier, I’ve been spending more time with the family and of course, the kittens!

So, I definitely think I can be forgiven for my lack of posts – who wouldn’t want to spend their evenings snuggling, cuddling and playing with tiny little kittens?! They are two weeks old today, Happy Birthday Kittens, and they are more fun everyday!

They’ve all got their eyes open now and they are so close to being able to walk properly, although they still drag themselves along on their bellies, with their little legs kicking out behind them – its the most adorable thing ever and I’m having to hold myself back from posting every photo and video I take – this kind of cuteness needs to be shared!

kittens 2 wks copy

Who can resist this much adorable-ness?

So when I’m not following my kittens around with my camera phone, then I’m at work and every day seems to be getting busier and busier! This project is throwing up all kinds of curveballs!

So while I’m at work being super busy and efficient and important (of course), then I’d like you to imagine that I look the part too, so hopefully, something a bit like this:

work wardrobe 2

I would love an acid green bag and shiny blue shoes! However, if you read my previous post on my dream work wardrobe  then you’ll know you are far more likely to find me in jeans, boots and a jumper… One day I’ll have lots of lovely work clothes!

So that’s me set for this week – snuggling with wiggly kittens and dreaming of a classier work wardrobe… oh well, at least it meant I was wearing flats for my walk from the station seeing as I accidentally took the boyf’s keys with me to London today – oops!

I hope your week is also filled with kittens!

x

New arrivals

This week we welcomed 4 adorable new arrivals to our home!

After weeks of watching the kitten (or should that be cat now?) get bigger and bigger and more and more uncomfortable, in the wee hours of Wednesday morning, the mini kittens finally arrived!

I was so excited! I still am now 🙂

It’s so typical that she waited until we were back at work to have the kittens, if it wasn’t so busy at work, I’d’ve tried to work from home!

So every evening so far has been spent watching the mini kittens, as they scrabble around in their box and this weekend I thought I’d see whether I could capture their cuteness in pencil… turns out, the wriggling is not helpful and tiny kittens look a lot like hamsters…

kitten sketches

These were a few practice sketches (you can see where they moved before I got a chance to finish the sketch!) and below is the final inked version.

kittens inkCats and kittens are hard to draw, but I’m super pleased that have weeks and weeks ahead of me to keep practicing!

Hope you’re having a great weekend.

x

 

 

Happiness is… pt 5

This happiness is one I think we all share; being snuggled with a loved one!

Trying to decide how best to illustrate this was hard – I couldn’t choose which loved one I enjoy snuggling with most. That would not encourage happiness at all (especially if I ended up choosing a grumbly little kitten)!

So I only saw one solution, try to find the perfect moment that embodies the content, safe, warm and fuzzy feeling you get when snuggling, and I think I found it…

sea otters

Sea otters!

The snuggly-ist, most adorable things out there! With their hand holding to stop them from floating away, their lounging on their backs with their little ones snuggled in, their cute little noses and fluffy flippery feeties!

They are snuggle happiness personified!

As you can tell, I’ve been experimenting with inks recently so I wanted to try something different for this happiness is, but unfortunately I’m not so sure it was a success! Oh well, you live and learn and I’m sure they would forgive me!

This is the fifth in my happiness is series, to view the previous ones visit here, here, here and here!

x

 

Week 14 – Jungle garden

We’re now at the start of April and we’ve been in our new little house for two whole months now. Time has gone so quickly!

It feels like so long has passed since we were in the little flat. I can’t imagine trying to squeeze all our things in that living room, or not having our little garden for the cat to explore.

Although, neither me nor the boyf are particularly green fingered… which inspired this weeks illustration:

garden kitten

Kitten has really enjoyed trekking through our jungle-like garden, tracking down bugs and bees and pouncing on blossom and leaves that roll along the grass. She’s also discovered a few gaps in the fence to try to squeeze through, but any people or cars passing by quickly sends her darting back into the garden!

Fingers crossed we get another warm, sunny day to tackle the garden before we lose her completely in the grass!

x