If you have managed to not see dozens of Sketchbox ads in the last few months online… lucky you. I spend far too much of my time on social media so I’ve seen more than my share and in the end, when asked what I would like for Christmas, I told my partner I’d like a couple months of the Sketchbox subscription box to play with.
He didn’t know me well enough when I was still doing primarily 2D artwork and, for him, this was a surprising request. He didn’t understand why I wouldn’t just go buy new supplies at the craft store and get rolling. I explained that the appeal of a subscription box was that someone else had curated the supplies, put them together, and sent them out. I could sample something completely new or not recently tried with little stress.
February is my first box and it had Inktense pencils, something I’d only seen tried on clay, a type of watercolour pencil that dries as a permanent ink wash. There’s also a couple brush tip pens that don’t bleed and a little sample of paper. The pencils and markers can be used on fabric which is what my friend Laurie (the dollmaker behind Prairie Crocus Studio) immediately tried with success but I’ve mostly just doodled. It’s been ages since I sketched outside of work drafts.
I’ve never done watercolour outside of those cute little paint books you can get kids or the little disc paint boxes, also geared for kids. It’s been fun! If I continue on I’ll invest in a little better paper and brushes again. For now, we’re good.
Our calico, Ro, was a stray kitten when we adopted her from the alley outside our shop. She’s always been much more flexible about what constitutes food than our other cat who was never anything but a house pet. This also means she wants to check what we eat and drink to make sure she’s not missing out. It’s a bad cat habit and we try not to leave stuff out for her to play with.
My bad habit is leaving random glasses of water around the house. This leads to one of my early kitten pictures of Ro trying to get a drink out of one. And today’s amusing 15 months later version. She’s much taller and smarter about it these days.
If you’re a polymer clayer there’s a good chance you understand this post in a deep and emotional way. For the others out there let me tell you how much I appreciate my pasta machine and it’s good friend the pasta machine motor.
This fall my old machine – or it’s motor, rather – began losing torque. I love my pasta machine motor. It makes doing blends so much simpler. I use it most days. And they’re not cheap, especially shipped to rural Canada.
Long story short, my poor motor finally lost enough oomph that it wouldn’t crank my pasta machine. I spent a few days hand cranking and then broke down and ordered a new one. At the same time, I ordered a new pasta machine, as well, since they come in fun colours now and it’s always good to have backup studio equipment.
Isn’t it pretty?
My partner – a handy guy – tells me that the commutator in the old motor is a little off true and is repairable. This is out of my nerd wheelhouse but I think it means I may have a second, working, motor. I know my older one died differently and was NOT repairable.
Either way, if you need to find me, I am making blends on my shiny new machine with the loud, energetic motor.
Bonus weird fact: my studio is open to the public and the pasta machine is clearly visible. It has been the source of many conversations over the years with random customers. I am pretty sure in my small town I have the most pasta machines, period. And I am pretty sure people figure I am making beads by day and weird pasta in my off hours.