Be Happy Anyway

Be Happy Anyway
From Brave Girls Club

Monday, January 31, 2011

On the Creative Front

This year in an attempt to explore more creative avenues, I joined Sketchbook Challenge and a Calendar Challenge. I did fine on the first one, but completely flaked on the second. Here is what I have finished this past week.

I finished the front cover of this book:
Then I followed the directions for Sunday on this weekly art journal plan, and came up with this:
Just using some of my favorite motifs to put this zentangle scene together:
I think I am going to turn this into a set of note cards:

I think for as busy as January has been, I have managed to enjoy some pretty good creative time. I have one more project I would like to add to the creative mix. I planned to do it last month, but the month got away from me and it required me to remember what I did everyday.

I will share more with you soon.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Hello Friends


Well, here I am, 6:21 in the a.m. on my day off. No rest for the weary.

Today's activities will begin at 8 a.m. when my alarm goes off for real, and I have to get my kiddos up to get Caitlin to a private dance lesson to help her improve her solo. Things aren't going too well. Last year she did a tap solo but was bent on doing a jazz solo this year. I knew it wasn't the right choice, but she couldn't be swayed and decided to let her learn her lesson the hard way. In the beginning, I thought, "Wow, she just might do this!" However, she hasn't grabbed onto certain difficult parts of the routine that her choreographer has created for her, and we haven't had a moment to get together since learning the entire routine back in November. I hope this lesson does the trick. I will let you know when I know.

After we get back, I really should do some regular chores, but I am such a procrastinator that I will probably sit down for a while and then get involved in something else more interesting like getting through my list of DVR'd shows. I also have to find a moment to go over to my mother's to help her get her DVD player working. My DH helped her hook up everything last week before he left for Missouri, but didn't try out the DVD player once he hooked it up. Now we can't get it to play. I had to call a coworker because I couldn't figure it out. It must be a much fancier t.v. and has far more connections options in the back than this one.

Finally, when I do get some things done around the house, I want to break out some pens and get to drawing. I have yet to really pull out paint because the colors I have are limited, and I am currently on a very limited budget until I am no longer paying for two houses. So for now, I am going to try the doodling version of this activity over at Art Journal Everyday. I didn't get to do too much even though Julie's simple idea is to do only about 10 minutes everyday. Yet another thing to improve on.


We finished with dance lessons. They were quite productive. We will have to go back next week for another private lesson.

This is after 30 minutes of nonstop practicing. She was a little tired.

Did I draw or paint? No. But I did get a load of laundry done and we raked the leaves that have been covering my dormant front lawn for the past month.
Click on the picture to see all the photos larger.

And I watched all of the recorded episodes of Leverage that have been waiting for me on the DVR.

Tomorrow is lesson planning day.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Who's That Girl??

I had this afternoon off because I was going to take James to the doctor, but when I called the doctor's office, the receptionist said she was double booked all day because another provider was out of the office for the day. I ended up taking James home anyway since I had a substitute ordered. So I went home and relaxed and pulled out one of my sketchbooks.

I warmed up with some zentangling and then dared to draw some faces with marker. There's no taking back marker. The first one is okay.

The second is just a base. I think I will leave it to scan when the computer is up and running and then try different styles of hair on her. I really like this one. I can envision her many ways. I can't wait to work with her. Wouldn't it make a good stamp?

On to other things...

You know what's interesting?? I really don't have much to say. I have never been one to be short of words, but lately my brain is so busy with work and the kids that it doesn't have the time to wander like it used to. I miss that. I don't know how to get my brain back to that point either. How do I let go of unimportant things and free up some brain cells for silliness, for observations and all the things that this blog was meant for??

I'm not sure, but that's on the agenda.

Monday, January 17, 2011


And so it continues...

The cover of my book

A page in my moleskine book.I have found that I have a fear of white space. I really want to fill in the area around the eye. It is all I can do to keep from grabbing a pen and start marking in it.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Look Ma, No Hands!


I don't know how to give people hands or how to pose them other than straight on. But here she is:
I do, however, like her hair.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Sketchbook Challenge - cont.

I have been working on some things.

The first was to add hair to my poor little bald people. It's okay.
They Have Hair
Next is a zentangle that enjoyed making. I combined both an Opaque Writer and a thin lined pen to add detail. It says Bloom Where U R Planted. The theme for this months Sketchbook challenge is "highly prized." I value that I have gotten to live in many places in my life (Pennsylvania, NY, Alaska, Texas, Colorado.)
Bloom Where U R Planted

In June, I get to live in a new place, thanks to my husband's job. Time is ticking and I have done nothing to get ready for it. Better get on the stick

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Creative with Food

Another way I want to be creative is with the food I prepare for my kids.

For years I fed my kids to keep them fed with no mind to what how interesting it was. Convenience was key because of our hectic schedules. I began missing when I would cook creatively, so I am looking to add that spark back into my food while keeping meals simple.

A few weeks ago, I used Betty Crocker's pizza dough mix to make pizza with the kids, but something went wrong and it was too crispy, the reduced fat pepperoni dried up and in the end no one was happy. I had bought two packages of the dough mix and only used one, and since the first go round didn't work, I had to get creative.

I mixed the dough as the package directed, split the dough into four balls and then spread the balls into circles about 5-6 inches across. I spooned some pizza sauce onto the dough, keeping it away from the edges and then added the cheese and pepperoni. I folded over the dough and sealed it with a fork and brushed it with an egg wash. I baked it at 450F (?) for 10 minutes and let it sit for 10 minutes so we didn't burn our tongues.

They came out great. The funny thing is, the kids will both eat store bought, microwave pizza pockets, but when James saw these he started whining. I told him he didn't have to eat them and that Caitlin and I would eat them, but he had to sit at the table with us while we ate. Suddenly, he was eating it and wanting more. Funny kid.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Response to Face Tutorial

I hate drawing faces. I would love to draw faces without thinking much about them. So I watched this tutorial and it reminded me of some lessons I learned many years ago (elementary school art.)

I am showing you just the face bases I made. I will add hair later. This is the first use of the little book I made the other day.

I will show the finished work tomorrow. I really should be working on reading lessons today.

"Highly Prized" Sketches

Had a quiet moment last night and was able to color my last ketch and fiddle with another.

Here's the "quilt" about my mom. I just watered down some acrylics and got to painting. I am currently limited on the colors and brushes I have, so I like seeing what I can do with the supplies on hand.
The second page started just with a sketch of a music staff. I didn't know what to do from there. I used the watered down acrylics. I decided to experiment with other "tools" like pipe cleaners. I thought I was done until I really looked at the page and felt it lacked depth. Then I drew around the hearts. Still want more, but don't know what, so here it is.
Music is an important part of my life.

This month's theme is Highly Prized. It is hard for me to get on paper the things that I prize. They are very abstract. We will see what I get to through the month.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Big Wheels Keep On Turning

I was making spaghetti yesterday and I was looking at this box and it got the wheels turning.

So I opened it and cut the ends off.

I thought I would use it as is to make something, then the wheels started turning again and I traced it onto aquarelle paper and made this.

Next time, I will make a bigger flap to close it an lighter weighted paper. Prototypes are all about using what's on hand.

I will water color the cover and use this book to experiment with an unusually dimensioned paper.

And below are some sketches I have been doing.

The first is just parts and pieces

This page is my first response to this month's prompt: Highly Prized

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Sketchbook Challenge

The challenge is up at Sketchbook Challenge (There's a blinky over on the right somewhere.)...I think I will get started. The question becomes, "What book will I work in?" Here's a video of some of my books.

Welcome 2011 and All It Brings

Happy New Year!!

Just would like to share some pics from last year that I didn't have a chance to share because they didn't really fit anywhere.

We started with Caitlin's band's James review

Then came James' singing performance at the Senior Adult dinner at church.
At work we held a Secret Santa gift exchange. I made the box below to house a box of colored pencils for my pal.

We attended a wedding of a family friend. Here is mom and Caitlin
and Mom and my brother.
Mom with our friend Jenny's baby.

We made a trip out to have lunch with a friend and her kiddos.

James and I made candy reindeer.
Photo by James

The kids had fun dumping the Christmas stockings

James had bubbles in his stocking.

My mom's present to me was a complete car detail...ain't it purdy??
We went to mom's house and a leaf fight ensued.

James has caught the creativity bug.

Well now that those are out of the way, I can start with new photos from this year.

Hmmm. Anyone notice I am only in one of those photos?? Let's work on that.
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