In which Eefje gushes about an author in a slightly creepy way

You know how sometimes, you read a book and fall entirely in love with it? I had that happen with an unexpected book recently, Moranthology by Caitlin Moran. It’s a collection of her columns, and I just LOVE IT SO MUCH. I have had How to be a Woman on my to read list for a while when I found the Dutch translation of Moranthology in the take-if-you-like-it pile at work. I figured, hey I’ve been wanting to read something by this author and it’s free, even if I would have prefered to read it in English.

And it is just a book that matches me entirely. Caitlin Moran is one of the few people who I can now add to the list of ‘people who I want to be when I grow up’. (The list includes Neil Gaiman and my Nana.) Her writing style, her way of looking at life, the universe and everything, her feeling about hairstyles and hanging out with awesome musicians. Her feminism, her great love for Doctor Who and Sherlock and the way she makes fun of Downton Abbey. All of it. I may be vaguely creepy in my love for this woman I have never met but I aboslutely adore her. I am a part of the Caitlin Moran fandom now and it is glorious.

I also want to mention the translator, Petra C. van der Eerden, who did an excellent job on the Dutch edition. Moran’s voice come through loud and clear and there wasn’t a moment where I felt like I could ‘see’ the English behind the phrases (something that always makes me want to read the actual English edition and is often the mark of a not-so-good translator), not even in the column about Sherlock in which quotes from the show are mentioned. I do instantly remember the actual English dialogue obviously, but in no way did that disturb my reading-enjoyment.

I can’t wait to read Moran’s (I keep wanting to call her Cate, which she mentions in the book is the name people who actually know her call her) other books, How to be a Woman and How to Build a Girl. I am going to enjoy ferociously consuming anything she puts out in the world.

This is the Goodreads page for Moranthology, and here is Caitlin Moran’s twitter.

In which more commute drawings are imaginary polaroids

Sunday: Today I am a sculptor. Working on high lights! Funnily enough two people instantly replied with the words “Don’t Blink!”, one on twitter and one of facebook. Yay for Doctor Who references.

No drawing for Monday because I was in a super full train. I did have a place to sit, but taking out my art supplies for a drawing felt like it would get in the way of others.

Tuesday: A star tattoo. Of course I only realised the thumbnail should be facing forward with this pose when I was just about finished. Oh well, this is how I learn. And I really should watch my own hands more.

Wednesday: Hair closeup imaginary polaroid. Watercolour pencils in my Moleskine sketchbook. I only have a few pages left and then I’m starting a new sketchbook. I got a travel journal by hahnemuehle, I hope I’ll like the paper! The lady in the shop let me try out some water colour pencils and a copic marker on a test sketchbook. I like the structure of the paper for pencil drawings and water colour pencils, for copic markers it will suck up a bit more ink than I would like, but I can still use them. I’m currently really focused on the drawing and erasing and using water colours, so that was the most important factor to consider.

Thursday: Were you the kid that drew on the walls? I wasn’t as far as I know. So here I am drawing on imaginary walls! This #commutedrawing fills up the last page in my Moleskine sketchbook, next week will be the start of the new one. I’m curious to see how the different paper will feel once I’m actually working on it every day.

It’s a little crazy how fast I went through my sketchbook once I started this commute drawing project. Before that it had lasted me for years. I used a different sketchpad for my daily drawings last year (which I kept up for a month), because they were practice sketches from an instruction book. My sketchbook generally holds more completed drawings and paintings. I like how I’ve found a nice middle ground with the imaginary polaroids and other drawings I’ve made in this project.

#commutedrawing week 6
#commutedrawing week 5
#commutedrawing week 4
#commutedrawing week 3
#commutedrawing week 2
#commutedrawing week 1

When I drew every day for a month last year

In which you gets to see the imaginary polaroids I drew this week

New commute drawings from the last week:

Sunday: Fantasical landscape imaginary polaroid. I really should collect more reference material if I want to draw animals. Of course, when I’m in the train I wouldn’t get to consult them, but I could when at home. The more often you draw a thing, the better you get at it. This time I drew the frame with a ruler, unlike with earlier polaroid drawings. I’m figuring out the best way to improve on this format, so now I’ve got a cheapy ruler in my bag. It’s a little large, so if I can find a smaller one that’s easier to use I’ll get that one. (Bonus if it’s cute and pink!)

Monday: A pair of glasses on a table. They are such a vital part of being able to do what I do.

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Perspective, it matters. Todays #commutedrawing is an imaginary polaroid of a Dutch bicycle path. This morning when my bus was about to leave, a guy on a scooter came to yell and threaten the bus driver for some issue that happened before I got on the bus. Regardless who was right, what is it about dudes like that that they feel entitled to rage at people? Why do they think that's okay? And it's almost always dudes, you will barely ever see a woman road rage at people, we're taught to not respond aggressively and to not bother strangers with our anger. Maybe we should all start teaching our sons how to deal constructively with anger, lest they become the road rage idiots of tomorrow. Find a happy medium between what we teach boys and what we teach girls. Watercolour pencils in my Moleskine sketchbook.

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Tuesday: Perspective, it matters. An imaginary polaroid of a Dutch bicycle path. Tuesday morning when my bus was about to leave, a guy on a scooter came to yell and threaten the bus driver for some issue that happened before I got on the bus. Regardless who was right, what is it about dudes like that that they feel entitled to rage at people? Why do they think that’s okay? And it’s almost always dudes, you will barely ever see a woman road rage at people, we’re taught to not respond aggressively and to not bother strangers with our anger. Maybe we should all start teaching our sons how to deal constructively with anger, lest they become the road rage idiots of tomorrow. Find a happy medium between what we teach boys and what we teach girls.

Wednesday: I had to stand in the train because it was really full. No drawing!

Thursday: An imaginary polaroid of a lady with a large fashionable hat. I want a large fashionable hat.

I’m having trouble with trying to work in good high lights. This has always been a bit of an issue with me when using water colour pencils, but I find that the smaller scale I use for the imaginary polaroids really puts that problem in focus. It’s a lot harder to keep a small light area light when going over everything with my water brush. A solution would be to use a little white guache paint and add in high lights last, but I don’t see myself doing that while in the train. I would need a regular brush, a container of water and an actual tube of paint! That is all way to impractical to do on my commute. I could see if a white gel pen would work, but I’d rather learn with what I’ve got. I need to practice not washing out high lights and to not fill up everything so heavily.

#commutedrawing week 5
#commutedrawing week 4
#commutedrawing week 3
#commutedrawing week 2
#commutedrawing week 1

I try to be a fun aunt

Blanket

On February 14th my newest nephew was born (yes, on Valentines day). As a gift I crocheted a blanket for his crib which you can see a piece of above. I am so amazed by newborn babies, that such little creatures are fully realised humans with all the same organs and limbs as me. With the same biological processes and the same instincts (I also cry when I puke, it sucks).

So now my second brother is a father too, and our family grows larger. I try to be a fun aunt, one who can be trusted like an adult but who also gets that playtime is fun and that kids ask questions about the world because they want to learn how it works. My oldest nephew is like that, he ask about everything and he talks and talks and talks. It can be tiring, but I also love that he is that way.

Watching

When the carnival came around again I spend the day with my oldest brother and his family. We watched the carnivals parade in Prinsenbeek, which is a parade with children groups in it and now that the boys are in school they meet classmates who are in the parade or watching as well. And in the afternoon I took the boys to go see the Lego Movie. We had to rush because we were a bit late (my lovely sister-in-law drove us to the theatre and picked us up again afterwards, I think she spend the entire day driving us from and too places since she also brought me to the train station at the end of the day) but we managed to get there right when the previews started.

I love legos, and so do the boys. (My niece is still a little young for them, and she is a really cute girly-girl who loves nail polish and already picks out her own outfits. But I will get her some legos when she gets old enough. 🙂 ) So when I heard that the Lego Movie was really good it seemed like a fun thing to share with my nephews. It was awesome. I had bought them both popcorn and the oldest asked me if I “was her” when the girl lego (Wyldstyle) first appeared. He himself was Superman. He had spend most of the day telling me about the bits he had seen in the trailer beforehand. The youngest was just really quiet and impressed with everything he saw.

I like being a fun aunt. I like that they comment on the colour of my hair every time they see me, and that I get to explain that I’m going to get a tattoo in June and that it’s like a picture on your skin that grown ups can get. (My nephews headcanon is that tattoos keep hurting for children and that’s why they are for a adults. This is not something I told him, but how he explained away that I said you need to be 18 to go get one.) And while I might never become a parent myself, I love that I have kids in my life who can rely on me and to who I am important. I am an aunt, and I am good at being one.

The parade:

Boefjes

botsauto

More photos from the parade below the fold!
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