Sunday, January 31, 2010

Its so bright and sunny and COLD

So here's some more pages from my Paris journal that deal with the Eiffel Tower. Am enjoying my book about its building and the Paris World's Fair of 1889. My pages are straight finished but I love them...they're journal pages so they can be "rough". That's what I like though, it makes them look less like their machine printed...and isn't that what art is really about. I know, I'm still in a very self critical stage...I think its good to go through that every now and again so it makes you move forward...BUT you have to be careful not to get bogged down and stuck in it.
So yesterday got a few things on my weekend list done...the financial aid form, the house is cleaner (not neccesarily clean), laundry got a big dent, Dave and I went out shopping for the bathroom and came home with nothing but a few leads, new thoughts. Kind of frustrating but I know deep down it takes time to get the right things...and then I have to comprimise with Dave- which is a good thing, but we have slightly different ideas about what to have- I win some, I lose some, but that's how it should work. It was fun going out with him for the whole afternoon- together as a team we do still get along very well which is a great thing too.
And the mirror just went that is progress. Maybe I'll get to paint later today-but I must go into the studio today-I need it badly right now. (And not to work on this card for my cousin which is annoying me right now- need a new frame of view before I finish that). Right now I am finally watching last Thursday's Project Runway- love that show!
I ordered a couple of new books on Amazon last night- The Happiness Project and the Empires of Light. The first book looks like a great read about a woman's plan to try to be more happy in a year (Something I would do) and the Empires of Light is by Jill Jonnes (who wrote the Eiffel Tower book I am reading now) and its about Edison and Tessler and electricity- (ok, my geek reading). I also found all these new stamps I desire- some from Cornish Heritage Farms, there's a new cat one from Crafty Secrets, Tim Holtz and Wendy Vecchi have some awesome stamps and Crafty Individuals/Magenta have some stamps I'm needing too. Too bad I don't have lots of stamp cash right now, but I am going to Barcelona (can't WAIT). Stamps won't go anywhere that quickly...Thinking to of getting a FLIP for my trip...wanted to look yesterday but didn't get there...think I would actually use a little camera like that and get some fun video...its one of those items you can really play with......and I love to play. 

Saturday, January 30, 2010

January wraps up

Must say I am glad January is wrapping up. Its been a tough month mentally, lots of very cold weather (like now), some snow but not tons, but still not a horrible month- did quite a bit...had bookclub the other night which was fun though my drive home was sketchy with snow and ice and last night went out with most of my department at work to celebrate some birthdays-which was a lot of fun- but it was bitter cold.
So its Saturday- my weekend list- must do a CSS financial aid form for college for Katie, need to clean, want to shop for a cabinet for my bathroom, would like to paint the bathroom and maybe finish that, need to clean-oh this house is bad, want to work in my studio.. see ther enough time? Maybe even shop for  a FLIP video for the trip...we'll be there in 3 weeks and I am getting so excited- besdies it was 48-50 degrees there yesterday instead of our whopping 10 with a wind chill at about -10.
Here's some tag size pieces I am making (they might not be finished pieces)- I can use them on a scrapbook page or put them on the front of a card but am not sure yet what I will do or how/if I will finish them since they could stand on their own. The top one is using some of the new Hero Arts stamps out-love this set- which I tweeked a bit and added a chimney, thought it might be cool but not sure-think they could both use some stitching- maybe onto another piece of paper...lets see where I get with them. Hopefully, I will get into the studio this weekend- seems to be a bit of an issue lately, yesterday I bought a book to try to get some advice with that -and it looks excellent!!!-
Haven't had a chance to read it since I was beat when I got home last night and this morning have a few things to do once I wrap up today's post. Add that to the list, eh?
Happy Saturday though!

Wednesday, January 27, 2010


Here's a few peeks at our bathroom project. The top picture- though nothing to write home about shows the yellow. And the bottom picture-gives a better view though the color isn;t quite right.And yesterday I did the cutting in so the wall is all yellow, no white edge now.  But love the ceiling we did- its wood that's been whitewashed. Dave's such a talented guy to put it up and install the fixtures...

And this lady above here, I love her face. She's so full forward, so powerful and full of hope. She knows what she wants and she's determined to do whatever is on her mind. Suffragette is one word I think of. And I must be feeling yellow since this tag is yellow(ish)-and I like it.
Maybe I'm still thinking about spring...wishing and hoping at the next cold front moves in and January weather returns.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

5 o'clock and it is NOT dark

Got to love it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! The days are really getting longer and today was in the 40's and it really felt like March!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I know it is still January, but a day like this is exciting. Really exciting. I can't stress how much it perks me up.  Plus my semester ended at school, not sure if the kids I get next half will be better or worse, but that's ok. Its the second half of the school year which is great. It means better weather is all that much closer. Eventually.

And because it is a day you want to be outside in some sun (though it didn't last all day), here's some outdoor pages from Paris-a street art vendor by Le Louvre (on the left bank though-not right next to the museum), a post card kiosk near Notre Dame and then a Carosel near the Hotel DeVille.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Crazy rain and wind

Its absolutely pouring- but at least its not snow. Time to curl up on the couch with a cup of tea and read my latest non-fiction book. Started it last night and though I'm not into it to far I am enjoying it. Love these type of books about a time and place and the characters there- like the books Issac's Storm and Thundestruck by Erik Larson. This book so far has Eiffel, Gaugin and Annie Oakley. Who would have put them together. Plus the tower, and I love the tower. Its such a unique piece of architecture.

And to celebrate- here's a few pages with some differen views of the tower- from off to the side, from the top of the Arc Du Triumphe-2 views, you get to see me in one, and then from under neath the tower.
Au revoir pour aujord 'hui (and boy did I mangle the spelling of the last word which means today)

Sunday, January 24, 2010

French food-yummy

3 more pages I' ve done, this days is ode to food. The produce was right next to our hotel, a little grocery store. And the meat market was so clean and shiny, right in the neighborhood of the 16th Arrondisement. I pariuclary like the page with the produce and the stamps I used.
So I finished reading my book-Travelling with Pomegranes. I liked it more as I got into it. It wasn't a great book, but definately one that makes you think about focusing in on a goal, asking for it in some form or another, and having it happen. Write it down make it happen, pray for it. Something to really focus your mind on what you want.
Me, I want my art to be more than just a hobby.
Am a little upset with my dear daughter, her attitude, kind of ganging up on me. I'm having an emotional weekend...and I'm taking it personally. Too much so actually. I don't like that feeling of having no control in the situation, though of course I do have control, only my emotions make it seem like I don't.
So tomorrow and Tuesday we end our quarter at school. Half way through the year actually. Wow. Am ready to move forward, I guess. Three weeks until we leae for Barcelona. I can't wait. Today I started getting my travel box and me travel journal together. I can't wait.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

I love Saturdays

This morning the sun is shining but it is COLD. Like 8 degrees F. I desperately wanted to go for a walk in the morning sun and stretch my stiff body, but its too chilly. So I sat and paddled around in the hot tub and got some morning sun and its amazing how good that makes me feel.
This morning I need to paint more bathroom in its very sunny yellow (am saving photos for when its more finished) and work on a wedding card my cousin asked me to make. Need to do some mock ups, but I admit I'm over thinking this.
So I've had some MORE thoughts about turning 50, and here is what I've decided. My 40's were WONDERFUL. Past the baby thinking 30s-it got to be quite an obsession for me since after I had Katie I found out Dave and I couldn't have any more kids. That was sooooo hard for me. But the 40's, put me past that age. I discovered art, and its what I REALLY needed. I wanted to be a writer before that, and its a nobel persuit, but for my brain- I see stories in a picture, a snippet, and art lets me tell those stories so much better. Art saved me from the baby issue.
And travel, what I always wanted when I was younger, and I finally said hey, what's stopping me? Do it before you can't and then you regret. And I have been traveling a lot in my 40's and that was great. Plus I've gotten to be more ok with me, and worked on the mom issue with my mom (though will I ever accept that?). I have a great home and a great family.
So todays photos are some tags I used in my scrap book of Paris. I love tags to break up the big pages. The top one of the Eiffel Tower is my intrro to that section of the scrapbook. The wine one tells a story on the back and the bottom one is just a piece of collage art that's fun and maybe a little French.
Hey yesterday I took a trip to my fav. craft store- haven't been there since early Nov., since I am TRYING to be good, and bought this book with my coupon about 1000 creative ideas to recycle. Some nifty ideas in there- some a bit bizzare- but I would love to work on doing some mroe green craft, a bit like my bottom tag where I've recycled some paper pieces.
Anyhow, happy Saturday!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Is she disappointed?

Here's a piece of art I made. It could be put onto a card or it could stand on its own. The woman is from B Line (I love her stamps). I call this piece Crushed Rose. Is Rose the woman crushed or is it the rose flower on this card?

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Accepting your style

One thing I love about posting is that I get to go back to my art and look at it from a different eye. Its not the paper on the table in front of me, and I can see things I like or don't like with a fresh eye. So I looked back at yesterdays Louvre pages I posted and I see a few fixes I want to do.  The real Mona page needed a downward arrow and the word bubble at the bottom needed to be colored. The chair to think about art  page otherwise picked out as the painter, needed a paintbrush at the top, and an off white strip under that item  like the other horizontal paintbrush. So I went upstairs, fixed it and yes, I like it better. Couldn't see those changes without posting.

Here's a couple more of my pages from my Paris book. These  share the paper hearts I added to them and a river theme. Now I know my pages are shabby journal style, but I love them. Lately I've been feeling that maybe my stuff isn't very good - maybe I should say it looks homemade and not very refined (maybe that's not quite the right word-but professional isn't right either), but I realized that its ok to have them look homemade and a bit shabby/grunge. There's a charm and a uniqueness to looking that way. I also think that right now my style isn't as popular as it was a bit back when shabby was in more. I just want my pages to be artistic. I don't want them to look like an ad for a scrap company- I LOVE scrap supplies but some sample pages, no companies named, are just way to overdone for me. I understand why a company trying to sell supplies would do that, but then I feel like I start to see so many of that style over and over. I don't want my pages to look to amateur though, even if I believe scrap pages are really for my family, I want  people to look at them and go wow. Nice page. Good job.  Talent. I need a bit of ego stroking- as bad as that is, it is a truth about me. I want my pages to be good-no great. But I want them to be me, and have a style...and sometimes it hard to see that when you're so involved with them but, that's how it is. Maybe its just me, but maybe not. And its true, we all make pages we like better than others- they can't all be wow blow you over pages. Funny, sometimes people really like a page I make that I can't stand. So, just have fun and make a page with your'll be what it is...and that's how it is.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Scrapping Le Louvre

A few recent scrap pages from my Paris Books.

These all focus on our visit to the Louvre last February on our London-Paris vacation.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Snowy MLK day

So woke up to snow falling and a lot of snow on the ground-I'm off for the holiday but Dave was suppose to work and Katie had school-and of course they say on the weather the highest snowfall is in our area so they're the only public school closed in the state. Dave's home because last night there were problems with the flooring and then the toilet going in- flooring got done but the toilet is still not so he's home to clear snow and put in a toilet. Maybe today I will get my house clean-but I am trying to relax about it- so maybe it will be ok . Will do some more painting in my bathroom though-since Dave needs to run to Rochester to Home Depot or Lowes to get supplies to fix the plumbing.
Started reading this book above- so far its perfect for where I'm at in life. Its about a woman turning 50 and her daughter graduating from college. I'm turning 50 and my daughter is graduating from high school and going away. I can relate to what's being said in the book, and its touching me. So far, its a good read, though maybe a bit somber.

So this weekend I have been researching for our trip to Barcelona in a month. Dave wanted to know who Dali was- and I was searching to show him things when I came across this picture. Wow- talk about stirring a memory. When I graduated from 8th grade my Grandmother took me to Washington DC- my first trip there. We went with her friend Mrs. Johnson-never did learn her first name- and her granddaughter Linda. Linda chose for us to go to the National Gallery- (me the natural history museum-who'd guess that?) and I saw this painting and was taken by it. Had to see it a few times and even bought a postcard of it. Now did I know it was painted by Dali? No. When I saw it online the other night it stopped me in my tracks, wow, did it bring back a memory. Its still quite moving, though I'm not as religous a person now as I was as a kid, when I was still exploring what God was...
So 1 month till we leave- am sooooooooo ready. Am trying to decided afetr our days in Barcelona if we should take the train to Madrid and stay a few days there or if we should go with the original plan and rent a car. I would love to go through Figueres and off to Carcasonne France. I think plan 2-well my original plan- is what we'll do, but I wish I had more time and money so I could do both. But isn't that life? I have always wanted to travel and now it is sooooo important to me, I love adventures (even the small ones like driving to IKEA and Katie saying she is so glad we went...spending time with her is such an importance to me). What I love, my family, my home, my pets, my camera, making art, traveling, my gardens, friends....
So to finish this post, a few odd more photos from my cell phone- first of all, my car's dahboard...because my car does let me have so many adventures- seconddly a view of us towing Dave's boat home from the Cape where he bought it (like this view through the side mirror), then us on our way to Cape Cod going up onto the Sagimore Bridge and finally looking through the window the bridge construction down onto the Cape Cod Canal- because these 2 picture were a days adventure for me and him-plus for me, a great day of knitting while we drove.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Snowy Sunday

Snowy but busy. Bathroom work is going on-and I'm sick of the mess. I shouldn't complain like I am right now, since the poor souls in Haiti have way more mess than my house is, but when you're cooped in, and there's a toilet in the middle of your living room floor and dishes piled on your counter and bags and shelves and other bathroom items all over your diningroom, after a bit, it gets to you. Especially when you're inside more than out like it is in January. Am working on painting some- not sure this is the right yellow-like it but still not sure...and floor is being worked on and new toilet is going in today- yahoo.

Anyhow, here's some random photos off my phone. Yesterday was a gorgeous March like day- in the high 40's, and when Katie got home from school after her calculus exam- she and I took off and went south of Boston to IKEA. It was a great spontaneous roadtrip- we had talked about going today but with the weather predicted to be sketchy today, we went yesterday. Spent a small fortune-its that time of year to spruce up the house (ok, another guilty moment when I think of the poor people in Haiti with now homes left...this is bad, isn't it?)- but got studio lighting and Katie got bedding items and I found some new dishes-18 place settings for under $75. (No that I need 18 place settings, but I wanted some various colors...ended up with blue, my favorite spring green and blue!) I really wanted new dishes, not that I needed them truly, but the others were pretty scratched up and a lot had been broken over time so it was an incomplete I said, time to spruce up the house.

Here's a couple of photos from my field trip a week ago to the New England Aquarium. Love that place and we had a good trip.

Here's one of my favorite critters at the aquarium, the cuttlefish. They're related to the octopus and they have the ability to flash bioluminescence - they're bodies change patterns- it is soooo cool.

And this picture goes back to right after Christmas, the morning we drove down to see Mom. Fresh snow, wet messy roads, but very COLD that day.
Oh yes, Katie got into the University of New Hampshire- its very exciting. She's not sure she wants to go there since its not too far from home (40 minutes) and its the state university...but we'll see what else happens.
And now its snowing and Dave's working on putting down new flooring in the bathroom- am holding photos until we get more is exciting...I know that the mess getting under my skin will be quickly forgotten once the work is done and the place looks
Happy Day!

Saturday, January 16, 2010


Yes its Saturday- I got to sleep in-the sun is shining- its not bitter cold- more bathroom work going on today-me, not sure what I will do besides cleaning,bathroom items-hoping to get up into my studio. Life is good today-its my kind of day.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

trying to break out

Trying to break out of the winter blahs. This week has been tough. I want to be the person on that plane the bird is watching- flying someplace warm. But home is a warm place, and I'd be happy just hanging out here too, as long as I can feel warm. I've been feeling so cold all week. Ah winter, ain't it grand.
This card started because I was stamping the clouds as a background for another picture- but that picture didn't work so I added the bird and cut out a branch, punched so leaves, added the plane and the words. Voila.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Weight of Winter

Like in this card- I'm wishing I could walk through green grass with warm blue sky. Its raw cold here in NH right now-though in the 20s feels more like 10 degrees. I've been cold all day. Having some winter cooped up -am so sick of cold and dark mood.Tired of getting up in the cold---tired of being cold---tired of the dark and missing the sun!  Its been cloudy, so today I couldn't see the sun at 4:50 like I did yesterday- I was very excited about that. Means the days are getting longer- no longer pitch dark at 4:30. Yahoo. Today has been one of those days I'd jump a plane and head away to some place warmer or less cooped up. I'd even drive off just to explore. I need a change of pace-big time!
Anyhow- this card uses all Cornish Heritage Farm stamps, including the circle background (Scrapblock).
Another card in my home series That I made last weekend. Looking at this on photo, I think this card needs a flower, a daisy, since it looks like some should be growing there.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Where I want to go

Ok, dealing with winter. This afternoon there is sun, though a cold wind. The sun cheers you up, the wind drives you back into your cave.
Here's some more scrap pages from my Paris 2009 book that I have been recently working on.
So, been thinking about my 50th coming up. Thinking about what I want that decade of my life to be.It read on a blog about a woman who is turning 40 and what she wants to accomplish before 40. I don't know that I need to accomplish anything before I turn 50- I am content where I am.  But during my 50th decade? I suppose I'm presuming I will be healthy the whole time. And 10 years is a long time, and I don't know where those 10 years will take me. I know right now I want to pay off my bills. I want to have money to help pay for my daughter's college. I want to travel more. When I get to retire I want to go live some place different for a month or two. I want to keep doing art and not feel I have to succeed at art, but simply play and have fun. Yet I am a goal oriented person, so I want to have art success. I'd love to write a book. I'd love to be on the cover of a magazine or be the Stampers Sampler/Take Ten artist in profile. I want to stay in shape and before that get better in shape. I want to read more books in a year. I want to cook more. I want to learn Italian and become more fluent in French-because I am so basic in it right now.  In the near future- I want to get this bathroom project finished, get new flooring in the kitchen and dining room and get a new carpet in my bedroom. I also want to organize my studio better. Get a few other house projects done. I want to retire from teaching at some point in my 50's, when I'm ready, whenever that will be. HMMM. I will have more ideas to list some other day, because once you start to think about these things- ideas pop into your head, and in my head, they need to roll around a bit to be sure they are what I really want. I should also look back on my 40's and see how far I have come. Writing it down makes it so much more real and you realize where you have come from. Writing it down also helps you accomplish your goals. They say that is a fact, so this is my way or recording and getting me to my goals...but goals are only street signs on the road of your life...and turns happen unexpectedly...oh my, now it is time to stop because my metaphors aren't so original.