Tuesday, March 27, 2012

My husband and I woke to the sound of screams for help at 5:30 this morning. My husband went out towards the screams and I called the police. A neighbor across the street was on her roof. She jumped out of her bedroom window when her home alarm sounded that the front door opened. My husband waited beneath her ready to catch her feet if she lost her grip until the police arrived. Why am I writing about this? My first call to 9-1-1 got the response that they would send someone out "as soon as possible" even though I opened the window so the operator could hear the screams. I said "are you serious?" He said that is their standard response to such a call. I hung up, heard the woman say the word gun and called back to tell them that my husband was out there and I wanted some help immediately. They arrived within 2-4 minutes.

This is disturbing--does one have to be dying for an immediate response? But what was more disturbing to both my husband and I was that we were the only ones who went outside! No other neighbor helped her. Did we think it was a teenager screaming, just making noise when we first heard it? Yes, but when it continued we did something. We live in a neighborhood that is quickly deteriorating and I wonder if the people in it come from a place where there are screams every night and this is nothing new? Or is it that most do not speak English and cannot call for help--but at least come out to let the perpetrator know that people are around! The woman had jumped onto the roof next to her house. When the owner stepped out and my husband told him there was a woman on his roof, he went inside and never came out again.

Another disappointment in humankind and another reason that animals are the only innocent creatures.

P.S. The woman was rescued by the Fire Department.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

What I've Been Up to Lately...

My scanner does not really accommodate full page spreads from my Fabriano sketchbook. Oh well...

Baci abbracci

Monday, March 19, 2012


I have been thinking about making my cat drawings into stuffed animals for months now and finally I had the reason. My friend and his partner are having twins and my friend is quite fond of my cat drawings. So da-ta-da-da! Introducing KittenHead

KittenHead is almost 100% cotton (including his insides) with the exception of his eyes and nose, which are 100% wool. He is full of loving kindness and has a playful nature. His friends will soon be available in my Etsy shop.

Baci e abbracci

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

I am a pessimist. The glass is not only half empty, but it is cracked and leaking and will eventually be bone dry and in shards on the floor. I try to be upbeat--when I am not complaining about something that is--but I am naturally not happy-go-lucky. Instead I am waiting for the other shoe to drop. (Okay, enough of the metaphors...) When I read some blogs they are so upbeat and inspirational. You know the ones that have photos of handmade signs/cards with phrases like: "Do What You Love," or "Courage," or "Joy," or "Live your dreams." Okay you get it... I NEVER think of this stuff, NEVER. I am so thankful for the time that I feel like doing something creative, but know it will eventually end--just like that--and I will again be in the throes of having no inspiration or desire to do anything but watch the talking box.

I know these people get blue, but sometimes I think how are they so perky when they are "up?" When I am "up" I am a low-key version of manic--silly, singing made up songs. I am never perky, cute or sweet. And my "up" is usually a reaction to caffeine or being set free at the end of the day--usually these two things occur simultaneously which can be tough on TOMA when we get out of the quiet car on the train. It is a chatterbox festival.

It just makes me wonder, is there something wrong with me? Why am I annoyed with the world and complaining or low-key manic? It comes down to not following the good advice of the good ol' Serenity Prayer, "... grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change; courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference." It also helps to not have too many expectations.

I do not know what brought this up because I had a pretty good day. Must be the daylight savings business...

He was just so long. Almost took up the whole width of the queen size bed! 

Hidden away in Philadelphia's City Hall 

are some wonderful 


Couldn't post without mentioning the warm weather in Philadelphia 

Don't think I posted this one before... 

Falcon Cam--the male 

Falcon Cam--the female sitting on eggs 

I think I mentioned finishing a Moleskine watercolor book. Well I did not like some of the drawings so I either covered them up or re-worked them. This is a re-work of a chipmunk from a display at the Academy of Natural Sciences done on my lunch hour in the fall of 2010 

This is another cover up and the beginning of a series that I want to do. It will be done outside of the sketchbook or in a 9" x 12" Fabriano book I have not opened yet. More on this later...

Added color after a long time unfinished--didn't really like it--still really don't

This had the drawing of a European Starling (that was once a Common Grackle) with another bird that I did not like. Collage, watercolor, gel pen and whala! Now you see it, now you don't! 

Teesha Moore-ish horned people 

 Arch Street United Methodist from my office window on lunch hour

Flowers and paisley 

The very last page in the book. The beginning of the series mentioned above (see the Sacred Heart). Hint: it will be about animal welfare.

Bacci e abbracci

Monday, March 12, 2012

The Falcon Cam

Did you ever want to draw a live falcon? Well I found a new way to use an old favorite. Falcon Cam shows the life of a pair of falcons that nest on the roof of the Rachel Carson State Building in Harrisburg, PA.  I haven't watched in a few years, but I received an email from the EPA about their second egg being laid and decided to take a look. Then I just picked up a pen and started drawing. The cameras are positioned in three different places right now and this afternoon both the male and the female were at the nest for quite some time. The female was sitting on the eggs and the male was preening. There was also evidence of a meal earlier in the day. Anyway, each shot lasts maybe 10-20 seconds which is a great exercise for a quick croquis or you can complete more of the drawing at each shot. I'll scan the drawings and post later in the week.

Also, my Uppercase magazine and book arrived, but I have not had a chance to review. I flipped through them and they look great. More on that later.

Baci e abbracci

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Uppercase Magazine

I've looked at it before, but wasn't impressed. What was I thinking???? I love this magazine. It is perfect. It is about everything I am into: textiles, crafty stuff, illustration without all the cutesy, trite stuff that is a turn off in some of the other magazines. I would normally say that it is pricey but Somerset and Stitch are $15 an issue. I subscribed starting with Issue #12 which has work by Geninne Zlatkis in it (which is where I rediscovered this magazine). I also ordered the Suitcase Series: Camilla Engman book. I like her work and thought I would enjoy a book of just her stuff. I also wanted to buy the Dottie Angel book, but it was just too much money in one shot.

Click on the Uppercase icon on my sidebar to check it out. I have also added their blog to my blog list. Has some really cool stuff on it!

Baci e abbracci

Wednesday, March 7, 2012


On Monday, Alisa Burke posted about finding your muse. It was a good post. What is interesting is I used to do all of the things Ms. Burke talks about when I was in college, but since I am not a professional artist I got out of the habit. The article inspired me to carry my camera to work and take my sketch supplies to the nearby Reading Terminal. It was packed with people so no sketching, but lots of picture taking. The following pictures were taken because of color combinations, texture or pattern.

The last three photos I just thought were cute.

I took 103 photos within an hour. I really like the new camera I received for my birthday and read part of the manual last night as we did not have cable, internet or telephone service. I found out it does quite a few things that are very cool.

I also am about to finish a sketchbook that I started in October 2010. I had set it aside for a while because it is a Moleskine watercolor book and I do not like the orientation of most watercolor books. I also was not crazy about the paper, but I got over it and used the book. I still have to finish a couple of pages that I had left incomplete and then I will post the last few drawings.

Baci e abbracci

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Waste Not...

Today TOMA and I went to the flea market.

 The consumerism is this country is incredible and incredibly wasteful. These are some of the things that were thrown away but may have a second chance and be salvaged from the landfill for a while. I have to say that I am pretty good at buying unnecessary things myself--my studio is proof of that--an art supply that I thought would be the tool that would make my work better or be fun to work with, the yarn that was just too beautiful to pass up even though I did not have a project in mind for it--yet, and the yarn and fabric I purchased for the project that just did not work out in the end. I think art and fiber supplies are definitely my weakness, but whenever I pick up a new interest, I must have so many tools to be "successful" at it. Our ancestors did not have all of these gadgets and they seemed to be able to sew, knit, bake, and draw beautiful things. I think life was much simpler and better before all of these electronic devices became so popular. They just feed the desire to have more stuff. I think the world is moving way too fast.

Baci e abbracci