27 May 2010

Carrie's clever game

Lately Carrie has been sewing these adorable soft game pillows --- first one for our grandson Quen, now this one for Jayna.

The "window" is clear acetate material, through which the stuffing of plastic pellets and small toys, coins, buttons, etc. can be seen. (I tried to illustrate the shiny light-reflecting parts but not sure it worked.) On the reverse side is a bit of cotton fabric where she wrote a list of items that can be found inside.

Makes a great car-trip game, trying to spy all the hidden items! Jayna will get to try that out this Saturday --- we are heading to San Antonio. Bill will be flying in from Kansas and we'll spend the day there. Then on to visit Quen and his parents in Austin on Sunday. My time in Texas is drawing to an end . . . .

19 May 2010

another study . . .

. . . from "30-Minute Landscapes" by Paul Talbot-Greaves.

I was fascinated by the reflections where the water meets the sandy shore. In the book's example, it looked so very wet! Not so much in my attempt, but I had fun with it anyway.

17 May 2010

spring greens study

I would like to be able to paint quick landscapes in my sketch journals without niggling the details. So doing some exercises from a William Foster book --"30-Minute Landscapes" by Paul Talbot-Greaves -- seems like a good plan to follow.

I did not paint this in 30 minutes however; I was interrupted by a couple of phone calls, Jayna coming in to talk to me, then a quick trip to a fabric store with Carrie. I also wanted to walk away from the first washes, letting them dry before I jump in and try to tweak something, ruining it in the process.

That seems to be a common problem with me. I need to learn to let the watercolor do its thing and leave it alone -- to stop thinking I can perfect it (and accept that I can't). I like how this one turned out . . . maybe I can learn to follow the same guidelines when doing my own scenes.

16 May 2010

simple evenings

I used to unwind at the end of the day with a good book. Or a crossword puzzle. Have I become lazy?

Or is it just the lure of Doctor Who?

I remember watching Doctor Who in the 1970s with my kids, then played by Tom Baker. A few years ago, Jason told me of the new updated series; after watching a few episodes on Netflix I was hooked. I love the way both Christopher Eccleston and David Tennant have portrayed the Time Lord.

Especially David Tennant . . . . what an awesome actor he is! Last week I watched him play Hamlet on PBS's Great Performances (you can see it free on line). I've never seen Hamlet played so movingly; his "to be or not to be" literally moved me to tears.

10 May 2010

weekend with Mikala

Today's Lego's are much more detailed than when I was a kid. 7-year old Mikala and I worked on a second story and roof for this house over the weekend. I stayed with her while her parents enjoyed a weekend in Las Vegas.

We went shopping just for fun; Mikala chose a couple of new Webkinz pets at a buy one / get one free sale. She got a Portuguese water dog and an Arctic fox, but she's saving their codes to put into the computer later when her year account is nearly up. For now, she added this Peppermint Puppy her other grandma gave her for Christmas. We played a lot of games together, both on Webkinz and regular board games.

On Sunday we painted butterflies together. Jason & Carrie gave her a kit for her birthday from the Houston zoo. The small plastic butterflies are flexibly soft and wonderfully detailed; I thought they were alike at first (before painting) but Mikala pointed out the botanical differences to me. She plans to use them to decorate her room.

05 May 2010

early am Earl Grey

Sometime in the middle of the night, Jayna was walking in her sleep; she opened the door to the guest room and crawled in bed.

It's not easy sharing a day bed with sharp little elbows and kicking toes. Now I know what her mommy and daddy go through trying to get a good night's sleep.

04 May 2010

for David

A birthday card for my brother --- I just hope it gets to him in time. It was hard to find time to paint while taking care of little ones.

It's also hard to paint an impression of a motorcycle without a motorcycle in front of you. . . . . . I used a painting by Carlton Plummer as a reference, found in a 2005 issue of Watercolor Magic. His, of course, was much better!

03 May 2010

Kenny & Ziggy's

LOL! From glancing through this small sketch journal, one would think that I've done nothing in Texas except eat out and go to church!

Actually, that is what ends up in this one because it fits in my bag so easily, ready to pull out when I get a chance to sit down somewhere. When shopping or going other places, I'm just on the move too much to sketch.

On Mother's Day, I will be in the north part of Houston taking care of my older granddaughter, Mikala, while her parents are in Las Vegas. So Jason & Carrie took me out to celebrate this weekend instead. I wanted to check out some shops in Rice Village.

Later, we met up with Carrie's parents to eat at Kenny & Ziggy's, a well-known deli in Houston. Great food and great time together . . . her mom and dad are awesome friends!
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