A river runs through it

The Friday ad hoc group of Urban Sketchers Seattle skipped the chaos of Black Friday shopping in favor of the serenity of the library.   I invited them to come to the newly renovated library in my town.  At the time we gathered, it was quite cold… not quite 30 degrees.  One of the nice aspects of the renovation is that the windows have been greatly enlarged so sketching the view was a good option.

It used to look like this

The windows were much enlarged during the renovation.  The entire wall is window.

As you will notice from these photos, this building is unique as it spans a river!  The river and the street with a bridge were a popular subject today.

I wanted to sketch a view that gave a sense of the library, with its openness,  color, and views out the windows.

I had about a half hour left, so I did a small view out the window in my pocket sketchbook:

We used one of the study rooms to share our sketches.

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Another book made

I bought this book as a result of Janice’s recommendation at her book binding demo at Daniel Smith last weekend.

I followed the directions in it to make this journal.  It’s covered with a 100% cotton fabric.  The paper is good for fountain pen writing.  It’s what Brian Goulet (of Goulet Pens) recommends:  32 pound (120/m2) premium laser paper.   I folded a standard letter sized page (8.5 x 11) in half.  The cover boards are just a tiny bit larger.  So it’s about 8.75 x 6.5.

The end papers are something I already had.

It opens flat.

I made a punch template as well as one for the cover boards to I can easily make more.

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The Engine that Could

Last Thursday I arrived for my volunteer shift at the Museum of Flight only to discover a press conference was about to start and we were all invited.  Jeff Bezos (Amazon founder) was there to officially donate one of the F1 engines he’d found and recovered.  It was part of the Saturn V rocket that launched Apollo 12 to the moon for the second landing in 1969.

Since I didn’t know it was happening before I arrived, I didn’t bring a good camera.  News outlets covered it well, though:
Seattle Times
Burien Blog’s post includes a lot of photos.
Geekwire’s coverage includes the the short documentary about finding, salvaging and restoring the engines.

The above have good articles from the press conference.  I also took notes.  There were 2 engines recovered.  Bezos obtained permission from NASA to donate one to the Smithsonian and the other to the Museum of Flight!  They were found 14,000 feet deep in the ocean.  The main engine bells were shattered into ribbons by impact.

One of the fragments is temporarily on display until January 4, 2016.

This fragment  is the injector plate.  In my sketch, I also included the upside down Space Shuttle model that hangs over it in the gallery.


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More book making

Janice Berkebile demonstrated making a Linen Travel Journal today at Daniel Smith mothership.  It’s one method of making a case bound book.  Along with the long-stitch leather journal she taught earlier in the year, I think this one could be another favorite!

I see several possibilities for adaptations to make it exactly the kind of sketchbook I like.  For example, I’d put elastic on the unbound end rather than using a ribbon to keep it closed.  I have linen in other colors, too.

The workshop is in two weeks and I’m really looking forward to it!  It’s all day, December 4th.

Here is where I would put in an elastic band on the right rather than using the ribbon.  It would be more utilitarian but not as pretty.

A few more photos here.

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Outdoor World

Several people came to our regular 3rd Wednesday sketch outing at Outdoor World (Bass Pro Shops) in Tacoma today.  I was not expecting as many as we’d had very bad storms yesterday with many people still without power and having big messes to clean up.  In fact, I learned after I got home that the governor has declared a state-wide disaster.

The storms had passed and it was actually sunny as we arrived.  Normally, I’m a bit annoyed when Christmas decorations are up before Thanksgiving.  But I chose Santa’s village as my first sketch.  Santa doesn’t arrive until 3pm.  So I sketched a side of the village with the animals…. too big for deer, too small for elk??

My intended sketch of the day was the unique bowling ball returns in the Fish Bowl!  The entire bowling alley was made to seem like it was underwater.

We shared sketches on the coffee table in front of a huge roaring fire.

A few of us had lunch together in the adjacent restaurant.  Even there, a frighteningly large shark “swam” over us, high up near the ceiling!

Lots more photos here.

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Friday the 13th

The Friday the 13th sketchers sheltered from the downpour at Westlake Center.  We had good views of downtown Seattle’s Westlake area from the 3rd floor food court.

I’d read an article in the Seattle Times this morning about the new Amazon building that will be using excess heat generated by all the servers at the Westin Building data centers.  One of the photos showed the new Amazon building.  I thought I could see it from our location.  It’s the one with the colored windows.   And here comes the Monorail!

I had about 45 min left so I did a small sketch in my Pentalic pocket watercolor book.  This is a detail of the Nordstom building across the street with a couple Seattle Seahawks’ 12’s and Sounders signs.

We gathered to share sketches……

……. and have a group photo.   Peggy was new today.  She is 3rd from right, in the back. Welcome, Peggy!

I also did two sketches on the lightrail, one each coming and going.   These are done in the pocket Field Notes book.

A ubiquitous Seattle-ite…. coffee in one hand, smartphone in the other!


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Veterans Day, Remembrance Day, Armistice Day

“On this day, we come together to commemorate and salute the service and remember the sacrifice or our men and women in uniform of every generation and honor all who served, in war and peace.” (from Department of Veterans Affairs)

We commemorate on this day because the Armistice with Germany was the 11th hour of the 11th day in the 11th month in 1918… so take a moment to reflect at 11:00 this morning

On (or about) Memorial Day and Veterans day I do a sketch in honor of veterans and use the time to also be mindful of the sacrifices made by those in uniform.

There was bright sun and it wasn’t too cold yesterday morning so I took the opportunity to do my commemorative sketch at Tahoma National Cemetery.

This is a section of the Columbarium at the cemetery. The red dot on the right hand wall is a flower attached to the marker.

Earlier that morning, I’d done an errand at the Museum of Flight.  I stopped to chat with one of my co-voluneers.  He is a retired Marine.  When I told him I was next on my way to the VA Cemetery, he knew nothing about it OR his eligibility for benefits!!!!

With my VA Social Worker hat on, and as a Public Service Announcement:  Any veteran may be buried at a National Cemetery, at no cost to the family.  Some veterans may also be eligible for a burial allowance.  Go here for more information.

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Red shoe

Urban Sketchers-Tacoma met on a very rainy day at the LeMay Family Collection at Marymount.

Since I arrived early, I sketched under the cover of a walkway.  This is a view of the building which housed the boiler for the complex.  Marymount was operated by the Sisters of St. Dominic from the early 1920′s to 1976 as a military academy for young boys.  Talk about a double dose of discipline!  I asked the staff how nuns ran a military school.  They did the regular teaching.  Soldiers from nearby Fort Lewis provided the military content.  More about that here

Once we were all gathered, I explored the several rooms of the collection.  It was difficult to pick a subject.  Until I saw the Red Stiletto car!  It was the weirdest vehicle there so that’s what I had to sketch.  It is a custom built art car made in 1990 by David Crow of Snohomish.  It is powered by a Honda motorcycle engine.  There are two seats, with a passenger seat above the driver in the upper heel.

Figure is a standee of Marilyn Monroe.  The album covers are a bit of
photo collage.

As usual, we gathered to share sketches and have a group photo.  It was a good sized group today with several new sketchers.  Welcome, all!

Lots more photos here.

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Happy Fountain Pen Day!

Fountain Pen Day

Left to right:
very old Shaeffer “no-nonsense”
My first Lamy, a Vista (see through), now with a 1.5 nib
Cheap Platinum Preppy
Kwaeko Sport
Platinum Plaisir (same nib as Preppy but better pen body)
Lamy Al Star
Lamy Safari with 1.1 nib

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Three icons

As is my habit, it seems, I arrived early for the Friday sketch outing.  I travel into Seattle by bus and light rail so I always leave early to allow for the time needed for public transportation.

I settled down to wait for the other sketchers and started sketch a view of the Bakery and Cafe in the Grand Central Arcade.  It’s just on Occidental Park in the Pioneer Square neighborhood of Seattle.   Soon after, I saw Gail, who came for the first time today (she is second from left in the group photo below).  Welcome and hope to see you again!

After a rainy and blustery start to the day, it turned sunny and warm by about 11am.  So I went out to sketch a view I noticed while walking over.  Here are three iconic structures:  on the left is an edge of the Columbia Center tower, the tallest in Seattle; in the middle is the “sinking ship” parking garage; at right is the lower portion of the Smith Tower, which, when built, was the tallest.

We met back to share sketches and pose for a photo.

Kate, Gail, Nilda, Natalie, Tina, Gwen, Susan (Kaye had to leave early).

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