Hello August!

*UPDATE: this wreath is now available in my store here.

August is here, time to share with you a new downloadable calendar. I’m happy to say I still haven’t melted away and August brings the glimpse of autumn, so I can see a tiny bit of hope at the end of the tunnel (after all we’ve survived 2/3 of summer already). Nevertheless, there are still things to be happy about in August.

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Edith Holden provides some interesting information again. In Nature notes of an Edwardian Lady she says:

“August received its name from the Emperor Augustus. He was not born in August, but during this month his greatest good fortune happened to him: As July contained thirty-one days and August only thirty; it was thought necessary to add another day to the latter month, in order that Augustus might not be in any respect inferior to Julius.”

I still enjoy her collection of her monthly observations, here are a few related to August:

“All the tears St. Swithin can cry, St. Bartholemy’s mantle wipes them dry.”

“St. Barthalomew (August 24th) brings the cold dew.”

“If the 24th of August be fair and clear then hope for a prosperous Autumn that year.”

Things to be happy about this month:

  • endless amounts of icecream
  • FRUIT! All kinds!
  • colourful nailpolish
  • sky-gazing for shooting stars

Looks like I’m gonna have a fab August (my birthday is coming and I’ll spend a well-deserved vacation by the sea), hope you will also enjoy this last month of the summer.

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5 illustrators I follow

There are so many talented illustrators out there that often I feel very small and feel like giving up the whole thing, but there all those others, who make me want to grab my equipment and start creating right away instead. I’m now sharing a list of some of my favourite artists and why I love their work so much.

1. Oana Befort

Oana’s was the first illustrator-website where I started to keep returning. Her work is beautiful and her style is quite unique, but this is also true of some other great illustrators online. What made me come back though, were the wonderful photographs and the topic of nature and flowers. I have hardly ever seen an Instagram profile which was so well-designed and I like it that her personal photos are incorporated so that they match the style of the professional ones completely. But basically I just find her work gorgeous without much explanation.

oana_befort

 

2. Holly Exley

Holly is an English illustrator, who uses watercolors less like a painting and more like a drawing (IMHB). I “met” her on youtube and got hooked on her channel. It has been ever so exciting to watch her vlogs, see how a professional illustrator spends an average day, what tips she gives to beginners, and what her favourite art supplies are. I particularly like her attitude to illustration: she runs personal projects parallel to her paid work, for her own sake. You can see one here on the right side, it’s part of a project called Women who own it. On this collection, you can see objects related to Beatrix Potter.

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3. Ellen Lambrichts

Ellen comes from Belgium and I stumbled upon her drawings on Facebook. As I am not an expert of color pencils, I was amazed to see how extraordinary things she can produce with this tricky medium, and I think that the limited color palette is a real jolly-joker. Ellen is only starting her career, but she is already working on publishing her first picture-book. One of my favourite projects is her collection of famous writer-portraits, of which you can see one on the bottom left corner.

ellen_lambrichts

 

4. Emma Block

Although Emma sends these very girlish prints from the UK, I find that none of her pictures lacks a kind of Parisian charm. She illustrates books too (like The adventures of Miss Petitfour in the bottom right corner), but my absolute favourite is her live illustration. This means she goes to fairs, where she just sits down and captures the model on a unique portrait in no more than 15 minutes. This is a little like going on holiday and ordering your portrait in charcoal from a street-artist, except it is a lot quicker, cooler and the result is a beauty that you can take home.

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5. Zafouko Yamamoto

It is kinda hard to know much about Zafouko Yamamoto (she doesn’t tell much on her website either, except that she comes from Greece) but her pictures tell all the more. I admire these pieces a lot because I’ve never seen anything so close to real children’s drawings, yet it is perfectly clear that the artist is a professional. These pictures are a combination of hand-painted and digital work, and their atmosphere is exceptional (to my great satsifaction, they are very far from the sunny Greek stereotype).

zafouko_yamamoto

Thank you to the artists for permitting me to use their pictures.

Starry sleeping mask – DIY do’s and don’ts

sleepingmask_starry_en

You might know by now that my family and I are big fans of sleeping masks. By now I have sewn several of these practical pieces, but during the making of this latest piece I had to admit that I still haven’t learned from my mistakes: it has now become a kind of tradition that every time I sew a sleeping mask, I get two outcomes: one I screw up, the second becomes as nice as planned. So the time has come to write down all my experiences for my benefit as much as yours, so before sewing the next one I can get back here and read through, instead of wasting time and material on a failed attempt.

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