Friday, December 26, 2014

Merry Christmas Everyone!

Merry Christmas from The Gilmore's!  Hope you all had a wonderful Christmas with family and friends.  I slept a lot, ate a lot, and watched a lot of movies with the family.  Movie watching on Christmas is our family tradition.  We also went to the theater to see Into the Woods. It was excellent!

Just wanted to let you know the exciting news!  Sketchbookery starts today over at  You should sign up!  Mary Ann Moss is the best teacher!


Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!


Saturday, July 19, 2014

It's all play...

I am seriously having a ball playing in my new sketchbook.  It's all play...nothing serious.  Just relaxing.  Learning and playing!

 I made my sketchbook out of this old history book I found at a local thrift store.  It measures 10 1/4 X 7 3/4.  I have three signatures of 5 pages each.  The paper inside the sketchbook is a mixture of Canson Mixed Media, Canson Watercolor Cold Press Foundation Series and BFK Rives-France.  I found the BFK Rives paper at a local art co-op in large sheets for only .75 each.  

I bound the book using 4-ply orange waxed linen thread and bound  with Mary Ann Moss' Chevron stitch from her Sketchbookery class.

I covered the book with K and Company paper and various washi tapes.  This is my third numbered sketchbook.  I have various other working sketchbooks that are not numbered.

 Inside front cover
First page of sketchbook
Field Guide Style pages

 I am a Tour De France fan.

Back Inside Cover

Hope you are having a great weekend and are finding time to create something.

Saturday, July 5, 2014


Using a Strathmore Watercolor 400 Series Cold Press 140 lb 9 x 12 spiral bound paper pad.

Having a ball.  Decided all the work around the house isn't going anywhere.  Instead, I'm learning and playing along with SKETCHBOOKERY.

Sat on the Old Capital Square yesterday and sketched the Lincoln- Herndon Law Office.  My husband happens to be the Asst. Site Manager of the Springfield State Historic Sites.  

Enjoyed the 4th of July festivities on the Illinois State Capital lawn yesterday.  Did a quick sketch while hanging out waiting for the fireworks to play.  Enjoyed the Springfield Municipal Band performance, excitement and joy of the children having fun on the bounce houses, and the fountains.  Beautiful weather.  Only 77, it was near chilly and I had to actually bundle up in a blanket.

Colored in with Derwent Inktense watercolor pencils.

Modified Contour Drawing Practice

More Practice

Koi Watercolor Pan Set of 24  Color Wheel.  They turned out great until the paint on the right side page wasn't dry and bled onto the other page.  Oh well, WHO Cares?  It's all for fun.  I can make another one!  Right?

My Studio Buddy, Becky.

Play on!  Michelle

Thursday, July 3, 2014

SKETCHBOOKERY is in session!

I'm back...

Took a blog break.  Life is so crazy busy these days. However, my daughter's summer camps are over, and now I can begin to enjoy the summer.  It's going to be a crazy ride this year, as my daughter is going to be a senior.  Where does time go?  

I was so excited when Mary Ann Moss announced her new class SKETCHBOOKERY.  I have been wanting to grow as an artist.  I love watercolors and sketching. As a working mother it's hard to always find time, but I MUST TO REMAIN SANE!  It's my little get away, my calm.  I have taken many of Mary Ann's other classes, she is a huge inspiration and a gifted teacher.

Mary Ann is teaching us about Blind Contour and Modified Contour drawings.  

I made my sketchbook last summer out of a book I found on a trip to Savannah, GA.  It's from Belgium originally.  I love it. It's almost full.  Only a few pages left.  I will have to shop for a couple more this weekend.  

I am using Koi Watercolor Pan Set of 24.  I took each color and blended them together and made color references like below.   

I don't take my drawing seriously.  I use it for experimentation.  I have never taken an art class, and I love any time I get to play. I dream of traveling and sketching my way through Europe!  *sigh* 

Here are a few of the Modified Contour Drawings I did today while on break at work.  I was drawing what I had on my desk.    

Drawn using Permaball Pilot Pen-Black

Drawn with Permaball Pilot Pen-Black

Sketcher Non- Photo Blue Pencil by Caran d'ACHE

Hoping to find some time to play over the long weekend!

Saturday, January 25, 2014

The Documented Life Project

Happy Saturday!  

Winter is getting long.   Tired of being cooped up inside. (However, I am enjoying my creative inspiration lately!)  So ready for spring.  It's so cold here, and it's going to get colder!

So glad I have The Documented Life Project to occupy my time this winter.  I am having a blast with it!  I always have created my own style of planner, but it's been fun to add more art to it, instead of just doodles, etc.  I thought I would share my first 5 weeks with you.  If you are interested in joining check out:

Front cover of my 2014 Planner using a Moleskine Weekly Planner
Moleskine weekly journal, covered journal with collaged vintage pages, circle stencils, pieces of paper doilies, acrylic paints, black India Ink and Bic White Paint Marker

I decided to leave all the pages inside the journal.  I glued the extra pages together in the front of the book to make them more sturdy.  I wanted to be able to paint and collage on them, so they needed some extra bulk.

Inside front page

I used various scrap paper, stickers, washi tape, and stamps.  I also had painted a bluebird on a vintage book page using Koi watercolors.  I glued it on the page.

Miscellaneous page
Church bulletin cover, washi tape, misc. scrap papers

Stepping up and out this year.  Trying new things, discovering new places, serving others and enjoying life more in 2014.  This is a visual reminder to myself.

My word for 2014 is:  FEARLESS.  My scripture focus is 
1 John 4:18.  I decided to paint it inside my journal.  Love this page!

acrylic paints, Pitt pen, Neo Color II  watercolor crayons, Bic White Out Marker

WEEK 1 CHALLENGE:  My Front Door

misc. vintage papers, washi tape, stickers, rub on numbers

Week 1 inside view

random bits of scrap paper, sharpie marker paint pens, Sakura Gel Pens, washi tape, painted Snowy Owl on vintage book page with Koi Watercolors.

Week 2 CHALLENGE:  Selfie

Vintage book page, washi tape, stamps, etc.
Week 2 inside view

Week 3 CHALLENGE:  Envelope
First page you see on right side.  I used misc. vintage ephemera, washi tape, etc. to create these pages.  Lots of tilt outs.

Week 3 inside view

Week 4 CHALLENGE:  Secret Message
Card from Parthenon, Nashville, TN (artwork by Phil Ponder)

Week 4 inside view

misc. washi tapes, stickers, etc. used to cover my secret message
Week 4 inside card

Week 5 CHALLENGE:  Doodled Border

Misc. scrap papers, Permaball Pen, Roben-Marie Smith's stamp packaging, stencil, Inktense pencils, washi tape,

Week 5 inside view

Stay WARM!!!!  Hope you liked my creations!


Monday, September 23, 2013

Autumn Adventures

Autumn Adventures have begun...  Yesterday marked the first day of autumn, and the weather was glorious.  It also happened to fall on my birthday.  You couldn't have asked for a more picture perfect day!  

Even had a parade in honor of my birthday!
(Actually, Homecoming kicked off ) 

Took the day off today.  Extended birthday celebration...
Drove out to Jim Edgar Panther Creek Wildlife Area.

Surprised to see harvest has begun.

I don't remember harvest being this early in a long time!

"I was in the midst of a prairie!  A world of grass and flowers stretched around me, rising and falling in gentle undulations...What a new and wondrous world of beauty!  What a magnificent sight!...How shall I convey to you the idea of a prairie?"-Eliza Steel 

The Big Bluestem grass is gorgeous!  Up to 9ft tall.  I can't imagine traveling in a covered wagon across the prairie through grass this tall! 

Goldenrod in full bloom

Love the chartreuse color of the Rattlesnake Plant.

Purple Coneflower 
nearing the end of it's life, but still beautiful.

 White Indigo Plant pods

 Lovely Black Eyed Susan flowers in full bloom.

 Panther Creek Valley Scenic Overlook


Troy and I ended our morning adventure with a walk through Lincoln's New Salem Village.

 Tobacco plants

Photo: Enjoying Michelle Guthrie Gilmore's "extended birthday" weekend.
Take some time to see the beauty around you and have your own Autumn Adventure!