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.


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.  

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Jingle Belles - Festive Foliage

We're celebrating the holly and the ivy - festive foliage of the holidays with the Jingle Belles this time.  I used this string of bells die to decorate with some holiday foliage which was also die cut.  The background panel is embossed with tons of poinsettias.  

I also used a piece of vintage ribbon with more poinsettias.  The white is a lot white IRL.  The bells were cut from silver metallic paper.  

Since we're having a snow day tomorrow with a March blizzard forecasted for our area I am going to try to get another card done for this challenge.  Stella is the name of the storm.  They're using all kinds of adjectives for this one - historic being one of them.  And I hope that it doesn't turn out to be as historic as the last storm that began with an "S" - Sandy.  We are in the 18-24" path.  Thank goodness for snowblowers.  

We have a pool going with our Table 7 crew as to the final accumulation total using our house (the furthest north) as the measuring point.  Might as well make it interesting, although I think that all our guesses will be less than what we actually get according to all the weather service hype.  

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

Monday, March 13, 2017

Happy Birthday HWNSNBP

I cased a card I saw on Pinterest made by Michelle Zindorf.  It reminded me so much of our walks to the ocean and seeing all the birds, but the birds we see are mostly white.  The little stones are actual stones I've picked up on some of those beach visits.  

Friday, March 10, 2017

Friendly Friday Fill-Ins - Something New

Some paper succulents I've been practicing on for an upcoming project.

Something new I saw from McGuffy's Reader and 15andmeowing via Under the Oaks - Friendly Fill-Ins.  They post the fill-in prompts on Thursday and you have a few days to fill in the blanks and share.  So I thought I'd give it a try today.

1.  I hope This is Us gets renewed for another season.  Though I'm fairly certain it has already.  The format of the show is so very different - paralleling the past and the present - and interesting. Looking forward to learning more about this family.

2.  My first crush was Paul B. in second grade.  All the girls had a crush on him.  Funny thing as it turned out, in our high school play "The Impossible Years" I had the role of the friend of the main character and the opening scene for the second act was a party scene with me sitting on Paul's lap and "making out".  Way past the crush - it was truly acting.  

3. Riding in the car usually makes me tired.  There's something about the motion of the car that just puts me to sleep anymore.  Our journeys to the kids homes or the condo all take one to two hours so after the first 15-20 minutes HWNSNBP knows that I'll be shutting my eyes soon.  I have my neck pillow and usually something to cover up under, tilt the seat back sometimes, and even though the radio might be on, I'm out.   

4.  If I were a super-hero I would be skinny and full of energy.  No? Okay.  If I were a super-hero I would be able to answer a phone, answer a doorbell, write a late pass, and listen to the morning announcements all at the same time.  Oh wait, I do that every day.  Let's try again.  If I were a super-hero I would be able to see the future.  No, there are things I might not want to see.  One more try.  If I were a super-hero I would be able to stay awake riding in the car for more than 20 minutes. 

A note-so-very-helpful note from school this week.  I seldom see adults sign their notes "from".  Thankfully the teacher's name was there otherwise I wouldn't know who the father or the daughter was until 1:00.  

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Scribble Picnic - Umbrella

Our Scribble Picnic prompt for this week is UMBRELLA and I waffled around on this one. 

First I thought about the little poem that I had memorized as a child - The Elf and the Dormouse which tells how umbrellas were first invented and that I highlighted in a post from 2011 after coming across some interesting mushrooms on a bike ride.  I started a pencil sketch on an index card at work but got distracted and didn't finish it.

Then at home I was playing around with some watercolors on another index card trying to get the supports at the right angles to make an umbrella look like it was open. (And as you can see one got away from me.)

More practice with a pencil and then throwing some more watercolors in.  Then I got a little crazy and outlined the flowers in marker. (That smush under them was cleaning the brush off after the umbrella was painted which I guess could almost be a puddle all the flowers were landing in.)

Trying out some more umbrellas, but not paying attention to what I was doing because they had too many segments.  And also using this to practice writing the quote I wanted to use.  I was aiming for a scribbly look.

And this is my final piece. The umbrella colored with Prismacolors and blended.  The background in Koi watercolors and the writing with a Pitt pen.  So, if you imagine as the story goes, as usually happens to me, this umbrella got caught in a car door and that is why the sides are a bit wonky there at the top.  I flubbed the writing also, but it has a comfortable home in my sketchbook with some lessons well learnt.  

I've already taken a peak and there are some beautiful renditions of umbrellas in the gallery.  Won't you join me by clicking here to see them all?

And just as a head's up - in case you want to join in, the prompt for next week is LANTERN.

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Art Journaling Daisy Yellow Wonder31 Prompts

 Got some more pages done to share - not necessarily in correct order.

Prompt: Light - or lots of light bulbs in marker, gel pen, and colored pencils.

Prompt:  Pencil - in pencil.

Prompt:  Lyrics - a watercolor backdrop to the lyrics from our wedding song.

Prompt:  Chevron - in Koi watercolors

And then with some added marker.  

Prompt:  Zebra - marker

Prompt:  Architecture - my Scribble Picnic cabin serving double duty.

Prompt:  Circles - in watercolor and marker on my teabag wrapper.  (Expect to see more of these.)