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Archive for December 8th, 2005

Color & Composition: Contour Drawing

Thursday, December 8th, 2005

A small group of Artful Quilters are working through the Color and Composition book by Katie Pasquini Masopaust and Brett Barker. We will be posting our work on our blogs for all to see. Here is our first assignment: Contour drawing.

Compose a still life.



Exercise one: Blind Contour Drawing

Set a timer for 25 minutes. Draw the contours of the still life without looking at your paper (hold a paper over your hand and pencil). It was hard for me to spend 25 minutes on this. Maybe my still life didn’t have enough contour complexity!!

Exercise two: Semi-blind contour drawing. Repeat the process. This time you can look at the paper at the beginning of a contour, then take your eyes off the paper and look at the object (75% looking at still life, 25% looking at the drawing).

Exercise three: Contour drawing. Draw the same still life. You can look at the paper as often as you like. but keep in mind that the more you look at the paper and not the still life – you are using that pesky left brain!!


I really enjoyed doing this. I think I need to sign up for a drawing class because this was fun. I am a very right-brained person so I think it was relatively easy for me to let go and let my hand and the pencil do the work.

Oh, Tannenbaum and Other Holiday Amusements

Thursday, December 8th, 2005

I love Christmas trees – the smell, the lights, the decorating and the anticipation of what may show up underneath. I grew up on a farm in upstate NY and we would trudge off into the woods, usually in snow, to find the perfect tree.

After Steve and I married, I think we always went out to the country to a tree farm to find and cut down our tree. When we lived on the coast of North Carolina, there were no tree farms, but we had a Fraser Fir, brought from the mountains, and they are probably my favorite tree – you don’t find them here in California.

Here is a better photo of this year’s tree:


I like an old fashioned tree with eclectic ornaments – not those decorator themed trees with all the same colors and coordinated ornaments. I once thought I had lost a new friend for being so dogmatic about this. They were at our house for dinner and I had decorated the tree with home-made gingerbread ornaments and popcorn and cranberry strung on twine. I made my big pronouncement about trees all in one color. The next week we were at their house and there was this totally blue tree  – blue ornaments and blue lights! Midge became one of my dearest friends ever and the next year, she had an eclectic, much more interesting tree.

I have a weird assortment of ornaments. It is like a walk down memory lane every year. This is a Chrismon made by my son Mark when he was a gangly, incorrigible thirteen year old.


Once when we moved away from a neighborhood, all my friends gave me an ornament. I think of each of them when I put their ornament on the tree. Here is one made by the best of friends in that neighborhood:


This was made by my beautiful mother-in-law who gave us beautiful ornaments every year:


This is an antique ornament from her collection:


I made this needlepoint Teddy Bear:


I found this Santa on a scale when I was operating a weight-loss center and I bought out the store to give as gifts.


I have lots of wooden ornaments like these that I love. The really tiny ones go on the top of the tree.


One year I found these folk figures that you could cut, sew and stuff and I have several of them.


Another friend made this burro from clothespins. He makes me chuckle every year when I hang him on the tree.


Now for your enjoyment, here is some wacky seasonal music. Listen all the way through so that you don’t miss anything. It is pretty funny!

Download OhHolyNight.mp3

For the other one you need to go here.


Decking the Halls

Thursday, December 8th, 2005

Tomorrow, I am entertaining the current and next year’s boards of my quilt guild. We will meet at 10 and have a pot luck lunch after we get some work done. Stevie and I have worked like crazy to get the house cleaned up and decorated. I am feeling pretty good so I have been able to accomplish a few days of work in one!!

Here is a shot of the living room and the tree with just lights waiting for me to finish decorating. It is taken from the loft which is my studio.


Here is the tree after I hung the ornaments:

Pretty blurry. I’ll take a better one tomorrow.

Here is the fireplace and mantel:




I collect nativity scenes. Here are a few:





Oh, and while I am taking photos in the living room, I also collect crosses:


Here are some quilty Christmas things that I have made over the years:





I had the best time tonight watching the first two Project Runways. I love this show so much. They have the usual cast of wacky characters. It is going to be a great season. I haven’t decided who I am going to root for just yet. There second challenge was to make outfits from the clothes they were wearing at that moment! It was very fascinating to see what they came up with.

OK! It is way past my bedtime. g’night!