This past weekend we went to the zoo for the first time in a few years. There were huge crowds of people, so it was a bit challenging to navigate around the zoo exhibits, but it was still fun. Some of the animals were still inside since our weather is just starting to warm little by little.

The jaguar was very attentive to the zookeepers across the way who were cleaning the cheetah exhibit.

jaguar close-up



The snow leopard was snoozing in the warm sun.




The elephants were just hanging out.



These little golden lion tamarins were so adorable and curious.



This cute little monkey lived with his family of eight.



The peacocks are always wandering around the grounds.



This meerkat posed for me 😉


It was a great chance to experiment with my new telephoto lens so I could practice taking super close-up pictures.


Weekend Reprieve

My interim class has ended, so it was wonderful to have a couple days off to relax before my next summer class begins today.

We spent Saturday exploring the zoo and a new brewpub in town.

Our local micro brewery recently open a new tap house, so we had to try it. I love sitting outside on a beautiful day with a bloody mary and great food.

We spent Sunday lounging in the yard, watching the flowers bloom, watching the butterflies flutter in the wind, listening to the busy birds.

Hope you’re out enjoying the summer beauty too. Thanks for stopping by!

Wildlife Refuge Game

The final project for my concept development class was to design a board game that we could play in class. I don’t play board games too much anymore, so I wasn’t sure where to start. I bought a box of animal crackers, thinking I could use the cute animal cookies for player pieces. But I don’t like circuses, so I wanted to come up with another idea.

Then I considered doing a “day at the zoo” theme, so I started to illustrate my board to look like a zoo map. After watching an interesting show on the Animal Planet channel about sea life, I decided to make a game about wildlife trivia.

I searched for little figures that looked like safari people with no luck, so I used player pieces from another game that we never play.

I found some shiny red cardstock I cut into rectangles for the path and animal print cardstock I used to print the game rules, trivia cards, and answer key.

To top it off, I made a set of drawstring bags out of this fabulous zebra print to hold all the little pieces, trivia cards and rules – proof that I actually have been sewing a little lately!

I’ve never designed a game before, so I loved coming up with ideas and figuring out ways to make this playable and fun. This project was a lot of work with a short deadline, but I’m happy with how it turned out. We played a round in class, when I found out I needed to adjust the wording on a couple trivia cards, which was great feedback. I also learned we could use about 100 more trivia cards, which I will have to make available in the second edition!