Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Sketchbook Challenge - Doodles

I don't doodle a lot, but the Sketchbook Challenge theme for the month of January is Doodling, so I decided to give it a try. I started with the idea of trying to come up with some free motion quilting designs; the leaves are something I like to quilt in a border. But below the leaves are just some random doodles.

And here is a second page of doodles.

Thursday, January 26, 2012


I'm sewing again so I'm not sketching as much these days, but I did manage to sketch my lunchtime fruit before eating it. I used a gray Copic Multi-liner for the sketch and the journaling, which I like but it's pretty light - almost like graphite. And I used a Preppy fountain pen with Noodler's Lexington Gray for the title and border.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Just for Fun

All Quiet on the Western Front by Erich Maria Remarque

My first book for the WWI reading challenge hosted by War Through the Generations blog was this classic anti-war novel, which I'd never read.  It tells the story of a group of young men whose school master shames them into enlisting in the German Army.  It describes the fear and horror they experienced much of the time.
"We crouch behind every corner, behind every barrier of barbed wire, and hurl heaps of explosives at the feet of the advancing enemy before we run.  The blast of the hand-grenades impinges powerfully on our arms and legs; crouching like cats we run on, overwhelmed by this wave that bears us along, that fills us with ferocity, turns us into thugs, into murderers, into God only knows what devils; this wave that multiplies our strength with fear and madness and greed of life, seeking and fighting for nothing but our deliverance.  If your own father came over with them you would not hesitate to fling a bomb at him."  (pgs. 113-4)
And it discusses the futility of war to those who fight.

"A word of command has made these silent figures our enemies; a word of command might transform them into our friends.  At some table a document is signed by some persons whom none of us knows, and then for years together that very crime on which formerly the world's condemnation and severest penalty fall, becomes our highest aim.  But who can draw such a distinction when he looks at these quiet men with their childlike faces and apostles' beards.  Any non-commissioned officer is more of an enemy to a recruit, any schoolmaster to a pupil, than they are to us.  And yet we would shoot at them again and they at us if they were free."  (pgs. 193-4)
I rated this 3 out of 5.


I'm sewing again so I'm not sketching as much these days, but I did manage to sketch my lunchtime fruit before peeling and eating it.

I also doodled in the title (the theme for the Sketchbook Challenge this month is doodling).

Sunday, January 08, 2012

How to Make a Journal of Your Life by Dan Price

This is a very quirky little book hand drawn by hobo artist Dan Price.  It was a fun read because I like looking at other artist's journals.  If you're looking for instructions on making a journal, you won't find it here, but it's a worthwhile book anyway.  I rate it 3 out of 5.

Saturday, January 07, 2012


I intend to start taking my sketching supplies with me more often, so I started by taking it to the restaurant we went to for my birthday dinner (not where we had planned on going, but we forgot how crowded restaurants get on Friday nights).

My Birthday

Roz Stendahl writes in her blog, Roz Wound Up, about doing a little bit of everything you love on New Year's Day to set your intentions for the year. I wasn't able to do that this year for whatever reasons, so I decided it would be a good thing to do on my birthday instead. I spent some time quilting, piecing, sketching, and photo-designing (I'm making a calendar for my husband using his photos). The one thing I didn't find time for was machine embroidery, but I did work on installing my embroidery software on my desktop computer, which is newer and faster than my laptop where the software has been. All in all, it was a good day.

2012 Challenges

My friend Kathy (Catching Happiness) asked me whether I was doing any new reading challenges this year and I realized that I hadn't posted about that yet.  I'm doing one reading challenge this year.  It's my 4th year to do the War Through the Generations Challenge, and this year the focus is on World War I.  The previous 3 years were US Civil War (2011), Vietnam (2010), and World War II (2009 and my first ever reading challenge).  Last year I did 5 challenges, but I selected challenges that I knew I could finish easily, which isn't really the point of a challenge, is it?  So I decided to do just one reading challenge, but to choose the Wade level (4-10 books) instead of Dip (1-3 books).  I've selected my first 3 books: All Quiet on the Western Front by Erich Maria Remarque, A Farewell to Arms by Ernest Hemingway (which is the book for the 2012 read-along), and War Horse by Michael Morpurgo (I don't usually read children's books, but I wanted to read this before seeing the movie).

The only other challenge I've signed up for this year isn't a reading challenge; it's the Sketchbook Challenge.  I did this one last year too, and participated in 9 of the 12 monthly themes.

Friday, January 06, 2012

Shadow of a Quarter Moon by Eileen Clymer Schwab

1839 North Carolina - After her father dies, Jacy's unfeeling mother Claudia calls her a quadroon and reveals to her that her real mother is a slave who is still on the plantation.  Claudia tries to marry Jacy off to a man whom Jacy fears and hates.  Jacy runs away when Claudia threatens to sell her slave mother.  While I mostly enjoyed the story, the dialogue felt stilted to me.  I also thought that Jacy came to understand herself and her place in the world a bit too quickly.  But I did enjoy learning about the role that the Great Dismal Swamp played in the Underground Railroad.  While the book was set before the Civil War, it dealt with the issues of slavery and the Underground Railroad, so I included it as a book read for the Civil War Challenge 2011 (I finished it one day late - January 1st).  I rated it 3 out of 5.