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Shiny Designs...on the Brighter Side of Life.

Friday, October 31, 2008

Halloween Candy Sketch

Having been inspired by Leigh and her blog where I've been enjoying her daily catalog of Halloween candy and curiosities, I made a quick sketch of a treat that caught my eye.

It's a large lollipop that doubles as a mask! See the moon shaped eye holes above the weird candy eyes? I cannot imagine the mess this would make but it looked like a lot of fun.

I didn't actually buy it but just stood in the store and drew it. I added the color later to liven up the drawing but the actual pop was much more vivid even than this. The wording is directly from the packaging - Eat It! Wear It!

Well, I really enjoyed it and thought it was funny. Happy Halloween to all!

Friday, October 24, 2008

New Watercolor Bird Paintings - Chickadee and Wren

Original Watercolor Painting
5" x 7"

Original Watercolor Painting
5" x 7"
These two are already in my Etsy shop if you are thinking of Christmas already.
Oh and there's a cardinal too, but he's being held off for a bit. The colors and layout are unconventional so I'm giving him some breathing room to decide if he's OK. Here's a sneak peek; any thoughts?

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Knitting in the Heat of October

In case you’re wondering if I'm knitting right now – of course I am! I’m just not talking about it much. Here’s the sleeve bottom of a cropped cardigan with three quarter length sleeves started almost a year ago. The yarn is Moda DEA 100% washable wool in a rich plum.

It may cool off enough here to wear this by sometime in November. The fabric is worked in a knit and seed rib of knit 5, seed 3 so it lays flat. I don’t really like ribbings on my sweaters so usually design for a self finishing edge. Here’s a peek at my design notes and sketches.

Apparently, I wrote one thing and did another for the sleeve cap shaping. When I worked the second sleeve by my notes, it didn’t correspond to the first sleeve cap shaping at all. That sleeve is fine and fits the arm opening perfectly. So, RIP the second one out and do it over. No matter, there’s plenty of time before sweater weather.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

My Copies of Let’s Knit! Have Arrived

Isn’t it beautiful? I can say that because I’m not the one who made the final book look so wonderful. That was done by a great team of people at Kalmbach Books and my editor who blogs too. Designing projects and writing the manuscript was plenty for me.

This book is for beginners to learn and gather confidence with 20 basic projects from functional to just for fun. Just looking at the book is a real treat to the eye as well. The layout is clean and modern but with a little edge thrown in. There are even a few of my own drawings in the instructions!

When the copies arrive here, it means they are ready to go and will be shipping soon from Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Books a Million and other booksellers. If you’ve got an idea you want to learn to knit, have a look. Let me know what you think; I love hearing from you!

Friday, October 10, 2008

More Original Watercolor Bird Paintings - Wren and Oriole

I've been working on more birds and will have new paintings to post soon. In the meantime, I've been remiss in keeping updated as someone close to me pointed out that she had not seen several of the completed paintings posted. Sorry!

Here are two previously finished works. The Oriole is one of the backyard and best loved birds. I just love that he is orange and black and looks mischievous. Perfect for Halloween.

"Notorious", 5x7 original watercolor, Male Northern Oriole, Available

In painting this series, I seem to have an affection for Wrens. I'm happy to say that this Marsh Wren has a wonderful new home but I am working on one or two more.

"Songster", 5x7 original watercolor Marsh Wren, Sold

Monday, October 6, 2008

More Thoughts on Keeping a Sketchbook

In an earlier post, were musings on my sketch book and what it means to me. Over lunch with a friend, I pulled the book out to jot down a quick idea – words only mind you – and realized that I never go back to the book to retrieve those ideas. So why bother?

Of course, the next thing to do was go back through the book and see just what it was that was so important. I found that the notes of ideas, lists or even basic outlines, are still valuable and could be developed into posts, articles or even books. However, it’s obvious that remembering to go back and look for them when the time comes will be a problem.

The pages that have sketches only or sketches and notes were much more interesting and memorable. They were so much more enjoyable to look at and the memories of those ideas were much clearer. Many of those pages were solely for my own amusement and pleasure or to document something encountered along the way. Like the one above.

My sketch book is a repository of ideas and images but not necessarily a specific reference. That doesn’t bother me because I enjoy the act and process of keeping the book. The one thing this exercise has made me aware of is the benefit of indexing to be able to find those ideas later when I want to use them. Any thoughts on using your sketch books and retrieving the information later?

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Watercolor Bunny Postcard

Here's a 4x6 watercolor postcard painted to send as a thank you note to a friend for a wonderful birthday present. She was so thoughtful and gave me four - FOUR - books from the Artist's Photo Reference series published by North Light Books.
This little fellow is from page 75 of the Wildlife book. He's painted with French Ultramarine, Burnt Sienna and a touch of Paynes gray for texture. Not too bad for my first bunny!

An Award? An Art Blog Award? Me?

Well, yes, it's true kazumiwannabe has sent me this award for arty blogs. Having just returned from a quick trip out of town, this was a wonderful surprise waiting for me.

Her blog is full of lovely art and I am so honored to have been sent the award. I'll pass it on too as soon as I get moment to catch up. Look for that post soon!