Cafe Sketchers – Together Again!

Except for the mid-summer outing at the beach, Sketchers have not gotten together since last November. Where has this year gone? Some restaurants have reopened, some have closed, and there are no less than 5 opening “in the fall.” I think Hurricane Irma must have delayed at least some of them. The Hash House at Jax Beach is now the Jax Beach Brunch House, and our opera singer/owner, Daniel, is back (however, not on Wednesday so we missed him). The crepes with ricotta cheese and fruit were especially delicious and fun to draw. We had a big group, and 2 more saw us and want to join. We must have looked like we were having fun! Next week we’ll be at the Brick Coffee House on Hogan St. downtown. All are welcome. Just remind me to take pictures.






Sketchers’ Summer Meet-Up

Cafe sketchers had a perfect day for sketching at the beach – no rain, beautiful clouds and  and a gentle breeze off the ocean. Inside it was good to see everyone after such a long time. (We missed you Mary, Barbara, Carolyn, Emine and Katy!) We all decided to start up at new restaurants some time in late September-October and to go to the Downton Abbey costume exhibit and High Tea in St. Augustine in November. Details to follow.

Today, some worked inside (Jane, Joanne, Sandi, Leslie), some went outside (Jackie, Mary Ann) or down on the beach (Dale, Jeanette and Kay).

image1 3.jpeg


Janelle.jpgJan's pic.jpg3 w.jpgIMG_2869.jpgIMG_2871.jpgIMG_2874.jpgJackie w.jpgIMG_2868.jpg


image1 2.jpeg


Dale  bch.jpgIMG_2870.jpgIMG_2873.jpg

Everyone brought their own lunch and something to share. Jeanette got it all together.

Jeanette cook.jpgwatermelon.jpgsalad.jpgcookies.jpg

And after all that… some even stopped for pie at Pie Heaven on the way home!


End of Challenge: Haikus and Drawings

Forty-two long days,                                                                                                                         Forty-one left-hand drawings.                                                                                                      Ambidextrous not.

I’m not driving yet, but I’m back to drawing with my right hand. The experience kept me sane (more or less), but I’m ready to move on. Here are a few of the rest. Thank you all for going on this journey with me and for your kind words. Next Wednesday the Cafe Sketchers will get together for a meet-up at Barbara’s so I’ll share those pictures then. Maybe I’ll have some travel journals from Barbara to show you too.








And yes, I left out the P.

From Sandi: one of her summer sketches. She used her new bookbinding skills to make a Garden Journal. Does she look this good in the garden? Not for me – too hot.Sandi.jpg

Left-Handed Challenge #2

The sling is off, I’m still in therapy, but I can wear regular clothes again – which means I can go out!  I still can’t drive, but because of so many wonderful, helpful friends, I’ve gone to the library, movies, lunches, painting group and church activities. Thank you one and all – especially Husband who did most of it every day.

Jackie was the only one who attempted the left-handed drawings with me, and I’m sharing hers here. Great job, don’t you think?

FullSizeRender.jpgFullSizeRender 4.jpgFullSizeRender 3.jpg

FullSizeRender 2.jpg

I’ll share a few of mine here and finish up in a few days when I get the rest scanned.





Left-handed Challenge

Several weeks ago I was faced with having shoulder surgery – rotator cuff and a lot of other thing I can’t pronounce nor understand. It was my dominant right arm, and I would be without the use of it for at least 6 weeks. A friend said to me, “How will you do without drawing for so long?” So…. after thinking long and hard, I set myself a challenge:  I will attempt to do 100 People in 6 Weeks with my left hand! I put it out to all our Cafe Sketchers, but only 1 took me up on it. (And I haven’t seen any of hers yet!) It’s a little over halfway now, and the challenge has been modified. I can’t drive or even go out in public much in my XX-sized clothes I must wear for my arm and its 24/7 contraption loosely called “a sling.” Therefore, I don’t see many people to draw. So it became “100 Drawings” and since I’ve only managed to do about 25 so far, it will probably fall far short of 100. (I have read about 25 wonderful books, however!) I added haikus to my pictures because they are fun, and it gave me something to do during those long wakeful hours in the recliner during the night.

It’s been fun, and now that I’m sharing, I encourage you to try it. If you do, send them to me. I won’t share them if you say not to, but it may give someone else a boost – or at least a laugh!

Scan 3.jpeg

Scan 4.jpeg

Scan 5.jpeg

Scan 6.jpeg

Scan 7.jpeg

Scan 8.jpeg

Scan 9.jpeg

Scan 11.jpeg

BlueVaseBooks Shop is Open


If you enjoyed my last post about bookbinding, please join me in my brand new shop on Etsy: BlueVaseBooks. There I will be selling my hand-bound watercolor sketchbooks  – made from other “gently used”books. You might discover your creativity, find something to use on your next trip or give someone else for that special occasion. They are made with Love. Enjoy.IMG_2269.jpgIMG_2312.jpgIMG_2189.jpgIMG_2169.jpgIMG_2277.jpgIMG_2272.jpg

Sketchbook-binding Workshop

On a beautiful spring-like day in February, a group of artists gathered at my house to learn how to bind their own sketchbooks. Sometimes you just want one that’s unique, small and has just enough watercolor paper to be able to finish it on a trip. I scout thrift stores, second-hand bookshops and garage sales for interesting gently used books and rebind them for watercolor sketching. Everyone who came to this workshop left with a beautiful completed book and the skills and enthusiasm to make more.

The first step is to (very carefully!) cut out the old book block from the cover.cutting out.jpg

c o 2.jpg

If for some reason, we accidentally cut the book spine during this process, we can repair it with cloth book tape.


Next, using the measurements of the original book block, we figured out how many pages we could get out of one sheet of 22″ x 30″ watercolor paper.



Pages were then carefully cut or torn. Many used torn edges as a deckle.



Each page was folded in half, creased well and two put together to make a signature.


Holes were punched in each signature. Then came the hard (confusing? tedious?) part of sewing the signatures together to make the new book block.



When that was done, we were ready to bind the new book block to the old book cover using decorative end papers we had chosen to go with our books.  But first – lunch!  Our main course was Georgia O’Quiche. The artist, Georgia O’Keeffe, grew her own vegetables and was said to be so fond of spinach that she sometimes ate it three times a day! Fresh fruit, green salad, mini-muffins and Arnold Palmers (non-alcoholic!) completed our lunch.



Then back to work. We “cased in” our book blocks, added a secret pocket in the back, had dessert of gelato and pirouettes and showed off our new books.


A 2.jpg


Joanne copy.jpg


S 2.jpg


Come join us next time, and watch for the opening of my unique watercolor sketchbooks rebound from gently used books – on ETSY soon!


MeetUps 3 & 4

Oh my goodness!  I just realized I haven’t posted for the last 2 MeetUps of Cafe Sketching. I’ve been busy with my new book which came out last week. More on that later….

Two weeks ago we met at the Great Harvest Bread Company off Baymeadows. And what delicious bread they have! Steven welcomed us and made us comfortable while we spread out to sketch and eat his lovely pastries and coffee.Screen Shot 2016-11-05 at 8.02.51 AM.png








And then we had lunch! The chicken salad on Dakota bread was to die for.



The next (and last) MeetUp was November 9 at the Riverfront Cafe in the Haskell building. It opens onto the river with a beautiful view and is open to the public for breakfast and lunch. Karen welcomed us even though there had been a breakfast for employees just before we arrived. The artwork in the building is spectacular, and some painted their version of it. Others tried for the river, but the rain earlier kept most of us inside.




It’s been a great year. After Christmas we’ll regroup and find some new places. For now, we’ll relax and enjoy the holidays. I hope you have a blessed Thanksgiving and Christmas


Cafe Sketching MeetUps

Fall cafe sketching begins again with a new name – MeetUps. This just means that anyone is welcome any time, no commitment for a whole term. However, you must let me know that you want to join us or you won’t know where we’ll be! 10-12 on Wednesdays as usual and then an optional lunch.

The first week we met at the Cracker Barrel behind Regency, and it was a great place to draw. Can you think of any place with more stuff to look at? As it was our first meeting for this  term, we had a small but enthusiastic group.






(Dale and Sandi finished theirs at home so I waited to show them to you this week.)

Wednesday we visited Le Macaron in Avondale. We had such fun last spring at the one in the Avenues we wanted to see what Tahar had done when he opened his own. What an absolutely charming place. The weather was perfect for sketching outdoors so we occupied the tables outside as we began with coffee and pastry. I had a very good cup of green tea with pineapple made in a French press and pan chocolate. I could have been back in Vence. Since we were next door to the bicycle shop some chose to draw those. So many different interpretations of a place.






No class next week as I am out of town. We’ll resume at the Great Harvest Bread Company on November 2.


I hope all of you that were in the path of Hurricane Matthew are well with power restored and no damage. We were fine. When the power went out, we ate Krispy Kremes. No damage here, just much debris. The beach, however, is another matter. We lost the eaves on the house and 30′ off the end of our dock, but, as they said, it could have been much, much worse. There are many houses within a mile of us where the beach completely washed out under them. I don’t know how they can be repaired. IMG_1586.jpg

On a lighter note, it’s hard to believe we were in France just a few short weeks ago. When Carolyn and I left, the rest stayed another week. They took a trip to museums in Nice (where they enjoyed a meal at McDonald’s!), a winery and were invited to Mirielle’s house the last night for wine.McD.JPGwinery copy.jpg



Some sketching went on, I’m told…and they had a visit from “J. Childs” – which I could not upload onto this site.


J cafe.JPG

J sunrise.JPG

The very last night they were there, as they were coming back from Mirielle’s, they saw this amazing sight which Tish captured so beautifully in pastel.

tish moon.JPG

T moon.jpg

Au revoir, France!


Cafe Sketching starts Wednesday so I’ll be back.