Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Octopus Retrospective

Someone suggested I should make a big tentacled Celtic thing for cross stitch. I couldn't agree more.  I've always had a thing for tentacles.  Looking back, I realize I've inked a number of octopi and but have only one small cross stitch with that theme (yet!).  Bring on the cephalopods!

My most recent octo drawing. 

This little painting got printed into cards available on Etsy.

Quick sketch - important to get that caffeine.

From the Celtic Beasties - Halloween of Knot chart
Mostly Off Topic: So, has anyone else seen the #6 Dungeon expansion pack for the Munchkin card game? There is one called the Dungeon of Manga Wrangling, where monsters with tentacles get an extra +5 against females. We do get extra treasure, though, when we kick their butts. :-)

Edited to add: Totally forgot about my very first Ink Circles pattern - Sea Stars.  Big ol' octopus front and center...
And it wasn't much later that I made "Octopus's Garden"...

Apparently I have more of an octopus thing going on than I had originally realized! ;-)

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Equal Opportunity

My last post was about some awesome black-ish pens I scored at Staples. I do not wish to imply that I find any one color superior over others, so this post gives a proper shout-out for some wonderful white ink.  Not to be confused with White-Out (correction fluid,) white ink is meant for drawing on colored paper, or adding  back in highlights on black (waterproof) ink.

Mandala drawn with white ink
After finding those BLX pens, I did a little research and found that they came in multiple point sizes, and of course then needed to order some.  Jet Pens had happened to mention them in their current email newsletter, so that was my first stop. From that point, it was only a question of what ELSE to add to my cart to hit the magic "free shipping" threshold. I found this bottle of Kaimei Manga white ink would be perfect. Thank you Jet Pens for the speedy service. Your package arrived just prior to our power going out for a few hours this afternoon. Perfect timing, as I had needed the break from the computer that a bit of painting would provide.

As the reviews indicated, the ink has a bit of a foaming issue, but that can be dealt with. I used a brush and the ink straight out of the bottle to draw this mandala.  The most interesting thing about applying the ink on colored paper was the ink's initial look being watery and not covering well.  It turns out though, as it dried it whitened up to a pleasant level.  The drying time was quick enough that I didn't have any smudging problems as I worked my way around painting each round of petals.  Overall - loved it, and will need to be doing more of this sort of thing.

Thursday, April 4, 2013


And the best new toy in the office today...Uni-ball BLX pens. I found these at Staples yesterday. They are the coolest colors, as advertised they are colors "infused" into black ink. They remind me of the custom colors I blend up for my fountain pens.

You might think that the brand new computer I just bought would be the cool new thing, but it is currently the symbol of all pain.  My laptop died a hard death, having celebrated only its second birthday. It's eventually going to be getting a new motherboard, but I decided I didn't want to be out of commission for as long as it would take to get that turned around. Seems we always need a backup laptop anyway.

Let's just say I'm not in a very good mood right now. Windows 8 is the suckiest interface I've ever seen. I can only hope that it grows on me. I've had the lovely task of attempting to install all of my various software programs and recover data. I'm far from being fully functional, but at least I can write down notes about which drivers failed and such using the coolest new ink colors.