Saturday, January 02, 2010

Baskets & Books

I could not shake the feeling it was Monday, so I worked like it was Monday, not Saturday. Yes, even though I no longer have a Monday through Friday job or attend school, I often have a hard time buckling down on Saturday because of years of it representing a day off. One of my Christmas presents was a set of fabulous birch baskets (there are three more nested inside this one). However, I thought those muslin liners were atrocious. So the first order of business was to slap a little paint on them to see if I'd like it better.

Here they are drying. I figure there's little to lose here. If I don't like the painted version, I can use the baskets with no liner at all, or make my own from prettier fabric.

Late last night I remembered that I'd intended to make a simple sketchbook as demonstrated on Nina Johansson's blog to encourage me to draw every day in January. One of the things I want to make time for this year is more regular drawing. It's not as if I don't have several sketchbooks and pads around. It's that I don't seem to use them much. A dedicated book - one with limited pages - might work better, I reasoned. I thought it might help with the inspiration part if the pages in this sketchbook had some color. So I got out my Dye-na-flow paints and randomly spread different colors on a sheet of watercolor paper.

Once the paper had dried & I tried out the method on a small piece of paper (that's what's paper-clipped to the instructions), I made the appropriate folds and cuts and accordion folds until it was a little book - it really was so easy. You end up with 16 pages to draw on - in my case, my watercolor paper yielded 4-1/2 x 6 inch pages. Obviously, if I plan a drawing a day all month, I'll need to make another of these. This may turn out to be a journal of sorts - I wanted to draw snowflakes for yesterday, because I'd woken up to snow.

Here's another example of how the color falls on the pages. Many are less zippy than this, more of a wash..

My first real project for the year will be adding a row to my next row quilt challenge top. I looked through a book til I found a pattern I think will work, and studied the beautiful border fabric that is traveling with this top. It seemed appropriate to practice a little sketching by drawing one of the flowers on the fabric and color it in with my Prismacolor pencils. I'm not going for masterpieces here - this is to get back into the habit of drawing regularly and improving my eye. And let me tell you, sketching a mum can get mighty confusing! After taking this picture, I decided to sketch in the pattern of the row I'll be making along the right hand side. A nice little record of the day.

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