Thursday, June 21, 2018

Happy Summer

Happy summer everyone. It is now officially summer in every form-meteorological, astronomical and just plain in everyone's mind. I love these long days, and I celebrated the start of summer with my first swim of the of the year.
It sure felt nice.
 The kids finished school today and we have a teacher work day tomorrow. I am mentally exhausted from a year with so many changes at work, and I am excited to have some time to recharge my batteries. And maybe have a few little adventures as well.
So I have another page for Gill's challenge: Inspired By over at Art Journal Journey.  It's another spread in my Japan Travel Journal. On the left I printed out a photo and created a page using a piece of origami paper, a torn strip from a Japanese book. some stamped and an embroidered patch. On the right side I used this gorgeous temple die cut, a bunch of identical Japanese postage stamps, as well a embroidered fabric tag.
I'm  hoping to wrap up this journal in the next week and move onto some other inspirations.
I have a few ideas I want to experiment with.
But first, I need to wrap up this school year-number 34 for me.
Enjoy this new season.

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Go Take a Walk

Hello everyone.
So is this quote correct? Are people who take walks happier? I think so. I think the miserable people at my school (which seems to be 60% of the staff right now-why is it that the end of every school year so many people fall apart and try to drag all the rest of us down with them?)  need to go for a walk. A long walk until late August. :)
I wanted to join in with the new challenge at Moo Mania. The theme is arrows.
This is my calendar journal page for last week I did some coloring, added a very scraps from a napkin, the quote and also a couple stickers in my stash.
And of course, some hand cut and decorated arrows.
Oh yes, as an addition, I was thinking, I get inspired by walking, so I am going to link up to Art Journal Journey also. This month Gill is the fabulous hostess.
Have a great Wednesday everyone. 

Monday, June 18, 2018

T Stands for Eel

Hi ladies. Another Tuesday is here.  The brutal summer weather arrived, but luckily left almost as quick as it arrived and  it is supposed to be a little bit better on this Tuesday.  I don't like the humidity, even though the gardens sure do.
OK, when we were in Japan we went to eel restaurant. (Sorry to overwhelm you with Japan things, but it is really all I have been working on. I want to finish it so I can move onto new things. I am ready.) Now the idea of eating long slimy eels didn't sound that good to me at first. I'm not really that fussy an eater, and I like to experiment with various foods, but somehow eels, well that made think twice. But we asked a sample before we ordered, and the eels didn't taste any different than other grilled fish, and it looked like fish, not long slimy eels, so I soon go over my squirmies. 
Now the munchies they brought with our beers were a different story.
My first thought was fired insects. No thank you. These turned out to be the spines rom the eels, and I did try one. It was just a salty crunchy bit, but still didn't do much for me .
So I ordered the eel dish that way similar to Koran bibimbap. This dish was served in a very hot stone bowl, and had rice, spinach, bean sprouts, eel and egg in it.
And it was very very good. 
Since it is Tuesday I am linking up to Bleubeard and Elizabeth's blog to join in the T day fun where we link our drink related posts.
My art at the top of the post is more from my Japan Travel Journal. I drew a cartoon version of the Japanese local eels and added the label rom some peach flavored water I purchased a bottle of while in Japan. There were so many different drinks in Japan you could make the goal of a whole trip trying different ones. I can't remember where the Japanese script paper strip came from, and who knows what it says but it makes a great design element.
I am linking up once again to Gill's fun challenge at Art Journal Journey  She has chosen Inspired By as herr challenge.
And I mentioned earlier how the gardens were loving the heat and humidity. My roses are looking fantastic right now.

This is the big bloom of the summer. They will continue to bloom all summer, but they never seem to bloom as many blooms as this first round.
This is one reason why I love summer.
Have a happy T day everyone.

Sunday, June 17, 2018

Thanks Dad

Happy Sunday everyone. Happy father's Day to all you men who stop by or to the father's in people's lives. Today my post is full of things inspired by my dad, although none of them are exactly relate to my dad.
If that makes no sense I hope can explain in this post.
My art today is a page from my Japan Travel Journal. My journal is not necessarily a fancy art book but  place to create some memory pages and hold all the bits I brought back from the trip. 
 Our sister city, Nichinan, is where the Hiroshima Carps play their spring training/pre-season games, and while there we visited the stadium. I found it interesting how  baseball crazy Japan is. I knew they liked baseball, but didn't know they liked it that much.
I made my background simply with paper tape, and then I added this postcard and a few other little bits to complete the page- a coin I brought home (for 1 yen which isn't worth more than a US penny) and also this cool postage marking. (And I m linking up to Gill's super challenge Inspired By over at Art Journal Journey I am also linking up to Try It on Tuesday and their For The Boys challenge.)
I am posting this page today because my Dad loved baseball.  It was the only team sport he enjoyed. As I grew up in Massachusetts, it was all about the Boston Red Sox. When we were younger he took my brother and I to a few games and taught us all the rules.
The thing is I don't know how my Dad would have felt about me visiting Japan since he was in World War II in the Japanese theater.  When I first bought a Toyota car back in my 20's he wouldn't even ride in it or look at it. He did come around after a bit and decided it was a really good car, but he had memories that I didn't have and came from a different time and place.
And my Dad  taught me to fish. He loved fishing. But he was a freshwater and fly fisherman. My husband is the saltwater fisherman. And since it is Father's Day yesterday the hubby, my daughter and I went out fishing, first for mackerel and then for Striped Bass. Of course, the fish weren't really biting yesterday, and my husband didn't get anything, but I caught  2 mackerel. I'm sure that annoyed the hubby down deep, not that he would ever admit that, but I will say it made me happy deep down to skunk him. Not that I would ever say anything either. :)
Thanks Dad for all the skills.
And lastly, I need to credit my Dad with my artsiness. My dad was an architect and the artsy member in the family. When he was younger he was also a photographer and I grew up with lots of camera equipment in the house.  So today I will show you some architecture photographs I took while we cruised out to the fishing grounds in the hubby's boat. Dad taught me about using a camera, he taught me the ins and outs of designing homes (one of my childhood  hobbies was drawing home plans) , and inspired me to use color in my life.

Sorry I don't have a photo of my dad. I lost him in 2004 and none of my photos are digital. I still miss him and his advice and his inspiration. Of course, he was my dad.
I hope everyone has a great rest of your weekend and a great day.

Friday, June 15, 2018

Inspired By

Friday! This week is almost done. Hurrah.   The kids are soooo ready for summer break, especially since 1/4 of the school population is gone as the seniors graduated last Friday. And we have 4 more day of trying to find that motivational magic word. Let me just say that work has been keeping me on my toes lately. :)
I have more inspiration today for Gill's Inspired By challenge at Art Journal Journey
Here's my original inspiration which is a photo from Japan. When I was there in late April the country was celebrating boy's month. (Girl's month is in March so we missed it.) To celebrate boys, some families cut long bamboo trees and use them as a pole, as you can see on the left hand side of the photo. They then hang some of these colorful fish flags from them. Some of these flags are gigantic too, although the ones in this photo are just large.
On the trip we took a visit to a book store. I had asked if there were any books on Shibiori dyeing,  and although the store didn't have any, the clerk brought me this book all about boys month fish flags. Inside is a small section about how they actually make these flags from cloth. It wasn't exactly what I wanted, but the fish and other images were so fascinating that I bought it, even if I can't read anything in.
One of the images in this book was this wooden fish as you can see in the next photo. I just love this image.
So thanks to all of Valerie's stamp carving inspiration, I decided to do some stamp carving of my own.

I got a little carried away because stamp carving  is a pretty fun thing to do.
And then I created this page in Japan Travel Journal. 
I LOVE these fish! The bits of sheen you see are the matte medium I used to glue the images down. It wasn't quite dry when I photographed it.
My fish need to be hooked to the bamboo. Just noticed that I hadn't done that. :)

Wishing you all a great weekend.

Thursday, June 14, 2018

Better Late Than Never

Hi everyone. It's been a crazy week here! It's that time of year. I was excited yesterday to get 2 1/2 hours of play time! I hadn't had any for a week and it sure felt good.
Here's a tag I made for Tag Tuesday Joan's latest theme is Night at the Movies. I didn't pick any particular movie since none of them were inspiring me, but I did make this general movie inspired tag.  Actually it's a double tag, as I made the small tag but wanted to added a little more movie bits so I put my mini tag onto a bigger tag. This way I could use the die cuts I had and also add this bits from an old science film that I grabbed from the trash piles during a clean out at school last year.
Hope everyone is enjoying their June. Our weather has been gorgeous lately but I am hoping we get the possible scattered showers tonight since my gardens need a good dousing.
Thanks for visiting.

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

A Formal Dinner

 Hello ladies and happy T day to all.
I thought I would do something different this week other than Japan photos, but I looked and I don't have any other photos  for T Day. So once again, I am going to show you some Japan photos. Hope you don't mind. :)
I will say that I ate so many different foods there, most that I didn't know, and I still can't tell you what they are.  Food for me  is one fun thing about traveling, especially to a place where food is so much a part of the culture and where I wasn't familiar with much of it. I took a photo of almost every meal I ate.
Today for T day I am going to show you this very formal dinner the owner of the school hosted for the teachers. 
The dinner consisted of lots of traditional local dishes.
 You can see I had a Japanese beer and a glass of water for my drink.

 I love how pretty the Japanese always make their meals.
I know this dish below is some various sashimi fish.
I have no clue what this was.  Anyone know?
 And plates are always small with just a few bites of food.
 This is Miyazaki beef. It is local roast beef and we were told it is often served at Academy Award parties. Whether they were just trying to impress us or whether that is true I don't know.
 And some Miso soup.  I don't actually know the order the dishes that we had. They just seemed to keep coming.
 And this melon had some sort of glaze.
And we ended with some matcha green tea in this drinking bowl and this sweet ending. I don't know what it was but it had  gel consistency. 
I'm linking up to this week's edition of T For Tuesday  over at Bleubeard and Elizabeth's blog where Elizabeth asks that w link up a drink related post.
And all this Japanese food inspired me to make this page in my Japan Travel Journal. I used a sheet of origami paper with this tradition Japanese image as my background, layering it with some other origami paper. Then I added some newsprint (who knows what that says) as well as a couple of yen coins I brought home.
I will link up my page to Gills fun challenge over at Art Journal Journey.
Have a great day everyone.

Sunday, June 10, 2018

Life Lately

All this gardening has been my recent inspiration for a couple of drawing journal pages.

I am linking up to Gill's great challenge at Art Journal Journey: Inspired By.
You can see I have been busy having some garden fun. The dogs seem to enjoy some garden fun too.
Happy new week.

Saturday, June 9, 2018

The Moss Museum

 Hope everyone is enjoying your weekend. The weather here is fantastic-I wish it would stay like this year round. :)
Today I am sharing some Japan photos with you. I am taking you to the Moss Museum. OK, that may not sound exciting, and I thought that way at first, but it ended up being a fascinating little place. The Moss Museum in Nichinan is a world famous place for scientists who study moss and their relatives call Bryophytes, as well as some other plants too.

I really enjoyed this pods. I even carved a couple of rubber stamps they inspired me so much-but that is for another post another day.

But as much as the science was cool, there was a really fascinating piece of art here.

This is a one of a kind art book that shows the evolution of life on the planet. It was made by an artist but I am afraid I don't know the artist's name. All those boxes on the right are individual chapters in the book.
Why so many blank pages you wonder? That is because we do not know the full story yet.

This cool one of a kind book was for sale for $7000. We were lucky she even brought it out for us to see. I probably would have bought it but $7000 is not in my budget.
BUT, what was really exciting for me was that the artist made extra copies of the art prints and put them into albums which you could buy for a much much more affordable price.
And I bought one of these, as did my friend Deb who also went to Japan  and is one of my biology teacher co-workers.

This is just a few photos from the book. 
This is my kind of souvenir too-it's original, it's beautiful art, it's biology; it brings on a good memory, etc. etc. 
Especially since I can tell the story even though I can't read the caption.:)
Hope you have a great rest of your weekend.