post Christmas

We survived! It was terrific! This week we've been catching up with friends, and sleep.  Lots of lots of sleep!!

For Christmas, Santa bought me pen holders so that I could organise all of my markers. Love them! All of my promarkers and tria markers now have a permanent home, and since I already have waaaaay more colours than any normal person really needs, I don't think I'll be needing to expand past this.

I had to work out a way to indicate colours in each holder - this is what I came up with - I created tags that I could hang off the handles that work as a colour swatch and have the marker id number on them also. I really like how they turned out and the fact that I can change them around in the future if I want to organise the colours differently.

I have tied them on in a way so that when I open the storage holder the tag lays flat inside reflecting the position of the colours so I can use this for quick identification, and also use to put them back in the correct slot. Yes, I am a little fanatical about organisation............it's a curse......lol!

The only drawing I have done over this week has been to add a few pages to my pattern focus journal - here they are:


another orientation:

Puf: triangles and a few squares.

And..............I made it to the end of my pattern organisational folder. Ta da!! Now, I all I have to do is add new patterns that I like as I come across them.



Challenge #100 - Diva Dance

So, no Monday Moleskine this week - it was my mum's birthday - we drove up to see her.....and, I kinda forgot.....oops. As we're all full of Christmas love and cheer and frantic preparation around here (I have 24 coming to lunch Christmas Day), I don't see any MM's happening until after New Years.

Onto this weeks Diva Challenge - what a fabulous milestone for Laura to reach 100 challenges, and how cool to have the introduction of the tangle pattern, Diva Dance to celebrate it. Fantastic. I started in on the challenges about half way through this year, and they have been such a wonderful way for me to stretch myself creatively as well as discovering so many talented tanglers. Love it.

Diva Dance. Love, love, love. Can you tell - I loved playing with this pattern. "Anything goes/rock n'roll" is definitely the version I lean towards.

Here's what I came up with:

Wreath: this was the first thing that came to mind as soon as I saw the potential to tangle up the streams of "threads".

Mookaliciousness: It was a little hard for me to stop with this one, I just kept adding and adding until, basically, it was time to head to bed so I had to finish up. Lots of sticky corners to round out spaces in between curls and threads - loved that they just blended in and became part of the pattern.

Feather: I haven't drawn a feather for a while - Diva Dance worked well for this.

A page from my pattern focus journal, which I mentioned ages ago when I was thinking about organisational options - in this journal I have a bit of a play with patterns I like and include name, how-to's (if needed, this one's pretty self-explanatory). I am really hoping to make some serious inroads with this journal over the christmas/summer break.

Today is my last school session for the year - then 6 weeks off for the summer break - I am so excited, I can barely contain myself! Here's hoping it's a beautiful, hot summer, though, thus far the weather report is saying clearing showers and 22C for Christmas Day (we do our lunch out on our verandah), it's not perfect, but a lot better than the rain and near freezing temperatures we had a couple of years ago and had to stuff many, many people inside our little house.

I hope you and your family have the most wonderful, fun, happy Christmas and New Year.



challenge #99 - Looped Border String

I've got lots to share today, so in order to avoid this post dragging on and on........and on and on.............I'm going to split it into 2 posts one for the challenge and another about my love of curly brackets. I'm pretty sure the email feed only sends one post over 24 hour period, so if you're interested, here's the link to the other : Curly Bracket Love and Brax Pattern

So, this weeks Diva Challenge - Looped Border String  was a guest post by Margaret Bremner. If you've seen any of my string challenge posts, you'll probably realise they terrify me - I don't really deal all that well within the constraints of a border.

So, first I took the avoidance route and became fascinated by the shape possibilities of the string itself - this led me into a whole heap of experimentation with brackets and diverted me for hours before I finally settled down to tackling the challenge.

I decided to draw a string pretty much like the example given and filled it with Bunzo.

It turned out o.k., but it doesn't really speak to me (yes, my drawings talk to me.......isn't that.....like .........normal? It happens to everyone, right?)

So, I rethought my approach and decided that although I might not be able to work well within a border frame, I could definitely work with a loopy string, here are the results.

Pod Party:

Loopy String Scroll: a little harder to see the loops on this one. The cross over sections also dictated using black to block in so that there wasn't a line going through some of the curls, I really like the end result of the grey/white/black combo.

A rare post with not a flower in sight!


Curly Bracket Love and Brax Pattern

Now, I love curly brackets. Flowing lines, curves, the possibility of long scrolly bits........ hold on a minute.............squeeeeeeee........

o.k., deep breath, I'm calm, I'm calm.

So, how did I go from this weeks diva challenge string to a full-on curly bracket love-fest? Well, basically it comes right down to avoidance.

I headed upstairs to my art room yesterday fully planning to tackle the challenge. Unfortunately, I find string based challenges a little......well.......challenging, so when I drew out the example I was easily distracted by possibilities offered by string shape..........my first thought was that it would work as flower/s:

Which then prompted this.

Which led to pages and pages (well, about 5) of curly bracket play before I got it out of my system and was ready to tackle the challenge (you can see the results in my challenge #99 post).

Brax pattern: I played with a few different types of grids to try and find the best way of working with these shapes - here's the one I liked the best.

Brax Variations: Lots of fill possibilities, this is just a few along with examples of how you could approach this with either an offset dot grid, or an x grid.

My favourite patterns are flexible - I want them to be able to curve, stretch, etc. Brax worked with this experiment. I also played with my grid being long rectangles instead of squares (I haven't got a pic of this), and really liked the results of having one set of "petals" short/fat the others long/thin.

Fleese: a super simple one - reminded me of flying geese. Curly bracket starts at one side corner of diamond, tip touches top, then back down to other corner. I think it would look good with line fill in open area, but haven't had a chance to play with it.

I have a couple of other bracket-y patterns I'm playing with so will see what comes of them.

Have a fantastic weekend!



Monday Moleskine 7

It is cherry season here in the Yarra Valley - that lovely, shiny 8 or so weeks that we can get fresh cherries from the farm gate. I start to get excited in October. The signs go up around late November and we usually buy 1-2kgs at a time and just gorge on them. So, so good. John bought home a 5kg box tonight, so I spent a couple of hours this evening pitting most of them to freeze. I love to make cherry apple pies when the apples are in season - lucky we live next door to an orchard!

This weeks Monday Moleskine - started off with a line across the page again then just went from there.

Looking forward to tomorrow's challenge!



challenge #98 - Keenees - Part 2

What a week! Whatever made me think that making gingerbread structures (houses & star trees) with 4 grades between the ages of 8-12 would be a good idea? I still have 3 class sessions to go until the end of term (putting together/decorating the gingerbread). Then, I am done for the year! Ohh, yeah!

More Keenees for the challenge. Really loved these, because you can just pop them in anywhere you would use a circle. So easy.

Keenee Daisies: you have probably realised by now that I love threads, and curls and just.....you know........ looping them around things. This is my favourite one for this challenge. Bit more intense keenee usage on the tassle beads.

Keenee Tassel: I did this one before the daisies above, the whole tassel thing took hold and it is my current "thing" (well, for today, anyway!) I'm loving them. Not my normal colour range, here - I have all these gorgeous coloured markers and decided I really needed to break out and use some of the aqua/blue tones. Yep, that's me......a wild rebel.......breaking out the blue markers! Who knows where this might lead, maybe next week I'll use red! Could I really be that crazy?

Musical Keenees: When I did a google image search for musical notes (I was looking for a drawing of the treble clef - had to look up what that was called, too - yes I am a musical prodigy....lol), I found the most wonderful loopy images, there are lots of them, so I couldn't resist using the idea/s as inspiration for this quick sketch.

Have a fantastic weekend! I am off to pick up a parcel which I am hoping is my christmas present of  5 marker storage bags plus another 24 set of tria markers. Too bad I won't be able to play with them all until Christmas. I love organising things!



challenge #98 - Keenees

The Diva Challenge this week - keenees - love them, and let's face it - what's not to love? they're cute, they're cuddly, they're CIRCLES! I have well documented the fact that I LOVE CIRCLES - so fun and easy to work with! In fact, I think I'm going to add a circle label for my posts - I will have to go back through my other 71 (can you believe it?) posts and adjust, but, so what.....it's not like I have anything else to do with my time in the lead up to Christmas. lol. o.k., maybe the post adjustment will have to wait, but still..........circles......................squeeeeeeeeee!

I had lots of ideas for this one and I'm still going, but wanted to get my first ones posted:

Keenee Tree: Like everyone I have Christmas on my mind...........almost constantly right now - our guest list for Christmas day keeps growing......and growing! More work, but I'm sure, more fun, too :)

Keenee Trumpet: I had a bit of a musical theme going this week, another drawing that's 90% done is also musical. I haven't drawn any cones for a while, so it was fun to revisit them, too :)

Experimentation: I wanted to play with using the basic keenee shape, but continue the circles so the design was merged. Love how it makes different types of flower shapes depending on which part is coloured. The large one was done with a template, when I attempted it freehand, the results were so awful I think I'm permanently scarred for life. It got exponentially more difficult and out of control the further out from the centre I went. The one below is about the best attempt.



Circle collage & Monday Moleskine 6

Our Christmas trees are up. I've added hot pink to my usual blue/silver theme to the main tree/room decorations this year. I also have a small tree in the hallway which is all about lime green. So beautiful, love this time of year!!

I haven't had a lot of time to draw over the past week, so have just done a little here and there on this one and managed to finish the shading on it today. Still playing with this style, though I am just about over it! lol! There are things I like, some I don't, but I always learn something :)

I also got diverted part way through when drawing the shattuck pattern - the outline & pattern fill reminded me of an artichoke, so I found myself compelled to sketch out a few artichokes to play with later.

Monday Moleskine 6 - not sure where I was going with this one - though, I guess, that's kind of the point - I find the design having two strong diagonals throws the balance off a bit, but, still I had fun with it.



busy, busy and shading to create a ball shape

So busy this week - I've had very little time for drawing.

We cut, baled and carted our hay this week. We've had very up and down weather, so we had to get the hay in quickly before the forecasted thunderstorms hit - that meant we picked up the hay in 38degC/100F heat - this was at the end of a day when I had worked in a hot kitchen with 10-12 year olds. I also managed to throw myself head first off the hay trailer down into the hay stack - I lost balance and went down with the bale I was throwing - all was ok, and we got a laugh out of it, though it's not something I'd like to do again!

I've also been busy getting ready for Christmas and counting down to the last few sessions of school term.

A week or so ago I was playing with my new grey markers and drew out the shading transition on some circles. Here it is with a few tips on how to get a round shape.

Due to the wide skinny shape of this image, the writing may be hard to read - here it is just in case:

1-7 done with markers.
      Some tips:
      Keep all edges rounded
      Leave a round highlight area that remains white.
      Start with lightest grey and work up to darkest.
      Blend out each shade of grey into the previous lighter area before applying the next.
      Each new layer will be applied in a smaller area - this is how you will get a graduation
      of colour that will give the circle a round shape.

8.   Shading done with greylead - light layers of greylead applied in gradually smaller areas,
      blending in between layers.