Moving Along on the House

I’m not getting much creative work done since the house building was started, but that will be a temporary thing (I hope!).  We now have a slab, a storm room and a wastewater treatment plant.  Framing materials were delivered yesterday and the framers rolled in this morning.

Can’t wait to see walls going up!



House Essentials

We’ve been running around trying to see what’s available in flooring for the new house.  We knew already that we wanted wood floors in the open living/kitchen area and in the bedrooms, with ceramic tile in the bathrooms, utility and mud rooms.  I want to keep things relatively neutral so I can easily change colors and textures when the mood strikes me.

I had been dreading being bombarded with all the choices available, but was pleasantly surprised to find these things pretty soon after beginning our search.


We were hoping to be able to leave the concrete floor in the studio bare, but in order to pass the final inspection, the floor must be covered or finished, so we settled for stained concrete there.  The builder says he will coordinate the color with the wood floors so we have continuity throughout.

Then, on to the brickyard.  We knew we wanted this Burnished Slate color for the metal roof, so kept that in mind when choosing brick.

Metal Roof - Burnished Slate

We both quickly gravitated to the Shellman Bluff brick and decided it was the right one.

Brick - Shellmans Bluff

So far, things are falling into place more easily than we thought.  Of course, this is only the beginning and there are SO many more choices to be made.


Beginning To Build

I’ve been snapping a few photos as we’re preparing to build our new house and studio.  I want to share them here on my blog to keep a record of the process.

My husband, Danny, spent 40 years as a heavy equipment operator before he retired a few years ago.  He loves running equipment and I know he misses it more than he will admit.  He got the chance to climb back on a dozer for a couple days while the dirt was being hauled in for our house pad.  As the trucks were dumping dirt, he was spreading and packing it and shaping the pad.  It was fun watching him doing something he loves so much and does so well.



He says he’s “old school” and that operators like him are a dying breed.  He scoffs when we drive by a construction site and see a dozer equipped with GPS units that control the positioning of the blade.  He’s proud of the fact by he has the skill to grade “by eye” and have it be near perfect.

It’s a good thing when a man is proud of his work.




Feather and Flower Seeds

Have been wanting to paint a feather, so I played around with this shape and added some graphic elements. The page looked bare, so I dug through my ephemera stash and found this handmade seeded paper that had just the right colors in it and I glued it to my page. Guess I’ll never know now what kind of flower seeds were in that paper…



Back to My Sketchbook

I want to work more in my sketchbooks this year and found this partially used mixed media sketchbook when I was unpacking a few of my art supplies.  The paper isn’t the best, but it will take watercolor and marker without bleeding through, so I’ll use it to do some doodling and designs.

2016 Journal IMG_0936_edited-1

I sketched sections of this design in pencil using HB lead in a Staedtler lead holder.  LOVE my Staedtler lead holders. I keep HB lead in one and 2B lead in the other.

Tokens IMG_0968_edited-1

With the sketch finished, Winsor & Newton pan watercolors were used to lay in the color.  This is my favorite watercolor palette, the Martin Mijello airtight palette.

SIPP Logo with watercolors_edited-1

The watercolors were allowed to dry, then Pigma Micron markers in sizes 05 and 1 were used to emphasize the lines.


Two Things I Learned Today

Today was Labor Day and a holiday for me. Danny (hubby) was in Mississippi getting the dirt work started for the house we will build there when we move back home. He said he made good progress. We’re excited about being back amongst family and friends in about 5 months.

SO many things I wanted to do on my day off, one of which was to practice my pointed pen calligraphy.  I’m practicing based on copperplate, but I’m not abiding by all the rules.  I got in several sessions of practice, totaling about 3 hours. The writing is coming more easily, but I have so far to go.

First thing learned – getting good at this will take hours and hours and hours of practice.

I then switched over to practicing a more contemporary style of lettering and filled several pages with a looser style.  I was very proud of this rendering of my own name and address and set it aside to dry before filling the rest of the page.  After taking a break, I picked up my paper and, before taping it down, smoothed it with my hand.  Arrrrgh!  The ink wasn’t fully dry!

Second thing learned – Calligraphy ink takes a looooong time to dry.  Perfecting your execution is only a part of learning the craft.  You must also know your materials.

All in all, a good day at home, though.  I’m enjoying the lettering and thinking maybe I can hand letter some designs to make into stamps for my pottery once the new studio is up and running.  I think hand lettered stamps would be awesome on handmade mugs.  Yep.




Beginning Lettering

In preparation for moving after I retire from the day job in a few months, the pottery studio is packed away and in storage, which means I have more time for knitting and art.  I’ve always loved words and drawing, so lettering seems a natural choice for exploration.  My research has lead me to both hand lettering and calligraphy.

I had never heard of hand lettering.  Calligraphy, yes, but not hand lettering.  Seeing hand lettered work like this piece by Sean McCabe from got me really excited about checking it out.  It’s much like drawing because you’re drawing the letters instead of forming them using prescribed techniques, as in calligraphy.  This type of lettering makes my heart happy.  I will be watching lots of tutorial videos so I can begin practicing hand lettering.

I spent some time checking out calligraphy styles on Pinterest and actually tried out a few of them.

Beginning lettering

I’m not much on hard and fast rules when it comes to my art, so I don’t want to strictly follow the rules of a particular calligraphy style.  My thinking is to loosely follow a style that I like, using bits and bobs of it to create my own lettering style or two (or three).  I’d better get to the studio and start practicing!