Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Recently we went for an after dinner walk with friends. As I always carry my camera I took bunches of pictures and came up with this beautiful one! It had been raining (lately it seems to be always raining!) but had stopped briefly to allow the sun to set - LOL. I've not really liked the area where we live very much but when I looked back on my pictures and found this lovely one I realized that there is beauty everywhere and maybe I should be grateful for small pleasures (Like the big guy sitting across from me with his headphones on singing away). This has to be a short post as we have to get the last of our Christmas shopping done today. The next few days are so busy that we won't have any time!
I guess the message of this post is develop an 'attitude of gratitude' (line stolen directly from 12 step programs) and to look for the beauty in small, fleeting moments.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

What does it take to grow tomatoes?

In October I posted this quilt in its UFO state. Today, digging through my fabric, I found the finished product! So here it is. As I mentioned in the Oct. post, this was done in a class with Susan Shie at EBHQ. I loved watercoloring the fabric. I have a full complement of fabric watercolors and PFD fabric now. Used once! Plan to do another painted quilt. It is the prefect medium to both paint and quilt - both crafts I love to do. I even have a quilt designed in my mind. Since I have to do this technique outside I can leave it until next summer!

I have been thinking about a New Years resolution. Didn't make one this year. Last year it was to use only reusable bags for shopping. I have pretty much kept that up and am the proud owner of about sixty bags! Bought a new one every timeI forgot my bags. One of my girlfriends brought me a bag from Australia earlier this year. It is made of a fabric that looks like heavy duty stockings or maybe lightweight fishnet stockings. Anyway, it can be rolled up and carried in my purse, which I do. So I always have a bag now. Want to make some like it but haven't found a good fabric for it yet.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

New work! Two fleece blankets.

Christmas is going to be here before I know it and so I have started making gifts. The top blanket is for a wedding The Big Guy, Granny and I will be going to next week. My nephew is tying the knot. Since this blanket is put together by tying the fringe in knots, I think it is appropriate!

I made the Santa one first because I had never done a throw like these before. I'm glad I did because I knotted it too tightly and it is a little gathered, instead of flat. It is for a gift exchange at a group I belong to and they will like it even if I don't think it is perfect!

I picked up the directions at a local fabric store. They are from Lion Brand and were free! I joined the Lion Brand group and can get all kinds of patterns for free. It is a great website, especially if you knit and/or crochet. I have been knitting quite a bit lately.

Last night my daughter invited me to accompany her to the SF Quilt Guild's meeting. The speaker was Michael "Mac" MacNamera. Mac is quite personable and also very funny. We laughed our sox off! I love his quilting, too. It is kind of wonky, just the kind of thing I like to do. If he contacts me I am going to ask permission to post some of his work here to show you what I mean. Was inspired to start a quilt I must do for my pseudo grandson (what do you call the son of a child's partner who one has know most of his life?). I have the fabric but until last night didn't have the inspiration. I am going to make six and a half inch squares, my daughter is going to cut some too, and then put them together with wonky sashing. Will keep you posted (no pun intended!).

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Kim's Garland

One of the blogs that I follow is Art Quiltmaker. She actually set up my blog for me and is a constant source of encouragement and inspiration. When I saw "Kim's Garland" on her blog recently I realized that I am the proud owner of one of Kim's garlands! So I am sharing it with you. These are such happy pieces of art! I have mine hanging above my bed so both The Big Guy and I can enjoy it. I think these would be gorgeous on a Christmas tree or as decorations for holiday gifts. Art Quiltmaker mentioned that Kim sells them on ETSY. Check them out.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Life is short - eat dessert first!

In March of 2008 my 84 y.o. mother and I went on a cruise on the Queen Mary II. It was my first cruise and what a way to start out. I am totally spoiled and only want to cruise for vacations from now on. I took pictures of a lot of the food as the presentation was so beautiful! The pic above is a mousse and tasted as wonderful as it looks!
A few minutes ago I checked out Art Quiltmakers blog and from there went to Lazy Quilter's blog. Her posting celebrated blog number 250 by having a contest. For one chance to win one needed to post a comment, which I did. For two chances to win one needed to mention the contest in their blog - so I am doing that, too. I think her blog is misnamed, however. She was talking about the five quilts she was in the midst of quilting! If that is a lazy quilter then I am not a quilter at all! The total output of my quilting this year is ten patches for the double wedding ring quilt I started in January of 2008! At this rate it will be done in ten years! So how do I motivate myself? All comments welcome

Sunday, November 22, 2009


This is a small quilt, about 12"x18", which I completed in one day at an EBHQ class last year. I started out to make a quilt from the drawing posted on October 11, 2009, called Three O'clock Cat. As you can see, it ended up being just the flowers from the original drawing. This piece is three dimensional and was easy and a lot of fun to make. I did a rather sloppy job on the quilting and the binding in my hurry to complete it. In editing this post I realized that looking at the quilt via a photo would be a good idea. I notice that there is not much value change, especially in the stems of the sunflowers. But The Big Guy at home loved it and so I gave it to him. It only one of two quilts I have hanging in our home. The other one was made by my daughter and is the Coffee Goddess. It is framed so that it stays clean (I don't clean house anymore - it just gets dirty again) so I can't take a good picture of it. I didn't make it anyway so it probably doesn't belong on my blog! I haven't been doing any art, just a little bit of knitting and a whole lot of reading! Was recently laid (layed?) off my two day a week job and haven't managed to get used to being home and unstructured. I stay up til very late at night and wake up mid-day. Then read voraciously with just a little bit of cooking in between. The Big Guy does the dishes. We both either read or sit at the computer most of our time. I am also spending a lot of my time playing "Bookworm". I just moved from the classic game to the action game. It is more stimulating and I keep beating my record. I think I will soon have to get another game as I can see that I will get bored with this version, too.
Well, I certainly got off on a tangent!
Did you see the Big Game yesterday? What a lot of fun. We went to a family party and had a great time, especially since Cal won. Go Bears!

Monday, November 16, 2009

Journal Page - Fly me to the moon!


Some days isn't it just all too much and the urge to get away is overwhelming? I don't have many days like that but, wow, when they hit it is like a life earthquake! This journal entry was inspired by that very mood. Today I don't remember what precipitated this and I'm glad its over.
Other than the inspiration for that mood, I really like this drawing! I like the color and the composition and how it reminds me of home. I like the red-tailed hawk accompanying me to the moon.
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Saturday, November 14, 2009

Journal page - Ginger's stars


One of my students wanted to know how to draw a star. I drew a few on this page but couldn't leave it at that. So here are Ginger's stars - colored and written on. I made a point of using the three primary colors, red, yellow and blue, which gives the drawing some zing, I think.
It is always a good idea to use organized color when doing any kind of art, if you want it to look like art! I encourage my students to keep a color wheel with them as few people have an intuitive sense of color. I find myself using every color available in my box if I don't start out with a decision on the color system I want to use. When I'm quilting it can work, espcially with a scrappy quilt. But drawings and paintings become a real mess and hard to look at if the color isn't organized. One can use, for example, the three primaries and make it very interesting by using, in addition to the pure colors, shades (black added) and tints (white added) of the pure colors. The other thing to remember is to choose one color as your main color and the other(s) in smaller amounts. So now I can see you examining the drawing above to see if I practice what I preach! I better look at it again, too!
Happy drawing!
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Journal Page - Creative Prompt from Art Quiltmaker


The creative prompt from Art Quiltmaker today was 'core'. I immediately thought of an apple core, then the core of a nuclear power plant. Then I stopped thinking about it because those were so mundane and went on to do other things. So a little while ago the Venus Of Willendorf, the oldest known goddess figure, came to mind and the above drawing waddled out of my hand. And aren't we, as women, all the goddesses at our core? How else would we keep going, day after day?
So, for inspiration, I reccommend Art Quiltmaker's blog. And if I were more proficient at this I would put a link here. Oh, well...... :(
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Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Pineapple Quilt


I started this quilt in a class at Black Cat Fabric, which, unfortunately is no longer in business, in 2007 and finished it in 2008. It was for my great niece to celebrate her wedding. When I asked her what colors she wanted she said just to make it bright colors! I am happy with how it turned out! My niece and her husband liked it too. That is always a plus. As with the hexagon flower garden quilt I made, this is another pattern I will probably never do again. Very high boredom factor because of the repetitiveness of color and pattern. Actually, I don't much like following a pattern (see the twisted scarf blog from yesterday to verify this small fact about me!) and am happier designing my own. So far in my quilting experience the ones I have enjoyed most are the story quilts. I take into consideration all aspects of the lives of the recipients, their job, hobbies, color likes and dislikes, where they live and have lived and their relationships. And then I design original blocks, put in a few pattern blocks, like the state patterns, and go through a fat little book I love by Maggi McCormick Gordon called "1000 Great Quilt Blocks" for patterns that fit with the story of the quilt. I've made at least five story quilts so far and liked doing all of them. Another top I made that was interesting for me was a sampler quilt made in a class at the College of Marin. That top is all put together and the back is made, I just need to baste it and quilt it. It has actually moved out of the shed and into the wardrobe closet where I keep current projects. So it is closer to being finished. There are only four quilts in line there!

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Monday, November 9, 2009

Finally! Something current


This pattern is called "Twisted Knits" and came from a beautiful magazine called 'thr3fold'. The magazine came with a CD and I watched the video with the directions for knitting this unusual scarf. Well, I proceeded to knit away and when I was well into the second skein of yarn (the scarf takes two skeins) I decided to look at the written directions. It turns out that I had totally misinterpreted the video directions and in the process, developed a totally new pattern! I'm not unhappy with how it turned out (except the yarn is itchy), and I have to laugh at myself for not reading the directions in addition to watching the video before beginning the scarf! Since completing this one I have begun another, using the correct size needles (did I mention I used the wrong size needles too?) and meticulously following the directions. Amazing but true the correct directions are much easier!
In the meantime I read Debbie Macomber's novel "Summer on Blossom Street" which starts out with a cable stitch scarf pattern. I went shopping in my girlfriend's attic (she has at least four cartons of yarn up there and she shops in my shed for fabric) and found some lovely mauve mohair to use for this one. I even found a cable needle in my stuff in the shed! So I now have two scarves in progress. I do the twisted one if I am somewhere where I don't have to pay too much attention and the cable one when I am in a quiet place so that I can follow directions.
Oh - what about the focus I mentioned a couple of blogs back? Haven't found it yet. I think I will work on finishing a quilt tomorrow........
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Sunday, November 8, 2009

Journal page


I just viewed Art Rat's blog and especially enjoyed her doodles. Really liked the pen and ink medium. I do wonder what size they are and what she plans, if anything, to do with them. I like the fact that she draws often and well while creating other art (quilts), too. Her drawings motivated me to draw more, too. Maybe I will be able to finish my journal/sketchbook by the end of November. I have been mostly sketching, not much journaling. Things have been pretty quiet, thankfully
The collage/drawing above is different from what I usually do. It was inspired by the change of seasons, the change to standard time which makes it dark earlier and a general malaise brought on by all of the above. Finding the leaves on the Newsweek cover helped, too.
The meeting today, which I expected to elicit some morose drawings was so sparsely attended that I couldn't draw unobtrusively - there were only about ten people in addition to the board, present. So no ominous drawing today!
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Saturday, November 7, 2009

Subliminal scribbling


It always pays to let a drawing, or doodle in this case, rest for a while before deciding what to do with it. This one, like the previous doodle I blogged, is in my journal/sketchbook and was done in another meeting where we live/work. I was quite surprised when I looked back at it. It has an ominous feel to it in spite of the bright colors and loose drawing. As I often do when I don't want anyone to be able to read my journaling I've written on this page in a screwy manner and even I can't read it so don't know why the image became ominous. Subliminal scribbling, I guess. Perhaps comparing it to the minutes of the meeting would give me a clue! I have another meeting to go to tomorrow morning. It will be interesting to see what doodles come out of that meeting.
When I becan this journal/sketchbook, I dated it. It was begun in November of 2008. I would like to fill this one up by the end of November - am working on it but think hurrying makes it less than it could be. Or maybe hurrying will prevent me from putting too much thought into the doodles and something wonderful will come of them.
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Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Funny Posts around the WEB

I saw some various funny-ness around the web. My daughter told me about creative problem solving. The scary thing is when I saw this one Part of me thought "This might work"! Luckily for me, I have a headset that works just fine so I don't have to find a big rubber band!
Anyone out there with similar funny-ness?

Tuesday, November 3, 2009



At least once a month I have to sit in on a board meeting at our place of work which is also where we live. The doodle above took six hours, the length of the meeting I was in. In looking at it after a few weeks I see that it has a landscape/cityscape quality to it and wonder what it would look like in cloth. I often draw quilts I plan to make as a tool to work out ideas but I have never transfered something intended to solely be a drawing into a quilt...hmmmmmmm?
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Another Story Quilt

This is another story quilt - one I made for my Phoenix nephew. I gave it to him at Christmas, 2007 which explains Santa in the background! Unfortunately, I don't have detail pictures of the individual patches. For this one I had family members draw pictures for many of the patches. The balance were original designs and traditional blocks. My nephew and I shopped for the fabric together. We are a great shopping team. Neither of us likes to shop so we went in, found several fabrics in about ten minutes and left. It was great! I wish I had been able to finish the quilt that quickly. I also wish I had taken a better picture of it and of its details.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Watercolor class


Yesterday I taught my watercolor class for the first time in a month. I have a rotating group of people who come and I've structured the class so each time the student goes home with a painting. Because I spend the whole class giving instructions and going from student to student I don't usually end up with a completed painting. One of my mantras to my students is "Always use the best materials you have for you never know when you will create a masterpiece!". The class yesterday was on shadows and reflections where we painted a sunrise over a lake with islands and the second piece was a chicadee. I have my students work on two pieces so that one can dry while working on the other. Everyone finished both pieces well before the class was over so I asked what else they wanted to do. One student wanted to know the proportions of the human face. I started to get out my pencils but she said she wanted me to demonstrate using only watercolor. My usual medium for protraits is pencil, in fact I think I have never done a watercolor portrait. But I aim to please so with ultramarine blue and starting with the eyes, I demonstrated painting a female face. Untrue to my mantra I used a piece of watercolor paper that I had made marks on before. And when I finished the painting I loved it. Except for the wavy brown line across the forehead and the light blue wash across the eyes! Always use the best materials you have available!
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Saturday, October 31, 2009

Gramma Too

Last week my cousin sent me a couple of family pictures she had gotten from her dad - the last of seven siblings in our parents generation. This is a picture of my paternal grandmother who my kids called Gramma Too. When my children met her someone said 'she is your gramma, too'. So that moniker stuck. She was an interesting woman. Those she loved she really loved. But get on her bad side and you didn't exist! I was one of those she loved fiercely and I loved her in return. As a teen I ran away from home and she sheltered me. My parents found me because an aunt called them (that was a good thing).
My sister and I spent the summer I was six at grammas farm. We lived there with my grandparents, three aunts, two uncles and several cousins. One thing I loved to do was sit atop the stump of a huge redwood tree and pick cherries from the tree in the backyard. The stump had big, shiny black ants crawling on it. My youngest aunt was 17 at the time. Once she was butchering chickens. It was fascinating to see headless chickens running around!
So the pictures my cousin sent cranked up lots of childhood memories. They made me want to go over to my storage and haul out my box of geneology.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Happy Halloween!

Happy Halloween from our dog, Roxy. This post really isn't about Halloween but the picture is timely and I don't have a subject specific picture to use. I was talking to my grandchild about scheduling blog postings and the comment made was that I should schedule one for 3005 and say "Hi, I'm actually dead now so this blog doesn't really matter!" The grandchild is almost a teenager - first school dance is tomorrow - we only have a month and two days of pre-teen left. The sense of humor has always been there but it is being honed to a fine point. I only have one grandchild so of course there is no better one in existence! I, luckily, have been able to be involved in the child's life since hour seven after birth. What a joyous ride it has been. The maquette from the previous post hangs in the child's room. We draw in each other's sketchbooks and spend one day a week together. I hope I stay around as long as my mom has been in my children's lives.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

More Street Painting

This is the maquette for a street painting I did at the San Rafael Street Painting Festival. It is colored pencil on paper. I have myself on the ground in the lower left and again on the right about a third of the way up. There are also many of the people I met while street painting in this drawing. It was fun to do and everyone liked seeing themselves when I transferred it to the actual street. The spot in the middle is from using the flash on my camera but when I took the picture without the flash the color was way off. I wish I had framed this large drawing better as the paper is rippling. I could probably re-frame it when I find time and my framing tools. I know those tools are here somewhere! But unlike my carving tools, which I don't need at all, I haven't been able to find them. One of these days I'll get organized. Maybe after I finish my UFOs, or learn French and get back from Paris!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Ducky Mama

I took a class at the Marin Needle Arts Guild on wool roving. I bought a kit to make a duck but didn't like the pictured duck so let my imagination go and came up with this duck mama with her baby under her arm. It was a lot of fun - I worked on it obsessively for about three days. Haven't done another one since! There are so many arts and crafts and techniques and styles to learn. How does one learn to focus on one thing so that ones own style develops and improves? I want to learn how to do everything! The other day we were over at the Senior Center looking at the classes offered. There is an ongoing quilt class that would be great - I could devote four hours a week to finishing all my UFOs. But there is also a woodcarving class and I have the tools already (and I know where they are!) and I have always wanted to learn to carve. But then again there is an ongoing drawing and painting class, I could hone my skills in that area. Do I really want to spend most of the week at the Senior Center? Well, I could have lunch there, too. Then I wouldn't have to cook so much! Or do dishes. That is a real plus. Could sit in on the French class and plan a trip to Paris! Or improve my driving with the AARP safety class. Gee, maybe I should volunteer and teach others how to do all this stuff! WHOA lady, calm down. Maybe putting all these opportunities into a hat and pulling one out is the way to go! Will let you know what I decide!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Summer Tomatoes

Here is another panel from the Susan Shie class I took at EBHQ. It celebrates the great crop of tomatoes my friend Margo had. I did finish it the soon after the class was over but can't find the picture of the finished piece! I didn't write on it as heavily as Susan does but am happy with the way it turned out. I really enjoyed the watercolor paints and drawing on fabric as drawing is my first love but fabric is a very close second. This combination of drawing and painting is perfect. If I could just get off the computer and do more of these!
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Monday, October 26, 2009

Love Catcher

Earlier this year I took a class with Susan Shie. She does story quilts using watercolor painted images and lots of writing. This piece is the painting. I haven't decided if I want to write on it yet. It is called Love Catcher because, as the story Susan told goes, one sees love coming and catches it in the left hand. Initially I had planned to fold it and make a purse. But changed my mind after looking at it a while. So this panel has been relegated to my UFO pile! I still have tons of paint and PFD fabric and plans to do more of this. I did finish one panel but haven't photographed it yet. Maybe that will be my next blog..........

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Story Quilt - Little Rooster

Little Rooster is what the recipient of this quilt called his son. They lived near the beach and surfing lessons were a summer activity. Motorcycle riding was also a favorite past time. So Little Rooster is surfing against a skullish sky! I love the checkerboard feet!

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Story Quilt - Truman

Here is another patch from my story quilt. This is Truman the Akita I mentioned in my last posting. He was a great dog. When I would go to visit he came to the door, grabbed my arm in his jaws and pulled me into the house, all the while whining as if to say "Gram - where have you been?" I loved making Truman from dog fabric. This is an original design, as are most of the patches in this quilt. I love designing my own quilts. They are kind of quirky (I know, daughter dear, you are saying "KIND OF???"). I draw from my dressmaking and art backgrounds and figure there is always a way to do what I want in my quilts. I usually have a general idea of what I'm going to do but the finished product is usually nothing like I thought it was going to be. I get an idea and run with it. It is great fun! The only problem I've had doing that is that the quilts often are a wonky size, either a king size for a baby or long and skinny when a full or queen would have worked better. Oh, well. No one has complained yet!
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Red Dog

Here is another patch from the story quilt. This one, called "Red Dog" is an image of my granddog, Red. He is actually a fawn colored Boxer/Rhodesian Ridgeback mix. If you know the RR breed then you know they were bred to hunt big cats like lions and cheetahs. The only cats Red chases are domestic ones he doesn't know. That is why his eyes are fussy cut from the cat fabric border of this patch. Red is a sweetheart of a BIG dog -he must weigh at least 100 pounds and is probably 30" at the shoulder. For all of that he is gentle and loving and one of my favorite animals. He and his late step-brother, Truman, stayed with us for several months right after we moved to the rural area where we live on 80 acres. He sure loved to run! Once he escaped the property and went over to the ranch on the next ridge where they breed miniature horses. Boy were they fun to chase. The rancher, however didn't think that was such a hot idea and fired a gun over Red and Truman's heads to scare them off (it did)! Truman was much older than Red and the big adventure wore him out. He climbed into our bed and wouldn't move. Truman was an Akita - papered - who was too big to show. He was bigger than red by 30 lbs and six inches at least. That night we had a cozy sleep with our furry friend.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Last month my daughter and I went to LALA land to visit my mother - "Granny". We were there several days and decided to go to the LA Museum of Contemporary Art. My daughter has a fancy phone that gets Google map service. I had a pretty good idea of which way we needed to go but we agreed to use the Googler. The journal drawing above was based on our trip that day! We drove (I drove) all over downtown Los Angeles and Google never did find the museum for us! It kept directing us to a residential area. But the drive was interesting. I grew up in Los Angeles and had spent a good bit of time downtown but not in the last few years. I was impressed with how cleaned-up the area looks. Buildings were painted, there were very few vacancies in the business areas and there were lots of people walking around. Next time I plan on going to MOCA I am going to check out the directions with the museum directly!
This journal sketchbook is a Moleskine brand which I just discovered this year. I love the smooth, cream colored paper and am happy that it will accept watercolor without disintegrating. I like puting my own design on the cardboard cover, too. I have a large one for my journaling and a pocket sized one to carry in my purse.
Run down to the art supply store or to Borders and pick up a sketchbook. Then, fill it up!

Street Painting - San Rafael

For several years I participated in street painting festivals. The medium is pastel and the ground is, literally, the ground! Or rather the street - asphalt. This image was created for the San Rafael Italian Street Painting Festival in 2001. It shows my cat, Bear, looking at the Rafael Theater, the Civic Center designed by Frank Lloyd Wright, Mission San Rafael and Mount Tam as well as my hands full of chalk. This was a two day festival and seemed to always take place on the hottest 2 days of the year! I did the San Rafael festival several times and met many great people and saw lots of good (and bad) art. It is a fund raiser to keep the arts in the Marin County schools. If you have a chance, attend or participate in one of these events.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Raggedy Quilt

Have all of you made a raggedy quilt? It is fast, easy and fun. I made this one for one of my children in just two days! The picture is a detail but shows all the colors. The back is a solid color. A nice thing about raggedy quilts is that they don't need batting and each square is quilted before the squares are assembled. The most difficult part is clipping the edges after putting the squares together.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Journal Pages #1

This doodle from my sketchbook was inspired by a tea bag! It was made of a transparent fabric, pyramidal, and the string had a small leaf at the end. I was fascinated by it and have kept it around.
My sketchbook is a stream of consciousness thing. This page is one of a series with the pyramid as the main object. The materials I used include watercolor pencils, a roller ball pen and some stuff from the scrapbook store that looks like blush but comes in about ten different metallic colors. Sorry I don't know what it is called.
The page flows as I draw and write. I usually write backwards or upside down or randomly around the page because sometimes I put down private stuff. The writing is mostly unintelligible but it suits my purpose which is just to get the words (thoughts, feelings) out of my head and to be able to show people this work. I really enjoy the drawing part of the journaling. I was inspired by a book on the private sketchbooks of artists called "An Illustrated Life" by Danny Gregory.
I work in my sketchbook several times a week. I consider it exercise, like walking, and necessary for my health.
In the classes I teach I try to encourage all my students to keep a sketchbook. The students who grow and develop their art are usually the ones who do sketch and draw regularly.
As the teabag shows, inspiration can come from many sources. Look around and be inspired.

Monday, October 12, 2009

"Motorcycle Angel"

This is Motorcycle Angel from the story quilt I posted the other day (the really bad photo!). She is one of my favorite patches and she is an original design of mine. I put a Laurel Birch cat under her arm because the recipient of the quilt had several cats (and dogs) at the time I made this. I intended 'Angel' to protect him when he is on his motorcycle. Again, this quilt was machine quilted by Colleen Granger of 'Sew Little Time Quilting" in San Rafael, CA.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Three O'clock Cat

Here is the second in the series which started with "Doggy Dawn". We have a cat but this one isn't even remotely like ours!

I found these drawings to be a lot of fun and just kept on doing them for several days. Unfortunately, they were done a couple of years ago and I'm not sure I still have them. Doggy and Cat are the only two I have photos of. If I can find the sketchbook I did them in, I'll keep adding them to my blog. In the meantime, I have lots of quilts to show you.

But back to Cat. Once again, I let my imagination flow and put in everything that came to mind. When I look at Cat now, I wonder how long he has been sitting on that windowsill looking at the goldfish. Does the goldfish know its days are numbered? Has Cat noticed the gecko on the wall? Or the blue bird of happiness above his head?

As with Dog, Cat is done with color pencils. I mostly used watercolor pencils but did throw in a few wax based color pencils. I prefer the watercolor pencils because they can be erased and they have a creamy feel to them when I draw. There is less drag on the paper with them. That sounds funny but if you draw you know what I mean. For example, tonight I was taking notes as my eldest daughter taught me how to do something on the computer. I was using ordinary lined paper but had grabbed an art pencil. It was an old Staetler brand pencil and was lovely to use. It had such a velvety feel to it that it took no effort to write at all. It isn't often that I can find a pencil like that anymore.

So, blog friends, what is your favorite pencil?

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Doggy Dawn

We have a great little dog who just turned five this summer. She is the inspiration for the drawing I did titled "Doggy Dawn". I included all the things she loves,and some she doesn't, like water. This drawing is in a cartoon style which is new for me. It was a lot of fun to do and I just let myself go with the flow. I had in mind when I started that I would use it as a maquette for a quilt. However, when I finished I new I didn't want to do a quilt that intricate. So it is still a drawing in one of my many sketchbooks. This drawing did inspire a series of other drawings in the same style. Stay tuned for the rest!

Friday, October 9, 2009

Story Quilt

This is a really bad picture of a great story quilt I did for a family member.  I started it in a quilting class at College of Marin and finished it in about a year.  It was a lot of fun collecting the fabrics and designing each special square.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

A Recent Drawing

I mentioned in my bio that I had an art degree. My favorite form of art is drawing with graphite pencils. So today I included the most recent drawing I've done. It took about eight hours to complete, with two or three preliminary sketches before I started on the final one.

I encourage everyone to draw, doodle, sketch and whatever else one feels up to doing. It is surprising how relaxing drawing is and the results are often surprising, too!

Grand Baby's flower garden

This is a detail of a baby quilt I made for my great nephew in law - one of my grandchild's favorite cousins. It is the 'Grandmother's Flower Garden' design. Talk about a tough quilt to put together. At the baby shower all the quests, male and female, drew on hex patches, I added hex patches made from conversationals. The thing grew and grew! It turned out to be big enough for a queen size bed. Probably a good thing as the babe was half grown by the time I got it done!

My new blog!! AND a couple of old quilts.

Hi, everyone. Here I am, getting into the 21st century! I am a 64 y.o. woman, grandmother, mom and wife who loves to quilt, draw and paint.

The above quilt was started in a class with Gwen Marsten at the Marin Needle Arts Guild seminar several years ago. Gwen's style really clicked with me and I thoroughly enjoyed making this quilt. It was exceptionally quilted by Colleen Granger of Sew Little Time Quilting in San Rafael. At my request she put a flying cow in the sky and then had fun with the design. There is a horse, pick-up truck, family of farmers and many other unique motifs.

The mom part of me wanted to make a quilt for my eldest daughter so I asked her what she wanted. She said a red and white star quilt. Well, I was still in the Gwen Marsten mode and this is what she got! I call it "O Holy Night". In addition to Gwen's stars I used my dress making skills to inset seams and piece it. It is an original design that I am afraid will never be able to be reproduced!