Something To Smile About

Cat playing lute sketch by Soma Acharya @


Hello!  It is time I made my way back here with something that I hope will put a smile on your face.  More on that in a bit.  First of all, I want to thank every one of you for staying here with me through thick and thin, as well as everyone who joined the mailing list despite my long absence.  It means the world to me. 



Woman running watercolor sketch by Soma Acharya @


When I left in June, I was not in a good place.  Unfortunately life continued to set up hurdles. 

I ran.  A LOT.   Running takes the edge off, helps me sleep.  I handmade a tiny book where I paint little “things I did”.  I made this quick watercolor sketch yesterday of  “me” running…finally managed an 8K/5mi run after a bad foot injury last year.



Lute lino block print by Soma Acharya @


After a severe breakdown followed by 14 hours of straight, deep sleep a couple of weeks ago, I am finally starting to get myself back together.  I couldn’t bring myself to do much artwork in the last few months even though I knew that was the one thing that would have helped. 

Last week I posted this photo on my Instagram account.  Writing this out is my attempt at easing myself back into the land of the living.



Lute lino block print by Soma Acharya @


I started a new project of carving and printing small blocks.   Lute had to be the first one.    Here is why –



Cat playing lute sketch by Soma Acharya @


Very few things in my life have made me happier than our kitty Charlie.  He has always been just a very happy boy with a penchant for “singing”. 

On this day, he sat under a tree in his best clothes and sang his heart out while playing a lute.  It had to be a lute that he played, didn’t matter if he was good at it or not.  That is why I started my carving project with a lute.


He gave me permission to share his song as long as I added the correct inflections.  He is very particular about them!


I wrote a new ballaaaaaad

But now I am so saaaaad

She won’t hear my new song

Where did I go wrooooong.


Even the thought of this makes me smile and sometimes laugh out loud.    I hope it does the same for you too! 



Yosemite National Park handmade book by Soma Acharya @


Apart from carving, I have once again started making different kinds of books.  I love the tactile feel I get from book making.   I didn’t get to mention it earlier, but my shop has new books and I have also added an extra colour.

If you purchase books from my shop for gifts, please make sure to place the order early.  The books are made to order personally by me and they take a few days to dry properly before I can mail them.



Cat on a pumpkin lino block print by Soma Acharya @


I want to finish this post today with another block print I made of Charlie.  He also gets into sticky situations, but they are always quite innocent and comical.   I hope you get a smile out of this one too.


Once again, I can’t thank you enough for being here with me.   Next week is Thanksgiving here in the US, which starts the holiday season here.  Just in case I don’t make it back here in December, I wish you a season full of happiness and laughter.   I will certainly see you early next year around February with armloads of quilting, art projects and The Girl And Her Cat stories.  There will be travel photos as well.


Until next time,


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


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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.




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