Thursday, July 31, 2014

I Can't Be July 31 Already

Where did this month go? I don't want it to be August because I have to go back to work at the end of the month. I know, I shouldn't complain since I've had lots of summer down time. But still, you just know in the back of your head that the daily grind is on the horizon. That's the worst part of going back to work-getting back into a schedule.
But I am NOT going to write about that or even think about that anymore since I am still in summer mode!
Let me relive my travels which wrapped up just about a week ago (seems so much longer than that) and also show you a few other photos of my July adventures.
Those top 3 photos were from Washington State (Northern Cascades National Park) and this pretty photo is from maybe 45 minutes from my house. I did some hiking one day with a couple of my teacher friends and this was a view we discovered of Lake Winnipesaukee  and all the green summer trees here in New Hampshire.
I live in a big tourist area too.
And here are all the nieces, some of their boyfriends and the daughter hanging out on the dock of my mother-in-laws. They're all in their 20's except for one 17 year old. I remember being exactly there when I was in my 20's. Doing the same things they are.
Good memories.
My sister-in-law had the better seat on the dock that day and she took this photo. In mine you just see everyone's backs. 
And I've had a restaurant summer too-between traveling and spending time with family and friends, seems like I've gone out to eat a lot and have been trying new beers.
Its fun.
But not so good for the waistline.
And we haven't been out in our boat for what seems like forever! That's what happens when you go away for 10 days of the month I guess, plus throw in the 4th of July holiday, friends visiting and add in some family time too. Maybe tomorrow.
And that leads me to my August goals.
What I've wanted to do and haven't done yet!
Sewing machine projects. I really want to get sewing. I have some fabric for skirts and some arty projects I want to play with.
Bought this fabric over a few years at this big hospital sponsored flea market in my area. Time to use it and clean out a storage drawer.
Plus get that nature journal moving. Picked up this new small Dylusions blank journal the other day. Had thought about making a sketchbook, but then decided that I could get to sketching a lot quicker if I just purchased a sketch book. 
Hopefully I'll have some pages to show you soon.
So I'd love to hear about any exciting things you did during July or what you'll be up to in August.
Thanks for stopping by today.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Frame It

So I have been doing some cleaning around the house this summer. A little here and a little there. Decluttering! Feels good to do that.
Was going through some of my stash at the end of last week and came across a box of rubber stamps I haven't used in a very very long time. Kind of forgot I had them actually. And in that box were these 2 very cool frame stamps. Love them. Its a discovery that put a smile on my face and got me using them to make these 2 cards.
I bet I've had these stamps for 10 years.
I am going to use them some more too. Not sure on what, but I love their carved blockiness.
Have you ever discovered something you've had and forgotten about? 
Its like getting something new only you don't have to spend any cash because you already have it.
That's all for me today. I am off to do some curriculum work for a couple hours for school . Here is where I would love to add a sad face.  Luckily it is at a friend's home and she lives right on the ocean-lucky lucky lady- and so maybe a swim or a kayak trip on the bay! Here is where I put in a smiley face!
See you again soon.

Monday, July 28, 2014

Fish Tales

Just a scribbly journal page today. Sometimes pages look great in person but don't photograph very well. Case in point. But I will share it with you anyhow.
This enlargment of the central fish really came out fuzzy. I wanted to show you the stamp I used from Earth Art. Oh well.
Its a really cool image with lots of smaller images within the larger fish. You can most likely make out the eagle but in the tail there's an orca and there's corn, a mask, salmon eggs and a big turtle with mountains in the middle.
I like fish. I worked for the Maine Cooperative Fisheries while I was studying biology in college. I like to fish. So when we went on our vacation and had some fish experiences (fish hatchery, talking to fishermen, going to a maritime museum, seeing the fish ladders at a dam, eating fresh salmon), I got excited. So I made this page last week.
I wish this page looked better in these photographs though.
Thanks for stopping by today.
Hope you stop back again soon.

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Still Mulling Over What I Saw and Learned

A few more travel photos today.
I love to travel- whether it is my own trip or vicariously through other people.
Do you?
Still processing everything I learned. Learning is such an exciting thing.

This bridge seemed a lot higher than this photo makes it look.  I could only walk out a little bit onto it.
It was scary!
Snapped this from the car and need to crop it down still, but I like this sign. You see a lot of bald eagles in signs out this way. You see a lot of very interesting and cool town signs actually. 
And its fun to play. These nice traveling people were from Massachusetts which is not very far from us here in New Hampshire. My husband decided to join in and play on the balance beam walk.
Sea lion skeleton I came across in a small little building. Kind of a mini-museum. I love making these spontaneous discoveries. Its like art. Every piece is a spontaneous discovery.
Its always a pleasure to see and experience new things. I come back inspired.
Are you inspired today?

(Almost all of these photos are from Whidbey Island outside of Seattle, Washington, except the lighthouse which is on the mainland near the ferry terminal.)

Friday, July 25, 2014


Yesterday I finally got back into the groove of being home after our 10 day summer vacation. I now feel in summer mode...and I love it! Summer mode is when I can go up to my happy place in an old T shirt and shorts after breakfast and lose track of time. It doesn't matter if I don't eat lunch until 2 o'clock or even later. It doesn't even matter if I don't shower until later in the afternoon. I putter and poke and am such a happy gal. I can just play and be relaxed and whittle the morning away.
So here's a journal page I played with yesterday.
I had used some clear gel medium and a gear stencil a while back to make the first texture layer on this page.  Then the page got put in a pile and sat for a few weeks. So yesterday I sprayed, brush painted, rubbed paint, rubbed off paint and also stamped the background.
Then I added the butterfly. Its made using a new die I recently picked up on a markdown table.  Thought the 3D of it was a lot of fun. I colored it with spray inks and then added it. So while I waited for things to dry I was cleaning off a mess on my table and found this old sticky tag from luggage. I added that-why not? Also that metal word bar was off of something else and sitting on my table so I added that too.
And my table looks a lot better now too!
Thanks for visiting my blog today. 

Thursday, July 24, 2014

A Lot of This and That

Today's post doesn't really have a focus. Just things to say and show you.
Warning- this will be a long post!
First of all- I want to talk about books. Takes my mind off my travel sickness.
I picked up this book while traveling at one of the National Park bookstores.  They had a display on nature journaling, and that's something (along with travel journaling) is something I'd like to try more and get a lot better at. Plus this book made a good plane read on the way home (since we spent about 8 hours on a plane).
Here's what I liked:
It take you from step one with lots of little lessons.
It shows you some scientific info so you can make your sketches more accurate.
Its got great little lessons.
My only complaint-it is written for real scientific illustration-so the focus is on accuracy. Although I am a biologist and know the need for scientific accuracy, this is not what I am looking for right now. I want to keep more of an artsy journal. But I just skimmed over that part.

Have you ever read this book? I've had it on my shelf for like 5 years and brought it on the trip. I am into it now, and enjoying it. May even want to read all the sequels to it too. My only complaint is that it is such a long book page wise, but not a hard read and am really enjoying it. More of a love story with lots of history and even some biology thrown in!

Last book in the All Souls trilogy that came out. My pre-order arrived while we were away so once I finish up Outlander, I am all about this!

The National Park bookstore where I bought the other illustration book had this book for sale too. I am cheap and ordered a decent used copy off of Amazon, and 
am waiting for it to arrive later this week. It looked really good, with more of the actual journaling aspect covered. (Whereas the first book was more about making the illustrations). Can't wait for it to arrive!

OK, I also must say I am having major trip withdrawals. This always happen. I am really happy to be home. But the trip is still fresh in my head. I am reliving all these events! So let me share a few more photos with you. Makes me happy.
Promise you that within another week (or less) I will be done sharing my travel snapshots!
We did a lot of driving through these cool mossy and lichen filled forests.

And did some hiking. These waterfalls at the Columbia River Gorge were beautiful. (But it was so crowded!)

And we tried out a lot of microbrews. This area (especially Portland, Oregon) is the microbrew capital of the world.
I snapped a lot of car photos. (The hubby doesn't like to stop at everything I want to take photos of. I understand too, because I am always like- oh-look at that!)
Isn't this a great old home in Astoria, Oregon?
We saw lots of mountains- can you see the road in this photo?
And visited the ocean.
And we visited a few museums. Yes, that is the Cowardly Lion costume from the Wizard of Oz.
And crossed some things of the bucket list.
Weren't we busy having fun!

And my poor kitty was really miserable at home. He was sticking to me all day yesterday. He just doesn't like to be alone, and this is the first time he's had to be. Last summer my other kitty was still here to keep him company. Felt bad to going to run a few errands and leaving him again yesterday-but I did need some groceries.
This is how he must of felt all week- even though he was at home and my daughter's boyfriend came over to see him and feed him every day.  (This photo is when he was crated to go to the vet back in May-just so you don't think I keep him cooped up all the time.)
And now I am adjusting to the time change and working on my travel journal. Working back into the swing of regular life.
Still good to be home!

Wednesday, July 23, 2014


We got home last night from our 10 days of traveling. What a great trip- but today I am exhausted and have a huge mountain of laundry to whittle away at.  The kitty was thrilled to have us home and I am also sure he will be sticking close all day. Poor guy. This was the first time he had to stay alone.
Hoping I'll find a little bit of motivation to work on my travel journal today. I kind of got behind during the trip. Maybe since it is too hot and humid to do much outside besides the beach, and I am not up to driving to the beach today.
So here's a couple of cards I made before I left. I spent a morning making some colored embossed backgrounds using embossing folders, inks, and sprays. Then I used a bunch of them to make some cards. I don't know what was more fun-making the backgrounds or making the cards.
Thanks for visiting.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Beaches and Other Places

Catching an early flight home today. Thought I'd pre-post a few snapshots.
Cannon Beach, Oregon
Fort Stevens State Park, Oregon

Astoria, Oregon

Now this trip is all footprints in the sand.

Thanks for visiting. Be back soon with more art and more trip photos.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Some Green

Anybody know what these things behind the seaweed clump are?  I think jellyfish.
Add a seagull and some blue sky, and you have a pretty good day!
See you again soon, I hope.