Friday, April 29, 2016

One Last Lyric Page for April

I'm not sure its "Happy" Friday for me this week since my one week vacation is winding down. But when I go back to school Monday we are in the wind down until the end of the year. That is good news.
My baking class is over; it ended yesterday, and it was a blast.
Here's yesterday's yummies.
A chiffon cake. We frosted and decorated these towards the end of class and I was feeling a bit rushed, so it could have been a little neater I think. But still looks yummy. I haven't cut into yet, but I think today would be a good cake day.
And some chocolate truffles! Yum.
I never took a finished photo but these were rolled in coco and on a few I added a white stripe effect.
But you get the gist I am sure.

So I have a  journal page which I am linking to both Paint Party Friday (Thanks again Eva and Kristen for hosting!) and  Art Journal Journey (Thanks again Linda for hosting!). The theme this month at AJJ is "For the Record", using song lyrics. I chose an older French song by Joe Dassin called Aux Champs-Elysees.

This song came out in 1969, and I heard it on a movie soundtrack a few years back. I can't remember what movie it was, but I think it was The Darjeeling Limited starring Owen Wilson, Adrien Brody and Jason Schwartzman. The movie was good, not fantastic, but this song stuck in my head.  
Anyhow, my page about this song is made on a Gelli print. I stenciled and added paint to the Eiffel Tower. I also painted the clouds and the song words. The bicycling woman is an old stamp from Stamper's Anonymous. I love it. It kinds of bugs me that Stamper's Anonymous has gotten so much into making only a few people's images now rather than their varied old catalog. I guess its where the money is and the old images aren't so popular anymore. Not that the new images are any less cool and interesting; I just wish more of the old catalog was available.
I finished off my page but adding in this blue rose.
So as much as I loved my 4 day baking class, I am glad to be home today, enjoying the last of my vacation. I plan on having lots of play time in my clean studio area. Big smile on my face. I have the whole day and evening to myself, since no one will be home until almost 9 PM, and after 4 busy days, I am ready for a little quiet time. And the other big thing about my weekend is that tomorrow night I get to meet my daughter's new boyfriend. They have been dating a little over six months and my husband and I still haven't met him. This is mostly because 1) she is an adult-24 years old and 2) he lives on the other side of the state and since he has his own apartment and she is living with us right now, when they get together for the weekend she goes to his place. 
So that is the exciting finish to my week off. Hope everyone has something a little bit exciting in their weekend too.

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

True Colors

So before I show you my new baking class photos for today, here's a journal spread I am linking up to 2 challenges. First of all, Art Journal Journey. The theme our hostess Linda picked this month is "For the Record", music inspired pieces. The song I digitally enhanced this page with is True Colors by Cyndi Lauper.  The base page is made from painting a pattern, then doodling over it and added a few magazine cut outs. I then digitally added the song lyrics.
I thought this song worked perfect on my background because  it is very colorful, but also  because the song  speaks of courage, and I had added the word brave on my page.
I am also linking up to Try It On Tuesday. The theme right now on that site is "Vintage Photos" and I have my one little partial vintage girl face on this page.
And yesterday I showed you those colorful socks I saw at the general store near my hotel in Norwich, Vermont. Here's one of the 2 pairs I bought myself. And yes, they are supposed to be mismatched. I love how the pattern isn't mismatched though.
I had to buy 2 pairs because it was so hard to pick which one I liked the best. As a knitter I enjoy seeing how the patterns stand out differently depending upon what colors they were knit in. I wore them today and they were soooo comfy.
So here's today's  finished baking.
 I rolled out my puff pastry into this huge rectangle.  Then we baked them so we could turn them into Napoleons.
Here's my finished piece. We filled them with pastry cream. YUM!
And we finished our Sacher torte. I apologize because I messed up the direction I wrote the word Sacher.  The woman I am sharing a work station with is from Germany and she couldn't believe I would write it in that direction. Whoops. It was good for a laugh, especially seeing I have never seen or had a Sacher torte before today. Buy oh YUMMY!
I need a little more practice writing with chocolate too. And sizing out my pieces evenly. :)
One more day to go, and then this class is over. I'm having a blast and have learned a lot of working with more complex pastries. Its been a great way to spend most of my vacation week.
Nothing else to say today.

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Baking Day 2

Yup, we had a little snow today. But by the time I left baking class it  had stopped and melted.
That's good. :)
The clouds and rain which turned to snow actually made it a quiet morning. I lounged and lazed in my hotel room. I read and dozed and worked on my journal. (I was up early since my daughter came out and spent Monday night with me. We grabbed a 7 AM breakfast before she left to drive  a little over an hour to work, but I didn't have to be at baking class until noon.And baking class is less than a mile away.)
I know, it wasn't that much snow. But seeing we had hardly any all winter and now, in late April we get it, it was kind of tough to see.
Hope that people under the tornado and the western US snow warnings aren't getting either blown away (not meant as a pun) or being heavily dumped on.  I just don't know about this year's weather. Wonder if it will ever get back to being "normal".
 And how about these awesome mismatched socks? They are so colorful and are made here in Vermont. There is a general store next to the hotel I am at called Dan and Whit's.That's where I took this photo.This place sells so many different things- groceries, toys, craft supplies, tools, sewing things, books, clothes-as the quote says, if they don't sell it, you don't need it. 

And look at these locally made candy bars you can buy at the cash register at Dan and Whit's. Bernie Sanders is a Vermonter ( a Brooklyn, NYC transplant).  I thought these were a riot.
So today in baking class we baked the cake for  a Sacher Torte. We'll assemble these tomorrow.

 And we worked in the butter into our puff pastry. We rolled, folded, chilled and rolled and folded some more. Tomorrow we make Napoleons.
And we made these Bavarian Creams with a raspberry cream filling layered with chiffon cake and some whipped cream.
My husband came over to see me tonight. It worked out perfect for him since he had a meeting only 10 minutes away this afternoon and then tomorrow he has a meeting in northern Vermont. He won't have to leave quite so early in the morning, which is good for him, and I get more company tonight. Tomorrow I am driving the 2 hours home after class and I will  drive back on Thursday.
Anyhow, he at 2 of these. 
Oh and before I sign off, here's the journal page I made this morning while lounging.
Thanks for visiting.

Monday, April 25, 2016

A Lemon Tart for T

Happy T day everyone. Stop by Altered Book Lover to see what Elizabeth and the T Gang are up to this week.
I'm at a a Pastry baking class for my spring vacation and this is the one project we finished on day 1. It's a lemon tart with a bit of whipped cream and some fruit. My crust is a whole wheat crust which is why it looks a little dark.
Unfortunately I forgot to take a photo off my cup of tea that was on my work bench so even though you can't see it, I was sipping on some tea while I worked.
Some exciting things to bake in the next 3 days. Today we made the chiffon cake so tomorrow we can make some cream cake desserts. Plus we have a sacher torte and some chocolate truffles on the agenda. Plus a few more yummy sounding treats.
So they are saying we might get a bit of snow tonight-lets hope we DON'T.
Thanks for stopping by my blog.

Sunday, April 24, 2016

A New Week Begins

My page dried a little wrinkled but I have another song inspired journal piece for Art Journal Journey.  Thanks to Linda for hosting this month with the theme of For the Record. My song is one from 1971 by the Carpenter's, Rainy Days and Mondays.  Of course this Monday isn't exactly a day to get me down, as I am on on my one week vacation. 
Its been a good weekend. I had hoped to work in my garden, but the black flies have arrived. Every spring we get them en masse for a few weeks. There are so many of them right now that you go out and they swarm around you. Luckily they are only bad for a couple weeks, but this year with our weird weather they are actually a good week or so early. I hope that means they'll be gone sooner than normal too.
So instead of working outside I stayed in and finished my spare bedroom studio cleaning project. That took  most of the days Saturday and Sunday to finish.

I am thrilled to get it finished. I still want to go through my bookshelf  and a few more boxes need sorting, but they are not in the way. At least now I can get back to making art. 
Big smile.
My husband and I also went out for dinner Saturday night with an old friend from college.
I had these yummy fish tacos, well at least as much as I could eat of them.
So in the morning I am off to Vermont to start my pastry baking class. I hopefully will have some goodies to show you next post.
Hope you had a good weekend and your Monday isn't rainy and doesn't get you down.
Thanks for stopping by my blog.

Saturday, April 23, 2016

There's Adventures Being Planned

 My one week spring vacation is here and there are plans afoot. 
At least for a few days. The rest of my down time I plan on gardening, making art, reading good books, finishing that art space cleaning, walking, napping, OR maybe doing none of those things. 
I don't want a lot of commitments because then I'll spend my whole week checking the clock and running around. But I don't want to be bored either.
Well, maybe worrying about being bored is rather stupid since I could easily spend all week in my play space making art and the week would fly right by.
But I digress.
So the top journal page is from last summer. I took a 4  (half) day intro to pastry making class over in Vermont. This is a journal page I had put together from that adventure for my little scrap-journal of July 2015.
And I had so much fun at intro to pastry making, I decided that if the second level class was ever offered when I was available I was going to take it. They only offer that class once or twice a year.
And so when I saw it was offered during the week of my spring vacation, I signed right up.Look at just a few of the high calorie deliciousness we made last year in class.

 I am drooling right now. Excuse me while I wipe my chin.
Anyhow the good part is they taste delicious. The also good part is that I bring it all home with me. The bad part is that I bring everything I make home with me.
So Monday-Thursday next week I will be baking and learning from noon until 5 each day. I don't even have to clean up after myself, except for wiping down and organizing my table space. :)
I am very excited. In this class we'll be practicing chocolate work, and making more complex cakes and who knows what other goodies or techniques I'll be exploring.
I am going to stay some of the nights (the class is about 2 hours from home) so I can drive a bit less. And one night my daughter is coming to stay after work and one night my hubby is coming after work which means I can have a little evening fun with them too.
I'll have my computer with me so I will even post some photos for you.
I wish I could share calories over the internet so they don't all end up back at my house. :)

And also, I am in my summer trip planning. How exciting is that? I didn't expect to be heading off anywhere this summer since my husband's dialysis means he's pretty much tied to being within reach of a center. But then a friend asked me to tag along with her and her sister on an exciting adventure. This place has been on my to go to list for quite some time now.

I've started gathering some books to do my background research. Having a little knowledge of where I am going is how I like to travel. But that doesn't mean I really know much about the place. There's always what you actually see and observe and the feel of the place and the weather and the smell of the wind and the language you hear and all those kinds of things that come as surprises once you arrive at your destination. 
And this past week we planned our general route and booked hotels and airfares and it is really going to happen. So in late July I am really going on a BIG adventure. My own Nordic background isn't probably going to totally prepare me for this because I'm not going to Scandinavia proper. But I will be out on the island near Greenland, the one that isn't really covered in ice.
You can probably guess.
More coming some other day.
Happy weekend!

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Feels Like a Summer Evening

Its just about the weekend. I am ready. :) 
Not only does my one week spring vacation begin this weekend, but its also almost the end of a very  busy work week. But today we had temperatures well into the 70's ( in the low 20 degrees Celsius) and it felt so much like summer.  Loving it.:)
So today I have a journal page for you. Since it is Friday I am linking up to Paint Party Friday. Thanks to Eva and Kristen for hosting this fantastic site.
And I am also linking up to Art Journal Journey. This month's ' hostess is Linda and the theme is For the Record. My journal page is based on a Jimmy Buffet song. If you are familiar with his music, you can probably guess my song. It is his song  Fins.
My fish Gelli print might be a bit busy for this page, but I thought the color and fish design was a great match for the  music.  My photo got a little cut off on the right side, but those fins in the waves came out just like I wanted.
I like it much better when I cut the words off the bottom. Maybe I need to paint over them so they are plain black. I think the white outlining is what  bothers me the most since it seems a little too busy with the rest of the page.
But when I take out the words, you don't know what song it is, do you?
That's all for me. Thanks for stopping by.

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Song Bird

 A journal page for Try It On Tuesday today. The theme is based on a mood board with lots of beautiful spring images. 
Here's a close up of my little bird. This image was made with a stencil and black paint, and then I went in and painted in most of the details.
The background is  made from me cleaning off a stencil, and also some stamping and coloring.
Stop by TIOT to see all the great pieces.
Thought I would also show you how my studio cleaning  is progressing.
Or should I say degressing.

I did dump all my scrap fabric onto the floor, and then I actually did clean  it  up, but you can't see that in this before photo. I reorganized it from color (the way it was organized) to more specific topics like plain fabric, vintage designed, flowers and nature, and lastly a little bin of stripes, plaids and polka dots.  The only fabric I left sorted by color is my white pieces because I seem to use that the most. Now I have moved onto my rubber stamps, which I will say I have a lot of. It is almost embarrassing how many I have. But I do love stamping if that justifies my huge number of stamps.
 I am making a major purge there too. I'll bet I will have a hundred fewer when I am done with this project. Maybe even a few more than a hundred.
That is making me happy, even though this cleaning project- seeing I have so many things on the floor- is really getting in the way with actually making art.
Oh well, it was time to clean out so I could actually find things.
That is all for me today. Hope you're having or had a wonderful Wednesday.

Monday, April 18, 2016

Cocoa Instead of T Today

Happy T Day everyone. Today instead of tea I have this mug of delicious hot coco with some real whipped cream on top. There's a little hole in the wall restaurant near us that makes the most delicious breakfasts. Nothing gourmet, but their food is so yummy. And their hot coco is the second best I have ever had. Its real coco. Wish I had their recipe.

The hubby and I went  for breakfast Saturday morning before we took the old couch to the dump. My breakfast wasn't very exciting- eggs, hash and a biscuit- but it was very very good.
Stop by Elizabeth's blog to check out what all the T gang is enjoying this week. 
Have a happy T day!

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Purple Rain

The weekend is winding down and a new work week is about to begin for me. But only 5 more work days and counting until my spring break begins.
I am just a little bit excited. :)
Later this week I'll fill you in on my plans of the week(or at least for a few days out of my week ), but today I have another journal page for Art Journal Journey.
My song today is Purple Rain by Prince. I can't say I am a huge fan, but I do like this song, especially the live version.
I didn't start off making this page for the song, but I was using a rain drop stencil, and when I cleaned it off the drops were such a dark purplish blue from several colors of paint that the song popped into my head.
So we had some gorgeous weather this weekend. It was fantastic. I worked in my yard, as well as continuing the play space cleaning (although one of the problems that comes with cleaning and purging is that before I'm finished I make far more of a mess than I started with- and that mess isn't all picked up yet). Today I had planned to repaint my garden fence, but then a friend who invited me to take a little trip with her and her sister  this summer wanted to meet and plan the trip, so I was off and missed probably the only nice painting day we'll have in weeks. That's just how life goes I guess. Maybe next weekend I'll get lucky and have painting weather. :)
That's all for me. 
Hope everyone had a great weekend and a good start to the new week too.

Friday, April 15, 2016

No, It Isn't Tuesday

I know it is Friday and I may be a few days off, but I have a journal page to link up to Try It On Tuesday.
The theme for this fortnight is the feeling evoked from this beautiful spring mood board.
My piece is made on some water color paper that I first cleaned off  a painty stencil on. Then I used both a fern and leaf and then this interesting shaped mask to make the background. I added a splash of color with my stamped and painted flowers, and then I added the stamped quote.
And since it is Friday,I am also linking up to Paint Party Friday. Thanks to Kristen and Eva for hosting, and I recommend you stop by both sites to check out the excellent art.
I also finished my bunny painting I showed you last week. No, it is not crooked, just my photo angle, but here it is on part of my living room mantle.

So what excitement is going on with you this weekend? The weather folks say we're in for some sunny and warmer weather here in New Hampshire, and I am hoping to get to work out in the gardens. :) I could do that all weekend right now, but if not, I have a few other ideas. Having those ideas and an open weekend is making me excited about the possibilities. Even if I may not end up doing anything at all, it is the weekend.
Or almost.
Hope yours is wonderful.
As as always, thanks for visiting.

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Muttering to Myself

The holes are now gone!

 The old couch was in very tough shape (including having one leg missing-we had a pile of books under it holding it up), but the new couch is here.
 Maddie is posing to show you the new couch.
I love it. It is this nice worn looking leather. We went for the thicker grade having the dogs and the imperfections so whoever rubs it the wrong way it won't look all scratched up in that 1 spot. When we bought it the saleswoman had me scratch the leather sample with my fingernails over and over to see how it would wear. I couldn't get it to mark so I have high hopes it will wear well. 
And what do you need to go along with a new couch?
Some good books so you can lounge and read with a mug of tea.
Here's my little pile. I'm working on the first one now.

I'm still craving non-fiction. I'll let you know what I think of them.
The only problem I can see with this comfy new couch is that I may not make it into the spare bedroom to use my art supplies for a bit. The temptation to lounge is just way to strong.
Thanks for stopping by. I always love it when you do.