Monday, February 24, 2014

I Was Duped

As everyone knows, I live in the Heart of the Heartland.  That place that is otherwise known as Heaven (at least in the movies); Iowa.

We have had a particularly brutal winter.  It started early and is still going strong with lows predicted to be below zero again this week. Actually, they are predicting colder than normal temps for the entire month of March.  Sigh.

I am a summer girl at heart.  I crave the sun and the warmth that it provides.  I really should be living somewhere like Arizona. However, that is not in the cards right now, so I suffer through the long and dreary winters here hoping for Mother Nature to throw me a bone once and a while.  She has been very stingy this year!

Yesterday, however, was one of those beautiful winter days with no clouds, plenty of sun and barely any wind (that means it was less than 25 mph). We have had snow and ice on the roads for months, so I haven't done any walking outside; unless crossing the parking lot at the mall counts.

I decided to take a break from creating in the Bat Cave and take a walk in the glorious sunshine that was nearly wind free.  I would take my camera with me.  This would be the first time I have ventured out for a walk this winter.  It's been strictly treadmill time.

I should have remembered that just because the sun is shining in Iowa in February does not mean that it is providing any warmth at all.  Nope.  Not even a little.  I wore my long down coat, hat and gloves. Five minutes into it, my legs were going numb.  I kept on going (just like that bunny) and finally my face was numb.  And that non-existent wind was really just playing a game of hide and seek.  It found me as soon as I left the house.

I managed to snap a few pics before I had to head back. Next time I will check and see what the temperature is before venturing out.  Of course, if I did that no one would see me until May.  In Arizona.

This is what snow looks like after it rains over an inch and you have a couple of warm days.

Yeah.  That is frozen water-snow.

I turned around after this because I was getting a little creeped out.  It felt like I was in The Shining and Jack Nicholson was gonna come at me.

Ok, these are really creepy.

Sunday, February 23, 2014

How Do You Like Your Eggs?

My eggs are cooked.  Or maybe it's my goose.  I just know that I have finished my egg canvas.

For those of you who think that stuff just flows out and turns out on the first try, let me tell you the history of this canvas.

It started out as a girl.  I hated it.  So it sat on my 'what am I going to do with these?' shelf for a couple of years.

I wanted to practice with eggs, so I pulled out that canvas only because it was the correct size.  '

A coat of gesso and some paint and voila...another really ugly canvas.

Another coat of gesso and some different paint and voila (redux)...better.

Fast forward to eggs applied with their cute little outfits and...what the hell was I thinking with those colors?

Grab some paint and re-paint the background, around the eggs, for the 4th time (if you count the ugly girl).

All of a sudden, something clicked and I got in my groove.  Below are the results.  Please don't make fun of Scarl'egg.  She isn't at her best since she just got in from working the cotton.

 I know, Eggie looks more like Ozzie, but what the heck.  Google him.

 I think that Egg-Ward is my fave.

If you look closely you can see Dr. L'egg-tor's mouth thing and lawyer Finch's spectacles.

Gryffindor forever.

For my country lovin' friends.

Ah, Willie.  You are just such a country hippie.

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Cooking Up Some Eggs

As you can see, Eggie Van Halen's
hair is ready to go.

In my Art of Spring class I have done Bunnies and Ducks.  Now I am working on Eggs.  That's right, eggs.  Once again, the shape is simple.  Just an oval.  They will all go on a canvas and I will attempt to make them cute.  For now, here is a sneak peak at my sketches.  Oops.  I am sketching before creating.  What is happening to me?

I think that cutting out the cute little 'outfits' will
be the hardest part.  Thank goodness for small

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Valentine Parties!

I believe that I have mentioned (probably ad infinitum) that I work at a preschool.  While I no longer teach, I do get to interact with all the children every day.  Sometimes I am the sub, but that doesn't happen very often.  We preschool teachers are a hardy bunch.

Today was Valentine Party Day!  The kids were so excited.  They had all decorated their boxes with lots of gaudy things like glitter hearts, doilies and glitter glue.  They had all labored over their little Valentines that would go to their friends (read one for everybody).  Everyone had brought in the Valentines and distributed them, quite proudly I might add.

The little girls pretty much arrived dressed in their Valentine glory:  hearts, red, pink, you name it! Some of the boys wore their red shirts or a dress shirt and some even had cute tees that said things like "Most Eligible Bachelor".  They were all primed and ready.

I went to sit at the computer (this is where I spend a lot of my day) and lo and behold there was a small pile of goodies waiting for me there.  In that pile were little cards, suckers, candy, a homemade heart crayon, a cool box of brownie mix with frosting and a Whitey's gift card (for those of you who are not from our area, this is the best darn ice cream ever.  It's even been highlighted on a Food Network show about milkshakes).

I know that some of my Valentines were suggested by the parents. That's cool as I love our parents. But I also know that some of them were given to me by little hearts that said, "Don't forget Mrs. L!"

And that dear people is why I do what I do.  Not because of the gifts (although that Whitey's one is realllllllly appreciated).  No it is the joy I see every single day in the hearts and souls of these guys.  And the fact that I was allowed to be a part of this all too short period of time in their lives.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

The Joy of Skipping

Yesterday was another blistering cold day here in the Heartland.  And, it was a Monday.  This can be a deadly combination, therefore it was logical that I was grumpy.  And I was cold.  Some days, three layers is just not enough.

Enter the 4 year olds.  Each and every one of them was excited about the day ahead.  They were chattering and giggling and...skipping.  We don't teach them to skip.  They just skip.  Why?  Because it is fun.  And skipping into the room or into the snack area is far more fun than walking or even running.

I laughed.  I smiled.  My heart became lighter.

Then it hit me:  I need to do some skipping.  Yes, physically skip.

Why?  Because it is fun.  And I think we all need to have some simple, basic, kid type fun each and every day.

And I bet that after I skip from the kitchen to the bathroom and back again, I will be laughing.  And I will be joyful.  And I will be thinking of how the kids have it right.  Why should we walk when we can skip?

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Ducks and Bunnies

I have been working hard to finish up some of my online art classes.  It's not like I have more than 10 or 15, but I do feel that I need to finish some of them up before I can sign up for more!  And believe me, there are plenty out there.

The one that I am working on now is called "The Art of Spring".  Thank goodness.  I think that if it was called "The Art of Winter" I would have thrown my computer out of the window by now.
Luckily, this class deals with the joys of Spring. Like, you got it, ducks and bunnies.  And eggs. But I haven't done the egg part yet, so you will have to wait on that.

I am in love with drawing (and painting) ducks.  They are so darn cute.  Bunnies are cute too, but there is just something about those ducks.

I hope that you enjoy!  Oh, and just for fun, I have included a picture of the horrors outside The Batcave window.  Is this heaven?  Oh shut up, it's F***** Iowa in winter.

The bunnies are on canvas and I used paint, paper and ink.  The ducks are done in an art journal that has been gessoed.  They are watercolor with pen.

And the picture of Iowa was messed up by Mother Nature.