The Creme line from Chic Sparrow is their thickest leather. It’s a soft and pliable, supple full-grain leather with a decent amount of structure so it’s not floppy. It feels so nice and sturdy in your hands. It also smells wonderful. I’m not advertising for them. I simply love this leather, and a few others, and so much so that I think I might have an addiction, and it’s not a good one either because they are expensive. I started out with one leather cover back in 2017, a Mr. Darcy Lemon Drop B6, and from then on, it’s been one notebook cover after another. I’m at the point where I have no use for them. I’m simply collecting them now. I guess if it makes me happy, it can’t be a bad thing, right?
I’ve never been a fan of the color green for notebook covers, but lately it’s been a color I’m drawn too. My first purchase of a green cover was the Glas Folio B6 from the Express line. I thought I was good with that one, but then the Gastaldi from the Artist line captured my heart. There is something about this green that’s just so magnetic. The color is between a fern and forest green. I’d say maybe a sap green. There’s a bit of yellow and brown to it.
This Gastaldi is a Cascade Folio in the A5 size.
Here’s Gastaldi compared to Glas. Glas is a muted lime green.
Currently, I have a Stalogy A5 notebook in the Gastaldi and a Stalogy B6 in the Glas. Both of these notebook covers were purchased from Chic Sparrow. The Stalogy notebooks were purchased from Amazon.
If you haven’t seen my video, I did an unboxing of this leather. It’s an Austen Emma B6 Heritage by Chic Sparrow. I ordered this leather notebook cover during the December 2021 sale. This leather patina’s pretty quickly. I’ve had it for about a month and it’s already darker than when I received it. It will continue to patina so I’ll revisit later this year to see how it’s changed.
I’m using this one to hold my affirmations. I go through these phases where I question doing art, but I keep returning to art because it relaxes and keeps me creative. It helps me stay focus on my goals (writing/publishing) and my family. It’s strange that way how art has that much control. Here’s my first page of my affirmations. I’m going to pull a card once a month to do a layout and some journaling.
This was one of the most difficult paintings I did with gouache. I nearly gave up. I think it turned out fine, but multiple times I almost tore it up. It could just mean I need more practice with gouache. You might ask why I keep using gouache and not watercolor if it’s such a pain. I wonder the same, but I think I’m drawn to gouache because it’s very smooth when laying it down, it dries matte, and it’s more opaque than watercolor so I spend less time layering paint. There are probably other reasons too but these are the main ones.
I tried my hands at using gouache and I’m liking it. I like how smooth it goes on and that it dries matte. What I’m not comfortable with (yet?) is that it takes getting used to. There were a couple times I wanted to give up because what I was trying to achieve just wasn’t happening, or so I thought. Somehow, the paintings turned out okay. Gouache tests my patience. I think one of these days I will definitely just destroy an unfinished piece.
These are the paintings I made using gouache. They were for birthday cards for family.
Here are close-ups.
I typically try to practice a smaller version before attempting on larger pieces to get the hang of things. I decided to record my process to share how I do it. Since I’m new to gouache, I wanted to also share a swatching of the gouache I used. It’s the Art Philosophy brand. I chose this brand because I heard a lot of good stuff about their gouache and it wasn’t expensive. I may one day try Holbein, Winsor & Newton, and other higher ends.
Last weekend, our oldest daughter was celebrating her two-year anniversary with her boyfriend in Steamboat Springs and we needed to get some Christmas photos for the year so we decided to join them up there. They had gone up before we did and stayed in a B&B. We stayed at a La Quinta about five minutes from them.
The drive to Steamboat was about four hours. There was a bit of snow as we approached the Eisenhower Tunnel.
Down the other side of the tunnel is steep and curvy. I’ve been down this road many times but each time, I’m always so nervous.
When we got closer to Steamboat, it snowed.
A few minutes before reaching Steamboat, the snow stopped and disappeared.
Where we stayed.
The view from the back window of our hotel room.
We didn’t have time to do too many things. Our one full day there, we had breakfast with our daughter and her boyfriend, and took photos. Then, they went their way, and we went ours. Husband, our youngest daughter, and I went to a hot springs which husband and I loved, but daughter didn’t so much. The sulfur was too strong for her. The sulfur started to burn my eyes eventually so we left. We had lunch and then went to watch Eternals at a really small theater (it’s really small compared to the AMC near our home, but not nearly as small as the one in Craig when I went with our daughters some years ago). Daughter and I liked Eternals. Husband thought it was too long.
It was a nice little getaway to a small ski town. Everyone was friendly and the view was beautiful and peaceful.
Using the ART mode on the Olympus PEN E-PL8 mirrorless camera. I think I’m in love with the vibrant colors.
The day before Halloween, husband, our youngest, and I went on a road trip to Wyoming to see if we could get a good view of the Northern Lights. From what we learned, the massive solar flare would glow far enough to reach parts of Colorado. We thought we’d go further north for a better chance at seeing it.
It was a four hour drive, which wasn’t bad. The main road was straight and flat, which made the trip easy. A few years ago, it took us at least five hours to get to Ouray, Colorado, but we went through twisty roads and mountains which made the ride longer. Husband and I have been to Wyoming before. We went to Jackson Hole in Teton National Park to see Dr. Wayne Dyer at a speaking event. That was so long ago, and we didn’t stay very long either. It was also on the west side of Wyoming. This time we went straight north.
We stayed at a Holiday Inn in Casper where our daughter did homework while husband and I watched some T.V., and stepped out a few times to see if we could see the northern lights.
Unfortunately, we were not able to see the Northern Lights. We checked between 8pm and 10:30pm with no luck. It was just way too cloudy.
The next morning, we headed home. The car was slightly iced over. It was pretty cold. The roads were wet but not icy, although smaller roads might have been icy. It snowed part way while we were on the road.
The view above was in front of the hotel. There was nothing in Casper. I’m not sure if it’s all farm land, but there was a lot of empty land for miles and miles.
Even though we didn’t get to see the Northern Lights, this short road trip was well-needed. For some reason, I felt as though I could breathe better in Wyoming. I was also extremely relaxed. We stopped in Cheyenne on our way home for lunch and I fell in love with that city. I’d visit it again and stay a little longer. It’s not quite a small town. It’s a city, but a tiny cute one.
A week and a half ago (can you believe we’re already in week two of November?), during the week of Halloween, husband, our youngest daughter, and I went to a strings performance called Candlelight: A Haunted Evening. They played spooky songs as well as some classics like The Adam’s Family theme song and Ghost Busters theme song. They even played the famous tune from the movie Psycho. It was a great evening.
The event took place at Wings Over the Rockies Air & Space Museum. We were allowed to go a little early and tour the museum before the performance started. Our daughter has been to the museum before for a choir performance so she was really happy to see that we were going there again. This was my first time there as well as husband’s. It was really awesome to see these retired military airplanes.
The candlelight setup was very intimate and really enjoyable. I was surprised our daughter enjoyed it as much as we did.
For Halloween, husband and I dressed up as bumble bees and handed out treats. Our oldest daughter worked so didn’t get to enjoy this year’s Halloween. Our youngest was the mad hatter. She went trick-or-treating with her friend for about an hour or so. They came back and chilled out and played some video games. We had a really nice Halloween this year. Last year, because of COVID, we didn’t do anything.
Hope you all had a great Halloween. I had wanted to post sooner but I was just super busy with home life and health-life. I’m behind on my reading as well. I hope the authors I’m reading for can be patient with me. Speaking of reading, I’m not sure what’s going on with Goodreads, but they put two books under currently reading list, so now I show having four books I’m currently reading. I have no idea why those two extra books are there because they were not even under my “to read” list. They suddenly just popped up under my currently reading list. The first time this happened (with just one book), I deleted the book and didn’t think anything of it. But now, it was obvious. I only realized it because I had a couple of friends/followers “liked” those books which triggered me to take a closer look. Really strange.
I uploaded the video a week ago wanting to share the video and photos at the same time, but the photos were delayed because something else came up, and then couldn’t decide if I should go ahead with the video and share the photos later. Finally decided to wait and do both video and photos together.
This leather, Jaffe A5 Cascade, was actually not available when I wanted to buy it. I submitted a notification request for it, just in case. A lot of leathers I like are limited edition and the Callahan line is one of them. The Jaffe leather is so rugged and beautiful that I had to have my hands on it. I’m so glad I was able to get one.