Monday, June 18, 2018

Summer Is Here!

 How is everyone? The official Summer Solstice begins Thursday in the Northern Hemisphere and y'all know I will be celebrating it big time:):)  Of course, with temps in the 90's the last two days - 95 F today- 35C (Mon.) with a feel like temp of 103 F (39 C) degrees summer is in full force already!

 Update on the second finch nest:

This past Saturday AM there were two that hatched, and on Sunday afternoon...

all five were out though you can only see the three hungriest:):) So far they are thriving.

 We also got a real surprise from nature right outside our back yard!

 First time ever in the 35 years we've lived here! There is an alley and then this hill at the back of our place. Behind the fencing are Moravian College dorms. Moravian has decided the last two years to spray the hill with chemicals rather than have it cut back a few times a year. It makes me sick seeing this and of course I don't go outside for a day or so afterwards. And we aren't getting anywhere in trying to stop it. This poor thing was trying to reach in at the bottom of the fence to get something green. There is some wooded area and a creek nearby but we also are surrounded by streets and traffic so I hope this one does OK.

 For T Stands for Tuesday I will share a breakfast I enjoyed at a favorite place in Cape May:

 A breakfast veggie wrap, with lots of coffee on the side:) I can only ever eat half at one sitting because it is a very generous portion with lots of veggies, scrambled eggs and a bit of feta cheese. I couldn't eat the home fries that come with it so hubby volunteered to eat half of them in addition to his own:):)

 Here is a journal page meant for the Simon Monday Challenge (Transport It), and Art Journal Journey hosted by Gill this month with the theme of "Inspired By":

 My inspiration is not only from my love of France and my French family there but also it has been so much on my mind as I just sent my Mom off to see the family for a month. She flew overnight Sunday arriving in Paris mid morning Monday, had a driver take her to the Paris- Austerlitz train station for a 2 1/2 hr ride south to Chateauroux where my cousin picked her up to take her by car to my aunt's (her sister's) apt. Talk about planes, trains and automobiles! I did talk with her briefly and all went well but she is exhausted. Since I couldn't go with her I had her take a poupée (paper doll) of me:)
 The background is a calendar page from last year that I sanded and aged a bit. Vintage image is Design Originals. I also used the edge of an old airmail envelope, paper doily, washi tape and French ribbon bit.

 I will also join in at Paint Party Friday.

 That's all I have for this round. I'll be seeing you!

       " Summertime is always the best of what might be."  Charles Bowder

Monday, June 11, 2018

Fun Times

 Hello peeps! Hope everyone is doing well. I've got lots to share again so let's get to it. First up- update on my first nest of finches. This was over the weekend:

 Only two of the four survived :( and we won't know what that one brown egg was all about. But as of this posting these two babes have flown the coop. The other nest still has the 5 eggs. And I have lots of other creatures visiting like these two:

These two have made themselves quite comfy and are so close to where I was sitting when I got these pics. They are most welcome since they are behaving and not eating my flowers:)

 On Saturday we hosted a little "Vinyl Party".  Todd and friends now have record players and think it's a novel thing to play records. So, we all got talking and a party was planned for sharing some of our records. I sent out the two invites:
                                                   envie and card

 And we had a blast- with such a variety of music too! I was banned from playing ABBA so I fixed them and brought out these albums for my turns:

 Does anyone remember these lads? I was in love with them back in the day!!

 Besides these snacks I made roast beef sliders and chocolate chip cookie bars.

                                           Andrew and my hubby

                                                son Todd

       and me with the two daughters I never had- I love these girls!! Kyra, Todd's gf on left and Lynn- Andrew's wife on the right. Cheers to the T Stands For Tuesday gang!

 This tag is meant for Tag Tuesday (theme is "A Night At The Movies"):

              Black glossy tag and movie ephemera (DMD Papers)

 Another tag which is for the Simon Monday Challenge (anything but a card) and Moo Mania and More (die cuts):

 I used a large manila tag for the base but chose not to punch the hole or crop the corners. The top piece of Tim Holtz Worn Wallpaper was a remnant from a tag I cut from it. I am determined not to let one bit of these awesome papers go to waste:):) Other products: manila tag, Stickles Diamond Glitter glue- Ranger;Tim Holtz- Worn wallpaper; Botanical; Paper Dolls; Small Talk Occasions stickers; Thinlits dies- 6602220; Distress Oxide inks- Frayed Burlap, Faded Jeans; Distress Worn Lipstick; heart button - Blumenthal Lansing Co.; Moonshine Sequins- Simon Says Stamp.

Edited in: I am also linking to a new to me challenge at the Crop Blog thanks to an invite from Esther-thank you! It's always  "anything goes" so long as you use one or more products from one of the companies carried in the store. And yes, there are prizes:)

 And for Art Journal Journey (theme is "Inspired By") and Paint Party Friday I have this journal page:

 I was inspired by this card sent by my dear friend Patty a little while ago:

 I knew I wanted to try to do an acrylic painting of it. Here is my version:

 and a few close ups:

 Several paints were sponged onto the gessoed page. A few flower stamps were repeatedly stamped on the dried background using Aquamarine Archival ink. I first drew in the flowers etc. with a white Stabilo pencil then kept painting on layers of paint diluted with matte medium for more translucency. Golden Glazes were added and then Pearl Medium was applied to the flower petals. I finished the painting with doodled touches here and there using a gold glitter gel pen.

 Busy, busy week ahead as I am helping my Mom pack, plan and get everything in order for her month long stay with our family in France. She's leaving on Sunday. Wish me luck because she does have anxiety issues but I really wanted HER to go and spend as much time with them as she wanted. I will miss them so but did not wish to leave Bill for a month. I will be taking care of her home along with bills, watering flowers, papers, mail, etc.  So I will be around to visit as I have time. Wishing you all a wonderful week!

  " Never, ever underestimate the importance of having fun."   Randy Pausch

Monday, June 4, 2018

Hey Girlfriend(s)!

How are you? Hope you're enjoying good weather wherever you are.  Have a cup of tea with me won't you?

 Relaxation blend of loose tea. Quite nice with a hint of raspberry-not too much.  The blue dish is antique Buffalo Pottery that was my great grandmother's. I think they were meant for serving individual salt portions at the dinner table. I have 8 of these. The tea cup is also vintage and purchased at an estate sale. The only marking  is "Germany" under the 5 cups I have. And that darling little teapot loose tea holder...

 I bought it in England many years ago and it is made in England too. I just love it! Sharing with Elizabeth and friends for T Stands For Tuesday.

 Updates on my birds! This is how they look as of now:

 and...I got a happy surprise with a new nest in my second hanging basket of geraniums!

  My May calendar spreads:

 For the Simon Wednesday Challenge of Anything Goes  and Moo Mania and More Challenge to use die cuts I have this card to share:

 Products: white notecard; pink, white cardstock; PTI Mega Mixed Messages clear stamp set; Altenew Peony Bouquet stamp and die set; brick wall stencil (Simon Says Stamp); heart die (Sizzix/Thin Lits Tim Holtz; Inks- Versafine Onyx Black; Archival- Leaf Green, Buttercup, Sunflower; Colorbox Fluid Chalk ink - Gray Whale; Distress ink- Mowed Lawn; Moonshine Sequins - Simon Says Stamp.

 The title of my post comes from this journal page:

 Background stamps are from Magenta, bird girl stamp from Lost Coast Designs (the face is a vintage image from my stash), words (Art Gone Wild).
 Linking this to Try It On Tuesday  (She's Got The Look).

 And one more journal page:

 This page was inspired by my love of poppies and the photo I took of one last year.  Sharing with Art Journal Journey with the new month's theme of "Inspired By" chosen by guest host Gill.

Of course I am also joining Paint Party Friday! Also, I have missed some blogging friends who haven't been blogging lately and I am happy to be finding them on Instagram now that I finally signed up:)   Have a super week ahead!

" Everyone should carefully observe the way his heart draws him, and then follow that way with all his heart."         Hasidic Saying

Monday, May 28, 2018

This Week's Meanderings

 How are you? It was a long weekend for us in the US with Memorial Day- a special day to remember and honor those who fought and continue to fight for our country. It was quiet here. The weather wasn't the best but Bill managed to weed our shared garden with the next door neighbors and got it tilled and all ready for planting.

 Last week I found this in one of my hanging geranium baskets. I know it's a purple finch. But what about that odd brown speckled egg? Could a cow bird have layed one of her eggs for the finch to hatch? I've heard that does happen.

 And here is the latest:

  That is some BIG mouth on such a teeny thing :) I only peek in and take a pic when I have to take the basket down to water. Momma waits in a nearby tree branch until I go in.

 For T Stands For Tuesday I have two special drinks to share:

 Bill and I have never had a martini and were always curious as to what the fuss was all about. At one of our favorite places to eat in Cape May we noticed the bartenders serving up LOTS of them. So we figured this would be the day to give them a go. Bill had a poma martini (on the left) made with pomegranate while I went for the original. I cannot tell you what alcohol is in them. Our verdict- they were pretty good but we're really not mixed drink people. Do YOU like martinis?

 While in Cape May last year we bought this Turkish lamp:

Although a general pattern is used each shade is unique due to the hand cut glass and beads. It is so beautiful. I had my eye on another one but we didn't get it. Until this last trip:):)

 I couldn't stop thinking about it, and fortunately it was still in the shop! Only one other item was purchased (in another shop) which I am currently reading:

  For Tag Tuesday ( theme is "locks and keys"):

 Products: manila tag- Ranger; Tim Holtz Idea-ology- Worn Wallpaper (LOVE!!) used on the tag and as a backdrop, Paper Dolls, Alpha Tiles, Harlequin Grungebord (which is like a flexible cardboard you can ink, paint, etc.), ChitChat Stickers, Distress Tool; Distress Oxide - Frayed Burlap; Distress Inks- Vintage Photo, Weathered Wood; Stickles Diamond Glitter glue; vintage lace, hand dyed ribbon.

 For Art Journal Journey (Flora and Fauna), Paint Party Friday, and Moo Mania and More (Even More Flowers) I have this art journal page:

 This was painted with acrylics, meant to imitate Japanese style painting with sumo ink. Inspired by an Art Sherpa You Tube video. Not one of my best but I enjoy the learning process. And I think this would be much prettier with the flow of the ink.

 Lastly- thought I'd let you all know I am finally on Instagram!! You can find me here . And my son has helped me start to navigate, etc. He also put the link at the top right side of my blog for me. I've been looking into starting  a Society 6 shop the last few months but will -yes- wait for Todd to help me. He really wanted me to set up an Etsy shop but I'm just not into it. Do let me know if you're on Instagram -I'm trying to find my artist friends! If you have any favorites to follow I'd love to hear about them too. And don't forget to follow me:)

 Will catch up with everyone throughout the week and weekend. Be well, and happy arting!

" Share your smile with the world. It's a symbol of friendship and peace."   Christie Brinkley

Monday, May 21, 2018

Poppy (and Puppy) Love

 How is everyone doing? I was kept busy all last week with dog sitting duties, and despite the fact that it rained every day except one it didn't stop Riley and I from going for a walk each day. He completely bonded with me and I loved having him!

  I miss him already but am glad knowing I can see him anytime.
Now I'm busy trying to help my Mom get situated with a trip to France to visit family this summer. I'm hoping we get tickets and such done tomorrow when we go back to the travel agent.  Last week after we went there the first time and did some shopping Mom treated me to dinner and we went to Va Va's Creperie Café again! So this is for Bleubeard and Elizabeth and peeps at T Stands For Tuesday (and if you're reading this Carol R. that is our next lunch date-coming soon:):

 Mom got the Lyon( her favorite) with chicken, mushrooms, swiss cheese and bechamel. And I went for another I hadn't had before-pesto. As you can see - lots of spinach,turkey, gruyere, sun dried tomato sauce and pesto. SO good!

 At Try It On Tuesday the challenge is "Destinations" for another week so I made a tag:

 I am also joining the Simon Monday Challenge for this week "Inspired by a Song". All I could keep humming to was "Come Fly with Me" by Michael Bublé and now I dare you not to hum along:):)

 Products: Tim Holtz Distress Tag, Paper Dolls, Quote Chips, Chit Chat stickers, layering stencil(Mosaic); modeling paste; postage washi tape(Recollections); Distress Spray Stains in Fossilized Amber, Twisted Citron; Dylusions Ink Spray in London Blue; Circle stamp - Bokeh dots (Ellen Hutson); script stamp Wall Art (Wow!); Archival Jet Black ink; word snap at tag hole- unknown.

 This card is for the Simon Wednesday Challenge (Stencil It),  Moo Mania and More (Even More Flowers), and the Simon Says Flickr Challenge #97:

The background stencil is one I made using the gorgeous Clustered Leaves die from Simon Says Stamp!

 Other Products; Neenah Classic Solar White 110# card stock; thin cardboard(to make the stencil); Altenew Peony Bouquet Stamp and Die set, Label Love stamp set; Colorbox Chalk inks- gray Whale, Prussian Blue; Versafine Onyx Black ink; Colorbox Pigment ink- Pink; Distress inks- Mowed Lawn, Worn Lipstick; Archival inks- Sky Blue, Leaf green; Simon Says Stamp Moonshine sequins.

 And now, for the poppies! Anyone that's been here before knows how much I love poppies- especially the Oriental red ones so of course for Paint Party Friday and Art Journal Journey (theme is Flora and Fauna) I painted a poppy field using a palette knife inspired by a You Tube video by Angela Anderson:

 I just HAD to make mine using striking reds and orange :):) if you type"poppies" in the search bar at the top on the right you can see my other paintings and such.

 Some detail shots:

  We are heading into another holiday- Memorial Day next Monday so most will have  the day off from work. It's usually a first beach weekend for lots of people or backyard picnics and grilling.Not sure what we'll be doing yet, maybe even nothing- how about you?

 Thanks as always for popping in. Have a wonderful week!

    " If you truly love nature, you will find beauty everywhere."  
                                                                           Vincent Van Gogh