When Uncle Toby’s asked if I’d like to review their Oats Quick Sachets I jumped at the chance! I usually alternate my breakfasts between porridge, toast and the occasional crumpet, so I was happy to take some of Oats Quick Sachets off their hands to taste test them. I like the fact this porridge only takes 90 seconds, which means it is convenient on days when I have to shimmy into the CBD to teach ESL uni students at the butt-crack of dawn, cos, let’s be honest, every second of sleep counts on those mornings! On other mornings though, I have a more leisurely approach to my mornings. Let’s have a look-see at how my normal mornings pan out. And, I have to declare that these illustrations are 100% accurate of how my life is.
Hugo, one of the infamous Border Terriers that crashes my OOTD photos usually wakes me up by climbing on top of me and willing me to open my eyes. If his telepathic brain power isn’t enough to will me awake, he’ll generally settle for shaking excitedly, vibrating the whole bed. Or, he’ll lick my face, which is a very unsettling way to wake up. When I open them, this is the view I see.
Next, before anything else happens, I zombie-walk to the kitchen and flick the kettle on. After sipping a bit of coffee, I can manage to open my eyes beyond tiny slits. While guzzling my magical first coffee I generally hear the super recognizable skype ring tone from the sun room.
So, I get into the sun room and answer my skype with video and stare blearily at the screen. My fiance stares sleepily back, as he is preparing to go sleep for the day in Dakar and we chat to each other for varying amounts of time. Generally we skype in my evenings too, and I am usually more coherent for those calls than for these morning calls. Thankfully, my fiance can understand my grunting and mumbling.
While I boil the kettle for a second coffee I generally realize I’m hungry so scheme up what to have. For the purpose of this story, I chose a day when I would have porridge. Porridge is one of my favorite winter foods, and because it is healthy and has no artificial colors or flavors, then I feel it is keeping in line with my health plan. I also like that this porridge is easy to prepare and isn’t going to cause a huge mess. You just pour it in a bowl, chuck in some water and then zap it. Before I put the porridge in for 90 seconds, I generally do a berry inventory to see what to add when it’ll be done. If you read my blog regularly, you’ll know that berries have been taking over my mind, and that is cos I get to have them for brekkie on my leisurely mornings.
Thankfully my mother is just as much of a berry fiend as me, so usually the fridge and freezer are full of berries. I pop the frozen raspberries in with the Oats Quick Sachets. This means that when it is done I generally have a wonderful porridge, with bits of raspberries mixed in.
While the microwave is doing its thang I generally do as many squats as I can. This is a left over routine from what I did the Squat Challenge and it just means whenever I am waiting for a kettle to boil, or the microwave, I just automatically start squatting. I also do it at work at my uni job when I’m photocopying… if no one is around.
After the 90 seconds is up, I allow the strawberries, blackberries and blue berries dance into the bowl in a festival of merriment. I also wait for it to cool down and add some milk.
Next, with my berry-licious porridge in my hand, and my second coffee in the other, I go out into my garden to eat breakfast if it isn’t raining. I wear an opulent robe, with copious pearls and have the additional berries that escaped my breakfast round up in my hair. I told you this story was 100% accurate right?
I generally have two Border Terriers staring at me intently by this stage. I ignore them and concentrate of my breakfast. They know that post-breakfast-second-coffee-Jacqui often takes them for a walk, but they get bored with trying to rush me and play in the garden instead. Hugo runs quickly swerving in and out of trees and shrubs while Bonnie snaps him as he bolts past her.
After I finish my porridge, I take my time with my second coffee and check Instagram, emails and other social media for my business with my phone. Even if I have a matter that I consider quite urgent, I refuse to do it until I’ve taken the dogs for a walk. I want to prioritize my health, and if I start pushing exercise down the end of the To Do list, well… it’ll never get done. So, I finish my coffee, take my dishes inside to the dishwasher, and then get out of my opulent robe and pearls, shake the berries out of my hair, and put on my trackies for a walk with those pesky hounds! After I come back from the walk I shower then get on with all the tasks with my business that have piled up overnight.
So, this is my realistic account of a ordinary morning in my life. Thanks to Uncle Toby’s for giving me some 90 second Oats Quick Sachets to review, they certainly make my normal morning more delicious. I also hadn’t done any illustration or drawings on this blog for such a long time! Remember how I used to regularly show you the stuff I’d done in my ARTS tab? Well, maybe I’ll be doing more since I really enjoyed drawing these to show you how my mornings go.
Yeh, another lacquer piece getting shown today. This one was made for one of my best friends whose birthday was yesterday (Happy Birthday Old Gal!) but it wasn’t her birthday present, it was probably her xmas present, or something… we find it hard to keep track of presents so just buy/make each other shit when we get the inkling.
She was loosely based on the fruit girls in this batch of sketches
but has a sweeter look about her. I can’t resist chucking spikes on clothing either, Princess Mombi
has left a deep, deep impression on my soul. Also, speaking of souls, I would probably sell mine to Lucifer to get a dress like Ms Mombi’s
Other lacquer paintings are under my ‘Art’ section.
Melbourne, warm the fuck up, this shit is stupid!
WOO HOO! This Lacquer painting has been my back up painting, when I was too lazy or unmotivated to complete any of the other ones I had going, I reckon it took me close to a year to finish it!
Other lacquer paintings I’ve done can be seen through my art tab
on the right hand side,
I think the only two I’ve uploaded are my Jinn painting and my Harem Girl, but I have a couple more that I completed and I’ll upload soon.
So Medusa’s Bathroom painting just got more and more complicated as I kept painting, but I’m pretty happy with the final result, of course Medusa would have a crazily decorated bathroom! Hahah. Like her robe? That’s a cool technique involving lace fabric, silver dust, lacquer and patience.
Traditional Lacquer ware is one of the main exports the Vietnam has and tourists usually laden themselves up with lacquer ware, but. if you are spending some time in Hanoi, why not make your own? The school I went to is in Tay Ho, well priced and great fun, and no, you don’t need to be artistically inclined to make a painting, I promise! The teacher and his wife are cool, helpful and will let you do what you want, or guide you, depending on what you want. They have wooden boards for paintings like the ones you’ve seen from me, but also vases, bracelets, pendants, bowls, all kinds of stuff you can decorate, and it’s a lot cooler than just buying the same old same old.
Contact Tay Ho Lacquer School here
I’ll unveil the others that I finished in a flurry before I left Hanoi over the next couple of weeks.
Yes, yes, I draw the same thing again and again and again. They are pretty girls with complicated hair looking sad or apprehensive. What of it? Haha, a leopard can’t change it’s spots… the bottom picture is an inner self portrait, something I think everyone should draw of themselves, a kinda of ‘spirit animal/affirmation’ portrait… man, that doesn’t make sense, I’m having another coffee.
there is no saviour
the blue shield
in the sun
dance lion, dance
head n heart
inner self portrait
Well, I’ve completed another lacquer piece for a friend. I call this one The Knowing Jinn because the genie has a smirk on her face as she is making it rain money for her master, knowing it won’t bring happiness.
This painting was quite fun to do, especially gluing the coins down. Don’t bother telling me that using money like this is illegal, I don’t care, I had a whole lot of coins from Turkey, Russia, Laos, Thailand, Bulgaria and Australia that were essentially useless; may as well put them to good use.
Another funny thing about this painting, was, because I was doing it for a friend, I could only do it when I had good vibes or felt happy cos I had some irrational fear that if I felt angry or sad that that emotion would make it’s way into the painting…
weird I know….
me painting my next lacquer piece…
So, I’ve been drawing, so much so, that I have run out of sketch book paper and had to start using big brown manilla envelopes, and now they are finished and I really really must buy another sketch book…So, here are the most recent collection of pics…
All wrapped up in pink.
A siren, hunting.
The Lion’s Wife
Pretty pastel hair
You can be either
Hope you like them.
I realize I mainly draw beautiful, ethereal women. Cos women are beautiful yo! Especially when they have clothes pegs in their hair and wings.
This one is titled “Oh this old thing? I just wear my Octopus Hat around the house when I’m cleaning.”
Lions, keys, coffee cups and raspberries? Yum
Some of the ‘fruit ladies’ : I’ve actually started a lacquer painting of a lady with lotsa fruit in her hair.
Year of the Serpent.
Some more complex pictures…
going into a bit of mythology love with the Fates;
Clotho, Lachesis & Atropos and their string of life.
Just some ladies
Fox girls climbing triangle trees…
and that has been my mind recently…
So, I’ve still be working on my Hanoi based sketches, but, also, just working on some freestyle, unthemed pictures. The above is foxy lady. I like her.
Dog with a clock for a nose.
Funny creatures from my mind.
Lantern Fish Hat Fashion
Two very similar ladies with complicated hair.
Cogs and hair
and…my favorite, Genesis (in my mind)
Chin up, Monday’s over.
Lacquer painting is a long and arduous process, of layer upon layer, sanding and sanding and then more layers, but, lo and behold, two are done!
The one above is a harem girl with a pomegranate.
Here’s the process (I’d been thoughtfully snapping pictures along the way.) I’m really happy with my harem girl.
The bunny ears are okay. I’m not 100% happy with it, but it was my first lacquer I’d ever done. So, 2 down, 4 to go! Yay!
I am well and truly back at work and having a grand old time. The remainder of my holiday was spent sketching and computer inking some pics I’d been drawing, mostly with a very Vietnam-ish theme. The pic above is an ode to the most potent and delicious coffee Hanoi offers.
another VN coffee inspired picture, very similar to my crazy love V day picture. (featured here
) This is the ‘after’ coffee picture. I’m thinking about doing a ‘before’ picture
A romantic picture I drew for a good friend of mine that is a long way away. xox
My good friend asked me to draw a picture to make for her desktop background. I turned her into a fox.
another friend of mine asked me to draw him a picture. Now he uses it as his profile picture on FB,
One that should really belong in the Valentine Day sketches post, but I drew it last. I really love this picture and am so glad about how it turned out.