Sunday, May 31, 2009


This is going to be harder than I thought! I have always enjoyed botanical art and this is supposed to be a study of one of Catherine Watters's paintings. Oh well. Still getting into the swing of things.

Saturday, May 30, 2009


Hm, don't like this one as much, but it's okay for a second sketch. While we all sat around the kitchen table, my kids playing with PlayDoh and I with my sketchbook wondering what to sketch, I noticed a little decorative bird. I hung this little guy up last Christmas and just forgot to take him down. He has been clinging to the top of my kitchen drapes ever since; hence the slightly worried expression.

Stay on the path...

Friday, May 29, 2009

Getting Back to My First Loves...

Whale Watching • Wood Block Print on Paper

I had a great birthday recently (I'm 33! Gotta love the double numbers.) and the love just seemed to keep on coming. The birthday kicked off with my parents coming up to visit, spending an entire day at two art festivals and finishing off with some dinner and pie at the Grand Traverse Pie Company.

THEN I got a free meal from this wonderful establishment. This place is great as it gives you a free meal for your birthday, a free meal for mother's day and a free meal for the date of your signing up for their club program. All that happens in May for me! So we have been walking up to town to eat here a lot lately. I'm getting spoiled!

I celebrated with cake at the in-law's last weekend and I'm still waiting for birthday goodies to come in the mail. Could it get any better? I feel really spoiled - thanks, family!

So, I've been thinking a lot lately about my crazed sewing and knitting fervor to get projects done. I'm sure most of you crafters out there completely understand the need to accumulate projects and stash, but not having enough time to work on them all (why can't we just have someone come in to cook and clean so we can get on with it already?).

I started getting into knitting and sewing as a means of continuing to feed my creative spirit and also have semi-portable projects that I can start and stop with ease. This is of course, due to the fact that I have small children that need my attention. If I'm knitting, I can pick it up, do a few rows and put it down again to kiss a boo boo or play a game. If I'm sewing, I can whip out my machine (tucked away in my study), cut the fabric on my kitchen table and either sew up something quick in an hour or so, or keep working on something and tuck it away in my handy plastic bins.

My original love was for fine art. In college, I majored in art and I took everything from photography (not digital kiddos, I had black and white film in a Pentax K1000) and developing my film in the completely black closet, to printmaking (I LOVE printmaking), to wheel throwing (another love), painting and drawing. I also took sculpture, bookmaking (printing books on a circa WWII printing press), large-scale mural painting and as many other wacky classes that my advisor would allow with my current class load. I have to admit I took twice as many studio classes as allowed for regular art students. For some reason, they let me.

However, after I had children, I had to pack up the oils, even the watercolors, the carving tools, the wire, the pliers and clay. It's not like I can work on a clay tile and then leave it on the table while I attend to a diaper, a bruised toe, a bruised ego, a cup that needs refilled and a snack bowl that needs more snack. The tile would be very dry. (Although, come to think of it, that would make an interesting study: "Tile works and toddlers: The effect of toddlers on the artist's work." Hm.

Anyway, after this birthday came and went, I did a lot of thinking about my lost fine arts and my first loves (not to say that I don't love the sewing and knitting - I DO). I do plan on joining the local potter's guild some day for classes and hopefully one day becoming a full-fledged member. (Internal squealing!) I also intend to pick up the carving tools again and trying my hand at printmaking.

In the meantime, I can do something that is portable, challenging and gets me back to the basics:

When I was first thinking about this personal challenge, I was worried about actually doing one whole sketch a day. I am going to be easy on myself and not worry about how it looks, how large or small it is, or if, halfway into the sketch I realize that it looks really dumb. I'm just going to try to either quickly jot something down, or really take my time. Either way, I need this outlet.

Just like an athlete will train as a part of every day life, an artist needs to train as well. Of course, life gets in the way or we are impatient to have a means to an end. This, I am hoping will be a journey. To where, I am not sure, but it will be fun!

Staying on the path...

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Did She Say Yes?

I saw this question posted on a sign to an abandoned cinema lot during my errands this morning. How romantic that some boy climbed up on this abandoned sign to post a message to to the object of his affection. I hope she said, "yes."

Monday, May 25, 2009

The Start of Summer

Happy summer! After Memorial Day, we here in the wild north woods anxiously await that first day the thermometer tips upwards to 80 degrees (I hear my southern friends laughing right now). Memorial Day is truly the start of summer around here as the last chance of frost is well past and the Farmer's Almanac says we can start planting (more snickering?).

We are ready for the beginning of summer at our house. We're in the process of putting up a small fence in the backyard (good for containing children, animals and the rogue bouncy ball) and are planning to enjoy the summer months out there. A small raised bed went into one of the flower beds with a variety of veggies and the summer clothes are all unpacked and in our drawers.

We're ready, but we're just waiting on the weather to catch up with us.

In preparation for summer, Channy received some light cotton jammies:

Complete with dinosaur (what wouldn't be complete without a dinosaur?).

Inspired by all of the colorful totes out in the stores lately, I made a bright, colorful bag for myself from this tutorial:

After a brief crafting hiatus, I am back at the sewing machine!

On the path...