Kitchen Table Memoirs - Illustrations

Pencil sketches and watercolour artworks for the Kitchen Table Memoirs book illustrations

A few weeks ago I blogged about a new book called Kitchen Table Memoirs, where I had the fantastic opportunity to illustrate the front and back cover for the book.  I thought I'd include some of the illustrations I produced for the book, and how I approached the project.

After being briefed by the publishing company and given a list of suggested objects for the cover, I initially produced some preliminary pencil sketches to show my interpretation of the objects and the vintage-esque feel.

Once the initial sketches were approved, I moved onto painting them using Watercolours and Arches Watercolour paper in a Medium finish, 300 gsm weight.  This is my preferred paper to paint onto - I like having a slight 'tooth' to the paper, and the Medium finish is perfect for being not too smooth nor not too rough.  I stretched the sheets of paper onto board so they wouldn't buckle, and sketched out the objects lightly in pencil before painting them.

The finished painted artworks were scanned into Photoshop at a high resolution, where I could tweak the odd colour and clean up the images.  Each individual painted object was then placed into Illustrator, allowing me to create and assemble different layout options for the front and back cover.

This was a great commissioned project to work on, and it was very exciting to see the finished illustrations on the front cover of a book :)

The colour of Autumn

It's been stunning around Kyneton and the Macedon Ranges over the last few weeks, with Autumn turning green leaves into claret and golden hues.  It's been lovely to get out for walks in the Botanic Gardens and make the most of the last rays of warm sunshine.  Already in the short space of time since I took these photographs, the leaves are falling off the tree's revealing bare branches in preparation for winter and the colder months ahead.    

Mr J loves helping to rake up the fallen leaves and put them into his wheelbarrow - or better still to just jump and play in them!   

Market day

This Saturday was market day in Kyneton.  It's one of my favourite days and a lovely way to kick-start the weekend, with a coffee (OK and a muffin) from a local cafe, followed by a stroll around the market.

The farmers market is held once a month and is full of lots of beautiful local produce, with a great selection of fruit, vegetables, olive oils, home-made dips, preserves, jams, freshly baked breads, farm eggs, beer, wine, chooks and plants.  The sellers at the market vary depending what is in season, but you always know it's locally made and produced.

The market has also spread further along Piper Street and into the local church, to incorporate the Makers Market.  Hand-made products and local arts and crafts are on offer, including stationary, gift cards, children's clothing, hats, knitted items, wooden toys, clothing and plants.

The fruit and veg looked particularly colourful against the Autumn leaf backdrop, and with my basket of goodies I've made a vegetable curry and a delicious vegetable and barley soup - yum!

Hand-made DIY indoor tent

It's been a while since I last had my sewing machine out, but a few weeks ago I came across some instructions for making a DIY A-frame tent.  It looked easy enough, and with winter just around the corner I thought it would be fun for Mr J to have a little indoor tent to play and hide in.

I found some second-hand fabric on Etsy (I bought a children's double bed sheet) and set about turning it into the tent.  There are some very glamorous kids indoor tents in the market place, but I thought a hand-made one would be just as fun - and little Mr J won't mind if it's not 100% perfect.

It's really easy to change and update the fabric as it isn't permanently attached to the wooden supports, and it also folds up flat for storage - handy!  I've updated the tent since I took these pictures, by punching eyelets into the fabric and adding ribbon to tie the ends of the fabric to the wooden supports - cute! 

The super-easy DIY tent instructions are found here on Cakies blog and there are also some rather cute play tents and teepee's for inspiration here on Etsy.