weekday sketching

Lately I’ve been reading through the Artist’s Way and this last week had a “reading ban” as one of the tasks. I don’t really read much- I often go for audio books. I can’t craft while I’m reading, but I love listening to things, especially stories while I’m working. Sometimes its just the radio– shout out WRKF baton rouge’s NPR station– or maybe something like This American Life. But I definitely love audio books, even though I’m not very good at picking good ones.

So as a result of not really spending a lot of time reading, I broadened my definition of what the ‘reading ban’ should entail. So that meant: looking at my phone for anything other than *reasonable app/text checking*. So no just scrolling through Facebook or snapchat stories. Which brings me to the discovery and topic of the day.

What do you do on your lunch break when you’re the only one in the break room? Or when you’re just at home unwinding from work with a cup of tea????

Weekly sketchings. It’s the perfect answer.

One night, I was going through my files on my computer and the papers and sketchbooks I have in my studio and I realized how much I used to sketch and doodle and just play around on paper and how much I DON’T do that anymore. Drawing now seems to be more about some kind of end game, like, I need to design something, or explain something. No little studies and stories or spills of the imagination.  Drawing is a skill to keep up with and build on, too!

This is going to be a recurring post built for celebrating sketching and the wandering of the spirit.

Hoorah, first posting of Monday Sketch Therapy.

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I began studying tarot in 2014 out of curiosity for the history and intricacies of the meanings of the cards and the archetypes depicted. For the last year or so I have been drawing a deck of my own which has really deepened my understanding of the cards because it gave me a chance to look at each card individually and consciously choose how to depict the imagery that would encompass the identity of the card. I’m still working on it… 78 is quite a lot, even if they are small little pictures.

But on a similar note, I decided I wanted a cloth to wrap my cards in when they are not in use, and to double as a display cloth for doing readings.

And like most things, it remained “just one of those things” you talk about and say, oh, well, maybe that would be nice to do some day.  Funny enough, the fabric I made it with had the same story. My mother had brought back those three pink Japanese cotton prints from the Houston Quilt Festival one year and I could never decide what to do with them. They were small pieces and too pretty. I definitely was afraid to cut into them.  But a special object requires a special material, and these two went together perfectly.

I did purchase a few other fabrics to go along with the Japanese cottons – which by the way, have such a beautiful hand. They are crepe like and delicate.

With all projects, first sketches:


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bridesmaid dress


March 3rd, 2017, and the big event is my brother and Stephanie’s wedding. (And yeah, those are my salt and pepper shakers.)

My sister and Stephanie’s sister and I are her bridesmaids. The cool part is, the rules of dressing are simple.

  1. Anything as long as its black.
  2. Black tie formal attire

Anything- as long as its black and formal length. Well. let’s have fun with that.

Evening wear is a challenge for me. I certainly don’t make much of it. I don’t really have events that require evening wear to go to! So in some ways, all of that made this project a bit more exciting and exotic.

I really wanted to make this look in separates. I wanted to be able to reuse some of the items later if I wanted to or had another fancy event coming up. Separates just has so much potential. Also, I think I just like making up design challenges. Either way, below are some preliminary “getting to the point sketches”.


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color revival

There’s a certain magic in creating a space. In this instance, I’m talking about decorating!!!! There is nothing more dull and boring than an apartment building. The walls are always that ecru-bland oatmeal color and they usually have that tan light brown carpet the perfect color for hiding years or who knows how much dirt. They’re just in general full of off white everything. To tell you the truth, I’ve moved to a house with roommates and its still basically like that. Which brings me to the topic of the day. Decorating with simple fun paper projects that make a space more inviting and whimsical.

I started off making snowflakes for winter and Christmas. But because I don’t have those up right now, I’ll go into the spring/summer ones first. This last spring I got very excited about the turn in the weather and needing a pop of color so I started off with making butterflies. Some are as small as 3/4 of an inch and some are as large as 5 and half across. I don’t know how many I made, but its a lot. Probably easily 70+.  The goal was, make as many as I could to hang from the ceiling and create a flock that I could just watch twist in the air currents. Here is the first batch I made.


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my, what colorful teeth you have

Lately the early morning closet shuffle keeps reminding me that spring has to be on the way soon. Perhaps it’s the fact that it’s almost March, or perhaps I just can’t wait to wear my favorite ivory shoes again. They just look so lonely and obviously untouched at the back of the closet in a perfect pair, straight with heels together. But with the weather warming up, maybe it’s time to finish up a post I started to put together back in July of last year, before I had to replace my computer. A splash of summer blouse for winter’s wishful thinkings.

A while ago, sometime in 2013 or something, I had made plans for a collection. It was a mini line of ready-to-wear clothing mostly separates and all of it was bright and bold bordering on weird, simple yet playful. I remember naming it Pop’dArt!  I  made all the patterns, picked out some swatches, but never made any of it. In fact, the only piece that came to life was the culottes. I gave the pattern to my mother, which she adjusted a little. Mostly she changed the back waist band to match her actual waist measurement instead of keeping the back elastic I had planned. (Small amounts of elastic can make a big difference in fitting a variety of sizes, which is the whole point in ready-to-wear fashion.)

Here’s the super shoddy pin board I threw together of quick sketches and swatches.popdartBut at any rate, one of my favorite fabrics in this Pop’dArt! thing, was the multi-colored houndstooth knit I had found. It was just so lively and bright.  I was kind of a little sad that I never got any, but I don’t usually buy knits unless I have a plan for them. I just don’t like designing for knits very much. But one day, once upon a time at Joannes became like every other time I go to the fabric store for something simple, like a zipper, where I always find something ELSE I just have to have for some reason or another when I saw it. I saw the multi colored houndstooth in the quilting section, and it was so happy and fun, and it was not a knit! I knew I wanted a blouse, and I chose some clear buttons that were cool on their own, but really would let joyous fabric show through and not compete with everything else going on with this print. Besides, how could I pick one color to make the buttons? The houndstooth is in like, 10 colors. I’d feel like I was playing favorites. 

Although, back at home, the thread rainbow was pretty sweet. Hard to not play favorites now, ha ha. But I’m still going to use white thread for cohesion’s sake. threadrainbow.jpgDesign time, sketch some sketches, Boom. We’re ready to go. A simple sleeveless button up with a tie bottom, couple darts, a full fold collar -summery, light, cheerful, easy. yes. houndstoothdraw

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puff the magic sleeves

So after my last successful sewing journey, I realized how much fun it was to “take myself back to college” so to speak and actively design with unusual construction techniques and details. Which, is something I love about 1930’s fashion, which I honestly feel is often over looked. Retro and vintage somehow always seem to mean 1920’s or 1950’s when people use those words.


For example, this stitched down pleated kimono style sleeve that ends up with a leg-o-mutton shape or this neat dress with the gathered dart on the bodice. And I’m not exactly sure whats happening in the last one, but its some kind of folded flounce thing. At any rate, they capture the eye with line, form and construction. That’s a fun combination to make and wear. Massive win-win, here.

As always, we start with a sketch. I’m thinking….. gathered darts to make a puff sleeve so that the sleeve is included in the bodice and not a separate pattern part. Continue reading

onesie, twosie

I often draw.

My 11 x 14 sketch book goes most places with me. You can see it in the battered peeling corners and the many tea and coffee spills on the pages. The spiral binding is pulled and dented from being pushed into my locker at work. It just barely fits. My sketch book is both a place for ideas, studies and inspirations and a comfortable security blanket. I don’t like not having it and take it unnecessarily on trips and visits to my parent’s house.

I often draw people, but mostly in the context of what she’s wearing. And sometimes, I decide after such drawings, that I want to elaborate until it goes from *scribble stage* to full on *detailed design sketches*, which inevitably follows this pattern: spending some amount of time thinking about making it, even more time procrastinating making it, and then actually making it (in less time than either of the above.)

This time, I was struck by a technical question. I kept thinking about the idea of attaching a tier not to the top or bottom of the tier, but behind a scalloped edge. This really got my mind going over how I’d make it work until I eventually realized that it was a self issued challenge. I had to try.


Here’s the little tent dress with the scalloped tiers that was my new pet Where’s Waldo. I promise if you open my sketch book you’ll find variations of it everywhere. Continue reading

the haircut

Christianpoe and I have a bet going.

He can’t cut his hair if I don’t cut my hair.

It’s a constant topic of interest considering how it’s been at least two and a half years since I’ve cut mine and something like a 18 months for him.  And when it comes down to it, I’m not sure if the bet continues as a joking competition or a calculating attempt to continue the trend, forever. Who doesn’t like the idea of playing with handfuls of soft curls? They’re magical, they stay where you put them. Don’t have a rubber band? No problem. I got curls, that pony tail isn’t going anywhere. Plus Christianpoe tells me he’s never experienced this, so the bet must go on. Not to mention all the joy I get out of the result of this experiment.


While this has been a fun game for the last several months or whatever, I’m starting to feel less like a beautiful mermaid and more like I’m a weird version of Rumpelstiltskin turning hair into straw instead of straw into something actually useful or valuable or desirable.  No one likes straw hair and no amount of me really really wanting to see how much longer his hair will get will make me change my mind.

Sad face.

Here’s stage one: convenient pictures from last week’s post!

long hair Continue reading

easy as pie and just as sweet


It’s Friday, almost 2 o clock. I should have gotten out earlier but I was caught up in science friday on my clock radio. I look outside and the weather is impending with heavy, dull grey and lilac hues. This can either be great overcast lighting or disappointing in that there will be no photos because it’s raining outside and there wont be enough light to take pictures inside. I get into my car hurriedly, trying to beat the coming storm. I don’t know if I’m actually analyzing the conditions or just overwhelmingly hoping that I have another 2 or 3 hours before it starts down pouring. Its Louisiana, so it rains enough that I should have figured it out by now, right? Naw, it’s Louisiana so the weather does whatever it wants. Always. 70 degrees and humid one day, 37 and super windy the next.

I get to my parent’s house relieved and excited. It’s not dark outside, and it’s not wet, so game on.  My mom greets me with an even more skeptic approach about the weather but I’m still too interested in the dress than worrying about how much time we might have before the cats and dogs come down. I follow her to the dining room. There it is, a golden box, shallow and wide.  My mom’s friend has gifted her 1970’s wedding dress to me, hoping that I would want to edit or dye it in some way and give it life again. I can’t wait to get started. Continue reading