May 25, 2007

Memorial Weekend or Painting Weekend?

I finished my spring quilt from Heather Bailey's Freshcut and I also used her method of binding which really looks great - and the instructions were very easy to follow. So here's the picture but I must say, I could not have timed the completion of my quilt any better because I found peonies that just looked gorgeous with the quilt and the sunshine in my little sitting room.

My illustration class is going well, and I'm sketching, painting, drawing and trying not to judge my work against Beatrix Potter every single second I have a free moment. This weekend between BBQs, Disney Land and sleep, I hope to be working on my portfolio and GerAmyUm...

May 17, 2007


This Amy Butler rectangle bag was a very brave undertaking for me. I did buy the entire "INSTITCHES" book because of this pattern. So I decided that I would just take my time - and I'm so glad I did. Lots of very detailed instructions. There were times I had to turn off the music (because I sew with rock n' roll) and read the instruction out loud. I think BabyKitty could make this bag too if she weren't so afraid of the sewing machine. She was by my side for every stitch and here she is quite pleased and of course stamped her seal of approval on the project by posing with this great bag. Now I can carry rulers, knitting needles, asparagus and knives with ease.
Last week I gave in to a whim, against my resolution to absolutely, positively, never, ever, NEVER start yet another project until I finished the ones I have. But the creative side overpowered my left brain logic and next thing you know I had placed a bundle of Heather Bailey's quarter flats in my bag and dashed to pay for them. (Tall mouse was having a special sale so I did get 25% off and my left brain let my right brain off one more time.) So now what I do? These fabrics are so pretty and light and I don't even really like peach colors - but this, this is different. I decided to make a little summer quilt to throw on the back of my white couch - it sure did change the look of the room - I can't believe it! Then, I'll have to paint something that pulls it all together - then maybe some pillows.... and you see, this is how it goes in my head. I used Amy Butler's Lotus Brick Quilt Pattern, varying it a little by making the blocks smaller. The lay out isn't perfect. Which I think has to do with the fact that I decided to start this quilt on the HOTTEST day of the year. And maybe the sewing gods don't like that I'm using Fresh Cut with an Amy Butler pattern!!! Is there some moral sewing code out there that I don't know of.
And because I'm here - I have to tell you that seeing the creativity of other women has really been invigorating. I'm so thankful that they share their work and projects through their blogs and websites. I'm sooooo encouraged. In fact, I just discovered that Heather Bailey had at one point in her creative career pursued children's book illustration before she did fabric design. Hmmm...
So here's another picture with matting ready to go on Etsy. The medium is watercolor, gouache and Sumi ink.

May 14, 2007

Mother's Day

As I get older, I have to say, I'm more and more amazed by my mother and just down on my knees grateful for her. She would be MORTIFIED that I'm posting her picture, but being that she's not a computer user, what she doesn't know, can't hurt her. But for me, I want lots of people to know my mom is just.... more than these lousy words I'm limited to using right now.

Here she is with her accordion. She learned when she was a little girl.

I spent the day with my mother's older sister who was in town for her granddaughter's graduation from USC. I was glad to be with my dear aunt, but it broke my heart to see her so feeble. She's the aunt that made me a Barbie cake - and trust me, if you are a Barbie lover you never ever forget that. It's just a regular layered round cake with a Barbie poking out of the middle and it's frosted to look like Barbie is wearing a big puffy dress. Devine! Today I'm not sure if time is friend or foe - sad to see people dear to me aging. Sigh...

I sigh again but out of relief. I finally finished my mom's and aunt's embroidered tea towels.
Now, I'm down to only TEN projects. Actually, I start an illustration class next week and am planning on spending the summer in painting and really developing my portfolio. So it looks like I'll be in summer school - I say with a smile.
Be the change you seek - Gandhi

May 4, 2007

The Weed

In my "GerAmyUm" story, she encounters a weed. A weed that grows fast and furious ... (dont' want to give the story away) I was delighted to find a weed growing in one of my potted Geraniums... Can you believe it? What are the odds, especially since my porch is on the second level. It grew sooooo fast.

So from this I roughed out a "sketch" of GerAmyUm with her weedy neighbor. I'm not finished and still working - it's funny, even weeds look pretty in watercolor.

You can see how I have my work cut out in making this weedy neighbor look a little less pretty and alot more annoying and pesky. Strange, I'm missing the color "pesky" and "annoying" from my pallette. I'll have to go mix it up now...

May 1, 2007

Festival of Books

This past Saturday I went to the Festival of Books at UCLA. I spent the bulk of my time in the Children's Book area as that was my plan - wanting mostly to hear David Shannon (picture to your left) read his newest picture book "Pirates Don't Change Diapers" and then have him sign my copy of "No, No David" I actually spent most of the day waiting in lines and weaving among the piles of kids and their parents. At times I felt a bit odd having my book signed for just myself. I stood there quietly while women on either side of me tried their best to keep their impatient children in line while they too waited for the illustrator of "Fancy Nancy", Robin Glasser to sign their book. Finally it was my turn. "It's just for me," I said feeling guilty. She smiled back at me and told me not to worry, there were lots of folks with no kids who wanted their children's books signed. I sighed and saw that she addressed it to "Fancy Amy".
Then needing to get away from the kids I walked over to where Frank McCourt writer of "Angela's Ashes" was interviewing Mitch Albom "Tuesday's with Morrie" writer. I didn't have a ticket. I asked the security guard at the gate if she knew of any extra tickets. She pulled a ticket from her pocket and handed it to me. In I went. I have found through the years that there is NEVER any harm in asking for what you want. AND, I have also discovered that 7 out of 10 times you get what you ask for. WHY DON'T WE ASK? Years ago I went to see Marilyn Manson's (yes, the dark rocker) watercolor exhibit in Hollywood. I came straight from work which was a talent agency at the time and so I was dressed professionally. But all around me were Manson groupies and I have to say they were really scary. Black nails, lips, hair, clothes and here's me in my preppy work outfit. I wondered if they were going to eat me. I waited an hour. Finally after befriending some harmless but scary looking boys behind me I asked them to hold my place. I walked to to the front of the line and told the woman at the door that I just wanted to see the paintings and could I go in? Marilyn was inside signing posters and stuff so that was why the line was so long. She let me in. Granted I looked like I was there for the art, but if I never asked well, I could have been eaten... So the moral of the story is ASK and hearing "No" never killed anyone.


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