I love this time of year. I tend to get 40 amazing ideas for decorations and traditions and I manage to pull off 2. I am glad we did this one. It went fast and the kids even helped hammer in the staples.
Lay out the boards.
Grab your fence boards and lay them out on the ground. Keep adjusting them until you have a star that looks as symmetrical as you want. Don't worry about which boards are on top and which are on bottom. The boards are pretty thin and long so they will flex for you. It didn't hurt that mine have been soaking in the rain for the last several months.
Screw the boards together.
Use two screws at each point and two screws at each cross section. Make sure that you don't have screw tips poking out the back side to get hurt on. I used screws that were exactly the length of the two boards' combined thickness. So I had to be careful.
Attach the lights.
It is easier if you move the star up onto sawhorses or a work table at this point. Start at the center of the bottom of your star with the female ends of the plugs. Tack on all three light strands at once. Stagger the starts of the strands so that your lights will be more evenly spread out. Orient the plastic staples on the boards to ideally strain the wires the least.
Let me know if you try it out in the comments! Any other exciting light displays that you've made?
August and the first half of September really felt like a weather yo-yo. Now, we have now finally transitioned into autumn and it is wonderful. The spring and summer are really the best time to do Urban Sketching in western Washington. Now that the rain is here, I'm not sure how much I'll get out and sketch about town.
These begonias were so gorgeous and while I like the sketch, the flowers were so much prettier in person.
I've had this mosquito-netting-equipped-hammock for 15-20 years and it is still amazing. We took a couple weekends this summer to assess our camping gear situation. There were two tents that have reached the end of their lives. My back disagrees with sleeping on the ground and all of the air mattresses/pads can't seem to hold their air. I'm thankful that hammocks make camping a possibility again and I can retreat to the mountain to have some quiet creative time.
I wasn't intending to do this, but my eye is really drawn to the seagull on the top of the shelter. I drew it first and then later on the seagull was replaced by a crow. We really have some great birds here. I like how I drew the cars and the people in the shelter. I was acknowledging that they were there, but not giving them much attention.
This is a 7 1/2" gauge track up in Skycomish that gives free rides to the public in the non-winter months on the weekends. They have some beautiful small scale engines and because it was raining, this one was sitting still long enough for me to sketch it. There are big trains around to sketch and if the sun comes out there would be some gorgeous mountains in the background. Almost as equally entertaining is Tommy, the employee who runs the gift shop in the depot.
I snuck out in between rain showers to sketch the little cabin that we rented out. The mountains even peeked out a little bit and they make a very sketchable dramatic background. I highly recommend Hwy 2 / Stevens Pass as a sketching getaway.
More cursive... and a frightening trip into my imagination...
It is not always possible to get out and sketch the nifty things in our community. I did start to fill the pages of my sketchbook with cursive. It was a great way to use up some ink in pens I wanted to clean out. Much of my writing was just snippets of conversation, notes from watching Netflix, or just recordings of mundane life events. Then, because I never intend to re-read the journal pages, I paint on them. I pull things out of my imagination and hope that the paint will do most of the work for me. It is a great way to get the paint brush onto the paper and just see what happens.
I also spent a chunk of time crafting a planner traveler's notebook style set-up. I am loving it and I'm going to share it in a video with you soon. I think as the weather cools down more I'll be doing more of this cursive business and also working on some Winter Projects. I'm honing in on a book about Train Days and a werewolf/there was an old lady who swallowed a fly style story. Wish me luck!
I was just sitting down to write my reflections and my kitten wanted to curl up inside my shirt. This is the most adorable thing ever, but this time it alerted me to her need for a bath. You'd be proud. I didn't get any large gashes this time. This has been the story of July. It has been all kitten baths and meltdowns over breakfast cereal. It has been a challenging month and I would ordinarily be hard pressed to remember the good moments. Thankfully, I can look back at my sketches and remember some really amazing moments... some with my kids and some without.
My sister and I got out (no kids) and met up with the Bremerton Urban Sketching group #uskbremerton. This group is filled with wonderful, talented, and encouraging sketchers. They all have great stories to tell and this street even had its own story to tell. I wish I'd captured the seagull that made an unusual noise or the skateboarders that were constantly streaming down this one-way section of street.
Our church services moved back inside this month. It has come with its own set of challenges and you can see I've illustrated the hybrid zoom/ in-person service we've done. As a sketcher moving inside has been tough and i've struggled with picking a subject several times.
This was really the most amazing fourth of July. I met up with some family and our kids ran around and played on the beach and even got themselves pretty wet and salty. I didn't know that there would be an airshow with the Tacoma Narrows Bridges in the background. Such a treat!
The next day I went with my kids and husband to a park on the other side of the Narrows and started to sketch the bridges. Immediately and randomly my TWSBI Eco with Noodler's Ink Rome Burning started burping/blotching ink. I tried to make the best of it, but it took forever to dry and I even had to blot it the next day. Noodler's Ink bonds with cellulose and some of the thick spots didn't have any cellulose to bond with. Thankfully on Goulet Nation's Facebook page someone was having a similar problem. Air was getting into my pen and the suggestion of reseating my nib and feed unit did the trick.
I love our new house color! I might get to painting our exterior doors this weekend. The bubblegum pink color I picked out will hopefully be an amazing pop of color.
We would kind of be cheating if we called this an urban sketch. The cross wasn't really in the background of the flowers. It was in the room, but much farther off to the right. The mess of keyboard, microphones, speakers, and cords directly behind the flowers were not what I wanted to sketch that morning. I do like what I did with the stems under water. I used fountain pen on a wetted spot of paper.
We don't have the most architecturally interesting church, but I believe it was designed to be reminiscent of a barn.
This is Sally's house. It had more rooflines than I had anticipated when I suggested we get together and I sketch her house. I let her keep it after I took a picture.
Then because I still wanted a sketch to bring home with me from the trip I did this fast sketch of Sally. It doesn't do her justice, but she did have a really cute hair flippy thing happening that day. There was a fun story behind her necklace. It was a souvenir that she had wanted, but didn't get. Years later she happened upon it second hand and snatched it up for a fraction of the price. Also, her lips are not large and red... but I thought large red lips would be fun.
This was another Bremerton Urban Sketching outing and I opted to do this plaque really close up.
This month I demonstrated that I really need to practice sketching people more.
I sketched my StablO portable easel for a review. Check that out here. I posted it up on instagram and I even recieved comments from StablO in France. They hadn't yet seen anyone use it with a spiral notebook the way I had. Very fun!
This church and the trash can below were both done at Kiwanis Park in Bremerton at another Bremerton Urban Sketchers meet up. I hadn't meant for the reliefs on the end of the church to look like music notes, but they look like they are. Also, the power lines look like a disorderly music staff.
I finished the month with a bang. I had day to myself and after I spent the morning screen printing, I headed out to downtown Port Orchard. Our family loves this clock tower on the town hall. The clock is partially broken and it is going to cost way too much to fix, it was all great to sketch. In order to get this view I had to set up on the sidewalk: lots of car traffic, but not much foot traffic.
On my way to find a rueben I spotted a couple of unusual masts in the distance in the marina. The Lady Washington was tied up! It was an amazing view for my dinner and it stayed long enough afterwards to sketch. I got lucky!