Saturday, December 14, 2019

Alice Part 1

Hi everyone.  Happy Saturday.  It is dark and very wet here today as it is pouring rain. All our snow is gone but it is supposed to get cold again after this front moves out and  there may be more snow come Tuesday. I am glad it is the weekend after what was a somewhat long and rather eventful week. But mostly a good week too. I will fill you in on a few things another day.

So last month I did a bit of a tease (which you might possibly remember) with some photos from a project I was working on. Some of you guessed an Alice theme, and it is, but maybe not exactly like you suspected.
So I have finally finished it. Hurrah-hurrah.
So let me share a bit with you today.

So this is a story by me that was inspired by the famous story Alice in Wonderland but not in any order or any particular way. It is not actually the story Lewis Carroll wrote with just my art. 
I used a fold out journal I had to make it.

So here's front cover. The story is called Alice in Christmasland. I added bits of song tissue paper to a blue painted background. The letters are hand drawn, painted and made a bit sparkly.
 On the left is the inside of the cover and on the right is the start of a 2 page spread. 

You can read the intro better here. (Sorry, I seem to never be home when it is light out with these short hours of daylight and long days of work and with the way this book folds it was hard to get good photos.)
So let the story begin:

In these modern days
there was a girl named Alice.

And she was precocious 
to say the least.

So when Christmas rolled around
Alice had a thought.
How did Santa fit down the chimney
with a bag full of gifts?
He was such a large man and
there were always so many gifts under her family's tree.

Curiouser and curiouser.

So one cold but calm night
she climbed up on the roof and
Took a peek down the chimney.

That is how it all began.

 I really love how the top of my house came out. I sketched the building and painted the roof brown. Then I stamped the design on tissue paper and added it. I love how some of the tissue looks like light snow on the shingles. The chimney is hand drawn and colored. The windows themselves are part of a die cut and then I decorated the inside of the house views. I also added some paint for snow, drew and fussy cut my ladder, and added some little glistening snowflakes which are actually those fake gemstones. 

And for Alice on the roof I used a punch out from Studio Light, art by Marlene. I kind of wish I had made my own person, but that still intimidates me a bit. I did create the hat for her head however.

 I have to say how much fun I had making this book, and I will probably say that again before I am done showing you. 
And there will be more to come another day. It would be a really long post if I showed it all in one day.
I am linking up to Yvonne's fun words and numbers challenge at Art Journal Journey
Hope you are having a fantastic start to your weekend!

Friday, December 13, 2019

Winter Fun

Hi everyone.
Today I have a page to share with you that is all about winter fun. Well, a least winter fun for those who like to ski. These 2 ladies are from TH's Christmas packet this year, which I picked up as it was time for some different found relatives to use while journaling. 
If you look carefully you can see all the numbers stamped on my Gelli printed background. They are pretty subtle until you start to look.  After stamping I used some modeling paste and a snowflake stencil. After that dried I added a die cut snowflake, the ladies with their skis, as well as a die cut deer and die cut greetings. 
I was excited to use a new sheet of number stamps I bought off of Etsy awhile back. It is new to me but it was an old unmounted red rubber set I think put out by Ma Vinci rubber stamps. Ma Vinci hasn't been around for a long time, but I used to love their alphabet and other stamp sets, so I was excited to get these. Even better they were priced well under $10, brand new and uncut. I remember buying a couple of these sets new back in the day and I think I was paid close to $25 when I got them  from Ma Vinci. But to be fair, they are 8.5 x 11 inches so they were pretty large sets.
This  month Yvonne from   Meggy's Way is the hosting Art Journal Journey Her theme is words and numbers, so I am linking up.
OK, enough for me today.
Thanks for visiting.

Wednesday, December 11, 2019

Pink Christmas

Hi everyone. I'm back today with a journal page to celebrate the season in some non-traditional pink. I love this ancient ornament stamp from Stampers Anonymous (when they didn't just carry Ranger designers--not that there is anything wrong with Ranger designers). I then stamped some winter trees in black and went over them with white ink to give them a snowy feel. Then I added these cute little girls and some fancy words that I cut out of  some paper.
And I have some words on the page so I am linking up to Yvonne's Words and Numbers challenge at  Art Journal Journey.

And since I have an ornament on my journal page, maybe you'd like see a few ornaments from my tree.
Someone gave us this one when my husband and I got married.

And this gorgeous angel is stained glass and made by one of my good friends.
 When I was pregnant with my daughter my mother-in-law  was convinced I was having a boy and gave us this glass pacifier in blue. Hee-hee- I have to say I love it when she is wrong. 

And my husband and I picked up this little wooden bottle which we filled out with all the details after she was born.

 This little 60's elf was on my tree when I was growing up. It freaks my daughter out, so of course I had to put it right on the front of the tree. (smile)
And here's another oldie.  My name was written in sparkles. My cousin made it for me, and now the sparkles are mostly gone but it still says my name.
 And yes Elizabeth, here is this beautiful mini-quilt you gifted me with.
 And here is one of the couple of National Park sign ornaments we have. We always stop to take photos at the signs when we visit a park so an ornament makes a perfect remembrance.
And some art my daughter made may years ago.
 And an angel another friend of mine made.
 And finally one of my own creations.

These are just a few of the treasures on my tree. I am sure if you have a tree you probably have any treasures of your own.
Hope  you have a great day!
And thanks for visiting.

Tuesday, December 10, 2019

Christmas is Coming

Hi everyone. Christmas is not too far way now, is it?
And out latest challenge Try It On Tuesday is CHRISTMAS IS COMING.
I went for a vintage style page using some vintage elements and some die cut words.  I love the gold paper designs (the tree and the bow), and I remember seeing this style little angles when I was a kid. I added the frame and the doily as well as some  little gemstone snowflakes. Finally I edged my page with some red cloth trim.
So get inspired by the season and create some holiday art for the challenge. 
And be sure to see what all the creative ladies on the design team have put up to inspire you with. There's some beauties.

I am also going to link my page to Yvonne's Words and Numbers challenge at Art Journal Journey.
Thanks for visiting.

Monday, December 9, 2019

T Stands for a Really Bad Photo

Hi everyone. I think these weeks go by so fast and here it is already time for T again. This is when we visit at Bleubeard and Elizabeth's blog and share our drink related photos.

So this week for T what I wanted to share with you  was a visit to a restaurant I have been wanted to eat at for maybe 10 years.  It is called Jumpin Jay's Fish Cafe,  and it is in downtown Portsmouth, New Hampshire. Now you may wonder why we have never gone there, and  I guess the only thing I can say it that it is priced a bit more than we usually like to spend, and we don't usually go downtown to eat  just because parking is always a bit more of a hassle and with so many choices that are not downtown, we just never really thinking about going downtown.
But this last Friday was my husband's office holiday get together, and since he is now working in a smaller office (for the same company), I actually got to go and join them.
Here is the "fantastic" photo of my jambalaya that I had for dinner.
 You can tell my phone doesn't work so well in the low light of the this restaurant. Even the peanut butter stout I was drinking did not get included. Sad face!
It was all really yummy but I know you can't tell.
For those who don't know, Jambalaya is  a classic New orleans style dish with rice, shrimp, andouille sausage and a tomato based "sauce".
I got a couple of outdoor shots though.They are not that great either.
But better than my drink photo.
 And while we are on an ocean life theme, we were lucky and got a spot in the Wyland wall parking lot right near the restaurant. Robert Wyland is an artist who for awhile painted a lot of ocean murals on building walls (including a small one in my school that they got rid of when they rebuilt our school). 

It's sad to see the condition this wall is in now,. These finback whales  were painted in 1993. Even with the bad photo and the snow we got that afternoon, you can see all the dark spots where the paint has come off.

So instead of my dinner at Jumpin Jays, I will share my baked pasta dish that I had at the 99 Restaurant in Concord, New Hampshire over the Thanksgiving weekend (when my husband and I went out to do a bit of holiday shopping). For a drink I had a Diet Coke.

It was also very good.
FYI-The 99 is a New England local chain. They have locations all over the 6 state area and also a few in New York.

That's all for me today, so I am wishing you a happy T day.
And thanks for visiting.

Sunday, December 8, 2019

Inspired by a Piece of Paper

Happy new week everyone. 
There's a little warm up and rain coming to start the week which will be nice, but I am not sure it will melt all the snow. Hopefully the melt won't all freeze later this week when the cold returns.
But I am excited for a little bit more warmth, even if it won't last long and brings some rain.
That is better than more snow.
So today I have a snowy journal page to share with you.  It all started when I found this wintery scene 6x6 inch paper in my holiday stash. 
I first attached a blank time card onto my page and then added the paper. I added a scrap of music printed tissue paper to the bottom, and on that I stamped the children and snowman image.. Then I die cut the snowflake and also stamped some snowflakes. Finally I stamped the quote and then added the little gemstone snowflakes.
I am linking up to Yvonne's challenge at Art Journal Journey which is words and numbers.  There are definitely some words here.

Thanks for visiting.

Saturday, December 7, 2019

Book Post, and a Little More

Hi everyone. Happy weekend. I've been writing this post for days. I've had things going on the last couple of evenings and when that happens, I am usually too tired to write once I sit down. So I write a bit and then stop. Finally it is Saturday morning and I have time to finish this post.

I thought I would share this journal spread with you to begin today's post. I started a new journal recently as I do like  theme journals. This journal is small, 5x8 inches, and I bet you can guess the general idea of where I am going with this one.   I also recently came across this bear image, which I just adore, especially when I gave him a black paper hat. 
I started by inked the base page with blue and green ink. Then I did a bit of stamping with all those dots before adding some paper in the middle. Then I added the vintage bear and pine cones, the little paper rectangles (leftover scraps from die cutting some windows), as well as the big blue die cut snowflake.  To wrap up the page I stamped the bear paw, the little quotes in the rectangles, the let it snow quote, the white snowflakes and also I stamped and cut out the 2 snowflake postage stamps. One last stamp (the postmark) and I was finished.
As there are lots of words, I am going to link this page up to  Art Journal Journey
And since I used some scraps I am also going to link up to Moo Mania, where using up your scraps is their latest challenge.

And so I haven't done a book post in quite awhile, and since I like a list to look back on (for purely selfish reasons), here is one for the  most recent books I've read or listened to. Some of you readers like to browse these lists, and some of you don't. So if you don't, books are the rest of the post. And if you do, you can take a look. 
I didn't think I'd made it through so many books because it doesn't feel like I read much this late fall. But then I am surprised  I've gotten through as many as I did.
Mostly I've been reading mysteries.
When I started Front Page Fatality, I wasn't impressed. I thought it was a a book trying to be too many things. I thought it was trying to be cozy and tough at the same time, and it wasn't working for me. But I stuck with it. I ended up really enjoying it because it finally focused and was pretty exciting. It was a great  hard boiled mystery  set in Richmond, Virginia with the main character being a reporter. I will go on and read more in this series as this is book 1.

And I've been back at these Elly Griffiths books. These are books #9 and #10 in the series. One more to go and then I have to wait until June for the latest to be released. 

I've mentioned this series before, but the main characters are a forensic  archeologist, Dr. Ruth Galloway  and DC Nelson, a police detective. They are set in Norfolk, England-where I would like to go now and see the endless expanses of beaches and the town of Kings Lynn. Of course I have never been to that part of England so I don't know how much artistic license the author used, but I have looked up enough to learn a lot about that area. (Things which are mentioned in the book.) There are lots of other really likeable and well written characters who I have become quite attached to. Plus I love the archeology and the stories of the past.

And my book club book was the first of Louise Penny' Inspector Gamache series.  I finished off the series with latest read (A Better Man) before I went back to book one (Still Life), and it was fun to see where the characters all began after following them through so many books. In fact, I am going to try rereading a few of the other early books in this series. That's on my list for 2020.
For those of you unfamiliar with this series, Penny is a Canadian writer, and she sets this story in southern Quebec, not far north of the Vermont border. She is one of my favorite writers.

I think this summer a little road trip to discover this area might have to be in my future since that area is not too far from home.

The Magician's Diary is another magical mystery series I have been enjoying. This is book 4. They are really a fun read/listen, a bit predictable, but have some magic and even a little romance set in  1890's London. They do have to be read in order because each one picks up where the last one left off.

Here's an oldie. I read Like Water for Chocolate back in the 80's or 90's, but honestly I couldn't remember a lot of details. I listened to it this time and did enjoy it again. It is short but quite rich in details. And has that great mystical magic that Mexican stories are known for.

And 438 days is a book I downloaded for when my husband is in the car with me. It is a fascinating true story of a man lost at sea (the longest in history) and then rescued (you know this ahead of time so it is not much of a give away). We haven't quite finished the book so I can't actually rate it yet, but both of us are enjoying it.

I also enjoyed this book, The Secrets We Kept. It is about the Russian novel Dr. Zhivago and many people involved with it, including Boris Pasternak and his mistress (for lack of a better word).  She was the Lara in his novel. It also talks about how the US used the book as a propaganda tool and dropped many of them  over Russia/ the Soviet Union during the cold war since it was not published in the Soviet Union until later.  This book is historical fiction, but I knew none of this and it was really fascinating.

Which of course lead me to watch Dr. Zhivago the film (love it) and then pick up the book. I had read this book maybe 30 years ago and remember liking it a lot then, and I have to say the same thing now. It is a really descriptive and a classic novel. I learned a lot about the Russian revolution and when the Lenin and the Bolsheviks took over. And as far as Russian novels go, it wasn't too bad in length.But it was certainly not a quick read. (And was one reason why I didn't think I had read many books.)
If you've never read it and you want to become immersed in one of the world classics, then I do highly recommend this book.

And lastly, I most recently listened to this book, written by and read by the late Carrie Fisher. I was hoping it would be more about making the first Star Wars film than about her relationship with Harrison Ford, so that disappointed me, but she did write a good story about that.
And now I have started listening to the new Bill Bryson  book The Body. His books are always enjoyable, and this has a biology twist which is like an extra scoop of hot fudge in my mind, but I am not too far into it so I will save that for another book post.

OK, enough said.
Enjoy your weekend.

Tuesday, December 3, 2019

Finally Back to School

Hi everyone. Winter surprised us here in parts of New Hampshire by arriving early with 2 good sized  snow storms back to back, so here it is Wednesday (well I am posting Tuesday night since I wrote this and figured I might as well post rather than scheduling) and finally I am heading back to school after the Thanksgiving holiday.
I must admit with this won't go away chest cold that it was nice to have the extra time relaxing at home, including some relaxing art time too.

One thing I made was this tag which works perfectly for the White Christmas challenge at Tag Tuesday

You can see the music tissue paper on the the background as well as Santa and some snowflakes. 

And while I had the snowflake dies out, I also made this spread in my new mini-winter journal. 
The words are what inspired this particular spread, so I will link it up to Yvonne's Words and Numbers challenge at Art Journal Journey.
My background is blue, shimmery silver and grey inks, and I then I added many die cuts, gemstones and some paper ephemera from my stash. 

I guess all the snow we've gotten lately has inspired me, but better that than just complaining about having to shovel.
Thanks for visiting!

Monday, December 2, 2019

T Stands for a Christmas Tradition

Happy first Tuesday of the new month everyone. Time for T over at   Bleubeard and Elizabeth's blog .        .
Today for T I am going to share a family holiday tradition with you. It was time this past Sunday to go get our Christmas tree. We decided to go before the snow fell as a big storm was due to come in later in the day. But it was a little bittersweet as this was the first time in in the last 28 years my daughter didn't come with us.
Since I live in the country, one thing we like to do is visit the Christmas tree farm on the other side of our town to go cut our own tree.
So grab a saw and a plastic sled to help drag the tree out.

 It was a crisp morning, but it felt nice to get out for a little walk. You can see the snow clouds filtering in.
If I took this photo today, this would have been a winter wonderland.
Here's another view. You might find it strange to see this little graveyard in the middle of the photo,  but since it is relatively rural here, it was not uncommon in the past for each family to have their own graveyard out in their farmland. These are pretty common in many areas of New England.
Look at these gorgeous granite walls around this one.
OK, but let me get back on track. So we ended up walking to the back of the farm to find a tree to our liking.
It is tradition to take a photo before we cut it down.

 And then we drag the tree out to the road. Or I should say, my husband drags it. Although I have participated in dragging the tree out in other years. This year with my chest cold dragging was not in my best interest.
The Christmas tree farm also has some hot apple cider  for you once you return with your tree.  Here you can see my husband getting himself a cupful.
 And that's my drink for T day this week.
And when we got home and before the snow began, we brought the tree in and decorated it.
First the hubby puts on the lights. 
 And then I do most of the decorations. The hubby does help some too.
 Doesn't it look great?  It took me all afternoon to decorate.
 Although the dogs were not particulary impressed with the whole affair.  When we had our cats they used to enjoy the decorating process. But I think the only thing the dogs enjoyed was pulling off a stuffed Snoopy ornament (that looked like a dog toy) and chewing off its ears.
Oh my!

Have a great T day.
And thanks for visiting.