Monday, April 30, 2007

A few more photos from Ireland

This top photo is of some sheep- their population of them must be 3x or 4x more than people. They are so cute though, and make you want to knit.
Photo is taken at Newgrange- a 5,000 year old tomb, this is behind the tomb and basically was suppose to keep people from walking where they weren't wanted, but it made a great shot.
Then there's Dave and myself ( a good photo) at Cashel-taken by Katie, and finally Trim Castle in Trim.

First driving lesson

Today Katie is officially 15 1/2, which means in NH she can start driving as long as a parent (or guardian) is with her. Ok, that is weird in itself-not the rules but the fact she is old enough to really start driving. We went out and she rolled around the driveway a bit, practicing breaking and a bit of gassing- very strange to think that in 6 months or so she will get her liscence and actually be driving. Its scary to me- thinking she can drive- not that her driving scares me but the fact that teenagers do stupid things and think they are immortal, and being behind the wheel of a vehicle that can go fast- that scares me. I know she has good sense but... I know teenagers way too well.

Guess its that official time as a parent when you start to get those new worries- between the boyfriend- whom I like but I worry she might not always use common sense, and now driving- I will be very gray and wrinkling pretty soon at this rate.

Sunday, April 29, 2007


Check out the latest issue of the Stamper's Sampler Catch Up Issue. There's lots of beautiful cards and some great ideas. Plus I have 2 cards in it!

Home again

We had a great week- wish it could have been longer.
Just a few quick photos- Dave and Katie outside the Hard Rock in Dublin, spectacular scenery from the Antrim Coast, the ruins at Cashel and a view in the Wicklow Mountains. More to come.

Friday, April 20, 2007

Off to Ireland tomorrow

Off tomorrow- on an adventure. Hope to take lots of photos- Dave got us a mini- point and shoot digital so that along with my baby SLR- should be a green blog for several weeks to come.

Top of the morning to you all (and day, evening, night!)

Thursday, April 19, 2007


This weather blogger is happy to say we have sunshine- first in days, and the snow is gone from all the rain, slowly we will start drying out and the weather is warming back to normal- and maybe April will be kind for a few days. Too bad for all the people who were flooded, some again for a second time after last May's torrential downpours. Its really sad what some people have gone through here in NH. (Never mind there's still like26 school districts closed).

OK- the good news for me- (time to be selfish), besides the fact that my heavy mantle of sadness is lifting as the weather improves- tomorrow I am at Harvard all day with my zoology students on a field trip- AND- Saturday we leave for Ireland!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Can't wait!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Need to finish packing and finishing up some errands today and tomorrow- need to write myself the list of what I need to do.

But its just about here- and I love to travel!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

At least the snow is all gone

I should call this my weather journal lately- seems all I've been writing about. Still raining- not as hard, and the snow is gone. Still lots of closed roads, but Route 11 is back open in Rochester so I can at least drive directly home- in the normal commute time. No more going really far north and looping back south to home. Katie had no school today- but we did. The coast is having more tide flooding than river, stream and lake flooding.

Packed my art kit tonight- suitcase is out and I am slowly putting things in- we leave Saturday for Ireland- am very excited about that.Am hoping the weather there will be spring like.

Am ready to quit my job though. I know these spells are normal- after 22 years of teaching how can one not get sick of it. Feel like I'm trapped doing something that is driving me crazy. I don't hate it, but I want to develop other parts of me, be something more. I'm tired of teenagers! I just want to work in my studio- sell art- but I'm soooo doubtful about my talent right now. Maybe I just can't accept who I am- but its always been important to me to do something creative- but I just don't seem to be good enough. (Now define what good enough is?) UGH. Is it listening to my soul or is it just me complaining?

Monday, April 16, 2007


I can't believe the flooding today. We're having a nor'easter-last night the snow turned to rain. Not much left for snow but the rivers, streams, run-off are flooding everywhere. Even my road is closed, though I was able to sneak to the house since the road isn't so bad the 1/4 mile in to us. There is water everywhere. My ride home- up 16 all the way to Wakefield- on 109 to Wolfeboro, down 28 to 11. Took me 2 hours to do this way out of the way route, but Rochester, NH is so flooded you can't get off and drive up here to New Durham. So much for the normal 45 minute trip- not sure if I'll be able to even make it to work tomorrow- am not going to do that long long round about way to go to work.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Winter's back- AGAIN

So it is April 15th- we finished our taxes this morning and will mail them tomorrow. And just as they predicted, this big old storm has arrived- as you can see from the photos. This is our third storm in these 15 days of April- can you believe it? I can't. This is not the month we get this much snow.
Watched the Good Shepard last night- that was a good movie- makes your brain cells work as you watch it. But how can someone be so unemotional? I don't get it- I am sooo emotional- but in me its well buried under my thick Yankee skin.
Well this Yankee girl took out her suitcase today so she can start packing- time to escape this New England winter that just won't end. (Am really excited- about the trip and winter finally ending-if it ends). And this girl is just about done mounting her rubber stamps- but she's feeling guilty for having so many...but why should I feel guilty? It makes no sense- its ok to have too many stamps isn't it? My little voice says that maybe if I was a real professional artist who made money stamping it would be ok- but since I only make piddling dollars its not ok. I have to remind myself that being a real artist doesn't mean you have to make lots of money at it. (Can't you tell its the return of winter and my mind is sinking fast...?)Someday the sun will come back out and the weather will be about 60-65 degrees and I will be good again.

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Is this really April?

Saturday- the best day of the weekend before the big storm hits- hopefully rain! We had some rain, snow, ice on Thursday- man- this weather is like March or late February weather. Doesn't even feel like April. I've yet to dig out my sandals, and forget spring clothes. I've fallen back into my March blues- ugh!

The March blues have been hampering my week- or bad karma maybe. Seems like a week everything was just off. So here it is Saturday and I am just exhausted. Last night I went to bed at 9. Its really hard to get excited about anything when I really want to go rake the yard- yes, rake the yard- but the yard is WHITE. This is like March (my least favorite month) and I can't shake this feeling of late winter doom and gloom.

Enough complaining. We leave in 1 week for Ireland-YEAH! Tomorrow the suitcases come out!
Next Saturday at this time we'll be in flight. But before we go, a week of work, want to finish mounting these rubber stamps (am surprised at how many I have- wow), see if I can cut some watercolor paper and run off some photos I need to mount from Bryce Canyon and the Grand Canyon. Made my travel journal- need to decide what size of a pouch to pack my art supplies in, that's fun stuff.

Happy Saturday.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Photographing art

Taking a photo of an art piece is a great way to critque it. Some pieces photograph well and look better than in real life. Some that look great in real life look worse photographed. Haven't quite figured all that out yet since I'm not exactly a trained art photographer, but today I photographed what is done of my latest project -Harley's travel suitcase call Dogs Travel Light. Not sure if I need to do any more on it or not.

You can see the suitcase here- a metal lunch tin- small- banged up and painted and even the handle is wrapped in electrical tape to make it look used. Inside are several created postcards. On front is a view of where Harley is and on the back is his message-put them all together and a tell the story of a dog at the kennel who breaks out to go find his owners. On the way he decided he is going to have some adventure and travel. (Which those of you who know Harley- he loves to go with us anywhere we take him.)

His trip first takes him to Vegas. I based this since our last vacation(Aug. 06) was to Vegas, Zion, Bryce and The Grand Canyon. The postcards are dated to follow the story. There's also an inserted telegram and a bag from Mount Rushmore that wed got when we went there in 2003.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

a project from the archives

The lack of spring weather, the relaxing family time of Easter weekend, the hours I've spent mounting my collection of unmounted rubber stamps, the busy days at work- seems there's not a lot going on in the studio lately. Except for a few cards and a little progression on the Harley as a world traveler project, I have done NOTHING in the creative area. I decided I'd post a few photos of a project I sent out to Somerset Holidays. Not sure if it will fit their needs but its a great banner for that romantic February holiday- or any time for someone who likes vintage hearts.

Saturday, April 7, 2007

Easter weekend

Power is back on as of yesterday sometime during the day (while we were all at work and school). Seems like when we lose it we lose it- off for 1 1/2 days. Thursday we got a foot of new snow- though its chilly it is going down fairly fast. So much for doing more raking this weekend.
Been spending too much money lately- had to lend myself some for my car payment today. Wish a little banking fairy would drop some cash into my checking account. Is my own fault- have been so good all winter needed a little spending to bring on spring. Time to put the breaks on again.
Think I should look into a second job this summer when school is out. Think I need shopping therapy- not to go shopping but to not go shopping again-ever.
Easter weekend. Not doing much- which is ok- the rest of my foam mounting material arrived yesterday so I should now be able to finish mounting my rubber stamps- am enjoying having them mounted and will be good to get them off the floor (my workspace) before Leo bites holes into the unmounted rubber- seems he likes rubber stamps too. Is like getting a whole bunch of new toys. Also Dave is working for the 13th or 14th day in a row, and tomorrow I think we will chill and watch movies that the Easter Bunny is bringing- one reason there's not much cash left in my checking account.
Have this hyacinth in my kitchen which is making my whole house smell like a garden. it -seems like the garden has come inside.
Last night we went to the Monarch's hockey game in Manchester with some people from Dave's office. Was a fun night out- Katie came too, so it was nice to do something as a family. Dave took us to Fratello's for dinner first- had one of their yummy pizza's (Margarhita-spelling?) MMMM. The game was good too- though not really a Monarch's fan per se.
Oh by the way- Maine lost to Michigan State in the semi-finals. But BC beat North Dakota- may watch the game tonight just in hopes a Hockey East time can take it!!! BC is on such a role they well could. Too bad about Maine though.We still love our Black Bears.
Of course the game was funny in itself on Thursday since we had no power-figures- and I'm actually home as Katie and I both had snow days. So we go to my mother-in-law Barbara's house who had power- and she laughed at my shirt- and then I actually couldn't even make it to her house- got stuck 3/4 of a mile in (out of a mile) and she had to come an rescue us further back down the road- which was just a big mud/snow/pothole mess.
Oh well, luckily could get a quick shower and she made us dinner- which wouldn't happen at home with no power- came home at 8:30 to find Dave asleep on the couch and the house still black.
But power is back! (Worse part of Thursday- I'm home but my crafting was limited as it was dark in the corner where my table is- did a bit on the ironing board where the sun was coming in- but that's working on a wobbly table...
Happy easter- hope its spring like in the rest of the world.

Wednesday, April 4, 2007

Musings and photos

I won't mention the current weather- just to say quickly I thought we were out of the winter woods since it was April. That's a big joke!

Also, I will mention the frozen 4 starts tomorrow. GO MAINE BLACK BEARS!

Latest projects:

I managed to convince myself (writing is a wonderful tool to decide what it is you want) that I should try the travel journal, and I had a blank board book that's like 8x8 so I am putting some color on the pages and doing up the front title page so I can take it with me. I am also putting together a small box of supplies -my Adventure Box. Hard for me to limit supplies because I tend to go overboard, but I will/must control myself because my suitcase only holds so much. I know I can leave the clothes behind, but then everyone might compalin how smelly I get, or I'll complain of the same old clothes. So art supplies unfortunately will need to be to a minimum. I am also trying to get those travel supplies together since if I don't, it will be the night before we leave, and after working all that day and having to pack and do the last of laundry for those needed clothes and all the other "stuff" that goes with getting off- I won't put my adventure box together--so I want to be prepared.

I am also making a fun project called "Dogs Travel Light". It is a small lunchbox turned into a suitcase (which I am in the middle of making). Inside are some handmade postcards that tell the story of Harley, my dog, and his wish to travel on vacation with us. I have completed almost all of the postcards- and will post them once done and photographed.

Definately been in a story in a box type mood for the last few months. Funny how we go through different phases with our art, like our lives, which say something about where we are and who we are at the time. I'm not certain why the box for me now- do I feel boxed in? Am I trying to let a part of me out? Do I want life to be more contained? Some other blog day I may muse over those questions.

Todays photos: I made I book back a month or 2 ago about my house and my family. I found a cool blank board book shaped like a house, and I wanted to record in an altered type scrap book about what its like to be in my family and in my house right now. I love photography- so the book is packed with it, and to organize it those photos but not be too anal- I took the general theme of the seasons- starting with winter and xmas. But I through a few other pages in just to make it not to predictable- or at least I think those pages do that. Enjoy!

Tuesday, April 3, 2007

travel journal dilemma

OK. this is silly, but its been rattling around in my head. We are off to Ireland in 2 1/2 weeks for this year's family vacation. I am VERY excited about this, as we have never been there and we always have such great fun on our family vacations- yes, even with a 15 year old who won't be able to call her boyfriend. (My point in booking this trip).
Here's my dliemma- small as it is.
I usually collect all kinds of emphemera on trips and come home and use it in my scrapbooks- which are pretty awesome if I may say so myself. I keep a small written journal on our trips to record info to use back when I scrapbook the trip.
However, I love the travel journals people make while traveling (and maybe sprucing up when they get home). I can't draw enough to make me happy- so these gorgeous sketchbooks are out. But I could bring a small stash of supplies and attach emphemera and record info and maybe leave some spaces to come home and add a few photos. OK- so what's the problem?
I take sooooo many photos, and I love to include them in a scrapbook with all my collections from the trip. I feel like its overkill to do a travel journal and a big fat scrapbook- but I know that's silly of me, and I am just trying to convince myself its worth the try. Or what if I get there and don't do what I set out to do? I know, its no big deal, so fix it up when I get home.
So what's my problem? Why this doubt? I should just put a small book together and attach my stash. But what if I want some of those items for the scrapbook, - I know- I can come home and copy them on the scanner...So why am I overthinking this? Is it I don't want to do it or is it I am afraid it will be a disaster or I will not be happy with it? I think that's really it. That I won't like it. I must give myself permission for it to be different and not so great. (And it probably will be super).
So what it the idea fails- why does that matter? Better to try than just not do it.
Push myself a bit.
"Its ok if its not a perfect album." "Its ok to do 2- that journal and a scrapbook" If its bad, I can tuck it away as an experiment that needs some work, and I can learn from it.

Whoever reads this- if anyone-
Thanks for listening.

Monday, April 2, 2007

swimming adventure in Yellowstone-2003

A few more scrapbook pages from our 2003 Yellowstone trip. I made these scrap pages a few years back but have finally put them on film- I made 2 albums of photos from Yellowstone- and they're some of my favorites. The photo with Katie and the swimming sign was one I put together with Photoshop Elements. We had been told to try swimming in this river that was fed by a hotspring. An interesting adventure but not the easiest to maneuver. The bottom of the river was all tiny rocks. This second photo shows the swimming hole where we took our dip.

Sunday, April 1, 2007

Its is Finally April!

I don't really care for March- even though there's lots of hope in March- hope that the weather will become better- the grass will get green- trees will get leaves. Birds do start to return. The temperatures tend to go up.

But in April- all that really happens. And today it is April! Yeah! No April fool there.