Keys for Dani

Back in January 2016 I took part in the ‘Pay it Forward’ initiative on Facebook:

I want 2016 to be a kind and loving year. I’m participating in the ‘Pay it Forward’ initiative: The first 5 people who comment on this status with “I’m in” will randomly receive a surprise from me at some point in 2016- anything from a book, something homemade, a postcard, absolutely any surprise!
There will be no warning and it will happen when the mood comes over me and I find something that I believe would suit you and make you happy. These 5 people must make the same offer on their Facebook status. Please copy and paste this message in your own status (don’t share it), so that we can form a web of connection and kindness.
Once my first 5 have commented “I’m in” I will message you privately, to get your address.
Let’s do more nice and loving things in 2016, without any reason other than to make each other smile and show that we think of each other. Here’s to a more enjoyable, friendly and love filled year!

Three friends replied that they were “in,” and I have only now finished the first of the surprises. My friend and co-worker Dani likes to collect antique keys, and when I couldn’t find her an actual set of old keys I decided to simply draw some.

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Not having any old fashioned keys myself I had to look online for the source photograph. Credit goes to photographer Michelle Rhodes.

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I’m quite pleased with the end product, and I’m also proud of myself for having completed it fairly quickly (about 4-5 hours). I’m always frustrated by how slowly I draw, but the more I draw the faster I get and that makes me very happy. I’m also happy that Dani liked my drawing and promptly put it on display in her hallway:

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Crepes

We often make crepes for breakfast on the weekends. The kids love it (who doesn’t love an excuse to ingest copious amounts of maple syrup?!) and they’re very easy to make. The ingredients are simple: milk, flour and eggs. I use one cup of flour and about 3/4 cup milk per one egg. But to be perfectly honest I don’t usually measure the milk, I just keep pouring until it looks right. The batter should have an off-white colour and should pour freely and easily, but it shouldn’t be too runny.

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Beat the eggs first, then slowly add the flour and milk. In order to feed two adults and two young children I use two eggs, two cups of flour and about one and a half cups of milk. If you need a bigger serving simply throw in another egg, another cup of flour and some more milk…When making a larger batch I add the flour and milk in installments: beat the eggs first, then add one cup of flour, then 3/4 cup of milk, then another cup of flour, then another 3/4 cup of milk, etc. This makes it easier to keep the batter lump free. Also, adding a tablespoon of coconut to the batter can complement the taste of the crepes quite nicely. Or for an even more subtle hint of flavour you can simply grease the frying pan with coconut oil.

Let the pan get nice and hot before cooking.  Each crepe will take about two minutes–one minute per side or until it’s very light brown. I like to make small ones (that’s how my mother cooked them when I was young), but the batter cooks just as well with larger crepes.

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My kids prefer “weird” shapes:

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I don’t care what shape they are, as long as I have a mountain of them topped with maple syrup or honey:

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Dreary Winter Afternoon

I may not have posted anything in a while, but I have been getting a lot of drawing done. One of my “drawings in progress” is finally complete: a winter-y scene from a neighbourhood near my own. I’m  always looking around for inspiration while walking our dog, Chester, and one day I was taken by the lighting and colour (or lack there-of) in this scene:

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This is my favourite type of subject matter these days. Drawing buildings and trees is incredibly satisfying.  Buildings I enjoy because the lines are precise and obvious, and trees because, although the major lines are clear, you can attack the branches with abandon and still produce a fairly accurate depiction of the real thing.

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I took the liberty of making the windows larger,  omitted the cars and added a hint of colour in the sky and buildings to (attempt to) capture the lighting in the photograph. I hope you like it!