Saturday, April 20, 2019

REI Camp Table A to Z Challenge

Purchased this wonderful little camping table last summer. From REI.
Perfect for trips in the plane to remote places to camp.

Folds up into a nice neat package. Bag included. 

 I have been a member of REI Co-Op (Recreational Equipment Inc.) literally for decades. You get a dividend each year on what you have purchased.


 One day, just one, last week when the weather got springish we pulled the table out so we could sit on the deck & plot our summer strategy. The "real" deck table was still stored away. 
As you see it holds beverages nicely.

We coveted these camping pillows another couple had on North Fox Island last summer. Got us a couple right away. They crush down to nothing but are nice & full when you are ready to sleep.
It's all about the comfort when camping these days with our older bodies. 

REI Co-Op has loads of resources for outdoor adventures, trip planning, clothing, & equipment.

Do you like to camp? Where have you been?


Friday, April 19, 2019

Q for Quick Sketches

Sketching is a skill I would like to develop. It's like playing an instrument. 
You have to use those muscles or they atrophy. 

Artists Magazine has recently been inspiring me to put pencil to paper.  
The site has loads of opportunity to learn. 

Moment Sketchers is something I've followed for awhile. They host monthly challenges with the participants posting to Instagram as well as workshops.Images below are from the site.

This is Candace who started Moment Sketchers. Another place to see her art.

I'm drawn to city scape sketches but need to learn more about perspective. 

There are loads of classes both online & out in the world. You need to evaluate closely before deciding if you want to pay the price & hop on.

A few random pages from my journal. 
Times when I surprised myself with a fairly nice drawing done quickly

Use whatever is "at hand",or feet in this case, when looking for a subject.

A friend's pet bird I took the time to sketch when visiting.

Thursday, April 18, 2019

P is for Pantry What's in Yours?


I love to cook. A well stocked pantry is important. 
To be short one item for a recipe can be maddening. 
I also get to show off some of my fabric bins as they grace my pantry for specific items.

The truth is I'm an organizing addict. Is freak the right word?
 I'll let my friends be the judge of that. Anyone care to weigh in? I can take it.

 Open shelving is great if you have the space. I like to be able to see everything easily. 
Helps when you are making a shopping list. 
It's as bad to buy an extra of what you already have as it is to be short.


 I recently winnowed my collection of cook books. 
It all becomes variations on a theme at some point.
 Plus who doesn't love food sites & Pinterest?

I transfer most items to glass for storage.
An entire shelf full of anxious participants. 

 Open wire drawers work well for dry storage of those things 
that like to sprout if you aren't watching.
I use lots of onion & garlic so it's not a problem here.


 Did you notice the fabric box above labeled chalk? 

I have a chalk board wall in my pantry. Gotta have a place to play with design.
 I haven't changed from this ampersand in ages. I need to attend to that.
 Maybe after the A to Z is anyone else getting worn out? 

A couple past designs on the wall.


It's not all about the food for me as you can see. Ways to express creativity always come into play. 

What's important in your pantry?

Wednesday, April 17, 2019

Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows A to Z Challenge

A friend sent me a link to the Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows awhile ago. It is a beautiful, thought provoking endeavor by John Koenig.  Link is to his TED talk. He makes up words that don't exist to describe feelings we all have as humans. Then little videos are created to introduce you to the word.

A couple examples to get you curious. 

A good list of the words to browse via BuzzFeed 

Take a few moments & have a look. It might change your perspective.  

Tuesday, April 16, 2019

N is for Neuland A to Z Challenge

A fine example of Neuland hand lettering done by Maria Montes.

 N is for Neuland. A typeface created by Rudolph Koch in 1923.

It's challenging to hand letter. The entire letter is done using the broadest area
 of your writing tool. It requires turning the nib at unusual angles. This makes it fun to play with.

Images from a class I attened several years ago to learn how to "do" Neuland.
you can tell I'm a newbie! 


  Hand drawn & cut out of decorated papers. Solves the nib angle problem. 
The above is by Carol DuBosch, a well known Calligrapher.

I am fortunate to have several OLD copies of the Speedball lettering books that were my father's.

This 14th edition is from 1941. When "fonts" were a hand done thing. 

Looks like a version of Neuland to me.

This is the last page & the lettering around the perimeter also looks like Neuland. 

There was a centennial edition printed a few years ago. 

Versions of this typeface have been used in some immediately recognizable places.

Monday, April 15, 2019

Mushrooms & Mosses

Mushrooms seem to have their own subculture of zealots. For their beauty, elusiveness,
 & their culinary applications.


In a previous post I focused the importance of looking down to observe.

 In that same post I identified these beauties, thanks to a freind on Instagram.
 Shaggy Mane  Coprinus comatus.  They are edible

There is a local Mycological society


Not to mention the wild mushrooms on offer at the local Farmers market.

In the next month or so there will be a frenzie to find the delicious Morel Mushroom. 
Several small towns near by have Mushroom Festivals

 Lets move on to mosses. A two M word day here on this blog.


 There was a reference to this book about mosses I ran across somewhere. 
It peaked my interest so I snagged it from the local library. It was fascinating!  
The link above to the GoodReads review tells you more about it.
Often overlooked they are an important part of the natural world we live in.

The vibrant green of the mosses grabs my attention. Learning more about how
 they grow & survive gave me a new appreciation for their delicate nature.

Do you notice little bits of nature in your surroundings?  Ever eat a wild mushroom?
 Ever hunt for them?

Saturday, April 13, 2019

Aimee Lee Paper Maker, Artist, Author

Learning to make Hanji paper & what can be made from it with Aimee Lee was a pleasure. 
There is a great video in the above link to her site that informs you about Aimee's starting
 point for learning the process in Korea to make Hanji & her artistic drive.

L is for Aimee Lee 

It was the last time I attended PBI  (Paper & Book Intensive) that I took her class.

She weaves Hanji Ducks from twisted cords from the paper.

I had to have this duck she put on auction at the end of PBI.

Before he was mine hanging out with his friends on the display table at Ox-Bow

I took him to my work to meet a pal one day.

I would love to learn in more depth how to crate these lovely vessels. 

You can also knit with the threads from Hanji paper. Right up my alley.

I hope you take the time to look at her story & work. 
Yet another interesting journey by an artist I greatly admire. 

I'll be attending PBI again this year. I'm sure if you follow me 
you will see lots of my inspiration from this year's classes.