Sunday, May 1, 2016

Alicia's Aquarium Journal -Wrap - Up

This is the 6th time I have participated in IFJM. I didn’t get my inspiration for my theme this year until a few days before I needed to start. Although Roz suggested “a shift in place “ I decided to do a storied theme like I have done in the past. My character was working in an aquarium. I started by compiling a list of creatures that would be found in an aquarium and possible events that would take place there. For each sea creature I selected I did some research on facts or something that could be put in as a detail in the story. I did use photo references that were “royalty free” if possible and if not I changed the image as well as the setting quite a bit. At times I wasn’t sure I would have enough creatures for each day of the month, so I perused many aquarium websites for creatures to include. I ended up having one possible post that I didn’t use. I knew I had to be willing to do quite a bit of research to make this work, but I knew it would be worth it.
As the month went on I had a serious family medical problem to deal with. My father-in-law was at the end of his days with cancer, and my husband and I were helping out at his apartment nearly every day. I just brought along my computer and sketchpad and worked on the journal when he was sleeping. I think it was good for me because it gave me something I could control and concentrate on in the middle of a terrible time. He passed away on Thursday. While I was there and he was still aware of what was happening, he enjoyed seeing the pages I was creating.
I am happy with the way my journal came out. There are several things I need to remember or think about for next year.
• The sketchbook I was using didn’t have enough pages so I bought a second one thinking I would just add the additional pages to the spiral as I did in the past. However I didn’t get the second sketchbook until I had already started the journal and will now have to remove all the pages from the filled one and put the last 4 pages behind them so they are all together. Maybe I should just do individual pages and have them bound at Staples after I finish.
• When I was nearly done I wished I had used a material that was different from what I usually work with. I always use watercolors and some ink. I rarely experiment or go out of my comfort zone. Maybe next time I will think about using gouache instead, since I have wanted to experiment with that for a while. Working on a collaged background might be fun too.
My thanks to Roz and all the participants. It has been a joy to follow your journals this month! There were days that I was able to find time to comment, but not always…be assured that I did look even if I didn’t comment. It is great to be in the company of so many talented people.
When I have a bit more time I will go to Roz’s page and find the blogs that are listed and revisit them to read them together. I hope to see all of you back for IFJM 2017!

Saturday, April 30, 2016

Alicia's Aquarium Journal - April 30

How would you like to sleep with the fishes? You can!!!
Tonight there is a family sleepover at the aquarium. Once the crowds are gone, our family groups have the aquarium to themselves. We'll have a private tour, a scavenger hunt, snacks, and crafts...
Bring your pillow and sleeping bag, and snuggle down in font of your favorite fish. You won't forget this visit.

Friday, April 29, 2016

Alicia's Aquarium Journal - April 29

Here at the aquarium we offer shark dives if you're feeling adventurous. I've done it several times and just love the thrill of it. You can watch if you want...or evensong up to try it if you meet the requirements. All the necessary equipment is provided for you. Come join us and meet the sharks up close and personal! Friends and family can watch from outside the tank.

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Alicia's Aquarium Journal - April 28

Here at the aquarium we have some wonderful bottlenose dolphins. You can get a glimpse of their daily life. Watch how they learn, play, and interact with each other. You can watch them below and above the water.
Our marine animal experts will explain what it is like to teach, care for, and form relationships with these social creatures.

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Alicia's Aquarium Journal - April 27

The anglerfish is not a pretty fish, but it is unusual. They live mostly in the murky depths of the Atlantic and Antarctic Oceans, up to a mile down.
What's unusual? The female has her own built-in fishing rod above her head with a lure that is illuminated. She dangles this above her mouth filled with sharp teeth. The mouth of the angler is so be and its body can stretch to swallow prey up to twice its size whole! The angler's sharp teeth keep the prey form escaping while it is digested. 
The female's lure also attracts a smaller male (or up to 6 males) that will latch onto her and become a parasite, getting nutrients from her body for the rest of his life.
There are more than 200 species of anglerfish.

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Alicia's Aquarium Journal - April 26

The clownfish became so popular after the movie, "Finding Nemo." People always come into the aquarium asking where Nemo is. lol Clownfish are named for the multicolored sea anemone in which they live. Yes, they make their home in the anemone. The clownfish is immune to the deadly sting of the fish-eating anemone. The clownfish and the anemone have a great relationship and help each other survive.

Monday, April 25, 2016

Alicia's Aquarium Journal - April 25

Today is the last scheduled visit by the first graders. We will be going outside to our Koi Pond. Kor are Japan's national fish, and are bred to produce many different colors and markings. Although they are related to goldfish, koi can grow up to 3 feet and live 50 years.
The kids had a lot of fun feeding the koi and learned about their diet.
The koi pond contains some aquatic plants like water hyacinths, water lilies, papyrus, and cana that help the koi survive.