Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Play Time

Over the past long weekend I had a lot of arty play time. I mentioned the other day my goal is to post something every day this month as an AJJ hostess, and I'm trying to keep everything fresh and not repeat myself 31 times. That's hard work.:) I give kudos to those of you who do this frequently!
So today for Art Journal Journey  (Every Journal Page Tells a Story), I have a collaged page made with paint and some stamped images. 
I needed some bright cheery colors, not winter colors.
I needed to play with images and just make a story from play.
Oh I needed some kitchen play last weekend too.
If you are trying to eat healthy and have NO willpower, , you better click off right now.
I made this caramel pecan kringle, a kind of Danish dessert. I read that in Denmark they make these pretzel shape and fill them with almond filling, but when they were brought to the town of Racine, Wisconsin here in the US, they morphed into this round rings with all kinds of fillings.
This recipe reminded me a lot of something my mother used to make when I was a kid, and when I discovered the recipe online before the holidays, it got put on my to make list.
 It starts with pie crust like base.
 And then you  layer this choux (puff pastry) like filling. It bakes for an hour, and just when it comes out of the oven you pour melted caramel over it and sprinkle it with toasted pecans.
And then once it cools, you put a little bit of a frosting glaze.
The only bad thing about my kringle is that I have been eating too much of it.:)
And I'm really sorry if I ended up torturing you.
Have a great Wednesday!

Monday, January 16, 2017

I'm Late for T Today

Happy T day to all the ladies at the T Gang. And no, I am not late, am I? 
Its back to work after a really nice long weekend. I had one day out and 2 days just hanging home and that  was just perfect! Lots of time for art, reading and even a bit of experimental baking.
My page for Art Journal Journey stars the  White Rabbit from Alice in Wonderland, and he is running late for tea.  Since the theme this month is "Every Journal Page Tells a Story", I thought I needed to do a T day themed page. 
I had been in Barnes and Nobel Christmas shopping, and they have these wonderful bags with great literary designs on them. One side of my bag was the White Rabbit.  I used that image as well as some of the story quote from the bag as the base design on my page. I drew, painted and cut out the tea cup which I added. I also stamped some images and then added a few final details to finish off my page.
Oh yes, and my right top corner is not as out of whack as the photo looks. Its just my slightly warped corner on my page.
And since my age edges are not square, I am also linking up to Try It on Tuesday. The new challenge there is anything but square.
I also wanted to show you this photo.
The hubby picked up a box of Trader Joe's instant coco packages at Christmas time. I'd never tried it, but boy is it good. It is very rich and chocolaty, and with a squirt of some left over holiday whipped cream, it is a wonder evening treat. Especially on a cold night when I throw one of those fake Duraflame logs into the fireplace to get a little light and atmosphere while I watch TV.
Stop by   Bleubeard and Elizabeth's blog    to see what the T gang is up to.
And hope everyone has a great  T day!




A Question You Don't Want to Be Asked

So here's a question you DON'T want your students to ask you.
And this is when you DON'T appear to be very observant either.
So a week ago I went out on Sunday afternoon to return a  Christmas gift, and I got a gift card rather than my money returned. I had decided to buy myself a down vest if they had any that fit me and one that I liked the color.  I took the gift card because I figured if they didn't have one I liked I could just hold onto the gift card until I was back at the store and they did have one I wanted.
Well they had a vest that fit and the color (cream with red stitching) looked very good on me. Plus, it was marked way way down so using my gift card I actually only had to pay $12 out of my pocket for it. A pretty good deal since the original price was $159.
So Monday morning it was quite cold and I figured I would wear my vest over over my sweater . I leave for work very early, just before 6:30 AM, and at that time it is still pretty dark and I am still pretty tired. I clipped off the tags and put on the vest and I was ready to leave the house.
So that morning I was standing in front of my class, chatting a bit, when this boy stood up and walked towards me. "Mrs. Nelson" he started "you have something handing from the armpit of your vest."
Hmm.
I reach under my arm and feel this plastic security tag. The boy looked carefully (as he was now standing next to me) and said "Mrs. Nelson, you didn't shoplift your vest did you?"
Now luckily they are good kids in that class and no one believed that I would actually shop lift, because I wouldn't shoplift, ever.
Instead they all gave me good advice -like don't try to take it off as its full of dye and will get all over everything. Some of them had even had the same similar experience at various stores-where the clerk had forgotten to remove the security tag.
But still, it was a little embarrassing.

So today for Art Journal Journey I have a page I made in my journal about this story, and since the theme this month at AJJ is stories, I thought it would share it with you.
Not a very exciting page, or anything very complicated, just me drawing and painting with paint and watercolor crayons. And I little stamping to complete the page.
I'v got no school today for the Martin Luther King holiday. No plans- but I've got a bunch of journal pages to finish up and a set of tests I should grade. Lets see what the day brings whether I grade those tests or not.
Hope everyone had a good start of the new week.

Sunday, January 15, 2017

A Reader

I have always been a reader.  Even when I was too little to read, I would love to sit and look at the pictures in books. 

So I made this page for Art Journal Journey as this month's theme is Every Journal Page Tells a Story.
I tired to create a "blackboard" that was reminiscent of those back in the day when I was a kid. But who wants something so typical? I made mine pink. :) I used some wood print paper to make the borders because in the old days blackboards had this wonderful wooden trim. Those white blips on the bottom are the chalk pieces.
And I found some other images in my FLOW magazine. The young woman doesn't really look much like me, but she works. And unfortunately I don't know what the names are on these children's books, because there are in Dutch. But that's OK, the pictures say it all.
I have fond memories of many of my children's books.
Nancy Drew, The Boxcar Children, A Wrinkle in Time, One Morning in Maine, Half Magic.
I think I could keep going, but I will spare you.
And I want to say I enjoyed all the comments on my football post yesterday. :)  Seems like a lot of country doesn't like out New England team, so if you are one of those, the Pats did win and go on next week. Sorry. New England has never had a really good team up until the last 12-ish years so we are basking in a bit of  good fortune while it lasts. Since it was a late game I dosed off at the end, but it certainly didn't start with the Pats playing their best. But I will take the W.
Today is an art day for me, which I am excited about.  A Sunday at home is always nice.
Hope there is some fun  in your day too.

Saturday, January 14, 2017

The Big Game

So here's a page I made for my husband today.
This is his story!
Well mine too, because I like to watch football with him, but more his for certain.
I think I should have painted these helmets and not left them black, so they'd stand out more, When I had to adjust the lighting for you to see the helmets, it lost some of the strength of the ink color on all the crowd at the top.  They look all washed out.
Here I darkened it up to show you.
I am linking up again to Art Journal Journey.  The theme this month is Every Journal Page Tells a Story, and since I am hosting, I set myself a goal of posting every day this month. So far, so good. :)
Tonight is the big game-the quarter finals. The winner goes onto the semi-finals, and maybe from there-the super bowl. My husband isn't one of those loud crazy football guys, but he loves the game. If he's home with nothing to do and football is on, he will watch it.  (But I like the fact that he won't stop what he's doing to watch a game, unless its the Pats that is.:)
A beautiful cold but sunny morning here in NH. Off to the store ( with a million other people who are probably hosting game parties tonight) and to meet an old college friend for lunch. That's a good way to spend a Saturday.
Hope you are all having a great weekend!

Friday, January 13, 2017

Bright Ideas

Happy Friday everyone. This has been a fast week and now we have a long weekend coming up for the Martin Luther King Holiday on Monday. :) Not that I have big plans, but I am excited for a long weekend, even if I have only been back to work for 2 weeks since my holiday break.

 We've also had a couple of really warm days this week. Spring has returned to tease us a little bit. When I drove to work Tuesday it was -4 degrees F (-20 degree C) and on Wednesday when I drove to work it was 44 degree F (7 degree C). By Wednesday afternoon it was into the 50s (almost 13 degree C).
Now its suppose to cool back off, but not be quite as cold as it was last weekend.

So my page today for Art Journal Journey was made because the girl at the typewriter caught my eye when I saw her in a magazine. She is thinking about her story I think. (This month AJJ has a theme of Every Journal Page Tells a Story.)
When I photographed my page I tried to get more light to shine on the top so it would look like the light bulb over her head was really bright. I think that worked.
So my page began with this lovely vintage lady. And then I found the construction tape which I thought would be a bright idea to use. I free hand painted the blue strips (notice they aren't very straight), and doodled in the lines. The light bulb is another painted doodle by me.
A few other items finished off my  bright page. And Voila. You can see my finished results. I think the girl's name is Ester and is attempting to write a novel for all of us to read.

And its Friday, and even though I've been away for a few weeks, I am linking up to Paint Party Friday.
Thank you Eva and Kristen for hosting.


Not exactly sure what is on my agenda this weekend except that I need to get some groceries, there's a big playoff football game tomorrow night which the hubby will want to watch(and  also I want to watch-though not as much as the hubby), and my daughter's boyfriend is coming for part of the weekend. So it won't be too quiet. I am hoping when my daughter's boyfriend is here we can rescue my mailbox. A car skid off the road last week and hit my mailbox, sending it down into the ditch. Since the mailbox is set in a bucket filled with concrete, it weighs a ton, and there's no way my daughter nor I can pull it out.(My husband is still not suppose to do all kinds of heavy pulling or lifting as his sternum is not totally healed from his heart surgery).  Maybe we will wrap a chain around it and see if we can haul it out with the truck. Or maybe our visiting engineer and join minds with the other 2 engineers I live with and they can come up with a successful way to get it back in place. I just want my mail to come to the house so I don't have to run to the post office for it.

Thanks for visiting today, and stop by Art Journal Journey to share your journal story.


Thursday, January 12, 2017

Retro Is Back

Lately at school, there are these old National Geographic magazines floating around my department. Why? I don't know. And when I say old, I mean  1970's to 1980's old.
Look at this ad on the back of one issue from 1972.

That's a story in itself.

So here's my page for today that I am linking up to  Art Journal Journey .. This month the theme is Every Journal Page Tells a Story.
I hope who ever brought this magazine in doesn't mind that I tore off the back.
.

Times have changed!
My family was probably one of the last ones to get a colored TV. We didn't even have one until well into the 1980's, which by then I was all grown up and moved out of the house. I don't think you can even buy a black and white TV anymore.
Hope everyone is having or will have a wonderful day.


Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Good Stories

Hi everyone. I am back again today with another link up to Art Journal Journey. This month's theme is every page tells a story. 
My page today is made with lots of layering, some stamping and some paint. I found this quote in a FLOW magazine- how lucky the one I have has so much to do with stories. :)
I did change the quote a bit. It originally said book, and I changed it to story.
Sorry Paul Sweeny, the man who is being quoted.
And since it has been so cold and wintery lately, I've done a lot of reading in the past month. I especially like to sit in my rocking chair next to the wood stove and read. Its warm and cozy and since there's no TV or computer there, I can really escape into my book.
Back in early December I started reading this book by Susan Branch,

I really enjoyed it. I told myself I would only read this one, the first of a 2 part series, but once I finished it I had to go on and read part 2.
What I really liked even  better about part 2 is that it is set in New England, my home area, and I laughed at how she described some our Yankee ways. These are things I have always done all my life, and they would never seem book worthy to me.  
Plus I love all her illustration in both books.
Then I went on and read a light and hilarious mystery.

 I've read most of this series, and they never fail to make me smile. Perfect cold and snowy vacation reading.
 Tomorrow night is book club and this is out book for the month. It went pretty quickly as it is a teen read, and I didn't dislike it, but I didn't love it either.
I can't pinpoint what I didn't like about it. Not mysterious enough maybe. Too much teen partying maybe. A little too predictable maybe.
And now I am half way through this book, which I am really enjoying.
I find archaeology really fascinating (I think maybe if I knew it existed I might have studied that in school instead of biology). This is a story about a large ancient city they found in Honduras in Central America, a city that has been one of legends for centuries. Its in a remote jungle and finding it was a tough thing because of the overgrowth. But it was also risky given the perilous parts of society in Honduras.  Vicious drug cartels and brutal gangs were maybe more difficult than the jungle growth. And last night I read this one story about their encounter with a deadly snake...oh my. I don't like snakes at all. I am loving this read. Those of you with NPR can find an interview with the author on the World last week.
That's all for me today. 
Thanks for visiting.



Monday, January 9, 2017

Life Lesson by Maddie

Happy Tuesday to everyone who's stopping by my blog today.
And a big hello to all the T gang ladies.
Last week I introduced you to Pete, one of our dogs.  Just so she wouldn't feel left out, today I am introducing you to Maddie, our other dog.
Maddie is also a rescue dog who came our way after taking a long ride in the doggie rescue van  from Georgia. We picked her out from a photo, and after a few phone calls, decided she was a good dog for us. And she is, but since I don't think she had never lived in a house  when we first got her, there was some adjustment time for all of us.
She has turned into a wonderful dog. Unlike Pete who is more of a doer, Maddie is more philosophical.
Here I am working on my page about her, with my mug of hot coco with a big squirt of whipped cream. Its in the new mug my daughter gave me for Christmas. No, my daughter is not having a baby, but Pete is her dog, so I guess that makes me Pete's grandmother. And of course my daughter loves to rub in that fact I had a grand dog and am a grandmother. :)
I am linking this up to T for Tuesday over at Altered Book Lover.

And here's my finished Art Journal Journey page. The theme this month is that every journal page tells a story hosted by me. :)
And in case you can't read  Maddie's thoughts about life, here they are.
1-if someone wants to scratch your back, let them
2-There are no strangers, only people you haven't met yet
3-If you have a chance to do something, do it.
4-Life is too short so just keep playing.
5-Stake out the best spot on the bed. You will sleep better if you do.
6- When riding in the car, look out the window. You might miss something interesting otherwise. (the same is true for riding in a boat too)
7-If you trip on the stairs, just pick yourself up and keep going.
8-  Life is too short to miss a cookie opportunity.
And my daughter is giving Maddie a back scratch.  She gets very excited when the back scratcher comes out.

I am linking about to Art Journal Journey. The theme this month is "Every Art Journal Tells a Story".
Hope you link up a page also!
Hope you have a T-riffic day!


Famous Characters

Happy new week everyone.  Hope everyone had  nice weekend and you are ready for a new week.
Its a  pretty cold morning here in the northeast US, but it is suppose to warm a bit as the week goes on. But lots of grey skies and moisture. Ugh. Not sure I am looking forward to this kind of weather for this many days. Hopefully all the weather models are wrong, but in case they are actually correct, anyone know a magical way to make the weather more spring like? Ha-ha!
This month's theme at Art Journal Journey is "Every Journal page Tells a Story",
 and my latest page  came about when I was thinking about  famous story characters. One of the first to pop into my head was a strong woman from a classic American novel .
The novel ( and movie) is Gone with the Wind  and my character is Scarlet O'Hara. Gone with the Wind was written in the 1930's by Margaret  Mitchell. It was her only book, but what a good one. According to Wikipedia this is the second most read book in the US behind the Bible. source
In case you aren't familiar with the long story, it is the story of Scarlet O'Hara, the daughter of a plantation owner in the southern American state of Georgia. Shortly into the story the American civil war begins, and this is the story of Scarlet's life during the 4 years of the war and then the period following the war called reconstruction. The American Civil War began in 1861 and reconstruction went on from late 1865 until 1877.
If  Scarlet may not be the most likable woman in American literature,  one of the other woman in book, Melanie Wilkes, might be. Mitchell did a great job of playing these 2 very opposite women off of each other throughout the novel.  Scarlet is headstrong and self centered while Melanie is caring and kind. The whole trouble is that Scarlet has always thought she was in love with Melanie's husband, Ashley. Wilkes. This ends up destroying Scarlet's third marriage to the "scoundrel" Rhett Butler, who she finally comes to realize  is really the right man for her. But through it all, Scarlet also learns the most important thing of all is the her childhood home, the plantation called Tara.
So my page today shows the plantation house at Tara with Scarlet in her fancy  late 1800's clothes. I created her dress from some little pieces of assorted ribbon, and I used a magazine face. The quote was cut out of my old Flow magazine, which just by chance ended up being full of book quotes! 
So I'm slowly working into the new year, trying to figure out what I want this year to be for me. With all my husband's health issues in the last couple of years I am ready to take back my life. In ways I am a little bit of a Scarlet O'Hara right now and not enough Melanie Wilkes. :) 
Oh well, enough from me.  Have a great start to your week!

Sunday, January 8, 2017

Out of Africa

So I found another chance to paint my giraffes. :) 
Here's the story.
Other than detective mystery books, some of my favorite stories are set in that dark continent of Africa. I loved reading  'The Flame Trees of Thika" and "The Mottle Lizard" by Elspeth Huxley. I also loved "West with the Night" by Beryl Markham,  both the book and movie versions of  "Out of Africa" by Isak Dinesen, and other books like "Don't Let's go to the Dogs Tonight" by Alexandra Fuller and the No.1 Ladies' Detective Agency series by Alexander McCall Smith. One of my top 10 ever books, "The Poisonwood Bible" by Barbara Kingsolver was also set in Africa.
This page began with some brown paint while I was cleaning my brush. Then I cut up a couple of pieces of paper from my stash to add the images, including the map, to my page. Then I stamped the design along the edges and added the stickers to title my page.
And I got to paint my giraffe's.  :)
I am linking up to Art Journal Journey's story theme this month, every journal page tells a story.
Hope you'd like to link up a page also.
And I want to say how much I am enjoying all the stories on AJJ so far this month!
Thanks again to all of you who have posted so far!
 I need to go shovel since we got a little bit of fresh snow yesterday. Its piling up here-its been a wet month so far! But at least we didn't get the blizzard effect they got not all that far south in Massachusetts or even nearer than down at the seacoast. And it was also nice to spend my Saturday home in my comfy clothes. It was a good day to sit by the wood stove and read, so I did. It was also a good weekend to watch some more Star Wars movies- after seeing the latest movie last weekend it got us in the mood to watch the old ones over again.
You can say I am just taking life easy this weekend.
Enjoy what's left of your weekend!


Saturday, January 7, 2017

Happy New Year

Hi everyone. I'm glad its the weekend, although for the first week back after our holiday break its gone really quite fast. :) And I can say now its only 9 more school days until its time for semester finals and then I get new classes. I am very excited about that-even though I like my kids right now, it is time for some new ones. Many of my students right now really don't like biology so its a battle some days to get them interested. Hopefully next semester the kids will be a little more enthused.
So today I have a journal page that I am linking up to both Art Journal Journey where the theme is Every Journal Page Tells a Story and to Moo Mania. where the theme is Asia.
My inspiration for this page was our New Year's Eve Chinese food take out.  The hubby and I went to see Rogue One:A Star Wars Story in the afternoon on Dec. 31, and then decided to get some take out to bring home for dinner. There was a Chinese food take out restaurant next to the theater, which we had never tried, but we figured it would be quicker and less driving than going into town to our usual place. 
There was about 6 people waiting when we came in, and we figured it might be a short wait. 
So we ordered, paid, and the woman told us it would be an hour. An hour? She could have mentioned that before we paid. We went out to the car and watched people going in and then coming out with their bags and boxes full of food. Yup, its New years Eve, and I guess a lot of people had the same idea as we did.
An hour and twenty minutes later our food was finally ready. It was good, but not that good. 
Lesson I learned, always ask how long it is going to take BEFORE I pay. :)
I made my page with some painted images, some die cuts, a bit of doodling, a little of stamping and my fortune from my New Year's Eve fortune cookie.
And a couple of other photos from this past week.
Always beauty when you don't expect it. I stopped to snap this on my way home from work the other day, and even though the rainbow was more of a complete arc, I didn't want to step out of my car and sink in the muck.
Always a little laugh when you don't expect one. I wish I could get that comfy on the couch.
Enjoy the start of your weekend!


Friday, January 6, 2017

Travel Story-Part 2

If you missed part one, check back to yesterday's post (  Travel Story part 1  ) for the details.
So yesterday I mentioned how I couldn't find one of my sandals  after a day out and about in San Diego, California. I had changed out of them to do some light hiking at a nature reserve, and when it started to rain, we had hopped into our rental car and head off. I had just assumed both of my sandals were on the floor in the backseat at this point. When I went later to look for my sandals, I could only find one of them.
The next morning when it was light,  I went out to the car and looked under the seats for my other shoe, but there was no second sandal. I was really disappointed because the weather was suppose to be warming up a bit once the rain stopped. However, as it was still  raining pretty hard  and we were all dragging that morning, we went to a huge partially open air shopping mall  so I could look for a new pair of sandals (I think that morning I was  convinced I needed sandals and that my whole trip would have gone downhill if I didn't have any.). Plus my then 10 year old daughter had already discovered her love of shopping so she was all game to go to the mall. She would have spent the whole week visiting one mall after another.
However, I didn't see any sandals I liked or any that I wanted to pay for at the mall.
At that point I was past my missing sandal misery and ready to move on.
So we went off and found other things like a great Mexican place for lunch. After that we went exploring like tourists tend to do when on vacation. :)
So later in the day when it was time to head back to the hotel,  I was driving north on the freeway. We were all chatting about something or another, when my husband mentioned that I had missed the exit we needed for the hotel. 
Instead of heading east we were still going north and I said something like, "Now that the sun is back out, maybe we should go back to the beach in La Jolla to walk it again."  and my husband said "Maybe we should go back and see if your sandal  is there?"
"My sandal wouldn't be there." was what I remember replying.
I can't remember if we did go and walk the beach again, but I do remember I did drive into the state nature reserve. 
And when we pulled up to the parking lot where we had parked the night before, it was now empty
except for
my missing shoe!
Sopping wet, sitting all by itself, just as it was, not even run over right, in the middle of the little parking area where we had parked.
"Look at Mom's shoe. I can't believe its there."
I had a big smile on my face!
I think I missed the right highway exit because my shoe was calling me back. :)
And once it dried out, I was able to wear my sandals again!
This is one of the most memorable of my travel stories. We still laugh about it.
(And yes, I STILL have this pair of shoes.)
I am linking up to Art Journal Journey where the theme this month is "Every Journal Page Tells a Story).
Hope you enjoyed mine.


Thursday, January 5, 2017

Travel Story-Part 1

So let me begin my post today with the beginning of a story.
Back in February of 2001, my husband, my 10 year old daughter and myself traveled to San Diego, California during our winter school vacation week. We thought it would be a good time to visit the world famous zoo, take a drive up to Disney Land and even more so, escape the late winter cold and snow here at our home in New Hampshire.
I was particularly excited to be able to wear some sandals instead of socks and heavy shoes too since the weather was suppose to be in the 60 and 70 degree range (15-21 degrees Celsius).
Now we weren't expecting super hot and summery weather, so I brought this pair of sandals that might be described as Greek sandals, with a woven foot and back around my heel. It was wonderful to be able to wear them, especially since we ended up doing a lot of beach walking.
(Heaven for me!)
So one day during our visit we ended up at a beach in a part of San Diego called La Jolla. The area was known as Torrey Pines. It was a beautiful late afternoon and a great place to walk. The land side of the beach had these cool cliffs, and you could  drive up to the top of the cliffs into a State Nature Reserve. So after our walk  we drove up into the reserve, parked the car, changed into our sneakers, and took off to explore and see some wonderful views.
While we were walking, some clouds moved in, and the sky got dark. And then it began to rain. So we raced back to our car, tossed the few "things" we had with us (like my camera and the hubby's fanny pack) into the car and drove away. At this point the rain picked up so we  stopped to grab some dinner and then head back to our hotel.
Later that evening while we were watching some TV back at the hotel, I realized I left my sandals in the car. I ran out to get them but could only find 1 of the pair. I figured the other sandal was there but because it was dark and hard to see, I would wait until morning to search more thoroughly. It was most likely just stuffed under the seat or buried under one of our sweatshirts that hadn't been brought inside the hotel room.
So my journal page today is about my lone sandal, sitting on the floor of the backseat of the car. 
The sandal is hand drawn and painted, and I used some stamped, hand painted or bought journaling pieces also on the page. To make my page look like the floor of the car, the background is a piece of printed paper that in my stash that looked the most like a car floor mat.
And the rest of my story?
Well, I am going to be mean and make you wait until tomorrow!
Thanks for stopping by.

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

How to Start a Story

For me, the very first thing I need for a story, or an art journal page, is an idea. And then I throw my ideas to my imagination and let them swirl around and congeal and finally come out into the light, like the sunrise in this photo.
For my Art Journal Journey page today, this is one story of where my ideas come from. 
This photo is one of my snapshots that I took a few years back on one of my visits to Taos, New Mexico in the southwestern US. A good friend of mine lives there and I've been lucky enough to visit her a few times.  This is the sunrise view from my friend's house looking out the bedroom window. Its absolutely amazing. Of course, my friend and her husband live out on a flat, treeless mesa so this view isn't something private to them but is the view many of the homes north of town get.
(They also get the sunset from the other side of their house. That is also pretty amazing too, just minus the Sangre de  Cristo  chain  of the Rocky Mountains you see here.)
This is actually only half the photo. If I used the whole one there would have been more mountains off to the left, but it didn't fit my page the way I wanted it to.
I made the checkerboard border with a Sharpie, and then painted in the words. I stamped the balloon and the light bulbs, and then used this gold rub-on of the leaves, which was just suppose to be a border but I turned it into a flowering plant.

My friend out in Taos invited me back out to visit on my next school vacation, and I am trying to decide whether to go or not. What I am actually hoping is my daughter will take a vacation week and join me like she did last year, because I really enjoyed having her to travel with. When I look at that journal page, see the sunrise, and remember in my head how magical it was, it really gets me considering my friend's offer to come visit.
But we shall see.
Here in New Hampshire it is dark and cloudy, with maybe a little left over rain today before the sun arrives later. But at least its not too cold! That I am sure will be back again shortly (like tomorrow).
Hope everyone has, or is having, a wonderful first Wednesday of the new year.
And as always, thanks for stopping by to visit.

Monday, January 2, 2017

Meet Pete

When my daughter graduated from college she moved in with her boyfriend and they adopted a rescue dog named Pete. Then she and her boyfriend broke up and she moved home with Pete. Since she's been home  about 1 1/2 years now, Pete has become as much our dog as hers. He's a Labrador and hound  mix, and a usually very sweet guy, whose a little nervous around strangers.  But he has one MAJOR love in his life, and that is chasing squirrels.
I've had many dogs who enjoyed a good squirrel chase, but none that went on patrol at first light in the morning, no matter what time first light is. (Our other dog will sleep as  late as you lounge with her, even if its noon. Not that I lay in bed until noon!. :) )
But not Pete.  As soon as the sky brightens he is sitting in the window where he can see my bird feeders.  As soon as you let him outside he races off, and with his long legs he can really move, chasing those squirrels into the wood the behind the house. Once he knows they are back up in the trees, he returns, comes in the house, and starts the process all over again.
Except on Christmas morning. My husband let Pete out and he actually managed to grab a squirrel in his mouth. Of course whether he knew what to do with it then or whether the squirrel wiggled free, we don't know, because a moment later it was lose and up the tree.
Of course, maybe Pete thinks the squirrels are going to sneak into the house and steal his bones, and that's why he chases them away too. I guess I will only have to hypothesize about that idea.
I think you've seen this before, but this is Pete.

So I am linking my page up to Art Journal Journey, where the theme this month is "Every Journal Page Tells a Story". I made my page by doodling Pete and the tree as well as the bones.  Then I stamped the squirrel a few times, and I used a little tape and some stickers.
Stop by with your story journal pages.  I look forward to seeing what stories you have to share.

Also, today is Tuesday, so I am linking up to

So you get a double view from me for a switch.
Stop by 
 How about a large diet Coke and a really delicious taco salad?
A huge salad, that I once again couldn't finish.
We tried a new restaurant called Cactus Jack's, which is a sister restaurant to the place where I usually get my taco salads, and which many of you in the T Gang might remember me having.
It was yummy and it makes me want another one now!
So I managed to get most of my holiday decorations put away this past weekend, as well as watching a few more movies on the TV. And now, its time for the work routine again. It was a good break. But like every break, it was too short and too fast. :)
Happy T Day everyone.

What Kind of Stories Do You Like?

Hi everyone. Since the New Years holiday came on  a Sunday, today is a federal holiday here in the US, so I have one more day left in my break. :) I've enjoyed my escape from the routine and from the stress of work, even if I didn't go anyplace exciting like some people I know were. But I did spent lots of very exciting hours in my happy place so to me that is even better!
I have another page today for Art Journal Journey.

The theme this month is "Every Journal Page Tells a Story".
The first thing I think of when I think of stories is the books I like to read.
One of my favorite genre of books to read are the classic who done it mysteries. I love putting all the clues together to solve the murder puzzle, and I love how you can visit so many places in the world because one thing about mysteries is they do include lots of location details.  And there are mysteries set not only in so many different places but also so many different time periods too.
So my page today is a recognition to all that style of creative endeavors.
I began my page with black paint, and while it was wet I used my fingers and left some light fingerprint spots. That's because you can't have a good mystery without some fingerprints being left behind.
The shoe prints are something I drew and then ran through my Scan and Cut. so I could make multiple copies.  I sketched the magnifying glass, cut it out and included some book print and some twine as the clues. I also used some red paint and sprayed it on to look like blood spots. Again,, what's a mystery without some kind clues.  I had this weird little Sherlock Holmes stamp which I added along with some letter stickers.
So last year I managed to read 35 books, not counting cooking/baking or art and crafts books. I'm happy with that number, but maybe this year I will manage to get over 40! About a quarter of those books were mysteries. I think if I read more mysteries I would definitely get over the 40 mark.
Do you have a favorite genre of stories?


And it is also January 2, better known  Second on the Second over at Bleubeard and Elizabeth's blog, so let me show you a blast from the past also.
Here's some wintery art from January 2011.
I had created a little book in a blank hard paged book to celebrate January.


Here's the link to the original post: Snow Day.

Hope everyone had a wonderful  start to the new year, and you're thinking of some of your own favorite stories to post over at Art Journal Journey. And as always,  I appreciate you stopping by my blog.