Saturday, March 30, 2019

Another Work Celebration - Baseball Opening Day

I think I've mentioned before that we're trying to boost staff morale in our school.  Education has changed a lot in the last few years and there are a lot of additional pressures on all staff members that didn't exist before.  Yes, there was always change happening in the past, but there was still some semblance of respect for the education professional.  These days we see the respect at a low and it's wearing people out.  I read something recently that said, and they were referring the healthcare profession but it can apply as well to the education profession, it said that it's not "burnout" or shouldn't be referred to as "burnout" because that is a kind of "victim shaming" saying they're not resilient enough or strong enough to adapt to a system.  Instead it should be called "Moral Injury" because it is the result of having to overlook their morals to be politically correct, to teach how they're told to by non-professionals instead of using the knowledge that they were trained to use. To take time away from teaching to preparing for standardized test-taking.  To have to incorporate mandated classroom activities that eat away at instructional time.  To produce report cards without grades but contain hours of created comments and not have a substantial amount of parents bother to log on to even look at the report cards.  I could go on with my thoughts on this but instead I'll tell you about our latest celebration - Opening Day for Baseball Season.

We set up a hot dog luncheon.  I collected money from everyone for hot dogs and rolls and we had a sign-up sheet for people to bring in the rest of the goods much like we did for our Souper Salad Bowl event.  People brought in paper goods, salads, condiments, and desserts.  We had a group for set-up and a group for clean up.  We cooked the hot dogs in the office in several crock pots all morning so they would be ready for the lunches.  I set up another raffle.  I filled a jar with bubble gum and had them guess the number.  The winner got the container below which was full of Baby Ruth bars, m&m's, Twizzlers, Big Chew Bubble Gum, and a rubber baseball.

I packed bags with popcorn and found Cracker Jack's at the $Tree and HWNSNBP helped me make a vendor's tray and.............

I brought my apron and his Yankee cap and just after the beginning of each teacher lunch period went into the faculty room peddling my tray of goodies.  It was a fun way to celebrate.

Our next celebratory day will be Cinco de Mayo or in this case Seis de Mayo as the 5th is a Sunday.  It'll be tacos for sure.  And I'm trying to figure out how to work a pinata into it..... or some other fun way to celebrate.

Friday, March 29, 2019

Squareathon - Last Half

I had fun with this but I'm glad that it was only 16 days.  I need a break...... or rather I need to redirect some of my time to other projects before I get behind again.  

Day 9 - An Epic Adventure
Prima Watercolors, Micron pen, Arteza Markers

The roller coaster of life.  

Day 10 - Chasing Fire (or my Chasing Fire Rainbows)
Posca Paint Pens

Day 11 - Castle in the Clouds
Koi Watercolors

Day 12 - Into the Mystic
Koi and Prima Watercolors

I see spring in the future.

Day 13 - Once Upon a Memory
Prima Watercolors, Micron pen, White Gel Pen

What if our memories were stored by color and as we grow older they bleed and blend together making a powerful rainbow?  And when you remember something it sets off a little spark that connects it to another memory.  Did you ever start thinking of one thing and 5 or 10 minutes later, when you're at a totally different place in thought try to remember where you started?

Day 14 - Walking on the Moon
Inktense Watercolor Pencils, White Gel Pen

Day 15 - Over the Horizon
Inktense Watercolor Pencils, Micron Pen 

Day 16 - Through the Magic Door
Inktense Watercolor Pencils, Micron Pen

These are all approximately 3" x 3".  I'm not sure if it would be easier or harder to do a larger size.  I'm also not sure if it would take longer or less time to do them larger.  The next Squareathon is in the beginning of September and will only be a 16 day challenge again.  I will have to see how things are going at that time because that's the busiest time of the school year for me and time will be a big factor.

Monday, March 25, 2019

Jingle Belles - Tweet Tweet

I came back with this little Honey Bee birdie inside a Reverse Confetti wreath made again with the Gina K Wreath Builder template for the Jingle Belles challenge.  I thought I had some of those wobbler thingies to make the birdie wobble but I couldn't find them.  Nevertheless, he is popped up off the wreath.  The DSP is pretty old and from SU.  I need to make more birdies with that Honey Bee set.  

I'll be heading over to the Jingle Belles blog in the morning to visit all the birds, er, ladies.  You can join me by clicking here.

Oops - Forgotten St. Patrick's Day Post

Sunrise on St. Patrick's Day over the gazebo across the street from the condo.

We got to spend some time with the little guy that day.  He wanted to color.

And he does it with both hands!  He has such an imagination.  He was packing a bag so we could go on vacation.  I asked him where we were going - Alaska or Bermuda?  He answered Bermuda.  We set up the chairs next to each other for the plane.  I told him he'd better tell mommy and daddy where we were going and he ran excitedly into the kitchen where they were talking with Papa.  He told them we were going to Binubida!  It figures that Papa was the one to figure out he was trying to say Bermuda.  We had to land the plane early for lunch and he was disappointed that we weren't going to be there after his nap to finish the trip.  I could have played all day!

We brought them a pretzel shamrock.

Jingle Belles - Rockin' Robin - Put a Bird on It

The Jingle Belles want us to Put a Bird on It this fortnight.  I have no shortage of Christmas bird stamps. In fact, I think I've used a couple of them in the last couple of challenges.  But that didn't stop me from finding some more to play with.  This came together with a new tool - the Gina K Wreath Builder template in conjunction with my Misti and some Avery Elle stamps.  Those little penguins and snowflakes are all individually stamped - that's not one big stamp.  The Wreath Builder let's you make a mandala or wreath out of basically any small stamps.  

We've got some synchronized penguin swimmers here circling Esther who is wishing everyone a Merry Christmas.  I colored those penguins with some alcohol markers.  The sentiment is die cut and I added some white sequins for sparkle.

I hope to be back tomorrow with another birdie to share.  It's already colored, just have to pull it all together.  In the meantime, you can stop by the Jingle Belles blog to take a look at the Christmas aviary over there.  

Saturday, March 23, 2019

Squareathon - First Half

I decided to take part in Mel's Spring Squareathon sponsored by and @experiencetruecolors .  There are 16 prompts spanning March 15-30 and they must be in square format - media of choice.  I chose to use a new Pink Pig sketchbook.  

Day 1 - City of Gold
Done with Gansi Tambi Starry Colors and Posca Pen.

Day 2 - Mountain Melodies
Done with Prima watercolors.

Day 3 - End of the Rainbow
Done with Posca Pens and Prima Watercolors

Day 4 - Strawberry Fields Foreever
Done with Gansi Tambi Pearls

Day 5 - Secret Sunsets
Done with Prismacolor Pencils and based on one of my own photos.

Day 6 - Treasures of the Tide
Done with Prismacolor pencils and Micron pen

Day 7 - Made of Stars
Done with Gansi Tambi Starry Colors, Micron pen, and Prima watercolors.

Day 8 - Flowers in Your Hair (or that which I am calling "Don't Paint after 11 PM".  Especially since HWNSNBP's first observation was that this is a funeral and he wasn't trying to be funny.

I am trying to work a day ahead so I don't lose steam on this one since it only runs for 16 days.

Friday, March 15, 2019


Pictures from the last month or so that I haven't yet shared.

Trying out new art supplies:  Flair Pens - Candy Shop Colors.  I was enabled by an e-mail that I got at my school address from one of the art suppliers that we use.  I did not know that there were Candy Shop Colors so I checked them out on Amazon and it was amazing how fast they jumped into my cart.

Our old door project.  This was our old back door that I refused to get rid of.  (Our front door is painted the same color.)  It was supposed to be hung 5 years ago when HWNSNBP turned 60, but it was not on the priority list (his, not mine).  He finally figured a way to hang it up without a lot of hardware and stress - something called a French cleat which he made out of wood.  The window panes are supposed to house photos. Unfortunately, he only decided to finish this 3 days before the baby shower at which point I had relatively little time to prepare pictures for it.  Soon!

I had this scrap piece woven from my birch bark wrapping paper sitting on my work station for, let's say a long time and it kept shifting, so before it totally fell apart I figured I'd better put it to use along with some leftover die cut pieces.  

This was the Valentine's Day card that I made for our grandson who is very much into Paw Patrol.  Though these are not official Paw Patrol character stamps, I think they fit the bill okay for an almost 3-year-old. 

And after the shower I needed some downtime so I pulled out this 500 piece puzzle I got as a gift from a friend and dove into it (in part because my dining room table was cleaned off from the party).  I love puzzles but sometimes I get so engrossed doing them that I wind up staying up late.  That didn't happen with this one because it was really too difficult to do with artificial light and at the time, it was still getting dark pretty early so I forced myself to walk away when my eyes were straining and felt pretty good about that.  I'd really love to run my hands through those buttons!

Monday, March 11, 2019

Jingle Belles - Fa la la la la

One more musical card for the Jingle Belles challenge this fortnight.  I apologize for the poor quality of the picture.  I accidentally left my cell phone in Delaware this weekend and I had been relying on it for pictures so much that I neglected my little point and shoot's battery.  I have two batteries and the spare had just enough juice for one or two quick pics before that one faded out.  This was the best.

This cute singing birdies stamp was a gift from Sabrina and is perfect for this challenge.  I was looking for some music background paper and came across this layered-looking sheet in these non-traditional colors.  I knew these were going to be bluebirds!

Speaking of bluebirds...... look who came for a visit the other day......

and someone who was "drunk in love with himself"...... he fell asleep in the mirror!

Stop by the Jingle Belles if you can and check out the concert going on.  I'll be heading there soon.

Sunday, March 10, 2019

Happy BIrthday HWNSNBP

Spring Forward

I had some time to color last Sunday so I colored a bunch of these.  The outside stamps are from Unity.  The embossing folder is from Michael's.  It was a great way to unwind after a very busy week.  

Don't forget to Spring Forward!

Saturday, March 9, 2019

Mini Scrap Collages .,,,, a continuation 204-224/365

Remember these?  Well, not these exactly, but the mini collages that I started last year as my 365 project.  Last fall it kind of got derailed by a slew of other projects that took precedence with my time.  However, I had cut out and covered a stack of the ovals which have been sitting on my work table as a reminder that I intend to finish this project.  (Especially since I haven't put much of a dent in the scrap box and Kirby and I keep on sharing those Cheez-Its so there will be plenty of ovals.)

I just completed 20 of them and instead of taking individual pictures, clumped them in groups of four.

This brings me to 224 of 365 and before I do anymore I'm going to die cut all the ovals so I can see the progress that I'm making to get to that magic number of 365.  It will be more like a countdown than counting up to in this case.  And I'll probably clump them in groups again - well I may have to rethink that as I started an album on my laptop for these and that's not going to work.  Well, taking pictures is not what takes the longest time so I can still mull that over.  

Jingle Belles - Hark the Herald Angels Sing

Here in NJ we have snow on the ground which, if it came in late November or early December might prompt me into a few Christmas Carols.  Not so much in March. However, I am getting prompted by the Jingle Belles who have asked us to make our cards with a musical theme.  I paired a Unity stamp with the lyrics to O Holy Night (one of my favorite carols) with the starry background from Amuse for this with some additional die cut trees.  

The stars are embossed in silver and the lyrics are in gold.

I have one more idea brewing for this that I hope to get to later today.  See you then!

Friday, March 8, 2019

Baby Shower

Last Saturday we had a small baby shower for our daughter Rachel who is expecting her first child in late April.  It had a children's book theme and all the guests were asked to "bring a book instead of a card" if they wished.  We know they're having a boy and I was thrilled to find the "It's A Boy" garden flag pictured on the front of the gift table a few days before the shower. 
You can see through the windows that we had a little snow that morning.  Just enough so that HWNSNBP had to get out the snowblower to clear the driveway. 

The menu was based on food suggested by children's books.  I made the Very Hungry Caterpillar out of tissue paper and hung it from the cabinets where the buffet began.  Pictured here right to left:  Taco Salad (Dragons Love Tacos), Hummus and Carrots in Flower Pots (Peter Rabbit), Cheese and Crackers (The Stinky Cheese Man).

Right to left:  (starting at the crockpot) Sweet and Sour Meatballs (Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs), Spinach and Ham Quiches (Green Eggs and Ham), Chicken Salad (Chicka Chicka Boom Boom), and Fruit Salad (The Very Hungry Caterpillar).

For our Desserts (again right to left):  Black and White Cookies [Rachel's Favorite] (If You Give a Mouse a Cookie), Blueberry Crumble in Jelly Jars [she's been craving blueberries] (Blueberries for Sal), and Cupcakes (combination If You Give a Cat a Cupcake and the book Cupcake).

We had Goldfish Crackers (Rainbow Fish).

And Candy Kisses (The Kissing Hand /Little Blue Truck).

Here are the parents-to-be.  They are so happy and grateful.

We played one game at the beginning -  Children's Book Emoji Pictionary.  And then after eating and gifts I had a little project for everyone to take part in.  I printed out 4x6 ABC cards that had the letter of the alphabet, a space for a drawing, and the lines for writing the word that went with the picture.  At the bottom was room to put the name of the person who did that page.  Since it was a small group, some of us did multiple pages to get the whole alphabet.  There was a cover page and a backing page.  All pages went into a little 4x6 photo book and we completee "Baby's First ABC Book".

I made these little bears out of washcloths, rubber bands, and ribbon and everyone went home with one of them and a chocolate bar with "HE" highlighted.
I posted the invites a while ago and I had a bunch of the little animals already colored and die cut so I used them to make Thank You notes for them to use.  Kept them very simple.

This little guy was supposed to help his aunt with package unwrapping but he and his mom have had a run of illnesses (including emergency gall bladder surgery for mom) the last couple of weeks and they couldn't come.  We missed them both but understand.  (He's blowing the germs out of his house!)