Friday, October 26, 2007

Spooky Halloween Owl pattern

Spooky Halloween Owl little owlet
Remember that owl tutorial I said I was working on way back in July? Well, I've finally gotten over my shyness enough to share it with you in honor of Halloween, along with a free pattern over on Feeling Stitchy. So pop on over and get your free pattern!

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

lunchtime painting - woman reading on the train

lunchtime painting - woman on the train

Just finished this one at lunch - I did a quick, rough sketch of a woman reading on the train yesterday morning. By the way, do you like how when you draw in public places people always crane their necks around to "eavesdrop" on what you're doing? I had an eavesdropper yesterday morning for my drawing, which I'm sure did not look very glamorous. :)

I really love the orange I used, which is orange straight from the tube, mixed with a bit of yellow and tea...

Sunday, October 21, 2007

thinking of abuelita


What with my hand issues (bump update: still there, at least not bigger :) I've been searching for non-computer and non-sewing related things to keep me occupied. Which brings me to this picture of my abuelita that's been occupying my mind lately, which I scanned the other day...


So I started off with the little drawing above, which is roughly thumbnail-size. My creativity works in strange ways - when I draw I'm always trying to balance a tendency to be very very detailed and realistic and a desire to just be artistic, experiment with color and have fun. So I did my first few thumbnails without looking at the photo, just trying to remember the general lines and colors:

a few sketches

I photocopied the original sketch and filled in colors- the whole point was to have fun and not drive myself crazy getting it perfect (which does drive me crazy!) Then the next day I did a lunchtime painting in my moleskine, without the sketch or the photo to guide me:

lunchtime painting - abuelita

I'm not a huge fan of the painting, but it was fun trying to remember and mix the colors. That night I finally looked at the photo, and sketched looking at it - it was interesting seeing what I did and didn't remember...


By the way, if you're wondering what she's holding in her hands, it's a Bible. She was a very sweet, serious person who I'm sad to say I didn't know very well. She lived with us a short time when I was in the 2nd or 3rd grade but I only remember a few things about her, one of them being that in every photo she took, she insisted on holding a Bible. And these photos were among the rare occasions that she smiled. I loved the fascinating way her eyes would brighten when she smiled in photos, as if she was revealing a mystery...

And finally, my last lunchtime painting - I just doodled this while thinking of her, the picture, and her little house in Mexico:

pensando en mi abuelita

I thought what it would be like, to stand by that window with the bars and her Bible, thinking of her. Things which I can only do now in my mind, and on paper. So far I like this one best...

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

me and mami

me and mami

Nothing much to say, just a sweet picture of me and my mom. I went back to scanning more family pictures, as I've done every Fall before Christmas. It always coincides with the time I miss my family most. Lately I've been thinking of my grandmother a lot, and doing a few sketches here and there...

Friday, October 12, 2007

left-handed sketches and so forth

left-handed sketch

I'm still here! Just trying (very hard) to stay true to my self-imposed 1 hour of internet per day and resist the urge to point and click. :) Ever since I hurt my hand (I got a weird fleshy bump on the back of my hand and it really aches) I've been taking an internet rest. That's not easy since my job involves heavy computer use and coding, but I'm trying. When my hand and arm were really aching last week, I experimented with drawing with my left hand, which you can see above.

Is it just me or is there a different personality in the left-handed faces? I like them more. :) The blue marker soaked through to the second page, so I did another left-handed sketch:

drawing with my left hand

Her face is my favorite. Mostly, I've been drawing, reading, and trying to just relax (hard for me to do). I have so many ideas I want to make or embroider:


The bad news is sewing and embroidery make my arm hurt too. I'll do a bit more self-imposed rest and if that doesn't help I'll see a doctor, but they give me the willies. :)

Nevertheless I'm enjoying the new fall weather, the leaves trailing down from the trees, new pairs of shoes and wearing tights and jackets again... A few days ago I bought some gray shoes and a black shirt from H & M that I'm in love with:

gray favorites

Ever want to wear the same shirt over and over and over again? That's how I feel about this shirt. :) Hope everyone is having a wonderful return to fall. Again, please bear with a little slowness to respond, but I appreciate every comment and email you leave.... Happy Fall!

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

scaling back on ye olde computer time...

sweet tiny bird

Well, I've been aware that I need to scale back on the computer time for awhile now but haven't found anything that forced me too. Unfortunately, now I've found it - between working 8+ hours a day on a computer, and spending all my free moments on the computer I think I've injured myself. I've got a swollen right hand and carpal-tunnel-ish pains in my arm. So I’ll be drastically scaling back on the computer time - my goal is less than an hour per day. What this means is I won't be able to respond to comments - even though I’ve always been bad at that. If you have a question for me, please email and be patient if I don't get to it right away...

Above is a cute little bird seen on a walk in Central Park two Sundays ago. It was so tiny and brave – swooping less than a few inches above our heads, fishing for gnats… :) Last Sunday we tried out the Central Park zoo, and although I salute them for cramming so much into so small a space – if you’ve never been there before, don’t expect much… It was definitely one of those places where the people act more like animals than the animals do but I must say there’s something sweet about street-wise, elderly New Yorkers getting really excited about a polar bear scratching his nose. As for the rest of the zoo, let’s just say I had strollers shoved into every part of my body, and was almost flattened by 2 double-wide ones. Okay, don’t get me wrong mamas and babies, I love you and respect what you’re doing. But why would you push a stroller head-on into a person who clearly cannot move to the right or left? I call that stroller road rage. :) Especially cute were the alpacas, llamas, and sheep in the petting zoo. I had a huge sheep almost scale the fence to get at some food I was saving for an alpaca.

final photo session goodbye

And here's my last pic of Paisley and Joaquin, snapped just before they left to happy homes with Olga and Claudia. The apartment is looking a bit bare without them - if my hand allows I'd like to sew a few successors, maybe even Halloween themed? We'll see, we'll see...