Thursday, September 19, 2013

Sketchbook Challenge Blog Hop - Lesley Riley

Hi. It's Lesley Riley. I have had a love affair with houses for all my life. Besides living in one, my earliest house memory is exploring the all the new houses under construction in our neighborhood back in the 1950s (before kids on construction sites was unheard of!). I loved discovering and seeing the bones of a house before it became a home.

Fast forward a few decades. In the mid-1980s I started appraising residential real estate in the Washington, DC metropolitan area. I saw everything from 100+ year old shells in need of total renovation to multi-million dollar mansions of the rich and famous. No matter what I saw, I was always happy and content to come home to my humble abode. For more of the story of my love affair with houses, please hop my recent blog post when you're done here.

What I learned is that a house is not always a home. I was always amazed at how many houses were so devoid of personality. A house is a place to live. A home is created by and reflects the people that live there.

One of my favorite art collaborations was creating a piece for Angela Cartwright and Sarah Fishburn's 2007 book, In This House. I based my house, #2, Wisdom Way, on Ella Church Redman's quote:

There is no reason either in prose or in rhyme,
why a whole house should not be a poem.

While I like to sketch, I don't always have the time. I learned long ago, that while I can draw very while, it just takes me a long time. On the other hand, give me some fabric and I can whip up a myriad of beautiful projects - like the book for In This House, above. See more of my HOUSE book over on my blog

I've been sketching with fabric for quite a while. Fabric is my pen, my paper, my home.

I encourage you to add a little fabric to your sketchbook now and then. It adds a real homey touch to your book. Here's a quick video of me sketching a house with fabric made to inspire you.  Enjoy!

I've got a few more fabric house sketches over on my blog. 

so you can start fabric sketching in fabric.
CLICK, come and see!


  1. Absolutely riveting demo. This looks like FUN.

  2. Thank you for the video Lesley. It looks like such fun - I must try it. You inspire me. Dianne.

    1. Hi Dianne - I live to inspire - glad to hear it happened for you. Thanks!

  3. That is a great way to "sketch". I love it! And through your video, I could feel the changes that happened with each little addition. I will definitely begin to do some fabric sketching in my sketchbook for my next project. Thanks!

    1. I am so glad you'll be using fabric in your sketchbook Marit. It's SO fun and dare I say addicting.