Last weekend, my son and his friend accompanied me to the Currier Museum of Art in Manchester, NH to see Lethal Beauty: Samurai Weapons and Armor Exhibit.

It was really interesting and rather puzzling - as any exploration of another culture tends to be. I am still wondering over the absolutely terrifying mask and helmet that featured a rice bowl and chopsticks, in the middle of the forehead...? Perhaps the first lunchbox? (Or Bento box, actually).

In my past, I used to enjoy visiting museums and sketching the cool, ancient artworks. It has been such a long time, I wasn't sure I would get the chance, but these kids wandered off without me... to discuss - gosh, I can't even remember the big words anymore. No matter. I found a very cool, creepy headdress to sketch. Planted myself firmly in front of it as to cause as much annoyance to other viewers as possible. And drew...

... in my new notebook.

I think I may be in love.

But I am already thinking of ways I would improve it...

I had heard about the Whitelines series of notebooks - very cool idea... the paper is very pale gray and the lines are... you guessed it... they are white lines. They don't interfere with your words and drawings the way that black lines do. A few weeks ago, I stumbled across the notebooks on and not only can I not resist a great deal when it's on something I actually want, but they had these uber-cool-super-geeky-new-notebooks called Whitelines Link. Same notebooks, but with special little squares on the corners that allow you to use a (free) app to photograph the page on your iPhone. Big Whoop? Mmmhmmm. But it takes the photograph, automatically squares up the page, removes any lines or grids from the background, AND will pop it into your Evernote or whatever account. Yes, of COURSE I ordered one!

I tested it out at the Samurai exhibit. I used a black PaperMate ball-point pen, yes, the cheapy kind - it's my favorite drawing pen, and this Whitelines Link notebook.

Here is my original sketch, as photographed by my iPhone:

And here is what the Whitelines Link app captured and emailed to me:

I was impressed that it picked up many of the finer lines - and eliminated the background. Interesting shift in color, but I remember a science fair project from Middle School that explained how the ink in black ball-point pens, and felt-tip pens, is actually composed of many different ink colors. I should make a color sampler and see how that compares when photographed...

As I was getting the link for the exhibit to paste up above,  I noticed they have the actual mask that I sketched, on the website!

These samurai must have been truly terrifying! Up close, you could see that they actually have razor-like silver teeth. Nowadays, they are tarnished and black, but imagine them new - and flashing ferociously in the sun as this fellow charges straight for you! (I apologize ahead of time for the nightmares...)

Speaking of nightmares. Well, dreams actually. I have a fantasy of a dream calendar, notebook App thingy. If any of you readers are techies,, or know someone who is, please pass them my idea. It will make them rich, and me - very happy in my OCD way.

This is my calendar. I use a Moleskine journal that has a weekly calendar on the left page and a notebook page on the right. This works for me - I have to be able to write things out and make sketches, etc. with an actual pen on paper. But I am also a tech-geek. I want an app that will take a picture of this... mess... and auto-magically put the events and times in my Mac calendar, and the notes into Evernote and the people and phone numbers into Address Book. OMG. And I use the little stickers to keep track of when and how long I exercise. I want that on my computer and iPhone too!
OK - let me know when it's ready to download. ;-)