Thursday, June 18, 2009

Sketches in an Old Book

I found a set of four old books from my childhood hidden at the bottom of a box is the store room. I was going to give them to the neighborhood thrift store, but now I'm so glad I didn't.

The pages are thick and creamy - taking pen and ink and light watercolor.

The first one I've starting using for doodling and sketches is Old Swedish Fairy Tales by Anna Wahlenberg, translated by Antoinette DeCoursey Patterson. Published in 1925 (I think) - my memory of Roman Numerals is a bit shaky

There are three more - all with wonderful watercolor illustrations

Tanglewood Tales by Nathaniel Hawthorne 1921

Old French Fairy Tales by Comtesse DeSegur 1920

The Book of Fables edited by Frederic Taber Cooper 1921

I suspect this is a project that will keep me going for a long long time

Monday, June 15, 2009


in my neighbor's garden

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Papermaking with Native Grasses

At Sitka Center in Oregon, we used many different plant fibers for papermaking

I bound up several samples in a Japanese Stab Binding book

Since that time, I've continued at home, using bamboo leaves from the garden by my patio. Here you can see some of the sheets drying in the sun.

Friday, June 12, 2009


Dip pen and ink and brush pen on suminagashi. I did a lot of suminagash marbling a few years ago for use as end papers in my casebound books. Found this scrap tucked into another book.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Saving Private Ryan

We watched this movie last week when the anniversary of D Day came around. We watch it every year, and cry every year

Spider Trap

There's been an unusually large number of spiders this year ... and coming inside. I don't like to kill them, so I take them outside. Glass on top, a piece of cardboard underneath, and off we go to the patio.

The building manager said, "eeeyew, I can think of a lot better use for a shot glass."

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

an Island Weekend

We live on an island, but it's so big I never think of it as an island. There are dozens of small islands surrounding us ... the Gulf Islands, the Discovery Islands, Queen Charlotte Islands. To Cortes for a weekend of fun in the sun, good friends and good food

Monday, June 08, 2009

Colcannon for supper tonight

Colcannon, a potato and cabbage dish - variations of which are legion - is traditionally served on Lugnasa. In Celtic Britain it was taboo to harvest any potatoes before the festival, and so the event was met with great anticipation. All members of the family must share the dish or risk offending the agricultural spirit that protects the crop. After the first bite everyone shouts, "Death to the Red Hag!" thus driving away the specter of starvation.

There are about a zillion known varieties of colcannon. I like the one called Rumpledetbumps - it includes leeks and broccoli and cheese, and the name is so great.

This information and the recipe come from Mollie Katzen's great book Sundays at Moosewood Restaurant

Sunday, June 07, 2009

Fairburn Farm

on a hot, hot day, we sat in the garden and sketched stuff ... then into the cool kitchen for lemonade and cookies

Saturday, June 06, 2009

Honey Pot and Moon Shell

We watched this movie on DVD last night - not great, but had fun drawing the honeypot. Another movie made from a book by Sue Monk Kidd we liked very much because it was filmed just a few miles up the road from here. I liked the young monk who was very nice to look at

Thursday, June 04, 2009

Grandma's House

A work in progress - from a photograph of Grandma's house in southern Alberta. Many happy summer vacations spent here. The old house has now been designated an historical site

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

More Stones

from our workshop with Connie in Duncan

Pots and Rocks and Stones

At a workshop with Connie Furgason in Duncan we practiced sketching simple objects and geometric shapes with 1/2" flat brush and watery watercolours. The lesson was not to create exact detailed images, but rather an image that is the essence of the object.

We were inspired with Sara Midda and James Christensen.

Tuesday, June 02, 2009