Sunday, April 18, 2021

Recycled Fish

Hi everyone.  Happy weekend.

Meet Mr. Fish.  

Most of your probably know Elizabeth (at Bleubeard and Elizabeth's blog) is celebrating her birthday on Earth Day with a recycled art month.
Elizabeth asked if I would be interested in creating some recycled art, and I was thrilled to be asked. Thank you Elizabeth for this opportunity.

I also knew just what I wanted to do.

Our waste transfer station, better known as the dump,  has a small enclosed area during the summer and early fall where people can put things too good to throw away but that they don't want anymore.  They are free for the taking, first come first serve. I've gotten some great things there including a vintage school desk, an old steamer trunk, a nice plant stand, and even occasionally a  stack of books to read. 
And I've not only brought things home, but I've (we if you also count my husband) have put  things there also. 

One day last summer my husband and I were at the dump. My husband came over to me, as I was still sitting in his truck, and he handed me this ceramic fish.
He knows I like fish. Maybe because I am a Pieces.

This fish was painted bright tropical colors and reminded me of something someone might have in a bathroom or a home party area with a tropical or Jimmy Buffet theme. They weren't my choice of colors.  You can make out some of those colors through the white spray paint.

One of my home projects last summer  was to spray paint some shutters I have in  my bathroom window.  I wanted them to match the bathroom wall shelves I had painted antique white the summer before.  One day when I was spray painting my shutters, I brought out the fish and used some paint on him also.

At that point I wasn't sure how I was going to continue to refinish Mr. Fish, so I put him on a shelf. There he sat until Elizabeth asked if I wanted to share something. 
I knew it was time to finish Mr. Fish.

I started by wrapping Mr. Fish with some printed tissue paper using matte medium.  This took awhile because I had to cover both sides and along the bottom and top, and since Mr. Fish does not stand on his own, I had to wait for the layers of matte medium to dry before I could move on.

I decided to make him "camo", at least fish "camo", as if he lived in a local lake or river and would blend in with his surroundings. I sprayed him with with assorted spray inks and some Dina Wakely spray paints until I liked how he looked.

And then I gave him some googly eyes. 

Now you see a redone, recycled and quite handsome Mr. Fish. At least I think he is handsome. He is going to work well in my living room with my other fish art. First I have to figure out how to get him to stand up however. I hope he won't have to sit for another 8 months before I figure that one out.

Thanks again to Elizabeth for sharing this art on her blog. 
Enjoy the rest of your weekend.

Friday, April 16, 2021

Cleaning Discoveries-the Next Journal

 Hi everyone. Happy Friday. I'm back today with another found treasure.  

In case you missed last week's post with my first cloth journal, let me briefly recap. While looking for some old photos, I came across a box with some old journals I had made and forgot I had. I was really inspired by what I found, and I thought on occasion I would share some views with you.

My book today is a small 3x5 house shaped book.  I also discovered a larger 6x8 house shaped book, but the theme on that one is a little different from the one I am showing today. 

For this house book I used vintage or vintage style fabrics. They are stitched onto some light cardboard. The cardboard forms the center support of each page, and there are images on the front and back side of it. That explains why the chimney is sometimes on the left and sometimes on the right.

I put a hole an upper side of each page and tied all my pages together with some black ribbon.

The theme of this book is who we grow up to be. Unlike last week's book that was about a trip I went on, this book is more of a general theme.

The biggest thing about finding these journals is that it has inspired me to get back to my sewing machine and to pull out fabric scraps. I remembered how much I really enjoyed making these. I don't know why I stopped, but probably my mind moved onto something else. It is time to get back to making these books, and I am happy to say I have started a new one. More to come with that sometime in the future also.

Hope you enjoyed the views.
And have a great start to your weekend.

Thursday, April 15, 2021

Inspired by Japan

Hi everyone. Happy Thursday. 
 I'm back today with some more art for you.

I have another page for Art Journal Journey. This month Chris who you might know as Pear Shaped Crafting and myself are hosting in memory of Eileen. Her theme was Inspired By, and we are honoring Eileen by keeping it. My page has some Japanese inspiration.

My page is inspired by the trip I took to Japan 3 years ago with the school where I worked. I can't believe it was 3 years ago  already. I am glad I went then  as with covid there wasn't any trip last year and now that I am retired I don't qualify to go (at least with the school where I taught) anymore.  

For those of you who don't know the story,  the school where I taught takes a trip to their sister city and sister school in Japan during our April school break. Teachers as well as other school staff like administrators along with some students get to go. Since school employees go for free (as the city pays for their trip), it was limited how many could go each year. I had to wait a couple of years to get chosen, but I went with the best staff because the other 4 teachers  on the trip were all also science teachers, and we were all work friends also. Plus because of several other opportunities that particular April, only 8 students chose to participate. The  year after I went about 25 students participated. I know they had to change a lot of the trip's itinerary with that many kids.

 Part of the trip the year I went we visited the Nichinan area of Japan (the very southern tip of the main islands that make up the country) along with participating in some school related events. Then we had some days in Kyoto and Tokyo also.  It was an amazing adventure for sure.

When I started my page I wasn't really thinking Japan, and I just wanted to used this pretty flower washi tape I had just received. I thought it looked Asian, so I first stamped the old Hero Arts image, and then I added my washi tape. I also added some other yellow tape that matched.

I added some yellow tape and some golden paint rings (made using an empty tape  role). I die cut the pagoda, the fan and also the kanji writing, although I don't know what it says and hopefully I didn't place it upside down either.

Finally I finished the page with some yellow TH images and a quote from Art by Marlene.

I'll end this post with a few memory photos from Japan. The theme today is some shrines. These are other sights are things that inspired the pagoda and feel of my journal page.

The first three are from Udo Shrine in Nichinan, the sister city.

The next 4 are from the famous Fushimi Inari Shrine in Kyoto. Ianri means fox, so you see lots of fox statues here.

And these last photos are from the Temple of the Golden Pavillion or palace also in Kyoto called Kinkiaku-Ji. 

Hope your week is going well. 


Wednesday, April 14, 2021

Enjoying the Outdoors

Hi everyone. 

Today I have another page for Eileen's Inspired By challenge at Art Journal Journey  Chris and I are hosting this challenge in memory of Eileen.

With summer not too far off and covid still an issue, I was thinking about doing things outdoors. I liked this TH photo of the 3 boys, and when I was thinking about what boys would do outside, camping crossed my mind. They even look dressed for this big adventure.

I used a background I had made at Christmas time but never finished. The watercolor paper base was painted green and had some Christmas tree paper scraps glued to it. I  added the acetate map over it, not only the for map details but to make the background not seem so holiday like. If you look carefully you can see a few tress with a red star on them.  But since this has a camping theme, they work.

The tent, tree, bonfire and canoe are from a very old set of dies I have.  I'm not sure if the company that made this set is even in business anymore. I was glad to use them though, since I haven't used them in such a long enough time it was like having a new set of dies. I painted directly on the acetate and added details to that paint to turn that into  the log, as the boys needed a place to sit. 

I stamped the quotes right on my page. I stamped the lantern and flashlight (from the same clear set as the quotes) on acetate scraps, added color and then, after fussy cutting, glued them down onto my page.

And there you have it.

I did go out and meet my walking friend one day last week. The tide was high so we met at the Urban Forestry Center in Portsmouth. I've brought you here before, but thought I would still share a few photos as it was a beautiful day to walk outdoors.

 Pussy willows past their prime.

And some still with those soft little tufts still showing.

 And since tree cutting has been on my radar lately, this big tree piece caught my eye.

Thanks for visiting, and I hope you are enjoying your day. Maybe there is even a bit of great outdoors in it for you. 


Tuesday, April 13, 2021


 Hi everyone. Thanks to all of you who joined us for our last spring themed challenge at Try It On Tuesday There were so many wonderful entries.

It is time for a new challenge once again. For the next 2 weeks we are asking you to Make a Rainbow.

I made a rainbow of some hand doodled tulips in a hand drawn acetate vase. This little bird is also bringing us another flower. This one is a color wheel, which also has a rainbow of colors on it. 

I played around with several things on this journal page. I tried sponging white gesso over a blue painted sky to get some details and texture.  I also played around creating an acetate vase for the tulips. And the biggest thing I needed to play around with was the table where the vase is placed. I shouldn't have picked blue for the background, but I stamped on it and added bits of printed tissue paper to create more texture and depth. It also helped distinguish it from the sky.  I'm not sure that the bottom background works as well as I would like it to, but it works enough that I can live with it.  I also took the challenge a bit on the literal side, and that is why my tulips are outside, where a rainbow might fill the sky.

Finally I stitched my whole page onto to some polka dot paper to finish it off with a little frame.

Be sure to check out all the colorful designs the other design team members have created.  

I am also linking my journal page up to Art Journal Journey. This month we are honoring Eileen and her Inspired By theme, and Chris of Pear Shaped Crafting and myself are hosting.  I was inspired by spring flowers and rainbows.

I hope to see your rainbow art over at Try It On Tuesday. Remember the challenge runs for 2 weeks and is open to all forms of art.
Thanks for visiting.

Monday, April 12, 2021

T Stands for Yardwork

 Hi everyone.

Overall we've had a pretty nice spring here in New Hampshire. I should say we've actually had spring this year, at least so far. In fact, last week ended with some gorgeous weather, more like late May than April. 

With the beautiful weather and things finally drying out, I spent much of my time outside doing yard work. Even though I know crocuses are long gone for many of you, mine are finally starting to bloom. 

Now that the flower beds are all raked, so much is popping up, and it is exciting to see it all happening.

Last weekend my husband cut down this grey birch tree. It was a nice tree, and I was sad to have to cut it down. The problem was it had gotten so big  that once the leaves blossomed it would block a lot of sun in the veggie garden. It's been an issue for a few years. That garden is inside the white picket fence that you can just see on the edge of the photo. As you can also see, it's not like we don't have other trees either.

Ignore Maddie, she's a photo hog.

The hubby was worried the tree might come down in the wrong direction and land on the deck or picket fence.

He engineered the fall perfectly.

Of course that meant I also spent some of last week dragging the chopped off branches up to the driveway so my husband could take them to the dump this past weekend. It's either that or burn them, but burning is a chore and a half in itself,  especially since we're drier than normal after last summer's drought.

The hubby took 2 loads of brush like this to the dump.  There's still a bit left for another day.

I did manage to get a laugh break during my yard work while watching Pete try to catch a chipmunk who ran into the fire pit.

Pete is fast but the squirrels and chipmunks always outwit him because he can't climb trees or get into the little crevices they squeeze into.

I can't believe some of my roses even have leaves popping out. It's usually more in late April that that happens.

And lastly I have been busy getting ready for my bees to arrive at the end of May.  The hubby and I are trying to work out the best spot to place the hive and the best way to get it up off the ground. Plus I have to put up an electric fence because of the bears, and I don't know anything about electric fences. I've been having fun learning all these new things.

This is why I like when we actually get spring.

 My drink related post for T this week comes from a cloth journal I found a couple of weeks ago in a bin in my attic.  Be sure to stop by Bleubeard and Elizabeth's blog   where we share our drink related posts for T on Tuesdays.

I think it's pretty obvious about how it fits for T.

This journal comes from back in the early 2000's, but I'm not sure of the exact date. I've pre-posted the rest of the pages from this book for Friday this week.

That's all for me.
Happy T day, and thanks for visiting.