Showing posts with label illustration. Show all posts
Showing posts with label illustration. Show all posts

Friday, February 19, 2016

Birthday Drawing

Happy birthday to my talented, kind, hard working, sensitive, funny, creative inspiring daughter!

Monday, August 8, 2011

An Art Gratitude Journal

Homeschool started today, and with it a new routine for all three of us - the art gratitude journal.  The plan is that each day we will journal to a quote from this book:
a wonderful collection, by season, of quotes relating to gratitude and peace. There are religious quotes from all world faiths, as well as secular quotes. I bought it last year after seeing it on my moment of Zen blog, SouleMama. I decided to have the quotes pre-written for the kids, so they could just glue them in and focus on the art. With Madeline's motor issues and Max's distaste for writing (unfortunately cultivated during first grade at public school, where benchmarks dictate paragraph writing for six and seven year old's, despite the developmental inappropriateness of it), I wanted them to see this as a joyful exploration, not an assignment. Here are their results:
Max bought a rainbow colored pencil at the HSC (Home School association of California) conference Saturday, and was busily experimenting with what it could do. Madeline produced her page and two more before we moved on. I was stumped at first, trying to decide what I would do with my page, when I saw Piggy on the table. If you know my son, then you know Piggy. Piggy has been his constant companion for the last six years. He has lost one ear and his tail, and the second ear is a tangle of threads. He was once a lovely peach color, but now is essentially gray. But he has provided so much comfort over the years, and so much love, that he really is a figure of grace.

Yes, we have found a new morning routine.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Snack Bag Art and this and that

Yes, this is the extent of my illustration time each day - drawing on snack bags. I guess that explains why it  has been so quiet around here lately! I plan on refashioning Max's duvet cover this weekend, so I hope to have a tutorial up for Made By You Monday. I also have 4 pairs of fleece pants, 5 pajama pants and a nightgown cut and waiting for the machine to come out of the closet! I wish the forecast had rain instead of 75 degree weather this weekend - it makes for much better sewing conditions!

I have a whole new stack of books from the library, Amazon and Bookswim on the table. Here are a few new reads and other links I've been enjoying lately:
Hold On to Your Kids, a fascinating look at our peer centered culture. I think every parent should read this one.
Love Soup - I love Anna Thomas' cookbooks, and this one is perfect for the season!
Felt Wee Folk - even Matt thumbed through this adorable how-to book. They would make great Christmas presents!
Wax Leaves - on the schedule for today. A great excuse to use my wax pot.
Herbal How-To Videos - I just placed big orders from Mountain Rose Herbs and The Bulk Herb store to gear up for winter. I think I will need to clear out at least one more shelf in the pantry! These videos from Shoshanna, the owner of the Bulk Herb Store are informative and entertaining.
This post from SouleMama, which inspired a reading nook in Madeline's room
These leaves from Made, which are also on the sewing list for this weekend

Much has been created for our homeschooling around here, but my art table feels lonely and abandoned. Please, share what you've been working on, or discoveries you've made, or what you're reading! I'd love to see!

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Learn Something New Every Day

I didn't think I'd participate in LSNED this year, since September is a crazy busy month for us, but when does that ever stop me from piling it on? I'm taking a very no stress approach - a tiny Moleskine notebook, a small sketch or photo, and that's about it. I've already skipped a couple of days and haven't done Tuesday's entry, but oh well. I'm just surprised I've gotten this far! Is anyone else playing? I do love Shimelle's classes. Her lessons are always so well written and the photos are inspiring. If you've never taken an online class from her, I highly suggest you try one. As an added bonus, her annual classes, such as LSNED and Journal Your Christmas are lifetime memberships. Once you buy the class, she automatically sends you the prompts every following year, free of charge. There is always an active forum, too.
Things have not been going as well with my Sketchbook Project. I have the pages prepped, but only two are actually worked on, and they're not complete. I have a concept, so I don't know why it's been so slow. I need to kick my own butt.

I made a few small changes to four pieces of clothing that have been rotting sleeping in my closet for way too long. I ran out of light this evening to finish the after pictures, so I'll save those for another post.

I had a request to post a picture of the seat protectors, from my tutorial, as I use them in the car. Sure! It has been added to the original post.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

It Has Arrived

My sketchbook for the Brooklyn Art Library's Sketchbook Project arrived this week. It's a good size - small, but not too small, enough pages for evolution without being overwhelming.

The theme I chose was "I'm Sorry I Forgot You," and the possibilities for this theme are still drifting in and out of my conscious thoughts as I go about my day. I'm also pondering whether to stay with one medium throughout the whole piece, or to experiment. I want it to be cohesive without becoming boring. So, have you decided to join the project yet? The deadline to sign up is October 31. If so, what theme did you choose?

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

On the Hamster Wheel

The beginning of the school year always makes me feel like that teddy bear hamster running as fast as those little legs can, around and around and around to nowhere. I have not settled into a pleasant rhythm of the day yet, but I know it will come in a few weeks. It's just hard managing until then, sometimes. Today Madeline hoodwinked me into a two and a half hour walk (the girl is a born cross-country runner, I tell you! Obviously that does not come from my side of the asthma inhaler), on a fairly suburban portion of our Marsh Creek Trail. We still practiced identifying trees and birds, but it was a lizard that ran across the sidewalk off of the trail that really captured her fancy. She tried to literally capture it, but with no luck (but much luck for the lizard, I do believe).
A new design came off of the Yudu this weekend, created especially for Aunt Dian (wink).

(Her shirt was much bigger than this one, by the way.)

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

New Yudu Shirt

Max is sporting the newest t-shirt design, from an old sketch. Who doesn't want a creepy long necked bug crawling up their shirt, right? Or maybe it's just me. I think I need to make some bags with this design because the image is so crisp on cotton fabric. It looks good on the knit, too, but the details are even sharper on the cotton. I bought the 220 screen to use on paper, and I'm curious to see how it works on fabric, too. I think I need to make a trip to Goodwill to buy a bunch of test t-shirts. I also think I need to get a better squeegee for the Yudu. I'm getting some over saturation and I think it's due to the hard squeegee. I just can't believe they want $15 for their "deluxe" one, which should have been standard. Well, I guess that's what coupons are for.

A brand new adventure started yesterday - homeschool. Not just any homeschool, though. The kids have signed up for a magical journey at the Hogwarts Academy. Since they are both so crazy for everything Potter, I decided our first unit will be everything Harry. Their classes include Herbology (botany), Potions (chemistry), Care of Magical Creatures (zoology), Transfiguration (arts), Magical Math and Enchanted Reading. My trick now is figuring out how to balance the homeschooling with work (I'll still be teaching a couple of days a week) and my art. Heaven knows how I'm going to fit the cooking, cleaning, and gardening in there, but that's the magical part, right? So please forgive me if the posts are a bit irregular over the next few weeks as I get this new schedule all figured out. I'm confident though that it will all come together, like magic! ;)

Friday, July 2, 2010

Friday Bits

Well, the sketchbooks finally came out again this week. Nothing earth shattering, but at least pen met paper.
The kids got out theirs, too.

Madeline made a dalmatian costume from one of the kid creative cards I posted here.

But mostly, I've been spending long mornings in my pajamas, reading in the backyard and drinking coffee. You've got to savor summer!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

New Yudu Shirt

Ten school days until the end of the year - nine for the district my kids attend. Is your life as crazy as mine right now? While ten days sounds great, the amount of things I need to accomplish in those ten days seems insurmountable at times. It will all get done in the end.  The blog posts may be short and spotty for the next two weeks, but I did manage to run a new t-shirt design:

You'll have to excuse the chipmunk cheeks - I had some dental work done that day. I so love that she still wants to match with me. I know that all too soon the idea of having matching clothes with mom will be on par with math homework and flossing her teeth with sandpaper. So I'm enjoying the moment while it lasts.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Yudu Success

My second attempt was much better than the first.  I made a run of t-shirts with a sketch of Max's most beloved friend, Piggy. A few things I learned about the Yudu for this run:

*Use a lot of ink. The instruction video shows just a squirt along the top, but you really need a big, thick goop.
*When rinsing the photo emulsion film off after burning a screen, let the water sit on the screen for a few minutes. After rinsing for a few minutes, use soft pressure with a sponge on the emulsion side on spots that haven't rinsed out.
*I made extra platens from foam core, by simply tracing around the plastic one. When I loaded it on the machine, I just stuck an extra platen underneath, or a stack of magazines to make up for the lack of foam. I simply tightened the fabric around the platens with masking tape.
*The $4 foam core worked just as well as the $20 plastic platen.

Now the orders are coming in from friends and family. That's okay. They can wait for the Etsy shop like everyone else;)

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Bits and Pieces

Charlie Brown's black little cloud is still following us around here, with the littlest one still recovering from bronchitis.  Hence, I've spent A LOT of time at home, reorganizing this and re-purposing that. One of my daily frustrations is the kitchen table. It's a very buy place - the kids eat most of their snacks and meals there, do homework, art projects, sometimes the laptop ends up there, or a pile of current reading material... you get the idea. We always keep a jar of pencils/colored pencils on the table, but since Easter, more art supplies and sketchbooks have decided to roost here as well. However, I love having that stuff out for the kids, because several times a day they drift over to draw a picture or write a card. I think I've finally come up with a solution - the portable art basket. I actually have four of these baskets in the kid's craft supply cabinet, filled to the top with paper, crayons, markers, glitter glue and such. Inside the tabletop basket is a curated selection of those supplies, organized by recycled jars, and space left over for sketch books and journals. It has become the permanent centerpiece, and when it's time to eat, I can just set the basket on the counter. No rocket science, I know, but I think I've finally found a solution for us that encourages creativity while keeping the table tidy.

The book you see is Amanda Soule's Handmade Home. Soule Mama, her blog, is my daily moment of Zen. I truly love it. I'm half way through the book and really enjoying it. To be honest, none of the projects are earth shattering or complicated, but they are not meant to be. Like her blog and her life, they are simple, and filled with meaning. One of the projects we will make for the summer is Meg's Art Tray. Yes, it's just a decoupaged tray, nothing new in that, but the twist is, she uses her kids' artwork to decorate it, and then they are used as portable drawing tables. I love the idea of using child's artwork, and having trays to take outside in the summer while we draw in our nature journals, well, that's just perfect.

And speaking of drawing, here a two from the sketchbook. I haven't had much time for it lately, but it's back to bugs again, one of my favorite subjects. I can't say I'm as fond of them face to face, but I do love to draw them. They are almost like aliens in appearance, so odd when you inspect them up close. How I do love odd things.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Random Tuesday

A few random bits for today. First off, if you are still making Easter decorations (as I am), you'll love this tutorial from Made blog. It's a Peeps banner!
It's a gray, rainy day today, so I tried to dress up the dull picture a bit;) It really is an easy and great looking banner. Her blog, by the way, is AMAZING. How did I not know about it before??? If you haven't been there, you should visit, and if you have a boy, you should check out her side link for celebrate the boy month. There are some great projects, especially if you are sewing for a toddler. Max is past that age, but I still found some neat stuff, and he's so skinny, many of the toddler pants projects would probably work anyway, with some added length.

Next up, it is March muffin madness at GFE. Now, why did she have to go and do this when I have a dining room table covered with sewing and art projects? Now I just want to go bake muffins! Muffins are BIG around here, and I can never freeze any because they all get eaten before I can, even when I make double batches. Yes, I will be baking up many of those delicious recipes on her site, and I'll post about them as I do. I can't wait to get baking! And finally:

another page from the bird book. Hold on to your hats kids, because tomorrow I'll be posting the tutorial on how to make this junkmail art journal. I'm sure you have all of the supplies you need in your craft cabinet and recycling bin! Hold on to that junkmail today and we'll put it to use tomorrow!

Monday, March 29, 2010

Do you Yudu?

**Blogger is having issues. I uploaded a new banner yesterday, a picture, and today's picture, and all have disappeared, with error messages. Sorry! Hope it gets fixed soon!

I got a Yudu machine this weekend! It's that new screen printer from Provo Craft.  Matt had tried to get me one for Christmas, but they were all sold out. Michael's had a good deal on it last weekend, so I decided to take a step up from Sharpie t-shirts. Way back in the Stone Ages (of middle school and high school), I did a little screen printing. This machine changes the process a bit. Now, I have to run a disclaimer here - I have only used it once. I've run into a few roadblocks in my quest to pull a bevy of t-shirts.  I started by scanning a sketch into Photoshop, cleaning it up a bit and adding text. Next, I grabbed my printer transparency that came with the machine, and ran it through the printer. It ran right back out, telling me I was out of paper. I tried it again, with a different paper setting; same thing happened. After messing with all of the available settings, I looked up Epson on line and discovered that my printer won't do transparencies! Nuts. (Yah, Cannon, my next printer will be coming from you!)

No worries, you can draw with a Sharpie on the transparency instead. So, I traced my template and even the text looked just like the print out. Next, I adhered the photo emulsion sheet to my screen. This was new for me. Back in the day, I painted the emulsion on. After it dried, I placed the template on the machine's light table and burned the screen. However, when it came time to rinse, some of the detail lines on the template image began to peel off. I am guessing the screen may not have been wet enough when I put the film on, or maybe the kitchen was too bright.  Time to do a test run on scrap fabric.

My first pull wasn't so great - the text was over inked. My second pull was better, so I loaded up a t-shirt for the next pull. Well, it took a few runs to get the image filled in, and some detail lines were still a little faint. My big guffaw happened when I took the t-shirt off - I accidentally hit the collar on the wet squeegee, so I had a nice fat, black ink mark on the top. Yikes! I tried to carefully pull the wet shirt off of the platen, which wasn't easy because the adhesive on there is really strong! I finally got it off and rushed to the sink, trying to wash the collar without getting the print wet. Here's the result:

Okay, so the first run wasn't perfect, obviously. I spent some time poking around the web and YouTube, watching videos. I have noticed that I was definitely not using enough ink, and I probably should have weighed down the machine even more during the burning process. I discovered someone who made their own platens (the form you put your shirts on for printing) from plastic board (which is great, because those things are $20 each, and you need multiples if you are going to make more than one shirt at a time), and I also discovered that you can use the liquid emulsion on the screens. I think the liquid is better than the photo sheets, and much, much cheaper! Yudu supplies are expensive, and the machine is very large. However, I love that the burning, drying and pulling are all done on one unit. The screens are not the best quality compared to professional screens (which are much tighter), but I think for the work that I do they will be fine. As I play with this more, I hope I can find other ways to keep the cost of production down.

I had hopes to run some more designs last night, but the girl came down with a wicked fever and flu, and I spent the night taking care of her. Hopefully I'll have something new to share with you tomorrow, as long as her fever stays down!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Spring and Sid

Spring has definitely arrived in our little corner of California, with trees in full bloom (sneeze!) and weather in the low seventies. How nice of spring weather to cooperate with spring break. We built a secret hideout in the backyard, and the kids found a very interesting bug, which they named Sid (Junior, Delores, Sid... I think they save their best names for creepy crawlies). Max grabbed my iPhone and took copious pictures of their new friend.

This hastily made bug jar was once home to a plantain, comfrey, calendula tincture brew, which will come in quite handy if anyone gets bitten by one of those little buggers.

They eventually let him go, so he could eat and visit his family. As much as I like drawing bugs, I'm still working on the bird book. Another page, this time about bird feet.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Indie Biz Binder

The Indie Biz class has started, and I thought I'd give you a little look at the binder I put together for class. The community that is being built for this workshop is amazing - I am so very excited about taking this journey with so many talented ladies from around the world. Someone just joined yesterday, so if you hurry, you might still get a spot. Trust me, it will be worth it! Just click that little button on the right!

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Tie One On

I'm a huge fan of Amy Karol (of angry chicken fame) and I've always wanted to participate in her apron making/challenge blog, Tie One On. I have finally gotten my act together and finished a black and white apron for the January/February challenge. It's a simple cafe style with a kangaroo pocket from Amy's book, Bend the Rules Sewing. Yes, I had to photograph it at night again, and I had just used it to make dinner, so it's wrinkled, and I was too tired to make anything look nice, and I could give you more excuses, but what I am trying to say is I  apologize for the shot. Of course, I had to draw on it (especially since the theme was black and white. That just begs for ink, doesn't it?), and little Miss Heidi seemed like an appropriate choice. I'm quite happy with how it turned out - I could see these as potential Christmas gifts. I have two more apron patterns cut out, both from Sew Liberated, and I'm hoping to steal some time while the kids are at school tomorrow to work on them. Yes, both actually at school, amazing! It's ME who's had the cold this weekend! But since I have been pretty useless these last two days, the house could use a good cleaning... it's always that tug of war, isn't it? I should just put blinders on and sew!

Another little bit of excitement to share... there's an interview with yours truly in the March/April issue of Somerset Studio, and one of my Alice In Wonderland pieces! Wahoo! My first interview! You'll have to get the issue to see the full piece, but it's well worth your trip to the bookstore. This is a really fantastic issue, and not just because I'm in it! The diversity of styles represented is amazing, and the pieces in this issue are out of sight. Really. You'll have to see it! And maybe buy one for your mom or best friend, too. Just a suggestion.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

What to do with junk mail

Hip Mountain Mama has a great challenge going on right now - One Small Change. The idea is that each month, starting in January, you make one small environmental change, leading up to Earth Day in April. Great! But what do I begin with? We've cut our weekly trash production in half, I make all of my own cleansers, use cloth napkins, have energy efficient bulbs, and all of the typical first green changes. We buy all organic foods, make pretty much everything from scratch, and even make my own herbal remedies, so I had to think for awhile... and then it came to me - junk mail! What could I do with junk mail, besides recycling? Make a book, of course! I've made three to date, one which will be a tutorial, but let's begin with my favorite - the envelope book.

Normally, the junk mail goes straight into the recycling bin, but with this project, I saved it all for the first week. I was amazed at how many envelopes I received. Not just from bills (almost all of mine are electronic now), but from magazine and credit card offers, mass mailings and more. Letter sized paper is easy to work with, but what do you do with envelopes? For this little book, I simply folded them in half, added a scrapbook paper scrap for a cover, and stapled. A few micron pens and scrap pieces of paper later, we have a book of wisdom gleaned from instruction manuals and warning tags.