Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Animal Wednesday - Paper Wasp

There is some sort of paper wasp nesting in a clay pot that is part of a wreath I made some years ago. The wasps don't bother anyone. There are two guards. I haven't seen the other wasps come to the nest. I forget about for the most part. I thought it was sort of interesting that there is a lot of debris at the bottom of the pot under the nest. One thing looks like it could be a larva. I am not sure though.  I haven't noticed this debris under a normally placed nest. Maybe it all blows away or blends in with the ground too much to see it other places. 
Happy Animal Wednesday.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Football Season

Football season is upon us once again. Pro football is one of my favorite sports to watch. I was indoctrinated into the football gallery at a young age. My brother played football, my sister was a cheerleader they are 13 and 10 years older than I. My cousins played football too. When I thought I might forget about football my son decided to play football and my daughter was a cheerleader so no forgetting about football.

How does this relate to an artsy blog you are wondering.  You see a blogging friend sent me this cute little sketchbook some time back. She asked not to be identified but I wanted to tell her that I am using the sketchbook she sent.

The pages are very thin in this book. At first I wondered what I would do with it but I came to the end of my tv watching/doodling sketchbook and this one I have decided will fill in nice for it. Even though it isn't very big (10.5x16.0mm or 4 1/8"x6 1/4"). 

So you can see where I am going with this book. 
My "home" team is the Indianpolis Colts. I do watch other teams from time to time.  
As you may have noticed that other things show up in the sketchbook during the game. 
I have started practicing some new, to me, zentangle moves. Did you know some of these designs have names?? I sure didn't until I ran onto Enthusiastic Artist blog. I have learned all sorts of information about Zentangles.
If you would like to expand your zentangle repertoire you should go to her blog. She is a certified Zentangle teacher. Unfortunately she is located in Canada. She does give some helpful information on her blog here.   My crude beginnings are fun to make. Besides I love this orange ink that I found in a Pilot pen. I gotta use it someplace.
I also am practicing doing some different/artsy lettering. I love the fancy lettering that some use in their journals. I just need to find something that makes my lettering fly onto the page.  So what have you been doing lately??

Sunday, August 28, 2011

One Single Impression - Wheat

Life sometimes grinds us
into submission, then we
rise as fresh loaves

And sometimes I just have to take a stab at a poem when it rises in my mind. This poem was seeded by the prompt of the word "Wheat" at One Single Impression.  Please join them and read more.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Hand Made Sketch Books

The past couple of weekends I have been having a sketchbook making fit.  My mind keeps coming up with different ideas. I noticed that I made the Tree Journal last year about this time. Ha... It must be that at this time of year I am weary of trying to fight the heat to be outside much.

What got me going on this idea is that my "Tree Journal" sketchbook is almost full and I wanted to make another. I am liking this size, 6"x8". It works well for me using a sheet or two of Arches watercolor paper or I can put in some sketch paper or writing paper as well.

I have some really interesting papers. This one is sort of metalic. I thought the little boy that will receive it would like the metalic look.  I did most of theses books with the coptic stitch.
When you use the coptic stitch you can lay flat your book to work in.
This one I used a different front and back paper. The recepient can start the book from either end really. It would not matter but I thought of the front being the circles. They are mandala-like.
Inside I used a variety of papers. Some handmade (not by me). Some for painting some for poetry.
This one I think would be good for a little girl, at least that is who it is being given to. It is pink and I put some jewels on the front. The front is very textural with a sand motif on the front. Little girls like to play in sand.
This is my first stab at doing a Japanese binding. It is a little larger, 11 5/8"x8".
You lose a little painting space along one edge which makes the painting surface 7.5"x10". That is fine with me. It is a larger format than I usually use. As you can see with this type of binding you can open the first page flat but the following pages are very stiff. I will probably have to mash them flater when I come to the page or use clips to keep it open. I will see how I like using this before I make any more.
The last style that I made is a folded-cover Journal. Easiest one to make. I used a difficult paper though. It is bark paper. Not a good paper for this type of cover. It has several folds and you knkow that bark doesn't like to fold. It is quite brittle. I have few pages in it so I hope it survives the short trip I will be making next month as I made it especially to record this trip.

Have any of you worked with this bark paper? Is there something I could put on it to make it more flexible??
I hope you all had a fun weekend.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Animal Wednesday - Dickcissel

This past Sunday we were out birding and my DB got a great picture of a Dickcissel perched on a weed. There aren't so many around right now. Many have already flown South.
Happy Animal Wednesday. For more animals go to Auntie Mim's Blog here.

I tried to do a post for tomorrow but BLogger has decided it must be posted today. Sorry.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Blooming Tuesday - Lotus

This Sunday while we were out birding we drove by a pond that has a huge stand of lotus. They are about finished blooming this time of year. There were a few blooms left. This one was surrounded by a bud, a spent flower and a pod. I just had to try to get it on paper. The wind was blowing them so hard the big leaves were turning over and the bloom seemed to be waving goodbye.
Happy Blooming Tuesday to everyone.
It won't be long and the lotus will have filled this pond. Some years it is dried up enough that I can collect some of the pods to use in dried arrangements. Not this year. This area has had way more rain than where we live.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Sunday Safari

I thought this drawing was appropriate for this Sunday Safari. Not exactly a church painting but it is the fruit of a Jack-in-the-pulpit.  I have a few that grow on the side of the house where my room is located. I walked out there trying to find a butterfly that flitted by and found this instead. I am so excited. I hope the critters don't find it and eat the seeds before they ripen and fall to the ground. I just love this flower.
Another visitor right outside my window was a juvenile hummingbird. He loves the blooms of the hostas. The bloom is too deep for him to dip into so he has made a hole at the base of the flower to sip the nectar. 
It obviously wears him out so he has to rest from time to time. The House wren doesn't like him hanging out around the nest. The hummer sits on guard in the tree too.  
I won't be surprised if the wrens come out tomorrow. They sit at the hole chittering, begging for more food. It will be interesting to watch.
I hope you all had a good weekend.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Saturday 20 Minute Challenge

Teri writing about her 20 minute challenge here gave me inspiration today. I did a 20 minute sketch of the actors in the movie we saw last night. I bet you can't recognize any of them. Oh well. I did it in ink from pictures on the official site of Cowboys and Aliens.
As strange as the premise might seem it was an entertaining movie. Not my first pick but a friend of mine wanted to see the movie. What are friends for?? We do things together and it turned out to be some mindless entertainment with good popcorn and great friends.
Twenty Minute Blog for more inspiration.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Animal Wednesday - Grasshopper

You knew when the grasshopper landed on my window and posed so sweetly for me that it would end up here for my Animal Wednesday post. I did the upper side as well since it jumped over on a begonia stem in the window box out my window. The underneath side looks like a bunch of parts put together. The upper side is much more aerodinamic looking. There are lots of bugs out and about now.
Happy Animal Wedensday. For more Animals and their stories go to Mim's here.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Blooming Tuesday - Toad Lily

The Japanese Toad lily, Tricyrtis 'Togen', is blooming now. It is planted right beside a tree that is newly planted so I am keeping it watered along with the tree. I just love these late summer bloomers.
Happy Blooming Tuesday everyone.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Cactus Monday - Night Bloomer

Our night blooming Cereus bloomed last night. I thought it must have wanted to be included with the Cactus Monday group.
This is it's second bloom. The other one was last month when we were away. I am glad I didn't miss this one. It is unusual that it blooms more than once. This summer has been strange (hot) and stressful (dry). 
We were up until almost midnight waiting for it to open fully.  
The bloom was at the lower end of the plant. Which made taking it picture a bit of a challenge. Of course my DB took the pictures. They are great. So is he. 
I kept waiting to see if a moth would glide in for a sip. I didn't ever see one. I am normally an early to bed sort so they probably arrived after all the hubbub. 
Happy Cactus Monday Everyone. For more Cactus Monday participants go to Teri's Painted Daisies.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Animal Wednesday - Hummer

The native honeysuckle is reblooming. While it doesn't make as many flowers when it reblooms as it does in the spring it makes enough to give the hummers a snack. I was watching the hummers sip on those little trumpets. Happy Animal Wednesday.
For more animal sightings pop over to Mim's blog here.
This drawing was done straight in with ink and then watercolor.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Asiatic Dayflower - WEED

Happy Blooming Tuesday everyone.  I am in great hopes that you don't have this beautiful weed in your garden. As sweet and unassuming as it looks it is a killer. It loves to creep across the ground and then cover any flower that happens in its way. Forming a mat that won't let other things grow. Very difficult to rid from your garden. How I wish this beautiful blue weed could be controlled.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Common Whitetail Female

This time of year when we go birding we often get sidetracked by all the dragonflies and butterflies. This Common Whitetail Skimmer Female sure entertained us for a few minutes as it flew and then would go back to the same stick to rest. It is often easy to get pictures of them when they pause at the same stick. I drew this from my DB's photo. I hope you all are keeping cool.