Friday, May 25, 2012

Shopping Spree

Recently I made two new purchases to add quality and ease to my life. The verdict is still being weighed about the ease.  The first purchase was a one-cup French Press coffee maker. My son has a large one that he has used for some time. He insisted I try it and I fell in love with the fresh clean flavor. However, he uses regular coffee and I use decaf. One of us was always waiting for our turn to make coffee. Having very little counter space I did not want to buy another large coffee maker to add to the clutter. An impulse stop at TJ Maxx resulted in finding the cutest little French Press. (I thought it was so interesting that I made a drawing of it in my journal.) The good news it is so small it is hardly noticeable on my counter. The bad news is that it is a pain to clean the out grounds. Because grounds plug up drains, I put them in my compost bucket. Before that, I just dropped a coffee filter in the bucket. Now, because the glass is so narrow I have to use a thin silicone spatula to remove what I can and the grounds get all over my sink. I keep reminding myself how good the coffee tastes and that I am not using filters anymore.
The second purchase was a major one. I follow a blog of a super digital artist, Skip Allen, who teaches Corel Painter classes. Skip uses a Wacom Tablet, which has a digital pen that works like a brush, etc. I have a couple of tablets, but they are old models and I rarely use them. Being a Photoshop enthusiast, I found my mouse sufficient. It seems in order to get the most out of Corel Painter, a good tablet is a must. I have not signed up for any classes yet, but I did bite the bullet and bought a new Wacom Intuos 5 tablet. It was a good thing for them that they charged a hefty 16% restocking fee plus postage to return it (which I did not notice at the time of purchase), as I would have done it in a heartbeat. It is very tricky for a novice with poor hand strength and left hand coordination to use. I am making some progress, but I think the fact that I made a mistake holds me back.  I have to try to learn to love it instead of resenting the money I spent.
The image above was composed of the drawing I did in my journal. I scanned the page into Photoshop where I used a couple of artistic filters. Then I opened it in Painter and played with my new tablet to paint over it. I will probably print it out and glue it in my journal next to the original.


  1. Making use of one purchase to bring another one to life! Eva, I like the work you created of this simple subject, My sister loves to collect different coffee makers and I remember seeing this on her counter :-)

    1. Thank you Padmaja.I can understand why your sister would collect different coffee makers, like toasters and other kitchen goodies, they can be so interesting.

  2. I am envious that you not only have the desire to learn about new technologies but to actually take it to the next level with the purchase, impressive! I am sure you will master using it, plus technology in art making really has made creating new work move way beyond the restrictions of a studio. You can sit in your living room with the tablet and have a field day! Your coffee press looks interesting although I am a 6 cup a morning drinker, something that small would never work for me. Enjoy!

  3. Robin, my curiosity about new technology gets a bit expensive, and like with most things my patience runs thin if there is a learning curve.
    Your coffee consumption sounds like my son's. However he spreads it out through the day. I use to drink a lot of regular coffee and dropping down to 1 cup of decaf was like pulling the plug on my energy. I slept around the clock for a few days!

  4. I love new materials...the idea of the beginning! I just bought tons of metallic paints and having my doubts. Buyers remorse!
    This tablet sounds like a perfect tool to continue with the Corel Painter and I wish you the best of luck!

  5. Nice to hear from you again Mary Ann. Buyers remorse is my middle name. Thanks to Rich's, a former big Atlanta department store returning without hassle became the norm here and it caught on everywhere. Not sure if it was their return policy that did them in or what, but they sure increase my desire to purchase without worry. I will try to remember to read the terms of returns as restocking fees are a downer.


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