Thursday, December 31, 2020

Saying Goodbye to 2020

Hi everyone.

What a year 2020 has been. I am counting down the hours for the start of 2021 with the hope it will be a much better year, especially once more and more people get vaccinated and the risk of getting sick decreases. As the year wraps up I am trying to focus on the good things in this past year. The pandemic (did you see that is the word of the year?) certainly made this year very different from what I expected and meant many changes of plans. 

I could complain and go on about what I missed during 2020. I could also go on about all the challenges this year brought, but I'm trying to keep it positive. 2020 has meant retirement, lots of art time, lots of good books, lots of  walks, baking and bread making, as well as time with my family and the dogs.  My mother also recovered from covid and seems to have no long term effects. As one of my  friends says, if you focus the good things, the bad don't seem so overwhelming. 2020 has certainly been a year to get back to a simpler style of life.  

It has also been a tough year for others in so many ways that haven't touched me and which I can only guess at.  Let's hope it doesn't take long for 2021 to improve the world even a little! 

Today also Tracey's last hosting day at Art Journal Journey The Meaning Of ... has been a super challenge, and I enjoyed it a lot. Thanks Tracey for being such a great host. 

Here is my last page for the month.

This started with the Citrasolv transfer with an old National Geographic page. You can see that image on the top left side.  The men in the image looked bundled up as though it is cold and wintery. I used blue ink on the page, and I also stamped lots of the little cross details as they looked a bit like snow. 
I used this blue and white paper tape along the bottom, as well as some fabric trim. The  paper snowflakes were some left over die cuts, and I also stamped, colored and fussy cut out the Christmas ornament. I finally stamped the quote with a Paper Artsy stamp from Alison Bomber. 
The meaning of this page is the season upon us. The ornament might be a bit passé now that the New Year is just about here, but I loved the fuzzy effect of the image when it transferred as it has the look you get when you look through falling snow.
I am just hoping that this winter isn't as long and dark as all the health experts are  saying it will be. 

Wishing you all a Happy New Year.
Bring it on!

Wednesday, December 30, 2020

A Winter Walk

Hi everyone. Hope the last few days of this year are going well for you.  

While my daughter was home over the past weekend, we went out for a couple of walks. One morning we checked out the Great Bay Wildlife Refuge. It is about 30 minutes from the house, and I have been wanting to walk this trail for awhile now. 

I'm glad we  went early in the day because when we finished there were several cars that  had just arrived in the parking lot with big crowds of people. We only passed 2 couples during our time walking, and I enjoyed being able to walk in the quiet of nature, not the chatter of people.

Our Christmas rain got rid of the snow down here by the coast, so except for a bit of soggy ground, it made nice walking.

I discovered there are 2 trails. The first one we walked  is a 2 mile loop.

The trail meandered through some woodland, by a large field, and then we ended up on the shore of Great Bay. 

The tide was up. It looks cold out on the water. Although it was around 40 degrees  (just over 4 degrees C), it was cloudy, damp and raw feeling.

It was a beautiful place to walk. 

The trail was a bit damp, and in some spots there were some cool ice fragments forming on the ground..

I get a childlike thrill from stepping on this kind of ice and hearing it crack and crunch, but I left it for the next walkers to find.

When we got back to the parking lot, we noticed there was another trail. This one said it was only a half a mile, so we decided to do this also. 

This one was completely a boardwalk trail. It meandered through the wood and down to a small wet area.

There's been some busy woodpeckers I think.

And there was some nice reflections at the  wet area, which I think might also be tidal.

It was a great walk, and I burned off some of those holiday calories too.  Smile!
It is also hard to believe that all this beauty sits behind this former weapon storage area. The area is now known as the Pease Tradeport, but use to be Pease Airforce Base, an offensive air base that closed in the late 1980's.  Since this base used to have nuclear weapons at it, I bet this area is capped underground and why it is fenced off.  To get to the trails you need to walk around this huge fenced off  section. 

I think it is fitting that it is   now a wildlife natural sanctuary. 
As it once was, or as the quote goes, "What goes around, comes around."

Happy second to the last day of 2020. We're almost done!

Monday, December 28, 2020

T Stands for Christmas During a Pandemic

Hi everyone. 

I hope everyone has been well, and if you celebrated Christmas, that you had a wonderful day.

My daughter was home for a few days, and the three of us (my husband, my daughter and myself) had a quiet holiday at home. It warmed up and rained all day, which I think made it a more quiet than usual Christmas. 

One of my family's traditions is that we have a big Christmas breakfast and have a small meal in the evening. This year it was more like a Christmas brunch rather than breakfast because we weren't moving quickly that morning. As you can see,  we also have the tradition of wearing hats around the  house on Christmas. 

For T this week, I want to share my holiday brunch drink. Usually we open a bottle of some kind of bubbly. This year it was prosecco. 

We mix it with OJ to make mimosas. 

I bought this particular brand of prosecco  because I liked the bottle. I thought it was pretty. I'm more of a beer drinker than wine drinker so my wine choice is usually based on the name or the bottle design.

I also did a little holiday baking for our breakfast. This year I made some mini babka buns. Half were filled with chocolate and half with cinnamon. 

Here's our big brunch, which was quite yummy. And a lot of food too.

I received some nice holiday gifts this year (no art supplies-I guess they figure I don't really need any more-which is true-smile) including this fun ornament from my daughter. I've mentioned recently that our family tree is a bit like a yearly scrapbook with ornaments that are memories.

My  daughter also got me this fun one to remember 2020. Right now I might not want to remember the year, but I know down the road these ornaments will be good stories and laughs.

I love how it is the Costco brand which is usually what I buy.
We usually stuff our stockings with a few sweet treats and some useful little items like toothbrushes or toothpaste. This year the big gift was hand sanitizer and everyone got a new mask. Signs of the time I guess.
I also got a couple of bags of M&M's to try out. I got the Sugar Cookie and the Brownie versions. I'm saving them for once all the Christmas cookies I baked are gone.

We have been watching the show the Mandalorian, and my daughter is really taken with the Child named Grogu. For those of you not familiar with the show, it is a Star Wars show that takes place (from what I have been told) shortly after the original film 6, Return of the Jedi.  Grogu is a Yoda like Jedi who is just a child and in the show has been in the process of being returned to his kind by the Mandalorian. 
I wanted to find my daughter a few little the Child/Grogu items as fun holiday gifts. I found this little stuffed one you can see above in her stocking at Target, and I also found this fun ear Pods case from Amazon.

Even the dogs get into the stocking fun. Toys and treats for them, but no pandemic items. 

Since this our last T day post for 2020, I wish you all a happy start to 2021. 
And a happy T day too of course. Be sure to stop by    Bleubeard and Elizabeth's blog    to see what the T ladies are up to.

I hope these last few days of the year will not be too dark or dreary for you. Thanks so much for visiting my blog.

Sunday, December 27, 2020

Hope It Was Happy

Hi everyone. How was your weekend and Christmas?
I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas holiday (if you celebrate).  We had a warm up on the 24th and 25th and lost a lot of snow. It's not all gone, but the rain and fog did make Christmas a dark day, which in turn made it a no expectation, who cares if we didn't have breakfast until noon type of day. I was happy my daughter came home (and is still here). I ate too much, but had a lot of quality family time. 
My daughter is on vacation until after the New Year, and, and since she works from home and sees no one except her beau  and his parents (who don't see people either), she is hanging out here with us until Tuesday.  We're working our way through the Die Hard movie series, have watched several other Christmas favorite flicks and who knows what come next after those are over. It's been relaxing and low key. 

Here's a quick page I made shortly before the holiday. I had started it earlier by stenciling the poinsettia's and also spraying it with watered down ink. I then stamped some small phrases and the circle image and added the TH couple. It still needed something, and I had this sheet of mostly used up Christmas stickers from years ago. I decided they worked on this page, so I added them to finish it off.

I am linking to Tracey's  The Meaning of... challenge at Art Journal Journey. The holidays are full of glitter and sparkle and other traditional images. I like that the same things come out of storage every year and give that continuation to the holiday.  

Keeping this short.  Have a great rest of your weekend.
And thanks for visiting.


Thursday, December 24, 2020

Merry Christmas

Hi everyone.  A short post today.

My page is celebrating Christmas. 
 I want to wish you all a wonderful holiday if you celebrate (or even if you don't-I hope your days a merry and bright). In this covid world we can all use a little fun and joy and some bright color too!
That's the meaning of my page for today.

I am linking up to Tracey's The Meaning Of... challenge at Art Journal Journey 

Enjoy your next few days. Stay safe!   I'll be back after the holiday.

Wednesday, December 23, 2020


Hi everyone.  

I am here with another journal page for Tracey's The Meaning Of challenge at Art Journal Journey.
Today I want to share my page that celebrates holiday family traditions.

I started my page by painting some white translucent paint on some black watercolor paper. I then added the candle image, which I colored with markers and paint. The holly is stamped and red paint spots added as berries. The tree is a die cut out of some sueded paper, and then I stamped, colored and fussy cut the Dala horse.
I know these colorful  Swedish Dala horses are not really a Christmas symbol, but I take my collection of Swedish pieces out every year for the winter holidays.
Both of my father's parents immigrated from Sweden to the United States, so that side of my heritage is very Scandinavian. According to my DNA (that I had tested a few years back)  there is also some Norwegian on that side of the family tree. (On my mother's family there is quite a bit of DNA from Sweden and Finland, and also some from Latvia and Poland. My maternal Grandfather immigrated to the US from Finland, but there was also some Swedish in his side of the family too.)

Here's a few of my mostly Swedish decorations.  And you get to see some of the books on my living room shelves too-smile.
You can see some of my horses and also lots of small tomte that I have.

The sheep below \is a souvenir I brought home from when I visited Iceland. 

Many of these pieces were  gifts from my uncle. He used to give me one every Christmas. He has since passed away, but I have these to remember him. A few of these became part of my collection  when I visited Sweden in the 1980's. I spent some time with my great-uncle and his family in the central Swedish city of Ornskoldsvik. (Sorry, no sets of upper dots/umlauts on my computer so I had to leave them off the Swedish spelling.) I bought a couple while visiting and was gifted some from his family.  Although I have traveled to many places, I hope to go back to Scandinavia again, especially now that I know more about my DNA heritage.

That's all for me today. I am off to see a new specialist today about my hives and the joint pain I am getting. Lets hope there is nothing else seriously off in my body, but I can get  some swelling and itch relief. I've been in a bad break out period for the last month, and the itch is driving me crazy. OK, enough said.
 Hope your day is going or goes well! 
As always, thanks for visiting my blog!

Monday, December 21, 2020

T Stands for Christmas-Almost

Hi everyone. 
Tuesday is here again. I can't believe the Christmas holiday is just about here also. It is definitely going to be a bit more low key for me, as this whole season has been. I am guessing  that is true for many of you who celebrate also. I am happy my daughter is coming home on Thursday, and since she is on vacation until early January, will to be spending a few days with us. 

I think of this page as my Christmas card page for each of you. 
The background was some paper marbling I did this summer, and light colors spoke to me to keep it light. I stenciled the poinsettias with some pink paint.
I kept my stamped imaged in black (and white) as I just love how delicate the background is. 
As I once again never got Christmas cards made, this is my Christmas card to you.

FYI. I used to get brutally criticized for my penmanship on my Christmas cards every year by a cousin, my mother and a couple of other relatives. I know I have bad penmanship, but it wasn't funny even if they thought they ( my dear relatives) were just joking around. I swear I am scarred when it comes to Christmas cards. I just see a box, never mind making them, and get the cold sweats. Not joking  either. I keep saying I am going to make them, and then just can't do it.  Sorry to go on about one of my phobias. I wonder if there is a word for Christmas card writing fear. Smile.

I am my journal page linking up to Tracey's, the meaning of challenge at Art Journal Journey.

For T this week I am sharing a new tea I ordered off of Amazon while doing some holiday shopping.

Has anyone else watched the Mandalorian? My daughter is totally taken by the child (Grogu), and this tea came up when I was searching for some little fun "toy" for her. It is green tea with a slightly "floral" scent. Very nice. 

Don't forget to visit with your T day drink at Bleubeard and Elizabeth's blog.

I've also done a bit more baking, so please, enjoy a non-calorie, no fat taste. I made some sugar cookies and also some gingersnaps or the Swedish word pepparkakor as we have always called them.

I just sprinkled some colored sugars on my sugar cookies instead of frosting them, and I like my gingersnaps plain. I'm not a big frosted cookie person.

It was a fun afternoon rolling and cutting my cookies. Something good to do on a snowy afternoon.
I also made a few other cookies as well as some holiday sourdough bread. You should have seen the mess my kitchen was in after a day of baking.

The kitchen is now clean; baking pans are all put away, and good thing I have extra freezer space.

 I will be posting tomorrow and Thursday, but I know some of you are only by on T Day. 
Sending you all the happiest wishes for the holiday.


Sunday, December 20, 2020

Winter Arrives

Hi everyone.  Hope everyone has had a nice weekend. My daughter and her beau came to visit Friday night into Saturday. We had a nice dinner on Friday, a big breakfast Saturday morning, watched the season finale of the Mandalorian (wow), and also watched Die Hard. While watching Die Hard we had the annual discussion of whether it is a Christmas movie or not.   After Katie and  Zach left on Saturday my husband and I still had some snow clean up from last week's big storm, he had wrapping to do, I still had holiday  (ok make them New Years) cards to you can see it was a busy weekend.

Winter  officially arrives tomorrow (or for you reading this on Monday, today) for those of us in the Northern Hemisphere. Summer for those of you south of the equator. Seeing I live north of the equator, winter will be arriving.  Like the quote on my journal page today, I am going to think about this day being one step closer to spring. The days will be getting longer, and although, it might take a little while for noticeably brighter days, they are coming. Hurrah!

My latest page for Tracey's The Meaning of ... challenge at Art Journal Journey celebrates today's winter solstice. 
I particularly like this page.

The background is a not so successful Gelli print. I made it a long time ago. but it seemed to call for  a winter themed page, so I guess it wasn't as unsuccessful as I thought. The blues and browns remind me of the cold and colors of winter. I then stamped the winter scene on some acetate and cut it out. I love the howling arctic fox. I also added a die cut snowflake, a small paper dot and the quote, which is part of a larger stamped quote about the seasons. I am only using the winter part of the quote. 

The 21st is also the day the conjunction of the planets Jupiter and Saturn will be the brightest it has been in centuries. Have you read about this Christmas star? I looked it up and it said the best time to see it is looking southwest close to sunset. I also discovered there is a meteor shower on this equinox too. It's a busy day if you like looking up.

That's all for me today. 
 For most of you who stop by my blog. I wish you a happy winter, hope yours is as mild or as cold and snowy as you prefer. And for the rest of you, happy summer. I'm a little jealous too, since New Hampshire winters are  a little too long for me.

Thanks for visiting.

Friday, December 18, 2020

Photos for Friday

Hi everyone. Happy Friday. Thought I'd wrap up the week with a photo post.

 This past Wednesday morning it was cold.  It was 18 degrees F on my car thermometer, or  almost -8 degrees C. Yet the plans were to meet 4 friends for a walk, since with the  big snow coming, walking days could be limited for awhile.

The 4 of us all  taught together. Two of us retired this past June and the other 2 are retiring this June. Right now at my old school, Wednesdays  are not teaching days, and the building is being cleaned so no one goes in. Teachers need to schedule 2 hours of office time, but they can do it at their convenience. With most teenagers, later in the day is better than morning. So a morning walk fit into their schedule. 

We went to walk in a part of the University of New Hampshire campus called college woods.  It was a great place to walk.

A skim coat is forming on the Oyster River.

There have been some very busy beavers down by the river. 

And these above ground tree roots are really interesting. The big tree on the right was dead, and I wonder if the left tree roots killed it or the left tree is getting something (nutrients/anchoring) from the other tree.

It was a 2 mile loop (with lots of side trails which we didn't try). We walked it twice as it was a nice trail (fairly flat, wide, well marked so we didn't get lost this time!) and we wanted to walk a bit more.

Then the predicted snow arrived Wednesday night and  all day Thursday.

Nineteen inches (48 cm) of powder, at least where we measured. I think it looked higher in some other spots.  Some towns near us got 30 inches (76cm), and the high point in the state was the town of Claremont that got 43 inches (109 cm).
We got dumped on!

When my husband snow blowed he created this giant cloud of snow

It's all that white fluff.

The forecast doesn't look like we are going to lose this soon.
Guess it will be a white Christmas.

Have a great end of your week and start to your weekend.