Thursday, June 30, 2016

ICAD 2016 - #22-#28

Hard to believe we're just a couple of days from the end of June.  Another week that flew by.  Here is my prompt card for this past week. (You can find all the information on ICAD here.)

June 22 - neon sign.  I didn't realize, until I looked it up preparing for this card, that neon gas glows orange.  The other glowing colors you see on the signs are courtesy of other gases for those particular colors.  So a true neon sign would be an orange one.  But, since I had these highlighters in neon colors I used them for my card.  This looks tedious, but it was actually fun to do - even if it went wonky at one point which is apparent when you look at the writing that was added.

June 23 - winter - I just couldn't bring myself to do a winter scene, so instead I opted to draw something with the word "winter" in it.  Winter squash done with Prismacolor pencils.

June 24th - Magenta - This card took way longer than I had anticipated, and only because over the watercolored magenta base I used acrylic white paint for the birds which needed multiple coats and there was some seepage involved with those extra coats.  I should have practiced a little more drawing flamingo's!  

June 25th - Song - the base is another clean-off-your-brush card using up white and blue acrylics.

June 26th - Space Invaders - I had a pre-pared card with the yellow acrylics mottled background.  I used a graph paper index card to color the space invader emoji and then cut that out and glued it to the base.

June 27th - motel - off prompt - I had played with the Peerless watercolors on a gessoed card and used that as my background.  I added a tangle and some asemic writing to finish it up.

June 28th - cats and/or dogs.  Hit the scrap box again.  I used some ink and sponges for the background and then added the punched pieces.  The sentiment comes from a stamp set.

Being off this week has given me some time to get a little ahead with the next weeks' prompts and to prepare some backgrounds for future weeks.  I'm finding that that makes it both a little easier and a little more challenging.  It's much easier to go off prompt with pre-prepared cards and that's a good thing.  Actually doing this either way is a good thing.  

There's still the month of July if you're interested in challenging yourself.  Remember, you can personalize this any way you want.  You don't have to share if you don't want to, but getting some feedback on your work is always welcome in my opinion.  No index cards on hand?  I read a blog post by a woman who took some old manilla folders and cut them up into 3 x 5 pieces to use.  Got a little note pad?  Or even some post-it notes?  Use the prompts or try a series of things like a flower each day, or practice lettering, or just play with color.  The point is to exercise that creative side of your brain for brain health and maybe take your mind off the stresses of your day.  

Go ahead - jump in!

Friday, June 24, 2016

ICAD 2016 - #15-#21

If you're out of school and looking for something artistic/creative to do with your time, consider jumping in on the ICAD challenge.  If you have some index cards - any size will do - and some art supplies or even office supplies, and a little bit of imagination give it a try.  You don't have to spend a lot of time on these little works of heART.  And you don't have to follow any prompts if you don't want to.  The most important thing is to spend a little time each day creating.  It's some good brain medicine!

This third week flew by.  It was the last full week of school and I've been crazy busy, but still I'm determined not to fall behind with these.

June 15th - bouquet - this was done very quickly, shhhhhhh - at work, with highlighters and a fine point black marker.  

June 16th - wallpaper - I remember being home on medical leave and watching "The King's Speech" with my sketchbook at the ready.  There were actually several pages of sketches that I added that day and this card is based on one of them.  It is based on some art deco wallpaper that was in a few scenes.  Thank goodness for the pause button.  I did this with colored pencils.

June 17th - landscape - Can a landscape have water in it or is that called a seascape?  Or is it a mountainscape if it has mountains in it?  Another colored pencil work.

June 18th - orange - I have to think ahead a little on these weekends that we are traveling.  So I threw some premade background cards and a selection of orange cardstock into my bag to take along with us.  Torn paper flowers on a gesso and watercolor background.

June 19th - snowflake - made with inky fingers.

June 20th - 1960's - a decade I lived through aged 5-15, when flowers had power and war needed peace.  The Britains invaded us and we invaded the tranquil moon.  Music came on flat disks and you had to own a transistor radio that had great AM reception to hear all the top songs - rock n'roll, soul, and bubble gum.  Girl's skirts got shorter and boy's hair got longer and everyone wore bell-bottom jeans.  Air raid drills were practiced in schools and the word "assassination" was used too often in the news.  It was a fun time and a scary time.  Those highlighters proved handy here again.

Day 21 - invent a prompt - I thought about this one for a long time and finally came up with "using your non-dominant hand for drawing and/or coloring".  Again, the highlighters were in reach and got put to use once more.  

So that's a wrap of 21 out of 61 days of ICAD.  

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Not All Raspberries are Alike

I love raspberries.  I have since I was a child. We lived upstairs from my grandparents and we had a decent sized yard that my grandfather took pride in.  In the back corner of our yard was a raspberry bush - the source of my love of raspberries.  Raspberry season in NJ is very brief and having only one bush doesn't provide many berries so lucky was the person who remembered to go check the berry bush.  Fresh, warm berries were a delight.  Store-bough raspberries were very, as my grandmother would say "dear".  And for many years I considered them an extravagance and usually passed the fresh berries up in the supermarket, opting for less expensive frozen ones.  But raspberries have become more reasonably priced for the last few years enabling me to partake almost daily.  Sometimes they have no taste though.  And sometimes they are very tasty.  And I love when I get some that taste exactly like those berries from the bush in my grandfather's back yard.  

They say that our senses help with memories.  We have smell memory and taste memory and each of those can be good or bad.  It's our way of knowing/remembering what to eat and what not to eat, what we like and what will make us sick.  

I was reminded of that raspberry bush eating breakfast this week when the berries tasted just like those berries from long ago.  And I was brought back to our yard again and the sweet smell of roses blooming when a parent brought in these sweet tussy-mussy's for us during this last week of school.

The roses gave me the inspiration for this card that I made for my office co-worker who is being transferred this summer.  I know that she will have no problem acclimating to her new job and I hope that my new co-worker and I will quickly find a rhythm together.  She has not worked in a busy school office before and will have a lot to take in before school starts back up in September. 

At home we're still not quite done with the stamp cave renovation and I'm still sorting things out. One of my goals I think I've mentioned is to use up scraps this summer whether it be on cards, or in journals or what not.  So here is another card that has a bunch of scrap elements on it for no particular occasion.

Today was the last day with staff and students and I have two more days this week and then I'm off for 10 glorious days which I hope to use both relaxing and finishing this room project.  Keeping my fingers crossed it will all work out.

Oh yes, and I'm so far behind on my Christmas cards that I don't know if I'll ever catch up, but I'll have to make a dent in that too!

Monday, June 20, 2016

I Almost Forgot.......

To post these pictures from last weekend.  When we got to the condo on Friday afternoon, despite the fact that it had not been raining and wasn't going to, there was a partial rainbow in the sky.  I believe it's actually called a sun dog. There was another one on the left of the sun at the same distance and height.  From what I've heard and read, this is caused by ice crystals in the atmosphere.

Several hours later there was another stellar sunset.  I never get bored of these sunsets.  

Here it is reflected in the sliding glass door.  

We took a ride to Cape May last Saturday.  It was warm but breezy enough to enjoy our walk around the outdoor mall.  These window boxes were so pretty.

And in the center of the mall, another window box with this beautiful combination of plants in yellow, black, and white.  A combination that I can't remember ever seeing before but would like to duplicate because it was so striking.

Not to mention those giant rubber duckies in the window display.  

Down one of the alleys (we were looking for a shop we had visited before but it was gone) I thought it was pretty cool how this shop owner had decorated her window with these giant colorful yarn tassels.  I think is shows some ingenuity. 

And just before entering the chocolate shop (to buy the best salted caramels ever) another beautiful and colorful window box.  

We had eaten lunch a little earlier at the outdoor portion of the dockside restaurant we like.  And we indulged in Kohr's frozen custard at the mall before heading home with one or two special purchases.

Sunday, June 19, 2016

Happy Father's Day

The sunset on Father's Day Eve.

Earlier in the day, as we were finishing up our bike ride, we came upon a turtle trying to get across the road.  We parked our bikes and waved cars away as he headed for the curb.  There was no way that he was going to get over that curb - at least not that we could see.  So HWNSNBP picked it up and 

walked him downaways to an empty lot that led right to the bay.  Contrary to what you hear about turtles, this guy was a fast mover on land.  There was another biker who stopped and she said that this was a terrapin.  After looking it up, I think it's a diamondback terrapin.

Thursday, June 16, 2016

ICAD 2016 - Week 2 - #8-#14

Still trying to stay a day ahead of these, but managing to keep up.

June 8 - Island - It rained that day and as is usual I was following the weather channel radar for recess purposes.  Right about smack in the middle of our recess periods this thunderstorm hit.  The red area on the card is right over us.  Despite how bad it looks, the storms didn't last that long. Done in colored pencil.

June 9 - Compass - I had recently seen some Kutch embroidery on Pinterest and decided to give it a try.  This particular one has all the points a compass would have.  I did the background in acrylics first and then actually drew the pattern (a square with two crossed narrow rectangles) on another index card.  The only holes in this stitch are two at each outside corner, so I laid the patterned card on top of the painted card and pre-poked the holes.  The circles and squares within the motif are woven. And I only had to go back twice to fix it in order to move on.  If the threads are not woven in the correct order to begin with you can't make the curves.  This is a form of embroidery that sometimes has small mirrors added into it while stitching.  

June 10 - Cobalt Blue - One of, if not my most favorite color.  The china that I picked out for our wedding almost 39 years ago is this blue onion pattern on white plates (not the expensive stuff, but still quite pretty).  I added white gesso to this card before using a blue Micron pen to draw the design.

June 11 - Baseball - At ball games I like to keep the scorecard.  I used to do it when my husband played in a softball league and then when our daughter played softball.  So I enlarged one of the boxes and found a quote that fit. In this case the batter had 2 balls and one strike, the ball was hit to the shortstop, thrown to second base to make the first out, and then to the first baseman to make the second out - typical double play.

June 12 - TV - We were on the road most of the day and I was really looking forward to watching the Tony Awards.  I wasn't particularly prompted by the prompt and decided to keep it simple and came up with a pattern using the entwined letters T and V.  I did it during the commercials because you really have to watch the performances on the show to fully enjoy them.  

June 13 - Playground - This card was used to clean off my brush and use up some blue and white paint that I had leftover.  I just kept making squares or frames and had left it on the dining room table.  So you might say that that was my playground.  I took a black Micron and outlined the brush strokes and added some more boxes.  

June 14 - Venn Diagram - Since it was also Flag Day, I checked through my scrap box and came up with some red, white, and blue scraps to make this.  It's also on an acrylic background.  

Hmmm, there seems to be a lot of blue in this week's cards.  I'll have to work on that.

Monday, June 13, 2016

First Week of June - A Little Catch Up

The first weekend of this month HWNSNBP and I had a few things going on starting with that first Saturday.  My plan was to get a head start in the morning and take my "boxman" to the Kirkside garage sale.  Since my goal at home is to purge things I was careful not to pick up things that I really didn't need at this time.  I picked up two clear glass canisters and a package of graphic coasters all for less than 75 cents which went into the box (and honestly, I really didn't need them but for 75 cents it was worth breaking my self-imposed moratorium).  Then I spied this old cardboard box with the words "table tennis" on the outside.  I got that look from "the boxman" as I gravitated towards it.  I know, and he confirmed it later, that he was thinking that this was just a box of junk.  But as it turned out it was quite a find.  The net and the balls were okay, but the 4 sandpaper paddles were like a gold strike. My husband and his buddies play beer pong...... the original beer pong, not the kind where you throw the ball at the cup.  They play doubles ping pong with four cups on the table, alternate serves and drinking when the cup is hit during play.  They take this very seriously.........the pong and the drinking.  What did we pay for the box?  50 cents!

His plan for later that day was to open up the pool.  And when he took the cover off this little guy was staring up at him.  It's an above ground pool so we're not sure how he got in there except to say that after looking up frogs, it appears that this is a tree frog, so I supposed he could have fallen from a tree onto the cover and found his way in.  

He looks a little more at home in the weeds.

This was taken passing the home of a coworker who lives just around the corner from us.  Her yard was full of wild phlox this spring.  This picture doesn't do it justice.

The colors of the elements on the card below were really much prettier IRL.  I was in such a hurry to get it in the mail that I neglected to check my photo.  The greens and pink are so much more vibrant than they appear here. This was done with pieces I found in my scrap box - something I've been trying to go through and use up.

And in some stores now - Ranier cherries - my favorites!

We have 5 more eggs in the nest box.  Glad to see that the bluebirds are keeping busy this year!

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

ICAD 2016 - #2-#7

This first week of ICAD has moved right along and I'm really enjoying it.  I've been trying to stay a day ahead of the prompts but the wheel fell off that wagon this weekend after a day trip to NYC and coming back exhilarated but too exhausted to do anything productive.  But at least, at this point, I'm not behind (well, at least I'm not behind with ICAD).

June 2nd - Pyramid - I drew the pyramid at Chichen Itza on the Yucatan Peninsula and added the word "pyramid" in Mayan glyphs.  It's amazing what you can find on the internet.  HWNSNBP and I honeymooned in Cancun and did visit one of the pyramids there but neither of us could remember if it was Chichen Itza or Tulum.  Of course I could have searched through some pictures to find out, but I had already started this sketch so why not just do that one.  Micron pens, pencil, watercolor pencils.

June 3rd - Snoopy - simple "Joe Cool" portrait in acrylics and markers. Background is done with acrylic paint.

June 4th - Typewriter.  So I isolated this certain part of an old-fashioned typewriter using Micron's, added some pencil shading and then added the colored keys with watercolor pencils.  Wasn't sure whether to add the color because it looked kind of cool in just black and white (should have taken a picture of that too).

June 5th - Clouds.  I used watercolor pencils to draw the sunset based on my photo below.  Then added the quote with a Micron pen.  Funny that my husband and I were just discussing how much prettier sunsets are with clouds.  He even knows that I like to wait for the sun to completely set and look for the color kicking up onto the clouds.

June 6th - Off Prompt (the prompt was Top Ten List) - We went to NYC on Sunday with our Table 7 crew to see "Beautiful" and the set looked like one giant zentangle to me.  I tried to sneak a picture before the performance started - they kept making announcements that no photos were allowed at any time - but it came out so blurry.  I found a picture on the internet that gave me some more of the detail.  I did this with Micron markers and watercolors, with a little white acrylic paint for the lights. Oh, and the show was wonderful.   

June 7th - Off Prompt (the prompt was pinball or bowling).  We took the train into the city and before boarding for our return trip we all hit the restrooms.  There was a grate between the two sections of the ladies room that I thought would make a great tangle.  

Now to think of a good name for it!