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!

Sunday, July 23, 2017

ICAD 2017 - Week 7 - Days 43 - 49

Week 7  - Themes (optional)
 (sorry for the busy background, should have chosen better)

Days 43 - 49 Prompts (optional) 

Day 43 - Lyrics
Inktense pencils and Micron marker.  Lyrics from "Late Lament" by the Moody Blues.  Inspired by a post on Facebrook from a friend attending their concert that evening.  

Day 44 - Denim or Blue
Prima watercolors on gessoed card.  Collaged with denim scrap, stickers, corrugated cardboard scraps and punch waste.

Day 45 - Night Sky
Peerless watercolors, white acrylic paint, gel marker, glow in the dark star sticker.  Some more lyrics on this one from "Three Stars Will Shine Tonight".  Do you remember Dr. Kildare?  I think he was my first crush.  

Day 46 - Love
Prima watercolors and Micron pen.  

Day 47 - Layers.
This idea started when I picked up some loose bark pieces from a tree adjacent to our school parking lot.  I sorted through some of my stash to find something to go with it and luckily found a selection of owls that I thought would be perfect with the woodsy items.  How many owls can you spot? 

Day 48 - Intersection
These little arrow stickers (or are they supposed to be houses????) reminded me of the arrows that you see on maps that say "YOU ARE HERE".  So I labeled each intersection in that way.

Day 49 - Charm Bracelet
Tambi watercolors, metallic brush markers, Micron pen, Caran D'Ache Pablo pencils.  You can see my full write-up on this card here as I also used it in conjunction with the Scribble Picnic theme of LADYBUG this week.  

Twelve days to go with these.  

Turtle Weekend

Last weekend we took a ride down to Tuckerton and Great Bay Boulevard.  There were a lot of signs noting that this was a turtle crossing area.  We saw 4 of them.  This is the last one we saw who happened to be very slow and shy.  It was also the one closest to the middle of the road and didn't motor off towards the edges when we stopped for me to hop out for a picture.  

I believe that it's a terrapin that's usually found in the coastal marshes where we were.

The habitat is mostly like this.  Riding down the road you sometimes feel that you are below the water line.  This expanse is dotted here and there with not only birds, but occasionally people who have waded or walked out to crab.  

Back at the condo for the evening the sunset over the marshy area in the back.

Waking up to a small party of birds at the water's edge.

And then we hightailed it over to Barnegat Light for an early morning bike ride.  HWNSNBP rode ahead of me at one point to check out this little area of hidden beach and came back to tell me that there was a little turtle hatchery set up not far from the entrance.  So you know I had to go see for myself.

Each of those wooden stakes is marked with a date.

Along our bike route we noticed these Turtle Bucket containers.

Directions were either clipped to the side or written directly on the bucket covering.  

Inside were children's beach buckets which were to be used for marking turtle nests.  

We didn't see any turtles ourselves in that area this time.  We have in the past but they were elusive this day.  

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?