Wednesday, January 31, 2024

Wrapping Up January

 Hi everyone. Happy end of January. I'm not sure I'm ready to say 2024 is already 1/12th of the way through because I'd really like time to slow down a bit. But I guess if time could slow down, I should hope it does it in a warmer, nicer weather month. 😏

I won't be home until tomorrow morning, so today I have a scheduled post.  In this post I am sharing my last page for my  It's On the Calendar challenge at Art Journal Journey.  Before I get to that, let me thank everyone who joined my challenge. Your entries were much appreciated, and I always love seeing how  people approach the same topic in very different ways.

Here's my final calendar page.

My page started with this left over blue paint. I purposely left the sides messy because my page is all about ancient history (as the quote says), and we all know that after years of neglect, old paint does wear and chip. That's the look I was going for on my page. I know it looks a bit messy though-grin.

I found this big flower bouquet sticker in an old issue of FLOW  last year when I cleaned out a stack of assorted magazines. I decided to use it on this page because those flowers do look a bit like ancient history. (Can you tell this post started with the ancient history quote stamp? 😏) Plus the colors of the flowers work really well with the blue background. The colored squares along the bottom were part of the sticker, but I cut those out before I peeled the back off and decided to use them as the base line of my page. 

Then I did a bit of die cutting and a bit of stamping also.
You might ask what this page has to do with a calendar.

There's your answer. Also some of you asked in comments on my earlier March post about where I was going on my girlfriend trip during that month. Now the "cats out of the bag" as they say. Or perhaps a better Greek reference would be the demons are out of Pandora's box.

I hope everyone has a wonderful end to the month of January! And thank you again for all the support at Art Journal Journey also. It was and always is appreciated.  Be sure to stop by AJJ tomorrow to check out  our  new challenge for February. 

Saturday, January 27, 2024

Year of the Dragon

Hi everyone. Happy weekend to you. 

This last half of the week I had a lot of home time, which means I've had a lot of very productive art time. Except for the fact that I couldn't find a few things I wanted to use, but  I guess that's  what happens when you clean 😉.  I've gotten all caught up for January and even was able to get a bit of a start in February's challenges. Today we're off to a funeral  for my husband's uncle, and then tomorrow I'm off with a girlfriend for a couple of days of play. Luckily we'll be out of town before the snow hits, I HOPE.

Today I have one more page for my January calendar challenge at Art Journal Journey. This time I'm jumping ahead on the calendar to February 10th which is when the Asian/Chinese New Year celebrations occur.  2024 is the year of the Dragon. 

I used mostly red and gold. Red is supposed to be a lucky color and brings happiness, passion and good luck. Gold is also supposed to also be a lucky color and brings glory, prosperity and good fortune. 

I had a small sheet of printed paper. I die cut the frame and the dragon. I also used some stickers, and the big numbers at the bottom look much better in the photo than they do on the sticker sheet. 😏 I also used some paint, ink, gold washi tape, and metallic stars, and  the Asian postage stamped image. I finished my page with the small gold "buttons" on the corners and used a pen to outline my page.

This page was a lot of fun to make. Some pages photograph better than they look, and some pages look better in person, which is true for this one. Gold and red are hard to photograph and get the true tone. But I do think my page is very celebratory. 

That's all for me today.  Have a great weekend and start to the week ahead.  

Friday, January 26, 2024

Faces Around My House

Hi everyone. Happy Friday. It's almost the weekend once again. I hope your weekend is exactly what you want it to be.

Since it's Friday, it's time for Nicole's  Friday Face Off and also Gillena's Friday Lunch Break.  This week I thought I'd share a few "faces" you can see in  and around my house. 

Let me start with a fun cat clock in my kitchen. The batteries in it died a few weeks ago and even though she stopped keeping time, her eyes still moved back and forth and her tail still wagged. There's new batteries in the clock now, and once again she keeps time.

And I like fish. Here's one that my husband found  at the recycle area our "dump" used to have. (Sadly, i the dump doesn't have the recycle area any more.) It was painted all pinks and yellows, and I fixed it up with my own art style.

I bought these ceramic fish at a store in Maine several years ago.

And here's a bobble head Mr, Pete. He's not as lovable as the real Mr. Pete though. 😏

As for birds, here's a few. 

First there's this cute little ceramic owl, and 
also there's also this hand carved crow, which sadly, one of the cats we used to have knocked him over and the beak broke. I decided to leave him as he was because it keeps him looking as primitive as he is. Luckily, he's just wood and doesn't need that beak to survive. 😏

And this sweet kitschy little bird was just a find at Target.

Not in the house, but these 3 mourning doves were sitting out on the back deck the other morning. 

And here's a few little wooden animals on my fireplace mantel.

The giraffes on the mantel came from Africa when my grandmother went there. I was a kid at the time, and I was so jealous she was able to go. My uncle actually lived there for several years, and that's why my grandmother went.  The giraffes were something my parents had in their house, as was this next guy who also came back  with my grandmother in what must have been a very large spare suitcase.

He now hangs on the door to my art space rather than in my parent's old house.

Have a great weekend.

And a note to Gillena. I'm taking off Sunday (fingers crossed we don't get a lot of snow!) for a couple of days away, so I'll be missing Sunday Smiles this week. More about that mini-adventure when I get home.


Thursday, January 25, 2024

Aprils Showers...Not January Snow Squalls

Hi everyone. Happy Thursday!

We are into the last 7 days of January. It always surprises me how fast January goes. When I think about January I always think  it will go on and on, but it never does. The same is true for March. But like many months, they both end up flying right by. (And sometimes February, though it's the shortest month ,seems to drag .😒) 

 My journal page today is for my calendar theme at Art Journal Journey and is based on a quote that I think many of you know.  But before we can have April showers, we have to finish both January and March. (And obviously February too.)

If the February and March go by as fast as January has, April will be here in a blink of an eye. 😉

This page took several work sessions to get it until I liked it. The main problem was that my background was a bit busy, and on my first attempt, my flowers were too light and didn't stand out off of that background. However, the trick was to paint the old flowers pink and then  re-die-cut flowers in red so they stood out more. 

Then I added some pink flower shaped sequins as well as putting a red confetti foam flower in the center of each sequin. That made a big difference too. 

My calendar theme runs through the end of month, and I'd love to see you there. 

I also have a tag for Michele's challenge at Tag Tuesday. This time the theme is Marie Antoinette

I was excited when I saw this challenge.  Back in 2008, my daughter, my husband and myself went to Paris for a few days. Some place during our sight-seeing, I came across a magazine all about Marie Antoinette. It's a high quality art magazine with lots of fantastic photos; so even though my original plan was to make a Marie Antoinette journal, and even though I have YET to make it, the magazine still looks brand new. I made some copies of some items from the magazine for my tag. I wasn't yet ready to cut up the magazine because I will one of these days make that journal. (And it might even be sooner now that I pulled out the magazine for this tag-😀.)

To make my page I first attached a copy of some  French print Then I cut the image of Marie A. to  fit my tag. I did a bit of inking and also used some watered down blue paint on the edges. I sprayed some white lace with some blue ink and added that. I also added some bling to the lace. The words are also cut out of a copied magazine page, and finally I used an old paper punch (I think bought  this punch for a journal I made when I came home from Paris) and gold paper to make the fleur-de-lis. 

That's all for me today. 


Wednesday, January 24, 2024

Hot and Cold

 Hi everyone. Happy Wednesday. I hope your week is going well. 

Today I have a new page to share today for my It's On the Calendar challenge at Art Journal Journey. I cut out the phone image you see on my page from a magazine because I thought it was interesting.  I decided to make my page around it.

Liza is so excited that Bernardo has called and has come to visit just like he said he would. They have been in a torrid romance for the last several months, and I am assuming from this picture that  they still are. ❤

For my background I used some pieces of a chopped up old calendar.  I painted circles with some blue paint that I squeezed out of a tube. I guess I squeezed too hard because I had enough blue paint for 3 pages. 😏 Once the blue paint dried, I then covered the background with some transparent red oxide paint to get my final background color.

By this point I had picked out this image from Stamperia's Tango set. Since I thought some flowers were necessary for the picture, I used some scraps of printed tissue paper in areas of my background. After that I decided my background was  too disconnected, so I reached for a scrunched up paper towel and some gesso to pull it all together.

I finished my page  with a few more items. The quote is just something I typed up. I used some old 7Gypsies stamps to make the lamp and the clock. I liked the idea of the clock since calendars are really just long term clocks, measuring days and weeks rather than just minutes and hours. And even though they didn't photograph well, I added a few little gold pieces around the doorway of the cantina.
And there you have it.

My page might be hot and steamy, but here in New Hampshire  it is not hot and steamy. Here's a couple of icy photos from my last couple of morning walks.

It's been nice walking lately (except when it's been too cold or wet) because a culvert half way along my road washed out during a recent storm. Not that the damaged culvert makes it nice, but the road is closed at the midpoint. That means the only traffic is local traffic, not people cutting over from the next town. I've had days when I've walked with no traffic at all. I love it.

That's all for me. Enjoy your day, and I'll remind you that there is still a week to join in at AJJ if you should be interested. 


Tuesday, January 23, 2024

Add Some Text

 Hi everyone. 

The last 2 weeks have flown by,  and it is time again for a new challenge at Try It On Tuesday. First let me thank Rosi for being our guest designer for our Winter Blues challenge, and let me also thank everyone who joined in.

This time our new challenge is 

Add Some Text

I made an art journal page in my small journal. If you look carefully, this page is slightly different from the one on the TIOT page, mainly because I added some details to the bow after I linked up to TIOT..

I started making my page by adding the calendar edge (from an old calendar) and then I used  Distress Stain to color my background. Does Tim Holtz even make the stains any more? I found several in a bag when I was recently cleaning up my work space, and I figured I might as well use them. (I hadn't used mine in a long time and last time I did a good cleaning, about 2 years ago,  I was planning on getting rid of all my stains. I'm glad I decided to let them sit in the bag behind some bins because I do like how they look. 👍)

It's also interesting how the 2 types of paper stained slightly different colors.

After the stain dried I used  a stencil and some bright green paint to decorate the background. I found the frame and the woman's face (2 different images) in my stash. I punched out the face so it would fit in the frame. After attaching them, I used a die cut to make the bow and the 2 garlands. I added some little foam confetti flowers to the garlands. Then I added a painted chipboard bee. I stamped the quote on white paper and the fussy cut it out.

Check out the other design teams art to get some more text ideas, and hopefully you will be inspired to join us at TIOT. This challenge runs for the next 2 weeks. 

I am also linking my page up to my It's On The Calendar challenge at Art Journal Journey. I would love to see you join us there also, but remember no cards, tags, ATC's are accepted at that challenge. This challenge runs through the month of January.

Thanks for stopping by.

Monday, January 22, 2024

T Stands for Voting and Food

 Hi everyone.  It is time for T once again over at Bleubeard's and Elizabeth's blog. I hope everyone has had a lovely week.

Bear with me for a minute (or 2) as I talk briefly about primary voting in my state. I know this might not be interesting to some of you, and my point is not to get into political views, but to tell you about my state's primary, and what's going on  with it this year. If you don't want to read about the primary voting, you can jump down below the asterisks (*).

Besides T day, tomorrow is also Primary Day in New Hampshire. For those of you unfamiliar with how the US chooses a president (and also for some other government positions), the primary is a lead up to the presidential election in November. It is not a national day of voting, but different states can run their primaries on different days, all within a matter of a few months. Candidates need to register to be on the ballot, and then voters get to vote for who they like in the party of their choice. 

Different states have different voting set ups. Here in New Hampshire you can be registered to vote one of 3 ways. You can be a registered democrat, a registered republican, or a registered independent. If you are a registered democrat or republican, you must vote within the party  you are registered in during our state's primary. If you are registered as an independent, you can chose which party to vote in, and then if want to remain a registered independent, you must change your affiliation (and you can change it before you leave your place of voting) back to independent. 

This year's primary in my state of New Hampshire is one of the strangest ones I can remember. 

The current president (Joe Biden), doesn't want NH to have the first primary in the country. He moved that Democratic primary to South Carolina. But New Hampshire has to be first according to our state law, and I think almost everyone in this state is proud of that and is not willing to have our primary moved. Because of that, Biden will not be on the ballot, but senior level state  democrats are asking for a write in campaign.  The national democratic party wrote a scathing letter to the state attorney general that the democratic primary cannot be held on January 23. Well, legally here it has to be, and it will be. However, none of the democratic votes will actually count towards the delegates at the convention when the final democratic presidential party candidate is chosen (unless something changes by the convention.)

On the Republican side the candidates are going all out. Some of you in the US might also be inundated with political messages . We've had what seems like hours a day of TV ads for over a year. I get almost daily texts to come and meet a candidate. Saturday I also had 10 political phone calls (none of which I answered). Every day I get at least 5 flyers in the mail. This has been going on for months, and I think I could wall paper a room in the house with all the flyers I have received. Lately most of the flyers have been from Nikki Haley, but  before many of the other candidates dropped out of the race, we received a wide variety from various candidates. 

The voting results will be interesting. The stats I found about NH voters are that just over 30% of the states registered voters are democrats, just under 30% are registered republicans, and just about 40% of voters are registered independents.

For some independent voters there will be a bigger question at hand. Perhaps if a person leans republican then they  will vote for one the republican candidates. If someone leans democratic, they might write in Joe Biden, even though those votes don't presently count. Or they could vote republican.    Many people I have spoken to in the last few months will   vote republican to try to keep Trump from winning. And I should mention there are some  democratic candidates that aren't going along with the national democratic office and are running on the democratic ticket. Some people might even vote for one of them.

 I for one am curious to see what the results come out to be.  I know how I am voting, but it's a secret ballot so I'm not saying. 😏 (Plus it's T day, and I think our weekly international catch ups are not a place to discuss my political views.)


In other things, last week was another fairly quiet week for me. It was cold, and I spent a lot of time keeping the woodstove going. I also seemed to do a lot in the kitchen, a nice warm place to be on a cold day.

I used some browning bananas and made a banana, chocolate chip and walnut coffee cake (made in a bundt pan).

I made a 16 bean and veggie soup.

And on Saturday, my sister-in-law had a small family brunch to celebrate my mother-in-law's 90th birthday (which was a couple of weeks ago). I made a pumpkin quiche to bring.  

I always make pumpkin quiche appetizers for Thanksgiving, and my sister-in-law requested pumpkin quiche for the party. This time I decided to make a big one.

Here's my T day drink for this week, along with my lunch, which I did not make.

After my allergy shots last Wednesday, I picked up my husband at work, and he took me out for lunch. I had a Diet Coke and one of the best tuna melt sandwiches I've ever had. Last time I showed a photo of a tuna melt from the Round About Diner, some of you asked what the fried "thing" was on top of the  sandwich. It is a friend pickle. And very yummy. I was jealous the husband got 2 put on his sandwich. 😏

I've also been knitting my latest sweater.  Here's the  sleeve I have just about finished.

That's all for me.

FYI- I am going to be out of town for a few days early next week, so I will be missing T. Not only have a great T day this week, but for those of you who I only see for T, have a great couple of weeks ahead.  For everyone else I will be around all of this week and much of next week also. just not here for T day.


Sunday, January 21, 2024

More from the Romantic Garden

 Hi everyone. Happy second half of the weekend to you. We're still in the big chill here, but at least it is supposed to warm up a bit tomorrow.

Yesterday we had a lovely and small family get together to celebrate my mother-in-law. She turned 90 a week ago. Today I am planning on spending some time at home and staying warm. 

I must be missing my garden  lately because it seems like I've made lots of pages with that theme. 😏 Today's page from my It's On the Calendar challenge at Art Journal Journey is another romantic garden themed page.

I tied this page in with my It's On the Calendar theme by cutting a box out of a page of an old wall calendar and stamping my quote in it.  You can also see the word March and number 3 up  on the top right hand corner of the background.

When I was recently cleaning I found a box filled with words. It was a set I bought back when I did a lot of scrapbooking years ago. Somehow I thought I would love having all those words (there's like 500 of them), but in truth, they were a pain to dig through. Still, I didn't want to throw them out. I decided I would just randomly glue assorted words down on my page to make my background.

I then took a rose stencil as well as some dark and light pink paints (plus green for the leaves) to make the roses. After that I used a brown ink pad and rubbed it over the page.

I die cut the bird design and added my lady in the middle of the design. I hope the birds are singing happily in her garden. My lady needed something to anchor her to the page, so   I added some cheesecloth in a crumbled rough form, and even scattered a few green confetti leaves on it.

That's all for me today.  I am also joining Gillena's Sunday Smiles. I hope you are enjoying your weekend and have a great start to the new week ahead. 

Friday, January 19, 2024

Off On An Owl Hunt

 Hi everyone. Happy Friday. Another week of January has flown by. The cold has arrived in New Hampshire also.  Maddie's doggy-daycare does a countdown until spring, and today we have 60 days until that season begins. Boy that seems like a long time, and I hope it doesn't stay this chilly for most of those days. 

I am linking today's post up to Nicoles' Friday Face Off and also to Gillena's Friday Lunch Break.

Having been sick and then starting to feel better, by last Friday I  was ready to go somewhere different.  A friend and I went to Salisbury State Beach Reservation in Salisbury, Massachusetts. We were looking for snowy owls, even though this year none have been reported in the area. We were hopeful there could be one because you never know after a storm or two what gets blown into the area. Even though there were no owls, it was a beautiful March like day, and we saw lots of other interesting things, as well as taking a nice walk.

One thing we saw were some cool rusting posts and purple sand.

Since the tide was on its way out, the seals were around also. There were a LOT of them, and although none of them came onto the shore, they were having fun playing in the water, leaping out of the water, and then taking a sun bath on a rock that was becoming exposed. I could have watched them for hours. 😏

And besides seals, we saw a few birds too. 
We had a couple of up close encounters with hawks. I'm not very good at hawk identification, but I think this first one is a reed-tailed hawk. (Even though my Merlin app suggested it was a snowy owl-NOT!)

And the second hawk was hard to ID as the sun's direction was  making it hard to see any details.

I lightened  up the photo quite a bit to get a good look at the face, and I think it's a northern harrier. (I know both of these hawk species were spotted at the reservation that day  by some expert birders as seen on ebird lists. I love birds but I am no expert birder; I'm happy just to see what I come across and then try to ID them if I don't know what they are.)

This pair of mallards did a great job of camouflaging in the dried grass. If the drake hadn't been moving, I don't think we would have seen them.

However, this younger ring billed gull (I think) was all about showing off for us. 

I'm about as good at duck identification as I am  at hawk identification, but I believe these are female  common eiders.

And here's a few more waterfowl faces for  you.

And I'll finish this post with a few other views.

I'll leave you with this little T. rex or close relative  that somehow escaped extinction 65 million years ago. 😁

Have a great end of your week. And stay warm (and dry) if you're in the cold or snow/ice.