Monday, September 30, 2013


Hi Everyone!

It's beautiful here in Michigan.  We're enjoying the cooler temperatures and the change of season.  

Grand Rapids has a wonderful downtown area and we are lucky enough to be here during ArtPrize! AP is an international art show with a $200,000 Grand Prize awarded by public vote!  

 We cruised through downtown on the way to the Farmer's Market the day we arrived and we got a glimpse of the most fantastic art all around the city, we're planning to go tomorrow to the Art museum and view some of the exhibits. 

 Yesterday we got our first glimpse of Lake Michigan from the shoreline of South Haven, a cute coastal town with it's own lighthouse, marina and lots of shops. 


We hoofed it around town, tasted wine from a local winery and had lunch then headed towards a little Dutch Apple Farm for pumpkin ice cream and Carmel covered apples!  

 Today we are headed over to Frederick Meijer Botanical Gardens! Really looking forward to sketching in the gardens.  

Check back soon!

Monday, September 23, 2013

OH BOY! Let's Go!!

Hi Everyone!

I'm super GEEKED this week! Getting ready to go visit my baby grandson, Jackson!! He turns six (6) months old this week. Isn't he just adorable? 

And guess who's going with me?!!?  That's right! My BFF, Bonnie. You might know her as the Other Sketchy Girl.  

We are so excited to be taking another trip together, another adventure!  It's been almost two years since we have traveled with each other, our last trip was to Key West.  Bonnie had never been to the Keys so we took a few days off and headed south to the "little latitudes".  You'll just have to check back for that adventure in the future but here's a glimpse....

Here's where we are going, can you guess which state this is?

Guess that little tag up in the left hand corner gives it away, right! We are headed NORTH to Michigan via Atlanta, GA of course.  My granny always said if you die in the South you have to go through Atlanta.....a Southern joke, if you live in the South you know what THIS means. 

We have been burning up our phones with texts back and forth, we have discussed art supplies more than clothing.  Typical of us...we always have MORE supplies than clothing in our luggage.  Sketchbooks are being packed, watercolors are being sorted and narrowed down to the smallest palettes and we are just so excited.  

Our plan is to meet in Atlanta and we'll fly together to Michigan.  My daughter says the weather is getting cooler and the trees are starting to turn.  I can't wait to see fall colors!  I'm packing my woollies too, this little southern lady gets cold when the temps drop lower than 70.  Burrr.....

Check back, we'll be posting soon!

Happy Sketching!

Thursday, September 19, 2013


They say (although I have never found anyone who could tell me who they are and how they know so darn much) that everything you have ever done, learned or been exposed to in your life is still inside your brain.  If that is so, my question is why can't I remember where I put my red scarf or my glasses or even sometimes remember what I meant to do after going upstairs "on a mission."     

It seems to be this way with art as well.  There are times that my head and hand are in perfect sync and the art gushes out effortlessly onto the paper.  But there are other times (more often) that my brain seems to have short circuited and is unable to even communicate directions to my hand even if it's something I have successfully done previously. can you FORGET how to sketch in the same manner or with the same level of apparent expertise as you did the day before????   This is extremely frustrating, yet true with anyone who participates in any art form be they amature (that would be me) or professional (definitely NOT me). 

I think we all have an internal grading scale regarding our artistic endeavors.  Mine goes something like this:

1. did I DO that???
2.  Pretty good... has some saving elements
3.  Ummmmm not quite
4.  Absolute POO POO.  I am throwing all my art supplies away.

And with this being said, I thought it might be fun to share with you some winners and losers. 

For example, this is a sketch I did of Suzy some years ago sitting in her front yard.  She was NOT pleased.  This would have been a number 3.  It had some OK elements, but not quite a winner.  


So I did THIS one....which obviously was a better likeness and more importantly...SHE liked it.  LOL
I rated this one not quite a 1 but a little better than a 2.


These are some I did of a few of my daughter's 
friends from years ago.  These I actually rated
as a 1 because they were done rather quickly and actually looked like the girls..... Not flawless, of course, but I was happy with them.



And this is one of my very favorites.

It's a drawing I did from a photo of myself.  I must have been two or so.

And it doesn't look as though I was too interested in having my photo taken.

The lesson is (and I keep having to learn it over and over and over) is that the success in art (as in everything else in life) really is a process.  I don't think there will ever be a day when I am pleased with everything I do artistically.   

I still from time to time have a disappointment meltdown when after considerable effort the art turns out to be...well poo poo.  I don't know if the reason has been the stars not being properly aligned, the moon not being in the most favorable phase or if my muse simply forgot to take her medication.

What I have learned is to just let it go (well after a little pouting....OK OK sometimes after a LOT of pouting...) but I DO move on.  I just blame these "less than happy" art moments on my muse or the moon and stars.  But in the end the moon and the stars, as well as my muse, know that I will forgive them and that I will always be back to do what I love. 

I hope you too are doing what you love.   Thanks for stopping by today... And until next time...

Sketch on...

Monday, September 16, 2013


My mother was an exceptional knitter, she mostly knitted socks as I recall.  When I was a teenager she tried to teach me to knit.  She showed me how to cast stitches on to the needles and how to make the knit stitch, then how to purl. 
It was not as easy as it sounds, and if you have ever tried to teach a teenager anything, you will know the difficulty she was facing.  I remember Wanting to knit, but had extreme difficulty with knitting the first row, the tension was all wrong and it became impossible to get the stitches to the other needle, needless to say, this was very frustrating for me and more so for my mom as she untangled the mess and for me each time I started over.  Eventually, I learned the basic knit and purl stitches but did not continue with knitting, my mother thought crochet would be easier for me to learn. 

We started with the basic chain stitch and then on to the single crochet, and she lost me at the double crochet, but I was determined to learn in order to make a Juliet Cap inspired by the 1968 movie Romeo and Juliet.  Even after all these years I remember the actors names : Olivia Hussey and Len Whiting. Oh I loved that movie! Juliet wore this lovely knitted cap and it became all the rage, everyone wanted a Juliet Cap.  I was no exception and my mother figured out how to make a crocheted version of the cap (no Google back then).   

Only as time will tell......I learned to adjust the tension in both knitting and crocheting although my projects didn't quite turn out the size they were supposed to, you see Mama forgot to tell me about gauge

Coats & Clark (see it here) "Learn How To Book" (#170) was a wealth of information and my "go to" book when I got in a pinch. In the late 70's  I decided to give knitting another chance by knitting a sweater for my son (I had no idea this was a bit ambitious for someone who just learned to knit).  Bonnie came for a visit one day and I proudly showed her what I was doing and because she seemed to want to know how to knit, I gifted her with the Coats and Clark booklet, needles and yarn at Christmas. Bonnie went on to be a wonderful knitter. I gave knitting up after making that sweater but continued to crochet. 

Bonnie and I are both knitting again for various church ministries after having given it up for many years. I've had to relearn the process of knitting and adjusting tension and gauge is something that still escapes me, but I'm enjoying the process so much more now.  

Sketching this week has been put on hold as I am busy knitting a sweater and hat for my baby grandson, Jackson as I in anticipate visiting him in his new home state of Michigan! 

Promise more sketches next time! Until then,

Happy Sketching!


Thursday, September 12, 2013


Have you seen those bumper stickers, buttons, mugs and whatever that read, "She (or he) who dies with the most (fill in the blank) wins"?  I love those silly things.  The truth is, I think that I may actually have a chance of being a winner in several categories.  

If you are involved in a sport or any artistic endeavor, you know what I am talking about.  If you could just have that new model of fishing rod or reel, bowling ball, tennis racket or golf club you KNOW your performance would improve by leaps and bounds.  If your tennis outfit is cuter than anyone else is wearing, you KNOW you are sure to play well.  And if you are a painter, if ONLY you could get those sable paint brushes, or the new bright watercolors you have not yet tried, or the textured paper everyone is raving would be able to create your masterpiece!!!  And so it goes.  I am a professional collector of "stuff", so I know these things.

And so it was that my good friend, Suzy, and I embarked upon our first
long distance expedition to attend an "Embellishment's Bead Show" where
we would take a few classes and...well, yeah, collect a few beads so we
could improve the quality of our newest love which was making beaded jewelry.
I think our eyes must have opened as wide as our jaws did drop to see so many fabulous things in one place.  And I can say with some certainty that this was ground zero for when and where we became infected with the disease which no longer allows us to pass by a bead store, Michael's, JoAnns, Hobby Lobby or even the bead isle at Walmart without stopping just to see what's there that we can't live without.

Currently on my bead table.....

My friend Suzy made this 
beautiful beaded necklace
for me for my 50th birthday.

One side line to this adventure.  The bead show was in Austin, Texas.  Although there will most likely be any number of posts regarding this trip (we did soooo much in only a few days) I did want to make sure to tell you in this post about the Congress Avenue Bridge, and the bat colony that resides beneath it, which just happened to be within a short walking distance from our hotel.  This particular colony is one of the largest urban bat colonies in North America.  

I could not wait to go stand on the bridge as the sun began to sink low in the sky when the bats would emerge to feed.  No, they were not vampire bats...just little fruit bats.  Sure enough, as Suzy and I waited on the bridge with many other tourists, all at once THOUSANDS of little bats came streaming out to fill the night sky.  It was one of the most amazing things I have ever seen.  

Based on her expression, Suzy was just a little uncertain about flurry of our little bat friends..... but we both survived the experience unscathed.  You can see several good videos of this event on U-Tube by searching "Congress Avenue Bridge Bats Austin, TX.
I liked the one by Jwattvo which was set to music.

Thanks for stopping by today.  Now go get some of that STUFF you have collected that you were going to do something with "some day" and have fun with it.  Play with the freedom of a child.  And come back and join us on Monday's and Thursday's to see what we have been up to.  I am going to go play with my beads now......

As Always...
Sketch on

Monday, September 9, 2013

BBQ and Hibachi

  When we moved to the beach we lived in a duplex a block and a half off the ocean. There was no air conditioning in our duplex but we were lucky we had an attic fan that sucked out the heat of the day until the afternoon sea breeze kicked in.  Back in those early years we had lots of friends that would drop by and we would host impromptu cookouts on the weekends.  Everyone brought their favorite dishes and we would BBQ on our little hibachi grill.

Now, if you don’t know what a hibachi grill is, you might want to Google it <wink>. The Hibachi was a very small charcoal grill.  Cooking on the hibachi was an art, because of its compact grill size and the fact that it sat only inches off the ground.

 Conveniently located off the kitchen was a concrete porch like area, perfect for setting up the barbie. We did all of our BBQ on the back stoop.

 I can’t believe we’d BBQ chicken for a crowd on this little grill!  My secret to cutting down the cooking time was to par-boil the chicken; marinate it in BBQ sauce overnight, before grilling the next day.  It always came out yummy, tender and delicious. 

There was an understanding among friends that everyone brought a dish to share, and their own chair! The indispensable beach chair!  We had the old fashioned web-strap folding lounge chairs.  

Those were the days!  

Happy Memories!


Thursday, September 5, 2013


Plants flourish when they are loved, nourished and properly cared for.  However, sometimes the exact combination of elements needed for a particular plant baffles us.  After all there is so much to consider...the PH of the soil, how much to water, temperature tolerance, sunlight requirements, when to fertilize and on and on.  Geezzz Louise.... That's why it always seemed to me that plastic was the better option when it came to indoor foliage.

But when I met Suzy...well, she had REAL plants... I mean real living (have to water them) plants in her house.  They were gorgeous, and I loved them....(there entered a little houseplant envy.)

I asked her how she did it and she confided to me the secret of her success:
"I put them in the dirt and water them."
Oh.....really!  :o
And that's when I decided that I too would give live houseplants a try.

In the years that followed, my house plant skills waxed and waned.  Some began well enough, but soon and sadly, became what Suzy and I would affectionately call the STICK PLANTS.  

Most of the time would not even bother to throw them out....just left the poor dreadful things there in the pot on the window sill as a reminder of how fortunate I was not to be a farmer who had to depend on a crop for survival.

Fortunately, in more recent years I have become more adept at keeping plants alive, although it's still more luck than prowess.  More importantly, I have grown more and more to appreciate the simplicity of their beauty and how they delight us just by being what they are while we enjoy their blossoms, fragrances and myriad of colors.  

I think perhaps friendships are a bit like houseplants.  Every now and then the perfect balance of elements combine (without anyone having to figure out the science of the soil, water usage etc.) to produce an enduring friendship, the existence of which, like a unique and beautiful flower, is food for the soul.

So, with that in mind, get some paper and pens or pencils or crayons...whatever your favorite drawing toys are, invite a friend over.  Have a cup of coffee and a cookie or two and sketch something.     
Until next time...

Sketch ON

Monday, September 2, 2013



Welcome to Sketchy Girlz! This is a blog about two friends who share many common bonds in art, crafts and 40 years of friendship.

Bonnie (Sensible Shoes) and I (Hippy Chile) are so delighted that you have joined us in our Blogland adventure, we would love it if you would come back each Monday and Thursday to see what’s going on (Past and Present) with the Sketchy Girlz.

We’ve been friends for 40 years and we have lots of escapades to share with you. We’ll be sharing stories, photos and sketches/drawings/paintings of our adventures sure to make you laugh!

Let’s begin at the very beginning…. many years ago, Bonnie's husband and my (then) fiancĂ© worked together and so it only stood to reason that eventually she and I would meet.  The first time we met, he and I had been to the movies and he suggested we stop by “his boss’s” apartment. I was dressed in my best jeans and peasant blouse, can’t remember if I wore platform shoes or flip-flops (it was a casual evening)….that is where the Hippy Chile comes from, Bonnie’s impression of me. 

She was a few years my senior (about 7 yrs) with a child, my impression of her was nice but older, married with Sensible Shoes. We both had our “labels” for each other. About that evening, my most cherished memory is of Alex, their adorable four year old son saying he wanted to marry me!    

Looking back, I'm sure I deserved the "hippy chile" label but I think we both were surprised to find out that outward appearances and first impressions can be quite different when you get to know someone.  These days, most people probably look at us as "old ladies" but we are still very much "young at heart" and one of us still has a bit of "rebel" left, I won't say who that'll figure it out as we go along. 

Please come join us each week (Monday & Thursdays). We look forward to meeting you and would love it if you would leave us a comment so we know you were here!  

Happy Sketching!

Sunday, September 1, 2013


Once upon a time a long, long....long time ago in a land far away, (Bear with me; I'm going for the storybook feel here) two very young girls met. There was the elder one (Bonnie) ...the one who was more mature, wore the sensible shoes and had all her ducks in a row .... well, maybe not in a row, but at least she knew where her ducks were.  And there was the younger one (Suzy) who I will refer to as the "hippy chile" who was a delightful, blithe, spirited young thing.

Well, I want to tell you, that although on the surface these two young ladies would appear to be the most unlikely duo, they did indeed become very good friends. They discovered a common bond which drew them into a friendship which would last a lifetime.

Of course the two young girls are (well, were) us; and we have shared our love of creating as we danced, giggled and laughed out loud, drawing, and sketching for many moons now. Any time we can get together and escape the day to day life, we have had an adventure.  These adventures have taken us from the back yard to under a bridge, coast to coast and a few places in between.

While we cannot say that we have “gone where no man has gone before,” we can honestly say that we had absolutely no idea what we were going to do when we GOT there... wherever there was; and as future posts come forth you will understand my meaning. Let's just say that wherever we have gone and whatever we have done, the details of our plans have always been a little sketchy....and that's the way we like it!

Please join us in our travels – past, present and future. We guarantee you will be entertained. If you don't laugh hysterically at the art, at least you will be entertained by the stories behind it. So, put on your happy face and come join us. We look forward to meeting you.

Sketch On........