Friday, April 29, 2011

Postcards for Red Cross Approved!

I can't believe it's finally here! I am in cloud nine right now and perhaps in the next few weeks. I've contacted Red Cross several times through phone and e-mail and I finally got a call from them on Monday! I spoke with someone locally and she was very helpful and sent me the necessary paperwork. So everything is setup and the postcards are ready to be purchased.

I designed this postcard to be distributed at the Sakura Matsuri in DC on April 9th; unfortunately, I didn't get the package two days later. So I e-mailed Red Cross to inquire about donating postcards but I didn't get any reply back until I decided to call the local chapter. I didn't hear back from them right away but this week I received a phone call from an unknown number and I normally don't answer random phone numbers but for some peculiar reason, I did. The person I spoke with was incredibly pleasant and helpful. She sent me an e-mail right after our brief conversation. It really was the best thing that happened to me this week. I still can't believe Red Cross answered me back! If you're interested in purchasing this postcard, here's the link to my store; I am donating everything to the foundation. So, please support this cause. Thanks everyone!

The true meaning of life is to plant trees, under whose shade you do not expect to sit.
~Nelson Henderson

Friday, April 22, 2011

Happy Earth Day!

Happy Earth Day everyone! I hope you are all is enjoying your time off. This is one of my old paintings. I thought it's perfect for this quote.

“Treat the earth well: it was not given to you by your parents, it was loaned to you by your children. We do not inherit the Earth from our Ancestors, we borrow it from our Children.”
~Native American Proverb

I also did a demo yesterday for the Earth Day Kid's Night at WFM Alexandria and here are some photos from the event. That's my table and the card I designed for the kids.

There are a few things you can do to be green. Here's a simple list you can follow from
  1. Eat Smart – Learn what’s in your food, where it came from and who it impacts.
  2. Eat Local – Where possible, buy food that is in season from local food producers.
  3. Eat Sustainably – Eat sustainable seafood — one of the only things that we eat that we still get from the wild.
  4. Eat Green – Eat more fruits and vegetables — it's good for your health and the planet's.
  5. Eat Out – Spend more time outdoors and have a nice picnic with family and friends.
Happy Green Eating!

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Little Healthy Eaters

Whole Foods Market Old Town partnered with Mount Vernon Community School to teach kids how to eat better by showing them healthier food options. We did a three day class for two weeks with forty kids – each class was comprised of 20 students. Every day is a different theme, and each theme was accompanied by a different book, for example last week, we brought breads from all over the world and Kim, our Marketing Specialist read them the Little Red Hen, which I read when I was in first grade! And they were so apprehensive to try the Portuguese roll because it was made of white flour – unbelievable. When I was seven, I didn't care about whether the food was healthy or not, I ate it because it was delicious; however, I rarely indulged in junk food. So, today was the last day of Healthy Eating intersession class – the kids made fruit kabobs and vegetable taco wrapped in lettuce and I gave each one a button as a surprise. None of them were surprised but we received lots of hugs and thank yous. It was a lot of fun and the kids were amazing; I'll surely miss them. Below is the button I designed. Sorry It's a bit blurry, I didn't have enough light in my room. I wish I had used our Healthy Eating logo but this will suffice. The colors look a lot like Easter though.

I've also taken photos of their classroom and the school hallways. Look how adorable these are!

And a couple photos from inside the classroom.

Some photos after the class. This is my office, it's actually a 2'x2' cubicle with a door. I don't think three people should be inside – it impedes movement. That's me, Kim and Saba fooling around. Don't worry our boss took the photos.

And my favorite part of the day – presents! These were drawn by the kids in class.
What a perfect way to end the day!

I hope you guys enjoyed my photos!

I have never let my schooling interfere with my education.
~Mark Twain

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Groundhog Day

I took some time off today to visit my dentist. Before I left I pulled some weeds out and transplanted a few plants in the back. My neighbor saw me; we started talking and learned that there's a groundhog residing under the shed – that explains commotion the other day when I let Tekko out. He was chasing something under the shed and all I could see was its tail – I thought it was a raccoon. This groundhog is supposedly massive, perhaps bigger than our dog. It was probably feasting on our backyard weeds; I hope it will bring friends over to share the plethora of weeds we harbor annually.

I was hoping for it to come out from its hideout before my departure but instead I found a box turtle sitting on top of oak leaves piled underneath the azalea. So no groundhog but it was still a great day.

Groundhogs (Marmota monax) aka woodchucks are diurnal and will feed on most vegetation especially alfalfa, clover and dandelion. They also enjoy leaves, bark and will occasionally indulge on insects and birds eggs.

These North American marmot species are the most widespread and typically found in fields, small woodlots, pastures, hedgerows and low elevation forests. They prefer to construct dens in well drained soils under a protective cover, which explains its fondness of our backyard. Here are some fun facts about groundhogs from Buzzle:

Facts about Groundhogs
  • Groundhogs are also called whistle pigs.
  • They have four toes on the front foot and five on the back foot. They can grow to a maximum of two feet when measured from head to toe and weigh somewhere around five to fourteen pounds.
  • Groundhogs have grayish brown fur and tails that are bushy. They generally have two layers of fur so that the outside layer can serve as waterproofing layer and the inside layer can maintain the body heat.
  • They dig their burrows with the help of their powerful limbs and thick claws. They are quite adept at it. They can remove up to seven hundred pounds of soil to make a twenty to twenty five foot long burrow.
  • The burrows that Groundhogs make have many chambers and also have more than one entrance, at times even three entrances.
  • They make a loud whistling sound as an alarm bell to make everybody aware that there is danger around.
  • These groundhogs are herbivorous and they eat plants like grass, clover and alfalfa. They also eat strawberries, peas, pansies and garden beans.
  • Groundhogs have several enemies who are predators like foxes, bobcats and human beings.
  • When it is close to autumn the groundhogs start gaining weight and become fatter.
  • During hibernation the body temperature of the groundhogs decreases from ninety-nine degree Fahrenheit to forty degree Fahrenheit. Their heartbeat also decreases from eighty beats per minute to five per minute. The breathing is also reduced from twelve to approximately four per minute. They hibernate to save themselves from the cold weather and when they hibernate their whole body metabolism slows down and the body gets cold so that it consumes less energy since it uses the stored body fat.
  • Groundhogs have amazing sense of hearing very sharp eyesight.
  • The breeding season of the ground hogs last from somewhere around March to mid or late April which is sometime immediately after hibernation finishes. Some people are of the opinion that they end the hibernation period just because the mating season starts. The gestation period is of about 28 to 32 days and the male groundhog leaves the day as the time for birth of young ones approaches.
  • The span of life for these rodents is two to three years approximately but they can survive up to six years in the forests and up to ten years in captivity.
With a few flowers in my garden, half a dozen pictures and some books, I live without envy.’’
Lope de Vega

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Happy Spring!

Hello everyone and Happy Spring! It was such a lovely day today and I felt like drawing something silly. Perhaps it was the weather or the book that I just purchased (shown below) that inspired me.

I haven't finished reading it but I thought it was well written and the pages were filled with delicate and beautiful pencil drawings, illustrated by Tricia Tusa. Consequently, I thought it would be fun to draw with pencil – it's been awhile since I've held a pencil sharpener. So, I rushed to my room and found an old, untouched sketchbook and began drawing with the pencil I found in my brother's room. It started out okay but it didn't turn out the way I wanted it to. I was a bit disappointed and I thought I could fix it in Corel Paint. I have never used Corel in my life, the only reason I have it because it came with the Bamboo I purchased last month. And I was surprised by how easy it was to navigate the program and it had all kinds of brushes and tools. Although I had no idea how to use half the tools, I had fun experimenting and coloring – I think I'm going to be using Corel a lot. So, here's the finished product.

"I found you, you Spring Bandit!"

I love spring anywhere, but if I could choose I would always greet it in a garden.
~Ruth Stout