International Fake Journal Month Life in general People Sketchbook Pages

Janas (Fake) Journal: A Spell to Get Lean

Spell to Get Lean, gel pens & colored pencils
Spell to Get Lean, gel pens & colored pencils

Yes, sometimes it does seem like magic spells and the ability to decode hieroglyphics are required when trying to calculate how to lose weight and get lean. This spell worked: it caused a definite lean but not the right kind.  That’s why it’s important to be specific when designing spells, intentions or wishes.

Be Careful What You Wish For (funny but true!)

Years ago a friend told me that she’d found her husband by writing a detailed description of the right man and the universe brought her exactly what she asked for. She encouraged me to give it a try. I played along, half-jokingly jotting down what I was looking for in a guy: tall, dark and handsome; interested in art; works  in the mental health field (as I did then); physically fit, and likes kids (I was a recently divorced single mom).

The next day my sister called me (with no knowledge of my list) and said she had a friend from her gym she thought I should meet. He was a single dad who worked at a mental hospital; a tall, handsome, African-American guy. (By tall, dark and handsome I’d been picturing George Clooney, but this was OK too).

The three of us met at a pub. Art was basketball-player tall and fit though too ostentatiously dressed for my taste (my sister had only seen him in sweats) but that wasn’t the deal-breaker. The deal breaker was that he endlessly talked about himself, on and on and on all evening. Art seemed to have no interest in anything or anyone but himself.

Afterward, I marveled to my sister how he had all the qualities on that list I’d made except being interested in art. Then we looked at each other and cracked up! His name was Art and was he ever interested in Art!

Bookbinding Drawing Flower Art Ink and watercolor wash Life in general Sketchbook Pages

Having a Weird Day, Broken Things

Broken faucet filter, ink & watercolor
Broken Pur faucet filter, ink & watercolor

I went to my dance class early this morning but burglars had broken into the studio in the wee hours and stolen the sound equipment and the computer. The teacher tried to switch to a Stretch/Strengthen class since it’s hard to dance without music but the police told us we had to leave.

So I came home to work, determined to get in a lunch-time walk in the sun (it’s spring at last!). But there was more weirdness. In between web-based staff meetings and conference calls I finalized a fancy email newsletter for the organization and sent it out to 2,000 people. Half an hour later I learned that an important link in the newsletter was broken. I learned more than I ever wanted to know about sub-domains and URLs, fixed the link, and sent it out again. So far no complaints. But no walk, either.

Yesterday was weird too. I was determined to finish binding two new journals that I’d started on Sunday, one for general use and one for next month’s International Fake Journal Month. While it wasn’t as hard as the first binding experience, I broke the “measure twice, cut once” rule (measuring only once and so having to cut twice, wasting good binder board and end papers), and ran into a couple of other problems.

Meanwhile outside the sun was shining, the best weather in months, and I was sad that I was spending it indoors. Finally I finished the journal binding and went outside. This little plant (don’t know what it is; got it as a gift for my birthday last year and stuck it in the garden) was flowering and looked happy so I sat on the sidewalk in front of my house and quickly sketched and painted a bit of it as the sun went down.

Front yard flowers, ink & watercolor
Front yard flowers, ink & watercolor

The water filter at the top of the post is another broken thing. It used to live on the faucet in the studio sink but it snapped off one day and I couldn’t put it back on. Procter and Gamble (who make PUR filters) sent me a bunch of adapters but none would stay on the threads of the spout. I called my local hardware store and they told me that I was probably out of luck.

They said if I tried to just replace the spout it was likely that other parts would get broken in the process. And since modern faucets mount on the sink, not in tile on the wall like mine, I would probably have to rip out the wall, and the old sink, and replumb the faucet, and buy a new faucet. And then I would be broke. So I’ll just continue carrying in fresh water from the filter in the kitchen, 40 feet away.

Flower Art Life in general People Sketchbook Pages Subway drawings Watercolor

Innocent Vixens

First Camellia of Spring; watercolor, painted directly without drawing first
First Camellia of Spring, Watercolor

Yesterday’s rainy-day post was a bit dreary so I wanted to post something bright and cheery today. When the first camellia on the bush bloomed I painted her directly in watercolor, without drawing in pencil or pen first. This little vase looks as intended; it is nearly flat in really life, probably intentionally squished by the potter, with just a sort of slot in the top.

I think this sketch makes good use of the watercolor paper in “The Mutt” (the name I’ve stenciled on the outside of the sketchbook I bound with watercolor paper.) I named it that because it’s a little homely and imperfect but still perfectly lovable.

Innocent Vixens, the full page
The full page

Here is the page where the above sketch resides. I like to make good use of my sketchbook pages. Lately I’ve been grateful for messed up sketches because they become pages that I use for journaling right over the bad sketch. More about that in another post.

Innocent Vixens(?), BART riders, sepia pen
Innocent Vixens, BART riders, sepia pen

And if you were wondering about the post title “Innocent Vixens,” it was from something I heard on the radio. Someone said “innocent victims” and for some reason my mind wandered to “innocent vixens.” It seemed like a concept that might be fun to sketch someday and I wanted to remember it, so into the journal it went, above these innocent (though a bit dorky) BART subway rider guys.

Cartoon art Definitions Illustration Ink and watercolor wash Life in general Sketchbook Pages

Word Play: Hubris Meets Hirsute; Labial goes Labile

Hubris, Hirsuit: Excess Pride, Excess Hair, ink & watercolor, 7x6"
Hubris Meets Hirsute, ink & watercolor, 7x6"

Lying on the table, stuck full of needles in a room painted soft peach, with monks softly chanting in the background, my mind wandered to the acupuncturist’s use of the word “labile” in our pre-treatment conversation and the realization that labile and labial were not the same word. While the needles worked (or didn’t) their magic,  I pondered two other odd words I like to ponder: Hirsute and Hubris.

I’d finally looked those two up in the dictionary a few years ago. Hirsute, which  so perfectly sounds like “Hair Suit;” is defined as “excessive hair.” While the definition of Hubris is “excessive pride,” Hubris always makes me picture ancient Egyptian gods and hieroglyphics. Maybe a Horus/Osiris/Hubris connection?

As soon as I got home I grabbed my sketchbook and introduced the two (above). Then I looked up Labile and Labial to see which was the right word when describing fluctuating energy level or emotions.

Labile Labial, ink & watercolor
Labial Goes Labile, ink & watercolor

I was delighted to discover that Labial refers to Lips while Labile refers to Slips! (see the actual definition below).

Definition of Labile

Labile: Unstable, unsteady, not fixed. Labile comes from the Latin labilis, meaning liable to slip.

Definition of Labial

Labial: Pertaining to the lip. A sound requiring the participation of one or both lips is a labial (labium in Latin means lip) sound or, simply, a labial. All labials are consonants.

The word “lip” can be traced back to the Indo-European “leb” which also produced the Latin “labium” from which came the French “levre.” The German “lippe” is just a slip from the English “lip.”

I love words just as much as I love pictures!