Friday, October 31, 2014

A Little Spooky-A Little Not

Happy Halloween!
Last of the Halloween play this year. This journal is finished. It was a lot of fun to make; you have to love being able to explore those parts of yourself that aren't normally out of your  closet, so to speak. Now I have a big mess to pack up and put away-all those Halloween stamps and dies and punches which will go in the back of my craft room closet until next season or whenever I get the calling to play with them again.
That's what happens when you only have a small work space to store all your craft things!
But at least I have a craft space!

So here's some photos of my latest painting- an owl in a snowstorm. A work in progress. Certainly not a spooky Halloween owl. I'm changing seasons and thinking winter with this piece. (Although they are saying we could have some snow tomorrow tonight-big sad face on me! Its too early for snow even here in New England.) 
 I have done a bit here and there to  this piece over the past week. If you remember from last week it was mostly just the snowflake background. Just a big mess.
Last weekend I added the outline of my owl.
Then I added some gelli printed deli wrap paper to the owl.  I think he now looks like an owl in his winter pajamas.
Now he's looking a little more owl-like.
But he still needs some  more work.
I also played a lot more with the trees on the left.
But there still some painting trails to follow before that piece is done (to my satisfaction that is). I'm not sure this still isn't just a big mess, but there are some things I really like about it. I have no training in painting at all and everything I try is just an experiment. Sometimes things look great, and sometimes I'll never try a technique again. But that's what makes it all so much fun to me!

And I was doing a little kitchen creativity this past week too.
It was way too candy laden to eat, but my hubby is a big fan of candy corn. So the other day for his birthday I made him a "candy" ear of corn cake. It was fun, and we had a good laugh. Felt good to step out my typical play form and try something a little bit different.

I'm linking this page to Paint Party Friday.  Thanks to Eva and Kristen for hosting this every week! Stop by and check out all the great art people are creating.

I'm off this weekend on a little overnight road trip. Hope to get some really relaxing downtime. Are you up to anything fun? Getting to be spooky today? Enjoy your Halloween and your weekend- and as always, thanks for visiting my blog.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Somebody is Having a Birthday Today

Yesterday it was the hubby's big day and today it's my baby's big day.
Katie's turning 23 today!
Doesn't seem possible. I remember too clearly the day she was born.
(And I remember being 23 myself. How can she be 23 when it doesn't seem that long ago that I was 23?)
She was born right in the middle of the storm that later came to be known as the Perfect Storm-just like the book and later the movie.
We'll be celebrating tonight with dinner-her choice.
Happy Birthday baby girl!
Its been the best 23 years so far, with only more good times to come I hope!

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Somebody is Having a Birthday Today

Today is the hubby's birthday.  
My sweetie is turning 54!

We'll be doing a little family celebration tonight and then this weekend I'm taking my honey up to Maine for a little weekend road trip. And a hockey game!
Lucky guy!
(Especially since he has me as a wife. Ha-ha!)
Happy Birthday Big Guy!

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Tricks or Treats

First the tricks.
Did I show you this?
I think this is one of my favorite cards I made in the last few months.
I love the iridescent blue Silks paint background which  I made by using the paint on a rubber stamp and stamping it on black. It makes a really  nice texture!
And the color on this card didn't come out too well.  To pinkish...should be more orange. Really ruins what I made,
but you can get the drift. 
I hope.
Taking photos in the evening in artificial light is something I need to learn to do better. 

Treat time.
 Have your tried these? I'm not really a candy corn gal but these are pretty yummy.
I want these in my trick or treat bag.
Maybe if I drop enough hints the hubby will buy me another bag of these before they disappear.
Have an excellent day!

Monday, October 27, 2014

Carmen Miranda

This is a card that looks much better in person than it does in my photo. The background looks a little flat to me here, but not so much in person. You can just barely make out on the right the skeleton which I "embossed" with some pearl white Pan Pastels. Those little guys are all over the background, but the light didn't quite catch them on the edges elsewhere so the one you can see just looks like a big smudge.
Oh well!
The light didn't catch the sparklely eyes and teeth and nose area of this skull either.
Well I really like my skull and its headpiece.
Wrapping up this spooky week showing you a few Halloween items I made but never posted. Today I have this Mexican Day of the Dead styled card. So I used this skull die cut (Frantic Stamper) with some flower doodles I added. Then I used some of the images from a Dylusions stamp set to make the Carmen Miranda style headpiece.
I like this set. The images are pretty fun, great for coloring and easy to cut out-though I will admit I really wanted the cherry stamp. 
So this past weekend BUZZED right by; it went way too fast.  And now it is the last week of the first quarter at school. And the last week of October. Where is the time going to?
Thanks for stopping by.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

A Little Spooky

I will never take a photo of a card on my comforter cover again!
Those grey stripes in the background, yeeks!
Want to  show you some Halloween projects in the next few days before Halloween.
Can't believe this is the last week of the month, already!
Love my moon here-love the book print background. Not so sure about the house colors but wanted to do something different than black or grey.

Yesterday we were out running errands in the Concord, NH area and stopped to have one of the world's best cider donuts.
Here's the place. This store, they claim, has been here for over 150 years. I bet they didn't make cider donuts as good as these way back in that day.
The hubby was excited to go to Bass Pro and get himself a couple new flannels during Flannel Fest. 
And we both broke the bank at Costco.
Yup, we needed 2 carts. Did some holiday shopping, got our daughter a folding table and chair for her birthday (she wants something to sew on in her tiny little rental-this way she can fold everything up and get them out of the way when she's done), and we just needed some things here. never mind we got the dog- food and treats. We spent close to $80 on her alone-but that will keep her tummy filled for awhile we hope.
Good thing we brought the truck!

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Book Chatter

I haven't chatted about books in quite awhile. Haven't been reading all that much, although I've wanted to it just hasn't happened. That's what happens when you have a new dog in your house.
Actually I'm really ready for a week off -I know- I've only been back to school for 8 weeks but I am already feeling kind of burnt out.  I am teaching 3 totally different classes- the prep work keeps me jumping! Plus a new dog at home, and some health issues with my 85 year old mom. Way too much to deal with. I will say this month is flying right by-it will be Thanksgiving break time before I know it. I really like that weekend-so much less demanding than Christmas!  Actually, November is usually  a pretty quiet month-plus I have a fun weekend road trip planned which always breaks things up.
Anyhow, back to books!
Recent Readings:
This book was enjoyable. Its a series of articles from the LA Times that the author wrote while traveling for a year with his girlfriend. I like how it wasn't as much about the places but more about a different theme at each stop.
And this other book is really enjoyable. I don't know how much is actual family memoir and how much is author embellishment, but I've learned a lot about living in the Soviet Union from the start of that nation (when the Czar line ended and the Communists took over) through decades that follow until the author and her mother immigrated to the US. And its also about food. Anya von Bremzen has written some cookbooks that received A+ reviews. She also does a great job of character building. Her characters are pretty eccentric in ways too. Makes it lots of fun!
And I've added a few cookbooks to my cookbook obsession.
(If only I should cook half as  much as I read cookbooks.)
I love Joy Wilson's blog-Joy the Baker. This is her second cookbook, and I pre-ordered it because i loved her first cook book. (Joy the Baker). The first recipe I think I am going to try this weekend is her pineapple breakfast rolls, or maybe her blueberry pancake muffins. Or....she comes up with the most clever recipes. 
I give that cookbook a 5 star rating for all you bakers. Here's another 5 star book-a little more highbrow in set up, but still, pretty nice.

Haven't tried anything from this book yet either. I like the recipes, and many of them look pretty homey and easy. There's nothing jumping out in my head that I really need to try, like the Joy Wilson book, but I will definitely try my hand at some of these. And if not, I really enjoyed reading this book.
And I've had this craving to pull out some children's book that I haven't read in years. Here's my latest. There's still a few hanging around from when my daughter was a little.

What have you been reading lately?

Friday, October 24, 2014

Squeezing In Some Time

So last Sunday I finally made some art time for myself. I was home alone with the kitty-how peachy keen and wonderful that was.  I started off by cleaning off my work table...boy did that feel good. 
After being away from the play space for over a week it was great to have a clean place to rekindle my creative juices.
I started a new painting too, but I haven't gotten very far.
This just looks like a mess right here but it will be an owl on a snowy night. Sitting on that lower branch.
This is just my first paint layout. I've added some more details to this and also sketched out and placed down my first paint layer for my owl. More about this later.
Having this new dog who is still being kept away from the the cat, I've had to adjust my art time schedule. The cat is upstairs and the dog is kept down, and my studio is upstairs in the small spare bedroom. Until the hubby gets home to manage the the dog, I can't go up and work as easily. Art time had been cut back, but I am still managing to squeeze in a little time- well actually I am needing that little bit of time-it really helps me manage the stresses of life. 
What a gift that is to be able to find an hour in the evening. 
Stresses have been pretty high-work had been crazy and my mother's forgetfulness is getting pretty severe. She's exploded with anger lately because we don't want her out driving for fear she won't know where she will end up.
They do say when it rains it pours.
I know that is cliche but its so true. You can see why cliches became cliches.
So here's a journal page I did make. The background is a gelli print I made back in the summer. I added everything else to it this past week. One of my favorite parts is the daisies. I stamped them with white pigment ink on black paper, and used some Pan Pastels to color the centers and the stems.
Now that I am looking at a photograph of this page online I am thinking it could use something else.
maybe next time I can squeeze that hour in.

So I am linking this page to Paint Party Friday. Check out some great art from some very talented people. 
Thanks for visiting and taking a few minutes out of your day to read my post.

Thursday, October 23, 2014


Been working on  a book with some of my travel photos from last summer's journey to the Pacific Northwest.  These fish photos inspired me.
As Monty Python would say, now for something completely different.
I know, fish. In college I worked for the Maine Cooperative Fisheries for a few years as a lab assistant. It was a fun job, though I decided research was not for me. Its one of the reason's I am a teacher now.
I've been teaching a 91/2 week course of zoology at school and we're just about ready to talk about fish.
I think fish are pretty cool.
Weird, bizarre-no not me (well maybe) but the fish.
Icky! But what a pattern.
Maybe I like fish because I am a Pieces. If you believe in any of that.

Or maybe I like fish because I am a biology geek. 
Whatever. We all like something that might make people roll their eyes at us.

Have a great day!

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Just Because

Just a card to show you today. Sunday I had some play time-yahoo! While waiting for some paint to dry on another project, I made this card. I rather like it even if the red tape is a bit too red.
Yes the card itself looks a bit rough on the edges-it is suppose to. I used pan pastels to color the white card stock background, and then I sanded it down. 
I used a new Impression Obsession background stamp on some printed paper for the deer background. Deer are an image from Designs by Sheena. I used Twinkling H2O's to color. The words are from Flourish rubber stamps and there are 2 layers of paper tape to add a little bit of color.
I was looking to make a fall card, which is where the inspiration for this card came from. I wanted something a little different for me, which is why I chose the deer image.
That's all for me. 
Thanks for stopping by.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Autumn Snapshots

I love fall. I love the colors and the natural changes that happen. I love pumpkins and cornstalks from the harvest. Here in New England old colonial buildings seem to belong to this season. So do the stories of witches and ghosts. You know, scratchy branches on windy nights and all that.

I love this carpet of colorful fallen leaves. Wish I could weave it into a real carpet from wool. 

All these photos are from my Sunday morning walk.  It was crisp and a little breezy, bringing lots of leaves down.

I think there's something rather organic about this season. All the color and then decay. Colder temperatures, hunkering down, and after the summer's heat, it is all so  refreshing. My body is pretty tuned in to nature and it starts to get me in hibernation mode. I'm not there yet, but starting to slow down a bit. Not constantly sleep but ready to do the domestic thing- like cooking- and ready to sit on the couch and read and watch movies. Play in my studio more hours rather than wanting to be outside. Maybe its more cold weather laziness, who knows? This is my week of getting back into socks-time to put the summery Tom's and my sandals away. Don't need frostbitten toes. 
 Funny how in a world so build against nature, I still click with it. Do you?

Monday, October 20, 2014

Halloween Shadow Box

Oh no-Monday already. Not ready for this week-but just maybe it will be a bit less overwhelming than the last 2 weeks.
I hope!
So this is my Halloween shadow box. It is not exactly new. I made it a couple of years ago, but this year I decided to make a few small changes to it.  More trees. More skulls and more pumpkins. An owl. A spider, some black spray to darken things up in this old cemetery. OK, I might have gone a little overboard at the bottom, but I like it better.
I don't usually work in a 3D manner, but this box was a lot of fun, both times. 
Have you ever reworked something down the road to make it so your like it better? 
Or are you someone who when a project is done, you are done with it?
I've gone both ways. And I don't know why sometimes I am so ready to rework a finished project.
Enjoy your day!