Follow along, It'll be fun!!

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Room for Art

This is my soon-to-be Art Studio/Classroom! It is also where much of our chalkboard production takes place.


I think there is potential here. With a few changes of added and deleted pieces of furniture, I will make a room for art! Room for creating my own artwork and room to give art lessons.

I also have to consider some additional lighting. I may paint two of the walls white to be a crisp clean backdrop for the artwork. The piano will be going, no one plays it, and I may have to move my craigslist loveseat to another room. In the center of the room will be a table and chairs for students to work.

I've been gathering inspiration on this great new site that I found through one of this weeks SITS featured bloggers. It's called Here is my inspiration board for my studio.

Pinterest is like an online vision board! I love it! Thank you Lisa from Surviving Oz

This summer is becoming one of action for me. We are going through some changes around here and we have decided that WORRYING accomplishes nothing, ACTION accomplishes everything.

I was hoping to be teaching art in the public school this year; however, the position went to a art teacher who lost their position at another school, so by default he/she got the job. It was not much consolation when the principal told me if not for the school district rule I would have been his first choice. I decided not to wait for somebody to tell me when I can teach.

It's time to take matters into my own hands and teach what I love. Hopefully in a few weeks the studio will be ready for students!

Visit Mary's Little Red House for Mosaic Monday!

Stay tuned...

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Things to do this summer!

1.Go to the local animal shelter and adopt a pet!


We have been thinking about adding another puppy to our clan. The other day we decided to visit the pound and see if our new puppy was there. As we walked from pen to pen we stopped when we got to one where there seemed to be no dogs. We called to see if any were in the inside portion and out slinked Bambi. Bambi is a beagle/chihuahua mix. Too cute! She worked her charm as we played with her in the play area. That was it! She closed the deal! Adopting a pet is not to be taken lightly. We are probably not going anywhere this summer so it is the perfect time to introduce a new pet into the family.
2. Make new friends!

If you can't adopt a pet, go to the park, enroll in camp, go to a dog park, join the gym, join the YMCA, enroll in a class at the local College or visit your community pool.

3. Go canoeing


Rent a canoe and explore your local surroundings from a whole new perspective or should I say an old perspective. We went canoeing on the Wekiva river here in Florida. It was hot but so much fun! We paddled to the springs (always 72 degrees, freezing) and jumped in to cool off before we turned around to head back. We explored Florida's natural beauty. This is the beautiful side of Florida that many aren't aware of. We came nose to nose with alligators, otters, turtles, herons, egrets...


We so want to buy our own canoe or kayaks!
Do you own a canoe?
What would you encounter during your canoe trip in your state?

4.Find some indoor fun


The obvious would be bowling, the movies (we just saw Super8 with the kids-Great Summer movie), indoor kids zones(dare I say Chucky Cheese or Kidtropolis), art classes, or my son's favorite place, Rebounderz! Rebounderz is a wall to wall trampoline room. You can literally bounce off the walls! They also have a bungee cord harness, video games, pool tables, a cafe, comfy couches, and party rooms! A boys paradise! Other indoor activity that don't cost much, walk around the mall and window shop or go to thrift stores and have to kids search for a particular items like a scavenger hunt! Let them buy something for a dollar! Good places for this, Goodwill and Habitat for Humanity.

Do you have any good summer activity ideas that you can share with me? We're always looking for new things to do.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

A view from my window


Ok so it's not a real window. It's my computer window. Yes, I'm still only on virtual vacation.

Summer is upon us and no vacation time in sight. But I'm sure we'll figure it out before the season disappears. We always do:)

Looking out my "window" I see many opportunities, virtual and real! The future is bright!

Happy Father's Day!

Sunday, June 12, 2011

How to take a virtual vacation...

In these challenging economic times you may being finding it hard to find the money or time or both to squeeze in that summer vacation.

Here's a temporary fix, think about where you would like to go this summer, then google your destination to see if there is a streaming webcam in that location. For example, I was thinking how nice it would be to take a mini vacation to Sanibel Island. It's only about a three hour drive and I've heard it's great for shell collecting. I googled Sanibel webcam and found this site, Island Inn Sanibel .


This beautiful resort offers cottages, beach houses, duplexes and suites.

So, how to take a virtual vacation?

View your destination web cam in full screen if possible. Check at different times during the day to see the changing colors and light of the day. Pull up your laptop at your patio table as you dine al fresco and gaze at the beautiful beach sunset. Imagine you are looking out the window from your luxurious suite at your beach front view.

Sounds a little cooky? Well, maybe but remember that visualization is key in making your dreams a reality. I did this a few summers ago when I really wanted to take a trip to the northwest Georgia Mountains. I found a webcam of Brasstown Bald Mountain. I viewed it several times a day imagining myself being there and that summer I found myself standing on top of that mountain!

Maybe in a few weeks I'll be standing on this beach. Or in a cabin in the mountains


Or Lauderdale at sunrise

Or maybe a view of Time Square is more like it...

I'll keep you posted...

Happy mosaic Monday!
See more mosaics at Mary's little red house

Thursday, June 9, 2011

How to make a sunset animation in Flash

I'm very new at Flash myself, so this is just how I created it. I will explain as much as I can using screen shots of the various layers that I put together in Adobe Illustrator than Imported into Flash.

So here goes...

This first screen shot is of all the layers that I created in Illustrator to be used in my Flash scene.


First, I opened Illustrator and created a new file called sunset. I sized my document to the same width as the stage I set up in Flash 500px. The length is much bigger than my stage in Flash. The length is 1450px.

Below I will show each element individual and give a brief explanation

This part was created in Illustrator.
Layer 1 Atmosphere (bottom layer)
I selected the rectangle shape tool and created a rectangle the same size as the artboard w 500px by 1450 px. I added a linear gradient fill using the colors of a sunset, and played with the placement and opacity until I achieved a soft blended effect of colors.


Layer 2 sun. Still using the rectangle tool added a radial gradient fill with the outer edges transparent so you are left with just a circle of orange and yellow. This could also have been achieved using the eclipse tool.


layer 3 waves For this layer I made the grid visible so that I could place the first pen mark (I used the pen tool) and the top pen point on the opposite end of the wave at the exact same height. I then copied and pasted the wave several times, making a long continuous waves.


Layer 4 moon This was really easy, I used the eclipse tool created a sphere and filled with a white and pale yellow gradient and added an effect of outer glow.


Layer 5 sand using the pen tool make a rectangular shape with a wave top. Fill with a tan to white gradient lowering the opacity of the white which is at the wavy top(stroke white). Use a texture effect of grain.

Now that you have all of the elements in Illustrator, you will import each one into Flash. I imported each one separately by only checking one layer at a time to be imported so that each element imports in its own layer. Also, before importing, make sure to add a new layer in your flash document.

To begin in Flash, open new document set the stage at w 500px by h 400px

Layer 1- Atmosphere
Import Illustrator layer ATMOSPHERE


This series of screen shots shows at the top timeline with the atmosphere positioned with the bottom (blue sky on the stage) at frame 1(to keep the blue sky on the screen for a little over a second-one second being 24 frames) at about frame 35 add a key frame(press F5) this extends the length of the shot for about a second. Than on the timeline draw frames to about 650 (this will be the full lenght of your film about 30 seconds). Now go back to about frame 250, right click and create motion tween.

Layer 2 Sun

Timeline still frame 1-70, motion tween from frame 70-475

Layer 3 Dark water
Created in Flash using th e rectangular shape using a dark blue fill. The element stays fixed from frame 1-655 by press F5
Layer 4 Wave
Positioning left side of wave shape to left side of stage in frame 1 and moving all the way across the stage matching right edge of wave to right edge of stage at frame 655

Layer 5 Light Blue water
Created in Flash starting in frame 1 continuing all the way to the end in frame 655 no movement.


Layer 6 Moon
Starting in frame 1 motion tween to frame 525 and in position to end.

Layer 7 Sand

Starting in frame 1 still all the way to the end in frame 655


And that's the whole thing. Again, it is not a full detail of what I have done but it gives a good idea of how it was done.

I hope this explanation was helpful. by adding more elements and sound this could be a fun scene!

Friday, June 3, 2011

Summer Chalkboard Sale


Well, it's summertime and the livin is easy...and new lovely framed chalkboards are popping up in my chalkboard garden (shop)!

I have been listing new framed chalkboards and freshening up the store:) I have a variety of styles that I will be featuring in the next week or so.

Here are two new ones...




Stay tuned...

Soon to be introduced...
Rustic Mountain Chalkboard and Classic Ebony Chalkboard

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

If you have 11 minutes and 7 seconds...

I recommend watching this amazing collaborative work of art!

How to clean dirty pots and pans...


Without elbow grease or any special cleaning agents!!

It is very simple and easy! If you have a caked on mess from a lasagna pan, or grimy burnt on goo from that sweet marinade on your broiler pan, or any other hard to clean baked on residue from that delicious dinner; here is the answer...Put your oven on to 350 or 400 degrees or leave it on after your done cooking your roast (or whatever). Fill the dirty pan with about 1 inch of tap water. (don't worry about scrubbing anything out of the pan.) Carefully put the pan back in the hot or preheated oven. Leave for about 10 minutes. Using oven mitts and a steady hand remove pan from oven. Place on counter. Take a spoon or rubber spatula and gently stir up the grime. It will lift almost without any effort. While still very hot move pan to sink and rinse out with cold water. Viola!! Clean pan!

If you have a saute pan that has burned on residue, while the pan is still hot move to sink and run under cold water. It will sizzle and steam, the residue will loosen and be instantly clean!
If you have a crook pot with baked on food, fill half way with water and put crook pot on high for about 20 minutes than rinse out under cold tap, gently using a sponge to help loosen! CLEAN! No fuss, no chemicals, no time!!

I discovered this cleaning technique from a cooking technique that my husband showed me a long time ago, DEGLAZING

After food (usually meat) has been sautéed and the food and excess fat removed from the pan, deglazing is done by heating a small amount of liquid in the pan and stirring to loosen browned bits of food on the bottom. The liquid used is most often wine or stock. The resultant mixture often becomes a base for a sauce to accompany the food cooked in the pan.

Read More

Yup, all the that great flavor is in that yucky mess at the bottom of the pan:)