Winter Warmth

Old York street light with Sennelier watercolour | Whims And Fancies

 

Lately, my head has been full of plans for the future and a growing list of things to accomplish, matched only by my lackluster state of mind.  A few months ago, I took a photo of a street light while exploring the old city of York, and have wanted to paint this ever since.

On Tuesday, as I finally made myself put the paint-loaded brush to paper, the ease came back.  Painting the weathered stones and the walls was quite cathartic, and the warm light became the proverbial beacon.

 

Thank You for keeping me going with your lovely supportive words and personal emails sharing memories evoked by my work.

 

 

Tule Elk at Point Reyes | Whims And Fancies

 

More photos from Pt. Reyes on A Day At The Sea Post

 

A few weeks ago we went back to Point Reyes National Seashore.  On our way back, we came across these Tule elks grazing right by the roadside. They were introduced back after their extirpation from this region in the 1850s.  Warms my heart to see them back in their natural habitat.

 

 

Tule elks at Point Reyes | Whims And Fancies

 

Last rays of the setting sun

 

Harvest Hat Knitting Pattern | Whims And Fancies

 

I made a pair of mitts for my friend Kris before.  It was about time I made this matching hat for her.  This hat, along with a few other things made it out there on Monday.  She loves it and said the hat snuggles her ears too.  Perfect!

 

 

Lego Harry Potter Quilt Patterns | Whims And Fancies

 

About the quilt in the Playing In The Rain post

 

I was happy to finish my Patronus quilt in July.  This Lego Harry Potter quilt is now keeping me warm during the winter nights.  I love reading my book snuggled under it with a mug of hot chocolate made lovingly by my husband.

 

Whims And Fancies patterns have raised a wonderful sum of approximately $1400 through different fundraisers this year.  That sum does not include the money I donated/will donate from the pattern sales.  Thank You so much for donating and purchasing the patterns.

 

 

Yosemite | Whims And Fancies

 

Yosemite And I – A post about why I love it there so much

 
We haven’t had much rain or snow here this year.  Instead, our beautiful California has been burning from north to south.  Snow-covered landscape has been scarce this year, as has the winter rain.

 

Colonial House quilt pattern | Whims And Fancies

 

Post about a holiday in Kings Canyon inspired wall hanging

Pattern on Craftsy and Etsy

 

That photo I took of Yosemite reminded me of sitting by a large stone fireplace, sipping on a warm drink after a wonderful day out in the snow.  The parks here have common rooms with warm fires in large stone fireplaces.  We will not be going to the Sierra mountains this year, but that won’t stop me dreaming of my favourite place.

 

 

Black And White Sewing | Whims And Fancies

 

 

At home, looking out of the window at the bare trees and at the bookshelves beside the window gave me an idea for a small sewing project.

 

The time has come for my holiday hibernation away from the computer.  This year with everything that has been going on, I will need this time to gather myself more than ever.  Time to bask in the warmth that old man winter brings to me.  This comes in the guise of admiring my favourite star clusters during the long winter nights,  and walks wearing my favourite woolens during the days. 

Inside the home, long hours of video game playing with my husband has become a tradition.  I love to paint in the soft winter sunlight.  Ink and paper adventures await me, along with the prospect of a warm beverage, fireside and kitty cuddles. 

 

Happy Holidays, everyone!  I wish you a warm and safe holiday season full of wonder and magic!

-Soma

 

I am linking up with the linky parties on my Events And Links page.  They are great for inspiration, please pay a visit to some of them.

 

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Pencil Cases With Adjustable Flap – Tutorial

Pencil Cases With Adjustable Flap – Tutorial | Whims And Fancies

 

I was making a small bag using the beautiful text fabric my friend Kris sent me, and I ended up cutting the fabric too big.  The trimmed extra was too small for anything usable, but too pretty to throw away.  So I kept on pondering what to make with it that would be very fast and super easy to sew.

 

Since we live on the Pacific coast, any overseas travel ends up being a very long affair.  First, it’s about a 5-hour flight coast to coast across the US, then crossing the Atlantic takes another 8+ hours depending on the destination.  I always pack in a sketchbook and pencils to keep myself occupied.

 

Dryburgh Abbey, Scotland, Watercolour painting with Derwent watercolour pencils | Whims And Fancies

 

I started this painting of the Dryburgh Abbey in Scotland during one of those long flights.  I was using Derwent watercolour pencils and I dropped a couple of them under the seat.  I finally ended up recovering them, but it was really difficult in the confined space of an airplane.

It occurred to me that a small pencil case would be nice as a temporarily storage.  That way, I wouldn’t have to keep holding them in my hand and also wouldn’t risk dropping them.

 

 

Pencil Cases With Adjustable Flap – Tutorial | Whims And Fancies

 

The grey one was so easy to make that I decided to make another one using the space fabric and share a tutorial with you.

The one I made is 3.0 inches wide and holds 7-8 pencils.  You can adjust the width to add more pencils, of course.   Substitute the 3.5 inch with your own number for the adjusted width.  Just remember to add 0.5 inch for seam allowance (0.25 inch on each side).

You don’t have to be too exact with your measurements for this pencil case.  There is room for mistakes and you can always trim to align the sides.  I used 0.25 inch seam allowance.

 

Materials –

 

Outside Fabric (space fabric in the pictures) –

7.0 x 3.5 inches – 2 pieces, one for the back side and one for the front side

Lining Fabric (light grey/silver fabric in the pictures) 

A contrasting colour works well for this project.

7.0 x 3.5 inch – 1 piece

4.0 x 3.5 inch – 1 piece

10.5 x 3.5 inch – 1 piece

Iron-On Interfacing –

Light-weight interfacing, just stiff enough to provide stability.

7.0 x 3.5 inch – 1 piece

10.5 x 3.5 inch – 1 piece

Button – 1 medium to large size

Cord – 16.0 inch

 

 

 

Pencil Cases With Adjustable Flap – Tutorial | Whims And Fancies

 

1. Place the 4.0 x 3.5 inch lining fabric on top of the 7.0 x 3.5 inch outer fabric that is for the back side, right sides facing together, aligned at the top.  Sew the 3.5 inch top edges together.  Note – If you are using directional outer fabric, make sure to stitch the lining piece to the top edge of the outer fabric.  Press the seam.

2. Iron on the 10.5 x 3.5 inch interfacing on the back of the above piece.  This is the finished back piece.  Set it aside.

3.  Take the 7.0 x 3.5 inch outer fabric that is meant for the front side, iron on the 7.0 x 3.5 inch interfacing on the back of this fabric.

4.  Place the 7.0 x 3.5 inch lining fabric on the piece from step 3, right sides facing together, aligned on all sides.  Sew the 3.5 inch top edges together. Note – Here also, if you are using directional outer fabric, make sure to stitch the lining piece to the top edge of the outer fabric.

 

Pencil Cases With Adjustable Flap – Tutorial | Whims And Fancies

 

5.  Fold the lining fabric behind the outer fabric,  iron the seam and top stitch.  Measure approximately 2.5 inches from the bottom (open edge) and sew a button in the middle.  I stitched the button only to the outer fabric.  This is the finished front piece.

6.  Place the 10.5 x 3.5 inch lining fabric wrong side up beside the finished front piece from step 5, aligning the bottoms.  Mark a spot in the middle of the lining fabric such that the spot is at least 0.5 inch under the top edge of the front piece on the right side. Sew the cord on the wrong side of the lining fabric on that marked spot.  Note – Make sure the cord is pointed upward, away from the bottom edge, as shown in the picture.

7.  Lay down the long back piece right side up.  Place the smaller front piece on top of it with the lining fabric side facing up, outer fabric side facing down.  Then place the cord-stitched lining fabric, wrong side up, as shown.  Note – Make sure the cord is pointing toward the top side.  I offset the pieces in the picture to show you the placements.  Align all sides.  Sew the bottom side (opposite the cord) first, then sew the two long sides together.  Leave the top open so you can turn the pencil case out.

8. Trim the bottom corners and slowly turn the pencil case out.

 

Pencil Cases With Adjustable Flap – Tutorial | Whims And Fancies

 

9.  Place a pencil in the pocket now and fold the flap over for sizing.  Trim the edge if you want a shorter flap.  Note – If you trim, make sure to tuck the cord in between the lining and the back piece to keep it out of the way.  Fold the open edge in 0.25 inch all around and iron.  You can now top stitch the top gap to close it.  I didn’t like that look, so I blind-stitched mine.  Make sure the cord is in the centre as you stitch the gap shut.

 

Pencil Cases With Adjustable Flap – Tutorial | Whims And Fancies

 

That’s it!  This is the back of the case.

 

Pencil Cases With Adjustable Flap – Tutorial | Whims And Fancies

 

Fill the case with pencils, loop the cord around the button a couple of times and tie a knot.  I used a cord instead of velcro or a push button because I wanted the opening to be versatile.  This way I can use it for pencils or pens of different lengths and still be able to close the case snugly.

 

I hope you find this tutorial useful.  I am sure you can think of many things to store in them other than pencils and pens.

 

I really liked the steampunk charm pieces, but I needed buttons.  So I drilled holes in them to make buttons out of them.  My local craft store didn’t have any grey cord, and I really wanted to use a silver/grey cord for the space-themed one.  I cut a piece of black cord, taped the two sides to a piece of paper, then brushed silver acrylic paint on it.  It worked out wonderfully.  This whole project ended up being completely improvised, starting with a wrong cut of fabric!

 

Happy Sewing,
-Soma

 

I am linking up with the linky parties on my Events And Links page.  Please pay a visit to some of them.

 

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Make Art

Make Art - Feather Quill quilt pattern with ink bottle | Whims And Fancies

 

Quill Pen on Etsy and Craftsy

 

I love to play with many things, and it all starts with sketching a concept.  Even with all the electronic devices available at my fingertips, ink, pen and paper are still my favourite tools, and not just for painting.  When I am playing a musical instrument, I quite often scribble on my sheet music too.  I have a very difficult time passing up on pens and inks, resulting in a drawer full of ink bottles accompanied by wooden calligraphy pens, glass pens, fountain pens and quill pens.

One day, the sight of a quill pen and a bottle of ink on my table sparked the idea of a Make-Art-themed wall hanging.  This quill pen and ink bottle is the first in a series of Make Art quilt patterns, available on Etsy and Craftsy.

 

That also got me thinking about the myriad ways of making art.  Many thanks to the makers of these blocks for letting me share some of them here.

 

 

Piano Quilt Pattern. Block made by carwashcat101 | Whims And Fancies

Piano by carwashcat101

Piano Quilt Pattern. Block made by carwashcat101 | Whims And Fancies

Piano by carwashcat101

 

Music is a very powerful and emotional form of art.  It has definitely played a big part in my life, which prompted me to make a whole set of musical instrument quilt patterns. carwashcat101 shared these photos of the beautiful pianos she made from my pattern.  She plans to make another one in green.

 

 

Music Notes Quilt Pattern. Block made by featheredneststudio | Whims And Fancies

Music Notes by featheredneststudio

Music Notes Quilt Pattern. Blocks made by craftyquilter | Whims And Fancies

Music Notes by craftyquilter

 

The musicians fill music notes with emotion as they bring the notes to life through their instruments.   Music Notes was one of the very first patterns I wrote.  featheredneststudio and craftyquilter made these wonderful blocks from it.

 

 

FREADOM Read Books Quilt Pattern. Wall hanging made by Elizabeth Plantz | Whims And Fancies

Freadom by Elizabeth Plantz

FREADOM Read Books Quilt Pattern. Wall hanging made by Elizabeth Plantz | Whims And Fancies

Freadom by Elizabeth Plantz

 

Where would I be without books!  So much power tucked away between pages artfully written by the authors.  Elizabeth Plantz, a member of the ALA biblioquilters,  made these two wall hangings for an auction using the FREADOM pattern. That auction raised $620 in scholarship funds from the sale of the minis.

 

 

Bear Cub Quilt Pattern. Pillow made by Elisabeth | Whims And Fancies

Bear Cub by Elisabeth

Autumn Leaves Quilt Pattern. Table runner made by Elisabeth | Whims And Fancies

Leaves by Elisabeth

 

Nature herself makes art all the time, always unique, a constant source of inspiration.  Elisabeth’s bear cub is definitely one of a kind, as is her Autumn Leaves table runner.

 

 

SLR Camera Quilt Pattern. Block made by scrapmaster01 | Whims And Fancies

Camera by scrapmaster01

SLR Camera Quilt Pattern. Wall hanging made by fabricker | Whims And Fancies

Camera by fabricker

 

I can’t even begin to express my feelings about photography in words.  It is an intrinsic part of me now.  As cameras have become more ubiquitous, we use them to make art everyday while capturing life around us.  Scrapmaster01 and fabricker made these amazing cameras using my Fields On Camera pattern.

 

 

Make Art - Feather Quill quilt pattern with ink bottle | Whims And Fancies

 

Quill Pen on Etsy and Craftsy

 

These examples of creativity got me excited about designing the Make Art quilt patterns.   I am very happy with this first one.  This quill pen quilt pattern makes a 6″ x 12″ block and is fairly easy to sew.  It is now available on my Etsy and Craftsy stores.  I think it would make a wonderful gift for an artist in your life.

All the other patterns are available on my shop.

Art is all around us, a force that magically moves us, and emotionally affects us.  This pattern is just the beginning, and I can’t wait to share more with you.

-Soma

 

I am linking up with the linky parties on my Events And Links page. Please pay a visit to some of them, they are a lot of fun!

 

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Sketchbook – October 2017

Sketchbook 2017 - Nigel The Orange Cat | Whims And Fancies

 

Meet Mr. Nigel Forsythe Castleton, proprietor of the Lost Pages Bookstore.  Owing to the bookstore being in a very old stone building, it is very drafty and cold, even on the warmest of days.  Mr. Castleton loves nothing more than to spend his days in the bookstore, but the poor thing is always very cold even though he is made of wool.  Luckily, the bookstore has a wonderfully big fireplace, where he keeps the fire going at all times.  He pours himself a glass of ginger wine and sits by the fireplace, perusing those lost pages.

 

He is my first foray into making knitted toys.  I can’t wholeheartedly recommend the pattern I originally started following, since it has mistakes.  I ended up making most of Nigel on my own.  He was such a relaxing thing to make.

Since Mr. Castleton loves that fire in his fireplace so much, he makes me think of winter.  Just in time too.  I am linking up with Winter Project Linky Party hosted by Jennifer at Thistlebear.

Of course, me being me, I had to make a cat and promptly give him a story.  Lost Pages was the very first painting in this little sketchbook, the last 5 pages of which I get to share with you today.

 

 

Sketchbook 2017 - Alien Planet Painting Derwent Metallic Watercolour Pencils & Winsor Newton ink | Whims And Fancies

 

Alien World

 

A very Technicolor alien world.  Nothing in this world is shy about its use of colour.

 

Sketchbook 2017 - Elemental Doorway Painting Sennelier Caput Mortuum Watercolour | Whims And Fancies

 

Elemental Doorway

 

The Ancients of this world used a type of white element for their ‘ironwork’ on wood with Caput Mortuum stain.

 

Sketchbook 2017 - Steampunk Fleur De Lis Painting Marker & Winsor Newton Ink | Whims And Fancies

 

Steampunk Fleur de Lis

 

This steam-powered golden Fleur de Lis is floating through time and space.  I love the challenge of figuring out how a steampunk mechanism might work. 

 

Sketchbook 2017 - Lavender Field Painting Derwent Pastel Pencils | Whims And Fancies

 

Lavender Field

 

The stone farmhouse not only has a lovely view, but the heady aroma of lavender makes it an even more inviting place.

 

Sketchbook 2017 - Solar Eclipse Nebulosity Schmincke Horadam Ivory Black Watercolour | Whims And Fancies

 

Eclipse Nebulosity

 

I wanted the sense of nebulosity of the solar corona extending into the background space, as if space itself is made of a black nebula that, like the solar corona, is only visible during an eclipse.

 

Photographing the eclipse was a special event for me, and I had to make this one my last painting in this sketchbook.  You can follow our journey to capture the solar eclipse on this post.

 

Sketchbook 2017 - Stillman & Birn Sketchbooks | Whims And Fancies

 

I am exclusively using Stillman And Birn Beta sketchbooks for these little paintings.  I love to see the side of a finished sketchbook, with its wavy pages and colours peeking out.  I have already started on my next sketchbook, and I can’t wait to see what journey awaits me in that one.

 

Previous Sketchbook Pages

June 2017

July 2017

 

 

Charlie’s Adventure – A little Halloween story

 

Much to my horror and surprise, I completely missed the mark on Halloween this year.  It was not until a cute little Winnie The Pooh rang the doorbell that I remembered why.  Good thing I wasn’t without candy!

Charlie and the rest us hope you had a good All Hallows Eve, whether or not you celebrate Halloween!

 

-Soma

 

I am linking up with the linky parties on my Events And Links page. Please pay a visit to some of them, they are a lot of fun!

 

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