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Friday, January 31, 2014

Art Work Madness!!

    No, I am not really going mad.  I don't think.  Would I know if I were?  Or would I think I was normal?  Mmmm.  I am turning out things like a creative mad-woman.  Because of three days off of school due to weather, I have finished my inchie, got 3 different challenges done, completed my two journal pages for Journal 52, and nearly completed my next batch of bookmarks for the bookmark swap.  I have been busy.  If you would like to see my journal pages you can check them out here.  I decided to write two posts so this one wouldn't be so long.
    Every Inchie Monday's word was "ballet".  I drew some ballet slippers and used gel pens to make them shine.
     Dare #89 had a wonderful template.  It was a lot of fun to play with.  I closed my version in more than the template showed, but I rather like it.
     Aquafleur was the tangle Diva wanted us to use.  From the moment I saw this tangle it has been one I have played with.  I love the flowing "swoopy" look!  It looks so rich and fancy without much effort.  So doing this challenge was delightful!  In fact I seem to have trouble stopping doing this tangle. 
    Now.  I think I am all caught up with posts.  I think.  I now am off to continue working on those bookmarks.  I love doing the bookmarks, it is addressing the envelopes that bug me.  Isn't that silly?  Thank you for dropping by and visiting.  I love reading your comments.

Art Journal weeks 3 and 4

    I have had so much fun with this art journal group from Facebook - Journal 52.  I have often thought of an art journal, but never really had the inspiration.  Well, all that is solve with this group.  We get a new prompt every week.  I am really enjoying it.  My work isn't quite as awesome as some I have seen, but then again, I like what I have done and I am having fun, so that is what counts, isn't it?
    Week 3 the prompt was "You Make Me Smile".  What makes me smile?  I have lots of reasons and things that bring me joy.  The problem was deciding what to use.  Looking through some pictures for another reason I found this picture of Lakota taken back in the summer when he was enjoying the grass and the summer sunshine.  He looked like he was laughing to me.  He certainly makes me smile and laugh.  I painted the background, used my cricut for some accents and lettering.  Then I found some old mylar paper that I thought would be perfect for the balloons.  Here you go - one of my reasons to smile.
       "Building Character" was the week 4 prompt.  We had to include a character on our page.  I knew from the start I wanted to tangle the hair.  But should I attempt a realistic portrait?  I am okay with faces.  Not bad, just not stellar.  I do enjoy cartooning.  So my decision was made - cartoon it was.  I drew the face and colored it with pencils.  Then I collaged her dress and again went to the cricut for letters.  Then I tangled away on her hair adding words here and there that I felt described my character.  I didn't realize until a ways into it that she reminded me of those troll dolls I had as a kid.  I had an entire box of those wild, multi-colored hair dolls.  They were one of my favorites. 
       Last week I got to go out with a friend to Artsy U.  They are an art studio and you sign up for a certain painting then they step you through the work.  It was awesome fun.  I also got to visit with someone I hadn't seen in a long time so that was great too.  Here we are with our Van Goghs, who I really don't think is in any danger of losing his claim to fame to us.
     I still have one more post to write.  I put it into two groups since there were so many things to include.  That is what happens when I am (blissfully) snowed in and have no where to be.  Oh joy!  Thanks for dropping by and visiting. 

Sunday, January 26, 2014

A Little Something Special for Your Desk (review)

 2014 Calendar 

      My desk at school is rather large, or it should be.  It has a cubbie storage unit that has had the wheels removed on top of it.  Perfect for filing kiddos's papers.  It does make putting one of those desk calendars on it somewhat tight.  So when Shoplet asked me to take a look at a desk calendar, I figured okay, but it probably wouldn't fit.  Wrong.  The desktop calendar from House of Doolittle is a perfect fit, but without being too small.  It has nice roomy boxes for each day where I record student notes, doodle a bit to pass time and make sure meetings don't get missed.  The paper is a nice quality from recycled material.  I like that it feels a bit thicker than normal allowing me to write with most all of my pens and markers, except the Sharpies - too much bleed through there.  One of the things with past desk calendars that have annoyed the picky side of me is that once they are on my desk for a bit they start to curl on the bottom edge and come out of the corner tabs.  I haven't had it on my desk really long yet but the thicker paper may help with the curling problem.  Also the corner tabs, which are a really pretty navy color, are larger than usual.  I like this calendar.  It is as attractive as a desk pad type calendar needs to be and more importantly, it is "comfortable".  The boxes are large enough for notes and there is a section down the right side for additional scribblings. Also pleasant is the color of the ink used to print this calendar - a nice tone of blue and gray inks. 


Business Planner

     House of Doolittle products also has a very nice business planner.  Like the desk pad it is 100% recycled paper, printed with soy inks and made in the USA.  Each week has a two page spread with week-end days printed on a gray tone box.  The top of the page shows the current month and the one before and after it for easy reference.  At the bottom there is a chart to record expenses.  So if you were using this as a take along business item, you could keep a record of your expenses at hand.  Perhaps it should have had a pocket for receipts in the back to aid with this also?  In the back of the planner there are several pages of helpful information - a metric conversion chart, travel hints, mileage charts, and my favorite an area code directory to name a few.  Again the pages are not too papery thin and hold up under different inks well.  Again no Sharpies.  The book is spiral bound with recycled wire - I hadn't heard of that before!  It has a cover of recycled material also.  The entire planner has a nice feel to it - sturdy but not too bulky.  It would be a nice addition to your office supplies.
Thank you for dropping by and checking out these two great products.  I am enjoying using both of them personally.



Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Quick post

   Seriously.  A quick one.  I need to get some more school work done tonight, but I wanted to get this posted.  I hope your week is going great and thank you so much for dropping by.  I have something exciting planned for tomorrow evening - I will share soon!
Challenge #151 - Moebius strip
Dare #88
Another dare #88, January Gray skies
   Again, have a great week!

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Arrival . . . sort of

     There were times this week I was not sure today would ever get here!  What a mentally exhausting week.  I didn't get to teach - all those great plans I had done before Christmas break - instead I tested.  I honestly don't mind testing.  Even strangely enough I rather enjoy the one on one time with a child.  But.  My job this week was to help classroom teachers get their testing done.  It is a one on one reading assessment (DIBELS) that we give three times a year.  By the end of the week I had tested close to 200 children.  Quite an endeavor.  Then about mid week, I found out about a major schedule change for me . . .  not a bad one, just change.  I have said often enough how my system handles change (not well).  I do have a three day week end and have been blessed with Tuesday at school to get ready to start the new plans.  We shall see.  In a few weeks, I will be rolling with this one - I hope.
     Every Inchie Monday's word was 'brown".  I cut several pieces of different brown papers I have into strips.  Then I wove them together.  Then I punched out an inch of this woven paper.  Bad idea.  Next time glue all the little ends together - lol!  After taking care of "loose ends", I used a rub on sticker of an acorn.  It looked too bland so I went searching and found a twig that was also a sticker.  Voila!  It is complete.
      The journal prompt last Monday was "Somewhere - a simple place".  I have mulled it over all week.  I knew in my brain exactly what I wanted the idea to be.  I just didn't have time or an idea how to accomplish it.  I knew it had to have a map of the place where I grew up.  I could tell you where every tree is on that farm ( I climbed most of them).  It was not only a simple place, but a simple time.  Parents dealt with the worries and we just played.  Not inside on a computer or video game, but out in the fields and woods.  Mom felt safe with us out there.  She should.  Most of the time we were trailed by some wonderful large canine companion who would make sure their charges were safe.  There were watermelon patches to "rob" and fruit trees all over the place.  We built forts and secret places.  My very simple map does not do justice to the wonder of this place.  I doubt I will ever get to go back there - separated by several states - and even if I did I am sure progress would have changed it.  But sometimes, when I need a secret place, I go to there in my mind.  That is what I wanted this page to accomplish.  I am not sure it does.  But either way here it is.

     I hope your week is awesome!  I plan on making mine just that - awesome!  Thanks for dropping by and leaving me some comment sunshine!

Friday, January 17, 2014

JOY

  That's my 2014 word - Joy!  I have tried so hard this (school) year to remain positive about everything from changes to rainy day car duty.  I felt I had gotten into a negative atmosphere and it has been my plan to shake that off.  Smile and move forward.  The last two days tried to test my resolve and yes, I admit it was hard to hang on to the smile.  I had to readjust my schedule, think about teaching something else along with reading that I am not as comfortable with and to top it off the electronic planbook I use "ate" the entire year's worth of plans to date.  I was . . .less than happy.  But here I am.  Actually smiling.  I do keep paper copies of plans so it wasn't a total loss.  I will rise to the challenge of a new subject.  And hey, what's a schedule anyway? 
    So even before Diva asking us to think about a word for 2014, I had chosen the word joy.  I have tried to keep it foremost in my mind and let it guide my days.  It has really been working.  One hundred per cent?  No, but close.   And definitely closer than I was last year at this time.
                                            J - Jesus first
                                           O - Others next
                                           Y - Yourself last
      Thanks for dropping by and leaving me some extra "joy".  Have a wonderful weekend!

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Perfect timing!

      Normally I get Erin's (Bright Owl) post and template Saturday evening or night.  Yesterday it was in my box when I got up.  So I had all day to focus on the dares.  I needed it too.  I am diabetic.  I checked my blood sugar yesterday and it was rather high.  I try very hard to keep it low, but admittedly with holidays and such, I have gotten rather lazy.  Yesterday's number reminded me I cannot get lazy.  But in addition to the reminder, I got rather depressed.  So the early arrival of the dares and the opportunity to just sit and mindlessly draw was very relaxing.  It was perfectly timed!


     Finished up my inchie for Every Inchie Monday today.  I had done one with a button that looked sort of amulet like.  But when I finished I just couldn't see what I wanted.  So I found a picture of a jewel and mounted it on some glittery paper.  Then I took the gel pens and added some details.  I still don't "see" exactly what I wanted, but it is closer.

      I hope your day (and week) is going great.  Thank you for dropping by and leaving me some sunshine. 

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

A Couple of Extra Days and A Lot More Creating!

      I did get those extra days from school I was talking about last post.  Yahoo!  I got to pull out the pens, tangle some, and then check out the first entry into Journal 52 prompts.  All the while sipping by beloved hot cocoa.  In my very warm house with the sun shining and the ground sparkling - no white at all - I think why am I not in school?  Then I have to open the back door to let Lakota out for a few minutes and boom!  I am hit with 7 degree temperatures and know immediately why I was tucked in a warm bed at six this morning.  And am filled with deep gratitude for those administrators that make such decisions. 
      Speaking of gratitude (don't you love my lead in?), Bright Owl asked us to think of something we were grateful for and incorporate it into our template.  We could do this however we chose.  I chose to do a simple drawing and list the most important 3 things in my life.  Inside of template complete, I started tangling.  I had finished two sections and was feeling very pleased with my efforts when low and behold there it was - a bobble!  Oh no!  What to do?  Throw my lovely away and start again?  I couldn't bear to.  Post it and yet again say, there is a goof on this one.  That was what I did.  So here is my template - goof and all.  Even with the goof, I still really like this one.
Gratitude
     Diva's first challenge was to celebrate the new year with a tile.  I wrote the numbers down several times, erased and tried them again.  I just couldn't get happy with how they looked.  I could've pulled out my cricut and cut a stencil, but it was getting close to clean up time and to do that I would need to rearrange my workspace.  (Oh, to have a dedicated scrapbooking/tangling/creative space!)  So I grabbed some rubber stamps and solved the problem.
      A new creative endeavor for me this year is Journal 52.  I love the look of art journals, but have not really gotten involved in making one.  We are given a weekly prompt and however we want to use that prompt is up to us.  I love the random, free-spirited look of collage art work.  That however is not me.  Maybe I will give it a try later on.  Maybe.  The prompt was "Up, Up, Away".   I had several thoughts - eagles were high on my list.  I love eagles, thanks to my last year's class and their affection for them.  But a dream of mine has always been to ride in a hot air balloon (and on an elephant, but that is another story).  I know if ever given the chance I would probably decline due to fear.  I have never been in a plane for that very reason.  Even with the fear factor, I do think to float in a hot air balloon would be thrilling (after the panic attack subsided).
     Hope your week is going well and the weather isn't too harsh where you are.  Thanks for coming by to visit.  Your comments make my day!

Sunday, January 5, 2014

One more day . . . .maybe

     Oh what a glorious vacation I have had!  Many long days spent crafting and tangling.  Too cold to go anywhere, so pajamas were just fine.  Hot cocoa.  Like I said glorious.  But all good things must come to an end.  Today is my last day of vacation . . . maybe.  We are facing some rather bitter cold in the morning and possibly some snow or ice.  It is possible my days may get increased by one or even two.  Our school system is very cautious about transporting children in bad weather.  I am glad for that.
     Every Inchie Monday is off and running for 2014.  The first word of the new year is "alice blue".  Am I the only person who did not have a clue what this meant?  So I went off to my good friend google and saw some pictures of shades of blue, Alice in Wonderland's dress, and a variety of other things that I question how they relate.  So what to do?  What else? Draw.  I did a tangle I am fond of and used every blue pencil, marker and gel pen I had.  Is this a good "alice blue"?  I haven't a clue.  But it is blue.  And it is pretty.  So I guess it will have to do.  I am anxious to see all the other interpretations of alice blue.

      Blue Twig Studio has a monthly ATC swap.  Well, sort of a swap.  I enter one ATC based on a theme and have the possibility to "win" all the entries in a drawing.  The theme for January is "maps".   If you are interested in participating go over to the link and check it out.  You only have to do one card.  So that isn't too hard.  I cut up an atlas showing Greensboro, North Carolina (the city nearest my very small hometown).  Then I tangled on another atc card a top and bottom.  Cut those out and glued them onto my map.  Last I put a gem onto Greensboro.  This was fun.  Now I just hope I win!

     I am getting involved in an art journal group, Journal 52.  They are going to give prompts each week and suggestions for what to put on the page.  I am not a "free and easy" style of artist.  I overplan.  Collage is not my usual thing.  But I admire the looks of those things.  I also think that an art journal would be fun.  The group is very supportive and friendly.  Check it out if you are interested in that sort of thing.  I will post my pages here as I complete them . . . maybe.  If I am happy with them.
      I hope you have a wonderful week and are not too blasted by arctic type cold.  Wishing you lots of blessings coming your way!