Rona Keeps on Giving

I did this  thinking I was not going to watercolor it…
I think maybe I liked it better that way!

This feels is a neverending crisis, made worse by our politicians
(yes I am looking at you Kate Brown).
The restrictions in Oregon don’t make sense logically…
Limited Thanksgiving dinner to 6 people, but then allow the
inane Black Friday sales to run rampant in big box stores but at 75% capacity.
So instead of 500 people at Target there will be 375…
Oh yeah, like that’s gonna work!
Kate Brown is beholden to someone with corporate funding.
This is going to result in more deaths, more lockdowns later and frankly,
I’m getting pissed because Mitchell and I both need to see docs
but won’t go right now with the numbers climbing daily.


We are still ordering groceries and washing every dang thing that comes to us…
We do this at the studio… we are spending so many hours there and
frankly can’t imagine washing them in the small kitchen at home.
This process that takes a day, seriously.
Craziness but the rules of engagement on this damn virus keep changing
and so we do what we do in an overabundance of caution.


Gibbs has fallen in love with beef and looks for teeny handouts now so anytime I am in the kitchen he thinks maybe just maybe I will cook steak and throw him a bite.
If I ignore him he bites me on the ankles or the bum.
I caught him siting slapping his tail against the floor
which Izzee thought was a plaything and kept jumping on…
He ignores her, intent on vibing me.

They make our life happy, among the only things
these days that make our life happy.

And feeding the birds!

A lot of what goes into my journal these days is writing…
Quotes that lift me, my own writing about things that bother me.

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VSW Sydney, 6, Chinatown, Redo


Image for reference by Debi Taylor.
Thought I might leave this as is…
Then I didn’t!  Not sure I did it any good…
I’ve been playing with inks now I have to warm up to go back to watercolors!

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Inky Thots: Birmingham New Versus Old Ink Colors…

A lot of people have asked how the old colors look versus the new colors…
I say, some of the new I like better, some of the old I like better,
and in some I love both equally!!  Below are samplings of some
of the old I owned versus what I have in new inks.

Many new inks show a high degree of water resistance!

NOTE: These samples are painted and then the
lettering inked with
a very fat dip pen,
which unfortunately laid
down a great deal of ink.
I know that in the case
of the Celestial Blue,
it looked like it feathered
like crazy, yet in a
stub-nibbed pen on post-its
and in my planner (right),
no feathering with the
same ink.  So if you see any feathering, hold judgement
until I do a test in a pen
(or get a new dip pen!)

Disclosure, I bought my old inks, and was given the new inks from Birmingham.

Slag Grey was such a favorite that I purchased a few small bottles before they were gone.  It was a great purpley grey.  It has changed considerably, and I love the new color even better, especially because the new Alternator Crimson fulfills some of that purpley grey quality. The old Alternator Crimson was too purple for me, so with both of these I am pleased with the new colors (and happy I have some old Slag Grey!)

No doubt about it, I love the new bright Fountain Turquoise better…
The old one was a nice muted blue but hardly fitting the name of what
I imagine is blue sparkling turquoise waters.  The old Celestial Blue I reviewed
just before Birmingham decided to stop their old ink production and
move toward making their own inks from scratch.  The new Celestial Blue is,
I think, a prettier more complex ink that picks up touches of purples,
and yet can still be used as a conservative blue in business.

I can’t choose between the old and new Arugula, and thankfully don’t have to!
They are different but equally beautiful warm greens.
Relative Cadmium is the one where I think something was lost in the new formula.
I like the pop of bright nuclear yellow that pinned the undertone of the old formula.
The new Relative Cadmium is a nice orange, but doesn’t have the pizazz of the old.
Thankfully, I have a FULL bottle of the old, plus samples!

My last two comparisons (until I have a few more on the new inks):
I like both Salmon Hor D’Oeuvers… They both look exactly like lox to me, and mostly depend on the type  and cut of the salmon.  The new is a bit brighter, but the old makes a nice flesh tone when thinned with a waterbrush for white peeps.
I think I like the old Gerbera Pink slightly more than the new, though frankly these are not my favorite colors in any sense… I like the brighter purple of the old.

As I obtain more inks to review I will roll out the new versus old when I have them, and also as I place them in pens will be able to tell you more about performance.

Remember that others review these inks just for writing;
I am also interested in how they are used for ink-painting!

OLD FORMULA

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Vertigo

VERTIGO…

Seriously, I’ve had a bout of dizziness before but this was retching horrid and I wanted to die.  Begged for it and told Mitchell I was done if we could not make this spinning vomiting stop… I also have sever seasickness and so, spinning combined with tossing my very good breakfast.  I was sketching and watching Fisherman’s Friends (good movie recommend) when it hit and it flattened me.

This saved me.

Carol Foster MD had it and this video is her offering and it worked for me.

I am taking the next days slowly, and have not done anything that
I might normally do on a day off toward sharing my art….

But that is okay as the room
has largely stopped spinning.

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VSW Sydney, 6, Chinatown

Image for reference by Debi Taylor.
Started with a line drawing, as always.
and perhaps it will stay that way…!

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Missing the Ocean


Praying that someday soon we will feel
comfortable enough to drive out to the beach!

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Surfacing


I am finally surfacing after this damn election.
I am happy with the (almost) outcome but the close call depressed the hell out of me.
Enough so that I didn’t draw after the 30th, when the fear
of the future weighed so heavily on me.
As a good little Buddhist that was not very here-and-now,
but then I never said I was enlightened.

I m also aware that for the FIRST TIME IN MY LIFE, I was afraid to put words
on paper publicly.  THAT says everything that anyone needs to know.
As a white person in the USA, that is a new experience.

I’ve also been following our very peaceful
(I am looking at you stupid news outlets that get this wrong)
POC protests every night by watching live videos on IG,
and am now aware of Portland’s history, and what is going on in
our neighborhoods in Portland, and sadly, I didn’t know about this.
I am sorry that perhaps in other cities the BLM movements turned violent, but here they POC protestors were peaceful and only occasionlly in hundreds of night did things like graffiti or bonfires (usually in trashcans in the middle of the street), while the actual violence was caused by outside agitators.

The incorrect and sloppy news coverage of this was the most disturbing thing
next to 70 million people, and white WOMEN, voting for Donald.
If the news outlets can’t get the obvious and simple things
anyone can see correctly, then we are screwed.

What did I do?  Watched movies and started a baby blanket for friends.
A hopeful thing, in bright colors.  I never make baby blankets because the colors don’t appeal to me — pale colors — so I make toddler blankets, bold and bright!

As I turned outward again, color pulled me as usual.
Color is the bright spot in a dark world.
Below, look at the wild pink sheen in the Troublemaker ink!

So perhaps more postings will come…
Thank you to a couple of you who wrote me concerned.  xoxo

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VOTE!


GO VOTE!

I’ve never been this anxiety ridden about an election.
Please go vote, take the time, our lives and our country depend on it.

This is why I haven’t been drawing…
Just too crazy worried.

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Abalone #notinktober

#Notinktober is over…

But I am not over with inks!
I was waylaid by two things: work, and a project that I
want to finish and knowing
how things go I thought
I best get going early.

Today I am writing about Troublemaker inks.
Previously I owned Sea Glass, and loved the ink.  Many of
their inks are oceanic names;
I wanted to own a few that remind me of home,
Laguna Beach California.

Marilyn managed to three bottles of ink for me when
I could not get any; a precious gift, because they sell out
in seconds! I placed the one called Abalone in the beautiful “peacock” colored Fountain Pen Revolution Himalayan pen, right.

EDIT EDIT!
CLEARLY I MISMARKED
MY OTHER PEN. 

I had two pens in Abalone!!!!  Ignore what I wrote below!

Above, comparisons between Sea Glass and Abalone, the top swatches,
ARE ALL WRONG!!! EDIT EDIT —
I MISLABELED THEM AND THEY ARE BOTH ABALONE!!!!

The other inks I added to make the sketch was a few lines of
Pelikan Black and Papier Plume Pecan ink for the shell, and Birmingham Electron,
as my abalone has a lot of a brighter clear blue, and black.


I’ve had this lovely abalone since I was a teenager,
I found it on the beach below my home.

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RBG Missed #notinktober


I have a few sketches of her passing in my journal.
I was a fan long before, and if you haven’t read her biography, it is a great read.
She was what we need right now… NOT Amy.


I love that the lead here is a woman, and understand that her stripes
come from a very difficult course that many men do not make it through.
Her bun and small frame are the only giveaways.


And of course, what followed her death, below… before she was laid to rest,
in the middle of the actual election, so inappropriate, now confirmed.

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VSW Sydney, 5, #notinktober


Art in Sydney

Image for reference by Debi Taylor, shown bottom.
Started with a line drawing, as always.
This artwork was frightening in its twisting complexity:
I almost gave up many times…
but then there is that half-finished drawing in my art journal!

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Inky Thots: Birmingham’s NEW Electron


I am finally getting to my new bottles of the new improved ink colors
from Birmingham Pen Company,
beginning with the stunning bright blue Birmingham Electron ink,
made to commemorate the Shippingport Atomic Power Station,
the first full-scale PWR nuclear power plant in the United States, now decommissioned.

Remember that others review these inks just for writing;
I am also interested in how they are used for ink-painting!


Properties of  Birmingham Electron Blue ink:

The first thing I noticed is
that the ink is very wet… in a stub it is a gusher, much wetter than the Diamine blue that lived in my Lamy AlStar for years, yet it is also a well behaved ink which dries relatively quickly. It bleeds slightly on Post-its, but shows no feathering on Post-its,  my Minimalism Art Journal, right, or my Hahnemühle Nostalgie journal, below.

What a gorgeous blue!
For the first time in five years my Lamy
is inked in a new color!

When I scrubbed it on the swatches, it indicated some water resistance, above,
and further test sketches in my journals show it to leave a good imprint of
water resistant ink lines when the waterbrush moves the color, left and below.
**But not waterPROOF; know there is a difference!!**
It has no sheen that I could produce,
but produces beautiful shading even in my work journal.
It does not break down into many other pigments, so I don’t consider this a complex ink color.  Above you can see the pretty blue that pulls out of the dark writing ink.

The paper towel test shows the clarity of the blue, above right!
When the edge is touched with water it begins with a blue that could be used in any business environment, into brilliant turquoise blues!
Looking at watercolor comparisons, I offer QoR’s Phthalo Blue,
Sennelier’s Phthalo Blue, and Daniel Smiths Cobalt Teal.

*Above, watercolors, from several companies.*

MOST water soluble ink companies do not pay attention to light-fast qualities
and Birmingham is exploring this as we speak!
Most artists who use ink are making prints of their work.


My first drawing on Hahnemühle Nostalgie Sketchbook of the blue vase by the side of the bed that holds a few bushed and a dip pen,  drawn with a Lamy Al-Star 1.1 stub.
I touched the lines with water using a Pentel Aquash waterbrush.
This was a 30 minute sketch with a lot of water movement…
The lines stay slightly visible but also release ink;
which means slight water resistance.  I added a few dark lines afterwards.


This sketch of the new moon and the water on Hahnemühle Nostalgie Sketchbook shows off the water-resistance to Birmingham Electron ink.
It is important to now what your inks will do when washed hard,
as with some inks the lines disappear completely and some stay —
there is no right or wrong, just know your inks!

Birmingham’s Bottles are straightforward and functional, even in the small sizes.
It is easy to fill a pen from their bottles.
I like glass bottles; they feel like they will last longer.

The history from their website:
We started Birmingham Pen Co. in 2012
in the Southside of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania,
with the doors of our first retail shop opening
to the public in 2016. The region of Pittsburgh
where we began once called “Little Birmingham”
due to the area’s prolific manufacturing industry
in the early 1900’s. The Birmingham moniker
was derived from Birmingham, UK –
a manufacturing hub that specialized in,
among other things, pen and nib
manufacturing with thousands of
craftspeople employed in the industry.
We chose the name Birmingham Pen Company
to share this little known piece of history and
continue in the traditions behind the name.”

Birmingham also turns their own pens,
which I’ve noticed often sell out as fast as they make them!
**and i love mine**
A small family business run by the brothers, Nick and Josh,
Dad is the chief pen machinist, and Mom does one of the coolest things about Birmingham, which is to tell the tales of their historic names!

Disclosure, I bought this ink from Birmingham.

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Posies Again #notinkober


Ink drawing of Linda’s garden with a Platinum Carbon Pen
with Platinum Carbon ink waterproof cartridges.


Then many inks painted…

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Booksellers #notinktober


We watched the movie The Booksellers and it was so good….
I want to step back in time to a different place where things were slower and
instant gratification was not the high point of everyone’s life.

So many great quotes… I kept scribbling.

I loved the very long quote at the end, where it is the books speaking:

“Whose hands will hold me next I do not know…
the book, too, reads its readers in real time.”

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Amy’s Girls #notinktober


If 2020 can get worse, then electing Amy Coney Barrett will be the icing on the year.

My mother had a good job in the defense industry, writing manuals
for various things she could not talk about.  There were deadlines and overtime
to be had, but she was not eligible.  She was a working single mother, and don’t you know, “the men had families to feed.”  She left her safe and good job at five, and went to work at nights in a bar, scantily dressed, to make ends meet when necessary.

My brother is gay.  In this family, two of us have had long standing relationships whereas the rest were constantly changing partners.  He is one of them, staying in one relationship for 20 years until his partner died, and now in a second for another 20 years.  If she makes it the courts will start reversing his right to love whom he pleases.

I come from a working class, and sometimes welfare family, where the dad was deadbeat, the authorities were not interested in chasing him even though he was
sitting in a cushy job at Cape Canaveral.  Medical bills have put my families finances
in jeopardy many many times.  Insurance costs in two healthy over-60 people means the difference between us saving or not…  If we had ACA for everyone, medicare for everyone, whatever — like most civilized countries in the Western world —
we’d have been able to save about $10K a year for the last decade…
that is $100K in our retirement funds, instead of just squeaking by.

The idea of abortion is also something to be explored.
By definition, and this is already happening in some states,
a mother cannot rid her body of a still born without technically breaking the law.
If you don’t think that there is already shame involved in many women who miscarry, bring up the subject of “how many have miscarried?” at a family gathering
and watch the female hands go up — if they are not ashamed.
There is no reason to be ashamed, but there it is, not discussed.
Now that will be part of what changes, for decisions like this will
no longer be between a doctor and the woman carrying, but between
the state and the men that are in charge.  I shudder to think.
I remember when a friend’s father raped her and she got pregnant and wanted an abortion… it was illegal, and so she went to Mexico, and was never able to have children after the butcher with the coat hanger got hold of her.  She nearly died.
THAT is what these stupid people who call themselves christians
want, a decisive legal ruling on all of it.

This woman and the other Federalist judges are not interested in our Constitution,
for things are spelled out clearly in terms of freedoms,
nor do they give a “christian” rats ass about the poor and lifting up and making equal.  They are NOT Christians, but American Taliban.

Amy Coney Barrett will put the nail in the coffin for women everywhere,
hurt poor people everywhere, and destroy many happy same-sex relationships.

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Navratri #notinktober


The Durgha Festival is on, Navratri, and ten nights of a celebration
of the many faces of the goddess is in full swing.
Lamy Al-Star with Robert Oster Opal Green ink.

She sits on my desk, a reminder of strong women everywhere,
and the power of women against evil.
Men too, for a female form is not what brings power,
but an honoring of the balance of the powers.

“The most popular legend associated with the goddess is of her killing of Mahishasura. Mahishasura was half buffalo demon who did severe penance in order to please Brahma, the creator. After several years, Brahma, pleased with his devotion appeared before the demon. The demon opened his eyes and asked the god for immortality. Brahma refused, stating that all must die one day. Mahishasura then thought for a while and asked a boon that only a woman should be able to kill him. Brahma granted the boon and disappeared. Mahishasura started to torture innocent people.
He captured heaven and was not in any kind of fear, as he thought women to be powerless and weak. The devas were worried and they went to Trimurti. They all together combined their power and created a warrior woman with many hands.
The devas gave her a copy of their weapons. Himavan, the lord of Himalayas, gifted a lion as her mount. Durga on her lion, reached before Mahishasura’s palace. Mahishasura took different forms and attacked the goddess.
Each time, Durga would destroy his form.
At last, Durga slayed Mahishasura when he was transforming as a buffalo.”
(Wikipedia has a decent synopsis that is understandable.)

We need MahaDurgha now,
for the evil that is afoot is mighty!

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Birthday Cooking 2020


We spent a weekend cooking for ourselves…
WE both have arthritis and need things that work for us, and many
“gluten-free” items are made with potato flour, because cooks think that doesn’t
bother people — but that is also a flour that swells in our bodies.
Plus I am allergic!

Mitchell made yummy homemade French Toast with GF Challah from New Cascadia Traditional, and made the whole loaf and we froze it so we have some to dip into…

We made homemade granola and it is so good… recipe below.
it will take the place of cookies or cakes when sweet cravings hit!

Finally I did what is now becoming a habit, checking the cooked beans supply (we freeze for the week) to see what needs to be cooked and make that.  This week is was Ayocote Blanco with celery/onion/hot peppers and Midnight Black Beans.
The Ayocote white beans are not as yummy as the Tarbais beans,
which I think make a better liquor.

OUR BIRTHDAY GRANOLA

6 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
1 cup sliced almonds
1 cup walnuts
1 cup unsweetened coconut
1 teaspoon salt
½ stick (1/4cup) unsalted butter
¼ c olive oil
6 tablespoons maple syrup
½ cup brown sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
1 ½ tsp vanilla
1 cup each cranberries
1 cup each chopped dates

Preheat oven to 325°F.

In a large bowl stir together oats, nuts, coconut, and salt. In a small saucepan melt butter with maple syrup, brown sugar, cinnamon and vanilla over low heat, stirring. Pour butter mixture over oat mixture and stir until combined well.  We tossed our dried fruits into the mix but next time we’ll try

In a large jelly-roll pan spread granola evenly and bake in middle of oven, stirring halfway through baking, until golden brown, about 15 minutes.

Cool granola in pan on a rack and stir in dried fruits. Granola can be kept in an airtight container at cool room temperature 2 weeks.

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Stuffed Poblanos


The newest yummy thing I am making
to freeze for quick dinners or lunches.

Great for sketching in #notinktober.
Inks listed at the bottom of the recipe above.

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