Sewing Academy and WWSCD at the Fort

I’m attending the Sewing Academy this weekend at Fort Nisqually.  Elizabeth Clark is a well known expert in the  interpretation of mid-18th century.   Fort Nisqually brought her to teach her Sewing Academy this weekend.  I’m learning a lot but I’m starting from zero.

We started Friday evening.  Liz is very organized so there was a delightful bag of information and supplies for each person.  It’s a small world… in the bag was this packet from Hedgehog Handworks.  I knew both of them in the SCA in Caid.

Friday evening’s content was two foundational lectures about interpreting history.  So there was no sewing to be done.  I did a small sketch of the two people in front of me.

The next morning started before the Fort was open to the public.  It was about 0815 and the fog was heavy.  Since it is also the 45th World Wide Sketchcrawl Day, I had to get in at least one location sketch!  So I sketched the foggy scene.  I attempted to represent the fog with a glaze of white gouache but it didn’t quite work.


Saturday was a long day… 12 hours 0900-2100.  But Liz is a very entertaining and animated speaker.  Here’s a bit of humor…. her daughter as a “butt head”…. she’s wearing her bum roll on her head.

During the lunch break, I walked around the Fort.  I saw this thing…. is it a beet?

The brick oven was being rebuilt.  Unfortunately, I didn’t have my camera when they were actually building it but here it is finished and curing.

During our dinner break there was a beautiful sunset.

To bed early and then it starts over tomorrow!

Posted in Class, Photography, Sketches | Tagged , , , , | 3 Comments

Southdown Abbey

At AFK Drink and Draw:  Finally, a model from a fandom about which I know lots of details.  Of course, it helps that she’s a friend of mine!  This is Amanda, dressed as Sister Charity, OSC.  With the apron and overcoat, she becomes a nun of Southdown Abbey.  This is from Firefly.   Shepherd Book, one of the main characters, is a priest and comes aboard Serenity after leaving the Abbey.

Starting with 2 minute sketches:

Moved on to about 5 minutes and I used a bit of watercolor pencil and wash in the sketchbook.

The reference to a strawberry is from a particular episode of Firefly.

Finally, a sketch in watercolor in the good Pentalic Aqua watercolor sketchbook.

Oh, and the service dog is Griffin.

Then we had CAKE! for Stan’s birthday.  Thank you LJ and Happy Birthday, Stan!

Posted in Drink and Draw | 1 Comment

Arc sketchbook and journal

Recently one of my posts about disc bound sketchbook was reblogged by “Calvin was Right” blog.  I then read through all of the entries there followed by the Arc it blog.   (Arc it is now on hiatus but there is 2 year’s worth of entries to read).   This got me inspired to try using a discbound system again.

Discbound systems are mostly either Staples’ Arc  or Levenger’s Circa.  While both Circa and Arc offer just the covers, I thought I could also make my own.  In my local Staples, they don’t have any Arc individual covers I like.   (FYI:  If one does a search, it might also turn up Rollabind.  I’ve recently read about the company not shipping orders and I wouldn’t recommend them.  I did place an order before I read these reports.  It’s been a week and I’ve so far  not even had an acknowledgement, though my Levenger order placed at the same time has already shipped).

So…. I found these plastic pocket folders at Staples. I made a pattern for the Junior size from another notebook.  Then I cut it down and punched it.  Here you see it with the pen holder and neoprene zipper pouch outside the cover.  This is configured for journal writing.  I’ve printed letter sized paper with the all over dots template from “Calvin was Right”, cut the sheet in half and then punched it with the Arc paper punch.

I cut the plastic folders such that the outside edge remained on the outside.  This meant I preserved the pocket function on the inside.  These are some discs I bought in a bag at Staples.  They are too large and I’ll replace them once my smaller ones arrive from Levenger.

This is a Martha Stewart brand notebook.  It has a hard cover with a strap that is perfect for a sketchbook.  On the inside, I first have a sheet protector with my contact info and a few business cards in the holder.

What I like about this system is I can fill it with single sheets of different kinds of paper.  A standard 22×30 sheet of watercolor paper tears down to a size that fits well in the Junior book.

Spiral bound paper can even be torn out and inserted in the Arc discbound book.  This is a page from the Strathmore Visual Journal line.

In the back is a pocket with a couple more items I use.

My next project was to make a clear plastic cover.  I found the perfect sheet of plastic at Artist and Craftsman Supply.  Here is the sales receipt….. it is called “team film sheet”.  It’s 22×30 and costs $5.85 a sheet.  I found this in the physical store in the U district of Seattle.  Unfortunately, I can’t find it on-line.  That item number comes up as a tube of oil paint on the website.  It’s thicker than the plastic folder but can still be punched in the Arc paper punch.

I found if I cut it along the short side, I can get more covers out of it.  I like to put stickers on my sketch books from places I go to draw.  So I have a sheet of heavy black paper at the front on which to put the stickers.  It is Jet Black Canford Card Imperial made by
Daler-Rowney, also found at Artist and Craftsman Supply.  The clear cover doesn’t photograph well, so you’ll just have to imagine it.

Circa does have translucent covers available for order but I didn’t find them until I wrote to them about it.

I’m going to use the discbound sketchbook for the next few weeks.  I’ll let you know what I think.  I’ve not yet decided how I will store the pages once the book is full.  I do like that I can keep a few finished sketches while adding in blank pages.  I think I might store the loose pages in an envelope, as Roz Stendahl has suggested (that was in her Sketchbook Skool Klass).

Posted in KIt and Supplies | Tagged , , , , , | 3 Comments

Mad Campus

Ad Hoc Friday Sketchers  met at the University of Washington campus to sketch the sculptures of the Mad Campus exhibit.

One of our number had been before and offered information and suggestions about the choices.  I first sketched 2 of the Six Swans by Tory Franklin From the info on the map:  “A princess tediously labors to free her brothers as the fairy tale of the Six Swans comes to life in a large redwood in the Medicinal Herb Garden. These life-size puppets tell a story of perseverance, a quality Tory recognizes in her own artistic practice. She combines drawing and printmaking to create her many public installations.”

Next I found #3, the Lone Stranger (Inflated) by Piper O’Neill “Inspired by carnival prizes of the 1940’s, a 28-foot-tall inflated cowboy reassigns meaning to a relic of the past. Piper’s work  often explores the themes of nostalgia and inherited histories. In her words, ‘I am always looking backwards to make sense of what is in front of me'”

I still have enough time for one more quick sketch.  I’d noticed some color over a rise back toward our meeting place.  It turned out to be #5, Global Bloblem  by Paul Komada.
“A patchwork of diverse national flags brings into view complex issues, such as globalism, climate change, and international strife. Paul was born in Seattle but spent his formative years in Japan. In his studio work he uses knitted materials to elicit feelings of warmth and care.”

We met to share sketches.

Four of us had sketched the swans.

All the photos are here.

Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Drink and Draw Star Wars

No Klingons!  I guess they had a war to make somewhere else.  So we had Sith instead.  Again.

Well, one Sith and one Jedi.   Daniel and Pixie are Revan and Mara Jade.  These are not characters you see in the 6 movies.  They are called “Extended Universe” or “EU”.  The EU includes books, video games, comic books and graphic novels.  We’ve continued to be fortunate to have such excellent models.

First is a group of the 2 to 5 minute sketches done in pencil and watercolor pencil in the Strathmore 200 sketchbook.

A single study of Mara Jade:

These next two are my favorites of the night.

Then one of Revan

The last was a little bit longer pose.  I used the good Pentalic Aqua watercolor sketchbook though I didn’t quite have time enough to finish as I would have liked.

Here is a photo of them:

Stan had an interesting piece of kit with him tonight.  It’s called the Arm-adillo and is pencil case that straps to the arm.  Looking at the website, it also can strap around a book or even a water bottle.


Posted in Drink and Draw, Sketches | Tagged , , , , , | 3 Comments

Charon moved

It was a very slow day for visitors.  The Charon was moved and is now closer to where I stand to greet people.  So I had lots of time to work on this sketch of it.  It’s a test bed for engines made by Blue Origin in Kent, WA (that’s Amazon’s Bezos’ company).

Moleskine pocket waterclolor book; Daniel Smith watercolors

Above it is my representation of the massive photograph of the Milky Way Galaxy!

More of the Space Flight Academy displays are being installed.  During my shift today, I watched them install a very large screen.

When they got it working, they connected it to a tablet to test it out.  How is this for a massive computer monitor?

Posted in Sketches | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

SBS homework

I’ve finally done some homework for Sketchbook Skool.  Most of last semester I played hooky in that regard.  I feel my page design needs work.  I really admire people like Judi who do such well designed pages.

The assignment was to illustrate a recipe.  I don’t enjoy cooking.  The SBS instructor does and has a lot of these pages in her sketchbook.  I can cook more than this, but I thought it would be amusing.

This was done on a page from the Strathmore Mixed Media Visual Journal.  I just learned from Kourse 1 Sketchbook Skool teacher, Roz Stendahl, that this paper is the Series 500 (read, “best”) Mixed Media paper that Judi just told me she likes to much.  Roz was very kind to respond so quickly to a question on her blog and then contacted Strathmore!

I have another idea for a recipe to illustrate and may work on the design of the page a little more.  Depends on time.  I have also to do the second assignment:  illustrate a manual.  I have an idea for that but not sure I really care!

Posted in Journal, Sketchbook Skool | Tagged | 1 Comment

Reconciliation Park

More on my long Saturday.  I still had a couple hours before I needed to be at Fort Nisqually for my volunteer shift during the Candlelight tours.  So I drove out of Tacoma looking for something more to sketch.  I’d always intended to stop at the Chinese Reconciliation Park, so today was the day!

The park aims to provide reconciliation and healing of the time when Tacoma expelled Chinese residents.  It shows the history of this event, which occured in 1885.  It is comprised of several structures.  Today, I chose to sketch the String of Pearls bridge.
I couldn’t find any further information about it.

Hinted at in the background are two Coast Guard Ships.  I’ve often wondered about these two ships.  I could see the name of the one of them so when I got home, I searched for it.  Isn’t the internet a wonderful thing?  The Cape Island Norfolk VA IMO 7390131 is a Coast
Guard freighter (previously the USNS Mercury, until November 1993) moored at the Ready Reserve Force location on Commencement Bay.  A local resident told me it went to the 1st Gulf War and also carried cargo for disaster relief.

A few photos of the park are here.

From here I went on to the Fort, where I worked in the kitchen until 11:30pm.  What a long day:  0900 to 2330!  No sketches there as there was no time.  I was there to do a job.

Posted in Sketches | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment

Tacoma Library

After the sketch outing at the farm, I went on to the Tacoma Library to see Chandler O’Leary‘s show of her travel sketchbooks, which are featured in her blog, Drawn the Road Again.  It was hung on 3 walls of a lobby or mezzanine.  I have no close up photos as they were not allowed, for obvious reasons.

I’ve seen most of these images on her blog.  I very much enjoy seeing and reading it.  I admire the art she creates, especially since much of it is done in watercolor in the nasty Moleskine Sketchbooks with waterproof paper!   But I was interested, too, in how she displayed the sketchbooks.  I found that the books had been scanned but in such a way that it actually appeared to be a book within the frame!  One really doesn’t want to tear art out of the bound book to display.

After the exhibit, I explored a little more of the Library, since I’ve never been there.  It opened in 1903 and was the first Carnegie Library built in Washington state.

I found this odd time capsule.  It was created by Artist Jill Reynolds to enable Tacoma residents in the year 2000 to leave a legacy for the year 3000.  Participants placed a snip of hair (for DNA) and a note in a sealed glass tube.  These were placed in this large lab flask.

The Northwest Room and Special Collections have everything one might want to know about the city and region. The collection includes a wealth of unique databases, hundreds of thousands of photographs, genealogical records and much more. It was there that I thought I’d stepped back in time.  I found a paper card catalog and several microfiche readers!

More photos are here.

Posted in Sketches | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Get out the pumpkin orange!

This was also the day of the 14th Annual International Big Draw Day.  Puget Sound residents were invited to The Burke museum to participate.  We in Tacoma, however, celebrated the day with our regularly scheduled outing.  The Urban Sketchers Tacoma met at Spooner Farm for our fall sketch outing.  Except for 2 short boughts of sprinkles, it was a glorious autumn day.

I was amused by the spider sculpture in one of the several pumpkin patches.  It’s made of hay bale and plumbing pipes!

The front of the farm store as beautifully decorated.  I think this might be my Thanksgiving card!

There were 14 sketchers by Frances’ count but some had to leave before the group photo.  A helpful man at the next table over took our photo.

There was a lot of pumpkin orange used in these sketches!

All my photos are here.   Here are just a few around the farm:

I was amused, also, by the wheelbarrows.  Here they are all stacked up, ready for the onslaught of pumpkin buyers

And this is the Spooner farm version of shopping cart return!

These pumpkins are massive.  I don’t know how one would lift them into a wheelbarrow!

Posted in Sketch Crawl, Sketches, Urban Sketchers | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment