Friday, November 5, 2010

My Review of Etch A Sketch Classic Board in Pink

Originally submitted at Toys and Games Online


  • Classic board
  • Etch A Sketch collection
  • Color: Pink
  • Enjoy timeless classic with a simple twist of its renowned white knobs
  • Shake the magic screen to start all over
  • With the world's favorite drawing toy, the fun is endle...

very nice!

By JennD from MI on 11/5/2010

3out of 5

Pros: Stores Easily, Long Lasting, Lasting Fun

Cons: Lines are a bit faint

Best Uses: Long Term Use, Art

Describe Yourself: Parent

Primary use: Personal

Was this a gift?: No

I have been a user of the Etch-A-Sketch since I was a child, so probably for all of the 50 years of its existence. (I am 60 years old now.) Being an Artist, I can easily relate to its uses; it holds a real fascination for me, readily available when I cannot bring along a sketchbook... This particular model, although fun because of the unique color, seems to have a problem with the quality of the lines ~ I ordered one from Ohio Art's website & it seemed to be "light" with their visibility...I returned it, got this one instead & found it to be nearly the same. The only difference was that the erasure mechanism works better on this one than it did on the other.
I would always recommend an Etch-A-Sketch to anyone looking for a fun hobby to pass the time, but I would rather use one of my other ones (I also own the Anniversary edition w/ gold screen & knobs & the inventor's signature; 3 travel sized- models & 1 mini model) just because with them I don't have to re-trace over lines to get them to show. (And admittedly, with the curves, that can be a real problem.)
All in all, I give this one 3 stars ~ fun to use, as always, but the drawings could be darker, which is a bit disappointing.


Saturday, July 4, 2009

Trying This Today...

Well, I finally have a day or two that I can sit & draw to my heart's content...and I plan to do just that, as I give this new drawing board a whirl. This is the new Icarus drawing board, invented by a wonderful colored pencil Artist (Ester Roi @ and I have been dying to try my hand at it.
Here is a link to the Icarus site, where I bought mine ~
I purchased the larger size, on the advice of my husband Mike, since sometimes my drawings are done in different sizes, so it only makes sense that this way I will always have enough room, no matter how big or small the size of the finished piece.
I will be posting the work as I get it done...

Saturday, June 20, 2009

for Mary...

Wow...has it really been this long since I posted in here? wow...
Anyway, enough of this brow-beating! I have something new to write about here at any rate, so here goes ~
I have finally ordered the Icarus drawing board, the larger size (20"x26"), so "YEA!" for me! :)
I am about to start (finally) those tulip drawings for Mary's condo, so I figure, why not?!? The results will be nothing short of amazing, if it lives up to all the hype, and judging by the drawings of Ester Roi, the Artist-inventor of this amazing new tool, I will have some drawings of which I can be very proud.
Here is a link to her website, and her rendition of "Into the Light" is nothing short of other-worldly in its beauty. She is truly a very talented lady.
I chose this picture to illustrate this entry because my daughter Mary is a huge collector of lambs&sheep, and the tulip is her favorite flower...hence, the tulip series, lol.
And now I can't wait to get started! :)

Thursday, February 19, 2009

A Quick Note...

I don't know what is going on with Blogger lately, but it seems that comments are being posted to my Blogs (all 3 of them!) without my knowledge. I have only found them later, and been able to respond to all of my friends here...
I just want to thank one and all who have posted comments to me over the past month or two, when this first seems to have started. I don't know how it is, as I am shown on my Account pages as moderating all comments! It is not that I don't trust you all to leave kindly remarks ~ or at least polite ones, lol ~ but please bear with me if I don't answer in the first day or two.
Sometimes I come to my Blogs only a couple of times in a week, as I get busy with other things, or I might not be feeling especially inspired to write.
I do love each and every one of your observations, and I love to reply.
As soon as I can get this fixed, I intend to, believe me! I like to know when comments are being left for me, as I find it rude not to answer someone when they post a remark or question!!
Thanks for your patience... :)...and I send my Greetings to your Angels.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Being An Artist...(copy)

(This is actually a copy of a post I put into my General Blog on 27 January, 2007...but I am copying it here as I believe it is a good thing to post in my Artist Blog the reason I am an Artist in the first place. I will blog about my drawings in my next entry ~ to catch it all up!)
Someone once asked me when I knew I wanted to become an artist. I thought to myself, 'that's kind of a strange question...I have always been an artist, I never really became one.'
Oh, I know what she meant! She was really just asking 'Was there ever a defining moment in your life when you thought to yourself, this is what I want to do, this is what I want to be!'??
And, granted, when I was three years old my skills were a far cry from what they may be now...I don't mean to sound boastful, that's not it at's just that I have been practicing my drawing since I was three, and I am now, after many years of hard work trying to get it right, fifty-six. So for over a half of a century, I have been practicing!
Every artist will tell you that it takes him or her a lifetime to 'get it right'...even the likes of a Marc Chagall or a Claude Monet (quotes below) were the first to admit that they had not achieved the perfection they sought ~ they were merely practicing!
My muse is forever turned on. It follows in my head throughout my day, where ever I may go, what ever I may be doing, I cannot turn it off. I have visions in my head, in my dreams at night, all the time...what I want to draw. Flights of fancy turn my imagination to a field of delight.
The simple sight of a wildflower at the side of the walkway brings to my mind dancing faeries, their music wafting into my mind like so many coral bells...and I long to put it on paper.
I see snowstorms in my head and I want to capture the sparkle of crystal icicles hanging from the branches of trees like Nature's necklaces.
I take a ride on a carousel, in some long-forgotten memory, and I imagine how I would decorate it ~ cover it in flowers? drape it in filigree? or maybe dress it with fine laces, posing the head thrown back, and ride off to...where?
And you see? That's just it!...wherever I want to go!
To me, that is what it means to be an artist. I can take a pencil and paper, and draw my own imagined world.
I have done many, many portraits, both for hire and for fun. I have been published, more than once, from newsletter publications, to yearbooks, to coloring books. My drawings are 'out there'...and I would not give back one moment of all the time it took me to achieve that!
I have dreams of being published again. I want to keep drawing portraits, both for hire and for fun. I want to give people the pleasure from my work that it gives me to produce it.
I do not do this because I seek any kind of glory for myself. I don't care if anyone pays me a compliment again for the rest of my life.
I do it because I love doing it.
I want my imagination to take others to places in their minds that mine has taken me. Whether it be a memory of their children's younger days, or a trip on a carousel to some far-away place. I want to show them that we are not bound to this everyday world if we don't want to be.
I have been a dreamer all my life. My own mother used to tell me I was always living in the clouds...and I have never come down!
And this, this dreaming, this wondering, this imagining, this beautiful creative place where God has sent me ~ I will want to stay here for the rest of my days.
And that, to me, is why I am an artist!

'Art is the unceasing effort to complete with the beauty of flowers ~ and never succeeding...' ~ Marc Chagall.
'I am following Nature without being able to grasp her...' ~ Claude Monet.

Friday, January 2, 2009

The Fourth Five...

Finally, here we have the fourth set of Mysteries. The first, The Resurrection; the second, The Ascension; the third, The Descent of the Holy Spirit; the fourth, The Assumption; the fifth, The Coronation.
This completes the roughs for the entire 20-decade Rosary, which I finished in the coloring book style. I have to admit, that I did enjoy doing this series, albeit completely unique to my usual style...but it was fun! ;)
I only hope that it is some small help in teaching children to pray the Most Holy Rosary ~ my own favorite prayer, after the Holy Mass...

The Third Five...

Here, we have the third set of Mysteries...the Sorrowful. The first, The Agony in the Garden; the second, The Scourging @ the Pillar; the third, The Crowning with Thorns; the fourth, The Carrying of the Cross; and finally, the fifth, The Crucifixion.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

The Second Five...

Here are the rough sketches of the second set of Rosary Mysteries, the Luminous Mysteries. Again, there are five: the Baptism in the Jordan, the Wedding Feast @ Cana, the Proclamation of the Kingdom, the Transfiguration, the Institution of the Eucharist.
This completes the first half of the Most Holy Rosary...and as the first set, these were also not the final drawings, but only roughs...the finished ones are in the coloring book style.

The First Five...

Here are the rough sketches that I did for that coloring book, mentioned in my previous post, .
The First Joyful Mystery of the Most Holy Rosary, the Annunciation; the Second Joyful Mystery, the Visitation; the Third Joyful Mystery, the Nativity; the Fourth Joyful Mystery, the Presentation; the Fifth Joyful Mystery, the Finding of Jesus in the Temple.
As I said before, these were not the finished pieces, which turned out to be much less detailed, but in the style of coloring book drawings. The book is being used to teach Catholic children their Rosary contains all 20 Mysteries, of which only the first Five are shown here.
Stay tuned...

Thursday, December 25, 2008

The Joy of the Season...

This entry has nothing to do with Art, my drawings, or anything else along that line...but it has everything to do with my wishes for everyone who comes here today to have a most Merry Christmas and a very Happy New Year!
May the Peace and Joy of the Reason for the Season ~ the Birth of our Savior ~ bring you all a deep contentment in your souls and a heartfelt hope for the salvation of all!
"God bless us, everyone!"

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Drawn for Her...

About 2.5 years ago, I was commissioned to draw something that is pretty much out of my usual realm of realistic style ~ florals, portraits and fantasy ~ but I took the job because it was 1)for a Catholic bookstore and 2)a chance to explore something new.
I usually don't work with tight deadlines, as I do not work well under pressure. This commission, however, was something I found interesting and illustrate a children's coloring book illustrating the 20 Mysteries of the Holy Rosary.
So, I agreed to go ahead and give it a shot. There was one stipulation to which I had to agree: I was to give up my rights to publish for any monetary reward any and all of these sketches/drawings. I agreed readily as this was not my usual way of drawing anyway ~ so what would I care? I do, however, have the right to publish for informational purposes only. These are not the finished pieces; they were actually done in coloring book style. These are the initial sketches, which I will post in my next entry.
So, stay tuned... ;)...

Friday, December 19, 2008

At Last ~ An Update!!!

I can't believe it's been 3 whole months since I last posted I decided today to post an update on the drawing for my son Paul & his wife Kristy.
There has been other Artwork going on as well, and a couple of new commissions starting soon....but at least, during the "down time" for the holidays, I might just be able to finish this one! I've only been putting it off for a couple of years, due to the fact that other, more pressing drawings have been allowed to take precedence.
Now, as my Christmas preparations are nearing an end, I can actually devote more of my afternoons to this task!
Now, as I work, I will have to decide just where to put that Butterfly, eh? ;)
Let's see now...

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

I Have Found It!

I wrote in my General Blog this evening about the butterflies, and how they seem to be showing up all over the place, usually crossing my path on the way to somewhere, wherever that is. Normally, of course, they browse happily among the flowers, keeping to their own agendas, minding their own business, sipping nectar and flitting off to find another treat.
However, lately I have been finding them in my sights, gliding along the breeze, on their ways to destinations that I will never see.
I have been searching for a reason to add a "signal" piece to my signature on my drawings for some time now; after all, alot of famous Artists have them: James C. Christensen uses fish, for example.
Well, I have decided, that, whenever and wherever possible, I will use the butterflies...maybe one, maybe more, all different breeds and varieties. All different colors and models.
However the mood hits me, there they will be.
And I will be happy in their company...

Friday, August 15, 2008

Ok, now...

Well, here I go...
I am finally able to resume working on this drawing, which has been eluding me for some time now.
I'm sure my son would have given up on it by now, if I hadn't reminded him just the other day by showing him how far I have gotten with it, lol ~ but the thing is, that is not too much further along than the last time I showed him!
So, pens in hand, I trudge along...and hopefully to some final results very soon.
I would dearly love to get this one finished, so I can start work on that commissioned triple portrait that has been waiting in the wings for a while now, too.
It's a good thing that one is for a friend, so at least there has not been a big hurry there, either.
But what I have been doing for the past six months while laid up, I cannot tell ~ oh yeah! bridal bouquets!! ;)
Well, at least she's married now and moving on with other things, lol...

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

The Next Thing...

Well, here it is, "in the virtual flesh" ~ so to speak. My daughter Andrea's bridal bouquet, which will be preserved by the same company that does all of the floral preservations for Walt Disney World, just as soon as I can get it to them.
I was surprised at how much it resembled the drawings I did, especially the second one. There were some differences, but there were also many similarities, from the roses and calla lilies to the print on the ribbons. The hydrangea, statice and snapdragons were added on as her later idea...
Anyway, in person it is one of the most gorgeous bouquets I have ever seen ~ not so much because I had any hand in the design, but simply because of:
1) the sentimental value
2) in person a flower is always better, in my humble opinion, no matter how talented the Artist, no matter how well-drawn the picture. Nature is better than any human interpretor.
Now, the next thing I have on my plate, aside from commissioned works, will be that pen&ink for my son Paul, more florals for Andrea's house, and also for my daughter Mary's condo ~ mostly tulips (her favorite flower).
I can't wait to get started... :) ...

Monday, June 23, 2008

Another One Finished...

I am done with it. Yes, the final image of the Bridesmaids' is the cooler version (the lighting of my camera w/ the flash) and below, of course, is the warmer version (w/o flash).
Now I am done designing bouquets ~ at least for now.
Next, I will probably finish the ink drawing for my son Paul; he has been waiting for that one for a long time, lol...and I can concentrate on it now! :)

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

For My Shillelagh...

Here is a picture of the crystal drop that I made to dress up my shillelagh for Andrea's wedding. I wanted to make matching jewelry, probably a necklace and bracelet, and also a hair clip. I have always said that if someday I might need a walking stick, I would definitely decorate it ~ much more fun than the ugly ones seen in medical supply stores and catalogs! Years ago there was a woman who appeared on Aleene's Creative Living and she had a plastic cane that she had unscrewed and filled with silk I decided then and there that I would find a way to "dress mine up" if I ever had that excuse. Now's my chance... :)...
Here's another view:

Friday, June 13, 2008

The Next Step...

Well, now that all I have to do is add the colors and finishing touches to the lilies, I am posting this here to show the next picture of the bridesmaids' bouquets.
I have really enjoyed every step of the way here...starting with the first design of the first bridal bouquet ~ all the way til now.
I would do it all again! :)

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Just a Short Note...

Well, I was thinking that the first post of this drawing was too washed out-looking, so I decided to go into Picasa and re-do it. This is a much better image here; I hope it shows more detail and a better idea of the true colors I used so far...

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Bridesmaids' Bouquet pt. 2

Well, so far, here it is...
All roses will be white, purple calla lilies. The leaves are not done yet; only the first layer of green is laid down here ~ Fir, Derwent Fine Arts #4120.
I will most likely have this one done in record time, the rate I'm going!

Thursday, May 29, 2008

A New One Begun...

Ok...there are two ways I can do this. I can leave the scanner settings alone and scan my drawing (done here in pencil only) as a colored picture, and let it go through like that...and end up with this first one.
Or, I can scan it as a black&white drawing, play with the settings a bit (less brightness, more contrast) and get the picture shown below.
The first one is more true to life, being only the beginning sketch (on bristol board)...and no color added, just done with a graphite pencil.
However, if I go with the second method, it is much easier to see on the computer...even tho' it comes off looking like a coloring book drawing! bummer...
Anyway, this is what I have so far as the layout for the bridesmaids' bouquets.
Andrea tells me that they are mostly white with some purple, so this one will be all white roses and the calla lilies will be in color.
And now, back to the drawing board... :)...

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Boutenierre for the Groom...

Ok, well I did it. I designed a matching boutonnière as the third drawing in my daughter's wedding series.
Since the second design was actually closer to what she has in mind, I used the same ribbon design for this one, the same flowers...only difference is the fact that I used different grade colored pencils for this one.
As with the other two, these were done using Derwents, but not the usual ones.
While the first two were done with a mixture of Derwent's Graphitint, Studio and Metallic lines, and also a few Prismacolors and Verithins, this one was done strictly with the Drawing line from Derwent.
The color scheme is the same, but with a different line of colored pencils, the actual look of the same color can be completely different.
The next and most likely the final design will be for the Bridesmaids...maybe even the Maid of Honor. They will be similar, of course, but still a bit different...

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

What Next??

There is something simply enchanting ~ to me, at least ~ in the colors of flowers dried and wilted.
I have an affinity to Fantasy subject matter, having collected Faerie Tales all my life, and having always been an avid reader of the genre.
I absolutely love the darkened, faded shades of flowers that have lived their lives, either in the garden or in the wild...and it is this, I believe, that endears the ones that have died to the general appearance of a Faerie drawing.
Of course, there are the florals that are pictured with the Little People that are bright and thriving, in full bloom and at the peak of their "time."
But, even tho' this may sound strange to the common ear, to the one who reads this and who might not be artistically-bent or fantasy-minded, it makes perfect sense to me.
As the glory of a newly-opened flower brings in the work of Faeries who will tend to its needs, to keep it in bloom for as long as possible, the faded flowers also have a beauty of their own ~ and the different shades of color that come into play are a huge part of their attraction for me.
The flowers in this picture, for example, are from a wild flower bouquet that my daughter's boyfriend had given her and we both argued about keeping the dried flowers...she because of the sentimental value to her, me because of the artistic value of the dried flower arrangement.
Of course, she won. I would never take away a much-loved piece that had so much memory for her...but I did get to take these pictures for "future reference" ~ lol ~ and so, now that her wedding flowers are nearly completely designed, I will begin soon to draw the dried flowers that have been calling out to me for a very long time now.
I still have to do Nick's boutonnière, and maybe one more bouquet for the Maids, but then I will move on to the dried flowers and leaves that I want to do.
And I will love adding figures of faeries to the mix, thereby combining my two favorite subject matters in one ~ figures and florals ~ with just a touch of imagination thrown in for fun!

Sunday, March 30, 2008

One More Finished...

One more bouquet design finished! :)
Now that I have two done, I will be moving on to bridesmaids 'n' boutenirs.
One thing Andrea told me when I was working on the first design was that she really wanted cala lilies ~ one of her favorite flowers ~ so I made sure to incorporate plenty of them in this second drawing.
However, I believe the ones she really wants are the mini ones (hopefully purple)...
Meantime, here is the finished product!
I'm glad she likes it, cuz I do too... :) ...

Friday, March 21, 2008

Ta-da! A new post, finally! :)

Finally, a chance to add something new here! :)
I have been laid up with this broken leg for over a month and have been telling myself that I was going to use the time to draw.
So here, at last, is an update on Andrea's second bouquet idea...
They had a meeting with the florist the other day and when she told her that they had some 'sketches' for ideas, the woman told her, 'Great! Let me see them!'
Then, when Andrea pulled out my drawings, even tho' the one is not complete, I understand that the lady was quite pleasantly surprised. :)
So happy to oblige, lol...
Just wait until I get this one done and get some ideas laid out for the rest of the wedding party!!!

Friday, February 8, 2008

Well, not quite yet...'s the deal.
I save a bit of money, eh? I pay off bills, buy food, put gas in my van. Give to the Church, maybe go see a movie...yadda yadda...
In the meantime, I am putting away as many dimes and nickels as I possibly can ~ for what?!?
Yes, presenting the one, the only, the
Wacom Intuo3 Special Edition...the Grand-daddy of all graphics tablets, the one I want!
I know, I know, I really have all the paper, bristol board, pencils *giggle*, etc. that I can possibly ever want or need. But there is something so intriguing, so magical in this thing that I can not wait to possess one for myself!
The only problem here is the cost of the darned thing ~ over $400.00 ~ and right now it is only a dream of mine to get one.
I have seen what it can do, what other Artists have done with theirs, and it is truly wonderful.
And, being an Artist and a computer nut myself ~ according to my own daughter and future son-in-law ~ I am completely sold on what it will do for me.
And the size I am especially interested in is the 9x12, which is probably bigger than I need, but it will give me the extra room in case I do decide to go "bigger"...but this doesn't worry me too much as many of my drawings are 9x12 I see no point in spending money on a smaller version if I know for a fact that I will regret it and end up spending even more on a larger format in the end, to boot!
However, I could be wrong about this ~ perhaps the size is only relative ~ and perhaps if I use the smaller (say, 6x8) it will not matter, and I will have saved literally hundreds of dollars!
I must go to my Botanical Artists Group and pose the question...maybe they can shed the light for me!
In the meantime, it remains a dream of mine, and I will someday realize this dream, I promise myself! lol...

Friday, February 1, 2008

Pencils coming out my

Omgosh...can I ever get enough of pencils?!? What is it about this simple instrument that has me so enthralled??
I have no less than seven sets of colored pencils, yes, that's right ~ SEVEN! ...different brands, different intensities, all professional grade, mostly Prismacolor and Derwent. And now, I am looking at another set of Derwents, lol...
I have in my cart, at this very moment, a 120-color set of Artists' colored pencils from D. that I am seriously considering ordering...and I think I have just made up my mind!
Yes, I am going to do it ~ I am going to go back to the Jerry's site and order this set! :) And at a discount of over $100!!!
I can't simple, and yet how intricate ~ any other Artist would not give this a thought...pencils are BASIC to my way of life!
(Is this a silly Blog entry, or what?!? lol...)
Too bad for that ~ it was fun to post and it made up my mind, seeing this in print! I am ordering them today!

Friday, January 25, 2008

Here We Go Again... :)

Well, here we go again...I am well into this second bouquet for my daughter's wedding, and as it turns out, she is due to see the florist very soon, so I have been trying to grab moments to draw at every opportunity!
Here is what I have so far...nothing to report as far as the men or the maids...but I'm working on that! lol...almost!
When we started having so much trouble with our internet a couple of weeks ago (see my Yahoo blog) our scanner and printer went 'out' also ~ so I have been left with the camera to scan images into my Picasa Web Album, which is where these drawings are also posted. I know how dark they are and I don't like it, but for now I have no choice.
Soon, I hope, things will be back to normal around here and we can get on with this...In the meantime, I hope anyone who may stumble upon this Blog will enjoy what I have done so far.
And now, back to the drawing board! :)

Sunday, January 6, 2008

A New Beginning...

Wishing upon a Christmas Star...
This is a drawing that I started a couple of years ago, and he is actually holding up a star, but it was also scanned before I had figured out the fine tuning of my scanner and the star was 'cut off'...I really must re-do this one, and while I am at it, finish the drawing!
I picked this one to represent what I wish to do as soon as I can ~ and that is to begin the next drawing in the Bridal Series, bridal design #2.
So far (not scanned yet) I have the basic layout figured in my sketchbook...have to transfer it to the permanent bristol board.
Then I will begin the actual floral drawing, the colors, etc.
I will scan that one in steps, like I did Bridal Series, design #1, too...saving it into my Web Album.
Let's see how long it takes me to get that far, eh? ;)

Tuesday, January 1, 2008


I am ready to move on...
Here we have a version of the finished drawing, both in warm lighting and in cool. I took these two pictures today, after finishing the drawing.
I have another idea already started, but will not be posting pix of that one until I get it at least started on the drawing board itself...for now, it is actually only an idea in my sketchbook.
Before I get to that, however, I may work out some designs for the groom's boutenir or the bouquets for the 'maids (my other daughters ~ Mary, Theresa, Laura, Clare and Julia, the maid of honor).
I will keep them pretty close to this one, but slightly different at the same time, of course, so this should be fun!
In the meantime, as they say...back to the drawing board! :)

Sunday, December 23, 2007

On and Up...

Well, onward and upward, I always say...
I have been busy working on Andrea's flowers and am almost done with the first design. I must say I really enjoyed creating this one ~ I wonder how much of the idea she will use?
Here is a close-up of the streaming ribbons and hanging crystals. I especially like the coloring in this one, and I will be making several more designs for her with pretty much the same.
We'll see how this one looks when it is done; I have to do the burnishing of the roses and then one more coating of violet.
Back to the ol' drawing board...