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World Turtle Day 2017!

Hello Friends,

This is a day late, but I just realized that I missed posting about my favorite animal yesterday!  How could I miss World Turtle Day on May 23, 2017?  Silly me.  I did, though, so here’s to turtles everywhere!

Please enjoy this little video showing some wonderful things that we can do for turtles.

 

Have a wonderful day, and give someone you love a big hug!  🙂

Lenny, the Leatherback – A Poem

Hello friends,

Yesterday after I wrote about writing being tough at times, I came up with this poem, which is weird since I don’t really write poetry anymore!  Ha, ha.  And of course, it is about a sea turtle! (This is not the same “Lenny” as in my other story.  I just love this name!)  Enjoy.  🙂

Lenny, the Leatherback

Lenny, the Leatherback turtle was as large as he could be.

He loved his home,

But he was all alone

In the salty waters of the sea.

 

Lenny, the Leatherback turtle tried every day to make friends.

But jellyfish swam away fast,

Whenever he was about to pass,

They were so afraid he might eat them.

 

Lenny, the Leatherback turtle felt as lonely as he could be.

He dove down deeper…down, down,

And when he saw a clown –

Fish, he smiled and was friendly.

 

The clownfish smiled back at Lenny,

She didn’t seem to feel afraid of him.

She swam up to his side instead of trying to hide,

And asked, “Will you be my friend?”

 

By,

Patsy H. Parker

4/21/17

Have a wonderful day, and give someone you love a big hug! 🙂

The Most Ticklish Turtle in Town

Thomas was a red-eared slider turtle.  He was called a red-eared slider, because he was able to slide off of rocks easily in the pond, and there were small red stripes around his ears.  Sometimes he put a claw in each ear hole and made faces at himself in the bathroom mirror.  He also liked to admire his red stripes.

One day when he had his eyes closed and was reaching for a towel to dry his face after washing it, his sister walked up behind him and grabbed his sides – the squishy part of his body underneath his hard shell.

Thomas let out a loud cry and jumped a foot off the floor.  His sister laughed, “Ha, ha!  Gotcha!”

He turned to her with angry eyes and yelled, “Don’t do that, Tamara!  I don’t like to be tickled by surprise!”  He finished wiping his face and hung up the towel.

“Why?”

“I don’t know.  It makes me feel funny.”

She snickered, “Well, it’s supposed to!  Tickling is supposed to make you laugh, and laughing is funny.  Besides, everyone knows you’re the most ticklish turtle in town.”

“Yeah, well, I don’t like being surprised like that.  I hate being grabbed in the sides.  So please don’t do it anymore, okay, Tamara?”

Tamara hung her head and slunk away muttering quietly, “Okay, Thomas.  I’m sorry.”  (But she thought to herself, “until next time!”)

Thomas went to his bedroom, put on his favorite baseball cap and jersey, picked up his mitt, and ran out the door without saying good-bye to Tamara.

He walked down to the baseball diamond at the park to look for Garrett.  They were supposed to meet there to toss the baseball around after lunch.  When he reached the dugout where they usually sat after playing, no one was there.  He still felt angry at Tamara, but he decided to look down in the dirt for money which he and Garrett sometimes found lying there.  Just as he spotted a shiny quarter and bent down to pick it up, someone grabbed his sides and tickled him.  Not only did it scare him, but he lost his balance and fell over on his back.  He wobbled around on the back of his shell and stretched his neck and front legs out so he could flip himself over when he heard a familiar laugh.  Then someone grabbed his front leg and pulled him up which brought him face-to-face with Garrett.

Garrett’s laughter was met with Thomas yelling, “Why did you do that?”

Garrett said, “Sorry, buddy.  I was just playing around.  Besides, everyone knows you’re the most ticklish turtle in town.”

“Yeah, yeah.  I’m so tired of being called that!  You would think by now everyone would realize how much I hate being sneaked up on and tickled!”

Garrett looked at the ground and said, “Sorry, Thomas.  I just came by to tell you I can’t play today.”

“What?  Why not?”  Thomas felt even more frustrated at the disappointing news.

“My mom has to take me to the shell doctor.”  He turned around and showed Thomas a big crack in the side of his shell.

“How’d you do that Garrett?”

“I fell off the wall in front of our house.”

“What?  How’d you get up there?  It has to be two feet off the ground!”

“There was a wide board leaning up against it so I walked up it towards the wall.  Then my back foot got caught in a big hole in the wood.  I sort of did a twist, and as I fell, I heard my shell crack against the edge of the board.”

Thomas hesitated, then asked, “Did it hurt?”

“Yeah.  When I fell…..”

Thomas interrupted and said, “Good!  I get hurt somehow almost every time someone tickles me by surprise!  You deserve it, Garrett!”

Garrett scowled.  “Hey!  I said I was sorry, Thomas.  I won’t tickle you anymore, okay?”

“Whatever.  I’m leaving.  I’m glad you can’t play.  I don’t feel like it now anyway!”  Thomas turned and ran away.

Garrett yelled, “Fine!  I don’t think I’ll meet you here tomorrow either then.”

Garrett’s feelings were hurt.  He really hadn’t meant to make Thomas angry.  Then he thought about all the times Thomas had asked him not to walk up behind him and tickle him like that.  He felt badly, but when he looked up, Thomas was already gone.

Thomas decided to wander over to the pond.  He saw his friend, Maya, which already made him feel better.  She was the nicest friend he knew.  Maya was a painted turtle so her shell was flatter than Thomas’s, and a deep olive green color.  She had bright yellow stripes on her face.  Thomas thought she was beautiful.  He had known her since they were two years old.  They had both had their 12th birthdays that year.

She crawled out of the cool water just as Thomas ran down the hill and jumped off a rock making a huge splash.

Maya laughed and yelled, “Good one, Thomas!”

Maya ran up the hill, turned around, and yelled, “Watch out, here I come.”  Then she came barreling down the hill, but at the edge of the pond she spread out all her legs, went flying through the air, suddenly pulling all her legs in and did a cannonball and splashing Thomas.

When she came out of the water, Thomas was grinning widely, but she was coughing and sputtering water.   “Wow, Maya!  That was a great jump.   Are you okay?”

“Sure.  I never get hurt doing that, but I always get water up my nose and sometimes swallow some.  She smiled and said, “But it’s just so fun.”

She swam over to him giggling and asked, “So how’s the most ticklish turtle in town doing today?”

Thomas burst into tears and said, “Don’t call me that, Maya.”

She crawled out onto the bank of grass and sat beside him.  “Whoa, what’s the matter Thomas?  I didn’t think that nickname bothered you that much.  I’m sorry.”

He cried for a minute and then said, “Well, it does.  It isn’t the nickname so much.  I probably am the most ticklish turtle in town.  What I hate is when others come up behind me and tickle my sides by surprise.  I really don’t like it at all.  It scares me and then I feel embarrassed.  Both my sister and Garrett did it to me just this morning!  I was so mad, I yelled at both of them.”

“Oh, that’s too bad, but they need to stop doing that.  I know what you mean by it scaring and embarrassing you, too.  My brother tickles my feet all the time.  I don’t like it either.  Sometimes he gets a hold of me and won’t stop, and I accidentally pee myself!  That is really embarrassing.  Then I cry.  Tickling is only fun when I’m letting someone do it at the same time that I’m tickling them.  Then I have more fun, because I know what’s coming and laughing feels good then.”

“I know.  I keep trying to tell my sister and my friend, Garrett that, but they just won’t listen!”

“I try to tell my brother, too, but he just gets mad and calls me a baby.  That hurts my feelings.  I am not a baby just because I tell him to stop doing something I don’t like.”

“What are we going to do about it, Maya?  I am so tired of this.”

“I don’t know if there is anything we can do.  It’s really annoying when others won’t listen to us when we tell them to stop doing something that makes us feel uncomfortable.”

They sat in silence for a few minutes thinking about how to solve their problem.  Maya’s face brightened suddenly.

Thomas asked, “Did you think of something?”  She grinned, and he said, “You did think of something didn’t you?”

“Yeah.  I think I did.”  She smirked and nodded her head, then leaned over and began to tell Thomas her plan.

——————

        The next morning Thomas was in the kitchen getting his breakfast.  He didn’t hear his sister sneak up behind him, because he had his earbuds in listening to his music.  He felt little nudges on his sides and turned to see Tamara rubbing her front feet together.  She started to cry.  Thomas felt a little bad but he took one earbud out and asked, “What’s the matter, Tamara?”

She cried, “What is that under your shell?  I tried to tickle you, but my feet feel like I got stabbed by something!  It hurts!  What do you have under there?”

Thomas grinned and said, “You mean ‘who’ is under there?”

Tamara’s eye’s widened.  “What?”

Then Thomas bent over to one side and then the other.  Sitting underneath the sides of his shell were his baby twin porcupine friends, Patty and Paulie.  They pulled in their heads to hide when they saw Tamara’s angry and confused face.

She said to them, “Your quills are sharp!”

In unison they said, “Sorry!”

“How come they aren’t hurting your sides, Thomas?”

“I stuck some padding to my sides before I let them sit there.”

Patty snickered and said, “Thomas gave us some yummy pineapple and said he would give us more if we hid under his shell.  He didn’t tell us why, and we didn’t ask.  We just wanted the pineapple!”

Tamara laughed, “Well, it did hurt, but…”  Then peering at Thomas with a look of shame she said, “I deserved it.  I guess I wasn’t listening all the times you told me to stop tickling you.  I’m sorry, Thomas.  I will never do it again.  I promise.”

The baby porcupines smiled as Thomas bent down so they could crawl out of his shell.  He handed them a big pineapple and opened the kitchen door for them.  The pineapple was so large that they had to carry it together.  They waddled away yelling, “Thank you, Thomas!”

He laughed and hollered back, “You’re welcome!”  Then he asked Tamara if she wanted to go play a game.  She happily said yes.

Later that day his friend Garrett came over. He had called Thomas the night before to apologize again so Thomas forgave him.  Garrett hadn’t promised not to tickle Thomas anymore, though, but Thomas wasn’t worried.

After Garrett arrived, Thomas reached up to get his baseball mitt off the shelf and expected Garrett to try and tickle him.  He waited a moment, but nothing happened.  He turned around and said, “Hey, why didn’t you try to tickle the most ticklish turtle in town, Garrett?”

Garrett shook his head and exclaimed, “Are you kidding?  Tamara told me about the little prickly friends you have hiding under there.”

Thomas laughed and showed his sides to Garrett.  He said, “Nope!  No one’s under there now.  But I hope you guys learned your lesson.  I hate being tickled by surprise!”

Garrett held up both his front feet and backed up a little saying, “Buddy, you got it!  I promise I will never tickle you again.  I’m really sorry, too.”

“Thanks, Garrett.  I’m sorry I said you deserved to get hurt.  I didn’t really mean that.  Let’s go play some baseball now, okay?”

“Okay!”

When they walked by the pond on their way to the park, Maya was sitting on a rock sunning herself.  She and Thomas winked at each other as he and Garrett walked by.

Then Thomas became known as the trickiest turtle in town.”

The End

© Patsy H. Parker

Have a wonderful day, and give someone you love a big hug!  🙂

Jane Yolen, Picture Book Author

Hello Friends,

I have not posted in a while because I honestly have not had the energy!  My daughter left to go visit a friend in Missouri for Spring Break!  I hope she has a wonderful time.

In the meantime, I am doing a lot of reading.  I began reading “Animal Farm” which is pretty great. Both of my kids read it for school, and my husband read it years ago.  I think it is amazing and insightful already, and I am only 28 pages in!

I also began painting my drawings for my picture book, Larry the Lonely Leatherback Sea Turtle.  I am going to try to take pictures of them and put the text with them, then upload it on WordPress and try to make a “book” that can be looked through like it would appear if it was printed on paper.

In the meantime, here are some encouraging words from Jane Yolen.  I have yet to check out any of her books from the library, though, because I just learned about her the other day.  Enjoy!

Have a wonderful day, and give someone you love a big hug!  🙂

http://www.juliehedlund.com/jane-yolens-20-rules-of-writing

Counting Book Idea

Hello Friends,

A while back I wrote out this little counting book idea (to teach toddlers/preschoolers about femal sea turtles, but the one I did first was much too difficult to illustrate.  I re-did it and thought this one might be easier, but I haven’t really done any doodles for it yet.  The problem with this I think is that the counting is really more for rhyming instead of actually giving a child something to count! HA, HA!!  These things just come to me sometimes…another idea that needs lots of work!

So here it is!

1, 2, swimming in the blue.  (Picture of mama sea turtle swimming alone in the ocean.)

3, 4, paddling up to shore.  (Picture of mama sea turtle paddling to shore.)

5, 6, splashing water with her kicks.  (Picture of all of her fins splashing water.)

7, 8, reaching shore where her eggs she’ll lay.  (Picture of her digging the sand and making the hole for her eggs.)

9, 10, swimming out to sea again.  (Picture of her swimming back out to the ocean.)

I think the rhythm gets off on the 7, 8 line and the grammar would be weird for kids!  Oh well, back to the writing board!

Have a wonderful day, and give someone you love a big hug!  🙂

Diver!!!

Hello friends.  I did this painting of a sea turtle diving last week but have been pretty busy since then.

The project I am currently working on is all drawn out and I am excited about getting it painted, but it is a secret project for a friend.  So I can’t show it to you until I give it to her.

In the meantime, I may do another sea turtle….

Have a wonderful day, and give someone you love a big hug!  🙂

 

Diver

 

Floating Sea Turtle

Floatier Sea Turtle

 

Hello friends.  This is the sea turtle I drew in pen and ink a really long time ago and forgot about.  It was drawn in pen on tracing paper just waiting for me to bring it to life and give it a home.  So now I have also painted it in watercolors,, too.  Doing the water with the sky above the water is really challenging.

I really should become an ocean photographer and go get my own photos.  I think I saw this one in a book, but I cannot find which book now.  That’s the problem with having so many sea creature books!  Wait a minute!  I can NEVER have too many books (especially of sea creatures!)

The other day I watched an awesome short film made by Questar, Inc.  It is a PBS film I found on Netflix called “Voyage of the Lonely Turtle.”  Wow was it ever so incredibly well-done and gorgeous!  There were a few sad parts, but basically it is about a female Loggerhead’s very long journey across the ocean to find the perfect beach for laying her eggs.  I really loved it.  What was interesting about it, even though it was sad, was it showed many of the perils that sea turtles face such as getting caught in a net (she was rescued and let go by a kindly fisherman), trying to find somewhere safe to sleep (one night she was circled by sharks), getting attacked, and worst of all it showed a partial skeleton of a sea turtle lying at the bottom of the ocean.  I took screen shots of many things so I can compose a few paintings, because I not only want to display their beauty, but also remind people of how dangerous the ocean can be for them.

So there will be more to come and also more of other types of sea creatures.  Can you tell how much I LOVE the ocean?

Until next time…..have a wonderful day, and give someone you love a big hug!  🙂

 

 

Beluga Whale – Pen and Ink and Watercolor

Beluga Whale

 

Hello everyone.  Well, I said I was going to start doing more sea creatures besides sea turtles, so here’s one!  I had already been thinking about doing a Beluga whale before I saw the movie of Finding Dory.  But writing my last post inspired me to just do it!  So Wednesday morning I sat down and looked for a good photo from one of my sea creature books.  This one is from the book called Under the Sea and was published in 2014 by Sally Morgan and Camilla de la Bedoyere.  It is a gorgeous large book for children with beautiful pictures.  I drew this by sight – no tracing!  But what was most challenging was doing the color of the whale with its shadows, etc.  I really love the way it turned out.  It just looks so happy which is how they look naturally!  (Now my daughter wants it.)

Next will probably be another sea turtle that I had already drawn in pen and ink and forgot about!

Have a wonderful day, and give someone you love a big hug!  🙂

Flying Sea Turtle!

Flying Sea Turtle

Hello everyone!  This new sea turtle is one of the other projects I have worked on in the last couple of weeks but had not been able to post yet.  (We did finally catch up with the 21st century recently and have Wi-Fi in our home now so we can all be on the internet at the same time.  However, our service still slows down a great deal for the last week of the month, and I hope to remedy that service soon.  Also, our desktop computer died so we are replacing it with a more sophisticated laptop.  The good news is I will be able to use my laptop and work anywhere in the house now!)   🙂

Anyway, I call this new painting  my Flying Sea Turtle, for obvious reasons.  It is amazing how these wonderful creatures swim and “fly” and drift in the sea.  They are so beautiful to me.  And yes, I plan to do more.   By the way, I do not trace photos anymore unless one is just too difficult to do without tracing.  I usually just eyeball things and draw.  So I plan to be drawing some new creatures I haven’t drawn before which excites me.

I recently went to our local book store and found some bargain books about various sea creatures including sea turtles, octopuses, hermit crabs, and other amazing ones such as beluga whales and whale sharks.  I have been looking at them for about a week.  Then yesterday I saw many of them in the movie Finding Dory.   My daughter, a new friend of mine, and I  went to see the movie yesterday.  WOW!  The animation Pixar people do is incredible!  It just gets better and better all the time.  Plus, it is an amazing and creative story.  If you haven’t seen it yet, go!  It is hilarious and sweet.  We loved it.

Getting back to the painting I am featuring today, however, I just wanted to share that another friend of mine recently told me what type of drawing ink pens she uses.  I have been wanting to do more pen and ink combined with watercolor because I just love the crisp look the pen gives a painting!  She told me she uses Micro-Line pens.  So I purchased some online a few weeks ago, and I really love drawing with them!  I am training myself to draw freely with them so I can do more spontaneous work instead of drawing something in pencil and going over it with pen.  The “Flying Sea Turtle” was done freely!  Very fun!

I hope everyone is having a great and relaxing summer!  Have a wonderful day, and give someone you love a big hug!  🙂

Heeerre’s….Larry in “Eric Carle Style!”

Larry Eric Carle Style

 

Hello friends!  It has been too long since I have been able to post anything due to “technical difficulties.”  However, in the meantime I was working a few things.

This is Larry, the Leatherback sea turtle done in Eric Carle’s style of art.  This was difficult to say the least.  I tried painting plain white tissue paper with acrylic paint, but found that the tissue paper I have was too thin or so I thought.  Now,  looking back, I think the paint I mixed was too thick.

So I switched to using tracing paper instead.  I like the texture of it more, but since I had my pain mixed already, I still used it.  And….I still think it was too thick.  However, I plunged ahead, painted a piece, light gray, one dark gray, one pink, and one blue.

Then I traced my image onto a plain piece of tracing paper going over the outline with heavy black pen and cut out the image in three  pieces:  one for the body, one for the head, and a piece for the “chin.”

Next I laid those pieces onto the different colors of painted paper and drew around the image like a stencil and cut those out.  Then I traced the whole image onto a piece of poster board.  The last couple of steps were the most time-consuming.  I had to glue down the colored pieces cutting the painted paper to precisely fit the image.  I had to conform the blue pieces to fit around the image for the water.  Lastly I added Larry’s features with black paint and used the paper that was already painted white to cut out and glue down his spots.

I think I went through more steps than Eric Carle did in his art process, but I learned from my mistakes…..I think.  I am not sure if I will try it again, but I may do another image in his style eventually.  It is not something I would choose to do all the time, that’s for sure!  All I know is that man must have had an amazing amount of patience!  However, I do like the way Larry turned out.  The part of the painting that is my favorite is the water, though.  Well…maybe his eye, too.

It is good to be back on WordPress.  Have a wonderful day, and give someone you love a big hug!  🙂

 

www.inspyromance.com/

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