Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Scribble Picnic - SPICY

Mama Mia!  It's a SPICY picnic we're having this week.  What to bring....... what to bring........

This goes wwwwwaaaaayyyyy back to 1969 when I was in my early teenage years and this TV commercial left an impression with it's tagline - "Mama Mia!  That's a spicy meatball!"  Not having another feasible idea for this challenge I did some internet investigation and came upon the actual commercial on Youtube.  You might notice that there's no product visible in my drawing.  Well, there was no product visible in the commercial either during this scene, which included Mama and a jar of sauce.  You would think that the commercial was about the sauce, but it was not.  It was an Alka-Seltzer commercial!  That'sa some speecy spicy meatball!

I've been under the weather this week and didn't think I would make it to the picnic, but I persevered with this sketch and as you can see from above, made a mess smudging the pencil all over the place.

Then I tried to clean it up with an eraser and add some color.  IRL it does look better. 

I'll be visiting the rest of the picnickers a little later, right now I think I need a nap.  I should be back later to add the upcoming prompt for next week.  

Edited to add the theme for next week's picnic is LET'S DANCE!

Saturday, January 27, 2018

January Birding and Sunsets

 We didn't get to the Raptor Trust over the Christmas break because it was so bitterly cold.  But cold as it still was on MLK Day, we decided to visit up there after an unsuccessful attempt at a rare-bird sighting.  

We felt so bad for the birds whose water dishes were frozen solid.  Yet they seemed to be making the best of it.  These are only a few of the pictures from that visit that are clear enough to share.  Keep in mind that these birds are in large outdoor cages and the inside of the chain link fence is lined with a smaller mesh in most cases making it difficult for the camera to focus past it.  (Actually, I'm sure the camera could do it if the operator (me) would learn how!)

There was a little bit of a thaw later that week and look what showed up at the feeders!  A robin.  They're supposed to be a sign of spring around here but I think this one was just very hungry because spring is still a long way off.

Last Sunday we had some errands to do and on a whim I told HWNSNBP that I was going to bring along the camera and we were going to try to find those birds that we were looking for earlier that week.  I had seen postings that they were still in the area and figured that we just weren't there during the right time of day the first time.  

As we approached the area where they had been seen I was optimistic because there was a car parked along the side of the road and a man standing there with two cameras with those humongous lenses on tripods pointed out to the cornfield.  

If you were just driving by and didn't know what you were looking for at that point you would probably not have noticed them just in front of the tree line. 

We pulled over and I got out of the car to use it to steady myself not having my tripod with me.  And more cars started pulling over obviously trying to see what the interest was in the field.  The birds also were becoming more interested in what was going on as you can see their heads were popping up and they were starting to mill together. 

These are Sand Hill Cranes and they're not indigenous to our area and considered a rare bird.  They stand about 48" tall and have that red patch on their head.  I've read that they are hunted in other parts of the country and that they taste like pork chops but I don't think I could bring myself to finding out if they really did.   I just think they are wonderful and hope that they have a safe migration.

There have also been some little swatches of beautious sunsets the last week or so.  The pictures are taken through the trees for the first two as it had rained almost all day that day and the temperature dropped so quickly as the sun was setting that the driveway became a sheet of ice and there was no way my "get in the car, you're taking me to the sunset" was going to work. 

This was a few nights later and I almost missed it.  The colors changed so quickly.  I was glad I didn't get in the car as it faded so fast and I surely would have missed it.

I hear the bluebirds in the morning as I'm leaving for work.  It's nice to know that they're still within hearing distance and once in a while they can be seen checking out the nesting box in the garden.  HWNSNBP has been putting out dried meal worms for them in the mealworm feeder up there.  Looking forward to experiencing another nesting season with them soon.

Thursday, January 25, 2018

Happy Birthday Chickadee!

A simple bouquet of lavender buds for our beautiful daughter's birthday.  Love you Peach!

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Scribble Picnic - TABLECLOTH

As I was doing the Twelve Days of Zentangle earlier this month this particular tangle "Rumpus" reminded me of a woven textile so I decided that it would become the TABLECLOTH that I'm bringing to Scribble Picnic this week. 

I'm looking forward to seeing what lovely linens and things the other picnickers are sharing this week.  You can check it out too by clicking here.
Next week we'll be do something SPICY!

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Jingle Belles - We Three Kings

So where are my kings?  Well, I don't need kings, I just needed three of something and my three of something happens to be those little evergreen trees.  

I recently treated myself to the Ocean Borders background stamp from Sweet Honey Bee stamps which I thought could look kind of blizzardy done in white on a dark blue background for this card. The jury is out on that as the embossing is a little suspect even though I did use my Misti.  Here's what I did wrong - I cut my paper to the size I wanted it to be finished before I stamped it instead of cutting it larger and trimming it down.  It was the wrong way because I wanted the pattern to go to the edges of the paper and that meant I had to pull it away from the inside edge of the Misti but..... since I was using the whole of the stamp, I couldn't use the magnets directly on the cardstock. I thought if I attached some post-its to the back of the cardstock so I had something to hold the paper down with I could make it work, but it moved and blurred when I restamped it.  But........ it didn't look all that bad for a blizzard so I stuck with it.  Next time I will trim down the paper.  Lesson learned.

I was glad I remembered the large snowflake die instead of using a standard geometric shape.  I really didn't want to cover too much of the background and originally tried using vellum, but then decided against that and I'm pretty happy that I did.  

So....... I have another card in mind for this challenge, but alas, it's coming to it's two-week close so I'll save that for another time.  Won't you take a peak with me at all the other wonderful creations the Jingle Belles have come up with for this challenge?  Just click here. 

Saturday, January 20, 2018

Clean Up on Aisle 2018

I spent hours last year when I was moving into my craft room going through scraps, sorting them and saying to myself that I was going to try to use them to make cards.  Well, that didn't go as planned.  

Straightening up my work table this week, instead of less of this stuff, I think I have more.  What to do with it all?  I don't know why I feel so guilty throwing it away, but I do.  

At the same time, I've been contemplating a new challenge for this year.  There are a plethora of them out there.  There are monthly challenges for photography, mixed media, sketching, etc.  There is also a 365 challenge - doing something every day for a year.  Ideally you would have started one of those on January 1, but that's not absolutely necessary.  I've been giving some thought as to what I could commit to and when I would start it.

Well, going through this stuff again brought me to my idea for this year.  

With all those scraps I also found a stash of these 3" ovals cut from cracker and tissue boxes.  I honestly don't remember what they're leftover from or what they were supposed to be used for but I have an idea for them now.

I'm going to use those scraps and make the ovals into little collages. They may get done daily or weekly depending on how busy life is around here.  But the goal will be to use up those scraps!

This is the first one from today.  I may eventually punch a hole in the top of them and keep them either on a leather cord or metal ring - the jury is still out on that one.  

As far as posting, well, I think I'll keep it to once a week on these.  

Thursday, January 18, 2018

Twelve Days of Zentangle 2017

I subscribe to the Zentangle Newsletter to keep up-to-date on new events and tangles.  This past fall they introduced something called Zentangle Project Pack that you can purchase and take part in the exercises that go along with that pack.  Purchasing the materials from them is not mandatory (at this time) to follow along with the Youtube videos, but I felt having the right tools to play along in front of me would be helpful so I went ahead and treated myself to the first two packs.

These tiles below are from the second pack - it revolves around their yearly post of the 12 Days of Zentangle.  With this packet, each day starts with a recap of the basic lesson or technique they're focusing on and then they expand on it. 

As you can see with the first tile, normally the string would give you a frame on the edge, but this time the string was the square within and the tangles went right to the edges of the tiles.

Day two was a made with two tiles and designed to fit together.

And some gold gel pen here and there.

Day 3 explored a new tangle and the use of a brown/sepia Micron pen.

Day 4 explored the same tangle with variations.

Day 5 - The white tile had holes cut into it first and then was glued over a black tile.  There's a lot going on on this one!

Day 6 - a large motif on a tan tile.

Day 7 - Using one tangle in different colors on a pre-strung mandala tile.

Day 8 - little crowns from Bijou tiles.

Day 9 - more Bijou tiles - black and white.  

Day 10 - white on black.

Day 11 - some triangle tiles put together like ornaments or stars.

Day 12 - a tree from triangle tiles.

This was intense at times but really a lot of fun mixing the different pens - micron black and brown and white and gold gel pens.  Highlights were added with graphite and white chalk pencils.  

I could see using a few of these as ornaments.  

The pack of supplies contained more tiles than we actually used so I can play with some more of these ideas.  I'm looking forward to seeing what Pack 3 will be about.

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Scribble Picnic - Hot Chocolate

Perfect weather for a picnic?  Maybe not but it's perfect weather for a cup of hot chocolate........even if it's a cup of Hot Cocoa Marshmallow flavored Kettle Corn!   An after school treat....... in my favorite oversized Ikea mug of course!  That's what I'm bringing to the picnic this week.

I usually share my popcorn with Kirby (our cockatiel), but he doesn't care for chocolate or marshmallows.  This brand (Boom Chicka Pop) typically has soft kernels and it was a little bit of work, but because of this implant surgery I've had done in my mouth, I picked off all those little kernel shells.  It was well worth not getting any of those things stuck up in my gums.  

I took a little peak and I think I'm not the only one who strayed from traditional hot chocolate on this one.  Won't you join me in finding out for sure by clicking here.  

Next week's theme is TABLECLOTH - there's always room for more at the picnic!