Sunday, August 31, 2014


First of all I want to thank everyone who left such great suggestions on my last post.
I had been craving some time poking around a book store. All summer.  But I never seemed to get into one, until the other day when it was pretty hot and I wanted a little blast of AC after work. So I stopped by my  local Barnes & Nobel  and got my book fix.
 I found these 2 baking books I just had to have. Sometimes that just have to have part of me gets a little too bossy and sassy. Too late now so this long weekend I am  baking something fabulous.
This SWEET book has some interesting things. Cakes that have shapes and look so real. Like a lobster salad cake.  No, not made of lobster salad but looks like a lobster salad sandwich.  For your next clambake. Next time I want to impress someone I will make one of those fun cakes.
I am a pie fanatic.  I love pie.  I'd make a ton of pies if I wasn't always watching my weight. (And trying to watch it go down- not up- which my body seems to prefer to happen). What I like about this book is the classic recipes, the unusual recipes, and especially the stories. I read the whole book in one night I was so engrossed. The author actually rents that house in the background of the cover which is the same one in the famous American Gothic painting.
This painting.
What an iconic image. I think they should have made up Beth Howard the pie maker and cookbook author  to look a little more like the woman in this painting. Ha-ha! I read on Wikipedia that the woman in the actual painting is really the artist's daughter.
Paintings always come to life when they have a story.
And can you imagine living in such a famous home? Maybe you do live in a famous home, .I think like paintings, houses with stories are pretty fascinating.
Its always about the stories.
And speaking of stories I finally finished Shadow of Night, book 2 in the All Souls Trilogy, so now I have started this book, #3, that came out in July. 
So up to anything exciting this weekend? Besides reading,  I am getting myself into a little bit of trouble and having some fun and kicking back.
Feels so good after the first week of school-am so glad that is done with. I hate the first week of school! It only gets better from there. 
But first, am going to enjoy the rest of this long Labor Day weekend.
Enjoy the rest of your weekend.

Friday, August 29, 2014

The Look at Stage

I've gotten into mixed media  painting on canvases lately. I think it's a natural progression from a lot of art journal painting.
Here's one of my latest - not sure it is quite finished yet, but it is in the "look at" stage. Do you do a "look at" stage with your work? I know some people work slowly, making little changes over time, and some people work quickly so when they are done, they are done.
I don't do a "look at" stage at work in my journal, but I find with my canvases I need to step away, put  the painting out to study and casually glance at it over a period of several days. I see things in the piece usually when I least expect to see them, and sometimes other people see something-for the good and the bad! And sometimes I just decide the painting is finished.
I think a lot of artists have this study phase while working. But what do I know?
Think my piece needs anything more?
I posted this piece this week at Paint Party Friday. Check out all the great art there.
So I am off from work today-its the start of the long Labor Day weekend! Got to love that especially after that first week back to school. It is exhausting- oh listen to me.  What a baby, huh? 

THANKS everybody for your suggestions!

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Smooth Sailing

Man, this week has wiped me out. Between the heat and school getting back in session, it has been quite the week. But now that it is Thursday I am hoping for smooth sailing into the long weekend. 
Very very happy we have a long weekend after this week. I always find the first week of school exhausting. Also happy the humidity is suppose to be gone! That'll help a lot!
Here's a page I made back a bit. Wow- was it only summer vacation last week? I am right back into the work habit and it seems much longer than just a few days.
So the map on this page is actually a napkin I scooped up at my mother-in-laws over the 4th of July weekend. This is one of the places my husband grew up in, in fact he graduated from high school in Cape Elizabeth, Maine. I used matte medium to attach it to the page, and then I painted and stamped and stenciled. The ship (love this Impression Obsession stamp) is stamped on clear acetate and then added. I wanted it to stand out a bit and not just be flat on the background.
I posted this piece at Art Journal Every Day on Julie Fei-Fan Balzar's blog.
Hope to get out on the water again this weekend. One of the problems at this time of year is that we all know the longer days of nice summer weather are limited. Enjoy them while we can!
Have a great day!

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Isles of Shoals

Seeing it feels like July today.
BUT I'll be busy in school with my new classes  today,  and  I won't be hanging out at home in my happy place nor be able to go paddle around in the water. I'll show you a few more photos from my voyage last Sunday out to the Isles of Shoal off the coast of New Hampshire and  the extreme southern tip of Maine.
Let's pretend I am still on summer vacation.
Or at least let me pretend I am still on vacation.

This would be a cool little cabin to take a vacation in, don't you think?
Or maybe move upscale and stay in this beautiful place?

This is the view on Star Island, where there is a big conference center. Anyone want to offer an art conference out here some summer?

At one time this was one of the busiest ports here in the US. That was a long time ago.  Now I am not sure if anyone lives here year round, but in the summer it is a busy place. Wish we could figure out if there's a place to land and get onshore. I'd love to walk around, at least on Star island.
And I'd love to be able to travel back in time and see what it was like here 150 years ago. It was probably a very hard life. I mean, there are no trees , you are five miles out to sea, winter winds have to be brutal, never mind the snow...
Hope you enjoy the views.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

I Need to Growl

Here's a page I recently made using a Gelli print for my background. I stamped  arches all over the page (Sheena Douglass).  I like how they don't overwhelm the colors.  The tiger is also an image by Sheena Douglas too, as are the leaves. I used paint on that stamp rather than ink. Like how it makes the leaves blend right into the painted background rather than stand out. 
And story behind the charge me yellow strip? My husband bought a little portable battery charger and somehow managed to drop this piece of wrapping on the garage floor. "Ah ha!" I thought to myself and scoffed it up. Rather than toss it into the trash bin, I cut it out. Perfect for this page. What a find!
So I need to growl one question-
Why is it we are now getting this summer hot and humid weather-which we haven't really had all summer-now that we are back in school?
Until next post.

Monday, August 25, 2014

My Lips Are Sealed

I promise I am not going to go on about how I had to get up and go back to work today.
Instead I want to show you snippets from  the last 3 days, my weekend (shhh-and end of my vacation!). 
Makes me SMILE!
I didn't expect much, but I enjoyed this film. I enjoyed spending Friday afternoon with my hubby too. We had cool rainy weather and sitting in a movie theater was a good choice.
And Saturday I spent my day having a blast taking 2 classes with Dina Wakely.

We made some fun journal pages. I had my first try using Pan Pastels (oh super nice), Gelatos (like Lipstick) and learned some great techniques
Here's a couple of the pages I made.

I highly recommend taking a Dina class if you ever get the chance.  I'll show you a few more views from those classes once I finish up couple more journal pages I started in class.
And then yesterday the hubby took me out for breakfast and then we went cruising in the boat. We were going to go fishing- but no one, along with us, was catching much of anything. So we took a cruise out to the Isle of Shoals, a group of several small rocky islands that are 6 miles offshore. Some are in Maine, and some are in New Hampshire.
I love how they feel rustic, New England and historical. And it was a gorgeous day!
It was a fantastic weekend.  I hope next weekend is as nice-especially since it is a holiday weekend here in the US.
Thanks for visiting. I am off and on my way to work!

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Best Made Plans

The last day of my summer vacation has arrived. The worst day of the year. No, maybe that's tomorrow. The first morning I have to get up at 4:45-even though I was awake at 4:45 a lot this summer. Tomorrow I can't go back sleep-oh no!

 Cry lots of tears-ha-ha! I know, I still have the whole day today. But still, hard to believe 8 weeks of no school and those 8 weeks have blown right by like they were about 2 weeks.

So today, while I sulk about the fact that I have to get up tomorrow and start the morning commute again, I thought I'd go back to my summer wish list which I posted on May 26 to see whether it was on target or not.
Do I want to accomplish anything this summer?
Using that word accomplish sounds so much like work!!!
Let me say, here's what I hope to experience this summer while I am lounging away on the long sunny hot days with my daughter having by then moved out and my hubby at work and for the first time in over 22 years, me having a summer really to myself.
Much better.
1- I hope to sew. My sewing machine has been collecting dust and I have a new serger I have never even pulled out of the box for the last 6 months. Time to rekindle my fabric obsession.
OK, started a serger course on Craftsy and have opened the box. Who knew sergers were so complex? I never really got rolling on the sewing, although I did cut out 2 skirts and haven't written it off my list yet.
2-OK, one little chore, get my studio into tip top shape.  The thing about this job is I love cleaning my studio. Going through my things, purging, reorganizing. (as long as I can then find those things!)
Success! There's still purging to be done, because that never ends, but it looks so much better and it fairly neat and organized! YAHOO!
3-I have some furniture that is in the basement I want to pull out, refresh and find a place for in my house. Cheap redecorating! Now that the college girl is gone, time for a new environment to perk up the place-and me.
I managed to bring up one chair. But never got to my old trunk which I wanted to repaint. Somehow, it never even crossed my mind. Summer brain I guess.
4- Watch a few sun rises and a lot of pretty sunsets. On the water maybe.
Nice! I love these beautiful nature moments.
5-Pick flowers.
No, but my gardens were well maintained and look gorgeous.
6-Become a better long term veggie gardener.(I always get excited to start, and then it flounders.)
And I succeeded here. Very proud of myself.
7- Make jellies, jams, chutneys and relishes.
Haven't yet. I am planning on some pickles though. The beauty about making jams and jellies and chutneys is you don't have to make them in the summer. Right?
8-Catch up on a couple more seasons of the old soap Dark Shadows.
No. Not really interested in this, but I did watch some chick flicks and some Rick Steves and some Star Trek and Dr. Who...
9-Have adventures. Spontaneous glorious moments of exploring.
A+++++++++ adventures
10-Read! Finish up the pile of books on the floor by my bed.
No, but I did finally read Outlander and I read several other books. I did manage to keep to my goal of 2 books a week except when I went away on vacation, got involved in a couple of long years goal-don't make a goal about how much reading I should do.
11-Nurture me. Things I want to do. Things I love to do! Last summer was busy and I took a 3 credit grad course that took me to Costa Rica and an excellent adventure. Not that I want complete mellow this summer, but I want less someone else organizing my time. 
I did. Nurture me that is.  Maybe too much. But is there too much when it comes to nurturing yourself?
12-Paint more.
This I did a lot of and I am very very happy with all the painting time I had.
13-Spend long lazy afternoons on my screen porch with a cold drink and a good book and a comfy nap place.
It was a beautiful summer and I certainly enjoyed both it and my screen porch.
14-A road trip or 2 would be a lot of fun!
I could have taken more, but somehow getting into my car and driving seemed like such a lot of work.
15-Hang out with family and friends.
I feel good about the time I spend with family and friends this summer, especially with my mom, and seeing Uncle Bob before he passed.
16-Dream and contrive ways to make dreams come true.
Working on that. Now if only I could remember what I thought about all of those things yesterday.
17- Write the book that is in my head right now.
This is one thing I wished I did do. Been thinking a lot about it, but never actually figured out how I wanted to organize it. 
18-Hope to travel
We had a great vacation. Now I am thinking about fall travel and travel next year. I want to be sure I go away next summer the week before school starts.
19-Do nothing-watch the clouds or hummingbirds. Take advantage of having the summer to myself.
That was the best part of summer. Filling my day with me things.
20-Be spontaneous. Do something I never think of doing or expected to do.  Or when something comes up, do it.
Yes, and I took advantage of this.  I have to remember to not let the school year work schedule stop me from being so spontaneous.

And this fall-
what I hope is in my life
1-exercise and watch my diet. try to lose some more weight.
2-keep reading. work on getting through those books I really want to read.
3-Keep  painting. 
4-try not to let the work schedule get me into a rut. work later in my play room. watch more movies. take a day off and go out and play if I need it.
5-start cooking more.
6-sew...make those some art quilting.
7-travel. go out and have some fun weekend spontaneous adventures
8-LAUGH a lot
9-get apple picking.
10-get myself a comfy chair to put by the wood stove so I can read by the fire on cold nights.
11-maybe go out and try to identify some constellations.
12-oh my, and it is getting closer to hockey season
13-get down to see my mom more frequently than usually happens in the fall
14-knit those projects
15-plan my upcoming travels
16-leave myself open to new things, try new things, don't let a messy house or something insignificant get in my way of expanding myself.
17-have quality time with my hubby, with my daughter, with friends, the rest of family
18-hope for lots -happy and healthy time-not letting people who want to bug me get to me and don't let a list drive my time!

Oh yeah- and another little sad bit- it is the last episode (forever) of True Blood tonight. We're taking guesses what's going to happen.
It is time for that show to end but I will miss it. A great way to wind down on a summer Sunday night.
Enough of my babbling.

Saturday, August 23, 2014

It Should Be a Fabulous Day

I am wrapping up this week with a great day planned. At least I suspect it is going to be a great day.
First of all I am off to take 2  arty classes with Dina Wakely.
You can check out her blog here: Ponderings
 I get to play in my journal all day and I suspect learn some fun new techniques. I have been lucky enough to take classes with Dina twice before and I really really got a lot out of them. I just hope that now she is working for Ranger Inc. it doesn't becomes a big sales pitch.
Plus she's going to be at my favorite craft store so I image I will want to do a little bit of shopping too.
Not that I should. I did buy some new paints for myself the other day.
But who's gonna tell on me if I do get a new little gizmo or two today?
And tonight the new season of Dr. Who begins on BBC America. With a new doctor!
Curious to see how Peter Capaldi plays the role. I have been watching Dr. Who since back in the early 1980's when our local PBS station played the episodes on Saturday afternoons. I think I have seen every episode ever made, well at least a lot of them, and I have my favorite doctors. Wonder where this latest incarnation of the Doctor will fit in.
Next week I should have some photos of my classes today-or at least the creative results of them. And maybe even an opinion or two of the new Dr.
Have a fantastic day!

Friday, August 22, 2014

Kitty Par-tay

I've been working on this piece. The star of it is my cat.
I am going to call it Jungle Cat because when I work in my garden, he stalks through them, trying to hide from me. And when I walk someplace else, he stealthily tries to follow, again he doesn't want me to see him.
Not done yet but am getting close.  It just needs a little something. 
Anyone have any suggestions?

Linked to Kitty Par-Tay


This  week I was inspired by Art Journal Journey's theme of Frida Kahlo.  I made a couple of pages to celebrate the life of this talented woman.
Her faces are Postmodern Design rubber stamps from my stash.
I used a lot of layering to make the background on this upper page. Layers included paints, scraps off my table, a dried out baby wipe, a Gelli printed deli wrap sheet, doodling, embossing powder...practically anything I could get my hands on.
And page 2-
A little more feminine and light. The background on this page is made from gluing down a paper towel. Not just a clean white paper towel, but the one I rolled over many wet inked pages to sop up the extra ink. Once it dried it made a very colorful and slightly textured background. I also did some background stamping right on the paper towel.
This is a snapshot I took before I finished the page but you can see the quote a little better here.
It has been a great studio week for me. Lots of fun time playing, planning and thinking about art. What more could a bioartgal want on the last week of her summer vacation?
Thanks for visiting.

By the way- I am linking to Paint Party FridayArt Journal Journey and also Art Journal Every Day

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Wow- Its Almost Back to Work

I can't believe it is already Wednesday evening. This week is going by too fast and I don't have enough time to do everything I still want to do! Saying that is like having a minor panic attack. As the hubby told me the other day, you still have time to do those things-its  not like your life is over.
True, true. I am more ready for work after making my needed stop by my classroom the other morning, but I am still craving more time to play and make art and do all those things that make summer vacations so sweet.
OK girl, get over it. Time to be the adult and acknowledge you had a great summer off and now reality is here and next Monday you need to go back to work.
Could be worse!
Today I went to visit my mom and on the drive there (its 2 hours away) I stopped and bought myself some art supplies at AC Moore.  We don't have any around me and I like their fine art department better than Michael's. Always a treat. 
And last week I finished up this series of ocean mix media pieces I have been working on for quite awhile.
Happy with the results and feel good I finally decided how I wanted to finish them.

I keep going back and forth which one I like the best.
Is it weird I signed them at the top?  I had all this sand at the bottom that made it hard to sign them.
I also like how they are all very different yet the  same.
And yesterday we got approved to adopt a puppy through a rescue organization and so maybe in our not too too distant future we will bring home a new member of our house. The cat will HATE it. And hopefully the daughter's puppy will like it.
But that's not right now either.
So not much else to say today. Hope your day was super!
Stop by again soon.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Beautiful Lady

Today I got to play in the studio! It was fantastic, especially seeing I haven't made it in there for several days. I always leave some projects started but not finished because that works for me to get me rolling with ideas. This page was one I had painted and stenciled, and then I used matte medium to attached  a Gelli print on deli paper over that painted page.
Love this lady.  I cut her out of a postcard, added her to a blue background and then added all this glass glitter around her.  She had a glittery dress to start with, and I think she's a gal who likes her bling.
Plus she has that rose on her dress, so I added this big one that I stamped on some pre-inked paper. Then I just darkened the highlights. Some ribbon, fringe and a little magenta Viva-paint pen, and a stamped image from a set of flower sayings (Paper Arsty).
So finally have retaken photos of some art. Since my computer crashed last week, I had lost all those arty photos. Now I'm back!
Have a great day.

Monday, August 18, 2014

Low Key Weekend

This past weekend was low key. Fall feeling in the air, lots of grey skies. I ended up having to go get a new computer, and now I am getting used to this new Windows 8 operating system, installing programs, getting things back to the way I am used to them.Such a pain!
Yesterday I needed to go do something fun because I was just feeling kind of low. So the hubby and I went to visit the Wentworth Coolidge House. We go by this State Park all the time in the boat, and I have shown you photos of it from the boat before. But I have never had a chance to check it out up close.
Here's the post I showed you the house from the water back in June.

It is as much a labyrinth of rooms inside as it looks from the outside. In  typical Yankee New England style, the previous owners just added buildings they had moved from other places onto the original building and turned it into this interesting old place. It was first the home of the Wentworth family, home of a governor of New Hampshire, and then become the summer home of the Coolidge's.

Love this giant anchor and this giant chain.

 A real pretty view though, don't you think? 
I'm glad I got to finally check it out. Didn't totally knock me out of my blah mood, but still was a lot of fun.
And now, its the last week of my summer vacation. I want to go have whirlwind crazy fun week, wear this vacation me right out of my bones, but don't think that's in my cards. Hopefully it will be at least a little bit of crazy fun.
See you again soon.

Friday, August 15, 2014

Meet Pete

My daughter and her boyfriend just adopted a 5 month old cutie pie. He's such a good boy.  I have got to babysit him the last 2 afternoons and its been a lot of fun.
And a lot of work. 
I am dog free right now-after losing our 14 year old Shepard mix back in late May. I forgot how much work a puppy is. Pete is the sweetest guy and knows and responds to when you say no, but he is a still a curious puppy.

I brought him to my house today. Poor Leo cat, he spend the afternoon hiding under the bed. But he will get used to having a dog come to visit soon enough.
I hope. I think Pete is sweet enough to want to be his friend.
I hope that too.
The bad news from my world is that my laptop screen has gone black. Right now I am using the hubby's-he's too busy watching pre-season football to need it. Guess I need to go buy a computer this weekend.
UGH! So sad to think I have that addicted to technology!
Hope to be back up and running soon.
Have a great weekend if I don't get to post.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

A Great Rainy Day

It really rained yesterday. A good day to hang home and just have fun. I pulled out my Gelli plate and had a great couple hours making tons of deli papers and watercolor paper  prints. Just call me the Gelli Print Queen. Ha-Ha!

My paint covered plate waiting for some design. I don't make gelli prints regularly but every few months I get a big hankering to play, and when I play, I make a whole stash of prints. 
I bought this big design roller stamp early in the summer. Wasn't sure if it was really going to work but it worked great. I love the straight lines it makes.

I am always amazed how cool these prints come out. I used some stencils and a plastic disposable knife and some plastic wrap along with my big roller stamp to make these designs. Nothing too fancy. Its all about the layering.
 Then I spent my rainy afternoon cooking and relaxing. I made some of these yummy ginger cookies. These are the best. I haven't made any in forever.

 And in between baking cookies it was a chick flick afternoon. Some days just call for those fun romantic movies you've watched like 10 times before. Still, great to see them.

And I thought I needed to go out. But staying inside and doing things I don't normally do made it an excellent day. How was your day?