Paper Beads 
My latest obsession. 
For some reason I am really into paper beads right now.  I am not very good at getting a nice tight roll, or keeping it centered and even.  I'll either get better with practice, or move on to something else when I get sick of these.  Either way, I'm just having fun  -  I'm not going into the paper bead business.  In fact, I may never even string them  -  I love the way they look in this little white bowl.

The paper I used is book binding paper, scrap paper, and magazine pages.  It needs to be thin enough to roll, but thick enough to make a substantial bead.

Now if I can tear myself away from all the pretty paper, I need to get creative with some promotional material.  That sounds like it might be a little too taxing on the brain for a weekend, doesn't it?

Are you creating something this weekend?


Lunch at Jesperson's

Tomato Soup with Garlic Croutons
This wasn't our usual Wednesday tomato soup place.  The soup was nothing to write home about, but the croutons were delicious.  That was my second piece of cherry pie this week.  What's with that?  I don't even eat desserts  -  not because I'm virtuous  -  I just don't care for sweets.

This is a contour (continuous line drawing) done with my Noodler's pen with periwinkle Noodler's ink.

I am looking out the front window toward the Bay and it is gray gray gray  -  sky, water, trees, everything.  I guess I will just have to go do something colorful.  I have this urge to make paper beads in bright colors.  Maybe I should get dressed first.  Get ready for this afternoon's class.  Load the dishwasher .......  But those beads are calling me.  Here I go.

Do something creative today.  Anything!


Sunny and Cold

Up to 23 Degrees!

I'm not crazy about this paper.  I like the color, but not for winter.  We need to color coordinate our sketchbooks for the seasons, you know.  Blue would have been better  -  predictable, but better. I'm not really crazy about the texture of it either,  so I should just move on to the watercolor paper that I do like, and use this for lists and notes. 

I have a cold and my brain is feeling a little muddled, so I'm just sitting around eating cherry pie and drinking coffee.  That's what you do for a cold, right?


Ellie's Chili and a Cutie

A cutie in my sketchbook and the recipe for Ellie's chili

I love it that they call these little tangerine things cuties.  I like the boxes they come in.  I like the size of the cuties.  I like the way they peel so easily.  And, they are fun to sketch.

This was done with my Noodler's pen and Noodler's periwinkle ink on Mi Teint paper, which, in this case,  is actually quite green  -  you'd never know it here.  I used watercolor and white prismacolor pencil also.

On the right hand page is a recipe, more or less, for chili.  I say "more or less" because I didn't write down any amounts.  I was supposed to be teaching, not writing down recipes.  I don't know "grillin' beans", but I think they are in the Mexican food section.

We discussed a lot of life's problems in class today, and even got some painting done. Such a fun and supportive group!

Happy painting.  Keep those pencils, pens, and brushes moving!


Noodler Doodles

Doodles and Figures
First of all, I am happy to say that our son is home from Afghanistan, safe and sound! He looked pretty good walking through that door.  His wife and kids are pretty excited, we are very relieved, AND we all get another shot at Christmas this weekend.  Fun!

The doodles were done with a Noodler pen with periwinkle Noodler's ink. The pen nib has a flex to it that allows it to make thick and thin lines depending on the pressure used.  It's a lot of fun to doodle with, and I haven't tried any serious drawing with it yet.

The figures above the sketchbook page are little demonstrations that I did in class today.  They're fun and easy  -  just stick figures with a little more body.

It's all fun  -  Noodler's doodles, figures  -  whatever.  Even with your serious drawings, don't get too serious.  It's all about the journey, not the finished product -  that will usually take care of itself.



Buttons and Clouds
This week in my classes our "warm-up" was painting a few small white buttons.  I can't take credit for an original idea here.  I saw buttons done in watercolor posted on Pinterest and followed  it back to the blog of Jane Minter. 

In yesterday's class, we each took a few buttons, sketched them, and started adding shadows and detail and background.  That's the one on the top right.  Today's class did the little paintings by painting a very wet wash without mixing the colors up too much, and leaving some white of the paper in a few spots.  We lifted some color here and there to leave some lighter spots for more buttons.  This is the one on the bottom right.  When the wash was dry we lightly drew some buttons, and then added a little detail and some darker shadows around the buttons.

The buttons at the top left were done in prismacolor pencils on Mi Teints paper in my sketchbook.
Bottom left -  everyone in the class is working on a different theme, and this was a little demonstration for one of the students doing clouds.

The buttons have me thinking that it might be fun to do a series of very small things grouped together  -  thumb tacks, sticks of pastels, pen nibs, corks, combs and barrettes, pretty stones .  .  .  what else?

I hope this will inspire you a bit.  I think we all need a little help this time of year to keep our creativity going and our brushes moving.


Snowy Afternoon

The One Blossom Christmas Cactus
This is the perfect afternoon to wind down the holidays.  We are getting a lot of snow, so maybe this won't be the end  -  maybe we'll be snowed in!

I have spent a lot of time this past week puttering around the house, and it really felt good.  I've been sorting through things in my studio, rearranging, spending time with the grandkids - one day they stayed in their jammies all day and played with modeling clay.

This afternoon my husband and I have both mentioned things we really should be doing, but we've been playing dominoes, listening to music, and watching it snow.