Photo Friday

Hello and happy Friday! Once again I apologize for my complete lack of updating. (I still have most of our Michigan photos waiting to be shared with you!) Most of my creative energy and free time recently has been going into the ICAD challenge, and a bit of art journaling which that has inspired. The challenge is finished as of yesterday, and I managed to complete all 61 index cards – one for each day in June and July. It was a wonderful and inspiring experience and I plan to work hard at keeping up a daily creative habit. However, I won’t be sticking strictly to art/index cards/journaling for my daily creativity now. I have some crochet projects waiting in the wings, and not to mention this blog sitting here sadly neglected! Writing blog posts can count as a form of creativity, right?

Lewis has also been a busy guy recently. His days are filled up with playing outside, eating crayons and chalk, refusing to wear diapers, playing outside, nursing, reading books, and coming up with a million amazing imaginative play scenarios! We walked to the playground to play twice this week and it is amazing how much confidence he has gained from the start of the summer. He now climbs up ladders, zooms down slides, and sits on the swings all by himself!

Lots of photos today. He is just so cute and so much fun, I have to share it all with you! 🙂

Checking out some mud puddles earlier this week.

Checking out some mud puddles earlier this week.

"I don't need to get my pajamas on, I'm all ready to sleep here naked in Mama and Dada's bed!"

“I don’t need to get my pajamas on, I’m all ready to sleep here naked in Mama and Dada’s bed!”

Driving his car along on the way down to the office to pay our rent.

Driving his car along on the way down to the office to pay our rent.

He asked to wear Mama's hair clips, and was very pleased with the result.

He asked to wear Mama’s hair clips, and was very pleased with the result.

Busy working in his office, complete with a desk, chair, and computer.

Busy working in his office, complete with a desk, chair, and computer.

Climbed up onto Daddy's chair and declared it time for an ice cream party, complete with wooden box as imaginary ice cream. He gave me apple flavor. Yum!

Climbed up onto Daddy’s chair and declared it time for an ice cream party, complete with wooden box as imaginary ice cream. He gave me apple flavor. Yum!

Had to go get some party hats for us both. His was a bit big and mine a bit small, but at least he picked ones with colors to match our outfits!

Had to go get some party hats for us both. His was a bit big and mine a bit small, but at least he picked ones with colors to match our outfits!

His favorite thing to do with chalk is sit and pick at it with his fingernails. All the chalk art around here is done by me and Daddy.

His favorite thing to do with chalk is sit and pick at it with his fingernails. All the chalk art around here is done by me and Daddy.

He said he wanted to climb a tree, so I found a little maple and perched him in the branches.

He said he wanted to climb a tree, so I found a little maple and perched him in the branches.

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ICAD With A Toddler

As you have probably noticed recently if you’ve been reading my blog, I am having a lot of fun creating daily index cards with the ICAD challenge from Daisy Yellow.  Tammy, who writes the Daisy Yellow blog and runs the ICAD challenge each year is very supportive of the idea of children participating in the challenge too, and even has a special FAQ page dedicated to a kid-version of ICAD.  When I decided to do the challenge I knew I wanted to get Lewis involved too. He loves art projects, especially getting to explore Mama’s supplies.

First 5 cards. Pencil (with some dot-to-dot by Daddy), pen, watercolors, colored pencils, glue stick and paper scraps.

First 5 cards. Pencil (with some dot-to-dot by Daddy), pen, watercolors, colored pencils, glue stick and paper scraps.

I’m keeping it relaxed with him, not pushing him to create when he doesn’t want to, and trying not to interfere with his creative process when he is creating. We’ve only missed two or three days so far, but he has also created multiple cards on some days so it actually evens out to him being approximately on-track with the challenge. When we first started I thought he would create maybe one or two cards here and there, but he’s really gotten into the creativity more than I ever expected.

Cards #6-12. Scissor practice, glue stick, pen, markers with and without water painted over, red fuzz glued on card, and stamping.

Cards #6-12. Scissor practice, glue stick, pen, markers with and without water painted over, red fuzz glued on card, and stamping.

I love art and creative expression, and I try to keep art a part of Lewis’ daily life as well. He has his own “art drawer” alongside all of my art materials, and free access to paper, markers, stickers, colored pencils and washi tape. Pens, pencils, crayons, and chalk are all readily available for him to use as well. However, I’ve found that starting this challenge with him has made me even more open and ready to let him explore a variety of art materials at any time of the day. It’s so easy to grab an index card (or three) and sit down with a few materials to start creating. I’ve been trying hard not to say “no” if he ever asks for art materials or shows an interest in creating. He spots the glue stick up on the table and asks for it? Great! Lets sit down together, find some paper we can cut or tear up, and glue it on a card! He spotted me writing on the grocery list and wants to use my pen? Sure! Here’s an index card to ‘write’ on!

He told me he wanted green and blue paint, and that he was going to paint with a tooth pick. Awesome!

He told me he wanted green and blue paint, and that he was going to paint with a tooth pick. Awesome!

Some days I suggest art materials or lay them out for him to find, other days I wait for him to find his own inspiration. Some of his cards have come from letting him explore the same materials I used on my card that day, other times it is just a case of him wanting to use his markers. For his stamped card I laid out a few stamps on the table one day and waited for him to notice them. When he did, I asked if he’d like to give them a try and we sat down together to explore stamping.

Cards #13-18. Paint, crayons, markers, stickers, pencil.

Cards #13-18. Paint, crayons, markers, stickers, pencil.

The index cards seem to be a fun size for him to work on. I’ve seen some suggestions to give toddlers huge paper, big enough so they can paint or color in the full area of where there arm can reach, and of course this is fun and a good art activity sometimes. But, I think tiny paper is just as appropriate. He seems to have no trouble creating his art in the small space, and if I am worried about mess I just place the card on top of some bigger paper or a newspaper. Often these cards seem just-right for his toddler sized attention span. Sometimes he wants to continue creating after he’s done one, but there have also been many times when one card seems to be just the right dose of art.

Cards #19-22. Attempt at image transfer (we did this together as a practice before I made my own image transfer card), fabric scraps with glue stick, glitter glue & extra glitter sprinkled on top.

Cards #19-22. Attempt at image transfer (we did this together as a practice before I made my own image transfer card), fabric scraps with glue stick, glitter glue & extra glitter sprinkled on top.

We are having such a great time creating art together and exploring all these materials. I can’t wait to see what Lewis creates throughout the rest of this challenge (and beyond)!

ICAD Week 2

Here are my cards from week 2 of ICAD! I’m a bit late getting these posted, which doesn’t surprise me since Photo Friday seems to be the only thing I reliably post anymore.

Cards #1-16, a couple from this week snuck into the shot too.

Cards #1-16, a couple from this week snuck into the shot too.

I’m still having a lot of fun with this and enjoying exploring different materials and techniques with my cards. Lewis has continued to join in too, and I’m finding that the challenge is helping me be a bit more adventurous with which craft supplies I allow him to try out.

The theme for Week Two was “Collage and glued creations,” which I sometimes followed and sometimes did not, which is pretty normal for my art anyway. I did the same with the daily prompts, sometimes using them and sometimes not. So here are the cards!

#8. Mandala. This one I did use cut and glued paper, with some doodling over top. The background is watercolor.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA#9. Prompt was alphabet, which I disregarded in favor of doodling another mandala on another watercolor background.

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#10. The Beatles. Thought about which song would be the most fun to create a card from, decided to learn to draw a walrus. Just used pencil, and followed a “how to draw a walrus” guide I found online.

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#11. Disregarded “toy camera” prompt. Created some found poetry by altering a book page, and attached on a card which was already decorated with a marker background.

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#12. Paisley. Doodles on watercolor. Had fun drawing these, but prefer the regularity of mandalas.

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#13. Skipped “book review” prompt. Got crazy idea to glue yarn onto card. Sketched a simple pencil outline of a flower, started adding yarn. Did not have fun. Very fiddly and my hands were covered in glue. Had to take a break after a while and come back to finish it in the evening because I was getting too annoyed with it. I like the finished product though!

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#14. Magenta. Dug through my art supplies and junk mail for anything magenta I could find. Used a bit of everything. Crayon, various colored pencils, marker, watercolors, two kinds of tape, collage bits.

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When I took my photo of all the cards together I was thinking that they seem very unrelated in terms of materials/subject/style/whatever, but now that I’ve listed these seven together I am seeing somewhat of a common thread with flowers/mandalas/doodles and also the watercolor backgrounds. It will be interesting to see how ALL the cards look together at the end of July!

 

ICAD Week 1 In Review

The first week of ICAD is complete! If you haven’t joined in on the fun yet, there is still time – there is no right or wrong way of doing this.

I have been having fun creating this week, setting aside some time for myself once Lewis goes down for his daily nap, or sometimes working together with him while he does his own coloring/painting/whatever. The weekly theme was “Text” and I think I managed to include some form of writing on each of my cards. I followed the daily prompts every day except one, but I think I may choose to move away from the prompts a bit more as the challenge goes on. So, here are my cards for the week!

#1. The prompt was “Prism.” I sketched the prism and rainbow, colored the rainbow with Crayola washable markers, then painted on water to bleed the colors. Wrote the haiku with Super Fine point Sharpies, then dabbed black ink all around for the background.

Prism.

Prism.

#2. The prompt was “Circus Tent” which I chose to skip. When I finished the Prism card, I showed it to Chris and declared “1 down, 6o more to go!” His response was “Good luck with that!” When I saw this same phrase on a newspaper headline the next day I knew I needed to work it into a card. Watercolor background, pen, and cut-out phrases glued on.

Good luck with that!

Good luck with that!

#3. “My Name Is.” Simple colored pencil drawing.

My name is Tree.

My name is Tree.

#4. Puzzle. Crossword puzzle with a quote written onto it, doodles, some squares colored in black, and a bit of paint.

Puzzle.

Puzzle.

#5. Galaxy. Wasn’t sure where to go with this prompt, so I started looking through my box of random papers/junk mail/etc. I have collected, and found this Justice League comic book, which came out of a cereal box. Collage made all from pieces cut from the comic.

Galaxy/Space.

Galaxy/Space.

#6. Nail Polish. Previously made background with watercolors and watercolor pencils. Dripped and dribbled on teal nail polish. Glued on words.

Nail Polish.

Nail Polish.

#7. Yellow. Collage bits with yellow, orange, and black doodles. This is basically a mini version of a journal page I did a while ago, but it’s what came to mind when I read the prompt.

Yellow.

Yellow.

That’s it for this week! I’m having a lot of fun and enjoying the added creativity in my days. The challenge is already getting me to try new things and use materials that have been sitting around unused for ages. Stay tuned for more weekly installments of ICAD cards, and at some point a post about creating cards with Lewis (yes, I know, the toddler cuteness is the real reason you all read my blog.)

ICAD Begins!

Today is the first day of the Index Card A Day (ICAD) art challenge that I posted about a week or so ago!

If you are interested in joining in check out the FAQ over at Daisy Yellow. The basic concept is to nurture a daily art habit through creating on one index card each day. The challenge runs from June 1 – July 31, 61 days total, but you can jump in at any time. It’s all about having fun and playing around with creativity.

Index card doodles from a couple weeks ago.

Index card doodles from a couple weeks ago.

Tammy will be posting two types of creative inspiration on the site each week. For each week there will be a “theme” (week one is “text”) as well as daily prompts to spark your creativity. These themes and prompts are completely optional, and you can choose to use one, both, or neither. For now I am starting off incorporating both into my work, but I may stray from them later on if I have other ideas I want to explore.

Today's theme is "Prism."

Today’s theme is “Prism.”

I had a lot of fun creating today’s card. My original idea was to write the haiku on top of the rainbow, but once I started working I decided it would look better on its own part of the card, so then I just tied the rainbow colors into the text. This card was created using a pencil, a black pen, Crayola washable markers, water, super fine point Sharpie markers, and a black ink pad. I just started playing with bleeding marker colors a couple days ago, painting water over the marker lines. Dabbing the ink onto the card for the background was a new technique for me as well. This challenge is all about playing and experimenting!

"Grid" card, created for one of the pre-challenge warm ups Tammy posted.

“Grid” card, created for one of the pre-challenge warm ups Tammy posted.

There is also a great community involved in the ICAD challenge. The Facebook group is especially busy and full of people posting their beautiful cards and commenting on everyone else’s artwork. I’m enjoying seeing everyone else’s art, but it’s a little hard to keep up with it all! I guess I will just browse through when I have the time, but not stress about trying to see every single card that is posted. There is a Flickr page as well which is much quieter but still a great place to see some ICAD loveliness.

And of course, stay tuned here if you’d like to see more of my creations. I will probably be posting once a week-ish throughout the challenge.

 

 

ICAD

I have posted a few times before about my art and creative explorations. I enjoy working in an art journal and also doodling and playing around with a variety of different art materials. One awesome blog that I love going to for art inspiration is the Daisy Yellow Art blog. I love looking at Tammy’s beautiful work, her playful exploration of her own materials, and especially the encouragement she posts to help others get creating! She posts a lot of great prompts and ideas to help get the creative juices flowing.

She also has been doing a yearly Index Card A Day (ICAD) challenge the past few years. This will be my first year participating, and I am very excited!

The idea is that each day of the challenge (June 1 – July 31) you create some form of art on an index card. An index card is small, simple, cheap. It can be extremely quick if you only have a few spare moments in the day, or you can go as in depth as you want and create a complex master piece. If you “mess up” or don’t like your results, oh well! It’s just an index card, no harm done, nothing wasted! The focus is more on process than product. There really are no limits, it is all about challenging yourself to do that little bit of art each and every day though out the challenge.

During the challenge Tammy will be posting weekly themes and prompts to help inspire all the participants, but these are completely optional. I haven’t decided yet if I will be using the prompts or not, and I suspect that I will probably follow some and not others depending on what kind of creative mood I am in on any given day.

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I have already started doing a bit of creating on some index cards, even though the challenge hasn’t started yet. Some of these I might use as “backgrounds” to add more work on top of later in the challenge, others will just stay as they are.

The card with my name on it was in response to a “warm up” exercise that Tammy posted on the ICAD Facebook page.

I started that card by drawing a grid with a pencil and ruler, and Lewis decided to join in by making his own card. He had the unique technique of using the pencil to stab holes through his card!

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I will probably do most of my card creation while he is napping or in bed, but I am sure he will join me some of the time for some more ICAD art. This is also a great low-pressure creative challenge for older kids to participate in in a more organized way.

I have a huge collection of art supplies, but the ones I go to most often are pens, markers, Sharpies, and colored pencils. I think this challenge will be a fun opportunity for me to get out some of my other materials to explore with a bit more. I might do some painting, collage, or who knows what else! I recently made my first hand-carved stamp from a cork, and I had fun using this to make one of my card “backgrounds.”

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I guess I should start drinking more wine, so I have more corks to make cute little stamps with. 😉

Do you consider yourself artistic? Or have you always wished you had more art in your life? Join us for the ICAD challenge! You won’t regret it!

Think Outside The Library

Most mornings Lewis and go for a walk with the stroller. We will usually walk around 30-40 minutes, unless we also have other morning plans. Once a week we have been going to story time at the library, which is about a 10 minute walk away. However, the “spring session” of story time has ended and the summer session won’t be starting until the beginning of July, so for now we have no story time to go to. I wasn’t in the mood for our usual walk today though, so I came up with the idea to go play outside the library. There is a nice little garden area with benches, as well as a nature walk behind the library. I’m pretty sure the last time we explored either was last fall, so Lewis is only really familiar with them from walking past on our way into the library.

I packed up a few simple art supplies for myself to do some doodling while he played, and he told me he wanted to bring a snack so we brought some munchie things and some water as well.

Lewis' abandoned art supplies.

Lewis’ abandoned art supplies.

I sat down on a bench with a pen and an index card to do some doodling, and Lewis began exploring the bricks on the ground, hunting for bugs, dirt, and ant hills. After a while he asked to color too. He uncapped two markers, tried to color on a brick, and then abandoned it all for more interesting things like bugs and dandelions.

"Now what?"

“Now what?”

He seemed a bit at a loss for what to do with himself. Unsure what to do in this new space, or how far to wander from me. I tried to encourage him to take a look around and explore other parts of the garden area.

"I feel so free!"

“I feel so free!”

After he played a bit more he asked me to join him in playing and walking around, so I packed our things back into the stroller. He was happy to find many ant hills, some fluffy dandelions, and pine tree with big pine cones underneath.

"We need to walk down this path Mama."

“We need to walk down this path Mama.”

Next I took him around behind the library to see the nature path. We held hands across the parking lot, then I let him run free once we reached the path.

He was quite fascinated at first, and immediately decided that this was a place for running!

He was quite fascinated at first, and immediately decided that this was a place for running!

We made it quickly down the first stretch of the path. Once we turned the corner he was a bit overwhelmed with the apparent distance we still had to go. He asked to be held, but I explained that I couldn’t hold him while pushing the stroller. I offered that he could either walk on his own or ride in the stroller. After sitting on the ground for a moment in protest he decided that he would rather walk than ride.

"I'm very disappointed that you aren't going to pick me up!"

“I’m very disappointed that you aren’t going to pick me up!”

We did some more running and some walking, and found a few ants. He wasn’t very impressed when the forest changed to tall dry grasses. (The sign said it is “phragmites”.)

"Are you sure you won't hold me? This still looks like a long way!"

“Are you sure you won’t hold me? This still looks like a long way!”

We eventually made it around the loop and back to the parking lot, where Lewis found some very interesting mud. We then decided to actually go inside the library for a bit of playing there.

It was fairly busy today with a few other babies and older kids. We read some books, played with some big stuffed snakes which were new and therefore interesting, did a puzzle, and played with the bead roller coaster thingy. While playing with the snakes a baby we often see at story time showed up with her Mom, and they came over to play with us a bit. She is only a year old and just learning to stand/not talking yet/etc. Lewis did a really great job sharing the two snakes with her and even did some very cute peek-a-boo and made her smile. 🙂

When we were done at the library we got the excited treat of seeing the lawnmowers outside cutting the grass. Lawnmowers are one of the most exciting and interesting things in Lewis world right now!