Apr 30, 2019

Caterpillars under a huge oak tree.

I recently was sitting under a huge oak tree and sketching with my friends Suhitasketch and Teaandmarmalade. At some point, Suhita pointed these beautiful caterpillars sitting on her sketchbook and soon I counted over a dozen on our table.

After a quick search, I found out that these beauties are Western Tussock Moth

They are actually pests and chew through a lot of oak tree leaves in the area. Stanford University is fighting them by releasing microscopic worms (predatory nematodes) and spined soldier beetles, as well as power-washing trees and surfaces where eggs are laid and cocoons are left.

Apr 29, 2019

Refilling my tombow fudenosuke brush pen.

I've been using tombow fudenosuke for some time now - it's a great workhorse - easy on any paper and with a varied line width and waterproof ink it just worked as a very simple tool to put in a pocket lately. But it ran out of ink right before my trip and I did not have a spare one - so I tried refilling it with Platinum Carbon ink and it worked so great that I now keep doing this every time the ink starts to look a bit off!

These photos and a quick sketch will fill in the blanks of the following instructions:
  1. Pull out the back cap from the pen (use pliers) 
  2. Get some ink into the syringe
  3. Gently (drop by drop) add some ink to the foam core that sits inside the pen (you can also take it out and add ink that way - but I kept it inside to keep my hands relatively clean). You will not need a lot of ink to saturate the core.
  4. Close the cap and see how your pen writes now!
  5. If you overdid it with the ink there will be a bit of leakage from the tip. I left my pen sitting on a paper towel for a bit of time and it soaked all the extra.
Tools:

Steps 1 and 2:
 Step 3.