Monday, March 31, 2014

Painting-Part 1

So here's my little mini-story.
I saw a photo in a magazine of someone who decorated their fireplace mantel with lots of paintings.
I love that idea- even though it's not a new idea, it hadn't hit my dense old brain.
And I was looking for something to brighten up my mantel.
Easy peasy I thought.  I can do that...let me try my hand at something I wanted to try.
Let me try making a canvas piece, something I have been wanting to try since I really like my backgrounds. And I thought they would make great painting backgrounds.
I even had an inspiration piece in my head.
I'd seen several paintings like this while in New Mexico by this artist Robert Cafazzo (from a series called After Muybridge). I loved them. He used these great backgrounds and then painted these animals (this one had horses). I love how on first look you see just the blue horse but if you look carefully they are all a little different.
I liked his pieces so much I added one to my travel journal. This is a cut out from an art/tourist magazine-one of those free ones you can pick up at cash registers.
Well I wanted to do my own painting, and not a copy.
You can see my background in progress up at the top of this post. Early base layer of collaged paper and some liquid acrylics. I also added deli wrap that was mono-printed and some stenciled acrylic images. You can see that at the bottom of this post.
I also took a bunch of Gelli-prints and tore them up, pasting them down on some paper.

These got a light coat of gesso to dull down the colors a bit, and then they got some stamp embossing in white.
I hand tore them to make images on my final background. Will show you that in another post.
Here's a more updated view of my background.
I am very happy with it.
So I still am working on this piece of art, but it is coming now at the point where I have it sitting in my livingroom and I am looking at it, making note of things that it needs. Almost finished.
Will show you some more another day.
Thanks for visiting.

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Summer Travel

Time to start planning.
Summer feels like its a long way off, but Tuesday is the first day of April. And in Northern New England April really means that spring is on her way. (Not that we can't get an April snowstorm- oh pray that doesn't happen this year since we haven't yet really had spring.)
But I bought tickets for a summer adventure the other day. Had a Southwest Airlines credit for my husband since he couldn't go to New Mexico with me back in February, and we had to use the credit by mid-August. Oh what a shame huh?  Having to get plane tickets and go on a trip.
The question was, where to go? He gets limited time off, and 10 days is about his max. I would love to drive to Alaska...ok...I like road trips. But we'd need more time.
And I haven't been to a lot of the states in the middle of the country, and I would love to get to all 50, but somehow that didn't seem like the trip for right now.  Too much driving about, and so the hubby goes back to work all exhausted...
And Southwest doesn't fly to Hawaii- or Newfoundland which is where I really thought we might go.The Canadian Maritimes are very appealing to me. I do like to go someplace off the beaten track.
Hey, wait a minute.
So forget the new states and the off the beaten track.
We haven't been to the Seattle area...and there are lots of National Parks (we love doing Parks) in a few hours drive. Plus there's something exciting about a city with so many cultural things to check out. We could even road trip to Victoria or Vancouver, British Columbia and maybe even Portland, Oregon, all places on my bucket list.
So tickets bought for Seattle for July.
I am looking for advice where to go and where is a good place to stay.
I am hoping to rent a place for maybe the whole trip or maybe a good part of the trip, where we can home base. Maybe near the water. Any place else that might be good?
Pass any suggestions my way.
Trip planning research has started on my end.
I've already bought one general intro guide.
I love trip planning!
Thanks in advance for any suggestions you can pass my way.

Saturday, March 29, 2014


Hey happy day!!! It is Saturday and I didn't have to get up and go to work.
I love work but man, this extended winter and no spring March has sucked a lot of life out of me. 
I try to give myself the message from this card, but I can't seem to convince myself to just roll with it. I am so excited next Tuesday is April 1, and mother nature better not give us the old "April's Fool" joke of a snowstorm. 
But I am getting way off topic.
So not sure what's on my day's agenda except I need to go to the airport tonight and pick up my friend Vicky who so kindly invited me out and put up with me for a week in Taos, New Mexico. Not just this year but last year too.
The least I can do is go get her.
The hubby is SO excited to go Bass Pro before we do dinner and the airport- that's all he's been talking about for days.
That's what we are doing tonight. And I want to show you this card I made.
Anyhow, this card is a pretty basic simple my style of carding it.  All images are from Paper Smooches.
It's not very exciting and I may not be the best card maker this side of the White Mountains but heck, I try.
More creative ventures some other day.
Enjoy your day.

Friday, March 28, 2014

Here Comes Peter Cottontail

I was a little bold using these die cut bunnies on my page, but they were sitting on my table, the card they were suppose to be having not worked out. So I added them, and those little wiggly eyes, and lots of cottontail paint dots all over my background. Some doodled and colored fleurs, some white pen words, that rounds off this page.
I personally really like these bunnies.
They are the springy-est thing I've seen here in New Hampshire where winter is doing her darndest to hang on. Been seeing everyone's pretty spring photos of crocuses popping up and bare ground.
What is that?
All the bare ground here is pretty much pavement or mud.
Where there is bare ground that is.
Augh, spring is officially here (though you can't always tell outside) and next week,
without much fanfare
April will arrive.
Maybe winter will finally get the message its time to slide on back into hibernation for several months.
Thanks for stopping by.

Thursday, March 27, 2014


Last week I managed to find some studio time each afternoon when I returned home from work.
Haven't had a lot lately, so I got way behind on my card needs. 
I usually send one or two to my mom a week; she's 84 and has to enjoy the fun mail.
I also send a few to my daughter at college because getting mail in college is always a good thing.
Gives me a good excuse to make some cards.
Always love those good excuses.
 What you can't see on this card is the shimmering green tint on the black piece. I used some old shimmering opalesque style ink which really sparkles up the dark background without being too gaudy.
And what you can't see here is the glossy red centers of the flowers that is from using a Gelly Roll Glaze pen.
The images (not the sayings) are from Chocolate Baroque.  This is such a great card set.
Artists Baubles Unmounted Rubber stamp sheet - A4
Its called Artist's Baubles.  Chocolate Baroque is a British Company so I always wait for a sale since that dollar to Pound conversion is always a killer. This month they have had a lot of stamps on sale so its a good time to check them out.
This background is a mix of Copics, Dylusions Inks in a water brush and a bit of Viva Paint Pen for pop.
So I think our temperatures are going to start warming up today!!! Hurray!
Time for this snow to melt so spring can really start being here.
Thanks for visiting.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014


This card was me challenging myself to try something different.
It started as a Valentine's background; you can just make out the light heart outlines?
I used a die cut tag, the die cut Eiffel Tower, I made the flower, cut the leaves, cut the swirl. The Eiffel Tower is from a Tim Holtz Sizzix die and I painted it with silver and brown colors. Then to get the iron work look, I scribbled over it in black, and finally I coated the whole thing with some Glossy Accent to give it some dimension.
I made the leaves by first stamping some white paper with a Paris map, and then die cutting and spraying the leaves.
The flower is painted and distressed. I used a blank bottle cap for the center and put some silver Viva Paint pen dots inside.
Finally the Paris words across the top is from an older Hero Arts set.
Like this card, but I always wonder how to actually mail these big dimensional pieces.
I guess in a big envelope with extra postage.
Not that that is bad, but its just me being a practical Yankee.
Do people actually mail their big beauties?

So yesterday while I waited for my car to not pass inspection (broken spring-back to the garage on Thursday), I finished reading this book.
At first I didn't know if I liked it or not, but then as I kept reading, I got hooked. It was a fairly easy read, but had me in tears at the end. Lessons in opening your my heart, as the cover says, I guess.
Mr. Owita sounds likes a lovely man. The author was lucky to know him and it did make me think if I have any Mr. Owita's in my life. People who teach you something bigger than what they profess to teach you.  I think I need one, even if its not as gardening teacher.
This book is nonfiction, just in case you were curious.  I don't want to say too too much incase you end up reading it. No spoilers in this review. Actually, not much meat at all in this review.
But I do recommend it.
So we LUCKED out and the BIG Blizzard stayed 75 miles offshore!!! Hardly any snow for us today. Maybe just a dusting. Hurray!
Thanks for stopping by.
Hope there's spring weather on your horizon.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014


We went into Boston this weekend, not to be tourists but to go to the Hockey East final games for the season.  Even though our alma mater Maine was out of it at this point (we lost last weekend in Providence), it was still a fun time in the big city.
Here's a few non-touristy type of photos I snapped on my phone.
I love the light reflections on this brick building.  Couldn't quite figure out how it happened, except maybe a skeleton of a building on the other side of this parking lot.  I would have looked to discover it, but when you're with 3 other people who don't have patience for your photo shooting, you must run to keep up.
A newbie for me, my first electric car charging parking spot in an outdoor parking lot.

Dave and I in the front of the flying Bobby Orr statue- which is in front of the Boston Garden.

North End alleyway. Those of you who know nothing about Boston should know that the North End is  a living neighborhood with narrow streets that date back from Colonial times.  There's a few historical building left like the famous Old North Church that shined its light(s) for Paul Revere during his ride to let the residents of Boston know that the British were coming-back in Revolutionary Boston around 1776. Now its a place filled with Italian restaurants and some of the best food in the city (some of the biggest portions and cheapest too).

Here's the kitchen view at a city bakery that makes the yummiest cannolis.

This is typical street width in the North End.
View of the new route 93 bridge near the Boston Garden where the hockey play-offs were taking place. Several years back Boston did some major road construction nicknamed the Big Dig. This is a really cool bridge that was built then. I love how you can walk out on this pathway right over this major highway. The highway at this point slips down into the Tip O'Neill Tunnel.
The TD Garden is where both the Bruins and the Boston Celtics play their respective hockey and basketball games.

And one final sign on the side of a building.
I wish I had more photo time, just like last weekend in Providence.  I will have to head back into the city and play tourist someday soon, maybe over my April school vacation. I love Boston- its the big city here in New England and I really enjoy spending time there.
That's it for today...
Glad you stopped by my blog.
Stay warm-
it's super cold once again here in the north woods.

Monday, March 24, 2014

Last NM Travel Journal Post

OK, this is the last travel journal post. I have finished the book and I have added it to the stack of travel journals on my studio shelf.

 Snippets of collage, doodling, stickers, paint, stencils, cut up bags, whatever floated my boat.
I'll let you look without disturbing your view with a lot of chattering.

It is a journal, not a framable piece of art, but I really really liked how this one came out.  I love the color, the textures, the feel of New Mexico for me. I like the little notes I added too. And the pieces from my trip like the occasional postcard and the cut up bag, the fabric scraps (see the little Mexican Day of the Dead guy on the left of this photo right here) and some other odds and ends.
This is what is so much fun about a travel journal- its not a scrapbook but you get to do your little scrapping pieces. I actually started off my adult art craze as a scrapper, and I love to scrap, but my scrap pages are far more like journal pages than those neat and organized scrap pages.
Not my style.
Time to start planning my summer vacation I think.
Where to go?
Hope you stop by again soon.

Saturday, March 22, 2014


Right now my dreams aren't very ambitious or lofty- I am just dreaming of summer skies and warmer weather.
Maybe I should say I am dreaming of normal temperatures and no snow- just spring.

When my gardens are in full bloom and the air is warm and the grass is green.
 When we don't have single digit temperatures in the morning and the chance of snow at least one day a week.
Come on Mother Nature- it is spring now.

This year winter has been very long and very hard, as many of you probably know. Sometimes winter starts late and sometimes it starts early, but usually if it starts early it ends early and if it starts late, it ends late.  But this year- it had to start early and still hasn't ended.  This has been going on since Thanksgiving.
Ee gads!
Happy Spring- hope you have it wherever you are.
(In less of course you are south of the equator then I hope your autumn and beautiful and your winter will be short.)

Friday, March 21, 2014

Blogger's Challenge-Think Spring

I haven't uploaded any cards to Blogger's Challenge for quite awhile now. Actually, haven't made all that many cards until this past week.
But here's a little spring card.
Prickley Pear - Cling Stamp - 6 Chicks in a Row
These cute little chickies are from Prickley Pear stamps. I don't know who made the saying stamp. It was a stamp I won on eBay eons ago which I thought would be a fun addition to the collection.
I think it woulds great here.
Thanks for stopping by my page!

Art Journaling

Here's a couple of journal pages I have recently worked on.
This top page is made with several scraps- like the orange circle (really an o) from a bag from the Georgia O'Keeffe museum (from my New Mexico trip), and the left over die cut clouds from another project. I actually cut the Salvador Dali photo from the hotel magazine also on my trip- I spent the last night alone at a hotel near the Albuquerque airport since I had an early morning flight home.  Did a lot of travel journaling that night, and found this photo in a magazine I had picked up, and I rather liked it.
Not sure this page really says anything, except my attempt at surealism, but exactly a very strong point with me.
I am not weird enough I think for that-
though I  am pretty weird sometimes.

This page took me back to a Rick Steves travel brochure that arrived in my mailbox. LOVE the people images, as you may have noticed from some early journal posts if you ever stopped by before.
This flamenco dancer really worked on this page. The barcodes are cut up luggage tags- the sticky kind the airlines put on when you check luggage.
I've definitely decided my journal pages are more about the backgrounds than the items on top of them.

So today I am off for another busy weekend little adventure- hockey related again.
This time to Boston for the Hockey East playoffs. Sadly, my college team is not playing, but should still be a fun little adventure. Anything right now not to have to deal with the snow that is still on the ground at home-and the below normal temperatures that we've been having too.
And to think-it is actually spring.

Have a super day and thanks for visiting my blog.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

More from My New Mexico Travel Journal

Finished up my travel journal from my trip to New Mexico- and if you can believe it I went there almost a month ago.
Time sure flies by.
This time my journal has lots of bright colors. Perfect for New Mexico where the light makes colors much brighter than here in the wintery Northeast.
Still wintery though isn't today when spring starts?

This journal is a bit less day to day specific than a lot of my other travel journals. I did a bit more artsy pages, making my travel journal an art journal.  I really like how it turned out.
Maybe when you return to a place instead of going someplace new you can get a bit more  into the feel of the place. It makes sense. The first time you go somewhere you are just observing and taking in lot of details, but there's no process time. Then you leave, process, and when you come back, you can get into the place in a new way. Not the surface details, but the deeper details of the environment and the scenery and the community and all that other jazz.
Not too much to say today, but hope your enjoy looking at my pages.
Stop back soon.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Mackintosh Styling

Chocolate Baroque has  2 beautiful set of stamps based on Scottish artist and designer Charles Rennie Mackintosh.
Here's a couple of cards I created using them.

I had never heard of him, so when I got these 2 stamp sets I needed to do a bit of discovery.
Here's a few things I learned.
Macintosh was part of the Scottish/Glasgow design school and a
very cool Arts and Crafts/Art Nouveau movement designer.
He was born in 1868 and lived until 1928, so that put his work right in the time period before and as Art Deco came in.
He designed art pieces, furniture and buildings.
Here's some of his art creations.

I wish Chocolate Baroque made an alphabet stamp set like this.
LOVE this font.

These are his roses as you see in the cards at the top of this post..  Love them too.

He also designed this style chair which I guess is quite famous. I saw a lot of clones of this on-line, chairs with very tall backs.

And a couple of his architectural designs.
Even though I hardly know anything about this man, you can tell they are him, aren't they?

I don't know much about these buildings except I believe they are both in Glasgow, Scotland.
If you anything more about Mr. Macintosh I'd love to hear more.  I know so little about this time period, and learning about people (especially creative people) is always really interesting.
At least now when I stamp some images I can do them some justice.
Stop by again soon.