Pen and Ink...and maybe some paint

Friday, January 31, 2014

29 Faces-February 2014

Well, I'm going to give it another shot. 29 Faces. This is a challenge to create a face every day for the month of February. (Hmmm, we must have to double up one day!) Anyway, no pressure. I don't have to make one EVERY day, but it is a good excuse to practice that most difficult of subjects, the human (or animal) face!

29 faces challenge

Maybe you'd like to give it a try?


Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Lazy day...

Well, not THAT lazy! I did do a full day's work at the deli, but I spent most of my morning before work...just reading. I'm sorting through a lot of old paperwork to see what can be thrown and what I want to save. I came across two old binders containing photocopies of messageboard conversations I had with folks on a website called This was 13 years ago!! (You can tell because messageboards no longer exist! But they were such a wonderful invention at the time. I was a stay-at-home mom homeschooling my kids, and messageboards were my social life!)

I wasn't really an unschooler, but I found some of their ideas interesting. There were many different messageboards in those days and lots of lively discussion.

And this is a picture of my supper. Dee-whishus!

I'm looking forward to four days off! On Sunday I'm planning to get together with an old friend who used to work in the deli with me. She retired a few years ago after her husband passed away. We have lots of catching up to do and hopefully we can compare notes and find out how we can help each other.
And now off to bed to get rested for my long weekend!
Shalom, all! :)

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Finishing up my last two swap obligations...

Actually, these weren't obligations, exactly. I hadn't signed up for them. I was "lurking" as we say in the ATC biz. Waiting to finish the cards before signing up. Less stress that way. If you don't get the cards finished in time you don't sign up and nobody is the wiser. ;)

Anyway, these two swaps were run by the same gal and she didn't have many people participating so I decided to join in so there would be a larger pool of art.

First was the Bird swap. I've shown these in progress, but not finished.

Second was the Landscapes swap. These were fun to do, but as I look at them I see things I should have done to finish them more. Oh well, art is so subjective!

 So now, I'm caught up on ATC swaps...except for one personalized trade. That means another gal and I have agreed to make a card for each other on a specific theme. She likes some very quirky things, monsters among them, so I've decided to do a portrait of Gollum from The Hobbit for her. She's making me a "blind drawn bird" card. She will draw the outline without looking and then she can look to paint and finish the card. She made some fantastic ones for another swap and I commented on how much I loved them, which led to this personalized trade.

Otherwise, I'm journaling, babysitting, reading, working and admiring the snowy view out the window. Trying to arrange a get together with a former co-worker who is also a widow. We haven't visited much since her husband passed away a couple of years ago and she retired. It would be nice to cultivate a few friendships. With my crazy work schedule it will take some doing!

Speaking of work, I'd better get ready!

God bless your day! Shalom!

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Being blessed by bloggers!

I was just realizing what a blessing it is to be able to hop around the globe visiting the lives of so many talented and interesting people!

The themes of simplicity and contentment seem to be popping up everywhere! It's something I'm very conscious of wanting in my life right now. GretchenJoanna at Gladsome Lights has some poignant thoughts on the subject and a wonderful quote from G.K. Chesterton. John Michael Talbot had a short sermonette on Facebook about giving away everything we own and following Jesus, speaking of the life of St. Antony of the Desert.

I love to read of the goings on at Melissa's house over at The Book of Common Life. Today featured some photos of her peaceful home. I look forward to hearing more of her son and how he's doing in bootcamp!

Photo Hebrides gives me that much needed infusion of ancient celtic views, one photograph at a time.

At Dorikult I love to examine her detailed pen and ink sketches, full of spiritual meaning. She also shares life on her farm and does beautiful paintings. Her videos are intriguing, though I don't understand what they're saying! One of them shows her painting an icon and you can see many of her other paintings in the background of another video. So interesting!

Cornish Cream shares memories of hot porridge and walking two miles to school every day. Reminds me of my hot bowl of Malto Meal for supper last night. That's comfort food!

The Quiet Home provides another serving of Scottish life, which I crave. We all love to learn from the lives of others, don't we? And the photos are wonderful!

Pom Pom's Ponderings is an inspiration to so many of us and is where I found many of these blogs! Pom is full of enthusiasm and cheer, not to mention wisdom by the boatload! I try to visit often and she always lifts my spirits! Love the bright images of life in her home.

I've waffled a little on my resolution to cut out art challenges in my life, but I'm waffling back in the original direction of really pulling back. I did these two ATC's as host gifts, because I hadn't had time to make an extra card for each of these ladies earlier.

Now that I've completed those I do intend to redirect my artistic goals toward "what I want to do with art in my life". I think I'm afraid of failure, so I'm playing around instead of doing the "real" things I have dancing around in my head. I have so many questions about how to proceed, but also so many practical matters still up in the air with deciding about my house and tying up loose ends left by my husband's death. So, I'm not going to beat myself up too much, but I may do more sketching out ideas and gradually making a start toward something.

Thanks for putting up with the rambling and thanks to you all for your inspiration! And now a photo I took from my window last night.

Shalom and have a great day! :D

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Good things!

I'm just enjoying the feeling of being home after a long day of frying chicken! I'm having more muscle aches than usual. Maybe it's just that this is my fourth day of work in a row and they've all been either frying chicken or closing up the deli, which are the two most physically taxing shifts. One more day tomorrow (closing) and then I have a four day stretch off! (That's one good thing!)

I took some photos before heading to work this morning. Just to show some of what I'm up to. I know, I know, I said I was going to set aside challenges for a while, but I had already begun these two ATC swaps, so I'll try to finish them up. Here is my ATC notebook on which you see some ATC's in progress. The first swap is about...

birds! This little guy is finished.

The next three ATC's I decided to put in a watercolor wash for the background and then color the birds with colored pencil. Actually, that's what I did on the first little guy, too!

The second swap is Landscapes. This is the only one I've done so far.

At the top of the photo you see my pink journal and Bible and a little Moleskine notebook. My art supplies are at the ready along with some spiral notebooks filled with notes on books, writing ideas and art ideas.

On the side table is my Kindle, stuffed full of books I want to read. A lifetime of reading! (I just downloaded 14 free Beth Moore books!!)
And here's an autobiography I read years ago. I found it on one of the tables at the library book sale a couple of years ago and snapped it up quickly. It's a very interesting tale! (And I love his illustrations!)

This is relaxation central...

Another good thing is when you hear good news of family you haven't seen in a long time!
My cousins down in Angleton, Texas have started a café named after their mom (my aunt) Dixie. So cool to see her name up in lights! She deserves the fame!
Here's a link to the Dixie's Café Facebook page.
And heeeeeere's Dixie!
She's in the middle. :) Some of the girls may be relatives. I haven't seen any of them in so long, I'm not sure! Dixie's going to send me one of those fabulous T-shirts!

And these are some of the pies created by Aunt Dixie and my cousin Peggy!
This is real down-home Southern cooking, and that's a good thing!
So, after sending a birthday greeting to my step-son, Trevor, who lives in Baltimore, I'm going to pursue some of these good interests and feel blessed.
Thanks for stopping by and shalom to all!

Sunday, January 12, 2014

a pink shopfront in san francisco...

My latest sketch for Somewhere to Sketch...

Makes me feel a little...meh! Not excited. I'm pondering the possibility of setting aside these online challenges for a while and just drawing simple sketches of everyday items ala Danny Gregory. Small sketches that take little time, but keep the skills sharpened. Too many books beckon, and other details of life need to be attended to. Art challenges can eat up lots of time and deadlines can create stress that I would rather live without.

I found much to contemplate over at Sandra's blog, Thistle Cove Farm. She has gathered a wonderful selection of quotes about simplicity; something that has been on my heart a great deal lately. In this season of my life as a newly widowed woman I find that I crave simplicity. I have a desire to whittle my possessions down to the essentials. I seek to create a small, cozy home furnished with only those things that are useful or beautiful, as one of these quotes puts it. It should be an exciting journey as I shed the unnecessary baggage in my life and make time and room for the things that God has for me.


Sunday, January 5, 2014

Canal Street, San Francisco

This is my latest sketch for Somewhere to Sketch. I was intrigued by a group of houseboats tethered on a canal and as I looked closer I found one with a cow! So, of course, I had to paint it!


Saturday, January 4, 2014

Announcing my daughter's new blog!

My daughter, Micah, has begun a new blog, Momma's Growin' Up, where she'll talk about keeping her New Year's resolutions, (12 of them!) and raising her babies. You'll find her in my blog list. I look forward to another blogger in the family!

She is a real renaissance woman!

At 22 years of age she is a wife to Adam...

 ...Mom to Audrey and Hazel...
...a staunch advocate for car seat safety... aspiring photographer...

...a black belt in taekwondo...
...a college student and so much more! I hope you'll visit her blog and encourage her as she tries to encourage others through sharing her experiences as a young wife and mother.

Thursday, January 2, 2014

A little graffiti evangelization...

My latest attempt on Somewhere to Sketch found me trying my hand at replicating graffiti I found in an alley in San Francisco...

My version...

The original...

A wider view...

The big blocky letters spell out The Gospel of Jesus Christ. There was another great piece across the alley from this one. Funny what you find in back alleys!

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

What I'm up to...

I really have been doing some art the last few days though it hasn't shown up here. In my blog list you'll see a new face called "Somewhere to Sketch".  This is a group of "artists" (I always feel funny calling myself that) of various skill levels. Every two weeks a location is assigned somewhere in the world. We visit that location via Google's Street View maps and sketch anything that tickles our fancy. We then share our art with the group on the blog. Below are the paintings/sketches I've done thus far:

Barnstaple UK

A synagogue in Sderot, Israel

San Anselmo, CA
We also post the screen shot that we did the painting from.

I also finished up some sunflower ATC's which I mailed to London day before yesterday.

I'm looking forward to the next four days off work. Babysitting, reading, artsy pursuits and maybe tying up some loose ends...that need tying up!
Counting my many blessings at the beginning of this new year! You, dear readers, are among them. :)