Thursday, October 23, 2008


Talaria Enterprises has 3D sculpture representations of 2D works of both famous artists and world cultures. They also have some reproductions of actual sculptures and paintings and much more. Very cool site to look through. Who would have thought you could see Dali's elephant or Klimt's The Kiss in 3D?

Sunday, October 19, 2008

I made it into an Etsy Treasury!

I was included in an Etsy Treasury by Scollardgreens today :) Thank you! This is the drawing that was included and it is available at my PenStrokes shop.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Fantastic Contraption

Mark discovered this physics online game called Fantastic Contraption via Fark the other day.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Esme Outside

Got a dog, got a stick, yay!

Giggling Esme
Got a Mom!

What are these? They look like good toys!

Got another stick!

Esme and Daddy play 'tap tap tap'

Mommy, you want to play?

Monday, October 13, 2008

Well Wishes

We've been trying to get a well drilled since May. The well-driller's ears must have been burning today as I told Grandpa and Grandma about how we've been playing phone tag. He called today and brought out his rig. They know where they are going to drill and say they will be here Wednesday with the rest of the machinery to do the work.

Esme ran all over her grandparent's house. Oscar, Gypsy and Mitzi's brother, was adopted by them as well. Esme and Oscar played together some with his spinning ball toy while we were there. Then Esme discovered the dog food dish and after a bit I took her home to get some food she could eat ;)

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Esme is now officially a toddler, says I

Up until now we have been corraling Esme in a 6 foot by 8 foot or so area with baby gates and high furniture. We had that area babyproofed as well as we could and it has served us well. It has kept her safe and given her plenty of room to play at the same time. Well... those days are coming to an end.

Esme climbed the blanket on the bed tonight, got up on it, and promptly fell off the other side. If she can do that then there is no keeping her in that corral (successfully) anymore. Esme wasn't hurt, just stunned - and to be honest we are stunned too. She isn't even one year old!

We have to block the stairs again and start babyproofing the entire room! That is going to take some work. Luckily I have tomorrow off. And Esme is more than walking now, she is almost running. I think Grandpa and Grandma really need to see this tomorrow if we can work it in. Mark said when he brought Esme up there last week she hardly walked for them at all.

Esme's not so high highchair

We finally got Esme a high chair about a month ago - something with a tray so she could grab things and feed herself. We had been feeding her between mealtimes in her stroller because it was easy to get her in and out of and spoonfeed in. And at dinner time she would come stand or sit down next to us and we would handfeed her bits of whatever we were eating. It was time for her to have her own little meals at her own 'table.'

We don't have an average-height kitchen table so we wanted something that was portable, and could be used on the floor as well as at a chair at a table. I didn't want to lug a full-size highchair up and down our stairs as sometimes it is more convenient to feed her upstairs with our dinner than downstairs in the kitchen.

This is the Fisher Price portable booster seat. We ordered it from Amazon since our local stores didn't have anything we liked. It can strap on to a chair or be used on the floor and won't easily fall over. Not to say Esme can't tip it over if she tries hard, she can and already has - but we have been securing the back strap to the shelves in her play area and that helps quite a bit. We also like that the tray can be put in the dishwasher (the white part, not the blue part).

For now we're leaving the chair in her play area and the clean tray out of her reach nearby. We're trying to teach her that if she goes and sits down in her chair and gets our attention we might come put the tray in and give her some crackers etc... I think it's working some already, lately she has been a bottomless pit of hungry! Mark and I can't believe how much food we are putting down this little stomach :)

Here she is eating some cereal and graham cracker bits.

Note: The biggest problem at this age is that she gets bored when she chews. She wants something to do with her hands and ends up picking up food and tossing it on the floor until she has swallowed, then eats the next one. I've been trying to teach her she can sort them between the drink spot and the tray and still have something to do without wasting food. The best thing is to just not give her too much at a time, and expect to vaccuum more. Also the dogs will be getting fatter :)

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Rabbits Climb to the Moon original ink drawing

Rabbitsmoon 1
'Fantasy Woods' Rabbits climb to the Moon

This drawing should fit within an 8 x 10 mat opening. It is an original handmade drawing on sketch paper, not a print. This drawing was SOLD at the PenStrokes shop.

Rabbitsmoon detail 1

Rabbitsmoon detail 2

I spent a few hours last night with my gel and Micron pens. I drew 12 blocks for a quilted project and then started out on this drawing. It shows little rabbits climbing up the tree to sit in the moon. There is also a deer, owl, bird and dragon monster in the drawing. I call this place the 'Golden Woods' where my little mythological creatures play, and it shows up often. This drawing also has lots of the 'nonsense' gears and attachments that often appear in my drawings. I love getting back into making the textures like the ones under the deer's feet and up the tree.

Books: I'm reading 'Blindness' by Jose Saramago. It is very different than most of the things I have read. The author uses generic descriptions for all the people like 'doctors wife' and 'taxi driver.' There is a large lack of visual descriptions because everyeone is supposed to be blind, except the doctor's wife. The things she is described as seeing have more impact because she is the only one seeing them - especially the descriptions of the thief's gangrenous wound etc... There is also a dream-like feel to the book and the author's has a formal British accent which adds (for me) to the feeling I am truly looking into another world.

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Original Ink Drawings

I got a new set of Micron pens a few weeks ago and just really put them to the test last night with a few ink drawings. Here is what I came up with, some like my old style, some like my current style and one that looks like Picasso came and tried to ghostwrite Guernica through me ;) heh

Once again, all of these drawings are created by scribbling a few random marks on the paper and trying to figure out what I see by connecting the lines. They are all listed at Pen Strokes.

I call this style a new Art Nouveau
It looks somewhat like my old style


close-up - 5 colors of ink and lots of sketchy stuff

I called this one 'I Fell in Love with a Birdman' - even though it doesn't really say much about me and Mark in particular or that he is actually a Birdman... although he does have a sharp profile *grin*... Sometimes though the name just hits you out of the blue even when it doesn't make perfect sense.

Blue Rabbit, Brown Bird
This woman is singing about all the creatures and they are singing with her

As you can see with all three of these I draw women in bird masks a lot - maybe you could call the bird AND the rabbit avatars of a sort... they show different sides of my personality and I use them in the pictures to try to tell a story about where I am going and what I am doing.

Monday, October 06, 2008


I made a facebook account just to send a message to an old friend - and suddenly all these people from my old high school are sending me messages out of the blue! Eep! Is that good or scary? ;)

Agreed CarrieK: It is actually kind of cool. A lot of the people I barely remember but there are a few I'm glad to get in touch with again. And it is interesting to login to the home page and get an overview of what everyone is doing.

Saturday, October 04, 2008

Car Shaped Pillow pattern and Esme's Alien Ears

Esme is 11 months old today! Yesterday when we came up from downstairs we found Esme had pulled a drawer out of her dresser, turned it upside down and climbed on top of it. She was standing there, a full 6 inches taller than usual, just extremely proud of herself. She had pulled some clothing down from the third shelf she usually can't reach. Mark and I both laughed at each other and her saying 'Wow - we're in trouble now!'

Original KnitOwl pattern for a car shaped pillow

I spent a good amount of time yesterday making this pattern for a car shaped pillow. Is it a convertible, a roadster, a race car? It's kind of a 'generic' car all around - and the pattern will take a little more work before I can figure out how to make it available through my shop. For one thing it is HUGE, but it goes together as easily as a three piece strip quilt. I think next time I'll use low quality stuffing though, as the high quality stuff combined with the 100% cotton broadcloth made for some weird results.

Esme has alien ears!

These tiny pigtails lasted for a very short amount of time - but her hair is getting long enough to get in her eyes now. I'll have to figure out something to do with it or end up snipping bangs in another few months.

Friday, October 03, 2008

Handmade Bed Bug Back Pillow in Use with the Wii

Caterpillar Back Pillow
Shown in use while Mark plays the Wii.

They say sometimes your back hurts when you play the Wii. Mark has this game 'Rampage' he has been playing for a few days, and the Bed Bug is getting some use as a back pillow.

Esme watches intently as Daddy plays 'Rampage' on the Wii.

Esme LOVES to watch the game as the creature tears up buildings in a city. There are lots of noises and the monsters have silly antics.

Thursday, October 02, 2008

Sometimes you have to play with the scraps

Even when you know you should be doing something else - the scraps of fabric sometimes call out. These are scraps of fabric from making the dragon pillow, and they want to be a 'bedbug.'

Mark took some beautiful pictures of the kittens outside today. And I've been knitting during my lunch hour at work. I have a VERY long scarf that is nearly done. We have an old dressmaker's dummy coming sometime next week by UPS which will be a great place to display knitting and other whimsies for the shop.

Bed Bug Caterpillar Pillow

Shop Feedback: I love it when feedback comes back on the shop items. The rattly cat ball aliens and the striped sherbert colored zebra are happy in their new home. Also, the lady I made mousebear twins for a while back is happy and says they are perfect for little hands :) The lady who bought the last bassinet quilt (the michael miller carnival bloom one) is thrilled and says it is awesome. I included a homeless cotton flopsy bunny inside the quilt when I sent it to her.

Not too much else at the moment - but lots of things are still in progress.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Dragon Pillow

One of my workshop items was this dragon pillow. I'd planned a large bed pillow out of this nice red and white striped fabric. But not just any boring rectangular pillow - it had to be special and interesting, something unique. Mark helped me evolve the idea into something worth it's stuffing ;) This 30 inch wide dragon took about two hours to make and one yard each of the front and back fabrics. With 100% cotton ticking fabrics and good seams he should also survive the washing machine.

Shown on top of our plushy dragon blanket which also helped inspire it

Esme thinks it's an interesting toy too, with his curly tail, floppy arm and mouth full of teeth. Here she makes for good scale as she pages through a new board book.

I've been using the dragon as a head pillow at night the past few days as well. It makes me happy to make something that actually gets used. I think this dragon bears repeating. A couple of times maybe... in slightly different incarnations. Mark already says he needs one of his own because I'm monopolizing this one :)

Next: Purple bassinet quilt, more aliens and lots of fabric!