Saturday, August 31, 2013

Flea Market treasures

There's nothing better than waking up to the sight of the stars and the brilliant toe nail shaped moon filling the night sky with it's light. I was up and awake this morning at 5am. Mom let me take Mandie on a short walk to our stop sign and back so she would settle down and go to bed. I couldn't tear my eyes away from looking at the moon. It was so gorgeous.

Aunt B's Simply Homemade had a shop at a huge flea market today. (Aka my mom's soap selling business) I put some of my hand drawn cards and bookmarks out today for sale....lots of people picked them up and commented on how adorable they are...but nobody purchased any today. I have reasonable prices....5 card set-$12, single card-$3, and bookmarks-$2 each.
I would put up pictures.....but I don't feel like going too public with them yet. I have some really cute one's for sale though!
Dad gave both Britney and I a $20 each to spend. Which was really unusual because dad never gives us money just to spend.
I got a Christmas present for mom and a Christmas present for Britney! I'm starting early this year, haha.

And I got some really good deals today! There was this lovely jewelry place Britney and I stopped by. The starfish earrings and necklace was a set for $12...I wasn't able to afford it, so I was putting it back and the lady told me that the summer jewelry was half off. It was only $6? What? I picked it back up and bought it! I have constantly been searching for reasonably priced starfish earrings on etsy with no luck. I simply had to get it! Along with the anchor earrings! I've been searching for those as well.
Britney pointed out this Chinese calligraphy set to me, I had bought one from a thrift shop before for $2. The man running the table told me he would give me a good deal for it, I was interested, so I asked how much and he said $5. $5? Another good deal! I couldn't let it pass by! I bought it eagerly as well.
And finally I got two books, one book was from a table where all the proceeds went towards animal rescue, so I absolutely had to purchase something there to help out the animals!
A teenage guy around my age was selling the Lord of the Rings game. I think he was shocked that I had a PlayStation and that I enjoyed Lord of the Rings. For some reason it's lots of fun to fight people on PlayStation....not that I play it much any more. Our PlayStation was a hand-me-down Christmas present from my older cousin, Kurtis.
And lastly, a switchblade knife for whittling. I remember during camping with my youth group that everybody had a sharp knife and whittled sticks around the campfire in the evening. I only had a small and dull pocket knife. This was only a dollar and I'm totally taking it camping next year!

I love flea markets!

Yearbook Workshop, Friendship, and Community Aid

Over these past three days my friend from Pennsylvania has been staying over at my house. She goes to CedarBrook Academy with me and we're both taking the Yearbook class this year.

      Near the beginning of each CBA school year, there's a yearbook workshop for the entire staff of The Torch.
She stayed at my house so her parents wouldn't have to drive her two days in a row to Maryland and then back again. The yearbook workshop has  been a great time to really get to know the staffers and a lot of them are less intimidating than I thought they were! Everyone is so nice and I feel like once I joined staff that I was welcomed into a whole new family at CBA.

Over the two days of the workshop I got to learn about fonts, photo composition, grids, wording, selling, and design.
There's so much that happens behind the scenes in yearbook that I've never thought of before. These people put so much into the yearbook!
It's all sounded so complicated but yet, I also think I'm really going to be able to enjoy this class.
There's only 13 staffers this year- 7 of which are seniors. Leaving behind only 3 juniors and 3 sophomores.
And there's always an editor each year. I have no idea who Mrs.Branham will choose next. Britney thinks there's a pretty good chance of me being editor next year. It's a huge and stressful role, but I would be willing to take it!

When it came time to choose a theme for the yearbook of 2013-2014, I realized what a disaster it would be if every single person thought alike. If we did, we wouldn't have had some of the awesome ideas that were brought up. Every single one of the staffers have their own angle and perspective on things, and when we're put together as a group, we brainstorm some of the best ideas.

I think this class is going to be a whole lot more fun than I originally thought.

Rachel and I had some really fun times at my house. She got here around 2pm on Monday afternoon. She brought her stuff into my room and we just sat on my floor for 2 hours and caught up and laughed at my funny board on Pinterest.  We had supper and while Mom, Dad, and Britney went to clean the church, Rachel and I stayed home and watched a chick flick called "Just My Luck" I absolutely adore that movie! Before watching it, we made homemade popcorn on the stove. I made two batches, so I kept the burner on while I put the popcorn in a bowl. While I was trying to get a good grip on the pan, a kernel went flying onto the burner and caught fire! At first I was shocked, but I wasn't panicking or freaking out- which was unusual because I would usually go berserk in those situations, but I stayed calm and just waited for it to go out on it's own.

My absolute favorite part of her stay here was the second night. We watched "My Big Fat Greek Wedding" yet another chick flick and after that was over we stalked people on facebook. Mom, Dad, and Britney headed off to bed and I closed my door so my bedroom light didn't disturb them. After we were done stalking people on facebook, she got in her bed and I turned off my light. It was about 10:30pm....then we started talking. And talking and talking and talking! We discussed so many different topics I could never list them all! We talked about deep subjects too. I really think we could have solved all the world's problems. When she got up to use the bathroom, I went out to the kitchen to check the time because I don't have a clock in my room. It was 2:00am! And we still had a workshop to attend in the morning! We talked for another half hour and drifted off to sleep.

We were both soooo tired at the workshop and I couldn't help yawning when I first got there.
I sort of feel like I'm in undercover training for the editor position because the editor this year, Michaela, and the yearbook company rep, and Mrs.Branham keep singling me out asking me questions about layouts and my opinions. Without equally singling other staffers out.
I volunteered to purchase drinks and sodas for the snack bar this year. That should be fun!
After we had come up with a theme for the yearbook, the workshop was over.
I helped Rachel put her stuff in her car and said bye.
We plan on taking another painting class with Barbara Powell in October. I'm already excited!

I went straight to my car from Rachel's and mom drove me home. We waited for Britney to get home from college and we went straight to Community Aid in Pennsylvania. I've been wanting to go up for the past few weeks to pick up some nice shirts for CBA. We always try to go on Wednesdays because everything except for a certain color tag is 50% off on Wednesdays! What a deal, right?
I picked out 10 shirts. Three of which I'm super excited about. Nooo....scratch that. I'm excited about all of them! I love that place because my 10 shirts was only $30....if I had gone to a real store? $30 probably wouldn't have even gotten me 2 shirts.

I finished my shopping early and went to the book section to read and browse until the rest of my family was ready to check out. There was an elderly man searching the books as well. I picked up a children's tale, "Jack and the Bean's Stalk- Pop up book" and sat down. Shortly after, he came around and sat in the chair next to me.
He was very nice and stroked up a conversation with me about books. We talked about how we couldn't stand digital books and then he showed me the books he was getting. One was about fasting and the other was about angels. He asked me if I had ever fasted  before and I told him I had, we had a really nice religious talk and I told him that I love that one verse in the bible talking about entertaining angels without knowing it. (I just love it. I'm pretty sure I've met quite a few angels in my lifetime already).
He told me it was nice talking and he headed for the checkout line.

What a busy week! But fun and full of learning.

Talk to you later!

Friday, August 23, 2013

Acomplishments, surprise meal, and small income ideas

     There are pros and cons of school being back in. A pro is that I get my school work done and then I get to things I've been wanting to get to. Tuesday night, I syphoned and cleaned my aquariums and poured in new water in for my fish, then I cut up about 15 tomatoes and put them in the dehydrator. I also went back to my room and got out two of my necklaces that broke and super glued them back together, and even with all that done, I still had time to watch a Robin Hood episode!

      During school Wednesday, Nana stopped by for some leftover tomatoes. Just as she was getting up to go out the door she turned around and asked if we would like to join her and Aunt Esther for lunch at Burger King.  I hadn't seen Great Aunt Esther in forever! I wasn't done school just yet...but we decided to go anyway. We drove separately, that way Nana wouldn't have to drop us back off when she went back home. Mom suggested that I ride with Nana to Burger King and that Britney and mom would meet me there. Nana and I talked about my painting class the whole way there.
     We had such a fun time catching up with each other while we ate! Mom had taken a picture of my Nature's Edge painting and sent it to Nana, and from there Nana forwarded it to Aunt Esther, so Aunt Esther gave me compliments on that as well.
  Somehow, near the end of our meal, I had ended up with Nana's phone and Britney had ended up with Aunt Esther's phone. That's usually how our conversations end up with Nana, helping her out with her phone near the end of her visit. It's always fun to watch them laugh while they watch us in confusion of what we're doing.

     Once we got back home,  I dove right back into my remaining school subjects and was done in about a half hour. There was two things I really wanted to accomplish. Find out how to purchase Son of Sobek (a digital book), how to read it on my computer instead of my mom's Nook, and figure out how to fix my Studio Works for yearbook.
Son of Sobek is a short story that Rick Riordan came out with about two or three months ago and I haven't been able to read it because I've been waiting for it to come out in book form. A couple days ago Rick posted on facebook that he will not be publishing the Son of Sobek because it's too short of a book to be published and would cost too much to do it. So, I decided I should still be able to read it, so I finally just bought it. It was only $2. But it really wasn't that long either....maybe 12 pages at the most. But it was a nice short afternoon reading. I'm working on typing it up and printing it so I can put it on my bookshelf with the rest of his books.
I called Britney to come help me with Studio Works. It's kind of helpful that she had taken yearbook for three years already, so she knew the site better than I did.
It took about a half hour, but we uninstalled my Java and reinstalled it, she pressed a couple buttons and my Studio Works opened up! I'm so glad, because if it wasn't fixed, one of the guys from yearbooks staff probably would have fixed it. And it just makes me uncomfortable to have a guy on my computer for some reason. I'm relieved  to not have to worry about that anymore! The yearbook workshop is next Tuesday and Wednesday. I have a yearbook theme idea that I think has a pretty good chance of getting published. We shall see....
I don't want to say what it is yet, just incase it doesn't end up working out.

I finished school yesterday around 11am! I was so thrilled. That was the earliest I had completed school all week! We decided to go up to the craft stores after school. We had to go up to Frederick anyway because there was two Bob Ross dvds on hold for me at the Urbana library. We went to Ac Moore first. I took mom to the card and stamping section first and showed her blank cards. There was a 50 blank card set with envelopes that was only $5, so mom got that for me. Also, right above the blank card section was a waterbrush! I had been looking for one a couple weeks ago in Ac Moore! It's such a cool product that I was even considering purchasing one off of Amazon. It was $10....but I used my 40% off coupon on it and that made the price more reasonable.
I also bought a chain for my Evenstar necklace (Arwen's necklace from Lord of the Rings) I got the necklace last year for Christmas, but the chain just wasn't very elegant. And Britney has been buying these $1 chains for the necklaces that she's been making, so I decided to get one. Hopefully it will work! At Michaels I got 50 blank bookmarks for $3 and a portfolio. I've been needing to get a portfolio for my artwork really bad. I have my original pieces just laying everywhere in my room, and I want to be able to protect them from the possibility of an aquarium leaking, or being sat on or ripped and damaged.

Do you want to know why I got blank cards and blank bookmarks?
Why to get some small income at our flea markets of course!
We're going to a flea market next week and we're going to have a table for our soaps and Britney's going to take about as many necklaces as she can make in a week's amount of time and sell them for $16 each. So I decided, why can't I make a little bit of money too?
I'm going to sell card sets of 5 for $12 and bookmarks for $2 each.
I've already made a set of cards. I did it last night during a documentary film for school.
I was looking on Etsy and I noticed that most of the cards on there are Letterpressed. What ever that means.....but there were hardly any hand drawn cards.
I hope it brings me some small income eventually!
     Dad was going to take all of us to a Frederick Keys baseball game tonight, but it was raining when he got home and we weren't too sure about going, though the Key's facebook page said they were still on.
But dad still wanted to do something, and mom suggested a movie.
We never go to the movies, so I was surprised mom suggested it.
This year I've actually seen a couple movies in theater, which is really strange.
I saw the Hobbit an unexpected journey, Ironman 3, Epic, Star Trek into darkness, the Lone Ranger, and now tonight we went to see Percy Jackson and the Sea of Monsters.
We went to Chick-fil-a before the movie for supper. I love that place!
I've really been wanted to check out how the director handled this one since they changed directors from the first movie. The first movie was just terrible. The Sea of Monsters was actually pretty good. I can't complain besides the fact that they really squished everything in and it seemed rushed at times. And some of the acting didn't seem like there was passion behind it.
But if they come out with a third one, I'd check that out too!
I was so excited that we went to see it. I've been wanting to watch it, but knowing it will never happen because the movie tickets are at the crazy high price of $12 per person.
A movie date used to be such a cute thing. But paying $24 to take your girlfriend out to a movie just doesn't sound as simple and relaxing as it used to.
Anyway, as Britney and I walked out of the theater after all the credits (mom and dad had already gone out), there were two workers by the trash can getting ready to clean the theater.
One of them did a head bob and I thought he looked kind of familiar, but I resisted eye contact.
A couple minutes later, we were still standing in the hallway talking about the movie and Eric, a guy from our old church came around the corner with a theater uniform. We both kind of stared at each other for a few seconds, then I smiled and waved. I knew he seemed familiar! I just hadn't seen him in forever and didn't recognize him with facial hair.
It was nice to see him...I never really talked to him much, but he knew my dad pretty well.
So he came over to talk with dad a little bit.
He's going to FCC this year, the same community college that Britney is going to.
That would be cool if they could be friends.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

City Lights

     Sometimes the lights of the city are gorgeous, but I could not live there.  It's all too suffocating, the hustle and bustle. Everyone trying to out dress and out date their neighbors. I feel like the city is a hardened place for those that think of none other but them selves.
They spend their whole life doing it, that dressing up thing, that I'm more important than you thing, and  they really miss the importance of life.  Before they know it, life and time has escaped through their fingers. The skin that was once attractive and young, is now fragile and old. They look back on their life and wonder, what was all that really for? And they regret the life they've wasted.
No, I could not live there.


Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Is the school week over yet?

Seriously though! School just started and I'm already ready for Christmas break. Or even just a weekend. A weekend would be super nice right now.

I remember falling asleep Sunday night and thinking "I'm just not mentally prepared for school to start tomorrow." And I've found out that it's really not good to not be mentally prepared for school because then you get headaches and you don't feel renewed to go back into school mode.

I'm not off to a good start mentally, but I've been doing good in my school work. But it's just that my mind keeps drifting off to other places. I'm still high on summer mode.

I asked for a ten minute break after math (my first subject) and with permission granted, I did what any other country girl would do when she gets a break, I went down to the garden and filled up a bucket of tomatoes to get crushed for v8. And I willingly did this. I just don't feel like sitting behind a desk half of my day just yet. *sigh* I keep telling myself that it will all be okay once CBA starts on September 12th. But that just adds even more to my school schedule.

Just three more days and I achieve a weekend. Whoopie!


Monday, August 19, 2013

Wanderlust at the beach and memories from last year

My family and I went to Ocean City this past Thursday for a short time to pick up our Nana from vacation with my Uncle and Aunt. We got up early and made our traditional stop at Jimmy's Grill for breakfast. Whenever we go to the beach for the day, we always stop at Jimmy's Grill for a bite to eat. I used to think it was only our tradition, but I found out that when my mom would go on beach trips with her family, Pop and Nana would have the family stop at Jimmy's Grill for breakfast as well. It sort of makes me feel special now. Even though Pop had such a short time here on earth with me, I can still see traces of him where we go sometimes, and the happiness that still lingers on that he left behind.
One of my favorite parts of the trip is going across the bay bridge. Usually every time we go across , I like to stare at the ships and watch how fast they go, leaving nothing but lone waves in their wake. But this time my eye focus was centered on the horizon. I longed for more...I wanted to grab a boat, not even bother purchasing a map, and go explore. I had to quickly push these thoughts aside. I knew I would be hoping to vigorously for them, and just leaving my heart to ache. It just can't happen.

 My Uncle, Aunt, cousin Kurtis and his girlfriend, Bryanna  met up at the beach for the day. Sadly, the ocean was too rough for me to dare to even try getting in, but it was such a beautiful day to just stare and watch the waves in all their glory.
A man came up to me and told me that you could tell that a storm was coming by the way the waves were acting. A storm never came that day, but I could tell how easily he could be mistaken. Because the waves were almost exactly how I remembered them from one day on vacation last year with my Uncle and Aunt. I was out jumping waves with Kurtis, Bryanna and Britney and the waves started getting pretty big, and they were coming fast. It was overwhelming to get to them before they turned to white caps and crashed on you. It got really stressful and I made a swim back to shore. Not long after I had gotten back to land, thunder rumbled in the sky and the lifeguards called everyone out of the water.
We left around 2pm and went back to the beach house to get changed out of our bathing suites. Even in that short amount of time, I had gotten quite a tan! And the sun was barely making a presence beyond the clouds the whole time we were there. It could partially have to do with me not putting on any sunscreen...but I hardly ever burn, I just tan really well.
Anyway, I went upstairs to change and I couldn't help slipping into my old room from last year and taking a look out the window.
That window may as well been my favorite part of vacation. At night I would put it up and listen to the water rising and falling in the canal. It's such a relaxing sound to fall asleep to. I still find myself longing to hear that sound sometimes. I remember a couple days while we were on vacation with them, it was raining. Britney and I closed ourselves in our room and opened the window and listened to the rain pitter patter onto the roof and the canal water. Sometimes the breeze picked up and we got a mist of rain in our face. It was such a refreshing time!
I closed the memories away as I backed out of the room and closed the door behind me. I'll be back someday. I hope.

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Painting Class- Nature's Edge

Today was every bit amazing as I thought it would be!
We left home around 8:30 and got to Hobby Lobby 15 minutes before class started at 10. So it's a pretty long drive to get there.
It was a small class- but Mrs.Powell liked it that way, so then she could spend more one-on-one time helping each of us along with our painting. And I liked it that way as well.
She told us that her class before this was a full house with 12 students. So it's really unpredictable how many students she's going to get each time.
She goes on a two week break after this class though. And I don't think I'll be able to do a painting in September. But I definitely know which one I want to take in October! It's one with gorgeous mountains and a night sky with a moon high in the clouds.
I had so much fun painting today. I didn't think it would really take 5 hours because Bob Ross can whip up a painting in about half an hour, but my painting took just about every single minute of those five hours.
Rachel came down to do the painting at Hobby Lobby with me, so that was fun. Mom came back around 12pm with a meal for the both of us. Break time was just at the perfect time, where you were tired of painting but you still wanted to go on, but you just needed to step away from it for a little while. Mrs.Powell, Woody and Vicky- she's a painter that comes every Saturday to Mrs.Powell's classes and has done over a 100 paintings with her! Vicky also runs Barbara's website- sat at a table in the back and shared their lunches. Rachel and I shared a lunch closer to the front of the class room and while we ate in silence, we eavesdropped on them eating in the back. We couldn't help getting red in the face and bursting out laughing at one point when we overheard Vicky telling Woody and Mrs.Powell that there was a cat with rabies that scratched someone. I don't know if it was from the tension of being at a new place, or the stress of a painting, but it felt so good to laugh even over something that really wasn't that funny! I haven't laughed like that in so long- I was hardly able to breathe and I knew my face was super red!

When we got back to our painting it was time to put the cabin in- Mrs.Powell came around and helped both Rachel and I figure out how to hold our palate knives to make a cabin. It was sort of difficult to learn something's because she's left handed and I'm right handed, so she holds some of her tools differently than I do. Once we got around to the roof, she showed us how to make a marbled paint to put on top. We were supposed to just let it slide on the painting, but I just dabbed it several times and it made a very cute shingle look on the roofing. Mrs.Powell came around to check on my painting and was impressed. She thought it was very cute and said "I'm going to steal your idea, Stephanie!" I felt quite honored.

I just love that no matter where I tend to go to learn something, I easily click with the teachers and the other students. Adults sometimes seem much easier to talk to than teenagers.

Woody sat in the back of the class room the entire time and he was impressed with my painting as well. He would often call me back to see it from the back of the room. He called Mrs.Powell back at one point, and even though he tried to whisper, he was quite audible even to the front of the class room and he whispered "Stephanie's is very good" and she answered back in an admirable tone "I know."  I almost felt embarrassed that everyone kept looking at my painting. Even Vicky was impressed with it.

They told me that they hope I come back, and I'm definitely planning on it!

Here it is!
And this was all of ours: The one on the left is Rachel's, the middle one is mine and the one on the right it Vicky's.
I'm so ready to do another painting now!

Friday, August 16, 2013

Latest watercolor

I have my first oil painting class with Barbara Powell tomorrow!
So I was getting myself into an artistic mood by doing a simple watercolor.
This was my first time using masking fluid (for the birch trees) it's such an amazing product for watercolor artists!
I love days full of nothing but creativity.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

I love handwritten letters

I fell in love with this quote when I found it on pinterest, so I played around with it on picmonkey.
I kind of like it.

Tomato canning season

It's that time of the year again where the Wolfe family goes crazy about their garden full of tomatoes.
Tomatoes are a HUGE staple in all of our meals. We put them in soups, we can crushed tomatoes, we make v8 with tomatoes, we even dry tomatoes as tomato chips! (Those are my personal favorite)
Dad picked two buckets full of tomatoes tonight, so we all dug in after supper and smashed them for v8.
This little tomato reminded me of Thimbletack from the movie of The Spiderwick Chronicles...haha
See the resemblance?
The smashing in process:
Look at all of those tomatoes!
Our V8 supply:
Crushed tomatoes:

We don't have a supply of dried tomatoes yet.
Those are fun to make though!
We cut them up and place them in our dehydrator, then once they're dry, we place them in a mason jar and screw on a lid and finally we vacuum seal it with our jar sealer adapter to our vacuum sealer, and they stay nice and dry.
I love tomatoes. They're probably my most favorite thing in our garden.

Goals for the school year

Welp. It's about time for school to start again. I can't say I'm very excited for school this year. But I'm forcing myself to change my mind and see this year as a challenge (no luck yet).

Once Thursday classes kick back up, the school year just flies by, so I'm looking forward to that.
And this year I want to introduce myself to lots of the middle schoolers. I was going to do that last year, but I wimped my way out of it.
I still remember my first Thursday class when I accidentally sat at the seniors table, but a very nice girl named Julia introduced herself to me and was so nice throughout the year by saying hi when we passed each other in the hall.'s simple enough, right? Introduce myself to some newcomers and say hi when we pass in the hallway.

My goals for this school year is to be:

 a good influence and to inspire the classmates and the middle schoolers.

 and to be willing to mentor, instruct, encourage, praise and guide my classmates and the middle schoolers.

Sometimes people just need people to look up to.
In the past several people have come to me with their problems and I always help them out or give them a bible verse in return. I want to be able to continue to put myself out there as a good influence for the younger grades.

P.S. Those aren't my glasses. Thankfully I don't need a pair- these were my mom's and I thought they made me look studious....haha.

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Yearbook signing party!

The yearbooks finally came in!
I'm so excited to take my sister's place in the yearbook staff this year.
Everyone always says yearbook really stressful, but Mrs. Branham sounded like she wanted me to be on the Torch staff.  So I joined in, and everyone is so welcoming and congratulating me on getting in. I sort of feel like I was accepted into a whole new family.
The yearbook signing party was a blast, as usual. I love signing people's books and getting to read what my friends wrote in my book on the way back home.

This was just from the signing party! A lot of my good friends weren't there, so I still have to ask them to sign it when classes start rolling again.
For the past two years, my mug shot has looked AWFUL.
But this year was the first time I actually looked okay. Even though my hair is way longer now than it is in the picture.
And I was also interviewed early on last year.
Though it was a typo when it said high schoolers..because it supposed to say homeschoolers...which is why the dancing was so much fun. But that's okay...haha it's not like I can change it now.
CBA starts back up really soon. I'm starting to get excited again. I really wasn't looking forward to it for a while, but Thursday Classes is what helps make school go by so much faster.
And improv is going to be a really interesting class, everyone openly says that it's really awkward some times. I guess we'll see!


Monday, August 5, 2013

Britney's new blog banner

A couple days ago Britney gave me copies of a couple different drawings on Pinterest by 'Inslee by Design' and asked me to put them together and make a drawing for her blog to put in her banner.
So today I decided to finally buckle down and get into it.
This was my ending result:
I think it turned out really cute! I'm actually sort of proud of it.

It's always SO hard when someone asks you to draw them a picture. Especially if it's a subject that you're not entirely interested in drawing. Luckily that wasn't the case this time.
But my Uncle asked me to draw a lighthouse for him far over a year ago now and I still haven't gotten around to it. I'm working on that though. I think seascapes are far easier to do in watercolor than any other medium.

Anyway, check out my sister's blog if you ever get the chance!

Only three more days until Barbara Powell's oil painting class. I'm getting super excited for it!


Saturday, August 3, 2013

Seeing God- even in my silly ways of life

 So last night when we went back up to Frederick to return the easel, I was reading an "Oil painting for the absolute beginner" on the ride, and I came across the easel section in the book and read about the wooden student easel (which I purchased the other day) it read "Although this economical easel looks adequate you may be disappointed if you use it. Flimsy and lacking a top bracket to hold the painting, this easel is not very practical." (If only I had read that tip before I purchased the student easel)
We walked back in the store to look at their other easels they had for sale. The only one that is even remotely in my price range was $80 (with a 50% off coupon- it would only be $40). But mom didn't have that much money, and neither did I. And the sale ended Saturday. But dad talked to me outside of the store while mom stayed inside with Britney while she checked out her items at the register and he said "I'll give you a $20 and you can pay the rest including tax. Just come up here tomorrow and come get it." I was in complete shock! Dad was offering me money? That was new.
And that's what we did! Dad went off to a middle school mission trip this morning with church, he's been the leader for the past 4 years and is still the leader this year. I hope he's having a good time!
Before he left, he gave me the $20 and I thanked him for it.
We went to Ac Moore and I got the easel off the shelf and headed to the check out. The lady in front of us was getting a canvas and it was gigantic! The register worker had the manager come over because she had a question about the coupon. The lady in front of us had a Michael's coupon, and the worker felt a little bad pointing that out. So when the manager came over she asked him if they accepted competitor coupons. And the lady started laughing and said "Oh my gosh! I'm so sorry!" It was kind of funny.
But it was helpful that the manager stayed there when I proceeded to the check out, because if he wasn't there I don't think the check out would have had the same outcome.
She rung up my easel and I handed her the 50% off coupon and she said "I'm sorry, but this item is already on sale." See, at these craft stores, if an item is already on sale,  you can't use a coupon with it. But there wasn't a sign anywhere back there that said that my easel was on sale! So my mom and I told her that and the manager went back to check. When he came back, he tapped a few buttons on the computer and gave us the rest of  the percentage off because there wasn't a sign back there. "That should help you out a little bit." we thanked him. He said they wouldn't normally do anything like that, but since the sign wasn't out there, then he was just being nice.
I knew I liked that store!
That was so crazy. An easel that would have been $80, went down to $52 from a sale that wasn't advertised and went even further down to $42 from a very nice manager.
God was definitely there. And there must be some amazing artwork that he wants me to make with that easel.

After we finished up at Ac Moore we stopped at Chick-fil-a for lunch and ate our meal at the church we clean. Britney and I went downstairs to start cleaning in the basement and I saw a wasp bees nest through the window downstairs. It was soo cool to be able to watch them work  from the safety of the window. There was a spider's web right above their nest and there was a centipede stuck in the web. It looked so cute and innocent with all it's little feet sticking up in the air. I went outside and tried to free him from the web. Dumbest idea I've ever made in my life. Duh, the bees nest! Of course I accidently hit the bees nest with the stick I was using to free the centipede and two wasps came flying at my face and amazing speed and aim! They knew exactly where to go without even a second going by. One wasp got very very close to my face and almost got me, but again, somehow God was there for me and I turned away at the right moment, if I hadn't, it would have stung me in the face. I ran for a short distance because that same wasp followed me and got in my hair. As soon as I knew it was free, I went back inside.

It's funny. Small, innocent things, such as saving a centipede can turn very bad in a few seconds time if there's a bees nest around.
I kept reflecting on my near-stung experience all day for some reason. I was in shock for quite some time too. It was very scary for me. Thank you, God for protecting me!

If you haven't watched the movie Epic, I think you should! It has a very interesting concept that insects move in a faster speed than humans and they see us going in slow motion, such as why the bee was able to get to me so fast and why I was so close to getting stung. I'm really wondering if that theory is true. It seems pretty accurate if you ask me.

Well, I'm going to assemble my easel. I hope it's much better than my other one!

Edit: I am very pleased with my new easel! I think it's absolutely perfect! (And it should be...for being an $80 product!)


Friday, August 2, 2013

Yesterday's adventures and today's painting

 Yesterday was such a fun day! It was just a few simple things that made yesterday quite an endeavor.  I figured out that my first painting didn't work out that well is because I needed to put liquid white oil paint on my canvas first to make things go smoother for my oil painting. So we decided to go all the way back to Frederick today and drop by Ac Moore again. We hadn't even left our neighborhood yet when we saw something unusual on the road. Was that....was that a turtle? What in the world was a turtle doing crossing the road in our neighborhood? We never have turtles around these parts! I wish I had gotten pictures, but I didn't have my camera *mentally slaps self* I've been trying to get better at taking my camera wherever I go for experiences such as these.
I hopped out of the van and walked over to him. He was a gorgeous, medium sized turtle! He had mixed colors of mottled brown/ green and a bright orange/ yellow. I gently picked him up by his back shell hands on either side. He hissed when I first started to bring him off the ground and struggled to be put down. I softly put him back on the road and picked him back up again. There wasn't any place that was ideal for him to go, but anything besides the road was a good start. So I walked into a fourth of my neighbor's yard and put him in a shady area near their ditch/ waterway.
It was so cool!  I love rescuing animals.

Also on the ride up to Frederick, we were at a stoplight and Mom suddenly exclaimed "Stephanie!! Is that a butterfly on the edge of the road? Sure enough, it was. I've really been needing one for my bug collection for biology in the fall. There wasn't anyone else at the intersection and no body behind us, so I hopped out of the van again and picked the beautiful blue butterfly up by both of it's muscular wings. It had only been dazed- I'm assuming it got hit by a car and just ended up on the side of the road. Because it started fluttering in the van. And I don't know why...but I freaked out and jumped on my seat and squealed whenever it moved. It was definitely a very different experience. In a way, I rescued it. But in another way I'm just waiting for him to die so I can put him away with the rest of my bugs. He has a very luxurious death awaiting him though. I got our old butterfly 'aquarium' out of our storage shed and grabbed a few sticks, leaves, a rock, some flowers and cut an orange in half and stuck it all in the tank. We have a screen lid so the butterfly can still breathe. I went back to the van and got him out with a butterfly net. He's just hanging by his feet on top of the screen. I hope he eats. I think I'll make him some sugar water today and put it in an old juice cap. Maybe he'll drink that?

Anyway, at Ac Moore I got a canvas, liquid white oil paint, and a standing easel.  I put the easel together as soon as I got home. But I was very disappointed with it. Sure, it was only $12, but I was expecting a little more out of it. It was hardly even stable. I was going to try and work with it, until Mom convinced me that it just wasn't worth it and that we'll go look for a better one. So I'm going to return it tonight when we go up to the Frederick Walmart. The money I'm getting back will go towards a better one and Mom suggested paying the rest with homeschool money.

Anyway, so I gave a go at another painting, but this time I put on liquid white oil paint and I got a MUCH better result.
What do you think?
My favorite part was the mountains.
It's all done in shades of gray and a little white here and there.
I'm pretty pleased with it.
Since this is only my second painting on a canvas, so it kind of gets me curious and excited to see how much I'll improve in just a couple months. This painting is already definitely an improvement from my first painting!
Well, I'm going to mow the lawn today. I absolutely loveeee mowing.
I love the fragrance of freshly cut grass.
I've been toying with the thought of drawing a tree today.
Maybe I'll do just that.