Tuesday, October 31, 2023

Our New Challenge at TIOT

Hi everyone. Happy Tuesday, and if you celebrate, Happy Halloween. It's the last day of October, which for me has been a fun and busy month.

It's time for a new challenge at Try It on Tuesday. Thanks to everyone who joined our Halloween challenge, and thank you Pauline for being our guest designer.

Fall is in full gear in my area, and that inspired me to make my journal page for our new challenge.  That new challenge's theme is

Sparkle All The Way

I don't know how well all the sparkles photographed, but the background had some orange mica spray on some red paint. All the leaves are cut out of some orange sparkle paper, and the pumpkin, which was a die cut outline, was filled in with some orange glitter glue. And lastly, I die cut the trees out of some bronze sparkle paper. 

The words are cut from an old stamp that I stamped on some white paper. This image had lots of autumn words on it; the owl is a sticker I pulled of a page I started but didn't like enough to finish, and finally, everything else is pulled out of the scrap pile on my work table.

And don’t forget to check out the rest of the design team’s art. There’s lots of fun sparkly ideas.

You have 2 weeks to join our sparkle challenge at Try It On Tuesday. We hope with the darker days of November arriving you might enjoy some glitter to brighten them up. We accept all forms of art and hope you'll join us.

Monday, October 30, 2023

T Stands for Sweet Treats

 Hi everyone. It is T day again, and I hope everyone's had a lovely week since last time we met with our drinks and chatter. Last week was busy for me, and add to that we had some gorgeous late summer weather. It was so nice I took a few long leisurely walks and did a lot of outside pre-winter clean up. But no raking, as most of the leaves haven't come down yet.

A few weeks back I took a road trip out to King Arthur flour to get my fall and winter baking specialty supplies. For those of you who aren't familiar with King Arthur, they are one of the oldest flour manufacturers in the US. (Maybe even the oldest.) Their main offices are  in Norwich, Vermont, which is just  over the border from western New Hampshire. There they offer baking classes and have a really nice baking specialty store. I was out of the "seed crunchies" that I add to my pizza dough. and I also wanted a couple of bags of specialty flour that I can't regularly  in the grocery store. Plus, it's fun to see what kind of baking supplies and equipment they have on the shelves. I will say their prices have gone up since last November when I last visited, but then where haven't prices gone up?

And yes I could have mail ordered my supplies, but sometimes it is just more fun to go shopping.😀
I usually leave fairly early in the morning as it is a bit of a road trip, and this time I had some pretty foliage to enjoy as well as listening to my book. When it was time to drive home it was time for lunch, so I hit the cafe they have. You can buy salads and sandwiches, and they also have (of course) a bakery. Everything is made on site, so it's fun to see what they have out to drool over. 

I decided to skip the salad or sandwich and instead bought a big brownie. The other treats looked yummy, but the brownie looked less messy to eat while I drove. (I had some other stops to make on the way home and wanted to start driving back.)  Plus this brownie was made with rye flour, and I wanted to see how it tasted. (By the way it was delicious. I've made rye flour chocolate chip cookies and now I need to figure out the ratios of rye to white flour for brownies.)

I also got myself a large chai latte tea to go, and that's my ticket to T day this week over at Bleubeard's and Elizabeth's blog.

This past Sunday was my husband's birthday, and I made him a birthday cake.

Awhile back  I picked up this 2 pack of a King Arthur flour cake mix at the store. It still had one mix left in the box. It's a bit less work than making a homemade cake, but I wanted to use it before the package ended forgotten in the cabinet and out of date. I do think this mix tastes much more like a homemade cake than some of the other big brand name cake mixes you can buy. 

My husband's favorite cake is a Boston Cream Pie, which if you're not familiar with this dessert, is really not a pie. It's a vanilla cake (often a sponge), filled with creme patisserie and covered in a chocolate glaze.

I did make my own creme patisserie and chocolate glaze. The filling wasn't oozing out until my husband cut the cake (because I made the recipe for an  8 inch cake and mine was only 6 so there was a lot of cream-but why not enjoy it?), and yes my chocolate glaze, although nice and shiny, wasn't smooth. I'll use the excuse that since it was a dark day my lighting wasn't good  enough in the kitchen to see the waves in the glaze-smile. Oh well. It tasted yummy and that's what really matters.

I hope I didn't make anyone drool as much as I am looking at all the photos of the sweets in this post. 
Have a happy T day and week ahead.

Sunday, October 29, 2023

Mechanical Butterflies

Hi everyone. Happy end of the weekend or start of the new week to you.

Today I am sharing my final page for Neet's In Gear challenge at Art Journal Journey  As I say too often, where did the month go? Before we know it will be Christmas. 
HOWEVER, there's still 2 days left to go until Halloween 🎃 and before the month ends, so you still have time to join Neet at AJJ.

My page wasn't very difficult to make. and I really like it. I wasn't sure where a quote would go so I skipped one, but it does feel a bit bare without it.

I started by inking the background with 2 shades of blue ink. Then I cut out the red rose pieces from a sheet of printed paper. After that I scribble wrote on the blue background. I  purposely made it messy so you couldn't read what I was writing.   (Although many people would say you couldn't read it even if I wrote neatly-Grin.) I also took a small stamp and stamped the word Oui a few times. 

Then I used an old die cut of mine and cut 3 butterflies. They are all the same size, it's just the angle I snapped the photo at that makes them look different. I glued them down on my page with matte medium. Since  I also save useful extra bits from other die cuts, all the little circles that were laying on my work table (which is quite messy now, but in a good way because I have a nice scrap pile to dig bits out of-😀) were used on this page.  Finally, for a bit of contrast, I took some fluorescent yellow watercolor paint and gave my page a good splattering.

Before I sign off I want to thank Neet for hosting. This was a fun challenge, and I am now in the gear page making mode so I wish we had a few more weeks of this challenge. 💖 I also want to thank everyone who participated by sharing a gear themed page. It's inspiring to see all the fun creations that people shared, and I'm impressed with how many creative ways people found to use gears. 

And as I mentioned already, October isn't over, so you still have time to join us at Art Journal Journey.

I'm also a bit late visiting several people. I apologize, but before the cooler temperatures and rain were due in, I was out trying to finish up some outside chores and by evening, the best I could do was crash and watch tv. 😜

I also don't want to forget that I'm also linking up to Gillena's Sunday Smiles.

Thanks for stopping by my blog, and enjoy whatever is left to your weekend and the start of the new week.


Saturday, October 28, 2023

A Well Rounded Life

Hi everyone. It's the start of the weekend, unless of course  you read this at a later date. We're having some nice much warmer weather today (in fact we've had a couple of beautiful days), so I'm hoping to get some more end of the season gardening finished up before the cool down tomorrow. 

 I'll be posting today and tomorrow with my last 2 pages for Neet's In Gear challenge at Art Journal Journey. I know tomorrow is not quite the end of the month, but with T day on Monday night and the new Try It on Tuesday challenge on Tuesday, I want to get these 2 pages up before it's November. Today's page is one of my favorites, and it was pretty simple to make.

I am also going to link this page up to Creative Artiste Mixed Media, challenge #98.

This page began with some clock paper as a background. I also outlined the whole page with a black Sharpie.

Then I added a leftover "frame" that was laying on my worktable. I had die cut an oval for a different project. and after trimming the scraps so there was less paper around the oval shaped hole, I added that to my page. I used some thin washi tape around its border, and then I created  a frame around the oval shaped hole using a white paint pen and a black Sharpie. 

 I added a train tag that I cut out of  a sheet of printed  paper; I also die cut the clock and fussy cut the gear man from a sheet of paper. After glueing down the train, I added the clock and the man. I also added the TH dog because I think this man needs a companion to ride the rails with.

The violin and the piece in the upper left hand corner are both colored chipboard. They were colored with  ink pads, paint pens and markers. I also added a couple of old buttons around the man for a bit more dimension. I also put a little plastic "dot" on the center of the clock's hands. Finally I added the sticker quote.

Perhaps this gentleman is a musician heading out for a concert, or perhaps he just loves to listen to music. Either way, hopefully he catches his train on time and lives a well rounded life.

Let me finish off this post with a few flower photos, starting with these zinnias which have definitely gone past but are still really interesting to photograph.

This next one looks a bit like a pine cone.

And surprisingly I still have dahlias blooming.

Or forming buds.

And although most of the roses have passed, there's still a few of those in bloom too.

We're back to cooler temperatures tomorrow (or so the weather people are saying), but this little break of early fall weather has been quite nice.
Enjoy the rest of your weekend!

Friday, October 27, 2023

The Rest of My Halloween Book

Hi everyone. Happy Friday. It's already the last Friday in October , but  in some ways I'm also thinking it can't possibly still be October. Grin.Right now we are having some beautiful weather. I think because fall weather seemed to have arrived a bit late this year so we still have a lot of color, and even a bit of green, for late October. Plus, no frost at my house yet, although some places in New Hampshire just had frost the other night. That's thrown me off, but I shouldn't talk because chilly temperatures are due to arrive Sunday.😏

It's time for Nicole's  Friday Face Off  and Gillena's Friday Lunch Break .

Today I am going to share the rest of the pages in my Halloween Bingo book. You'll notice it has  lots of faces in it.  But first, since some of you mentioned you wanted to see how my book is bound, let me show you that.

This first photo shows the bound edge. I used some fairly wide ribbon and lots of red line tape to bind it. The ribbon is folded in an accordian style; taped to hold the 2 sides together, and then attached to each page .

Above, you can see that I folded the ribbon together and then used some red-line tape on the inside to create a tab. 

In this  photo, you can  see an already made tab.  It has the red line tape on the outside of it. The red line tape side that you can see will be stuck onto the next page of the book I am inserting. I am working from front to back, adding  each page one at a time.

The binding isn't tight, meaning the pages can wiggle up and down a bit. It still works nicely holding the book together. Probably the only thing I would change if I ever bind a book this way again is that I would stitch the tab folds rather than using red line tape. 

And if you're not familiar with red line tape, it is a  double sided tape that comes in various widths, including the 1/4 inch width I used. A good red line tape is super sticky and is a great way to connect fabric  since it doesn't leave globby marks that glue as it soaks through the fabric would. 

And here's the rest of my pages.

The left hand page has the binding attached to it, and the right side page is bound on the opposite side.

And here's a few close ups of some other pages I haven't shared before.

The skeleton head sticker was the perfect size to cover the actual face in this last page on this above page.

And finally, let me end with  the front cover.

That's all for me today. Have a great start to your weekend, and thanks for stopping by to visit.

Thursday, October 26, 2023


 Hi everyone.

 I am back once again with another piece for Neet's challenge at Art Journal Journey. I wasn't certain when I started making pages for this In Gear challenge  how many pieces I would end up having.  I guess I really had fun because I still have quite a few pages to get in before October ends. 

Today's page is a double spread. I'm  loving this  smaller sized journal because it's nice not to have to fill so much space on the page. 😏

This spread began when I  took some old style printed advertisement paper pieces and  used them to cover the background on both sides of my journal. After that I added a couple of scraps of darker paper just for a bit of contrast. Next I took some purple paint and sponged it over my background paper. Once that dried I added  a bit of stenciling  and the bird, which is cut out of a page in a magazine.

The bird was not steampunk style when I added him, but I'm back to that sheet of leftover stickers (that I've used so often this month). I added the little silver dots and half of a hinge. The hat is also a sticker from another sheet. I also gave the bird a couple of legs and an eye, as well as drawing in some lines to stand for feathers on the wing.

I then added the big sticker frame on the left (from another very old sheet that coordinates with all the hardware) and the tab sticker on the right. On the left I added a TH girl, and I gave her some metal style sticker buttons, and also a mask.  I used a couple of flower images to frame her, as well as another sticker  and a chipboard gear that I inked with black, brown and rust ink pads. I finished off my page with more stickers and some lace washi style tape, all oldies from my stash. 

The right side has a lot of stickers  also.

I couldn't find a stamped or sticker quote that excited me, so instead I wrote in "Sassy and her bird love steampunk". I finished by adding some chipboard gears, since this challenge is In Gear

It's a busy this week  so that’s  all for me today. Hope your week is going well.

Wednesday, October 25, 2023

A Man of Industry

 Hi everyone.  It's already another middle of another week. I hope you're week is going well.

Today it's time to post another page for Neet's In Gear challenge at Art Journal Journey. I always seem to get a lot of pages made since I work on multiple pages at the same time. Not at the exact same moment, but you add something to one page and then  it needs to dry, so I start another page while waiting.  ETC.  And since we are in the last full week of the month, I want to make time to post all the pages I have yet to link up to AJJ for Neet's challenge. 

Today's page is not one of my top favorites, mainly because I think the man could have been trimmed a lot closer. Sometimes it's a tough  decision whether to trim images down to their edges or whether leaving some plain areas (around the image) will look better in the finished collage, especially since I don't always plan out my final page before I start attaching the pieces. Of course a tough decision is really a relative term since in the big scheme of things, it's not really a tough decision.

I think of this man as Hiram Whitestone. Hiram owns a factory, and he's at the age when he's starting to wonder if all the time he spends at the factory and in his office is worth it. His true love is his horses, and every day when he's sitting at his  desk making and taking phone calls, he looks at the trophy and the bronze sculpture he has on a shelf across the room.  And on the day this page is referring to, he checks the clock and sees it is only a little after 10 AM. He thinks it's going to be a long one.

The background is collages with some washi tape, some tissue paper, some scraps of paper and an assortment of images.  I used a Sharpie to outline the edge, and I also stamped the quote.

Besides his horses, Hiram also has a whole collection of cars. His factory must do pretty well. 😏 Hiram also has a son, Hiram Jr, and it is the little Hiram  that I used on my latest tag. 

I'm linking my tag up to Sandie's A  Form of Transportation challenge at Tag Tuesday.

I made my background with ink and some messy deli paper (that I painted and outlined on). I added the 2 lines of washi tape to cover a paper seam, but the car stamped images didn't stamp very well on it. Since I probably couldn't line up the stamp images again, and since the washi tape  had matte medium over it, I left it like it is. 

Hiram Jr. looks like he is either used to getting his way or that he just loves to go for rides in any one of his Dad's cars. He even got himself dressed up for the occasion. 

I hope Hiram gets some horse time and Hiram Jr. gets his ride.

That's all for me. Have a great middle of your week.

Monday, October 23, 2023

T Stands for a Few Random Things

 Hi everyone. It's T day again over at   Bleubeard's and Elizabeth's blog.

Today  I have an assortment of random photos to share.  Let me start with all the heirloom chrysanthemums blooming right now in my garden.  I got my original plant from my mother's garden, and her plant came from my grandmother's garden. I love that these flowers bloom so late  in the season (which it is now here in New Hampshire).

The honeybees are very excited by them also.

On one of my regular walks, I veered off  my road and onto a logging road. The logging road  was cut into our town forest a couple of autumns ago when they were trimming back dead trees and doing normal forest maintenance.  The headwaters of the Cocheco River begin in this forest, and I was now able to walk right up to the banks of the river.  From my road you can only look down a steep bank to the river.
 The reflections are pretty.

Along the road on this same walk I noticed some milkweed seeds not quite free of their split open pod. I hope many of them grow into milkweed plants for Monarch butterfly food during their caterpillar/larva stage.  

You might remember the bigfoot wooden "statue" my husband is making. It will go  in the backyard, looking like Bigfoot is walking out of the woods.  Even though I said I would paint it, he insisted it was his project, and he's working on the finished painting. I think it is coming along nicely. It's his first art project.

Last week before my allergy shots appointment, I went by the beach with the dogs for a walk. Because it wasn't a beautiful sunny day, the beach was not crowded. No one was at one end of the beach, so I let them lose  for a few minutes so they could run into the water and play.

I know the horizon is  far off, but I love how much sky you can see at the beach. We're very forested in New Hampshire, so the view is usually trees. The cloud cover was interesting that morning.

I made a pumpkin quiche last week. If anyone wants the recipe let me know in a comment, and I'll post it. 

Sadly this past weekend's  rain and then wind brought down a lot of leaves, but here's a few views before the weekend. This first one is the road into my mother-in-law's house from when I walked in one day.

This next one is looking off my deck down into the woods along the side of the house. We own a way into the woods, and then there are more woods that belong to our neighbor. We can't ever see the neighbor's house, but sometimes we hear things like their lawnmower.

Here's my yard. I am standing in my big flower garden looking towards the picket fence that surrounds my veggie garden.

In this view, I'm looking down on my beehive. Near the bluebird house is my bee garden which, in the summer, is full of a few cultivated plants (like irises since it gets lots of sun here) and lots of wild flowers. The pole standing with nothing on it is for a bird feeder. I haven't put this feeder out  since bears haven't hibernated yet. I have put out the ones closer to the house, but I take them in at night when bears are more likely to be out. (Even though they could visit anytime.)

And here's another view of the heirloom chrysanthemums in my big flower garden. This garden is going to take a lot of work between now (which I've started) and next spring as it's getting too wild. I need to separate some plants and pull out some overgrown ones. 

Last week when our lovely hostess Elizabeth was sharing the Spice Market, she mentioned how I liked the happy face mugs she had shown. This week for T let me share the happy face mug I  have. Mine is from the Red Arrow Diner in Concord, New Hampshire.

This is my ticket for T this week. I'm steeping  some green tea with ginger and pineapple ( from Republic of Tea)  in this photo. 

That's all for me this week. Have a great T day and week ahead.