Friday, December 16, 2011

Bagging Christmas, and start of a new Drawing

I have started the above pen and ink work in the past couple of days. The elaborate border was drawn first in one of my sketch pads and I am using tracing paper to transfer it to my good paper. I am using gray Stonehenge for this and will be using stipple in the background of the border. Not sure what I am going to put in the middle yet. I think some flowers and have been searching my photographs for the right reference image.

Needless to say this part of the work is finicky and find myself able to spend just so much time on it before I want/need to work on something else.

With the Christmas season approaching (rapidly) I have been spending a fair amount of time on preparing gifts for my family. Last year I decided to bag my gifts instead of using wrapping paper and I am continuing the tradition this year. The bags are made out of Christmas fabric which I think has prettier designs than wrapping paper does and can be reused instead of thrown out. They are simple to make, a couple of side/bottom seams a turn over at the top to make a pocket that a ribbon can be threaded through (leave a gap near the top of one of the side seams, so that when it is folded over inside there is an opening to the pocket on the outside). I think it takes me longer to iron and trim the fabrics for the bags than it does for me to sew the seams. Anyway in the top photo above you can see my pile of made bags with some of the gifts to be "bagged".

The middle photo is of one of the bags, you can see the ribbon used to close the opening trailing across the bag.

Bottom photo shows all of the gifts bagged and ready to be boxed up and mail off. I designed the name tags last year. Those I print off on fairly heavy weight paper, cut apart, punch a hole in the corner, add names and attach to the proper bag, and call it done. Hmm, maybe I should think about purchasing several yards of Christmas fabrics and selling the bags in my Esty shop next year. I suppose I could also design some tags that could go with them.

Below is a page from my Nature Journal from a trip over the Weekend to Blue Hills Reservation.

The images are of a dried seed head of a late blooming goldenrod. As I have said before this kind of material isn't going to survive the winter, and I have always thought that dried grasses and seed heads were visually interesting so will continue to include them as long as it is available.

The bottom drawing is of a Screech Owl. It was chilly the day I was in the animal exhibit area at Trailside Museum and not much in the way of animal life was visible or active so I decided to go into the museum. The Naturalist was there holding this small owl. I asked if I could make a couple of photos and I used one as the reference for the above drawing.  They think this is a female, but even so she is a small bird with brownish coloring. They are night hunters of mice, moths and other small creatures. They do have ear tufts though this one wasn't really displaying them. It certainly looks cute, but they really don't make good pets.

Last image today is a photograph I made at Houghton's Pond showing some skim ice on the pond. After our very warm fall the temps are finally falling to more seasonable weather. The Sunday I was in the park I saw this ice along the southern edges of the pond. The shadows from trees and bushes growing at the ponds edge prevent the sun from shining on these areas so even though it was after noon and the sun had been shining all day and the air temp was in the 40's these areas of ice remained.

Enough for today. Per usual comments are appreciated.