29 August 2017

a few more random pages

While the east coast of Texas prepared for the onslaught of Hurricane Harvey, Bill and I went to get our hair cut. I sketched the above as Rosie cut Bill's hair. The shop we go to is named "The Best Lil Hair House in Texas".

Later that evening, we ate out with friends at a Chinese restaurant in College Station, where I tried sketching the orange 'bird of paradise' garnish on my plate. The 'wings' had drooped a little. Now, after the storm has passed, the 30-minute drive to College Station would probably take 1 1/2 hours due to flooded roads and bridges washed out.

In the aftermath of the storm, our yard is full of very rubbery-feeling mushrooms and bright rain lilies. We did end up with some damage: where the log ends butted together on the north wall there had been some separation due to an extended dry summer, leaving paper thin gaps in places. Storm winds at one point blew torrential rains sideways . . . right into our bedroom wall. After repeatedly using a wet-vac and fans, we have decided that the Berber carpet is a total loss (we didn't like it anyway) and we will need to pull it up, bleach the subfloor to stop mold, and put in a new floor. Pretty minor stuff in light of the millions of flood victims in Houston and the coastal towns south.

27 August 2017

a few more for the sale

This sketch of the Burton Cotton Gin is a re-do of one I did in a sketchbook a couple of years ago. We had driven to Burton to check out the museum, which was closed, so I sketched the gin from the parking lot. I 'm working on a set of sketches to sell at a special event in Burton in October.

Another historic building in Burton is this train depot, though it is no longer located near the train tracks. All small town depots in our area are painted in this same deep warm yellow and orangey-brown color. This is from the end of the rectangular building.

These other items were from the bed & breakfast we stayed at in Burton, or the antique shop next door. I especially loved this metal cat on the front porch of the inn! One ear is folded; a few days after our stay here, we drove to McKinney, TX to pick up my new Scottish Fold kitten.

When I saw this doll, I had to sketch her --- she reminds me of one my grandmother once said I would someday inherit. When Grandma died, her older sister, not knowing she wished me to have it, took it home to Missouri. A few years later, Aunt Lucile developed dementia and we have no idea where the doll disappeared to.

21 August 2017

random sketchbook pages

As I keep busy making sketches to print and sell in October, my artist journal has been a bit neglected. But every now and again, I just play a bit in it. Here, I threw some unused pans of paint together in a flat mint tin I had just emptied of mints . . . Very bright colors for me! Quinacridone red (these days, I prefer quin. rose), Hansa yellow (I had a half-pan each of light and medium), and cobalt blue dark (a color I once tried but never quite took to) --- plus 3 neutrals and a sponge to clean a waterbrush on.

Then the next day I drew our new bathroom door, an oak barn door Bill made. The room is so tiny anyway, plus our stacked washer / dryer is in there behind where the old door opened, that a sliding door made more sense. And it just looks good in our rustic log cabin.

18 August 2017

a beginning

Well, I've made a beginning in sketches to sell . . . 
I have no idea why I started with flowers. I don't even like drawing flowers except for capturing the many wildflowers around us. I think I could happily sketch Texas wildflowers forever! 

But at least it's a start. I also have several sketches done of various subjects, some still in loose pencil, some already inked in, ready for watercolor. And I found these simple mats on Amazon that come with a backing board and plastic sleeve. Simple to slip prints in and seal, ready to sell in Diane's antique shop. I'm actually working on these for a special sale she is having in October. Still need to find somewhere to have prints made off these originals, but I want to have more art finished before taking them in.


Four years ago, just before Bill's heart attack, bypass surgery, retirement, and our moving to Texas (what can I say? It was a very momentous year!), I took cuttings of a large, very overgrown African violet plant. It had never ceased to bloom for months at a time every winter.

Two of the young starts made the move south with us. And thrived, though without blooming. Until now -- in the very hottest of summer, this one is finally flowering with many more blooms on the way. Patience in all things . . . Eventually things work out for the good.

10 August 2017

new kitchen faucet

Along with remodeling our tiny bathroom to make it more functional (and more rustic to match it being in a log cabin), Bill is re-water-piping the whole cabin. Whoever built it, as well as the jokers who later added central air, didn't really know what they were doing.

As long as he was re-water-piping, we decided to go ahead and replace the kitchen faucet --- we have disliked the old one from Ikea since the day we moved in. It had a high goose-neck and hung close to the back of the sink (more like a bar sink model), causing me backaches as I washed the dishes from leaning too far forward. This new faucet spans closer to the center of each sink compartment; no more backache! Having a pullout sprayer is handy as well since there's no hole for a separate sprayer in the existing farm sink.

Someday we would like to redo the air conditioning ductwork to be more efficient, and possibly give us space for a tiny half-bath in the loft. Right now, the downstairs area stays cool while the loft (my studio) is unbearably hot in the summer. Of course, a new metal roof would also help, reflecting the sun's heat away from the rafters . . . .

09 August 2017

a display that drew my eye

While taking photos at the Heritage Hall antique shop, for possible vignettes to sketch and sell at an October sale the shop is hosting, I came upon this lovely display . . .

08 August 2017

towel hooks & shelf

Bill liked the towel hooks and toilet paper holder he made of pipe fittings so much, he made a shelf to match. That tiny chamber pot on the shelf belonged to his grandmother; we use it to hold fresh bars of soap. The covered pot next to it is a pinch pot made by our daughter in elementary school.

I was trying to decide whether to use a water-soluble Tombow marker on another project, so I drew this to test it. It bled a bit too much for the effect I'm after . . . Glad I did a test first!
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