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And with that…I bid you a happy weekend!  xoxox


                A Little reprise of Thigpen’s Wedding lyrics here (and a little background for why I like the song).

Hi friends!  Happy Monday to you.  It’s raining here in the Tri Cities, so I guess I can’t call them the “Dry (something else)-ies” today.  We had a lovely weekend at church camp, meaning we didn’t kill each other and had fun and everyone slept and we bonded with friends.

The other day I did a post on our coloring book, Scribbles, and today I’m back with Doodles and Squiggles!  I am not the first person to blog about these books by Taro Gomi, but fortunately, I am not here to tell you about new new new products.  I am here to share art and projects and beauty, so I thought it would be fun to share how my little one and I use these books.  Sometimes we follow the prompts; sometimes we break the rules!  But we always have fun!  Later on, I will show little man a thing or two about technique, meanwhile, he is showing me a thing or two about cutting loose!

                      Blank page.  Not anymore!!

Apropo how little man colored the angry guy neon red!

                   Design a shirt?  Tho’t you’d never ask.

Dear friends, I just lost this awesome post I was doing about these wonderful, fat coloring books by Taro Gomi.  They’re called Scribbles, Doodles, and Squiggles.  They encourage not only coloring skills (and there’s nothing wrong with plain coloring books), but also divergent thinking.  What’s creeping around the corner, the prompt may ask.  And you get to use your imagination!  Skills are important, and imagination is important.  In little ones, I think we are so worried about skills sometimes that we forget to encourage imagination, and that’s why I love these books.  I know my little guy likes them.

I like trying to make our styles mesh.  I color the cakes, he provides the fi-yah and pizzazz!

Use bright colors, you say?  On it.

Paint the walls, you say?  You’ll be so glad you hired us.                Color only the things you like.  Not shots.

It’s a beautiful day, huh?  You don’t even know, baby.

Dorado Office Chair-$149.99 Target.  Already out of stock.  Come back!  3 out of 4 reviewers liked this one.

 Ikea Snille Chair-$22.99 

Ikea Henriksal Chair–  It’s upholstered so it’s got to be more comfortable than the chair I’m sitting in now.

Ikea Skruvstka Chair– $149.  Husby might go for this one!

 Crate and Barrel Ripple Ivory Leather Office Chair $299.00 Uh. Oh.  Husby is going to want this one. Me too, but what a splurge!  I am going to try to talk him out of something I want.  Why do I do this?  And look at it below, from the side!  Oh, you sweet thing you!  Okay, in case you think I’m nuts for considering talking my husband out of this, I guess I should tell you my reservations.  Our double-desk is on carpet.  So, we don’t really need wheels.  It is also in a living space, so I’m wondering if we should go with a comfy upholstered side chair that can also double as a guest chair.  Not that guests wouldn’t want to sit in this number, but I just mean a more traditional looking non-desky chair.

Pantograph-For those of you who have never used these, I’ve just started and they are fun!  When I’m working on a portrait that will be done to a much different scale than the original photo, the pantograph can be a good way to change the scale accurately.  It traces over the orignal with a ‘dummy’ pencil and creates an enlarged (or reduced) version with the other pencil.  You just choose the ratio and put the pantograph together on the ratio you want to use.  I have found that, sadly, it does not replace the need for drawing ability, because it doesn’t really make the person’s face look like the person.  But, it can give you helpful landmarks so you don’t have to reinvent the wheel.

Graham and Brown Wallpaper– I find this inspiring!  I don’t think it will go in my office but in the closet near my office.  It’s a hogpile and I think putting this special paper in it will invite order.  When I have a chance to put up little pieces of artwork, it motivates me to be neater.  See?  All those psychology classes paid off.  I’m tricking myself out of being a slob!

So, I know today may not have the nicest weather if you live where I do…the Tri Cities in central Washington.  But still, I dare you, sneak outside with your kids (or with yourself) at some point today, and doodle on the ground.  Or the fence; or what-have-you.  Go on!!  By the way, if you’re wondering about these patterned chalks, the stripey ones are from Albertson’s.  I believe the polka-chalks are from Michael’s.  They write the same as regular chalks, but they sure are fun to look at!  Also, if you don’t have a chalkboard or chalk wall in your house, it really is loads of fun.  I have a huge wall that I painted with chalkboard paint.  But my favorite spot is on the side of a cupboard, because it has a nice smooth surface.

…found this picture I’d doodled in a scrapbook from the Queen’s Jubilee!

So, the very first  thing I did was paint the frame using my very fancy method:  a rag and paint.  Wipe it on, wipe it off, do it again after it dries.  Then, I ripped all the piping off (fabric over fat yarn, basically).  It was stapled on to cover up the staples that were keeping the fabric on the furniture.  Then out came those staples!  That’s where

1. Hammer


2. Standard Screwdriver

came in handy.  I used the hammer to tap under the stubborn staples.  I was ripping the couch apart.  It was a bit exhilarating, I must say.  They key is to keep the fabric pieces INTACT so you can use them as a pattern for your next pieces.

Oops, I forgot to mention my good friend

3.  Mr. Pliers.  He also helps get the staples all the way out.  (Below):  What I really like is when you can grab the piping and just yank it off with your bare hands.  Did I mention this is good stress relief?

Now for some more fun:

                Above: ironing new piece and cutting to match new piece (with extra around edges for attaching            to furniture)

      Leave an about an inch and a half around the edges.

    New piece.  I wish there was a magic way to get it on here.  I just finagled until it looked right.

I started with a staple gun but it was rough going, and I didn’t want to put piping over all of it to hide it.So, on the chair, I went with exposed upholstery tacks (found at Joann’s).  I should mention that the nice clean edge of the folded fabric is because the fabric is folded over upholstery cardboard, which comes in a roll, also at Joann’s fabrics.  The lady at the store said you can use whatever thin non-corrugated cardboard you have if you cut it into strips, but I didn’t want to piece cardboard.  

So, I sprung for the roll.  I mean, I had already passed up on the real upholsterer, the pneumatic nail gun, the button-covering machine…I figured it was the least I could do!

The arm of the chair was a bit difficult, as I recall.  There was some real guesswork (and, er, hot glue) involved with the pieces of fabric that were oddly shaped and difficult to place.  Buy a bit extra yardage, if you are spatially challenged, like me.  I should add, that after all my disclaimers, you can do this.  If I can do this, you can do this.  Make sure you get an external frame, though, if you are spatially challenged or not a seamstress.

I had to do some stitching here.  Don’t look too closely!  Fortunately, the cushion sits on top of this area.

Going backless!  I reused the old batting here, even though it’s kind of ratty.  See those threads hanging down?  That was where the original buttons were attached through the chair. Make sure you do the front side and buttons before the back.  The back should go on last.  Get an upholstery needle.  I just linked you to some at Joann’s and I’m not sure which is best.  Mine was not curved or straight, it was sort of…bent.  It came that way!  Anyway, I had to use pliers a couple times to get it through, I recall.  I guess I’m not the only one; I just visited Camila and Jon at effortless style.  I actually reused the buttons and glued my own fabric to it.  I reused the button thread, too.  Maybe you don’t have buttons.  Or..maybe you want to cut the  buttons off and pretend they happened, which is what I did with the couch!

                 The couch.  Want to know how I did the couch?  Lots of hotglue.  I didn’t even have to take off as much of the fabric, because I already knew what the shape of the sides were.  I had templates left over from    the chair. Tricky, huh?  And I didn’t take the back fabric off, either, no way.  I just cut those buttons off and attached the fabric right over it.  BAM!  (Sorry, Emeril).  That was where the cardboard ‘tape’ came in handy for a nice edge.

                  Photo credit: Melanie Acevedo

Although my husband lovingly refers to my chair as ‘the exoskeleton chair,’  I think I was emboldened to do the exposed nails because of this settee in J.Crew guru Jenna Lyon’s dressing room.  I just re-found this photo over at habituallychic.  Beautiful can be a bit messy as long as there are strong bones.  This settee definitely has them.

If I hadn’t given myself that little challenge, I wouldn’t have heard a funny thing from my funny guy.  This color wants to be pink!  He says weird stuff like that so I continued playing with my markers.  I had the reds, he had the blues and greens.  When I tried marker #1, I realized he was right.  It wanted to be pink!  Look in the circled section.  The second marker I labeled as Wants to Be Pinks friend and partner in crime.  Life is funny.

It’s one year since we’ve been here!  Wow!  I thought I would do some commemorative posts from a year ago.  One of the first things I did was paint an accent wall with chalkboard paint so we could doodley doo on here!  And if you’re thinking about doing it and wondering about ‘the dust’ don’t worry.  If nobody is a sneezer in your house, it’s not a big deal.  Cleanup is easy.  Just vacuum as normal and wipe off the baseboards every once in a while.  It’s a small price to pay for being able to draw on the wall.

Take this image and do something creative with it tomorrow.  See if your morning self feels as daunted as your night time self.  And good night, self. 

…So different than mine!  I have to confess, I do not feel that I am the best doodler.  I created this post topic in order to push myself to doodle more, and to get over my doodle envy!

Hi again!  I know, why is this chick still blogging when it’s dinnertime, wonder all my readers in the same timezone!  Because, I just had to show you how much fun we had with paint today.  I’ve got lentils cooking on the stove, in case you’re wondering.  As for the artwork, we’re a pretty loosey-goosey mixed media family.  Some of the paints are watercolors in pans, some in tubes, and some are acrylic paints.  There are ‘art’ quality acrylics that sometimes I share, and then there are the cheap-o craft acrylic paints that I am more apt to share.  Put it all together and you have a wonderful, beautiful, mess.  The paint tray is from Michael’s.  The aweseome pages are like a giant post-it-note pad with a frame on each page.    I cannot even believe I found it so easily in an online search, but here it is!  Mine came from Fabu in Nashville, which I miss.  And here’s a quote for you.  Hannah out!

“When my daughter was about seven years old, she asked me one day what I did at work.  I told her I worked at the college – that my job was to teach people how to draw.  She stared at me, incredulous, and said, “You mean they forget?”  ~Howard Ikemoto

Dear friends, it may not seem like it,  it is a big deal that I’m sharing anything in my sketchbook.  I know I shared an old one the other day, but this one is not that old…so I feel more vulnerable.  Maybe when we know each other better I will zoom out and you can see the whole page…and what a mess it is.  Oh dear, and I thought I was such a transparent person!  I was just saying to Andy the other day that I get so jealous/inspired when I see other artists’ sketchbooks, like Lotta Jansdotter.  Her sketchbook pages alone are frameable.  But then, she would probably tell me that is not true for every page (please, please, be true).  You know what?  I’m going to go ahead and assert that as fact.  There.  Because sketchbooks are not a place for personal editing, they are a place for freedom.  Have you ever heard that the rule for group brainstorming is that NOTHING gets cut in the initial phases?  This rarely happens in group brainstorming, which is why certain people tend to dominate.  Well, I think the same should be true for your sketchbook.  Don’t self-censor before you get started!