Wednesday, July 31, 2013

So that's what happens when you take a photoshoot with a brush....


Just some of the strange faces I can make....with the assistance of a brush. ^__^
(Post inspired by Olivia Lisa- check out her blog on the right side of your screen!)
My favorite is probably the last one.
You should feel very honored.
I never post my strange webcam pictures online. You are the first to see my strange facial expressions. Haha

Painting and hair sketching practice

Since I'm signed up for Barbara's class....(which is only 8 days away) and I have absolutely NO idea how to paint. I decided that I better throw in some practice, that way I'll walk out of her class room with at least a half decent painting.

I wanted to try one on just plain paper...but it was rather difficult. So this is more of a sketch.
The mountain turned out okay...but my flora and fauna (as well as my clouds) could REALLY use some assistance:
And I practiced a couple evergreens....

And I've really been wanting to practice drawing hair lately. I don't think it turned out too bad!
(Click on the picture for a better view of it)

That's it for today!

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

A sketch, fair art inspiration and the Demolition Derby July 29, 2013

We went up to Frederick today to stop by AC Moore and the Urbana Library. I haven't looked at Bob Ross' painting supply section yet, so I did that today and purchased the large palate knife and #3 fan brush. These tools should help me get my first Bob Ross style painting off the ground.
The specially shaped palate knife is used to form mountains and the fan brush is used for evergreens. I would have gotten more brushes, but each brush is $10 and up. So I'll have to save up for the complete set gradually. At the Urbana Library I picked up a Bob Ross dvd I've had on hold for a while. My local library doesn't have any Bob Ross dvds, so I searched for them elsewhere.

I've been wanting to do a mermaid drawing lately, so I did that today:
And later we all went to the Carroll County Fair.
My favorite part is a tie between getting a whole pickle for a dollar or looking through the artwork.
There were some amazing pieces this year, completed by surprising ages!
Here's some of my favorites:
This was an oil painting age-15.
Colored pencil drawing- I didn't catch the artist's age.

Pencil drawing- age 15

Watercolor painting age- 13

Acrylic painting- age 10

Charcoal drawing age- 18

Oil painting- age 11

Oil painting age-11
Such unbelievable talent in these young art students!
We've gone to this fair for three years in a row now, mainly just to watch the Demolition Derby!

Which is always so funny to watch.
I love fairs.
The Howard County Fair is next week, but after that the Frederick County Fair and the Damascus Fair are in September.
It's such a great place to get inspired!


Sunday, July 28, 2013

My favorite kind of day

    I woke up early to take a shower for church then before I got in my Sunday outfit, I  took Mandie  out on a morning walk. We're getting in quite the routine now. I'll put on my shoes while she pushes her little nose under our couch chair and pulls the leash and collar out with her mouth. She gets all excited and whines and jumps all and down while I can't help laughing while struggling to put on her collar. It's the same thing every morning. Her silly bit of excitement never ceases to make me laugh.

After I get back I showed mom what I searched up late last night on the computer. "Bob Ross painting instructor in Maryland" I came up with Barbara Powell. She teaches at a Hobby Lobby in Hagerstown! That's only about an hour away from where I live. It didn't take much for mom and dad to say yes and sign me up. They're always open to things that Britney and I get interested in that has nothing to do with the computer, and do all they can do encourage us to pursue it.
Mom signed me up for a class on August 8th( We'll be painting the Northern Lights. It's a gorgeous piece). We haven't heard back from Mrs.Powell, but I'm assuming that she takes Sundays off.
The only disappointing thing is that she only has classes on Thursdays. Once school starts (August 19th) and CBA kicks back up, I won't be able to take any more of her art classes until next Summer.
I'm really hoping this class on the 8th works out!

I spent my afternoon locked in my room and sketching.
I don't have any good pieces today. But I'll post them anyway:
Cherry Blossom tree branch

And some fanart of Merlin(Colin Morgan)
My sketch of Merlin is dreadfully awful.
But you can sort of tell that it's him?
I just rarely draw portraits.
And I've never drawn realistic portraits.
I'm trying to get in some early practice for advanced drawing classes at CBA for my Junior year.
That's my two drawing goals  :  Realistic faces and hands. My hardest subjects to tackle.
I finished my day by watching the Prince of Egypt with my family. Youth was cancelled, so I got to stay home. I love how amazing movies used to be made, with so much care and passion put into them. The Prince of Egypt was a beautiful piece.
And I loved this song:
It's opening a new perspective for me.
On another note,I really don't know what was wrong with me yesterday!
I'm feeling fine now and I haven't even thought about a 'Mackree of my own' today.
I told you that I was prone to being a little dramatic!

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Late carnival nights, a day of day dreaming and early serving mornings

It is late...but yet I am feeling the need to write. And a chance to get this storm of thoughts out of my busy mind.
Earlier today my mother, Britney and I went to church to meet up with our team for an outreach for the homeless.
Even though we have been going to this church for over  a year now, we know no one. Our only friends there are the weekly greeters, Beetle and Marty, in which they welcome us each week with a hug as if we were their family.
Our group is called "Bags of Love".  We separated into our cars and drove to the park where we would set up a buffet of toiletries and a meal of hotdogs, chips and sodas.
Our outreach was a flop. There was maybe 25 people that showed up at most. This was due to a scheduling conflict. The Convoy of Hope was also happening today- which is another outreach for the homeless- and it happens every year. Therefore, that's where everyone was.
There was one elderly homeless man that stayed the whole time. His name was Dan and I played checkers with him the entire time we were there.
It was an interesting experience. When I invited him to come play checkers with me, I expected that we might play a game or two and he would be on his way, but every time a game was over, he would reset the board.
There were things he said I wish he hadn't gotten into....He kept calling me girlfriend and saying that he wished he had a wife like me. He told me I had pretty paws (hands..I assumed) and that I had a pretty braid and pretty eyes. He told me that I would make a dead man roll over in his grave one hundred and fifty times. He told me that he had good taste in women. And other things I would rather not mention. Somethings he said made me furious on the inside. But what could I do? I just smiled and laughed- which is usually the best way to respond....right? I don't know!
What I encountered today didn't reassure me that my feelings for the homeless should change.
  Is it wrong that I've always felt uneasy around homeless people? They may have good hearts but my inner instinct tells me to stay away. I'm trying to battle that feeling. I'm not so sure if it's right or not.
But as I said, nothing of today would convince me otherwise. It was exactly what I would expect from them- though I try not to turn stereo- typical of them.
Dan told me that there were probably dozens of guys after me. I smiled in response but my mind wandered otherwise. There are absolutely no boys in interest or pursuit of me.

During the day I picked back up my book I had started yesterday(which I finished today). 'A Pearl Among Princes'
I started it late yesterday evening and didn't want to put it down! I toyed with the thought of staying up late and reading more, but I quickly dismissed the thought. I knew I was going to need energy to tackle this day to get out of my comfort zone at the outreach.
As I read the book today, I found myself swooning. Especially as Mackree threw Pearl into his arms and kissed her! And I found myself praying to God to please send me a Mackree. Someone to pursue me. My mind and heart has been tackling each other all day today.
My heart wants someone to love, but my mind knows there's more to life than love and that I have so much to offer to the world and that boys are silly things for later days. This is why I don't think I've gotten into romance novels beforehand. I knew I would find myself on the brink of confusion and wanting out of this silly world. Oh why, why why why can't my life be living in a fairytale with charming princes, and a dear, dear Mackree?
Why can't the love in real life be so true to those in fairytales? These silly thoughts make me all the more lonely.

I found myself praying late last night, as I wrestled for sleep. I was praying for a little sibling. I was praying for a guy friend like Mackree to care for me and to just be there. Why was I doing that? I was so lonely. The reality of Britney going to college is starting to kick in. I have no playmate anymore. And as of late, I have found myself rather lonely. I imagined that I shared a room with a little sister and I had smuggled a large mason jar full of my family's favorite popcorn inside. I invited her on my bed and we share the treat together, trying not to giggle.

Why am I acting so strange lately?

I need a large slap of reality.

Reality always hurts.

Especially after a very good book. It is always very hard to realize that the modern world is still my reality.

We left the house this evening around 8:30pm to go to my Uncle and Aunt's place. They live near our town's local carnival. Tonight is their closing night, and every year they set off fireworks.
We walk from their house to a nice patch of grass and wait for the fireworks. The announcer says they won't be going off until 10:30pm. We have so long to wait! It was earlier last year...

I found myself drifting off about thinking of a Mackree of my own again. A cool breeze falls over me and I shudder from the sudden chill. A constant wind whips across my face, I think of the ocean and the breeze that rides over the waves. Yes, that is what that breeze reminded me of. I imagine the sound that the cars make as they pass is the waves hitting the shore and reeling back to the ocean.
I close my eyes and can almost believe that I'm actually there.

Oh! What is wrong with me?
A Mackree of my own fills my thoughts again. This is so foolish to daydream of boys. I am getting older, so it's not like these thoughts are unexpected. But no one special fills my thoughts. So I think of one nonexistent. I do believe that I haven't met my prince charming yet. There is no one I know that I would even think of marrying...besides one. But I know he will find someone else. And are my feelings for him even sincere?
He has dropped hints of toying with the thought of pursuing me. But hasn't done anything.
He's been the boldest I know yet though. But there is nothing in me whispering that's the one.

I must stop these thoughts. Or I will just be a complete mess.
Daydreaming is wonderful, oh, so wonderful. But false and deceiving.
I must brush off my knees and move on.

The fireworks go off and I found myself interested for a few minutes, but then I couldn't wait for them to be over so I could go home.
The smoke overwhelmed the blinking lights of the Ferris wheel and the Scrambler as if it was a heavy morning fog. It almost looked beautiful.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

A Day Of Creativity

Finally! A day to stay home with nothing to do, but be creative. My favorite kind of day.

I started out with a shell painting I've been wanting to do. I've never painted a shell before... and I found out it's actually pretty hard.
 My battle station:
Outlining of the desired painting:

Outlines painted in:

(I ended up taking out the dolphin because the blue for the ocean was too dark for the dolphin to stand out)

Not bad for my first shell painting, huh?
I'm hoping to find another good shell and doing an ocean sunset in the future.
My hands were sooo messy after I tried cleaning out my plastic palate! Haha 
And then (after I cleaned my hands really good) I sketched a little:
I need to go back and fix Tarzan's nose. Something just isn't right.
And I failed to make Jane look like Jane...*sigh* Oh well...
 I found a piece of artwork on Pinterest I just had to make for myself.
It's so simple...but it's a cute doodle, no?
And lastly, Pocahontas:
The leaves were lots of fun to draw. (:
 I don't know....I might end up doing one more. It's only 5pm...
I'm having sooo much fun!!

(P.S. You can click on the pictures to get a better view of them)



Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Cavern dwellings, a happy surprise, and fried eggs...? July 22, 2013

   I finally got to sleep in a little this morning. Mom and I went into town around 9:30am to take Mandie to her vet check-up. Everything looks fine! They took a sample of her blood to check if her lyme disease is positive or negative- since she's had it twice before. And they gave her a rabies vaccine that she was due for. Mandie is so extremely brave. She didn't even flinch when they put the needles in her. Instead she kept her calm, dark brown puppy eyes locked with mine.
We got home around 10:30am.
I quickly rinsed my hair in the sink, grabbed a book, my mp3, our cannon rebel,  said bye to Mandie, and was ready to go.
Luray Caverns is located in Virginia's Shenandoah Valley, which is about a 2 hour drive from our place.
I absolutely fell in love with the scenery surrounding us from every angle! Gorgeous mountains in every direction I turned, and the perfectly colored light, green grass reminded me of New Zealand.

We had been driving for about an hour and a half when we stopped by a McDonalds on the side of the road to grab some lunch. I usually don't like how fattening fast food resturants are...but sometimes their food can be yummy.
I ordered my regular, a hamburger (the $1 kind), medium fries, and a medium Sprite.
My hamburger is usually a small, little rinky dink kind of paddy in a bun. But surprise! When I opened up my hamburger wrapper, there were two paddies! It was rather funny. In all of my years of going to McDonalds, that has never happened to me before!

I threw my leftover hamburger bun out my window and watched a couple blackbirds enjoy a mid-day treat.

We got to Luray Caverns around 12pm and the parking lot was packed!
But thankfully, everyone was visiting the other attractions, such as the cafĂ©,  the museums, a rope course and a maze.

The caverns was discovered in 1878 by Andrew Campbell. He was working in a field in the morning summertime  of August 13 when he found a hole that was constantly giving off a cool breeze. He grabbed a couple of his friends and they worked for hours, removing loose rocks until they made a hole big enough for each of them to go down, one at a time. They could hardly believe what they saw!
 This is an old photograph of Andrew Campbell feeling the cold air rushing from the hole.
The original entrance is still there today:
When Lacurgus W. Shenk explored the caverns he said that his travels through the caverns nearly equaled two circumnavigations of the globe.
As my family and I decended into the caverns, I began to feel the exact same cool air that Andrew Campbell felt  when he first discovered the cavern well over 1,000 years ago!
Our tour guide explained that it is a continuous 52 degrees in the caverns.
Stalactites and Stalagmites filled my vision and amazed me!

How amazing our God is to be able to design such an amazing process!
Our tour guide explained that one way to tell stalactites and stalagmites apart is that stalactites hold "tightly" to the ceiling and stalagmites, "might" reach up high.
In the first part of the tour my favorite part was Dream Lake, it's Luray Cavern's largest body of water.
And it casts a perfect mirror reflection of the stalactites!
(This picture is copyrighted to Luray Caverns. I did not take it.)
My pictures of Dream Lake were not able to capture the breathtaking illusion it gave.
You had to look so closely to make sure there weren't stalagmites coming out of the water.
This is a picture of an active stalactite.
During our whole tour, I couldn't help wondering how much more fun t would be to explore the caverns without a lighted and paved pathway and a guide.
We weren't allowed to touch the stalactites or the stalagmites, because apparently there's something in the oil of our skin that reduces the stalactites and stalagmites of any further growth. 
When we reached the Giants Hall, we were in the deepest point of the cavern, which was 164 feet below Earth's surface!
Located in the Giants hall was Luray  Cavern's largest column with the height of 47 feet high!
Our next stop was the Stalacpipe Organ.
Our tour guide explained that only 26 keys on the organ remain functioning. And that it is only played on special occasions.
My only question is, how did they get it down there? By the time we reached the organ, we had travelled well over 1/2 a mile!
The organ is some how connected to a few stalactites on the opposite side of the room.
Once the tip of a stalactite is cut off, there is a small hollow on the inside:
Our tour guide played a recording for us, so we could still get an idea of what it sounds like
 Our next stop was the Wishing Well.
It is drained yearly and their grand total to date is just over $900,000!!
(All the funds are donated to non-profit organizations.)
One of our final stops was the fried eggs- which was one of my favorite parts.
It was just uncanny how realistic the formations looked to a real, fried egg!
By the end of our tour we had traveled over a mile through the caverns and taking just under an hour to do so.
We stopped at a penny press in the Gift Shop.
We always get a penny pressed during a special trip, where there's a machine available.
I keep all of my pressed pennies in a small money box on a shelf in my room.
And we stopped at one of the museums to redeem our coupon for a free stone.
Dad stopped us at a gas station on the way home to get some ice cream and snacks for our journey home.
Mom and Britney dozed off while I grabbed some leftover napkins from the gas station and a pen and wrote down on them while all my memories from today were still freshly written in my mind.
On the ride home, God gave us all an tremendous light show!
The thunder storm didn't last long, but there was a huge bolt of lighting and a massive clap of thunder that made all of us jump!
Dad stopped us at Foodlion on the way home to grab a pack of bacon and a head of lettuce so we can have BLTs for supper.
We have some  ripe and freshly grown tomatoes in the garden just waiting to be eaten!
Today was such an adventure I hope to never forget.
I wish I could upload more pictures. But I took well over 200, and I think that would make a rather long post. But here are some leftovers anyway!

(According to National Geographic, this stalactite is the most finest formed in all of America.)

I hope to explore more in the future.