For the last five weeks I’ve been heading to Jennie Maizels‘ studio for Sketchbook Club. Each week Jennie leads the gang of sketchers in a new layout in our sketchbooks.
Jennie’s holiday sketchbooks are legendary (check them out on Instagram) I totally wanted to join in with her group holiday diary project last year except we didn’t go on holiday and ‘I worked as fast as I could before the children wrecked the joint’ wears thin after the first couple of days.
Sketchbook Club was perfect for me and as soon as Jennie announced it I knew I wanted to join.
I’ve found the evenings’ work therapeutic and while I may not log off completely (I got the wifi password week one – addict) taking time away from the computer adds to my enjoyment.
Each week we work on a loose theme and bring our own flare to the sketch. I’ve found some challenging and others just flowed on to the page.
Having barely drawn since school I did wonder if I was going to be able to keep up with the class but Jennie has this way of putting you at ease. Once I got out of my own way and relaxed I found that drawing was a really comfortable state to spend time in.
My favourite weeks have been the houses and leaves. I really struggle with the lettering (despite being a font geek!) so I have something to work on over Easter. I am looking to my friend Lisa for some hand lettering inspiration!
The best part of Sketchbook Club (and yes, it’s totally cool to talk about Sketchbook Club) is seeing my sketchbook fill up week after week. Don’t they all look amazing together?
Do you want to come along too? I know there are a couple of spaces in the class for next term and also a class coming after Easter for children aged 11+ so if you’re near Winchester get in touch with Jennie.
Have you taken an art class since school? I’d love to know what you have been creating.
Motherhood is more often than not talked about in terms of what you give or give up. Each Mother’s Day there’s someone (normally someone trying to sell you something) telling us how much money a mother should earn or how hard their job is. I don’t see it like that.
I’ve never thought of being parent as a transaction any more than I think about how lucky I am someone’s not charging me for all of this air I’m breathing.
For me, motherhood was like the bursting of a dam. It released me from the restraints of limiting beliefs and allowed me to step outside of what was expected of me. Becoming a mother rubbed away the parts of me that gave a fuck and without them I could start to imagine a world in which I wanted to live.
And with the breaking of the dam came the flood of creativity. Writing, photography and making unfurled within me and all of the things I had been advised not to pursue returned me to centre.
At the moment when I felt like I was pouring my whole self into creating other people I also opened like a flower. I found myself and my direction.
No, motherhood is not a transaction. Motherhood is a mutual gift; one which births and renews. It’s with gratitude that I accept this gift and everything that comes with it.
Happy Mother’s Day friends. Sending love to all of you who are celebrating and remembering today.
I spend way too much time doing things like tax. Do you find that? You don’t feel like a grown up yet but somehow you’re dealing with HMRC and attending parents’ evening.
I’ve been feeling lately that I *should* be acting more like a grown up and living less like a student. And yet, here I am still making it up as I go along. Do you get the same feeling?
Maybe turning 35 will magically transform me into the kind of person who has their finances together or maybe I’ll still be ramshackle when I’m 70. I think perhaps the real trap about being a grown up is that you’ll somehow be different to the person you were when you were a child. And I never could quite summon the enthusiasm to tidy my room even then.
When I was in Salt Lake City earlier this year I had time for a quick portrait photo shoot with Audrey Wagner King and Izzy Hudgins. Audrey did my hair and make up then I headed outside to meet Izzy for photos.
There is quite possibly nothing I enjoy more than playing with cameras – on both sides of the lens. Despite having only landed in the US a few hours earlier after a particularly grim flight I totally felt renewed to be gurning and giggling with Izzy.
I guess might never grow up and that’s fine by me. So long as I can keep dressing how I feel and messing around I think I can cope with all the tax forms.
Half term is booooring. At least that’s the message I got yesterday. Thankfully it was delivered with a solution: make a video about making pancakes, “Just like Jamie Oliver does Mama. And he always eats the food at the end.” I can’t argue with reasoning like that so we broke out the pancakes a day early to make you a video.
We created three fillings for your enjoyment and when I say your enjoyment I really mean theirs. Is there anything better than being allowed to eat excesses of sugar as an actual main meal? I don’t think so.
Milla, Monty and Betsy really love making videos and they wonder if they should make more. If you (and your children) would like to see more silliness on video please give them a thumbs up. I’m considering giving them their own YouTube channel so it would really help me to know if people want to see more.
500ml of Whole Milk
250g plain flour
Mix the ingredients together in a bowl until you have a smooth paint-like batter.
Heat a small knob of butter in a pan (a pancake pan if you have one or a frying pan if you don’t).
When the pan is hot and the butter starts to sizzle ladle in enough batter to cover the base of the pan.
Cook for a moment and when the batter begins to firm run a spatula around the edge of the pancake.
When the bottom of the pancake has lightly browned, flip it over and cook the other side for a minute further.
Serve piping hot!
Here are the three toppings we used in the video. My personal favourite is lemon and sugar which if gussied up by using cinnamon sugar.
Caramelised Bananas with ice cream and nuts
1 tbsp of cinnamon sugar (caster sugar with a sprinkling of cinnamon mixed in)
1 big knob of butter (or olive oil for vegan / dairy free)
A scoop of vanilla ice cream
Toasted chopped hazelnuts
Slice the bananas.
Sprinkle the sugar over the bananas and roll them around until they are coated.
Heat a frying pan over a medium heat and add the butter.
Pour in the bananas and stir as they sizzle in the butter.
When they are a caramel brown turn them over and cook the other side being careful not to burn the sugar.
Allow them to cool for a minute or two (especially if serving to children) and then spread on your pancake with the ice cream and nuts.
Chocolate Spread and Raspberries
Hazelnut & chocolate spread
A punnet of raspberries
Slather the pancake in chocolate spread.
Scatter raspberries over the top.
Roll the pancake and congratulate yourself on being a delicious genius.
Lemon and Cinnamon Sugar
Cinnamon sugar (caster sugar with a sprinkling of cinnamon mixed in)
Sprinkle the cinnamon sugar over the pancake.
Squeeze lemon onto the sugar and roll your pancake up.