Wednesday, November 29, 2023

It Can't Already Be the End of The Month

Hi everyone. Happy second to the last day of November to you.

Today I want to share my final page for Jo's Nature challenge at Art Journal Journey.  I've been making lots of autumn themed pages recently, so I decided to end the month with someone different. 

My background started as a sheet of black watercolor paper. I used a stencil and white paint and created the circles background.  I also used a very light coat of gesso over the entire page. Then I went and started another page on this background, but I didn't like that page at all.

I pulled off the images from my background, which left a few rough spots. Personally, I like the rough spots as they give some texture, so I not only left them but I also didn't cover them all over.

To make this page I added 3 strips of washi tape. On top of the tape I added a printed acetate ring with some white paper (cut to fill the ring) underneath. I lightly brushed that white paper with a bit of light brown ink just to dull down some of the white. The tiger, leaf and banana plant are Stamperia images fussy cut from an image book.  I die cut the temple on some multi-colored paper, outlined it with a pen, and added 3 little crafting gemstone hearts. Finally, I stamped the quote which is from Alison Bomber/ Paper Artsy.

I definitely want to thank Jo for being a wonderful host at Art Journal Journey.  ❤ I also want to thank everyone who participated  at AJJ also. Even though I seemed to stick with autumn themed pages, I had a great time with this challenge.

Have a great rest of your month.

Tuesday, November 28, 2023

Traditional Christmas

 Hi everyone. 

November is wrapping up, and so it is time for a new challenge at Try It On Tuesday. Before I get to our newest challenge, I want to thank Cornelia for being our guest designer for our Baby It's Cold Outside challenge. And also thank you to everyone who joined the challenge also.

Now it's time to get ready for the December holidays. This time our new challenge is 

Traditional Christmas

Here's my project view.

This first photo is from the front of my page. Many of you are probably familiar with Charles Dickens' story, A Christmas Carol. That story has been around for so long that it has become part of the overall Christmas holiday tradition in many places. That's why I chose to use this page as my design over at TIOT. (Not because I feel Bah Humbug about Christmas- well at least most of the time I don't. 😀)

Now let me explain this page has such an odd shape.
I love making books, and I love when I can make them from alternative materials. Even better when I can recycle something. 

Back in the summer while helping to clean out some of my mother-in-law's "junk", this old metal cased 1950's phone  directory came out of a drawer. It was going into the trash, but I thought I could do something with it so I nabbed it.

Sadly the "latch" that held this closed no longer worked. Nor did the little letter slide on the right. I originally thought that I could make something right in this metal case. However, the case  only opened so far and when I tried to work on an attached page, I found it hard to work on. That was especially true for the back side of the cards that would have to be worked on with them flipped up and almost standing into the air.

Then I decided I would take the case apart. If it had been made recently, I could have, but in the 1950's things were built to last, and even my engineer husband said we'd either have to get a saw and cut the metal, or maybe, we could chisel out the pin that connected the 2 sides. That sounded  like it would probably destroy the paper (that I wanted to use) , so I gave up on the case and just snipped the paper slightly so I could pull the pages out.

That's the reason there is some washi tape across the top. I will be punching in a new hole so I can connect all my pages together once I finish this project.

And since these pages are alphabetical,  I decided I would make an alphabet Christmas book. This page (and the back) are about the Dickens' novel, and the B stands for Bah Humbug.

To make this page I inked the front with a few colors. I went with smokey colors because at the time of Dickens, coal was the fuel of choice. (And of course, coal leaves a lot of black dust.) I decided to leave the old phone numbers. I'm not exactly working around them. but I'm not worried if they aren't 100% covered either.  I have an older stamp set from Graphic 45 that has some phrases and images that relate to that story. I stamped the building and the door knocker directly on the page. Scrooge and the quote are stamped on white paper and fussy cut. The bells, pine branches and holly are from a Studio Light  punch out holiday image booklet that I've had for a couple of years. They are separate pieces that I layered. I also inked the bottom of my page with some black ink and I added a letter B sticker.

Here's the backside, still for the letter B.

The bow and branches at the top are from the same punch out image book. The winter scene is cut out of a sheet of paper. I stamped the quote and the small holly leaves, and then I finished my page by adding some red glitter glue "dots" as my holly berries. 

I've been working on other pages also, and you can tell the paper in this phone directory is really good quality because it is holding up really well when I add all types of media to it. It curls even less  than a lot of the new paper I have. 😀 I'll share  more in other posts.

You have the next 2 weeks to join us at TIOT with your Traditional Christmas art. Remember, we accept all types of art also. And please don't forget to check out the other designer's blogs.

Thanks for visiting, and I hope to see your art over at the Try It On Tuesday  website.

Monday, November 27, 2023

T Stands for Winter, Turkeys and Cows

 Hi everyone. Hello to everyone and especially to all the lovely ladies who stop by for T day.

We're into the waning days of November. I think winter is actually here at my house. (Oh no!) Last week was round 3 of November snow. ❄ We do get snow at this time of year, and at least none of these storms was a huge dumping (and we've had those around Thanksgiving before). But I don't remember getting 3 small storms so early in November. The ground is basically frozen though, and even when the temperature gets to 40 (degrees F/around 4.5 degrees C)  it doesn't feel warm anymore. I just hope an early winter means an early spring, but too bad the 2 have no connection.  😏

I hope everyone who celebrated Thanksgiving had a nice day. We went to my sister-in-law's house over in Maine. It was a fun day. My sister-in-law's husband is a chef so we had a delicious meal, which I didn't get any photos of. 😒 But I did manage to get some photos of my drinks and the fun we had.

One of the nieces picked up these color your own turkey placemat sets, and so while the chef was doing his cooking, most of us  had a drink and did some coloring. However, even the chef stopped long enough to color a turkey  because  we were all having too many laughs and he didn't want to miss out. (And I don't blame him.)  All these assorted drinks in this post are my ticket over at Bleubeard's and Elizabeth's blog     blog for T this week.

Originally we all started using colored pencils. Then one of the nieces found a box of crayons. I said if I'd known we were coloring I'd have brought along some markers. My daughter had to razz me and tease that I'd have brought along a whole bunch of supplies to make some wild and crazy turkeys. 😏

After we finished coloring, all the turkeys were hung on the wall and my mother-in-law, who didn't know who colored which turkey (because she was asleep in the living room),  picked the winner. 

I've mentioned before my mother-in-law is now living in a memory care unit now as she requires a lot of care. Everything from someone cutting her food to helping her get dressed. Plus, she gets confused.  It's sad to see how much she has changed just since spring. Even though these changes have been coming on  for a few years now, they seem to have accelerated since Easter time.

 However, she enjoyed spending the holiday with her family. This next photo makes me smile because my sister-in-law, who was excited when my MIL picked her turkey  as the winner, was showing my MIL a little love.

After dinner one of the other nieces made these fancy pre-dessert martinis. I don't like regular martinits, but a chocolate one is really delicious.

And while we sipped on our martinis we all played a game. 

The cow in the box wasn't quite as pink as the one in the photo I took of the game off of Amazon.

The general gist of the game was that if you answered simple questions the same way as most other people, you won cow tokens. The cows on the tokens made me smile.

If you answered the question in a unique way, you got the big pink cow. You had to hold onto that cow until someone else had the lone unique answer. At the end of the game,  the person with the most cow tokens  won, unless you had  the big pink cow , then you would lose even if you had the most cow tokens.

We had a lot of laughs.  After the game we all barely managed to put a bit of dessert into our tummies, and then it seemed like it was already time to go home. 

And now we're full on into the end of the year  and that holiday season.
I hope everyone has a lovely T day and week ahead.

Sunday, November 26, 2023

Weekend Art

 Hi everyone. Happy Sunday. I  hope those of you who celebrated Thanksgiving had a nice holiday, and that everyone is having a lovely weekend. 

My blog commenting was off for the last few days during the Thanksgiving holiday. We traveled for the day on Thursday, and my daughter was home until yesterday/Saturday. Life was a little busy. I managed to hit some blogs in the morning, but now life is settling back down into some more normalcy so hopefully I can keep up with a little more timeliness. 

Today I want to share another page for Jo's Nature challenge at Art Journal Journey. This page is in my bee journal.

This is one of the simplest pages I have ever made, as most of the background in this sheet of paper that already had the bee on it. I just had to  cut it down to fit my journal page.  I stenciled  along the edges with some black paint; I painted and then added a chipboard ring I had in my stash, and finally  I also punched out some black paper dots of various sizes and shapes. I added those to my page.

I also want to share a tag for Pinky's Words or Sentiments challenge over at Tag Tuesday. I'm sneaking it in before the challenge ends in another day.

I pulled out my Christmas holiday stash the other day, and I figured I'd use some of it. I inked a tag made of white cardstock. Then I die cut the holly branch. I snipped some of the bottom of the branch off so I could stamp the bow directly onto my tag. Then I added the rest of the branch back. The leaves have been outlined with a Sharpie. I added some red glitter glue to make the berries pop and also some white glitter glue to give the leaves a little kick. And finally, I stamped the quote twice, which, in case you can't read them, say:

happy holidays, good tidings, peace on earth and the last line says merry, merry, merry

I'm looking forward to a quiet Sunday.  That's all for me today. Have a great start to your new week.

Thursday, November 23, 2023

Happy Thanksgiving

 Hi everyone.  Happy Thanksgiving if you celebrate. And of course, happy Thursday to all of you.

Today is one of my favorite holidays. I like it because it's low key, and it involves good food. 😏

Plus, the important stuff. It's the small things in life that make it so valuable and meaningful. Thank you to all of your bloggers who visit my blog. You share so much good advice, tips, tricks, new ideas, great books, recipes, friendship, entertainment and also many other things I could go on about.

I am also thankful for so many other things in my life, but I won't bore you with them here.

I combined both Nature and a bit of history on my journal page today. I started with a sheet of autumn colored paper. Then I added this outline of a leaf. That outline was actually a leaf shaped opening on the cover of the pad of paper where I got my background paper from. I pulled off the cover and trimmed  around the leaf and then added it on my page.

I stamped some words on the inside of the leaf and then colored the area with a water-based crayon. After I gave it a wash to smooth out the color, I used a colored pencil to draw in the veins. I also did some other background stamping. I die cut the turkey, stamped the Happy Thanksgiving, added some washi tape and a couple of old  stickers along the bottom of my page, and finished off my page with some gold foil paper trim as well as the little confetti dots in the leaf. The 2 stickers remind me of the kind that teachers used to put on our classwork back when I was in elementary school.

We're off to Maine on this Thanksgiving as we're having dinner at my sister-in-law's house. And my daughter is even home and going with us, which is great  (❤) since I haven't seen her at Thanksgiving for a few years now. My sister-in-law is bringing my mother-in-law over to her house for the day also (since my MIL is now in a memory care unit) so it will be nice to have more of the family together.  And, I've mentioned this before,  my sister-in-law's husband, is a chef, so the food is always really tasty. 

And while I'm on a thankful roll, I also want to mention that today would have been my grandmother's 114th birthday. My Nana and I were particularly close, and I still think about her all the time. She taught me to knit, to bake, to love long walks, to travel, and many other things which are important to me now. Since it's a good day to be grateful, I am thankful she was in my life for over 40 years and making my life even better being there.

Have a wonderful day and rest of your week everyone, and Happy Thanksgiving to those who celebrate.

PS: I hope I get a chance to link this post up to Nicole's Friday Face Off and Gillena's Friday Smiles. With a busy week and the long holiday weekend as well as  my daughter being home, I won't have a seperate Friday post this week.

Wednesday, November 22, 2023

It's Wednesday Again

Hi everyone. Happy middle of the week to you. 
This week, although it really isn't shorter than other weeks, always feels like it is shorter than other weeks since the long Thanksgiving weekend starts tomorrow. I should  also clarify it's a long weekend for my husband.  I know some of you who live in other countries where they don't  celebrate Thanksgiving (or don't celebrate it now) and others of you here in the US might still have to work. I'll just explain that when my husband has a long weekend, my usual weekly routine switches up and I get a  long weekend too. 😏

My journal page today is made from some salvaged items that I pulled out of some bins. You might remember me recently mentioning that I had 4 bins of craft supplies that I packed up a couple of years earlier. I finally got around to going through them. Since I didn't miss anything in the bins, I'm not keeping most of the items. But, I did find a few things that I gave a second look and decided to hang onto.

The salvaged items that I used on this journal page include the background paper, a giant sticker and also a flourish die.

One of the bins had some older pads of paper in them, including  a 12x12 inch pad of autumn paper. Not that I need anymore paper, but since it was autumn themed paper ( and had great designs too) and it is autumn,  this pad was speaking to me. I used a part of a sheet for my background on this page.

One of the bins had a lot of stickers in it. Most of the stickers went into a postal box that I'll try selling them online. If any of you know someone who could use a lot of random assorted stickers (both new and partially full sheets), let me know as I wouldn't  mind just charging for shipping if I can find the stickers a new home. 

 I did pull out a few sheets of stickers out of the pile that I thought would actually get used. One of those saved stickers is on this page. It's a big sticker on the right side that looks like ripped paper with leaves on it. 

And finally, I had some dies that I found in a bin. I went through them and put a couple away in my die drawer. One of these salvaged dies was an oldie with a big flourish on it.  I used it to cut some orange paper. You can see it on top of the big sticker on the right hand side of my page. The sun is on part of it.

I finished off my page with some stamping and adding some metal paper elements as well as a few little crafting gemstones. 

My journal is very full at this point, so please excuse the slight dip to the right in my photo. I can't get the pages on the left side to lay flat anymore, but other than for photos, it isn't an issue as it says my journal is used and loved. 👍

And I am linking this page up to Jo's Nature challenge at Art Journal Journey

And speaking of autumn and nature, it's been very chilly at my house, especially in the mornings. Yesterday it was 18 degrees F/ around -8 degrees C. The frost fairies have definitely been busy.

And in this one hydrangea bloom, there is still just a touch of blue.

It's  been cold enough that last night we had our third little winter tease. ❄😞

I have lots to do today, so that's all for me. Thanks for visiting. It is always appreciated. 


Monday, November 20, 2023

T Stands for This and That

 Hi everyone. Happy T day to all the lovely ladies who join in, and if you're not a T day lady, happy start of the week to you also.

Last week  was another nice week. Other than it getting dark so early now , I do like these relaxing November days, but then I'd guess they are relaxing because it does get dark so early.  

We had some beautiful late autumn weather in the middle and the end of last week. I went for a couple of walks. One of them was on a nearby rail trail with a friend. We saw a bald eagle and some hooded mergansers (the hooded mergansers were new birds for me), but I didn't get any photos of them. The sun was hitting these mallards just right though so you could see the beautiful green on one of the drakes' heads.

Some years in the fall water level is dropped at  local  lakes so shoreline work can happen. Lake Wentworth is along the trail,  and it's really low right now. Usually you wouldn't see any of those brown  islands or dirt along the shoreline.

Last week  I also raked, but of course on Saturday it rained  and brought more leaves down. 

I don't really mind a few more leaves coming down because,  if for some reason leaf raking season is over,  the bulk of the leaves have been cleaned up. It seems no matter how leaf free one makes the yard in the fall, there are still leaves in the spring.  My raking philosophy is get the majority of them but don't be too fussy how perfect it looks.

I'm not sure I'm that happy about the hole this one has dug in one of my flower beds though.

And so much for getting any help from these 2. I think it was late morning nap time in the sun. 😏

I harvested my brussel sprouts also. I wish more of them had gotten a little bit bigger, but they still taste good. Next year I am moving them into a different spot and see if that helps with their harvest size.

We also closed up the screen porch this past weekend. 😒 My husband put up some plastic panels, then all the yard bits were brought inside, as you can see in this next photo.  Finally he put a big sheet of plastic over the door. It will be March before he takes the door plastic off, and probably  April or May before we open up the porch.  

I showed you this   photo last week, and my pile hasn't changed one bit.

But my Icelandic sweater has made some progress.

It's time to wrap up this post, and I need a drink photo to qualify for T this week over at  Bleubeard's and Elizabeth's blog . Here's my Diet Coke from this past Saturday morning. My husband and I went out early to get some vaccine jabs, and afterwards we went to a restaurant called Brickstones for breakfast. It's not a bad place for breakfast, not quite as good as our favorite hole in the wall breakfast place, but we had a decent breakfast (which I forget to take a photo of.)

Have a great T day and for those you who celebrate Thanksgiving, I hope it's a really nice day for you.  Enjoy your week whether you celebrate Thanksgiving or not. 

Sunday, November 19, 2023

Autumn Days

 Hi everyone. I hope your weekend is going well. 

Today I have another page for Jo's Nature challenge at Art Journal Journey. I am also linking up to Creative Artiste's Mixed Media challenge blog   for their Anything Goes challenge #99.

Although I couldn't get this page to lay flat, I still really like it.  It definitely feels like a New Hampshire November. 

I started by ripping up some deli paper that I used as a "drop cloth" for some painting I did on another journal page. I tore up the deli paper and  glued down some bits on this page. You might remember back in my T Day post how I had  mentioned cleaning out some craft supply bins. I had a lot of stickers in one bin, some of them going way back to my scrapbooking days in the 1990's.  Most of those stickers went into a mailing box. One of these days I'll  list them on either eBay or Etsy so maybe (if they sell) they'll go  to someone who will actually use them. (Or if you know anyone who wants some stickers just for the cost of shipping  I'll be glad to send them out.) Before I boxed them up I pulled out a few that I wanted to keep. The leaves on this journal page were on a sheet that was half used. I decided not only to keep them but to use them on my page.

I  added this die cut deer. After that I used an older Penny Black stamp several times to create this base of dried grasses. I then used a piece of washi tape to even off the bottom. I also cut out part of the words from an Impression Obsession  autumn themed stamped quote.

I wet the foam part of an ink sponge and ponced some light blue stamping ink to create the sky. Finally, I finished my page by stamping the dream word 3 times.

I'll finish my post with a few late autumn views from a walk I took last week  at the Urban Forestry Center in Portsmouth (NH).

Here's an old family graveyard. Usually here in New England they are surrounded by stone walls, but since this is a public space, there is a more sturdy fence. 

The shadows on the bottom right were really catching my eye.

A little bit of color is really noticeable on the bare branches.

 And I kept looking up.

And when I looked down I noticed this.

Someone is building something. It reminds me of the forts we used to build when we were kids.

At this spot the water looked so bright blue compared to the neutrals of the tree. 

 I am also joining Gillena's  Sunday Smiles  .

Enjoy whatever is left to your weekend and/or have a great start to the new week.