Sunday, July 31, 2011

Wedding Anniversary

TOMA and I just celebrated our 3 year wedding anniversary and I have wanted to create this little painting for a while. Naturally, I created it a day late, but as you know I was busy working on my mom's birthday stuff.

TOMA surprised me with a Blick gift certificate on the evening train. TOMA admits he wasn't really thinking about it, but as you will see from my gift, the train was a perfect place to give me my present because we met on the same train that we still take everyday together. A story too wordy for this blog, but very romantic! I have noticed that we travel with other couples that have met on the train. My painting is named Commuter Romance.

Baci e abbracci.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

She Loved It!

Success! The photo was a tear-jerker, and she loved the quilt. "Too beautiful to use..." I hope she is kidding.

I hope to finish the quilt I started in class and that would be the first quilt for TOMA and I.

Baci e abbracci

Mom's Birthday

Today is my mom's birthday. I am so proud of myself, I finished her quilt!!!!! Yes! the quilt that was her gift 2 years ago in the form of a box of fabric and a pattern is a completed lap size quilt today. I am very pleased with the way it came out. Not perfect by any means, but I am still happy! For this year's gift I made a mini quilt of a photo of my maternal grandparents and framed it. Hopefully, a tear-jerker! Oh, Poodleman--you know who you are--aren't you proud of me?

I will have to take photos at another time as the gifts are all wrapped up and ready to go to dinner.

I also made her birthday card.

Baci e abbracci

Saturday, July 16, 2011


I read Alisa Burkes' blog regulary and one of the recent posts discussed the doughnuts she made. The King Arthur Flour blog also has featured doughnuts recently, so I thought doughnuts are calling.

These are cake doughnuts and are baked. They taste just like the real thing! Totally yummerific! I filled the doughnut pan a little too high so only one side had a hole, but that worked to my favor when I decided to cut them in half and spread some preserves on them. Then I tossed them in confectioners sugar. Perfect!

The other endeavor I have been involved in is making my own journals--two to be exact. They both use the coptic stitch--one is 5.5 x 7.5 inches. I used the front and back of a used Pentalic journal that I cut away from the insides. The second journal is 4 x 5 inches. I also used the coptic stitch, but this time used black paper for the covers (because I measured the paper incorrectly and could not use the new Pentalic journal of which I removed the insides--I was going to use the directions for the Moleskine re-load). I used black duct tape to cover the spine. I also glued a prayer flag on the front of each book. I am quite pleased and will be saving them for the trip.

I have also been testing ink and pens. I received the Platinum Carbon Black Ink and the Preppy Pen with a converter. I also loaded the Rotring with the PCB ink. I really like the ink--a little better than the Noodler's Bullet Proof. The Preppy was leaking, but I loaded it with Noodler's and it stopped. None of the pens give me a fine enough line so I order a Lamy Safari EF nib. I am waiting for it to arrive. So far, the only nib that makes a fine enough line is a dip pen.

Another thing I have been playing around with is Bristol Board--Smooth. I like it. It is great for ink and the watercolor goes on like markers. It hasn't buckled so far either. I am using a 3.5 x 5 inch spiral Strathmore Visual Journal as a "doodle" journal, so I do not use my "good paper" for doodles.

Next, I must finish a quilt.

Baci e abbracci/

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Book Review

I did it! I finished reading a book from cover to cover. The book, The Artist's Journal Workshop: Creating Your Life in Words and Pictures, by Cathy Johnson was a really good book. The artwork is great. Even though the book is for someone who is just starting a journal, I thought it contained enough ideas/tips to be informative for someone who is already journaling. The book discusses supplies, testing products, ideas for different types of journals from a memory journal to a travel journal--or just keeping one journal for everything, including your grocery list. Cathy talks about making time for your journal, quick sketches as well as spending more time on a subject. It is as inspiring as Danny Gregory's books, which are my favorites. Take a 'look inside' on Amazon and buy this book for your library.

I think I will carry this book to Italy with me to refer to while I work in my journal. I want to really restrict what I take this year and I am considering taking this and "Everyday Matters," by Danny Gregory. I am sure I will change my mind before I leave. I cannot even decide on which skirts to take, let alone what art supplies.

Baci e abbracci

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

The Ink/Pen Dilema

I have been having some issues with Noodler's Bullet Proof ink smearing when I erase my pencil lines, so I have been searching for the perfect waterproof ink. I respect the opinions of Roz Stendahl when it comes to art supplies (and I like her work), so I emailed her about Platinum Carbon Black Ink and the Desk Pen. She was very nice about making sure I had enough information to make a choice. She took a lot of time with me and I really appreciate that.

Based on her advice, I decided to purchase the PC ink and the Preppy Pen and convertor. I also found a convertor for my Rotring! In my correspondence with Roz and Rachel at Goulet Pens I found out that the problems I am having with my Flex Pen can be solved with a little adjusting of the nib and the feed. I tried to make the adjustment, but still prefer my Lamy. The people at The Goulet Pen Company are very nice and helpful as well.

I would like to start making my own journals. I purchased Fabriano 140 lb. watercolor paper-hot press-and it arrived. I think I would like to try the coptic stitch with several signatures. I want a book that is not too heavy as my neck has been bothering me a lot from the bags I carry everyday. Did you know that my Daler-Rowney sketchbook (5" x 7") weighs over 1 lb.? Right now I am using a sketchbook made by Diana Trout. I purchased it when I took a class from her last May. I always thought it too precious to use, but it is a good weight with hot press paper (140 lb.).

On July 3, I went to Lowe's with TOMA and while he purchased a screen door I purchased a plastic chair for the front of the house and used it in the nursery to draw some flowers. It is a great place to sit and draw.

Yesterday at work I did a little doodling, but was not pleased with the result. Oh well, there is always another sheet of paper waiting.

Today, I added a drawing/watercolor of a hydrangea from the front yard on the same page as the petunia and zinnia from Lowe's. I am playing with Copic Multiliners that I purchased a while ago. Of course since Blick does not lock them up, people sample them and the tip was mashed on my brand new pen. Luckily, I purchased replacement tips and ink (these pens are refillable). I think I like them. I can get a very fine line with the .01 and an even finer line with the .005.

Baci e abbracci