Little Stories – Playful Pieces

Ink sketches with fude pen by Soma @


Hi Everyone!  Little Stories are posts where I share unrelated odds and ends from my life and my atelier.  This one is full of playful little pieces.  Whenever I need a little push, I work on teeny tiny things.  They not only help me get going again,  they also often spark new ideas.  These little pieces that I worked on earlier are setting the stage for my winter break.


Please click on the image thumbnails to see the photos –



I always keep a stack of small pieces of inexpensive watercolor paper on my desk.   I paint simple things on those papers whenever I need to warm up before working on something larger.   Sometimes I also use them to try out new art supplies that I have purchased, but haven’t used yet.  There is never any pressure with these practice pieces.

Over the break, I plan to work with these new art supplies a bit more in-depth, and then share the results with you.




Japanese Kana Syllabary by Soma @


Japanese Syllabary


I was very fastidious about making good sweeping curves while drawing these flash cards of Japanese syllabary.  After 142 cards, I not only learned the characters well, they also provided good practice for drawing curves with a pen.

I will continue to work on my Japanese studies over the break.   This will include a trip to the Japanese store so we can start making authentic Japanese food at home.  I love to explore authentic cuisines from different countries, which is always a highlight of our travels.




Charlie's 18th birthday card - cat watercolor painting by Soma @


Our sweet Charlie turned 19 last Saturday


He LOVES cheesecake.  So for his birthdays, he gets a special treat – a very sizable portion of cheesecake.  My husband and he have a very special bond.  He was looking up at my husband to sit with him while he savored his birthday treat.

Although he is a perpetual kitten, I painted this dignified version of him in the library for his 18th birthday last year.   I am really quite excited about the new painting I am working on, featuring him celebrating his 19th birthday.




French link handmade book by Soma @


Although I love binding books with decorative stitches on the spine, I unfortunately don’t get to make these decorative books often.  That is another thing I want to work on over the break.  I already have a bunch of pages prepped to be bound in different styles.  When I make these books, I like to color coordinate everything. 




Handmade books and journals by Soma @


I sometimes zone out while making books.  That’s how I ended up binding these books all together, but they are lacking cover art.  That’s next for this stack of little journals.

Handmade journals are available in my shop



Fairy Lanterns Northern California Yellow Wildflower Art @ by Soma


New book covers will undoubtedly include some block carvings.  My head is teeming with new ideas and some of them are already penciled into my sketchbooks.   Time to sharpen those carving tools.  Keep an eye out for journals with new cover designs in the shop.




Ink sketches with fude pen by Soma @


A tree and a travelling woman.  I was really not in the mood to do much that day.  So I grabbed a few scrap pieces of paper and started drawing with a new $10 fude fountain pen.  Changing the angle of the nib of a fude fountain pen changes the line thickness.    I miss these impromptu drawings.  I would like to sit by the fireplace and do more of these as well.




Oaks in autumn at Yosemite photo by Soma @


Most importantly, before March shuts me indoors again, I plan to take many walks outside with my beloved camera.  I took this photo during our last visit to the mountains.  I can’t wait to go snowshoeing there among the trees and the stones. 




The Girl and Her Cat watercolor painting by Soma @


The time has come for me to go on my winter break.  I look forward to donning my favourite woolens and exploring the peaceful, sleepy world outside.  Inside the home, long hours of video game playing with my husband has become a tradition.  Ink and paper adventures also await me, along with the prospect of warm beverages, fireside reading, and kitty cuddles. 


Thank you so much for being here with me and for your lovely and encouraging words.   I will be back around February / March with a lot to share as well as new The Girl and Her Cat stories. 

Wishing you a safe and magical holiday season.   I hope you find a few playful pieces to unwind with during this time as well.

See you then,


I am linking up with the linky parties on my Events And Links page.  Please consider paying a visit to some of them.


P.S.  The Ink Torrents Graphics shop remains open.  I will continue to fulfill orders, as always.  I will also be available via email.  Thank you for continuing to shop from my store.



46 thoughts on “Little Stories – Playful Pieces

  • Sallie (FullTime-Life) January 9, 2023 at 11:50

    Happy New Year Soma — and belated Happy Birthday to your Charlie — he’s an amazing “kitten” — I guess like the luckiest people, he’s as young as he feels, never mind the official # of years! I really like your “practice pieces” — the blue flowers are my favorite. I think I’m attracted to those small pieces because I think they would be the best I could ever do even if I practiced forever. Thanks for sharing those as well as the larger examples of your special wonderful artistic talents!

  • Kathy January 3, 2023 at 05:20

    Good morning, just dropping by to wish you a Happy New Year, and also to let you know I love my journal from you-it handles my inks well-keeping a journal is a new one for me Hoping all is well Hugs Kathy

  • handmade by amalia December 28, 2022 at 03:39

    Your art is beautiful! Hope you’re enjoying this holiday season and looking forward to the new year, dear Soma.

  • Nikki - Notes of Life December 18, 2022 at 14:49

    I love the tree sketches and the wonderful painting of Charlie :)

    Merry Christmas!

  • NatureFootstep December 18, 2022 at 14:46

    Hi, I love your little playful pieces. They are all great and fun to wee but my mind goes to the mountains. I love mountains but never see them as I live in a city without any mountains. I only see them when travel abroad.
    Your books really looks great. Beautiful to watch. :)

    It is soon christmas so I wish you a Merry Christmas. :)

  • Jayne @ Sticky Mud and Belly Laughs December 18, 2022 at 09:59

    It is always a pleasure to look at your work Soma, it is truly beautiful!
    Also, a big happy birthday to Charlie! What a sweet guy.
    Have a wonderful holiday season. x

  • RachelSwirl December 17, 2022 at 13:57

    You are such a talented artist, thanks so much for linking up and for sharing your stunning work with #MySundaySnapshot.

  • Sarah MumofThree World December 16, 2022 at 23:03

    I love all your artworks, but Charlie on his birthday is particularly cute. Enjoy your winter break!

  • Peabea December 16, 2022 at 12:51

    Sounds like some fun and also peaceful planning. Love the painting and art. Scrolled through them. Could not pick a favorite as they’re all so very pretty. How fun to make artwork for display when the mood strikes. Have a lovely break.

  • Bill December 15, 2022 at 05:25

    Love seeing your work. My wife has been Busy drawing for our Christmas card and my son sculpting a bust to give his brother for Christmas. It’s too cold here to work in my shed so I’m just messing around with my Photos
    Have Good Christmas

  • Ruth December 14, 2022 at 01:49

    I love looking at your work Soma you are so talented. I hope that you have a wonderful and cozy winter break. Sending warm hugs xx

  • Divya Nambiar December 13, 2022 at 22:26

    I love the idea of warm-up pieces of art. :)

    Happy Birthday to Charlie. That’s a beautiful portrait! <3.
    Lovely photograph from Yosemite, too.

    Enjoy your break. :)

  • Veronica Lee December 12, 2022 at 21:26

    I always admire your work, Soma.

    How amazing that your kitty is nineteen!

    Hugs and blessings

  • Life Images by Jill, West Australia December 12, 2022 at 19:48

    Looks like you are a very accomplished book binder. I love those tree sketches. Stay safe. Enjoy your week. I am joining you today at Peabea’s potpurri tuesday.

  • Tea With Jennifer December 12, 2022 at 15:24

    love this post! you’re so creative!
    you’re most welcome to join me in a cuppa at Tea With Jennifer ☺️

  • Joanne December 12, 2022 at 10:00

    Even just your small “playing around” watercolor paintings are just lovely! I can not get over the details on your cat painting right down to the titles on the spines. Oh how I wish I had not given up on watercolors after college; I feel like I was getting really good at controlling them and then just stopped altogether and now I am so intimidated to pick it back up and feel lost as to where to even start. You really are inspiring me to pick up many of my lost arts (I’ve asked for a pen and ink set for Christmas with various tips!).

  • image-in-ing weekly photo linky December 12, 2022 at 08:40

    Nothing all that simple about these – I can’t draw much that’s believable!
    Thanks for sharing at

  • Anne Sweet December 12, 2022 at 06:53

    I always love your work Soma, Charlie’s cheesecake is a favourite. I hope you enjoy the Japanese food, it’s a favourite of ours we love katsu (my favourite is aubergine/eggplant katsu) sushi, anything at all with Matcha in, mochi, karaagi, okonomyaki, mapo curry and my daughter’s favourite takoyaki (but I’m not a fan of octopus.) My mouth is watering now, lol. My 15 year old has a starter kit for water colours as she’s expressed and interest in learning. I am still jealous of your book binding x

  • Bill December 12, 2022 at 03:14

    I love looking at your work and seeing what you produce. Both my wife and son have working on little projects , my son working with clay and my wife drawing some Christmas Cards.
    Have a Great Christmas

  • Carol December 12, 2022 at 02:41

    I always love your art but I must admit my favorite part of the post is Charlie. Happy Birthday sweet fellow. may you have many more.

  • Catherine December 12, 2022 at 00:59

    How amazing that your cat is nineteen! I love the portrait that you’ve painted :o)


  • Kim Carberry December 11, 2022 at 10:24

    What beautiful work. Your Japanese studies sound interesting especially making the authentic food. How lovely that Charlie gets cheesecake for his birthday. Have a wonderful break, take care. x

  • Rain Frances December 11, 2022 at 06:44

    Oh happy birthday Charlie! Lucky baby to get cheesecake!!! Very nice painting Soma! And I love “A tree and a travelling woman”!! I think it’s awesome that you will try making authentic Japanese cuisine! Very cool. You are inspiring me to look into different cultures and their cuisines!

  • Connie Griffin December 10, 2022 at 18:38

    Wow your simple things are just gorgeous, beautiful watercoloring and scenes/images you have done!
    that is great that you are trying new things from around the world, keeps your brain very active which is good!
    Wow the stitches in the journal is just gorgeous. Your block carvings would be great on your covers!
    Oh your sweet kitty still going strong, that is great, our kitties won’t have nothing to do sweets, unless they just haven’t had the right one introduced to them.
    Enjoy your time over the break and make more wonderful journal pages like that last one you shared with us and have a Merry Christmas!

  • Alan Bates December 10, 2022 at 12:22

    You are so creative in a number of things. Your drawings and photographs are great as are your bookmaking skills.

    Happy Birthday to your cat. I had a cat once that lived to be almost 20.

  • John's Island December 10, 2022 at 07:07

    Hi Soma! I have just spent the better part of an hour on an enchanting website called :-) First of all, Little Stories – Playful Pieces … what a delightful post! I could spend a lot of time on InkTorrents but the time goes by like a flash. Like they say, “Time flies when you’re having fun.” I admire the way you have designed your website. It is so absolutely professional. A few things I loved about this post … Learning how you use little pieces to help you get going again and sparking new ideas. Painting simple things to warm up before working on something larger. Working on the flash cards of Japanese syllabary and thinking about a visit to the Japanese store. Charlie looking at your hubby while enjoying cheesecake! :-) How you “zone out” while making books. (That’s what I call PRODUCTIVE zoning!) The block carvings … the tree, the travelling woman and your new fountain pen. The gorgeous photo you took while on your latest visit to the mountains. You put so much into this post and I thoroughly enjoyed it. There is one thing, however, that is a bit sad … You are going on winter break! :-) Well, seriously, I am happy for you to be on break, but that means we won’t see another Little Pieces until next February/March. I wish you and your husband a wonderful holiday season. Enjoy your break and take lots of photos to share when you return! All the best from Seattle! John

  • Eileen December 10, 2022 at 02:47

    Hello, Soma
    Happy birthday to Charlie, cheesecake is a yummy birthday treat.
    Your art work is beautiful, I love the trees, flowers and the last girl and her cat.
    The snowshoeing sounds like fun! I am looking forward to more of your stories.
    Thank you for linking up and sharing your post. Take care, enjoy your weekend.
    PS, thank you for the comment on my post.

  • Adam Jones December 10, 2022 at 01:13

    I love your tree art.

  • Andrée December 9, 2022 at 14:06

    Hi Soma, Enjoy your winter break! I love how you make your practice pieces on small water colour pages. Happy birthday to Charlie. I’m looking forward to seeing his 19th birthday picture. Take care.

  • Alison Hall December 9, 2022 at 10:26

    Another wonderful post Soma. Your sketches and books are beautiful.
    A happy birthday to your dear Charlie, and I wish you a wonderful Christmas break.

  • The Joyful Quilter December 9, 2022 at 06:14

    Enjoy your break, Soma! I enjoyed your sketches, paintings and photos in today’s post. I’ll be looking forward to seeing what the girl and her cat have been up to when you get back to the blog.

  • Kathy December 9, 2022 at 05:55

    Just gorgeous! love your bound book especially thanks so much for sharing
    Hugs Kathy

  • Lavender Dreams December 9, 2022 at 05:34

    I love the trees you draw and your sweet cat. Enjoy your time outside and have a wonderful holiday season! I’m glad I get updates for your posts. I’ll be anxious to hear your news when you return. Have fun!

  • tomthebackroadstraveller December 9, 2022 at 04:59

    …the decorative stitches on the spine or a work of art.

  • Tammie December 9, 2022 at 04:48

    your Japanese curves are lovely. Such a great practice that offers new skills.
    Your kitty painting is adorable and your handmade books are quite handsome.
    Many passions you have.

  • Linda December 9, 2022 at 04:36

    Soma I feel like I’m on a journey with you. Yours is unlike any other blog I’ve read, and it is a delight. Your winter break sounds like a magical time!
    Thank you for linking with To Do Tuesday! The last Tuesday in December will be my last To Do Tuesday linkup. I’m not sure yet who, if anyone, will take it over. It has been a joy to get to know you through TDT, and I will continue to follow your journey. :)

  • Gillena Cox December 9, 2022 at 00:28

    Happy birthday to Charlie.
    Your minitures are lovely.

    Thanks for linking to Art For Fun Friday.


  • Carola Bartz December 8, 2022 at 19:16

    Your artwork is incredible, Soma. Those “little” works are just as wonderful as bigger ones. I wonder what the new journals will look like. Will you put them in your shop?
    Have a lovely winter break! Your photo reminds me of Yosemite.

  • A ShutterBug Explores December 8, 2022 at 14:13

    Favorite are the trees ~ divine simplicity ~ Happy Birthday to Charlie ~ he has good taste ~ Xo

    Wishing you good health, laughter and love in your days,
    A ShutterBug Explores,
    aka (A Creative Harbor)

  • Dixie December 8, 2022 at 13:19

    Lovely artwork, Soma. I especially admire the girl and her cat by the riverside.
    Looking forward to seeing Charlie’s new portrait.
    I know you will enjoy every minute of your outdoor adventures.
    Happy Holidays…and Best Wishes too.

  • Kathleen Kingsbury December 8, 2022 at 10:29

    Soma, I must have a very weird eye. In your sketch with the little sailboat, my eye sees twirling dancers in front of the mountains! :o)

  • Christine December 8, 2022 at 09:01

    Beautiful art!

  • Nicole/DVArtist December 8, 2022 at 07:45

    Wow! Your art is so beautiful. Your detail to attention is stellar. A lovely post for sure. Have a great day today.

  • Karen December 8, 2022 at 06:05

    love the winter and enjoy it!

  • Amy Johnson December 8, 2022 at 05:38

    I’m always awestruck by your beautiful artwork. Love the cheesecake story of your kitty. I have never heard of a cat who eats cheesecake before. So interesting.

  • Erika N December 8, 2022 at 03:57

    Little pieces really are fun to make and get the mojo going, aren’t they? I like doing tags. It’s fun. And your little pieces are very lovely. I hope you enjoy your winter break and get lots of outside adventures. I look forward to hearing about them once you’re back online. Happy holidays. hugs-Erika

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