Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Scribble Picnic - BOOKS

Our picnics have been on a little hiatus but we're back on track with our theme of BOOKS this week.

My daughter-in-law took this picture of our grandson a couple of months ago.  She said he was playing in his play room while she was working in the kitchen and it occurred to her that she didn't hear anything coming from that room so she thought she'd better check it out.  There he was with all his books dumped out onto the floor and "reading".  I just love the way that she captured this from above with all the colors and books strewn about.  And also remarkable is the fact that the book he's looking at is right-side-up.  He's only about 10 months old here.  

I've tried to capture the scene in my sketchbook with some watercolor pencils.  The puzzle-pieced floor is a little wonky, but I'm okay with that.  

Won't you join me as I check out all the Picnicker's books?  You can by clicking here.  And should you care to join in next time, the upcoming theme is LETTERS/MAIL.  

And one more mention that ICAD begins tomorrow, June 1st.  If you're looking for a fun challenge that will stretch your artistic muscles check it out here.  

Wrapping up May and a Plug for ICAD

As the title says - here are some projects I worked on this month and haven't shared yet and a plug for ICAD.
This quote came up on my screen saver at work and I just had to try illustrating it in my sketchbook.

A friend of ours asked HWNSNBP and I to help her with a project for her son-in-law.  See that poster below, well, she asked us to make that character out of wood and about 4' tall.  I drew a one-inch grid on the poster and then, on the 4' piece of wood (see this post) I added a grid to that in a larger scale so I could draw the character.  HWNSNBP then cut it out with one of his numerous saws.  (It's a running joke in our house that I might die with the most toys, but he has the most expensive ones!) Then we sent the cut piece back to our friend who had someone lined up to paint it.  

Unfortunately, that fell through so it came back to me and I spent a few days painting.  

You can get an idea of the size of it next to my 6'1" husband who now has to add something to this to make it stand alone.  

A birthday card for a May birthday.  I had the image already colored and found it in my stash and thought it was perfect for a May birthday.  I added the embossed panel and the sentiment.

This iris surprised us by blooming this year.  It hasn't bloomed for many years now, but it sure does look pretty.  I think we'll have to move it where it can get more sun and maybe we won't have to wait so long for it to bloom again.

This is a testament to the rainy/damp weather we've had during May.  At first I thought this was a tennis ball on the lawn because that's about the size of the top.  Then upon looking closer discovered it was some kind of mushroom/toadstool.   I can't remember ever seeing any of this color before.

And I just wanted to add a picture, or pictures of the view from the back bedroom in the condo.  On a clear day it could be mistaken for a triptych of paintings.  

Even with clouds it's pretty.  And believe me when I say that there are many birds out there.  Swans, gulls, egrets, ducks, cormorants and more.  Since Sandy came through there are more "green" things growing in the marsh grass and I'm afraid in a few years, those pines will be obscuring most or some of this view.  

And to finish off these random things for the month of May with the announcement that ICAD starts tomorrow.  Index Card A Day for the next 61 days sponsored by Daisy Yellow
I would encourage anyone to jump in and give it a try.  You don't have to be an artist but you might find the artist in you.  You don't have to paint or color, you can write prose or poetry, catalog favorite quotations, make lists, share dreams or anecdotes.  The point is to put something on an index card every day for 61 days.  That's right.  Be creative in some way for several minutes every day.  You'd be surprised at the satisfaction that you get for being productive in that way.  At a loss for ideas? There are prompts, but you don't have to use them.  You can find your inspiration anywhere.  Trust me, I've done this for the last three years and found it very rewarding (search ICAD to see previous posts).  No "art" supplies?  Everyone has a pencil and a pen.  I've used highlighters in a pinch, and even stamped a design with cherries.  Go ahead and give it a try - put your creative juices to work. 

Monday, May 29, 2017

Memorial Day Commemoration

Each year on the last day of school before the Memorial Day weekend our school has a special event which we refer to as our Memorial Day Commemoration.  During the week leading up to this day our students and staff fill out these die cut flags with the names of the members of their families that have served and are serving in our armed forces.  They line the hallways outside their rooms.  I put my flags on the front of my counter.  My white flags are for the veterans in my family, my father, uncle, and brother-in-law.  The red and blue flags are part of our extended family, my daughter-in-law's sister and brother-in-law who are currently serving.  I am grateful to all of them for their service to our country and the freedom that they stand for.

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Jingle Belles - Blue Christmas

This Jingle Belle challenge is Blue Christmas and our cards have to be predominantly blue.  

No, this is not a sheriff's badge.  Funny, I hadn't thought it resembled one until I looked at these photos. (And I probably shouldn't have mentioned that because you'll probably think the same now.) The sides are straight, just showing where the crease is for a fancy-fold on my mostly blue card.

It's an easel card. I used Star of Light clear embossed with blue ink as the center image and then backed that with a silver glitter star die cut.  The sentiment comes from SU's Wonderful Blessing. Three shades of blue were used along with white and silver.  

Here's a side view so you can see how the "easel" works.  

I love blue cards for Christmas and you really have to see the cards that our hostesses made - beautiful!!!!  Click here to check out their's and the rest of the Belles too!

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Scribble Picnic Postponed - Sharing Journal Pages

Our Scribble Picnic has been postponed for a couple of weeks due to a death in our host's family.  Thoughts and prayers to Michael and his family during this sorrowful time.  It was the general consensus that we should respectfully wait until he returns so as not to interrupt the attention that he and his family need right now. 

In the meantime I thought I'd post some pages from my sketchbook.  No prompts here, just playing with some new art products like Mermaid Markers and watercolors.  

Fantasy foliage.  

Nice vibrant colors of the Mermaid Markers.  I bought a set for a birthday present and treated myself also.  The ink is contained in waterbrushes and very, almost too easy to use.  

The next couple of pages were done with some new watercolors - Prima Marketing Watercolor Confections.  I had them on my Amazon wishlist and got a notification that they were at a special price - almost half off.  Who could pass that up?  Certainly not me.  I've been trying to use the site to place orders. Amazon will donate a portion of the sales to a charity that you designate.  I've chose The Raptor Trust.  It's only pennies it seems but pennies accumulate quickly.  

I also like the fact that you can make wishlists and make them shareable on Amazon.  It makes it easy for gift-giving when you're looking for something that someone really wants.  Whether for the holidays, birthdays, or Mother's Day (thank you Rachel!), it's so convenient.  

And.... this is turning into a "praise Amazon" post.......  I had several gift cards, VISA and Mastercard, that I was able to convert online to a reloadable Amazon gift card recently.  There were a couple of items that were a little pricier on my list that I was able to get now that I combined those other gift cards.  What did I order................ well, ICAD is coming up beginning June 1st and you will definitely see something then.  

(This is the same page as above but with some black marker highlights.)

That's all for now, but remember, now that we have another two weeks for the next Scribble Picnic prompt of BOOKS due on May 31, think about joining us. 

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Random Project Round-Up

The daughter of one of my co-workers is getting married this summer out-of-state.  So her mom is planning a little bridal shower for her here for some family and friends who will not be able to make the wedding.  She asked me to help with invitations using a dress theme.  I quickly looked through Pinterest for some ideas and found this cute card (click here).  (Register pet peeve here - when people pin the project instead of the post and you can't get back to the original to find out who to give credit to!!!)  My friend had this dress cookie cutter that she is using to make special cookies for the shower which turned out to fit perfectly on the front of the invite.  I didn't have a stamp that said Bridal Shower so I used the computer and some white cardstock to get it on there.  Note:  The coral color is much darker in this picture that it is IRL.  With the two of us working, and with the right tools, we made 18 of these in about an hour.  She did have to take them home to glue the bows on.  

Friends of our recently celebrated their 40th anniversary.  We'll have two more of those this year, including ours, and one next year.  So I've decided that this will be the card for them all, though they will all have different "floral arrangements" and colors.  I used this tutorial from Adinktive Design which I fell in love with when I saw the samples, but be forwarned that the tutorial is just for the box part.  You do the floral arranging on your own making each card distinctive.  

Last week Rachel asked me to make a card for the officer that works in her school building.  A few days before, a Delaware State Trooper was shot and killed at a convenience store near her home and she wanted to show their school officer that they appreciate the fact that he is there to protect them.  I used a brick embossing folder for the black wall with a thin blue line across it. Thank you is spelled out in silver letters. 

The base of the card is white allowing space inside for a note of thanks.  

And since I took that picture on top of something in the works, I'll show you the finished panel yet to become a card. This stamp was a gift from my blogging friend Sabrina.  I stamped the design in kraft ink on kraft paper and used inks and an aquapainter to color it.  I like the coloring, but I think I'm going to try stamping it in a darker color, possibly black for a little more ..........something.  

That's the Round-Up for now.  

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Happy Mother's Day

I found these cards (minus the Mother's Day sentiment) in a pile of incompletes so I finished putting them together and added the sentiment to use for Mother's Day today.  I remember I had borrowed this set "Roses In Winter" from my upline to make them several years ago and then, before I could order the set it was retired.  Well, I found it on ebay recently and got it for a song, so I think I'll be making a few more other occasion cards from it.  Roses any time of the year.

Hope everyone is having a wonderful Mother's Day!

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Scribble Picnic - POTTED PLANT

This time of year we're usually making trips mainly to the Great Swamp Nursery for our annuals.  I get to pick out the flowers and HWNSNBP gets to pot them up.  Sounds fair doesn't it (he is color blind after all).  He has a few things planted already, but I decided to go with something that was already in the house.  This lovely orchid plant that the staff gave me for Administrative Professional's Day.  I can't keep it at work because the office temperature fluctuates too much.  With the school being empty on the weekends, in the warmer weather it would be too hot, so I brought it home to join the other orchids I've been lucky enough to keep alive.  I hope it finds it's new home as cozy as they have. 

I did the sketch in pencil and asked HWNSNBP (He Whose Name Shall Not Be Published) if he knew what it was.  He said "yes, it's the orchid on the table.  Of course it will look more like an orchid when you color it."  I guess that was a suggestion that I should color it.  So here it is. 

I hope you'll take a look at the other plants that the Picnickers are sharing today.  You can by clicking here.  Oh, and should you like to join in next time, the theme is BOOKS.

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Flowers and Birds

The year after my father passed the kids and I planted some pink and blue forget-me-nots at the cemetery.  The spring following that pink and blue forget-me-nots appeared in our yard.  I had blue ones in a totally different location and thought that it was highly unlikely that they spread from there only to this space.  Then they disappeared from that spot.  This spring they turned up again, across the macadam from where I found them the last time and again away from where they were supposed to be, on the other side of the house.  

In front of the fence, where I had originally found them, was now a single pink and white tulip.  I have never planted tulips there and we haven't had tulips in the yard for just about 30 years because the deer love to eat them.  This baffled me, but then I realized that I found that tulip the night before what would have been my father's birthday so I feel certain that he had something to do with it's magical appearance.  

Two things, well maybe we'll call it three, happened last Thursday - National Bird Day.  As I was getting out of my car at school, one of the teachers pointed out to me this bird that she had been watching attack the side mirror and windshield of the other secretary's car in the parking lot. We both watched it for a few minutes and laughed at it's antics.  The bird, it turns out, was attacking all the mirrors in that particular section of the lot.  (Today I found it on my car when I was leaving.)  It's a catbird and he must be seeing himself in the mirror and thinking it's an intruder into his territory. (Not my car in the picture.)

But earlier that particular morning I had been standing at the kitchen sink looking out the window and because I was used to seeing black, white, and red birds at the feeder in the form of woodpeckers and flickers, I almost missed realizing that there was a totally new bird there that I had never seen before.  A male rose-breasted grosbeak - a member of the cardinal family.  I held my breath as I reached for my camera hoping that by the time I got it ready the bird would still be there.  Lucky I was that he hadn't flown away so I could get some pictures, even if they're a little shaky. 

Isn't he beautiful!  I haven't seen him since but I hope to!

Oh, and the third thing - quite silly really - since it was bird day, and chicken day at that, and since our students had just finished four days of standardized testing (PARCC), I played them out of the school with the chicken dance over the loudspeaker and everyone got a good laugh.  

Monday, May 8, 2017

Jingle Belles - My True Love Gave to Me

The challenge is to make a card relating to the 12 days of Christmas, or has hearts on it, or is for someone you love.  

I know there's a stamp set out there that has all the 12 days of Christmas. I know because my friend Sabrina made me a wonderful little folding book one Christmas using that set.  But I looked long and hard through my own stash and could not come up with anything.  Well, not entirely true.  I did have a stamp from the $1 bin at Mike's that would have worked, but it was way too small.  So instead of using the stamp I used paper to create the scene that was on the stamp.  

I used a flower punch that had 5 pointy petals and made each petal into a leaf in three shades of green.  Then I outlined each leaf with some gold glitter marker.  The leaves were added to a circle of green to make a tree.  Next I cut out some little pears and a partridge from some gold paper.  The trunk is also of that same paper.  I embossed the sentiment on the darkest shade of green paper in gold.  I used that dark shade of green for the card base, layered a gold frame next and then the red background paper which happens to have hearts on it.  I kind of like the way this came out.  

Now it's time to head over to the Jingle Belles blog to visit all the other ladies and see what they're giving or getting from their true love.  Please click here to join me.  

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Scribble Picnic - DOOR

I've never before 
Seen a purple door
Alongside a tile
That made me smile
In the car we were stuck
because of a truck
I couldn't just look
So a picture I took

I did this over the weekend and meant to go back to add some more detail with some markers and I just might in the future, but for now I'm sharing it as is - crooked on purpose too.

This week's Scribble Picnic theme is DOOR.  Last August we were on our way through Princeton when we inadvertently got stuck in a traffic jam caused by a truck blocking the street ahead of us.  As we were sitting there for a few minutes this little scene caught my eye and I grabbed my camera to get a picture of it because I liked the color combination and thought it might make a pretty card.  

Please join me to see what all the other Picnickers have done with this theme by clicking here.  And should you wish to join in next week, the theme is POTTED PLANT.

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

April Wrap-Up

There were a couple projects here there in April that I didn't get to post.  The first being the birthday card that I made for my office co-worker.  

This "pebble-art" project was part of a birthday gift for a friend who shares a love of birds and paper arts. The pebbles are from our yard.  I coated them with some Mod Podge and dotted the eye on the pebble.  The legs and beaks are drawn on the watercolored background.  The branches and flowers are die cuts.  I was lucky to find this little shadowbox frame at IKEA.

One of the teachers I work with asked me to make some tags for bridal shower favors. 

They were attached to flower-shaped cookie pops which were displayed in a planter box.  

And this card was made a while ago and used in the Write_On challenge that I attempted this month. I say attempted because I didn't quite get through the month.  The weeks around Easter became so filled with other things that needed to be accomplished so I needed to put this on the back burner.  I still have my list of recipients and a stack of notecards so I will finish up eventually, just not in April.

How was your month?  We're definitely rushing to the finish line with the school year with less than 40 days to go.  Mother Nature is heating things up and Spring is quickly moving forward.  The days are enjoyably longer and the yard is beckoning for attention.  I just might have to do some weeding soon.