Tuesday, June 25, 2019

Taste Test Tuesdays

Candy and cookies - you can't go wrong with that.  Well, of course you can if you buy something to try it and wind up liking it and eating the whole bag or box.  To prevent this bingeing behavior and to promote some fun in the office, I started promoting Taste Test Tuesdays.  If there is a new candy or cookie that is being advertised, I will, or someone else will buy them and then we have a staff share.  This started last year towards the end of the school year and this past year it really picked up steam as the companies that make m&m's and oreo's have not been slackers when it comes to providing new flavors.

I usually take a picture of the package and include it in a little invitation for the staff to stop by my desk and have a taste.  I provide an index card where they can vote whether Y - yes, they like it, N - no, they don't like it, or M - maybe they would buy it.  The results have been mostly Y's over the course of the year, but there was one (pina colada candy kisses) that had almost all N's. 

Since I send the e-mail out to StaffAll - the administrators also see it and some of them have remarked that they make it a point to come over to our building when we're having Taste Test Tuesdays.

I've included a slide show of some of the items that we've tried.  There were a few others that I didn't get a picture of.  And this really does help if you're watching what you're eating, because there were a few of those tastes that I would have loved to have more of but since they were for sharing was limited to one!

Sunday, June 23, 2019

Happy Retirement

Four of our teachers and also my daughter-in-law's mother retired from teaching this year.  I had anticipated these retirments and ordered the balloon stamp and then totally forgot about it until this past week..... the last week of school.  So I scurried upstairs and got cracking on making one for each so I could add my personal note to them.  We do a group card from the staff, but there's usually just a smidge of room to write anything and some of these ladies deserved a little more than a smidge.

The background is some distress oxide ink sprayed with water and smeared on the watercolor paper to make a quick sky-like backgroud.  I stamped the bear and the balloons on regular cardstock first and then fussy cut them so I could pop them up on the front.  Inside there was plenty of room for my personal well-wishes.  

It was a very emotional send off for these ladies.  They are close to me in age and were very much my contemporaries of which there are few left in my school.  The art teacher was one of them and we did a little special secret tribute for her the next-to-the-last day.  The gym teacher had written up a request to parents to send him pictures of their kids with artwork that they had created in school with the art teacher who was retiring and I posted it on Facebook in the mom's group for him.  The outpouring was tremendous.   He put together a slide show and secretly got her family to come in and after the students left, we faked a meeting to get her to the gym where everyone was waiting.  I can tell you that there were very few dry eyes in the house.  What a wonderful way to say good bye and thank her for all the inspiration she gave everyone over the years.  They all will be greatly missed!

ICAD 2019 - Week 3

Some of these prompts from this week, and next week from what I have seen, are getting harder to fit into the space that I left myself around the ribbon.  But I will persevere.

Day 15 - Storm 
It was quite windy the day I was doing this and the clouds were scooting across the sky.  I hope I captured that feeling a little.

Day 16 - Chandelier
Not exactly like the crystal chandelier that my grandparents had in their dining room.  A little more modern..... and colorful.

Day 17 - Wood
Cross sliced sections of logs and twigs.

Day 18 - Yearbook
I wanted to incorporate the name of my high school yearbook "Valorem" into my card for this.  But I didn't know, nor could I find out what the word meant.  There is a definition that I found, but I couldn't connect it to yearbook.  So I went in another direction with a superlative.

Day 19 - Yellow
Some highlighted yellow flowers amongst others.

Day 20 - Vitrina (Display Case)
I had never heard this word before.  Nor had many of the ICADians.  I now know that it refers to a display case of some kind, probably similar to the china cabinet that my grandparents had.  I chose to go another route with the word DISPLAY - such as that of a peacock.

Day 21 - Guitar

It was my intention to try a tessellation of guitars and this is somewhat getting there but not quite I fear.  I really did myself in by making them so small.  It had me cross-eyed by the time I was done.

As much as I am enjoying this challenge, I am looking forward to finishing up with my rainbow ribbon.  Like I said in the preface, it leaves little room for working with the prompt.  July should be much more about the freedom of creating.  

Sunday, June 16, 2019

Happy Father's Day

HWNSNBP and the newest grandson taken last weekend.  A new little fishing buddy.

Friday, June 14, 2019

ICAD 2019 - Week 2

As I mentioned, I'm working ahead on the ribbon portion and I've found that it's absolutely necessary as I didn't take into account the parts of the ribbon from future cards that are also on present cards.  Since the rainbow has an order to it, I can't just start randomly with a color - one has to flow to the next card.  So I've had to set them all out to see just how far in advance I have to work to get a particular card done.  In one or two cases, I've had to work a week out on the ribbon.  Live and learn!

Day 8 - Goggles

Day 9 - Macaron

Day 10 - Sapphire

Day 11 - Palm 

Day 12 - Tapestry (which turned out to look more like a rag rug to me)

Day 13 - Balcony
From The Balcony of the Casa Rosada - Evita

Day 14 - Thread
Faux embroidery.

I had a real crazy thing happen to me last Saturday.  I had been working on my goggle card the night before as I've been trying to do, and was tired and left it on the table overnight.  When I woke up in the morning, it was where I had left it, but there was a word written on it that I cannot, for the life of me, remember putting there. It has nothing to do with the prompt whatsoever.  HWNSNBP swears, and I believe him, that he did not do it.  So the question is, who did?  It creeped me out so much it took me all day Saturday to want to get back to finishing it.  

I'm seeing FARCE but I don't know why it's there.  Strange.

Tuesday, June 11, 2019

Sunshine Comes From New Zealand

Going through some photos I realized that there are quite a few that I hadn't posted including these.  This card came from my blogging friend Sunshine in New Zealand as a note of thanks for thinking of here in a special way after an accident she had.  I organized a card party of sorts for her in March with my Pig Ladies, hoping to lift her spirits and it seemed to have done the trick.  She got cards from as close as California and as far away as Ireland, with the majority of them coming from right here in New Jersey which isn't just down the block either.  

Isn't this so true.  My "Pig Ladies" embraced her with thoughts of a speedy recovery and concern for her well-being.  They worked a little flying pig magic you might say.

Even the outside of the envelope was decorated.  

I am blessed with such wonderful and caring friends.  I know Sunshine said she was going to thank everyone individually when she was feeling better but I wanted to say thanks also.  You made my heart proud!

Friday, June 7, 2019

ICAD 2019

June rolls around and it's time for ICAD - Index Card A Day brought to us by Tammy Garcia aka Daisy Yellow.  Tammy provides 61 days worth of prompts for this two-month challenge.  Check that, there are a few more than 61 prompts as she also provides warm-up exercises for the week before - all being totally optional.

I was loving doing the rainbow ribbons in my sketchbook and thought it might be cool to try them on my index cards.  There were several decisions to be made thought.  First, would the ribbon be contained on each card or should I link them together?  And if I linked them together would it be for the entire two months or a shorter period of time? Second, the medium for the ribbon.  In my sketchbook I had been using watercolor markers, but there would be a lot of blending involved and index cards don't really allow for much blending.  Once you touch the marker to the paper it soaks in making blending pretty hard.  And I needed to decide what the background to the ribbon would be.  Would it be simply a different type of media, or would I use the prompts.

So here's what I decided.  The ribbon would be colored with colored pencils - a somewhat inexpensive set that was easy to use.  The ribbon would link through the cards and I would only do the ribbon on the first month - so 30 days (31 including the title card).  And I'm trying to use the prompts as the background filler of various media, but not necessarily different on each day.

Day 1 - Mailbox

Day 2 - Peppermint

Day 3 - Magenta

Day 4 - Reflection

Day 5 - Tourist Map

Day 6 - Leaf or Petal

Day 7 - Stencil

This is how I started the ribbon. I taped 31 cards to a wall and started drawing the circles and then penciled in the loops. I made sure to carefully number the cards so I could do them in order. 

I am working ahead on the ribbon part so I can keep up with the daily prompts on schedule.  I'm looking forward to seeing it all put together at the end of June.  Then I'll have to think about what to do for July......any suggestions?

Wednesday, June 5, 2019

Sunsets, Baby Blues, and a Little Boy

I have some posting to catch up on.  Here it is June and I've not shared a few things from May yet.  I'll start with the sunsets.  Sunsets at our home in Branchburg aren't as easy to capture as the ones in Barnegat for a couple of reasons.  Because we're on the ground and pretty much surrounded by trees there really isn't a clear line to capture the color, but every once and a while, the color is so spectacular that the trees make it a little more dramatic.

Standing in the driveway to take that picture, I turned around and the windows on the house reflected it all so I tried to capture that too. 

Some more sunsets from Barnegat.

Last Friday night the sun looked like that "Red Rubber Ball" in the sky as it set. 

And our five little bluebirds fledged just before Memorial Day.  Hoping for a new nest at home but I can report at this time that there's a nest being built in the new box that we put outside my bosses window at school. 

We had some play time with this little guy this past weekend. He's growing up so fast!