Monday, September 30, 2019

Squareathon - Fall 2019 - Part 2

This seemed to go by quickly..... well, the whole month of September has gone by quickly.  Here are the last of the Squareathon prompts.

Day 9 - Moondance - Van Morrison

Day 10 - Mellow Yellow - Donovan

Day 11 - California Dreamin - The Mamas and the Papas
My memory of our trip to California.  The view from the hotel we stayed in was highlighted by rainbow shades of flowers on the hillside leading down to the beach.  We were there with my husband's company at the time.  He had earned a reward and this is where the ceremony was.  Spouses were allowed to accompany the employees at that time, so I got to go with him.  There were events that were planned and some that you could choose to do.  The one we chose was a sailing expedition up the coast..... so that could be us in this sailboat.

Day 12 - White Rabbit - Jefferson Airplane
A lot of symbolism with this one.  One pill makes you larger, and one pill makes you small - the sailboats.  The water is painted like the chessboard.  The crown on one sail is for the red queen, the white knight is on the other.  And there are white rabbit clouds. 

Day 13 - Our House - Crosby, Stills, and Nash
"I'll light the fire, while you place the flowers in the vase that you bought today"
"Such a cozy room. The windows are illuminated by the evening sunshine through them"
And the sailboat is named TWO CATS.

Day 14 - The Lion Sleeps Tonight - The Tokens
And this one is a real stretch.  The openings in the brush are supposed to signify the sails of the sailboats, the boats being the patches of grass in the dirt below them...... whilst the lion sleeps.

Day 15 - Whiter Shade of Pale - Procol Harem
I love this song - in fact, this song, or the Bach melody that it is based on (Air on a G String) was played as the procession at our wedding.  The 16 Vestal Virgins mentioned in the song are represented by the white figures.  The Romans said they were the protectors of the fire.... thus the fiery sails.

Day 16 - She's a Rainbow - Rolling Stones
"See the sky in front of you - and her face is like a sail - speck of white so fair and pale"
"She combs her hair - she's like a rainbow"

I was glad to stick to my theme throughout this challenge, but I don't think I will put that restriction on myself for the next one..... whenever that is.  

Thanks to @andreadeanethompson and @hollyplatt for such great prompts, and such wonderful encouragement throughout the last 16 days.  If you are on Instagram, check out #squareathon to see some really great art!

Sunday, September 22, 2019

Squareathon - Fall 2019

So this 15-day challenge sponsored by @andreadeanethompson and @hollyplatt on Instagram has prompts all relating to songs of the 60's and 70's.

I was trying to come up with a theme while we were fishing before the challenge began and seeing the names of the boats that passed by us on the dock gave me the idea of using sailboats as my theme.

Day 1 - Good Vibrations - The Beach Boys

Day 2 - Imagine - John Lennon
(Living life in Peace)

Day 3 - Aquarius - The Fifth Dimension
(The moon is in the seventh house and the symbol on the sail is that of Aquarius)

Day 4 - Tangled Up in Blue - Bob Dylan

Day 5 - Wild World - Cat Stevens

Day 6 - A Hazy Shade of Winter - Simon and Garfunkle
(my attempt at a flannel sail)

Day 7 - Blackbird - Beatles

Day 8 - Woodstock  - Joni Mitchell

Sunday, September 15, 2019

Welcome Back!

I put together this Welcome Back basket of apples with pictures of all of our staff along with their names.  I had done something similar when I first started at the school and since this is almost definitely my last year, as I was cleaning out my desk over the summer (so as not to wait until next June to go through things) I came across the picture stickers of our staff from Picture Day which were begging to be used instead of being tossed out.  We have an apple die for our Ellison machine which is a precursor to the likes of the Big Shot or Cuttlebug.  I laminated the apples, cut them out, and after some searching, found bamboo skewers to use to set them into the foam in the basket.  


One of the teachers was talking about something she had seen on FB - a teacher holding up one of those 1st Day of School chalkboards - pretty funny.  She said we should all do that on the first day of school.  I told her that I had had the same idea and that if they really wanted to do it, I would prepare the construction paper slates and they could all fill them out at our Hot Dog Luncheon.  I put all the dots on the papers and wrote the school name and date. The teachers were provided the papers and some white chalk.  They had to put their name and number of years teaching and the other boxes they could fill with whatever trivia about themselves they cared to share.  Look how serious they were.

Our principal even filled one out and wanted everyone to meet on the playground the next morning (our second day for the staff, still no students) so we could get a picture of the entire group.  I took the photo though you can't see the info on their pages.  They decided to hang them outside their classrooms.

Here's mine....

In the spring our staff gets $55 to order personal supplies for themselves/their classrooms (don't worry we have a well-stocked supply closet and all curriculum materials come out of a larger budget).  My goal has always been to get them to get their orders in on time so we can move forward with the approval process. So - I offer prizes.  I use my $55 to split between the first 3 teachers with completed orders and then I offer a special prize for those that are able to order $55 on the nose.  This year I had three teachers that were able to make on-the-nose orders.  

I found these flamingo tape dispensers at the Dollar Tree, handtowels with an embroidered flamingo at Big Lots, and a succulent from IKEA.

I put together three quick cards with flamingos that said inside "You are a flamingo in a flock of pigeons! - This is your prize for hitting $55 on the nose."  I left them on the desks of the winners while everyone was at the district staff meeting.  

While the staff was away, we set up for our traditional Hot Dog luncheon.  I collect a few bucks from each teacher to purchase the fixings for the hot dogs, paper products, drinks and desserts.  The staff who choose to, sign up to bring things like salads, chips, more desserts and more drinks.  There's always more than enough food to go around.  This year we also got a couple of pails of ice cream and several 2 liter bottles of root beer to make root beer floats.  That was a hit too!

It's going to be a bittersweet year as I go through doing things for "the last time".  But I want to make it as fun as possible so look forward to some more celebrations and activities.

Tuesday, September 10, 2019

Barnegat Birds and Backyard Visitors

Some of the birds from the wildlife refuge behind us.

The neighbor's hummingbird feeder has a few guests.

Catching an egret in a tree while on a bike ride.

Home in B-burg - a box turtle.  We haven't seen one of these in many years.

And then there was this toad.  During a rainstorm he was trying to get away from all the water.

If this were the wild west they would be on horseback.  Don't know how many horses are in those tractors.  At least they turned them off to talk.

Monday, September 9, 2019

Summer Cards

Rachel needed a girl baby card and luckily I made two of these because our daughter-in-law's cousin had a baby girl too and I wanted to congratulate the first-time grandparents.  

Just fooling around with some $1 stickers from Mike's. A lama mandala inspired by my friend Lauren who has a way with stickers and with mandala's too.  I think I might have to add a little bit of pen doodling before making this into a card, but it's a nice start.

Some no line coloring for a Thank You note for friends. 

I used Arteza gouache to color this.

Some more no line coloring/painting for these two anniversary cards.

It's been a slow card-making summer for me.  I have a lot of catching up to do with my Christmas cards - yikes!

Sunday, September 8, 2019


I actually do have several posts queued up from August, I've just been trying to fit so much into the last of the summer that things are falling by the wayside.  These are some late night watercolor gouache and gel pen additions to one of my sketchbooks.  Trying to use up paint in my ceramic rose palette.  

After putting all those outward marks on the spiral, I decided to outline them with a white gel pen.

After adding some doodles.

My ceramic rose palette.  The watercolor gouache dries quickly in the dish and I rejuvenate the colors that I want to use with an eye dropper.  Completely dry I can take this with me when I travel and do the same with the eye dropper.

We had some sidewalk chalk for the little guy to use on the driveway and/or the little slate.  He was very much into it.

After he drew on the driveway I heard him tell Papa that he was drawing a rainbow on the slate.  Not bad for a 3-year-old.