Thursday, July 20, 2017

Scribble Picnic - LADYBUG / ICAD - Day 49 - Charm Bracelet

Our Scribble Picnic theme for the week is LADYBUG and today's ICAD prompt is CHARM BRACELET and thinking about them both a memory clicked.  

One of our special education teachers passed away a few years ago.  She had ovarian cancer and by the time she was diagnosed she was already at Stage IV.  When school ended in June of that year we never expected that she would not be returning in September.  Or ever.

I was asked to help plan a little memorial for her.  Something that her students could take part in.  

I remembered that she had been very distraught over losing her ladybug charm bracelet at school one day.  She had told me that she loved ladybugs and her husband had bought it for her.  (It was much more elaborate than the one I have illustrated.)  To my knowledge, the bracelet never turned up.  

Because she had a love for ladybugs, in the spring I planned a ladybug release.  I found a nursery that sold them in containers of hundreds in each.  We took her former students and anyone else from the building who wanted to take part out to the playground.  Our principal had a few words and then I read this:

"Mrs. _ loved ladybugs - maybe because of their bright color, or maybe because they are so small. Or, maybe it was because of all the good they can do - just like she wished for her students.  For whatever reason it was that she loved them think about this - When a ladybug opens it's wings to fly, you'll be surprised to see that the wings form a heart.  And...... it's in our hearts that we will keep the memory of Mrs. _ and all the good she did."

We also planted a tree in her memory.  A redbud that has beautiful magenta blooms in the spring that give way to heart-shaped leaves.  It was planted outside our principal's window and when his door is open I can see it.  

While I was searching for the card that I had with the write-up on it (it was glued in a journal from around that time period) I came across a few of these drawings below.  Before I worked in the school office I used to substitute teach and in my "go bag" I always kept some markers and paper/notebook to have something to do should there be a lot of prep time.  This was something that I had doodled during one of those periods.  It was chock full of ladybugs so I thought I'd share it also today.

I see by the clock that it's already Thursday here, but I believe I still can post this at the Picnic this week since it's officially held in another time zone.  Let me hurry on over there to check that out and to see all the other ladybug/ladybird entries for this week.  You can click here to join me.  And if you want to join the Picnic next week, the theme is CURTAIN.  

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Jingle Belles - Beautiful Blue Christmas

Isn't this a beautiful inspiration photo?  I wish I was bold enough to have walls that color.  And doesn't the white look so fresh and pristine with it?  Those pops of green are the perfect accents.  Way to go Jingle Belles!  

Here is my rendition.  I got a chance to open up the roll of birch bark wrapping paper that I bought at Pier 1's after Christmas clearance.  I had to laugh when the saleslady said she thought it was the most beautiful gift wrap she had ever seen and she wrapped all her gifts with it.  I didn't dare tell her that no gifts would be wrapped with this roll.  Oh no.  This was to be hoarded to be used on cards and craft projects only.  I loved using it as the background here.  I used a window box die as my mantel and found a menorah stamp in my stash to add to that mantel.  The snowflakes were die cut from royal blue glitter paper.  And the sentiment is another die doubled with silver foil and green cardstock.  I added a couple other pops of green to the mantle for balance because my first version pictured below was a little too bland.   

I tried to take a close up so you could see that the birchbark paper has a texture to it making it all the more yummy.

Okay, time to bop over to the Jingle Belles blog to see all the other lovely blue beauties!

Sunday, July 16, 2017

ICAD 2017 - Week 6 - Days 36 - 42

Hard to believe that 6 weeks have gone by already with this challenge.

Week 6 - Themes (Optional)

Days 36 - 42 Prompts (Optional)

Day 36 - Perfume
As I have a fragrance sensitivity I had a hard time with this one mentally.  What I came up with was a collage of flowers with some musical notes.  A fragrance wafts through the air much like music. But like music, if it's too loud or intense it can be offensive. 

Day 37 - Kaomoji or Emoji
Another word I had to look up - Kaomoji.  Made by combining a series of characters.  These are only a few combinations to make fish.   I used what I could find in my desk at work for this one: Yellow Sharpie Meanstreak Permanent Marking Stick, Black Sharpie, Mr. Sketch Stix 

Day 38 - Charcoal
Believe it or not, charcoal was one art supply I did not seem to have.  Fortunately I did have a coupon for AC Moore.  And a coupon is a good reason to buy new supplies.  Win/Win.  I not only bought a charcoal pencil but some chalk pencils also (and some more blending stumps which I did not use for this).  

Day 39 - Ampersand
The background is done with Prima watercolors. The ampersand is doodled with Micron pen.

Day 40 - Steampunk
Well, not exactly.  I wanted to make it more "geary", but then I started seeing all these creatures in the background (which was Mermaid markers by the way).  

Day 41 - Roots
I toiled, in a good way, over the background "roots" to this.  I used a combination of Prima and Gansi Tambi watercolors.  There are many layers of color to this and I'm surprised that the index card didn't start to pill.  The roots are more like those of an orchid plant on the outside of the flower pot, but I didn't want to make it a pot so I chose a color that might also be considered maybe the bark of a tree or stone or something above ground really because the butterfly wouldn't be found underground.  The butterfly itself is fussy cut from a sheet of scrapbook paper.  The quote is handwritten with a Micron. (pssst.......this might be my favorite so far.........)

Day 42 - Onomatopoeia
Def. - "the formation of a word from a sound associated with what is named"
My letters are drawn with Pentel Flexible brush pens.  The water is Caran D'Ache Pablo colored pencils.  

19 more days!

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Scribble Picnic - Fill-In-The-Blank Challenge

So, we had a bit of a challenge at our Picnic this week.   Using the point below as a starting point for our creation this week.  What could this become?  

I played around with a couple of ideas........

But in the end, I drew a lollipop tree orchard.

Curious to see what the rest of the Picnickers came up with?  So am I.  So click here to join me to check it out.  Oh, and by the way, next week's theme is LADYBUG should you want to make a go of it.  Or maybe you call them Ladybirds........... think about it.

Sunday, July 9, 2017

ICAD 2017 - Week 5 - Days 29 - 35

Week 5 was a lot of fun.  I only went off prompt once, the day that we were traveling.  I'll mention why below.

Week 5 - Themes (Optional)

Days 29 - 35 Prompts

Day 29 - Polka Dot
Colored pencil and watercolor.  When I posted this on the Daisy Yellow ICAD Facebook page someone asked me to explain my thought process for this.  Specifically I could not.  I just remember sitting at Chili's for lunch with HWNSNBP after having wasted a better part of the day going back and forth for our car (the window was fixed but then the air-conditioning went) and thinking about the prompt and what I would do when I got home and this popped into my head.  I'm not sure if this is how polka dots are born or if my chicken was just too spicy!

Day 30 - Gyroscope
I know what a gyroscope is, but we were getting ready to leave for a 5-day extended weekend and my brain just couldn't wrap around "gyroscope".  So instead, as I was packing my supplies to go, I gathered bits from the table and made a one staple collage.  This included patterns that I had used on previous cards, the envelope from a Dunkin' Donuts gift card, and old (losing) lottery ticket, a tea bag envelope, one of Kirby's feathers and some scrap pieces from a previouse card.  

Day 31 - Faux Wallpaper
I started with two shades of blue watercolors and then tried to use a stencil over the background with some white acrylic paint.  In the first apartment that HWNSNBP and I lived in, we hung wallpaper in the bedroom that was lightblue.  If you looked at it close up, you could see it was made of tiny little dots of various shades of light blue and white.  

Day 2 - Desert or Dessert
Since our Scribble Picnic theme for the week was WATERMELON, I decided to use dessert.  I once carved a watermelon like this for a special occasion - I think it might have been my sister's bridal shower.  It was very time consuming and I remember having to be very careful with those swan necks.  But it did look nice.  This was done with watercolors, white acrylic paint, and a stabilo marker.

Day 33 - Orange
This was fun.  It's actually the second rendition of what I had in my head.  The first one was too Lucy Goosey, so I redid it paying more attention to what I was painting.  This is watercolored with Micron pen details.

Day 34 - Fourth of July
On our way home on the 4th HWNSNBP and I stopped at our favorite ice cream place along the way.  The paper wrapping on their cones is a flag and HWNSNBP happened to have a double wrapped cone which gave me enough to cut them up into this banner.  Then I drew the word LIBERTY in marker and painted it with metallic Prima watercolors.

Day 35 - Favorite Type of Apple
Watercolor and Posca Pen.  Who were Frenchy, Rizzo, Jan, and Marty you might ask?  They were the Pink Ladies - get it?

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Scribble Picnic - WATERMELON

Our Scribble Picnic this weeks calls for WATERMELON.  What's a picnic without watermelon?  I tend to keep my watermelon prep to a minimum these days but there was a time in the past when carving them was an "artistic" challenge.  I think I did the swans for my sister's bridal shower.  First and last time. It's among one of those things that if you don't do a lot, you don't get to hone your skill and it takes a long time.  Too long unless it's a very special occasion for a very special person.  

I fit this into my ICAD prompt of DESERT also this past week.  It's been a very up and down week of vacation for me/us.  But we ended on a good note spending time with friends.  And eating watermelon.

How else would I be able to get HWNSNBP to wear a watermelon dress?

On my way now to join the other Picnickers to check out their WATERMELON contributions.  I hear that there is a surprise prompt for next week so you'll have to check back in in a day or so to read all about it.  

ICAD 2017 - Week 4 - Days 22-28

We've been having a kind of weird vacation week with things coming up unexpectedly (some good, some bad) that have taken a bite out of my creative time.  That is one reason why I my first two cards (the weekly themes and prompts) were done on a couple of cards that were just experimentation during the first 3 weeks.  

Themes - Week 4

Prompts - Days 22-28

Day 22 - Vanishing Point
It wasn't until a few days later that I realized that I had a quilling ruler that had circles I could have used for this instead of drawing them as it took me longer than expected to get them to where I wanted them.  Just pencil for this one.  (And a lot of erasing.)

Day 23 - Alice in Wonderland
I think I was wearing a shirt with flamingos on it that day which inspired me to watercolor a flamingo albeit not playing croquet.  Done with Prima and Gansi Tambi watercolors.

Day 24 - Caravan/RV
Okay, so you can see by the parking stub that this card was not done on the 24th but rather the 25th and it's a one-staple collage of ephemera I picked up on our trip to Cape May that day.  My thinking that being part of the weekend traffic on the Garden State Parkway is like being in a giant caravan coming up the coast of NJ.  You see a couple of places we visited on the map, the parking stub from the municipal lot we park at to shop in the outdoor mall, the wrapper from my Kohr Brothers custard (a must have! - mine was a coffee and dulce de leche twist), and part of the menu from the Lobster Box where we ate lunch.  

Day 25 - Portrait
I had intentions of doing a portrait from a recent picture of our grandson - his first visit to the beach - but then I thought I could use this prompt to cover my Scribble Picnic theme this week also which was FOX.

Day 26 - Green
A tangled background with some tangled half-circles.

Day 27 - Farm
Off Prompt - I don't know if this video will upload correctly.  My card was done with metallic watercolors and I was trying to show how they interacted with the light.


Day 28 - Dashboard
When you're at a loss for ideas go for the pun.

Jingle Belles - Stars and Stripes

Here I am again squeaking in by the skin of my teeth.  This week's Jingle Belles theme is Stars and/or Stripes in honor of our countries birthday on July 4th.  I managed to come across some paper that had both stars and stripes (even though the stars are 8-pointed, they still are stars). Finding the extras to put on the card is what took the longest, but I'm pretty pleased with it.

My skills photographing lately have been challenged.  I've been using my cell phone and holding it level isn't the easiest thing to do.  The sides of a rectangle sometimes come out all cockeyed if you're looking down, but trust me, the card is a rectangle.  

I had to put a service call in today for our brand new copier in the office because when they set it up last week when I was out, the tray the paper feeds onto was all cockeyed and when I said that to the service desk, the woman laughed at me and said "no one uses that word anymore".  She said she was going to put that on the report to see if the technician knew what that meant.  Tell me I'm not that old that the word cockeyed has become obsolete.  Next they'll be telling me that they don't know what catty corner is or there is some alternate meaning that I'm not aware of that is questionable.  Ugh!

Anyhoo,  time to visit the Jingle Belles to see how everyone celebrated the 4th of July with their Christmas card.  Click here to join me!.

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Scribble Picnic - FOX

Our theme this week for Scribble Picnic is FOX.  This has been the spring of the fox at our school. Why? you may ask.  Well, several times we've had to pull the children in from the playground during recess because a fox family living in the woods adjoining the playground has been curious enough to come out to the edge of the woods to watch the children during recess.  We're not sure if they're living in the neighborhood or just happen to be passing through, but in any case, when they show themselves it becomes a problem. 

My boss, our principal, had me call the police department and then Animal Control to see what we could do about getting them removed, but unfortunately, unless they appeared to be sick (looking drunk, salivating, etc.) they would not remove them.  They said it was not unusual to see them out during the day, especially when there were young ones.  And they weren't threatening at this point.

They did suggest that we call a local animal rescue and their advice was to make the area less appealing.  This involved buying mylar balloons to tie to the trees around the playground, hiding containers of amonia soaked rags in the high grass around the tree line, and wiping down the dumpster with amonia to deter them from looking for food closer to the school.

I was nominated to pick up the balloons, amonia, and containers.  The custodian had the job of dispersing the deterrents.  

Did it work? We'll never really know if that's why they moved on.  There was no exit survey.  

As we were shopping a bit in Cape May on Sunday, I always check out the Swede Shop for unique little items.  This time I purchased this little clay ornament of a fox and gnome for our Christmas tree as a remembrance of both our trip and the fox incidents.

I went off-prompt on Sunday for ICAD (which was PORTRAIT) and instead used my rendition of the ornament instead.  (I'll be back with the link for my ICAD post - vacation this week has me a little behind.)

So now I will head over to see how FOXy the other picnickers have been this week.  Won't you join me?  Click here.  And, at the risk of sounding like a broken record, should you want to jump in for next week, the prompt is WATERMELON.  Won't that be juicy!

Monday, June 26, 2017

Vacation Weekend

It was a surprise for us that there was a concert at the dock on Saturday evening.  The lot was packed and the music was good.  They had the Doo Wop group Sounds of the Street.

With the humidity gone, we decided to take a ride to Cape May on Sunday.  The first stop was the lighthouse where all the purple marten houses where loaded.  

Inside the Nature Center among the snake, turtle, toad and frog displays there was a display with some Monarch Butterfly caterpillars eating their special meal of milkweed.

And these colorful tree frogs in another display.

We had lunch at the Lobster Dock out on the dock next to the Sea Quest.  I've never seen such colorful marine rope before.

We headed to the outdoor mall where one of the stores was decorated with this beautiful window box of flowers.

We had a couple of other places we wanted to visit there but as luck would have it, on the way to one of them a car pulled out in front of us suddenly and HWNSNBP had to hit the brakes hard at the exact moment that we hit a pothole and I heard a thump in the car.  Then I heard street sounds and noticed that the back passenger window was open about 3 inches.  I asked HWNSNBP when he opened the window and he said it's not open.  I told him it was and he must have hit the button by accident.  So he tried to close it but it wouldn't go up.  So he tried lowering it some more in the hope that it would then go up, but it did not. We pulled over and he tried to lift the glass while pressed the button but it wasn't budging.  The motion of the car with that quick stop and hitting the pothole must have knocked the window off the track.  So we really had no other choice but to head home as we couldn't leave the car unattended with the window open.  We drove home on the parkway and I had to keep my window partially opened to equalize the pressure in the car which was really doing a number on our ears.  When we got back to the condo we found some heavy plastic and packing tape to temporarily cover the window overnight to keep moisture out until we leave for home tomorrow to have it fixed.  We'll be riding home in the clown car!

I stepped out earlier this evening to visit our friend and HWNSNBP was Johnny-on-the-spot with his cell phone to capture the sunset.

This is what was left by the time I returned.  Still pretty dramatic.

And I'll share a photo of the little guy his mom sent us today.  His first experience at the beach.