I have just finished my M.A in Children's Book Illustration at the Cambridge School of Art and thoroughly enjoyed it. I consider myself an illustrator and I work for a company called 'Creative Minds' who take art and craft sessions to older adults and adults with learning disabilities. The following entries are my drawings and musings. All images are copyright of Kerina Strevens. Please contact me on my website kerinastrevens.co.uk.
I felt the urge to draw birds this week. I haven't achieved much, I've just drawn a lot of birds. I've been mainly on the East coast this week at various homes. I heard a cuckoo while at one home. Last time I heard one of those was about ten years ago, so I was pleased to hear it. I missed the 'Latitude' festival traffic though, so was quite happy about that. Mainly I've stayed in though, with all the windows open. We haven't had any rain in this part of Suffolk now since the end of May. The grass is crispy. We're using the washing up water on the garden and watering with watering cans in the cool of the evening every two or three days. It's a shame that England didn't win against Croatia but I think the Croatians played like they wanted it more. We seemed a little complacent after our early first goal. I thought the England team did brilliantly though. No one expected us to get to the semi-finals. I don't usually watch football but felt it was unusual enough to merit some attention. Let's hope there are great things ahead.
More messing about with houses and cottages this week. I was up at the hospital for a scan of my kidneys and bladder this week and I'm pleased to say the consultant told me all was well and looked to be as it should be. Onwards and upwards. It was also Mum's birthday this week and we went for a trip out to Thorpeness, just up the road from Aldeburgh. We sat in the shade at the café and looked out over the water and watched the swan and her six signets being fed by other people. It was lovely. One cream tea and an ice cream later and our diets were well and truly done for. We walked down and listened to the sea wash about for a bit and then came home, where our poor old cats were lying on my bed in the cool trying to stay out of the heat. The grass has all gone yellow and crispy now. No worries about the water yet as East Anglia is a semi arid area anyway and apparently our water service is used to having to be careful with water. There must be better ways of storing all the excess water we seem to get in the winter now, in other areas of the country. I'm staying in, this weather is too much for me, much as I like it. The other incident of note this week, is that I watched a football match. I watched England play Sweden. I don't really have a lot of time for football but I think it's the first game I've watched England play where they've actually won. I'm really hoping they'll go further now. I'm well impressed with Gareth Southgate, whatever happens now.
I've stayed in all week apart from having to go out to work. Being extremely fair skinned, this wonderful weather is not for me. I may like it very much but it doesn't care too much for me. I've also had terrible hayfever which I keep under control by popping anti histamines in the morning and the evening. Still, I'd rather have this glorious sun. No doubt we'll have a thunder storm at some point. I had a lovely drive to Long Melford mid week as I have a new care home there. It's a bit out of my usual area, but as the nearest artist, I'll do it until an artist for that area is found. I've been doodling houses again. I've gone from country cottage to town house in winter. Again, I've no idea why - it just seemed like a good idea at the time. I'm a bit early posting this this week as I have family coming and then I have a kidney scan on Monday afternoon. Let's hope we all have another lovely week.
I've been trying my hand at photoshop this week. I still need loads of practise and I could do with learning a bit more I think. Never harms. Not too bad as it goes though, I was thinking of trying a little collage. I've been drawing more little houses. I've had a nicely busy week, next week is not too bad either. I like these long days as I seem to be far more productive than I am in the winter. The cats have behaved themselves this week, I haven't been walked over in the night. I can't believe how well England did today. That's been a bit cheering, the football, the cricket and Lewis Hamilton. My Dad would have been really quite pleased today. Let's hope the up turn continues.
I've been doodling around with old cottages again. No idea why I feel that inclination but let's roll with it. I've had a very quiet week and have another coming, lots of work, which is good. Not so much time to draw, which is not. I can't believe the shortest day is on the 21st of this month. You just begin to feel a little summery and then summer ends. Fortunately, we have a little more time before the dark and the damp rolls back in. I think I'm becoming allergic to dark and damp. I could do with a bit more sunshine and brightness. We've had no more small, furry creatures brought in recently, thank goodness. I had to put flea stuff on Flo's neck. Usually, this means I'm sent to Coventry for at least two days while she gives me death looks and walks out when I walk into a room. She seemed to cope quite well but this changed when she spent all night stamping all over me in bed. I think she's found a different way of getting back at me. Cats. Who would have them?
This is a card I made recently. What a week. This week, not R.J, but Flo (Flo!!) brought in a mouse to play with at about midnight. I heard the commotion in the hall and went to have a look. The mouse took advantage of the distraction and ducked under the bathroom door while Flo turned to me and gave me the 'what do you think you want?' look. I went and got the jam jar again. It didn't go straight in this time but backed itself into a corner and I had to manage to persuade it that I only wanted to help it get outside again. It went into the jar. It's back leg was broken. I picked it up gently and went and unlocked the back door and went out into the garden. I was in my pyjamas-again. I put it down but it didn't want to come out of the jar so I left the jar on it's side and went back in to lock up and lock the cat flap too, so it had half a chance. The cats really weren't impressed. The mouse had gone in the morning, I don't think it will last very long whatever has happened to it. So my question is, how many others of you have caught small rodents in jars to get them out of your houses? I've done it twice now. I don't want to be doing it a third time.
We went to Sutton Hoo this weekend, with my brother, sister-in-law and two nieces and my Mum. It was very nice and Mum is walking a bit more now. Trouble is, she realises now how much pain she is in with her other knee. They're going to have to do something to help her with pain relief if she has that one done next. I've been playing with the image above as it's not quite as I want it yet. I haven't had time to really sit down and work this week, so I was playing with this and adding effects. It's very entertaining but I can't get it to play here. I'll have a try with my face book page or Twitter. It amused me anyway. At Sutton Hoo, we watched two men getting a bees nest from a tree. I found that fascinating. The exhibition is quite small and they're going to build a watch tower at the end of the tourist season so an archaeological dig is being done where it is to be placed. It's a very serene place to visit and my nieces enjoyed themselves.