Monday, October 17, 2016

Busy at Benedict Catholic Homeschool/Creations

I've neglected my blog long enough. The kiddos and I have finally gotten into the swing of the schoolyear. I'm still tweaking their work as we find things that work or don't depending. Many of the things I'm working on may be helpful to you in the blog-o-sphere.

First, I'm in the midst of creating Grammar books for both 2nd and 3rd Grade. I'm using some freebies I got from another mom as the basis and also our Catholic Faith. Here are a couple examples.

2nd Grade Grammar: God's Language

3rd Grade Grammar: God's Grammar

Another project I'm working on is making easily understood worksheet/notebooking pages for the Astronomy book Exploring Creation with Astronomy. Here is an example.

The project that seems to be getting the most work is the one for Reading. I'm wanting to introduce the kiddos to book reports and reading for comprehension. I also want them to learn new vocabulary words and understand the usefulness of context for figuring out words they are unfamiliar with. So far I've got a 2nd Grade Simple Book Report and Vocabulary pages as well as those same pages for 3rd Grade with just a bit more asked on the Book Report page. Both my kiddos are voracious readers, so my main goal is to foster that as well as have them understand what they're reading. I've also done a Horse main idea work-set and Military Airplane main idea work-set. Here are examples of all four projects.
Book Report                                               Vocabulary                                             Simple Book Report

Religion is the catechism this year. My 2nd grader is using the First Holy Communion Catechism, while my 3rd grader is using the standard Baltimore Catechism No. 2. Using those catechisms I have made a work-book that asks questions pertinent to each lesson, not like the rote memorization of old, but more about reading for comprehension. Here are examples of both projects.

History this year is learning the continents (2nd Grade) and countries (3rd Grade). We're using several different books, but my favorite is I Used to Know That Geography. Since it is grouped according to continent, we're using the vocabulary from each continent as well as the various landforms and such. In addition we have a book that details great cities across the globe, so we're reading sections of that pertinent to the continent that is our focus. The kiddos are a huge fan of the other book we have for History/Geography Extreme Planet. Some of the more interesting facts and gross details are portrayed in this book. Of course our handy-dandy world map and globe are constantly in play too.


In addition to all these projects, I've also completed a Simple Catholic Coloring Book and I'm working on a more 'adult' Intricate Catholic Coloring Book too.

On the horse-front, I'm working on a Simple My Little Curly Coloring Book as well as an 'adult' Intricate Curly Coloring Book.

So as you can see, I've been a busy busy girl! :-)

Friday, August 12, 2016

I'm so excited!

I'm very excited because I finally have a desktop computer again! I do all my drawing and reading on my iPad, but it is very difficult to keep up with my blog(s) on my iPad. Now, thanks to my mom & dad, I have a new (to me) desktop computer to use for blogging, homeschooling, and generally computing things! The worst part is that now I have to transfer all my files from the desktop that didn't connect to the internet to this one. I'm going to try to stay on top of this blog, but I may get behind due to the transfer process. I'm pumped though because now I'll be able to blog more regularly and keep up with my TeachersPayTeachers store! Hip hip hooray!

Friday Freebie!

Here is another horse drawing for your coloring pleasure! This one is part of my Intricate My Little Curly collection. I've combined a horse image with a floral image to create an image in the style of many adult coloring books. The flowers are Edelweiss- a German mountain flower. The horse is performing the piaffe - a trot in place. 

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

My First Coloring Book is Ready!

I'm so excited! I finished laying out and writing the words to my first coloring book. Well, I guess it is my second coloring book since I have already collaborated with another Catholic Homeschooler to produce a First Holy Communion copy/coloring book. Today's project, A Simple Catholic Coloring Book, was my own idea, drawings, and layout. It is 64 pages with 30 full-page Catholic images. I drew information from several books in order to make each image have a discussion of what it means to us as Catholics. Here's the cover:

Here's a peek at the inside:

I'll be offering it as a PDF file as well as in hard copy at some point. I'm hoping for some real interest in this and for it to get the ball rolling on my intention to publish several coloring books! 

Tell me what you think or if you'd be interested in purchasing one of these books.

Sunday, August 7, 2016

Sacred Sunday

Yesterday was the feast of the Transfiguration of Jesus. While standing on the mountain top, the disciples got a glimpse of Heaven. It affected Peter so much that he spoke nonsense. While I don't have a drawing specific to the Transfiguration, I will offer this image of the Divine Mercy for your coloring pleasure in this our Year of Mercy.

Thank you for visiting!

Friday, August 5, 2016

FrIday Freebie

Here is a regal image or Mary on a field of roses in honor of next week's Assumption of Mary! Enjoy coloring her! 

She is an example of my Intricate Catholic series--Catholic images with detailed backgrounds designed for meditation and prayer. Many of the 'adult' coloring book images are based on other false religion meditation images meant to focus the artist inward to achieve a higher plane. My images are designed to showcase the beautiful imagery of our Catholic Faith along with small detail work in the background as a meditative reflection of God's glory. Many of my background images feature God's beautiful flowers as an offering to the main person of the image. In this way, relaxing coloring can also become prayerful and medative coloring. If you are interested in more Intricate Catholic images, please contact me. 

God bless you and enjoy!

Saturday, July 30, 2016

Friday Freebie

I created this meme-like poster for my daughter. She is a true little artist--mess and all! Her free-spirit inspires me. 😃

Monday, April 11, 2016

Belated FMF: Whole

It's almost been a whole school year for the kiddos and I and our new curriculum-based homeschooling. I'm pleased to say that we have 'closed the books' on several subjects already. My dyslexic 1st grader is already reading her first 2nd grade reading book for next year. My math-whiz 2nd grader is eating fractions and measurements for breakfast, lunch, and dinner while asking for more. Really, things couldn't be better as far as our progress.

But why, oh why, do I feel so overwhelmed all the time? I feel like I'm 2 steps behind most of the time-even though the books and my kiddos well-educated selves tell the story. I can't wait for the whole year to be finished. The 185 day required by the state seems like an endless time that will never be finished. Yet, it was just today that the kiddos and I lost track of time because were chatting about religion. 

On the whole, we're doing well... It just can't be done soon enough for this mom! Stop.

I'm a little late joining the party, but some bloggers around the blogosphere are participating in "Five-Minute Fridays" with an assigned topic and the titled 5-minute timeline. Since I can't ever do anything on time, I'm running behind, but I plan on trying to participate in this link-up party. FMF writers at Kate Motaung's blog. What a fun way to challenge your writing!

Belated 5-Minute Friday: Decide

Well, here I am. Pondering this blank page trying to decide what I'm doing. I'm obviously filling the page with words, but do they make sense? Are they worthy of your time and attention? Do I have anything to 'say' that you want or need to 'hear'? Probably not, however, that doesn't change my decision. 

Today, in my homeschooling, I told my children that God knew their choices before they actually decided what path to take. I tried to emphasize that God didn't dictate their choices--the choices are always still up to free will. However, since God is all knowing and outside of time, He knows 'before' we decide what our decision will be and what effect that decision will have even years down the road. I'm not sure they understood, but they're young yet, so they still have time to hear it repeatedly.

The other day I came to a decision in another sphere of my life. I decided to continue on what some might call a semi-destructive path for someone with physical issues like mine--continued interaction with my ill-trained horse. But I have no more time to share that decision process with you. So perhaps that will be later. Stop.

I'm a little late joining the party, but some bloggers around the blogosphere are participating in "Five-Minute Fridays" #FMF with an assigned topic and the titled 5-minute timeline. Since I can't ever do anything on time, I'm running behind, but I plan on trying to participate in this link-up party. FMF writers at Kate Motaung's blog. What a fun way to challenge your writing!

Sunday, March 27, 2016

Happy Easter!

Here are some My Little Curly drawings just hopping off the page waiting to be colored! 
Have a blessed Easter season!

Saturday, March 26, 2016

Jesus Conquers All

This is Holy Saturday. Technically, until tonight's vigil Mass at dark, the churches across the world remain empty and barren without Jesus in the Tabernacle in the Most Holy Sacrament of His Body and Blood. The altar is barren of even the altar cloths. Until tonight, we are in dark times because Jesus is dead and the beloved Apostles were in shock and hiding. However, we know the rest of the story as dearly departed Paul Harvey would have said. We know that tonight, the stone will be rolled away from the tomb and Jesus will rise triumphant. The women will arrive at the tomb only to be flabbergasted at the sight of the figure in white sitting on the stone. When they return to the Apostles, Peter and John (the beloved apostle) race to the tomb as well. Peter, although he denied Jesus three times, doesn't hesitate as John does. He barges right into the tomb to see the rolled up cloths and empty space. When the angel tells them Jesus is not among the dead, but among the living they don't waste time asking questions, they simply run from the scene to excitedly share the news with the others. We know that in a few days Jesus appears in the locked room and greets them and breaks bread with them. He continues to surprise them in similar ways for 40 days until they are convinced and strong enough to do without His physical presence. Yet, He knows they still need something more. So He sends the Paraclete - the Holy Spirit - to fill their humble hearts and souls with knowledge far beyond their intellect and power. Truly, from the humiliation and agony of the false trial, scourging, and crucifixion, Jesus truly conquers death with His Resurrection, Ascension, and bestowal of the Holy Spirit.  
If you would like a *.pdf or *.jpg of this image along with others without the prayer or another Catholic/Christian file, please contact me via email or comment. I will do my best to accomodate you.

If you would like to request a Catholic/Christian, garden, horse, vehicle, or other image based on a photograph (even if I have to find the photograph) please contact me and I will see what I can do for you. 

Friday, March 25, 2016

Console Jesus on this Good Friday

As a Penance for my sins after one Reconciliation, I was told to read the book "Consoling the Heart of Jesus" one short section at a time. I finally finished the book and as I was nearing the end, I drew an image of this crucifix and added these words. They are ever so meaningful on this day - Good Friday.

Here is my colored version, followed by a free coloring book version.

The :"I Thirst" line is a summation of one of Jesus's last words. That was when He was given the bitter gall and wine to drink. According to the book, "Consoling the Heart of Jesus", Blessed Mother Teresa had a crucifix with those words in all the rooms in her houses. I added the "Console Me" to remind myself that even though we often only think of God as our cosmic bubble gum machine, God wants us to console Him by accepting His love and mercy. When we close our hearts to His love, mercy, and forgiveness we are not just hurting ourselves, we are also making those agonizing hours Christ spent on the cross worse because we become part of the jeering, spitting, hateful crowd there just to watch Him suffer and die. However, when we look towards Him with love in our eyes, wishing to console Him through His suffering and simply be with Him, We take a measure of the burning love from His heart and it creates a reduction of His suffering. Just as Mary and the disciple Jesus loved stood at the foot of the cross attending Jesus's humiliation and suffering, so too can we and let Him know we love him with that same abandon.

Let us resolve, through this Year of Mercy to open our hearts to God's mercy in all its forms - especially those that are most difficult to understand. Yet, we don't have to understand, we simply have to let go and let God lead us by the hand we trustingly give to Him.

If you would like to request a Catholic/Christian, garden, horse, vehicle, or other image based on a photograph (even if I have to find the photograph) please contact me and I will see what I can do for you. 

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Immaculate Heart

I know Valentine's is long over. The feast of the Immaculate Heart of Mary isn't until August, but I just had to share this image that I colored on my iPad after I created it. I think it turned out really well. I used it for the background on my iPad for a while... I faded it a bit and then put a prayer over the top of it, so I'd remember to say a (and learn a new) prayer each time I unlocked my iPad. I have an image of the Sacred Heart as well, but I haven't colored it yet.

Immaculate Heart
When I colored this I used blue obviously because that is Mary's color, but also because in the Icon world, blue is associate with Heaven. Red is not only associated with blood, but also for Earth. Since Mary is the Queen of Heaven and Earth it makes sense to surround her heart with those colors. The sword symbolizes the 7 swords Simeon told her would pierce her heart - the 7 sorrows of Mary. The roses are for the various Marian apparitions that have produced roses for the visionaries (I think that is the meaning of the roses). I truly enjoy delving into the reasons behind the symbols as well as the colors to use.

If you would like a *.pdf or *.jpg of this image along with the Sacred Heart of Jesus or another Catholic/Christian file, please contact me via email or comment. I will do my best to accomodate you.

If you would like to request a Catholic/Christian, garden, horse, vehicle, or other image based on a photograph (even if I have to find the photograph) please contact me and I will see what I can do for you. 

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Fun with Lines - My Little Curly Style

I got creative with lines while I was going for more detail with the My Little Curly series the other night. My mother-in-law let me know pretty quickly that she really enjoyed coloring these. So much in fact, that when I brought her a duplicate, she quickly colored it again. Believe it or not, these were fun to add details to as well. So more of these will be added too.

Zig Zag
I drew this one with the different direction lines indicating different body parts, but not really paying strict attention to the musculature of the horse. Just vaguely thinking of where this turned into that. I also gave him a facial marking to divide up his face a little better so it didn't seem so bland. I think it turned out really well.

 This one is kind of based on the pulley effect the muscles have on one another. I didn't study them absolutely and I'm sure I didn't do it accurately, but it made for an interesting criss-cross of colors and lines. You could do a lot with this one if you wanted to blend your primary colors to create the secondary colors where the primaries overlap. I really like the way it looks.

Zig Zag 2nd time
This second Zig Zag is still as interesting as the first. It just goes to show that even if you color it once, you can still have fun coloring it again without it turning out the same. This one could almost be done in a color gradient way with the colors fading up or down depending on your preference. Its a very striking image, if I do say so myself - especially once it is colored!

If you would like *.pdf or *.jpg files of either or both of these images, please contact me via email or comment below. I will get back with you as soon as possible. 

If you would like to request a horse, flower, vehicle, or anything else based on a photograph (even if I have to find a photograph), please contact me. I'll let you know what I can do.

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

My Little Curly through the Seasons

I told you I'd been drawing up a storm. Here's another one. This one goes with the My Little Curly series. Again, my lovely mother-in-law was gracious enough to be my guinea pig and test these images out for me. These are 2 in what will eventually be a series of 4 based on the 4 seasons.

Brisk Autumn
 Brisk Autumn is covered with a collection of fall leaves turning and blowing in the wind as they do on a brisk autumn day. His powerful gallop gives credence to that wind as we horsemen know that horses love the brisk autumn days to act full of oats.

Catch the Cold
Catch the Cold is full of whimsy and fun as this little filly sticks her tongue out to catch a snowflake falling during a snow storm. Her body is covered by similar snowflakes while her tail is flipped over her back showing the cold weather her sass. As a Curly Horse, she'll never be caught in the cold though since her dense coat insulates her from all but the most wet chill.

These images are available as well as many others from the My Little Curly series (more will be forth-coming for your viewing pleasure - I've drawn close to 100) upon request. Please contact me via email or comment below if you are interested. 

As always, requests for horses, flowers, or almost anything based on a photograph (even if I have to find it myself) will be considered. Just drop me a line, and I'll let you know what I can do for you.

Monday, March 21, 2016

Alpine Edelweis

I've been drawing up a storm - in the My Little Curly series, in the Catholic series, and in the Garden series. Some all-new drawings have entered the realm, but older drawings are being given new life as they receive new treatment with details. Both the My Little Curly and Catholic drawings are being given details from the Garden series as well as with specially designed patterns.

I've also been giving out some drawings to family members interested in coloring various pictures. I've gotten one set back and will be sharing the results here so you can see the designs available. Here's the first edition (and only right now) from the garden.

Edelweiss drawn by Erika M Vandiver
The drawing is actually of Edelweiss flowers. They are irregularly shaped alpine flowers that are typically white with yellow centers and very fuzzy/hairy. However, coloring white flowers would be rather boring, so my mother-in-law took artistic license and did a beautiful job on these. It is said that in the mountainous regions of Germany, Austria, and other countries with these flowers that a young man serious about his 'girl' would climb the mountains to find one of these blooms as a sign of his love and fidelity to her. Whether this is absolutely true or not, is up to each man and woman with their own gift of Edelweiss.

I have 2 versions of this flower available at the moment. The one you see that is a single clump as well as a whole page of these clumps. I plan on creating another that is a combination of the 2 with this larger clump on a background of the smaller 'field' of flowers.

Please contact me via email or comment below if you would be interested in a *.pdf or *.jpg version of this flower's pages.

You can also contact me with requests for other flowers, animals, or almost anything else you would like drawn from a photograph, even if I have to find it myself.

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Nerd Alert!

I'll be perfectly honest... I'm not only a science, Catholic, and reading nerd, I'm also a science , Catholic, and reading elitist. I cringe when I look at what passes for science curricula sometimes. Even when I was in elementary school I hated reading aloud, not because of shyness or inability to read on my part, but because I couldn't stand listening to other children mispronounce words and read so slowly. I haven't looked really in-depth at this set of books, but they look promising, so I'd love to win them. Check the link and let me know what you think.

Monday, January 25, 2016

Its been a while...

I've been busy, so I've neglected this page and my FB page. I've done a bit better with the FB page because I don't write nearly as much there and it is easier to do it from my iPad. That's no real excuse though. I've been drawing though. I've even been coloring some of my drawings to experiment with putting them on t-shirts, coffee mugs, and other products to see if people would like to buy items like that with my work on them. So far, nobody has, but I'm hopeful I can get something going soon.

Last night, I was suffering from insomnia, so I was browsing random links. I came across one of those brief articles about how intricate coloring pages are relaxing for adults. That made me think of adapting some of my drawings for adults by putting more intricate designs on my creations. I like the simple lines of my critters, but there is something to be said for the intricate swirls and loops of the 'adult' coloring pages too. So here are a few of the ideas I created. Let me know what you think.