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...

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Out & About

While out doing errands, part of which involves waiting, I found a small, dilapidated colonial house tucked in among other buildings in Hammamlif (Tunisia).

The slanted tile roof (most roofs are flat now) was still intact, and the turquoise shutters and wrought iron grillwork were pretty. 

Fast sketch done in water colour pencil and watercolors. Pen and colored pencils added later.

Friday, August 15, 2014

Zooming Along, 2

Almost a finish: my rather old and rather drab bag (began here) now sings to me with its new wild appliqué. 
I'll finish this side within a week's time--very fast for me. Now there's the other side...and then some stitching.

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

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Zooming Along

The sizzling temperatures force me to stay inside and so I'm just zooming along. Well, for me this is fast.

The appliqué is temporarily finished. I'm rather liking the circular movement in blue on the right. Pure hazard.

I'll add a bit more to balance the design. Then on to stitching. So many possibilities for stitching.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Galloping Along

Galloping along, or at least that's what it feels like. The 100+ temperatures are normal for mid-August and a good excuse to move only the fingers while glued to the AC.

I just love this bag for the memories of traveling and for its usefulness. I'm liking it even more with the appliqué.

Monday, August 11, 2014

The Humble Ballpoint Pen, 2

This technique remains low on my list of favorites, and I won't be doing it a lot.

Here, I drew my daughter's handcrafted silver pen. The design is quite intricate so, of course, it took hours to do--well, mostly at dinner time since I sketch on the dining table. No wasted time...

Saturday, August 9, 2014

The Humble Ballpoint Pen

More homework for Sketchbook Skool. All about the humble ballpoint pen and what you can do with it. I splurged and bought a set of four colors at the grocery store.

Actually, I grab a bic often when I'm out and about to sketch in my small planner/sketchbook. However, I've never pushed it to this extent. I rather like the effect, but this requires a lot of time. 

Who would've guessed?

Friday, August 8, 2014

Rethinking My Bag, 2

This stitching seems to be going faster than usual. Of course, it's a bit simpler, fewer colors than usual.

When I work on it, I remember how useful it has been, how comfortable to carry around. I'm thinking that if it should wear out, I'll have to make it into a wall-hanging...

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Rethinking My Bag

Back in the time when I was throwing acrylic paint at fabric, I made this bag. The straps go clear around the bottom so that I can put weighty things in it with no problem. There are a couple of pockets sewn into the lining as well.  

It went traveling with me this summer after I had added a zipper to the top. And it was perfect: light, useful, easy to sling over the shoulder.

However, I've always thought that it was sort of blah. The colors are a bit too subtle for me. And then I noticed a small hole...
Ok, ok, I know--I'm not supposed to be starting anything new, but, I just wanted to play a bit. 

Now, I'm jazzed!

Monday, August 4, 2014

Another Sirocco and Still Inching Along

The hot weather forces me to sit and stitch--not a bad thing, all in all. So I seem to be making some progress. There is even the possibility of finishing this part.

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Cactus Flowers

Nature subjects for this week's homework at Sketchbook Skool. I've wanted to sit down and draw these beautiful flowers for a long time, but the cactus only puts them out for about 24 hours. Very hard to catch the delicate pink color that is close to white. These two flowers looked like a couple of eyes popping out of the cactus, which is called "le coussin de ma bell-mère" (my mother-in-law's pillow!).