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Archive for the ‘Just For Fun’ Category

I’m so thrilled to host today’s Doodle Day prompt, but I am terrified of drawing it.   It makes me hide in fear.   Are you sure YOU want to draw this doodle??  You do?  All right – I guess it’s time I conquer my fears….  (After all, my almost 2 yr old grandsons are not afraid of these. )

…the Doodle Day prompt today is…….  [gulp]….

CARS

…as in VEHICLES of Transportation….Family movers….from vacation carriages…to moon rovers…fun and silly, sleek and fast,  ….. Duckmobiles….Charactermobiles….Inovativemobiles….

So why am I afraid of and so bad at drawing Cars?    I think I try to be too literal with them.  We have preconceived ideas of what cars should look like and we stifle our creative side.  Alison Hertz (our Doodle Day Founder) and I were discussing it.   Here’s a bit of our conversation:

Alison: (who you may recall was a toy designer):   “I agree, cars are scary and I created the Chunky trucks toy line years ago – I also created the star wars pod racers.  Still scary.  When I was a middle school art teacher, I heard [‘I can’t draw’] from adults all the time – my response was “Who told you that?” The general public thinks that an ability to draw means creating a masterpiece fit for a museum – silly. They put too much pressure on themselves. Look at a 4 year old – they just draw – no pressure, just do it and enjoy it. Grown ups lose that along the way for fear of judgment. Society is too judgy – people should stop worrying.”

Me: I love that.  When I was younger (just a few years ago by the way),  I never thought I could draw or that I was ‘worthy’ of saying I could – because of what you just said….because I judged MY work by the quality or style of someone else’s work. We can certainly admire someone else’s work but we don’t have to be them – because then we would only ever be a second best. But we can be the best US! Doodle Day has been liberating for me…thanks to you, Alison!

So when you start to doodle your car, try not to use a picture or preconceived image in your head…don’t overthink –  let your imagination take you on a doodling car trip…..  You could even try a scribble or zentangle and put wheels on it.  Pick a critter to mobilize with wheels….or jet packs….or….?   Try a series of circles or shapes…add a horn and wheels…Voila!

Questions to get the creative juices bubbling…

  • Where will this vehicle be taking you (or your character)?
  • What ‘era’ is it?   (stone age, pre-auto, space age, futuristic)
  • How many and what kind of people/creatures does it hold?
  • Does your car have a unique feature  (a pool, library, barbecue…)?
  • Are you exploring, or on a leisurely drive or racing off to somewhere?
  • Does your car have its own personality or quirks?

Have fun!!!  And here are a few famous ‘personality’ cars to inspire you.

Oh – and if you have a blog or website – share the info in the comments so we can all check out each other’s sites along with our Doodle Day Group page.

Stay relaxed-remember no stress… and doodle away!!!

Thanks, Alison, for this opportunity – I had a great time.

Blessings on your creativity!

Laura (Grandmamiller)

P.S.  I now have to play doodle delay catchup..I was gone all week…

The Flintstones by Hanna Barbera

The Flintstones by Hanna Barbera

Chitty Chitty Bang Bang

Chitty Chitty Bang Bang

Beverly Hillbillies Jalopy

Beverly Hillbillies Jalopy

Mrs. Armitage by Quentin Blake

Mrs. Armitage by Quentin Blake

Scooby Doo Mystery Machine

Scooby Doo Mystery Machine

Love Bug

Love Bug

Speed Racer

Speed Racer

Formula ONe

Tiny car

The Jetsons by Hanna Barbera

The Jetsons by Hanna Barbera

If I Built A Car by www.chrisvandusen.com

If I Built A Car by
http://www.chrisvandusen.com

(super book by the way)

Fishcar by Sylviagarza.wordpress.com

Fishcar by Sylviagarza.wordpress.com

47 passenger elephant car

47 passenger elephant car

Moonrover

Moonrover

Cat In the Hat's Car

Cat In the Hat’s Car

CatShoe

Chicken

The Batmobile

The Batmobile

Burger

Oscar Meyer Weinermobile

Oscar Meyer Weinermobile

Daisy

Kissmobile

Pig

And my grandsons’ favorites….

Cars

For all the Doodle Day prompts go to http://alisonhertz.blogspot.com/ and check out the Blog archives.

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Grandma's Feathered Bed by Laura Anne Miller after John Denver's Song

Grandma’s Feathered Bed by Laura Anne Miller
after John Denver’s Song

I was going through my art cabinet, purging and sorting when I happened on this old colored pencil drawing I did a few years ago (prob. 2009).  John Denver was a favorite singer of mine (yes, I know, I’m telling my age) and one of my favorite songs he did  was “Grandma’s Feather Bed.”

The song makes me smile every time.    I think because it reminds me of when family would get together at my maternal grandmother’s farm in Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan.   They had mostly cows, pigs, chickens, and once in a while a horse, a couple of farm dogs and lots of cats.  (We never “stole a piggy from the shed” tho’….ewww)

There were my three girl cousins  up from Chicago,  some of my other ‘local cousins’ and some younger cousins I don’t even remember their names.  At night all of us kids would pile into a huge bed with a high head board. The little ones had to be boosted into it. It had the creaky kind of bed springs (really fun to jump on).   We would giggle and squeal, argue about blankets, have pillow fights and tell ghost stories.

Sometimes the neighbors would come over for singing.  Grandpa got out his harmonica and spoons.   The neighbor lady had an accordion.  My dad had a guitar.  We kids got to sing and learn a little square dancing. Once my grandma even grabbed an empty pop bottle and started blowing into it.  The treat was when my grandpa started doing a little Irish jig.   Usually we were sent to bed before the party was over.  HOWEVER,  that didn’t stop us from watching.

Grandma’s house didn’t have a forced air furnace.  It was heated by an old coal furnace.  There were huge grates in the upstairs floor to let the warm air rise.  We would crowd around the grates, laying (lying?) on our stomachs and peering through to the going on’s below.  We’d start arguing about who was hogging the space and yelling ‘move over’   when one of our parents would yell, “Are you kids out of bed?”   Of course we’d all scramble back in bed (creak-creak-creak) and yell “Noooo!”

“It’d hold 8 kids, and 4 hound dogs, and a piggy we stole from the shed…

We didn’t get a lot of sleep, but we had a lot of fun in Grandma’s feather bed.”

It’s been several years since I did the picture and I’ve taken several art courses since, I think I may try reworking this in both watercolor and digital.

And by the way I HIGHLY recommend these  courses: Mark Mitchel’s   “How To Be a Children’s Book Illustrator” and Will Terry’s online Folio Academy courses on “Digital Painting.”   Folio Academy has many more courses available – I’ve just taken the digital.

Thanks for sharing some memories with me today. (oh-by the way, make sure you find all 4 hound dogs, the piggy and 8 kids [see if you recognize me])

Blessings on your creativity!

Laura (grandmamiller)

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Two things Today:

The First Thing not to be forgotten, my friend, Susanna Leonard Hill, has a

shapeimage_3

release of Can’t Sleep Without Sheep in Ebook format for only $4.99.  She held a contest earlier with lots of fun/silly promos, the complete list of all the creativity and links  is here and my entry is here just for more fun.  I bought my Kindle copy and the grandgirls gave it 3 baa-baa-beautifuls. The places to find her wonderful  ebook are here:

iTunes (for iPad, iPhone, and iPod Touch)

Amazon (for all versions of Kindle)
Barnes&Noble (for Nook)

And secondly –  an opportunity to post the last of my Doodle Day May drawings, I mean doodles.  I posted to the Facebook Page, just didn’t have a chance to chronicle here as we were out of town.   And of course I know you’re all dying, to see them here (ho-hum, I’m probably talking to just myself and my mom…er…I think my mom reads my blog…)  Anyway, the last doodle post was #28….so pencil drum rol-l-l-l-l-l-l…

Day #29  Ribbon

Ribbon

Day #30 Shell

Shell

and   Day#31 Wave – and a final goodbye to Doodle Day May the way I say goodbye to people I love…like YOU.

wave

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Doing some catch up here – we’ve been so busy getting ready for our church’s carnival and participation in the Memorial Day Parade.  The parade was an honor to be involved in and the carnival was a wonderful event.  We had about 300 people attend and between 30 and 40 people from our church helping.  Seniors, adults, teens, tweens and even kids – giving a hand to set up, clean up, serve and be a part.

I’ve didn’t post my doodles from Alison Hertz’  Doodle Day May so on with the exhibit….

#25 was square.  Right away my grandma popped into my head.  She made quilts for all her grandkids, square by square.  She taught me how and I made a quilt for my daughter that took about 8 years!

Grandma's Quilt

Grandma’s Quilt

#24 was flame.  This was done in photoshop in about 40 minutes.  I couldn’t get the feel of the fire right away.  But now I’ve learned a new technique.  I’ve been working on some biblical art, so this was what popped in my head to try.

Pillar of Fire

 

#23 was veggies – which I couldn’t get into until I put my tongue in cheek

vegetables

Well, thanks so much for stopping by.   Blessings on your creativity.

Laura (Grandmamiller)

 

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Still having lots of fun with Alison Hertz‘  Doodle Day May.  The subjects today are ‘ shoes’ and ‘design a font.’  I dedicated the Circus font to Alison (if you don’t know why – you need to read her bio/look at facebook pics.)   The shoe doodle made me think of my little girls growing up.

Circus font

Circus font

I sketched Circus first, then colored it in Photoshop.  I used colored pencils & ink on the shoes.

Shoes

Shoes

Now on to my pick for Susanna Hill‘s  Perfect Picture Book Friday.

This book reminds me of when my girls were little and it was bathtime. When dad supervised it was always lively with lots of giggling, shrieking and splashing.  The walls were dripping, the floor was submerged and the bubbles were everywhere.  (When I supervised – somehow it never seemed as much fun.)

Title: Big Red Tub  (Note: Released as Big Red Bath in UK) 

Author:   Julia JarmanBig Red Tub

Illustrator:   Adrian Reynolds

Publisher: Orchard Books, 2004

Genre: Fiction

Audience Age:  2-4

Themes/Topics: Bathtime, Imagination

Opening Sentences: Stan and Stella in the big red tub.  I splash! You splash!  Splash! Splash! Splash!

Synopsis: Dad is supervising bathtime. The children have lots of fun  especially when all kinds of animals join in.  Dog, lion, kangaroo, duck and even a hippopotamus!  And bathtime ends up going beyond the walls of the house….

Why I like it:  It’s  sudsy fun and the rhythm and rhyme are a rollicking good time.  The illustrations are big and bright.  Matter of fact they are so bubbly and soapy you either need a raincoat or a scrub brush.  When I read this to my grands they immediately wanted a re-read.   This is for a younger audience, but definitely a lively selection.  (You probably won’t want to read it at bed time, tho’ it is such a romp the kids get excited.)

Activities/Resources:   Ms. Jarman has a coloring page from her website here.   And an activity sheet .

 I could recommend something about hygiene, but that’s not fun…. how about   B U B B L E S ?  (Click and scroll down the page to find a dozen bubble activities.)

Availability: Barnes & Noble, Amazon

(Susanna Leonard Hill is the originator of PPBF and you can find all the other PPB recommendations and links  on her blog.)

Have fun enjoying the book.  Stop by tomorrow for another Doodle update.  Blessings on your day!

Laura (grandmamiller)

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Had to add this pic

Mother's Day 2013 Ivy, Josiah, Felicity, & Lincoln & Me

Mother’s Day 2013
Ivy, Josiah, Felicity, & Lincoln & Me

Busy weekend- babysat ALLLLL my grandchildren together on Saturday for about 2 hours.   I had my youngest (14 mo)  here for  4 hours and the other three (4, almost 3 and 18 mo)  for only about 2 hours.  Fun wise it wasn’t long enough…stamina wise ….well let’s just say – I felt my age (713 mo.)  tee-hee.

Sunday was also a very busy day as our church had planning meetings for a Memorial Day Kids Carnival and then our Church’s Anniversary Picnic was at our house.  So that’s why no posting done over the weekend.

FRUIT

FRUIT

The First doodle  ‘FRUIT’ is from my memory of last summer.  I had rinsed a big bowl of strawberries and set them on the table to cut up and sugar to go on ice cream.  My granddaughters wanted to taste and I said okay.  The 3 1/2 year old winced when she took a taste and the 2 yr old stuffed one in her mouth and kept reaching for more.

Alison’s SWIRLS prompt was just fun and relaxing to do.   I’ll have to remember that next time I’m stressed!  Thanks for stopping by!  Blessings on your day!

Swirls

Swirls

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Space

Space

For Doodle Day May #16 our topic was SPACE.  Alison (the creator of Doodle Day May) put no constraint on our imaginations for this doodle.   I decided to doodle this in photoshop.   I’m still familiarizing myself with it’s features so this was a good practice.  Several things in this that I would change, some proportions (those tiny images were hard with the wacom).  I would probably do the skyline in pencil and paper and scan it in next time – but I was at 30 minutes – so I made myself stop.

Short funny story about comets-My husband and I love star gazing (as long as the mosquitoes aren’t too bad, or it’s not too cold.)  The last time Haley’s comet was around our youngest was an infant.  We bundled her up and drove into the country away from light pollution,  and sat for 2 hours in the middle of the night trying to see the comet.  No luck – the only thing we got was a wide awake baby when we got home.  A couple weeks later – my husband worked nights at the time – about 3 in the morning, hubby comes home,  wakes me up and says – you have to get up you can see Haley’s comet plain as day!  So bleary eyed and staggering I got dressed…socks…boots…extra layers…it was COLD…Tom kept urging me to hurry….mittens….scarf…..’C’mon, you’ll miss it’…..stiff-walked into the back yard, squinting at the sky…. “Where is it??   I don’t see it,” I said.   Several yards from me my dear, loving, considerate husband shouts, “APRIL FOOL’s!!!”

Anyway…  on to my Perfect Picture Book pick for the week.

Title: Baby Brains and RoboMom    (Note:  in the UK it is RoboMum)

Baby Brains & RoboMom by Simon James

Author/Illustrator:                        Simon James

Publisher: Candlewick Press (2008)

Genre: Fiction

Audience Age: 4-8

Themes/Topics: Problem Solving, Family

Opening Sentences: Before Baby Brains was born, Mrs. Brains ate lots of fish and nuts, which are good foods for brains.

Synopsis: The smartest baby in the world builds a robot mom to give his tired mommy a break from the chores, but things don’t go as planned.

Why I like it:  This was my introduction to ‘Baby Brains.’  which is actually the third book in the series. The others are Baby Brains: The Smartest Baby in the Whole World and Baby Brains: Superstar.    I definitely plan to find these first two to enjoy.  The Brains parents seem to be an average, loving  and hard working couple who have the smartest baby around.  They patiently hold pencils while Baby sits at the drafting board planning and creating his newest invention… like a remote-controlled, self-rocking cradle or a motorized stroller.   Baby notices how tired his mommy is so he lovingly creates RoboMom.  The busy metal mom hustles to do all the chores and then some.  However, we see Baby Brains missing the human touch and the parents perplexed at how to intervene.   When an explosion occurs (don’t worry everyone is safe–well almost everyone)  the problem resolves itself and Baby Brains learns to be a little more careful with his inventions.

Despite the difference between Baby’s extreme intelligence and his average parents you are able to discern the family’s love for one another.  The parent’s acceptance of their unique child and his desire to help give his parents a much needed rest and provide the heart of the story.  James’ illustrations are delightful sketchy, watercolor and ink.  One comment I read said they have a Quentin Blake (Big Friendly Giant) quality to them and I agree.

My granddaughters  (almost 3 and 4 1/2) liked the story and were really intrigued by Baby’s inventions, wanting to know what he was doing at the drawing board and how he could make those things.  It was also a requested re-read.

Activities/Resources:   Mr. James has an awesome website (check it out), a demonstration page on Youtube and he has colouring pages available.  There is one of Baby Brains where Mr. James leaves it to you to draw in YOUR picture of Baby’s invention. (I ran off one for myself  🙂 )

There are sooo many online resources about inventors and inventions.  Start by talking about what an ‘invention’ is.  Ask your child if they can think of something to invent that would help around your house.  Perhaps a machine to put away the toys.  What would they make it out of?   Have then draw a picture of what it would look like.  Here is a simple lesson plan  to help spark creativity using boxes, pipe cleaners, glue tape and all kinds of scrap material.

Availability: Major book sellers.

(Susanna Leonard Hill is the originator of PPBF and you can find all the other PPB recommendations and links  on her blog.)

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