Cindy -Episode 64- The RED footed Booby


The RED footed booby

Yes, we got pretty quiet for a while. And yes, we still share the same apartment, what is little short of a miracle ( as you might better understand after reading this episode.) And YES, life is still the very reverse of boredom sharing my life and flat with someone like you know, whom I am talking about.
So another long period of silence finds an end today. Cindy didn’t want to hold back our adventures any longer. I had had in mind to keep my holidays private, but she insisted on posting stories about OUR adventure. So we sat down in the September sun on our balcony and debated vigorously if we should present HER version or MY version of what had happened.
We came to the conclusion that, as long as I am the chronicler of our flatlife, Cindy would have to cope with MY point of view ( which is only fair, when you are forced to talk about private stuff). And I convinced her, that we would need to wait for the R to get the story of the RED footed booby published.

So this is the story, as it were.
Everything started in the very early hours of 28th of July. The evening before we had hashed and rehashed, that for the following three weeks we would enjoy life separately. My trip to Ecuador and Galapagos with my mum was due. The next morning we had an early flight to Amsterdam to catch a flight to Guayaquil later in the day. Cindys plans were still a bit vague, maybe going home and catching up with friends, maybe hanging out in Hamburg, but certainly NOT joining my mum and me on our trip, but I had reckoned without my host.

The alarm rang as early as 2:30. I tiptoed along the hallway not to wake up my flatmate, but I couldn’t believe my eyes. Cindy was already MORE than awake. She stood there next to my backpack and smiled. “Good morning, Petra”, she fluted. “Good Morning, Cindy”, I hissed, having a sense of forboding, “what are you up to? Meeting up with friends so early in the morning for snorkeling?”She was wearing a wetsuit in alarming colors and ridicilous red flippers.
“Petra”, she said, “I digested our nice last nights talk and changed my mind. I can see my friends in autumn, but “The once in a lifetime experience” on a boat around the Galapagos islands won’t turn up a second time.” “Cindy, you are not serious, are you?”, I gasped, but I already knew, that she was. She opened her mouth and I knew, what she would say in a second, I formed the words and she spoke them out loud: “Oh yes, I am really serious about it.” She kept going: “And keep your breath to cool your porridge, I rethought the issue and know, that we will have a perfect time.” She started singing in the middle of the night: “All my backs are packed, I’m ready to go” “Stop singing NOW, Cindy”, I nearly lost my temper. But I ran out of words and ideas how to avert the danger of spending my holiday with her. It was time to get ready. So finally I did something, I might regret later, having done, but I gave in: “Ok, ok, but I don’t take you along in your wetsuit, you have to change NOW.” Instantly she started explaining, why her outfit was the most appropriate you could think of for a 12 hour flight, but I don’t want to bother you with her abstruse arguments.
In the end I was accompanied by an orange sausage jumping up and down like a bouncy ball, even wearing those flippers.
My mum awaited us with gaping mouth. I was pulling a long face, looking at her. But she greeted me with the words:”Perhaps it is not such a bad thing, having her with us.” Did she mean, better having her with us, then knowing her on her own back home?
The following three weeks might have an answer for that…


How the Recovery Stage 3 page evolved

After putting Cindys sore feet into focus of the Recovery stage 2, it was clear, that we had to think about their proper treatment. A foot bath might heal the blisters.

The first two sketches show, that I had something else in mind. I thought an eggcup would be enough. But there was a new problem coming up with it. If I used the eggcup, where should Cindy sit on? The three-drawer dresser was scaled in Cindy size, while the eggcup was more the size of a real eggcup, I would have on my breakfast table. I had to make my mind up, what picture I wanted to evoke. There weren’t many Cindy pictures yet, where her real size had been determined.

I put the sketches aside for the moment and moved on to other stuff.

Recovery stage 3

At some point the kitchen sink idea evolved and I went back to the old days, where Madge (here in Germany she was called Tante Tilly) was the savior of worn hausfrau hands.

I needed a nice sink and tap and started a quick research on the internet.

Water taps

The hardest task was to get the composition right. I remembered again one of Carla Sonheims assigments, where we had to play with cut out furniture to get a feeling for the different compositions. The questions were, where to put Cindy and the Palmo.  Cindy in the centre? I had to enlarge the pink background twice to find a composition I could use for the final art work.


Do you see the sponge Cindy is sitting on? We had to drop this idea, because Cindy was complaing too hard about the wet bump, she had gotten while sitting on it. And another problem I couldn’t really solve was, that her legs wouldn’t have been long enough to soak properly in the foamy water.




Read in the next  BEHIND THE SCENES post: playing with facial expressions




How the Recovery Stage 1 page evolved

I love sketching on the Metro. Even when there is not a lot of time, because I have to change trains twice every 5 to ten minutes. But this amount of time is just enough to jot down my ideas. The tiny sketchbook I use for the sketches is very handy, because it fits in the smallest pocket and doesn´t attract the attention of my fellow commuters too much.

IMG_6043For this sketch I picked up the idea of the hot tub aroma satchet (klick here for more information about the satchets.) I thought, Cindy might be the best promoter of her products by using it herself.

So she had to hop into the mug. To keep her warm and cosy I put the candle underneath the mug. I wasn´t sure about the mug, so I juggled with the idea of using a wine barrel design. But at the end a more modern style  made it into the final stage.

She took her bathing cap with her. It is part of a the beautiful swimming outfit my art friend Paige had sent her last year.

We had to pick another bathing cap later on, because the color range didn´t allow the lovely yellow and red, Paige had chosen for the outfit. Sorry about that, Paige. But fortunately Cindy had drawn attention to your stunning design already in her Bicasso episode, you can find by clicking here.

At that time I hadn´t decided on the background color yet. So both colors were possible for the mug. Thinking about the background is still new to me, as my illustrations went without it so far. I tell you more about it in one of the next posts.

Recovery stage 1

Read in the next  BEHIND THE SCENES post: How the Recovery Stage 2 evolved



Cindy -Episode 63- the magic jellyfish mop



J is for Jellyfish

When you think of a cleaning fairy coming along with her magic wand to clear off your messy home, you probably have a sweet tiny person with blond curly hair and a beautiful dress in mind, waving her wand around and the mess vanishes into thin air in a second. But there’s a problem with all the images we carry around with us everyday. Because real life differs in so many ways from our imagination.

Cindy is definitely a person, who can help to broaden your mind. So she did today in the morning, when she appeared in the kitchen in this outfit. I am no longer extremely surprised by what I see, but today I must admit, it took a while to take in all the details, which were presented by my amazing flatmate.
“Good morning Cindy, what are you up to today?”, I asked her trying to sound as normal as I could. “Why are you coming up with such a superflous question, Petra?”, she answered. “Just look at me and you should know, what’s going on.”
But that was the big point. I had no clue, what that jellyfish on her head would stand for, neither her tightfitting wetsuit made any sense to me. Cindy put down the bucket, the jellyfish wobbling around her head. It was still alive!!!
“Cindy, you better explain your mission, before you start”, I urged her. She tried to make herself comfortable on the chair and then raised her voice.
“Didn’t Carla girl ask for help for her spring cleaning? Didn’t she say, her house was a mess? Here I am, the spring cleaning session will start at 9 o ‘clock pacific time, I presume.”
“But we are here, Cindy, and Carla lives about 5000 miles west of us.” “Hmmmpff”, she slumped down as much as the wetsuit let her, nearly dropping her stick, where a second jellyfish dangled on top of it.
“I forgot about that”, she wailed near to tears, “and what now?” I had no idea. I still was riveted by the steadily moving tentacles around her head.
Suddenly she came back to live, straightening her body. Cindy looked around and announced: “If Carla girl doesn’t need my help, then our windows will be as clear as the ocean after being cleaned with this MAGIC JELLYFISH MOP I ordered online.” She waved her MAGIC JELLYFISH MOP wand around, splashing the smelly seawater all over the kitchenfloor.

I wish, I could stop her somehow. Maybe there is someone out there in need of a MAGIC JELLYFISH MOP?


How the Marathon idea came up

Where do I get my inspiration from?

This time it was quite easy. It all started in the  H week  of our online class “Y is for Yellow” the night before the HASPA MARATHON HAMBURG, which took place on Sunday the 17.04.2016. I was chatting with my wonderful art friend Eva about the Marathon and I think it was her who asked, if my flatmate Cindy would be on the track as well. We are a fantastic team, when it comes to making up stories. The Wundertüten (click here for the Episode) we invented together in 2015 were sent to all parts of the world. A big thank you to Eva.

What a wonderful idea to send Cindy on the Marathon! I love getting inspired by what happens around me. So this time I had to research just in front of my door, because the Marathon track is not far away from my home.

Cindy was a bit surprised. But she had no choice but to get out her running gear. That´s the destiny of an artist´s flatmate. In my first sketch I played with the running kit, she should wear. Short pants, long pants? Energy drinks on her belt? Headband? Too many option. Doesn´t she look horrible in the left sketch? What an awful hairdo!

In the next step, it was already clear, that Granny Schwümmli would be at the start as well. I loved her glasses and remembered her handbag adventure. So I equipped her with her handbag and her slippers, she had been wearing for other occasions.

First sketches
First raw sketches followed by colored ones


It was pretty clear, that the two could´t just stand there. Granny was the first one to run. (She didn´t make it yet into color!)

I did some research on the Internet to get her running pose right. And I remembered one of Carlas assignments in her online Class “The year of the Fairy Tale”, where we were working on poses.

BTW: Don´t miss her “Fairy-Tale Summer” class, which starts June 21. It is one of my favorite classes. There are tons of fantastic assignments waiting for you.

Cindy running in the breezy morning air

I found Cindy’s outfit too pajama like. It gave a her a far too well behaved girlish look. So she had to change the next morning into a new more Cindylike running gear. I was glad about her new outfit, but don´t ask me, why I picked Pink for her.

Her running glasses were quite cool and she was happy with them. The morning temperatures were freezing. She must have been pretty cold just before the run in the startblock.

Poor Cindy!

She made it in 5:15. Exhausted but very happy she recovered during the next few days. What a wonderful opportunity for me to take out the pencils and report on her recovery.

Read in the next  BEHIND THE SCENES post: How the Cover page of the RUNNER`S DELIGHT took shape




May the adventure begin

I love posts and blogs, where artists take you behind the scenes, so you can get a glimpse of all the effort they put into their work of art. There are two blogs/websites I would like to mention here.

I am a fan of the, where illustrators and authors tell you the story behind the story. Reading their posts you understand very soon, that a book is not written and illustrated in 4 weeks time but that it needs a lot of energy, patience, willpower and perseverance to accomplish it.

My artfriend from the Netherlands Herma Starreveld has a beautiful blog, where she not only presents all her wonderful art but also talks about making art. You can find her website here

Cindy back in 2014

I just finished my first series (four pieces of art) for Carla Sonheims fantastic online class Y is for Yellow . My flatmate Cindy has got fans from all around the world. And now the idea of making my first Cindy book manifests.  This is a good moment to start talking about my workflow, how my stories evolve, where I get my inspiration from and how far the road is to publish my first Cindy book.

Long time I hesitated taking this step, but now I would like to invite you to accompany my struggles, kickbacks and progress I experience on my way to finish my project. There might be times, where I would like to hear your advice and opinion about this or that. And there might also be situations, where I could just need your encouraging and supportive words to move on.

I am still not sure, what should be in the book. Old stories? New stories? Less stories, more pictures? Maybe you like brainstorming with me? There are so many ideas I have in mind.

So here is my first question for you: What would you like to find in your copy of my Cindy book? Don´t hesitate to comment below and thanks for being part of the project.

Let´s get started. May the adventure begin.

Read in the next  BEHIND THE SCENES post: How the Marathon idea came up