Friday, July 23, 2021

The Door to the Garden

Hi everyone. Happy end of the week, or at least end of the work week. We have sun again this morning also, which is  wonderful. My husband works a half day on Friday's during the summer, so I think this afternoon when my husband gets out of work, boating will be on the agenda, if they don't predict a high chance of storms that is. I am writing this Thursday night so let's see what the morning forecast says. We both want a more peaceful trip than last week's boating adventure was.

This month Alison is our host at Art Journal Journey. Her theme is summer countryside

Whether you live in the city or the country or someplace in between, you most likely have a door that lets you get outside and enjoy the summer countryside. My page was inspired by my screen porch and all the potted plants I have on it and on the deck next to it. I took my page a little further and turned it into a vintage romantic place for this couple in love.

My page started with this piece of wallpaper covered in flowers. I found this door on some printed paper I had. Even though it is different from my screen porch doors, I thought it was pretty and lent a romantic touch. I cut out the flower pots from another piece of paper. Then I did a bit of stenciling and stitching. I added the piece of gold metallic paper on the top of the page,  perhaps it is a gazebo roof, and also the gold metallic paper heart. Finally I added the TH couple. She needed some color and a flower in her hat since it looks like they have a special evening planned. I stamped the circle image with the word love repeated and used a old punch to make it into the final addition on my page.

My screen porch isn't that romantic a place, but look at this adorable baby I saw outside of my screen porch the other afternoon.

And although she was in the shadows, but Mama wasn't so far away.

I was surprised it took the dogs as long as it did to notice them. They were both asleep, and I didn't dare get out of my hammock for fear of disturbing the deer, or waking the dogs. Then the fawn moved and stepped on a twig, which the dogs heard, and they woke up. The deer of course heard the dogs move and went trotting off into the woods. 

I have to laugh because between these deer and a bear we had a few weeks back, Maddie now has to announce herself whenever she goes outside. I think she is telling them all to go away because she really doesn't want to meet them. Smile.

Hope you have a wonderful start to your weekend.
Thanks for visiting too.

Thursday, July 22, 2021


Hi everyone. It's already Thursday.  My week has been relatively quiet but going well. How about yours?

Today I have another tag for Sandie's music challenge over at Tag Tuesday.

I started this tag by using the top of a wide mouthed bottle to stamp some big green dots. Once that paint dried I stamped the music sheet over them.

The musical instruments are from an older TH stamp sheet. Funny, I had no interest in these stamps when they first came out, but then one day a year or 2 ago I saw the set on a markdown. They were under $10, and I decided I would pick them up. I have actually used them a lot,  so they were definitely worth getting. The quotes are from an old set from Technique Tuesday. I added some painted and outlined dots, as well as some cut out musical notes that I had on an older piece of vellum. Finally I added the tiny TH couple and a metallic paper heart.

Keeping this short today. Hope all is well with you. 
Thanks for visiting.

Wednesday, July 21, 2021

Garden Art

Hi everyone. Happy middle of the week.  We've had a little bit of sunshine lately; just enough so I could go pull all the weeds out of some of my gardens. Smile. 

Today's art is a page from my garden journal. I love the idea of nature being able to give us good advice.

My page started with the denim background in my journal. I created my own cloth tape using a roll of white Dina Wakely white cloth tape. I stamped the honeycomb, bees and quote on it. Then I colored the bees.

I used this piece of cherry blossom printed cardboard which was actually the back of a package of stickers I had. I stamped and colored the bees on it.

Then I used a paint pen to add the white dots to the background. I also added the 3 TH children, the white fabric flower, a little metal bee charm I had, as well as part of a pearl swirl sticker. 

I am linking up to Alison's Summer Countryside challenge at Art Journal Journey.

And speaking of bees, when the sun came out the other afternoon (after a morning of heavy rain), the bees were having a big dance party out in front of the hive. So many of them were flying in and flying out.

This is only a fraction of them. I couldn't get them all because when I made the view in my camera bigger they became too small  to be seen.

Have a great middle of your week.


Tuesday, July 20, 2021

Feathered Friends

 Hi everyone. It's another Tuesday, and time for another new challenge at Try It on Tuesday.

Thanks to all of you who joined us for our last challenge, which was Travel and Adventure.

This time our challenge is Fathered Friends.  Who doesn't love all the beautiful birds there are to see?

I started my page with some stenciling using matte medium. Once dry, I added this piece of feathered tissue paper. It came long ago from something I bought online. After my matte medium dried I sponged around the stenciling with some pink and just a tiny bit of blue paint.

I stamped the bird in black, but then decided to color over it in blue marker. I also stamped small postage marks randomly over the page. The flowers are die cuts that I inked and painted in some details. I also stamped the quote and cut it out before adding it to my page. Finally I added the gold metallic paper butterflies.

Be sure to check out the other feathered friends from the design team at Try It on Tuesday. There is lots of inspiration there.

You have 2 weeks to join us. And since my page could be a from a summer countryside, I am also linking up to Alison's challenge at Art Journal Journey That challenge runs the rest of this month, but please, only art journal pages should be linked up. 

Thanks so much for visiting.

Monday, July 19, 2021

T Stands for Storms at Sea

 Hi and happy T day everyone.

As promised today I will share my boating adventure story from Friday. It will probably be rather dull as I mentioned it before, and I am sure people built it up to be more than it was. I will also warn you, this is a long post. Sorry!

Friday last week was a decent day weather wise. Seeing we've had a lot of dark and rainy days this July, my husband took a vacation day from work, and we decided to go out in his boat. We hadn't been out since June, which shows you how wet the weather has been.

First let me explain that we store the boat on it's trailer; we don't keep it in the water all summer. However, instead of pulling it back and forth from home we leave  and store the trailer at the marina. They have a big field where they put very large boats in winter, and during the summer the field is not as full, so we keep the boat there. Although we pay to store it, it doesn't cost a lot and comes out less than the cost of the gas we would used to trailer it home and back. Plus it saves a lot of hassle that to moving it back and forth between home and the marina's boat ramp would cause. 

When we got to the boat that morning, my husband went to hook the trailer up to his truck. That's when he realized that part of the trailer not needed for driving had broken.

I found this nice photo on the internet to explain if you aren't familiar with boat trailers. If you look on the bottom left side you see a part called the jack stand. It would be down  (as shown in the diagram) in order to store the boat when not in use. It keeps the trailer parallel to the ground so the bottom of the boat sits flat. When you are driving on a road trailering the boat, you would flip up the jack stand and and tighten it so that little wheel is not touching the road.

When we arrived Friday the crank that turns up the jack stand so we could move the boat down to the water had snapped a pin, and it wouldn't move into the up position. The first thing we had to do was leave and go find another jack sand, and we had to  come back and replace it. Luckily we found one at Harbor Freight Tools, and my husband could replace it and remove the old one, so all that it really did was set us back  about 90 minutes of boating time.
We put the boat into the water.
It was a nice day, humid and hot, and the water was calm, so I suggested we cruise 6 miles out to the Isles of Shoals to have our picnic lunch. It is much cooler being the 6 miles offshore than being right on the shore. The hubby liked that idea so we cruised out and tied off to one of the empty moorings in Gosport Harbor.  As it was Friday, there wasn't a lot of boat traffic or boats in the harbor.

I've mentioned the Isles of Shoals before. They are a group of small islands that are parts of  the states of New Hampshire and Maine.  

This  one in the above photo is Star Island and Gosport Harbor would be on the left where you see a couple of boats.

And this next photo is Smuttynose. Due to the angle of the photo as we were anchored in the Harbor when I took it, Gosport Harbor would be in front of it; the water is actually in the harbor.

Between those 2 islands is a man made seawall which creates this harbor.

This above photo is looking deeper into the harbor from out boat which was moored on one of the white moorings, just like you can see in this above photo.

And yes, if the sky looks  dark that's because while we were there we had not 1 but 2 storms comes through.

The first one wasn't too bad. The heavy rain went just beyond us so we had about 5 minutes of light wet.

 Now my husband's boat has what is called a cuddy cabin. It is small and not for living in. We use it for storage, and it does have some cushions, so one person could lay down and say, take a nap in there. (Or in our case usually a dog or two naps in there.)

During the rain, both my husband, myself and our 2 dogs squished into the cuddy cabin and waited out the storm. 

Then the sun was out again, and we thought that would be the random shower that those weather folks said could happen. We wiped off the seats and moved back outside. Pete and I even went for a swim off the back of the boat.

And since Maddie with her thick coat looked hot, my husband put her into the water to cool off. She likes to be wet and can swim great, but in the process she went underwater, which she didn't like.

I had barely dried off when we looked at the sky and saw this.

According the radar, which we were checking on our phones, this was a much larger storm with some thunder and lightening associated with it.

We would not miss it if we headed into shore, and we did feel safe being moored int he harbor.

Once again, into the cuddy cabin we went.

And the rain came down.

It took Maddie a little while to decide it was better to go into the cabin than stand in the rain, which meant even with a toweling, we also had a wet dog with us.

We had a bit of thunder and lightening too. 

The sun did come back out, and we went outside. I wish I had captured it on my camera, but I saw a big bolt of lightening  actually hit the water, closer than I would have liked. Luckily we were OK, and the storm moved quickly off the islands and further out to sea. It must have been rough out there though, as you can see the waves breaking on the rock jetty wall that close in the back of the harbor.

We heard later a private fishing boat had actually capsized further offshore, and the people had to be rescued by a Coast Guard Helicopter. Luckily no one was hurt.

Before the second storm was close enough to even know we would get it, I did snap a picture of my drink for T this week. (Be sure to stop by Bleubeard and Elizabeth's blog for T this week.)

It's the floating Diet Coke bottle-smile.

Now I will finish my story. 

The day ended just as interesting as it began. On the way back to shore we stopped to do some mackerel fishing, and we had our best catch in a long time. All of them went back into the ocean, but we caught about around a dozen in a short period of time. 

On the way back to the marina, we pass through another onshore  harbor where a friend I used to teach with moors his sailboat. We saw him and some other people on it (2 more of my former co-worker friends), so we cruised over and tied up to chat for a little while.  In the process Miss Maddie hopped over onto his sailboat. She visited with everyone and then decided to take a nice long pee on his boat. How embarrassing. I guess a dog poop would have been worse.  (Good thing they were all dog people-smile).

At this point, it was time to go in, pull the boat out of the water and head home. I didn't need, nor want, any more adventures. 

This has taken me forever to write. Hop you enjoyed my day of boating adventures. And I apologize if this too too long for you to read also.  Smile.
Hope you have great T day and wonderful week ahead.

Sunday, July 18, 2021

A Country View (and Bees too)

Hi everyone. Hope you had a wonderful weekend. 

My clothes dryer (that I mentioned yesterday needed to get fixed by my husband), is all fixed and back working. Hurrah for that! And the rain that was suppose to come down all day yesterday vanished until  later Saturday night, and we even saw the sun a little while, so I was able to get out and do a bee check. Hurrah for that too. Of course the rain did eventually come, and Sunday (today) has been wet, but there is something nice about a dark Sunday and being lazy. I know the western part of my state has had some flooding that caused road wash outs and wet homes, but nothing as bad as some places in the world.

Today I want to share this page from my garden journal, which was really hard to hold flat for this photo because it is the back page (not the back cover) of the book. That is why the metallic paper trim seems to be heading up as it is heading into the spine because I couldn't actually get it very flat at all.

My background was painted a couple of shades of green and then stamped with some darker green ink dots.  I added a strip of paper with lots of punch out that has been in my stash for too long (back from scrapbooking days), some red masking tape, a metallic gold paper sun and an ancient stamped quote (one of my favorites) from when Stampers Anonymous wasn't just Tim Holtz and some of the other Ranger designers. (Although I am not putting down all the great stamps TH and the Ranger designers create.) 

The wonderful Italian countryside image came out of an old cookbook I have from the 1990's that I never used even once. I hate cutting it apart, but on the other hand, I don't think I will ever use it if I haven't yet, and it has some wonderful pictures in it. At least one page  now has a new life on my journal page. 

I am linking up to Alison's challenge at Art Journal Journey. Her theme is Summer Countryside, and that is what I am showing you today.

And with the little bit of brighter skies Saturday afternoon I went out for a bit into my garden.
I spied this beautiful butterfly on a bee balm flower.
I looked it up as I don't know the names of many butterflies, and it is called a White Mountain Fritillary or an Atlantis Fritillary. I'm not sure which. 

And there were lots of grasshoppers sitting on this bunny garden ornament.

These 2 decided me checking the bees was interesting enough to watch, but from a distance. 

My husband has declared he is the official bee photographer (smile), and he came out to take pictures. He even got fairly close this time. I guess that means he is getting comfortable with them.

There's honey being made in my top hive box, which is what is suppose to be happening. This will be food for the bees over the winter.

In my bottom hive there are more capped larva and a lot more bees. To my inexperienced eye, all is looking good.

I'll be back tomorrow for T with my boating adventure story. (Which of course now will seem rather dull and boring since some of you might expect it to be more exciting than it was.) 

Have a great start to the new week.  I hope it is dryer than ours is supposed to be.

Saturday, July 17, 2021

A Dark Morning-More Rain to Come

 Hi everyone. Happy Saturday.

It's a dark morning here, dark enough I slept in quite late for me.  Too bad because I was hoping to get into the beehive for a check this morning. And rain is due all weekend, not continuous but enough to make the days "not outside" types of days. Right now it looks like the sky is about to open up, so not enough time to go check the bees before rain. The good thing about more rain is my clothes dryer needs some repair work and with the rain, my hubby will be inside to do it. Keeping my fingers crossed he can get it fixed quickly and not break anything else about it in the process. Smile.  (But I know he can fix it.)

Luckily my husband took yesterday off from work, and we did actually get out on his boat for the afternoon. It was quite an adventurous kind of day, with lots of "events". Some good, some bad, but happily everything worked out. I'll share those stories with you once I get the photos I took squared away because pictures will make the story better.

Today I have a tag for Sandie's Music/Musical  challenge at Tag Tuesday.

I had more musical notes on this tag until things went a bit wrong, and I had some 'fixing to do. But when fixing those mistakes, I covered up a few little notes. Too bad because I had a few on vellum and they did look good on the tag. I am happy with my fix though, missing notes or not. I did make a big musical note which I fussy cut and added though. 

I'm hoping with a dark Saturday to get some more art time, unless I'm required to be helper with the dryer repair that is.

Have a great weekend. 

Friday, July 16, 2021

A Whimsy Summer Countryside View

 Hi everyone. Happy Friday. Another week has gone by quickly, and it is almost the weekend again.

We've had a bit of a break from the rain for a couple of days, but it is suppose to be back again tomorrow or later tonight. This has been one wet and not particulary sunny July.

My page today is a whimsical take on a summer flower garden. I am linking up to Alison's Summer Countryside challenge at Art Journal Journey This page is one that started as a piece of  cardboard recycled from a package. 

I began by stenciling with white soft modeling paste the line images you see on the background. Once they dried I used a couple of shades of ink as well as some yellow spray paint to give it color and some texture.

All of the images (except for the flower stems which I used a paint pen to create) are from an Art By Marlene punch out book. I did give them some white and black pen details, and on the sunflower girl I used some glitter glue to give her some shine. I finished off the bottom of the page with some red-orange velvet trim as well as some sheer ruffled trim underneath it.

Yesterday I forgot to include this view of main garden, but I did show you close ups views.  It has a totally different look from far off, not quite so meadow-sh, which is why I mentioned I am not sure if I need to thin it out more or not. From here it looks pretty good. 

I'm keeping this post on the short side as my husband is taking a vacation day today. As long as the weather people predicted correctly (as I wrote this post last night), we're heading out for a day in the boat. We haven't been out since June between all the rain and things going on. 

Enjoy the start of your weekend.

Thursday, July 15, 2021

Some Garden Projects for the Gardeners

 Hi everyone. Happy Thursday.

Today instead of art I want to share some photos of one of my latest addictions. 

I've been working on some more garden projects when it isn't raining. I guess I have been  inspired by all these gardens I've been visiting. Smile.

My new projects don't look great yet, but since they are in process , it will take time to see what happens.

It all started with this strip between where the woods behind my house  starts and where my grass ends, out behind our fire pit. I don't want anything fancy but I do want something to separate the woods from the lawn.

Several years ago, I originally planted some overflow iris bulbs here, thinking they would make a nice hedge of green all summer. Unfortunately it wasn't sunny enough for them. 
This year I bought the 2 shade loving shrubs, a friend gave me some vinca (periwinkle), and I bought some sweet woodruff.  I'm not adding anything else to this area to give these little plants a chance to grow, with hopes that by next spring these plants will be larger and will have spread out some more than they are now. The 2 posts in this photo are where I put my bird feeders for the summer since I wanted to keep the chipmunks (especially) out of my veggie garden. That part has worked great so far.

To the side of this same area, you can also see my hosta. I bought those 3 years ago and after being eaten by deer the first year, they have grown back but only a bit.  I had hoped this year they would get bigger, but they are still pretty small. (Sad face about that.) I thought that since the irises wouldn't make a green hedge that these hosta would do that. Nope, not yet at least. I am curious about how some people get these large shrub like hostas.

I had an ugly plastic snow fence up here to keep the deer out for the last 2 years, and this year I decided to replace it.  These fence pieces aren't the largest, but they blend into the scenery from afar which is what I wanted. And they look way better than the snow
fence, even if they were tougher to put in because of tree roots and rocks. (And when my plants get larger, this fence will blend into the scenery even more.)

And don't you love that Polynesian or Easter Island  style head I found when I bought the fence pieces?  

Then there's my next garden in the process.

I am calling it my bee garden, because, obviously, you can see my beehive from here. Last year I built this stone walkway down to where the bees would be going. This year while visiting my hive I noticed lots of garden plants that had self seeded themselves behind my veggie garden fence. Plus there's a few sunflowers growing too from winter bird seed spillage.

I've got grass to pull out on the far end, but I've been moving some garden plants that I have thinned out down here. I'm hoping that next year I will have more of a full sun garden with lots more flowers for the bees.

And if my bees make it through the winter (which I am hoping and planning on), I am going to add a second hive next year. I don't want a huge honey producing set up, but I am enjoying the bees and would love a second hive.

Everything is so lush this year. This is my main garden.  I thinned it about a month ago. I am now trying to decide if it is still too full and needs a bit more thinning or if it is good as it is. Part of me loves the wild meadow look and part of me isn't crazy about it.

There's lots blooming and about to bloom.

In another week all my oregano will be blooming since you can see the blossoms above. That will add a lot more flowers.

I tried brussel sprouts in my veggie garden this year. They are doing fantastic.

So are the weeds. (smile) And you can see my carrot starting also.

When I weed my veggie garden I only weed around the plants themselves and leave the walk areas weedy. I've tried various methods of weed control, but nothing seems to do the trick completely. (And I don't want to bark mulch here because I like to rotate my crops a bit.) Maybe next year I will get more raised beds. This year I put in 2. With all this rain there is not enough time in the day to totally get rid of all the weeds. 

I do have some grapes coming. I'll get to make more grape jelly this fall.

And I left behind some milkweeds for the butterflies. Hopefully next year they will seed in my bee garden.

That's some of the gardening going on here at my house.  I love that it changes constantly and next summer, may be a totally different place from now.

Hope you're having a good week, and thanks for visiting.