Friday, January 30, 2015

A Few Little Things

Here's a journal page I made a little while back.
There's a lot going on with it. I like all the detail layers in the background. I made it with a lot of stenciled layers. Also some spraying. And it all started with a small Gelli print on a large piece of watercolor paper. I like the colors I used too.
I like the stars and even the flowers. I guess I am pretty happy with this journal page.
And here's a few unfinished tags I've also been working on.
I'll warn you, they are in really an early stage and still need a lot of work.
Just me, experimenting and working on a bunch little pieces all at once...well doing  little bit on this tag and then a little bit of that on another tag.
I found this background stamp while cleaning out the other day and boy do I love it.
Its always nice to come across something you forgot you had.
I've got a few ideas how to finish this  tag too.
Once I do that I'll post it again.
With a little more TLC they will hopefully shape up into a finished form.
This kingly one looks a little bit muddled.
Lately I've been playing with tags. I like the size of tags, and I am thinking of binding them all into a book once I get tired of making tags.
This tag needs some coloring TLC and a word of some sort. Or something else!
But I think it will finish up just fine.
Funny how photos really show you the flaws in your coloring.

Posting this to Paint Party Friday. Stop by to check out what some talent people have been up to!

Yesterday I took a trip back to my favorite craft store that is clearing out the entire inventory (but they claim not permanently closing). I bought some paints and some brushes. I bought a few more stamps and some more blank tags. A few Copics and a couple of Fudball pens. All marked down!  I once again tried to only buy things that really interested me and things I use..not just buying to buy. Its always fun to get some things you've had your eye on for awhile.  Hopefully this weekend I'll have some time to play.
So do you have any fun plans this weekend? 
We've got the super bowl on Sunday, and deflategate or not, go Pats!
Hope you enjoy yours.

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Another Recycled Card

Here's another card fairly simple full of love. I started with a red card stock card and then took the scraps from when I die cut some hearts (Sizzix Primitive Hearts die) and used that piece to make the front of my card.
I love how it had a lot of glitttery background.
Then I also die cut the 2 Cupids.  These cuties are from Impression Obsession. The black really pops off the background.
Finally I stamped the love word which is an oldie but a goodie from I think is from Rubber Soul- but I might be wrong about that.
So here's a few more (and my last post) of favorite Valentine's rubber stamps from my bin. More oldies I love.
The top love stamp is the one I used on the today's card.
More verbage from Cats Life Press.
These are the hearts on a cube by Christine Adolph and Stampington.
And finally an oldie's clear set from Memory Box and another one from Martha Stewart.

(Sorry, not a great photo)
I haven't used my heart stamps in awhile, and it was such fun going through them. Fifteens plus years of stamping (and a major stamp buying addiction) means you get quite a collection.  
So do you have any favorite stamps in your collection? I'd love to know what they are.
Thought I'd show you some of our snow scenes from the blizzard we just had. If you live in the cold snowy north or even where this big storm hit, then you can just skip on by without hurting my feelings.

She's such a cute puppy!

Hope you stop back again soon.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

What To Do During a Blizzard

The hubby and I hung home yesterday while the wind blew and snow fell. He took lots of naps. We both relaxed and watched several movies. Remember Grease with Olivia Newton-John and John Travolta-along with lots of other great actors and actresses? Then we watched Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade and also a new film we hadn't seen before, Einstein & Eddington. I really enjoyed that movie. There was some history, some science and some interesting twists of what I assume were 2 real lives.
I also played in the kitchen.
I simmered up some onions.
Made some croutons.
And we had some tasty French Onion soup for dinner.
Perfect on a night when the snow was still falling and blowing about.
I also baked.  Tried my next new baking project,
Attempted a Crisco crust.
Man I made one UGLY crust.
And I squeezed some lemons, added some sugar and eggs and a bit of butter.
Then I poured it into my partially baked crust and made myself a delicious lemon pie.
Even that ugly crust tasted pretty good.
Definitely not going to get a lot of attention with this photo. Good thing for most of us taste is more important than looks.
I also got a phone call telling me I had another snow day tomorrow-well today.
It is just like an unexpected vacation! (Especially since it is the beginning of the quarter and I really have no work to do.)
Hope you are snow free and having a great day!

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Tags and a Blizzard

We're having a blizzard today. They say we should get 18-25 inches of snow! 
Not sure how exciting that is, but I am excited to have a low key Tuesday at home. Something about a big snowstorm makes you just want to relax and not worry about things like laundry or how clean the house is. It is a great day to sleep in, read a book and watch some movies (as long as we don't lose power that is). 
I'll let you know how much snow we actually get and how much shoveling that will mean!
That's the not so nice part about a snowstorm.
So Sunday afternoon I played around in my happy place. I find I am most productive if I give myself an assignment. I don't mean to make that sound so ominous. Its just that I decide what I want to work on. I'm not very good at gear changing mid-way through some studio time. I'm ok picking up a project partially done and then changing to another type of project that is also partially finished, but to start on blank canvases in multiple formats, that slams my creativity door shut. Sunday I decided to make some tags.
This tag contains all types of media. The shamrocks are embossed on some green metal and then have a dirty rag of paint rubbed over them. The measuring tape is actually a Tim Holtz embossing folder on black paper and then lightened with a metallic purple ink pad. The Celtic pieces are made by using Spellbinder's dies on paper. Then they are inked with metallic gold ink and also with some brown dye ink. I then added some stenciled bronze paint to the background (other than the shamrocks) and also some gem pieces.
This photo to me looks like its a bit warped...not the photo but that the way the image was photographed. The colors are definitely a little off too...they look a little darker and bolder in real life.  Tough time of year to photograph without the sun and natural light to give you more true colors.

Here's another tag. The photo doesn't show the 2 ends which are cut with a pinking shear type paper scissor.
There is painting and inking here also. I used some more of the black tape measure embossed piece here. I doodled the white flowers and the stamped words are from Impression Obsessions. I traced the raven/crow from a Stencil Girl stencil and then cut it out.
Not sure if either of these tags are quite finished or what I will do with them.  I am thinking of making a tag book so they might go in there.  Those questions will have to be answered at a later date.
So I started this book the other evening:
It is a very light and easy read. So far enjoyable, but nothing wildly unique. I'll let you know because i am hoping to spend some reading time as the wind blows and the snow swirls around today.
And this book arrived yesterday in the mail.
I love reading Kristen Nichols' blog and her house, which occasionally shows up on her blog,  is amazing. She lives in a colonial, a couple hundred year old home in Western Massachusetts which she has painted with bright colors and created some gorgeous painted walls.Some of them almost look like tapestries. 
I'm hoping this book teaches me a few of her tricks. 
That's all for me today.
Stay warm.
Hope you have some fabulous sun too.

Monday, January 26, 2015

More Love for You

So yesterday I mentioned how I made a bunch of Valentine's Day cards on Saturday. I had a bunch of pre-painted backgrounds so meant I could just jump right in. Here's another card I made that's pretty simple to do.
First I stamped a white background with an old Magna Stamp firework stamp. I did this just to make the background a little more interesting. Then I used a Sizzix primitive heart die and cut out some hearts from one of my painted background pages. I also used some white/pink sparkle paper to cut the other heart, Then I used some letter from last season's Tim Holtz letter dies to make my words (Alphanumeric 3/4 inch tall).
So I was also being super green too and I used the word die cut scraps to make another card.
I backed it with some scraps of my painted background so my words had a little detail to them. I added a few die cut hearts and that was all to this super simple card. 
Yesterday I also showed you a few of my favorite oldie love themed rubber stamps.
Thought I'd show you a few more today.
 Here's a really versatile heart stamp. Before my days of getting a Bigshot machine, this stamp was very useful for cutting out different sized hearts.
And a fun oldie from Hero Arts.
So MAJOR snowstorm is supposedly heading our way tomorrow. I can feel a snow day coming on!
Not sure whether to be excited (nice to have an unexpected day off) or sad since it could mean a lot of snow and one more day in June we have to go.
We shall see.
Thanks for stopping by my blog today.

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Getting Ready for Valentine's Day

Yesterday I had a great afternoon playing in my happy place. Love was in the air-as the old cliche goes.
Thought I'd show you a few of my favorite oldies love stamps. I've amassed quite a collection over the 15 years or so I've been an stamping addict.
I love this lusty couple. This oldie is from Stamp Francisco.
And here's a starry eyed couple from Acey Deucy.
And these 2 hearts faces from Stamp Francisco are always quite adorable.
You know, there are some fantastic new stamps, but there's something rather sweet and fun pulling out your oldies. I can remember some projects I used them for and it inspires me to play.
Is this just me or does that ever happen to you?
I had a bunch of already painted backgrounds. Some nights after work if I make it into the studio I just sit and paint backgrounds. Mushing (maybe not the write verb) paints around on some watercolor paper is relaxing. Plus I don't need to get my tired brain wrapped around some project idea. So then when I am ready to roll I can start right in on these backgrounds.
So on my watercolor background I embossed  some flowers (Christine Adolph/Stampington) and then added a bit of white highlights. The heart is a die cut on pinkish glitter paper. The flowers are die cuts painted with a wet brush and some Silks paint, and the love is a black painted die cut word. All die cuts here are from Sizzix.
So last night I went to a great hockey game! We beat our rival 4-0 in our rival's arena. A shutout against your rival team (its called the Border Wars here) is always so thrilling. The rival team has this tradition of throwing out a dead fish onto the ice when they first score, and since they didn't score, we could say "No Fish Tonight". Ha-ha. I'm still chanting that this morning.
Hope everyone else had a great Saturday and that you enjoy the rest of your weekend.
Thanks for visiting.

Friday, January 23, 2015

Colorful and Bright

 I am glad it is Friday even though it wasn't  terrible week for me. I had last Monday off and then we've wrapped up the semester at school. Time for a little change, and today my new classes begin. Kind of nice to have them begin on a Friday, so I can see their bright smiling faces (ha-ha) for a day before we have to dive into the work next week..
So I've been busy cleaning up and reorganizing my work space during my free time, and then when I get sick of cleaning I sit down and play with some paint. I'm all about color right now. 
This page went through some evolutions before I ended up with this page. I started with one design but then I thought it needed some dark contrast so I stenciled the black, which didn't quite work the way I wanted. Luckily I found this black paper frame and this smiling flapper, and I think that helps cover up the black that I didn't like.
The beauty of a journal page is that it doesn't need to be a perfect finished piece of art! But I do really like the lady in the frame and the painted lettering over the frame. Nice depth!!!! And my squiggly roses and the blue-ish border. There's nothing worse in the personal arty world than making a page you absolutely dislike. At least for me. (Although I must admit making an ugly page is usually a good learning experience.)
I also spent a little time painting some backgrounds for cards. Then I used some old Cornish Heritage Farm background stamps I've had forever to put a little black design on them.
You can see I've been favoring these reds, maroons and pinks lately.
So does anyone have any big plans for the weekend? I've got a hockey game to go to tomorrow night. Should be exciting since we're playing our rivals. I'm also hoping to paint the wall where I want to put my new bookshelves, but who knows. it seems so easy to make plans and then have the weekend fly right by so fast those plans don't get accomplished.
Thanks for stopping by my blog, and be sure you check out Paint Party Friday for all the great artists and their creations.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Silly Owls

So quiet morning here in my life. The hubby is away on a business trip, but he'll be home tonight.  I spent last night finishing up the Outlander TV series since I could watch what I wanted all night. I really liked it, and I can't wait to see the new episodes in April.  That's not that long away, right?
Even though January is going by pretty quickly it seems like its been winter for a very long time here in New Hampshire. Maybe our early November snows started this season off much earlier than lots of years.
I was also a bad girl yesterday and went down to my favorite craft store after work. They are having a huge inventory liquidation...hmmmm...not sure what's that all about even though they say they are NOT going out of business. I managed to spend a bit of cash, but I did mostly buy things I had been looking at for awhile or things that I will need to replace in time like gesso. I only bought a couple of spontaneous items. Like that justifies my purchases...ha-ha.
Anyhow everything in the store was 15-75% off. I found some Tim Holtz items-they were all 50% off, and also paints and canvases at 50%. Not too bad. Amazing how a sale can make a store so crowded on a Wednesday afternoon.
So lastly I have this card to show you. It was pretty fun to make. The background is watercolors with some embossed tree trunks (Hero Arts stamp). Then I gave it a light spray of silver Distress sprays. The owls are a Cheery Lynn die and the word is a Frantic stamper die.
I didn't know what to do about the eyes so I add these little googlely eyes, which I think made the card a lot more fun.
So I need to go get ready for work. Teacher wok day today, no kids, and although I have tons to do, it will be a pretty quiet day with no meetings and no classes to manage.
Thanks for stopping by.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Kitchen Inspiration

So this is my winter (or maybe my year) to try out some new baking. Things I've always thought about making but never have made, Trying some new things. and making a few goodies already in my repertoire too.
It just another of my creative sides.
This past weekend I tried a Shaker Lemon Pie, something I've been curious about for quite awhile. To make this pie you slice whole lemons thinly, macerate them in sugar for a day or two, and then mix that in with some whipped eggs.
I loved the lemon and eggs custard that forms, but I can't say the thinly sliced rind thrilled me. Those chewy rind pieces just didn't belong in the smooth lemony filling. Maybe I should have run those lemons through a food processor and totally shredded them to bits. I'm not complaining about the taste though, since it was fun to make and now I know not to make it again.
And that's the whole point of my baking experiments anyhow.
So I made up for it by making a pan of these slutty brownies-which are killer delicious.
This is my life right now this winter, baking and watching Outlander.
Organizing and painting.
Wonder what will inspire me next?

Thanks for stopping by today!

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Dragon Love

I LOVE this stencil from Stencil Girl. 
I made this journal page by using 3 different colors ink sprays (Distress and Dylusions). Then I added some die cuts- the words, the Good Luck Chinese character and some small blossoms. These dies are all from Frantic Stamper. 
Really like this page even if it took no more creativity than picking the color, the items and the layout.
Long weekend is over, back to work. Kids have exams today, my semester is just about finished. By the end of the week I have new kids and new classes!
Have a happy Tuesday!

Monday, January 19, 2015

A Day Off

I love having a day off! Today is Martin Luther King day here in the US. Its been a fairly low key weekend with a little bit of fun,  me just rolling through the weekend, playing in the studio, spending some family time and doing a little bit of organizing. Every year I get this urge to go through my studio and do some rearranging and purging. Maybe one of these years I'll actually get things set up perfectly, but maybe half my fun is organizing and going through everything!
Here's a few views from yesterday when my daughter and I took a little road trip south of Boston.

I got myself some bookshelves at IKEA . We also had Swedish pancakes for breakfast too (Yum, Yum,pl├Ątta.  My grandmother used to make them for us when we were kids. My only non-Swedish grandparent at that!)  and then we drove home in the rain. We started at 54 degrees and rain  south of Boston and ended up at 30 degrees and ice when we got home back in New Hampshire. Was a little tricky driving at the end of the trip when the road looked like a skating rink.
But was fun to spend the day with my daughter and to engineer how to get 3 bookcase boxes into my Passat wagon.  Good thing the daughter is an engineer.

So my page today is from my journal, using a lot of paint and some stencils. I like the sky colors, kind of like a late day in winter, and I especially the blue deer prancing through a winter wood.
Don't expect much excitement today in my neck of the woods today. Maybe a few prancing deer but more likely a prancing dog and a snoozing kitty. And maybe even a snoozing messy hand me too!
Thank for visiting.

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Pie and Other Good Things

I love long weekends. It is Martin Luther King weekend here in the US and tomorrow my daughter and I are off on a little road trip to IKEA. I need bookshelves.  She needs some homey goods for her apartment. Hopefully this little storm they are talking about doesn't get in our  way while traveling. (Keep your fingers crossed for me!) And I don't have to work Monday which is really exciting. Who knows what fun things I'll find to do.
Tomorrow the Patriots take on the Colts for the AFL title, one football game before the Superbowl. I hope they win this year-unlike last year when they lost. I know someone has to lose but how disappointing to get that far. And if today's game is even half as good as last Sunday's game against Baltimore was, it should be a good one.
So I have been in a cook book reading and baking mode lately. Been hooked on watching The Great British Bake Off on PBS. Have you seen it?
I was naughty and a bought a few new cookbooks in the last few weeks.  To feed the reading by the fire addiction.
This is an interesting cookbook. Old and traditional pies. I haven't heard of more than half of these pies, which is pretty interesting actually since I am a pie fan and I thought I knew about about pie. Transparent pie...Dixie pie...cake like pies...
I am antsy to try a few of these, but the problem with pie and cake and cookies is how much can you actually eat before you get the size of a city block?  At least this is true with my metabolism. And I am trying to be fairly good about what I eat, but still get my baking fix and my sugar fix. So I will get to making one of these, next time I want pie.
Here's an even naughtier book.

Yummy, creamy pretty pies. This is where I go for my no-calorie photo pie fix. And to bake one of these days too!
Can't wait.
And since I am so hooked the Great British Bake Off, I ordered this book from an Amazon seller in England. Mary  Berry is one of the show's judges. I am trying to resist the temptation to buy a couple of the show cookbooks. So far, I have been strong and able to...ha-ha. Notice many of them have sold out on Amazon so it must not just be me addicted to this show!
Anyhow, waiting for this to arrive. Can't wait to see what yummy British Baking treats I can learn about.
So do you have any big plans for the weekend?

Friday, January 16, 2015

Journal Views

So this background was in my pile of ready to use pages. To me the red dripping paint drops  look like bleeding hearts-they formed randomly when I made this page.  And since they were on the Eiffel Tower, this page made me think of the tragedy that happened in Paris last week.
 So I made this page.
The color is a bit bright here, but my photo cut off the edges of the page.At least the page doesn't have that grey tone indoor photos often get.
The color on this view is a bit dark but you can see the page edges better. The very edge of the entire page is outlined with gold paint.
Freedom to speak and live a life you chose is an important right for all of us. 
It is really tragic when someone tries to take that away. 
That's all I will say about that even though I could say a lot more.
OK, let me realign my thoughts and move over to lighter topics.

 It is finally the weekend for me-after a never ending week.
And I have a long weekend too-yahoo!
 I am really excited about that. I have a few little plans, and I am hoping for a little play time too. Nothing big planned, but that's not a bad thing.

I got my markers all organized on my work table this past week.. I bought 3 of these marker holders over the past couple of months on Amazon, and I have been bit by bit reorganizing.
Makes me happy!
I can slide them under my shelf and it has made a lot more space on my table. I used to use some old coffee mugs to hold my makers and pens, but they were a little too high to slide under shelf, and hence sat out more in my work space. Plus, now all my colors are more organized and it is a lot easier to find what I want.

Hope there's something fun in your life this weekend!
Thanks for stopping by.
And check out Paint Party Friday for some great art, great stories and a great place for people to connect.