Sunday, May 26, 2019

Pineapples and Rainbow Ribbons

I was staying at my daughter's house to help her after her little boy was born and was inspired by her love of pineapples.  She has a few in various forms scattered through her house.  The pineapple is a symbol of welcome in the south and because the Chinese word for pineapple is so close to the word for good luck it has become a feng shui symbol of fortune and wealth.  I guess it's a good thing to have around then!

Some of these were quick little drawings that I did while she and the baby were sleeping.

And when I got home I started experimenting with adding some tangles to the pineapples as well as incorporating some rainbow ribbons.

The ribbon theme kind of got away from me in the one below, but there's still a rainbow of color.

And this one was done in a larger sketch book with some Posca paint pens.  I'm thinking I'm not done yet pursuing this theme and may try one or two on canvas to see if she would like to add to her collection.

I guess I'm also not done with the rainbow ribbon theme that I started whilst doing the "Everything Circles" challenge.  These continue also.

Right now I'm getting ready to participate in ICAD once again.  And I'm toying with an idea than doesn't involve the prompts.  Let's see if I can pull this together by Saturday when it begins.

Friday, May 17, 2019

Taco Tuesday - Work Celebration

We were going to celebrate Cinco de Mayo but the 5th of May fell on a Sunday.  So instead we opted to go for Taco Tuesday on the 7th of May.  We had some funds left over from our last celebration which enabled me to supplement and to collect less money from the staff that wished to participate.  This time we had the food catered from Moe's Southwest Grill (a chain restaurant specializing in southwestern food) for our lunch.  We chose the Taco Bar option and drinks and desserts were supplied by staff members.

I had told them after the baseball party that I wasn't going to supply the entertainment this time as "I had hung up my castanets years ago" - but planned a surprise nonetheless.

It started with a beach ball, some newspaper, and a flour and water mixture.

One layer a day of newspaper strips dipped in flour paste (aka papier mache)  for three days meant this ball came with me wherever we were going that weekend.  The bottle is there in the picture for reference to size.

Once dry, I dipped into my stash of saved tissue paper (remember I'm a saver and it felt good to put a dent, even though small, in this stash) and did some folding and snipping and glue-gunning to get this hanging globe which would be our pinata.

Tuesdays after school are set aside for staff meetings.  I conspired with the principal to have the meeting changed from the Media Center to the Gym and the gym teacher helped to set this up.  One of the other teachers brought in his blender and was making virgin margheritas for whoever wanted them.  When the meeting was over (he made it short and quick) it was time for the fun.  (Note:  I do not usually attend staff meetings as they are primarily for the teaching staff and the principal will fill us in on any pertinent info back in the office, but this day I stayed.)  

I was a little surprised that there were quite a few present who did not, or pretended not to know what to do with a pinata.  They were a little laid back about participating until the principal told them that besides the candy in the pinata, there were 5 numbered ping pong balls that corresponded to incentives he came up with that involved "time and money".  (Extra prep time, extended lunch, $ for supplies, etc.)  

We got through three teachers before the ball cracked and then, much to my dismay - the person who cracked it took off her blindfold and stuck her hand into the pinata searching for a ping pong ball at which time she was joined by some others who saw what she was doing.  Not exactly fair play - but there was no stopping them at that point.  Still it was fun.  You hear words like "climate" and "culture" these days when it refers to working with a group of people and things like this tend to improve climate and culture.....I'm least for a little while.

I think I'm done for the year with these extra events.  We do have a school-wide event coming up this week, our annual Memorial Day Commemoration, but the whole staff works on this one.  There will probably be an end-of-the-year party at some point after school somewhere and we have 4 teachers retiring so there is a retirement dinner also - again not in my court.  I plan on working one more year and I'm thinking it will be hard to live up to everything we had going this year.....we'll see.  I'm open to ideas! 

Thursday, May 16, 2019

April Birthday Cards and Some From May

My co-worker is a horsewoman so I put this together for her birthday.  Below is a close-up of the die cut inlay.

My blogging friend Sabrina's birthday is also in April and this is the card I made for her.  Some floral alpha stamps that I watercolored with birds and foliage die cuts.  

And this one was for our daughter-in-law.  I do love the wreath maker!

The stamp on the next two cards so reminded me of  my grandmother that I had to have it.  I ordered it from Viva Las Vegas stamps and when I got it, promptly lost it.  I swore my grandmother was messing with me.  I gave up looking for it and ordered another one and had to use it on my uncle's birthday card and made a second one to have on hand for, well, that situation has yet to be determined.

This last one is for our friend's anniversary.  All die cuts and rather an abstract bouquet.   

I used the Press and Seal technique to capture those diecuts where I wanted them before adding glue to the backs and placing them on the card front.  

Sunday, May 12, 2019

Tuesday, May 7, 2019

Jingle Belles - Sketch Challenge

The Jingle Belles gave us a really great sketch to work with this time.  

I used a square image in place of the tag, so I hope this qualifies.  The stamp set is Feathers and Frost from SU.  You know I had to make that bird a bluebird.  

If you read my last post, you'll see that I've been a little bit occupied with family business so I am lucky to have a card today, but I actually did make two of them - just not two different ones.  Please check out the other entries on the Jingle Belles blog by clicking here.  

He's Here

He was a little late, but he's here.  Maverick James was born to our daughter Rachel and her fiance Ryan on Friday.  9 lb. 12 oz. of solid love!

Rachel's favorite number is 2 and our son Christopher's favorite number is 7 and we use these numbers regularly in passwords and such.  Chris pointed out that if you add up the birthdate of his son, our first grandchild (4+7+16), it equals 27.  If you add up the birthdate of Maverick (5+3+19) it also equals 27.  And if that isn't crazy enough - Friday 5/3 would have been my father's 92nd birthday - he was born in the year 1927.

Monday, May 6, 2019

April in Pictures

Some Forget-me-nots that came up in the pavement.  They self-sow everywhere and I don't mind a bit.

Front to back: Redbud, Dogwood, Red Maple and lower left corner some Forsythia.

Bluebells that have self-sown also with some Daffodils, Spring Beauty, and Marsh Marigolds.

First trip to The Great Swamp Nursery for our annuals.

I didn't know that gnomes had tusks!

Town-wide garage sales in Barnegat proved very fruitful.  Two mini muffin tins, two ceramic flower posts, two sets of clear salt & pepper shakers, a partial set of make-up brushes (which will not be used for make-up), a cool glass cone Christmas ornament, a trifle bowl, and a mechanical pencil I bought because I had never seen colored lead refills.  All this for $12.  And we got a toddler-sized table and two chairs for $5 which just needs a good sanding and a coat of paint.

Checked out a new consignment shop in Manahawkin and saw some carved flamingos.

An April sunset.

With a skein of egrets.

And the "Box of Sunshine" that I put together for our Education Foundation Fund raiser.  Our group (office staff and the teachers not part of a bigger group) went along with my suggestion for this. Some gave me cash, others gave me items to put in.  Everything had to be yellow (or mostly).  

Wednesday, May 1, 2019

Everything Circles to the End

April is gone and with it the #everythingcircles challenge.  Here are the pieces that I worked on for the last half of the month.

By now you know that I save a lot of things.  These circles were what was left of the Colorburst backgrounds that I used on the ornaments I made for my school staff two Christmases ago.  I had no idea at the time what I might use them for, but when I found them in the craft room recently I thought they would definitely fit in with this challenge.  The background on these is gouache.  

The circles on both are the same color pallet, but they look different against the different backgrounds.

A Zig brushmarker rainbow with marker mandalas.

These circles were more of the Zig markers wet.  An attempt at underwater bubbles - left out the fish and opted for fishnet instead.

Some more marker mandalas.

This is done in the large sketch pad.  The background is chains of marker circles.  The green circles are marker on some punched circle tags that I found whilst tidying up the craft room.  

I started these by drawing the circles and then wrapped the ribbon around them.  The ribbon is colored and blended with Zig's.  I added the lines in Micron marker afterwards.  I have some more ideas to do with this ribbon I hope to share at a later day.

The next day I took it a step further and added the Micron marker circles in the open spaces.

A variation done with color pencils this time.

This one is pretty busy.  I just layered these circle sprays in Arteza markers.

And this last one involves some recycling again.  Here are pieces of Colorbursted watercolor paper from Christmas Ornaments from this year.  The circles are twisted and coiled paper straw wrappers which for some reason I was saving last summer (I think in anticipation of using them for ICAD, but not entirely sure, though I'm glad to finally have used some of them).

I hope I haven't bored you with all these circles.  My art is all over the place, I know.  Some people have a niche, but I don't seem to have one.  I do enjoy experimenting with different mediums and also love repurposing things that some would call junk.  I don't expect everyone to get that either.  I just thank you for following along and hope you see something that you like.

No long-term challenges for me in May - I'm gearing up for ICAD which will start officially on June 1st with a couple of warm-ups before that.