Archive for the ‘Mystery Mondays’ Category
One of my favorite pastimes when I’m in camp or at the lake is to sit and sketch. I did take a lot of art in school but I’m far form a professional artist by any means. I just have always enjoyed drawing!
Sketching is a low-cost hobby, it’s highly portable and people think you’re totally cool. When Jessica and I stopped in Jerome the last time, we literally sat on the roadside and drew buildings. I think we had three different groups of people stop by to tell us that they thought it was totally cool we were sketching and to express the wish that they had artistic ability.
And I’m here to tell you: talent has NOTHING to do with nature drawing!
Because the act of sketching is a lot like fishing: you do it to enjoy the process, not to guarantee you have dinner!
Here are 5 tips to get you started:
1. Gather your supplies
Personally, I use a Mead Academie Wirebound Sketch Book. It is spiral bound but has perforated edges, is inexpensive and the paper holds up even to water colors. And as for supplies, frankly, I think Crayola does a GREAT job. I recommend getting colored pencils and water color paints to start out with and then move on to chalk or oil pastels. You can get really brave and get water-soluble colored pencils or oil pastels.
2. Find something to draw
This can be as complex as a landscape or as simple as a flower. Spend some time really LOOKING at your subject. If you were going to just draw an outline, what would it look like? What colors are there?
3. Always use a blank sheet
It’s terrible to have a really great sketch sharing the page with something that can only be called a doodle at best. I also recommend starting as close to the middle of the page as possible as well. It’ll give you the maximum room to spread the subject matter across the page.
4. Jump in and get started
Just pick a spot and get started. The middle or the top; bottom up or from the lower right corner, it doesn’t really matter. Just get pencil to paper and start the sketch.
5. Get over yourself already!
If you ask a 5 year old if she can sing, she’ll ALWAYS say “Yes!” It doesn’t mean she’s going to be the next Taylor Swift however. But she understands that she has the ability to sing. And you have the ability to draw. Enjoy yourself and enjoy a new way to capture memories. And for all you parents out there: it will demonstrate to your kids in a powerful way that you are creative and enjoy taking the time to really LOOK at something.
- Date your sketches. I also try to include the place and who I was with.
- Take a photo of your subject. You might want to finish the sketch later or just have a good giggle as to how your sketch looks nothing like what you were drawing!
- You can choose what to include and what to leave out. Feel free to add details that aren’t really there or remove aspects that you don’t want to draw or find unattractive. It’s like instant Photoshop.
- Don’t be afraid to experiment with techniques and drawing tools. Yes, watercolors make my paper wrinkle but I LOVE working with the paint.
- Corral all your supplies in a tote so when the mood strikes you don’t need to go hunting for your favorite eraser.
And if you want to learn more about Jessica, head over to her blog: http://www.SeeJessBake.com
This post contains affiliate links to Amazon.com.
Welcome to 2012! There’s a tradition in the EatStayPlay.com “Royal” Family of spending some time every January 1st to write down our goals for the coming year. This year, however, those plans were derailed by needing to prep for the arrival of all new carpet in my parents’ house.
But, just because it wasn’t a formal goal setting session, that doesn’t mean that I don’t have some goals and plans for 2012.
This year, I’m trying to minimize the goals like “52 weeks of 5 blog posts a week” and substitute it for goals like “meaningful blog posts, every week” to give myself some flexibility and recognize that real life happens while I’m NOT on the computer.
Of course, I do have some goals that are pretty specific. One such is to hunt down all the posts where I’ve promised I’d work on updates and changes and actually get them done! And yes, I realize that it might be for my own piece of mind rather than because it is just absolutely necessary that every single yurt in Montana be listed on the website.
One of the things I’ve got planned for 2012 is to see the culmination of a year’s hard work on my part for Arizona’s Centennial Project. After all, Arizona is the 48th state in the union so that means that in our lifetime there will only be THREE more state centennials. I find that exciting to be part of history.
I also have big plans to nurture my creativity in more eBooks and videos. I’ve got quite a few projects in the beginning phases that I just can’t wait to get to.
What about you:
Do you set goals for the coming year? What are they?
It’s that time of year again: Snow has come to Flagstaff, AZ. And that means that the updated 2011-2012 Flagstaff Snow Guide is now available.
As always, this is a 100% free publication. All you have to do is provide your email address so I can send you any updates that might occur over the course of the snow season.
Flagstaff is the MUST-VISIT Arizona winter destination for all things snow: sledding, skiing, snowboarding, and snow play. There are even places to cross country ski, snowshoe, and ride snowmobiles. In Arizona! (Crazy, I know!)
Your eGuide is a 32 page printable Adobe .pdf book. It is Mac and PC compatible and you can print it all, a selection of pages, or save it to your laptop computer to take with you.
Do you own a Flagstaff business? Would you like to promote it in the Snow Guide? Contact Kim at Info@EatStayPlay.com Pricing starts at just $50 for an ad that will be seen by THOUSANDS of Flagstaff winter visitors.
This was a short hike from the parking area. But don’t let the word “short” confuse you with EASY. The hike starts out from a dirt parking lot and promptly climbs STRAIGHT UP A SANDY HILL.
And this Arizona Princess really doesn’t like getting sand in my shoes! But, thankfully, my guide for the day, Andy, warned me about the sand so I was prepared with my boots and sticker gaiters.
From the top of the hill, the vistas all around are simply breath-taking. So much so I didn’t actually TAKE any photos! But, from the top of the rise you can see Echo Peaks to the west, near the confluence of the Paria River with the Colorado. The dark line of the Vermilion Cliffs lies farther west, while Navajo Mountain stands behind, to the east.
It’s well worth a pause just to look around and enjoy. But we were in a hurry, so it was a quick stop to catch my breath and then a rapid plunge down the far side to the overlook itself.
Needless to say, the views of the Colorado River below are nothing short of stunning. The water was a lovely blue-green that just invited a lazy paddle. Of course, while it looked like it was RIGHT THERE, the water is actually nearly 1,100 feet below. Yikes! I’m not usually bothered by heights, but it did make me a bit queasy.
It wasn’t the best time of day for photos, but the views were just amazing. And we managed to hit the overlook in a lull between crowds of people. The hike is 1.5 miles round trip but it is up and over a pretty considerable hill. It was cool enough that I wore a sweatshirt TO the parking lot but toasty enough for me to leave it in the car.
I look forward to going back when I have more time to sit, enjoy, sketch, and get some better pictures!
After a few minutes enjoying the view, it was back in the car and back to Andy’s where he made Navajo Fry Bread. Yum!
Remember how a couple of weeks ago I mentioned that Utah was missing state parks and that Sandy was researching them? Well, when I sat down this weekend to ADD them to the EatStayPlay.com database, I found a whole bunch of OTHER attractions that were done but not loaded.
So, over the next week or so, be on the lookout for the following:
Cabins & Yurts in Montana (79)
Rentable lookout towers in Montana (13)
Charles M. Russell National Wildlife Refuge & related attractions (21)
Texas State Historic Parks (80)
Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming (8)
Utah State Parks (137)
So, I thought I had 137 attractions to add and ended up with 338!
Guess I have my work cut out for me! But keep checking back to see these new attractions.
Not only am I “The Outdoor Princess” I’m also the head cook & chief bottle washer at EatStayPlay.com. EatStayPlay.com offers information about outdoor recreation for 14 western states. We cover everything from camping to National Forests, State Parks to National Monuments.
But, I think my pride and joy is when you can find me on YouTube. So far, I have “starred” in five videos:
- Testing the Coleman Max, Perfect Flow, and Fold and Go Camp Stoves
- How To Tie A Cinch Knot
- Wind Test for Coleman Max, Perfect Flow, & Fold ‘N Go
- Sure-Fire Trout-Catching Setup
- Extreme Geocaching
This weekend, I’ll be camping with ESP Boss & The Queen Mother. The plan is to do some filming for a camp cooking video. Of all the Fun Food Friday recipes, do you have one that you’d like to see on film?
The Chicken In The Library
A librarian was working on afternoon when she noticed a chicken had come into the library and was patiently waiting in front of the check out desk. When the chicken saw it had the librarian’s attention, it squawked, “Book, book, book, BOOK!”
Puzzled, the librarian looked at the chicken. But the chicken kept squawking, “Book, book, book, BOOK!”
Finally, she put a couple of books down in front of the chicken. The chicken quickly grabbed them and disappeared.
The next day, the librarian was disturbed by the same chicken, who put the previous day’s pile of books down on the desk and squawked, “Book, book, book, BOOK!”
The librarian shook her head, wondering what the chicken was doing with the books, but eventually found some more books for the chicken. The chicken took the books and left.
The next day, the librarian was once again disturbed by the chicken, who squawked, “Book, book, book, BOOK!”
By now, the librarian’s curiosity has gotten the better of her, so she put a pile of books in front of the chicken. When the chicken left with the books, the librarian followed the bird. She followed it through the parking lot, down the street, and into a large park.
She followed the chicken into a small grove of trees, trying to keep as quiet as possible. Beyond the trees, there was a small marsh. The chicken stopped at the water’s edge and looked down. The librarian, now really curious, hurried over and saw small frog next to the chicken. The frog was examining each book, one at a time.
The librarian crept even closer, just in time to hear the frog say: “Read it, read it, read it!”
The Death Watch
A long time ago, in Arizona, a copper miner was killed in a cave in. His body was dug out, but his prize pocket watch, which he had hung up somewhere while he worked, was never found.
Weeks later, the pocket watch suddenly appeared, ticking loudly, near a miner named Williams. The following day, a prop gave way just was Williams was passing and he was killed by falling rock.
This was just the first appearance of the watch. Many times after that, it would appear, ticking loudly, in different parts of the mine. And every time the watch appeared, the miner working closest to it would be dead by the next sundown. Soon, the miners knew that the watch was a herald of death.
Many times miners tried to grab the watch, to smash it and stop its ticking. Each time, the watch would disappear but by the evening of the next day, another miner would be dead. The watch might be silent for months at a time, until the miners would think they were safe, but sooner or later, it would reappear, marking another death to come.
One day, the shift foreman was making his rounds after the men had left for the day when he heard the watch ticking. Following the sound, he saw the ghostly watch ticking near the work spot of a young miner named John. Even when he left the mine, the foreman could hear the watch’s eerie tick following him out of the mine.
The next day, as the miners were lining up to enter the mine, the foreman stopped Jim. “Don’t work today, Jim,” he said. “Go home to your wife.”
“Why should I do that?” Jim demanded. “I have a family at home to feed.”
The foreman took Jim by the arm and turned him away from the mine. “Jim, I didn’t want to tell you this, but last night I heard the watch ticking at your work space.”
A that, Jim turned pale. “The death watch!” he gasped and hurried away from the mine.
But Jim’s wife had just had another baby, their fourth, and Jim was worried about missing a day of pay. So Jim hurried along, looking to catch a ride down from the mountain to the town below. Maybe he could work in the smelter instead and bring home his pay to feed his wife and children.
As Jim walked into the smelter to see if there was work, a huge smelting kettle suddenly fell from its rack and smashed him dead in an instant.
(A very old joke)
When America was just a new country, an Englishman went into a saloon and got to talking to a cowboy there. The Englishman offered to buy the cowboy a drink and when he pulled out his money, he showed a coin to the cowboy.
“See this likeness?” he said, pointing to the King’s head on the coin.
“Yep,” said the cowboy.
“That is His Majesty the King. He made my grandfather an Earl.”
At this, the cowboy looked at the coin and then reached into his pocket and pulled out a penny. He pointed to the Indian’s face on the coin and said, “You see this likeness?”
“Yes,” said the Englishman.
“That, friend, is an Indian and he made my grandfather an angel.”
If there’s one thing I love, it’s adding new products to the EatStayPlay.com Shop. And this week I’m not just promoting one new product but TWO!
Payson Recreation Guide
The first is Payson Recreation Guide. This guide is another of the free eGuides that focuses on outdoor recreation for an Arizona city. Payson is the “Heart of Arizona.” Visitors who arrive at this north-central Arizona town during any of the area’s four distinct seasons will find a multitude of choices for outdoor recreation from hiking, fishing, hunting, and camping to exploring wilderness areas
Payson, Arizona also offers a wide variety of trails for hiking, mountain biking or riding horses. Plus, Payson is surrounded by THREE National Forests for endless outdoor recreation fun.
Get the Payson Recreation Guide today! Free!
Camp Cooking with Joanne Fitterer
Mrs. Fitterer is a personal friend of mine and I’ve known her for nearly 20 years. (Not sure if that makes me old or not!)
She is a retired culinary arts teacher from Chino Valley High School and we’ve teamed up to bring you an exclusive cookbook filled with great outdoor cooking recipes.
“Camp Cooking with Joanne Fitterer” has great recipes like Campfire Pepperoni Pizza, Hotdog Kabobs with Sweet and Sour Sauce, Cinnamon French Toast, Easy Cheese Drop Biscuits, and more! Sections include Breckfast, Main Meals, Side Dishes, Desserts, and 4 great Extras.
Download Camp Cooking with Joanne Fitterer today. Only $1.99.