Saturday, July 31, 2021

Storm King #1

 Hi everyone.  Happy weekend. 

If you stop by my blog regularity  you might remember me writing that I was heading to New York's Hudson River Valley for an overnight mini-trip. A friend and I decided to go visit 2 art gardens that were a couple of hours away from each other, and since we had 3-4 hours of driving to and from home each way, we decided to spend the night in between the 2 gardens in a hotel.  Both art gardens were very different but both had some interesting and amazing art. 

This was my first trip since covid arrived on the scene, and my friend who I went with is the woman I call my walking friend and who I have been seeing  during much of the pandemic.  Luckily, even though no place is covid free, we were spending most of time outside and not in the company of any big crowds and in areas were the covid rate is not horrible due to a higher vaccination rate. I'm not really nervous I'll be a breakthrough case, but of course it is always there on the back of my ( and many people's) mind.

The first place we visited was called Storm King Art Center, and it is located just outside of Newburgh, New York. Talk about a beautiful landscape. All 500 acres of it. It was a lot of walking (about 5.5 miles and we didn’t walk everywhere in the park, or  just under 9 km) up and down some large rolling hills.

Although we walked, the art park is so large you can even rent bikes to get around it.

My favorite art was the Andy Goldsworthy walking stone wall. I'll show you my photos of that in some other post. Since I haven't had a lot of time to sort through photos, let me just share a few photos to give you a feel for Storm King in late July.

The landscape was amazing, and  wild flowers were blooming too. There was some interesting art too. Some of it I liked, and some of it needed an explanation.   Some of the giant modern statues did look great in the landscape,  and with all art in a museum, some of the sculptures weren't to my liking.

Let me finish off this post with a few more photos. 

More to come another day. Hope your July is ending well.

Thanks for visiting. I'll be back tonight to start the new AJJ challenge for August.

Friday, July 30, 2021


 Hi everyone.

I'm back from my short trip to New York state. The Hudson River Valley is an interesting place, and even though this is my second trip to the area, I wish I had more time to do a few other things.  Art gardens were on our agenda however. We saw some huge modern art pieces, statues really, as well as lots of other interesting art, along with fields of wild flowers and  butterflies.  We walked a lot. It was a fun trip, and nice to get away for a couple of days.  I took lots of photos that I will share share  once I get them squared away.

 I can't believe July has just about wrapped up.  Back in my teaching days when I  had to return to school in late August, the joke in my house was how the only month faster than July is August. Smile. I will say summer mode has hit me. I'm having a hard time getting to a few "projects" around the house that I've wanted to do, like finish cleaning up my sewing area and also picking up my "studio" happy space. Instead I spend a lot of time outside either in the garden or screen porch. 

I tell myself that it is better to enjoy the nice summer days (especially when it isn't raining) since the mess isn't going any place. Smile.  Hopefully when the weather cools off I'll get some motivation back.

Today I want to share my last journal page for Alison's summer countryside challenge at Art Journal Journey.

It's inspired by all the dandelions that grow in the summer countryside.

Most of my page is painted except some stamped dandelions in fluffy seed mode.  I used various acrylic paints, some green shiny modeling paste, as well as some white gesso to create the painted part of my page. I added texture and details with some markers and some Stabilo pencils.  In the same set as my fluffy dandelions gone to seed images are some loose dandelion seed stamps that I stamped as they blew around in the gentle summer breeze. The quote (from an older TH set) is stamped on paper, cut out and colored light yellow for contrast but also to somewhat match the dandelions.

Before I finish this post I want to say thank you to Alison for being a wonderful host this month. This was a fun challenge for certain, and I really enjoyed the countryside inspiration.

I also want to thank all of you who joined us this month with your summer countryside art. There was so much wonderful inspiration up on the web page!

Have a great end of the month, and I shall see you soon at Art Journal Journey with a new challenge for August.

Tuesday, July 27, 2021

The Purple Garden and Sunshine

 Hi everyone. Happy middle of the week.  

I had a frustrating day as I spent a big chunk of the afternoon at my eye doctors office. I had some floaters in one of my eyes this morning, and then it got  worse. Luckily it was nothing serious, and my retina is still attached and looks good. I was also lucky that the eye doctor squeezed me in. The worse thing is that I have one dilated eye so reading and looking at things tonight it a bit tricky.

 I want to share another page for Alison's Summer Countryside challenge at Art Journal Journey You still have a few days left this month to join her challenge as July isn't quite over yet .  Although July is sure speeding right by, isn't it?

I recently started a new garden journal since my last one has no blank pages left. It is always so exciting to both start and to finish a journal. Now I just need to do something with the covers of my old journal. Making garden pages is one of my favorite themes to work on, so eventually I will fill up my new journal also, even if it take a few years, like my older one did.  

This is the first page in the new journal, and it is inspired by a single color summer garden. The page is a bit crooked in one of my photos because I have yet to really break the spine in this new journal. 

I started by adding a few torn bits of this flowered paper I have had for too long. Then I painted the page and the edges of the paper to make it all blend together.  To tone down the color a bit, but still keep it purple, I rubbed a copper ink pad gently over it.  I like how that gives a brown effect but in the right light, a little metallic sparkle. I'm not sure this photo is the right light for that.

I added a TH ephemera piece at the top. The maze reminded me of a formal garden that might have a shrubbery maze in it. I die cut the flowers, inked and outlined them. On one stem I replaced the die cut flower with a stamped one that had 2 bees on it (from a very old set in my collection by Chocolate Baroque). I also added some tiny yellow beads for depth as well as coloring those bees.

In the bottom corner I added a scrap off my work table from a vintage check ledger, as well as the 2 foxes. I also had some bits of mica on my work table that I added to the top right and bottom left corners. I finished off my page with some gold "gemstone" stickers, a piece of gold metallic paper trim and a stamped quote. 

Hope you like my latest page.

I also have a tag to share over at Tag Tuesday. Pinky is  hosting this round, and she picked flowers as her theme. 

I  make tags as warm up exercises when I first sit down at my work table. This one is pretty simple, but it certainly marks how I feel about the weather in my spot on the globe this July. Many days I  wait for the sunshine to arrive, and it just doesn't want to come out from the behind the clouds and in between the rain drops (smile). You've got to love it when it does come out though.

I added a bit of yellow background ink to my tag. The sunflower lady comes from an Art by Marlene punch out set, as does the quote. This tag looked pretty flat without anything else added to it, so I put these 2 yellow buttons on the bottom of the tag.

Hope you also like my tag.

 Since I have a sunflower on my tag, let me show you some of mine that are starting to bloom. They're self seeded from birdseed that fell onto the ground over the winter and spring.

More blooms to come.

Last week  the grocery store  had some pots of sunflowers so I bought one. My bees seem to like them too.

I'll be offline for the next couple of days; I'm heading out for an overnight trip to New York State first thing tomorrow with a friend to go on a couple of art garden visits.  The art gardens aren't far over the Massachusetts border, but they are still 3-4 hour trips for us each way, so we decided just to get a hotel room and make a little adventure of it.  I'll be back online Friday. 

Enjoy the middle of your week. And thanks again for visiting.

Monday, July 26, 2021

T Stands for a Walk in the Park

 Happy T day everyone.  

I was thrilled  because my ATC for the T Day swap arrived from across the pond today.  I received mine from Chris, who you might know as Pearshapedcrafting. Here's the wonderful  ATC she made.

It's a proper British Tea. 

And Chris also included this fun envelope.

And a few other bits and pieces were included. I love this happy mail. Thanks so much Chris. I'm so glad it arrived today so I could include it here for T.

July has been very wet here in New Hampshire, and last week we had a couple of actual sunny days with no rain. Hurrah. We actually broke the record for the wettest July since they started recording the weather, and it has been the 4th wettest of any month on record (since they started collecting weather data too.) Anyhow, since it was a nice day my walking friend and I headed out to check out to a new walking place.

We went to Stratham Park in Stratham, New Hampshire. I'd driven by it for years and just thought it was a town park with some sports fields and an area for events, but I learned it has miles of walking trails up behind that area. Except for one area where Stratham Hill is, most of the trails are relatively flat too. 

And even better, no charges for parking too.

My only complaint is that even though you can pick up a trail map, most of the trails are poorly marked, and we had a hard time figuring out which trail we were actually on. Luckily they all loop around back to the parking lot.

On Stratham Hill there was this fire tower.

You could climb all the way up this fire tower, which doesn't look very tall here.  It was tall however. I'm not a big fan of heights that aren't enclosed, so I went up just a few levels. The view was good from there, so I bet it was fantastic from the top.

This cool metal marker with directions and distances was on a pedestal near the fire tower. It said 1881 on the pedestal it sat on, which I believe is probably when this was put up originally, just from what some of the names were.   I like how it also lists the elevations of other hills and mountains. 

And there was also a historical marker  along one trail that was interesting.

And finally I was excited to see these Indian Pipes. They are white plants that are parasitic, and the pipe bowl at the top is the part of the flower. I don't see these very often, but my Dad always use to point them out, so it was a nice way to think about him.

When we finished our walk it was after noon, and we were both hungry, so we headed into Portsmouth to go get some lunch. I had a salad which I wolfed down but forgot to photograph.

And with my salad I had a beer.  This is my ticket to T this week. Don't forget to visit the T  gang ladies at

I liked the label on this can too. 

I love the brown dogs at the bottom.They wrapped right around the label.

The seal behind the dog on this label is a symbol of this local brewing company. It is named after one of the Islands at the Isles of Shoals that I showed you last week.

The day was a fun little adventure.  I hope your T day is fun little adventure too. 
Thanks for visiting.

Sunday, July 25, 2021

What Grows in the Summer Countryside

 Hi everyone. I hope you had a nice weekend. Mine has been busy as my daughter came home again, and we had a fun family day at the lake.  Before the rain returned that is. 

My page today is for Alison's summer countryside challenge at Art Journal Journey.

Some of these burlap pages in my Dina Wakely journal (that I use as my garden journal) are harder to layout, mainly because certain media leaks through and the cloth doesn't have the stiffness of paper, but I still love the texture they give to the background. This time I stuck some wax paper behind this page and smeared on some blue acrylic paint to work with this scrap of paper  that was on my desk. 

I loved the blue (like the sky) and the touch of green (like the plants) on this paper, so I went for a collage page. I also love this quote (thanks Alison for including it in a set), and those 2 things are what directed me to make my page.

I used a few TH images for a couple of assorted packages, and then I also added some sequins to the paper. Life needs a little sparkle, and gardens certain add sparkle to the my day. Perhaps yours too? 

Finally I added the clock button.  It could stand for so many things about time, like the vintage images, about children growing up, about the season passing so quickly.  The good thing about pages is you can interpret them in your own way.

Hope you have a great start to the new week. 

Friday, July 23, 2021

The Door to the Garden

Hi everyone. Happy end of the week, or at least end of the work week. We have sun again this morning also, which is  wonderful. My husband works a half day on Friday's during the summer, so I think this afternoon when my husband gets out of work, boating will be on the agenda, if they don't predict a high chance of storms that is. I am writing this Thursday night so let's see what the morning forecast says. We both want a more peaceful trip than last week's boating adventure was.

This month Alison is our host at Art Journal Journey. Her theme is summer countryside

Whether you live in the city or the country or someplace in between, you most likely have a door that lets you get outside and enjoy the summer countryside. My page was inspired by my screen porch and all the potted plants I have on it and on the deck next to it. I took my page a little further and turned it into a vintage romantic place for this couple in love.

My page started with this piece of wallpaper covered in flowers. I found this door on some printed paper I had. Even though it is different from my screen porch doors, I thought it was pretty and lent a romantic touch. I cut out the flower pots from another piece of paper. Then I did a bit of stenciling and stitching. I added the piece of gold metallic paper on the top of the page,  perhaps it is a gazebo roof, and also the gold metallic paper heart. Finally I added the TH couple. She needed some color and a flower in her hat since it looks like they have a special evening planned. I stamped the circle image with the word love repeated and used a old punch to make it into the final addition on my page.

My screen porch isn't that romantic a place, but look at this adorable baby I saw outside of my screen porch the other afternoon.

And although she was in the shadows,  Mama wasn't so far away.

I was surprised it took the dogs as long as it did to notice them. They were both asleep, and I didn't dare get out of my hammock for fear of disturbing the deer, or waking the dogs. Then the fawn moved and stepped on a twig, which the dogs heard, and they woke up. The deer of course heard the dogs move and went trotting off into the woods. 

I have to laugh because between these deer and a bear we had a few weeks back, Maddie now has to announce herself whenever she goes outside. I think she is telling them all to go away because she really doesn't want to meet them. Smile.

Hope you have a wonderful start to your weekend.
Thanks for visiting too.

Thursday, July 22, 2021


Hi everyone. It's already Thursday.  My week has been relatively quiet but going well. How about yours?

Today I have another tag for Sandie's music challenge over at Tag Tuesday.

I started this tag by using the top of a wide mouthed bottle to stamp some big green dots. Once that paint dried I stamped the music sheet over them.

The musical instruments are from an older TH stamp sheet. Funny, I had no interest in these stamps when they first came out, but then one day a year or 2 ago I saw the set on a markdown. They were under $10, and I decided I would pick them up. I have actually used them a lot,  so they were definitely worth getting. The quotes are from an old set from Technique Tuesday. I added some painted and outlined dots, as well as some cut out musical notes that I had on an older piece of vellum. Finally I added the tiny TH couple and a metallic paper heart.

Keeping this short today. Hope all is well with you. 
Thanks for visiting.

Wednesday, July 21, 2021

Garden Art

Hi everyone. Happy middle of the week.  We've had a little bit of sunshine lately; just enough so I could go pull all the weeds out of some of my gardens. Smile. 

Today's art is a page from my garden journal. I love the idea of nature being able to give us good advice.

My page started with the denim background in my journal. I created my own cloth tape using a roll of Dina Wakely white cloth tape. I stamped the honeycomb, bees and quote on it. Then I colored the bees.

I used this piece of cherry blossom printed cardboard which was actually the back of a package of stickers I had. I stamped and colored the bees on it.

Then I used a paint pen to add the white dots to the background. I also added the 3 TH children, the white fabric flower, a little metal bee charm I had, as well as part of a pearl swirl sticker. 

I am linking up to Alison's Summer Countryside challenge at Art Journal Journey.

And speaking of bees, when the sun came out the other afternoon (after a morning of heavy rain), the bees were having a big dance party out in front of the hive. So many of them were flying in and flying out.

This is only a fraction of them. I couldn't get them all because when I made the view in my camera bigger they became too small  to be seen.

Have a great middle of your week.


Tuesday, July 20, 2021

Feathered Friends

 Hi everyone. It's another Tuesday, and time for another new challenge at Try It on Tuesday.

Thanks to all of you who joined us for our last challenge, which was Travel and Adventure.

This time our challenge is Fathered Friends.  Who doesn't love all the beautiful birds there are to see?

I started my page with some stenciling using matte medium. Once dry, I added this piece of feathered tissue paper. It came long ago from something I bought online. After my matte medium dried I sponged around the stenciling with some pink and just a tiny bit of blue paint.

I stamped the bird in black, but then decided to color over it in blue marker. I also stamped small postage marks randomly over the page. The flowers are die cuts that I inked and painted in some details. I also stamped the quote and cut it out before adding it to my page. Finally I added the gold metallic paper butterflies.

Be sure to check out the other feathered friends from the design team at Try It on Tuesday. There is lots of inspiration there.

You have 2 weeks to join us. And since my page could be a from a summer countryside, I am also linking up to Alison's challenge at Art Journal Journey That challenge runs the rest of this month, but please, only art journal pages should be linked up. 

Thanks so much for visiting.

Monday, July 19, 2021

T Stands for Storms at Sea

 Hi and happy T day everyone.

As promised today I will share my boating adventure story from Friday. It will probably be rather dull as I mentioned it before, and I am sure people built it up to be more than it was. I will also warn you, this is a long post. Sorry!

Friday last week was a decent day weather wise. Seeing we've had a lot of dark and rainy days this July, my husband took a vacation day from work, and we decided to go out in his boat. We hadn't been out since June, which shows you how wet the weather has been.

First let me explain that we store the boat on it's trailer; we don't keep it in the water all summer. However, instead of pulling it back and forth from home we leave  and store the trailer at the marina. They have a big field where they put very large boats in winter, and during the summer the field is not as full, so we keep the boat there. Although we pay to store it, it doesn't cost a lot and comes out less than the cost of the gas we would used to trailer it home and back. Plus it saves a lot of hassle that to moving it back and forth between home and the marina's boat ramp would cause. 

When we got to the boat that morning, my husband went to hook the trailer up to his truck. That's when he realized that part of the trailer not needed for driving had broken.

I found this nice photo on the internet to explain if you aren't familiar with boat trailers. If you look on the bottom left side you see a part called the jack stand. It would be down  (as shown in the diagram) in order to store the boat when not in use. It keeps the trailer parallel to the ground so the bottom of the boat sits flat. When you are driving on a road trailering the boat, you would flip up the jack stand and and tighten it so that little wheel is not touching the road.

When we arrived Friday the crank that turns up the jack stand so we could move the boat down to the water had snapped a pin, and it wouldn't move into the up position. The first thing we had to do was leave and go find another jack sand, and we had to  come back and replace it. Luckily we found one at Harbor Freight Tools, and my husband could replace it and remove the old one, so all that it really did was set us back  about 90 minutes of boating time.
We put the boat into the water.
It was a nice day, humid and hot, and the water was calm, so I suggested we cruise 6 miles out to the Isles of Shoals to have our picnic lunch. It is much cooler being the 6 miles offshore than being right on the shore. The hubby liked that idea so we cruised out and tied off to one of the empty moorings in Gosport Harbor.  As it was Friday, there wasn't a lot of boat traffic or boats in the harbor.

I've mentioned the Isles of Shoals before. They are a group of small islands that are parts of  the states of New Hampshire and Maine.  

This  one in the above photo is Star Island and Gosport Harbor would be on the left where you see a couple of boats.

And this next photo is Smuttynose. Due to the angle of the photo as we were anchored in the Harbor when I took it, Gosport Harbor would be in front of it; the water is actually in the harbor.

Between those 2 islands is a man made seawall which creates this harbor.

This above photo is looking deeper into the harbor from out boat which was moored on one of the white moorings, just like you can see in this above photo.

And yes, if the sky looks  dark that's because while we were there we had not 1 but 2 storms comes through.

The first one wasn't too bad. The heavy rain went just beyond us so we had about 5 minutes of light wet.

 Now my husband's boat has what is called a cuddy cabin. It is small and not for living in. We use it for storage, and it does have some cushions, so one person could lay down and say, take a nap in there. (Or in our case usually a dog or two naps in there.)

During the rain, both my husband, myself and our 2 dogs squished into the cuddy cabin and waited out the storm. 

Then the sun was out again, and we thought that would be the random shower that those weather folks said could happen. We wiped off the seats and moved back outside. Pete and I even went for a swim off the back of the boat.

And since Maddie with her thick coat looked hot, my husband put her into the water to cool off. She likes to be wet and can swim great, but in the process she went underwater, which she didn't like.

I had barely dried off when we looked at the sky and saw this.

According the radar, which we were checking on our phones, this was a much larger storm with some thunder and lightening associated with it.

We would not miss it if we headed into shore, and we did feel safe being moored int he harbor.

Once again, into the cuddy cabin we went.

And the rain came down.

It took Maddie a little while to decide it was better to go into the cabin than stand in the rain, which meant even with a toweling, we also had a wet dog with us.

We had a bit of thunder and lightening too. 

The sun did come back out, and we went outside. I wish I had captured it on my camera, but I saw a big bolt of lightening  actually hit the water, closer than I would have liked. Luckily we were OK, and the storm moved quickly off the islands and further out to sea. It must have been rough out there though, as you can see the waves breaking on the rock jetty wall that close in the back of the harbor.

We heard later a private fishing boat had actually capsized further offshore, and the people had to be rescued by a Coast Guard Helicopter. Luckily no one was hurt.

Before the second storm was close enough to even know we would get it, I did snap a picture of my drink for T this week. (Be sure to stop by Bleubeard and Elizabeth's blog for T this week.)

It's the floating Diet Coke bottle-smile.

Now I will finish my story. 

The day ended just as interesting as it began. On the way back to shore we stopped to do some mackerel fishing, and we had our best catch in a long time. All of them went back into the ocean, but we caught about around a dozen in a short period of time. 

On the way back to the marina, we pass through another onshore  harbor where a friend I used to teach with moors his sailboat. We saw him and some other people on it (2 more of my former co-worker friends), so we cruised over and tied up to chat for a little while.  In the process Miss Maddie hopped over onto his sailboat. She visited with everyone and then decided to take a nice long pee on his boat. How embarrassing. I guess a dog poop would have been worse.  (Good thing they were all dog people-smile).

At this point, it was time to go in, pull the boat out of the water and head home. I didn't need, nor want, any more adventures. 

This has taken me forever to write. Hop you enjoyed my day of boating adventures. And I apologize if this too too long for you to read also.  Smile.
Hope you have great T day and wonderful week ahead.