Saturday, February 22, 2014

See You Soon

I'm off this afternoon! Getting away from this cold New Hampshire weather and this typical late February season. This is a much needed emotional pick up from my soul which just feels very drained and unenthused by much lately.
I am SOOOOOOO excited to go away!
But SOOOOOOOOOOO sad the hubby won't get the time off as he has a huge project he needs to finish up.  So plans have changed a bit, and I am going alone. But at least (if you look for silver lining) I am going to still visit our friends and I'll get away for the week and get away from this winter weather! But still sad the hubby can't come to have all this fun with me.

If you haven't figured it out, I have major travel addiction.
Never more needed than right now.
Going to take a little blogging break-if I get a chance before I leave I might have a pre-post or 2 but I'll have tons to show you and tell you about once I get home.
See you later alligator.

Friday, February 21, 2014

Only on a Journal Page

I wouldn't ever post a photo with a head so corky except on my journal page. This is a real Dyan Reavely style page. The background also isn't too exciting, I had sprayed it green and then took a wet stencil and wiped it off on the page, which is why you can see the whole stencil. Oh the heck with it I thought, and just decorated over it. And I just noticed I left the s off of the word always! Whoops! But I do really like how my stars came out.
Actually I am not unhappy with this page, technical flaws and all.  But journal pages don't have to be finished works of art!! Whatever floats your boat.
So its the last day of work for me before my vacation. Flying out tomorrow- by myself- the hubby can't come!!! That makes me sad. Good thing we were going to visit friends so it doesn't terribly impact my trip. I'll just go by myself and still have a blast with my good friend and her great hubby. My hubby's bummed out he can't go but he's ok getting rid of me for the week-since he is swamped at work and can focus on that.
That's it for today!
Thanks for stopping by.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Pop Quiz Answers and Then Some

Here's something fun and cheery. I made this card for the college girl. Pink cardstock that I doodled all over the front with a white pen. Then I added this strip of printed Basic Grey Paper and some of these fun animal stamps from ArtChix. Forgot I even had this sheet tucked away in my stash- I have a binder that I store all these in. Was looking for something totally different, which I didn't find, but did find these. That was exciting!
Then I used this Hero Arts Bonjour stamp and an old Tin Can Mail postmark.
This card makes me happy, and with the winter slump I am in, that's a good thing.

So if you took my pop quiz the other day- here's the answers for you.
(Here's the link in case you want to do it backwards- you know see the answers and then match them to the photo...ha-ha!)
1.Devil's Golf Course-Death Valley, California
2.Park Guell-Barcelona, Spain
3. Dublin, Ireland
4.Cape Cod National Seashore, Cape Cod, Massachusetts
5. Athabasca Glacier, Jasper National Park, Alberta, Canada
6.Monument Valley Navajo Park- John Ford's Point, Arizona, Utah line
7.Klamath River, California, Redwood National and State Parks
8. The Narrows, Zion National Park, Utah
9. Devil's Tower, northeastern Wyoming
10.Grasslands, northeast Colorado
11.View from Acadia National Park, Mt. Dessert, Maine
12. wild horse-Northern end of the Outer Banks,(OBX), North Carolina
13.Notre Dame Cathedral, Paris, France
14. North Rim of the Grand Canyon, Arizona
15. Crater Lake, Oregon

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Reading List

A recent fictional read, this is a well written and enjoyable novel. A different kind of foodie novel, that takes you to India, London, Paris and a few other places along the way (as you can probably tell by the cover images). I like the fact that this book has many unexpected events and takes you to all these interesting places.

And I just discovered this wonderful book!! Kristen Nichols, author of Getting Stitched on the Farm blog ( did a post about Maud Lewis a while back. I was so taken by her that I went onto Amazon and looked for something about her and her art, and I found this used book. Man, I love these primitive style painting by this woman. Of course I am a big one for color and the country and the ocean...just what this Nova Scotian woman painted.
I love these 3 cats she painted several times in various settings.
I really want to go to Nova Scotia, Canada now to visit her little home which is a museum and actually see some of her art.
Art Gallery of Nova Scotia Maud Lewis Gallery
Here's a view inside of her home.
Put it on the bucket list!

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

More Snow? Oh No!

What a brutal winter many of us have been having this winter. Super cold throughout much of the US, super drought in California, snow and ice in Southeast, and here in the Northeast lots and lots of snow since February started, after a lot of cold. We seem to be getting snow every other day and then this cold comes in. There's more snow predicted this afternoon.
Isn't it spring yet?
We went to Maine this past weekend and got lucky. Although we did get some fresh snow Saturday night, as you can see on this bears statue, we didn't get the 2 feet they were saying we could have gotten.  Relief- we might not have made it home until today otherwise.
Was fun to get away, watch some live hockey in my alma mater's home arena and have a change of scenery. I'm at the point where right now everything just looks the same old bland, and I want to give my inside of my house a major face lift just because its the same old look.  Not that I am really that ambitious, the winter blahs have hit me hard lately.
Did I mention I am off to New Mexico this Saturday?
(Only like a million times I think.)
Hopefully snow will not impede my travels.
I did make for a pretty ride Sunday morning as we headed back south down route 95. The sun came out later but the wind was COLD.
It was a very bear kind of weekend as we are the University of Maine  Black Bears. 
As the hockey team skates out, they come out through this giant bear head. In the dark the eyes light up as you can see below.

And we stayed at the Black Bear Inn, which went way overboard with the black bear theme.
Look at the bed,  a bear quilt and a little black bear.  But it was fun, and the bed was super comfy so I slept like a log.  I guess having a big old beer or two after the game helped relax me too.

Oh yeah, and I should forget the black bear hats my sister-in law (left) and I bought. We wore them during the game so if another puck did come my way, between the brim and the glasses I might escape another black eye like I had a few weeks ago. Luckily no pucks came my way, (and we won the game!) but I have to admit I was pretty apprehensive.  The lady next to me asked if I had puck aversion when I would flinch, and when I explained to her how I had been hit in the eye, she said she'd fling herself in front of me to protect me.
She just wanted to catch the puck, I'm sure.
Boy that double chin in the photo is really scary.
Enough hockey chat.
Thanks for visiting.

Monday, February 17, 2014

Cards for My Mother

Flourishes Rubber Stamps is up for sale and I think most likely, going out of business.
So sad, they have some gorgeous flower images.
I pulled out my little Flourishes stash the other afternoon and made a couple of cards for my mother.
Mom likes very traditional cards with very traditional images.
Sometimes its lots of fun to make something pretty and traditional and things that aren't always my usual style.
Mom is 84 and I send her cards on occasion, but I think I should start sending her some more. 
It would be a nice connection between us and give her something exciting in the mail- besides bills and as she complains- requests for charity. Maybe it will make me play more with this traditional styling,  a little more formal than I would make for the college aged daughter.
After all I had so much fun making these!
According to Flourishes Blog on 2/20- they have a buyer and so most likely will not be going out of business!!! That's exciting news!

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Pop Quiz!!!

Here's what happens. I spend early winter in this hibernation cocoon. Warm and happy in my thick white snowy blanket. Keeps me nice and warm. But one can only be held in so long-especially when its been a terribly cold winter and one spent much time outside in weeks. After a while, wrapped up is too much.  I get tired of the cocoon.  I rip; I tear; I peek outside. A trip is coming up. Travel fever starts to build.
And it just keeps getting stronger and stronger.
I am so ready to go and to start planning more adventures because I am always happiest when there is something up my sleeve.
Winter hibernation mode is slipping away.
It is February now- days are slightly longer here in New Hampshire. Thoughts of better weather and 
summer vacation are rolling around in my head.
Where to go?
To satisfy my awakening and my habit, thought I'd show you a some photos from some past trips. Make it a little quiz.
Can you match the photo to the place?
Choices at the bottom.




a) Outer Banks, North Carolina
b) Death Valley California
c)Grand Canyon- North Rim, Arizona
d) Grasslands, eastern Colorado
e) Barcelona from Park Gaudi
f)Notre Dame, Paris
g)The Narrows Hike, Zion National Park, Utah
h)Dublin, Ireland 
i) Athabasca Glacier, Alberta
j) Acadia National Park
k) Monument Valley, Arizona, Utah border
l) Crater Lake, Oregon
m) Cape Cod, Masachusetts
n) Devil's Tower, Wyoming
o) Northern California

Have fun! I'm off on a little journey today- will fill you in on Monday as well as giving you answers to my quiz.

Friday, February 14, 2014

Happy Valentine's Day

Happy Valentine's Day!
Here's a journal page I've worked on in several sittings lately. Think its quite appropriate for today.
I started with the flowers- they were made using a Dylusions stencil with spray ink and then using some Dylusion's spray ink inside a water brush and filling in the flowers.  Then some red spray ink, some white painted hearts using the new Tim Holtz heart stencil and some green paint with a Crafter's Workshop stencil. Then I used some high gloss medium and a Crafter's Workshop stencil. Once dry, I took some red acrylic paint and painted this big old heart.
Seems like a lot of layering but I love the look of this page.  Lots of color and texture and depth.
I finished the page off with just a bit of doodling and the French saying, not much I know, but I like this page just the way it is.
So yesterday I was home with a snow day, must say I loved it!!!
Even if it did snow.
And blow!
(It got a lot worse late afternoon and last night! An official Nor-easter!)
I played for a long time in the studio-
and it really got me thinking-
I would love to stay home and do this all the time.
Try it-give myself a chance to be an artist.
Well I am an artist but have a career as an artist.
To see how successful I would be.
Anyhow, that's another conversation for another day.
Back to the present-
2 hour delay this morning- went out and shoveled the deck- man, it was heavy snow!
Any plans for this day of love?

Thursday, February 13, 2014

A Not Quite Typical Valentine

Today a simple card that pops a bit of color. 
I started with a green base and stenciled a white doily design on this background. I used Tim Holtz's new doily stencil and some white Distress Paint.
Stamper's Anonymous / Tim Holtz - Layering Stencil - Doily
I'm having trouble getting a clear image when using this stencil- I think it works better when I use it as more of a mask-inking the stencil and then turning it over to stamp the lace. How about any of you readers? Do you know what I mean?
Anyhow, I hand cut the heart because I wanted it to be a little less perfect- using some older Basic Grey Paper in my stash. I outlined it with red Sharpie, and then embossed this little love image from Autumn Leaves which I have had forever. 
Remember Autumn Leaves stamps? I loved their stamps and like lots of good companies, they've gone out of business or gotten eaten up and digested and are now gone. Seems like there's been a lot of those companies disappearing lately.
Anyhow, finally I added some red Stickles around the heart edges.
As it I said, simple but colorful. Not your typical red or pink.

So we are in for the big storm today- the one that hit the southeast yesterday and is moving up the coast.
So tired of winter.
I'm in this little slump right now- really wishing I could do something to shake up my life.
Not wishing for anything bad or even really life changing, but something like a long trip or something exciting would do it.
Get me out of this school routine which is bringing me down- seems like all you do in the winter is get up, go out into the cold, spend the day inside at work, and then go back out into the cold, go home and be inside. Days are short and I am craving sunshine.
And not even summer warm, but warmer than we've had here most of the winter.
Sorry for the complaining, but this storm is bringing out this winter mental slump right now.
I've been fighting it for a few weeks now. Some winters I get through better than I am right now.
I just keep saying to myself, you're going away in 1 1/2 weeks. 
You can get through it.
You can get through it.
Thanks for listening and I hope you aren't in the middle of all this snow and ice too!
Enjoy your day!

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Counting Down

Two weeks from now the hubby and I will be in New Mexico, hopefully having a sunny day and being able to do something fun in Taos. We're going to be staying there with some friends for a few nights, out on the mesa. I went there last year and spent the week without my hubby, and I am so excited to bring him along and show him the sights. Plus I should be able to see some new sights for myself. 
I'm so excited, and I can't wait.
I know I'm not heading to tropical splendor but it should be a little less wintery than here in New Hampshire, I HOPE!
Thought I'd show you a few more views of my almost ready to go BUT NOT COMPLETELY FINISHED travel journal.
Last year while in Taos, I bought this New Mexican flag sticker. Since I never used it, I thought it would be perfect for the back of my title page. Sorry for the flash glare.
If you pop back to my post from last Friday, you can see more of this map page.
Love these 2 pages. I'd love to make more of these in the journal. Images are from Stampa Rosa (left stamped image) and Postmodern Design (2 right stamped squares). The long southwestern image on both pages is a stamp I bought in a little shop in Bisbee, Arizona a few years back. I found some of these small stamps in this antique store-though the stamps were new- and very very affordable. I love how usable this image is. I use it a lot.

The book I am using is a chipboard book from Maya Road. I'm only using a few of the chipboard pages though. Here's what I did to one of these pages. Lots of paint and stencils and some wide Washi tape.
This page is made from some assorted stash pieces. I think they're all made from October Afternoon, except maybe the vacation sticker at the top. Kind of a different way to use a viewfinder image.
And while digging in the stash, I found this circle with a hole punched out of the middle. I thought I might be able to do something fun with this, once I am away and actually recording in the journal.
Got a little scrapbooky here, but though this might be a good back page. Or some place in the journal, will see when I get there.I like the page, and think when I add some travel ephemera or writing the page will be able to stand on its own. I used that same stamp that I bought in Bisbee to decorate the ring piece around the postcard. Little airplane stickers from October Afternoon.
Remember none of these pages are finished- nor are they meant to be. I'll finish most of this while I am away, and then give it some finishing touches once I am back home in March.
You'll be seeing more of this down the road.
Hope you'll be back when I post this project again.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Journal Backgrounds-More!

So yesterday I told you about my Sunday experimentation and play time using High Gloss medium and stencils in journal pages.
I also played with light moulding paste too.

I used this and some stencils and both blank journal pages and some already painted journal pages.
Here's some results I got.
Stencilled and dried on a blank page. Then I added some paint over the background. I stenciled the orange dots and then used a dirty baby wipe and the same stencil to add the darked rubbed circles on the bottom left and top right corners.

Letters stenciled in purple and then sprayed with 2 Dylusions Inks.

Just sprayed with Dylusions Inks.

I love the texture it gives, not so shiny like the high gloss medium- but makes sense, eh? I used a ring stencil (it is a Coral stencil actually) from Artistcellar Stencils and I love how it makes the centers darker as there is no medium there.
product image
I think I'll be using more of these 2 mediums in my journal pages.There are awfully fun to play with.
If you know any other medium tricks, I would love to hear them. Trying to expand my repertoire of techniques.
Maybe today I'll feel more ambitious after work and came home and play.  Yesterday I was beat- ended up being a busy busy Monday, so I came home and took a long nap!
Thanks for stopping by.

Monday, February 10, 2014

Love Your Stamps

Thought I'd post a stamped piece for Simon Says Stamp challenge this week.
Here's a stamped card I recently made.
Owl and saying are from Hero Arts.
The background is made with assorted stamps. 
The branch is part of the Tim Holtz tree Sizzix die, I just cut off the top to make the branch.
Hero Arts Missing You CL756 OWH Catalog 2014
Love this set-it is so much fun. I think that squirrel looks a little possessed but I love that about him too.
Thanks for visiting my post.