1. Grape soda lupines—my favorite San Diego wildflower
2. Washi makes to-do lists more fun
3, 4. The milkweed is doing its glorious thing
5. Rilla’s shamrock garland
6. The wonderful Jane LaFazio doing a watercolor demo during her class
7, 8. Then it was my turn to try
9. I’m so in love with color
Has it really been a week since I posted? Just busy being busy, I guess. Lots of creative juices flowing here lately. Rose is hard at work on a novel inspired by Erin Hunter’s Warriors series. I haven’t been granted a peek at it yet, but her first effort, a twenty page tale filled with swash, buckle, and feline romance, was delightful. I’m eager to read this next installment.
Now that the baby is sitting and playing, and scooting around until he wears himself out and collapses for a two-hour nap, I’ve been able to grab some time for sewing again. I pulled a piecing marathon this weekend and completed three(!) blocks for my virtual quilting bee. Gosh I love piecing. Made two log cabin blocks on Saturday, my first sally at log cabin, and I am completely, utterly, head-over-heels in love with it. Log cabin is like the best parts of Legos, crayons, and yarn all in one.
Here is an excellent log cabin tutorial at Crazy Mom Quilts.
One of the best things about the quilting bee is finding a use for the little bundle of Japanese fabrics I got on sale last year. Like this one:
Couldn’t you just die from the cute?
But as you can see, I’m still having trouble making my seams go where I want them to go. I am just not a straight-line kind of girl. Happily for me, wonky is in. (Making this the best time in history to take up quilting. Fabu deals on Japanese fabrics at a zillion Etsy shops, and crooked seams in vogue? I’m in!)
Although I nicked the handle, this teacup makes me swoon.
Another thing we’ve been having great fun with is watercolor journaling, for which I must send Alice Cantrell a giant cyberkiss. A while back I blogged about our backyard art bag, which brainstorm transformed painting into a suddenly easy pursuit. A chief factor in its success was Jenn’s brilliant idea of cutting watercolor paper into postcard-sized pieces. GENIUS. Small paintings are less intimidating, are quickly finished, are easier to frame, mail, or store. Well, Alice Cantrell liked the art bag idea and carried it even farther, creating mini watercolor kits for her children. And then she shared a link to a Watercolor Journaling DVD, which I promptly ordered because I am completely in awe of Alice’s painting abilities and I not-so-secretly yearn to be able to create lovely pictures myself.
Well, we—my five oldest children and I, from the 3-year-old up—loved the DVD. It got us painting right away. Rilla insists upon my ‘making her a painty picture’ every day. Mind you, I still don’t know what I’m doing. Jane has taken a watercolor class and she is teaching me some techniques. Despite her instruction I have yet to manage a non-blotchy wash. But I’m learning. And the colors are so bright, so fresh, so cheerful, that I really don’t care how many mistakes I make.
Say! If your blotchy wash is in blue, it looks like sky!
My kids have been watching old episodes of Magic School Bus on VHS. (That’s how old the episodes are.) And when I’m painting or sewing, I hear Ms. Frizzle shouting in her merry way: “Take chances! Make mistakes!” This is quite a comforting mantra to keep in mind when attempting to learn a new art or craft, I find.