12 March 2018

what . . . another bag?

Some women love shopping for clothes (I prefer “old and comfortable”) and some love shoes (I’d rather go barefoot) . . . But I’m always searching for just the right bag! For times when I wish to carry  a larger selection of sketching tools, my iPad, and several books, a larger bag is needed. I ordered one a couple of years ago from Amazon that seemed functional and had great ratings, but it was sewn of a canvas material that was just too awkward and heavy for me.

I saw a Baggallini at a local hardware store (yes, Ace Hardware in Brenham has a boutique in it!) but it was well over $100 — not my kind of money! So I looked on eBay. And found this extremely lightweight, gently used hobo bag for a mere pittance.

My paternal grandmother may be to blame for my shopping for purses. It seems that she gave me a new one every Christmas! But as I find new ones, I’ll usually give another one or two away; I really don’t need that many choices.

The Lamy Joy fountain pen I used here is fitted with a regular XF nib and filled with a custom sepia ink I made from combining the remains of Noodler’s polar black with Noodler’s polar brown. The redder ink in the coral colored Lamy Safari is my try at a burnt sienna ink, mixing De Atramentis document red with some document black. The ink in both pens is waterproof, allowing watercolor washes over them with no bleeding. The bag is a solid brown with red stitching and red lining, but the burnt sienna ink didn’t show up like I had hoped.

10 March 2018

a mockingbird . . . car?

Yesterday, on two separate occasions, Bill and I heard the dual sound of a car alarm going off. The kind that shrilly sounds if you happen to get too close to the car parked next to yours, that is possibly designed to wake the dead.

But the sound was not coming from any of the neighborhood cars; it was coming from the trees in the woods around us! It was a mockingbird, perfectly imitating the siren of a disturbed car.

07 March 2018

Etsy shop now open!

I finally stopped procrastinating and opened an Etsy shop today. My shop’s officially name is “VickyWilliamsonArt” — not very original, is it? For now, as I learn how this works and if there’s even any interest out there, I am limiting sales to the United States.

06 March 2018

rearranging my Pocket Palette

Confession: I am a thief. On a regular basis I have been known to steal ideas from other online artists. Seriously, there are so many great ideas shared in the online art community!

Though I love using my current palette set up in a slightly larger metal box, sometimes there is only room to carry a Pocket Palette with me. At first, I thought I would only use these new teeny-tiny pans for highly pigmented colors such as phthalo blue (a wee bit of the paint goes a long way!). But after reading a recent blog post on Citizen Sketcher, I agreed with Marc Taro Holmes that they work well as an everyday-carry and are perfect for when you only wish to add a dab of color to a sketch.

I also love the way Marc places related colors together in his palette, applying them side-by-side on the paper to allow the wet paint to mingle together. The way colors interact with each other is part of the magic of playing with watercolor — you’re never sure of exactly how it will turn out! I tend to try to control things too much in my own sketches and would love to do more of this “letting go and let the paint do its thing”.

So I reconfigured my Pocket Palette to hold more colors and added 2 larger pans for mixing. Copying Marc’s idea . . .

05 March 2018


I really should pay more attention to what I’m doing . . .

We were at Lowe’s where Bill was needing to pick up some supplies for an additional storage unit built onto his woodshop. And, as is common, one of their wheeled ladders was blocking his way. So we each grabbed an end to move it out of his way.

Unfortunately I did not see that the ladder was slightly turned toward the display shelves and that there was a fixture return box jutted out behind me. So my hand was pinched between the ladder and box. First reaction, “OUCH!” Second reaction, “I should sketch that.”

(It is fine now, swelling down, and no pain. Just a funny bruise . . . and a silly husband with a tale about me supposedly backhanding him! 🤪)

03 March 2018

a random purchase

While Bill was gathering various supplies at Brenham’s Ace Hardware, I wondered in the “boutique” section of the store. This third of the store has many (most of them very high priced) items of clothing, jewelry, shoes, kitchen and decorator items.

The lids to my salt and pepper set on our stove was rusting; I was using small glass canning jars with nail holes pounded into the flat part of the lids. So when I saw these stainless steel covered glass spice jars, I decided to get them. A bit smaller but we don’t use much anyway, and the lid turns to reveal three different sizes of holes.

I had to laugh when the sales clerk placed them in their own wee paper bag, not in the bag holding Bill’s purchases, and handed the bag to me with a grin.

01 March 2018

the purse Bardie replaced

This is the currently used purse normally stowed in that basket Bardie pilfered. I drew it while listening to the message at church last night. (I follow along on that iPad Mini laying next to the bag.)

That’s my favorite fountain pen, a wee Kaweco Liliput with an extra fine nib. At the moment, it is filled with a mixture of Noodler’s polar black and Noodler’s polar brown — leftover bits that I combined to make a dark gray sketching ink.

28 February 2018

a new Bardie hidey-hole

On the peninsula separating our little kitchen from the main room, there are these odd cubbies near the front door. Too deep and narrow to be of much practical use, I found three narrow baskets at Hobby Lobby that fit — easy to toss my purse or sunglasses into.

Bardie just discovered the middle one when my purse was not put away. He seemed to think we could not see him as he spied on us. So I cleaned out the lowest one for his toys and blankie. I think he will still steal the middle one when my purse is not there.

23 February 2018

another neighborhood home

When we were looking to buy a house in Texas, this home just down the lane from our log cabin was one of those we considered buying. The price was very low and the existing garage would have made a great wood shop for Bill. I LOVED the stone fireplace!

But the roof needed replacing, the kitchen needed to be torn out and redone, the ugly linoleum floor needed to be removed and wood or stone floor installed, the bedroom wallpaper needed to be stripped off and painted, there was a moldy smell in the bathrooms and they needed to be redesigned . . .

All said, it was just too much to take on so we passed on it. I wonder if the new owner likes chocolate mint ice cream?

This limited palette is loosely based on one I found on artist Iain Stewart’s blog from a few years ago. I substituted colors I already had for some of his choices.

17 February 2018

like living in The Birds movie

Lately it has been sounding like we are living in Alfred Hitchcock’s scary movie, “The Birds”. All day long, they can be heard calling from the tree tops and filling up our neighborhood yards.

Last week, it was yards-full of black birds — and I’m talking total carpeting the grass with black! At one time, they were on three sides of our cabin at once.

For several weeks, we have had more than the usual number of very fat, very bright red cardinals (Love them!)

And the past few mornings, I’ve counted well over 30 robins congregating in our yard at one time.

By the way, that movie totally terrified me as a child. Imagine my surprise when I recently learned that the book was written by a favorite childhood author, Daphne Du Maurier!
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