Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Scribble Picnic - FLOWERBED

I love flowers and I would love to have a FLOWERBED that resembles my drawing.  Don't get me wrong, our yard has lots of flowers thanks to HWNSNBP's hard work, but they're mostly in pots and mostly of one variety due to the very hungry deer in our area.  It has taken much trial and error (and $$$) to figure out what they will and won't eat, because you really can't just go by lists in books or on tags.  If they're hungry enough, they'll chomp on things they've never eaten before. 

Back Door Entrance
I drew some flowers that we have had in the past - lupines, clematis, black-eyed Susan's, and the pink ones are vinca/periwinkle which we have found are deer tolerant. 

I used gelatos (for the first time) and Caran d'Ache pencils for this.  Then, after opening a package of some stamps I had recently ordered from Purple Onion Designs I thought this little bunny might be at home reading in the flower bed.  So I stamped him and fussy cut him out.  He's just hanging there for now until I decide to make him a permanent part of the landscape.

And speaking of bunnies, this is a picture my daughter-in-law had recently shared of our grandson watching the bunny under the stairs in their back yard.  Apparently there are two and he seems to be fascinated by them. His highchair is near the window and he gets to see them while he eats his breakfast.  I know you can barely make out the bunny in his reflection, but it's there.  

Okay, so now it's time for a garden tour.  Time to check out the FLOWERBEDs of all the Picnickers. You can tag along by clicking here.  And make sure you pay special attention to Michael's masterpiece.  He has hidden the FILL IN THE ________ object for next week's prompt in his drawing quite cleverly.

Jingle Belles - Peace on Earth

Somehow I missed the last Jingle Belle prompt and I'm just kind of sneaking in at the last minute with this one.  Phew!  The theme is Peace on Earth and I had such high aspirations for this card. Instead of going into a long-winded explanation, I'll just say that I need to investigate how to use masking fluid a little more - and probably investigate one that is not so SMELLY!  Thankfully I had colored a second image so I was able to get this together after work today.  

The dove is from SU's Dove of Peace and colored with Zig Clear Color Markers.  The sentiment is from Stampendous "Glory to God".  It was stamped with VersaMark and embossed with white EP which is looking very vanilla to me in IRL.  Does anyone know if this yellows after a while unused?

I actually do love the colors of this, I just wanted the dove to be in a watercolor cloud.  Oh well, maybe next time.

Won't you join me to see all the other lovely entries in the Jingle Belle challenge this week?  Click here to tag along.   

Saturday, August 12, 2017

The Birds of Barnegat

What is that?  Some kind of alien?

Oh, thanks for turning your head!  It is a bird.  Still too far away to tell what you are but I have an idea.

On our way home the next day, passing by the same area but further down, HWNSNBP asks me if I saw the bird in the opening.   Usually we only see white birds here and there wasn't any flash of white so I said no.  He smiles and turns the car around.

I can barely make it out against the reeds, but yes, there it was, the Great Blue Heron.  Most likely the same one that I saw the night before.  I grabbed my camera and jumped out of the truck and approached cautiously.

He saw me, but he tolerated me and even looked like he was posing for me.

From big we go to very small.  Waiting for the sun to set in the hopes of getting some good pictures I glanced over at our neighbors' hummingbird feed and was treated to a charm of hummingbirds. There were at least three and maybe four.  They are so fast and flit around so much it was hard to keep track at times.

I am so glad that I asked HWNSNBP to create screens on the back porch that open for two reasons now.  One - it enables me to take shots of the sunsets without having the screen fabric to deal with, and now two - I can lean over to see the hummingbirds who seem to feed at the same time as the sunsets.  

Periodically they would take a break either in the brush or a nearby tree.  

The next morning I woke up to a bird party - hundreds of them whooping it up!

I took a short bike ride and found a lone swan resting along the waterway.  

Try to find the hummers in the next two pictures.

All these lovelies within a week!  

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Scribble Picnic - BUTTONED

I had a very big project to finish this past week/weekend that I'll be posting soon but that doesn't mean I wasn't pondering what I could do with this theme - BUTTONED.  Problem was, I had in my mind that it was "BUTTONS" (of which I have several thousand I'm sure) and there were a few ideas floating around in my head.  It was when we returned home on Sunday and I checked the list again so I could get started when it hit me, or rather I should say I hit the wall realizing that it was not BUTTONS but BUTTONED.  So I set myself to thinking about it again and being a little wiped out from both the big project and the end of ICAD, that wall loomed large in front of me.  Finally, last night I decided to check out the definition of BUTTONED...and there it was, from the Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia: Decorated with buttons or small bosses, as a glass vase.  (via Worknik)

So I pulled out one of my tins of buttons and started running my hands through them.  The memories of playing with the tin of buttons my grandmother brought home from the sewing factory all came flooding back and I spent more minutes than I should have pulling out all the buttons of a certain kind before I realized what I was doing.  I still needed an idea.  And then I saw a tortoise shell button that reminded me of something I had made about 20 years ago........ can you find them?

These turtle brooches that were tucked away in my jewelry box haven't seen the light of day in a long, long time.

I thought I remembered which of my craft books I found them in so I could share the pattern, but after spending more time looking through books than I should have I sat down and created my own.

By then, bedtime was quickly approaching and I had every intention of just having the turtles in black and white on the white sheet, but during work today, I decided that they needed something to swim in so I came home and gave them some water.  The background is acrylics and I added a metallic watercolor wash over the turtles in a light blue.  

Yes, I know that was a very long-winded explanation of my Picnic contribution this week, but I hope you enjoy the final product.  

Now, off to see what all the other Picnickers BUTTONED up.  Click here to join me, and should you wish to attend the picnic next week, you'll have to bring a FLOWERBED.

One more thing, Button Floozies has a post about a button collection for a good cause.  If you have buttons you would like to donate to the California Holocaust Education and Resource Center they are looking to collect 6 million that they will be using to build a memorial out of.  Here is the link to the post.

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Scribble Picnic - CURTAIN

We had to bring a CURTAIN to the picnic this time.  My curtain would be on the cover of a mystery book about a ghost as I blended the ICAD prompt for GHOST with this.  
I was a Nancy Drew fanatic as a kid.  I couldn't wait to get my hands on the newest edition, usually at Christmas.  We're talking late 60's early 70's here so at that time the "ghost" writer writing under the name of Carolyn Keene was Harriet Stratemeyer Adams.  She was one of several women and men who wrote the Nancy Drew mysteries.  Her father Edward Stratemeyer was the original author of the series as a companion to his Hardy Boys novels.  He subsequently hired other writers to pen more novels.  It was only after his death that Harriet took up "the family business" and began writing as Carolyn Keene. 
My sister actually met her at a then well-known restaurant in our area when she waitressed there.  Of course I think I was a little jealous because I was the one with the Nancy Drew fixation and I don't even know if my sister had read any of the books. 
Harriet's family owned a farm in our area called Bird Haven Farm.  Apparently she was responsible for creating a garden or gardens there that were, and are still showpieces.  In my research I see that they will be open to the public on September 9th of this year.  I think I might have to talk HWNSNBP into a little gallivanting!
I doubt that I could take on a novel, but I might consider putting some pages behind the cover in the form of a children's book someday.  There are some ideas swishing around.
But for now I will head over to the Picnic and see what's behind everyone else's CURTAIN this week.  You can join me by clicking here

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

ICAD 2017 - Week 9 - Days 57 - 61 and a Remembrance

Well, it's over for this year.  This is the last of the cards.  

Week 9 - Themes - Optional 

Days 57 - 61 - Prompts - Optional

Day 57 - Spring
I decided to do a series for  prompts 57- 61, the four seasons.  Done in Prima watercolors and Micron pen.  Try as I might, and I did try 3 cameras and several different lighting situations, I could not get the true colors on these.  

Day 58 - Summer

Day 59 - Fall

Day 60 - Winter

And all four days together.  I toyed with the idea of putting the names of the months in the white spaces, but then someone pointed out to me that if I left them off this would be universal.  If I add the names of the months with the corresponding season it would only be true of the Northern Hemisphere.  So I decided to leave the white space to make it's own statement.  

Day 61 - Sunset

This was the sunset on Saturday night.  I was feeling rather melancholy that day because I had heard the day before that a friend, a former coworker from school, had suddenly passed away in her home country of Columbia.  Though I only knew her for a few years, she stood out as a person I was glad that I got to know.  She was our part-time Spanish teacher and when she had a free period, and sometimes after she was done with her classes for the day, she would go down to the art room and create.  Sometimes she would do the same projects as the students were doing and sometimes she worked on her own.  She would show me her finished creations and told me that she used them as gifts for her family back in Columbia.  She was very talented.  

Created By M. Infante 2/15

Created by M. Infante 2/15
I didn't use the sunset from that day for my picture inspiration, I found another one from a few weeks ago.  But I did dedicate my finished one to her and wrote what I had been thinking when looking at that sunset on Saturday evening..........

"Martha, did you paint the sunset tonight?  Did God let you use our tears as your watercolors?  Rest in peace sweet friend.  You will be remembered."

Wouldn't it be nice to think that we would each get a chance to paint a sunset?

I took the picture of my card next to the little box that she gave me when she visited the US and our school this past spring.  At the time she told me that she was going to come back and say goodbye before she left.  I was happy about that because I had a little gift for her also, a small traveling set of watercolors and a little zippered "cat" pouch to keep them in.  When she didn't return we learned that she had already left for Columbia so I reached out to her on Facebook.  She didn't want to send me her address, instead she told me to hold onto the gift until she returned neither of us ever thinking she wouldn't.  

So I finished this endeavor with a little bit of bitter-sweetness at the end.  I'll post a picture of all the cards together in the next couple of days.  I hope you've enjoyed looking at them as much as I have enjoyed doing them.  

There is a new challenge at Daisy Yellow starting today as a matter of fact.  It's called "Catchphrase" and it's all about adding words to your art.  Here is the link if you want to check it out. I think I'll be giving it a try but I'll be delaying my start a couple of days as I have another bigger project that has to get done right away.  

Friday, July 28, 2017

ICAD 2017 - Week 8 - Days 50 - 56

Week 8 - Themes - Optional
I tried a new technique to me on these first two cards - printing with bubble wrap.  Unfortunately the bubble wrap I had on hand at the time had bigger bubbles than I would have liked for the first time. That being said, I'm not disappointed with how they came out.  I used stamp pads and when I try this again I will be using some Color Burst or Brushos.  Stay tuned for a card in the future with a bubble wrap background.  

Days  50 - 56 - Prompts - Optional

Day 50 - Sun or Moon - I chose Moon
I used the insides from security envelopes (HWNSNBP was going to toss out and I rescued, though I do have a pretty good stash of these somewhere I'm sure).  I used some new metallic markers for the lettering highlighted with a Micron marker.  

I hope you can see the faint face of the Man in the Moon done in colored pencil.

Day 51 - Swim
This is a watercolor which started off as a card I was cleaning my aquabrush on.  The two shades of orange reminded me of fish as I was doing this so I just kept adding more and more strokes.  Then I went back and added the water and eyes.  (Someone said this would make a nice scarf - what do you think?)

Day 52 - Adjective - I chose VERDANT as I used all the shades of green KOI watercolors.  The flowers are tissue paper and the butterfly is cut from another piece of index card.

Day 53 - Mirror
This was an experiment of sorts. The background is made with Prima watercolors.  The line drawings were done in mirror fashion.  After I taped down the corners lightly I held pens in both hands and had my non-dominant hand mirror what I was doing with my dominant hand.  This can be done with two people, but I didn't even approach HWNSNBP with a request for help.  It would have taken too long to explain, I just know!  Oh, and I stuck with straight lines this time.  If I try it again I may just be venturous enough to add some curves.  

Day 54 - Greetings From.........
The Jersey Shore
I still had that fun map of Cape May around and on it were advertisements with graphics that I cut out.  Also in my stash was a gift card holder from Christmas Tree Shoppes which provided the beach scene, big lighthouse and shell.  I used all these elements to collage a postcard.

Day 55 - Sepia
Using a sepia toned Koi watercolor, I started painting these shapes, layering them back to appear as they were overlapping.  Then I took a sepia Micron and added some linework to the swirls.  Lastly, I used metallic Prima watercolor to fill in the blank spaces between the shapes.  I wish you could see the little shimmer in it.

Day 56 - Ghost or Zombie
I was combining this card with the Scribble Picnic challenge of CURTAIN which I found out too late has been postponed until next week.  This is watercolored.  I used some brush pens and a gel pen for the title, a Micron for the author/illustrator info, and some pencil shadows for the curtains.  Can you see the ghost?  I think I might have to work on a story to actually go with this.  There are a few ideas haunting me.

Five more days to go.  

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Catching Up with This and That

Though I'm heavy into my ICAD's this June and July, I also have managed a couple of cards for special occasions.  This one was a special request for a wedding card that Rachel needed.  She asked for something in navy and white.  Inside is the sentiment "Happy I Do Day".

My cousin's birthday was at the beginning of July and I sent her this flower box card.  We've stopped exchanging gifts and are focusing on "special" cards these days.  I hope she found this special.

My son and daughter-in-law brought the little guy to the condo to see how he would do in the "big" pool.  Here he is with grandpa.  The water was a bit too chilly and the greenheads were a bit too aggressive for us to spend much time out there.  

So we came in and had lunch so they could get going for nap time.

HWNSNBP is almost finished with our bathroom reno at the condo.  He cut, painted and hung all the shiplap.  This is my little gallery of things I've done related to the beach and the condo.  I found the frames at the Christmas Tree Shop.  I added some scrapbook paper behind a couple of them as they didn't fit the frames exactly (especially the 3-D items).

Our 2nd bluebird pair did get a nest together hurriedly and she laid 4 eggs.  She diligently sat on these eggs for 3 weeks.  The incubation period for bluebirds is almost half that.  So either they were not fertile (she may have been too young) or the fluctuation in temps too much for them.  We had some very cold nights before she started staying in the box at night.  She did stick it out though and gave them a real fighting chance.  It was so sad when she finally abandoned them.  The male called and called for her from the top of the box and we could hear her in the distance and could almost imagine the story that she was telling him.  He even entered the box himself and started squawking at the eggs almost as if to coax them into coming out of their shells.  But eventually he gave up also.  We waited until we were sure that they weren't coming back before removing the nest with the eggs.  That was a Thursday.  By the time we returned from our weekend away on Sunday there was a new nest and eggs already.  She is taking care of 4 more again and we should see babies within the week.  Keep your fingers crossed.

For the third year in a row we're having construction over the summer at the school were I work. This is causing a bit of chaos.  They've torn up the circular driveway that was in the front to widen it so that more buses can pull in at an angle enabling us to have them all come and go at the same time. We had two bus dismissals which always caused delays with the lower elementary school's students getting out in a timely manner.  We are able to work in our office, but no one can enter through the front of the building.  Any visitors have to call from the side door down the hallway and one of us has to walk down there to let them in.  At least I'm getting some steps in! I took this picture the day that the police, fire department, and the gas company showed up after the contractor "accidentally" hit the gas line.  I say accidentally because they had already gone ahead and turned the gas off at the street because the gas company didn't have us on priority.  They're not supposed to do that.  Once they "hit" the line they had to report it and the gas company had to show up to make sure it was safe.  It also allowed them to move forward and no longer have to wait for the gas company.   

And I don't think I showed the "prizes" that I put together for the staff members that got their supply orders down to the penny.  I found this succulent plant - I think it's called string of pearls - and divided it up to plant in the long-stemmed glasses that I had picked up at the garage sale in early June.  I thought it might look like bubbles from the drink.  They seemed to like them.  I hope so!