Sunday, May 31, 2015


I love how the world looks on the last day of May.
Can you believe it is the last day of May already?
The gardens bloom so fast at this time of year. Flowers come and then they go. 
You have to savoir what you can of their colors while they are out.
 I love the details you find in nature. And
I love irises. I wish they bloomed longer. I wish they bloomed all summer. 
 How can you not be inspired with the details here? I feel like Georgia O'Keeffe, and I want to start painting flowers.
 How about this view?
 And these Mountain Bluets are another favorite.
 I love that little blue petal just peeking out of the bud.
And did I show my  azalea?
My ground phlox?
We've been so dry I can't say my gardens are very lush this year.  But I am still enjoying the view.
My Maine lupines are just blooming too.

 Did you ever read Miss Rumphius? With the fields of Maine filled with wild lupine? Its a lovely children's book. My friend gave me these plants and she dug them out of the side of road in Maine one summer years ago when she was working there. I love how these lupines seed themselves and wander around the garden year after year.
OK, how about a couple more iris views?

So I am finishing up the screen porch this weekend, reading, relaxing. So much to do but so many excuses not to do any of it.
I can't wait to show you my gardens and how they look in June.
Enjoy your day!

Friday, May 29, 2015

I've Made Some Changes

Friday is here! Yahoo! 
That means it is Paint Party Friday. Thanks to Eva and Kristen for hosting.
I've got a lot to show today, old and new!
Sometimes you think you have finished with something but when you look back it is telling you to do something more. So that's what I did.
The orange house got a big old tree on the left. 
Works for me.
 And what I really disliked about this chair painting was the seat. It was too rough  and didn't need the words. So I used some more soft modeling paste and covered over the seat and then later when it dried I painted it.
 I am much happier now, though I still think it might need a cat.
And on my 2 works in progress have had some additions.
I fixed the window frame, now it looks so much more finished than my scribbly lines. And I added a tea cup and finished the table top and the vase.
Now I need to add flowers to those plants. And work on my shadows a bit.
I always see art better once it is photographed and up on the computer screen.
And I fixed the table so the top is a little more square and the legs look slightly better-except the right back one- Eeee-gads!.
The colors are way off here though! And the vase looks too much like a modern Easter egg now. Plus I need to fix the white molding so it is white and the corner of the wall needs to be much to do.  But I will get there!
The thing about working on a painting is once you paint, it needs to dry, and then it might need a second when I paint (at least), things move slowly.
That's me, always moving at my own speed (in my own little world, head in the clouds, trying to see what shapes those clouds are...)
So while I am waiting, I work on my journal or some other project. Here's something new to see.
This page started as a 12x12 inch printed paper (I have trimmed it down) and then I Gelli printed on it. I made this page by die cutting from a Brenda Walton Sizzix set. A few of those dies got colored with Copic markers and added to the Gelli print, and a few of those die scraps got used as a stencil which I then traced.  I added the 2 bluebirds and the pink butterflies by this tracing and then I colored them. The large bird in the middle is an older Martha Stewart image that I stamped, colored and cut out.
I was inspired by the summer like weather  we are having this week to make a few summery journal pages. I'll show you more some other day.
 Other wise its been a pretty low key work week. I have been working a little bit on my screen porch floor (which I sanded down and primed last weekend), and which I hope to finish up this weekend so all the furniture can get moved back into it. And then I can use it, just in time for cooler than normal weather next week. I also rented the movie Interstellar one night since I've wanted to see that movie for quite awhile now. 
And I have a super sweet story. This week in my class I was using chocolate chip cookies as an analogy for a biological concept. I made mention that a homemade chocolate chip cookie would taste wonderful, but I couldn't have them in the house  with my husband's kidney condition . (Chocolate is on his not allowed to eat list, and since he loves chocolate chip cookies, their his favorite, I hate to tempt him.) Anyhow, the next morning one of my students shows up with a little bag of chocolate chip cookies for me. She says she felt bad that I couldn't make any cookies in my house and she wanted me to have some.  Since she had nothing to do the night before, she went home and baked chocolate chip cookies. For me. How nice is that? Sometimes when you least expect it something special pops up and warms you down to your core.
And she already has an A so it isn't like she needs to sweeten me up for a grade either!
And this weekend's agenda? Hmmmm. Guess I will wait and see what comes up. But it is just about the weekend and that is always a good thing.
Hope you have some fun plans for yours.
And thanks for stopping by.

Thursday, May 28, 2015

On The Blog Today

Hi Everyone. This week is flying right by, but for me,  having Monday off as a holiday is probably the reason for that.
I haven't shown you much  out of my tag journal lately, so thought I'd put up a couple of pages. 
The page above I made the background dark so the red tag would pop. I stenciled in black on the dark background and then die cut some words (Sizzix/Tim Holtz) in black.
And on this page I used a Gelli print on some white watercolor to make the background.  I added some dimension with some puff fabric paint, as well as some glitter and a giant flower die cut (Sizzix/Tim Holtz). I ended up not liking the background color with this tag- it was too blue, so I made the flower a reddish-purple to help get the tag to blend in. I wish the flower was a little lighter, but it is what it is at this point, and I don't really dislike it.
So not much else new here. Just working and trying to stay cool. It doesn't feel like May-more like July. We've had a warm and very dry spring this year-which isn't terrible after all the winter snow we got. But we do need rain. It hasn't rained at all this month, which is really unusual here. The soil is just like powder right now. I think it is time to do a little rain dance.
Now that would be a scary sight.
Have a great day!

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Let's Go

Oh I wish I was going someplace today besides work! Summer weather is here, we are hot, humid and I should be at the beach. Or actually home working in the garden in the morning coolness and then hiding out in the studio until I get too hot and then lounging and reading on my screen porch. Ha-ha. I wish! I guess it is good just to have a decent job to go to and I should stop dreaming. Summer break will be here soon enough!
So this page started as a Gelli print. I decided not to add any paint to the background and stamp a bunch of travel words on the right Technique Tuesday). I also added the firework stamps in upper left corner-I  stamped it multiple times and the die cut elephant. The paper he was cut from is plan grey and I used an older paisley stamp (Hero Arts) in grey to give the paper a little texture. Then I used an old paper tape cardboard roll (the inside-what the tape was wrapped around) and some red-orange paint to make the circles.  I have a small collection hose old inside rolls of tape in various diameters as they make the best circle stamps, especially when you dab them in paint. 
So what are you up to today?
Do you get to go any place, either near or far, exciting or routine, dramatic or just pretty, today?
Thanks for stopping by!

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Just Keep Swimming

One last piece for The Sea/Das Meer over at Art Journal Journey as the topic changes next week with the new month starting. 
All the fish!
I started with a piece of watercolor paper with a Gelli print on it.  I drew in the fish all over the page with a black Sharpie. The ones outside of the Gelli print I used some SILKS to paint. Then I took dark blue acrylic and painted around them all, letting the fish over the Gelli print retain the cool look of the print. It was still a little needing at that point, so I used my soft molding paste and a stencil to make all the little dots, which once dry I used some SILKS to paint over.  Then I added some torn pieces of a Gelli print on deli wrap, and repainted the whole blue area with the same darker blue acrylic paint as I did earlier. Finally, I added a little stamp that says just keep swimming.

So my long weekend is over and its back to work today. But it was a really nice weekend!  Now its the  last leg at school until June 19th when the kids are off for the summer! I have 3 more workdays after that so I'm there until the 24th, but time is going to fly right by. (And once the kids are gone the workdays kind of roll right by...mentally at that point you are just cleaning up and rolling out for a bit.)
This week I am hoping to get the last coat of paint on my screen porch floor so I can move my furniture back in (its all in the house right now-what a mess) and start to use it. I also bought some annuals to do a few pots on my deck, and I'd love to get the rest of them planted. Let's see what I accomplish and what has to wait for the weekend! I might find more interesting things to do with paint and flowers, and I don't mean having to work to do those things either.
Have a great day and thanks for visiting my post!

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Some photos from my weekend so far. Its been work (my screen porch floor is coming along) and play and family time.
 After working hard Saturday I took the day off from my project on Sunday to enjoy a  boat cruise on the big lake near us. I love having a lake with several towns on it so you can actually go somewhere, but there was a lot of boat traffic and that made a bit of chop. 
 Lots of other people had the same idea. This is the traffic going through the channel into Paugus Bay.

 Saw this umbrella over a table while I was walking by it. It was worth a photo.
 Me and my daughter. How do you like my new glasses?
Or do you like this pair better?
And although it is terribly dry here, there are some more late spring flowers blooming.
We really need some rain.

And a few more random shots.
A beautiful morning.

How about this grand old dame summer home? And these ladies on the front porch?
And more summer events coming up in a few weeks.
So far its been a good weekend for me, and love the fact it is a long weekend with one more day to go.
Hope yours has been wonderful too.

Saturday, May 23, 2015


Here's a journal page I made earlier this week. I really didn't like my background colors when I started, but when I added these shells and painted them yellow I fell in love with it just as it was. So for now, I am leaving it as is.
 I used some light molding paste and a stencil to make the shells.
 I added the scallop shells  around the page. You can see here how blah it looked before I painted the shells. And I used some SILKS along the white edges of the page.
I don't use molding paste  very often and I don't know why that is.  It adds such great texture and dimension to a page, doesn't it? I think I need to remember that I have a jar more often.
When I get a chance I will probably link this page up to Art Journal Journey.
So what are you up to on this Saturday? I have decided to undertake a project I never have tried before. I am going to attempt to refinish a floor. We have a small screen porch and the floor in there has been getting blacker and more peeled every year. Its a bamboo floor with a urethane finish, so I rented a big floor sander and I am going to try to strip the crackling urethane and then I am going to paint it. Not sure how far I will get this weekend, but the striping must get done today because I need to return the sander by 3 this afternoon. The hubby has said he is going to help me too; it is our project he said, which makes me smile because it is always good to have help. Especially when you do something new!
I'll let you know how it all works out.
Have a great day!

Friday, May 22, 2015

Works in Progress

 Happy Friday everyone! Its been a busy week, and I've been in a crabby mood a little bit too, but maybe that's a good thing because I've been in a creative frenzy a couple of evenings. I'm hoping with the 3 day weekend here in the US that I can have some more play time- and hopefully my arty muse will still be hanging around to inspire me. 
I'm also hoping to do some gardening, if the weather and all the bugs cooperate. But other than that my weekend isn't very booked up, and I love that! It leaves lots of potential!
So today I have 2 acrylic paintings that are still in  an early stage. You can even see my pencil marks on them at this point. This bottom one has some unpainted areas too. Next time I show you these I hope to have them more complete, if not even finished.
 And then I had an amazing discovery. You have probably already tried it, but I bought some Yupo paper and pulled out some water colors.  Wow! This paper is really amazing. The colors are pretty off on this piece here (so much for taking a photo in the evening), but you can see the texture I created which is what really excited me.
 I used Twinkling H2Os for my watercolor, and I really like them but I am not sure they give the boldest of colors. I also had some cream on my hands when I picked up the paper and that left some non-paint adhering spots. Lessons learned when using Yupo.
Like my vase paintings this is an early step of a work in progress.
So I hope everyone has something fun planned for their weekend, and if you're in the US, I hope you actually get the long weekend to enjoy.
I am linking this to Paint Party Friday. Thanks to Eva and Kristen for hosting. Stop by and see what fun things lots of other artists have been up to.
Also thanks for stopping by my blog and feel free to leave me a comment.

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Deep Sea Journey

Its a busy work week for me. I am trying to get all kinds of things accomplished before the school year really goes into wind down mode. And that will start to happen next week. But I am looking forward to the long holiday weekend coming up here in the US in just one more work day.
So this journal page started with a piece of water color paper that I had been using up all my extra paints from other projects on. It was rather a hot mess  so I added  a Gelli printed deli wrap sheet to the background. I thought this made the page a little more ocean like with the big spiral and the net looking background.  I glued down these seaweed die cuts (Sizzix) and little turtles.  I thought the seaweed just blended in too much with the background so I rubbed some black ink over them and now they stand out better.  It also darkens the bottom of the page a bit, kind of like the bottom of the sea would be, and I like that effect. Then I stenciled in the travel words (Tim Holtz)  and added some word stickers (also Tim Holtz). Finally I stamped and painted some sea creatures (Chocolate Baroque) and scribbled in a border just because the page needed something to hold it all in. 
Maybe it just needs a mermaid now.
Hmm, I could fix that easy enough.
 I am linking this page at Art Journal Journey as this month the theme is the sea/das meer.  I've been having a blast squeezing in some ocean journal pages.
If you haven't joined in yet please do.
And as always, thanks for visiting.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Looking for Inspiration and Analyzing

 Heads up- this a long post today! Me just feeling gabby.
 Sometimes I look back at my own older pieces for inspiration. Been feeling like my journaling has been a little paint heavy lately. Don't get me wrong, paint is good! I love using paint. I am happy with my work lately. Yet sometimes I think "How can I expand my skills?" Or "I am doing the same thing over and over." I tend to be someone who can sometimes use a good kick in the pants to get me rolling into something a little different.
I also love looking at other people's work and that is probably the most inspiring thing to do. Ever-for inspiration. That and taking a class. But I don't have any classes on my agenda until late summer and I certainly don't want to be a copy cat, at least not consciously.
So I have looked back, and thought I would do a little share today. These are from 2012.
(Really, 2012?  I just remember making these.)
Here's what I have gathered for inspiration.
top page- I forgot how fun it is to play a stencil and watercolor markers. And then use a wet paint brush. I've used so much acrylic lately. The lightness of the page and the mixing of colors is so refreshing to me.
Bird page: Here's what I've been refreshed with-using a photo on a page (kind of but not exactly a scrapbook) and I love these 2 die cuts. I haven't used these in forever! Why not? Time to make an effort and dig out some items that are stuck in the stash.
Stenciling and then cutting out those images like these clouds. Using a little sparkle. And adding some detail items like these little flowers.
OK, I like all the little pieces on this page. The stamped squirrels. The little tape pieces. A ring. An owl...and the ink sprayed background and then the bright dashes of color like the big tape.
Adding tape.  Time to get back into my washi and paper tapes again. This page is a plain background enhanced by tape. Why do I feel my pages have to be such colored backgrounds? Because I love layering paints and colors. But I love this too.
Great die cut too. Another rescue from the stash I think.
 And nature.  One of my favorite themes.

 I haven't used stitches or cloth forever. I have been wanting too also. Now that we cleaned out a spot so I can set up my sewing machine again, I think it is time to dig the machine out of the closet and get back to it. Maybe even do some other sewing too.
Are you like me? If things get put away- I mean really away, I just kind of forget about them
I really need to find some "lost" items and bring them out.
Make this a high priority!
 These moose are a paper punch that is stuffed in the back of a drawer.
I am like a horder. I hate getting rid of supplies but I think it is time for a major clean out.
Not the moose though. Love that moose.
 Mixing up materials too. Stickers, die cuts, writing, tags, stamping, collage.
 Stamping time too. I haven't been stamping enough lately, and stamping is the thing that got me into all of this paper arts. It the thing that took this craft crazy girl and made her an extreme craft crazy girl.
OK, this has been therapeutic for me. Not sure it did much for anyone else, but I am ready. Time to dig out supplies, clean and try something new.
(Hopefully you'll see signs of that on my blog too. But if not, don't judge me too harshly, ok?)
Thanks for stopping by today.