Saturday, March 16, 2019

My Art

A little over a year ago I discovered poured painting. I fell in love with it. I've been doing it a lot lately. I pour on canvases, glass, terracotta, wood, etc. I have opened a shop on Facebook to sell the items I make. These even include jewelry made with the dried paint skins.

I am working on getting my nerve up to do flea markets, craft shows, farmer's markets. This includes trying to find a way to display my wares without breaking the bank. So, I am going to be on the look out for some unique and inexpensive way to display necklaces. This seems to be my most challenging thing to display. I have over 100 necklaces made already. 

Wednesday, February 13, 2019

The Last Three Days

My head is spinning.  I just spent three days at this year's METC Conference.  Half of that time I was in the beginnings of my ISTE certification training.  The other half I attended break out sessions, luncheons and explored the exhibit and play areas.

I learned so much in these past three days. I am excited and nervous about going back to work.  There is so much I want to do now. Last year I decided to focus on one thing I learned about and I am still working on developing my skills in that area.

This year I am.going to jump right in to something that is WAY WAY out of my comfort zone and will also be WAY out of my students' comfort zone, too. But, I am really hoping that it will end up creating some very meaningful learning for all of us.  It means completely throwing out what I had planned for us over the next several weeks and changing everything about the way we spend our class time. I am excited and terrified at the same time. I'm either buckling in for a great adventure or diving head first off a cliff. Either way we are going to learn something.

There is something else I am going to put time and effort into that I walked away from the conference with, but it has to do with adult learning. I  am hoping to be a catalyst for change in the way our district does professional development.  This is another thing that I am both excited and terrified about.

Finally, I am fully committed to completing my ISTE training.  I met some incredible teachers in my cohort for this and am looking forward to working more with them. It's going to be a lot of work and some pretty intense learning.  Part of me is really nervous about all of it but I am trying really hard to maintain my self confidence.

These past three days were the best conference I have ever been to and I am very grateful for the time I got to spend there. I really hope I do what I learned justice.

Wednesday, February 6, 2019


Today I was at work for 12.5 hours. Yesterday I was at work for 12 hours.  I will probably be there just as long tomorrow.

Last night I was working on yearbook layouts and getting copies made for today. Tonight I was writing lesson plans for next week and getting copies made for the rest of the week and for the beginning of next week.  Tomorrow I will be getting substitute plans written for three days next week and trying to get as much grading done and in the grade book as possible.

Why do I need three days of lessons for a sub ready? I am going to METC conference Monday through Wednesday next week.  I am so very excited about it.  I will be starting my ISTE cohort during the conference, too, so I will be on my way to ISTE certification. 

So, while it's been a really good week of learning for my students, I am really exhausted and hope I can continue being there for my students the rest of the week the way I want.  It's really important to me that I have two really productive days with them and set them up to be able to be as self sufficient as possible while I am gone. 

At some point I also need to prepare for a new group to sixth and seventh graders.  Wednesday is the last day my current group will be in my classroom. I have to have new attendance cards a seating charts made for four classes before I get back to work on Thursday next week.

Sunday, February 3, 2019

Took a Step Forward

I have a problem with believing in myself.  It is something that I allow to hold me back a lot.

I started creating jewelry from paint skins almost a year ago. I sold a bunch at work last year and had all these intentions of doing craft fairs, flea markets, etc. I didn't do any. My only reason is fear. This makes me very frustrated with myself.

This weekend I posted online some of my new necklaces I made. I had a few people say they were interested and actually sold one necklace.  I had people ask about an online shop and business cards of which I have neither.

Tonight I listed a bunch of my necklaces in the shop feature of my Facebook page I created a long time ago when it was just my photography and has morphed into a way to showcase all my artistic endeavors. It's called Creations by Chrystal. I invited a bunch of people to my page and will invite more later.

So, we will see if I can keep the insecurity and fear monsters from sucking my motivation and self confidence out of me. Maybe I will actually find the nerve to actually set up camp at a flea market or farmer's market this summer.

Friday, January 25, 2019

A Few White

One of the things I like to make from my paint skins is jewelry. I've used pendant and bracelet trays so far to create unique one of a kind necklaces and bracelets.  These are a few of those blank pendant trays.

Before we had an entertainment center in our living room, our television sat on a small xorner cabinet stand. We still use that stand as a sort of side table. I keep it covered by a folded up white lace table cloth  that was handed down to me. This is part of the lace

Thursday, January 24, 2019

Short Post

Today is my son's 17th birthday. My baby is almost grown up.

Photo a day #1 for today was a landscape taken in September.

Photo a day #2 for today was Livvy feeling annoyed by her sister sitting on her.

Wednesday, January 23, 2019

A Throw Back and a Drink

This week I've had a little trouble keeping up with my challenges.  I have managed to do them but I've been scrambling to get them done. Tonight was no different.

I actually decided to go with an old picture for one of them. My son will be 17 tomorrow so, it has been a few years since I caught this picture of him and one of our Scottie girls asleep under the Christmas tree.  But, it illustrates friendship perfectly and it's one of my favorite pictures.

I have been using the squirtable flavorings in my water lately.  I found one I just love. It's peach bellini. It's actually good enough to deserve to be in a wine glass.

It's hard to find a place in our house where the background isn't cluttered.  A couple white tea towels helped. But, it still didn't really turn out the way I wanted.  It's not the worst, but far from great.

Tuesday, January 22, 2019

Trying to Grow

I am trying to grow as an artist. Honestly, I have th
is feeling of guilt calling myself that. I have no formal training and at this point it is a hobby for me.  So, a big part of me feels I have no right to call myself an artist.

In my attempt to grow, tonight I tried some different techniques.  I have these picture easels I bought at the dollar store and decided to use them to prop up one of my canvases as I poured paint on it. I first painted the canvas black. I poured my paint while the black paint was still wet.

I used a color shift green, a bright orange and a yellow. I poured the yellow and let it run. Next, I poured the green and then the orange.  I alternated those colors until the canvas was covered. I did tilt the canvas some to help the coverage.

I did two other green/yellow/orange pours tonight. One I flipped three cups of individual colors on a canvas I'd painted black first. The other I did a dirty pour.


The other color combination I worked with was pink/blue/sparkly gold. I did two canvases using this color combination.  The first one I did a straight clean pour and the other one I did a flipped cup dirty pour. 

I am really happy so far wit the results. I am thinking of adding semicolon butterflies to them.

Now, for my photo a day challenges. One of them was dark.  I chose to feature one of my favorite local shops that is located in our historical district as "I went here."

For dark, I edited a photo of my daughter sitting on the couch drinking wine. I used a filter that enhanced the shadows in the photo and darkened the colors. 

Monday, January 21, 2019

Something Red in St. Charles

I can be a bit compulsive when I find something that interests me. Like with the photo a day thing, it would not be out of character for me to try and do a dozen of them. But, I have been pretty good about sticking to two. But, I found another challenge I've decided to try to participate in as of this week.

This one is weekly, though. It is supposed to focus on your city. Since I love my hometown and the surrounding area I figured that was a good enough reason to add it.

This week's theme was "something red." At first I really was a bit worried I would not be able to actualy start this week because I had no idea what to do for this. Then, it hit me. So, here is something red in St. Charles.

Our historic district still has a red brick road.  While it is kind of a pain to drive down, I wouldn't have it any other way.

A space was the topic for one of my other lists for today. One of my favorite spaces is my painting space.

I really had trouble with the last one. It was "nice!" I actually went to see what other people had chosen to do with this.

I came up with the nice smell my wax burner has when it's turned on. I got it as a Christmas gift and I really like it. As a matter of fact I've been quite compulsive about buying wax for it. I have about twenty different packages of wax cubes already. At present cinnamon pecan is in it.

Sunday, January 20, 2019

A Drip and Dinner

Today was not my favorite in the world of photo a day challenges. Both prompts were blah.

I'm not a fan of prompts that have to be taken at a certain time. I think I have already discussed that. But, I am also not that fond of taking pictures of food. But, I am committed to doing this. Dinner tonight was sloppy joes and steamed vegetables. The one nice thing was Caleb's girlfriend Emma was here with us for supper.

Photographing drips can be fun if you have the opportunity to be out in the rain or when ice cycles are melting. Otherwise it's hard not to get stuck with turning the faucet on to cause a drip.

We were at the swim meet again today.  I tried to get water dripping off my son after warm ups and just ended up with a spot on the heat sheet.

I thought about trying to get paint dripping by doing another pour today, but what I did yesterday is not completely dry yet and I really didn't want to add another set to the drying area yet. I ended up with my tea dripping from my straw after being at Mod Pizza. It's not a great picture, but it met the criteria.

Saturday, January 19, 2019

A January Saturday

I got to do two things I really enjoy today, watch one of my kids swim and paint. January has always been a busy month for swim meets and this one is no different. This weekend it's a home meet at the Rec Plex.

Then, this afternoon I got my painting supplies back out.  They had been put away since right before Thanksgiving to make room for holiday happenings.  I like to do fluid art.  Today I did a couple different color palettes. 

My first color palette was two shades of turquoise with an orange.  I poured on two canvases.  The first canvas I did a clean pour.  The second canvas I did a stacked flipped cup dirty pour.

The second color palette I did was two shades of blue with a glittery eggshell off white paint.  These were both layered tipped cup pours.

I did remember my photo a day challenges, too. One of them was "on the counter. " I included my Scottie Dog cookie jar and our Budweiser stein that holds cooking utensils.  I did it in black and white with shadows.

The other photo a day was fence. I ran outside very quickly because it is very cold and windy today to take a picture of our chairs link fence.  I edited the saturation on this one.

Friday, January 18, 2019

Turquoise and Time

I really wanted to actually have some paint ready to go and pour a canvas for this prompt but I haven't got moving on my painting yet. But, I have been playing around with ideas for color palettes.  I'm thinking orange with the turquoise and maybe some white or ivory or silver. I'm just not sure yet.

I really wasn't thrilled with the other prompt today. I dislike time stamp prompts .It's just really hard to have a camera ready at a specific time especially during a work day. Even when I'm not busy I just don't remember.  So, this one is a bit of a cop out, but I think being busy with students is a good cop out.

Thursday, January 17, 2019

Corner and Difficult

So, I decided a couple days ago to pick up on a second photo a day challenge.  I'd done about four days worth of both challenges only to realize I was doing the prompts from January 2014. Alrighty then.... so today I am on track with the correct year and month for both challenges.

Let's start with the one that I've been doing correctly all a long. Today was corner. I had a fee ideas for this but ended up opting for the corner of a coaster my mom made for me for Christmas 2017. She decoupaged pictures of my doggies on six blocks of wood to make these for me. It is one of my favorite gifts I've gotten in recent years.

The other prompt for today, now that I am working from the list for 2019 and not five years ago, was difficult.  I went back in my gallery to find something for this because I was at work for over twelve hours today so I really didn't even think about taking a picture for this prompt. 

I found a picture taken a couple days ago of our little girl giving me the stink eye because I wanted to take a picture of her and she wanted no part of it. It is difficult to get a picture of her when she isn't in the mood to be bothered. 

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Glasses and a Bundle of Energy

I was born cross eyed.  I have never had good eyesight.  They tried patching my eyes when I was little in hopes of strengthening the lazy one. I had surgery on my left eye when I was three to cosmetically fix the lazy eye but it also messed up my depth perception.

So, I've also been clumsy my whole life.  I actually started wearing glasses when I was two. I was able to wear contacts for many years but about the time I got to the age where I needed bifocal I've not been able to get contacts to work for me.

Now, I have a collection of glasses that I've worn for the past 12 years. My current pair is in the front of the picture with the rest going in order from most recent to the oldest pair since.

One of my favorite things to see is my dogs. They both have such different personalities.  Our Izzy Bean still acts like a puppy.

She is floppy and clumsy and supe sweet. She will hug you when you pick her up.  She loves everyone and is an attention hound. She still loves to play and can be a bundle of energy.

Tuesday, January 15, 2019

PAD Jan. 15: Paint and Shiny

I was really excited when I saw that paint was one of the prompts for this month
 I love to paint. I started out painting rocks about 18 months ago. But, in learning about painting rocks, I learned about fluid art (poured painting).

I love this technique.  I have done small canvases, a wooden cross and a wooden owl. I have a lot of other things I want to paint this way and a lot of ways I want to alter the way I paint using this technique.

Another thing I do with this is let the run off paint pool onto freezer paper. Once that dries its called paint skins. I use those paint skins to make jewelry.

So I had all these different ideas about how I was going to photograph paint. But as I was getting out my painting supplies I realized  I wanted to take a picture of some of my paint skins.

For my shiny photo I was actually at a loss. The as I was sitting on my couch I realized my ceramic Scottish Terriers were shiny. But, I didn't want to just photograph them on their shelves and I use our carpet as a backpack a lot. So, I decided to take them outside and set them in the snow so the background would just be completely white.

Monday, January 14, 2019

PAD Jan. 14: A Handful

I am trying really hard to watch what I eat. Trying to keep in mind that I have to strictly limit my carbs. This means my snacks need to be as healthy as possible. 

I love tomatoes and usually this time of year it's near impossible to find decent tomatoes but I managed to find some really good grape tomatoes this past weekend.  A handful of them are a great snack.

My other photo prompt today was supposed to be something I do daily.  Since I really didn't think it would be appropriate or a pretty sight to take a picture while showering I figured a picture representing brushing my teeth would be better.  After all, I do that twice a day instead of just once. So, every day I brush my teeth.

I have been told the toothpaste blob looks like a dolphin.  It wasn't done on porpoise (see what I did there) but it adds a little something extra to the photo.

Sunday, January 13, 2019

PAD Jan. 13: Lunch and A Building

So I found another photo a day challenge I liked the look of so now I'm playing around with two PADs.

Today I had lunch with my friend Tina. We hung out for a few hours. We always have a good time and always find lots to talk about.  We ate at St. Louis Bread Company (Panera to the rest of the world). I had Cheddar Broccoli soup and grilled cheese.  I forgot about my photo prompt until after I had already finished eating.

I had planned on raking a picture of part of the strip mall once we got outside but then I was too busy enjoying hanging out with my friend that I forgot that too. So, I decided to get one of my daughter's Nano Block buildings and take a picture of that.

Saturday, January 12, 2019

PAD Jan. 12: Begins With T

It started snowing yesterday afternoon and has been snowing ever since.  We've gotten close to a foot of snow so far. We haven't had a snow like this in about 8 years. Last year we had a decent snow in March, but it still wasn't like this.

The PAD topic for today was "begins with t." So, I took a picture of our picnic table in our back yard with snow piled up on it.

Friday, January 11, 2019

My 50th

Today was my 50th birthday. That is so hard for me to believe.  I still have just as many insecurities as I did 30 years ago. I still have so many things that confuse me about life. I still feel like a teenager.  How in the world can I be a half a century old already? Shouldn't I have more things figured out by now?

It was a snowy birthday, which  isn't too surprising or unusual since it is January.  We dismissed from school early due to the weather today.  But, it was already nasty on the roads.  It took me 20 minutes to drive from work to the highway which usually takes no more than 5 minutes.  The highway was already snow packed but I managed to make it home safely and it only took about 25 minutes longer than usual.

We went out to eat at Texas Roadhouse tonight.  I had a filet mignon, ceaser salad and steamed vegetables.  It was yummy. I always order medium well. So, I took a picture of it after I cut into it so I could use it for today's PAD which is pink.

It continues to snow.  It is supposed to snow all night and all day tomorrow.  This is probably going to delay Michaela going back to school.

We haven't had snow like this on my birthday for about eight years. The kids and I were all off school for a snow day on my birthday that year and I took them sledding.  This year Caleb and I both had early dismissal. Michaela was working with Michael. So, we went out to eat after they got home from work. 

I got money from my in laws that I am putting with the money they gave me for Christmas to buy a Samsung watch. Hopefully I will be able to do that this weekend.