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.
Been doodling and thinking about the pied piper. I've not doodled with a pencil for a little while, I usually prefer to start with a pen and make definite marks and commit myself. Pencil always feels to me like you're not quite sure of what you're doing and will want to change it. Considering this came straight from my head I don't think it's too bad. I have some ideas for the piper story but I'm mulling them over. Apparently England had a version of the story, told at Beccles in Suffolk (which was full of rivers and marshes before they were drained by the Dutch). Part of my family come from Beccles and the family history goes right back in that area. I've begun playing with ideas for my Christmas cards and have actually started a little bit of Christmas shopping. My brother and his wife sent advent calendars to us last week, which was a really lovely gesture. Trouble is, mine is chocolate and the temptation is huge!!
I've had a good week this week. The weather's been fairly good, I did poppies with a few of my groups in the care homes and they really enjoyed the sessions. I think they feel like they've really achieved something when we do a lovely poppy wreath or remembrance of some sort. The homes like them prominently displayed as well as it's something the residents have worked on. I'm beginning to move into my Christmas sessions now. I'll be getting some Christmas tunes to play and then it's all systems go. I seem to be allergic to something at the moment which is causing really bad dry skin around my neck and lower face. I haven't a clue whether it's something in a product I'm using for washing or make up (I think not because I use lots of anti allergy things anyway as I've always been sensitive). It could be something I've eaten but I can't think of any changes to my usual diet. It's been two weeks now and I'm thinking of trotting off to see my doctor. It could be a bit of anxiety as I've noticed I've felt quite anxious recently but there's no real reason for it so I'm trying to just work through it. For some reason, I just seem to be very sensitive to everything just recently. Hopefully it will pass.
A quiet week. The weather's been good, the weather's been bad and inbetween. I've done a lot of driving out in the back waters of Suffolk this week. It's really lovely when the weathers good. I don't think I'll ever tire of it. I had to go past two windmills on one journey. One at Framsden and one near Saxstead. I like that I get to see a lot of these places I wouldn't otherwise be going to. We had all the family here this weekend. We had an early Christmas dinner as my sister will be in France hosting a chalet for the ski season again. So we played a few Christmas songs and all ate too much and it was pretty Christmassy. Our poor old cats have been a bit put out though. RJ opted for the out and about option, only coming back for food and Flo opted for my bedroom. They've coped fairly well. I think that's about it this week. A pleasant week.
This week has just seemed to pass me by. I've had a lot to do and haven't felt like I've done anything much. I must admit, I appreciated the extra hour in bed. Weather wise it's been quite a nice week and it's been pleasant driving to and from care homes. I don't think I've been 100% this week but haven't been able to put my finger on what is wrong. I just feel a bit run down. It could be the time of year and the nights closing in or perhaps it's just that time of year when people pick up bugs and pass them round. It's a shame we're coming to the end of Inktober 2017. I've actually managed to do a drawing a day (so far) and I've quite enjoyed the challenge. I think I will try to carry on the practise but not put the drawings up on the internet. Not unless I want to anyway. Onwards and upwards.
A busy week. The biggest thing to happen this week was my shelves parting company with the wall. I'm really glad the cats and I weren't anywhere near when it happened as I think it would have really hurt. Nothing was broken though fortunately. I've taken all my heavy books off it and put them somewhere else. The walls are pretty much made of sand, so although I've put bigger raw plugs in, I'm not taking any chances. The paper backs are on those shelves now. My R.J cat seems a lot better after his little drama of last week. He's a lot more lively and back to tormenting his sister and bashing her whenever she walks past him. She does get her own back. They spend a lot of time bashing each other whenever one dares to walk past the other. I seem to have caught a cold.
It's been a good week, half way through I wasn't quite sure but it ended up a good week. Please look away now if you are of a weak disposition. One of the cats was sporting a fat face but seemed ok. He was eating, grooming, going out so we were keeping an eye on him. Last night he had a scratch and there was an explosion of blood and pus and this morning after a good sleep, he seems fine. We're keeping an eye on him but it seems no vets are needed yet. We worry if they don't eat/drink, go out, or if they're not grooming. Otherwise everything seems fine. I'm pretty sure our other cat (his sister) thought we were murdering him and hiding his body. She got very anxious but calmed down when she realised he was actually ok. They're rescue cats and apparently R.J was very ill as a kitten and it was only Flo who got him through, so they were homed together. They're not cats that cuddle up together, in fact, they seem to get annoyed with each other a lot of the time but there is some sort of bond. They get very anxious when the other one is not around. Let's see what next week brings.
For the first year ever (and thanks to my friend Jane), I have remembered 'Inktober'. This is the month where you do a drawing a day and so far I have managed it. I'm quite enjoying it as well. I'm just drawing straight from my head at present. I think it may be a useful exercise for every other month of the year as well. The work in our bathroom went on a bit longer than expected but we have a bathroom again now and the cats are beginning to settle down again after having strange men stomping in and out. They were both very stressed and skitty but I think they're beginning to unwind. I have one stretched across my lap and purring as I type. We're still having some nice bright days and the Autumn colours are very lovely this year so all is well in my world at present. Plus we have a bathroom. You don't realise how important they are until you have to have a stand up wash in the kitchen late at night because there are no appliances in the bathroom. Bathrooms are luxury.