Tuesday, June 30, 2020

ICAD Week 4

The last full week of June is behind us and we're almost half-way done with this challenge.  It's gone so quickly.  It's been fun and truly challenging at times.  I'm sure there will be more challenging days ahead.  But let me get on with what I've accomplished so far.

Day 22/61 - Anchor - This started as just an anchor mandala and grew into a sea scene of sorts.

Micron, General's Watercolor Pencils, Derwent Inktense Pencils

Day 23/61 - Terrarium 
The framed part is actually a 3x5 index card that I did as a warm-up to the start of ICAD unknowing it would come up as a prompt.  I added the little story around it - It was Valentine's Day 2017 and instead of spending money on cut flowers that would only last a few days my husband took me to a garden center and we created our terrarium.   This terrarium went to school with me and sat on my counter until it came home during this quarantine where it will stay and hopefully be as happy.

Day 24/61 - Emerald
This started with the idea of drawing/painting an emerald green parrot.  While I was looking for pictures of green parrots, I was remembering some recent posts on FB about local people finding parakeets at their feeders.  Pet parakeets.  I was sad when I read that because I know that they will not survive our winter climate but I remembered that there was a colony of Monk Parakeets in Northern New Jersey that had adapted to the Jersey weather.  These are the Monk Parakeets that have that pretty green and grey coloration.

Micron, Derwent Inktense Pencils, General's Watercolor Pencils

Day 25/61 - Cappuccino
Who knew that there really are Cappuccino Roses.  Google them - they're beautiful beige and pink.

Prima Watercolors (Complexion), White Gelly Roll, Chalk Pencil

26/61 - Bougainvillea
There are two cards for this day because I wasn't too thrilled with the first one and had another idea for the second.  The first was the flowers added to an already prepared card that I had trying some crayon resist and watercolor on.  The flowers were done with oil pastels.

White Crayon, Watercolors, Gallery Oil Pastels, Graphite Pencil, White Out

This is a tangled version of Bougainvillea.

Micron Markers, Prismacolor Pencils

Day 27/61 - Souvenir
I had seen a picture on a friends timeline of rocks on the beach of the Amalfi Coast.  These are my kind of souvenirs - pebbles or shells.  Some people have rocks in their head, I have rocks in my pocket.  I've pocketed beach stones, landscape stones from the miniature golf course, walkways, etc.  Not many are as pretty as these though.

Derwent Inktense Pencils, General's Watercolor Pencils, Gallery Oil Pastel, White Gelly Roll, White Out, Graphite Pencil

Day 28/61 - Wind Chime

General's Watercolor Pencils, Micron Pens (I added some MicroGlaze to the center piece hoping it would give it more of a shine.  It does IRL but not so much in the picture.)

This will be a busy week ahead so I'm trying to work a little ahead of myself so I can enjoy the time with family coming up.  And I'm finally going to be able to get my hair cut this week!!!!  I have missed 4 haircuts during this pandemic and my hair grows fast.  I am not used to having this much hair.  Not only does it fall into my face, it's actually curling in the back and almost down to my collar - not what I'm used to.  I am so looking forward to this.

Monday, June 22, 2020

ICAD Week 3 (And Something To Make You Smile)

Three weeks into June and it's starting to really heat up.  Regular school is out and I am on vacation until July.  They won't be back in the office full time until August, so I will only have to go in one day a week until then, or more if I need to.  I'll still be working from home, but with the teachers gone now, there's basically only the ordering to do and getting ready for the next school year which they are still trying to figure out.  They've chosen a replacement for me and the tricky part is going to be how to "train" her and remain socially distant.  This will be interesting.  But let me get on with showing my ICAD's for the last week.

Day 15/61 - Dandelion
Dandelions at the bottom of my Home Depot Bucket

Micron Pen, Derwent Inktense Pencils, General's Watercolor Pencils

Day 16/61 - Robot
Based on the Robot from the 1951 film "The Day the Earth Stood Still" one of HWNSNBP's favorites which is to be watched whenever it is on.

Microns, Derwent Inktense Pencils, General's Watercolor Pencils

Day 17/61 - Mustard Yellow

AC Moore Watercolors, Wrapping Paper Butterfly, Gift bag flowers

Day 18/61 - Six Word Story

Gallery Oil Pastels, Gel Pen, Graphite Pencil 

Day 19/61 - Pause

Microns, Zig Watercolor Brush Pens

Day 20/61 - Birdhouse (Based on a picture I took way back in 2008)

Micron Pen, Derwent Inktense Pencils, General's Watercolor Pencils

The colors aren't as vibrant, but I'm pleased with it.

Day 21/61 - Geode

Gallery Oil Pastels, Gel Pens, Bic Correction Fluid
(There really is silver in there.  I could not get it to show up in the photo.)

And now here is something to make you smile as I promised - 

Monday, June 15, 2020

ICAD Week 2

The second week of ICAD has flown by.  There are usually one or two prompts that I have to research such as the first one below.  

Day 8/61 - Suzani Pattern
 A type of embroidered and decorative textile from central Asian countries. Suzan is Persian for needle.

Micron Pen, Moonlight Gelly Roll, Marvy LePen, General's Watercolor Pencils

Day 9/61 - Bookshelf
Micron Pen
(enbiggan to see the quotes)

Day 10/61 - David Bowie
Some thought that David Bowie had two different colored eyes.  He did not.  He had a condition called aniscoria - the pupil in one eye was paralyzed open after an eye injury which made it appear to be black.

Micron Pen, Posca Paint Pen, Derwent Inketense Pencils, General's Watercolor Pencils, Graphite Pencil

Day 11/61 - Tiramisu 
A tangled cross-section slice.
Micron Pens, Graphite Pencil

Day 12/61 - Brocade
My grandmother made all her special occasion dresses and almost always there was some brocade material involved.
Prima Metallic Watercolor Accets, Gelly Roll Pen

So you can see the sheen............

Day 13/61 - Kite
Based off of a photo that I took at one of the Kite Festivals on LBI.

Prima Watercolors, Arteza Acrylic Gouache, Micron Pen

Day 14/61 - Chamomile
My twist - Camomille Butterfly (totally made up)
(enbiggan to see all the cells)

I try to work a day ahead so I have some wiggle room to get these done.  Of course, if I don't get the card of the day done on the day of the prompt it's no big deal.  We do see the prompts a week ahead so I try to plan around them.  This will come in handy next month when I have to go back into the office until my last day.  We're going back to the 4-day week with the long hours so I know that it will be a challenge indeed especially with some events we've got planned for July.  Keeping my fingers crossed I don't get too far behind.

Tuesday, June 9, 2020

ICAD 2020 - Week 1

This will be my 7th year participating in the ICAD (Index Card A Day) Challenge and I'm so ready for it.  I'm going to try to follow the prompts but there might be the occasional card that breaks free.  I don't plan on a running theme this year like I did last June, but if I can come up with something for July I might give it a try.  So without further ado .........

Title Card
Micron Pens, General's Watercolor Pencils

Day 1/61 - Hopscotch
PaperMate Flair Pens, Micron Pen, Graphite Pencil

Day 2/61 - Marigold
Micron Pens, General's Watercolor Pencils, Derwent Inktense Pencils

Day 3/61 - Album
Micron Pens, Posca Paint Pen, Derwent Inktense Pencils, General's Watercolor Pencils, Graphite Pencil

Day 4/61 - Sequins
Microns, Gelly Rolls, Prima Metallic Accents Watercolors, Graphite Pencil, Silver Floss

I had to let you see that shine and the stitching up close.

Day 5/61 - Off Prompt (It was 1980's) - This is a tribute to the Full Strawberry Moon
Microns, Derwent Inktense Pencils, General's Watercolor Pencils

Day 6/61 - Dream Catcher
Saved Wrapping Paper Butterflies, Gelly Roll, Posca Paint Pen, General's Watercolor Pencils

Day 7/61 - Highway
Microns, General's Watercolor Pencils

You can see they're tangle-heavy and my new go-to are the General's Watercolor Pencils.  They're not as vivid as the Derwents, but they're soft to work with and get good coverage.  I was introduced to them while doing one of the Zentangle Project Packs that included 2 of the pencils.  I just had to have more.  (I'm easily enabled to buy new art supplies.)

Wednesday, May 27, 2020

Quarantine Baking

I know I can't have been the only one doing some baking during the quarantine.  It's getting warmer now so there probably won't be as much, but I'm keeping the basics on hand because I know that there will be bananas that will be too ripe to eat and probably an excess of blueberries.  We have had our share of banana bread and muffins which I did not take pictures of.  I also didn't take pictures of the blueberry lemon bread that I made.  We even had banana blueberry bread.  There were a lot of other recipes that I would have liked to try but some of them needed pantry items that unfortunately were not in my pantry and I wasn't sending HWNSNBP out for those last minute ingredients, so we made do with what we had or planned ahead for a particular recipe.   

On one of his first shopping expeditions (he is the designated grocery shopper here), I did add a couple of things that we normally don't have on hand like sour cream and buttermilk.  We actually usually don't even have milk on hand as he typically will go out to Quick Check for his coffee in the morning, but self-serve coffee ended quite quickly at the beginning of this.  So he was forced to make coffee at home and thus we had the "smallest container of milk possible" on hand.  But even that needed to be used up before it expired.  

I have made this buttermilk pie before with good results.  So with the container of buttermilk about to pass its freshness date I added some frozen pie crusts to the shopping list that week.  

I was a little taken aback when I poured out the buttermilk to see the orange dots in it but after checking the internet I determined that it was still okay to use it.  They are simply little balls of the butterfat that has separated.  It didn't appear to make a difference in the finished pie.  

Since I had a second pie crust from that package, I decided to to try this butterscotch pie - recipe from my blogging buddy Claire in CA.  It helped to use up some of the regular milk that we had before it expired.  It was delicious but it wasn't set enough - probably not enough cooking time in the pot before the bake.  So the filling was a little loose, but we didn't care.

There were also the cookies I posted about earlier.  I've found that they come out much better straight from the freezer into the oven for twice the amount of baking time.  

Extra lemons went into making microwave lemon curd which went well with the lemon blueberry bread.  I also tried crockpot ranch pork chops - not a baking recipe but new to us - and they were good also.  

One of the other things that we tried, besides curbside pick-up from local restaurants was a home-delivery ice cream service - Scoops on Wheels.  They deliver once a week to specific areas and you have to get your order in be noon the day before and can pay through Paypal.  They e-mail you with an estimated time of delivery and ring the doorbell and also text you that the order is there.  Since we aren't going anywhere much, it was nice to have this every couple of weeks.  Now that it's getting warmer I think we will be opting out.  

This particular week they were out of their usual cardboard containers, but each time they come they're labeled with the flavor and an uplifting message handwritten on them too.

So all of this baking, while definitely enjoyed has also definitely added to what they're calling the "quarantine fifteen".  I can't say that I've gained 15 lbs., but there was a gain.  And with the rate that my hair is growing, and missing now my 3rd haircut, that's got to be good for a couple of pounds - right?!

Tell me, what have you been baking?

Monday, May 25, 2020

Memorial Day Weekend

Passing the display of American flags at Southern Regional High School honoring those lost in Iraq and Afghanistan is always breathtakingly sad.  There are presently 7030 flags there signifying each life lost.  The reason we celebrate this Memorial Day - to remember those that have given the ultimate sacrifice.  

We started the weekend early in Barnegat.  A brunch on Friday of Pork Roll, Egg, and Cheese sandwiches on a roll.  With some strawberries and homemade iced tea.  Pork Roll is a Jersey thing and in our opinion delicious.  We save our indulgence for weekends mostly.  Here is my pork roll mandala. You have to put a cut in the slice or it will curl up like a cup and is harder to cook.

The skies were threatening on Friday, but we decided to take a ride to Great Bay Boulevard to look for birds and were rewarded for our effort with blue herons, egrets, and black-capped night-herons too.  Not to mention the seagulls along the way.  But no turtles yet.

 On the way back we stopped at Stewart's and had carside service.  I forgot to take a picture, but they have gone back to the trays that hook onto your car window so we can all be safe and keep a distance when ordering and eating in the car.  My first root beer float of the season did not disappoint.

We socially distanced with some friends on Friday night and then headed back home early Saturday morning and just putzed around for a while.

Yesterday we took a ride to Delaware to see my daughter and family.  We've all been adhering to social distancing and wearing masks out and the pediatricians of our grandkids have said that it's okay to see them as long as we've been limiting our contact outside of the home which we have.  We've been doing facetime calls but really missed the in person aspect.  We thought he might be frightened to see us in person, but he wasn't and warmed up very quickly.  He is such a happy little guy and such a joy.   

Yes, they do have a pool in the living room - it's a ball pool that came with a ton of soft plastic balls.  It can go outside when the weather is warmer, but for now, it really keeps him busy.  He loves just filling the box with the balls and then dumping them out......all over.  He's chattering away now, and is very fast on his feet. 

I'll post some of the art I've been working on a little later.  Gotta get outside and do some much needed weeding to round out this 4-day weekend.