Last Sketch in the Book!

I’ve just returned from a wonderful visit in Nevada and Southern California. I packed my traveling sketch bag along but didn’t think about the fact that I had just one empty page. Lesson learned. Happily, I had a few watercolor postcards in the bag so I was able to do more than one sketch. I was sitting on the back patio looking around to see what struck my eye for a sketch. There was plenty to consider! The patio looks out onto Lake Mead, some terrific hills, desert, etc. But I have been feeling rather ‘rusty’ at the fine art of sketching so when my eye landed on the pillow in the chair opposite me, I decided to give it a go. It was fun to just relax and let the pencil flow. I followed up with my fountain pen and then watercolor. I went back again with the fountain pen to deepen the accent lines.

02-28-16 birdie

Now I’m ready to break the seal on a new book. Kind of exciting really! The book I just completed measures 5″ x 8″; my new book measures 5 1/2″ x 5 1/2″. I remember purchasing it in the gift shop of the De Young Fine Arts Museum in Golden Gate Park. I couldn’t resist the shape and size of it. It has 128 acid-free pages with an attached elastic band to hold it neatly on the shelf.

03-05-16 End-of-one-book,-new-one-ready

I didn’t notice until I opened it — just moments ago — that there is also a ribbon for marking the page. That will be very handy.

03-05-16 Ribbon-to-mark-pages

It will be interesting to see how the new shape and size influence my sketching, if at all.

Now it’s time to close the first chapter and start the new one. I’ve completed that for volume 1

03-05-16 Vol.-1-dating

and I’ve made the first marks in volume 2.

03-05-16 First-page-done

When the first sketch is completed, I’ll add the starting date for volume 2. No more excuses!

Wordless Wednesday

Click on image for larger view.

Shari's bird

Wordless Wednesday

Hover cursor over image for more information.



Goodies From Houston

Distracted by fast-moving life events, I am just now getting around to integrating the few treasures I purchased in Houston at the Quilt Festival. For years I have prowled antique shops, thrift stores and kept my eye peeled at venues like Houston where antique dealers appear. One of the dealers had a sizeable stash of exquisite handkerchiefs and I brought a few home with me.

This beauty is 14 1/2″ square — a great size for those days when allergies are acting up!


Printed mid-20th century, this type of handkerchief is popular among collectors. The designer’s name — Pat Prichard — is printed on the lower left-hand corner.


I thoroughly enjoy the overall design depicting 18th century dining ware but I’m even more drawn to the familiar saying in the top right corner:


Thinking this sounded like a quote of Ben Franklin, I searched for the details on this statement. And I’m glad I did. (Get the full story here.) This is actually a proverb that predates Franklin by quite a while. It refers back to mediaeval falconry where a bird in the hand (the falcon) was a valuable asset and certainly worth more than two in the bush (the prey). The first citation of the expression in print in its currently used form is found in John Ray’s A Hand-book of Proverbs, 1670, in which he lists it as: A [also ‘one’] bird in the hand is worth two in the bush. The English borrowed the idea as a pub name in the Middle Ages and many pubs with that name survive today.


Americans liked the proverb so well they named a town in Pennsylvania for it. You can learn a lot from a hanky! You can see my interpretation of the saying here.

My grandmother spent many hours tatting, so I am always drawn to hankies with tatting edges. Here is an 11 1/2″ square beauty with a single design on the edge.


And here is another hanky the same size but with a more elaborate tatting design:


I found a few other hankies that I’ll share in the future.

Welcome Summer