Monday, September 29, 2014


When my grandson comes to visit and we do road trips, we play a game in the car. One person will start a story like, “Once upon a time, there was a little boy with red hair and freckles...”

Then the next person adds a little more, etc., etc. Sometimes the stories go on for 30 minutes or more.

All of our stories finally get to the point where you either can’t figure out where to go next or you are just sick and tired of playing the game.

At that point, someone (usually my husband) will say “…and the car went over the cliff and there was a 60 foot fireball. The end.”


“…they were hit by lightning and there was a 60 foot fireball. The end.”

There is always a 60 foot fireball.

So in order to help me with my storytelling skills, I’ve signed up for Sketchbook Skool. I’ve been reading so many good things about these courses so I HAD to give it a try.

The next session starts October 3 with the theme – Storytelling.

I’ve been so giddy about it. Like a kindergartner…that kind of excitement!

I went through all my usual suspects of sketchbooks. I want to start skool with a fresh book, you know.

Some sketchbooks are good for pen but not watercolor. Others are the right size but wrong media. Whatever.

So… I ended up making my own out of inexpensive watercolor paper. It’s not hard.

Needle. Heavy thread. An awl to poke some holes. Several episodes of Breaking Bad on Netflix and voila…you have sketchbooks. Or at least sections of sketchbooks. (See Lily in the background..she's such a good helper!)

I’ve made my own before. It’s nice to bind them all later into one big book. But for now, they are just the right size and paper weight to be portable.

I am so ready for October to get here (and then there was a 60 foot fireball. The end.)

Friday, September 26, 2014


This picture has nothing whatsoever to do with this post. It’s just a made up view. It helped me to relax after this week.

It’s been a very odd week. Here’s a summary:

  • Our (joint) credit card got hacked.
  • Again.
  • Fortunately, our credit card’s Fraud Department is on the ball. They called us after the first purchase. Apparently, they recognized that I was not likely to be attending Oxford University (yeah, the one in the U.K.) and running up charges for books and supplies.
  • They sent new credit cards immediately by FedEx.
  • The new cards got delivered to the wrong address.
  • After several phone calls, we had the cards on the doorstep.
  • Whew.
  • And work was just as bad. I had to create a logo for a client. After 12 or 15 times of hearing “well, that’s close, but not exactly what I had in mind…” I was ready to punch my computer. But I didn’t.

Anyway, it’s Friday. Take a deep breath. Life is good. Namaste.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Monday, September 22, 2014

Friday, September 19, 2014

a quick doodle

From my home office, I can see into the living room. This is a common sight.

If the sun is shining just right, there will be a cat or two in the picture, too. But today it’s only one lazy dog.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Monday, September 15, 2014

fairy tale – cinderella

This month’s assignment at Year of the Fairy Tale was to make collage pieces for Cinderella. No people. Just symbols.

First we were to paint lots of different types of paper with watercolor. Things like envelopes, graph paper, music sheets, kraft paper, whatever kind of paper you have as long as it was thin.

After the paper is dry, then out comes the glue stick!

I had made a bunch of sketches – using simple shapes – to represent symbols from the story. Here are a few of my ideas:

The fireplace where Cinderella sits and rests after her work. (The yellow on the floor was supposed to be light reflected from the fire. Now it sort of looks like the floor is on fire!! Help! Help! The house is on fire!!)

An invitation to the ball comes from the prince who lives in this castle. (It looks a bit wonky. A fixer-upper perhaps?)

“Bring me a pumpkin from the garden,” says Cinderella’s godmother.

With a touch of her wand, the pumpkin is transformed into a carriage. (It’s supposed to be windows on the carriage but now I look at it and they sort of look like eyes! Creepy? A little.)

“You must be home before the clock strikes 12,” warns her godmother.

Cinderella’s ball gown – made of paper towel, tissue and magazine glossy paper scratched up with sandpaper -- the latest fashion of the season.

And last, one of Cinderella’s glass slippers, dyed pink to match her gown.

And they all lived happily ever after.

Friday, September 12, 2014

in the garden

The gardens in my yard are starting to look pretty droopy and sad. Not enough rain and now we have cooler temps at night. Fall is coming.

But here is a snapshot of what’s going on this week.

Poppies, Marigold, purple Salvia and a Mexican Sunflower.


Tomatoes times a million!! (I’ve been having tomatoes at every meal for weeks now.) I do love fresh tomatoes though.

And one lone watermelon. The vines stretch for miles … almost … but there is just the one melon. It should be ready to pick this week. I hope.

Happy Paint Party Friday!

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

my apologies to...

Alexej von Jawlensky

This is based (very, very loosely) on his painting titled “Portrait of the Dancer Alexander Sakharov.”

It’s ok. You can laugh. You won’t hurt my feelings. If you Google the original painting, it will make you smile, too.

Monday, September 8, 2014

my apologies to…


Here is “Cat with Parasol.”

I spent most of the weekend working on pieces for Year of the Fairy tale. This month’s assignment is to do collage pieces. I’m having a heck of a time. They aren’t coming together like they look inside my head!


So for now…just a quick doodle with a cat. What else?