Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Book: The Drawing Lesson by Mark Crilley

I have always enjoyed doodling and drawing. As a young girl, if I couldn't get my hands on a book to read, I could be found coloring on the backs of envelopes Mom had tossed from paying the bills, or I'd be sketching objects on a notepad. I thought of coloring books as too limiting. Anyone can fill in the spaces between the lines. It's the lines that require a creative mind!

Because I still love to read and want to learn to draw better, I was immediately "drawn" to this book. The Drawing Lesson by Mark Crilley is described as "a graphic novel that teaches you how to draw". It is written in comic-book style with each panel sketched with pencils. It is so easy to read and follow along. At the end of each chapter, a suggested "assignment" is given to the reader to practice the drawing lesson that was taught.

It's quite an interesting book as you get to know the characters. David, is a young boy who wants nothing more in life than to learn how to draw. Luckily for him, he comes upon Becky, a 30-something woman, who was enjoying her afternoon in the park drawing away on a sketchpad.

David, enticed by her talents and artistry, asks her if she'd teach him how to draw. Becky, of course, has a life of her own and has no idea that David is going to be a constant side-kick for awhile. One lesson is contained in each chapter and focuses on the skill that Becky teaches David. We see David's drawing develop within the panels and even witness David making mistakes. We also see Becky's frustration and wild facial expressions!
I do think she tends to over react at times, but that makes it fun.

As I read each chapter, I closed the book and picked up my drawing pencils and sketchbook to complete the assignment. Believe it or not, I still have the pencils I used back in college in the early 80's. It was like going back in time, I tell ya!

Follow along as I take you through the chapters.
Photos and drawings are side by side so you can see what I was trying to draw!

Chapter 2: Drawing What You See (my watch)


Chapter 3: Shading (a leather chair in the family room)

Chapter 4: Beginning With a Loose Sketch (an apple in a glass bowl)


Chapter 5: Understanding Light and Shadow (a candle)

Chapter 6: Using Negative Space (a hotel room in Minneapolis)

Chapter 7: Checking Proportions (my patient husband)

Chapter 8: Simplifying Things (the Crab Apple tree in the front yard)

Chapter 9: Creating a Composition (the Julien Dubuque Bridge from the Iowa side)

There is one more drawing assignment I need to complete. It is Chapter 10: Bringing It All Together which uses all of the skills taught in the book to make one ambitious drawing! Almost like a final project or a doctoral thesis. I will get it done!

I truly enjoyed this book and learned a lot from the lessons. It was fun to watch the friendship grow between Becky and David and see David's talents develop too.
I think my talents were strengthened along with David's!

If you'd like to read more about the author of this book, you can click here: Mark Crilley
You can also read more about this book here: The Drawing Lesson

FTC disclaimer: "I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review."

Friday, August 19, 2016

5 Things to Be Happy About #3

It's hard to believe it's mid-August already. Summer always seems to fly by, especially for those of us who wait nine months for it. Kinda like waiting for a baby.

Here's my 5 things that made me happy this past week. Listed in no particular order.

1. Mister Crabby Pants! I saw this little guy at the library and couldn't resist asking his mom if I could take a picture of his shirt. She didn't mind at all! Of course, the hardest part was trying to get him to stand with his back to me. I imagine not many folks ask for a picture of his backside!
Love that shirt.

2. Woohoo! My quilt in the previous post was chosen as the featured post on Quilt Fabrication's Midweek Makers! What an awesome honor and one I'm pretty tickled about. Of course, no one but a fellow blogger would understand my enlightenment. Not even my husband. Oh, well.

3. I saw one of my bibs in person at a local eatery. I've been making personalized bibs for several years for baby gifts. I'd guess I've made about 100 of them, but I've never seen one out in public on a baby until this day! Of course, I asked Lila's mama if I could take a photo AND post it on my blog...all was OK with her. Her mom said, "Say cheese" to Lila and she replied "Amen"! So cute!

4. My best friend had a birthday this week, so I made her a card. She loves blue, so I used some blue scraps to sew up 2 Bluebirds of Happiness on a limb carrying a message. Of course, the poem inside might have said something about "crap". She loved it!

5. Now this is a rare one! You won't find a photo of me too often, so pay attention! :)
I was in the "pucker" Kim Kardashian lips don't really look like that. My husband and I were celebrating our 33rd wedding anniversary. We've gone to the very same place every year to dine on our anniversary. It's the same place we had our reception back in 1983.
Gosh, I love that man.

I am linking up with:

What made you happy this week?

Sunday, August 7, 2016

Lap Quilt for Marie

I finally finished this beauty! A few months back, we visited my husband's aunt who lives near Branson, Missouri. She had a paralyzing stroke several years ago and is confined to a nursing home. She still has her lovable sense of humor and tendency to shake her finger at you while talking.
(I'm keeping track, cuz I want to be like that when I'm old!)

Anyway, I thought she'd enjoy a pretty lap quilt during the winter months. If she doesn't want to use it for that, she can fold it up at the bottom of her bed and use it for a runner.
Possible layout

I used Moda's Paris Flea Market fabric collection to create this quilt. I hunted all over for a quilt pattern that appealed to me. I didn't see one I liked well enough, so I created one! I had a layer cake of the bundle and just sliced each one diagonally, mixed up the fabrics, sewed them back together with a 2 inch strip of green fabric and arranged the into a pleasing layout.

For the back, I bought yardage from Etsy to match the layer cake and added a chevron block to give it some character.

Up close, you can see my quilting. I mainly followed the lines of the squares.

Of course, I added my label!

I also hand-stitched the binding on the back.

I don't usually enjoy hand-stitching, but this time it was very relaxing!

I added a pocket to the front for Marie to hold her treasures...she doesn't go anywhere without her tinted lip balm and a tissue! I even embroidered her name on the pocket, so it doesn't get "lost" somewhere. Knowing that Marie only has use of her left side, I put the pocket on the left side of the quilt and near the top. That way she can always find the top too!

Measuring at 31" x 37", I think it'll be the perfect size for Marie
to snuggle under while in her wheelchair.

Marie's quilt will go in the mail this week.

I am currently working on something with this:

Hmmmm...odd combination, eh?

Sleepy Sophie says "Hi"!