Sloth plant revealed

I haven’t been posting these but this week is a little different. It was a sad week but it was also a week where the sloth plant finally bloomed.

Sloth plant you ask? Yeah, what was that plant I called the “sloth plant?” I wasn’t giving this plant it’s given name until I saw flowers! Sloth plant is a dry loving, sun loving, slow growing plant. It’s an 18 month old cutting from a plumeria, aka Hawaiian lei flower, so “ta da!!!” Sloth plant is a Plumeria!

It took 18 months to flower. Lots of sun and patience. If you want to grow a plumeria in the Northeast, you have to have a full sunny window for it in the winter and it doesn’t like the cold.

We had it in a pot and we transplanted it to the front flower bed, where it is really happy! It does get cold here in the winter but I noticed that there are plumerias all over Jensen Beach and my part of Port St Lucie and they made it through the cold nights here, but they would die in a Northeast winter outside.

I want to get more in different colors. They are definitely worth it. So pretty and the flowers last a few days.

Sloth plant blooms
A neighbor’s plumeria

A page spread develops – artistic process

These are my sketches for a page spread that I am doing for my children’s book course. I had a ton of ideas and I did a bunch of thumbnails, but I opted for the simplest design in order not to get frustrated, and could complete it within the time frame allotted. Advice that I received from Koosje Koene many moons ago…. Keep It Simple Stupid, and that’s what I did.

I didn’t realize I had to include text, too. I added that at the end.

My scene will have seagulls. I have tons of reference photos that I have taken over the years…and I took more to ensure I had enough poses. Seagulls are easy for me since I have sketched them so many times before. My favorites are laughing gulls and they are all over the place here so that was a no brainer for me. I think there are laughing gulls in half of my sketchbooks.

These are my process sketches on how I developed my page spread:

Thumbnail…which you will probably look at and say “Whhhhaaaatt?” Yes, this thumbnail led to the following sketches:

Below is the next stage. They don’t quite look like seagulls, do they? I put notes about where to look for my references…I actually had to go in and find all my seagull photos that I have taken over the years and name the photos so I could find them easier. I really need to do a better job organizing the photos I take with my iPhone.

Here is my draft. I sketched the gulls in pencil on vellum so that I can erase easier. Those two lines in the middle are the “gutter” where the page will be split for binding so I have to allow for that. I transferred this image to two 9×12 mixed media sheets of paper so that I can scan the final product on my scanner. I will show the final on tomorrow’s post.

Black Cat Appreciation Day

Today is Black Cat Appreciation Day. Cleopatra is our black kitty that we found, literally, on the street. Or she found us. She ran right up to me and was “no bigger than a bowtruckle.”

Cleo lives with my daughter in a nice house in Orlando. Cleo has been the inspiration for lots of my little vignettes and postcards upstaging Chloe and Mack on many occasions. Cleo thinks she is a Chihuahua and that’s ok. She looks at other cats like they have three heads.

To celebrate Cleo, here are some of my favorites for Black Cat Appreciation Day:

Egrets

Every year I wonder what to get my hubby for Father’s Day. Usually he insists that we not get him anything. Like, that’s not going to happen. My daughter got him this cool power washing tool. I ordered my husband a mug from CafePress with a map of our neighborhood on it that I made for They Draw and Travel. Then I wondered what else to give him.

I picked up a few other things, but the one item that I made especially for him was a subject that he and I frequently discuss and that’s egrets and herons. We have so many egrets and herons and morphs that it is a little tough to keep up. SOOOOO, I made him a T-Shirt with egrets. (The shirt with herons will probably be a Christmas gift.)

I was looking for a way to identify egrets and herons and it can be a little confusing. We were frequently checking the internet when we see one that isn’t obvious at first. (We really got excited when we saw our first spoonbill.) The shirt is a visual reminder of which egret is which and saves on pulling out our phones, but he doesn’t wear it all the time, so then he’ll yell, “Get the Shirt Get the Shirt!” when we are out without the shirt. We’re a bit crazy.

I ordered the shirt from Cafe Press. He’s being wearing it since Father’s Day. It’s been washed many times and I noticed that it is starting to fade. The mug is amazing, however I have to give Cafe Press a FAIL for the T-Shirt. I made my husband a shirt last year from Zazzle and it hasn’t faded. I may order him another one from Zazzle.

Here is the Egrets, if you would like this on an item on Zazzle, please let me know and I will add it:

Dailies

I haven’t posted these in a while. Sometimes, I put something on my page that I am not really sure that I want to share yet until I am able to follow through on that little box that could lead to something else.

A nice thing about Florida is the plants can grow year round…..However, the squirrels are also here year round. They stole a baby eggplant and buried it. John found it when he was watering the garden.

Yesterday morning, when John and I were looking at our few meager veggie plants. I looked up at the screen house and I said to hubby, “What is that in the corner of the screen house?” Earlier, two squirrels were chasing each other on top of the screen house….now we know why….one of them must have stolen a green bell pepper and left it in the corner of the screen house, or dropped it and it rolled to the corner, but there is was, in all it’s green glory, just short of being usable. Now we need to get some garden netting, brats.

This morning, I was outside doing my writing and drawing routine, and the sky started to darken. I said to hubby that I think the 20% chance of thunderstorms is going to be 100% chance. he made a comment about 20% chance usually is bad news and 80% means we’re getting nothing. Well, we got the thunderstorms at the 20% chance and they started around 9-ish and round 4 is rumbling in the distance and it is after 2. So much for the 20% chance of T-storms today.

A rare treat, the new spread for this week. I tried going back to just boxes, but they were boring.