Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Challenge 59 - Mardi Gras

       Several years ago, (when curriculum allowed for more flexibility), my second graders and I went on a year long "journey" to places all over the world.  Our whole day was focused on wherever we happened to be.  Math, reading, everything was related to our destination.  We "traveled" to New Orleans and had a great time.  We made masks, ate king cake, and even had our own parade around the school!  We were having so much fun, I don't think they realized how much they were learning.  I have former students who are now grown, come to visit and one of the first things they always say is "remember when we went to __"! 
      I loved this challenge.  I have never been, in reality, to New Orleans.  I am not sure I honestly would even like to go to Mardi Gras.  But even so, I loved thinking about masks.  Masks are fascinating to me.  They are such beautiful works of art.  So the first thing I did was, of course, Google Mardi Gras masks.  After looking at several, I decided on a style to use - full face, fancy lady.  I really wanted to use color, but just couldn't get it worked out how.  So I kept it black and white, then mounted it on gold, green and purple paper. 
      I had to include the challenge in my Tangle-A-Day calendar.  This time, I added some color with my scrapbooking markers.  I wish the points on them were a lot smaller, but until I get that set of micron colored pens I have my eye on, they will just have to do.  Either way, I had lots of fun on my day off of school (President's Day).
       I also had time to work on another mandala.  I really love this art form.  I am constantly looking and admiring other people's work on-line.  It just seems to be a natural partner for zentangle.  I tried to use more organic tangles than my usual style.  I think it is my favorite of my mandalas yet. 
       Hope your week is a great one!  I really appreciate the wonderful comments you leave.  It is so exciting to read what you have to say!  So until next time . . . .

Friday, February 17, 2012

Challenge 58

     This week's challenge was fun!  I loved the diamond logo used for pediatric cancer.  This logo is used by The Four Diamonds Fund set up by Charles and Irma Millard to help cancer patients in honor of their own son Christopher, who lost a battle with cancer in 1972.  The "shield" comes from a story which Christopher wrote about a knight, Sir Millard, having to overcome obstacles in order to earn Courage, Wisdom, Honesty, and Strength.  Penn State University is getting ready to have a dance marathon to raise money for this worthy cause.  I took some time and went to read parts of Christopher's story - moving. 
     Many years ago, I was fortunate enough to have in my classroom a wonderful child named Rebekah.  She was bright, spunky and a bundle of energy - most days.  Other days, you could see the pain, but still her dynamo spirit shone through.  She was battling leukemia.  I learned so much from this precious 7 year old.  I never heard her say a word of complaint.  She just smiled, laughed and kept going.  A few years after she was in my room, she lost her battle.  I will always carry a part of her with me. 
    As I worked with this challenge, I thought of Rebekah and the many children like her.  My diamond is not exactly the logo, but I did try to keep to using mostly diamond tangles.  I did have a goof on the area with Yincut, then tried to "fix" it.  I am not happy with the edge of it, but "no mistakes" right?! 
     I hope everyone had a wonderful Valentine's Day.  I sure did - nothing beats sharing the holiday with 17 second graders!  Seriously, they are so sweet and full of love.  I got so many hugs and cute little cards.  The next day I went to a retirement seminar.  As I listened, I thought how different my life will be when I don't have a crew of children to party with.  Some good things, yes, but sort of sad to think about.  Oh well, that may have to be a few years away anyway. 

Friday, February 10, 2012

Challenge 57 - Sanibelle

     What a hectic week it has been!  I teach second grade and it has been "one of those weeks".  A good week, but really hectic.  So I have particularly enjoyed the tranquility of a few moments with Tricia Faraone's tangle - Sanibelle.  It was a walk in a fairy garden, with unusual plants and mushrooms.  I love this tangle and the flowing feel it has.  To me, it is very calming - like a garden.  I loved the moments I spent in this magical place. . . . . ah, and then back to reality.
     It's hard to believe but this past Feb. 8th, Lakota turned 3 years old.  Where does time go?  I am certain that it was only yesterday he was a baby.  Of course, since he was such a rambunctious baby, I am glad it was yesterday.  He has become such a wonderful dog.  Incredibly smart and oh so stubborn.  His newest quirk is to go outside and refuse to come in.  As you could guess, he only does this when you are in a hurry.  Any other time he comes whenever you call.  Oh, the joys of "parenthood"!!

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Challenge 56 - Non Dom

     When I was younger I heard my Grandma say "Their left hand doesn't know what their right hand is doing."  Yep.  That was surely the case when I read the challenge for this week.  Truly my left hand was clueless.  I can barely hold a pencil (or pen) with my left hand.  In fact to even start drawing, I had to take the pen and position it with my right hand.  My brother, who is left-handed, got a good laugh at me and my struggles. 
     I really started not to even try, but I love a challenge.  Even one as difficult as this one, so I persevered.  I did decide to let my right hand show the way things should be.  So I drew one tangle with my right hand, then drew the mirror image with my left.  Everything my right did, my left copied.  That made it easier to me.  It was also fun to compare the two.  I mounted them both on black cardstock so the pair could be displayed.  Sort of neat looking, I think.