Friday, December 7, 2007

Where Have I Been?

Whoops I haven't updated my blog in quite a while now....where have I been?

This is a "Basic Hat" pattern that took me two years to make! can't really count the year and a half I let it sit in the UFO pile.

(UFO = Un Finished Objects)

However I really did have to take it out 10 times before I could make it look good enough. I still have mistakes in it...they are just not as obvious.

NOW...on to my felted purse!

This was FUN and I think I learned alot from that "Basic Hat". Who knew you had to really make sure you had all the stitches each row and be so precise to have a pattern show up?


Anyways...this purse was first knitted out of wool yarn and then I washed it.


Thanks to Darlene for the pattern and words of advice!

Monday, October 8, 2007

Painted Words and Written Pictures

(Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators)
I went with my friend to our first conference put on by SCBWI called... Painted Words and Written Pictures

We had such a good time. Here are a few highlights.

Here is one of the books I purchased and had signed by Aliki.

She was (and so were all the authors/illustrators) so supportive, motivating, and encouraging.
This is a quilt someone had made for Aliki. She scanned some of her books and printed them out on fabric and presented her with the quilt at the conference.On all my notes I sketched the speaker. Above is Aliki (see photograph below for real picture)

Below is Yuyi Morales

(She is the younger woman in the photo above)

I just love looking back at my notes and sketches. Making a sketch and capturing a few phrases really helps me get a feel for their message.

Yuyi had such a great speech for us.

It was Entertaining, Enlightening, and Encouraging

(If you double click on these pictures, they should enlarge.)

These were two pages Yuyi handed out. The first some prayers her "illustrator" character, Senor Tlalocan, says while he is working on his art.This one below is helpful as are a couple of my favorite tips.

"Start small. Let the thing that catches you first be your springboard. Starting with the big concept, you risk your mind to shrink."

"Let your impulses guide you."

" Relax and Trust Myself"

Investigation - Discovery - Creation

On the second day my friend and I took a long walk around the campus of Cal State Fresno in the morning and then headed off to this Revitalized River Center.

San Joaquin River Parkway - Heritage House (circa 1890's)

The path that leads to this house is through an area that is currently focusing on extensive habitat restoration. It winds through the river bottomland that was formerly the Jensen River Ranch. The trail has four "larger-than-life" homes of animals found in the and around the river.

One of the focus' of the center is the birds in the area. We enjoyed the teaching questions posted about.

They had a really interesting Quilt Interactive Station on bird's nests. Each quilt is the size of different birds.

You can see below the sign says "Kids...Open up these quilts and see what's inside!"

There are different size quilts that coordinate with the different sized birds they belong to.

The Hummingbird quilt had a hand knitted nest attached.

Here is another quilt with the River Ecology as a theme.

This is a handmade water color book depicting a river environment. Very cool.

Below is quote from a new book written and illustrated by Aliki on William Shakespeare, I purchased at the conference. Who sums things up better.

"And this our life...
Finds tongues in trees, books in the running brooks,
Sermon in the stones, and good in everything."
...William Shakespeare, "As You Like It"

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Ledger Art - (a.k.a. Indian sketchbook)

History and Art

There is so much to learn....
Our last docent training was on the History of Native American Art.
Kate Morris was the Santa Clara University Professor who spoke to us.

She started with the earliest Indian art that has been found on paper. The Indians used Ledger books gotten from the military. She took us all the way through to current Indian artists.

It is so cool to think that Indians used these Ledger books as sketchbooks

Beginning in the early 1860s, Plains Indian men adapted their representational style of painting to paper in the form of accountants ledger books. Traditional paints and bone and stick brushes used to paint on hide gave way to new implements such as colored pencils, crayon, and occasionally water color paints. Plains artists acquired paper and new drawing materials in trade, or as booty after a military engagement, or from a raid. Initially, the content of ledger drawings continued the tradition of depicting of military exploits and important acts of personal heroism already established in representational painting on buffalo hides and animal skins. As the US government implemented the forced relocation of the Plains peoples to reservations, for all practical purposes completed by the end of the 1870s, Plains artists added scenes of ceremony and daily life from before the reservation to the repertoire of their artwork, reflecting the social and cultural changes brought by life on the reservation within the larger context of forced assimilation.

Contemporary Native American Artist
This painting below is now in the de Saisset Museum.
It was added to their collection to represent that Native American Indians are contemporary artists as well.

Frank LaPena

"We Are All Sacred"
29.5" x 44" Lithograph

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Haiku to You

Creative Mantras

I'm just trying to

try...both exciting and fun!

Chanted Jujuart

It's just pigment and

paper...if you mess up, right?

Chanted Ms. Poppins

Chanting Together

We support the artist's mind!

Created with Heart

Thanks Praire Poppins

and...Creative Mom Podcast

Create Share Support

Just working on a few Haikus at Creative Mom Podcast!
5 syllables
7 syllables
5 syllables
And at the same time taking a deep breath each time I try something hard....
like painting my face in watercolors!

"Julie in Giverney"


(1998 - 2007)
Tender, Sweet, Gentle
My Cuddly Calico
We'll Miss Her Ways!

Monday, October 1, 2007


Fuzzy and Soft
Practicing Textures in Watercolor
This little one I made up from my imagination and a compilation of some of the bears I've owned.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Football Tutorial

I just needed to have a Cheat Sheet when it comes to Football.
It is hard for me to remember WHERE my son is out on that big ol' field!

Autumnal Equinox Sketchcrawl

We'll find any excuse to go out and paint.

This time I was able to have a few friends join me. We went back to Los Gatos since it is close, and so much to see. It was a chilly day, but no rain. Very befitting for the first day of Fall. Here are a few shots from the day.

Technology Update:
My camera battery was out when I got on location. I thought I wouldn't be able to capture and document the day. However my friend suddenly remembered we all had cell phones and we all had cameras on them. DUH...we could use our cell phones cameras! Hurray! It has taken me two days to figure out how to get the pictures from my cell phone to the computer...I know I know - easy right? Well not for me. But long story short - I did it. So the pictures of the day were from my cell - even the short video I took.

Farmer's Market every Sunday come rain or shine!

Lots of people passing by...just loved the things you notice while sketching. The Twin boys were so fun to watch. They were bouncing and jumping around. I didn't realize they were getting excited about trying a slice of a peach from the market stand.

Quaint Homes just a block away.

Here is what I did on location. I will be working on it and post it when completed.

Lunch Break...

Sketching the Bread Basket

I captured the moment on my cell phone...

and here I was playing with my "frames" that were on my phone.

They are unaware of my devious camera taking action!

I decided to sketch my friend sketching the planter...

Again what I did on location.
Now with a little color at home.
Ha! I even took a video with my phone and have it documented for the record.

Again...she has no idea I'm recording her.

I was done and she just wanted to get the last bit of color on her leaves.

I don't know how to add music as a background yet, that we'll be something else to learn soon.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Friday Night - "Reminiscing" - 30 years ago!

I must give credit to Dale's blog "Life is Good" for reminiscing about Friday Night and having 30 football players at our home for a team dinner.

We are so fortunate to be able to realize that 30 years ago this was our favorite song.

Graeham Goble
April 9th, 1977

Friday night, it was late, I was walkin' you home, we got down to the gate and I was dreaming of the night
Would it turn out right?
How to tell you girl
I wanna build my world around you
Tell you that it's true
I wanna make you understand, I'm talkin' about a life-time plan

That's the way it began, we were hand-in-hand, Glenn Miller's band was better than before
We yelled and screamed for more
And the Porter tunes ("Night And Day")
Made us dance across the room
It ended all too soon
And on the way back home I promised you'd never be alone

Hurry, don't be late
I can hardly wait
I said to myself when we're old
We'll go dancing in the dark
Walking through the park and reminiscing

Friday night, it was late, I was walkin' you home, we got down to the gate and I was dreaming of the night
Would it turn out right?
Now as the years roll on
Each time we hear our favourite song
The memories come along
Older times we're missing, spending the hours reminiscing

Hurry, don't be late
I can hardly wait
I said to myself when we're old
We'll go dancing in the dark
Walking through the park and reminiscing

(c) 1978 Warner / Chappell Music
'Sleeper Catcher' - Little River Band
'Full Circle' CD & DVD - Birtles Shorrock Goble

"I promised you'd never be alone"
Well...I never thought the part about "never be alone" would include the Football Team in our backyard for dinner and swimming!

"I said to myself when we're old

We'll go dancing in the dark

Walking through the park and reminiscing "

We were dancing in the backyard setting up tables, serving food, and laughing hysterically over the guys!

"Would it turn out right?"

I had my concerns both before, and during...but afterwords I knew it had been a good thing.

Life is Good...


We will be reminiscing!