Friday, January 25, 2013

Duck Press

Duck press at Le Picher, the best place in Seattle.

We had a little adventure over the weekened. We decided to bite the bullet and make our first trip to Seattle, which is not a bad drive at all. It's taken us almost 3 years to make the trip to see more of the city than the airport! Crazy. So, we booked a discount room at a crazy hotel and drove down after classes on Friday.

Saturday was a great day. It began with a trip to Le Picher for wonderful French food and atmosphere, then off to exploring Pike's Market, where we bought lots of old used books and saw a fish being thrown, which is the thing to do. We went to the original Starbucks, which was suspiciously exactly like going to any other Starbucks, only with a billion people crushed into the space and nowhere to sit down. I was glad to leave it. We ate at an amazing restaurant with one of D's oldest friends, and then because a good thing twice is great, back to Le Picher for a lovely nightcap.

Now, the duck press up there sits proudly on Le Picher's counter, with an engraving that says it was presented to some great chef. They're rare to see, and I only know what it is because of Julia Child's memoirs. For those of you not in the know, a plucked and ready duck is taken and the breast and legs are removed and cooked partially. Then, everything else is crammed into this device, bones and all, and crushed mightily, while all the good stuff (blood, juices, marrow) runs out of the little spigot at the bottom. Then, you cook the parts of the duck you did not obliterate in the delicious duck juice and serve it up. I am told it is the height of elegance.

And now I know how that duck feels, I think. Unfortunately, all plans of Pioneer Square and clearance boots at REI for Sunday were squandered, when I woke up at 6 am sick as a dog. Somehow I picked up a super nasty stomach flu and spent the rest of the day in a semi-coherent miserable state all the way back home. It was AWFUL. I still haven't recovered completely. I forgot how terrible the flu can be! I'm almost back on my feet. Maybe not as sturdy as those feet up there, but I'll take it.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

2012 + 1


Another year is here.

We stayed home for the holidays, opting to catch up on work and play instead of traveling. The shot above is from Grouse Mountain, where we took our new snowshoes out for a spin. I like a sport that has a very low learning curve and ends with beers. We made it back to the lodge as the sun set and the views were worth the cold and exertion.

It's been a long vacation, and now we are going back to school next week. Next week! I can't believe it. I'm ready to get back into the rhythm of regular life. With no other obligations, we've been going to bed at ridiculous hours and getting up at even more ridiculous times. At one point we were nearly nocturnal. I'm ready to see more of the sun.


Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Merry Winter Wishes

The semester has come to a close, the presents have all been opened up, and now we're in the post-holiday coma that comes after all of that! We're very tired. Sleeping at normal hours has been wrecked totally. The house is still kind of a disaster. But that's okay! Still a week and a half of vacation, thank goodness.

We've done a holiday card for the past few years, but this year totally ran out of time to do it before the, um, actual holidays. So, we made it a winter card instead. Behold!


We approached it differently this year; still as a collaboration. Durwin was inspired by the Illustration Friday things that I've been doing, especially the time limit aspect (I try to limit them to under 2 hours, or two episodes of "Buffy: The Vampire Slayer") so, the basic cardinal shape was created, then we both took one, put on some episodes of This American Life, and then went to town. They sort of reflect us; his is the very classy, pared down timeless design, and I'm the funky chicken showing off all her colours.

It works for us!

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Illustration Friday: Whiskers

Been in the throes of the end of the semester, but managed to get a little one done for today.

I wanted to try something different, a new technique I'm working on. I want to try to combine some hand-drawn elements with the vector work. We just did a great illustration that combined that, but I can't show anyone just yet.

This week's theme was "Whiskers" so of course I want to draw a very bearded man. And, his cats, of course.


Good ol' beardo.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Illustration Friday: Water

Week 3! Dang!

This week's theme is "Water." I liked the possibility of this subject. It can mean so many things! And what better theme to tackle when it's started pouring buckets. Which it certainly has.

I thought about making a rain-based theme but honestly, I'm seeing enough of that outside my window.

This week's drawings brought to you by Season 4 of Buffy. Poor freshman Buffy. College is hard!


More lovely patterns. Also trying out the digital shadow thing. It's not as satisfying as the real thing, but good enough for a Two Episode illustration!

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Illustration Friday: Mirror

Week 2 and I'm still going strong.

This week, I broke my rule a little and spent some time over the week on the patterns. I love making these patterns. I find it soothing. Just finding minutes in between other projects to have a little fun.

The subject this week is "Mirror." I've been talking a lot about complementary colors in my class this week, so that is where my mind went right away. I like playing with complementary neutrals as well, it adds a lot to a composition. It's really just an excuse to explore color.

I think the left side is more successful than the right, but that's okay with me. I like that little girl's patterns, I think she'll show up more.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Illustration Friday: Book

My days off are now on Thursdays, which is a fabulous time to do a little Illustration Friday.

I'm giving myself just a couple of hours, or a couple of episodes of Buffy (I'm deep in season 3; God, Westley, but do you suck!) to complete these. Just a way to take a break from the throes of freelance and putting together lectures to have a little fun.

This week's theme was "Book" which was so much fun. I've been reading and talking, and talking and reading quite a lot this semester. Most of it is academic in nature, but some is more fun than that. I wanted to do an illustration based on talking about books. Book club, if you will. And the tweedy nature of the patterns is a nod to the particular nature of my literary conversations as of late (which, I want to get back to readin' those funnybooks STAT).


Not too shabby for two hours, start to finish. I love making those patterns!