Wednesday, April 29, 2020

The End Of April

Hi everyone. We have one more day of April left. March seems like it was a long time ago, but it also doesn't seem possible that we're just about in May.
I have one more page for Valerie's geometric challenge at Art Journal Journey that I want to share with you.

This page began back in the winter when I wanted to try a technique which was going around the blogosphere. I painted some watercolor paper with some dark blue paint. Then I sprayed it with multiple colors of ink sprays. Once dry, I stenciled the hexagons with white paint. I love the color effect it created.

Then I drew and colored the flower with some painted and watercolor crayons. I cut it out and attached it. Well fist I attached the TH target looking image from one of his packs of ephemera. I did make it a bit more vintage with some brown ink, and I also added some white paint dots too. The bumble bee was stamped, colored and fussy cut. Finally, I used some small stamps and stamped various words and phrases.

And I have some early spring photos to show you. First some flowers blooming  and almost blooming in my garden.

Cheery tree blossoms will be out soon.

This last shot is an area that I still need to bark mulch. I bought another load on Wednesday, my last that I need.

And here's a few views from my walk on Tuesday. 

 We're still waiting for more green.

 A big old vulture came flying out of the woods as the dogs and I walked by.

And you can see a little touch of green at the beaver pond. 

And a mom update. They have dropped her oxygen from 6 to 4 liters. She seems to be handling it, but is very sleepy. BUT as the doctors tell us, they way this disease goes she could continue to be stable, she could improve, and/or she could still go downhill. It is just a waiting game to see.

Have a great end of the month, and thanks for visiting.

Tuesday, April 28, 2020

T Stands for a Cup of Tea

Hi everyone.  Another T day has rolled around. How is everyone coping? 

It's been tough with my Mom having Covid-19. It's been an up and down story, but the latest news is that they have been able to turn down her oxygen a tiny bit without her having a hard time breathing. It isn't a huge change, but I will take any little change. And her daily diagnosis will probably change again, maybe even today and maybe downward again, but any small improvement is a good thing. 

Otherwise there isn't much else going on. I am half way through online teaching.  Some days I  spent lots of time grading which is exhausting (I'd rather grade paper than from the computer), and other days I do more planning which is much more fun for me. And of course, teaching the kids online. For all I can tell, hey now can be playing videos during class since all I see is their faces. And sometimes if their video doesn't work right just a black box with their names. It is definitely a bit of a challenge. And getting the non-academic type of kids to sow up has been a huge issue.  

I've been reading some, making  bit of art  and doing a little yard work. I get out and walk when the weather (and now the annoying black flies) allows, and I've watched a couple of good series on Netflix which I highly recommend.

 If you like a bit of fantasy and just a tad bit scary I'd recommend Locke and Key, which is written by Stephen King's son, and if you like historical drama, The English Game, which is written in part by Julian Fellows of Downton Abbey fame.

 Locke and Key is about a family mystery set in an old Victorian home in a fictional Massachusetts town (that of course doesn't look anything like any place in Massachusetts)  where the Dad had been and now the kids are dealing with an evil demon.  Not gory, more like the demon takes over people so who is good and who is not? 

 And The English Game is about the start of professional soccer, set in 1880's England with a few other stories going on also, so if you are not into football  but like historical dramas, you can still enjoy the miniseries. 

But maybe you have seen these already. If you've seen anything good I'd love some recommendations as we finished the English Game last night and now the hubby and I will go through 20 shows before we find one we both like. 

So for T this week  over at Bleubeard and Elizabeth's blog let me share one of my favorite tea blends.

I just had to reorder some so I ordered a double box from Amazon. This should last me some time. If you like black tea and strawberries this has a wonderful aroma (smells like fresh picked strawberries) and is a nice combo. Even if you think you might not like the 2 together, they are surprisingly good. 

Last night I had a cup while we finished the English Game on TV.

Not much exciting as you can see, but my mom's illness and work is more than enough for right now.

And speaking of work, since I am writing this Tuesday morning and I need to get off to do some work, I will stop by people's blogs later today. 

Happy T day.

Black and White plus 1 extra Color

Hello everyone. It is already time for the new challenge at Try It On Tuesday  Are you ready for black and white with 1 extra color

Here's my take.
I began by stenciling the background with black paint and also with some black glitter paste. Then I literally got stuck  and didn't know where to go. So I dug around in my happy place and found this left over star shape back from my scrapbooking days. Now I had some inspiration.  
I outlined the star with a reed marker, stamped the quote along its edges, and also added some dotted lines. I glued it on my page, added some label maker tape, stamped the moon and then drew the telescope and the social distancing lady. 
I am also linking up to the geometric challenge over at Art Journal Journey where you also have a few more days to participate. Valerie's challenge  goes until the end of the month.
And if you need some inspiration, be sure to check out the other design team member's art at the Try It On Tuesday website.
Thanks for visiting my blog. 

Sunday, April 26, 2020

Trying Times Call for Something

 Hi everyone. Hope you' re having a nice weekend. Yesterday was Saturday, and it did end up being a gorgeous day, but it started grey. Like my mood started. Bad news on my mom. The disease is rearing its ugly head. So many thoughts in my head about my mom. And it is hard not to be able to do anything or go see her. And I think too much about it. 
Yesterday I was down about the other things too. I was suppose to be on school vacation and off on an adventure with a couple of girlfriends.  No going anyplace now. (And good to have school next week instead so we'll be done earlier with the school year and online teaching.) 
The weatherman is saying we could get snow on Monday. Snow? It is almost May. 
So sorry to complain.
 I know for me the best way to deal with things is to be busy.  So this past week I've spread a couple of yards of bark mulch in my gardens in between raindrops and school. Very little people contact in a smart setup especially when I go during the week and not on the crowded weekend to pick up the mulch, and spreading lots of bark mulch is good hard work. Doesn't fix anything but gets me outside and wears me out.
I need one more truck load to finish up, so maybe during the upcoming week although the weather doesn't sound very promising. Plus the tiny little bugs called black flies are out. I was trying to beat their arrival, but they are always worse when the sun is shining so if it's a bit damp or grey I might be in luck.
And there are the good things.
 And I have some hydrangeas blooming.
 And daffodils almost ready to bloom. 
What  a face.
 And here's a page I made back in February that I forgot I had until I found it the other day. It was supposed to be for St. Patrick's Day, but I really missed that holiday.  
 I guess we could all use a little bit of that luck right now. Even, if like me, you don't have any Irish in you.
If I hadn't added the old button I had in my stash, then it might be more spring.
And if you look along the bottom of this page there is some geometric shapes in the Celtic design, so once again I am linking up to Art Journal Journey. Valerie is this month's fantastic hostess.

Thanks so much for visiting, and have a great start to the new week.

Friday, April 24, 2020

Let's See What Today Brings

Happy Friday everyone. We have clouds with some predicted rain today. And I only have one class that meets today, as well as not too much work online to do. Hurrah. I am hoping for some quality art time this afternoon since tomorrow is suppose to be nice and gardening on my agenda for then.

And yesterday I got to Facetime my Mom. She was definitely tired but not so tired to comment that I needed a haircut. That made me happy because even though she is sick, she isn't so bad her sassiness is still there. She actually looked pretty good considering. Now we are not out of the woods yet, and today could be a different story, but it was fantastic to see her and have some reassurance.

And today I have double duty art piece. I have been on a tag making craze for the last several weeks, so I took one and added it to a simple journal page in my Nature Journal.

I cut a tag from a time card I have (since I don't have any file folders at home-too bad because Elizabeth has a great idea with that) amd used the marked side. I inked it in dark blue, and added a giant bug from an Art by Marlene/Studio Light punch out image book. I did enhance the big a bit. Then I drew and painted in the clouds with some metallic paint and stamped and fussy cut the moon. Finally I punched out the quote from the same Studio Light/Art by Marlene booklet.
My page is canvas so I also inked it and colored in some red dots. I finished those off with a dot of white paint.

And there you have it. 
 I am linking it to the Anything Goes challenge at  Tag Tuesday as well as the geometric Shape challenge at Art Journal Journey. Both of these are hosted by the talented Valerie at Bastelmania.
Hope you have a fantastic start to your weekend!
Thanks for visiting!

Thursday, April 23, 2020

Do Not Crush

H i everyone. Another week is flying by. I am almost done with week 6 of teaching from home. Six more to go.

Yesterday was quite cold and windy. We even had snowflakes. It felt like early March not late April.

And Mom is definitely having some breathing issues. She never answered the phone when I called, but at least my daughter got through and got to talk to her for a couple of minutes. She said it was really hard to hear her trying to get enough air to speak. I spoke to her Monday so I don't know how much worse it was yesterday from Monday.
I just hate the idea that breathing is so hard for her. And I hate the idea it will probably get worse. and I wonder what worker at her assisted living came into her apartment (as they have isolated the residents) who was asymptomatic and gave it to her.  I just hope no other resident ends up with this disease. It could be a much bigger issue if that happens.
But since I can't visit Mom, I just try to keep myself busy. Or take a nice long afternoon nap. That works too.
I have another page for Art Journal Journey and Valerie's Geometric Shape challenge.   I started by stenciling the blue geometric design on some watercolor paper. (And let me remind you that Stencils is the latest challenge right now at Try It On Tuesday.)
I then hand cut some black paper rectangles.  In retrospect I wish I had cut them a little bit smaller, but the size still works. Then I took some white gesso and rubbed it in the middle of the page. I die cut the flowers and colored them with ink pads. I also used a piece of some yellow paper tape, a vintage women sticker and the quote sign from my stash.
And that's my page for today. 
And for a little good news, the flour I ordered from King Arthur Flour has shipped.  I haven't been able find it in the grocery store for probably close to a month now. Granted I only go to the store once a week, but I should be good to keep baking and feeding my sourdough now.
Take care everyone. And thanks for visiting my blog.

Wednesday, April 22, 2020

Holding My Breath

Hi everyone. 
The news about my mother wasn't very good yesterday. She was still on oxygen  and so far,  not in the ICU, (and I hope she still is not in the ICU today), but a scan of her lungs showed more  diseased area. The hardest things for me are the thoughts of a loved one going through this horrible disease, and then not being able to be there. I'm still holding my breath because with this disease, you just don't know. And I must say my mother is a tough woman. Thanks to you for all the good thoughts, energy and prayers. 
But I must say Happy Earth Day to everyone, and especially a big happy birthday to Elizabeth. Yesterday I baked you all a pound cake, well actually 2. So we can celebrate once someone supplies the birthday candles. Smile.
 The bowl is not copper although the reflection of light makes it look that way.

I had 3 soft avocados, and since I was feeling down, I baked.   Like art, it is a relaxing thing to do that takes my mind off life. I seem to be baking around once a week, and it makes me happy to do that.

I've been making a lot of tags when I've had art time in the last few weeks, and since the newest challenge at Tag Tuesday is Anything Goes, I thought I would share a couple that I made in the last few weeks.
First for Elizabeth's birthday.
 And I believe she is more of  a cat person, so here is a second tag.

That's all for me today.  Hope your week is going well.

Monday, April 20, 2020

Happy T Day

Hi everyone. Happy T day to you.
Life has been mostly quiet for me. Just more online teaching. It is amazing how much time that takes. And I have been trying to enjoy some fresh air each day, weather allowing.  Some days there's a bit of reading and a bit of art. I've been working here and there on doing my seasonal clothing change over and a few small cleaning projects to fill my day. I am waiting for some more sunny and dry weather to get back out into the gardens as I am ready to bark mulch, and anxious to get that done before we hit black fly season and the bugs drive me back inside again. 
You can see life has settled into the new routine.
But there is one piece of bad news. My Mom went into the hospital Saturday with extremely low oxygen levels, and she was tested for Covid-19. Today I found out her test came back positive. I spoke with her today, and seems in good spirits, but is definitely having some shortness of breath. Hopefully it won't progress any further, but she is 90 years old, so of course I am quite worried.

Since there isn't much exciting for T this week, I thought I would take you back to late February when I visited some friends in New Mexico with my husband. We went to this Price Fixed dinner at Old Martina's Hall. 
(Photo from Old Martina's website)
Yesterday  in my blog, I showed you and wrote a bit about San Francisco de Asis church which I visited while in Taos, and this restaurant is right across the road from the church. 
 This was that evening's Price Fixed menu. For $19 a person you got this really wonderful meal. Drinks were extra, but happy hour prices were in effect until 6PM, so we even got good prices there.

We started the evening with a margarita, and then switched over to wine or beer with our meal.
 My friend and I had the lobster ravioli appetizer.
 And the hubby's had the street tacos.
 It was a bitterly cold day, so soup was on call rather than salad. This is the broccoli cheddar soup.
 And I was so on a food high by this point I forgot to take a picture of dinner. Oh no.
But the Mexican chocolate cake for dessert didn't get forgotten.
Please stop by Bleubeard and Elizabeth's blog and join us for T this week. All you need is to share some kind of a drink related post.

Wishing you all a wonderful T day, and please, wash you hands and stay safe!

Sunday, April 19, 2020

A Little More from my Travel Journal

Happy Sunday everyone. It is sunny but cold here right now. Yet the weather people say it is going to be the pick of the week for weather, and it will warm up this afternoon. 
On the bad news side my mother was take by ambulance yesterday to the hospital with very low oxygen levels. We're waiting for the Covid-19 test to come back today. Hopefully it isn't that, but she's 90 and lives in an assisted living where there has been 2 known resident cases and 1 worker case. The residents have been isolated in their rooms, so maybe she wasn't exposed. I am thinking optimistically that it is something else, and trying not to think worse case scenario. (Especially since I can't get in to see her.)
So to keep my mind occupied I will take you to Taos, New Mexico today. On the left page is a spread I made that I particularly like. I cut a photo of the building adobe shape and then added it to a blue painted page. I created the cross and also added the cut out religious icon. On the right I added the photo of this famous church in Rancho de Taos, a section of the southern part of town. 
This building is  quite historical, having been built in the early 1800's and the oldest church in the area. It is also famous because it was painted by Georgia O'Keeffe and photographed by Ansel Adams as well as many others.
Georgia O'Keeffe made 4 paintings of this church. I was curious about them so I looked them up and let me share these with you.

Her paintings are all of the back view. Here's the photo I took this time I visited back in February.

And here are some other views.
It is a true adobe church and has to be restuccoed on a regular basis.

 And even though this church is very beautiful, the group of buildings, statues and views that sit around it are pretty fascinating to photograph also.

I love the blue. (Supposedly to ward off evil spirits)

OK, enough for me today.  Hope everyone has a wonderful end of the weekend and start of the new week.

Saturday, April 18, 2020

Happy Saturday

Hi everyone.  The snow that some of you further south from New Hampshire got has now moved into New England. It's a snowy morning here, although luckily not a lot is sticking to the ground at least here. I know those you further south from me, like CJ and Anne, have probably gotten more. Hopefully ladies you aren't getting too much more.
I was going to show you all my spring growth today, without the snow on it, so instead I will show you it with a light dusting of snow. Much more dramatic-ha-ha!
 My irises have started popping out of the ground. 

 And my dafs are getting close to blooming.
Below is what is left of the crocuses. 
 And the sugar maple flowers dusted over too.

But moving on to more spring like things, how about some art.

OK maybe not as Google is not letting me open up any other photos to post. HMMMMM.
Let me try again. For the 10th time.
OK, this time some of my photos opened and this page for Art Journal Journey did.
This month Valerie is hosting with a really great challenge of Geometric Shapes. You can see my scraps of paper I used on the background has a few diamonds and also some parallelograms. I've been on a tag making binge lately, and decided to use a few in some art, so here is one. I stamped the balloon man on a tag I cut from some time cards I purchased. I got a whole stack a few months back of  500 for $12 which means I can cut 500 tags and used either the printed side of the plain back side, and they are nice heavy oaktag like material.
I gave the man a raccoon friend and drew in some circles just because you can never have too many geometric shapes. I stamped the quote along with a few other word images on the tag, drew and painted the clouds, added the word spring and added some TH label tape which is a new favorite for the moment.
And here you have it.
Glad I was finally able to get into my photos. And I can say by the time I finished this all the snow has quickly disappeared as the temperature has risen a bit.

Have a great Saturday!