Thursday, February 25, 2016


   First I hope everyone has fared well through the massive rain/ thunderstorms, damaging winds and even tornadoes (yikes!) in so many places in the US this past week, including the East coast on Wed. evening. I prepared for a power outage by having candles places about , along with a few flashlights-including one in my pocket. It was a crazy storm but luckily we kept our power and in our area had a few fallen trees and some minor flooding. Glad that's over!

 Recently I started a new art journal and although there are a few pages complete i decided i wanted to play and experiment a bit with backgrounds. Some have been successful and some not . But hey, they can be covered over right?

  Here's a page that began like this:

  Looks like something a preschooler would do right?  What happened was that the circles and doodles were made on the page using reinkers. According to the technique in one of Dina Wakley's books the inks should have spread about. OK, that didn't happen. All the inks did were soak into the page. I wish I would have known that first- watercolor paper is best, and second the paper should be spritzed with water first-neither of which was mentioned for the technique.

 Now I know. I was ready to paint over this "ugly" page when I suddenly saw opportunity! I saw three smiling faces and the word "love" scribbled in purple. So, my inner child came out and I finished the page very simply:

 I scribbled in some facial features with a pen, scribbled in the words and then stamped some musical notes about.  And ya know what? It makes me smile so I'm keeping it! I bet most of you have experienced something similar to this, haven't you? Tell me about it!

 And this is a more serious face I drew using oil pastels in my tiny book I  am using just for face practice:

         One more bit:

 This card is for Moo Mania and More's challenge "my favorite pet" along with the Simon Wednesday challenge of "anything goes".  Now, I have never had a cat -  only dogs, but I do love all animals so you may even see some exotic ones crop up for the Moo challenge :)
Kitty rubber stamp (Camp Stamp), sentiment (Paper candy).

PS-what do you think of the new header? Really got tired of seeing a wintry scene:):)

 Also linking this post to Art Journal Journey (if music be the food of love); Art It Friday- Show Your Face; and Paint Party Friday. See you there!

          " Play is my brain's favorite way of learning."    Diane Ackerman

Monday, February 22, 2016

Cup Of Love

 It's time again to visit with Elizabeth and friends for T Stands for Tuesday so rather than sharing an actual beverage I have this journal page. It's done with acrylics, ink spray, gelatos, gesso, stencils, oil pastels, a vellum rose, rub on word.

 I felt like just playing around a bit and making messes so I also have these two pages of backgrounds ready to finish when the mood strikes:)

                    And now here are some special mugs for you to enjoy:

 Ha ha! So which one would you choose???  I kinda think a set of them to suit your mood for that morning would work nicely:):)

 Have a great rest of the week! Linking to T Stands For Tuesday, Moo Mania and More (theme is hearts), and Art Journal Journey (if music be the food of love-open to any interpretation of the theme).
 Oh, please let me know if you are unable to see my page from the link. Apparently it was a bit of an issue for my last post. When clicking on my link people were getting a "cannot display this page" or something like that. I have seen it on others links too but for the most part just below that mssg. you can click on "home" and it should take you to the correct page. That's not always the case though and I have no idea what is causing this issue lately. Any of you know about or experiencing the same?

 We are expecting a wintry mix again then changing to rain so I'll be staying in and visiting you.

    " Come, let us have some tea and continue to talk about the happy things."    Chaim Potok

Thursday, February 18, 2016

Sing Like The Bird

  A short and sweet (I hope) post today.

 Despite the still cold weather I am so thinking of Spring! The bird is a stamp by Dina Wakley which was stamped on white card stock, painted with acrylics then fussy cut and added to the page.
  Here is a close up of the nest:

 and here is how I made it:

   Grab two different brown acrylic paints and one in an ochre hue from your stash. Take a black and white washi tape (I used a Tim Holtz music tape) and cover a scrap of white paper with it-the size you think you'll need. Add a few drops of each color over the tape then move the drops around with your finger, blending and covering the tape. Cut out the nest shape and glue to your page. Cut remaining painted paper tape into shreds and glue over the base nest. Et voila!

 What are you all up to over the weekend?

  Sunday we will gather with a group of friends for an  Il Volo concert at the nearby majestic State Theatre and I AM SO EXCITED!!! These young guys have such amazing voices and we are fortunate to be seeing them in this old theatre for the second time. I hope I can compose myself:):) My friends are already surely picking straws to see who's stuck sitting next to me!

Here's a quick few minute sample of their magnificent voices:

 Linking this post to Paint Party Friday ;  and Art Journal Journey (theme is "if music be the food of love").

 " I want to sing like the birds sing, not worrying about who hears or what they think."  Rumi 

Monday, February 15, 2016

Choose To Celebrate

  Well, hey there lovelies! Hope everyone had a super weekend. Thanks so much for the birthday wishes for our son Todd! I even managed to post a pic on FB much to his chagrin; however those of you who saw it there will be happy to know he didn't unfriend me  :):)

 Here are just a few pics of the birthday celebration on Sunday. Please pardon the mediocre photos along with the fact that I paid no attention whatsoever to what was in the backgrounds (Peanut was there-do you see him? :) It was hard enough trying to keep up with dinner AND get at least a few pics of Todd.

 Aunt Betty on the left. She is Todd's great, great aunt. She's 89 yrs old, works one day a week and lives alone in her own home along with her sweet "Momma Cat". Oh, she now goes to an adult coloring book, wine and cheese  party once a month! That's my Mom on the right.

Yup, this is typical of Todd when I bring out my camera. I can't tell you how many photos I have to delete! He even blew out the candles on the cake so fast so I couldn't snap a pic that there were bits of wax sprayed on the cake!!! We all had a good laugh but then Aunt Betty and my Mom convinced him to be nice and let me get a few pics.

                             Now isn't that better?  Father and son.

 Since I forgot to include a drink in these shots for T Stands For Tuesday I'll share the meal Bill and I had with our friends last week for lunch-where? But of course, McCarthy's!

  Lynn had the large portion of fish and chips (so she could take home leftovers) and it was a HUGE plate-all for $12!!. She enjoyed about a third of it with a Bloody Mary.

 I had my usual:

  the roasted red pepper, caramelized onion and brie melt along with a glass of Sauvignon Blanc. It never disappoints!

 And what's a post without a bit of art?

  These ATCS are for the Simon Monday Challenge this week - Recycle/Upcycle. I cut 2 1/2" x 3 1/2" pieces of corrugated cardboard from a box. I peeled away portions of that top paper then dry brushed some burgundy and white acrylic paints over the panels. I glued on some torn pieces of used dryer sheet then added the images (ARTchix Studio). I finished them with some tiny buttons and old fabric ribbons with printed words.

 It's snowing here again, supposed to change to freezing rain :(:(   However it is to get warmer and turn to rain late overnight into tomorrow. So, another art day-yay!  Guess I'd better think about St. Patrick's Day and Easter art now...

 Thanks for popping in. I'll be around to visit too!

" There are as many special occasions in life as we choose to celebrate."    Robert Brault

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Let Your Heart Guide You

   Last post involving valentines since we'll be celebrating this Sunday. I have more cards to share as this is a fave holiday of mine:) Some have asked what I do with my cards and ornaments. Well, I give them away of course! I send them out to friends near and  far-some as a little surprise. It brings me joy.
 These are some of the cards and envies that went out. You can see my ornaments here.

 At Freshly Made Sketches the sketch this week inspired me to make one last Valentine card:

     And this is a journal page inspired by the love and appreciation for my friends:

 Yes, the background is a gelli plate printed deli paper:) The faces were inspired by Jane Davenport's book.

 Linking to Art Journal Journey; Art It Friday-Show Your Face; Moo Mania and MorePaint Party Friday; and Try It On Tuesday.

 One bit of indulgence before I go. On Sunday ( Valentine's Day) we will be celebrating our son's birthday! and you wonder why I love this holiday so:) I'm making his favorite dinner and cake.

 So this is our handsome son when he was three. Now he will be 28 -where does the time go?

                                        with love to you son, always!

               " Let your heart guide you it whispers, so listen carefully."   Stu Krieger

Monday, February 8, 2016

Heart And Soul

 As I am typing this post the local weather is being broadcast and it looks like we're getting more snow! Thankfully though it shouldn't add up to more than 3".  Back into bitter cold by the weekend again too:(:(  Well, I'll be busy inside preparing cake and a dinner for our son's birthday on Valentine's Day.

 Although Mardis Gras is tomorrow (Tuesday) we have never celebrated it nor have I done any art around it that I can recall. Also Fastnacht day around these parts but we don't eat donuts anymore either. So, I'll share some of the valentine projects completed...after I share my morning cuppa and delicious apple cake:

Had to share a close up because it is incredibly moist, easy peasy, and mouth watering! Of course it is a bit indulgent because there is butter in it-but everything in moderation n'est-ce pas?
                You can find the recipe for this apple cake at the bottom of this post.
       Sharing with Elizabeth and friends over at T Stands For Tuesday. Won't you join us?

  I used lots of scraps leftover in my Valentine themed folder. Top piece is a wood heart covered in tissue paper with a coat of sparkly glitter glue over it before adding the collage elements. Most every year I try to send out a little ornament along with a Valentine card and this year I cut out cardboard hearts, glued down dictionary papers and painted over them before finishing them. I had just enough of those glitter foam hearts-phew! The faux postage images are from ARTchix Studio and I have tons of ARTchix supplies still! The image on the bottom left is one I created for Helga (the owner).

 Linking to Mixed Media Mojo (hearts);  Moo Mania and More (use scraps); the Simon Wednesday Challenge (have a heart); and Try It On Tuesday (a fine romance).

 And what are you all up to? Making Valentines? Eating donuts? Enjoying a Mardis Gras party?

" FEED your heart and soul so that you can FILL your heart and soul so that in turn you can GIVE your heart and soul."

                                                             Apple Cake

 1 c butter, softened           2 c sugar        4 eggs           2 c flour     2 tsp baking powder

 2 tsp baking soda      2 tsp cinnamon       3 lg tart apples, peeled and coarsely chopped

  Preheat oven to 350 F. grease a  9" x 13" pan. Combine butter and sugar in lg bowl. Beat on low speed with mixer until creamy. Add eggs one at a time and continue to blend. Slowly add flour, soda, powder and cinnamon and mix well. Fold in apples and place into prepared pan. Bake about 45 min. or until a knife inserted in center comes out clean. Let cool. This cake freezes well too:)

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Spring Is In The Air

 well, for now at least!! Thankfully the higher temps are quickly melting all the huge mounds of snow and I can see much of the grass again. And on Monday I was delighted to be greeted by a large group of robins flying overhead and even visiting my yard for worms and leftover crab apples on our tree. I have always thought them to mean spring is truly just around the corner even though sometimes robins will stay year-round.

 The page was painted with some yellow, turquoise and pink paint. then I glued down a gelli printed deli paper over it. The robin and branches was painted with acrylic paints with a touch of colored pencil. Circles were punched from printed papers then enhanced with charcoal pencil. The music notes were stamped using Jet Black Staz-On ink.

 My page was inspired by my photo of one of the robins I had taken, along with this piece:

 It was in a post by fellow blogger Carol who ends her posts with wonderful random thoughts for the day. I LOVE this one with those happy, bright colors!

  I see many of you are doing the 29 faces challenge and I am enjoying all the creative faces you all are posting. I really thought I'd do it this time around but just knew I wouldn't accomplish a face a day. So instead I will share a new face when I get one done. I 'm using a very small book (4" x 4") and plan on filling it with quick face sketches. This is my first entry:

 She was inspired by Jane Davenport's lessons in her book. I used only colored pencils and then just a teeny bit of water to activate some of the lines. This is not watercolor paper so I had to go very lightly. The plan is to do a variety of faces in a variety of mediums such as pencil, pen, paint, oil pastels just for practice.

  BTW- Jessica Sporn is revisiting her posts for her Stencil Test Drive each month and offering a giveaway too! In this post she revisits her frame stencil and I was one of the participating artists (thank you Jessica)! Do have a peek into her gorgeous, colorful art and why not enter the giveaway too?

 OH, anyone watching Downton Abbey??? OMG- I am still shocked by that unexpected scene at dinner!! Never saw THAT coming!! That's all I can say about it in case anyone hasn't seen the last episode yet, but, oh my!

 Linking to Art Journal Journey; Art It Friday- Show Your Face; and Paint Party Friday.

"When Spring returns, the earth becomes a child who recites poetry."    Rainer Maria Rilke

Monday, February 1, 2016

February 1st's Gift

  We have been so fortunate the last few days to have temperatures in the 40's  (and going into the 50's the next two days) to melt away those tremendous piles of snow we've had!

 Being it is now February my thoughts are definitely on Valentine's Day- my favorite holiday along with Thanksgiving, and getting closer to spring. To my absolute delight and surprise I was greeted by a large group of birds like this one taken in my back yard this afternoon:

When the robins appear they are a sure sign that spring is not far away! And I will choose to take this sign any day over what any groundhog may reveal tomorrow (Groundhog Day) as to whether we have 6 more weeks of winter if he sees his shadow, or if he doesn't and we have an early spring. I watched the robins digging up their worms in my yard and singing and it truly made my heart do a happy dance!!

 There is a new theme over at Art Journal Journey  . I was hoping to have a completed journal page to enter but alas that didn't happen. Here is the WIP:

 Napkins and some gelatos...and then my muse just up and left-hmph! Thankfully she WAS with me when I made these cards:

  My cards and ornaments are almost all finished by using a pouch of Valentine scraps of papers and bits so I'll share the rest in my next post.

 Linking to Moo Mania and More (Use Your Scraps); the Simon Wednesday Challenge (Anything Goes); and T Stands for Tuesday.

 Wishing you all a wonderful week, and whatever makes YOU break out into the happy dance!

   " Keep your love of nature, for that is the true way to understand art more and more."  
                                                                                                                    Vincent Van Gogh