Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Scribble Picnic - FOX

Our theme this week for Scribble Picnic is FOX.  This has been the spring of the fox at our school. Why? you may ask.  Well, several times we've had to pull the children in from the playground during recess because a fox family living in the woods adjoining the playground has been curious enough to come out to the edge of the woods to watch the children during recess.  We're not sure if they're living in the neighborhood or just happen to be passing through, but in any case, when they show themselves it becomes a problem. 

My boss, our principal, had me call the police department and then Animal Control to see what we could do about getting them removed, but unfortunately, unless they appeared to be sick (looking drunk, salivating, etc.) they would not remove them.  They said it was not unusual to see them out during the day, especially when there were young ones.  And they weren't threatening at this point.

They did suggest that we call a local animal rescue and their advice was to make the area less appealing.  This involved buying mylar balloons to tie to the trees around the playground, hiding containers of amonia soaked rags in the high grass around the tree line, and wiping down the dumpster with amonia to deter them from looking for food closer to the school.

I was nominated to pick up the balloons, amonia, and containers.  The custodian had the job of dispersing the deterrents.  

Did it work? We'll never really know if that's why they moved on.  There was no exit survey.  

As we were shopping a bit in Cape May on Sunday, I always check out the Swede Shop for unique little items.  This time I purchased this little clay ornament of a fox and gnome for our Christmas tree as a remembrance of both our trip and the fox incidents.

I went off-prompt on Sunday for ICAD (which was PORTRAIT) and instead used my rendition of the ornament instead.  (I'll be back with the link for my ICAD post - vacation this week has me a little behind.)

So now I will head over to see how FOXy the other picnickers have been this week.  Won't you join me?  Click here.  And, at the risk of sounding like a broken record, should you want to jump in for next week, the prompt is WATERMELON.  Won't that be juicy!

Monday, June 26, 2017

Vacation Weekend

It was a surprise for us that there was a concert at the dock on Saturday evening.  The lot was packed and the music was good.  They had the Doo Wop group Sounds of the Street.

With the humidity gone, we decided to take a ride to Cape May on Sunday.  The first stop was the lighthouse where all the purple marten houses where loaded.  

Inside the Nature Center among the snake, turtle, toad and frog displays there was a display with some Monarch Butterfly caterpillars eating their special meal of milkweed.

And these colorful tree frogs in another display.

We had lunch at the Lobster Dock out on the dock next to the Sea Quest.  I've never seen such colorful marine rope before.

We headed to the outdoor mall where one of the stores was decorated with this beautiful window box of flowers.

We had a couple of other places we wanted to visit there but as luck would have it, on the way to one of them a car pulled out in front of us suddenly and HWNSNBP had to hit the brakes hard at the exact moment that we hit a pothole and I heard a thump in the car.  Then I heard street sounds and noticed that the back passenger window was open about 3 inches.  I asked HWNSNBP when he opened the window and he said it's not open.  I told him it was and he must have hit the button by accident.  So he tried to close it but it wouldn't go up.  So he tried lowering it some more in the hope that it would then go up, but it did not. We pulled over and he tried to lift the glass while pressed the button but it wasn't budging.  The motion of the car with that quick stop and hitting the pothole must have knocked the window off the track.  So we really had no other choice but to head home as we couldn't leave the car unattended with the window open.  We drove home on the parkway and I had to keep my window partially opened to equalize the pressure in the car which was really doing a number on our ears.  When we got back to the condo we found some heavy plastic and packing tape to temporarily cover the window overnight to keep moisture out until we leave for home tomorrow to have it fixed.  We'll be riding home in the clown car!

I stepped out earlier this evening to visit our friend and HWNSNBP was Johnny-on-the-spot with his cell phone to capture the sunset.

This is what was left by the time I returned.  Still pretty dramatic.

And I'll share a photo of the little guy his mom sent us today.  His first experience at the beach.

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Scribble Picnic - JARS

As I was looking over my list of ICAD prompts for this week I was trying to figure a way to fit the Scribble Picnic prompt JARS in there.  Since I am slightly obsessed with succulents these days, I used the ICAD prompt Sprout and added these succulent sprouts to my JARS.  You see I'm missing a jar because there's one more sprout on the table waiting to be planted.  

 I meant to take a picture of the little succulent gifties that I made for the staff members who earned a prize from me but things got so busy today that I forgot.  I still have two of them on my desk at work, so if I remember in the morning I will capture a photo before I give them away.  

Now, I'll be headed to the picnic to see what all the other Picnickers brought in their jars.  Won't you join me by clicking here?  And should you want to picnic with us next week, the theme is FOX.

Oh, and before I got those sprouts in jars down on paper, I did make another sprout card for the ICAD prompt using some of what was left from a previous card.  

How do you like them mushrooms?

And a quick anecdote my daughter texted to me involving a jar.  (She teaches in a middle school.)

"A kid used expired eye drops in my class and asked to go to the nurse.  I replied with haste "You'd better hurry before she has to use the eye vacuum on you!"  He said what's that.  I said that's where she sucks your eyeball out, cleans it, then puts it back in.  He looked pretty scared.  Then I told him he better hope she puts the right eyeball back in because there's a jar back there of eyeballs she just couldn't get back in."  

Then she added that she thought it sounded like something I would say!

ICAD 2017 - Week 3 - Days 15-21

I had to push through this week a little not necessarily with ideas, more so with time.  It's the end of the school year and my days are very busy making me extra tired when I get home and sometimes a nap is very necessary.  Then I can't get to sleep until later making it a very vicious circle.  Two more days and I'll have a little break before going back to summer hours.

The themes for this week - as usual, suggested, not mandatory.  (But I kind of like making an extra couple of cards each week to document.)

And the prompts for Days 15-21

Day 15 - Starburst
I had this wacky thought the morning of this prompt.  I thought I could get a "burst" of stars by making many of them.  Then I thought that it might be fun to have help with this and since I work in a school, what better "stars" to draw stars than teachers?  Before I left for work I grabbed a handful of some Martha Stewart markers.  As the staff entered the office in the morning, I asked them to put a star on my card.  I told them anywhere, any size, any color, any kind of star.  One teacher asked me if I was doing a social experiment.  I said no and briefly explained ICAD.  A couple of things went wrong with this.  First, I didn't bring my own index card and had to use this "school quality" one which proved to be more porous than I would have liked.  Secondly, those dark gray stars were made with a marker that is supposed to be teal according to the cap.  Third, again because of the quality of the paper, when I attempted to use a Pilot pen for the writing, the ink bled. And it bled worse over the stars.  But since I was doing the writing at home after work, and I did not want to have to abandon the stars, I changed to a Micron and kept going.  

Day 16 - Rainbow
I started with adding swipes of marker (of an unmarked variety).

I found this backing sheet from a sticker painting book to use as a background.  I then cut up the first card into rainbow shapes.  

Day 17 - Sprout
I already had something planned for this, but then I saw the discarded pieces of the rainbow and that little toadstool was born.  It looked to lonely by itself so I did two more.  The edges were dry brushed with white acrylic paint.  

After looking at the list of prompts for the week I was thinking how I could incorporate the Scribble Picnic theme - JARS.  And this came to mind.  Done with watercolors.  

Day 18 - Alphabetize
Sometimes I have to give my e-mail address over the phone at work.  I think I enunciate my letters pretty good, but M's, S's, T's are easily mistaken for other letters.  I've been trying to remember the phonetic alphabet, the accepted phonetic alphabet to be prepared in these situations.  I thought writing them down would help.  It did............for a while.  I digress to my own phonetic alphabet when pressed.  Anyhoo, I first used some Stabilo markers to make those radio-wave-like marks on the background.  I thought that by adding a thin wash of white acrylic that they would blend a little more, but they didn't which was okay too.  Then I used watercolor to add the blue swirl and let it dry in order to write the phonetic alphabet with a Micron.  The background looked too washed to me at that point, so I chose a few of the colors and went over them again.  

Day 19 - Gear or Gadget
I just happened to have the ribbon hole punch on the table, as well as the paint chips.  The raffia ribbon was a recent purchase from the $Tree.  I'm glad I only paid 10 cents for the punch because it sticks big time.  I do have my original up in the craft tower, but I didn't press myself to go get it and instead struggled through punching these holes.  How does this apply to the prompt?  The punch is my Gadget.

Day 20 - Yin/Yang
I knew there had to be a tangle for this and I found it.  It's a variation of a tangle called Yang by Genevieve Crabe.  I tried at first to use a penny for my circles but it was too awkward to trace that many, so I used the lined side of the card for guidance as I drew my circles.  When I added the straight lines, the circles didn't seem to look as wonky.  I used some new gel pens for this - PaperMate's Ink Joy get pens.  Very nice to work with.  

Day 21 - Simplicity
Simple flowers on a simple watercolor background.  Flowers are a combination of the scraps of the raffia ribbon and paint chips that were still on my table.

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Happy Father's Day

I hope everyone enjoyed Father's Day.  We spent some time with the little guy on Friday.  He is such a smiler........and so is grandpa!

I found this already colored scene in my stash and used it to make grandpa's Father's Day card.

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Scribble Picnic - BIRD

Several weeks ago I posted a picture of a female bluebird we found in our nestbox.  We assumed she had died trying to lay an egg as there was no sign of predator attack. She looked so peaceful and never before had we been so close to an adult blue.  We monitor the nest box and I have many shots of baby blues, but the parents don't let you get that close to them.  And that's actually a good thing.  I sketched her lightly in pencil.

And then sorted through the various colored pencils I have to get the colors right.  There were three eggs beneath her.  One was cracked.  Sadly, by the time we found her, they were not viable.

But the good news is another couple of bluebirds won the war with the wrens (with a little bit of HWNSNBP's help removing their stick nests before eggs were laid which is perfectly legal).  The wrens gave up and the blues built their nest of pine needles and grass in just about a day.  The new mama laid four beautiful blue eggs last week and because it was so cold here in the evenings, she began incubating them by staying in the nestbox overnight. 

So we ought to see some babies within the next week.  

Our Scribble Picnic theme for this week is BIRDS and I've also used my card for ICAD Day 12 - Wings.  You can see my ICAD's for week 1 here, and week 2 here.

It's time for me to check out the "Picnic" and see all the birds the picnickers are sharing..... on paper that is!  You can see them too by clicking here.

ICAD 2017 - Week 2 - Days 8-14

Week 2 Themes - (optional)  Inspired by collage, ephemera, found papers, printed papers, old books & magazines.  You'll find that I didn't use these themes this week.  

Week 2 Prompts - again optional but I did use them

Day 8 - Paint Chips.  
I used watercolors to paint the bottom of a stream and cut up some shades of green paint chips to look like fresh cut grass floating on the surface. 

Day 9 - Ombre
I had just received a package in the mail with a new art purchase - a set of Prima Metallic Accents watercolors.  There are 12 colors in the set, but one side of the pallet reminded me of metallic beads you might see strung and hanging in the craft store.  

Day 10 - Sunshine Yellow
What's more yellow than the centers of some sunny-side up eggs?  Done in watercolors.  Lettering in Micron and gel pens.

Day 11 - Tetrahedron
My thought was to try to make a tesselation of Tetra fish in a hedron.  While I was googling that I found this pattern to make a 3-D tetrahedron.  I traced the pattern directly off my computer screen once I zoomed out and made it small enough to fit four on my index card.  Then I made a pattern out of the tracing, used the pattern to transfer to the index card.  I used Mermaid markers to color these and added the stippling with my Cuttlelola.  Then I carefully cut out the shapes with an Exacto knife.

This is what it looks like assembled.  I spent a better part of Sunday doing this card, but it was fun!

And from above.  I used another index card glued around the edges only to attach to the cut piece to make a pocket to put the object in when it's not assembled.

Day 12 - Wings.
Thinking back to my most recent picture of bluebirds.  I sketched out the blue that we had found in the nestbox on her nest after she died.  

I used a combination of different colored pencils to color this trying to get the colors right.  She made a much better nest in real life than I could ever draw!

This was my initial card for this prompt which I thought was too over-simplified.

Day 13 - Echo/Repeat. 
The colors of this card are much, much nicer IRL.  I tried 4 different times to photograph it and still I can't get the paint chips to show up on the screen like they really are.  I think this is why it always takes me so long to pick out paint colors, because the light never lets them look the same.  

Day 14 - Leaves
I drew a very geometric oak leaf and cut it out to use it as a pattern which I traced onto my index car.  Then I painted the leaves with shades of blue and green and outlined them with a Micron pen.

Sunday, June 11, 2017

Garage Sale Finds

We happened to be home this weekend to attend a party and I was pleased to realize that the spring edition of one of my favorite garage sales was this weekend also.  So I abbreviated my "sleep-in Saturday" to get there when they opened but as is usually the case, the church grounds were already heavy with customers.  Nonetheless, my trusty "box man" dropped me off whilst he parked the car and after he did he dutifully found a box to keep track of my purchases.  I already had a couple of things in my hands by the time he found me though they weren't heavy at all.

A package of card making items for $1.50, a paper dove kit that was unmarked and they sold to me for 10 cents, and some little glittery flags also 10 cents.

This little recipe book was also unmarked and they gave it to me for 50 cents.  I bought it for the illustrations inside that are done in blue line work.

There are more drawings that I won't take time showing.

These glass items were a real bargain.  The two round containers were 50 cents each and the other four items were a quarter a piece.  I think they will make some nice succulent planters.

They always have a large selection of jewelry and I usually don't pay much attention to that but the heart flag pin caught my eye as I was passing and then when I did look through the shoe box found the starfish and bird.  I thought I might paint the bird white to add to my seagull pin collection and the starfish might go on a future beach-themed project.  The pins were $1.25 each.  

In the craft section there were 6 or 7 sets of Stampin' Up stamp sets marked at 50 cents a box - a real steal - but not hard to believe, I already had them all.  I also have these items but they were priced so low I couldn't resist.  The small punch was 10 cents, the larger one 50, and you can see that the stylus and kit were going for 50 cents..... a real steal.  I told HWNSNBP that if anything happened to me that I would be very upset if he sold my stamps for 50 cents.  He promptly told me "Don't worry about it.  You'll never know."

But our biggest deal of the day was getting a solar cover for our pool for $5.00.   It was marked "Make an Offer" and since it was a little bigger than our pool HWNSNBP originally passed it by. But as I was getting in line to pay for my "box" he asked one of the workers there what they were looking for. They told him to make an offer and he shot off $5.00.  The lady said she would have to check with one of the guys in charge and came back and told us they would accept that.  She did tell us that it was in two pieces because the owner had had it cut that way to make it easier to take off her pool. Sounded like a good idea to me.  So we added it to our bill.  As we were walking back to the car HWNSNBP told me that a new one would be about $120.  I think we definitely got a good deal.