This blog started off as travel writing. Despite me not posting a lot of sketches, I’ve been traveling a ton over the last year. My kiddo flew with me on eight airplanes before his first birthday. This is a drawing of some elderly passengers on a Southwest flight waiting for boarding. I liked the series of strong colors of them all sitting in a row in the airline-provided wheelchairs.

On the same hike, I started scoping out some local blooming flowers for a mural for my downstairs bathroom. For a little context, the bathroom is small, under the stairs and ugly. When we bought our house last January, there was even a mirror covering the ceiling (so you can watch yourself pee, I guess?) Anyways, I’ve done what I could with the space. I doubt I’ll ever really consider the mural done but at least its colorful now, and painted to look like a meadow.

poison oak

Hiking around Santa Cruz with a friend both our kids and a dog, we stopped by a stream to sketch. The first visible plant next to our picnic blanket to draw was this poison oak. Amazingly, no one (not even the babies or the dog) touched it.

At the Science Writers party at the AAAS meeting, last week, Melissae and I made small creatures. There was a ‘Make a Robot’ station at the San Jose Museum of Art ( where the party was held. You could choose a little packet of random supplies and then were challenged to make some sort of creature with only those materials. I made a little robot, she made a little bug. It was fun.


The quilt is large, so this is the last of the blocks that I’ll share. I wanted to point out a few really creative ones though. Amy Lynne a friend from Maryland designed her own fabric using Spoonflower ( to make this crayfish (Astacidea) block.

The three-dimensional bear, also made by my mom along with the wolf, shows multiple trophic levels with the bear bordered by embroidered plants. The full text of the card sent with the bear and wolf blocks reads:

Ursus americanus and Canis Lupis were good friends. One lived on the left side of their small world and the other lived on the right. Ursus said to Canis one fine night, “come here, come here I’ve found some lovely ripe Vaccinium pallidum for a late night snack and the Pinus virginiana are dropping the nicest seeds from the ripe cones”. “No Thanks,” said Canis joyfully, “ The moon is full and I’m out for a howl.”

Both grandmothers contributed blocks, of course. Here are native California poppies (Eschscholzia californica) by Grandma Linda, and my mom did a Grey Wolf (Canis lupus).