25 June 2011

on the road ~ {nevada}

Our road trip has begun! We drove 8 hours today, leaving behind California's golden hills and green forests and making our way well into Nevada. I was familiar with the California portion of our trip, but from Nevada on almost all of our trip will be new to me, so I'm really excited to see the landscape and its shapes, colors and changes as we go.

The desert's pale sands and red rocks made some very picturesque views. A small river ran nearby the road at times, providing a little greenery. The landscape changed from desert to chaparral and back. The sky was huge.

Sometimes the sand hills looked like they'd been shaped by a child's hands in a sandbox.  Other times the wind had eroded the sand away revealing craggy, striated rocks.

I haven't taken photos in black and white in a long time and the last time I did, I developed them in a darkroom. It's quite different to take them digitally and I feel I have a lot to learn, but felt like these three photos communicated a little of what I saw today on the road. It was a good first day of travel.

Tomorrow, onward to Utah!

22 June 2011

summer heat

Did everyone have a happy summer solstice? We welcomed the first day of summer with quite a heat wave. In the evening we watched Act I of a 1962 classic ~ Lawrence of Arabia. Those poor guys running around the dry and unforgiving desert, fighting each other, getting sucked up by quicksand and dessicated by the sand ... it made our summer's day look positively mild. 

Anyway, I thought it might be a good time to share my boy on camel with you. It's not a very recent pastel of mine, but I'm still fond of it.

19 June 2011

let's go see the sketchbook project

The entrance to Madrone Studios.

Inside: a white space and sculpted man.

First, you need a library card.
This lady ahead of me in the hat was a contributing artist.
Guests in line to check out books ~ before it got super busy. We just beat the crowd.

It was quite exciting to get our first books. My son wanted to check out my book first. So sweet ~ he's one of my biggest fans. :)

He turned right away to his favorite page.

I decided to start with books from my twitter friends Jeannine @Saylor_made and @Juriko. You can see Jeannine Saylor's book here.

My first checkout: Jeannine's and Juriko's books.

The first part of Jeannine's book followed a theme of "It Must Be...".
She used a really nice combination of collage and watercolor in this set.

In the rest of the book, she illustrated friends' Facebook posts.
This one made me laugh.

I love the pull-out card with the rainbow dress that she tucked in the back.
It went so well with the last pages.


Juriko's book had her classic sketches of people, as I expected.
But I was also surprised by this cut-out window.

I liked the way the flowers came through to the next page's scene.

We were all sharing books. My husband read Juri's book next.

There was one page of my book that didn't get digitized.
It was good to see that it was actually still in the book.

Before we left for the show, we browsed the Arthouse site to find artists' books that we might like to see. One of them we checked out was a gal who lives in northern Italy (near to where we lived for four years) ~ Rossana Bossu'. I really loved her book!


This one especially reminded me of the cobblestones I used to walk over in the city.

One of the artists my son picked out was Pop-i-cok. He liked the cute graphics in her book. The whole thing was printed out with the pages glued in, making the book extra fat.

Her book also had a lot of stitching to add layers and texture.

I could relate to this page. I had a similar midway marker
in my book to encourage myself along.

Then it was time for Thuraya Lynn! Her Arthouse page doesn't have her book digitized (yet), but you can see some new works on her blog.

Cool cover.

I took snapshots of some of the pages that had interesting clear attachments.

I don't know how she adhered the plastic wrap, but it was very well secured
and gave a great effect.

This might have been my favorite illustration in her book.
(My answer to the question is: Yes!)

Back to the checkout line for some more great books to admire.

Left to right: Anika Starmer, Dosanko Debbie, Wendy Gault, Christina Norberg

My favorite page in Anika's book.
Her book turned out to be my son's favorite.

Spiderweb cover is perfect for the Lines and Grids theme.
(Sorry the photo is blurry.)

Debbie should print her book and sell it as a Japanese lesson book!
I wanted to take it home to study it and learn everything.

Wendy's prints = amazing.

I also liked the way she did her cover with the ribbon.

Christina makes organic drawings with pretty texture and movement.

Another brilliant Christina Norberg spread.

Only two more books to go....  are you still with me? 
This post must be my longest ever! *whew!*

We looked at Alessandra Placucci's book: In Flight. It was one that my son picked out when we were looking at the artists online.

The cover was so elegantly bound.
Her book had all kinds of attachments to open and discover new things inside.
She also had many fold-out pages that don't translate
on the digital version at Arthouse, so we took pics.

I was impressed at Alessandra's complex and detailed style
that she maintained throughout. Fun to discover her work.

The last book we looked at was one that had been featured on the Arthouse twitter feed at some point. Here's Stine Kaasa.

And the growing crowd.

I think a lot of artists were there with their friends. As I went through my books I could hear conversations around me:

"Oh, you're really good."

"I actually did the rest of the book in two weeks."

"That page was challenging!"


We would have liked to read even more books but so many people were coming in we thought it best to grab some lunch at The Crepe House and let some others have our seats.

I'm glad to be participating again for 2012. One day it would be nice to go to Brooklyn and spend an afternoon in the sketchbook library to see all the great books I missed this time, like: Rhya, Toni Rica, Dochan Essence, Brown Paper Bunny and the fur-covered book by Jessica Gowling that got lost in the mail (but which might show up by the time I make it to Brooklyn).

If there are other books I should try to check out next time, do let me know!

18 June 2011

wedding {handmade details}

My sister's wedding was a small and sweet affair in the garden with many people contributing their talents to make it personal, pretty and (in some cases) delicious!

Our friend Cooper took the photos and another friend made the bouquets...

My mum made the vases and several family members and friends helped arrange and hang decorative bouquets ~ these flowers came from another friend's garden...

(The wine cork is the pull handle to open the gate.)

My mum also made 100 cups for guests to drink from and take home as favors. The "P & T heart" stamp was carved by my step-dad.

The sketch I made when they got engaged marked the entrance so guests would know they arrived at the right place. We also put a fancier version in a large photo frame with plenty of mat surrounding where they could sign in ~like a guest book~ with a special message to the couple.

I folded many origami cranes to decorate the tables and pamphlet-stitched the wedding program that I designed for the happy couple. I printed it on a beautiful, slightly metallic paper that doesn't quite show in the photo.

Our friend Terry not only cooked almost all the amazing food, but she also made the cake bites. These are the bride & groom bites that graced the top of the tower.

I don't have any pictures of the handmade washi paper pennants I made that hung about to lend a festive air. But there this shot of some of the photos that we hung about showing the couple in their younger years. These were a nice way to share some history and also sparked some fun conversations.

It was a beautiful and very happy wedding day! It was heartwarming to see all the people that cared so much and gave so much of their time and handmade contributions to make it perfect.