Tuesday, April 16, 2024

Inspired By A Song

 Hi everyone. Happy Tuesday. It's time once again for a new challenge at Try It on Tuesday.

Thank you to everyone who joined  our Rainbow Colors challenge and thank you Chris from Here's One I Made Earlier blog for being our guest designer for our last challenge. Our newest challenge is all about music. Our challenge is

Inspired By A Song

     For my page, I was thinking about the classic tune "Up, Up and Away in my Beautiful Balloon". 

    I made a page with balloons soaring among the clouds.  I started with a dark blue ink pad and then some lighter blue and also some white spray paints. I have an old clear stamp set from Flourishes Rubber Stamps (another company that no longer exists-there's so many-it's sad) that had the balloon on it. I stamped the balloons and colored them in using paint pens. Then to make their structure pop more off the page, I used Staz-on ink and stamped the image again 3 times on some acetate. I fussy cut the acetate pieces and then glued them down over the colored balloons on my page. I finished by adding some  confetti stars to them.

     I drew and fussy cut some clouds. I was trying to figure out how to write UP, UP and Away on my page, but I thought it would look too crowded up among the clouds. Of course later I had a better idea how to add those words, but by then I had already stamped the quote that went with the set containing the balloon. Oh well. 😏

    There is a song by Bryan Adams that came out a few years ago called You Lift Me Up, and it's a good song too,  so if you don't like Up, Up and Away, you could say my page also works for that tune.

      Our challenge at Try It On Tuesday   runs for the next 2 weeks, and since we accept all types of art, we hope you'll be inspired by a song you hear and join us. And if you're stuck for any ideas, please check out all the inspiration from our designers. 

Monday, April 15, 2024

T Stands for Bee-ing Busy

 Hi everyone. It's time for T Day once again over at    Bleubeard's and Elizabeth's blog.

   Last week was a busy week for me; I had a lot going on and add to that my skin hives (not bee hives, but actually my medical  chronic urticaria) were flaring so my skin was covered with lots of red itchy welts.  Grumble and groan and scratch.😩 Luckily as of now they are on the improve, and I hope they get back under control ASAP.  But speaking of hives, over this past weekend my husband and I took down the winter windbreak we put up in the autumn around my honey bees.  

     Boy that looks a mess, doesn't it? Because of our cold winters I also wrapped the hive in a hive blanket, and underneath the stand I put some trash bags with leaves to help insulate the bottom.

      I left the hive blankets on because our nights are still on the cold side, but the bags of leaves have been moved. The last couple of years my hive didn't survive the winter, and even though I knew there  were still some bees alive back in February and early March, I hadn't actually gone into the hive to see how many were left. Now that the wind break was off I could easily get in and check.

    While I was removing bags, there were a few greeters that came out of the hive to see what all the commotion was about.

And then I had a big smile when I took the top off if he hive. The good news is that I have a good number of bees functioning inside. ❤❤❤

The white you see in this next photo is some dried winter bee food called fondant. I put it on a screen frame right above the bees so they can eat it but not have it smother them.

It was still a bit cool outside, and I didn't want to lose too much hive heat, so I didn't leave the cover off too long. Here's one more photo I snapped.

I'm so excited they're looking good. 

    I've wanted 2 hives (of bees) for the last few years, and you may remember I've had some issues accomplishing that. One year I had 2 hives going and then all of the bees from 1 hive went into the other hive.  Last year my second batch  of bees arrived with 95% of them dead. Because it was a late order for the bee season, I couldn't replace them. 

      This week I have a batch of bees arriving so keep your fingers crossed they get delivered alive and  settled nicely into their new home.

     Another thing I did last week was make some more liquid bee food to help my present hive and the new arriving batch of bees survive. It's a sugar water solution, and it's my drink for T day this week.

I make my own batches and store them in empty water jugs in our basement refrigerator so it's ready when I need it.  In this last photo there's a cool reflection of the opening to the jug. Doesn't the circle in the liquid look like it's a mouth or a portal into some secret world?

I know none of us want to drink this sugar water. It's not a clear solution because I buy unbleached sugar for the bees which is not pure white. I even use it myself in baking etc. I am sure the bees will love this nutritional drink until there is more plant nectar for them. So cheers to the bees and another hopefully season.

Have a great T day and week ahead everyone.


Sunday, April 14, 2024

Art and When Food is Art too

 Hi everyone. I hope your weekend is going well.

      Some of you asked if the cats and dogs in Friday's post were strays, and I don't really have an answer to that. I did see cats waiting to get inside of doors, and I did see people feeding cats in places where there were no doors. I am not certain about the dog photos either. They looked in good health, and perhaps they could have just been pets of employees just hanging out. I did see a few dogs I suspected were strays, and that made me very sad. Both of my dogs were rescue dogs from the southern US, and it's not just a problem in other places. I think Miss Maddie was one of those strays that wandered around and managed to evade being caught for a while. She had a very stressful time adjusting to being in the house when we got her, and she was good at escaping places. She could even get herself out of a dog crate if you weren't careful.  We don't know her backstory at all, and not that we know too much about Pete, but we do know he was rescued as a young puppy being left out in a box. 

       OK, enough about dogs and cats.

     Today I have 2 pages, both from my Greece Travel Journal with geometric forms on them. I am linking up to Valerie's challenge at Art Journal Journey.  My first page is all about the evil eyes you see for sale when visiting Greece. These are popular tourist kitsch souvenirs that are supposed to keep bad things from happening to you.

Now that you are refreshed about what evil eyes look like, here's my  journal page.

     My background is blue cardstock. I started by sticking down the big evil eye in the middle that says Greece on it.  It's a sticker I picked up in my travels. Then I created six smaller evil eyes. I started with a couple of paper punches to make the blue and white outer edges. I didn't have a punch small enough for the light blue ring, but I did have some page reinforcers (you know, the little sticky rings that you put around hole punched notebook pages). They were the right size so I stuck those down, used a blue paint paint to color them and then added a black Sharpie dot in the middle.

     Once I had these evil eyes glued down, I used a white paint pen to make the strings they are hanging from. I added the kitty chipboard image at the bottom and decided not to add any details to him. I also decided to make a brick floor for him to walk across, similar to a brick pattern I saw while on my trip.

     And here's the other page that I made. It's not a very exciting page, but it does have a big square in the middle.

I wrote down some of the foods (there was so much good food) I ate while traveling, and I created this  middle square based on a sign we saw while in a small town north of Athens. 

     I used this sign as a rough inspiration for my page. On my page the square is the cardboard from  inside of a fat quarter that I recently bought (and used to make this journal's cover).  To copy the words from the sign, I used sticker letters based on what I had, nor did I worry about matching this sign exactly, except for the actual words.

      We ate lunch at the restaurant with the sign out front, and we had a fabulous meal. It was our most expensive meal of the whole trip, but well worth it.  Since the menu was only in Greek, and the owner's English was limited (but better than our Greek), he took us right into the kitchen to show us what was available for food.  Plus, his wife had made the special of the day, and she gave me a big spoonful to taste to see if we wanted any of that.

We started with salad.

And here was a special.  It was shrimp in a tomato with vegetable sauce. 

Then we had some langostinos (little lobsters that are crayfish sized)  served with this to die for mustard-butter sauce.

Then we finished with some grilled flounder.

We ate so much food, but it was all very very delicious. The good thing is we didn't need dinner that night either.

Then the owner brought out this delicious little bite of dessert.

After all that food, we had to close our eyes for a few minutes and soak up the sun,

and watch a ferry boat take some passengers in from and then out to one of the Aegean islands. 

I hope I didn't make you hungry. I certainly made myself want this meal again. 😏
I'm linking up to Gillena's  Sunday Smiles also. Enjoy the rest of your weekend.

Friday, April 12, 2024

Furry Faces

 Hi everyone. Happy Friday. 

Today for Nicole's Friday Face Off  and Gillena's Friday Lunch Break.  I have some furry faces from Greece to share.

I'll start in Athens.

This guy even found a partially boxed up cannon  at the Acropolis in the construction area.

 I liked this street art painted next to this clothing store.

And then in Corfu, we saw more cats. This next guy was guarding a fruit/veggie stand. I like this photo because it made a great photo of not only the cat, but of the a street view too.

It started to rain and this handsome fluff ball wanted to get inside his home.

Ha ha. The joke in my family is when one of us is away we text bathroom decor daily updates, and I found this furry sign in the bathroom of a coffee shop. (OK, so we have this quirky weird streak, but it's a good laugh sometimes.)

Here's my new friend.  He/she was a restaurant cat,and I was feeding him little bits of meat off my plate.

Then we had the cats of Delphi.

This guy reminded me of my Leo, only much smaller in size. 

And this little one reminded me of my Emmie, only a bit larger in size.

And I can't make this post only about cats. Miss Maddie and Mr.  Pete would not approve otherwise. 😏 
How about this beware of dog sign?

 I had to smile at this guy taking a night time snooze in the middle of one of the ferry terminals in Igoumenitsa. I grant you it was 9:30 at night, and the terminal was not very crowded.

While I was gone, the hubby texted me this photo from home. He claimed Maddie and Pete were out looking for me.

At Dephi there was a dog. First he was snoozing out in front of the museum, and then he ambled up into the  ruins and made himself at home, wagging his tail as some school groups stopped for a lecture. (And getting some attention doing that too.)

If you look carefully you can spot him lounging below.

That's all for me today. Have a great start to your weekend.

Thursday, April 11, 2024

Thursday Art

     Hi everyone. It's another cloudy and damp day at my house. We've been having a lot of them lately. I'm just glad it's warm(er) though since a week ago was when we were dumped on with snow. That snow is just about totally gone by now 😀,  and we've also had a couple of gorgeous days early in the week.  I was even able to open some of the windows the other day and give the house a nice air out. ❤

      Today I have a journal page for Valerie's Geometric Forms challenge at Art Journal Journey  I have lots of circles and rectangles on my page today.  I am also linking my page up to Creative Artiste Mixed Media Blog challenge.  Their challenge is always Anything Goes as long as you use at least 3 types of media. 

I started by stamping my background with lots of big circular postmarks. Then I inked the page red and blue. 

    I die cut the giant postage stamp. I then stamped the cardinal and some other stamp related information. I used watercolor paints and also paint pens to complete the giant stamp. I also stamped, fussy cut and colored the mail box and the flying letter. The  letters going into the mailbox are die cuts, as are the white postmarks. I stamped in the actual information with a stamp not related to the die.

    Finally I added some actual old postage stamps and the Do Not Bend sticker which I cut off of a big envelope that came in the mail. 

     Back before the big storm last Thursday, I had a close encounter with an Eastern Phoebe. I was sitting out on my back deck reading one afternoon and look who flew right on the railing a few feet away. I captured this photo on my phone. When the snow arrived, I was worried about what the phoebes would eat since they are insect eaters, but the other morning he (or she) was back outside singing up a storm. They don't exactly have the prettiest song, but I love it because they mean good weather to me. Ever since we've lived in this house, we've had our summer phoebes around. 

And here's a few other signs of spring in my yard.
The buds are really large on my sugar maple tree.

Sadly during the storm we lost a couple of branches on that tree. One of us ( either myself or my husband) needs to get the pole saw down and cut it.  I'll have to move my acorn shaped bird house. Ha ha-an acorn on a maple tree. Grin.

But the good news is that the daffodils are popping up.

That's all for me. Have a super rest of your week.