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Sunday, March 22, 2015

52 Weeks of 2015 - Week 10

52 Weeks of 2015 - Week 10

The topic for this week was "I made this." On Monday, our school district had an teacher in-service day. I took a vacation day so that Lauren and I could spend the time together. I promised that I would take her back to The Art Place studio. This time, we did canvas painting.

Usually when you do social painting, they draw a template for you on the canvas to use as a guide. For this painting, you were supposed to paint the background first, then trace the template. Well, I traced the template first so I ended up covering it almost entirely. Because I had to paint it practically freehand, it took me two and a half hours to finish!

Peacock painting.

Lauren wanted to copy a peacock painting that she saw in the gallery. It was very challenging and took her almost three hours to complete. I'm really proud of the way that she pushed through and finished it. It turned out great!

Sketchbook Journal 2015 - Week 10

For my sketchbook journal, I had no doubt what I was going to draw because this was chicken week!

Honey, I'm home!

Since last summer, Mark has been researching about raising chickens, and they finally came home to roost this week. He bought them from a local farm that sells chickens on eBay. We had to meet the seller and pick up the chicks in the parking lot of a K-mart of all places. So far they are working out well and are very sweet. I've taken lots of photos of them of course, but I haven't had a chance to go through them all. I'll share more about them in next week's entry.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

52 Weeks of 2015 - Week 9

52 Weeks of 2015 - Week 9

This week's topic was reflection. This is another one of those photography related challenges that I don't really care for, so I went with the straight interpretation.

When you get to the Target Dollar Spot before everyone else.

Here's the in focus version without me in it. This is what it looks like when you make it to the Target Dollar Spot before everyone else (Is it even called that anymore? Most of this stuff was $3!). I actually went back and bought more stuff for the display. I should really do a reshoot! It may seem a little early to decorate for Easter, but this was the week that we turned the clocks ahead. I was excited to have just an extra bit of daylight in the evenings, even though it meant having to drive to work in the dead of night once again.

Sketchbook Journal 2015 - Week 9

And although it was looking like spring on the inside, on the outside it was still cold and snowy this week. March definitely came in like a lion this year!

Monday, March 16, 2015

52 Weeks of 2015 - Week 8

 52 Weeks of 2015 - Week 8

I have everything ready to get caught up this week once and for all, but we're going to take it one at a time instead of posting all at once.  This week's topic was cold, which was very fitting considering we had one the year's biggest snow storm. Italian Greyhounds typically dislike the cold and the wet and will even refuse to go outside. All things considered, Cookie does pretty well in the cold. In fact, she does a little *too* well in that she insists on dropping her loads in the deep snow. Sometimes when she's in the process of finding a good spot, her feet get too cold. Then she starts limping around pathetically, and you have to take her inside and try again later.

Cold dog.

Apparently, Marcus does really well in the cold. No worries about him getting cold feet.
Mr. Snowman.

Here's the snowman that Mark and Lauren built after the big snow.

Sketchbook Journal 2015 - Week 8

Lastly, here's this week's sketch journal entry. We've been preparing for (and somewhat dreading) this week for years. Lauren started her swimming unit in gym class. Our district's pool is located at the elementary school, so twice during the school year, the fourth through sixth grade swims everyday for six weeks. Thankfully, Lauren has really progressed during the last couple of years and has become a pretty good swimmer, but there is no way to prepare for the awkwardness changing in front of other girls and having to wear a swim cap. I was so relieved when I picked her up the first day and she told me, "It was awesome!" Gym is now her favorite period, and she's even considering joining the swim team. Let's hope learning to drive goes this well. Okay, maybe not so well that she wants to join NASCAR.

Sunday, March 1, 2015

52 Weeks of 2015 - Week 7

52 Weeks of 2015 - Week 7

I'm getting closer to being caught up - only one week behind now!

This week it's all about Kitty Coconut! The topic was "framed." I just happened to notice her under my desk chair, and there it was, as easy as that!

Kitty Coconut Lucky Cat!

During a day off  from school the week prior to this one, I took Lauren to a local art studio called The Art Shop. They have open studio time everyday, so you can just stop in and make whatever you want. We chose to paint ceramics, and it didn't get much cuter than this lucky cat. Lauren decided to paint it to look just like Kitty Coconut!
Sketchbook Journal 2015 - Week 

Chinese New Year just happened to occur this week, so Kitty Coconut lucky cat fit perfectly into my sketchbook theme too!

Sunday, February 15, 2015

52 Weeks of 2015 - Week 6

52 Weeks of 2015 - Week 6

I don't have a really good explanation for neglecting the blog for over a month. I guess it was just a combination of procrastination and laziness. My plan to post the weekly photo and sketch together hasn't been serving me well either. I've actually been doing a fairly good job of keeping up with my weekly photo project, but I just haven't been posting it here because I'm always behind on my sketchbook. I'm still a week behind, but I figure if I don't do something now, I'll be too overwhelmed to ever get caught up. I've back filled all of the prior weeks up until this point, so hopefully my habits will improve going forward.

Since Valentine's Day was this week, naturally the theme was love. I spent Valentine's Day taking humiliating photos of the dogs and baking a heart shaped cake with Lauren while Mark replaced our water heater.

Sketchbook Journal 2015 - Week 7

This is my favorite sketch so far this year. Who doesn't love conversation hearts?

Monday, February 2, 2015

52 Weeks of 2015 - Week 5

52 Weeks of 2015 - Week 5

This week's topic was shadows. Like silhouette, it's own of those overtly "photography" topics that I don't like. The way the light was hitting these yo-yo pillows caught my eye, so I went with it, even though I've photographed that chair countless times.

Sketchbook Journal 2015 - Week 6

For my journal, I decided to sketch the best part of this year's Superbowl - Kary Perry's sharks!

Saturday, January 31, 2015

52 Weeks of 2015 - Week 4

52 Weeks of 2015 - Week 4

This weeks topic was low light, so I just took a photo of the scene I see before I turn in for the night.

Sketchbook Journal 2015 - Week 5

I sketched a little snow scene since this was the first week that we significant amount of snow (If you call about six inches significant.).

Saturday, January 24, 2015

52 Weeks of 2015 - Week 3

52 Weeks of 2015 - Week 3

This week's theme was yellow. When it comes to choosing colors, yellow is practically never my first choice, so it was a bit of a challenge. But I do like washi tape, and since I have a lot of it, I decided to put it to good use. I ended up framing my little impromptu artwork, and I put it on display in our spare bedroom which, in spite of my feelings towards the color, is accented with a yellow throw rug and cabinet.

Sketchbook Journal 2015 - Week 4

Last week, Lauren had her first band concert, and literally right before we departed the house, she dropped a bomb and announced that she wanted to switch from the trombone to the clarinet. Since we're just happy that she's interested in playing a instrument, we got her teacher's blessing and rented her a clarinet. So far she's doing really well with it, and she's taught herself most of the songs that she needs to get caught up. My only regret is that I never got a photo of her with the trombone before we returned it to the music store. Oh well.

I drew the books because Lauren has been reading like a FIEND. She typically goes through two 300+ page books in a week. Her school has a program to motivate the kids to read where if they read 25 books during the school year, they get to go to a special party. Well, as of this week she's up to 34. Also, as part of her GATE class, the students are asked to read 1 million words. She's currently over 2 million and is shooting for 3 million before the end of the year. At the rate she's going, I have no doubt that she'll easily meet that goal!

Saturday, January 17, 2015

52 Weeks of 2015 - Week 2

52 Weeks of 2015 - Week 2

This week's topic was lines. I found these heart shaped glasses at the Target's dollar spot. In hindsight, I wish I would have also bought the robot glasses that they had. Marcus would have looked awesome modelling them.

Sketchbook Journal 2015 - Week 3

I chose to sketch some deer because sometimes I like to drive through our local park my way home from work, and seeing the deer grazing in the golf course always makes me happy. I think the standing deer looks weird, but I think I did a decent job on the sitting one.

Saturday, January 10, 2015

52 Weeks of 2015 - Week 1

 For 52 Weeks of 2015 - Week 1

I decided to start the 2015 52 weeks project this week because I've joined a new project 52 group called Nifty Fifty 52, and their first topic didn't start until January 4th. This group posted all of the topics for the year, and there are very few, if any, stinkers. Also, the photo has to be taken with a 50mm prime lens, and since I shoot 90% of my photos with that kind of lens, I should be able to follow along without issue.

This week's topic was "new", so I went with a photo of the new cardigan sweater that I received from Mark for Christmas. I liked it so much, that I now own the sweater in practically every other color too.

 Sketchbook Journal 2015 - Week 1

True to my word, I've been diligently working on my 2015 sketchbook journal. I decided to try a different style of journal this year. It's a Handbook Journal made by Global Art Materials. This one has enough pages to cover the entire year. Also, it's bound in the middle like a book instead of like a notebook with spiral wire. I was a little skeptical about it at first, but now I love it. It will really encourage me to do this year after year because they'll look so nice sitting on the shelf next to each other.

I thought it would help me keep up if I posted my sketch for the week along with the photo of the week. The only problem was that the project 52 group started the week after I started my journal. So I decided just to post both for this week. This one is based on a photo that I did for Stocksy a couple of months ago. Sometimes when I get stuck for an idea, I just draw one of my photos.

SKetchbook Journal 2015 - Week 2

Here's this week. I went with a snowman because it's been so incredibly cold. Lauren's school had a 2 hour delay three days this week because with the windchill the temperatures were way below zero. I should also probably mention that I can't really draw organically, so once I have an idea, I typically search for some clip art online and then add my own spin on it.

On a personal note, I don't know what it is about the first full week of January, but once again, this week was so, so very crappy for me. It was the same last year too. The year got better as time went on, so I can only hope the same will be true of 2015.