Saturday, February 27, 2016

Tapestry Update....

I am getting ready to wind this tapestry forward a bit, at which time you'll not be able to see the bottom part, so I'm posting the promised update of her now. I have about 3.5" left to weave. And didn't I say it needed to be done by the end of the month? I'd best get to it, then!

(She is being woven sideways, just in case you are confused by her lying down pose.)

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

A 'Small Adventure' gone Large....

The instructor for the last week of my Sketchbook Skool 'Expressing' course was Michael Nobbs. His assignment was to take a 'mini adventure' and to do something small each day of the week that would add up to something larger, when finally completed. I have had a busy week, so decided I would stay nearby, and have my adventure very close to home. I have always wanted to sketch the houses on the block that I live on, so I decided to tackle that, in Michael's recommended twenty-minute segments of time.

I sketched each house in a very simplified ink sketch in my sketchbook. Then, I scanned each one into my computer and 'colored' them in Photoshop, using a simplified style, much like Michael's own style.

The end, larger, product, was to scan each of the houses into one image to make a bit of a 'map' of houses on my street. I have printed the map out, and it will fold, accordion style, into the last bit of my sketchbook, which is just today filled, with the last of the house sketches that I did.

In addition to this project, I have been weaving 'O'Brian,' the tapestry chicken. She is just over halfway done, and I will post an updated photo soon.

Saturday, February 13, 2016

That Was the Week That Was...

(Do you remember that TV show? I loved it!)

This past week was week #4 of the Sketchbook Skool 'Expressing' class I am taking. One of the assignments from the previous week was to find a photo on the internet of a person and sketch it. So I did Patsy Cline. I am currently really liking Miss Cline, though country music is not really a genre that I've been much attached to in the past. I hear more blues in her music, when you listen to it in the right mood. And I love blues!

This week's instructor is the one I signed up for: Penny Dullaghan, the founder of Illustration Friday, among other things. I love her work. So the assignment she gave was to sketch 'something that flies,' using a transfer method to get organic, expressive line work. I did the sketch above, keeping it very simple on purpose, because the transfer method I used, with india ink and tracing paper, was very slow and erratic, as you can tell from the 'messy' lines (aka 'organic expressive lines.')

In spite of the simplicity and the 'messiness,' I like the image and I think it would be fun using it as a pattern element. I can see it on some pajama pants!

She shared several more transfer methods, and I hope to try them all before the week is up, next Friday.

O'Brien, the tapestry chicken, is growing slowly, as tapestries and chickens have been known to do. I am a bit further than this photo shows, but not much further. I am probably very close to the half-way point now. I cannot sit at a loom as long as I used to be able to - back in the days when a deadline could keep me weaving 8 or more hours in a day. If I tried that now, I'd be in traction somewhere! So I am just enjoying weaving in 45 minute stretches - then literally stretching for awhile, and doing something else before I go back to work. I need to hustle, though, to get her done by the end of this month, leaving some finishing and shipping time before she is due to be at the small tapestry exhibit in March.

Tuesday, February 9, 2016


This week the homework for Sketchbook Skool was to do a watercolor sketch of your lunch. My lunch was some bean and corn soup, with my favorite hot sauce, and a few strawberries. After I completed the watercolor, I decided to go ahead and add some ink - mainly because that is what I like to do, but also because my sketchbook is of non-sized paper, so watercolor alone tends to be absorbed, and look a bit washed out. Anyway, I wasn't too challenged this week, and wasn't extremely inspired or motivated by either the subject matter or, truth be told, this week's lesson. I have been back in the studio, at the small loom again today. O'Brien is coming to life, and I will share progress on that tapestry in the next day or so.

Saturday, February 6, 2016

Up, and Down....

I've not much more progress to report on the tapestry. Maybe I'll take the Mirrix down to the TV room tomorrow and try to weave a bit during the Super Bowl. It will keep me from biting my already short nails as I cheer the Broncos on. 

Go Broncos!

This has been a 'down' week: a 2-day migraine, brought on by a big oncoming storm. Then the snow came and gave me relief for a day, but then I did something to my back, making doing almost anything somewhere between miserable and impossible.

I've pretty much added this week to my 'cut my losses' column. This morning I decided to take Danny Gregory's advise, and just draw what was in front of me. So the sketchbook got a quick sketch of my guitar/computer glasses, my tuner, and my pink capo, on one of the many pieces of music spread around me (always.)

I am doing the Sketchbook Skool Expressing online class, and this week's assignment is to do a watercolor sketch of my lunch. Too late, today. Maybe tomorrow.

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Today: more, but not a lot more.....

I did a very quick sketch in the sketchbook this morning, as I wanted to get to the studio and get to work. It has been another hibernation day. We have about 5 inches of snow on the ground, which is a lot of snow for our valley! The snow plows ran through the evening yesterday, clearing the roads for the 3 schools within a block of our house. The sound made me feel like I was back in Boston!

The view from my sitting room window

I did get into my studio, and I have been working hard. My goal for the day was to work a full inch across, reaching the 3-inch level by the end of my work day. It is now about 4:00 in the afternoon. There will be a few more hours of light, but I did not reach my goal.  And now I had to quit work, because my back told me to. It actually told me to quit about an hour ago, and I should have listened to it. The 3" level would have the tapestry all evened up with the top of the weaving fell-line on the right, the green area. So I still have a bit to go; several hours of work to get it done, but my body is rebelling. And I am old enough and experienced enough to know that I'd better listen to it's complaints, or I will regret it.

Tomorrow will hopefully give me some more work time. I will set a reasonable goal, and not try to push myself.... but the tapestry will not weave itself, so I need to keep going. Just 6 1/2 inches to weave! Surely I can get it done by the end of the month! My body will just need to be more cooperative. Maybe if I treat it extra nice this evening, I can reach my goal tomorrow!

Monday, February 1, 2016

Work and play...

I have been getting some weaving done! It snowed last night, and we are staying in today, so I've been working on the small tapestry of O'Brien, my 'grand-chicken.' I hope to even the weaving up at at least 2" today, and as it's just 8 1/2" in length (which will actually be the width, when turned and hung,) I will be almost a quarter of the way done if I meet that goal! Woo-hoo! Lots of little fiddly bits, but I am enjoying that.

I mentioned that I am doing a Sketchbook Skool klass. It is my 'play.' This was the third of six weeks. The assignments this week included doing an Infographic, and mine is above. It was fun. I enjoy words, so that part, which seemed to challenge many of the other people taking the class, was the fun part for me.

The second assignment was to sketch an image, then use words to tell the story. Above is my page for that.

In other 'news' here, two finches hit the front window this morning, so that has kept Gus enthralled. The male sat on the window sill for quite some time, then astonished Gus by flying away. The female did not survive. Gus is ever hopeful, though, and kept a vigil until my husband took the poor thing away. Gus is staying on the warm radiator now, hoping one or the other will come back to entertain him, and watching the more fortunate birds at the feeder nearby.