Tag Archives: Michael

How Can I tie it up? A Lesson in Shoe Tying

How Can I Tie it Up? A Lesson in Shoe Tying

Today on #ScribblePicnic Michael gave us this prompt: Tie it up. Since this is the first week back to school my thoughts went to all the tying up of shoes I did as a grade one teacher. And how thrilled I was when those kids could tie them up on their own.

My grandson is going into senior kindergarten and his goal this year is to in his own words, “tie up my shoes really fast”.

tie it up

Therefore my picture today – done very quickly in pencil, then watercolour crayon, is a child learning to tie his shoe.

tie it up


tie it up

As I drew this I realized how complicated the motion of tying up shoes can be. I couldn’t tell where those laces were. And look at how the hands have to twist and turn to make the loops.

When I taught school, velcro had just come into existence. Great I thought – this will make things much easier. Wrong. The kids were so thrilled with the velcro I had trouble keeping them from doing up and undoing their shoes in circle time. Zip. Zip. went the velcro. Enough to drive me crazy.

Tying laces in an art. All ice skaters want to be able to do this task. Although I saw skates the other day that had no laces.

I have seen children make two loops to do their shoes but I tie the old-fashioned way. What about you? BUT….

I learned something today. I have been tying my shoes the wrong way. Here is a TedTalk that shows me how I should be tying them. This makes them stronger and they won’t come apart. I always had ended up double knotting mine. I will try this today.

Here is a cute video about kindergarteners tying their shoes.

I hope you enjoyed today’s post. I am always thrilled how there is something I can draw with the prompt.

tie it up

Tadeo Turtle enjoys a delicious piece of watermelon

Scribble Picnic: Watermelon

This week for #ScribblePicnic the prompt is watermelon. That is a savoury treat for this time of year.

Since I have seen so many pictures of turtles snacking on watermelons I couldn’t resist putting my little Tadeo in this week’s picture. Here he is enjoying his juicy watermelon treat.


Tadeo Turtle was published in 2012. In 2013 it won The Word Awards for best children’s book of the year. It’s a sweet story of a turtle who longs to be different. Through an exciting adventure he learns to accept the fact that God made him just the way He did for a reason. It is for ages 2 and up. With rhyming words and colourful pictures he delights the children. He is available everywhere.

In case you are wondering – Tadeo’s back leg is there – just off to the right in the air. He is so happy that he is kicking up his leg!!

I did this sketch with micron pens and with watercolour pencil – and somehow I just can’t get the blending I can with watercolour. But I’m working on it.

Here is Tadeo’s real professional photo.



Tadeo enjoyed an outing with his creator this past weekend at our local author’s group in Minden, Ontario to celebrate Canada Day. That is not my elbow – I’m taking the picture of the table. 🙂 Tadeo is hidden on the far right. I need to get better stands for all my books. That’s the next task. It was very windy, cloudy, sunny, and humid, and threatening thunderstorms but didn’t. It was delightful all the same.


A few week’s ago I was in Haliburton at the park – yup – doing the same thing. I didn’t have a tent covering that day. It was hot and sunny.


As for watermelon. I used to enjoy that occasionally but just found out I have a sensitivity to it. Can you believe that? Still not believing it myself.

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Boats: Scribble Picnic

Today is #Scribblepicnic day. The prompt is boats. My picture is painted with watercolour pencils. No micron pens today.


I don’t come from a boating family. I remember the one and only time being in a boat before I turned 16. We had rented a cottage on an island and with it came a boat. Of course! How were we to get to the island? It turned out to be a small aluminum boat with a small 9 horsepower motor. My mother was unimpressed. In fact she spent that week on the island and never got off until it came time to leave. That morning we awoke to a thick blanket of fog. On the way to the marina, I leaned over the front of the boat with a flashlight to tell my dad where the rocks were in the channel. Adventure plus! Can you hear me? “Rock on your left. Rock on your right.”

Imagine my surprise when I met my hubby to be – his family grew up with motor boats. I have spent the last 46 years with a lover of boats.

Do I have boating genes? Absolutely not. But I have learned to enjoy most excursions. I say most because we have had a few exciting time on larger lakes with high waves. I don’t like that, at all.

What boats did I choose to paint today?

Sailboats – because they are colourful and I haven’t had much experiences on them except getting hit in the head by the boom when I didn’t duck when commanded. (earlier before I married my hubby)

I don’t have a desire to go on a sailboat, besides not wanting to be bumped in the head. They can go fast and without warning. I have no control and I have a problem with control. This would be way out of my comfort zone. Instead I will draw them.

In Arizona we can watch “sailboat races” every Wednesday and Sunday mornings on our little lake.


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stencil turtlesstencil turtlesstencil turtles




Umbrella: Scribble Picnic

Umbrella: Scribble Picnic

Here it is Wednesday and Scribble Picnic day. Our word for this week is UMBRELLA.

We have been in Arizona for 4 months and have had the wettest winter ever. That’s not saying we have had much rain but we have had more rain that we have ever had. A few times we actually had to use our umbrella while walking our little dog, Snowball.

She doesn’t take advantage of the shelter of the umbrella and comes home completely bedraggled and dirty from all the dust in Arizona.



One day I captured a rainbow after a short rain storm. And last week we had hail – I heard the grass in some areas was white.


So the picture I painted I used micro pens and watercolour pencil. A quick sketch from my memory of holding an umbrella. And believe it or not I did it at 2am again – this time because my jaw was throbbing from a dental appointment. (lost a crown on back tooth) The girl is heading into the wind but turned to have her picture taken.


Join us for #Scribblepicnic each Wednesday. This week the prompt is UMBRELLA. @dotty_hill (click to tweet)


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Creative Tuesday – Flowers May Fade

Creative Tuesday – Flowers May Fade

I really am not a fan of painting flowers. However, in the last while I have painted 2. But I thought I should do a fresh one for this challenge.

The challenge this week is FLOWER.

For this exercise I painted one taken from a bouquet that was given to me. In two weeks  Michael has given a challenge to paint a bouquet, so I thought it easier to paint the single flower (actually 2 flowers and 2 buds), then attempt the bouquet the next week.

Here are the two paintings I had all ready done.

This is called – IRIS (I know that’s very original)


And this is called FLOWER – (really original)


But today is the first time I painted from an actual flower that I held in my hand.

Here is the final outcome.

Isaiah 40:8

Isaiah 40:8

I couldn’t paint a flower without thinking about the world that God has created. As I held the flower and looked closely at its tiny petals, its intricate variegated edges, and how delicate it felt – I was in awe.

The bouquet I was given lasted over 2 weeks in a vase. I learned a secret from the “Flower Lady” – put ice in the vase every day. It works!

The grass withers, and the flowers fall, but the word of our God endures forever (Isaiah 40:8, NIVUK)

As I watch this flower fade – these words strike a strong note in my heart. Once again, His Word is what remains for all of us.

Thanks to Michael at Creative Tuesdays. He has now moved to a new blog. You can look at other artwork from Creative Tuesdays.

Creative Tuesdays – Bible Pillows for Rest

Creative Tuesdays – Bible Pillows for Rest

7 Scriptures to help you find rest


The prompt this week for Creative Tuesdays is PILLOWS.

This watercolour was done as a quick watercolour on only 90 pound paper. We had been learning the colour wheel in my art class – so I used what I had learned about mixing colours. Three colours were used: opera, quinacridone gold, and cobalt blue.

Again, I thought about this prompt all week. I prayed about it.

Pillows to me mean rest.

When I head to bed I love to tuck that pillow under my head and snuggle down to sleep. So my thoughts went to resting.

The best way I know how to rest is with God.

Here are the 7 Scriptures that I like for rest. Starting from the top:

God rested:

on the seventh day God rested from all His work (Genesis 2:2, NIVUK).

 Rest on the Sabbath:

The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath (Mark 2:27, NIVUK).

Go away and find rest:

So they went away by themselves in a boat to a solitary place (Mark 6:32, NIVUK).

Be still and rest:

Be still before the LORD and wait patiently for Him (Psalm 37:7, NIVUK).

Peace is rest:

And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding will guard your hearts and  your minds in Christ Jesus (Philippians 4:7, NIVUK).

Salvation is rest:

My soul finds rest in God alone; my salvation comes from Him (Psalm 62:1, NIVUK).

Jesus is rest:

Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest (Matthew 11:28, NIVUK).

If you are not getting enough rest – try a quiet time with God. You will feel rejuvenated, energized and at peace.


What does the word pillow bring to your mind? I think of peace. Find 7 Scriptures for rest. (click to tweet)

Thanks to Michael for providing Creative Tuesdays link for “pillows” where we link together our art projects.

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Janis is the author of the award winning children’s book, Tadeo Turtle, published by Word Alive Press. Available in Kindle Format, in bookstores, online and from her website. Curriculum available upon request.


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