Saturday, September 20, 2014

A New Restaurant

We found a seafood restaurant in our end of town that was very good, to our surprise. The downstairs portion is a seafood shop, where there are also the cooks and grills. You can buy anything you want and take it home or have it grilled to go or have it grilled to eat in the restaurant upstairs. And what a selection of fish they had.
So I had a slice of grilled swordfish (divine) and some shrimp in a sauce and fried calamari (squid). Wonderful meal. While the calamari cooled I had time to do a quick sketch in my mini-maze book (one page is 2"x3"), then added watercolors at home.

Unfortunately, with temperatures soaring over 100 F. it was not the day to go there, because the air conditioner wasn't working...we'll go back again when it cools off!

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Bag Jag, 3

In an effort to finish up smaller projects, I've been working on a jeans bag. I always wanted a jeans bag. Of course, I have a huge stack of old jeans (simply can't throw them out), so I could make a number of them in different styles. Here I wanted to use the pockets, well, just the whole top of the jeans, which has such a distinctive style. I made a cotton lining and zigzagged on two back pockets to each side, so I have four solid pockets on the outside and four on the inside. Nice engineering, if I do say so myself--although I haven't figured out the straps yet.
Then I found a pleasing plaid and picked out a couple of matching solids. More extreme needle turn adventures on the horizon! 

Monday, September 15, 2014

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Bag Jag, 2

Somebody left a canvas bag behind, signed, but a little worse for wear. Solid, however.


So I added a pocket and a fun fabric around the sides and bottom.

And another pocket got added on the other side, plus a pocket on the inside. 




I'm wondering if the original owner is going to want it back....

Monday, September 8, 2014

A Tunisian Wedding

Last night a local farmer married his eldest daughter and we attended the outdoor celebration. Fortunately, the weather was lovely.

Because my maze sketchbook is palm size and easily fits into my fancy purse with a pen, I whip it out (discreetly) and draw while nibbling on pastries and sipping lemonade. Fast pen sketches. I might add color later; it's a mini-coloring book.

The bride and groom sit on a decorated platform in front of all the tables for guests, and then come down from time to time to dance to the music with all the young men and women (a sort of modified belly dancing).
My husband gets the idea:"Ok, when you finish the drawing, we'll go home." 
I had a good time!

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Rosie Revisited

Rosie the Riveter, the iconic poster girl of WWII that encouraged women to go work in munitions factories and the aviation industry (as if they didn't have enough to do already) is becoming Tessie the Tailor. 


A work-in-progress, this is an illustration rather than a sketch, I suppose. I've had this idea floating around in my head for awhile...Having fun with permanent Copic marker and Prismacolor pencils.

Friday, September 5, 2014

A Friend

Life returns to "normal" as we move into Autumn. Having recovered from the invasion of kids and grandkids, Sketch Club members met peacefully and chose a cartoonish holder to draw using coloured pencils (members are now equipped with Prismacolor pencils--v-e-r-y nice). I sketched my friend sketching as well. She was so absorbed she didn't even notice I had changed my subject. 

She says she'll have to pay more attention at the next meeting...

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Bag Jag, 1

I must be on a bag jag. At least three wait quietly on a hook to be finished and I feel an urge to finish them so I can have them for school. Brighten the environment a bit... 
As I'm flying by the seat of my pants, just improvising, I have to think about engineering for utility and sturdiness. I had made two patched rectangles while working on another project. I decided to use old, patched jeans for the sides, bottom and straps, dipping into that big pile of worn jeans that I don't know what to do with and can't throw out. I like the design at the bottom where I took out the hems. Lining with pockets next...

Monday, September 1, 2014

Zooming Along, 5

It would seem that I have actually finished something. Really enjoyed adding the side stitching that gives a bit more depth to the overall wild design. Did I mention that the peachy orange is the colour I hate most in the world? It redeems itself by making the blues pop.

I'm reconsidering the interior pockets--do I need to add more? Pockets are key to organization.

Now I can go to school and shock the students with my wild bag. I have a reputation to maintain...

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Mother's Teacups, 1

Homework for Sketchbook Skool motivated me to look at the inherited teacups collecting dust in my cupboard. There are some beauties. This one was drawn with a Bic ballpoint pen in my fancy Stillman and Birn sketchbook.
Thought I'd better show it before I add the watercolor shadows (with the risk of ruin because I can't control watercolors very well). This has taken several weeks to draw. Then there's that geometric recycled watercolor painting in the corner looking very yellowed, but it sort of matches the gold rims of the cup and saucer. I like the contrast of very flowery and rigid geometric. 

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Zooming Along, 4

No more conversations have developed since I let my needle do what she wanted.

Stitching the other side.

Friday, August 22, 2014

Conversation with a Needle, 2

A conversation began in the previous post (here). So, yesterday, I took my favorite needle in hand (Milliner's number 7), and said: Ms. Milliner, here's the plan. We're going to lay down fill-in stitches in nice, neat rows to contrast with all those curving lines. Got it?"

To my surprise, she answered: "Eeets Docteure Milliner, eef you pleez." (Oh my gosh, I forgot. I have French needles.)

Rather embarrassed, I replied: "Well, excuse me, Doctor. I had no idea. Where have you studied?"

Dr. Milliner: "At zee Steeetch (Stitch) University, of course. Eeets only zee best."

Me: "And what was the subject of your dissertation? Wait a minute, how did you attend classes?"

Dr. Milliner: "Haven't you heard of ze ordinateur (computer)? I vrote about zee use of Milliner's needles by artists en Tunisie."

Me: "Really? And what did your research reveal?"

Dr. Milliner: "Vell, you are probablement zee only one: you vere my case study."

Me: "Really! Hmmm. When was the defence of your dissertation?"

Dr. Milliner: "Remember a couple of months ago you thought you had lost zee package of Milliner's needles? Vell, zee whole package came vis me."

Me: "So what are you working on now?"

Dr. Milliner: "I vould like to publish my research as a book...but, I'll need your permission for zee photos."

Me: "No problem. Do you have a publisher?"

Dr. Milliner: "Zat's a leettle difficult. You know anyone? Zee audience eez a bit limited, specialisé..."

Me: "Can't help you there. I've got the same problem myself. Good luck. Now can we get back to the stitching?"


Dr. Milliner: "Pas de problème, but remember, I am zee expert."

Me: "Fine." 

And so we got into the stitching. It seemed to start out fairly straight.






Then I noticed wavy lines developing and curves...










Ahhh, how can one argue with an expert?


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

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Conversation with a Needle

My needle has picked up some bad habits doing wild appliqué. I said to it, "Now, we're going to do straight vertical and horizontal lines within the rectangular patches to create a contrasting background for the wild appliqué." It nodded assent and went for 10 stitches, then it took off in another direction with a mind of its own, doing nothing but curves.



Sassy needle!

Monday, August 18, 2014

An Alliteration

As I prepare to teach poetry to university students who hate poetry (don't worry, I'll get most of them to like it by the end), figures of speech and sound effects seem to be popping into mind often. 

My dog is an alliteration...





Graphite pencil and Prisma color pencils.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Zooming Along, 3

Just a few more holes to sew.


I'm hesitating about adding stitching...