Wednesday, April 26, 2006

I have my pictures now

Here is the little drawing that I did at Jiffy Lube. It was one of those Norfolk Island Pine plants that some people use as Christmas trees. I found it very fun to draw. I haven't decided if I will add color to it or not. It used a Faber Casteel Pitt pen size F in a large moleskine sketchbook.


Here are the problem socks out of Trekking XXL. You can't see the problem here. The yarn is pretty so I will persevere with them.


Here is the other pair of socks I am doing. The yarn consists of a strand of black along with a strand a variegated colors in the red - orange range. I have no problems with this yarn yet.

  Posted by Picasa

Blue Skies Sunshine

Perhaps Spring is finally here. It's a beautiful day today. Everything I do say that it snows so I am keeping my fingers crossed this time. We definitely are getting more nicer days so that is a good sign.

I drew a plant at Jiffy Lube yesterday but I haven't a picture of it yet so that will have to wait. I have been busy with the watercolors class. I spent last night doing some of the exercises in this weeks lesson. I really loved playing with salt and rubbing alcohol. It does such interesting things to the wash. I am going to paint a seascape for lesson 4's painting but I have not decided what I should paint for this weeks final painting. The seascape will be of Cannon Beach, Oregon a place I was at more than 10 years ago but really loved. I hope I can do it justice.

Spring ATC Card swap
Well the Spring ATC Card swap has been competed and I got it all mailed out. I really enjoyed doing this with my new group of friends over at Violette's message board. I put all the cards in a flickr file. Here is a link to all the cards


I have had an annoying time with the Trekking XXL yarn. The yarn has been splitting so I have had these little loops on the back that look like dropped stitches. I should probably rip back to the ribbing. Just when I think I have taken out enough I still find a mess. GRRRR. So I picked up the red/black variegated sock.. I suppose I should get a pic of that, but once again the camera is in the car... next time.

I have been putting off sewing the rest of Sarah's badges on her vest. The Girl Scout award ceremony is Saturday. I have to get off my butt and do it. I want to try this afternoon. I wish all their patches were iron on, but they are not.

I have taken an idea from the yarn harlot, she has this Tuesdays are for spinning thing she does. I have decided to take my laptop and head into town on Tuesdays to write. Last week I went to the Villa coffee house which is nice but I can only stay 2 hours before I have to move my car. Yesterday I went to the Library, which worked ok but then I had to leave for lunch. I guess I will have to sneak some snacks in next time. When I can walk a little better I will just park at the library and then go to the villa. I have been working on writing possible magazine articles on my Tartan experience and The Thread Project. They are both continual works in progress. I work on them a little and then I get other ideas so it will be a long process. I have a few other ideas I am toying with too. It feels good to get out there doing somthing about this writing thing.

Monday, April 24, 2006

Earth Day and the Oxford Sketch Crawl

There were 2 worldwide sketch crawls held this weekend. Here is what I did. On Saturday I went to the local zoo to sketch animals. It was also Earth Day so it became quite crowded. I did manage a couple drawing but a less crowded day would have been better. I had my stool with me but some venues did not have much room so I ended up taking a lot of pictures for further reference. This was my first real time sketching in public. Most people saw that I was drawing, but did not say much. I had a little boy comment on how he liked my zebra. Now I wish I had asked him if he liked to draw too. Oh well next time.

On Sunday I went over to Oxford Dr. to see what was there to draw. It is a really short street, just a few houses. I was drawn to this stonework so I drew that and then the street sign. At home I drew my sweatshirt and the Thesaurus that my daughter Sarah bought in Oxford, when we were there two summers ago. This was fun to do. Someday I would love to go on a real sketch crawl with other people.

 Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

In the Creative Zone

I was up till about 2 am deep in the creativity zone. I spent time organizing the ATC card swap I a hosting. I decorated all the envelopes so they'll be ready to be mailed soon. If you want to look, all the cards are here There is some awesome art included there. It was really fun to be a part of.

Then I needed to finish up my train car for a Violettes Creativity Train. We are all making train cars and adding pictures and stuff to represent us. Then we'll send to Nicci, a member of the message board and she'll put it all together and give to Violette. I really had fun doing this. My card is below.


The I spent time on watercolor, I am really having problems with trees. I will post those pics in a little while. I also did a little drawing for EDm challenge 63. The pic I took didn't look good so I will post another later

Saturday, April 15, 2006

EDM challenge 58, 61

I have been playing catch up so here are is my challenge 58-hat. The first hat I did was pretty bad so I tried it again and this one is a little better.


I had a pleasant day yesterday. I went to the Greenbelt. This is an area along the Snake River which runs throught my town. There is a waterfall, lots of trees and an area where lots of geese and ducks and people hang out. It was beautiful, the falls were just roaring. I took my lunch and sketchbook and enjoyed myself. I found these pinecones lying about so I took them home and sketched them this morning. They are not as good as I would like but its a beginning. I found that moleskine paper does not erase easily, or perhaps I need to try a different type of eraser. I was using a kneaded one. This is my drawing for #61 a grouping.


Here are some sketches from my day out. This weed looked ok but my rendition on rocks needs help. So its back to Kates's First Steps in Drawing and Sketching book for some hints for next time.



Then I tried my hand on the gulls and geese that are so prevalent here. I ended up taking a trillion pics of the birds for some future references. I like to try them again and really portray their feathers correctly. What a pleasant day out sketching that was. Posted by Picasa

Friday, April 14, 2006

Birthdate quiz

This looked like fun, you can try it by clicking on the link below. This proved to be pretty true for me.

Your Birthdate: February 27

You are a spiritual soul - a person who tries to find meaning in everything.
You spend a good amount of time meditating, trying to figure out life.
Helping others is also important to you. You enjoy social activities with that goal.
You are very generous and giving. Yet you expect very little in return.

Your strength: Getting along with anyone and everyone

Your weakness: Needing a good amount of downtime to recharge

Your power color: Cobalt blue

Your power symbol: Dove

Your power month: September

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Visual Journaling and 1 st watercolor

I sat down and did my first visual journal page. Focus was on my inability to focus on new things I want to learn. So I created this page


I also wrote out some affirmations that I think will be helpful. I decided it is mostly fear. If I don't work on something I can never fail but if I read books and magazines about a subject I still get the thrill out of it. It satisfies for a little while but still the desire to write or paint does not go away. I think its time I conquered that so here goes. My watercolor exercize for lesson 2, just a simple landscape utilizing lifting techniques. I like how the sky looks and am so glad I just finally sat down and did it.

  Posted by Picasa

Drawing Practice

Yesterday I got a book out of the library on drawing faces. I have been trying this on my own with little success. I used a 2b pencil in my small molesine. These at least now resemble body parts. I will keep practicing, I see this as a challenge that I really want to master. We'll see how I am a year from now.

  Posted by Picasa

New Books and Diversions

I got 2 books I ordered from Amazon the other day. I love them both. I have a copy of The Decorated Page by Gwen Diehn and when I saw her new book The Decorated Journal I knew I really wanted it. It has some wonderful ideas on decorating journals that I can't wait to try.


The other book I got is called the Renaissance Soul. It was recommended by Jennifer Louden and I am really enjoying. It is very clear that I am a renaissance soul. A person with so many passions that it is hard for me to choose what to do first. I think the book will be an excellent guidebook for me.


I am seeing a pattern with this watercolor class that I have done before. I am so unsure of myself that instead of working on exercizes and so forth I spend my time finding more books on the subject. In some senses I would rather read about it than actually do it. Or I find ways to do everything else but what I need to be doing. I know it is fear but it is still hard to work through. I really want to stop doing this, I just need a find a way to do that. I am told to key to solving a problem is recognizing it so I am at step one at least. Perhaps I should do a visual journal page on this and insight will follow.

I have my womens knitting group to go to this morning. Yes it is another diversion, but if I say here that tonight I will post either a visual journal page or some watercolor that I have done, then I really have to do it. I really don't know who reads this butI figure you will hold me to my promise. Posted by Picasa

Monday, April 10, 2006

Back to spinning again

Its Monday Evening and I have not had time to write yet, so here goes. I spent part of the day making my ATC for the swap I am hosting. The theme is Spring so I thought I would draw the pansy's we have in a planter out front. I started the first card using watercolor pencils and then used a water brush on them. The color did not seem to change at all it was weird. Only then did I realize I had used colored pencils by mistake. So back to the drawing board. I then did one in watercolor paints and the other in watercolor pencils and then went over it with a water brush. They are not great art but they were fun to do. Yes I know I spelled spring wrong, I have fixed it.


I started the homework for my watercolor class and deciede my painting was too ambitious for my skills so far. I was going to do a landscape that had hills, water and rocks. I will save this one for later and just do something with simple washes. I think I got ahead of myself there. I hope to get back to it tomorrow.

This past weekend I got back to spinning and was able to ply this. It is some bombyx silk I dyed last fall. It felt great to be back in the saddle again. I have a little bit more silk to spin and ply. I also found the purple lambspun silk/wool. I was sure I had another ball of it. I think I will spin that next.


I think my foot is doing much better. I can walk without the cane but it is still tiring at times. Another month and I should be dancing the jig. At least I hope so.

Last Saturday we went back up to market lake. Since the birds are still migrating we saw lots of different ones. This time there was a Yellow headed blackbird, American Wigeon, Red Breasted Meganser, Loon, Redhead, Ruddy Duck, Western Meadowlark, Belted Kingfisher, Swainsons hawk and some American Pelicans. Pretty soon we will go back and not see anything new but for now its been great. I am really enjoying this new hobby and glad that Dave is enjoying it too.

We went to the Photography studio today to order Sarah's pictures and announcements. I can not believe how much this is costing. She definetly has different ideas on what she likes than I do. I am least glad that is over with. We should have them in a couple weeks. Then it will be a mad rush to get them sent out. Graduation will be here before I know it. Its the 23rd of May. I think that is the last thing we'll have to buy this year. Sarah's graduation gift is a computer and she wants to wait till January when computers will have Microsoft's new operating system on them. Hopefully I will have woven her blannket by the time she goes off to college in August. Lots of changes coming around here. Posted by Picasa

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Sarah's Kingdom Hearts

Sarah has the new Kingdom Hearts 2 game that she is currently obsessed with. I told her that the characters eyes looked intersting. So she wanted me to share her interpretation on my blog. She is quite the artist, I am always learning form her.

  Posted by Picasa

More Spring Snow

I woke up this morning with Snow on the ground, it did look pretty but I worry anout my flowers and how the birds are all doing. Last night I had all this post-nasal drip so I was coughing a lot, took a cough drop and now I feel like world war 3 is in my mouth. I still seem to be recovering from the trip to the Dentist tuesday, I was there for a crown prep that took almost 2 hours. Yes a nightmare, my mouth is still sore. I planned today for art. I was going to do my watercolor exercizes for this week and the EDM challenge but I don't feel like doing anything but sitting, Maybe that will pass,

This afternoon we get to look at Sarah's proofs at the photography studio, I hope that they came out nice.

We had Women Knitters at the Villa yesterday. The ambiance is much nicer but the lighting isn't great. I ended up taking out what I had knit last night and redoing it. I hate that. I think I am going to bring my Ott light the next time. I had started a new pair of socks on the trip to Boise. They are out of Trekking XXL and man is that nice yarn. Maybe I will just knit today.

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Proud moment

I just have to report that my daughter has been awarded the Women of Distinction Award from the Girl Scouts for her Gold Project. She did a program on Japanese culture for kids last summer. She is one of 10 girls chosen in the United States. She will get to spend a week in Washington DC in Ocober. During the five-day event, honorees will job shadow and network with female mentors who are at the pinnacles of their professional career. They will also participate in professional development sessions led by experts. Sessions will focus on communications, money management, conflict resolution, and advocacy. Using these skills, honorees will meet with members of Congress and White House officials to discuss their community service projects and the current needs of youth.

That's pretty impressive I think, I couldn't be prouder. Here's to Sarah! Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

EDM Challenge #60

Here is my car. It was so nice on Monday that I took my new little stool and sat on the lawn to draw the car. I made it a little too big and then didn't have enough room. I almost think I liked the line drawing better. I didn't take a pic of it though so its lost now. I colored the drawing with Derwent watercolor pencils and then used a waterbrush on them. I got in a quandry when drawing this. I end up with questions like ... Should I color in all the black areas or not. Should I use cross hatching or just fill in with a brush pen, should I color it in or not. I wonder how other artists make this decision.

  Posted by Picasa

National Tartan Day

National Tartan Day is actually April 6th but it was celebrated here last Saturday. For me it was a culmulation of a lot of work and plenty of growth as a weaver. To recap our guild got a letter from a man named Tim Cayler, he is president of the Canyon County Scottish American Society and he was looking for a weaver. His project was to design a Tartan for the Canyon County Sheriffs department, have it accepted by the Royal Tartan Society and then have a piece presented to the sheriff. He had designed the tartan and just needed someone who could weave it for him. Now I am not Scottish but I married a Scot and always wanted to weave Tartan I just not done so yet. I explained my inexperience but Tim still had confidence in me so we went ahead. They purchased the yarn and sent it to me. This is where I began my journey.

I learned several things with this project.

1. When you sample make it a full size sample,
2. If you are weaving with singles yarn, size the warp it will save time,
3. Find another weaver who weaves what you are doing and ask for advice first.
4. Remember it could take you 3 times the amount of time you think it will.
5. Put on twice as much warp as you think you need.

I persevered and did finish the piece and it turned out fairly nice. The next step was for Tim to cut the piece and send half of it to the Royal Tartan Society to be approved. A tartan needs to registered, they will not approve it if there is another one like it. Tim took the other piece and had it framed.

Saturdays event was full of Scottish music, dance and a presentation of the Tartan to the sheriff and some recognition for me. It was very nice to be appreciated.


Here is a pic of the Canyon County Idaho Sheriff all framed up.


Here I am with Tim and Sheriff Smith


A group of pipers leading the parade into the room.


Here if the fiddler who played while Scottish country dancing was happening.


Here is the certificate that I received.

Monday, April 03, 2006

The stash has been enhanced

The delight of a trip out of town is the opportunity to shop in a new place. When I go to Boise I like to stop at Drop a Stitch, a really nice yarn shop. This time I got this.


2 skeins of Koigu to make those leaf lace socks that were in Interweave Knits.


Then I got some Lorna's Laces Shepherds sock in the color Jeans. I think these will be fun to knit. I guess this is my blue period.


I bought a ball of kid silk haze in a subtle champagne color for a lace scarf.
I am planning on making the Mountain Stream Scarf with it. Its Orenburg lace which I have never done before but it sure is a lovely pattern. I also got something for my spin buddy but I figured I had better not list it here just in case. I don't think she reads my blog but one never knows.


We went to REI next and I found this great folding stool. I will use it to take for on location artwork and when we go wolf watching and more. It was kinda pricey but it was what I liked and very comfortable which is very important. It was 30.00 but I got 20% off the price. Dave bought a little stool last year for $5.00 at sportmans warehouse and it was nowhere near as nice or comfortable to me. I guess it was made for a mans physique.

I am sure you are all wondering about the Tartan Day festivities. Well I will post about that later. My photos need to be tweaked and I hate to admit it but I need my teenage daughters help with that. Posted by Picasa