31 August 2010

studio palette

I often use my sketchbook to work out changes in palettes. Recently, I went through every tube of paint I own . . .

There were many colors I loved but never used because the paint just wasn't easy to work with. Some were shiny when dry. Some were thick and gloppy no matter how much water was added, making them hard to "flow". Some became muddy in mixes way too easily. And there were some iridescent pigments purchased for one project and never used again.

So I weeded out every pigment that didn't work for me, to either give away or throw away. Those in the uppermost photo are what is left . . . my personal favorites.

Some of these have a small star next to the name; these I will use until they are used up, but they will not be repurchased.

27 August 2010


On this morning's walk I found tiny crabapples, no bigger than 3/4". The tree overhangs the sidewalk so they are hard to miss.

I had taken a different path than usual. We live on a very busy street with no lights; the morning sun complicates things early in the day. The street heads due east, right into an incredibly bright sun --- so bright, it's hard to when it's safe to cross.

But taking a different path led me to the brightness of these crabapples.

26 August 2010

Thursday's stuff

Thursday has been a quiet day . . . . waiting to hear when I can pick up the car from the mechanic. Besides the regular oil change and checks, the rear-view mirror needed securing and one of the nozzles that spray windshield fluid needed to be replaced.

Late in the afternoon they called and said it wouldn't be done until tomorrow morning. Waiting on the replacement nozzle for the windshield sprayer. That's typical in a small town; hard to get parts when you need them.

So I spent the day doing small things like cleaning and cooking. And sketching in bits and pieces. Much of this spread was sketched walking home from the auto service place.

19 August 2010

late-night sketching

Instead of reading last night, I grabbed my sketchbook and drew what was in front of me . . . . by a very dim 25 watt bulb. I didn't want to disturb my husband who was asleep. Planned to add color in the morning, but decided I like it as is.

On the rocker is the first Scottie I ever owned --- a fuzzy stuffed one from MacPherson, KS. That led to owning several live Scotties and many collectibles, some of which are in the two shelves on the wall (they are actually small vintage wooden crates hung as shelves). There are even two of the wee doggies on that plaque next to the shelves, a gift from granddaughter Mikala that I hang my cross collection on.

14 August 2010

Bearcat's in trouble . . . again

So what else is new, right?

I woke up today to find the pestle to my mortar & pestle set broken on the pantry floor. Sometime in the night, our Maine Coon cat tried to "climb" the pantry shelves to get at the catnip container . . . . he never did get the catnip open.

And just yesterday I purchased a HUGE bag of Greenies for him. I was only going to buy cat food but this favorite treat of his was on sale. His favorite besides catnip, that is.

Our vet told me to give Bearcat a bit of ground-up L-Lysine tablet daily to prevent herpes outbreaks. That's what I've been using the mortar & pestle for. He caught the incurable disease from our other cat, Dali, who later died from complications. She was apparently born with the illness but it didn't present itself until she was 6 years old. By then, we had adopted Bear and he was exposed.

So far, so good with Bear's health. He hasn't had an outbreak (mouth sores) for a couple of years now, and is quite fat and sassy. You'd never know he was sick to look at him.

11 August 2010

theft-proof herb garden?

The flowers my renter planted in our window boxes are lovely, especially the dahlias . . . . but maybe I could grow my herbs here instead? The boxes are way too high to reach from outside, preventing theft. Extreme heat and sun might be a problem, but it's an idea worth exploring.

I would need extra parsley and dill for the swallowtail caterpillars that love to munch on my plants. And dill would need to be reseeded often; I harvest it for the dill weed, not seed. Oregano and thyme are perennials but no plant can survive winter in these boxes; I'd need to grow them as annuals.

For those not knowing of my problem with thieves, scroll down a couple of postings in this blog.

cough relief

Allergies have caused a slight cough lately . . . . mold spores, I assume.

The quote scribbled to the left side is from an interesting little book I found while at a KC book store with Kate, Joseph, and Liz. Sort of a "pep talk" for developing our talents.

10 August 2010

favorite pot . . . gone

The orcs have struck again. I went out to water tomatoes this morning and found that my favorite herb pot was stolen. I did this sketch of it over 2 years ago; it was at least 20 years old then. Plants always seemed to thrive in it, even living through harsh winters as the oregano in the sketch did.

Not the first time for thieving orcs to strike either. Living in an apartment building on a busy corner seems to invite it. Maybe they think renters don't care what is taken, not realizing that the owners live here.

Among things recently taken are a hanging planter with it's frame that Bill made (they had to climb up a railing on the porch to reach it), a hand-blown glass hummingbird feeder, even some plants from pots on the stoop --- in this case they left the pots, just taking the plants. It's no wonder that I never set my aloe vera plant out on the porch in the summer, even though it would do better there. Granddaughter Mikala decorated the pot with sea shells from Galveston. I'm not taking any chances with it.

I think I'm done with gardening in the small beds we have next to the building. Perennials will be replaced with shrubs, no more container gardening except in the window boxes which are too high to reach from outside, no more garden ornaments. I might even have to start buying herbs.

06 August 2010

inspired by Liz

Actually, I am celebrating today's "cold front" . . . . the temperature outside is in the 90's instead of the 100's! It's even down to 89 degrees in the shade of our east-facing front porch.

I just enjoyed a cup of Earl Grey tea that came from T2, the teahouse visited in Liz / Borromini's blurb book. Excellent! In a fine bone china mug that my daughter gave me . . . . with Scotties, of course.

05 August 2010

guess who I met?

How exciting! On her whirlwind world tour, Liz and her companion Borromini Bear made a stop in Kansas City, Missouri. Kate & Joseph and I were able to spend a delightful day getting to know them both --- lots of sketching, mad dashes around the city, and a spot of tea (of course!)

First a leisurely breakfast / sketching at the Savoy. A very gracious staff allowed us to linger (2 hours) as we played with our pens and paints on their linen tablecloth. (Oops! What's that stain and who's paintbrush made it???)

Next, a trip to Architectural Salvage --- Normally closed on Wednesday but they opened up just for us to explore more subjects to sketch. Bill is SO sorry he couldn't get the day off to come see this place. I'll have to kidnap him later on for a visit to this place --- a renovator's treasure trove!

After this, there were giggles & grins driving madly around the city (OK, Joseph drove and the rest of us giggled). We checked out the Half-Price Bookstore, enjoyed a snack at a lovely hidden tea shop, and visited Creative Coldsnow, an art supply shop.

I feel like I've known Liz for ages --- How wonderful to meet her in person and enjoy such a fun day together. Thanks for inviting me to join in on the fun, Liz!

03 August 2010

a great book!

One day, as I was running errands, I got in my car in time to hear the very end of an interview on the radio with the two authors of this book. I was immediately intrigued as I heard Alex, now 12 years old, talking with the interviewer. He and his father wrote the book together, telling the true story of their experiences following a tragic automobile accident when Alex was 6 years old.

So next I made a stop at a book store; they did not have it in stock yet but ordered a copy for me. Once it came in and I began to read it, I could hardly put it down. It brought tears, big grins, and laughter . . . a sure sign of a great story for me.

Often when I enjoy a good book, I like to record it in my sketch journal. Possibly a reminder some day to re-read it. (Learn more about this remarkable young man at their web site they set up in the early days following the accident, as a means to keep people updated on his progress.)
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