Thought custard

It’s been an interesting week here at the Magpie nest. Baby Magpie has slept through the night several nights in a row. Like most new parents we were waiting for this moment with great anticipation, believing that it would usher in a return to a blessed state of getting several hours of unbroken sleep.

That’s not actually what happened. Instead, Baby Magpie has slept soundly, and I have woken at the times of the night when he normally wakes, and then spent several minutes gently prodding him to make sure that he was still alive. I’m definitely doing better for sleep now, but it’s still pretty broken, and not the step change in my mental resources that I was hoping for.

I was trying to think of something more intellectual for this weeks blog, but I find instead that I have thought custard. My ideas just aren’t running as smoothly as I would like them to. I have found it easier to work on artistic bits and bobs. The paper cut above is the first bit of animation work I have done since Baby Magpie was born, so I am pleased to have managed to get back to that. It’s a little bit of progress, but it will do me for now.

Thank you for reading. I also make art. You can see things with my designs on at my shop here. Could even treat yourself if you wanted to. Just saying. If buying art is not your thing, but you would like to support what you see I also have a Patreon Page here.

This month on Pram Cam: interesting books and chatting about art.

Just a short post today as I am struggling a bit for time at the moment. I have been continuing my experiments with YouTube and have uploaded a new video.

In this video I experimented with a different filming set up, chatted about some books I find inspiring, and talked a bit about how all my different projects fit together.

To find out more, please have a watch here:

Thank you for reading. I also make art. You can see things with my designs on at my shop here. Could even treat yourself if you wanted to. Just saying. If buying art is not your thing, but you would like to support what you see I also have a Patreon Page here.

Scraping together time for art.

It’s been a busy few weeks here in the Magpie Nest. I was finally able to take Baby Magpie home to spend some time with his grandparents, which was great but exhausting. We also have quite a lot of jobs that need doing on the house, and the day to day jobs involved in looking after a small person.

With all of this going on I have been finding it hard to fit in time for creative things at the moment, as Baby Magpie is reaching an age where he is interested in everything, and beginning to be able to move himself about the place just a little, but not quite enough to satisfy his curiosity. It is difficult to find the kind of quiet alone time that you some times need just to think a bit of creative work through.

One of the little projects I had in mind was a card for Mr Magpie, as it was his birthday recently. I have given him hand made cards for his birthday every year since we’ve been together and it’s one of the little rituals of our relationship that I don’t want to let slide. I had a design in mind but found it difficult to just sneak away and put my design onto paper, which began to make me very anxious.

In the end I was able to manage it by pretending I had another piece of work I wanted to do and getting Mr Magpie to sit with him for a while for a while. It wasn’t the best solution, it would be better if I could find ways of managing my time better, but it worked as a fix at the time.

Baby Magpie is just beginning to take regular naps reliably, so I am hoping to be able to concentrate more on my projects during that time. Thus far I’ve not demonstrated a particularly strong ability to put boundaries around my time, or be disciplined at the opportunity arises, but this is something I plan to work on. I will let you know how it goes.

Thank you for reading. I also make art. You can see things with my designs on at my shop here. Could even treat yourself if you wanted to. Just saying. If buying art is not your thing, but you would like to support what you see I also have a Patreon Page here.

Late night research and the Hidden Life of Trees

Followers of this blog may know that I’ve been working on a novel for some time (like ten years worth of time). I think it’s taken so long because it took me a while to work out what kind of book I was writing. When I started I had pretentions towards a kind of literary book, maybe magical realism, but wouldn’t have placed it in any kind of genre. Over time my ideas have evolved and I have ended up writing something that fits more squarely with the science fiction/ urban fantasy genres, with a strong environmental and mental health theme. I hesitate to call it feminist, but it has two female protagonists who are complicated, and as ‘whole’ as I can make them so far.

One of the things I’ve been doing while up in the middle of the night expressing milk for the baby is to read non fiction books that could be called ‘research’ for this. I think this may be where the famous ‘multi tasking’ that women are often claimed to have begins, because I certainly wouldn’t claim to be a multi-tasker, but I’ve found that I can just about manage to hold a breast pump and balance my chrome book on my knees at the same time.

My list so far has been slightly eclectic, and tending towards environmental themes. I’ve read This Changes Everything, by Naomi Klein, which I really liked/ was deeply frightened by, and also Into the Woods, by John Yorke, which is a really nice book about the mechanics of storytelling.

I’ve just begun reading the Hidden Life of Trees by Peter Wohlleben, which is a really interesting insight into the biology of forests. It explains how trees in forests communicate through a ‘wood wide web’ and form a social network through which they can support each other and warn each other of threats. I really like these ideas for my novel. I was finding the idea of writing science fiction because there was no place for things like robots or computer science (yet) in my book. Equally I was having difficulty with the idea of writing fantasy as so far there are no elves or swords in my story (although with time who knows – these things evolve). But I feel like I am on good ground with biological sciences, which I always found a had most affinty with.

For anyone interestes in reading about the social life of trees I would suggest this book as a nice tour. The writing in the early chapters reads a bit like an essay someone has written for GCSE biology, with a series of chapters that read a bit like lists of interesting things, rather than a coherent story, but this evens out later in the book.

Happy reading.

This article contains affliate links. Should you choose to buy one of the books cited with the links here amazon will throw few pennies my way. I also make art. You can see things with my designs on at my shop here. Could even treat yourself if you wanted to. Just saying. If buying art is not your thing, but you would like to support what you see I also have a Patreon Page here.

Mothers day design – USA moms

Mother Love

Quite some time ago I posted this post in which I showed you a design I had created as a valentines day card for Mr Magpie when I was heavily pregnant with my first baby. A few people here, and else where said that they liked it so I had a go at putting it onto things at Redbubble in time for mothers day.

I put this design up back in march, just in time for Mothers Day in the UK. Here it is again in time for mothers day in the USA. Available on a range of lovely things at Redbubble. 

I also make art. You can see things with my designs on at my shop here. Could even treat yourself if you wanted to. Just saying. If buying art is not your thing, but you would like to support what you see I also have a Patreon Page here.

Design for Mothers Day – UK mums

Mother Love

A while ago I posted this post in which I showed you a design I had created as a valentines day card for Mr Magpie when I was heavily pregnant. A few people here, and else where said that they liked it so I had a go at putting it onto things at Redbubble in time for mothers day.

Now I have it ready, just in time for Mothers Day in the UK. So here it is, available on a range of things at Redbubble. 

I also make art. You can see things with my designs on at my shop here. Could even treat yourself if you wanted to. Just saying. If buying art is not your thing, but you would like to support what you see I also have a Patreon Page here.

 

A late Valentine’s card

img_20200217_095012_0167529439722667352352.jpg

I wanted to make a little update, I’m trying to get back to more regular postings, but still struggling a bit with feeling tired and fitting everything in. We managed to move house just before Christmas and have generally been trying to tidy up and sort out things for the baby. We are organised I think, in a haphazard kind of way. I am super close to my due date now and doing quite a bit less than I thought I would be doing at this point of time. However I did manage to make this valentines card for Mr Magpie.

I am interested in what people think of this design? I rather like it and am wondering if I should tidy it up a bit and make it available in my online shop? What do you think?

I also make art. You can see things with my designs on at my shop here. Could even treat yourself if you wanted to. Just saying. If buying art is not your thing, but you would like to support what you see I also have a Patreon Page here.

New story board attempt.

It’s been a while since I’ve had time to sit down and draw. After we moved and adopted the cats it’s taken a bit of time to settle in to doing creative things with paper. I’ve now been through a full cycle of ivf which was exhausting but ok. We are waiting on the outcome now. I also had quite a lot of animation work left to do on the computer and so prioritised getting that done.

But today I had some time to sit and draw some mini story boards for a documentary I’ve been working on for some time. I have some audio that needs visuals to go with it and I’ve been animating those sections among others. It feels really nice to be drawing again.

In other news I’ve started a patreon. There isn’t much on there at the moment but I’m planning to post pictures and updates on my drawing and writing which I’m less happy to put out in the public lest the ideas get pinched. I’d really appreciate it if people would be interested in following me there.

You can follow me here:

https://www.patreon.com/Midnight Magpie