The Big City

We just returned from a trip to NYC to visit family. The last time we were in the Big City seems like a long time ago, over four years ago.

Since we have family living in NYC, we’ve been there a lot. On this trip, we did a few new things. We walked The High Line, an elevated rail that has been landscaped into a beautiful green space. It’s been expanded since we last saw it, so we got to see more beautiful landscaping.

High Line

the High Line

High Line

the lawn on the High Line

High Line

We toured Chelsea Market, shopped, snacked on Mast Brothers chocolate, and drank Ninth Street espresso.

Chelsea Market

chelsea marketchocolates at Chelsea Market

NYC cookies espresso at Chelsea Market

We had cocktails at The Jane Hotel rooftop lounge in the West Village, and enjoyed a fabulous dinner at Monument Lane, which specializes in farm-to-table food.

We ate our way around Smorgasburg food market in Brooklyn Heights. I loved the swordfish skewer and the lobster roll. The views of lower Manhattan were pretty awesome too.

smorgasburgsmorgasburg food at smorgasburg

lower Manhattan skyline

We shopped for some NYC-themed fabrics at The City Quilter and fresh art supplies at Dick Blick’s.

city quilter NYC fabrics

city quilter NYC fabrics

We had cocktails at Mad46, a rooftop lounge on the top of The Roosevelt Hotel. According to a recent article in Time Out New York, rooftop bars are the latest trend in NYC, so we were lucky to try a couple on this visit.

Mad46 rooftop lounge

mad46 rooftop loungeWe had burgers at the Shake Shack and toured a few exhibits at the American Museum of Natural History that I’ve never seen before.

Am Museum of Natural History

Their Butterfly Conservatory special exhibition was fantastic, with over 400 butterflies flying around the habitat!

butterfly exhibit

butterfly exhibit blue butterfly specimens

I also loved touring the Hall of Biodiversity and the Hall of Ocean Life. So overwhelming and exciting to learn more about the abundance of life on our planet.

hall of biodiversity oceans of life

We had fun navigating the subway and resting our feet at plenty of Starbucks around the city, which also make great places to get a pick-me-up for the next burst of excitement.

subway

grand central stationstarbucks treat

bryant park

flatiron neighborhood upper West Side

 

brooklyn heights

brooklyn heights

Besides the fun experience of being in the Big City and exploring the diverse neighborhoods, we had a great time visiting family. I can’t wait to go back soon!

Terri

Sketchbook Set Tutorial: Moleskin Cover, Zipper Pouch and Case

I am never without a Moleskin sketchbook, a pencil and black Micron marker. I like to carry my sketchbook and tools in style, so one of my favorite things to make is a sketchbook set, including a custom cover, a zipper pouch to hold my drawing tools and a zipper case to hold everything.

I’m excited to share this tutorial with you on how you can make one of these sketchbook sets for yourself! Click here for a printable PDF.

sketchbook set castle peeps

sketchbook set

Materials:

  • Fat Quarter fabric for Outer
  • Fat Quarter fabric for Lining
  • Fusible Interfacing
  • 7” Zipper for small pouch
  • 12” Zipper for sketchbook case
  • Velcro: 4” piece
  • Elastic: 6” piece
  • Moleskin sketchbook 5.5” wide x 8.5” high

Sketchbook Cover Cutting Instructions:

  • Outer Fabric: 11-1/2” wide x 9” high/cut 1
  • Lining Fabric: 11-1/2”wide x 9” high/cut 1
  • Inner Flaps: 4-1/2” wide x 9” high/cut 2
  • Fusible Interfacing: 11” wide x 8-1/2” high
  • Elastic: 6” piece/cut in half for two 3” pieces
  • Velcro: 4” long (save one side for zipper tools pouch)

sketchbook cover materialsPreparing:

Fuse interfacing to wrong side of Outer Fabric with hot iron.

Fold Outer fabric in half the long way to find the center fold, and mark with a pin. Position one side of velcro tape centered and 2″ to 2-1/4”  in from the left-side raw edge (which will be the back of the sketchbook). Pin in place. Top stitch around velcro tape to secure in place. (Note that the following photo is from later in the process but it shows you where the velcro will be sewn at this step.)

sketchbook cover outside

Fold Outer fabric in half the short way to find the center, and mark with a pencil. Fold one 3” piece of elastic in half, place loop above center line into the fabric (raw edges of elastic will stick out past raw edges of Outer fabric), and stitch in place. Repeat for second piece of elastic on other side of Outer fabric, placing second piece of elastic below center line, and stitch in place.

elastic on sketchbook cover

Fold right side of left flap under 1/4” twice on long 11-1/2” side and top stitch two rows of stitching. Repeat for right flap, folding left side.

folding over flaps

fold over flaps

Assembling:

Lay raw edges of flaps on top of Outer fabric, right sides together. Place Lining fabric on top of Outer fabric and flaps so that right sides of Outer and Lining are together (flaps will be sandwiched in between), and stitch all the way around using 1/4” seam allowance, leaving an opening to turn right side out.

layering sketchbook cover

Turn right side out and press. Hand-stitch opening closed.

sketchbook cover inside

Slide your Moleskin sketchbook into its new cover and insert your favorite drawing tool into the elastic loop to close the cover.

Cover for Moleskin sketchbook

Zipper Tools Pouch Cutting Instructions:

  • Outer Fabric: 7-1/2” wide x 4-1/2” high/cut 2
  • Lining Fabric: 7-1/2” wide x 4-1/2” high/cut 2
  • Fusible Interfacing: 7-1/2” wide x 4-1/2” high/cut 2
  • Velcro: 4” (other side of strip will be attached to sketchbook cover)

zipper tools pouch materialsPreparing:

Fuse interfacing to wrong side of both Outer fabric pieces.

Fold one piece of Outer fabric in half the long way and mark center with pin. Position the other piece of velcro tape centered and 1-1/4″ to 1-1/2” down from top. Pin in place. Top stitch around velcro to secure in place.

sewing velcro to zipper pouch

Assembling:

Fold Outer front fabric piece in half to find the center and mark with pin. Fold the zipper in half to find the center and mark with pin. With zipper pull on left side and face down, position zipper over right side of Outer fabric, using those center pins to align, and pin zipper.

sewing zipper tools pouch

Put a zipper foot in your sewing machine and stitch zipper onto Outer front fabric.

Position this Outer front piece-in-progress face down over one Lining piece, right sides together. Pin, and stitch along that stitching line from previous step.

sewing together zipper tools pouch

Position your piece-in-progress over the back fabric with the Outer fabrics facing each other, right sides together, pin and stitch. (Zipper will be face down in between.)

sewing together zipper tools pouch

Align your piece-in-progress over the final Lining piece with the Lining fabrics facing each other, right sides together, pin and stitch.

Open your zipper all the way. This is very important so you can turn the bag right side out and through the zipper opening when you’re finished with the assembly.

Lay out your piece-in-progress so that the Outer fabrics are right sides together, and your Lining fabrics are right sides together. Pin all the way around, leaving a space in the bottom center of the Lining for an opening where you will turn the bag inside out.

IMG_9503

Stitch all the way around the bag, starting at the bottom center of the Lining, and ending about 3 inches from your starting point (leaving an opening at the bottom). Feel free to trim off excess ends of zipper to reduce bulk.

sewing together zipper tools pouch

Turn right side out and press. Hand-stitch opening closed.

zipper tools pouch

Match velcro tape to the back of your sketchbook cover, and fill with your favorite drawing tools.

sketchbook cover and zipper pouch

sketchbook cover and zipper pouch

Sketchbook Case Cutting:

  • Outer Fabric: 12-1/2” wide x 7-1/2” high/cut 2
  • Lining Fabric: 12-1/2” wide x 7-1/2” high/cut 2
  • Fusible Interfacing: 12-1/2” wide x 7-1/2” high/cut 2

large zipper pouch sketchbook case

Preparing: (steps are same as zipper tools pouch above except no velcro tape)

Fuse interfacing to wrong side of both Outer fabric pieces.

Assembling: (steps are same as zipper tools pouch above except no velcro tape)

Fold Outer front fabric piece in half to find the center and mark with pin. Fold the zipper in half to find the center and mark with pin. With zipper pull on left side and face down, position zipper over right side of Outer fabric, using those center pins to align, and pin zipper.

Put a zipper foot in your sewing machine and stitch zipper onto Outer front fabric.

Position this Outer front piece-in-progress face down over one Lining piece, right sides together. Pin, and stitch along that stitching line from previous step.

Position your piece-in-progress over the back fabric with the Outer fabrics facing each other, right sides together, pin and stitch. (Zipper will be face down in between.)

Align your piece-in-progress over the final Lining piece with the Lining fabrics facing each other, right sides together, pin and stitch.

Open your zipper all the way. This is very important so you can turn the bag right side out and through the zipper opening when you’re finished with the assembly.

Lay out your piece-in-progress so that the Outer fabrics are right sides together, and your Lining fabrics are right sides together. Pin all the way around, leaving a space in the bottom center of the Lining for an opening where you will turn the bag inside out.

Stitch all the way around the bag, starting at the bottom center of the Lining, and ending about 3 inches from your starting point (leaving an opening at the bottom).

Turn right side out and press. Hand-stitch opening closed.

* * * * *

Inspiration:

You could make this set as a patchwork project as pictured below, or you could use a favorite fabric from your stash. Or you could screenprint your own fabric.

Bohemian sketchbook set

Bohemian velcro

typography cover and zip pouch taxi cab cover and zip pouch

butterfly sketchbook coverHappy sewing and sketching, my friends!

Terri

Note: Because I create with human hands, my cutting is never perfect. My sewing is never perfectly straight. My circles aren’t perfectly symmetrical or even. And I always have threads to trim. Please forgive me for that ;) This is just a fun tutorial I’m excited to share with you. I’m sure there are many ways to make these sketchbook covers or zipper pouches; I’m just sharing my concept and process here.

Notes From My Garden: It’s Amazing Out There!

I’m always in awe over everything that’s happening in our yard and neighborhood during Spring, especially after seeing all our plants go dormant and stay brown and grey for so many months in Winter. We planted lots of bulbs last Fall, so it’s exciting to see new flowers blooming throughout our gardens.pink petalspink snow

more crab apple trees in bloomcrab apple tree

bleeding hearts pink tulips pink tulips

purple tulipsorange tulips lilies of the valleySo many sizes, shapes, colors and textures! It’s amazing out there! Hope you’re enjoying Spring too.

Terri

 

From My Sketchbook: Fresh Cut

One of my favorite sketchbooks prompts lately has been to use my weekly bouquet of fresh-cut flowers for inspiration.

Similar to these previous sketchbook pages, I was inspired to draw pom daisies, carnations, alstromeria, and roses from recent bouquets. Then I filled in the corners and crevices with a few of the swirls I love to draw. I am imagining what this illustration will look like with the bright pops of color from the real bouquets which will be a fun surface pattern design.

sketchbook page fresh cut flowers

I have a few more sketchbook pages in process, inspired by signs of spring – ferns, trilliums, feathers, vinca vines, maple tree flower clusters and crab apple tree blossoms.

sketchbook page: trilliums and ferns

In order to fill up more sketchbooks this year, which is on my bucket list for 2015, I’ve been trying to draw a lot more lately. Hope to share more with you soon.

Terri

Free Printable Calendar – May 2015

Welcome May! April showers bring May flowers, so I’m excited to see more flowers bloom. May is usually a busy month with Mother’s Day, graduations and school finishing for some. So I hope you make time to stop and smell the flowers and get some fresh air.

Click here to download your free printable calendar for May 2015.

May 2015 printable calendarHere are a few tid-bits about May:
• Zodiac signs are Taurus and Gemini.
• Birthstone is a emerald.
• Flower is lily of the valley.

Holidays and special days include:
• May 1: May Day
• May 5: Cinco de Mayo
• May 6: National Teacher’s Day
• May 10: Mother’s Day
• May 16: Armed Forces Day
• May 25: Memorial Day

I left room on the calendar days so you can record meetings, appointments or special days. And there’s a column on the right side to keep your notes and to-do list for the month.

Hope you find these free printables useful and fun. Happy May!

Terri

From My Sketchbook: April Monthly Doodles

In order to fill up more sketchbooks, which is on my bucket list for 2015, I’m having fun coming up with new drawing prompts, so I’ve been trying to sketch A LOT more lately. One thing I’m doing is a monthly calendar. But instead of using it like a diary, I’m using it to do a daily doodle.

For the month of April I took inspiration from what I saw outside in my part of the world, which was early spring flowers – crocus, daffodils, forsythia buds opening, vinca vines and tulips.

sketchbook page of april doodlesAnd I’m already into May with new sketches!

sketchbook page for may doodles

Time just slips away when I’m working in my sketchbook, especially when I have a techno / electronic beat going in the background! I’m on a roll so I’m just going to keep going.

Terri

Click here to see my January doodles

Click here to see my February doodles

Click here to see my March doodles

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