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.
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.
I was in 'The Jester' this week. That's pretty much all that happened. My sister went off to Barbados this weekend and we've had the builders in smashing up our bathroom. I must say, they have been very thorough and considerate to us. They started last Monday and hope to finish this Tuesday. It's been stressful but they're very good and it could have been worse. We're having a wet room put in to help my Mum as her mobility is not great. We also had such an amount of damp seeping through a wall from the old shower that it became quite important that something was done. We can't wait for it to be finished. The cats can't wait for it to be finished either. They're both rescue cats (a brother and sister) and really don't like noise or people they're not familiar with. They've been hiding in the garden mostly but when it's raining that's not ideal. I had a good week work wise, had to design some cards for a gentleman and that was a nice little bit of money in. So can't complain this week. Hopefully next week will be as good, if not better.
I was drawing from very old photos of Spitalfields youngsters this week. They're really quite haunting as their faces looked far older than their actual ages. A lot of them wore no shoes. We take a lot for granted these days and I really hope we don't ever go back to that. It wasn't a good week for two of my friends who landed up in hospital. One is thankfully out now but the other I'm not sure about. Linda, what's happening with you? I'll come and visit you if you're still there.
My week was quite industrious in a quiet sort of way. I felt I got a bit done and I have a list of things to do in the coming week but that may be a bit more difficult this week as they're ripping our bathroom out and putting a wet room in. This is due to my Mum's mobility problems. I'm more worried about the cats at present as they're rescue cats and they're not terribly fond of people they don't know, especially in their home and making loud noise just really tops everything off. So we're in for a stressful week I think. The sooner it starts, the sooner it gets done though. I'll let you know.
I've been reading about St Edmunds this week. The one who was killed by the Danes and then buried at Bury St Edmunds some time later, which was previously called something different. Very little is known about St Edmunds as the Danes destroyed most of the records. So that's where the doodle sprang from. It's been a slightly better week this week but the weather is getting more autumnal by the day. You're able to see spider's webs in the mornings now. We've had some problems with the bungalow recently, which we hope are in the process of being sorted out but are presently at the stage of people coming in and looking at the problems, making phone calls and getting someone else in to look at it. We'll have to see how it all works out.
I can't lie, I've had a crap week and I'm glad it's over. It was one of those weeks where you feel like you're failing at life. Then the weather gets colder and rainy and you really want to just retire with a good book and some chocolate. For about the next eight months. My sister paid a flying visit this weekend and that made things a little better but generally it's been a week to forget. So I will. Here's another variation on the crooked houses theme. I'm off to cuddle the cats.
I've been having some stress dreams this week. In one, I was made homeless and was living out of my car. I wasn't actually aware that I was stressed but it would seem I am. I've been playing with versions of old houses again this week. I'm quite enjoying myself and want to explore a few avenues with them, maybe photoshop them as well. I'll just see how it goes as I have a meeting this week and I'm not entirely sure what that is going to throw out my way. I had a letter forwarded to me from 'Private Eye', someone likes one of my cartoons so much he wants to put it on stationery. I'll have to look at my options I think. All good though. It was lovely to see my brother and his family this week end. I haven't felt so good today though.