Charity Sewing

This is a crafts post.

Sewing has been a hobby most of my life. My mother taught me basic sewing when I was under 10 years old. I never took Home Ec. in school, though.  I sew clothes and costumes for myself.

For the past several years I’ve also done “charity sewing”… making items to give to charities.

For many years I made cotton fabric bears which I gave to Teddy Care, a WA group who gave them, primarily, to the children of deploying military. A few years ago the couple who did it all retired and closed down the group.

Then I made pillow cases for Mary Bridge Children’s hospital in Tacoma which were collected at the annual Sew Expo at the Puyallup Fair grounds. But a year ago the hospital decided they didn’t want to use them anymore.

So I’ve had no projects for a while. I gave away a lot of my kiddie fabric to Pacific Fabrics for their charity quilting project. I do not quilt!

Recently I happened upon the Golisano Children’s Hospital’s need for surgical caps. I’ve just made my first three out of the Star Wars fabrics I still had from the pillowcase project.  I made one of the character squares (shown here on Yoda) and two of the R2D2 fabric.  They are dead easy to make!  The link to the Facebook page has the pattern and instructions.

If you’re interested, I’ve emailed back and forth to a contact there and have the address to which to send them.

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Red Bull

I was itching for some sketching.  I haven’t gone out to sketch on location in about a week.  I thought perhaps I’d go to the food court in the mall  or to the library to sketch people.  As I was leaving the Post Office that’s next to Southcenter Mall, I noticed in the distance a car with a large Red Bull can mounted on it.  It disappeared around a corner in the distance but I decided to go in that direction in hopes of finding it.

Sure enough, I found it parked in front of Norstrom.  And there was even a spot open across from it.  Now, it was pouring rain.  But I have a hatchback car.  I opened the hatch and sat under it to sketch the car across.  Perhaps not the best angle, but as good as I could get in the rain.

I decided the mall was too crowded.  So I did a couple errands and stopped at the library.  I picked up a bunch of magazines.  In one called “Artist’s”, I read a favorable review of Legion paper’s new (ish) watercolor paper, Stonehenge Aqua.  It’s my new favorite.

I sat down to sketch a patron on his cell phone.  The foreshortened pose was an interesting challenge.  He got up and left before I was quite done but I got enough down.

Both of these are in a small, 3×5 inch sketchbook.

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Merry Christmas

It’s Christmas eve and it has just started to snow.  We might have a white Christmas if it does so through the night.

Wishing a blessed holiday season to all.  Hoping for a more peace-filled year in 2018.  We can, at least, be kind to those we meet and spread peace along the way.


And for the less traditional and more silly…. I give you Santa Astronaut.

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Ravens and the Mouse King

For the fourth year in a row, the Friday group of Urban Sketchers Seattle sketched holiday scenes at Swanson’s Nursery. Last year there was snow but this year it was just cold. We were also later in the season so the place was mobbed. I had wanted to sketch the Star Wars themed model train village but gave up due to the crowds. Same with the reindeer. In past years there was also a camel but Tina reported he’d been retired.

First, I sketched indoors as I found this charming fireplace scene with owls.

I braved the chill to sketch the raven sculptures, which I’ve often admired but never got around to sketching before.

Only a few of us were left to share sketches as best we could in the crowded cafe.

More photos:

After we dispersed, I went back to the delightful “Nutcracker Lawn”.  These are from the Sendak version of Pacific Northwest Ballet’s production of The Nutcracker.  It’s only a few minutes away from Swanson’s. I’d stopped by on my way in the morning and returned in the afternoon to sketch one of the statues. I’d learned about it from King 5’s Evening.

Of course, I had to sketch the Mouse King! I added some detail of the interesting house, too.

More photos:

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Holiday season at the Hotel Murano

It’s been 2 or 3 years since Urban Sketchers Tacoma last sketched at the Hotel Murano and we’ve never done so during the holiday season. The hotel lobby was tastefully decorated and the centerpiece was a very tall tree. Since I arrived quite early, I sat down to await others’ arrival and sketched the tree.

I’ve sketched this horse twice before. It’s such an odd thing:  a full sized horse sculpture with a lamp on its head. Today I chose a different view. It also had a wreath of blue bulbs.

Completed in a Pentalic Aqua sketchbook #pentalic #aquajournal

By 11am, it might have warmed up a bit. While the sun was warm on my back, the wind was quite chilly blowing straight at me. I did want to sketch this unusual structure at the hotel entrance. After hunting a bit, I eventually found more information about this on the website: It is…”Orizon, a monumental, 75-foot-tall curved steel and plate glass site specific sculpture that was commissioned for the hotel and designed for the site by famed Greek glass artist, Costas Varotsos”

For a Wednesday, we had a fairly large group.

A few more photos are here:

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Similar to the Gingerbread village, the model train village at Seattle Center’s Winterfest is a sketching nemesis. I’ve never done a sketch of either that I’ve liked. So today I mostly practiced avoidance.

I was there so early, though, that I felt I really should sketch something while I sat at a table awaiting the arrival of other sketchers. So I did a small sketch of the “King Street Station” clock tower the the model train engineer.

Still wanting to sketch in the holiday theme, I next turned to this tree decoration.

I wandered up to the “Armory Loft” to see the view of the scene from above. This amused me: the Armory logo with it’s own ribbon hanger made it look like it belonged with the holiday wreaths.

We had a large group today with some visitors. Anya is down from Alaska again!

And Juliana is from Brazil! She’s visiting for a month so hopefully we will see her and friend, Aaron, more.

The throw down.  Stephanie’s back from India!  And Eli brought his whole family… mom, dad and sister all sketched.


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D-Day flag

The Museum of Flight has a new, temporary, exhibit.  After my shift yesterday, I sketched this US flag that was was carried on one of the first vessels into combat at sunrise on D-Day.

I sketched it as it is displayed in front of a wall-sized black and white image of two Tuskegee Airman.

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Fifth Anniversary in Gingerbread

This is the fifth Anniversary of the Urban Sketcher Seattle’s Friday Ad Hoc sketch outings. It might not be the exact date, but it is the same event. It was 5 years ago that just 5 of us gathered to sketch the Gingerbread Village.

It was Nilda, Tina, me, Peggy H. and Carleen that first time. Once we decided to continue, the numbers grew. You might also notice there are no other visitors surrounding the Gingerbread display. In future years we decided it had gotten just too crowded to sketch there.

This year, though, the display moved to a larger area so the Gingerbread constructions could be further apart. We decided to give it another try. There were far more sketchers present, too!

As usual, I was at our meeting location early. In a previous outing, I had noticed this view out the upper story windows. So while I waited, and again at the end while waiting for others to converge back, I sketched that view. Tina told me the rounded building is called “the copulating paperclips building”. Ok….

I walked around all of the displays. The theme this year is ” 25 Years of Cheer: A Celebration of Seattle”. I found I did not enjoy them as much as the previous years’ Star Wars and Harry Potter themes. From previous experience, I decided to choose a smaller section to sketch. This is the “Historic North Seattle” scene designed created by CallisonRTK & Hargis with Chef Lee Baldyga. It depicts an sailor but it was the gull in matching shirt that appealed to me!

Tina pointed out later that one of the member of USk Seattle works at CallisonRTKL! My thought was that made it an even better choice.

The Gingerbread constructions were starting to get crowded so that was a good time to sketch something else. Last time we met in this building I sketched this arch. I wanted to repeat it today but with the Christmas tree. I see my holiday card for next year!

Photos of all the Gingerbread structures:

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Sadly, the last time.

This is the 3rd year I’ve sketched the holiday decorations at the Stonehouse Bakery. In talking with Patrick, the owner and baker, I realized that is each of the Christmas seasons it’s been open.

Sadly, this will be the last time at this location. I’ve so enjoyed this unique, field stone building and the warmth of the bakery. And Urban Sketchers Seattle is going to miss this place, too. We’ve enjoyed Patrick’s hospitality several times while sketching there.

Patrick opens Patrick’s Cafe and Bakery in White Center on January 5.

Bee & Dee are Patrick’s dogs.

A few more photos here:


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Just a bit of holiday cheer

I went to the mall today thinking I would sketch Santa’s area.  Southcenter’s was just the same as the previous two or three years.  I had sketched it a few times in those previous years from various angles.  So I wasn’t into that.

I noticed this new installation on the wall over the escalator.  I included the table with the people both for scale and to add the poinsettia for an indication of the season.

Normally I’m in and out of the Southcenter area by no later than 1000 on Mondays.  Today I was there until 1330 and it had become quite crowded and traffic was heavy.

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