Saturday, July 28, 2012

Paint and More Paint

Oh Paint, how do I love thee,
umm, not so much.
Well, my first painting on a real board was, how should I put this- awful, terrible, very bad, no good.
Then I was to try and mix paints to get a color chip that was sent in the packet. I didn't EVER get the color that was in the packet. I did however get some greens I liked.
Okay, next assignment, to use some of the "ephemera" in packet on your collage.  There was a paper doily that reminded me of "wisheez" (dandelion heads ready to blow away), so I went with that. I used the green I liked for grass and the wisheez are supposed to look like they are blowing in the wind (where you'll find the answer my friend). I don't think you are supposed to have tell someone what is happening, but I'm new at this, okay?

Title: A Dandy-lion Doily Kind of Day

Thursday, July 26, 2012

And So Ends Playdates 2012

Everyone is gone now. Handy Man kindly drew me a hot bath to soak my tired bones and my sad heart.  As usual, you can't have a long enough Playdate. After being fed, and  the storm went through, all the Mama's and one Grandfather loaded up some sad little ones, not wanting to say good-bye to summer and good times.
Bean is headed out for vacation and will be gone for his birthday. He requested a Wizard of Oz themed cake for Playdate.  In addition to painting and sketching, I possess no talent at all for cake decorating, but I make some good icing.  This is an I SPY birthday arrangement in case you didn't know.  Can you find Dorothy, the Emerald City, the Wicked Witch of the East, the Yellow Brick Road, and the correct color order somewhere over the rainbow?  All there.
 Gideon and I painted, wrote with chalk, and took another trip through the troll tunnel before the others arrived.  I have so enjoyed finding my way into his heart this summer.
 This was Science Playdate and first we made oobleck, and then some gak in addition to playing all day with orbeez.  We always let all the kids do the science, with lots of grown-ups close by.

Here is where the liquid becomes solid and no matter their age, they are all enthralled with what is happening in that cup.

Then they have a great time playing with the end result.

Down to the youngest amongst us.
We headed in for snacks and Bean was as thrilled to make sno-cones for all the wee ones as they were to eat them.  We started with the youngest and moved on up.  Aunt Lois was sure that meant she was never going to get her grape sno-cone, but we did finally reach the nineties and Bean not only had to make it, but take it to her himself.
 No science day would be complete without the Mentos Mz. Glitzy Dance. This is root beer.
 Diet Coke here.
 Then it was time for the group shot.  Wow, we've grown by leaps and bounds from the 4 we started with.
 I like Root Beer and I love me some Diet Coke, but after the fizz is gone and Mentos added-blek.  Didn't deter the boys even a little.
 Most people wouldn't hop into a pool that looked like that either. Of course they are the ones that added the mud, so I guess when you know where it comes from it isn't a problem.

I will miss them. 
Thank you Lord for another summer of fun.  Our worse mishap happened this evening, when after a pouring rain, Handy Man slipped and lost a good size chunk of his ear to Cluckingham Palace- ouch, ouch, double ouch.
Wonder what the neighbors will talk about when I put the yard back in order.

Edited by Ceece:
Here is the photo from the first blogged playdate!

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Visiting Days

All summer Bean and Bugg have taken turns spending Monday evening with me.  On Tuesday morning, we head over to Aunt Lois's and visit with her and Giddy-Up ( Rae too), then back across the river for a visit with my Mom.  I wondered how they would do with spending a day sharing me with others.  It is very different experience from days of my undivided attention. They've actually been more than fine and I'm glad I made that decision to bring them along.
This Monday night past was new, as Ol' Henry joined Bean for his first overnight here and only his second ever.  They played the evening away and after popcorn and movie were quite ready for bed. On Tuesday, Giddy-Up was beside himself with joy to play with Bean and wore himself completely out.
Though we made a huge mess in Rae's kitchen I fear ( we cleaned it up), Bean cut up Aunt Lois's okra, dipped it in an egg wash and rolled it batter, in addition to shucking the corn. He remembered where her cold water is and made sure she had a drink.
Bean and Bugg aren't frequent visitors to my Mom's, but a few of the times they've been there, Auntie G-Lou has entertained them with the dogs, things growing in the yard and her stash.  They were very disappointed to find her away at work their first few visits of summer.  But, the last couple they have had her undivided attention.
Bugg was thrilled to no end to make watermelon jelly with her last week.  Auntie G-Lou wanted to do something with Bean as well.  She had everything ready to make peanut butter candy cookies.  They fixed up the pb and crackers, but the chocolate coating would not melt to dip consistency. She was disappointed.  Bean, on the other hand, loved helping her bathe her little dog and snuggling with the pooch till she was dry, and was most satisfied with his visit.
Both Auntie SueZQ and Auntie G-Lou take a big interest in my gramerlings and I appreciate it.
We brought some pb and crackers home and I found some chocolate wafers in the pantry and he dipped away.

Notice those ruby-red lips?  He came home to a big surprise.  On his last overnighter, he had yet another great idea for Playdate- make sno-cones.  I loved the idea, but couldn't imagine the reality of crushing up ice for a line fourteen cherubs deep.  So, I bought a sno-cone machine. Did I ever mention, or did you notice, that the half of my income I don't spend on my classroom, I spend on my grandkids?  It is ridiculous, truly.  But, the whole hugging me twenty times with heartfelt appreciation, repeated doses of "Playdate just can't come fast enough" and his joy at making and eating them, makes it seem worthwhile.
He's headed out for vacation after Playdate this week  and will celebrate his birthday way south of here.   So in addition to sno-cones, we'll have some Wizard of Oz cupcakes, some science fun and do our best not to melt in the 100 degree temps this Thursday.  I just can't get ahold of him being eight. I don't know how that can be.  I do know that for these eight years he has delighted me.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Ah Yes, The Paint Class

I knew when I took this class that sketching and painting, collage even, is not my strong suit.  Now, I'm more certain than ever.  This has not deterred me from giving it a go.  I am learning more about my expectations of my students and how it feels to be on the other side of the art lesson, which is a very good thing.  So, for the curious, I'll talk a moment here about my homework and what I feel I'm learning.
First of all, this has really made me think of all the art lessons we do with kidlets that aren't really art at all but cut and paste. You know, the apple must be red, sky blue, etc.  I'm discovering I much more enjoy open ended assignments.
So after the lead artist sharing and encouraging us to set up our inspiration board and supplies, we were to jump into our sketch books and just do something with some sort of color pattern in mind.  I had dried some sunflower petals and they are glorious in the garden, so my mind was there.  In addition, we were supposed to include a quote of some kind. That's about all there was to the directions.
If you are looking for some rhyme or reason, let me help you out, as this is very busy.  I just emptied the flower press of all it's petals and set about to just play with a variety of materials, using those petals. As is abundantly clear, I just plopped things down as the spirit moved me, but it did give me ideas and an opportunity to use ribbon, beads, colored pens and pencils, textured and printed papers of various sorts. You will notice I steered clear of paints, with exception to the flowers I painted the other day with Miss Bugg, and cut out. The Inspiration  Fairy was my favorite and I loved the quotes. If you want to read the quotes, but can't see them, I think if you click on the picture, it will show up bigger.

Our next assignment was to take the prompt from our goody bag and make something happen with it.
My prompt was "bubble gum pink, seaside, lines and dots, joy."  This part of this class is far more interesting to my nerdy brain than the actual work. I simply could not reconcile bubble gum pink, seaside and joy. Why?  I've been studying on that and I think it is because I just don't like bubble gum pink and I didn't want to.  Hmmm, another aspect I should perhaps consider when I'm throwing those assignments out there.  I never could get it, and to be honest, it was on a day I was already worn plumb to a frazzle, so I did one page for the pink and one for the remaining words.  I like my joy page.  Umm, still no paints-no, none at all.

Next, bah, humbug, the instructions were to get into the paint and play around.  Try to recreate the pattern from the piece of material in the goody bag.  Have mercy. Do you see that awful mess in the corner ( ha, the top right-I know it's hard to pick which mess). I mixed six ways from Sunday and could not get that purple color. I had paint all over me and everything else. Ahhh, another area of gentle, kindness will be added to art class.  For the rest, I was trying to see how the paint went on with different brushes and if you could put one color on another, etc.  Aren't you glad it wasn't my intention to delight you with my creations.  I did not like this assignment any better than that bubble gum one, but much was learned, including a further reminder of my lack of talent in this area.
Let me just say, it doesn't help that we share these with others taking the class. Others who can sketch and paint circles around me and they would look like circles-imagine. 

 So, we were to continue to mess around with paint and sketches, etc, through the weekend, so I embarked on a couple of pages without teacher direction.  I thought the little 5 x7 card was lovely, and wanted to try out some metallic watercolors I picked up cheap at Tuesday Mornings. Then the blue reminded me of bluebirds and my bluebird house, blah, blah, blah. I enjoyed this one.

 And I loved these fabric swatches. They reminded me of my chickie girls, which reminded me of how long I plotted and hatched (no pun intended) before I realized my dream of chickens.  I just wanted to fool around with my idea of the chicken yard from memory. Next I want to sit out there, then I want to do some work with that bright, cheery material.

I believe the intention is that this sketch book will help you jump off onto a canvas and create a painting for like the wall or something.  Ummm, not feeling it, not anytime soon.  We'll see.

 Lest you think whilst I'm in hot pursuit of a masterpiece, that the Handy Man has been idle, let me assure he has not.  He's been busy harvesting the vegetables.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Well Bust My Bubble

Another very warm Playdate.  The kidlets brought their stuffed animals to play Vet Clinic.  One time a summer, I pick up a sack full of powder, bandages and tape. I had several small boxes to add to the play.

 I don't orchestrate this in any way, just throw the stuff out there and watch the powder fly.  I'm surprised someone doesn't call the fire department, as it looks like something is on fire from all the flying powder.
Ceece brought an old friend that could certainly use a clinic of some sort, but after reviewing our animal clinic, decided against treatment today.

I guess back in the Beanie Baby stage Aunt Lois was gifted with several critters, which she passed out today. The kids enjoyed getting them.

Mr. Giddy-up is now creek smitten and believes the way to the creek is through his Gramerly's arms and heart.  I love to watch him thinking about the way, then making his way straight to me, arms held up (with the mama standing right there, huge), then pointing to the troll tunnel and voicing his  opinion about going right now, which I humbly obey.  He will spend quite a bit of time there with me, before asking for Mama and finding his way back to the troll tunnel. 

He isn't crazy about riding in the jeep, but he loves to sit in it.

 It was too hot for much physical activity by late afternoon, so we had a bubble blowing contest. It was hysterical to see all the tricks the little one's tried to figure out bubble blowing.

 Rae-rae won during the competition, but Ms. Shell ended up the winner.

 The creek is still in desperate need of a good swishing out, so until that happens, I make sure the creekers get a good swishing with the old orange Dial soap.  Look at those pinky cheeks, no sunburn, just hot.
Enough of Playdate for today.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

It's Time to Paint the Okra

Well, my little Missy Bugg  never fails to entertain.  Bean and I seem to share perspective on a lot of things. Bugg always has a different one, and keeps me on my toes, makes me shake my head sometimes, and often has me laughing right out loud (or in the scenario to follow, suppressing it with all my being).

 She loves, loves, loves to play games and if she is here for five minutes or overnight, her first order of business, after candy, is trying to get someone (usually me) up for a game. I have many and she isn't picky.  I have never lasted as long at game playing as she does.  I've learned to tell her at the beginning how many games I'm willing to play, or the asking never ceases.  I'm usually up for three or four.  So, after a couple of games, I told her we needed to pick some more flowers for our Tuesday visits to Aunt Lois and my Mom.
She loves picking flowers almost as much as games.
Off to the garden we go.  As we ooh and ahh and pluck, I talk about the colors, and she talks about the colors and picks her favorites.  We notice all the bumble bees cavorting on the seed heads. I send her over to the pink zinnias, as she is a very pink kind of girl and I hear her swoon, "Oh, it's a beautiful butterfly drinking the pollup."  The child seldom forgets anything, but she is the queen of  making the last syllable her own.
She wanted the seed head of a sunflower that had lost all it's petals.  I commented then that maybe when we went in the house, we could get out the watercolors and try to capture some of the beautiful colors and paint them.  She was all for that.
By then our bucket was full, but I noticed the okra really needed cutting.
 I hate okra, but I've always planted it, first to take to my Daddy who loved it, and then, for the memory.  Now, I take it to his sister.  She snipped a pod with her "tweezers," and I commented that it was a pretty green color (I'll give it credit for something), and maybe we should paint it as well, and she agreed.
By now we're hot and attracting tiny garden beasties (mosquitoes), so off we head to the house.  I sit our buckets and okra center stage on the table and we gather up our supplies.  Note- I have nearly every color of paintbrush, but for this art lesson, only the pink ones would do.
I choose the tithonia (Mexican Torch Flower) to paint, as that velvety touch and brilliant orange captivates my attention.  She doesn't say what she is going to paint, but she is so intent on mixing colors, that I sigh and smile and am again grateful for these moments of watching her so engaged. My eye returns to my own water coloring and when I look back-  ahhh, she's painting the okra!

It took all of my will power not to chuckle.  She has already figured out that the pale watercolors just weren't working and she kept going darker and darker and darker.  I didn't have the heart to interfere, but I did finally say that watercolors weren't as thick as other paints and didn't make quite the same impact on colored objects as they did on paper.
I decided I'd try and different tact, so I started painting the okra, er, painting an image of okra.  She commented, "Oh, your painting this."
She painted awhile and sat it aside and I asked, "Would you like some paper?"  "No, I'm going to paint my sunflower now."  And she did.

This very experience is so why children need some space and time to do things their own way and come up with their own answers.  After painting her okra and sunflower, she was ready to try some paper.
I've enjoyed this watercolor experience for myself as well.  As I said before, I'm inept at best with a paintbrush, but I'm taking this class.  As you can see, it hasn't taught us anything about using paints as yet, but is encouraging us to fool around with different colors, mixed medias,  and ideas.  So, I'm trying here to capture something and failing.

She decides to paint an orange flower as well, and this is her rendition.  Complete with the sun and one of those fat bumble bees.  I absolutely love this little masterpiece and it will either go in my sketch book or I will frame it.  I'm thinking I need to take lessons from Missy Bugg.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Showers, Showers Everywhere

Thank the Lord for some for true showers falling right out that ol' sky instead of my hose. You can hear the corn sighing and growing.

Also a time for  Ol' Mother Hubbard and I to shower our sweet friend Kate with lots of love in honor of her marriage.

Showers of flowery, flirty paper goods,

yummy cookies,

fluffy pens for sharing sweet thoughts and treat boxes of homemade minty goodness, 

soft lights, and flowery spheres for gifts.


and fun with family and friends.

Good times.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Ruby Red Slippers

I was out "sacking" this week.  I'm not sure where that term developed, but it refers to hopping around to various Goodwill type stores in search of, well, whatever you are searching for and some things you aren't.  Ol' Mother Hubbard and I are throwing a shower this Sunday, and Rae and I in early fall, so I had a few items on my "sacking" list.  I found a beautiful dress-up dress and ruby red slippers.

Missy Bugg went straight from the car to the ruby red dress and shoes.  When her cousins arrived and were all appropriately decked out, they felt Aunt Lois was in need of yet another fashion show.

This lovely white number had a previous life as Ol' Mother Hubbard's Class Day dress.

Miss Linee was sure to spin and twirl so Aunt Lois could fully appreciate all aspects of her ensemble.

 All that finery barely fit in the dolphin swing, and climbing in with those slippers was quite a feat to behold.

 We had a little rain, enough to let the kids net some creek life.

Antebellie was ecstatic to find her first minnow.

Baby Giddy-up discovered the little creek, which led to through the troll tunnel to the new creek and was smitten.
 He was amazed that some of the kidlets left goodies on the snack blanket after story time. He is not one to let a good cookie go to waste.
 And this little Missy, continues to take it all in.

Wow, only two more summer Playdates.  Say it ain't so.