Sketchbook Pages

I haven’t had a lot of time to mess around in my sketchbok due to homework projects, but it seems like the past couple Fridays have worked out well to fit in some experimenting.

Lately, I have been looking for different recipes to try, which are becoming fun muse to illustrate.

I’ve always loved that feeling of freedom you get on Friday afternoons, anticipating the start of the weekend, especially when our weather is sunny and mild.

It takes some getting used to working in a sketchbook because these pages are so much bigger than the art cards I got used to working on in 2011. I’m having fun playing with mixed media on these pages, using a Verithin pencil to lay down my touch sketch, markers for outlining and journaling, and different watercolors (field box, Inktense pencils, and watercolor crayons). Every page feels like an experiment, which I really enjoy.

Sketchbook Journal – February Calendar

I kept up with my January calendar by filling something in for each day. It’s kinda like a diary, which is nice to look back on. Sometimes I have a hard time remembering what I did yesterday, so this will be a great reference to have.

For my February calendar page, I painted the background with a pink watercolor paint. While I was in the waiting room at the hospital during Dave’s eye surgery, I finished it by just doodling freely all over the page.

February is one of my least favorite months of the year, so I’m hoping we can cruise through this month quickly and uneventfully. We’ve had a very mild winter, so I’m hoping we can continue that way until Spring is ready to reveal itself. It’s been wonderful to have dry roads lately and see the snow melt on our lawn, even though the grass is all matted and brown. I love that time of year around here when the natural world comes back to life.

Art Cards 2011 – Week 17

I continue to be inspired to illustrate the natural world around me, especially as things warm up and come back to life in full color. That’s what I love about spring.

This past week, I smelled the sweet smell of fresh cut grass for the first time in over six months. It really was a sweet smell!

I also noticed the buds on our trees are finally starting to open.

I always struggle with ideas for my journaling on these cards, so I was excited to find a great quote by Ralph Waldo Emerson that fit well with my illustration.

Stop by our Flickr group to see what Michelle and Sandra have been doing on their fun art cards.

Art Cards 2011/14 – Wild Side

My theme for this week’s art cards was based on the color combination of electric blue and hot pink.

I started out with these bright colors, and then did a whimsical illustration as a fun way to express the wild side I try hard to keep hidden inside. I know, I should set her free more often!

I made another card to reflect on some of my favorite things, especially things coming up in the spring and summer seasons.

Just some simple ideas and illustrations this week expressed with fun colors.

Stop by our Flickr group to see what Michelle and Sandra have been doing on their fun art cards.

Travel Sketching and Painting

I received this fabulous handmade travel kit from Michelle that I want to show off to you. Hope you don’t mind!

She made this adorable patchwork notebook for me. Notice all the cool patchwork and stitching on the front cover.

I made a couple sketchbooks to put in the inside pockets – a perfect fit. Notice all the wonderful stitching and details on the inside too.

She also felted this beautiful field kit that I can hook onto my belt loop when I’m on the trails.Inside fits this amazing little treasure:

It’s a compact watercolor set about the size of my iPhone and pack of artist cards!

The paint kit includes 12 watercolors, a small retracting brush, three shallow mixing palettes, a water bottle and a sponge. And all that fits inside the cute little box for travel. How adorable!

I found these adorable little (barely 2 inches long) colored pencils in my stash so I decided they would be perfect to size to include. I will tuck a small piece of sandpaper inside to sharpen the pencils without wasting the color.

Now I just need to figure out where to go to try out my new field kit. I’m thinking about starting in our backyard as soon as our gardens come back to life, but I would also like to make a trip to our botanical gardens and the farmers market. Where would you go if you had a new travel art (or sewing) kit?

Art Cards 2011 – Week 13

I had a challenging week, finishing homework projects and coming up with ideas for new ones. Then we got a snowstorm on April 1, which was a bit of a disappointment. BUT, April 2 was much more hopeful for us. It was sunny and warm, so we were able to spend the afternoon outside, cleaning up the yard.

As is typical of my style, I chose to ignore that bad snow and focus on something more positive, like planting seeds for spring. I haven’t planted seeds in years, so I am starting out with this small kit.

I picked some of my favorite flowers – morning glories, moonflowers, hollyhocks, daisies, sunflowers, and another variety of daisies.

I decided to continue to be inspired by nature with my illustrations for this week’s art cards.

My favorite poem as a kid was the “You are my sunshine” poem, so I used that for my journaling next to my sun illustration.

Since I planted seeds this past weekend, I illustrated a little seed kit with signs of hope popping up here and there.

If you’re interested, stop by our Flickr group to see what Michelle and Sandra have been doing on their fun art cards.

Art Cards 2011 – Week 12

Last week, Michelle and I swapped cards to celebrate the first day of Spring.

She received my package so I’m excited to be able to share what I made for her. I was inspired by a photo she shared recently of a ribbon of daffodils growing across a field. Daffodils are such a cheerful flower, usually the first to bloom in my part of the world. Since I was mailing this little card to Michelle, I really wanted to created a postcard image. I found a piece of paper in my craft stash that had stamps all over it, and I saved one of those air mail stickers from another package I received from her.

I also found inspiration from one of my favorite spring flowers that will be blooming soon, crocuses, along with some lyrics from a Bob Dylan song that I know hold a special place in her heart.

The entire lyrics say “just to dance beneath the diamond sky, with one hand waving free, silhouetted by the sea, let me forget about today until tomorrow.”

I have to admit I was happy with how these turned out, so I made a duplicate set to have in my own journal.

I also made a couple more cards for the new week.

I have been inspired by all the spring bulbs trying so hard to come back to life here even though our temperatures continue to be cold (30 degrees F). I drew an illustration of the first tulip leaves to come up, cut them out and pasted them on a bright blue background for a 3-dimensional effect. I found a Chinese proverb that was a fitting sentiment to use for my journaling.

More and more birds have been returning to our part of the world, especially the common grackles, who act like bullies of the birdfeeders in our yard. They are fun to watch, but they are noisy and eat everything. I loved illustrating one of them clucking away because of the beautiful irridescent blue and purple and black colors of the feathers.

I haven’t added a journal sentiment to this card yet. I want to add this saying “Birds return every spring like clockwork, but where is the clock” but I’m not sure how to make all that fit on this little card. You know me, I’ll figure it out!

Be sure to stop by our Flickr group to see what Michelle and Sandra have been doing on their fun art cards.

Sketchbooks – Make Your Own

For my concept development class, we had to make our own sketchbooks over spring break.

We had to make one large size, so I cut apart a Lucky Charm cereal box (one of my favorite cereals), cut paper to size, and took it to Office Max to have a spiral coil added for the binding. (This one was a hit at school so I might have to make more!)

On the inside front cover, I glued a piece of red cardstock to cover the cardboard.

On the inside back cover, I glued a piece of yellow cardstock to cover the cardboard, and added an envelope to use as a pocket.

We also had to make a pocket size sketchbook, so I took the opportunity to use this perfume flyer I’ve been saving because I love the sexy imagery.

For the inside, I hand-sewed my blank pages like you might see in a moleskin cahier notebook. (I used a pearl cotton thread ball in black and a regular sewing needle, the same one I use to hand stitch binding onto a finished quilt top.)

My favorites are these moleskin covers, which I made using prints from the Circa 60 Beach Mod organic cotton collection by Birch Fabrics. Such cool retro and outdoorsy prints!

Since we had to make our own sketchbook pads from scratch too, I also made a few moleskin-type notebooks to insert into these fun covers, using pages from a drawing sketchbook I had left over from last semester.

I have to admit, I adore these! I love those fabrics, and I love that I can reuse these covers over and over again by inserting new moleskin notebooks as I fill these up with doodles, drawings and inspirations. This set was also a hit at school! I received several suggestions to make more and sell them in my shop and in local stores, so they have been moved up on my list. (I will let you in on a little secret – I look forward to the day when I can make these with fabric I designed myself!)

We have to commit to a certain about of drawing in these sketchbooks each week. The idea is the more you like your sketchbook, the more you’re willing to make the time to draw and doodle in it. Fun stuff!

Art Cards 2011 – Week 11

Spring break was the theme for my art cards this past week! I had more fun practicing my illustrating skills and watercolor painting techniques, so I think this is becoming my new favorite style.

I enjoyed a quiet week at home, getting caught up on sewing projects, working on some homework, and spending time working in the yard. The grass is greening, more bulbs are peaking up, and the wildlife has returned to play. Things are definitely looking up in our yard, so I used that inspiration to illustrate my first card.

I was also dreaming of spring break trips from years past, so I illustrated a beach scene. How fun it would be to escape to that beach!

My favorite cards are the extra set I made for Michelle, since we agreed to swap cards on the first day of each new season. But I can’t show you those until she receives them. I love how they turned out, so I hope she likes them too! In fact, I duplicated them to have a matching set in my journal.

Be sure to stop by our Flickr group to see what Michelle and Sandra have been doing on their fun art cards.