Studio Tour, Part II

The last post was the big picture, this post will be showing the smaller parts. I always enjoy getting a peak at how people work and what they use. When I was deep in finishing the illustrations for and publishing my book this room was a disaster!  Just know that it happens to everyone. If you want to know how I teach full-time, raise 2 kids and still keep House I’ll gladly tell you! I have been flying off and on with Fly Lady and her book “Sink Reflections” since 2005. I set my timer and get it done! Even housework done incorrectly still blesses my family! Her book is the best!

Here we go! We will start at the art table:

My golden, Abbey, got in this photo but she is a staple in my studio!

I bought this table in 2006 with money I earned doing illustrations for a Preservation book for a City committee. The work was incredibly demanding. I drew 10+ hours a day for a month. I had a lot of money left over too, which  I saved.  The table has one more leaf (one is in the table now from when I was working on the book) and two more side chairs (one is in our room one is in Ds’s room with our Hey-Wake beds).

My 2011 MacBook, a stack of old Moleskine sketchbook journals and a pair of Sony Sports speakers for the laptop. On top of the journals is one of my inspirations- “The Tale of Peter Rabbit” by Beatrix Potter.

My favorite thing about my MacBook is the magnetic power cord. Little ones run into cords and pull things off tables. We had a laptop destroyed this way. The magnet just pops off and the laptop with all my precious family pics stays safe!

I will do a separate post all about Beatrix Potter.

Art supplies! Squee!

From the left is my Winsor & Newton Artists’ watercolor field box. This little box was a total game changer for me. Our old house was so small there was no place for a studio, or even room to lay out a normal watercolor palette. I didn’t paint for years and years, just drew and raised my babies. When I found this box my art life came back! (I had also never painted with artist quality watercolor despite having an art degree and watercolor was my specialty!)

The brushes that have black handles are travel brushes- da Vinci Kolinsky sables 1503s. I have a 1, 4, and a 6. I carry my art supplies everywhere and the ends of these brushes become the lids to protect them in my bag. Brilliant! I’ve bought so many brushes over the years and worn them out! I try to buy sable brushes now because they perform and last.  If you wait you can get them on sale. Dick Blick has great coupons as well!

Moving on to the cups. The cup with the pencils and pens is a Brambly Hedge Autumn mug that broke so I glued it. Yep, reusing! Inside is the longest white pen- my Lamy Joy with an extra fine nib filled with DeAtramentis document ink in brown. I think this is Liz Steel’s setup, except she uses black.  The ink is amazing.  It’s permanent but doesn’t clog and flows beautifully.  It has amazing powers.  It got my smallest rapidograph 3×0 / .25 working again when I had tried everything and given it up for dead!  AND IT DOESN’T CLOG!  See, I told you- superpowers.  Buy this ink, you will thank me.

Moving on, the red brushes are what Susan Branch uses- Winsor & Newton University series 233, size 1. Tiny. Good. Wears out fast. That’s ok. The silver fountain pen is a Cross with a fine nib and my fav ink (see above cause I’m not good at spelling it!). My Daddy gave this to me when I graduated high school.  It’s a very special and magical pen that wrote every art history essay test in college (4 semesters worth!) and I got all A’s!  Also very special because my Dad is no longer with us.  The pencils are Bic Matic Grip mechanical in lead size 0.5. I have never found a pencil I liked better and have been using these in some form or another for over 20 years! I love to draw and I love drawing with these! Perfect and simple.

The other cup is a Wedgwood Peter Rabbit cup that got broken and I glued it (are you seeing a theme?). The handle was damaged so it still holds water. I use it as my water cup. I also have a 1/2 gallon orange Tupperware pitcher that I use for water.

Last are my colored pencils. The ones in the bag are my favorite Prismacolors including the discontinued 😡 Deco Aqua.  That is my favorite color in the whole world.  I have a big set of Prismas that my Mom gave me for graduation ( yay Mom!) but they live by my bed.  The pencils in the pink box are  Caran d’Ache Supracolors II, set of 40 that I’ve been trying because they are water soluble.  Next to them is a Prisma sharpener.  Oh, and a pin of Pusheen eating ramen.  The pink tin box I’ve had since 5th grade.  Our mall used to have a Sanrio store in it. It was heaven for 10 year old me.  I got the pencil box there.  The front has 2 hearts on it.  I put the folded Kleenex on both ends to protect my pencils while traveling.

Moral support.

On the left of the computer are some good things.  I have a cup of tea every morning and my favorite cup is a 1990s Wedgwood Peter Rabbit full size teacup and saucer.  Beatrix Potter is a huge inspiration to me and this cup is elegant.  If you have to have tea why not have it in something special? Making everyday things special fills your soul with happiness!   My two mouse friends are a Steiff mouse that is quite worn, but a sort of mascot, and a Beswick  Tailor of Gloucester mouse from Beatrix Potter’s third book.  Make it fun to get it done!

The two aqua jardiniers are McCoy and they are my favorite color.  They used to live on top of the mantle in my bedroom, but I like them here too.


The daybed is sometimes used by my kids when they are lonely. The sheets are vintage Hanae Mori. The Amy Coe lamp and the mosquito net came out of my babies nurseries, now long gone.  I would have loved to have had another baby especially when we moved here.  I wanted this room to be a nursery too, but I couldn’t have another baby.  It was hard to live with for a long time, but we are in a good place now.

The table is a TV tray thing from Walmart and the Tigger is by Gabrielle designs in England.  I don’t remember where the throw pillows came from.  They sort of migrated here naturally from another room.

On to part 3!

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