Monday, November 30, 2015

T is For Taking It Easy

 Good day everyone! Hope those of you that celebrated had a wonderful Thanksgiving. Despite the work I had to do we had a lovely time:

 An eclectic mix of things for the table-including a printed linen cloth from my great grandmother, a vintage tablecloth and napkins, some newer wine glasses, vintage cut glass water glasses from Aunt Betty along with the carnival glass centerpiece she also had given me, vintage silver that belonged to a dear elderly friend who gave them to me before she passed away.

                                                                I made a 14 lb turkey

 And here we are having dessert: hubby, my Mom, Aunt Betty , Kyra-Todd's GF (she is a doll!), and our son Todd.

 The reason for my post title? Well, hubby has been battling a nagging cold for the last two weeks and guess what? I began with a bad sore throat Sunday and by this AM I could hardly talk and developed a nasty cough. We did manage to get to an art museum and lunch Sunday but those photos will have to wait for another time. There was NO Black Friday shopping for me-nor cyber Monday shopping either. It was all I could do to post this today along with photos of a DIY planner I made for next year.

 Here is the you tube video I used to make my planner:

 It's by thefrugalcrafter - Lindsay Weirich. As soon as I came across it I knew I had to make one for myself! I pretty much followed her directions. Here is mine:

 My front and back covers. I took two photos of journal pages I had done for the last Summer Of Color Challenges, resized them and printed them to slip into the plastic.

 Here's a view showing all the tabs and pages etc:

And here are a few pics of the inside:

 This is the first folder which holds my dollar store week at a glance book that I recovered in decorative paper and washi tape.

 This is my month at a glance section. Each month was printed from the site recommended in the video.

 This is the category I labeled for art projects and ideas. there are two pockets and paper for writing notes. My category dividers were laminated just as Lindsay did and what a difference it makes!

 Here's another:

 This category is for food-recipes, shopping etc.

 And one more:

This category is for Christmas ideas, gifts etc.

 I did add a few other categories too. What I SO love about this is that I can change out the covers, book and month pages each year and still have this binder intact with dividers and pockets!! Plus, I did not buy anything outside of the binder itself. Everything else was from my stash!

 My question for you is-do you use any type of planners? I have always used  several but I love being able to keep just this one for everything.

 Linking to my T Stands For Tuesday peeps at Altered Book Lover. I'll be around to visit with lots of tea in tow. Please pardon my coughing :)

        "Never look back unless you are planning to go that way."      Henry David Thoreau

Tuesday, November 24, 2015


 I must begin this post by letting you know how touched I was by the many thoughtful posts and art regarding the tragedies of late in this world- especially in Paris - that I saw on your blogs in the last week or so. It truly brings us together.
 This post will have a bit of everything because it is a holiday week and I will be busy prepping, cooking and hosting dinner on Thursday, but will return thereafter to see what everyone's been up to:)

 For my T Stands for Tuesday group (oh, and Elizabeth our hostess would love to have you join us anytime!) Just bring along a beverage and anything else is a bonus! So, my share for this week:

 Last Sunday we went to a few antique shops not far from us -just to browse-and NO we didn't buy anything - and the place we wanted to stop in for a bite had just closed. Well, as serendipity would have it we passed by the Red Lion Inn/McCoole's which we planned on going to for the first time this past Friday to see Lorenzo play. Some of you may remember me mentioning him as we try to see him as often as we can-there's no charge in the places he plays at. We decided to check it out and had an amazing lunch!

   This is a painting that the multi-talented Lorenzo did on one of the outside walls at the inn. Sorry for the bad shot with the shadow.

   Hubby had a crab cake sandwich-no fillers in it! He also had a local IPA-pumpkin beer which I must say was the best I ever tasted!

                                          And I had a cod fish wrap with a glass of merlot.

The portions were very generous and I was so full-we both were...and yet hubby just had to go for one of the dessert offerings:
 a totally decadent and rich chocolate peanut butter cake-and it was a HUGE slice!! OMG, and he managed to eat the whole thing (minus one bite:) along with 2 cups of coffee! Good thing he works out hard and runs and bikes! We thoroughly enjoyed our dinner there Fri. too along with friends and Lorenzo to entertain us.

 This is a journal page I made inspired by Danielle Donaldson's book only this time I used materials other than watercolors:

 The background and brushes are from Gelli printed papers and I used Posca pens to embellish and write.

 In keeping with using my printed papers I created this page:

 Done in the style of Dina Wakley using a Stabilo All pencil to draw the face and then loose handwriting a quote with  a Pitt pen. You can see the quote I wrote at the end of this post.

 To all of you celebrating our American Thanksgiving Day holiday on Thursday I wish you a happy and blessed Thanksgiving!

" If we believe that tomorrow will be better, we can bear a hardship today."     Thich Nat Hanh

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Peace Is The Measure

 There is no other way to begin this post than with my continued heartfelt thoughts and prayers for the people of France and Paris. It is truly sad to know such unconscionable human beings exist in this world and think nothing of killing and hurting innocent people. One of my French cousins and his wife happened to be in Paris for a seminar when the killings occurred and although they were detained by a lockdown for two days, thankfully they are safe. I was going to create a journal page about my feelings but came across this page I had done awhile back and felt it showed my feelings about this:

 For my T Stands For Tuesday peeps I have this to share:

 That is the autumnal mug I have been using lately. Obviously it was somewhere in my subconscious when I started this journal page :

 I began with a napkin background and then added a napkin coffee cup. Upon trying to decide how to embellish a bit I saw a pear on the mug. Do you see it?

 This is the finished page:

 I embellished with charcoal , oil pastels and zinc white Fluid acrylic.

 Finally for this post a mandala tangle:

 You can read in this post about my tangle  play which began with a book co-written by a fellow PPFr :) The basic circle template was provided by Ina Sonnenmoser. I drew it in my journal and then just played with a variety of tangles to fill it in while watching The Voice on TV.

 I'll be linking this post to T Stands For Tuesday, Art Journal Journey, Mix It Monthly, and later this week to Art Journal Every Day, Art It Friday - Show Your Face, and Paint Party Friday.

 Wishing you all a wonderful week ahead.

     "Of one thing I am certain, the body is not the measure of healing- peace is the measure."
                                                                                                  George Melton

Friday, November 13, 2015

The Language Of Nature

 Well hi there! Happy Friday and happy almost weekend too. Any special plans ahead? We hope to catch our favorite local musicians in town Saturday night but other than that it should be pretty low key here. And I like that.

 I have two completely different nature inspired art projects to share today. (And if you are so inclined to see a third look here).

 First up is this:

                                     Autumn Reflections  (5" x 7" cold wax and oil on wood)

 My second completed oil and cold wax project! It didn't begin with a landscape orientation but as I added layers and worked and moved it around this is what transpired. Do you ever move your canvas around and find a different view and then an unexpected finish?

 Here's a detail of the texture -not near as thick as my first one :)

                                            This is from the top right corner of the piece.

  Oh how I love working with these mediums! Linking this to Paint Party Friday along with Paper Artsy's Challenge #21 for the theme of "abstract". This post of theirs was filled with inspiration!

 The theme this month over at Kim Dellow's Art It Friday - Show Your Face is to share what artist has inspired your entry. My next watercolor sketch was inspired by Danielle Donaldson and if any of you know who she is or has her book you would immediately recognize my  "nature girl" in her style:

  Instead of doing a "busy girl" project as in the book, I went with my love of nature and the beach. I'm really following Danielle's directions in order to gain a loose quality when water coloring,  and sketching using a pencil. The mixed media, wabi - sabi style, and abstracts styles are easier for me and I find a really wonderful flow but when it comes to this I often struggle which is why I keep practicing although it will never be my fortĂ©. And I do think I can learn and then incorporate it into what I love the most.

 So, another ? for you. Do you try a variety of styles and mediums to understand and learn from them or do you primarily stick to what you really love?

 Also linking to Art Journal Every Day. Will be around to visit the challenges throughout the next few days for further inspiration. Happy weekend!

" It is the language of nature to which one has to listen. "       Vincent van Gogh

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Beach Inspired Tangle Art

  Happy Tuesday! So good to be catching up again with my T Stands For Tuesday friends hosted by Elizabeth at Altered Book Lover.. We had been away for 5 fabulous days at the beach with our friends and we were blessed with mostly wonderful weather -a bit cool at times, yet warm enough to walk barefoot-and dip toes in the water albeit briefly:) Here are a few pics:

  On the first evening we went out to eat in nearby Ocean City, Maryland at Fager's Island. This establishment recently celebrated 40 years and is a very well known spot for dining and watching the sun set over the bay. You do NOT want to visit in season though because it apparently gets pretty loud, and packed with people! Hubby took the pic of the restaurant from a pagoda. It was amazing to watch the sky change while enjoying excellent food:

 Bill and I had the crab cakes and our friend Lynne had the fish tacos. We were all very pleased with our choices and I know next time I go I am getting those fish tacos:)

 It was a joy to have coffee on the ocean side deck in the mornings and to still see dolphins go by each day. I saw that branch on a beach walk and couldn't resist trying to decorate it with shells (totally inspired by Patty:) but it was a bit windy and not easy. I was even inspired to make a mandala salad one evening. The beach also gave me art inspiration along with this book:

 I had ordered it to support  Simona Cordara whom I got to know through blogging and Paint Party Friday. It hadn't arrived before I left for the beach but I did find sources online to try a bit of tangling practice:

This was my very first attempt at a tangle called "Phicops in a Circle" by Ellen Wolters. I didn't want a perfect circle which was a good thing because it wasn't easy to do on heavy watercolor paper in my journal without any rulers or a protractor. Then I tried a few more tangles on a sheet of scrap paper:

 Since I had some pre painted pages in my watercolor journal I decided to make some seashells. It began like this:

 Once I returned home and poured through the delightful Tangle It! Journal I finished my page:

  I was not anticipating going into yet another art style but tangling is quite fun and I would not have tried it if it wasn't for Simona and this book. There are tangles to try, pages of inspiring shapes to tangle on, lots of prompts and inspirations to do right on the pages if you wish. I love that it is a small book- 5 1/2" wide by 8 1/2 " long - perfect to carry anywhere! Oh, and there are Facebook groups on which there is much more information, patterns and such. Please go to Simona's blog for links. Wishing Simona and co authors Alice Hendon and Ina Sonnenmoser much success! Linking this to Paint Party Friday.

 The beach, along with this book also inspired me to create a "nature girl". Of course I only got as far as a pencil sketch but hope to have her all painted in by later this week:

 Can't wait to catch up with you and see what you've been doing lately! And as always, thanks for stopping by.

                  "Stretch out your hand and take the world's wide gift of joy and beauty."     
                                                                                               Corinne Roosevelt Robinson

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Autumn Bliss

 Been MIA lately again but it was because we were at the beach for 5 days with our friends! We had mostly glorious weather-warm enough to dip toes in the water, and catch some gorgeous sunsets too. We are still experiencing unusually warm weather here in PA and I am LOVING it! (77 degrees F on Wednesday alone!) Time to catch up now and share some art. I did do a bit of art in my watercolor journal whilst at the beach but the pages aren't complete so I'll share those in the next week.

 There is a new theme this month over at Art Journal Journey-"inspired by autumn colors" so as soon as I got home I created this page inspired by the theme and the gorgeous colorful trees we are surrounded by. I am also linking this to TIOT (theme is lots of layers).

The tree and branches were created by using Higgins Black Magic ink applied with a dropper and then blowing the ink around with a small straw. The many colors are acrylic paints applied using a sponge and the words were added digitally. I remembered doing the ink blowing technique before and found some older samples:

 As you can tell I have refined my  branches a bit more in the new page above this :)

This is a scrap of glossy cardstock on which I applied drops of reinkers and blew through a straw.
Have you ever tried this?

Well, this is all I have for now. Will be linking up to Art Journal Every Day, Art Journal Journey, Paint Party Friday, and Try It On Tuesdays. Looking forward to visiting you and catching up again!

         " Every leaf speaks bliss to me, fluttering from the autumn tree."  Emily Bronte