Sunday, November 1, 2015

Maze Books Amaze Me

Yes, maze books amaze me. They are easy to make from a sheet of paper and to finish so I always carry a tiny one (3 1/2" x 2 1/2") with me. As the weather turns cooler (ok, ok, "cooler" = 60°s and 70°s; be envious if you are living in cold climes...), this July/August maze book brings back pleasant summer memories.

The cover reminds me of all the airports I went through and also of where to open this magical book.
The first on-board drink... 

A wedding in Oregon meant a beautiful ceremony in Washington Park.

A tasty breakfast at the Sassy Onion Grill preceded sketching with a friend in the Hallie Ford Museum.

And then there was a lovely lunch with my sister on the San Francisco dwarf (ha, ha--great typo! wharf, of course!). We both sketched the "Hornblower" while waiting for the food to arrive.

At the end of the trip, my daughter brought me breakfast in bed.

Unfolded, the maze book (also called a "meander book") reveals its simple construction.

It contains about 30 pages, of which I sketched fifteen double layouts. So magical!

If you should want to make a maze/meander book, just check youtube for instructions...and have fun!

Friday, October 16, 2015

Another Spot, Another Small Flower

It happened again. A couple of spots appeared mysteriously on a summer vest. I just don't know how this happens--well, yes, I do. I don't wear an apron and I'm not particularly careful. Fortunately, I can sew a small flower on a spot--however, the flower inevitably grows. I started with a pretty fabric acquired this summer that reminded me of the sea.

I cut into the blue fabric in a random design at the bottom, and began to do needle turn appliqué.

It went fast--a rare occurrence for me. 

And so it grew...

Yes, it's finished. 

Guess I better wear it while the weather is still beautiful. 
It's sunny and in the 70°s and 80°s. 
Autumn is a lovely time of year in Tunisia.

Linked to Nina Marie's "Off the Wall Friday."

Saturday, October 10, 2015

Flowers from My Brother's Garden

During my stay in Oregon this summer, I visited my brother and his family and attended his daughter's wedding. A flower theme developed across my sketchbooks, flowers from my brother's garden.

From my mini-maze book (micron pen with watercolor background):

From my daily journal with thin paper:

From my Stillman & Birn Zeta sketchbook (good paper with Daniel Smith watercolors):

And a walk down the street brought me to a local park.

Sketchbooks are Memory and these are memories of a pleasant, flowery, summer vacation....

Friday, October 2, 2015

Now Where Was I?

Yes, now where was I? Well, I'm trying to get back to some kind of a regular blogging habit, which I have missed over the past two years due to teaching. So how about something wild and over the top to get some momentum going?

It started with a blouse that was getting old. Small holes began to appear in the fabric. I laid down some fabrics, some "old-fashioned" colors (I am perfectly aware that these colors are no longer "in style").

Then I needle turned to my heart's content...and it seems to me that when I added a couple of maroon pockets, a heart took shape in a tangled fashion.

And so it grew...

                                     and grew...

Today I model this wild thing. I'm not sure that I can wear it anyplace, but it is like an old friend. We have spent many hours together. Possibly, it will become part of a wall-hanging in my series on aging and retirement (retirement? what's that?).

My mornings start with a bit of yoga (bores me silly, but necessary), then I go out to the orchard and get a really good work out and have fun talking to my trees. Just gotta show off my new physical fitness. 
One could conclude that teaching is an unhealthy business: very stressful, and the prep work requires a lot of sitting...well, so does stitching, but I do that after I work up a good sweat in the orchard.
And so, greetings to all my friends out there in the magical virtual world.

Linked to Nina Marie's "Off the Wall Friday."

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Airplanes and Airports

Inevitably, the theme of airports and airplanes gets into sketchbooks when traveling during the summer. Since I went through nine different airports between July and August, I had plenty of subject matter to draw. The planes themselves, of course, and passengers, as well who make good subjects because where can one go?

Some airports are such comfortable places to sketch and all of them are certainly interesting. In my Stillman & Birn Zeta sketchbook, with Micron pen and Daniel Smith watercolors, I sketched in the Knoxville (Tennessee) Airport. 

Thursday, September 17, 2015


Stanley found his way into my sketchbook.

My 8-year-old granddaughter had to color him and cut him out for a school assignment and send him off into the world. She needs pictures of Stanley that include someplace interesting and with friends--otherwise, why not just photoshop Stanley in front of the Eiffel Tower?

My husband was enlisted when we went to the beach town of Hammam-lif (Tunisia) on errands. He grumbled at first about people making fun of us, especially all the unemployed men sitting in the cafés. I shrugged and got a shot of Stanley with the Grand Hotel (now abandonned) in the background, which dates to the colonial period. 

Just beyond it is the beach, and in the other direction, there is a mountain.

Stanley visited a relative's grave at the cemetery with us.

And the nice lady in the bakery got to know Stanley as well.

Once we got into it, my husband had all kinds of ideas. 
We had a fun morning with Stanley.

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Home Again, Home Again

Arriving in Tunis, I walked off the plane into a wall of heat and humidity. After six weeks of living out of a suitcase I was happy to return--what's 95° F. after the record-breaking July temperatures of 125° F. (which I missed while enjoying Oregon's cool 85°F.) ? Fortunately, I found my garden in fairly good condition, all things considered.

Quilters, artists, and sketchers crossed my path. I had pleasant adventures and did a few crazy acquiring art supplies and fabric.

Do I need more fabric? Here is the current state of my fabric palette/stash.
A bit of a tight squeeze; the shelves are fairly packed. Logic flew out the window when a friend of a friend made it known she was downsizing her fabric stash. For a very reasonable price, I acquired a great deal of good stuff.

My daughter caught me in bed with my newly washed fabric.

Now it all sits on my sewing table--I counted about 300 fabrics. The question remains, where do I put it? 

Glad to be home--Happy days ahead playing with fabric!