Friday, August 31, 2012

10 Things Friday

So for this week's 10 thing Friday post, I am going to look ahead to 10 (and only 10) things out of the ordinary that I want to accomplish this fall. No big long list. Time to be succinct. 

1-Not get out of this summer mode. I say this every year, and I do get back into the hustle and bustle of life mode. But I love my summer mode, and I am hoping to stay in the more relaxed, take life as it comes mode.
2-Experiment with more new recipes-try some new chili recipes, make an apple pie with fresh picked apples. Try some yummy  lite and healthy meals. Maybe even make some terribly complicated and yummy dessert. 
3- Go apple picking and get a pumpkin at the farm. Then carve that pumpkin into a Halloween jack-o-lantern. Haven't carved a jack-o-lantern since my daughter was in high school.
4-Play hooky from work and go take an art class.
5- Get hockey tickets to the Maine/UNH game at Orono, ME and go up to see the game in early November- and see Maine beat UNH. And since it is a Sunday afternoon game, we talked about going down to Acadia for a day as part of a little weekend road trip.
Also on my list- Get to a few other games when Maine is playing down this way too.
6-Play with making some more altered books.  I also want to make a little Halloween 3D collage box using one of those Tim Holtz assemblage boxes. And I want to finish my prayer flags. And I want to....this could be a very long number if I don't stop someplace.
7-Watch the rest of my Dark Shadows DVD set.  Watch the first set of Downton Abbey that I have heard people say good things about. (I have never seen the show). Read a few of the books I didn't get to this past summer (Like Outlander and the new and the last Louise Penny mysteries). Finish knitting my socks and my ocean scarf.
8-Actually get a home improvement project started and completed.
9-Plan a trip for February school vacation.
10-Get outside enough. I feel better when I get out and get some sun and fresh air. I hate being cooped in too much.

So here's a few more photos from my trip last week to St. Gaudens homestead in western New Hampshire.

Are you excited for the long weekend? 
Make it a great one.


Thursday, August 30, 2012


Man, this getting up in the morning is a killer! Luckily today is my last morning of the week I have to do it.
I still have photos to download from my camera from the class I took last Saturday With Julie Fei-Fan Balzar. Hopefully those will be coming soon. But there are a lot up on her blog. You can check them out here
But until I get around to that, here's a bit more summer journal to show you.
Some splashy flowers on a sprayed and stenciled background. With such a flashy background I kept the flowers simple so they would stand out.
How about this flashy page with the title to a  story page. Bright colors and I really like how this scalloped edge makes the inner words jump out at you.
And finally a info page...some 2 color overlapping letter stamping to make the work-some stickers, some printed tissue paper, and this Polaroid frame which is a stamp from Hero Arts/ Studio Calico that I stamped and cut out. Makes a fun little journaling tag. I also added some tape, a quote sticker, a sprayed ink background and some image stamping.

So that's all for today. One more day of work until I get a long weekend and I really need it after this most stressful week of the year.
Thanks for visiting and enjoy your day.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Summer Journal

Here's a page of my summer journal that I didn't care too much for at first, but then I played with it and now I am happy with it. I especially like this little bird.
Tim Holtz now makes this giant tags, which are great for a 3 holed punched album. I covered mine in assorted tapes, added some ink rubbing over the tapes and papers, added a photo with a frame around it, and then added this die cut. I actually cut the die cut out a brown paper bag, and then I colored the bird with both Copics and Tim Holtz markers. Then I used a white pen to add some details to the bird which I particular like.
Here's the whole tag, inside the binder at a weird angle.
Here's another page photographed at a slightly weird angel. It goes with the top tag since the photo on it was taken the same day and has that same woodsy feel. I also used a brown paper bag to cover some watercolor paper, and then I ran an ink pad over it to give it a bit more depth. 
I also used and 8x8 piece of printed paper, a punched row of evergreen trees, inked dark green, some die cut letters, a brown Copic to doodle the edges around the paper, a solid brown moose sticker and some polka-dot sheer ribbon trim.
Here's a close up, more clear view of the top- you can also see I added some green tape along the left hand edge of the page.
So yesterday I made it through another day of being back to work-I woke up too early though-stress was getting to me. And today, the whole shebang is on- all the kids are back and it is the first official day of classes.
Summer vacation feels like it was a long time ago.
Thanks for visiting.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Going Back to Work is Hard Work

Yawn. I am writing this at 4:15 yesterday afternoon and man, I am BEAT. First day back to work, too many details to take care of but great to see my work friends.
And today, the freshmen arrive.
Change of pace today, but made this silly card over the summer.
I send a lot of my card to my daughter at college and so I try to make a bunch of cards that are going to make her smile. Not that this is the greatest card I've ever made, but if I was 20 and in college- it would put a smile on my face (or make me think my mother had gone off the deep end).
I used the same background paper to emboss the sheep (Love those silly sheep) as make the base so that I could make the embossed panel blend in pretty seamlessly. I added lots of strips of colored paper tape, then added the photo, which I wrote in the words. A hand cut heart, colored red, and some red twine. Finally I used some Viva paint dots in red to hold down the twine.
That's my post today.
Have a great one and thanks for stopping by!

Monday, August 27, 2012

Back to School

This is it. Back to school. Teacher work day.
Lots to show you once I download the photos from my phone.
I had a GREAT class with Julie Fei-Fan Balzar. Learned a lot about making some wild colored  and  background  layers. I took her altered book class, and I got lots of great ideas for making altered books. I must admit, taking a class  gets me moving in a slightly new route on the road of art. Another tacky metaphors, but taking  a good class is like taking a left or right at an intersection and not just staying straight on the usual route.  You never know where this new route will take you...
Plus I got to meet Penny, one of my blog friends. It was great to meet her, and Penny, if you are reading this, I am going to call about one of those Dina Wakely classes as soon as the store reopens on Tuesday. 
Saturday night I also went to a fun birthday party for my friend Vicky. It was more like a little dinner party, but she did not we were coming and it actually left her speechless.  We had a lovely dinner out under the stars, as one of the woman there said, it reminded her of Mama Mia (the movie). It was lovely and a lot of fun.
And then yesterday we moved Katie back to school.
I woke up incredibly sad about it, and I missed her being around the house last night, but I will get to that too.
Besides, she'll be home for the long weekend.
And today, the start of school. Teacher work day. Nerves are up. The stress level is a bit high. I will be very glad when this transition is over and the long weekend is here because by then I will be back into the groove of this.
So instead of me babbling on, here's a couple more pages from my summer journal.
I love this page. I started by spraying a bit of blue Dylusions spray ink and then using a Crafter's Workshop stencil and a blue marker. I traced various clouds on my page and then used some white paint to fill in the clouds. The paint mixed a bit with spray ink an it gave the background this really neat dreamy kind of feeling. Then I drew out these letters on some blue paper and cut them out. A bit of quick other info...
And this is what I will most likely want tonight. My background is sprayed and stenciled watercolor paper and also sprayed and stenciled 8x8 yellow paper I added to the page.
I stamped the words. And I made these fun margarita glasses.
I took a die cut and colored it with Copics.
Then I used some Glossy Accents to give it the look of glass and then I added some clear glass glitter to look like the salt.
Love it.
They're pink by the way because we had these pomegranate and blood orange margaritas and they were
Have a great Monday.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Moving the Baby Back to College

Katie will be a junior in college this year.
I can't believe it!
We're moving her back this morning.
I remember when we moved her to UNH her freshman year I cried in the truck the whole way down to Durham.
Last year was better. She reminded me they moved back a day early because we had a hurricane coming our way. We did get some weather out of it, but nothing near as bad as they first predicted. 
It is still tough to move to her back in a lot of ways. When she comes home in May you want to throw her out because she's adjusting and wants to be back at school.
And then by now she's back into the swing of being home and you don't want her to go.
Isn't that how life works?
Tonight we have the season finale of True Blood too!
What a way to really end my summer break.
So here's some more photos from my trip to St. Gauden's summer and then permanent residence in Cornish, NH the other day.
This was an amazing statue. It was to commemorate the black regiment from Boston and the general that lead them into battle in Charleston, South Carolina during the civil war.
It really impressed me.
And I am not a big one for public statues.
But I love that fact that it did impress me and I was really taken with it.
I love learning and discovering new things..
It looks really different when you observe it from another angle.
And an angel that rode over them. Even a different perspective.

Here's how the whole thing looked when you stepped a good ways.
The main version of this is on the Boston Common. I really want to go see it someday. Maybe next time I am in the city.
Thanks for visiting my blog.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Busy Weekend

OK, lots on the agenda this weekend.
Today I am so excited-am taking an art class with
Julie Fan-Fei Balzar.
Then going to a good friend's 60th birthday bash.
And then on Sunday I am moving Miss Katie back to her college dorm.
NOW- I should also try to squeeze in the painting I need to finish in my bedroom-just need a couple of hours.
And then that will be FINISHED!
But not sure I will find that couple of hours.
Guess I should have done it yesterday rather than going for a jet ski ride and a swim.
But hey, you can paint all year but only go and play on the water for a few months of the year.
We saw a kettle of 5 bald eagles too!
That was worth it-
my summer of eagles.
I need to do some more studio cleaning too because it is driving me NUTS.
Next weekend.
Actually, the studio isn't really too bad-except for my work table.

This is a pretty cool classical statue. It reflected beautifully in the pool.
And this is the angel of victory on the front of the General Sherman statue in NYC.
Here's Sherman's face. It is really amazing.
And Diana, the Roman goddess of the hunt. 
These statue's (or their models) were at St. Gauden's National Historic site in  Cornish, New Hampshire. He was part of the Cornish Colony, and art group that he actually started by buying a summer estate in this rural western NH town. That in turn attracted some pretty famous other artists and writers.
I really don't know much about Augustus St. Gaudens, except what I learned when Dave and I took a road trip here the other day. This has been on my wish list for a good 3 years now, and I finally made it out there.
That's all for today.
Hope you have a great day.

Friday, August 24, 2012

10 Things Friday

So I feel so much better having made that trip into school. Started  setting up, and now that I have made that first step, I can go through tomorrow and  the weekend and NOT think about school. Hurray!
So after today summer vacation is history. In the books.
My photo today is of one of my scrap-journal title pages.

I used a mix of spray ink colors for the paper (Dylusions inks). Then I used a Cheery Lynn die to make the big polka dot background. Everything else is die cuts and a few ancient stickers I had. I did do a bunch of coloring and I did add some Viva paint pen dots.

And since this summer break is just about history (oh how sad!), I thought I would pull out my summer to do list and see how it matched up to my real summer.
 (the tears are starting to well up in my eyes just writing that...LOL)
I have a feeling not very much got done since my summer took a lot of unexpected twists and turns. It is often easier to go with those turns and twists rather than fighting them. I mean, I didn't plan on working oodles of hours at the lake and I didn't plan on Dave being home. I thought I would have a lot of down just me time. Well, that might be next year! And I will say- this has been an EXCELLENT summer so far- and in reality-it isn't over yet. Just my off time from school.

1-have a big fertile veggie garden-tried to, but then it filled in with weeds and grass and I got super busy and it was very dry and never got enough water into it so it was a REALLY nice thought...
2-go kayaking more than once-yes I did, and they were fabulous kayaks. Hope to get a couple more in before fall arrives.
3-learn to back up the boat trailer  This one is still on my wish list!
4-pick some of my rhubarb and make a strawberry rhubarb pie Sure did, and it was delicious!
5-go blueberry and raspberry picking-Nope, didn't happen. Kind of disappointed I never got to do this
6- get out my barbecue cookbook and try out some interesting and different recipes  haven't done a lot of cooking this summer, no time! But I did get the cookbooks out and look at them
7-clean and organize under my basement stairs  HA!HA!HA!  My ambition makes me laugh. What was I thinking?
8-paint my bedroom hopefully will get this completed and will be very proud of myself too
9-get my bedroom floor put in hopefully before Dave goes back to work. We went out yesterday and bought the floor, now I just need to finish painting the walls (this weekend I hope) and then Dave can lay the floor.
10-go exploring-whether it is near or far-oh yeah- I did major exploring! Need I list it all?
11-get out walking most mornings  yup- I was good at this
12-lounge on my screen porch-a favorite spot, and porch lounging doesn't end when you go back to school
13-take some road trips like up route 153 in NH, and Down East Maine and to the National Park in Cornish, NH -up to the woods of Maine, out to western New Hampshire, up to visit my brother at his camp, down to Boston, a couple of Costco trips and trips to my favorite craft store And I did get to St. Gauden's National Historical Park, after having it on wish list for 3 summers.
14-make ice cream yup, chocolate mint and chocolate chip mint-yummy!!!
15-lose some weight maybe, maybe not. I'll never blog about that.
16-read  a lot- especially a couple of those books I have been wanting to read-I made it through like 9 or 10 books
17-be spontaneous-that is what this summer has really been about. A blast, and very different but first of all, when school got out I never expected to be working quite so much and having Dave home half the summer.
18-spend lots and lots of studio time-more like squeeze in a few moments when possible, definitely a summer regret
19-go to Pop's Clam Shack in Alton, NH for some of their yummy fried clams and onion rings  a trip in the early summer and a trip in the late summer-2 times is just enough
(so much for losing weight)
20-go eagle watching- this was the summer of some GREAT eagle watching. Between Merrymeeting, Rangely and back bay in Portsmouth I saw a lot of eagles.
21-go to the beach and lounge at the lake no beach, but we did go swimming after beaching the boat in the ocean a few times, and I did go to the lake a few times-not as much as some summers but still quite a bit
22-have a fire in my chiminea  stove and sit on the deck, star gazing maybe this fall-had a campfire in Maine one night though
23-have some adventures-but not sure yet what they will be-since they are adventures-they should be a surprise- Did that, that's for sure. Which one should I start with? 
24-try some new things Did I mention these already?  I have been doing things all this summer. Part of all of my adventures. Like riding in a Porsche, riding in a 6 wheel drive glacier mobile, saw a wild wolf, went to Alberta, Washington and Idaho, knit socks...and....
25-take an art class Tomorrow I am taking a Julie Fan-Fei Balzar class.
26-go to the drive in to see a movie nope, didn't happen as of today
27-watch the new season 4 of True Blood when it comes out and finish watching the Dark Shadows that I have- no Dark Shadows-in fact the amount of TV I watched was pretty low but I not only saw Season 4 of True Blood on DVD but have been watching season 5 on HBO
28-see the sunrise and the sunset-not so many sunrises but some gorgeous sunsets!
29-hang out with friends-especially those I don't see very often- well, a saw a few friends, spent a lot of time with my sister-in-law, did see my brother and his family, did spend a day with Vicky, but mostly spent a lot of fun quality time with my hubby
30-Have lots of fun in whatever form it takes need to do any explaining here?
31- try some new art techniques, start an art journal  although I have had limited art time, I have been keeping a summer journal and in that I tried several new things-small things, not learn big new skills or art styles, but little things are good things.
32-do something different-something I have yet to figure out  like walk over swinging bridges, see glaciers and ride up in glacier bus, first ride in a Porsche,  not stress about how messy my house got, take a few small risks for me, keep extremely busy
33-learn how to play golf-maybe  did I really write this? I haven't even had this thought since I wrote this list I guess.
34-practice my French and learn a little Swedish there's always fall, move that onto my fall list
35-send out some art to magazines- I had good intentions. Maybe this fall
36-try some new recipes  a few, a few, but cool fall days are better for cooking
37-go to some new places-there's a couple restaurants I'd like to try, new stores, new views, new water places....yeah, I did, but not what I think my original intention was. No new restaurants from love to try list, yeah, I did find a new yarn store. But I haven't been out shopping much this summer
38-have a great summer vacation-a great trip, some great little road trips, a great summer overall, yeah, I did this.
39-get enough shifts at the lake to make it worth it  oh yes, and then some
40-do some of that art I don't do very often like mosaic tiles and metal clay this one hurts because I REALLY wanted some time to do this. But, life spontaneously changes and gives us some things which are great but not what we expected or thought 
41-send some quality time with my hubby, daughter, critters, mom, in-laws....tons of great time with the hubby (a summer highlight), not enough time with my own mom, good daughter time, critter time, in-law time...except for my mom, no complaints.
42- watch a bunch of DVDs wasn't really on this summer's agenda.

So happy Friday.
Thanks for stopping by!

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Going to School

OK, I have to do it today. I am going into school today to get some things done-like organize my room and maybe run off some work for Wednesday, when my classes begin. But I am back to work full time on Monday. Just no kids until Wednesday.
Monday, the 27th of August.
So here's a journal page about me getting mentally ready for Monday-the 27th.
The little white die cut flips up and I explain my stresses and worries and all that comes with getting ready to go back and start a new school year after a LONG summer break.
I made the 27 so big (using a cool new Crafter's Workshop stencil) because that date is looming like a big wall in my head.  Since it is there, all this week, I needed to make those numbers stand out. The feelings and thoughts I am having are a lot smaller than the arriving day.
And this is something I am going to miss. At least for the first few days.
Morning. At the lake. A summer morning.
Sun burning through some fog and the cooler temperatures causing steam to rise off the lake.
Summer mornings when you don't have to rush off to work are wonderful.
And I'm going to miss this guy. He likes to walk with me in the morning. I leave just after 6 a.m. for work so no morning walks for me.
Until the weekend.
I am making this sounds like a death, aren't I?
I can still take him for a walk when I get home.
But this is one of those things that stresses me UNTIL I get there. Once I leave today I will be fine. I will have accepted the fact that vacation is over Sunday night and Monday another school year begins for me.
Oh do I hate this transition.
But I will be just fine and forget about this pretty quick, once I have started again.
Its just not wanting to start.
You would think since this is year 29 beginning
(Can you imagine I have been teaching that long?)
I would be used to this starting by now.
But right now I am just going in to do a bit of work and then I still have tomorrow, Saturday and Sunday.
Vacation is over quite yet!

Thanks for listening to me while I unload.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Summer Journal

Since this is my mental transition week, from summer vacation self to back to working gal self, the week I still play but also start to becomes a bit more serious. That's what last week of vacation is like.
But because of that, it is time to start showing you something different. Enough of the travel journal and the travel photos.
For now.
Today, a few more pages from my summer journal.
I haven't really done all that much more art this summer other than this journal, a couple of cards...
Been so busy having fun doing other things.
Here's a page from our trip into the woods of Maine a few weeks ago. We had a campfire by the lake our first night. You can kind of see Dave, but more than a great picture I wanted to capture the memory. You know (I'm assuming) about how it is dark and you can just make out people's features when they bend in closer to the campfire. The colors of the even, the smokey smell.
I started by painting this page with red, yellow and orange acrylic paint. I used those colors because campfires are those colors, even though you don't see that in the photo. But plain paint was a little TOO bright, so I used some Dylusions spray ink. In black. And I was happy with the final results.Campfire-ish paper.
Then I used Crafter's Workshop flames stencil and a black Sharpie to trace them on watercolor paper. Then I used multi-colored Copics on each flame part. Cut them out and glue them down. Add a bit of orange Stickles...just for the glow and sparkle of a real fire.
You can see the sparkles here. Don't you think it really makes the flame look more flame like?
And here's a couple of photos of some cool signs I saw while out walking one morning. How to put them on a page? So I started by spraying chocolate Dylusions on water color paper using another Crafter's Workshop stencil. Let dry. Attach the photos and outline them with a brown marker.
The title are cut out using a Sizzix alphabet strip. The moose are punched out using an ancient moose punch I have in my studio. They are made using some Basic Grey graph designed paper.
See it better here.
That's my art for today. 
More to come some other time.
Another day.
Thanks for visiting and
have a great Wednesday-
hump day-
oh man, this week is going WAY TOO FAST!

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Fun Afternoon

Just a quick post from our fun afternoon yesterday at my brother's camp in Harrison, Maine. We had lots of laughs, some beautiful sun, a couple of cool dips in the lake, yummy burgers and hot dogs plus a fun little zip around in their boat.
Here's a few snaps-all untouched.
Here we all are- photo is taken by my nephew's friend who was visiting. We figure this could be our Christmas card photo for my Mom, since this is her kids and grand kids. If only my niece wasn't reaching across for a hat. (A little cropping could finish this off nicely.)

 My brother (a sort of view) and the girls.
My brother's dog loved to retrieve the swimming noodles. She's a cutie.
Harley and Katie. Harley doesn't retrieve anything in the water because he doesn't LIKE water at all.
The boys. Josh's friend Taylor, my nephew Josh and Dave, the hubby.

Finally, the end of perfect day! Thought this was the prettiest one I took. You can even see the moon- well barely in this shot but when I enlarge it, you can at least!

So busy day for me, but I am feeling LAZY. Want to scrapbook and read on my screen porch. BUT I am off the the lake though- can read there by the water which is great (and get paid for it) and then got to take another but shorter road trip to Costco to get Katie stocked up for school since her big move back is this Sunday! (Boo-hoo, now that I am used to her being home and she is used to being home...)
Hope your Tuesday is a great one and thanks for visiting!

Monday, August 20, 2012

Saturday Advenure

This past Saturday was an adventurous day for me. My daughter Katie and myself went out on an afternoon jaunt-
down to the Boston burbs.
It was great to spend the afternoon with her. Haven't had enough mom/daughter time lately.
Olmstead was the father of Landscape architecture. He designed Central Park, the Boston Arboriteum, the Chicago World's Far in the late 1800's and hundreds of other places all over the US. Katie wrote her final paper for her architecture class on him, and she wanted to go visit his house and studio. So since she and I were open all afternoon, we went. The garden of his home was great , and so was the work studio. 
He had a room full of these drawers for storing project info. 4 walls with these drawers, all labeled, floor to ceiling. Wow! I want these to store my supplies in. This snippet shot hardly shows what this room was. But I know if you use your imagination you can picture it. Hundreds of these drawers.
I was drooling the whole time I was in this room. 
Cool old fashioned work table. I'd take it. It even had lots of little pin pick holes in it from the pointy end of compasses. 
I'd also love these great sun room looking out onto this really lush and green backyard. For being just 15 minutes outside of downtown Boston, it is amazing.
It is also very late 1800's-maybe arts and crafts style is what you'd call it. And they had these cement walls in this room with all these stones set into them. And a tile floor. 
The house part was otherwise empty of furniture but the ranger told us that they are getting some in the period style.
The office part though was fulling decked out in the mode it would have been back 100 or so years ago.
This is one of the first blue printing making machines. Really funky, eh?
You wrap your drawing on the outside class and then unroll the canvas around it to make it light proof on the outside. Then you turn on a suspended light bulb and slowly drop it to process your light sensitive paper.

Then we found out that the JFK birthplace was just 2.6 miles away. That made it close enough that we just had to go. And we managed to get there just before the last tour of the day too.

It looks like a big house but it is really a quite modest place. The first floor had a bath, kitchen, living room and dining room. Three bedrooms and a small office upstairs. The 2 maids slept on the very very top floor.
I guess if you have 2 maids, however modest your house is, means you have money.
But this was back in 1917 (from 1914 into the early 1920's) so maybe having a maid isn't such a big deal.
This is one of my favorite sights from the house:
The little kids table. I guess even future presidents have to sit at one of these when they are small.
The whole house reminded me of a grandmother's house.
And I guess the weirdest thing of all is that it is on this residential street in Brookline, MA. 
Normal people with normal houses and lives just a few feet away.
Wonder if they get sick of all the tourists coming through?

Finally, we went out for an early dinner at one of our favorite places to eat -The Cheesecake Factory. The closest ones to us are down in the Boston area, so it is a treat to go. We had small salads and of course, big pieces of cheesecake.
Katie and her caramel, white chocolate and macadamia nut cheese cake. With whipped cream of course.

My lemon with raspberry sauce- and whipped cream too.
So I can't believe this is my last week of vacation. Katie's too and then she's back to school on Sunday.
Time flies, doesn't it always?
Before you know it, we'll be carving pumpkins.
I have a lot on my plate this week too!
It will be a very adventurous way to end my summer.
Starting with today, all 3 of us are going to Maine to my brother's camp in Harrison. 
Will have stories to share I am sure about that on another day.
Thanks for visiting.