Thursday, September 17, 2020

Practice really does help!

 I was inspired by Friend Julie to participate in a drawing challenge called 'Index Card a Day' where one does a drawing a day the size of an (or on?) an index card. This was to be done every day during June and July. I used a couple of sketchbooks that I had started ages ago and filled them both up! This led to another challenge by my daughter, artquiltmaker, to fill up some of the many begun but not finished sketchbooks! And since then I have completed another one. That makes three this summer! The one I am working in now only has four pages left! YAY!

Above are three of the ICAD drawings I made.

After I completed that challenge I stopped drawing! But only briefly as I was trying to fill up sketchbooks.  I challenged myself to draw people wearing masks! I thought it would be a good chronicle of these pandemic times and interesting to draw. I have drawn eight masked people and a masked bear (copied from the internet). Each day that I draw I find that it gets easier and easier and the drawings, I think, are better and better. So I encourage you to draw every day. Not only are my drawings better but I have found that I like drawing faces of people and dogs. And instead of only drawing in the morning I go to my studio and draw a couple more times during the day.

I mention the dogs because my Oregon daughter seems to have many friends whose dogs have died. When they do she sends me a picture which I draw so they have a memento of their beloved pet. I am in the process of painting one now. Again, no picture!

The last thing I want to mention is that in my monthly sketchbox I often get a mini pad of a new kind of paper. I am going to check them out and report on them next month.

Next month also is 'Inktober'! Check out Jake Parker's Inktober on the internet and join in the fun and challenge. I don't use pen and ink as a rule but found last October that it was fun and challenging. I'm planning on bringing back Eggman in some of my drawings.

Thanks for reading my blog. Tell your friends if you like it. More next month.

You can see my work on instagram at peggy.carroll.73 and I also post sometimes on facebook as CarrollPeggy. I am however taking a little break mostly from facebook to avoid the political ads.


Sunday, August 9, 2020


 Posted just now and realized I forgot the silk part! Since the pandemic began I have been making masks. Recently I read an updated report on home made masks and their efficacy.  The newest data says three layers are preferred, silk, chiffon and cotton.  I happen to have (big surprise!) a supply of silk.  Since the silk quilt I have been saving it for won't come up on the list until I'm about one hundred years old I have decided to use it for masks.  I also happen to have about ten yards of chiffon which I was going to make curtains out of (also way down on the list)  and an endless supply of quilting cotton I am set to go on the masks.

Picture and update later.

Paper and Silk

 Since the last post I have been paying attention to the paper I use: the color, the texture, the size, how the color and ink are absorbed and how the pencil shows up.  When I have taught a class in the past I have recommended a large spiral bound pad of Bee paper and a small spiral bound Bee notebook.  I really like the small notebook because the paper is white, it takes watercolors fairly well and the spiral binding allows me to lay it open flat.  

By the end of the Index card a day challenge, July 31st, I had filled up my last one and though I searched every art supply website including Bee Paper, I could not find another small one.  I was complaining of this to my daughter one day and she called me on which sketchbooks I had on hand.  So I went through my paper drawer and to my chagrin, I found I had enough sketchbooks to fill a small art store!  The full Bee sketchbook is just beside my coffee cup. The ones below, at the bottom of the picture are (or were) empty, obviously waiting for me to fill them up!  I pulled out the two black o

nes with the elastic attached and have been using them since the middle of June.   These are bound like a normal book giving a two page spread if one wanted to use that feature.  The paper is hot press (which is smooth) watercolor paper, probably 140#. It is very nice to paint and draw on as it doesn't buckle when wet. The downside for me is that it is creme color instead of white. I think the watercolor doesn't glow like it does on white. But they are a good size and sturdy and I had them so am using them.  Maybe by the time both are filled I will like them. 

Monday, July 13, 2020


Last week I said I would show my favorite types of art.  I only had one photo on my computer and I did post that. It was a poppy mural, in progress, at my cousin's house. All my art photos are on my phone (over 2000 of them!). But today I moved some to this computer and will post them.

This is copied from a picture off of Facebook and is done in pencil. Pencil is my very favorite media. I like both graphite and color pencils, with graphite being number one favorite.  And did you know that pencils have always been made with graphite and never with lead? Amazing but true.

I recently subscribed to "Sketchbox", a monthly delivery of luscious art supplies. It is $103 every quarter, I think. I have it paid automatically so I've forgotten  exactly how much it is. In the June box I received a tin of Cretacolor pencils. 
This brand has been a favorite of mine for several years. The graphite is very smooth- no 'rocks' in the graphite to scratch the paper or leave a holiday. The set came in a tin with HB, 2B, and 4B regular pencils, an Ebony pencil which has a thick, soft and very dark graphite. Also included are three graphite sticks, 2B, 4B, and 6B with the 2B double sized.  Lastly, there is what is called a polishing cloth which is a small piece of fine leather to rub over your drawing to smooth out the pencil lines. When I was in school we used what was called a chamois and was produced from and endangered goat. I'm glad that has changed.

An old standby and also a nice pencil is the Mars Lumograph. I have many of these in several hardnesses from 4H to 6B. My full set is also in a tin.

This morning I drew my ICAD project using the Mars pencils. I chose them because of the wide variety of hardnesses. I started out with an H because, used with a light touch the lines will not be seen in the final drawing.  As it turned out I only used the H and a 2B. Patience and many layers gave me the values I wanted.  The final drawing took about two hours and is only 3 1/2" x 5". One of my professors did portraits on full sheets of watercolor paper which is 24" x 32"! Her work was gorgeous and she was quite an inspiration. I wish I could remember her name.

This is one of my Montana daughter's chickens, Buffy the vegetable slayer! She appears to be thrusting her head forward, looking around a corner for a tasty morsel.

Next time I will post my other mural and talk about either pen and ink or watercolor pencils. Or maybe about paper which is super important in the final look of the drawing.

Stay tuned!

Thursday, July 2, 2020

The Overwhelming Desire to Write and Draw

After reading Artquiltmaker's blog this morning I felt the overwhelming desire to write my blog again. I was surprised and pleased that it was still here!
Last October, in an attempt to jump start drawing I, successfully, participated in 'Inktober', an ink-along by Jake Parker. Pen and ink are not my favorite media but I completed it which made me happy.
The sad thing was I did not continue drawing much.
At the time I was teaching a class in the Delta College SICL program called Watercolor/Color Theory which forced me to study, paint and develop class content. That ended just before Thanksgiving. 
Unfortunately, due to the Covid 19 pandemic the Spring and Fall classes were cancelled. I had planned to teach Beginning Pastel in the Spring. When we thought only the Spring would be cancelled I was relieved because I would have more time to develop my rusty pastel skills. I attempted that and found that the pastel dust really aggravated my annoying allergies and asthma. As soon as I put those pesky pastels back in their boxes and in the cupboard the asthma began to get better. So no pastels for me.
June and July presented a new opportunity to draw and paint in the guise of 'Index Card a Day'. The premise is doing an index card sized (3x5) art piece a day during June and July. I have been pretty successful at that and have found it has made me think about the kind of art I love to do and to wonder why I wasn't doing it.
So, do I have you wondering what I love to do? Good! Think about what kind of art you love to do and DO IT!
Here a sample of what I love to do.

This is one of the kinds of art I love to do. It is a mural on my cousin's fence. When looking for examples of art I found that I have not downloaded any of my art to this computer! So, later today, I will struggle with that and show you my absolute favorite art in my next post.
My goal is to write once a week. I'm glad to be back and as we all know we 'elderly' have plenty of time on our hands while sheltering in place to do a little writing.

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Another top!

I just finished another top for a nephew. It will be a quilted throw like the last five I have made this summer.
 Have one more to make and am using a panel for it.

Received the Scrapitude cutting instructions recently and am going to do a little of that while I listen to the ball game.

Monday, August 31, 2015

August 2015

I gaveupbloghong on my computer as it !ept blowing away my work. Just discovered I can blog on my new tablet! I heard a big DUH from all of you in the blogosphere! Be nice.

Anyway, the big guy and I visited family on Washington State in July and there were seven kids who didn't have quilts. I got three made while we were there for five days and have finished two more since we got home. Working on one now and just bought a panel for the seventh one ---- whew. Pictures below.
 Have to transfer more pics from phone to tablet. But this is a little taste of what I have been doing.

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Three - count them 3 finished!

After three days of procrastination induced MY QUILTS NEED TO BE DONE BY FRIDAY insomnia, my quilts are finished! Three of them. Two have only been in the works for the past year as they are block of the month ones but the third has been in my quilting line for over twelve (!!!) years. Delivering them to the Manteca (California) Quilters Guild show tomorrow morning.

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Thursday, again already

So, it is the second Thursday of the year and I am blogging, as promised.

Didn't make it to Saturday sampler last Saturday. Yesterday, when I picked up my block for the month I changed my class time from 11:45 to 9:30. A group from the mini group I just joined all go at 9:30 so maybe that is the push I need.

Speaking of the mini group, yesterday was the second time I've gone to the group meeting - the last two Christmas parties don't count as we didn't sew. I didn't have a machine to take as when I got my little brother back from friend Patty I forgot the foot pedal! So Tuesday night I assembled a bunch of blocks that I needed to cut and a quilt I am sewing the back on and took that.

Today was the first day in about two weeks that I have been home - big sigh. I was going to sew but by the time I had fixed breakfast and cleaned up, made a birthday card and took it to the post office the big guy got home and wanted to take me to lunch.  We went for GF pizza and salad at Mtn. Mike's down the street. Then a trip to Jo-Ann for yarn to make a scarf for a friend.
Didn't buy enough of the hairy stuff so will go back tomorrow for another skein.

By the time we got back I could barely keep my eyes open and had to take three loads of laundry off the line and hang it  in the house as it was sunny but too cold to dry outside. Which reminds me, I have to check the bathroom - I put a heater in there to dry the first load. It is probably a sauna by now.

Thanks for checking in

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Happy New Year 2015!

Now is the time for my yearly resolutions. Here is one that only matters here - I resolve to blog once a week - on Thursdays.
And one that matters to me personally - draw and paint more.
I am having a very nice Christmas. Did you know it is still Christmas? Today is day seven of the 12 days of Christmas.
In honor of the fifth day (five golden rings -remember the Miss Piggy rendition) and the visit of my all grown up grandson I threw a party. My Central Valley friends had never met him so I invited them over for coffee and gingerbread. It was a lot of fun and my house fairy cleaned like a mad woman so the house is presentable for a couple of days.
I sewed for a half an hour yesterday. Got one more basket almost finished.
So, Happy New Year. Blog at  you next week!

Monday, November 24, 2014

Cuffing a Christmas stocking

I know I promised more about the Houston show in my last blog post but I'm on to other things right now and am excited about a tutorial from Jenny Doan of the Missouri Star Quilt Company.  I've been making Christmas stockings out of silk scraps from a project my former quilting buddy and I made eight years ago.

I've been embroidering them in the style of Victorian crazy quilts and embellishing with sparkly clear glass beads.
Displaying IMG_20141124_121103.jpg
Orange crazy quilt stocking - the cuff will be solid range.
The first two have antique lace as the cuffs but the one I am currently working on is more masculine and I didn't want to put lace on it. The tutorial above showed me how to easily attach a cuff.
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stitching detail

This is my second foray into Christmas stockings this year - I made a magic one for our new granddaughter during the summer. It is six inches long but when Santa fills it on Christmas eve it magically grows to hold all the gifts.

Magic stocking - Santa brought us a new grandchild!
You may be wondering why I need so many stockings. Our young man and his parents have them and the new baby has one, the Big Guy and I have them. So here's the deal: our Church, St. Basil's Greek Orthodox Christian Church, along with all the other churches in our archdiocese, have a Christmas luncheon which uses the proceeds to support and help pay off our seminarian's school loans upon graduation.  This year the luncheon is here at St. Basil's and I am helping the chair stock the boutique.
The sachet will look like this without the beak and comb!f
So I will donate these to the Boutique at the luncheon along with some home grown, pesticide free, oregano and some lavender sachets our youngest daughter taught me how to make.  The sachets will be made from orphan blocks. The shape of the sachets is from the chicken pincushion tutorial from the Missouri Star Quilt Co.'s tutorial sans beak, comb and tail feathers!

The boutique is being set up on Friday the 5th of December. If you have any items you would like to donate contact me for the address.

Friday, November 7, 2014


I am sitting in Hobby airport in Houston waiting for my flight home after spending the past five days with my Texas cousin and attending the International Quilt Festival.  I was also lucky enough to connect with another cousin on my dad's side of the family. The two cousins and I went out to lunch and spent a good part of the afternoon together. The trip was a gift from my daughter artquiltmaker who also came with her college roommate.

Part of the Ruby Exhibit celebrating 40 years of IQ Festivals

My mom's side cousin invited the three of us to stay in her very lovely home in The Woodlands, north of Houston. The stay turned into a big slumber party. We were a super compatible group.

Lunch with the cousins was Thursday (I totally pigged out at the Cheesecake Factory. They have a great gluten free menu, including 'Godiva' cheesecake).

My 'Carroll' cousin
Friday cousin V came with us to the IQ Festival with the attitude "I have no interest in quilting". We walked around looking at quilts for the morning, had lunch at Papasitos Cantina in the Hilton (Gluten free menu, didn't like the rice or refried beans - Tex/Mex doesn't please my California palate) then visited the vendors. About half an hour in V decided she was going to do the "Learn to Quilt" session with West Houston Quilt Guild. She's hooked! Bought fabric, ruler, rotary cutter, and mat (not all at the show - more later).

Our newest quilter!

We stayed at the show from open at 10 a.m. til close at 7 p.m. and we probably only saw one quarter of it!

Enough for now. I have places to go and things to do. Will continue in a couple of days.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

I haven't blogged in a very long time - I have thought about it, does that count?

The summer flew by! It finished up with our second annual trip to Montana to see our youngest daughter, her husband and new baby girl. I fell in love with our baby girl! Being a grandma is second only to being a mom. I love it! We spent three weeks in Montana and worked really hard, if you can call helping to take care of a baby hard! We loved every minute of it and look forward to our next trip.

Of course a big part of getting ready for the trip was making a quilt.

Really bad picture of finished quilt

Much better picture of quilt top
I quilted it myself and did get the binding on before we got there but couldn't find the picture of it finished! The center section inside the small black border was a challenge at Manteca Quilt Guild. It is the answer to a sudoku puzzle done in fabric. I added the black, red and green borders to make it 'drag around' size for the baby. It is currently a 'tummy time' mat.

While we were there we visited the town of Whitefish - a touristy and cute town with a great quilt shop. Left the bag with the shop name at our daughter's - sorry but am sure I will be back there before too long. I had seen a quick quilt on one of the Missouri Star quilt Company's great tutorials and figured out a quicker way to make it. My version of a 'quilt as you go'.
I picked a line of Moda fabric including a pack of 2.25" precut squares, five 1/4 yard WF pieces, a yard and a half of backing (the orange and yellow piece) and instead of batting I used white cotton flannel. I sewed the quarter yards together along the WOF for the top, then the quilt sandwich along the top. I placed the precuts on point along the four seams and sewed them down along the pinked edges of the little squares from top of the quilt to bottom and back up the other side. when those were sewn on I sewed a big zig-zag line down the center of each color of fabric.

I used another color from the same Moda line for the bias binding. I made the binding using another tutorial on continuous bias binding from Missouri star. It was really slick! I got more that enough binding for the forty-four inch square quilt.

When I started this quilt I thought I would finish it in a couple of hours - HAH! I did get it done before we left and probably only spent about eight hours on it which really isn't much. and I think it turned out well. Our daughter liked it! So now the baby girl has two quilts.

Back on the home front I have been making basket blocks from the 'Buck-a-Block' club at Quilter's Quarters.  I realized that I was just fooling around as I had three quilt tops in the pipeline that really need to be finished. So here is a picture of the basket blocks and look for more to come on my adventures in quilting (as opposed to piecing).

Friday, July 11, 2014

A Surprise Visit!

Yesterday, about four o'clock, I got a phone call from apaperaddict. She and my granddog, Beene, would be here to visit for a couple of days in two hours! She is the daughter who thinks nothing of mopping the ceiling - while just yesterday morning I had mopped my kitchen floor for the first time in forever! Was so glad I had as that meant I only had to vacuum, clean the bathrooms, empty the trash and pick up the stuff I had pulled out of the closet earlier this month and thrown on the couch. Oh, yes, and get rid of the spider webs as it is not yet Halloween, nor time to sprinkle them with Christmas glitter!

Well, I got it all done before she got there and still had time to go to the store and get food for dinner. I didn't think a sliced apple with peanut butter on it, my usual fare (as the big guy is dieting and cooks garbage - I mean food - I find inedible) would do for company dinner ;=)

I really should have worn my glasses while cleaning. I missed many spider webs. Apaperaddicts only comment was that I needed her cleaning lady for about a month! I had no argument for that - but really, one day after madly vacuuming one can't even tell I did it. At least when I sew I have something to show for it for years!

I helped her with a project last night, too.

We are calling this her car angel because she is on a road trip in her new car. She has a month to spend traveling.

Tomorrow we are going to wedding number three in the last six weeks! I have given up making quilts as gifts because of the time they take and the cost.  I want to concentrate on quilts for me for a change. But I still love making gifts for my friends and just completed the third set of pillowslips for our friend who is the bride tomorrow. I unfortunately forgot to buy wrapping paper and a card. Apaperaddict had a great idea. She suggested I fold them like fancy napkins and just put a ribbon around them. It worked out great!. There was even room to slip the handmade card in.

Isn't that cute?!

So, now I get to work on the sudoku wallhanging. And putting together the block of the month blocks, and the Saturday sampler blocks. And the quilt for our granddaughter.

I also finished the raggedy quilt and washed it and took it to artquiltmaker's and put it in her dryer.  Had to iron the elephants parading border as it got very wrinkled. The colors are not good in this photo, either. I just today figured out how to turn on the flash. I am slowly beginnng to understand the blankety blank smartphone.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Hooray! I'm sewing again!

After about three weeks of no sewing I got out of my car and out of my big comfy chair and back into my sewing room last night. Just before going to bed I started digging around in my unsorted stack of fabric looking for something appropriate for a raggedy  baby quilt border.  I found some  elephants on parade that is perfect!

Sudoku Tiny Quilt

Got up early, made coffee and went in and started sewing. On a new project. Just to get myself energized. Only one block. Can't wait to get back to it. Incorrigible, I know.

If you have made a raggedy quilt you are probably wondering why I need a border. Weeeeelllll, once again, it is a measuring failure. The quilt was just a tad too small to be useful. I used my Viking to join the border and batting (as you may know raggedy quilts are quilt as you go). Am not happy with the back side stitching but not taking it out and will use the featherweight to do the other three sides. Sorry, I haven't taken any in progress pictures of this one.

Tomorrow I am sewing with my guild micro group (only two of us) on the ribbon baby quilt for Roller Derby Daughter who will give us grandchild number two the first week of August - a girly one.
Still on my design wall