Tuesday, June 30, 2015

It's a Marriage - Jingle Belles and Summer of Color Collide

I think I totally forgot to do my Jingle Belles card for the last challenge two weeks ago.  And something luckily stirred me to get this done last night - the Summer of Color Challenge colors for this week actually.  I think I managed to marry the two challenges together but let's just check and see.  

The Jingle Belles said NO DESIGNER PAPER. (That's not hard for me, it's usually the opposite that hangs me up.)  And the SOC colors for this week are Red, Red, and Metallic.  My first reaction to those colors of course was holiday.  Though I've been adding to my little color journal for this SOC challenge (and I still might do something else) I really felt compelled to do a Christmas card and to apply it to my lovely Jingle Belles.

You see no designer paper involved (even the die-cut joy was from a recycled gift card holder envelope which I hope doesn't count as such), and the design was embossed in gold EP.  I've had that background stamp for a while now and I don't think I ever used it before so I was equally glad to have made good use of it.

The shades of red are Cherry Cobbler and Riding Hood Red and please believe me when I tell you that this is really much better looking IRL!

Do you think I could get away with doing this same card but on let's say - two shades of blue and gold (or silver), or two shades of purple and metallic?  Or are blue and purple poinsettias out of the realm of possiblity?  

Hmmmmmmmmmmmmmm....... let me think on that a little.

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Summer of Color - SOC 2015 - Week 3

As you can tell from my worksheet the colors this week are two shades of purple and one shade of yellow.  Once again I turned to nature for my inspiration.

A Bearded Iris - done in Prismacolor pencils.  I think though that this is too squished, especially the top petals.  

The next try came from a thoughtful gaze out the kitchen window earlier this week.  I have been enjoying a little "staycation" and have marveled at how different this time at home has been compared to my time at home last summer pre- and post-surgery.  I remember looking out the same window many times and I know that my thoughts were not as free and flowing as they are now. Back then there was too much "me" on my mind and though that's not a bad thing, especially if you are experiencing pain or discomfort, it is good to find time to reflect on other things.  And also to appreciate them.  How those cabbage moths just dance around all the plants, lightly setting down to grab a sip of nectar.  Is it the color that attracts them?  The fragrance?  How much distance must they cover each day to sustain themselves?  Funny where your mind wanders when you don't have to run out the door to get somewhere.  

I forgot to include the link last week to the SOC challenge, so don't let me forget again - click here. Please do drop in and see the wonderful creations that have been posted for this challenge.  And should you have a little "staycation" time, maybe you can check out the past posts too! You won't be sorry.  

Candy Cakes, Honeysuckle, and Last Days of School

One of my former co-workers celebrated her birthday this month and as it happens, she is also retiring the end of this month.  I made her a candy cake with a birthday message inside with the promise of a tea-date to celebrate.  I sent the cake over to her in the interoffice mail and her boss saw it and in the course of a phone call for another reason, happened to mention that her birthday was also this month.  Not wanting to disappoint her, I put another one together.  I'm beginning to realize that maybe I should prepare some of the paper cuts in advance to have on hand as these seem to be a hit.

Yes, this is a bit of a mish-mosh post as I was going through the pictures on my camera and remembering that I had not yet posted some of them.  Which brings me to a recent bike ride that HWNSNBP and I took down in Barnegat one morning.  This time of year you can see, and smell the honeysuckle blooming.  I asked HWNSNBP if he had ever tried honeysuckle and his answer was no, as was his answer when I picked a couple of blossoms to show him how to get the honeydew out of them.  Such a brief, sweet taste.  And fun to get to it.  I remembered that it was an elementary school friend that had first shown me how to do this many moons ago.  And I think, at least I hope, that I shared this with my kids when they were younger and we had some honeysuckle vines (since removed) on our property.

Using your fingernails, gently crease the blossom at the bottom but not completely through and pull the style down.  This will capture the honeydew/nectar in the neck of the blossom so coveted by hummingbirds.  And then just touch it to your tongue to enjoy.

The school I work in is in a residential neighborhood and there is one house that sits on the corner that is surrounded by our playground and parking lot.  The family that lives in that house has a child that attends our school and needless to say, he is a walker of course.  However, the last week of school he chose to ride his scooter to school.  Twice he rode it right past the bicycle rack, past the front door and deposited it on the grass out front.  We thought it was a riot.  The distance from his house to the bike rack was about the same distance as the bike rack to the front door, so really, what would be the point of riding the scooter if you could only go half-way?  That's what I'm thinking.  We did have to have him move it the second time he did it however after a visitor commented on it being there.  We told him that they were going to cut the grass. (His teacher told me that earlier in the year he walked to school with cross-country ski poles and did park those in the bike rack!)

And lastly, my office cohorts and I had what we call Fat Friday the last week of school, only we did it on Thursday because the last day is kind of crazy.  I made a variation of Rice Krispie treats using Trix cereal instead.  Aren't they pretty?  Personally, they tasted great but I was having a problem with their sweet fruity smell.  I also made my Sausage Stars, Pink Fluff, and Chocolate Chip Cheesecake bars.  All the recipes were and can be found on Pinterest.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Cloud Show

The passing of the storm before dusk yesterday gave way to a spectacular cloud show. From inside the house surrounded by trees there was an eerie greenish-gold glow. "You have to come outside and see the sky" he said luring me with the promise of something awesome. And awesome it was. Mammatus clouds in shades of blue and pink with tinges of yellow from the sunset. My picture doesn't do them justice.

Mammatus clouds are formed by sinking air which gives them their lobe-like appearance.  They are usually seen after a storm.  I don't recall ever seeing this type of cloud in person before.  Over the last several years, with the advent of the internet, I had seen pictures of them, but they were never from our area.  You might say that seeing them in person was a kind of bucket-list event for me.  

ICAD 2015 - Week 3

The theme, or choice of media/creation for week 3 was collage.  I fell behind on this week it being the last week of school and all the extra activities I had piled into it. But, thinking ahead, as I was trading out the notes from this month last year to be shredded and replacing them with the notes from this month this year in the filing cabinet I decided to go through those piles of notes and salvage the artwork from the notepads the notes were sent in on.  And, since the box of shredding in the closet had not yet been removed, I took a few extra......some time to go through a couple previous month's and do the same thing.  This left me with a nice little stack of printed artwork that I thought I might be able to use for the prompts this week.  Let's see how I did.

Day 15 - Route 66
Never been on it, but I imagine that since it spans several states that there must be a picket fence and a sunflower field in one of them.  Background don in Prismacolor pencils.

Day 16 - Greeting Card
These are all salvaged graphics with the exception of the little bit of yellow tissue paper.  And a handwritten sentiment. 

Day 17 - Wabi-Sabi
Do I know what that is?  Didn't then, do now.  Something that embodies asymmetry and rustic simplicity.  There is no symmetry here in shape or form or layout.  Nor in the similiarity of soft nature (butterflies) and hard nature (metal key).  There are two pieces of two different kinds of cardboard drink sleeves also adding texture.  On the one I swiped a metallic Prismacolor pencil over it to define the raised areas more.

Day 18 - Tree House
Washed a watercolor sky across the card for a background using my Derwent Inktense watercolor pencils then added the collaging bits for a very literal "Tree House" with a floral roof, of course!

Day 19 - Snowglobe
Let's think outside the, er, snowglobe..... where all the shaking is going on.  

Day 20 - Color Wheel
Did not those owl eyes provide the best area for my color wheels! Done in Stabilo markers.

Day 21 - 1970
The 70's were all about those vibrant colors and patterns.  I used the clipped corners from the notes and in-between added some more flowers and leaves again with the Stabilo markers.

Okay, so I'm all "catched-up".  

I've been enjoying a little "staycation" this week.  And I do mean enjoying.  I have managed to clear some clutter, finish some projects, and reconnect with some friends.  And there's more on the agenda for the rest of the week, so let me get to it. 

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Summer of Color - SOC 2015 - Week 2

Did I mention it was a busy week?  Sorry, I don't mean to whine about it.  I choose to add to my own chaos quite frequently it seems.  But I've learned that it is important to do the things you need to do, but not to eliminate the things that you want to do because that only makes you grumpy.  You may get tired and grumpy from trying to fill your days with too much, but that grumpy is more doable that the grumpy you get from not doing the things you like.  Of course, sometimes the results are not quite what you have planned, but that's okay too.

So without further whining, er, ado here are my, wait for it...............two creations for this week's SOC challenge - Pink, Pink, Orange.

A little out of order again, I did the one below first but I chose not to enter that one because I used a google search for poppies for my inspiration and my flower turned out much too closely related to the picture I found (and I didn't like that the center flower was so high on the paper).  Therefore, the coneflowers above were more my original creation.  

Love these colors this week too!

I think if I hadn't had so much going on I could have found more "media" in my stash that would have matched these colors to add to my pages.  Hopefully in the next few weeks I'll be able to test more of my creativity and use more of my stash!

Saturday, June 20, 2015

ICAD 2015 - Week 2

This has been a really busy week for me and I am so looking forward to a little time off from work to catch up on a few things and start a couple of larger projects.  These ICAD's are from last week and I haven't done one from this week yet, but I will.  The theme for this week was painting, so I tried to follow that along with the prompts using my Derwent Inktense Pencils, some water soluble pastels and my Kuretake watercolors.  Also to note, the prompts for this week are names of fruit or condiments. It is up to the artist to interpret how they use the prompts, so one can use the name of the fruit as a color or as the object it is.  Or still, the shape or form of it.  So you will see my different interpretations of these combinations.

Day 8 - Grapefruit and Cherry
I actually did the second card you see first using real cherries as a stamp in the background and adding the little grapefruit cross-sections and orbs.  Then I spritzed the card with cherry-colored watercolor.  Feeling a little industrious that day, and wanting my grapefruits to have a bigger impact I did the first card with the Inktense pencils.  Funny that I like grapefruit but can no longer have it due to a possible interaction with a medication that I take.  But quick breakfast treat could be a halved grapefruit with a cherry on top.

Day 9 - Carrol & Lemon
I drew my carrots and filled in the gaps with lemons and added a quote on the horizontal stack.

Day 10 - Eggplant & Ginger
Some finger painting here with the colors of eggplant and ginger with a magnified butterfly in the moonlight.

Day 11 - Lime & Mango
I started a pattern on one index card using some water soluble pastels in lime and mango.  Then I added some tangles to it but here's the story - it was late and I was actually nodding off as I was doing the tangles so I quickly wrapped it up and went to bed.  When I woke up and looked at what I had done, first, I didn't remember what I was trying to do, and second, it looked like crapola.  So I cut the mango and lime pieces off the first card, got out my Kuretake watercolors and made a background for them in a darker mango color and then glued them on.  Was it a save?  Not sure.  But this is an exercise in creativity and what I have learned is not to push the envelope of tiredness.

Day 12 - Parsnip & Kiwi
Just in case you're wondering - these are parkiwisnips.  Or parsnip-shaped kiwis.  With a little of the cross-section seed pattern of the kiwis for a background. (Yeah, I'm not liking this too much either. Oh well.)

Day 13 - Blueberry & Plum
Now this one is definitely more interesting in real life because I put a lot of detail into those pinky-finger-stamped blueberries on the plum background. They were stamped with a blue watercolor and then I added shading and highlighting with Prismacolor pencils.  In person they look a lot more dimensional.  And think I could definitely use something like this as a background for a card in the future.

Day 14 - Salt & Pepper
Perhaps the easiest of the prompts for the week.  I drew some random grid lines and filled them in alternately with black water color and then added some tangling and gel pen dots on one row.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

PT Thank You's

Last Thursday marked my last physical therapy session.  I can't begin to tell you how grateful I am to have found such a great place with such a wonderful staff.  The therapist that I have be seeing is so skilled in her profession and so sweet and caring.  She has seen me through all of my issues the past few years and has, I think, become a lifelong friend.  

These thank you cards are for my PT and one of the aides that was very helpful.  The flower to my PT enabled me to use the embossed background that I had planned for another card recently but I put it aside because I thought it too busy for that one.  I think it worked perfectly here.  I must say that sitting and watercoloring the embossed vines and leaves was probably not what my PT would have wanted me to do because of my neck, but I pushed through it without any additional pain.

The aide has a particular fondness for Disney and though this is probably a bit too juvenile for him, I think it's simple enough to still be doable for a young adult.  

There were gift cards in each of them for some simple sweet treats as they have been so sweet to me.

Now I just have to be more diligent with my home program so I don't end up back there again!

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Summer of Color - SOC 2015 - Week 1

Through a couple of the new blogs that I am currently following I found out about this challenge called Summer of Color and this is the fifth year that the challenge is in existence.  Here is the link to this week's particulars.  Unfortunately, my week got filled up with other stuff and I only got to this last night and thankfully I live on the east coast and will just squeak my project in before the deadline.

If you're a regular here this owl might look a tad bit familiar as I did something similar last summer for the 60-day Paper Prompt.  However, this time the challenge limited me to a certain pallet.  We were allowed two shades of blue and one of green in whatever media we liked. I had a couple of Marvy LePen's that matched up with a couple of Prismacolor pencils and with blending of the pencils I was able to achieve a little more depth with the colors.

I also chose to tangle the "wings" of this owl.  The tangle is called 63Y and I chose this variation.

The last week of school is this week and it's going to be a real roller-coaster of a ride.  There's so much to do and on top of it all, they're going to be doing some major construction right outside and breaking through to our office so we have to "pack up" and will be relocated to ...... as yet to be determined for the next five weeks. There's good and bad in that.  The good is that they're getting it done right away, the bad is that we are using our 2014-2015 vacation days up before July 1st so when we walk out the door on Friday, things will have to be somewhat organized.  Let's just see if I can keep my sanity!  Hopefully these art challenges that I have chosen to do will help with that.

Friday, June 12, 2015

60 More Years

Well the number of friends that I have that are turning 60 is this year is 2/3 the way through.  There'll be one more after this recent June birthday, and of course, there will be trees.  In all of the seasons. This particular friend and I have weathered very many seasons together.  Friends since the 6th grade, we have a very strong bond.  I managed to sneak away from work one morning this week to have breakfast with her and I can't tell you how relaxing and enjoyable that was.  Something I really needed and I hope it was also a good start to her day.  

Happy Birthday J - and may there be many more years and seasons ahead!

Monday, June 8, 2015

ICAD 2015 - Week 1

Last summer I participated in the ICAD (Index Card A Day) challenge for the first time.  It was quite an experience and one that helped me keep my sanity when I was dealing with my leg and back pain pre-surgery.  I found out about this challenge through my blogging buddy Lauren who has even been a guest poster for the challenge in the past.  

The purpose is to make time to do something creative each day and the canvas is simple - Index Cards!  There are prompts but you don't have to play along with those if you don't want to.  You just have to use what you have in art supplies and create something on an index card each day.  

I am going to attempt to follow the prompts, but there may be some days when that's not possible so don't hold me to it.

So............... here we go..............

Day 1 - Chevron
I stamped the chevrons in Strawberry Slush ink and then went back with my Micron pen to add some tangles to the design.

Day 2 - Carnival
I went with Carnival glass.   I found a picture of a carnival glass bowl on line that I liked and I drew it with my Micron.  I colored it with my Prismacolor pencils and blended those.  Then I took some Pearl shimmer paint and added a layer of that over the pencil.  

It really does have the shine that carnival glass has, you just have to turn the card a wee bit to see it.

It really does have the shine that real carnival glass has, you just have to hold the paper just right to see it.

Day 3 - Map
I chose to go with a topographical map and then added some color with highlighters.

Day 4 - Mailbox
So..... I took a picture of the staff mailboxes at work as viewed from my desk and then I drew it.  I have my own color-coded labeling system which works quite nicely.

Day 5 - Owl
I chose to use my tangle MYOWLZ for this card.  I carefully drew the owls and then added their, in some cases, crazy eyes.  Then I got out just about all of the blue and green value pencils from my pencil box to color in between the owls.

Day 6 - Taxi
This one didn't come as easy as it should have.  I took a tangle I had been practicing recently, added some checkerboards and yellow to the black and white pattern to get this.

Day 7 - Periodic Table
I did a bit of research for this one.  I pulled up pictures of the Periodic Chart on my computer and most of them were the same with colored boxes.  I just wanted a different perspective on it, so I looked for and found the Bohr models of the Noble gasses which you see here with some tangling in between.

This is a pretty simple challenge and you don't have to start at the beginning - you can start any time.  And just let me add the link to the prompts so you can join in the fun.  Even if you don't share it, try it.  Get yourself a pack of index cards and I'm sure you have some kind of art supplies around - markers, highlighters, pencils (regular or pencil), inexpensive watercolors..... you don't have to spend a fortune and it is fun.  

Have I said it's "FUN" enough!

Friday, June 5, 2015

Tangles From May and May's Mail Calendar

Sorry for such a blurry picture.  The light hasn't been cooperating much of late.

And here are the tangles from last month.

May 1 - JJ (Jay Taylor)
May 2 - Bateek (Linda Farmer)
May 3 - Kitties (Jane Monk)

May 4 - Gobletz (ME)
May 5 - Pand (Ai Lin Hung)
May 6 - Cobbles (Eden Hunt)

May 7 - Zendau (Lynn Mead)
May 8 - Satsu (Tina-Aleva Hunziker)
May 9 - Hamail (Tina-Aleva Hunziker)
May 10 - 4MOM (Jane Ellen Malone)

May 11 - Flair (Beth Snodderly)
May 12 - Tenty (Natalie Lam)
May 13 - Seedings (Darmy)

May 14 - Retro (Elena Hadzijaneva)
May 15 - African Artist (Tina-Aleva Hunziker)
May 16 - Longwood (JJla Barbera)
May 17 - Logjam (Wayne Harlow)

May 18 - JaJazz (Nancy Newlin)
May 19 - Eddyper (Mei Hua Teng - Damy)
May 20 - daDeal (Nancy Dawes)

May 21 - delph (joey)
May 22 - Nipa
May 23 - Spiro (Beth Snoderly)
May 24 - Uni (Beth Snoderly)

May 25 - Alien Crest (Gael Shepherd)
May 26 - Charlotte (Margaret Bremner)
May 27 - 63Y (Hsin-Ya Hsu)

May 28 - Snafoozle (Sandy Hunter)
May 29 - Minoru (Cris Letoumean)
May 30 - Hazen (Official Tangle)
May 31 - Springkle (Office Tangle)