Category Archives: Recent Posts

Pages From My Sketchbook

It seems like it’s been awhile since I’ve shared pages from my sketchbook. Life has gotten super busy lately, with lots of great design projects and family road trips.

One of my favorite sketchbook prompts this time of year is to just look out my own windows for inspiration, since our gardens have turned lush and wild with plenty of sunshine and rain.

sketchbook-mini flowers

I was inspired to draw inspired by signs of spring and summer – tiny bouquets, maple tree flower clusters, vinca vines, crab apple blossoms, feathers found in the grass, violets growing throughout our yard. Sometimes I like to fill in the corners and empty spaces with a few of the swirls I love to draw. I am excited to digitize these illustrations and add bright pops of color inspired by nature.

sketchbook page of crab apple blossoms sketchbook page of maple budssketchbook page of vinca vines

sketchbook page of feathers sketchbook page tall grass blowing in the wind

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. I’m hoping to develop a fun set of surface patterns/fabric designs with these illustrations, so stay tuned!

Terri

June in My Garden

Our gardens continue to fill out and bloom as June brings us lots of sunshine and rain. It’s always a fun adventure during the summer months to go exploring in my own backyard, looking for different shapes, colors and textures. Lots of plants blooming these days – peonies, irises, weigelia shrubs, roses, bellflowers, and strawberries.

our backyard in Juneour backyard in June

pale pink peony

fuschia peony

hot pink flowers

I love having containers of annuals – petunias, zinnias are pictured above and below – which bloom continuously throughout the summer.

zinnias in June

first rose of June white bell flowers in Junepurple iris yellow irisstrawberry picking

Hope you’re out enjoying Summer too.

Terri

 

From My Sketchbook: May 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 May I continued to take inspiration from our backyard and neighborhood – dandelions, crab apple blossoms, grape hyacinth, bleeding hearts, violets, tulips, lilies of the valley, alliums, petunias and more.

sketchbook page of May doodles

I prepared a new page for June which is ready for a new set of doodles!

sketchbook page ready for June doodles

Time just slips away when I’m working in my sketchbook, especially when I have a  fun beat going in the background! As you can tell, I’m passionate about drawing and creating beautiful art. Since I’m on a roll,  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

Click here to see my April doodles

Free Printable Calendar – June 2015

Welcome June, which brings us the first day of Summer! June is the month when our gardens thrive, bloom and start to get a little out of control (which we love). I was surprised to find a handful of strawberries today that are ripe and ready to pick.

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

June 2015 printable calendar

Here are a few tid-bits about June:

• Zodiac signs are Gemini (May 22 – June 21) and Cancer (June 22 – July 23).
• Birthstone is a pearl.
• Flower is a rose.

Holidays and special days include:
• June 6: D-Day, World War 2
• June 14: Flag Day
• June 21: Father’s Day
• June 21: Summer Solstice (the longest day of the year)

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.

June is also the month when schools let out; golf courses are in full-swing; the month for picnics, bike rides, and water sports; and outdoor patios and rooftop lounges are packed. Happy June and Happy Summer to you!

Terri

Notes From My Garden: It’s a Jungle Out There

Our gardens have exploded into full bloom lately with late tulips and daffodils, alliums, lilacs, irises, bleeding hearts, lilies of the valley, and more. We also planted the containers hanging on our fence gates (which are still lined with reused coffee bags), and added a few new containers to our patio.

lush backyard lush backyard

tulips and alliums

white bleeding hearts

lilies of the valley

new garden containers new garden gate basket new garden gate basket

mowing the lawn for first time

We finally got around to mowing our lawn for the first time!

It’s always a fun little adventure to go exploring in my own backyard, looking for different shapes, colors and textures. Hope you’re enjoying a lovely late Spring/early Summer too.

Terri

 

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

Fold the cover in half, matching up the elastic loops. Finger-press a crease at the fold where the spine of the sketchbook will fit. Stitch a seam along crease to create a spine in your cover. 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.

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