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Thursday, 28 December 2017

Beginning my Garden Journal/Sketchbook

Keeping a Garden Journal and Sketchbook is one of my goals for 2018. I'm going to start January 1 and try to keep it for the whole year. It will be interesting to see how the garden changes over the year. I plan on sketching not only flowers and plants but creatures and insects that enjoy the garden.  I'll record what the garden looks like in different types of weather and different times of day.

I'm using a Moleskine Mixed Media Sketchbook with a hard cover. It's approximately 5 X 7 inches. I will use a variety of media and pens/pencils for the sketches.

With 2018 just around the corner, I thought I would do the Title Page today so I can start right into sketching on the first of January.

I first drew some flowers in pencil from photographs of my garden from last summer. Then, using a black Uniball Deluxe Micro pen I went over all my drawing lines.

Once that was done and the ink had dried, I erased all my pencil lines with a kneaded eraser. Then I got out my watercolours and painted the flowers adding details with watercolour pencils. The Title was copied from my computer screen where I pulled up a font I liked.

I filled in the font with a black Uniball Vision Fine point pen. I can't wait to begin my sketches and I really hope I will give myself time each week or every couple of days to draw something in this book.

Thursday, 21 December 2017

Attempting to meet 2018 Goals and Latest Projects

Well, it's not even the new year yet and I have made my first attempt to meet goals set for 2018. Since I moved to this neighbourhood, I have wanted to enroll in courses at the Franklin Carmichael Art Centre which is just up the road from me. So far I haven't because they didn't have any courses I was interested in or I didn't think I had the time for a course.

Last week I received their schedule of winter classes and workshops and saw some that I would like to take and that would also help me attain my goals. Starting in January, I'll be taking an 8 week class on Oil and Acrylic Painting for Intermediate and Advanced Painters. I should be able to attain my goal of at least 2 acrylic paintings by taking this course and also improving my skills.

I also enrolled in a Portrait Workshop in Acrylic. This is a one-day session that will give some good instruction. I'm really looking forward to these sessions.

Below are some of my recent fabric cards and other projects.

Thursday, 14 December 2017

Assessing 2017 and Setting Goals for the 2018 Art Season

It is almost the end of the year and I like to take stock of what I actually completed as far as art goes in this year. Sometimes it feels like I haven't produced anything of worth probably because I'm always feeling I'm behind or spending too much time on one project. So it is good for me to think back on the projects that I tackled.

In 2017 I made 128 fabric cards (the most I've ever made in a year, 8 watercolour cards, 7 graphite baby portraits, 2 art quilts, Sketches for digital photobook and various other sketches.

Considering the time it takes to make fabric cards and art quilts, I've been really productive this year.

I would like to do some other art that I haven't done in a while such as acrylic paintings. In order to be able to do that I'm going to have to let something else go. That would mean doing less fabric cards because this year I usually spent most of my Thursday Art Day designing and making them and not getting to other art.

Goals for 2018

* make less fabric cards
* do more watercolour and drawn cards
* make at least 2 fabric art quilts
* make at least 2 acrylic paintings
* take an art course
* experiment with dying my own fabric
* keep a garden sketch book

I'm not sure this is all realistic but I'm going to try to grow in my ability by also drawing more. I want to keep learning and getting better at my craft.

Below is my first watercolour card for 2018. At the moment it is just the drawing on watercolour paper. I still have to add colour. It was drawn with my Deluxe Micro Uniball using one of my photographs of birds around my bird feeder.

Thursday, 7 December 2017

A Long Unfinished Project Completed

Perhaps you remember me blogging about a couple of wing-backed chairs that my daughter and I picked up off the side of the road just after Amy returned to Toronto. We were able to take the first chair apart and reupholster it fairly quickly after we claimed them. However, the second chair presented problems because it was a chair with a built in foot rest. I'm not sure this is the reason for our procrastination but probably part of it.

I finally made it a priority, and Amy and I started to take it apart. I took lots of photos of the process so I could follow them as I put the chair back together. I made notes on the old fabrics as to what side was up and where it belonged on the chair. Using the old fabric pieces as patterns, I cut the new fabric out. I found that I had to take the structure of the chair apart to get to some areas and that was a bit of a challenge to put back together. Somehow I was successful and the chair is now done! There is a real sense of satisfaction when you complete a project like this.

Chairs in the original fabric

Thursday, 30 November 2017

Inspired by The Quilted Postcard Challenge

Many weeks ago I blogged about the Quilted Postcard Challenge put on by the Canadian Quilters' Association. Postcards are to mailed to BC to be judged and then sold at Quilt Canada 2018 in support of the BC Children's Hospital.

I created 3 postcards and mailed them this week. I still have until February to create more if I want them judged and until May if I want to support the BC Children's Hospital. So, if I have time, I'll make some more.

Thursday, 23 November 2017

Exciting News and Treasures

I had one of my Art Quilts in a show at the Neilson Park Creative Centre in October. I received a call today informing me that I won the Viewers' Choice in that show. It is quite an honour to be voted for by the many people that came to see the show. Thank you to those who voted for my quilt.

The lady who called me said this was announced at the Etobicoke Quilters' Guild meeting on Monday evening and I was not there. Many of the members wondered who I was. I don't often go to the guild meetings because I'm really busy and my experience at the meetings is that there is a lot of business stuff that goes on and I'm not in a position to volunteer for a lot of events. I was asked if I would consider going to the December Christmas meeting so the members could know who I was. So I will try to make that event and it will certainly be a  good place to connect with other quilters. It is also a pot luck dinner which will be nice.

I've been coming across some treasures for my artwork which often happens. I was throwing out an old laptop and thought that I might first take it apart to see if there were any cool things I could use for art.

I found some really nice circuit boards inside it with lots of cool markings on them.

On my walk today I also found some rusty metal and pine cones that we'll be using to make Christmas Urns in support of a Refugee Family.

My walks always inspire me and today I had my camera with me and I took some photos of this time of season. Even though the plants are dying, they are also really beautiful in a different way at this time of year.

I also got some shots of wildlife.

This raccoon was dead which tells me we may have coyotes in the ravine this year unless someone trapped him and brought him down to the ravine.

Thursday, 16 November 2017

Vacation Inspiration

I just returned from a week in Mexico. Aquamarine coloured water, warm breezes, white sand, sailboats, palm trees, lizards, clouds. I left my camera at home and took my sketch book to document parts of my trip. I'm still a little insecure about sketching in public. I would have loved to sketch the inside of the building, the restaurants, people lounging around the pool but I'm happy with what I got. Maybe next vacation.

Thursday, 2 November 2017

Fabric Cards

Each week I make a few fabric cards on my art day as well as trying to complete other art. These cards always have someplace to go so they are made for someone in particular. Rarely do I ever make a card that I don't know what to do with. I have a few that I occasionally set aside for a future fundraiser but I usually don't have time to make extras. Here are a few of my recent creations.

This card is completely stitched with black thread. The white
is the fabric background.

I like to use zippers in some of my work.

This is half of a crocheted doily with bead embellishments.

This is reverse applique. The green fabric was sewn overtop
of the orange and the leaf outlines were stitched on. The
leaf shapes were cut out inside the stitching.

I like to add cross stitching to the occasional card.

Here is another card with a zipper. The zipper here opens
up to reveal a small panel behind it with some beading.

Commercial fabric comes with selvedges that are marked
with colours for printing. I cut them off the fabric to use
in projects. I think the numbers and colours are really

The background fabric here is a piece that one of my
grandchildren painted.

I also like to put holes in my fabric cards for interest. This
one is also covered with a piece of green lace.