Friday, September 30, 2022

Wrapping Up September

 Hi everyone. Happy Friday, and happy last day of September.

Today I am sharing my last piece for Neet's challenge at Art Journal Journey. If you have any interest in that challenge you know by now the challenge is Fur and/or Feathers.  Tomorrow we start  a new challenge as it is a new month. So if you want to join in with Fur and/or Feathers, do it fast as you'll soon be out of time for this particular challenge. 

My page today also has this lovable dog face, so I am also linking up to Nicole's  Friday Face Off .

And I know, not everyone is a dog lover, but they need their time along with all the cat pages that have been linked up to Neet's challenge this month-smile.

I started this page by inking my background with some golden yellow ink. Then  I layered some paper scraps and some 1 inch wide washi tape. After that I added some stickers I made (by printing one of my Gelli print pages on a circle sticker sheet). 

I really wanted to stitch on my page, but it is hard to machine stitch in a bound journal, so I created some faux stitching using a white Posca paint pen and black and gold Sharpies. Finally I added the dog face. I left that most white so it would stand out. I also added the stamped quote and a chipboard heart from my stash that I colored red.

I am also linking up to Gillena's FRiday Art Lunch Break.

And as September is ending, I thought I would share the touch of fall color we have. I took these photos on a couple of my morning walks this past week.

Before I sign off I want to send a big thank you hug to the lovely and talented Neet for hosting at Art Journal Journey. We hope you'll join us again also. And I also want to thank everyone who participated in this art journal challenge. We appreciated you joining us. 

I also want to send CJ a thank you for suggesting the name of an air purifier. I also got a Leviot and it is working great. So thanks for the info.

Have a great last day of September. And thanks for visiting my blog.

Thursday, September 29, 2022

Fur or Feathers

 Hi everyone. Happy Thursday.

I'm sending thoughts to everyone in the hurricane zones, those of you who might be in Florida as well as those of you in Atlantic Canada who were hit by a rare hurricane too. And I forgot to mention those you in hit in the Caribbean also last week.

Today I want to share another page for Neet's Fur and/or Feather challenge at Art Journal Journey. The challenge ends tomorrow since it is almost October. (Dare I ask where September went?)

I used to be a huge scrapbooker before I got into art journaling and other mixed media forms of art, so I have a lot of 12x12 printed and plain paper that is left over from that time.  I now use it in collages, to make prints on, and occasionally, a piece works for a background. That's what I have today on my ocean inspired piece.  This cloud paper worked perfectly as the sky for this feathered page.

I had made another page with many of these images, which I ended up not liking at all. I couldn't stop working with the sky on that page, and in the end, the sky (or my continuous dabbling) ruined it. Instead of tossing it out, I cut out the images and went for a second try with them on this printed paper.

The sand is made of a piece of burlap. The sea gulls and posts are stamped, colored and fussy cut. I die cut the curly q's as they reminded me of waves, and after I glued them down I added some glitter glue because I wanted to create a bit of spray.  The lighthouse (minus the seagull on it) is an Art by Marlene punch out, which I over-colored to match my page. I then created some "light" coming from the lighthouse using a few colors of glitter glue.  

Finally I stamped the quote.

This week Rain's Thursday Art and Dinner Date is all about hair, and that connection is in my quote. 

I guess I don't find hair very exciting as a topic.  I do have a photo of the Swedish Ivy plant I planted last spring in a pot on my deck. The way it grew I think it looks like flowing long hair.

Especially when we look down on it. 

I keep debating whether to bring this pot inside for the winter. I really don't have a great place for potted plants (maybe because I already have too many-smile). But I really like this plant.

Hope your week is going well. Mine was until last night.

Mr. Pete had his second run in with a skunk when out for his bedtime yard visit. (He was also sprayed when we were away.)  I gave him a wash in the basement, which helped, but that odor still gets into places and just doesn't go away. Today's project is to go find good air purifiers for both the house and the basement. Poor Pete spent the night in the basement, and he cried and barked all night. That meant we didn't sleep very well either. This morning I took him outside, and he got another bath-not his favorite thing, and he smells better. I have the windows in the house open to give it an airing, and it is chilly this morning, but better chilly than stinky. If you've ever smelt a skunk, then you know how awful that odor is.

Have a good Thursday; and I hope there are no stinky skunks are in your life.

Wednesday, September 28, 2022

Wednesday Art

Hi everyone.  Happy Wednesday. 

This month is winding down quickly, isn't it?  Being away for more of less a couple of weeks really makes it feel like I didn't have much of a September, but I actually did, just not at home.

One thing I want to share today is another page for Neet's Fur and/or Feather challenge at Art Journal Journey. You still have a few days to join in if you're interested.

Once again (like with a page I shared last week)  I was playing around with a traditional image and a modern colorful background. My background is another gelli print.

I think the background reproduces the feel of the savannah where leopards live. They have so much they need to constantly be aware of just to keep themselves alive. All those dots could be pairs of eyes from other animals living on the savannah also.

The first thing I added to my page was this white die cut shape. No it isn't white any longer since I used a brown marker along the edges and also inked it with grey and brown ink.  You can see it is rectangular with some notched out triangles on each side. 

Then I layered some tropical images that I cut out of a booklet of images from Africa. I added the leopard and the baobab  trees as well as a couple of small bits of designed paper. The quote comes from the same image collection, and then, since there are so many dots on my background, I added some blue little bubble charms on my background "rectangle".

Nothing to fancy but there is my page. This is one of my favorite pages of the month.

As I'm having an art WEdnesday, I also want to share a tag for Pinky's Book/ Book Pages challenge at Tag Tuesday

I painted my tag with some acrylic paints. I  added a small rectangular white and yellow sticker just before I stamped some background images. I also added some bits from an old dictionary page. The tag is finished off with some pine stickers as well as a sticker quote.

And that's my tag.

I'm keeping today's post short. I hope your week is going well. 


Monday, September 26, 2022

T Stands for Bristlecone Pines

 Hi everyone. Happy Tuesday and Happy T day to you.

I'm joining all the lovely ladies over at Bleubeard's and Elizabeth's blog for our Tuesday T post.

Several of you mentioned last week that you hoped I would show some more trip photos for T this week, so I will. Smile. (And I apologize this is a bit of a long post.)

 We always stop and take photos at the National Park signs, so here is me at our first National Park of the trip. That is why my finger is raised, to designate this is park #1. You might remember I mentioned Great Basin National Park is just over the Nevada Line, very close to Utah. It is so close that to get to the park from our hotel ( which was also in Nevada and that I showed you last week on T day) we had to drive from Nevada into Utah and then from Utah back to Nevada to arrive at the park. We also had to keep in mind there is a 1 hour time change between these 2 states.

One of the main attractions in Great Basin is Wheeler Peak.

You can drive up to 10,000 feet /3048 meters. At this point, there is a parking lot. From there you can  hike. The biggest attraction is to hike to  the bristlecone pines. 

photo courtesy of  the website for Great Basin National Park

Here's a bit of what Wikipedia says about the bristlecone pine trees:
The term bristlecone pine covers three species of pine tree (family Pinaceae, genus Pinus, subsection Balfourianae). All three species are long-lived and highly resilient to harsh weather and bad soils. One of the three species, Pinus longaeva, is among the longest-lived life forms on Earth. The oldest of this species is more than 4,800 years old,[1] making it the oldest known individual of any species.

And here is the page about them from the park website if you are interested: Bristlecone pines in Great Basin NP.

I was really interested in seeing these trees. Now the distance to them is not too far (only 1.5 miles /2.4 km up or 3 miles/4.8 km round trip on the direct trail or a little longer on the Alpine Lake trail), but for me, starting the hike at 10,000 feet was going to be a challenge. There is no place in New Hampshire with that elevation. In fact, my house is probably at best maybe 700 feet/213 meters  up in elevation from sea level. Since this was our first park, we really didn't have a lot of time to adjust to the altitude difference.

I was keeping hydrated, and I am used to walking several miles a day, so we were going to give it a try. I was a little more concerned about my husband, but as he kept saying, slow and steady wins the race.

Up we went.

There were some amazing views, but you should take notice those dark clouds filling in the sky in this next photo.

I must say on the way up, I did have to stop and catch my breath several times. (And luckily I never needed my asthma inhaler). 

Earlier along the trail, there was a split. If you went straight, it was 1.5 miles (2.4 km) up to the bristlecone pines. If you went to the right, past the alpine lakes, it was a bit longer. 

We were going to head straight, and then several people  who started hiking when we did, mentioned it was a steeper climb. We took their advice and off we went on the right hand trail towards the lakes.

We came to the first alpine lake. The water in the lake was low, but it was still a pretty spectacular view.
Notice the sky was  darker now, but a little rain wasn't an issue, so we continued along the trail towards the turn off for the bristlecone pines. The bristlecone pines  grow further up just beyond the treeline, in an area that is pretty wide open. This lake, as you can see, was still just  within the treeline.

Here's a photo from along the  next leg of the trail.

And then, just before we reached the second alpine lake, we heard  a loud rumble of thunder.  And then another. And then we had a bit of light rain.

Being at the furthest point of the trail, there was nothing to do but keep walking. At least we were under the cover of the forest around us.

And we came to the second alpine lake (there were 2 total). This one  was really dry.

And  we continued along the trail.

We finally reached the split in the trail where there was a sign  directing us further up the mountain to the Bristlecone pines.

I was hopeful that the storm had passed and that we could head up to the pines because we hadn't heard any more thunder in a while. Yes it was raining lightly, but the rain we were in wasn't exactly dangerous. (Like lightning that goes with the thunder would be.)

And then, just as we stood at the base of the Bristlecone pine trail, we heard the loudest boom of thunder of them all. My husband and I looked at each other. There was no real safe cover up at the Bristlecone pines, and we had been told by a ranger that morning not to go up if it was thundering. My husband said to me "There's our answer."  (whether we should head further up or to continue on back to the car).

And he was right, so we continued along the Alpine Lake trail, now going down towards the parking lot.

And even though we had to dash through the rain to get to the car when we got out of the forest,  of course, within a few minutes the sky was brightening.

You can see all the drops of water on the windshield before we started the car as well as the sun coming back out.

All I can say is that it makes another good travel story.
We were so close. And still so far.

(And if you didn't see but are interested, I did a post this past Saturday on the caves we visited in the park also.)

OK, I can't forget that this is a T day post and I need to share a drink.  I never took a photo of my water jug while hiking. Yet before our hike, while at the visitor's center, we had a sandwich and a drink. Most visitor centers don't have restaurants, but this one had a small one, so we decided to fuel up before our trek.

You can see my unsweetened ice tea, my grilled cheese BLT sandwich with avocado, as well as the homemade potato salad side that came with my sandwich. 

Thanks for making it this far through the post. I hope you have a happy T day and week ahead. 

Sunday, September 25, 2022

Lots of Stenciling

Hi everyone.  

I hope everyone is having a wonderful weekend. It's been a bit chilly the last couple of days and felt so much like fall.  Which of course it now is. Today is supposed to warm up a bit, so let's see if we actually get a little bit of summer back. 

This weekend we had to bring my husband's boat home, which is never a very happy day for him. For some reason the marina is closing a week early this year. Usually they ask boats to be removed  over Columbus/Indigenous People Weekend (in 2 weeks), but this year they are closing next weekend. We can't get the boat next weekend  as my daughter  and her fiance are having a "cookout" with their closest friends, us and her fiance's family.  I put the word "cookout" in quotes because I'm guessing they are really going to surprise us by having a justice of the peace marry them. I'm thinking that because my daughter has been acting/sounding pretty anxious lately, and she and her fiance have been talking about this cookout all summer.  I know my daughter well enough to know when not to try to make more of a situation than she wants, so I'm waiting to see if the right moment to ask ever comes up. And if it doesn't come up, then we'll just go with the flow and let them surprise us.

And then again, I might be totally wrong and this might just really be a cookout. (Even if my gut feeling says differently-smile.)

I'm here today with another page for Neet's Fur and/or Feather challenge at Art Journal Journey.

For this post I have some colorful feathers on my stenciled toucan. This is a newly discovered species that only lives in my imagination. I'll scientifically name this new discovery Toucanis warmcolorii.  Smile.

After using a Sharpie and a toucan stencil on some already paint stenciled cardstock, I took some gouache to color in Mr. Toucan. I then had to re-outline a few of my stenciled lines.

I also used black paint to stencil the leaves on my watercolor paper background. (I think stencil is the word for my post today.)  I stitched the bird piece onto my background paper, and I edged my  base (the watercolor stenciled part of the page) with some pink ink. I then cut out the big tropical flower from a sheet of printed paper and added that, along with a stamped quote, to finish off my page.

And there you have it. Thanks for visiting, and I hope you enjoy what's left to your weekend. 


Saturday, September 24, 2022


 Hi everyone. Happy Saturday.

It has been windy since yesterday, and when I got home last evening at 5:30, it was only 49 degrees F/ 9.4 degrees C. Brrrr. I haven't even looked at the temperature this morning because I don't want to know. With the cost of fuel right now I am not turning on the heat until at least October, so right now I look pretty funny in 3 layers and a winter hat. And I'm under a blanket. Luckily it is supposed to warm up a bit more today, but still it is supposed to be windy, which is never good for making the house feel warm.

I thought today I would share a few photos from the National Parks I visited on my latest journey. Our first park was Great Basin National Park, just over the border from Utah in a remote part of Nevada. Being remote as it is, this park is one of the least visited National Parks in the continental US. 

One of the things you can do at this park is take a tour (with a ranger) of Lehman Caves. Originally this park was called Lehman Caves National Monument, but then the park service expanded to the area around the caves, including the 13,000+ feet/ 3900+ meters of Wheeler Peak.  Congress made this area a National Park.  It is called Great Basin National Park because it is part of a large area of a natural basin which goes through most of the state of Nevada and into a few other surrounding states. 

A basin is a flat area surrounded by mountains. All the water that goes into the basin from snow falls, snow melts from the surrounding mountains or rainfall never leaves the basin and does not make it to an ocean. It is either absorbed by the dry soil or it evaporates into the atmosphere.  Although there are many basins that make up the area of basins in the US, this park helps protects at least a small example of a basin.

The first thing we did in Great Basin was  take a Lehman Cave Tour. You need to sign up in advance (up to 30 days before) because the size of the tours and the number of tours per day are limited. We took the longer 90 minute tour, and I really enjoyed it. It was the first time I've ever taken a cave tour where I actually saw a bat in the cave. Smile.

Here's a few photos. I was  very impressed at the quality of the photos my camera was able to take seeing I had it set on automatic so I could quickly snap pictures.

The info given by the ranger was great, and the rock formations were amazing.

You can only tour the caves with rangers because otherwise some people might purposefully break off  stalactites and stalagmites or otherwise damage the cave formations or the cave's ecology. One of the goals of the National Park Service is to protect the natural environment and ecology as much as possible. And as the ranger said, the only way to totally protect that cave environment would be to not let anyone inside the cave.  Part of the protection goal is to find ways to allow people to see and learn about various environments so they will be better informed in other situations. It's like it was teaching. If you can engage your students with more hands on learning, then they become more invested in the information. That is another reason the park service runs cave tours. Much of the cave is not open to the public, but if you can give people a taste and some sound information, they will be more invested in cave protection overall.

One part of the cave was fairly narrow to get through.

And at one point the ranger flipped off the lighting (that the park service installed for tours). The only light you see is her flashlight as she returned to our small group. I don't think I'd want to go caving in the way they did on the past using candles (because at that point there were no flashlights or headlamps.)

And finally we entered a great cave room. 

On the ceiling in this room were lots of people's initials. Most were made back in the early days of this cave's exploration, when people used candles. The black on the ceiling is made from candle smoke.

The funny thing is (according to the ranger) is that since these were made around 100 years ago, they have now become historical pieces to protect, even if new additions are strictly not allowed.

And lastly, here's the other cave wildlife I saw. It's a a baby cave cricket.

I hope you enjoyed this long post. Thanks for sticking with me, and have a great beginning of your weekend.