Wednesday, January 30, 2019

The Second Hand Rose Tea and Fashion Show.

Just a few sketches at the darling little fashion show put on here at my park this afternoon.  Lovely tea pastries and a great turn out.
They had models with 2nd hand clothes from local thrift shops and darling door prizes, and cute decorations.  Very well done.  Lots of folks wore funny hats with price tags attached.  I wasn't up for it as I am fighting a cold and somehow I just could not get crazy with get up and a hat..even though I love hats! 

But I am glad I went and the hot tea was good for me!  Don't know about the pastry, but everything was handmade and tasty.  

The event was 12:30 to 3.  And I still have time to curl up for a nap.
Not too much busyness this week so I'll have time to take it easy, drink my apple cider vinegar (3 TB per glass) and keep warm and cozy.  We had a high of 55 which is 15 degrees below normal and not anything to whine about.  

But I am concerned about everyone up north in the midwest today who is battling the arctic vortex. Windchills like -50 degrees!  Schools are closed and several states have declared emergencies.  
I can't imagine what homeless people do. I hope churches are opening their doors.  And I know there are power outages which are affecting my daughter in Warrenville, IL.
I pray hard that everyone will be okay.  

Tuesday, January 29, 2019

A little Nonsense

We went to our local park's theater group presentation...just  amateurs having a little fun.  Although I do think they do a lot of practice...sets are nice and painted well, make up, sounds, and this time even a teleprompter, lights, etc.  There is a lot to it!!!  They have a lot of fun.  

This time they gave 3 little one act plays.  You know me, I have my sketchbook with me most days.  I tried to capture the silliness of this one little play based on a losing women's basketball team and the coaches half time pep talk.  It seems the gals were there for social fun and not necessarily to win.  Poor coach.  

My "littles" are proceeding along.  I don't do one every day but when the mood strikes me.  Having a Belgium waffle was, for instance, a real treat!!!  

We are having a "coolish" spell here in FL right now as a reaction to the polar vortex in the midwest.  Temps are lower up there than they have been up there in over 10 years with wind chills of -50.  Serious stuff and a lot of snow too.  So our 40s don't seem as bad.  We'll be 80 again soon and so hopefully things will moderate up there too.  I worry about children.  I know most of the schools are closed up there and even the post office is closed up there tomorrow!  It's -17 real temperature at our cabin even as I speak without windchill factor.  Oh my gosh.  


Saturday, January 26, 2019

The Steam Punk Festival

Greg and I had a nice time today. We headed for Mt. Dora around noon and had a nice lunch at Bob Evans.  Then to the Steam Punk Festival at Renniger's.  It was not as big as last year but I thought more people dressed up.  The costumes were outrageous.  I'll post my favorite at the end of this post.  

The weather was only 50 and windy and cloudy.  Really not sketching weather.  I did all these sketches standing up except for the girl on the right.  I found a picnic bench to do that one.  I didn't use any pencil on these...just my Lamy fountain pen.  Had fun conversations with folks.  The guy who made the "gadget" at the top left which was about 2' tall, by the way, was VERY chatty and he wanted to know what I did with my sketches.  Did I sell them?  I said no that they were the story of my life.  He got such a giggle out of that.  But I think from the twinkle in his eye that he understood.

We only stayed two hours and I was cold all through.  Just a sweater, jeans, and wind breaker.  I am a weather wimp as you know.  Greg's cousin's wife in central WI wrote this evening that tomorrow the windchill there would be -57.  That is not a misprint.
I am stunned.  So obviously she was oblivious to MY complaints.

So here's my favorite steam punk costume.  And there were many many of them.  People love to dress up!  That was sort of a hand crafted "ray gun" or something he was holding.  Steam punk is sort of a combination of renaissance and back to the future.  Top hats and goggles are important.  The rest is up to you.  

Friday, January 25, 2019

Demo for Sketching Class

Just a quick little demo so that folks could do a little drawing and get started in their journals.  I had a lot of information to share, 3 assignments for them to try during the 10 days they have now before the part II workshop.  There were 14 in the class and all different experience but that is not so much of an issue. 

We talked about how sketching the way we are approaching it, is a little different...not as preparation for anything but rather a glimpse into what make us unique, what find interesting and important, and a way to remember where we were and what were thinking at the time.  Sometimes to tell a story, sometimes to remember, sometimes just to marvel at something, and sometimes just to enjoy the movement of the pen and watercolor.  

I had them look at some of my journals for samples.  
We looked over the 3 main books that form the background for the workshop, reviewed the videos that I had sent them earlier.  

I had them prep their journals, glue an envelope in the back for a straight edge and some other sample fonts, or a stencil.  
We talked about the 3 P words...passion, perseverance, and practice. 

A nice morning.

"Littles" for everyday

This is not a very good photo...shot in the evening under artificial light.  Grrrr.  But I am starting a series of "littles" as they are known in the journal/sketching crowd.  These are chronological but not necessary in a day (as some of my others are).  I like doing them both ways. 

I am just picking something of interest and making a quick sketch to remind me of the "elements of my life".  I added the old scale at the feed store on this one.  Have always loved that old scale.  

I expect most "littles" will be things around the house.  It'll be interesting to see what makes the cut.  

The square are 2 x 2" or sometimes stretched out as needed.
This is my Strathmore Visual Journal with mixed media paper about 9 x 12".  

Wednesday, January 23, 2019

A Nice Lunch Out

After sketching with the group yesterday we all went out for a delightful lunch.  I did the main sketch right then.  Then took a photo to finish it at home.  Cold soup is not so good.  The drink was actually water in a purple glass.  

Half page in my Birns and Stilman Beta Series sketchbook. LAMY Safari pen.  

Tuesday, January 22, 2019

Going Back in Time in the Old Leesburg Store

The Fetch A Sketch Trekkers (FAST) met at Simon's this morning.
We got lucky and the sun came out and despite a rather brisk wind, the temp got up to 72 and was quite pleasant.  Had I think maybe 7 of us there!  My second sketch is shown first.  I got it into my head to take a closer look at the veggie garden and got intrigued with the various leaves.  Red Russian Kale and Utah Celery. Also cabbage and Mustard.  That was a first for me.  Then I wandered inside the old feed store and got intrigued by the old baskets, and the various containers for seeds.  I ran out of room for the great old scale.  So I tackle that another day.  

I started with one of my "littles" below...just 4 x 2".  Trying that out for just some fun.  The old tractor will never see the field again.  And the bush was slowly taking it over!  Wabi Sabi.  

And yup that's me on the right drawing the tractor.  

Monday, January 21, 2019

The Luck of the Draw

So this is really fascinating stuff.  When my eldest daughter was recently diagnosed with genetic hemochromatosis (say that 3 times fast), it became apparent that I might be involved.  Duh.  

So all this revolves around iron on the blood...too much for her.
So I was tested and came out normal.  So I must be a "carrier" for the condition.  Today came a visit to my hematologist to find out more about it.  More testing.  

But it appears that I have generously passed on this gift in her DNA.  AND to double her luck, she got a gene from her dad.  Two genes and you don't pass go and collect $200.  Poor kid is having blood drawn every week for ages and ages to get her iron level back down close to normal.  So.  It is treatable and she found it in good time to avoid some complications that too much iron can have!  I am getting off free on this one!  

Apparently the condition comes from one's ancestors living in Northern Europe.  And yup...that's where they came from...Denmark, Norway and Sweden.  It's all pretty fascinating.
But am sorry that my daughter is having to go through this!!!
(They are testing me for Factor 5 Leiden too which is something the kids also have.) This is a clotting disorder that comes from Northern Europe.) Crossing my fingers this is negative for me. 

Sunday, January 20, 2019

Computer Stress Recorded

I have to laugh at all the frustration I go through when Apple has these major large updates like Mohave.  I postponed doing the upgrade for months.  One reason I wanted to make sure the bugs are out of it and that my 3rd party apps have a chance to get caught up.
Anyway those are my excuses.  Everyone in the Apple Users club laughs at me.  But anyway, yesterday was the day.  I backed it up, closed all the open apps, and fixed the energy saver so it wouldn't turn the computer screen off during the update.  

It all went pretty smoothly but I an "anxious" while it goes on and had time to draw all those tiny keys while waiting.  I did have to figure out two step authentication at the end which was stressful.  

So it seemed like a good time to sketch my bed into which I would be gratefully falling.  Haha.  

Here's my sketchbook hint for the day: when photographing a 2-page spread, lay a piece of clear class on top of the book.  It pushes the pages down flat and makes it easier to take the photo.  (I didn't think of that, someone else did.). 

This is my Birns and Stillman Beta series notebook about 5 x 7.
Winsor Newton travel watercolors and a Molotow water brush.  

Saturday, January 19, 2019

Playing with sketching formats...

I am prepping for teaching the Sketching Your Life Class which is a 2-part class starting next Friday (the 25th of Jan).  Right now I am looking at various subject matter for sketching and of course different layouts.  Keys have always fascinated me.  I especially love old ones.  Collections of things are always good for sketching, kitchen utensils, garden supplies, etc.  

I've done a number of recipes in different ways.  There is no end to the way food can be presented.  Sometimes it's just fun to sketch your breakfast (although it may get cold...that can be a problem!)
Sometimes "tweaking" the presentation can make a lot of difference in how pleasant the page is to look at.  
I've done this recipe a few's probably the one I make the most as it is my "go-to" breakfast muffin.  

We are having a gorgeous sunny Saturday and I am so pleased that we are not booked doing something.  Able to have lazy breakfast, take a walk with Greg, paint, read, and play.  Lucky me.  Temp is close to 78 and very pleasant.  I should be at the pool!!  I may not get a chance like this for awhile!  (It is 10 degrees in Lac du Flambeau at our summer cabin.  OH brrr.)

Thursday, January 17, 2019

A little sketch on a cool January Day

It's a quiet January day where we saw some frost on the grass here in central Florida!!! Jeans and sweaters again?  And no pool.  Sigh.
Always a little time to put a sketch in the sketchbook though.  
The Zentangle was the one I taught in yesterday's class.  Had 16 in the class.  They did great.

Been reading in my favorite sketch book by Danny Gregory and challenged myself to a little sketch of the pretty glass and metal hanger on my window.  

Here's to warmer days!

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Little odds and ends of sketching

This was in my Birns and Stilman journal with a Lamy pen.
A 15 minute sketch & colored while I attended the meeting of sketchers at the Leesburg Library yesterday!  

We had such a nice crowd (see me on far left against the red chalkboard wall (cool wall) in the Tech room at the library.

Fun practicing highlights on my avocado in a couple mediums.  But had to laugh as the bottom right in water soluble Tombow pen came out as an asteroid. Sigh.  Daughter, Julie is learning to do this in colored pencil and these just do not compare.  But it's good practice.  By the way, the soup was good.  You chop avocado and drop into the soup just before serving.

Saturday, January 12, 2019

Tools for Sketching

I don't think it's necessary to draw all your tools every time you start a new sketchbook/journal.  But for the class I am teaching I am suggesting that the class at least draw their palette of colors and jot down what they are using in the front of the sketchbook.  All that could change along the way.

And the tools I picture are pretty much just the bare basics I use when packing a bag to go out and about.  When I am sketching at home I might use a larger palette or use brushes and water.  Just depends.  There are also a few other pens I often take with me on location as well.  But it's good to start with JUST the basics.  Keep things simple. 

Friday, January 11, 2019

A Recipe Sketch

This was a two day sketch.  The first day included the baking of the cookies and the top half.   The next day I thought a little about the tools used in the recipe.  Time to play around a little with the format for the sketch.  After I was all done I realized that the raisins never made it to the ingredients sketch!  So I did add them but forgot to take a photo of that version.  Oh well.  

They turned out well, by the way.  

Thursday, January 10, 2019

Sketching Your Day (again)

Keeping a journal or sketch of your day can be rather addicting.  
And it's amusing and informational to see what you thought was important enough to note.  I like having a little space for a few words to remind me what I was thinking.  I enjoyed the sketch of my Minnie Mouse clock...lots of interesting shapes on it.  

Burger King was exciting for me because I haven't eaten in a fast food restaurant in over a year.  WW points are VERY high there!  And the food, as you all well know, is not that nutritious.  But once in a great while it is a treat.  And the cupcakes arrived as a surprise from a friend.  I resisted them.  But Greg was ecstatic.  

Playing around with fonts is fun.  They sort of spruce up the page and if you have time to put them in...they make the page visually more appealing.  The larger fonts are just copies from where you can get a lot of free fonts...the site allows you to type in the words you want and then print them off and trace them.  "Wed" was a stencil that I have.  It is small enough to actually slip into an envelope at the back of my sketchbook.  But my friend Susan has several hand outs available of simple hand-drawn fonts that don't look too bad either.  

Today I ordered supplies for my upcoming Zentangle class on January 16.  I have a nice group of 12.  

On weather note...we are having a "slight dip" in the Florida warmth.  I woke up to 41 this morning (we are near Orlando).  Uh oh.  But back to a high of 78 by Sunday.  Been a real roller coaster this winter.  I see 12 degrees in Lac du Flambeau, WI this morning where we have our summer cabin.  Oh my.    

Here's is another example of My Day with my own font and a few more squares.

Tuesday, January 8, 2019

Today at Sketch Group in Wildwood, Florida

Roosters On Oxford is a coffee shop (only open about 4 months) in a nearby town called Wildwood.  Railroad goes through that town  (see tracks in the map).  I heard several trains go by this morning.

The little dog was with a customer and he was SO well behaved I couldn't resist him.  

The shop is in a old house...lovely with a big wide Florida porch (known as a veranda if you are in certain parts of the county) but a Florida porch here, I think.  Sheri and I got there a little early and I got settled in and sketched.  Beautiful day.   

In this photo above you can see my wrist band (a sweat band used by tennis players) which makes for a brush wipe for my water brush.  
This eliminates having to bring paper towels or a sponge.  We were there from 10:30 to 1.  Sheri and I did not stay for lunch as I had a haircut appointment and she had things to do as well.  The group hopes to get together again Tuesday afternoon at the Leesburg, Library.  It's open everyone.  Drop in.  We are mostly discussing sketching rather than actually sketching.

Here is yesterday's little sketch.
A little wine at Deb and Mac's house before movie night.  

Wednesday, January 2, 2019

A Quiet Place to Sketch

Certainly not the normal place I do a sketch..but hey there is a built in seat for it!  😉 

Well this is a tribute to Danny Gregory as it was just about the first sketch in his first book on sketching.  It's really a great topic to sketch due to all the interesting shapes and the perspective. 

I threw a little white gesso over my writing so it is readable but looks weathered and a little less visible.  

Danny makes the point that people often peek inside other people's medicine cabinets.  So why not just show them what's in there.

Tuesday, January 1, 2019

A Happy New Year Sketch

I couldn't resist a little confetti on my NY eve sketch.  I did it while watching Michigan State lose their game by one point.  Sigh.

This is Peg's coffee table.  Then we went out for Chinese.  Afterwards a little bubbly to toast the new year.  Home by 11.  Greg and I did watch the famous ball drop in NY in our jammies.  The cold rain there was such a shame.  Imagine 4 tons of confetti in rain.  Sounds like a clean up nightmare to me!

This morning I added little more framing and writing to an earlier sketch as the layout was bothering me.