stretched paper

Traditional Peasant Bread

30 g fresh yeast /11g dry yeast

500 ml warm water

2 tbsp honey

1 tbsp salt

600 g bread flour

Mix the yeast with warm water and honey (or according to package instructions) in a big bowl.

Add salt and then add most of the flour, making sure the dough does not turn dry, kneading at the same time. The dough should come off from the edges of the bowl and when stretched between four fingers, stretch easily to be paper thin (if it remains too wet, add some flour.).

Cover the bowl with moist towel and leave to raise in warm place for about an hour (if your house is very drafty this might take bit longer. You can encourage the raise by heating water in plate or tray in microwave or oven (on low heat) and then putting the dough in there to raise. Remember to turn off the oven!

After the dough has risen, bake on flour dusted surface into two loaves. Cut a pattern of your choise on the top of the loaves to bless or decorate them and flour the tops well. Let rest on top of baking tray for 30 -40 minutes, lightly covered with towel.

Meanwhile preheat the oven to 225 Celsius (437 F). When the breads are ready,  place tray of water into the bottom of the oven (this will make the crust of the bread nice and crunchy) and bake the breads in the middle of the oven for roughly 25 minutes.

Baked bread is beautiful and golden brown, and sounds “hollow” when you gently tap the bottom.


This bread is nice and traditional bread that is easy to modify according to occasion with addition of herbs, nuts, seeds, dried fruits or grated beetroot or carrot… possibilities are endless.

You can use sugar instead of honey if you wish, but honey brings out nice and slightly malty flavor in bread, and makes the crust especially nice and golden colour. It is also symbol of prosperity, community, blessing and healing and can be used to sweeten people’s feelings towards you and others (great, for example, for those difficult family dinners!).

Traditionally the first cut of the fresh loaf is left out for home-spirit, one’s gods or just as a way to “give back to earth”.

I personally sing magic song for the bread while I leave it to raise to enchant the raising, but I am sure the bread raises perfectly fine if you choose not to do this step as well.

Originally posted by visual-17

word count: 784

His touch was tentative, as if he was afraid he’d break her. Long fingers stroked soft skin, in a way that wasn’t erotic at all, but gentle at best. His fingers caressed her cheek, and she could feel the callouses that had begun to form on his fingertips. Those stories were told through long nights of little sleep, and hard work.

Nights with him were ones she was grateful to have, and consisted of playful touches and laughter. His favorites were always the nights where they ended on deep conversation about the universe, serious or stupid.

She still remembers their first date, as well. It wasn’t really the most traditional of dates, but she enjoyed how unorthodox he truly was as a human. The list of reasons for why she adored him stretched for miles on paper, and even further in her head.

And there were always days where he’d come home late stressed, and she’d work her hardest never to stress him out any further, and he never took any anger out on her, either.

In fact, he thought as highly of her even more than she thought of him.

He never put her on a pedestal, no, Hansol had his morals, but he had a respect for him. He was grateful for her existence, as cheesy as it sounded in his head, and he never failed to mention that to her whenever they were together.

She always liked mentioning how adorable he looked on some days, especially during the winter months when they could both huddle together and weather out the cold until spring finally came back to say hello. Soft, ever-changing colored hair (but mostly dark) was always silky underneath the pads of her fingertips, and hazel, multi-colored eyes always melted in her view, finished with the bright ray of one of his famous grins.

It was nights like these where she missed everything, and when the rain poured the hardest.

She still remembers the night she received the phone call. It couldn’t have lasted more than twenty seconds, yet her world seemed to crumble around her in less.

She remembers running to the hospital, screaming in sadness as a gurney with a sheet covering the body passed in front of her, his right hand lying lifeless outside it, and she recognized the silver ring on his fourth finger, a similar ring also on her own.

The day after, she remembers watching the news channels. “Hansol Vernon Chwe, 26, killed in a vehicle accident..”

His car was almost split in half on the screen, and one month later, at the trial for the other driver’s jail sentence, she chose not to testify. 

The driver received life in prison for manslaughter and drunk driving.

At the funeral, she later collected that ring, and swapped it with her own. His ring was loose on her finger, but it wasn’t like it mattered. The owner would never come back to claim it.

She received all the condolences from her family, and from Hansol’s as well. His younger sister comforted her by telling her that she still considered her family, and she cried at how much the two looked alike.

It was open casket. She weeped, hoping the only day she’d live to see him in a suit was their wedding day. He looked at peace, forever-brown curls now lifeless, and hazel eyes forever dull and hidden behind his eyelids.

She confessed her love for him after the service was over, and sniffled as they took his casket away.

He was placed in the ground a day later, and two days later, the home they shared felt empty.

She left his side of the room as it was before, and dusts it occasionally. It’s the one part of the house she refuses to alter. The ring later on was attached to a chain, which she holds to her heart tightly.

Seven months after his death, she had their first and last child. She named it Minhyuk.

One year later, after leaving Minhyuk with Hansol’s family for the weekend, she stumbles into their home, the walls empty.

A wine bottle is in one hand, and she smashes it on the kitchen floor in frustration.

She coughs, and then laughs, as she stares at the frame visible on the wall. It was taken at the beach, their vacation to Cancun four years ago. “It’s been one year, and I’m still drunk on you. Can you believe that?”

The happy faces in the photo stare back, not answering.

She frowns, collapsing on the ground, ignoring the glass pieces melding into her bare legs. “Come back.”

The sound of crying emerges, and the curtains close. No one is listening.

Tear off your skin,
the one other people built you,
because the flowers you’ve planted
are sprouting from your bones
and they are so much more beautiful
than the translucent paper
stretched across your limbs

Take the leash off of your tongue
it’s not meant to be chained
you could start wars
you could heal nations
if you just parted your lips
and spoke

Build your own house
you don’t need anyone’s shelter
so grab a ladder and a hammer
and climb into the stars
and nail a few into a home
because that’s where you belong
you are celestial and blazing
and eternal

Forge your own happiness
fashion it out of your strengths
and your flaws too
that way it will be sturdy
constant like the sky
even if sometimes it’s a bit clouded over
—  A.O.A.M. || Create Yourself

I’m dressing as Sonny from Rock and Riot for Halloween!


By popular request, here is how I approach watercolor!

Some points I also want to mention:

  • PAPERS: The main one I use is hot press which is great for artists who work more with crisp shapes and lines. If you like using more washes and texture in your work, go with cold press! I prefer buying papers no less than 140 lb, it’ll warp horribly if you don’t stretch it! (I hate stretching watercolor paper so I don’t mind spending a few bucks more).
  • How I paint with watercolors is fairly similar to gouache, so this tutorial can also work with that medium as well.
  • I have ink listed as my materials because it’s great to mix with other paints to get a darker color while keeping it a pigmented liquid.
  • White watercolor can also be substituted by white gouache as well since they are practically the same thing.
  • I highly recommend keeping your leftover paints on the palette when you’re done. It looks dirty, but the beauty of watercolor is that it’s so easy to rehydrate with beautiful pigments! Plus you can save money by using less of the tube, hooray!

Let me know if you found this helpful! 

Floral Watercolour Practice - New Style

Last night I took a bit of time to practice some watercolour botanicals. 

I am immensely pleased with how well these have turned out because I usually plan a few different compositions then do a rough pencil guide and then paint over that. But for this I decided to just go for it and see what happens. 

I have a habit of going a bit overboard with how much ink I use so that will be the main thing I hope to improve on. When it comes to watercolour paintings I feel that maybe less is in fact more. 

These were all done with my Sakura Koi watercolour set and a no.8 round brush that’s kinda fluffy (it’s of a cheaper quality but I love how well it holds the ink). The paper used 140gsm off-white textured watercolour paper. I didn’t stretch the paper because it’s just me practising, otherwise I’d use 300gsm+ paper that can really hold the water and not warp. 

I’m super keen to continue exploring this new style and I hope to incorporate it with more of my lettering. What do you think?

I’ve read the Summer Side Stories lately and they are too cute. Especially the allmates being dressed up >///< And more especially Usagimodoki wanting to wear monaka on top of them XDDD
(Also added Beni’s bride XD)

It seems that I didn’t stretch the paper properly so it is all crinkled, sorry. And since it’s only a little doodle for relaxation, I don’t really feel like spending time on correcting it. (・_・’)

Art hack: Fixing warped paper

I have a confession to make. Despite being a rockstar with watercolor, I never figured out how to “stretch” the paper. “Stretching” your watercolor paper is when you tape it to something hard and flat while it’s completely wet, so it doesn’t warp any more.

And… I don’t know how to do that.

So what do I do? This.

Here’s a comic page I just finished. I had to use lots of layers of wash to get the twilight-y lighting right, so now the paper’s all bendy. I’ll never get a good scan with this!

Step 1: Find a pair of hard flat surfaces that won’t be damaged by water. Here, I’m bringing out the trusty masonite boards.

Step 2: Get a spray bottle full of water and LIGHTLY spray the back of the paper. Make sure it’s wet evenly, but don’t saturate it! You don’t want it soaking through that ruining the art on the front.

Step 3: Sandwich the paper between two boards and put something heavy on top.

Step 4: Wait until the piece is COMPLETELY DRY. That’s important. If it’s still damp when you take it out, it could warp again, and you’re back where you started.

Yay! All flat!

Note that this is only guaranteed to work with good (140lb and up) paper. The results with 90lb paper are uneven. As I’ve said before, leave the cheap stuff for practice, and use 140lb+ for stuff you actually care about.


The Colorful Paintings of Artist and Musician @sebastianblanck

To see more of Sebastian’s artwork, check out @sebastianblanck on Instagram. For more music stories, check out @music.

He does it in the affectionate paintings of his New York day-to-day: his children sleeping, his wife in the shower, their friends, their surroundings, life changing around them – as variously rendered in watercolor and stretched Japanese paper, with an audacious approach to pink and blue.

And he does it in his picturesque music: the harmonic chorales, the psychedelic folk psalms, the unplugged hymns of love and loss, as showcased on his first solo album, Alibi Coast.

This is the work of Sebastian Blanck (@sebastianblanck) – artist, musician and former member of Brooklyn electronic experimentalists Black Dice. As with much of Sebastian’s intimate, interconnected art, his lyrics and music conjure a series of paintings in which he depicts his wife, the artist Isca Greenfield-Sanders (“Don’t drown in modesty, I’ve seen through your nightgown,” he sings on the acid-folk lullaby “At Arm’s Length”), as well as other intimate moments around him.

“To me, what I want, more than anything, is for people to feel that they can enter into the images, or enter into the song, and feel like it’s a story that’s being shared, as opposed to being presented,” he says.

Does being a visual artist and a musician allow him to explore or express different emotions? “It does,” says Sebastian, who is currently working on a follow-up to Alibi Coast. “I think the paintings are a little more cheerful, while it’s easier to deal with darker emotions in music. I don’t know why that is, but I’m happy that I have two different modes of expression that allow me to explore different parts of myself, and hopefully connect with different people.”

There is something hugely personal yet universally resonant about Sebastian’s variegated art – from his accessible, big-hearted melodies, to the open faces of his portraits (which are more akin to film stills than posed images), to his uncannily familiar landscapes. He works in New York, but many of his scenes feel like mirror images of the Scottish Highlands, albeit embellished in dayglow shades.

“I wanted to keep the landscapes simplistic, but hopefully evocative of a real place,” says Sebastian. “They’re made with stretching paper, and the idea is that the material leads me or guides me – I try to leave it minimalist, to leave it up to chance. So the strips of mountains, the peaks, the curves – they’re all just where the paper tore.”

Sebastian adds that with his landscapes, he’s looking to do something in opposition to capturing specific facial expressions and emotions.

“I look at the landscapes and think of the Hudson River … or the place my wife and I have upstate,” he says. “It’s that simple construction of depth, where bands of color become land, water, hills, sky – and there can definitely be different interpretations of that. And they’re fun. It’s a nice relief, in a way, from trying to capture someone’s gesture.”

Sebastian’s use of color is particularly striking in his landscapes, which are rendered in pink and blue flushes. “Color is such an important part of painting, and you can do so much with the work,” he says. “You can basically have zero drawing, zero mark-making, and just have it all about that color. When I started doing landscapes, the first stages were just the color of the beautiful Japanese paper I was using, and it was really minimal – I wasn’t adding anything, I was just taking that material and setting up a landscape using a very simple language,” he recalls.

“But then I was like, ‘Well, what’s the next thing I could do?’ So I took the pink paper and painted it more pink, and I took the blue paper and painted it more blue. It’s like that stupid Spinal Tap thing, you know, ‘More black!’” he says with a laugh.

He wanted to turn the pink up to eleven? “Yeah, exactly!” And so he does.

– Nicola Meighan for Instagram @music

this is how moths die;
they burn alive.
flying too close to the light they so mindlessly pursue,

like icarus and the sun.
drawn towards the fire - fearless -
as salt, darkness and ice rages below.

we all know how this will end.
this is not a magnetic pull,
it is a gravitational force;

but let us stretch out our paper wings,
let us risk the danger of reducing them to ashes
and let the current of the wind carry us
far from home.

how broken are we,
that thoughts of pursuing distant stars have more appeal
than of facing the darkness alone.

—  people of paper wings //

I took some process photos while I was working on this Namesake fanart! Sorry about the colour differences…got a new phone and was messing around with filters!  I think I am most pleased with the poppies in the foreground.

My materials and setup are pretty simple. I use Langton Prestige hot press paper, painters tape, napkins, a 12 pan Cotman travel paint set, and some cheapie mop brushes. My one fancy item is my workhorse – A pricey travel brush by Escoda. That thing is more versatile than you could possibly imagine! I need to figure out what to refill my empty Cotman pans with, though… we don’t sell the pans in Canada. :/ 

 Looking forward to scanning the finished painting this week!