Thursday, December 27, 2007

Amaryllis 1

Originally uploaded by jjs_37
I got an Amarylis to brighten the house. I got a style and color that was not my first choice because it had a sprout and I could have a flower sooner. Non photo blue pencil, Koh-I-Noor rapidosketch pen and watercolor pencils.

Amaryllis 2

Originally uploaded by jjs_37
Two days of the amarylis. The 22nd and the 26th. Non photo blue pencil, Koh-I-Noor rapidosketch pen and woodless colored pencils.

Amaryllis 3

Originally uploaded by jjs_37
Amaryllis now open. I like the coloration of it better than I had thought I would. It is almost striped though that is not well reflected in my slightly overworked sketch. There is no shading to speak of since the flower was entirely backlit by our (lovely) enormous windows. The girls had taken over the other side of the table with a fimo project.
Non photo blue pencil, Koh-I-Noor rapidosketch pen and watercolor pencils.

Amaryllis the rest of the story...

Now that the flower has started coming out I think it looks better than I had anticipated. It is more "candy stripe" than the deep red I thought it would be. The drawings are done in non photo blue pencil (which you can't see anymore which is of course the point), Koh-I-Noor rapidosketch pen and watercolor pencils or Koh-I-noor colored pencils that I commandeered from the kids. I think they are too fragile for them anyway but I am not convinced that I like them that much.
I do like the way the watercolor pencils are working for me and I like the paper texture in the sketchbook I have right now. It is an Artist's drawing pad What I don't like about it is the orientation of the spine, the fact that it does not lay flat, and that the cover is not stiff.
I like the fact that I can fit it into a folder that holds 13 pencils though that is hardly enough pencils for me.
I am looking for the ultimate sketchbook... but more on that later.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Snowman candle

Snowman candle
Originally uploaded by jjs_37
The girls got these candles last year and since I am too lazy to get the broom, and if I did, I would feel inclined to use it, I just drew what was already on the table.
Why get the broom you ask? Well, it is the every day matters prompt. Check out and all will be clear.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Birdfeeder gets some action

Birdfeeder get some action
Originally uploaded by jjs_37
The bird feeder outside finally got some action today- more than a week after I filled it! Yesterday I saw one or two birds check it out and I decided to draw the feeder when there weren't any birds to be seen but all of a sudden they all showed up and blocked my view of the bird feeder. I was really excited to see the woodpecker up in the tree too though it didn't stay long. Obviously not a seed eater but maybe I can get a suet feeder.I also want to fill the hummingbird feeder.
If I am doing a lot of nature sketching or even sketching and drawing in general, I notice more things in general. I don't know if it is because I am looking for things to draw or for some other reason, but I notice the world around me better if I am drawing a lot.
I have been working in a sketch book that I got as part of a class. I actually like the 6x9 size and I also quite like the toothieness of the paper. It works well with the watercolor pencils and does not fall apart if you wet it slightly.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Tree trimming

Originally uploaded by jjs_37
They have been trimming trees on our street. Giving them haircuts as they say. t is about to split so they had to take a lot off. One guy climbed way up in the tree, can you find his boots?
The girls sat on the kitchen counter and watched them working in our tree through the front window. We watched them for nearly an hour and I sketched this tree while trying to keep everyone from fall off the counter. N suggested that perhaps the tree had gum in its hair.

Monday, November 12, 2007


Originally uploaded by jjs_37
Since my wrists are hurting from knitting Banff out of thick and catchy yarn and I am lamenting the fact that I can't knit the knitty surprise because I don't have enough of the yarn I was planning to use. So I decided that I really should focus on sketching. So here is a tiny pinecone.

Friday, November 09, 2007

Julia's pony ride

Julia's pony ride
Originally uploaded by jjs_37
A while ago we went to a benefit for Wildlife Associates. It was really fun and one of the many attractions they had was pony rides. I was most impressed with the wildlife show. We made scarecrows, carved pumpkins and did other crafts. Naomi's favorite part was carving the pumpkins, and Juli a's was predictably the pony ride.
More Pictures coming

Don't buy this!

Don't buy this!
Originally uploaded by jjs_37
Julia found this in the cabinet and then told me in no uncertain terms: "Don't buy this! Mommy! There could be a mermaid in here" I explained that actually Tuna is just a fish that mermaids like to eat. Thin ice my friends... But Mommy, she replies "Fish are their friends" Thanks Disney!

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Vampire and Wonderwoman

Vampire and Wonderwoman
Originally uploaded by jjs_37
Here we are about to head out for the trick or treating. Yes, it is still light, but we are hitting a party with dinner first. Naomi is a vampire and Julia is Wonder girl. It is actually wonderwoman, but she feels she is more of a girl. Luckily Naomi did not wear her vampire teeth too ling since they were recalled for high lead content.

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Food fights

Naomi has a playmate over today and after baking with them so they can go to the school potluck tonight I made them popcorn. What seems strange to me is that even though these are all well fed healthy kids, making them share a bowl of popcorn (the microwave chemically infused kind) turns them into little monsters. They fight over the food. I explained that there was plenty and that I could make more, but they continued to cram it in their mouths as fast as they could. I made more, but the same thing happened. I don't understand why??? I could understand if they were all starved and they were fighting for survival, but they are not...

Thursday, September 13, 2007

What color crayon am I???

You Are a Green Crayon

Your world is colored in harmonious, peaceful, natural colors.

While some may associate green with money, you are one of the least materialistic people around.

Comfort is important to you. You like to feel as relaxed as possible - and you try to make others feel at ease.

You're very happy with who you are, and it certainly shows!

Your color wheel opposite is red. Every time you feel grounded, a red person does their best to shake you.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

knitted flowers

Originally uploaded by jjs_37
I knitted these flowers for a person in Naomi's school. She is using them to create an art piece. I like how some of them turned out. Some I actually got from a pattern in the new Vogue knitting by Nicky Epstein.
Speaking of VK, there is a sweater in there that I covet. OF course, since it is in a knitting magazine it is not simply a matter of yearning for it and then BUYING it somehow. I have to buy the yarn and knit it. Unfortunately this is not discouraging me. The endless variation in yarn and the dream of this sweater is making me insane even though it is a heavily cabled "cone of silence" type of project.
And it would go perfectly with my million dollar dress (more on that another time) and it is a very classic sweater.

Saturday, September 08, 2007

School Madness

Next week is crazy around here. Preschool is starting and I have agreed to help out with the other class which has a lot of experienced moms in it. There is a meeting conflicting with this one at Naomi's school and then I agreed to be the classroom coordinator for her teacher. I don't know what I was thinking.
Julia is going to be exhausted and then we are going to Asilomar. Well, that I am looking forward to. It's to be a wedding party for our friends Chris and Birgitte. We went to their wedding in Copenhagen where I was reinspired to ride my bike. Well, you all know how that ended up.

Monday, September 03, 2007

Journey ATC

Journey ATC
Originally uploaded by jjs_37
My other thing is that I have been wanting to learn crochet. But I had to finish an ATC fo August and yet could not tear myself away from the fiber. I received an ATC (luckily before the end of august) and it had a tiny origami crane on it. This made me realize that I could knit something -or crochet it- and use that. So I set about learning to meka granny square is fingering weight yarn. That is sock yarn and very tiny in case you are wondering.
Now I want to try it with slf striping yarn but first I must obses over mobius scarves.

Baby J cardigan

Baby J cardigan
Originally uploaded by jjs_37
I have been knitting obsessed. It started witht eh daily swimming lessons, and maybe summer is a good time for me to knit. But while this was started in February, right after stitches west, where I procured the yarn and the pattern, I only recently finished it. The thing I did right is that I wove in the ends as I was knitting.

Friday, August 31, 2007

Mule rides in Golden Gate Park and School starts

Originally uploaded by jjs_37
A few weeks ago Naomi went with our sitter Penny to Golden Gate Park to the Childrens horse event. She got to ride a mule which was almost the hightlight. Winning the raffle several times was better than anything.
So why am I writing now and not several weeks ago? Well, back to school is a frenzy!
We have the first week behind us and Naomi is in teacher Ellen's class. She seems really nice and I think it will be an exciting year. She seems the kind of teacher who is aligned with my way of thinking and this goes a long way towards placating me in the process of having a curriculum forced down my (or is it Naomi's) throat that I am not excited about. But don't get me started about that.
The most exciting thing of course has been that I have been riding the bike to pick Naomi up at school and she has been wanting me to meet her at the flagpole all week. Today I did it. I waited outside at the flagpole for her and she put her stuff in the bags, put on the helmet and hopped on. I must say that we have been quite the news at school and we even inspired someone else to ride their bike! Who knows... This could be the start of something new - to quote a song from Naomi's favorite movie...

Saturday, August 11, 2007


Originally uploaded by jjs_37
Adam was clearing out the woodpile on the side of the house and a lizard skittered out. They caught in and had it in the cooler for a little while. They built it a new woodpile on the other side of the house but he has not been seen since. Still, he may be underr the compost pile or some other such place.


Originally uploaded by jjs_37
The lizard found and caught in the backyard.


Originally uploaded by jjs_37
Another angle. I need to customize the flag I think, for visibility and fun. And then a custom paint job, fenders, cool lights, a stereo and ...
For now I have a fun tinkle bell.


Originally uploaded by jjs_37
Here we are on the Brand new Townie with Freeradical (see if you dont know what I mean) and there is still room for groceries. The kids think this bike is for their joyriding enjoyment. Yesterday we went to the park and had a picnic and today they saw me get the bike out and were ready to go! Let's packa lunch says Naomi and within moments they had bike helmets on and were rarin to go. Instead we rode around the neighborhood and took pictures.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Knitting ADD

We are back from vacation and it has been hard to get back into the groove. DH left almost immediately for New York and the kids started daycamp. They are super tired at the end of the day. Especially because we still have swimming in the afternoon. Which brings me to the knitting ADD. I decided that I could knit during swim class but I am having a hard time settling on a project. Sometimes I work on a little baby sweater for my friend. Then I make washcloths for friends who got marrried. I am trying to find a project for the bambu yarn from bluemoon fiber arts that I have. I am considering This: pattern but it would have to be twotone since I have only 1 skein of bambu. But that could look good depending on what the other colors are. Knitty has a similar pattern which is free of course but I think I like the stichdiva one better. But first, I suppose I should finish Julia's poncho, Naomi's hat, the washcloths and/or handtowels, the baby sweater and reknit the vest I decided to rip out several months ago. Oh, and I want to knot a chevron scarf since everyone is. Oh, and I promised I would knit some flowers for an art installation. So every day I have different project with me and the moms around me noticed.
pssst there is also a super secret bootie project that I can't seem to finish for Sara since I just don't want to do the second one...
Yup! Knitting ADD

Monday, July 02, 2007


Moleskine 7-2-07
Originally uploaded by jjs_37
This is for Illustration Friday. this flower, a columbine of some kind I do believe, seems twisted up into itself. Especially the buds are all twisted together.

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Another ATC At water's edge

At water's edge, originally uploaded by jjs_37.


At water's edge too, originally uploaded by jjs_37.

Here is another mini painting I did for an ATC (Artist Trading Card) exchange. I think I will send this one out. It is pretty challenging to do something this small format but I am getting used to it. I of course try to find a flower that can illustrate the theme for the exchange. The theme was "At water's edge" and this is a lotus flower.
What is an ATC? It is a small format bit of art that you exchange. 2 1/2 by 3 1/2 inches.

Sunday, May 27, 2007


May ATC, originally uploaded by jjs_37.

Well, I was stumped on this theme "reach for the stars" for a while but then the star jasmine bloomed and the strong scent made me think of it. Anytime I can fit a flower to a theme is fine with me. Now I just have to mail this.

Sunday, May 06, 2007

Target practice

Target practice, originally uploaded by jjs_37.

Naomi drew a monster to put on the window and shoot marhmallows at. That will kill the monster... At least there is no way you can break the window.

The plans...

The plans..., originally uploaded by jjs_37.

Adam and Naomi have wanted Marshmallow guns since Christmas, so Adam got the plans from Make magazine and decided this would be a good project for the girls. After reading the plans and all the measuring and assembling, I think it was actually kind of educational. The marshmallows go pretty far. I get bombarded with marshmallows every time I go into the backyard. Naomi does not understand why she is not allowed to play with it in the front yard.

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Artist trading cards

ATC407-1.jpg, originally uploaded by jjs_37.

I am participating in an artist trading card exchange (see I told you I am procrastinating). You make 2.5 by 3.5 little original art works and then send one out to your exchange partner. Here is the one I made for April with the theme "a world in bloom". Managed to mail it out on the deadline so I am feeling pretty pleased. Of course it shouldn't be that hard to make a teeny tiny piece of art in a month. Still, I think the small canvas has it's own challenges.

It has been a while since I updated but right now I am procrastinating something else so... We have succeeded in getting through turn off TV week and it was remarkably easy. In fact, for the last two days Naomi said she was not even interested in watching TV even thought the week is over. This was a school sponsored event and if they participated they would get to go to a book swap and were able to win a prize if they kept the TV off all week. Naomi was into it and we hung a sign in front of the TV. Naomi was happy that there was extra time to play and she was just good about not even asking about TV.
She did win the prize - an ice cream after school on Thursday - and I am really proud of her. She decided to participate, and took ownership of this project and really did it. To replace TV they listened to books on tape while I was fixing dinner. That is almost like being read to...

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Live model drawing

SuperGigi.jpg, originally uploaded by jjs_37.

My friend Julie had hired a model to sit for a painting for her while I took care of hte kids. When julie was done, I went down to her studio (she has a real studio!) and I drew the model for a while. Time goes really fast when you are just in your other brain.
This photo is a mirror image of the actual drawing and I can see lots of different things in it now that did not work out so well, but I am generally pleased with the resuult.
The name of the model (who usually does childrens parties and corporate events etc) was Super Gigi. Super Gigi! I just love that.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

The cutest shoes

the cutest shoes.jpg, originally uploaded by jjs_37.

I broke down and bought the girls shoes at Nordstrom. I was sick of argueing over what shoes to wear on PE day, Julia had grown out of her shoes and I wanted pretty and sensible good shoes that last for both of them. This was an expensive proposition, but we did it. We got cute, sparkly practical shoes for the summer.
Then Julia lost one shoe. When we crossed the street she tripped near the storm drain and caught her foot in the drain opening and her shoe slipped off. I couldn't see the shoe down in the drain, let alone get it back. Nobody was hurt, but Naomi was terribly upset. She felt that Julia must feel really sad about her lost shoe. Julia just kept walking along with only one shoe and didn't seem bothered one bit. Well, now I will order another pair of shoes like this.
Some raccoon is hoping for the other shoe to come down though...

Sunday, April 08, 2007

Naomi in Dress

Naomi in Dress, originally uploaded by jjs_37.

Naomi on the other hand will pose! There are more photo's at Flickr.

Julia in Dress

Julia in Dress, originally uploaded by jjs_37.

I can't get Juliia and Naomi to get in the same spot at the same time. Mosty it is the Easter morning sugar doing its job. The girls were up beefore the crack of dawn and we found the easter baskets and then went on the egg hunt around the house and garden. (Shhh there are still eggs out there) Of course they ate some candy right away and now they are hopped up on sugar.

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

the Fairy

the Fairy, originally uploaded by jjs_37.

Julia is wearing her favorite costume (tinkerbell) because we went to a fairy birthday party.