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Congrats to Kathy! Winner of my One World One Heart giveaway event prize: a Moleskine Cahier! Kathy will have a few days to claim her prize. Be sure to check out her blogs:

http://manickathy.blogspot.com/
http://comegrowwithme.blogspot.com/

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UPDATED: to add a photo and description of the prize.

Well, I can’t say that I even remember where I ran across this, but there is a huge blog giveaway event going on. Thus far, over 350 blogs are involved. The point of the One World One Heart project is to connect bloggers around the world. With over 400 prizes available already, it sounds like fun to me! Spent some time on my sick day flipping through the blogs (no brain power to do anything productive). There is quite the variety going on, and some amazing artists.

Anyway, I thought I would get in on the adventure. I will be giving away one Moleskine Pocket Cahier, decorated by me. The Cahier (kye-yay) is a 3.5×5.5″ thread-bound, pocket-sized journal. The cover is a sturdy kraft board, with a pocket in the back for notes. The 64 pages are lined, with the last 16 detatchable. Illustration: a diminutive and demanding Cranky Owl on a branch. Hand-drawn by me in black waterproof, fade-proof, acid-free, archival ink.

Rules:

Post a comment on this post and be sure to include contact information so that I can notify you if you win. Winner will be chosen on February 12th, by a random number generator. If there is no reply within 48 hours, I will choose a new winner. Deadline for comments: 11:59pm, February 11th, 2009 PST.

Be sure to check out the rest of the giveaways!
OWOH
Photo

I’ve started drawing again. I don’t remember stopping, but at some point in my “growing up,” I apparently did.

Somewhere, I think, my mom has a kept crayon sketch of multi-colored triangle girls, boxy men, and lollipop trees from my early years. I took a class or two on drawing and shading when I was around 10ish, and eventually graduated to pencil and charcoal. Secret City Adventures on PBS was an obsession for quite a while, as was drawing most of the Peanuts characters on old manilla folders.

My dancing showed a lot of promise, according to my instructor. I tended to lug a camera around everywhere, though I didn’t often have spare money for film and developing.¬† Growing up, I loved having a sketchbook or notepad on hand, and art supplies were a frequent birthday or Christmas present. My room contained wonders enough to delight most artistic children: books, paper, paints, pens/pencils, kneaded erasers, cheap cameras and the freedom of not being “in school.” I had enough natural talent to get me started, but not enough drive or discipline to maintain any momentum on my own.

It has often been a regret of mine that I never had music lessons, or continuing lessons in drawing or the arts of any kind. I always think that maybe, had I had some structure like that, I would have accomplished more as an artist. Perhaps, now, I would be a successfully starving artist, instead of having a nice, low-stress union job.

So, why the sudden burst of reminiscing? Well, last week, my very first Moleskine (mol-a-skeen-a) arrived in the mail. I’m a bit of a sucker for notebooks and have been wanting to get my hands on a Moleskine since I first saw them. I think it was at Powell’s City of Books in Portland, years ago. I never really felt I could justify the price. So, a couple weeks ago, when I ran across a few for a good price online, I couldn’t resist picking a couple up to give them a try.

The pocket sketchbook won the vote, and was the first to be opened and used. A few days later and I am wondering why I never made the investment before! I’ve been going about my sketchbook buying all wrong before this. Extra large always seemed like the best deal, thought sometimes I would settle for medium sized sketchbooks as a compromise for portability. This past weekend, I have been drawing like I used to draw when I was young (only better, surprisingly). With each page filled, old memories are flooding back and sketching/doodling/drawing is suddenly fun and relaxing again. The reasons for this have been slowly occurring to me, and I have added them to the following overview of this sketchbook:

Moleskine Pocket Sketchbook

Size: 3 1/2 x 5 1/2 inches (Pocket)

This size is ideal for me. Unlike past sketchbooks, the pages are tiny and less daunting. I realize now that the smaller pages invite me to use them. I don’t feel like I am wasting a whole page with a doodle, or that I need to draw something epic. It’s easier to pack around in my purse/tote/pocket, and will obviously get used more by just being with me.

Binding: Hardcover, thread-bound signatures

Stitched binding is a must for this kind of book. Years ago I switched to spiral bound notebooks, though not ideal, because I couldn’t stand not being able to lay my notebooks out completely flat. I’ve always preferred the look of a hardcover book, however, and this little beauty flattens right¬† out.

Paper: 80 pages of acid-free, heavy, top quality

I’ve heard some complaints about the number of pages and the smoothness of the paper in the sketchbook, but both work well for me. 80 pages is a nice, doable number of pages for a book this size. It’s thick enough to sit nicely in your hand, but not bulky. Filling it up should take a little while, but not too painfully long either.

I am in love with the paper! I’m typically a pen or pencil sketcher, so it works perfectly for what I do. Many other sketchbooks I’ve used have had too much “tooth” to them for my taste. Something significant about the paper hit me yesterday: it reminds me of those old manila folders I so loved to draw on as a child. They were my favorite, and I don’t think I’ve loved drawing on anything else quite as much. Now I’ve got something oh-so-similar, nicely bound in a convenient little book. It’s glorious!

Other features:

Elastic to hold it closed, ribbon bookmark, pocket inside the back cover

Moleskine

Powell’s Books