Wednesday, March 31, 2010

I'm Back - At Least for Now

I returned home today after staying overnight two nights at my sister's house. My Mom called me on Monday morning to tell me that my sister had suffered a seizure in the middle of the night and actually lost consciousness for a couple of minutes. Her jaw was clenched so tightly shut her husband could not get her mouth open to try mouth to mouth. The ambulance arrived in just a couple of minutes and she was at the hospital emergency within 20 minutes. She has never experienced anything like this before.

She experienced another episode at the hospital where her blood pressure was dangerously low, but did not lose consciousness. She was kept in the hospital hooked up to a heart monitor and an IV for electrolytes. The nurses also took her blood pressure lying, sitting, and standing in sequence about every 4 hours. She was allowed to come home last evening, but I stayed until after lunch today to be sure she felt comfortable with that.

Her husband is a wonderful guy who takes really good care of her and Mom is getting around pretty well for an 85 year old with advanced arthritis. My Mom fell at her house a week ago and I really wasn't prepared for the sight of her when I arrived. She has two really black eyes and a goose egg on her forehead. She has very colorful large bruises on both legs, her hip, her back and her shoulder. She is so fortunate that she didn't break anything.

I am going back over for a few days early next week and am hoping everything will work out. The doctors don't know for sure why my sister experienced these scary episodes, but she is understandably a bit scared that it will happen again.

I didn't get any art done while I was gone and am pretty out of it today, but hope to do some tomorrow. And if I get anything done, you know I will share it with you.

Thank you for caring so much. I appreciate the friendships I have made here on my blog.


Monday, March 29, 2010

Wonderful Weekend

I spent the weekend in Ohio at my friend Puff's house with the other usual suspects (this is a once a month art gathering) and had a blast. I have been invited many times, but I just couldn't make it fit my schedule until now.

I drove to Coldwater to meet up with Linda and Sherry and from there Linda drove us to Hollo's near Cleveland. Hollo's is a paper supply store that sells card stock by the pound and I chose lots of colors that I haven't been able to find before. From there we drove to a stamp store in Amherst to meet up with Teri, then had a quick dinner before driving to Puff's near Sandusky.

We stayed up way too late visiting and sharing art supplies and scratching the ears of Sable, a large black lab who was very friendly. On Saturday we got up, Puff made breakfast and we got ready for the arrival of Sue, Cynthia and Kelly. One of the getting ready jobs for me was to put together my peas and peanuts salad.

Once the others arrived there was more sharing and visiting and then we got down to the task at hand - making "Tin Can Alley" art. I call them bots. I didn't have much to use for mine other than an empty chicken can but the others were generous with their

Sorry, just got an emergency call from my Mom - gotta go!

I will be in touch and will have pix of the weekend when they are available.


Thursday, March 25, 2010

Mail Goodies and a Blank Journal in Progress

I had two lovely surprises Sunday when I checked my email. I was the winner of some art. Imagine, I won not only one drawing, but two. The first one arrived yesterday in the mail. It is a print by Rachel Awes that I won at Choosing Beauty. Check this out! Isn't it beautiful?

It is 9 x 9 and is actually on a very white background. I'm afraid my photo of it looks a bit gray. I want to frame it, but think I will have to find make something very thin and plain. I don't want the frame to take the eyes away from the wondrous color and message.

I am working right now on making blank journals from found materials - old books, cereal boxes, blue jeans....

The one I am working on right now is to fit into a wonderful book cover I found (I actually found the entire book and removed the text block). Here is what it looks like.

Sorry, I had to use the flash in order to get the effect of the cover to show. The back is the same except the silhouette is blank and the text block that on the front has the author's name is not on the back. I am really excited to finish this one. I sewed the signatures together last evening and I am planning to go to USArtQuest today to find paper to glue to the inside of the covers and onto the first and last signatures to hold the book together. I recently found out that Sue has a selection of both Japanese and Italian papers.

I am also making a visit with my friend Nancy to the used book store in Jackson to see if I can find more candidates for a new life as the cover of a blank journal. Unfortunately it is raining, and though we can use it, I'd much rather it was sunny. At any rate, I'd better get a move on so I can be ready when she arrives.


Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Mandalas in Color

I have found that making mandalas in color is much more difficult than making them in black and white. It completely changes the "doodling" aspect. Instead of randomly doodling and making my marks without too much thought, I now have to consider color and having to make that choice is making it a chore instead of a pleasure.

I think that for the rest of them, I will doodle in black and then color in some of the spaces. That way the pleasure will be preserved.

Here is what I was able to get accomplished while in the dentist's waiting room while the daughter was having two wisdom teeth pulled.

I thought I was going to get this finished and then begin another or work on the journals from found books, but the two year old stayed overnight; I was called by the 7 year old to ask me to drive into town to her house and help her get ready for school and then drive her there; the son called while I was gone to report that his 6 year old was sick and couldn't go to school, but he had to go to school, so he brought her out to the house; and that took care of any art time I was hoping to have.

To top off this past five days, Trevor, the cat belonging to the 2 and 7 year old, got out the door when someone wasn't careful and has not been seen since. That was three days ago. The girls have been making signs and going door to door and hanging them on posts in the neighborhood. We have reason to think he may not be coming home ever again.

Drama, drama! I am hopeful the girls can be convinced that Trevor has found another loving home, but will not be back, and that they will go to the shelter and choose another one.

I'm off to walk the treadmill, eat breakfast, shower and then do a bit of art before my "job exploration" that I will tell more about tomorrow.



Monday, March 22, 2010

More Photoshop Play

I am beginning to feel like I run a rooming house or maybe I'm a resident assistant in a dorm for youngsters. We had 2 overnight on Thursday, 6 and 7 overnight on Friday, and 6 overnight on Saturday. When these lovelies stay overnight I sometimes play the game of musical beds and rarely get much sleep. Also they tend to be here until the middle of the afternoon the next day. We had a great time with all three of them and we love them dearly, but I need some art time.

I have begun working on a couple of blank journals made from old books and am really excited about the possibilities. I will share them when I get them done. I didn't get much sleep last night because I was busy thinking about all the ways to sew signatures together before making them into these journals. When I am in the middle of something and am still working through the details, sleep is elusive.

I did get some time late at night while the girls were here to play with Photoshop. I hope these patterns will inspire you and not bore you:

As you can see I am still addicted to making patterns in Photoshop. It is a wonder I get anything else done at all.

Today I am driving my daughter to the dentist to get her wisdom teeth pulled. I am planning to take my circles to make into zentangles or mantangles, or zendalas or whatever. I am in a swap to make colored ones this time. I have never made any except black and white before and am looking forward to making these.

Well, I'd better get in gear. I have to hit the treadmill, eat breakfast, take a shower, pack up the first order from my new online store (Whoop! Whoop!), and get ready to go.

Hope to see you again tomorrow!


Thursday, March 18, 2010

WIP - daVinci maybe

I am working on a drawing of a piece called 'Profile of a young woman'. I found it in a book about Leonardo da Vinci, but in the caption of the picture it says, "scholars believe that Leonardo did neither the drawing nor the painting".

It is proving to be a fun one to draw. I am trying to draw the shadows rather than shapes and I am liking it so far. It is not an exact copy, but I think that is okay. I like trying to render something close to the original, but I am also interested in working more on the relationship of the parts.

Here is my beginning:

And here is the picture I am using as my reference:

I will share more as I get to it.

A side note: If you were a friend to dear Renee who has traded her awful pain for her angel wings, go to kj's blog to see what she is planning. I so miss Renee and have for some time. Her blog was one of my favorites.

Yesterday I walked on the treadmill for an hour doing two programmed walks. I think that means that I can skip a day, but I am drawn again to it. I do such good thinking and planning while I walk that I actually look forward to it; and I must admit I am in need of dropping a few pounds.

Today the hubster and I are going into town to run some errands and then I hope to get some art done. I think I will work on putting together another new journal using the covers of old books. I am playing with some ideas about the spine and will share when I get it done.

I am tutoring later this afternoon and again tomorrow.

Life is pretty busy these days, but in a good way. I am considering taking a part time job for an artist I know and will fill you in when it comes to fruition.

I need my second mug of coffee and need to get ready to officially start this day.


Wednesday, March 17, 2010

New Business Adventure

I am happy to announce that I have finally purchased a domain name ( and that I have published a website jointly with the hubster to sell my arty things and his wood crafts. I've been planning to do this for a couple of years and have actually been working on it for a couple of weeks.

The logo on the left hand side of this site right under the "About Me" link will take you there as will this address:

For the most part the items available are one of a kind. The exception to that is the custom option on the main website for signs made by the hubster.

Here is the logo describing the business:

And here is the one that appears on the catalog pages and receipts:

They are not identical because I was afraid if I used the descriptive one, it would appear as if it should be clickable with links to each of the categories and on the catalog page that is not possible.

I'd love it if you would take a look and provide me with feedback regarding your experience.

I am planning to add other items as I make them. These will possibly include ACEOs, collages, blank handmade journals and Photoshop backgrounds (digital files that would be emailed to the customer).

I will periodically update progress and insights to my experience so that any of you who are considering opening an online business can benefit from it.

For now I am off to the treadmill and then am planning to begin a new master drawing. I'll keep you posted.


Tuesday, March 16, 2010

My Addictions - Photoshop and Exercise

I don't know which is more likely to draw me in - Photoshop or exercise. I just finished a 30 minute built in program on the treadmill and was tempted to do another right after. My saner self intervened in the nick of time, so I got off and stretched before grabbing a bottle of water and heading for the computer.

It is supposed to be near 60 degrees today and the sun is already shining. I feel energized and hopeful for a full, productive day. I need to do some art, a bit of grocery shopping, and visit with the daughter and her two little girls after school.

I have been practicing more repeating patterns in Photoshop and would like to share them with you. I am thinking of offering them for a modest fee for use in art, scrapbooking, and card making. What do you think? Would they sell as digital downloads? Or should I just sell the .pat file for people with Photoshop? Or maybe both? Or perhaps I should offer them as .png files so they would be on a transparent background?

I think I am going to get outside (it's only 32 degrees right now, but the sun is brilliant!) and take some pix before fixing myself a bowl of yummy cereal with blueberries for breakfast. Then into the shower and greet the day!


Monday, March 15, 2010

Finished daVinci

I have finished my rendering of the daVinci that I began some time ago. I can see all the dissimilarities, but I am not altogether displeased. I have been remiss in both drawing and blogging (so long as you don't count the three I posted today.) for the past couple of weeks and am trying to make sure to find time for both in my days.

I am working on a BIG project trying to get a business blog off the ground. It is a lot more work and financial investment than I thought it would be, but still doesn't have the overhead a brick and mortar store would have. I am trying to get good photos of the products that we have and get the necessary interface working smoothly. Watch for an announcement soon.

I am also working on some downloadable patterns for backgrounds for you card makers and mixed media artists out there. You know I am having a ball working playing with Photoshop, but it sure does eat up the time. For now, I'd better go get some work done. I didn't get to bed until about 5 this morning and don't want a repeat of that tonight.


Kreativ Blogger Award


I almost forgot; LisaC gave me a lovely blogger award. Thank you so much, Lisa.

Now as part of the award I have to do seven things:

(1)Post the image of the award

(2)Thank the person who gave it to me.

(3)Link to the person who gave it to me

(4)Tell you seven things about myself that you wouldn't know

(5)Choose seven great bloggers to give this award to.

(6)Give a link to their blogs

(7)Leave them a message on their blog.

The image above and the first two sentences takes care of (1), (2), and (3).

Seven things about myself you wouldn't know:

1. I once made my living as a governess on a private island.

2. I am quite competitive.

3. I am pretty insecure.

4. I love trying to do things that are very hard for me.

5. I am sometimes addicted to exercise.

6. I could live on vegetables (if I could get enough nutrients that way).

7. When I am home alone, I usually have peanut butter toast for dinner.

Now the hard part - choosing only seven bloggers to pass this award on to:

Nancy - who is a dear friend and whose blog is always an inspiration to me.
Martha - for her pretty girls and her calligraphy.
Sox - who always has something interesting going on and who is so friendly and caring.
Eileen - whose friendship and advice are priceless.
Tina - who is a dear friend and is über talented and loves to share.
Freebird - whose art is an inspiration and whose heart is very large.
Janet - who has a lovely blog and has a lot on her plate, but is always friendly and helpful. 

Okay, I have to go leave each of these lovely women a message. I am hoping that you find them as delightful as I do.


Ides of March

It's 3 am and I am working at the computer and trying to figure out why I am not tired. It must be this time change. I don't have anything going on tomorrow later today, so I guess it doesn't matter if I get day and night mixed up. I wanted to tell you about the MIABA Spring meeting.

On Friday night I drove to Tina's house in Marshall and met up with Tina, Linda, Puff, and Teri. We were thinking we would be on the road around 7 pm for our drive to Newaygo where Teri had reserved two rooms for us so that we could attend the MIABA Spring meeting in Fremont on Saturday. Unfortunately, Puff and Teri got stuck in a traffic situation that was so bad they didn't move for more than an hour on US-23 near Ann Arbor. We actually left for Newaygo around 9:30 pm and arrived around midnight.

The next morning we began our day at the restaurant next door. The coffee was very good and breakfast was fairly quick and delicious. Our waitress was a hoot besides.

The NCCA Arts Place in Fremont was a beautiful and welcoming site to hold our get together. The facility was large and well equipped and the people were very friendly.

There were about 15 of us and we had a lovely instructor who showed us Lazertran transfers, silk transfers, packing tape transfers, and transfers using a stripping medium (sorry I can't remember the name of it).

We also spent time at Haveman's Hardware, a lovely store with a large section of scrapbooking and stamping goodies. They had given us a 10% off coupon for the day.

I do have a recipe to share with you. It was a dish made and brought by the lovely Barb Johnson. She didn't put the name on the instructions, so I will make one up. I am going to call it Smoked Sausage Stew.

You will need the following:

5 to 6 good sized potatoes
2 rings of smoked sausage cut in chunks
Several carrots cut into bite sized pieces
2 cans cream style corn
1 can green beans

Mix and bake 45 to 60 minutes in a crock pot.

This is the second MIABA get together I've attended that was across the state and I've gotta say, I am so glad I was able to go. A big thank you to Linda, Puff, Tina and Teri for including me in your fun!


Sunday, March 14, 2010

Goodbye Dear Renee

My sweet internet friend, Renee, died this past week. She will be missed by the many friends she made during her time here.

Her family posted her obit today:

Renée Khan (née Ste. Marie)
(March 28, 1956-March 9, 2010)

It is with deep sadness that we who loved her most announce the passing of my wife and our mother.

Renée is survived by her dearest husband and companion of 35 years Nizam Khan; her much loved and adored children Angélique St-Hilaire (Don); Nadalene Cooper (Charlton); Nathan Khan and her joy-filled grandchildren Joséphine and Domenic St-Hilaire. She also leaves to mourn her siblings, nieces and nephews.

Renée’s life work was her children. She often said she loved no one more than them. Renée raised her children in a loving and happy home. Renée encouraged her children to share their lives with her and she listened with devotion.

Renée loved her dearest husband, her children and grandchildren, family and friends, Christmas, reading books, drinking tea, watching blizzards, smelling flowers, writing her blog, listening to music, catching fairies, and admiring the sky.

Renée’s strong faith gave her strength. She gave all she could and more.

We would like to thank all of the angels who have helped my wife and our mother. A special thanks to Dr. Grenier and to the group of women who have travelled this difficult path with her. We would also like to thank her dear siblings and sister in-law for their love, support and care for her and us throughout her journey and her last days. Finally, we would like to thank the staff at St. Boniface Hospital (6E) for their care.

Farewell Dear Hearts
Wahid, Angélique, Nadalene, Nathan
I love you my family and even though I have passed I am taking a piece of you all with me because I can’t bear to be without you, even at the last. Love one another for my sake and even in the tough times be there for each other. And you will see me in each other’s faces and hear me in each other’s words. You have made all of this worth it for me.
Love Mom xoxo

“There are things that we don’t want to happen but have to accept, things we don’t want to know but have to learn, and people we can’t live without but have to let go.”

Renee - even when things looked the worst, somehow I expected you to go on and to get better. Even though I knew it was not to be, I couldn't quit wishing it to be so.

The deep pain that is felt at the death of every friendly soul arises from the feeling that there is in every individual something which is inexpressible, peculiar to him alone, and is, therefore, absolutely and irretrievably lost.  ~Arthur Schopenhauer

Hold close those you love.


Thursday, March 11, 2010


If you've been looking for me and haven't found me in the past couple of days it's no wonder. I have been working hard to get a business website up and running. You see the hubster makes lovely wood crafts and I would like to also sell some of the arty things I make. After all how can I keep making them if I don't sell them. I need the space they are taking up and I need a bit of income from them to buy more supplies to make more.

Making your own business website is more work than I expected it to be. So far I have:

1. Purchased a domain name.
2. Bought a shopping cart.
3. Opened a business account with Paypal.
4. Selected and paid for a company to host my catalog and take care of the processing of orders.
5. Begun the very long and very difficult task of taking pictures of the items I want to sell.

Number 5 is the most difficult and time consuming of the list. First I have to get a clear, uncluttered picture of the item. Then I need to import it into Photoshop and do the editing (cropping, color correcting, etc.). I need to weigh the item and I need to decide on a price. Finally I have to go to the inventory control page of the host and input all the information and upload a picture. This must be done over and over again for each item.

So far I have four small accordion books I made with lovely arty pictures in them. Two of them are pictures of kaleidoscopes I made from pictures of flowers I took in my garden over the years. I also have several of the hubster's products - suet feeders, bird house, cribbage boards, and garden signs.

I still have to take pictures and upload my altered dominoes and my collage pieces on wood.

Here is a small sampling of the products I have listed so far:

I still need to get with UPS when I am ready to call it ready so that if I get orders as I get orders I can get them boxed up and picked up at my place.

In just a bit I am going to Charlotte to take my sister out second-hand-store shopping and to lunch to celebrate her birthday. Then I am driving to Stockbridge to tutor and finally home to my daughter and her two little ones who are coming for dinner. Another full, fun day!

Tomorrow we have the girls and I am leaving around dinner time to meet up with some friends in Marshall to make the drive to Fremont for a meeting of MIABA. We will arrive late (it is about a 3.5 hour drive I think) and stay overnight at a motel that is already reserved so that we can do art all day the next day. The get together is being held at an art place and the projects we are working on are all about transfers. I am so in love with transfers and am looking forward to trying these and visiting with friends and talking about art all day.

For today I am working more on the business site this morning before going to Charlotte and again this evening after dinner. What I'd really like is for someone to look at the business site and give me their first impressions and either reassurance or ideas for improvement or both.

Do I have any takers?


Monday, March 8, 2010

Shopping, Books, Taxes

I didn't get much art done this weekend. Saturday the daughter, her 2-year-old and I went to the Gap at the Meridian Mall because we both think they are the only store that sells jeans that really fit us. And they had a special "bring in a pair of old denims, get 30% off a new pair". We both took advantage of the offer. I also found a really nice pair of Nike sneaks for $29.95 at a sports shop in the mall.

After that we went to her friend Nikki's house for a spa party. It was fun trying lip stuff, eye soothers and facial stuff, hand stuff. I bought the lip stuff and some eye pads. The daughter left early to take the baby to the walk in clinic as she had been running a low grade fever for a couple of days and was actually acting like she was sick. She has an upper respiratory infection, and is on the mend.

I bought some old books at the Maple Street Mall in the basement for $2 each and started taking them apart to make some journals. I have one started, but I attached the accordion spine before sewing the signatures to it. I also made the folds only 1/4" instead of 1/2". The book is small so I thought the smaller folds would suit it better.

Here is what it looks like so far:


And here is a better look at the spine:


I have some faux leather book cloth that I purchased from Hollander's a couple of years ago and have never used. I am thinking I would like to use it as the soft spine and maybe put some grommets (I'm not sure that is what I mean) in rows down it and sew through the signatures and the grommets for a decorative spine.

I would also like to try sewing over ribbon or cord and attach the signatures to the covers that way. So much to discover, so little time.

Well, I just got off the treadmill and this time I tried a programmed workout that was wonderful. It was 30 minutes with a warm up and cool down. The meat of the program was alternating inclines of 6, 7 and 8 degrees with alternating speeds of 3 and 3.5 mph. It was delightful. I can't wait to do it again tomorrow morning.

I have an appointment with the CPA to get my taxes done this morning at 10:30, so I'd best get a bit of food in this empty stomach and get in the shower. Then later the hubster and I are going up to the Maple Street Mall to redo his booth and then may go to Lansing to Menard's. I wonder if lunch out is in the plans??!!

If you have any ideas about using the faux leather for the spine and/or grommets or whatever, I'd love to hear about it. 


Friday, March 5, 2010

Busy, Busy Day

The 2 year old is arriving in about an hour and she will be accompanying me to the chiropractor at 10. Her first grade sister will be arriving by bus around 1 pm. It is an early release day. We have a full afternoon planned.

We will be visiting our lovely next door neighbor who just lost her husband of 56 years and then will be driving to the school where I used to teach to tutor an Algebra student. I will be taking large pieces of paper and pencils and crayons and the girls will lay on the floor and make art while I am working.

Then we will be driving into Jackson to relieve Papa (the hubster) who is doing a 2 day craft show. He will take the little one and go find some dinner. Meanwhile, the first grader and I will be in charge of his booth.

Finally, we will go to their house to settle in, play, get baths, get into jammies and await their Mom who works until 9.

Somewhere in there we will have to eat lunch and dinner.

I remember hauling my two kids around on busy, busy days when I was about thirty years younger than I am now and how tiring it was. I have a feeling I am going to be exhausted at the end of the day, but what fun we will have.

I did a real quick beginning sketch this morning of a daVinci painting. It is definitely a WIP and I will have to work on her for awhile. I chose it because it appeared so simple, but it is certainly not a simple thing to copy.

Here she is for now:


She needs lots of refinement, but at least I got to put pencil to paper today. The hubster has "borrowed" my art table (actually it is his and I borrow it long term until he has a show) so I am left to either work on my lap or on the drafting table he made for me.

My daughter will be here momentarily, so I am going to go put some coffee on and mentally prepare for this jam-packed day.

Hope you have a great day and a wonderful weekend!


Thursday, March 4, 2010

Lamb Stew and A Couple of Quick Sketches

I made the lamb stew for dinner last night. It was the first time I've cooked with lamb and I was pleasantly surprised. I used Alton Brown's Lamb Stew recipe as my model, but made some changes. Here is the recipe:

And here are the changes:

-     I used 1/2 pound of lamb stew meat (it was plenty)
-     I used table salt
-     I used barley (couldn't find barley grits)
-     I purchased a lamb leg bone and made 4 cups of broth from that

It was delicious and made about 4 servings. I served it with warmed Garlic Naan that I purchased at Meijer's. I will definitely make this again.

Today I am going to try a recipe for lamb stuffed pita and I'll let you know how that turns out.

After dinner, I spent two hours with a new tutee. It was fun and she was a fast learner (my favorite kind). She is coming over again this afternoon.

Late last evening before going to bed I did a couple of quick sketches. I didn't refine them at all, but think they are alright for now. The first one is from a Degas.


I see lots of areas that need refining, particularly her right leg and right shoulder, but for my first figure sketch, it'll do. I tried holding the pencil a bit further back than writing position and that seemed to help with the curves and the lightness of the pencil.
I also tried a quick sketch of a stamp of a man's face and like how it turned out.


I am having such fun and thanks to you and your wonderful, helpful comments and suggestions, I am learning to put the inner critic in the corner where she belongs.
I have a less busy day planned today, but the hubster is going to take my work table (it is really his) for a show he is doing tomorrow and Saturday, so I won't be doing any painting today. I am hoping to get a bit of mail out today. I made a pretty envelope to send a note to my Mom. I'll show it to you when it is ready to go. 

For now, I'd better have a banana and then get on the treadmill. I'll decide what I am going to do today while I walk. It is a beautiful morning, but only 11º F.

I hope to see you tomorrow!


Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Last Try on the Rubens and a Tree Trunk

First of all, I want to thank all of you for your wonderful comments. The specific suggestions were so wonderful and I am thankful again that I am a part of this wonderful online community. I tried to incorporate all that was suggested in making changes to the chin and the fullness of the face. Here is my final attempt, for I am moving on:


And here is a completely different sketch for me. I saw this tree trunk in an old book that I found at a second hand store and felt compelled to sketch it. I don't usually sketch inanimate objects. I have nearly always chosen birds or people. I don't think it is bad for a first try and think I might venture outdoors as these days get warmer and the quality of the light improves and try my hand at drawing something in the yard.


I have a full day planned today. I need to workout on the treadmill, go to Sam's, finish the grocery shopping at Meijer's, make a never before tried dinner recipe, and make time to do some art.
I went to Hollander's yesterday to pick up the papers I'd left behind after the Sunday class and decided to go to Sparrow Meats to purchase some lamb. I've never cooked with lamb before, but have loved any of the dishes I've tried either in Greektown or in other restaurants. I left there with 1/2 pound of stew meat, a leg bone (for the base), and 1/2 pound of ground lamb. I am planning to make Alton Brown's Lamb Stew with Barley for dinner tonight.

I was also a lazy butt and didn't arise until 8:30. That is really sleeping in for this usually early riser. I love to get up just before sunrise, but apparently needed the extra shuteye.
Gotta go! I hope to see you again tomorrow.


Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Rubens Copy 2nd Attempt

It is the wee hours of the morning and I am still futzing around in the art room. I have been attempting to improve on the nose and mouth of the Rubens boy child that I showed you in yesterday's post. I am still not completely satisfied, but think they are a bit better.

I am supposed to have started a watercolor class through the Artists of the Round Table Yahoo! group to which I belong, but have not yet received lesson 1. I am hoping to add some color to these drawings as I progress.

So here is my latest:


And here is the original again:


And here are the first attempt (on the left) and the most recent fix (on the right) side by side for a better comparison.


I see right away that I am missing a tiny bit of face between the lips and the hair. That will be fixed in the next iteration.
I would like to know if my second attempt is an improvement or not. I think the lips are in a better position compared to the nose, but I think I have compromised the shape of the nose a bit.

Your input is appreciated and is invaluable in my tinkering.

I'd better get to bed. Morning comes mighty early.


Monday, March 1, 2010

February is Behind Us; Welcome March

And so it is March 1. I am beginning to be hopeful that the longest, snowiest winter I can remember is drawing to a close. It was warm enough yesterday to melt quite a bit of snow and today promises to melt more.

I have some errands to run today and then am hoping to meet my daughter and my little darling, Momo, for lunch. Later this afternoon, I am meeting a young man for a tutoring session in Algebra. I am hoping it will be a fun and productive day.

Meanwhile, I would like to share with you the product of my Found Book Concertina Workshop that I took with my good friend, Nancy, at Hollander's yesterday. I'd first of all like to tell you that this was the best one day workshop I've experienced to date. Chris Reising, the instructor, was very well organized and explained the process very well, beginning with an overview and then walked us through the process step by step. An added pleasure for me was that her friend and partner who co-taught the class was David Burkam, an old friend from my days of grading AP Calculus exams. David is a professor at the University of Michigan. Chris and David make books together as well as cards and other arty goodies. They brought many of them for us to look at and many of them took my breath away. They are unique and spectacular. You can see their beautiful products at their etsy shop, Moon Moth Press.

Here is the book I made.

And here is the spine.

I can't wait to try another one and will, of course, share it with you.

Earlier this weekend I attempted to sketch a portrait from a picture. This one is by Rubens and I think might be one of his children. Here is his sketch:


And here is my pitiful amateurish first attempt:


I am afraid I am a bit heavy handed. I have been using a 2B pencil, but think I'd better switch to a 2H or harder so that I can make lighter lines. I have a hard time making light lines. I think I will have to try this again maybe later today and tomorrow morning. 

As usual, I welcome your comments and am so pleased with your suggestions and insights.

Meanwhile, I'd better get this old body onto the treadmill and then get in the shower so that my errands can get done today and I will still have time to do some art.

I hope to "see" you tomorrow.