Thursday, June 24, 2010

Home is where the heart is

This is a view from my friend's deck. We had dinner in his "Tree House" Monday night. It was so refreshing to be home in the woods. I could really breathe in the cool, fresh air!

Mom and I tootled up to CV in her little car. It was so good to be home. The only problem (besides the impending move and having to pack up eight years of stuff and no where to move to) was that I got sick! Haven't been sick in years and this sick was a doozy. We went up Thursday. I got up Friday and had no voice. Mom is 80% deaf and talking to her with laryngitis was quite challenging! Saturday bloody nose, achy muscles and sore throat. But Sunday was the worst! Headache, barfing, coughing and all the previous complaints! YUK!

I'm back to my healthy self today! And while I was home I just powered through and did what needed to be done.

Artquiltmaker came over Sunday with my grandchild (who is now TALLER than me!) and did tons of work for me. She went through all my fabric and condensed it and took home my UFOs. We found three (count them, three) quilt tops ready to be quilted! One I knew about but two I had totally forgotten!

She went through my clothes and I told her what to put in the Thrifttown bag (there was a lot!). And, of course she visited her Gramma.

It was so good to see both my daughter and my grandchild. This is the longest period of time I have ever gone without seeing the grandchild and I was sorely missing that.

We are back at Mom's now and she thinks she is helping by doing stuff she shouldn't - laundry, going in her closet, walking without her cane and other stuff I haven't discovered yet! I have to remind her that if she falls again she won't be able to stay home! So I just had a little firm talk with her about doing stuff she hasn't been cleared to do and what would happen if she fell again (nursing home). Will she remember? Did she listen? Who knows?

Friday, June 18, 2010

Raining cats and dogs

This is definitely Northern California! Probably my hills in the East Bay! The rain goddess is preparing to send cat and dog weather to the hills.

Again, I am practicing for starting the sketchbook project I signed up for last month. I thought I would paint all the pages with the new metallic watercolors I bought but after doing that in some pages of my current moleskine sketchbook, I'm not so sure.

This page looks pretty good, I think it is the color that I like.

But these two are really bad. Looking at them in photographs, as I've mentioned before, gives me a whole different perspective. I think red tones are not what I want. And I just had an idea for the cover! I saw some cat and dog fabric at the store the other day (but I was good and didn't buy it) and it would look pretty cool woven and glued to the cover! Will go back and see if they still have any. Or go online and look for some.

Well, I'm off! Driving home today, dragging mom along. Hope she does OK. Dreamt about packing to move last night!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Flag Day

Flag Day was last Monday and I was inspired to sketch flags. The above is flagus interuptus. The rest of the drawing lost in space as I needed to stop and help Mom. Perhaps inspiration will slap me in the face at some future time and this will get finished (like on the fourth of July? :} ).

Left Mom at the Senior Center eating a gluten filled lunch and I went and sat at Starbucks. Had a lovely conversation with a total stranger whose political leanings matched mine - a rare find in this area of California.

This flag is a perfect example of failure to pay attention - not always a bad thing. I noticed when I posted this that the stripes are wonky. I guess it goes with the Starbucks logo which I intentionally made wonky (notice the Vulcan hands?).

I looked up info on Flag Day as I had forgotten my grade school history on the origin. I did remember that Betsy Ross is credited with the design of the first flag. She changed the stars from six-pointed ones to five pointed ones. According to Wikipedia she did this for two reasons - the five pointed star was easier to cut out (there is a trick to it that I used to know) and it is also easier to recognize a five pointed star from a distance.

Here is a quite old project (a purse) I did as part of a challenge when I was in the Marin Needle Arts Guild in the good old days (2001, I think). The star was cut out using Betsy Ross's method. I was a new quilter at the time and didn't know much. In order to satin stitch the star down I put scotch tape on the edges at a stabilizer! LOL! But it worked! Not only did it stabilize the edges, but it also held the star in place. Was kind of icky to remove, however!

This is the only other flag related project I have done. It is a lap quilt that I made for my mother's (late) husband in 2004. He loved Coca Cola loge products and when I saw this fabric I knew I had to make him a quilt.

I had recently taken a machine quilting class and the stars were a manifestation of my new-found skill (?!).

Here is a good view of the logo fabric.

This is the back, which I love because it showcases lots of fabrics that I have used on other quilts. My Mom has this on her couch and I love sitting with it over my lap when it is cold (about four days a year!)

That is the extent of my flag day offering. Kuddos to Betsy Ross. I think Flag Day should be called "Betsy Ross Flag Day" to celebrate contributions women's sewing has made.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Creative Prompt - Eye

I loved all the responses to Artquiltmakers creative prompt "Eye". It always takes me a couple of days to be creatively prompted to respond. All the good positive responses had been listed so here is my negative response! Really like the drawing, if not the sentiment.

I used Crayola watercolors, the new metallic watercolors I got last week and a Micron pen I found in my sewing box. One of the neat things about the Micron pen is that it is waterproof and the tip on this one is very small.

Well, Mom's spoiled dog is standing at his dish barking so I have to go and feed him (and Mom, too, I guess).

Keep drawing.

Friday, June 11, 2010


I got time off last night from Momcare. She and her WONDERFUL neighbor, MB, went to the HOA potluck and meeting. I dropped them off, and scooted over to the scrap booking store where, after spending too much money, I sat and painted and drew. I was given a 15% discount because I was working at their table!

So today I am showing off the fruits of my labor. I purchased some 'typewriter' alphabet stamps, some really neat metallic watercolor paint and a puppy paw rubber stamp (which it turns out I don't like).

Then I did a bunch of sketching in preparation for working on my Artist Co-op sketchbook. Found I like my painting much better! Think I will do this type of thing as background in my Artist Co-op sketchbook.

Spot, the dog.

Raining dogs and cats. Like the dogs and cats but not the drawing. Plan to re-do this in paint.

Catty raindrops.

Doggy raindrops.


Keep drawing

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Sketchbook project

I may have mentioned that I joined the sketchbook project with Art House Co-op. Participants select a theme from a long list, I choose "It's Raining Cats and Dogs", and buys the sketchbook. One can also elect to have the completed sketchbook digitized for an additional $20 fee (the sketchbook fee is $25). I did go the whole nine yards and paid to have my book digitized. I must return it by Jan. 2011. The Co-op sends participants a bar coded sketchbook, info on the project, and a library card for the Brooklyn Art Library. The completed books will go on tour and afterwards, be available for the general public to look at.

When I graduated fro CCAC (now CCA :() my artistic goal was to have one of my pieces in The Whitney Museum of Art in NYC. This is cool as it will be in a museum in New York!

The problem is ......... it is a brand new EMPTY sketchbook. The first drawing is always the hardest. Plus, I want it to be spectacular. I have always told my students to "just draw!" and now I don't seem to be able to.

I have been practicing in my current sketchbook which feels pretty lame. Artquiltmaker suggested I make lists of what I want in the book and I have done that, too. Still not inspired. But I have heard, and just remembered that art is 1% inspiration and 99% perspiration. In other words (thanks Nike) JUST DO IT!

My favorite drawing/watercolor teacher at CCAC (now retired), Richard Gayton, gave me some hints on how to start a new sketchbook. One was to leave a few of the front pages blank so you didn't have to look at a crappy (my word, not his!) first drawing. A trick I do too, is to start on the very back page as one must improve as on goes forward, right?

Well, after all this sniveling I am going to go back and read the Art House Co-op info on the project and see if that inspires me.

Pretty cool dog drawing, above, I think. Maybe I can do this.........

Tuesday, June 8, 2010


recently posted a report on her visit to the SF Decorator Showcase house in the Presidio Heights district of San Francisco. In the garden she photographed this columbine blossom. She had been discussing how different aspects of the house (floor, table, etc.) would make interesting quilt blocks and when I saw this flower I was inspired to design a quilt block.

I got out my trusty water soluble oil pastels and moleskine sketchbook and started drawing. I'm pretty happy with the results but will need to refine it to actually use it as a quilt block. Wish I had my 1000 quilt blocks book here :(. Anyway, here it is. What doyou think?

It is interesting to look at a sketch in a place other than the original. Design flaws and needed fixes are much more obvious. One of the techniques (tricks?) artists use is to look at a piece in a mirror. It is very helpful in refining one's design. Looking at a photo does the same thing.

I am going back to the drawing board (er, kitchen table) and do another version of this.

Monday, June 7, 2010

City Rain Goddess

I saw a young woman with wonderful hair and she inspired this ATC. Love pen and ink. The black and white is so dramatic.

This is short and sweet so I can go buy a buttercup jellyroll online before I have to make dinner!

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Swimming upstream

This drawing is in response to Artquiltmaker's creative prompt, salmon. I thought about it for a long time because salmon fishing has lots of negative connotations for me and I didn't want to go there.

This is kind of how my life feels right now, swimming upstream. The better my mom feels the harder she is to deal with. She still doesn't think before she acts and that portends problems for later when and if she gets to live alone.

The big guy is trying to pack the trailer up so we can move but he is such a pack rat that it is a monumental job. And I have forms to fill out for senior housing but all my records are in the trailer where big guy is packing up!

I guess this is where let go and let god comes in. Riiiiiiiight.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Water soluble oil pastels

I thought this image was really cool when I drew it but seeing it posted here makes it look quite different! And weird.

Once again I used my new water soluble oil pastels but this time I did not wet them. Maybe I should since I don't like the way this image looks. It also might look better if the photo was better. But when I took it the batteries in my camera were dead so I used the webcam on Mini Mommy (my HP notebook) with the ATC taped to my chest so the background has wrinkles and lumps and bumps. And it is green.

There is some ethos in the face of this guy. Hmmmm....

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Waiting at the Airport for Jimmy

My nephew is coming to town and Super G and I are so excited. We got to the airport early and were sitting in Starbucks. I took the time to do some drawing.
My SBdaughter, see A Paper Addict, came to visit and brought me oodles of ATC supplies. So I dragged out my (new) art supplies and we made ATCs. This is a kitchen stool rendered with water soluble oil pastels.

The pastels are kind of chunky so doing fine work is difficult. But after going over it with a brush and water I found I liked the loose effect I got.

The picture is weird because I ran out of batteries for my camera so I used the webcam on my HP Mini Mommy.

BTB, Red Vines candy company is having a drawing contest. Check it out!

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Quilting supplies

Well, the quilting virus has hit again and I made a stop at the quilt shop next to the park where Mom lives. Don't usually go there as one of the owners is less than friendly or helpful. Would put the name of it here but have only had half a cuppa so far this a.m. and CRS is full blown.

I have always used the rulers with the yellow lines but Creative Grids is the only brand carried next door so I got this one. It is really cool! It has the inches and half inches numbered! And it has both white and black marks on all the lines so it doesn't matter what color my fabric is I can still see the markings, AND it has sticky stuff on the bottom so the ruler doesn't move (you already knew that?). So I got busy and cut some squares.

I still messed up! But only on one set of two patches. Measuring has never been my strong suit. Did I tell you about trying to find a heater register for Mom's floor? ..........oh, well, never mind:]