Pink Hats

Everyone knows about the Women’s March in DC, right? It’s scheduled for 21 January, the day after the inauguration.    One or two people I know are going.  I’m planning to participate in the Seattle march.

This is tangentially related to sketching as a few of us are planning to do some “reportage” sketching of the march.

Related to the March is the “Pussy Hat Project”.    It aims to “Provide the people of the Women’s March on  Washington D.C. a means to make a unique collective visual statement which will help activists be better heard.”  Yes, it’s a rude word but one of the points is reclaiming it… there is an entire paragraph about that on the website linked above.

I hadn’t planned on making one as I don’t knit.  But further exploration on the project website found a pattern to sew one out of fleece.  I was in!

I’ve never liked or worn pink… it’s too girly-girly and I’m not that kind of person.  I also don’t make things out of fleece.  So I didn’t have any fabric in my (substantial) stash.

I’ve had a cold this week.  I’m missing the Friday sketch outing today because I don’t want to infect anyone, though I’m feeling better now.  And on Wednesday afternoon I felt better enough to make a run to the PO Box to get mail and to the fabric store.  I found remnants that totaled about 2 yards.  They were on sale so I got all that fabric for just $5  (fleece is usually $10-12/yard).

But on Wednesday night and Thursday the cold felt worse. Maybe I relapsed a little because I did too much on Wednesday afternoon?  So I sat on the couch, watched DVD’s and TV and hand sewed 15 hats!   In the period sewing lessons at Fort Nisqually, we’re told to always use a thimble.  I had trouble coordinating its use but I really needed one to get through 2 layers of fleece and it helped me perfect my thimble using skill!

I’m going to wear the darker colored one and will add one or two of my original buttons from the Women’s Movement in the 1970’s!  Another of the darker ones is promised to a friend.  The remaining I’m going to give away at the March.

The pattern is dead easy.  The Pussy Hat website links several free patterns, but the one I liked best and the one I used is by 15y/o Celia, in Michigan.  Link to the pattern pdf.

Posted in Crafts | Tagged , , , | 3 Comments

Staying warm at Charlie’s

Urban Sketchers Tacoma met for the first time in 2017 on a very cold day.  The high was to be 35 and the low 34!  We are expecting a bit of snow.  Fortunately, our outing was all arranged to be at a local restaurant in Puyallup.  Charlie’s was a gracious host, giving us the use of a large banquet room in the back and sketching in the warm bar with a fire place.  Some sketchers braved the cold to sketch outside but I did not.

The USk global flickr group has a weekly theme and this week it is “food”.  Given that we were at a restaurant, I thought it would make sense to do a food sketch.  I don’t sketch my meals so I didn’t have anything for the theme already completed.

AJ is my subject as she was sitting across from me.  This doesn’t really look like her, though. I only got the one sketch done as I was talking a lot with a new person.

We shared our sketches in the banquet room reserved for our use and then had a group photo.

Posted in Sketch Crawl, Sketches, Urban Sketchers | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment


I sketched The P-26 Peashooter being assembled on January 8, 2016.

All my recent sketches have been at the Museum of Flight.  I was there again today.  I went to see the P-26 disassembled to be returned to the San Diego Air and Space Museum  from which it was borrowed a year ago.

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

End of 2016

Happy New Year!  I’m discouraged and concerned by the National and World news.  But I’m hopeful there is also good news and I hope 2017 will have a lot of that, too.  And I’m hoping for many personal good experiences this year, especially with travel and sketch outings.

These last few years I’ve had a tradition of making a group photo of the year’s writing journals and sketchbooks.  This is the first year in about 5 years that I used the same book all year.

For both my writing journal and my sketchbook I use a Circa disc bound notebook.  I use the Junior size, 7 by 8 5/8 inches.  The disc bound system allows for papers to be removed and/or re-positioned easily.

I have a sturdy punch so I can make my own pages as I do not purchase Circa brand paper.  In the journal, I use writing paper recommended for fountain pen by Brian Goulet ( ).  It is HP Premium Choice Laserjet at 32#.  An 8.5 x 11 inch piece cut in half is perfect for the Junior sized notebook.

The journals are stored by month and kept together with a rubber band.

This system is good to use as a sketchbook because I can vary the papers in one book.  For the past couple months I’ve been testing 4 kinds of paper and have mostly settled on one.  The 3/4 inch discs don’t allow for keeping many 140# pages so I remove them as it fills.  I keep fresh paper in a zippered pouch and add it a page at a time, as I need a fresh one.

The sketchbook pages – sketches – are kept loose in large envelopes, by date.

Included here are an accordion book that was a gift and one Stillman and Birn Beta I took on a trip.

Now let’s go watch the fireworks on TV!

Posted in Journal, KIt and Supplies | Tagged , , | 7 Comments

Ribbon Cutting

Yesterday at the morning briefing before the shift at the Museum of Flight, we heard about the opening ceremony for the new restrooms.  They called it “First Flush”.   It was scheduled for today before the Museum opens, so it was only for staff and volunteers.  It sounded like a fun and silly event.  The docents made so many bad puns about it!

It was, indeed, a fun little event.  A handful of volunteers and several staff attended.  The “ribbon” was made of rolls of toilet paper.  The contractors were thanked by the CEO.  Then the paper was cut and we could have a little tour.   There are 2 All Gender rooms, each is single use (no stalls, just one person at a time).

A few more photos:

I was there early.  I wrote here on Monday (12/26) that I’d wanted to sketch the Destiny module because it will be removed during the renovation and go out on semi-permanent loan.  Many of the docents are sad about this.  Today it suddenly dawned on me that I was there at 0830, there are no visitors so the gallery is empty.  It as the perfect time to sketch Destiny!  I had the line drawing done before I decamped to attend the ribbon cutting.  Afterward, there was still a half hour before opening time and I had time to finish the watercolor.

“The Museum of Flight’s high-fidelity mock-up of the International Space Station Destiny laboratory module was designed and built by SPACEHAB Corporation in October 2002. It was acquired by the Museum in 2006, in part through the generosity of SPACEHAB. The 20,000-pound (9,000-kg) mock-up contains 24 payload racks (in four six-bay rows) on the deck, port, starboard, and overhead sides, just like the module in orbit. The inch-and-a-half (3.8-cm) thick glass floor has been added to allow viewing of the deck racks”

In order to attend this event, I skipped the USk Friday sketch outing.  It was only later in the afternoon that I remembered it was Ching’s last outing with us before she moves away!  I kicked myself for missing it.   But she’ll still be on this coast and I hope we’ll see her from time to time.

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

Now or never

It was now or never… or at least now or not for several months.  I’ve been hearing for weeks that the Bill & Moya Lear Gallery was going to close for the installation of a new Apollo exhibit. Today was just about the only day I had before it closes so I wanted to get there to sketch in the exhibit I’ve only once before sketched.  I would have liked to have sketched the Destiny  module as it will be gone on long term loan as part of the reconfigured exhibit.  It was a busy day and I was concerned I would block access.

This Apollo command module was the first production-line capsule delivered to NASA for testing and training.  Spacecraft 007 was delivered by North American on April 18, 1966 for use in water impact and flotation tests in the Gulf of Mexico. Apollo crews also trained for extended recovery by remaining on board at sea for several days at a time.

As a volunteer, I sometimes get interesting news before the general public.  During our Thursday morning briefing before our shift last week, we were told the Museum of Flight received a copy of the flight log that confirmed what had been suspected:  John Glenn flew this actual aircraft!  That makes it even more special and the other artifact I wanted to sketch today.

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

Happy Holiday 2016

Happy Holiday….   to all who are celebrating:  Merry Christmas, Joyous Yule, Happy Hanukkah, Heri za Kwanzaa.

Early morning at my favorite cafe/bakery:  The Stonehouse Bakery.   The owner, Patrick, had a crew of 2 in this am to finish all the Christmas orders. While I sketched I had a delicious blueberry scone and some hot coffee.  It was quite the bustling place with people coming in to pick up their orders.

Still, during a brief sit down while he folded pie boxes, he took a moment to remind me we need to talk about when I’m going to have my show there!

Photos of the cheerful holiday decorations are here:

Posted in Sketches | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

Healing Garden

Yesterday was a busy day.  First, I dropped my husband off at work for one of his rare days in the office and one of his final days at work!  He’s retiring.

Then I did my volunteer shift at the Museum of Flight.  I left a bit early in order to attend the retirement ceremony for my former supervisor.  It was good to see many former co-workers… I’ve been retired for 5 1/2 years already!

Once the ceremony and visiting was over, about 1600, I still had 2 more hours until my husband was ready to leave work. I former work place and his current one are the same, though we had very different jobs.  We both worked for the VA Puget Sound (Department of Veterans Affairs, Veterans Health Administration).

I’d brought my sketch bag as I planned to sketch the new Healing Garden.

After I retired there was a major renovation of the Emergency Room area.  A small outdoor space between buildings had always existed and the renovation included turning that area into a small garden.  It was after sunset and the light was fading.  It was also cold.  But I managed to get a drawing done.  It was a peaceful, meditative end to a busy day.

The medical building towers over it at the back.

Posted in Sketches | Tagged , , , , , | 6 Comments

Bright mid-winter

Urban Sketchers Tacoma spent the day of the longest night in the brightly colored, cheerful location that houses Tacoma’s newest and only full on Art supply store:
Artist and Craftsman Supply

It is wonderful to have a branch of this store here.  And the manager was so welcoming.  He set up a table for us to use upstairs such that it was nearly our own space within the store.  He gave us pencils!

The morning was clear but still rather chilly.  I really wanted to sketch some of the interior of the store. It is in the longstanding Wagner Motors building (ca. 1928) as part of the historic and artsy Theater District.  Also, the 5,000-square-foot-plus retail space is the latest of the Portland, Maine-based chain’s 34 stores.  How ’bout that, Tacoma?!

I was there early and started sketching from the upstairs view of the sales floor below and the front door area.  I liked the detail of the columns on the left.

Next, I chose a smaller view of the door to the room with the large sheets of paper.  I waved at the security camera and then added it to my sketch.

Usually I only have time for 2 sketches in our two and a half hour outing.  Because I started early, I had enough time left to at least get the line work done on a building across the street.  It was warm enough to sketch outside by Noon.  This is a vintage car dealer that only hosts cars made in the USA.  It was closed today.  The mural on the side is a bit of photo collage.  When I colored this, I tried using only watercolor pencils.

We gathered for our sketchbook throw down in the restaurant next door to A&C.

Then we enjoyed some lunch together.  The restaurant was named, “Stink”.  In spite of that, the food was good.  Apparently they are know for their cheese.

After that, I went back to A&C for a little more shopping.  I bought some white acrylic drawing ink that I’d learned about at Daniel Smith’s Watercolor Social.  And DS didn’t stock it.  I was glad to find it here.

More photos:

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

Double the Joy

The sketch may have been “double the joy” but our reception at Pacific Place was
not… read on…..

As I left the house, I noted it was 27 degrees.  I dressed warmly for my trip into downtown Seattle via light rail.  Once I arrived at the Pacific Place mall,  I realized they did not have as many holiday decorations as in past years.  I had been looking forward to sketching the oversized nutcracker statues but they weren’t there!

I settled in at the cafe to sketch the view of “Joy”.  These large, red, block letters seem to be “the thing” this year as my local mall has them, too.  Then started a succession of children posing on it for their parents.  Some were probably on their way to meet Santa, who was upstairs.  I managed to catch these two little girls in red dresses. In the background is Suzanne, sketching.

I wandered the 4 floors, looking for another sketch subject.  I finally settled on “Give”.
Mall visitors were encouraged to post a selfie with it to be entered into a contest.  Odd that such photography was encouraged, yet the security guard said we couldn’t sketch…. that’s right, we almost got kicked out!

We managed to share sketches despite the grumbling of the security guard and had
our group photos.  We could come back, the guard said, if we asked permission first. Given the lack of  decorations this year and our poor reception, I don’t think we’ll go back next year.  Other venues love having us, so we’ll re-visit them instead.  Bah, humbug!

I was happy to hear the flutist busking in the light rail station.  It was a “loud room”,  as we used to say, thus he sounded even better than he might have elsewhere.  I used to play the flute, so I left a big tip!

Posted in Sketch Crawl, Sketches, Urban Sketchers | Tagged , , , , | 6 Comments