Sketchbook 2017

Sketchbook 2017 - Lost Pages Bookstore Watercolour | Whims And Fancies

 

Lost Pages Book Store

 

Every year I get this notion of doing a long-term project to improve a certain skill.  Last year I did the Wandering Camera daily photo project to explore new photography ideas.  This year, I wanted to keep a sketchbook, but with one thing or another, time passed on.  I finally got tired of waiting and decided that June was going to be THE month to embark upon my Sketchbook 2017 project.

Lost Pages is the very first painting in my little sketchbook.  Although it is a make-believe book store born in my head, I would love to own a real one by that name.

 

 

I am very fond of Stillman and Birn sketchbooks.  The pages of this 5.5″ x 3.5″ sketchbook are the perfect size for playing with ideas.  The Beta sketchbook is also great for pretty much all painting media.  I started filling this book when I was sick earlier in the month.

 

Orange Maine Coon | Whims And Fancies

 

My orange kitty Taffy is my constant companion.  I missed him while he was having a surgery yesterday, it was the ninth surgery for this little fellow.  He is back home now, in pain and a bit battered, but otherwise safe and sound.  I will be busy taking care of him over the next few days.  I love this photo I took of him a few days ago.  He is really as soft as he looks here, and as sweet as his name.

 

Sketchbook 2017 - Cat On The Wall Prismacolor Marker | Whims And Fancies

 

Charlie – trying to climb a wall

 

We have another kitty called Charlie who is equally sweet and also very clumsy.   He can’t climb anything to save his life, so it’s a good thing he is an indoor-only kitty.

 

Sketchbook 2017 - Sirens Prismacolor Marker | Whims And Fancies

 

Sirens

 

The morbid side of me is fascinated by the idea of Sirens.  I am thinking of expanding this scene into a larger painting.

 

Sketchbook 2017 - Dawn Prismacolor Marker & Copic Marker | Whims And Fancies

 

Dawn

 

Once, when we were camping in the Inyo Mountains, I was up early to see a lunar eclipse.  Shortly after that, dawn broke just as the moon was setting.

 

Sketchbook 2017 - Vintage Tiles Winsor & Newton Watercolour Marker | Whims And Fancies

 

Rusted Tiles

 

Rusted tiles are quite beautiful.  I was having too much fun painting this one, making random rust spots on these tiles.

 

Sketchbook 2017 - Silocon And Gold Prismacolor Marker & Copic Marker | Whims And Fancies

 

Silicon And Gold

 

I wanted to see if I could paint sand with marker, then came up with the idea of sand to circuit boards.

 

Sketchbook 2017 - Bristlecone Pine Prismacolor Marker & Copic Marker | Whims And Fancies

 

Looking Up At A Bristlecone Pine

 

California is home to Bristlecone pines.  During the same camping trip in the Inyo Mountains, we hiked the Methuselah trail to see these oldest living beings on Earth.  The colour of the bark on these trees is created by fungus and polishing through ice and wind storms.

 

Round Pencil Case | Whims And Fancies

 

On Sunday, my 14-year-old pencil case bit the dust.  I had become so fond of the round pencil case, I had to make a new one.  I came up with an idea of making it in a certain way.  I made a few prototypes; these two are the final finished ones.  Both pencil cases are lined and the zipper ends are covered. 

The dark green one used to be my husband’s pyjama pants.  I love green tartan, so when he discarded the pair, I saved the leg fabric which was in very good condition.  I used the same fabric both for the outside and the lining. 

The yellow one is a newsprint fabric that Kris sent me in a surprise package last week.  When your friend sends you fabric, you have to make something fun with it!   I used a pinstripe grey fabric for the lining as well as for the sides on this one. 

I got another couple of sweet packages from another friend, Mary as well.  That however, is a story for another day.

Hope you enjoyed my little show and tell!

Until next time,
-Soma

 

Linking up with the linky parties on my Events And Links page.

 

One Block WIPs

sailboat, star, flower, phone box art quilt patterns | Whims And Fancies

 

I was having a wonderful time working on different projects until I came down with a nasty cold featuring a fever, body ache, the whole package.  I knew if I forced the matter and sat at the sewing machine, I would end up unpicking every single stitch and redoing everything.  However, being me and not wanting to stay in bed for long, I decided to go through my WIPs and form a plan for tackling them after I get better.

I spent almost all of the last few months working on the Lego Harry Potter quilt – designing, writing, sewing and testing the patterns to share with you.  That didn’t leave me time to work on much else, so I only sewed a few other blocks now and then.  Now I want to finish making a few things with those one-off blocks.  Not only have I figured out what I want to do with them, I have also picked out the coordinating fabrics for these projects.

 

Sunburst Star on Etsy and Craftsy

 

I love cross-body bags.  The last bag I made was done a long time ago and has seen better days, so I will be making a bag with this Sunburst Star block.  I love the nebulosity of the background I picked for this block.

 

Red Telephone Box pattern on Etsy and Craftsy

 

This one was meant be made into a bag all along, even as the picture was forming in my head.  I found the perfect coordinating travel fabric in my stash.

 

Pinwheel Flower pattern on Etsy and Craftsy

 

I will turn this pinwheel flower block into a mini, a mix of modern and vintage.  My friend Mary gave me the idea of making a quilt with the flowers done in multiple colours.  I am going to make a kitty quilt that way, and I will test out the quilting motif on this little mini.

 

Summer Sailboat on Craftsy and Etsy

 

Lastly, I am hand quilting this recently-finished Summer Sailboat block.

 

Hang Quilting | Whims And Fancies

 

Hand quilting is quite nice when you’re unable to do much else.  I am a very slow quilter, but at least I have started on this one already.

 

Little Sketchbook | Whims And Fancies

 

I also got a little sketchbook for doodling in everyday.  As you can see from the warped pages, I have been scribbling in it quite a bit, even while parked on the sofa and huddling under a quilt.  Apologies for not being able to take new photos.  I will share more very soon.

 

Have a healthy and happy week everyone,
-Soma

 

Linking up with the linky parties on my Events And Links page.

 

Yorkshire Skies

Yorkshire Skies | Whims And Fancies

 

There really is no doubting that the Yorkshire countryside is a beautiful place.   The hills, valleys, limestone cliffs, heather and waterfalls make for a very tranquil setting.  For me, being in the north and the remoteness of the places adds another sense of enigma to Yorkshire.  Last year, during our roadtrip through England, we spent a few days in Yorkshire, visiting the countryside that I dreamt of so often.

Many months ago I got a beautiful skein of yarn very aptly named Yorkshire Skies.  I just had to make a pair of mitts with it before we visited Yorkshire.

 

Hermione hat and mittens with Yorkshire Skies Yarn | Whims And Fancies

 

I was looking for a pattern that would show off the yarn, and came across Hermione’s Fingerless Gloves on Ravelry.   I managed to finish knitting the mittens the night before our flight.  I was so determined to wear them in Yorkshire that I finished weaving in the stray yarn during the one-hour travel time to the airport. 

Once we were back, I noticed I had enough yarn left to make a matching hat.  The hat pattern was written for worsted weight yarn.  Since I was using smaller size knitting needles for my fingering weight yarn, I added two extra cables to my hat.  That resulted in just 1 extra stitch at the end after the decreasing was done.  It was a tad big for my head, but one run through the dryer in low heat setting made it just the perfect size for me.

 

Malham Cove Yorkshire | Whims And Fancies

 

View from Malham Cove in late summer

 

Malham Cove Yorkshire | Whims And Fancies

 

Malham Cove in late winter

 

As we peregrinated the streets and countryside of Yorkshire, I was smiling happily while wearing my mittens.  My husband and I fell in love with Yorkshire so much that I planned our next England roadtrip earlier this year fully around Yorkshire with a few added days in Derbyshire.  I took both of these photos from Malham Cove, one of my favourite hikes.

 

Whitby Sea with Winsor Newton Waterbased Oil | Whims And Fancies

 

Sunset At Whitby

Of course, very soon after our return I had to paint a picture of the beautiful skies we saw in Yorkshire.  This was my first time playing with oil, and I could not have picked a better subject to paint.

 

Sailboat Quilt Pattern | Whims And Fancies

 

The painting, in turn, had me look back at a pattern I had designed a long time ago.  Sewing this block is going to be my One Monthly Goal for this month.  I know I will be thinking of the beautiful skies.

 

Yorkshire Moors Heather with acrylic | Whims And Fancies

 

I am also very sure that Yorkshire will continue to surface now and then in my paintings.  Currently I am working on this acrylic painting of heather in the Yorkshire Moors while listening to stories.

 

My Orange Maine Coon Kitty | Whims And Fancies

 

My kitty sleeps and purrs beside me, hopefully dreaming of a happy place.  I love a peaceful life.  Whenever I can get it, I enjoy it to the fullest!

 

See you next time,
-Soma

 

I am also linking up on Through My Lens, Our World TuesdayWednesday Around The World, Seasons, and Friday Photo Journal along with other linky parties on my Events And Links page.

 

Happenstance

 

 

One of the recent weekends was full of wonderful moments of happenstance.  The weekend started with visiting an exhibition called Monet: The Early Years at one of the museums in San Francisco.   Earlier in the month, I had mentioned it to my husband.  Knowing how much I adore the Impressionist painters, he got us tickets for the event.  A couple of weeks ago we were there on Saturday morning, bright and early, although not quite bright-eyed and bushy-tailed.

 

Monet

Towing of a Boat at Honfleur by Claude Monet

 

 

A Cart on the Snowy Road at Honfleur by Claude Monet

 

 

Green Wave by Claude Monet

 

 

A Hut at Sainte-Adresse by Claude Monet

 

We explored his early work through approximately sixty paintings.  Exquisite play of colours, light and shadow, brush strokes and dynamics are an integral part of every painting.  Although he lived in abject poverty, Monet was so passionate about this work that he continued on with his personal style of painting.

 

 

 

 

Water Lilies by Claude Monet

 

The museum also has two small paintings by Van Gogh.  As I walked into the Gallery that had the Van Gogh pieces on display,  there was this painting by Monet right across from where I was standing.  As we walked around the room, we found a few more paintings by Monet and Renoir.  A lovely surprise find before leaving the museum.

 

 

Pattern on Craftsy and Etsy

 

My violin bow had been at the luthier to be rehaired.  They are about an hour away from our house, and also an hour away from San Francisco.  The bow was ready so we decided to stop by to pick it up on our way back.  We found a small coffee shop where we recharged before heading home via a beautiful road.  Inspired by the all the artwork of the morning and atmosphere of the violin shop, I have a new musical pattern brewing.

 

White Rose | Whims And Fancies

 

On the way back, the conversation digressed toward the gardens of Versailles.   We haven’t been to France yet, but we have seen a couple of beautiful stately home gardens in England.  It was therefore not hard to imagine the scale and beauty of the gardens of Versailles.  Our home is not a very large one, but I do like to take inspiration from large enterprises and scale them down to suit my need.  The thought of doing the same with our garden stayed with me.

Next day, when my husband went to the shop, I went along to browse the plants area.  I wasn’t planning on buying anything, but then I spotted this white rose.  All resolve melted away and I came home with 29 plants!

 

 

 

Can’t say no to irises.  I got these and my friend Mary sent me some more.  I am a lucky girl.

 

 

Also, a few foxgloves.

 

 

The following Friday, after work, I sat down with the garden measurements to create a layout for the plants.   Influenced by the larger gardens of the stately homes, I am designing a garden with a few different focal points.  Our garden may not be huge, but it is certainly big enough for that.  I created a circular focal point with the white rose in the centre.  It is a working plan, so it will continue to grow as I get inspired by the greatness of others.

I am going to take a break for the next couple of weeks.  Hopefully a few more moments of happenstance will find me.

-Soma

 

I am also linking up on Through My Lens, Our World TuesdayWednesday Around The World, Seasons, and Friday Photo Journal along with other linky parties on my Events And Links page.