Tuesday, December 27, 2011

My violets

Yes, I've been doing many art projects, but had to settle down and prove to myself that I could do some sketching. One of my African Violet plants was the key subject. I have a journal in which I've chosen to just use a sepia pen. I was surprised (and disappointed) at how long it has been since I added a sketch to this journal. Even longer since it seems that I put the date as 2012!

Sunday, December 18, 2011

New direction

I've gone in a new direction. Not sure how long this interest will last, but I'm enjoying "the now". I'm using acrylic and puff paint. OK, not the medium of the great masters, but it works for me.

The blue piece is 10x10. I painted the board four times, drew a grid, used a template for the circles and then added the dots. 
The other piece, which is beige (14x14), required taping and drawing the cross and the square on point. I did end up needing a compass for the larger circles. I am learning so much. I really don't use acrylics so finding out that you need more than a 1/8th inch amount of paint on the brush is the first step. Also, one needs to work from the center out. So it is wise to have the design pretty thought out.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Christmas greeting

For many years (OK since high school and I'm now a grandmother) I have made my Christmas cards. Some time ago I had purchased gold lined envelopes and I was determined to use them this year. Also, I had the urge to do some lettering. So, there is watercolor, zentangle and calligraphy for this greeting. And to all, I do wish you love and joy.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Small acts of kindness

      A nurse who is in my quilt guild, has taken the lead in encouraging us to make "lovies". These are blankets that are about 18" square and have flannel (pajama  material) on one side. They are relative easy to make. The purpose for these lovies is to put them in Sheriff's cars so that the officers can hand them out to children who are under stress.

      In addition, a contribution of a small toy would be appreciated. So, I went to the local bargain store and bought a couple bags of soft cuddly creatures. The young man, in his early 20's, commented on these soft toys. I explained their purpose. He replied, "been there". I was stunned. I certainly didn't ask for details, but he had needed protection as a young child. I did ask if he was OK. He replied that he was, but I could tell that it still hurt.

    As I left he said, "It's nice to know that someone cares."

     Later, I wish that I had thought to say, "Many care, we just don't always know how to reach out."

     Needless to say, I came home and made some more lovies.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

1st place

We had our River City Quilt Show this past weekend and I won a ribbon in the small pieced category. My entry was part of a challenge. We were given two fabrics and had to make a quilt, bag, garment, curtains of whatever one's creative mind could dream up. There were some big quilts and small ones. This quilt was about 28" by 30".

One of the center green yellows and the turquoise were the given fabrics. Well, by the time I had my design and got to the outer edge, the turquoise was too loud. So, I took fabric paint and sponged it on the bright fabric. Hey, there was nothing in the rules that said the process was not allowed.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Figure drawing

After a summer break, figure drawing sessions are again being held on Friday mornings. We start with 2 minutes poses and work up to the longest pose of 35 to 45 minutes. There is sooo much talent in the class. I enjoy seeing the different media that people use from charcoal, to pastels to watercolor. I'm like the kid in the candy store. I want to try everything. However, I seem to settle on pastel pencils for the longer poses.

This was a 35 minute drawing. I am beginning to get some of the concepts and proportions correct and then--I know that I have so much more to conquer. That's OK, it's fun to keep trying.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Watercolor and pumpkin

OK, I have never done a watercolor of someone I'm supposed to recognize. But, I decided to do a monochromatic version of my twin grand babies. There are many flaws, but it is a start and my husband had that special smile when he saw it-so I'm getting there. Gathering the courage and just doing it was a big step.

Earlier I drew the giant pumpkin that was growing in our backyard. Here is a photograph of the carved 92 pound vegetable. We did save some seeds and we'll see what happens next year. Yes, my farmer husband won the contest against his buddy.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Fabric Mandada

It seems that I am attracted to mandalas which are circle drawings representing the circle of life. I found this pattern in a magazine and I'm sure that they did not expect it to be made this way. The center sparkle is Angelina which is a polyester that is heated and melts to form the shape you desire. It also can be cut after being heat set. Beads were added. For all the bright quilts that I've made, I'm finding these quieter colors, very calm and pleasing. Only a little hand stitching, machine pieced and quilted.

Sunday, October 16, 2011


There was a sketchcrawl gathering in Davis, CA yesterday. I only managed to get one complete drawing done as there were other demands on my time. However, I needed to be grounded and drawing helped.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Zentangle moleskin finished

The zentangle moleskin is complete. The project started in April and I've finished in October. Since there was now time schedule, I was able to let the pages flow at their own pace.

This dot page almost looks like an animal. That was unintentional.

Yes, there is satisfaction at completing this project, but a certain emptiness lingers. I am constantly alerted to designs and want to keep up my awareness. My regular journal or another moleskin? Such great things to ponder.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Back to my routine

The twins, however, did not slow down!

The girls had an "official" shopping trip with real money. 
Imagine-- they were quickly out of cash.

Now I'll get back to my slower art work routine.

By the way, on my son's computer I notice that there were three pictures of a recent quilt shown on my blog. Here, at home, there are only two. Don't mean to post too many. Sorry.
Computer problems such as two colors of type can trip me up.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Zentangle Journal

The moleskin has only 2 1/2 pages left. It surprises me that I have come so far. What will I do next? Oh, something to ponder. I continue to find designs in some of my old journals and certainly in other blogs, magazines and books. Guess I've found my calling in detailed work.

(Click to view larger)

Well, my husband and I are off to see the grand kids. The twins will be one year old and we are going to help them celebrate. Hey, any excuse for a visit.

Monday, September 19, 2011


Rocks are my latest challenge. I'm taking a watercolor class and the first assignment was rocks. Oh dear, how could something so simple be so hard? Well, my instructor liked what I did and gave me a big clue as to why it worked-the 40% rule. Using a gray scale from one to ten, there should be at least a four jump difference between the light and dark areas. Remember, I need basic instruction in this subject. Anyway, I'm so proud.

Then I decided to do another pile of rocks. This time I used Intense pencils. All this practice helps me to not be so afraid. Now, however, I need to jump into water!

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Quilts of Honor

There are a couple of programs that are making quilts for returning servicemen/women. This time I have made one for the Quilts of Honor organization. Individuals can request a quilt for someone who has served in the military. As donations are received, the quilts are given out.
It just happened that I finished my gift this week, the week of 9/11 rememberances.The quilt is about 60" square which was one of the parameters. Red, white and blue are the preferred colors, but that is not an absolute demand. Design is up to the quilt maker.

 You can almost see the detail in this picture. The quilting is done with a "free motion" method that allows me to control the stitch design (instead of straight lines) which means that I can do zentangles.

I have no idea who will receive this, but I hope that it brings him/her comfort knowing that there are many people who care.

Saturday, September 3, 2011


Last Saturday there was a Sketchcrawl gathering in Davis, CA. There were about 12 of us who met at the Co-Op, a store with many delicious foods! A smart place to meet. You can check out Pete Scully's site to see more about that day.

This fine sketch is the back side of the tomato sculpture in the patio area.
 Here the display of watermelons and the patio area of the Co-Op.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Zentangle moleskin continues

The journey continues and I'm getting near the end of this moleskin. I'm very glad that I decided to do this project and that I have actually continued to work on it. The quote is: The past can't be changed but I can alter the way I let it affect me in the present. I certainly need to remember that on the golf course.

In Davis, CA on Saturday, August 27, Pete Scully is leading a sketchcrawl. OK, it's not Lisbon, but we still have fun. Anyone near, please join us at the Co-Op at 6th and G Streets at 10:30 a.m.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Zentangle moleskin

My moleskin is about two thirds full and it's just letting me know that there are many more designs that could be added. One neighbor described my book as lace. I thought that was a sweet observation as I'm still wondering about my "style".

The following pages are rather intense. I challenged myself to fill in the sections which created by randomly dividing the pages. I just wasn't in the mood to add any color. I think that there is enough happening using only black!

Monday, July 25, 2011

Inktense pencils

Sketchcrawl was this past weekend, but I decided not to make the 50 mile round trip to meet with the group in Davis. So, I went into the backyard and chose the pumpkin leaves for my study with Inktense pencils. the challenge is on to get a better understanding of how to use these colors.

 The story behind these leaves is that a friend bought a package of giant pumpkin seeds. He kept half and gave the other half to my husband. We'll see who wins.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Metal Quilt

Some people continue to amaze me with the art pieces they create. One such person is Ruthie Macha who puts so much meaning and thought into each creation. Below is the first in a series of six called Gate.Shield. All the beads and doodads are sewn on. Each piece will be 32" x 13".

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Zentangle moleskin

Zentangles, as well as most any art, can calm you down and just allow you to be. I decided to add lettering to this moleskin collection. There are no hidden messages. In the pattern I simply used letters that would create an interesting pattern. The color is from colored pencils.

 OK, it's 101 degrees today, so the thought of staying indoors is appealing. Besides doing some drawing, I'm making a quilt that is coming together nicely. I'll show it when it's at a more finished stage.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Amazing Esther

Esther is a very special friend. She is 97 years old and has just moved from California to her daughter's house in Texas. Now this woman is not an inactive little old lady. She has lived in many different states, as well as England and Mexico. She is a retired school teacher and has precise handwriting. Esther sends lots of personal notes and is very thoughtful about remembering birthdays. She writes poetry and for her 95th birthday, we made a book of her poems (she helped to paint the covers) and gave them to friends and family. She has been part of a Spanish club, a book club, a writers group and was a member of her church here in Sacramento.

Well, she has been at her daughters for a little over one week and she sent her first e-mails!! Maybe the reason she stays so young and alert is that she is willing to try new things. While on the computer, she got to see my blog. Now I want others to know how very proud I am to know Esther.

In another direction, Jennifer Edwards had a drawing on her blog and I won! I will receive some of her greeting cards and tags. This is my birthday week, so I seem to be especially blessed this year.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Zentangle moleskin

The zentangle journey continues. Here is the latest installment which includes a face. I continue to be aware of shapes in nature as well as in magazines and other print media. This section is 3 pages of my moleskin.

 One evening I just plunked myself down, determined that I would do a sketch. With a Pitt pen I drew this violet (I'm so proud that it is blooming). Over two sessions, I added the colored pencil.

Triple digit temperatures today. I did have to water some outdoor plants as they were drooping by noon. Yikes!

Friday, June 17, 2011

The Dog and the Sketchbook Project

It seems charming to have birds build a next in a tall shrub right next to the house. We got to watch the mocking birds bring twigs and nest building supplies for the perfect home. Finally the little ones hatched. Now, mom and dad become real protective when the little ones begin chirping. PROBLEM: we have bird dog. Apparently he is very patient.

Note that one bird is on the chair while the second dive bombs Cody, who doesn't seem interested in moving. After all, it's his home 24/7. Alas, two babies became victims to Cody. We never found any eggs so we are not sure if there was a third baby. The problem is, the birds built a nest there last year and they will probably come again. Oh, if I could control nature!

The Sketchbook project is digitalizing our 2011 books. Mine can be found at: http://www.arthousecoop.com/library/706. This was a fun endeavor. The show is in San Francisco through tomorrow, but I don't have the energy to go. What a bummer.


Sunday, June 12, 2011

Figure drawing

Well, summer has arrived and the figure drawing sessions are over until late in August. Here are a couple of 15 minute sketches that I did last week. I continue to learn and to admire the high quality of work by others in the class. Yevgenia Watts  who I met through EDM was able to join our group for the day. She does such fine work.

A shock came this week. Pamo's blog no longer exists! She apparently just had too much happening. Personally, I'm going to miss the laughs. Yet, she must take care of herself and I wish much happiness for her.

Monday, May 30, 2011

Three old ladies

This picture has been around for years. Grandma died in 1970, so you know that this is old. It just struck me as funny so I sketched the three old ladies who were dressed for a luncheon. My grandma is on the right-barely tolerating the other two who are apparently not prim and proper! Think that my aunt in the in the center and I have no idea who is on the left  wearing a fur stole.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Finally, I can post this!

Over six months ago I did this envelope and the note inside as a gift for a dear friend who is retiring as the volunteer head of my annual calligraphy retreat. Carla is such a sweet person and has done so much for the Friends of Calligraphy. Today was the surprise presentation so now I can talk without worrying about spilling the beans.

Thank you Carla, for all your hard work!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

More zentangles

I continue to work in my accordian fold moleskin allowing myself to just wander.

A friend suggested that I add iris since I had so much fun drawing them
at the old city cemetery. A nice idea!

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Travel sketch

I visited the grandkids in Ohio. We stopped at Easton Mall which is a whole village of stores. The kids and I waited in the car while their mom ran into a store. I took advantage of down time to sketch.

Speaking of the children, here are the twins in dresses that I made for them.

....and big brother in his new shades.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Iris at the cemetery

Sacramento has a lovely old City Cemetery. Famous people such as John Sutter (think of the discovery of gold), Stanfords (railroads) and Virgil Earp (Wyatt Earp's brother) are buried there. They have a heritage rose section which is maintained by volunteers. Yet, it was the Iris that caught my eye today. I took an "artists day" and spent time wandering, taking picture and painting. There was no deadline and there were so many lovely flowers and plants. This was a very calming experience.

Believe that the top Iris is named Root Beer. I drew with a Pitt Pen and used Inktense watercolor pencils.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Zentangle Moleskin

The journey continues. Here are sections 2 and 3 of this adventure. My goal is to fill an accordian fold moleskin with my zentangles.

I was trying to figure out my motivation to do this project and decided that this is a gift to me. This project is different than realistic drawings that I struggle to compose.  

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Zentangle Moleskin

Many of us are enjoying doing zentangles. I have admired the journals where one person does some and then passes it on to the next. Well, it seemed like to much work for me to connect with people who really want to work in that format. So, I bought my own journal and have started doing zentangles just for me.

I really don't know where this journal will lead. I am sure than my style will evolve. I hope to enjoy the process. It's funny, I keep reminding myself of the freedom to do what I want. There are no absolute rules. I can create to my heart's content. Amen.