Monday, February 20, 2017

A Valentine's Day Toast

Happy T day ladies (and gentlemen too). It is Tuesday again, and time to stop by Elizabeth's blog-Altered Book Lover  for a little T day fun.
I have been married to my husband for 28 years, dated him for 7 years before that, and then knew him another year before that. And not once in all those years has the man ever taken me out to dinner on Valentine's Day. 
Now I am NOT complaining. I was just more in shock when he suggested we go out for dinner this year. 
Maybe that heart surgery he had made his heart a little bigger. Ha-ha!
 We decided to go get Mexican food.
We each had a margarita with our dinner.  Actually I think the hubby really wanted to go just for a margarita. No, he didn't  have 2 of them,he was just holding mine for the photo, although maybe if he did have 2, I could have talked him into buying me some flowers or maybe even a  little jewelry. Ha-ha again!
I had a yummy fajita salad. So did he. But since he doesn't like guacamole, I got his.
I love guacamole. 
I still couldn't eat this whole salad. But I still ate too much!
Have a great T day everyone!

Sunday, February 19, 2017

More Weekend Chatter

Another weekend is biting the dust for me. I know some people here in the US have tomorrow off for the President's Day holiday, but since next week is our winter school break, we don't have a long weekend this weekend. 4 days and counting!
So today was another gorgeous spring like day. We had all kinds of melt.
I love the reflection of the trees in this little mud puddle in the driveway.
My road is just a GIANT mud puddle. The snow looks sooooo dirty and yuk! Hopefully with the whole week being on the warm side we'll get a lot of melt.
I won't miss all this snow. :)
So I had a long list of things I wanted to do today, one of which was packing for my trip. I had this vision in my mind of my suitcase getting basically organized and together, and I did start working on it, but right now my suitcase is buried under a pile of "things", and its more like a disaster mound on my bedroom floor. :) That's about all that got done on my list, but I did enjoy the nice weather and did a bit of reading of my latest book too.
I've been biology brain geeking out lately.  Awhile back I got my own DNA ethnicity results back. I had some doubts about submitting my DNA, but my curiosity got the better of me, so my hubby gave me the test kit for Christmas.
I had a couple of friends who did theirs and had some real big surprises. 
What I find  amazing is that Ancestry (the test company I used), who really knew nothing about me, sent me these DNA results that matched what I knew about my heritage, with just a couple of surprises. Any doubts I had about how much my DNA could really tell me about my family tree and history were definitely erased. 
What amazed me even more is the list of people they connected me to who have also had their DNA tested and with whom I might be related. Now I haven't really started any genealogical research (but that will be coming), and I haven't contacted these people, but some of the names matched that of my maternal great-grandmother's family. They said a few of these people might be 3rd-4th cousins, and I do plan on finding that out once I get some time to sit down and do the research. There is also someone who they said could be my second cousin-hmmm, that has really peaked my curiosity. There were also a few people with my maiden name that they said were 5th-6th cousins, and even one listed with my married name. I would laugh if one reason I am a kidney match to my husband is that we are distant distant cousins. The scary part, is we both have distant relatives from the same general area in Finland going back past our great grandparents.
I'm sure I'll have more to share with you once I get more into my search.
Now my ethnicity does make sense but has left me with some surprises. I came back almost 60% Scandinavian, which is no surprise since 3 of my grandparents were Swedish immigrants here to the US. And I came back over 30% Eastern European, which also makes biological  sense because my maternal grandmother's family was/is Polish. And then I came back 4% Finnish/Northern Russian which also makes sense because one of my Swedish grandparents family still does live in an area of Finland with lots of Swedish heritaged people. Then there was my 2 % British, which did surprise me, but makes sense because of all the travel that took place between the British Isles, Iceland, and Scandinavia over the last 1000 years. And finally, I came back 2% Eastern European Jewish. Again makes sense with part of the family coming from Poland. But who knew? 
Its really fascinating stuff.
OK, and I'm finally getting to my art for today. Its the inside cover of my travel journal
I'm linking it up to Try It on Tuesday. The  challenge is  Messy, and I think my background collaging could be called that. 
I made it with some images stamped on tissue paper, some die cut sun symbols and a little bit of collaging to finish it off.
Hope you have a great new week. 

Saturday, February 18, 2017

Weekend Update

Happy weekend everyone. Today has been a busy Saturday for me. My mom was in the hospital with pneumonia earlier this week, and now she is in rehab, so the hubby and I took the trip down to go visit her. The good new is that she doing really well, and we had a nice little visit. It looks like she is expected to be back home in another day or two.
As we  were walking back to the car, we noticed these turkeys hanging around the front of the building.  This guy decided to walk out in our direction. Maybe to chase us away. :) I don't know, but it was pretty funny to see them in the parking lot where so may people were coming and going. 

It was an absolutely gorgeous and spring like day today. I loved it. After all our snow and cold lately it was about time for some good weather!
I'm almost finished putting my travel journal together. Before the pages get put into the cover, I did a little pre-trip decorating. I got most of this done last Monday when I was home on a snow day, and then I was able to finish it up a couple of evenings after work. I'm hoping tomorrow I can get it put into the cover since next weekend I will be two time zones further west. :)

 I have a magazine about New mexico travel that I brought home after last years trip. In the back was some information pages, and I thought It would be cool to add the fact sheet in, so I cut it out and added it. On the right is a little envelope for any little treasures I pick up.
 Lots of space for collaging, drawing or writing.

 I got inspired to make a couple of pages that were more or less finished too. 
 And on the right I added this clear pouch (the shiny part) that I found in my stash. I think its big enough for a normal sized postcard.
And for a couple of pages I made some writing  squares.
I didn't spend a lot of time painting any of the pages. Just enough to make then a little less white.
I'll have a lot more to show you in future posts I am sure.
Hope you enjoy the rest of your weekend.

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Those Eyes

Hi everyone.
Once again it is snowing here tonight. They are saying we might get as much as 10 inches (25 centimeters), but most likely 6-8  inches (15-20 centimeters). AUGH!  I have nothing else to say about that.
Here's another page for Linda's challenge at Art Journal Journey.  I am loving this 50 Shades of Red challenge. 
I really like this rose stencil. This time I layered it with some printed tissue paper.  Plus I sprayed it with some assorted paint/ink sprays, and use some paint on an empty paper tape cardboard  to stamp some painted circles over my page.
I thought I had flattened out the page, but it still has a little warp. I had these square Asian brads in my stash which I added for a little interest.
It been a busy week at work, even though Monday was a snow day. But it is flying by, although tomorrow night, if we have school, is parent open house night, and I guarantee it will slow right down. 
Hope everyone is having a good week so far.

My New Journal

Hi everyone.
Thought today I would show you some photos of the cover of the new journal I've been working on.
Its still pretty plain because I've been trying to decide whether  I should add anything to it. Its going into my suitcase when I travel to New Mexico, and I am thinking it might be better to wait until I come home to "decorate" it.
(I had decided to stay home for my winter vacation and be fiscally responsible. But my friend Vicky, who I go to visit, really wanted me to come out. And truthfully, I really wanted to go out there too. Vicky kept texting me photos with little notes like "Look where I am" and the sky was always blue and the ground snow free in her photos, and I was sitting home on all these snow days, so last week I finally just decided I might as well go.  I'm excited to have something to break up this winter. And just a little over a week before I go. Yahoo!) 
 I had this big sheet of this cool orange textured paper. I used the cardboard off the back of a pad of paper for as my book boards.
 A little too orange, so I rubbed a brown ink pad over it. I love how the impressions from the red-line tape showed through and gave it a striped effect.
 I thought it needed some sheen, so I rubbed a copper ink pad over it. It gives this light shimmer. You can see where the light hits in the photo below how it has this pretty sheen.

 I decided it would be smart to put an elastic on this so it can be held close. On the front I added this cool metal piece. I needed it to be up off the flat surface of the  cover so I can loop my elastic around it.
 Easy enough by putting a couple of washers between it and cover.
Then I created the spine by using some book mending tape that I ordered off of Amazon.  I like this tape because it a flexible cloth type of tape. It bends really well to make the spine and it comes in lots of colors. I have black and brown and I thought brown would look better than black.
 I used a smaller version top permanently hold the elastic on the back. I did have to wrangle the hair elastic from my daughter.  She tried to get me to use a dark blue or a hot pink  one, but even she agreed this one looked the best. I think she just liked the color on this one and hated to give it up.
But like the good person she is, she agreed it was the best color and let me have it.
You can see my pages inside. They weren't attached at this point, but I have since spent my snowy weekend working to make my plain white watercolor pages a little more interesting. Almost done with that part.
You'll just have to wait to see them until some other day.
Glad you stopped by!

Monday, February 13, 2017

Happy Valentine's Day

Happy Tuesday T Gang ladies and anyone else who stops by. :)
. The snow has finally ended here and now we are cleaning out from this big storm. This is definitely one of the biggest storm we've had in a couple of years.  We got a foot of snow, (30 centimeters) but its hard to tell with all the drifting. Not the fluffiest either, as my arms and shoulders are feeling it from doing some cleaning out today.
 But the dogs loved it.
 Especially Pete.
 Wish I could harness some of that energy and teach him to shovel. That would make my life easier. :)

Next snow is expected on Wednesday. They say it won't be as much as this storm though, but right now, even a dusting is going to be too much.

And Happy Valentine's Day.
 My husband and I don't really celebrate the day, but I like to make something special for him. This year I decided to try making a fancy cake.
I thought this heart cake on this cover was pretty cool. I  had picked up this cookbook last month on markdown and decided to give it a try for Valentine's day.
I did decide to make my heart solid colored rather than rainbow striped. I thought it would be a lot easier since this would be my first attempt at cake carving.
So last Thursday on my snow day home I baked my cake layers. I made 2 white layers and a red/pink layer for my heart.
I chilled the cake and on Saturday morning I  carved according to the instructions.
 Weird how this looks like it is popping out of the cake rather than going into the cake.

Then I frosted my layers and assembled the entire cake except for the final frosting.
Here's my crumb coat. I made  a Swiss meringue buttercream flavored with some strawberry extract.
Then on Sunday I put on my final frosting.
 I'd never piped these frosting roses before and I love them! The only problem was that I didn't have a big enough frosting bag while I piped. I had to fill it several times just to do the top, and so I decided it was easier to just put plain smoother frosting on the sides.
And then I added some strawberries to finish it off.
I think it looks bakery shelf ready. :)
Now I was REALLY curious how the inner heart worked.
OK, so it didn't. 
But the cake was yummy.
So for T for Tuesday, won't you share a slice with me? I'm having a glass of skim milk but I could make you a cup of coffee or tea, or even some ice water if you prefer.

The pink part does kind of look like half a heart here.  So maybe the heart shape wasn't a total bomb.
Stop by Elizabeth's blog, Altered Book Lover to see what the T Gang has been up and maybe even join in yourself.
Have a wonderful Valentine's Day everyone!

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Watching the Snow Falling

In the middle of a big snow here in New Hampshire. Its suppose to last until mid day tomorrow-but the wind is going to be picking up and then we keep our fingers crossed that  the power stays on.
 Today I  finished making my cake (will show you on T Day) and I worked on a new journal I am making.
Plus I worked on a few other pages too.
I also took a little nap and lounged by the woodstove reading.
It was all just relaxing. Seem there's been a lot of these kind of days lately. :)
Here's another page for Art Journal Journey. This month Linda is hosting and her fun theme is 50 Shades of Red.
I made my page with lots of scraps off my work table. I stenciled the swallows and free hand painted the hearts, which I then stamped some words into and decorated with a white pen.
This lady looks so sad though. I hope she isn't missing her Valentine or sad because she doesn't have a Valentine.
School's been called off for tomorrow. I don't know if my hubby will have work or not, but I guess we will see in the morning. 
Hope everyone had a wonderful weekend. And, a good start to the new week too!
I'm grateful you stopped by my blog too.

Saturday, February 11, 2017

The Blizzard is Coming

 There's been WAY TOO MUCH snow  around here lately. 
 Back on Tuesday we got about 4 inches, and then on Thursday we got about 8. Saturday we got another inch. And now, the BIG ONE is due to arrive.
We're suppose to get 10-18 inches (25-45 centimeters) starting Sunday (2/12) and going into Monday (2/13) with blizzard winds.
Oh my!
I guess I will need to shovel this deck ONCE AGAIN !
This is before I shoveled it this afternoon.
 I think the dogs are the only ones who actually like all this snow.
I am definitely needing some blue sky and sunshine!
How many days is it until spring arrives?

So I decided to join in on Tag Tuesday which has a new open format. I am joining Chrissie's challenge : book worm. I did a bit of stamping and added a bunch of pieces I had left over from Art Journal Journey's January theme (which was tell me a story). 
I've been a bookworm myself this year so far.  I'm on my 9th book already, which for me is a lot with everything else going on in life.
Of course, this winter has given me a lot of indoor down time which is perfect for reading.
Hopefully we won't lose our power when the big snow arrives because living in the country means you're never the first one to get it back.

I hope your weekend is NOT as snowy as mine, and you have a great Sunday and rest of your weekend.

Thursday, February 9, 2017

Now It Is Cold

What a strange week this has been. Two snow storms (and more coming this weekend), a spring like day and now a bitterly cold and windy day. I'm glad its the weekend even if I had 2 snow days this week. I've been enjoying being home having art, baking and reading time. Kind of like a mini vacation!:)
So I have another journal page for Art Journal Journey and Linda's fun challenge of 50 Shades of Red.
I included flowers and insects on my page today just so it wouldn't be anything like winter. :)
I started with a red painted background. I then stamped those cool hearts, added the fold tape, the stamped  Asian person, and finally used up a few die cuts laying around on my work table. I added some black stickers and the bee rub on, and finally added the heart and the stamped phrase.
So I think I'm in for pretty quiet weekend coming up. My daughter is leaving for a little Florida vacation. I'm working on making a new journal and I'm into another new reading  book. Plus I am experimenting on cake sculpting to make a Valentine's cake for my hubby.
Hope you plan on doing something fun and have a great weekend.

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

I've Join the Craze

So for something new this year, I decided I would start keeping a calendar/planner type journal. Of course I can't use it just as it they way it was made. I have to change it all up and make it personalized.
I started by putting in all these tabs. 
And I covered up the January title page with this magazine page and some tape.
I picked out this journal because it not only has  calendar pages, but it has lots of pages you can write on or decorate.
I added the graph paper over the journal page on the left because I want every left page to be a little different. Kind of whatever the week seems to be saying or speaking to me about. I added the tag of a bunch of daffodils I picked up at Trader Joe's.
You can see here I added some printed paper on my journaling left side. And lots of stickers. The round ones cam out of the back of a book I was reading. I was so inspired I just added some more.
And this journal is also a good place to add tickets by taping them in.
In the back there are some blank pages and I am keeping some lists. Books I read, places I hope to go, movies I watched, things I baked.
The kind of lists you always want to have at the end of the year!
And some weeks I've just been writing little notes to myself.
And I can do little monthly wrap up if I want to also.
Its always good to try something new I say.
I bet you might say the same thing too.

Waiting to hear if we have school tomorrow. I can't believe we will since this is a nor'easter coming in. Lots of places have already canceled tonight, and I'm hoping we will hear tonight too.
I can only wait and see.
addendum-right after I posted I got the call. No school tomorrow.:)  
Hope you have some sun where you are!