Friday, July 31, 2015

ASLEEP, DOWN, CLIMB - Photo Challenge Wrap Up

This picture is not a recent one, but I couldn't seem to catch Kirby sleeping this week.  I mean, he did sleep, but he was very attuned to my presence and was too easily awakened to get his picture.  So I checked my archives and did find a picture of him taken earlier this year when he was more relaxed. He uses himself as a pillow and balances on one leg when he is ASLEEP!

These next two pictures are taken looking DOWN the hall at school. You can see some detritus still in the hallways, but most of these rooms have been cleaned top-to-bottom and in a couple more weeks the halls will be cleared so the floors there can be stripped and waxed and ready for the new school year.

This is also the distance between the office (below left) and the library (above) that I have been travelling many times over the past couple of weeks due to being displaced by the construction in the office.  I'm not complaining however.  I am getting much more exercise than I normally do which is, in the long run, a good thing.  

In the hallways you can find several ways to CLIMB - with ladders that are scattered about at this time of year.  

Everyone will be looking for the one below in a couple of weeks to get their rooms back in order.

I've missed a few prompts this month and not necessarily accidentally.  I skipped "in the corner" on 7/24, "jump" on 7/29, and do not feel the need to do today's prompt which is "I dislike" as I do not wish to take a picture of something that fits that category.  

Admittedly, I do like doing the photo challenges but I tried to accomplish too many things this month.  Anyhoo, what I did was fun.  Thanks for looking.

ICAD 2015 - Week 8

I should be finishing this today but our Merry Fishmas party put me a little behind. Who am I kidding - it put me very behind on a number of things, but guess what?  It's almost August and there's still lot's of summer left to get these things caught up. Lessons have been learned though.  Like the need to limit participation in too many things.  Ah, but they are fun, so let me get on with getting on........

Day 50 - Kimono
In my mind, kimonos are made out of silk.  Well, maybe just the fanciest ones are made out of silk. So I decided to create my own patterned "silk" with my Twinkling H2O's.  Each of the bird and leaf motifs has faux stitching on them in an attempt to mimic embroidery.  This is a fail - it's shiny like silk, but it's a mess.  I don't mind using the Twinkling H2O's to paint with, but the index card paper was not very easy to work with and this is just a mess.  However, I spent way too much time on it to just discard it and I did learn something from it, so all is not lost. 

You can see the sheen a little better in this photo.

Day 51 - Symmetry
What is used most to represent symmetry when teaching this concept - a butterfly.  Done in Zig Clean Color markers.

Day 52 - Garden
This would be a wannabe garden border done in my Zig Clean Color markers with water.  Lupines.  I did have lupines in our border at one time, but they proved to be candy for the deer as so many of the other perennials we planted did that we gave up on them.  Still, I love the colors and if you get a chance, you should check out the children's book Miss Rumphius by Barbara Cooney, not only for the story but the beautiful illustrations. 

Check out the video below for the story.

Day 53 - Raindrop
Funny how raindrops and teardrops are often depicted with the same shape.  Is that why rainy days make us feel so sad?  This was an experimentation in resist.  I used several different colors of Prismacolor pencils - which are wax based colored pencils - and washed over them with Kuretake watercolors to see how well they would resist the watercolor and you can see all of them though some are easier to see than others.  

Day 54 - Envelope
I created a tangle resembling and envelope and then just for kicks added a little folded paper envelope with a would be love letter inside.

Day 55 - France
I must admit that I was at a loss with this one.  I had several different ideas running through my head, but it wasn't until during a phone conversation with my daughter while I was trying to draw croissants with no success that I mentioned to her the difficulty I was having coming up with something representative of France and she started firing off things, one of which was Fleur de lis.  Oh, oh, I have a tiny little fleur de lis punch I can use, I thought.  And then I saw the roll of black and white diamond washi tape on my art cart and thought of Harlequins.  So this then came quickly together punching the fleur de lis' out of lavender (again thinking fields of French lavender) washi tape.

Day 56 - Machine
You're probably looking at this and thinking you don't see a machine.  Ah, but there are many simple machines in this - inclined planes. I used my Derwent Inktense pecils, an aquapainter, and a silver fine-tipped marker to delineate the wedges all of which are different colors although some may look very similar.

So with Week 8 done, there are only 5 more days of cards to do and I hope to have them done this weekend to wrap up this year's ICAD experience.

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Merry Fishmas! (Our Beautiful World, Anything But a Card, July Photo Challenge too)

I had this idea about 4 years ago when I purchased a skinny, apple-green metallic Christmas tree in the after holiday sales that fit perfectly on the landing of the stairs of our condo.  Since we don't celebrate Christmas there, I thought it might be fun to celebrate Christmas in July when we are there or as we are calling it now Merry Fishmas!  I have been collecting "pins" in my Christmas in July Pinterest folder for that long, and just needed the opportunity to finally go through with scheduling it. Social obligations and then last year, my back injury kind of stood in the way then, but this year, since we didn't have a big celebration for my 60th birthday, we decided to finally do this.

First, e-mail invites were issued back in the beginning of spring and then a few weeks ago I mailed out these reminders.  I had this fish die that I used to make into a little card and then took a stamp set that had several different sized fish and made them into a tree shape.

The message was hand-written. (Oh, and that's a little starfish on top of the fish tree.)

The tree was brought down and decorated and so were we in our Merry Fishmas shirts (via Cafe Press).

Company arrived and after some chit-chat, we got out the fishing poles and headed across the street to do some fishing at the dock.

First fish was caught by HWNSNBP (thrown back in - too small and yes, he insisted he had to change out of his shirt because he didn't want to get it fishy, but he put it back on later).

Then I caught a little non-keeper.  We took up quite a span of the dock as you can see Rachel and another friend at the rail.  (Sheesh, I really need a haircut!) And one more fish was caught after that.

I just had to take a picture of my daughter's hair.  It looked so pretty in the sunlight and you can barely see the pink highlights she had at the ends.

We had people as well as the gulls watching us.

After a bit we went back to have a bite.

Lasagna and a meatball sub accompanied by this cucumber, strawberry and feta salad with poppyseed dressing in Christmas colors.

For dessert I made a strawberry and grape Christmas tree that sat atop the fruit salad. There were Santa hat brownies, and of course, Christmas cookies.

Then we played some Go Fish.

Some friends brought little gifts including this Hallmark cupcake crab - so cute - that I immediately added it to the tree.

And while the sun set behind us, we ventured out onto the front balcony to listen to the concert at the dock across the street - the band playing hits from the 50's and 60's had us singing quietly along.

I sent our guests home with a little goody bag that included Swedish Fish, Goldfish crackers, and a Go Fish game all their own, and a little lunch box full of some of those leftover Christmas cookies.

Inside the bag was also an ornament that I made using these little denim canvas squares, rope, shells, and polished stones.  

It was a small group yesterday as some of the other's invited had obligations they couldn't get out of, but it was fun and we might just have to do this again next year. 

I'm using some of these photos for:
Our Beautiful World - our Gold Fish Game for the Game theme this week
Anything But a Card - my shell ornaments for the Anything Goes theme

My photo challenges for July 25 - Colorful (the salad) and July 26 - Black and White (the gull)


Saturday, July 25, 2015

Our Beautiful World - Layers


Water - tile - brick - fence - sea grass - sky.

The sunflowers in the pool enclosure are such a lovely and eye-catching addition.

I've been very busy this week getting ready for our Merry Fishmas celebration and I'm afraid this addition to Our Beautiful World's layers theme is a bit weak, but I had good intentions - really, as I took this picture last Sunday shortly after I saw the theme. I just forgot to keep looking for more.  But I love these layers just the same.  

Let's see the layers from other parts of Our Beautiful World

Thursday, July 23, 2015

ICAD 2015 - Week 7, CREATE - Photo Challenge

One thing I think I've finally learned is if you get behind, do the prompts that you have ideas for so you don't get into a stall which is where I was mid-week again.  It also helps to take the list as it's published on the Friday before and really start brainstorming ahead of time.  I mean, like writing it down, not just thinking about it.  I've taken to making my list on another index card that I also use to clean my aquapainter on, and try my pen points and colors before putting them to paper.  Kind of like the paper on my craft table (I've not been using my craft room for these.  They've all been done either on my dining room table at home or our table at the condo.)  So shall we proceed......

Day 43 - Definition
I'm sure it could have meant definition in the sense of well-defined drawing, however I took it literally and shared a definition.  Do you see things in clouds sometimes?  Then you have experienced pareidolia also.  I used a white crayon as a resist for my "clouds" and washed watercolors over them for the sky.  They still needed more definition so I add white watercolor to the letters.  The definition was added in Micron marker.

Day 44 - Focus or Blur
As seen through a pair of watercolored binoculars. Derwent Inktense Pencils.

Day 45 - Saturday Night Live
I really haven't watch this often, but I do know that it comes on at 11:30 Saturday nigh on the peacock network. Fantasia watercolor pencils, Micron marker, silver fine tip marker.

Day 46 - Album Cover
This would not be a record album.  This would be the cover of an album of all the stories that have been told and retold over the years by our Table 7 group.  Reliving our youth in verbal way.  Entitled "Exactly About" meaning that's exactly about what happened.  Like the night the guys were camping in the pine barrens and along came a girl in a white nightgown out of nowhere.  There was a guy following at distance behind her with a baseball bat hitting each tree as they traveled through the woods and came upon the campsite.  Their car was stuck in the sand and they needed help getting out.  Not being there, I can only picture an ethereal woman in white in the woods.  And not that we would be camping anytime soon, but if there was a woman in a white nightgown coming at us with a man following her with a baseball bat these days, I don't think I'd be sticking around to find out why.

Day 47 - Fashion
I was going to do fabric swatches and got really lazy and decided to create my own "fabric" with Prismacolor pencils.  Imagine those orange ovals to be French knots, or seed beads amongst random blue stitching.

48 - Disco
A sad, sad attempt to show the sparkle up close of a disco ball.  Used silver and gold fine-tip markers.

Held at an angle it does reflect light, but not anywhere near like a real disco ball.

Day 49 - Black and White
On my list of ideas was a zebra - this is not a zebra.  But you didn't need me to tell you that I'm sure.   Micron marker and white gel pen.

Today's photo challenge prompt is CREATE and I need to go do that now as we are having a Christmas in July party this weekend with the theme "Merry Fishmas!" and I promised cookies would be on the menu.  Trying some new recipes well before the holidays to see if they are worth doing then.  And there will be decorations and fishing and, well, I can't tell you everything now because there may be peekers.   

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Doubling Up - Group, Parallel Lines - Photo Challenge

With so many possibilities for photos of a group, I happened to look down at my desk at work at a GROUP or pile of rubber bands that I had rescued from my rubber band ball to use for something I was working on.  This is how they came off the ball.  The ball is so big that they really get stretched out and just naturally curl up.  

I've been relocated to the school library to work this week as they are jack-hammering the concrete pad and sidewalk outside our front entrance.  Noise I do not need!  There were a number of things in the library that could have been used for this prompt, but I thought this might be the most colorful.

The angle of the picture sure makes it seem that if you continued those silver bars downward they would intersect eventually, but it's just the way the picture was taken.  

Monday, July 20, 2015

Hiding, In the Distance, Sunshine - Photo Challenge

This post covers the last three days of the photo challenge and last night's sunset.

The herons were all gathered in the trees as if they were HIDING from some predator on the ground.  It's really quite a sight from our back porch balcony.  I wish that they were closer.

In the distance you can see them all lined up in some kind of feeding frenzy.  They have been changing hangouts the last several days.  I guess they eat and eat whatever it is that is "hatching" in one area and then move on to the next.

This morning (we took a vacation day today) we had our first attempt at fishing for the summer. Well, our first attempt together.  HWNSNBP did fish on July 4th as he traditionally does.  But today we started the day with our poles.  I got some hits on my line, but I think it was probably the baitfish going after my bait.  The bay was calm and peaceful and the dock was virtually empty.  There was an Asian couple fishing in our "regular spot" so we located ourselves in a different area, but they didn't seem to be having any luck either.  Strangely - I've never seen this - they were both wearing purple rubber gloves while they were fishing.  We don't know why, but I can't imagine, as it was 84ยบ at 8 a.m. already, how they could possibly be comfortable wearing rubber gloves in that heat.  

The prompt for today was sunshine and here it is reflected off the water.  

And now just pictures of the sunset last night.

Tell me, what, if anything, do you see here?