Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Scribble Picnic - Boats

Our Scribble Picnic theme for this week is BOATS.  I don't think that means we need to have boats as in more than one, I think it was meant collectively, so I only have one boat.  One sailboat skimming across Barnegat Bay.  


I looked back over many years and through many folders to find this picture. I had vaguely remembered being on our annual Table 7 pontoon crabbing trip and taking pictures of some sailboats that were nearby.   This picture below is from 2010 on the Barnegat Bay, NJ. 

There are swans in this area and often we see them swimming up near the boats where there is fishing or crabbing going on.  This has happened to us and when it does we usually pull our lines out of the water until they move off.  The sailboater in my little painting is oblivious to the swan.


I pulled out my little 3x5 pad with heavier weight paper to do this little watercolor.  The view below is before I cropped it and more true to the actual colors - it doesn't look as stormy as the cropped one. 


Last week our theme was fairies and I had to share that thanks to that, this weekend my little fairy garden got a little redo.  Well, it was almost a total redo.  The plants that I had in this before had gotten way too leggy and papery.  It was similar to hens and chicks but they just keep getting longer and longer and after awhile you couldn't even see the fairy anymore.  This is basically why I did not take a picture or use it for my Scribble Picnic inspiration.  So HWNSNBP and I took a ride up to the Great Swamp Nursery this weekend to pick out some new plants.  I think it came out pretty cute.  


And this is not a little fairy but a little prince who will be celebrating his first birthday in a little over a week.  See that little bit of sparkle on his lip - there was nothing there.  Don't know where that came from.  When he sees us take out our phones you have to be quick getting that picture before he tries to grab it out of your hands if you're this close.  


So it's time to go visit all the other Scribble Picnickers and see all the beautiful boats.  You can too by clicking here.  And should you want to join the picnic, next week's theme is GRANDFATHER CLOCK.

Edited to add a question to the Picnickers:  Generally, is it better to reply to your comments on the blog or by e-mail?  I never know if I reply here if anyone comes back to see them.  Just wanting to do the right thing.  

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Jingle Belles - Blinging on the Holidays

I'm a little smitten with this card for the Jingle Belles Challenge this week.  The challenge is to use sparkly, shiny things and I think I have that covered.  The hardest part of using these bejeweled stickers was finding a background on which they wouldn't get lost.  So I chose this white snowflakes on kraft heavy cardstock as my base.  Both the snowman and the Christmas jeweled stickers were purchased from a Christmas clearance bin at Michael's some time ago.  The "merry" was die cut from red glitter paper. 


Once again I'm going to try to get a second card done in the next couple of days before the challenge closes for this week.  But actually, if I can find another piece of that paper, I think I'll do another card just like this because I really took advantage of that clearance bin ....... know what I mean? ;)  

You can check out all the other blingy cards on the Jingle Belles blog by clicking here.



Saturday, March 25, 2017

Recycling a Calendar and Friendly Fill-Ins

This project dates back to 2015 and I know I've never shared it.  I did this series of notecards when I was having a lot of neck and arm pain the spring after my back surgery and I wasn't really in a good frame of mind at that time.  I had meant them to be a gift for a friend who had given us tickets to the flower show that year, even though we didn't get to go.  I don't know why I decided not to give them in the end, but I'm glad that I didn't destroy them. They were tucked away in a container with some other cards and since I'm gearing up to participate in the Write_On Challenge for National Handwriting Month in April to write 30 handwritten letters in 30 days, I am putting together a selection of notecards.  Some of them, as these, that are already in my stash and some that I am putting together with bits and pieces of past projects and making new notecards with them.  

These 12 cards were made with an old floral calendar.  I took several of the pages and cut them up to the size I wanted.  I looked through my stamps and pulled out a bunch that had solid floral images and stamped them onto the calendar pieces with VersaMark ink and then embossed with white embossing powder.  At this time I don't remember if it's an original idea or not, but as I look at them now, I do like how they came out.  




I'll be showing off some of the other scrappy cards in the next week or so.  If  you'd like to participate in this challenge - and you don't have to make cards to do it - click here for more information.

Last week I totally forgot about the Friendly Fill-Ins, but I though I'd give it a try again this week.

1.  In the Spring, I look forward to Spring flowers and trees blooming.  Particularly the violets and the redbuds.

2.  I would love to have a Spring tea party.  I did have one in the spring the year I turned 50 and I had so much fun putting it together, I just don't know if I would have the energy to do it again.

3.  Few know this about me, but I always wanted an older brother/sibling.  I was the oldest of 5 siblings and didn't have anyone to show me the ropes so to speak and thusly was not up with all the hip stuff growing up.  And as my daughter once put it about herself, I had no "asshole radar" and my first "boyfriends" certainly fit into the a-hole category.  Luckily, I found another "oldest sibling" who wasn't all that hip either, and we've been together ever since.

4.  No one can deny that we are ready for Spring and all it's beauty.

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Scribble Picnic Fairy - Persistence the Flying Pig

Persistence is what makes the impossible possible,
The possible likely,
And the likely definite. (Unknown)

This is Persistence the flying pig fairy.  Which does not mean that she's only a fairy to flying pigs but to all who are looking for a little magic to make the impossible possible, for you know that,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,

A pig that has wings
Does impossible things!
Over clouds it can fly
In the wink of an eye!
She may tickle you pink
But she wants you to think
Of her message to each
"Nothing's out of your reach!"
©LMastalski 2007
  
Created with colored pencil, Micron marker, Koi water colors, and gel pens.

See some of her magic.  She can make herself small.


 She can make herself tall.


And just look at the sparkle that she gives off.  


Ha!  Okay, so I have a thing for flying pigs.  If you search my blog for "flying pig" you'll see that I celebrate Flying Pig Day every March 1st and I have for just about 10 years now.  I celebrated this year also, just a little quieter than usual.  

Over the course of these last 10 years I've collected not only quite a few "flying pigs" in many shapes and forms, but I've also maintained a collection of what I call my "pig ladies" - those that I send pig greetings to to remind them to believe in the impossible.

I received a little package recently from one of those friends.......all the way from New Zealand!  It never ceases to amaze me how far we can reach with a blog.  Ten years ago I would not have imagined that I would have a friend in New Zealand, or Ireland, or California, Colorado, or really anywhere outside the state of New Jersey.  Friends that I have never (except for one) met face-to-face, but with whom I share common interests.

So inside the package was this cute little matchbox.


Hiding inside was a little pig key chain.


Look - even the inside was decorated.


And the pig had a sweet little flower on the other side. 


And with it came this beautiful card from my friend Sunshine who also believes in flying pigs like I do.  


Thank you Sunshine for my little piggy and for the beautiful card.  And thank you for believing!

Oh, and please do check out the Scribble Picnic fairies from this week.  I'm headed over there now.

Monday, March 20, 2017

Art Journaling and DY Wonder31

There's a page that I follow on Facebook called Beauty of Bird's and I've saved a few of the pictures of birds posted there.  These happen to be chestnut-headed bee eaters and they're found on the Indian subcontinent.  These were done in watercolor.  


I might have posted this page already, practicing my shading with some new pencils.


Daisy Yellow Wonder31 Prompts

Prompt - Playing card.  I have a bit of a collection of playing cards.  When we bought a coffee table from my aunt and uncle that they had used in their shore house, it came with a drawer full of cards. Regular poker decks, canasta decks, and pinochle decks.  And I just never threw them out for sentimental reasons.  I also have a stash up in the craft room that I bought at a rummage sale one year vowing to do something creative with, but not yet doing that something.  This deck is from the shore house and I used it as my inspiration for this prompt.



Prompt - Horizon.  A beach scene done in watercolor pencil.   Looks a little washed out here, but IRL it's a little better.  


Prompt - Uncertainty.  It's the uncertainty of what color to use so I grabbed a handful of the same color family to make my scribble flowers, leaves, stems, and bow.  I held all the pencils together and used them all at the same time.


Prompt - Batik.  I think I may have been on the wrong track here.  But it was fun painting the circles, highlighting them and then adding the black marker in between.  


Prompt - Fruit.  Watercolored grapes.  I do like the way these turned out.




Prompt - Paradox.  There is a tangle called Paradox and this is it.  It started with triangles drawn on the page and then the marker lines were added.  I did resort to using a ruler for the longest lines otherwise it would have been way too wonky.  I know you can't see the triangles distinctly.  Instead you see the fan-like shapes.  That's because I started each neighboring triangle in the same direction along the side they shared.  You can do this with triangles or squares easily.  Other shapes are a bit more difficult.  


Prompt - Cloud.  In water colors.  Not one of my favorites.  I admit I was a bit blocked.  Maybe it was because of all the clouds.


Prompt - Kaleidoscope.  This is a compilation of stickers and marker.  I found those little house/arrow stickers at $Tree.  


Prompt - Typewriter.  The left hand keys and a bunch of blanks.  There are 10 different shades of green and blue here in colored pencil.  This was one of those pages that seemed to take forever to finish.  Have you ever been in the middle of doing something and start wondering "why am I doing this?"?  But then you've already invested so much time you feel compelled to finish so as not to have wasted that time?  This was one of those.  I kind of like it though.   




Friday, March 17, 2017

A St. Patrick's Day Marshmallow Experiment



With all the hype about our impending "blizzard" earlier this week, I took the opportunity to prepare a little experiment for some St. Patrick's Day treats - Wintergreen Marshmallows.

I used my tried and true marshmallow recipe but this time, instead of adding pulverized red hots, I added pulverized wintergreen lifesavers.  On my desk at work I have a container that I keep filled with these for the staff and at the moment, due to some thoughtful persons, I have a couple of big bags in the waiting at home, so I needed only to grab a handful or so, unwrap them and put them in my grinder.  (I have a dedicated coffee grinder that I use for this alone.)  


What I didn't have on hand was gel food coloring.  I only had the liquid kind and despite adding more than 30 drops, I could only get a lovely pastel green color.  I started these on Tuesday morning while it was sleeting/snowing.  Once in the pan they have to sit for 10 hours, or overnight before you can cut them up. 

Below the entire block is turned out onto a clean counter dusted with a mixture of confectioner's sugar and rice flour.  


Then I use a knife coated in PAM to cut it into strips, cleaning the knife periodically as the marshmallow does still sick a little.  


Then I cut up the strips into blocks and each one is dredged in the sugar/flour mixture on all the raw edges so they don't stick together.  


Thinking about packaging them up for little gifties for a few friends, I searched my stamps and not finding what I wanted, created this shamrock with SU's Swirly Bird stamps and a marker for the stems.  I cut around each one.


I had seen some cute party favor bags at $Tree over the weekend and actually bought some in blue, but wanting these to be green, since HWNSNBP and I had another errand to do on Wednesday, I managed to talk him into another quick trip to the $Tree to pick up some in green.

I just folded the top over a little and stapled the shamrock onto it to keep it closed.   Oh, the marshmallows were packaged in a snack size zip lock back first otherwise they would dry out.


The flavor is very subtle so if I try these again, either I will look for a different wintergreen or spearmint hard candy or contemplate adding a little mint flavoring.  

I hope everyone had a lovely St. Patrick's Day.  

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Scribble Picnic - Lantern

Our prompt this week at Scibble Picnic is "lantern" and I'm sure when you see or hear the word "lantern" your first thought would conjure a lantern that might look like this (although I think you might say this is an oil lamp not an oil lantern).  Anyhoo, after I took this picture I had a decidedly different idea for where I wanted to go with the theme this week.


Botanically.

It's been very cold for March here and all weekend long the weather prognosticators were warning of a possible March blizzard this week.  Some of our spring plants were teased into blooming the last two weeks with the mild temps we'd been having.  I felt sorry for them.  HWNSNBP had just started some seeds and there were still seed catalogs laying about which sparked the thought of a Chinese Lantern plan.  I believe that my grandfather had one of these plants growing in his garden outside our childhood home.  They always fascinated me.   

I used a combination of some watercolor pencils and Koi watercolors for these.  I've been using a sketchbook with 65 lb. paper and I'm finding that it's buckling a lot with watercoloring.  And it looks as though there's some kind of watermark in the paper also - or it's just poor quality.  In any case, I think I'm going to have to scare up either a watercolor sketch or mixed media in the future.  


Looking at reference photos on line, sometimes the pods appeared to have concave segments and other times they appeared convex.  This leads me to believe that when the pods first appear they are very full and then, as they dry out, they become more concave.  Eventually the pods will skeletonize and the red fruit inside them will be visible.  


I kind of wish now that I had thought about this before HWNSNBP put in his seed order.  Maybe next year.  Until then, as the blizzard bombed out leaving us with only 6 3/4" of  heavy snow, I got to enjoy the sunlight illuminating the orchids this morning on our second snow day.  We didn't have school yesterday as "Stella" promised to drop 18-24" on us.  Today, because the storm ended late in the afternoon, side roads and sidewalks needed to be attended to so they cancelled school again.


I purposely kept myself from looking at the other lanterns before I posted mine this time, so I'd better head over there and start making my visits.  You can check it out too by clicking here.  


Jingle Belles - Festive Foliage II

I have a small stash of cards that I periodically look through to find something to use for an upcoming occasion.  This week I decided to look for something springy for a friend whose birthday is on the first day of spring and I found this one.....


.... then it struck me that I should CASE myself for my second card in the Jingle Belles theme this week.  So I did.  I used SU's Watercolor Winter to stamp the poinsettias in Cherry Cobbler ink.  Then I used a square die to get them into shape.  The area surrounding the flowers and the flower centers were painted with some GansiTambi Starry Colors.  I also used that on the centers of the embossed flowers on the background panel.  The extra dots on that panel are dabbed with a Riding Hood Red marker.  The ribbon behind the poinsettias is metallic jute from Create It and the striped grosgrain is retired SU in Riding Hood Red.  


Here's a little close up so you can see the shininess a little better.  The ribbon will fold down nicely to be mailed.


So now I'm ready to go visit the Jingle Belles again to view all the lovely creations from the last two weeks.  Click here to join me.