Sometimes Life IS Just Fun and Games!

Kikwi studies a fly (coloured by Poppy and mom), Feb. 2015

My birthday gaming-day-turned-gaming-weekend-turned-gaming-week is now over, and what a welcome break it was! And Poppy and I ended up doing a lot more than play video games: I taught her how to knit (using YouTube tutorials), and we worked on her new stamp collection, and she started doing her “Kikwi comics” again after rediscovering the Legend of Zelda on the Wii (Kikwis are characters in the game). Then, just for fun, I made some copies of her comics and started colouring one with Sharpies. Poppy was so excited when she saw what I was doing that she asked if we could colour one together, alternating panels. So our joint-coloured comic is pictured above; she did the first panel and I did the second, and so on. The comic is about a Kikwi trying to study a fly (for her homework), but the fly keeps flying away. When the Kikwi finally gets to study it, finish her homework, and head back to school (St. Moo school), she ends up dropping the homework on the way and doesn’t have it to hand in.

Colouring it was funny because Poppy would purposely do things different colours than I did them, and she didn’t like if I tried to do the same colours as her; she wasn’t at all happy that I did the same colours as her for the bed, but I guess I am too stuck on the idea of needing continuity from panel to panel.

And here are two more of her new Kikwi comic pages. The first is about a Kikwi daydreaming in her room, getting new roller-shoes in the mail, rollering to her school in them, but then the school is closed. The second is about a Kikwi having fun putting things in the crack of her loose floor board, and then being late for school.

These poor Kikwis can’t seem to get a break.

Kikwi gets mail (colour version)

Kikwi late for school Feb. 2015

And lastly, here are the weekend knitting projects, a mini blanket and shawl, that we made for her current favourite stuffy “Liona”.


Bento 2.0

Poppy's Coloured Version, Oct. 2014

If anyone was getting bored with my Bento paintings, here’s something a little different. We were having a lazy studio day on Sunday, and I was doing a Bento sketch with a Sharpie marker; Poppy came up to me and asked if I could make a copy of it for her to colour. Prettier than the real thing I think. She got bored and didn’t want to finish it, but what can you do, she’s only seven.

And here is the original sketch, which we could just keep printing out to colour…if only the attention span of my seven-year old were but a bit longer.

September 3rd Bento Sketch, Oct. 2014, pencil and sharpie on paper



Kikwi Book Number 1(pages 1-9).

Page 1For this post I am going all the way back to February of this year. It’s funny how much my daughter’s skills have changed in just a few months. I forget how well she writes–back in February she was only using a few words in her drawings, and now she is writing whole pages. This was the first of the four Kikwi books she made. I had bought her one of those mini notebooks at Dollarama or somewhere, and she promptly filled it up with these very intricate comic-style stories about Kikwis (from The Legend of Zelda video game), along with some other mash-up references from anything she was into at the moment. The other main character she uses is actually Link (also from Legend of Zelda), but when she and my husband were playing the game he renamed Link “Lamesauce”, as Dads are apt to do, and the name stuck. So Lamesauce features heavily in her Kikwi stories.

There are 60 pages like the first page above, some with more panels and some with less, but all more or less following a storyline. I attempted to get Poppy to tell me what was happening in each panel, but we only got to page 19 and we were both pretty tired. So in Poppy’s own words, with only some minor clarification on my part, the story goes as follows:

Page 1 (pictured above) Panel 1 and 2 – Lamesauce leaves his room. Panel 3 – Two Kikwis and a Pony (a My Little Pony) sneak in. Panel 4 – An elder Kikwi and a little Kikwi bring Lamsauce a present. Panel 5 – A bunch of little Kikwis and an elder Kikwi bring Lamesauce presents. Panel 6 – Lamesauce catches some butterflies (just like in the video game).

And just for reference, this is a Kikwi: Kikwi_SS

Page 2 Page 2 Panel 1 – A Kikwi took the book from Lamesauce’s desk. Panel 2 – Four Kikwis get a giant book. Panel 3 – Seven Kikwi’s go down a vine. Panel 4 – One Kikwi lets go of the vine and takes a sailcloth landing (how Link lands in the game) into the water. Panel 5 – They all fall in the water all at the same time. Panel 6 – They swim underwater.

Page 3Page 3 Panel 1 – Lamesauce dropped his sword! Panel 2 – Then he threw off his green hat and green-like jacket (she was very specific about the “green-like jacket”). Panel 3 – The Lumpy Pumpkin (a place in the game). Panel 4 – A bunch of pumpkins and the pumpkin field of The Lumpy Pumpkin. Panel 5 – All the main Ponies find Lamesauce’s green hat and green-like jacket. Panel 6 – Both Unicorn Ponies do a spell to be able to hold the purple blanket.

Page 4Page 4 Panel 1 – The elder Kikwi and a little Kikwi find a globe that shows a burning eye (from Lord of the Rings)! Panel 2 – The elder Kikwi is trying to think what book to read next (because he is on the last page). Panel 3 – One of the little Kikwis  brings out the book saying “Yes yes” but the elder Kikwi says “No!”. Panel 4 – He reads the first page of “The King Who Tickled the Moon” (one of Poppy’s home reading books from school). Panel 5 – All the Kikwis say “We” because they want to read the book but the elder says no. Panel 6 – He’s like “Umm these Kikwis are too crazy!”. Panel 7 – Then they all say “Wii” because they want to play Boom Blox (a Wii game). Panel 8 – The elder Kikwi says “Yes.” and he puts the book away.

Page 5Page 5 Panel 1 – Lamesauce picks up a Kikwi, ready to read a story. Panel 2 – The Kikwi starts reading a story by saying “We.” Panel 3 – The Kikwi reads more by saying “We go.” Panel 4 – The Kikwi reading says “It’s me.” because the Kikwi who is reading is the Kikwi waving the sailcloth around and around. Panel 5 – Then he is showing a picture of Kikwis on a bus. Panel 6 – A Kikwi raising a phone and a Kikwi raising a book. Panel 7 – Kikwis pouring seeds. Panel 8 – Kikwis pouring more seeds.

Page 6Page 6 Panel 1 – Then the seeds pouring slows down. Panel 2 – The book is showing you how to love other Kikwis. Panel 3 – Then it’s showing a lucky heart envelope. Panel 4 – It talks more about the heart envelopes. Panel 5 – Then it’s telling Tutu (one of the Kikwis) to go to the ponies. Panel 6 – A Kikwi shouts “It’s The End!” (of the Kikwi Yearbook). Panel 8 – A Kikwi catches a heart ladybug.

Page 7Page 7 Panel 1 – A Kikwi watches her crystal ball, holding her bug net. Panel 2 – A bunch of Kikwis go dancing while one holds a book. Panel 3 – Then a Kikwi sees the vine jumping. Panel 4 – A bunch of Kikwis go “We’ll hang onto the vine with you.” Panel 5 – They all go down the vine and two let go and take a sailcloth landing into the water. Panel 6 – They all fall into the water at once. Panel 7 – The elder Kikwi went searching for all his little Kikwis. Page 8 – All the Kikwis meet Lamesauce under water.

Page 8Page 8 Panel 1 – A puff of pink turns into Spike (from My Little Pony). Panel 2 – Spike tells the Kikwis about the best My Little Ponies. Panel 3 and 4 – A heart turns into Sweetie Belle. Panel 5 and 6 – A puff of pink turns into Princess Luna.

Page 9Page 9 Panel 1 – A Kikwi thinks about Lamesauce. Panel 2 – Then she thinks of dowsing for Lamesauce. Panel 3 – She started dowsing and it said Lamesauce was underground digging for Rupies. Panel 4 – Then Rainbow Dash, Pinkie Pie, and Applejack came up but that was wrong! Panel 5 – Then a minion (from Despicable Me) disguised as Lamesauce came up. Panel 6 – The Kikwi thought it was the real Lamesauce. She didn’t notice the minion pin. Panel 7 – It pulled off it’s disguise and looked like a minion. Panel 8 – Then she was like “Urgh!” and she said “No more wrong things!”


So that seemed like a good spot to end off. I just love how she can portray emotions and express actions with her simple little Kikwi drawings. I don’t think I could do it. Especially just sitting down and drawing out of my head.



(The Beginnings Of) A Studio Poppy Book

Poppy Loves Ponyo Cover Page Another Studio Poppy project! I was kind of waiting for her to do a bit more on this one, but I think she may have lost interest in it. She has already done all the best bits, and after all she is only 6. This one is based on the “Agatha Parrot” books by Kjartan Poskitt. Agatha Parrot book cover She basically went page by page and copied the introduction pages, changing things a bit to make them her own. I think she was also imitating the drawing style. She has been doing a whole lot of reading this summer and has been inspired by everything she reads, wanting to copy them and change them up a bit with her own ideas. I am guessing that she might be a bit overwhelmed by starting the actual chapters, but who knows–I have been wrong before about her, and she might up and finish this book next week. For now here are the introduction pages she has done (including some two page spreads). Dedication pageTitle pageThe gangPoneie StreetTable of ContentsChapter 1 page 1Chapter 1 Page 2 And here is the Table of contents and first chapter beginning from the Agatha Parrot book–just so you can see how she changes it. I am very intrigued by her version; she already changed it to be very personal to her by making it about Ponyo (from the movie Ponyo by Hayao Miyazaki that she has been completely obsessed with lately). Agatha Parrot table of contentsAgatha Parrot chapter 1

A Studio Poppy Film

My daughter gets to be featured two weeks in a row because she is doing some amazing stuff! Although looking at the finished video I guess this was pretty collaborative, which is neat. Lately, we have been working our way through all the Hayao Miyazaki movies. I was trying to explain to her how cartoons were made and thought stop animation would be an easy way to show her. This took us most of the day to do, but it was fun. She also picked up that all the Hayao Miyazaki movies said “A Studio Ghibli Film” on them. She has since taken to titling the books she is making with “A Studio Poppy Book,” and she has been asking to make a movie which (of course) would be “A Studio Poppy Film”.

You may also recognize the music from the movie “Wreck It Ralph”–it is played A LOT at our house.

She also did some storyboards for her movie to show four of the different scenes–at their home, in the Arctic, at the beach, and the last one she just says is Love.

Scene 1 (Home)Scene 2 (The Arctic)Scene 3 (The Beach)Scene 4 (Love)




Pop and Puppycat!

Pop and Puppycat comic coverIt has been a long time since I posted anything of my daughter’s. Since I last posted any art of hers, she has been busy making books. She started doing a lot of comic-style stories with panels, but her newest book (not this one) is going more into text-based stories. One day I will post one of her first books which she called her “Kikwi Books”. She made four of them and Titled them Kikwi Book 1, Kiwi Book 2, Kikwi Book 3, and Kikwi Book 4 and they are a mash-up of influences from My Little Pony, Legend of Zelda, and Lord of the Rings. Though they each have 60 pages and there is a whole lot of information on each page so I haven’t decided the best way to showcase those. For now here is “Pop and Puppycat” (her shortest book so far) which she did based on the comic “Bee and Puppycat” by Natasha Allegri–a new favourite of hers.

Bee and Puppycat by Natasha AllegriWe have been talking about creating art and copying art and how when you are learning to be an artist you often start by copying and imitating other artists that you like until you find your own style, although you can still be influenced by them and their work. Poppy has really latched onto this idea and is prolifically copying anything she loves but always changing things just a bit so she isn’t directly copying it. I think it’s pretty incredible for someone who isn’t even in grade one yet!


Just Another Studio Reno… and a Cat and Some Sun.

Finally got the studio fix-up done. In January actually, and I’ve been busy, busy using it since then. I was going to try to get a post done today with all the paintings I’ve done in the last three weeks, but that has turned into a monster post so I’ll try to get that one done for the weekend. For now, here is the new and improved studio.

Putting up the peg board.Finished!My daughter's space.

It may not look all that different, I’ve been slowly cleaning it up over the past year. What we (my parents came to help) did for this part was patch and fill all the holes in the walls, paint all the walls (they were a pale blue when we moved into the house), put up a peg board to hang paintings rather than make holes in the wall,  hang a new stronger curtain rod for drapes, get rid of the brown corner shelf and hang wall shelves for my still life vases instead, and make a space for my daughter. I had already moved all the paintings that I was storing in the closet into our storage room and all the metal shelving that I had in the studio went into the closet.

Here are photos from before I started moving things out back in 2011. What a mess.

Studio beforeStudio before 2

And last, but not least, here’s the first artwork that we did in the space. My daughter’s cat painting and my large-scale watercolour of sunlight on the wall. I’ve done a watercolour of this image before, but for this one I was trying out a large-scale size. It is 30 inches by 40 inches and even though it is paper with a high rag content I think that next time I would still need to get a large board to tape it down and I also might need to stop being so lazy and wet and stretch the paper. Oh well, now I know.

First painting in renovated studio, January 2013Large Reflection Watercolour, Feb. 2013 watercolour on paper 30 x 40

The Caterpillar and the Bubble Blower.

I keep coming back to my daughter being a genius. We did some still life painting together, and she chose to paint her bubble blower and she asked that I paint her pink IKEA cup. I was all game for it until I realised that I had no clue how to paint fluorescent pink in watercolour. I think I actually have to buy fluorescent pink paint. So the colour is way off and I might have to try painting this cup again. Once again she has stumped me with a seemingly mundane subject! Although it was a fun little object study with a new shadow to paint.

I was completely amazed that she did a fairly decent representation of the bubble blower, getting all the basic shapes and colours right (better than I had done), and this all was done through her own observation without any imput from me. Not bad for a four year old (as I said — genius!). Her finished painting veers off the representational path a bit and has a caterpillar added in the bottom right corner (I believe the dots are his footsteps). I think it’s a lovely painting.

Watercolour Wednesday — Black and gold tea-cup.

My mom gave me some money for my birthday so I splurged and bought some professional quality watercolour paints. They are M. Graham brand—the same brand that I use for oil paints—and so far I LOVE them! I’ve decided that I actually really like doing watercolour. My new set of paints also means that my daughter has inherited my old set of watercolours. She did an amazing first painting with them full of super vibrant colours (the dots are all the birds).

I think I was inspired by her bold use of colour to choose something a bit more vibrant to paint this week, and now that I’m looking at the paintings together, I see that I also chose pretty much the same colour palette as she did. Very interesting.