Tuesday, May 30, 2023

Make It Masculine

Hi everyone. I'm back today with a new challenge at Try It On Tuesday.

Thank you to everyone who joined us for our Keep It Simple challenge. Sometimes it is harder to stay simple than to get more complex, isn't it? I also want to thank Esther for having been our guest designer for our last challenge.

Our new theme  for the next 2 weeks is

Make It Masculine

I'm sure you can think of lots of masculine ideas from sports, steampunk, fishing, darker colors, cars, etc..

I was excited to go with an ocean theme because I love visiting the ocean, and it works perfectly for a masculine  challenge. Plus my hubby is a boat person so this page is for him.

I started with a white page that I used to clean off the paint from a stencil. I liked how it looked, so once the paint dried I inked the page a bit, glued down some ocean theme paper scraps, and then added a variety of die cuts and other ephemera from  my stash. 

Then I stamped this quote from an old Artistic Outpost set. 

We welcome all types of art at Try It on Tuesday. We hope you're thinking masculine and join us.

And before I forget, check out all the other ideas from our designers too.  There's a lot of inspiration to help you come up with some great masculine ideas should you feel stuck.
Thanks for visiting. 


Monday, May 29, 2023

T Stands for the Tea Plantation-Part 2

 Hi everyone. I hope that everyone has had a great week since last T day. Today (Monday) is the Memorial Day holiday here in the US. It has cooled off nicely, but yesterday (Sunday) it definitely felt like summer.I even went for my first swim of the year, but the water was COLD. 😀

Last week (for T over at Bleubeard's and Elizabeth's blog) I showed you the tea fields at the Bigelow Tea Plantation in Charleston , South Carolina. The other thing that you could do at this tea plantation was visit the room where the drinking tea was actually produced. This was a self-guided tour.

But first an interesting historical sign.

They weren't making any tea when we visited as they were just beginning their first cut of the season. (No tea is cut over the winter.)  Here's a brief description of what happens to the leaves to get them to be tea ready to steep in your glass. 

It all begins when the leaves are brought to  the withering bed. The withering bed is where the drying of the tea leaves actually begins.  In this process
various chemicals in the tea leaves (like caffeine) increase in concentration, water is removed, the cells begin to break down, and  increased permeability to the cells in the tea leaves is created. 

I found this diagram online about how this machine works. I believe the tea is on top of the mesh netting.

The tea leaves are still whole when they go through and then leave the withering bed. The next step in tea production is to put the dehydrated  tea leaves through the rotovane. This machine takes the withered leaves and distorts them. It does this so that oxidation can happen.
Through oxidation the various tea flavors are produced. 

To get the various flavors tea can have,  the cells in the tea leaves need to be broken open. This allows oxygen to reach the inner chemicals which produce the flavors of tea. A rotovane rolls and distorts the leaves and that opens the cell walls, allowing the oxygen to enter and get to the inner cell chemicals.

How long oxidation occurs produces many of the various types of tea. To stop oxidation the tea leaves are then heated up. The more time that passes before you heat the leaves, the darker the tea will be with more oxidation. Green and white  teas use the least amount of oxidation time and the leaves stay green. Black teas use the most and the leaves actually turn black or brown in the process.

After oxidation has stopped, the leaves go to be dried. Once that is finished they can be packaged either as loose tea or tea bags. The resulting leaves can also be separated and sorted depending on the company producing it.

I would have been fun to see the tea leaves actually going through the machines.

And I'll end today's post by making myself a cup of tea in the new mug I bought. The tea is from a bag I bought at the tea plantation. Some of you might recognize the Buc-ee! image on the mug. This highway rest area phenomenon was also a new place for me as we don't have any of these in New England (at least as far as I've noticed). I think they sell just about everything at a Buc-ee’s. I bought myself a mug to drink my new tea in. The beaver is  silly, but I like the mug because the yellow is bright. It’s also a big mug and comfortable in my hand so I can enjoy lots of tea in it. 

That's all for me this week. I won't be around next week for T as my husband and I are off to Iceland for the next 11 days. It's my second trip to the island, his first. We're leaving tomorrow (Tuesday)  morning, so if you postTuesday it might take me a bit to get to your post. I'm just apologizing in advance.  I'll see you for T in 2 weeks, and I hope you lovely T day ladies (and everyone else)  have a super T day too and the next 2 weeks. 

Sunday, May 28, 2023


 Hi everyone.

It's Sunday. Here in the US we're celebrating a long weekend. It is Memorial Day on Monday, a day to honor fallen soldiers.  I should write more about that, but there's a lot to post about in the next few days so excuse me for only briefly mentioning the holiday.

This post is my last entry for Aimeslee's Flower challenge at Art Journal Journey. I'm posting it today because there's T day tomorrow, a new challenge at Try It On Tuesday on Tuesday and the new month bringing a new challenge at Art Journal Journey on Thursday. 

My husband not only has tomorrow off from work, but he's on vacation for the next 2 weeks. 😀 We are also heading out for several days on Tuesday. This time we're not going to warm places but to colder places.   (And I know some of you will be thinking I am probably nuts-smile.) More about that in another post.

Before these other posts,  I definitely want to thank Aimeslee for joining us as our host. It was a super month. I loved journaling with flowers. I hope Aimeslee you'd like to join us again at AJJ as a host also.

Let me also thank everyone who joined in with flower pages. There were a lot of lovely and creative pieces being shared. 

My last journal page is in the drawing journal that I keep hidden under the couch. Sometimes at night if I watch TV I do some doodling. On this page I drew and colored in this rather haphazard hexagons before I decided this page could work for something more. 

To actually make a journal page from it, I stamped the Xs many times on the page, and I also used a grey ink pad on the background. Then in the center of my page I used a bit of white gesso to tone down the color. I added in a couple of ancient paper frames, some die cut flowers, a crow I cut out of  a sheet of paper and then colored in to darken, as well as the stamped quote. 

And there you have it. 
You still have a few days left to join Aimeslee at Art Journal Journey since May is not quite over yet. I hope you decide to join us if you haven't already.

And thank you Gillena for mentioning your Sunday Smiles link up. I'm joining there also. 
Thanks for stopping by my blog.

Saturday, May 27, 2023


 Hi everyone. Happy weekend to you.
It looks like it's going to be nice weather which is always welcome, even though a quick shower would be nice to help out with all the pollen. I just hope those bees I see flying in and out of the hive are collecting a lot of it (pollen). 

Today I have a fun junk journal spread to share at Aimeslee's challenge at Art Journal Journey. By now you probably know her theme is flowers.

I think I've also finally finished sharing my junk journal with you. 

You can see the roses plus the other flowers in the bunting images.

I used some magazine paper and some images, all from old FLOW magazines. I also used a bit of an old Japanese book as well as some punched out buttons.  Finally I made a border around the page with a white pen. 

And to wrap up my post, let me share some spring views. The other day I went with a friend to Bedrock Gardens, which is my local botanical garden. 

The horses aren't at the garden but at the farm next door.

Have a great start to your weekend.

Friday, May 26, 2023

Friday Face Off

Hi everyone. Happy Friday. I can't believe another week has flown by so fast. Well, I can believe it because it seems to happen all the time, but it is still unbelievable  how fast time seems to go.

Here in the US we have a long weekend ahead. I'm hoping to finish my planting as I still need to get my veggies in the ground. 

Today I'm sharing some art for Nicole's Friday Face Off, Gillena's Friday Lunch Break  and also for Aimeslee's Flower challenge at Art Journal Journey. I have a face page that I drew a long time ago and figured it was time to finish it off.

 This page started off as a place to use up some extra paints, which is why you can see all the colored streaks and blobs. 

I used watercolored pencils to draw the face and bit of water to create the full head of hair from my pencil lines. The shoulders were drawn, and then I stamped and watercolor painted. I needed to do that to finish off this piece because otherwise the face was just floating. I painted the body with watercolors, and I also used a paint pen on the lips. 

I cut the flowers on her shoulder from a sheet of flower covered paper and overlapped them.

 The butterflies are actually from a magazine. They were printed with images that I didn't really like.  To fix that I  painted some of them black and then outlined  those with a white paint pen. I took 3 of those butterflies and glued them onto the same sheet of flowered paper that I used to cut the flowers in the shoulder cluster.   Once the glue dried I cut out the butterflies and put the flowered side up. I outlined those butterflies in black paint pen.

Finally I added the quote.

I also want to finish up my photos from Magnolia Gardens in Charleston, South Carolina.  In my  Wednesday post ( Wednesday post) I took you on the swamp walk, and today I want to wrap that up. Today we are visiting the end of the swamp known as the rookery, and it was very busy with lots of large nesting birds.

As I also mentioned on Wednesday, I didn't bring my camera with me as I didn't think I'd need my big lens. All photos were taken with my phone and sadly, could have been more spectacular with my camera. But they are what they are, and they're still not bad, unless you want to see the birds more close up. 😜

The trees in this part of the swamp were  loaded with egrets, herons and anhingas nesting. 

There is a bird in this next photo; it was a little blue heron. If you can't find it, just enjoy the abstract reflection.

This next photo is  a nest of baby great blue herons. David if you read this, do you have any idea how close to leaving the nest they would be? They look pretty large to me.

Mommy or Daddy was out getting lunch for those babies.

And we saw a couple more alligators too. Luckily they all stayed in the water.

More of those great blue heron babies.

 I hope you have a great start to your weekend. And as always-thanks for visiting my blog.