Wow, has it been a month already?!

Well, I didn’t think it would take me so long to write another blog post, but here it is – one month later. Sorry about that.

I have been doing a lot of things though. One thing that has consumed a lot of my time for the last few months has been my garden. I think I mentioned that I purchased a few raised bed gardens in early spring. In addition to the purchased raised beds, I built another six raised beds. I raised my seeds using old 2L soda bottles and gallon milk jug – I basically made miniature greenhouses for starting the seeds. I transplanted seedlings for tomatoes (3 varieties), cantaloupe, watermelon, jalapeno peppers, butternut squash, spaghetti squash, yellow squash, Thai basil, cilantro, dill, eggplant, and tomatillo. I ended up purchasing some locally raised seedlings for some interesting varieties of tomatoes, eggplants, and additional herbs, plus I started cucumbers and corn.

I have put so much more work into my garden this year than last year and it certainly shows. I have about four baby watermelons, a couple baby cantaloupes, an enormous butternut squash, and lots of tomatoes just waiting to get ripe. I’ve been picking (and eating) yellow squash and cucumbers! Strawberries from last year’s planting produced several but they are over now.

I’ve also done a lot of sewing. I finally finished my mother in law’s birthday gift dress. Her birthday was only LAST SEPTEMBER. Every time I sewed something for myself, I felt guilty that I hadn’t made her dress. I finally bit the bullet and went for it, after making a muslin of the bodice to check for fit adjustments I had made. I got scared when I ran out of fabric, but realized it was because I was trying to cut the fabric in two layers  – once I laid it out as a single layer and traced all the pattern pieces I was able to play pattern piece tetris to make all the pieces fit. It was helpful that she didn’t want the elbow length sleeves though, because I’m not sure I could have made that work with the length of fabric that we had chosen.

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I made two versions of the Zadie jumpsuit by Paper Cut patterns. One in a lightweight yellow/green slinky fabric and the second in a wax print that I got years ago from my sister.  I also made one more pair of shorts for myself. I started working on another pair this morning and had to walk away. I made silly mistakes that required me to rip out seams twice. I decided I should take a break from it all. I’ll probably pick it up again Monday after a weekend away.img_20190609_135901833_burst000_cover_top

In the art world, I have not done a lot. I’ve done a few doodles with watercolors, and one pastel painting, but that’s it.img_20190616_150044623

I have, unfortunately, spent a lot of money on supplies. Most of it occurred today. Terry Ludwig pastels released the Karen Margulis curated set of 60 soft pastels today. They are expensive but had a significant price reduction for their release and I lost self control and purchased them. About an hour earlier, I had a bit of a binge on the LA Finch fabrics website. Suffice it to say, I have spent pretty much all my disposable income for the next few months. I am actually extremely excited to get both of those purchases though. I am looking forward to adding to my self sewn wardrobe over the next few months. I also can’t wait to swatch out the new pastels and see for myself just how soft and creamy the Terry Ludwig pastels are.,

I will say that I have been thinking about the planning process as it pertains to making art. I tend to just wing it when I paint (watercolors or pastels). I will sometimes often take a good amount of time to do a sketch – often in my sketchbook, and then transfer to watercolor paper. But what I don’t plan is the color scheme. Obviously, I think about what the colors should be, I mean I’m looking at a picture that I took of flowers, or whatever. But when it comes down to it, I just start to grab paint. I do try to limit the number of colors that I choose, but I don’t plan ahead to pick harmonious colors, etc.

So, I plan on implementing two changes to my art practice. 1- I will be doing thumbnail sketches to try looking at a subject from different angles or zoomed out vs. zoomed in and 2- I will try to do a value thumbnail and a color theme thumbnail. I think it may be easier to do the value and color thumbnails with pastels than watercolor, but I’m still going to give it a go. I have several attempted paintings that I haven’t finished because I just don’t like the way it starts to look. I want to finish creating the paintings! I don’t mind if it ends up being a mixed media project.

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Oh, speaking of mixed media project, I did actually finish a painting that ended up getting some colored pencil finishing touches. It was a tutorial that I had access to because I belong to the Critique Club on Lindsay Weirich‘s teachable website. Despite some technical difficulties, ie. I forgot to turn off the ceiling fan and my wet paper dried out very quickly, it turned out really well. The colored pencil may not have been 100% necessary, but I prefer the way it turned out with the colored pencil.

Hope all is well in your part of the world and I’ll try to get back here sooner than a month, but I’m not promising it!

 

See, I came back in a week… give or take a few days ;)

Hi guys,

I want to start off by saying Hi! to all my new followers. I was shocked to see so many alerts from WordPress letting me know I had new followers. I hope you enjoy what you see and decide to stick around for a while 🙂

I have finished my class and submitted my final exam, so my time is my own again (at least as much as it can be with a 3.5-year-old son). I have enjoyed getting back into making again. So, what have I been up to, you might ask?

I made a couple pair of workout shorts using my modified version of the Seamwork Nantucket shorts pattern. I have been a member of Seamwork since early 2015, and while I don’t always enjoy the patterns, there are some that I make and keep coming back to. The first time I made these shorts was back in 2016 and I made them using a chambray. I wore the heck out of those shorts and eventually they got very worn and even bleached out in one spot. I loved the fabric, so I cut them up (and cut out the bleached spot) and they are going to be used in some future sewing project.

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I liked the modifications I made with these workout shorts that I decided to make a pair of casual shorts in a black cotton/poly bottom weight fabric I found in a giant box of fabric my Mommom had collected over the years. I wish I had taken a picture of it before I washed the fabric. The fabric was cut into a 1-yard length, folded, and then had a paper wrapping with that described the fabric and showed examples of what it could be used for. The example showed a skirt, but I made shorts. It had to be from the 50s or 60s. So cool! I have no pics of the black shorts, as I’m wearing them for the 2nd day in a row since making them Friday, and I am not good at taking selfies in front of the mirror. Maybe I’ll get my husband to take a pic of me in them and I’ll share in the next blog post.

For both versions I straightened out the curve of the sides. I also sewed a faux-flat felled seam for crotch and inseams. The workout shorts have 2 inch wide decorative elastic for the waistband and the black shorts have bias binding for the hems and a traditional waistband with enclosed elastic. I’m really pleased with both versions!

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I also have done a little bit of art. I created my first sketch of a human (my son) that doesn’t look weirdly disproportioned or scary! I just used inexpensive compressed charcoal sticks and a dollar store doodle pad. I definitely have a lot to work on, but I’m finally heading in the right direction. I haven’t had a lot of time to work on it this week, but I’m planning on doing more sketches to get the values and the mouth better. May switch from compressed charcoal to charcoal pencils or conte crayons/pencils… we’ll see!

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I also did a watercolor sketch of a bouquet of flowers. I didn’t do any sketching with pencil ahead of time, so the proportions are off (especially concerning the vase), but I think some of the colors and shapes turned out alright. After I finished that, I decided to do a doodlesmudge – if you want inspiration in this category, check out my friend Lauren Sebastian. She is so creative with her doodling and art. I have several pieces of hers and just love them. Plus, she is just a wonderful, caring soul.

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Right now the I just have the paint splatters, but I see a rooster on the left and a hen on the right with maybe a chick in the upper right quadrant… So my next step is to sketch in those critters and then use my ink pen to make them pop out more. Can’t wait to get started. I’ll be sure to share when I finish the doodle! 

Well, that’s it for now. I think I’ll be assembling some PDF patterns (I’ve been itching to sew the Zadie jumpsuit from Papertheory Patterns for a while now), working on the doodle, making an updated muslin for the shirtdress I promised to my mother-in-law for her birthday this past September, and possibly making a sewing something for myself. I’m waiting for my May Aquanut subscription of handmade watercolors to arrive from Xanadu Art Studio, then I might make a doodle with them and record it. I’ll be sure to post on Instagram if I do anything outstanding 🙂

Thanks for tuning in and I’ll talk to you all later!

 

I’m back… I hope!

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Hi Guys,

I’ve been MIA and have struggled to maintain a blog, but I am really hoping that I can keep it up from here on out.

I was recently asked to participate in a YouTube channel where we record ourselves making whatever art we choose to do. I mostly do watercolor and soft pastels.

So what’s the plan with the blog?

  • post weekly
  • post pics of completed (and possibly in progress) sewing projects
  • post pics of sketches, watercolor paintings, and/or pastel paintings completed during the preceding week
  • I’ll try to provide links to the pattern, fabric, or art supply that I’m using

Wish me luck with this endeavor!!