Tuesday, January 26, 2016

When A Blizzard Strikes...

  ...what do YOU do??  As most of you have read or seen on TV or experienced yourselves, much of the northeast got HAMMERED - many places with over 30 inches of snow over the weekend!!! We were one of those places- 31.2" total when all was said and done late Sat. night! Our local news deemed it was a blizzard in our area-dropping sometimes more than 3 " an hour with blowing winds and very little visibility! People lost power in various areas and although we got lucky I tried to prepare by baking and cooking extra meals and keeping the grill attainable if need be. Hopefully none of you lost power either! I feel especially badly for the shoreline towns which were again devastated by flooding and my thoughts and prayers go out to all.

 So of course I have some pics to show :

    I didn't get another pic of the final 31.2" cuz hubby went and dumped the heavy snow off the back patio roof-onto the picnic table and then cleaned it off.

                                                   view from the back door

                                                 view from the front porch

         our son's car-it's there somewhere! He was away in Killington, Vermont for a long weekend-and guess what ? They didn't get one snowflake!!!

  and poor old Annie-I had to shovel a path every hour before she would venture out!

 Enough of that. Hot coffee and a snack:

  A most delicious molasses muffin! The house was filled with a gingerbread aroma. These muffins are packed with a rich, comforting flavor and yet are light and not so sweet. Hubby loved them so much I just made a second batch! We both wish to thank Elizabeth very much for the easy recipe she provided in this post. And speaking of,  do come visit also at Elizabeth's T Stands for Tuesday-you just never know what kind of treat you'll find amongst the link ups!

           Wanna know more about this piece?  You can find the details  HERE.

  One last bit of art for this week:

  Another winter wonderland journal page! Again, (my habit as of late) the image was printed - correction- painted over a gelli plate deli paper print glued to the page. The snowflakes are glittery foam stickers. Linking to Art Journal Journey (winter wonderland theme);  Art It Friday- Show Your Face; Paint Party Friday.

  Hope you are all safe and warm, and thanks so much to my newest followers, along with those of you who have stuck around for so long. Mwah!

 " I wonder if the snow loves the trees and fields, that it kisses them so gently? And then it covers them up snug; you know, with a white quilt. And perhaps it says 'go to sleep darlings, till the summer comes again'. "          Lewis Carroll

Thursday, January 21, 2016

A Winter Storm Approaching?

 Well, tis the season. As of this moment our local forecasters are predicting it to begin Fri. eve and end Sun. AM with an accumulation of  up to 12 inches along with gusty winds and possible power outages! It can snow but I pray we don't lose power. Looks like many of the northeast and coastal states south of PA will be dealing with this too. Whatever comes there's no choice but to accept it. I'll embrace the time indoors to do some more decluttering along with art and reading. What will YOU do?

 Speaking of winter here is another page I have done for the winter wonderland theme going on this month at Art Journal Journey:

 The page began with another of my gelli plate deli paper prints.  Several blues and white acrylic were mixed on a brush to paint the hills of snow. Then my snowman was painted on. Words are digitally added. It was all I could think of as he does look VERY happy in the snow! Know who this famous snowman is??  You can find out at the end of the post:)

 My other art to share for today is a practice page and my first finished piece as part of my newest online class called Nature's Canvas (painting faces on sticks, branches and driftwood). It's taught by Tania Bains. This is a perfect combination for my love of nature and desire to continue learning techniques for painting faces! There is so much content and videos packed into this class and I am thrilled to have found it just by checking on a link my friend Patty had in a blog post.
 Have you ever done that? You know, just clicked on a link that ended up taking you somewhere delightfully unexpected?  Oh do share!

 Practicing quick sketches of faces:

 And my first painted face-on an oak leaf:

  I was actually surprised and so happy about  how well this came out! It's hard to see but there are lots of layers on her face and in her hair. And now another leaf is waiting to be painted:) I am just dying to try driftwood and sticks but it is WAY too cold for me to go out looking for any right now. The leaves I can find in my own (or my neighbor's) back yard.

  Oh, and before I forget-the snowman? He's Olaf from the movie 'Frozen'! At least, he's my version-my son says I put weight on him:)

  Linking to Art It Friday - Show Your Face , Art Journal Journey, and Paint Party Friday. I'll be around to visit throughout the next few days-provided we don't lose power-fingers crossed.

                                " If you want to be happy, be."        Leo Tolstoy

Monday, January 18, 2016

A Celebration...Or Two!

 Another week has gone by and we are nearing the end of January-already??? Hope this week has begun on a good note for everyone. In my last T post I mentioned we were expecting to get some of our first snow-and we did!! Tuesday evening presented us with a wicked but fascinating snow squall! Thankfully it didn't last long and I even went out and got some photos of it-just for YOU:) Scroll down to the end for the art part.

  I had no idea what I would get because the snow was blowing on my camera and in my face but I thought that last two which appear to have orbs floating around were pretty cool!

 Hubby had a birthday this past Sunday so first we celebrated Sat. night by going out to eat at one of several favorite places downtown-the Hotel Bethlehem.  Our crab cake dinners were fabulous-no fillers in those cakes!:

and the manager whom we got to know came over and offered Bill dessert on the house!

                         He chose a molten lava cake and enjoyed every bite.

 Sunday I made a traditional spaghetti and meatball dinner with homemade sauce, salad, Tuscan garlic bread, and a homemade chocolate cake (hubby's request). Our son and his girlfriend and my Mom came over. We began with champagne and opening of gifts:

                               Mom insisted I show off the whole apron:):)

                               Opening the fun gift I got him which was this....

 an Elvis Presley Bobblehead!! And knowing my Mom would LOVE this herself I got her one too!! I only got this because Bill mentioned something about having one when we were discussing Elvis while his Peanut bobblehead was looking on:) My son and I joked about this being the way we like Elvis-silent-ha ha!! However, Elvis music was on the CD player all evening cuz after all , it was Bill's birthday.  Elvis came along to sing happy birthday too:

 We all had such a blast and laughed the night away, and I must say it was a perfect evening!
Here's to my T Stands for Tuesday gals, and especially Deb :). Personally I got enough Elvis, so that should last for another year (at least when I'm home:)!

 I managed to squeeze in some art by doing this journal page:

  I bet most of you know what artist this inspiration came from! As for my new online class I just began delving into it so you will have to wait until my next post later this week to see some art etc.
Linking this to  Try It On Tuesday (theme is "silhouettes" ), along with Art Journal Every Day later this week.

 Be well, and have a wonderful rest of the week!

                               " Life is a celebration, enjoy it well."        Uruj Shahid

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Summer In Her Heart

  BRRRR!!! Baby it's COLD outside! So I stay in as much as I can and that's perfect for doing more art. Here is a journal page that began like this:

 I painted over the page with Payne's Gray, a deep blue and magenta. I have always had a fear of starting with dark colors but an online class with  Mindy Lacefield that I took last year helped me through. Not just that but it taught me about using paint colors all around a face to bring more harmony. You can see my paintings from that class here, here, and here if you wish.

 This is my finished page:

 Yup, that would be me:) Linking this to Art Journal Every Day; Art It Friday -Show Your Face; Art Journal Journey; and Paint Party Friday.

 And this is a card I made for the Simon Wednesday Challenge whose theme this week is "ombre" :

 Products: lg white notecard; glossy cardstock; patterned cardstock (Glitter Stack-DCWV); Wild Fairy Lily rubber stamp (Hero Arts); sentiment  (Hampton Arts); rubber brayer; Blue Breeze Kaleidacolor, Versafine Onyx Black inks (Tsukineko); die cut cardboard bird.

 My word for the year finally came to me and you can see it in my last post.

 Also, did you notice my new blog header??? I managed it all by myself  with much help from my son. And it's for YOU dear Sherrie!! (aka Giggles, and you can find her fabulous art and posts here).

 This Sunday we'll be celebrating hubby's birthday with a spaghetti dinner and chocolate cake and some family so I'll be busy cleaning, cooking and baking. What are you up to this weekend?

 I leave you with this quote which purely states how I feel right now...

" I love summertime more than anything else in the world. That's the only thing that gets me through the winter, knowing that summer is going to be there."       Jack McBrayer

Monday, January 11, 2016

It's All About Balance

  A simple journal page to reflect on my word of the year. After reading the book I mentioned here, this word came up at least several times in various places. Enough for me to pay attention. The quote at the end of this post perfectly exemplifies my intention around balance. My previous words were: 2013-action and empowerment; 2014 - mindful; 2015 - nourish.

 And how's the weather in your parts? We went from 60 degrees F on Sunday (with crazy turns of pouring rain , then some sun, then more rain, etc. but I loved it!) and then downhill FAST to bitterly cold and windy by Monday AM with wind chills in the single digits!! We may even be seeing our first bit of snow this week...

 Been staying warm now with soups. I made a nice big pot of Tuscan Bean soup, and I also made a curried carrot soup using my NutriBullet. Sorry I'm not allowed to print their recipe but it is in the NutriBullet Life Changing Recipes book. It is an excellent tasting puree and is also energy boosting and anti -inflammatory (something I really need with these weather fluctuations).

                                             for  T Stands For Tuesday

How apropos that I used this mug as I was just out with my Mom to get our yearly mammograms!

 I mentioned getting a new art journal as my last one is about full. I chose another Canson multi media journal - this one. Almost finished with my first page in it-AND I actually did the covers:

The back is the same as the front. I glued a gelli printed deli paper to the covers, stamped the numbers (Dylusions) with white acrylic paint, then stenciled away with some of my new stencils!! (Photos and info in this post). Not sure if I want to add anything else (like an image or quote) at this point.

 Well, that's all I have for today. Linking to T Stands For Tuesday and the Simon Monday Challenge blog (theme is "Stencil It!").

   " Happiness is not a matter of intensity but of  BALANCE, order, rhythm and harmony."
                                                                                             Thomas Merton

Thursday, January 7, 2016

Winter Projects

 Hello all! And how is your new year going so far? The winter has finally settled in here in my parts and so I am not only creating more art but also crocheting (see what I have made so far here), and reading a lot.

 I am currently rereading Dr. Wayne Dyer's book "Being In Balance" after seeing it while putting away xmas things. Hmmm, perhaps balance is my word this year...

 Hubby and I participate in "the healthy plan" of medical insurance thru his work. The main incentive is that it costs less than the other plans but there are some requirements. It was a pain in the you know where at first having to cram in dr. visits and lots of bloodwork and paperwork at the beginning of last year. We also were sent a tracking device to track the # of steps we take each day and they encouraged continued efforts at 7,000 or more steps daily by offering gift cards. Anyhoo, I recently received a $50 card for Amazon so I got the following books!

 I am always looking for a good account of life in France  and I have yet to read anything about the Dordogne so I cannot wait to sit back, read and dream:)

 This is a compilation of letters, diary notes etc. on the time Julia Child, James Beard, and M.F.K Fisher found themselves in the South of France and how they cooked for each other and formed special friendships, and discussed the food culture. I have just begun this one and I imagine t won't take long before I'm finished and in the kitchen cooking French cuisine again!

And this wonderful book by Chris Cozen is brilliant!! I have only skimmed through it but I can see how it is jam packed full of information on color theory, values, etc. along with excellent techniques, step outs, demonstrations and completed projects! Chris is a working artist for Golden Artist Colors, Inc. and so those are the products she uses but you can use other brands and I can even see using the guides for my cold wax and oil projects! 
 So, not a bad selection of books free for staying healthy:):) 

 Now onto my winter wonderland journal page. You saw a bit of it at the top of the post.

  The background is a Gelli print deli paper. The trees were painted on using Golden fluid Acrylic in Jenkins Green with my very favorite new fan brush! Here's what they look like. They are perfect for making trees! I also used stencil paste and a palette knife to create the textured snow on the ground. It was completed with a spattering of watered down white acrylic.
 Now look at this:
See those white "spatters" on the shirt?? Well, I about freaked out because I had been doing laundry and left my son's new shirts behind my art table on the bed and turned to see this! After my heart rate slowed I realized this was the way the shirt is made. WHEW!! Lesson learned!

 Linking this post to Art Journal Journey (winter wonderland theme); Art Journal Every Day; Moo Mania and More (Anything Goes); Paint Party Friday; and the Simon Wednesday Challenge (theme is Something New (my fan brush art).
 Will be around to see what you've been up to this new year!
" Laughter is the sun that drives winter from the human face."          Victor Hugo


Monday, January 4, 2016

Happy 2016!

 My first post for the new year!

 Of course I have some new things up my sleeve, like this page in which I played with creating dangles in my watercolor journal.

 And this is a background page I created in the same journal. Feel free to "save as" and print it out to play with (if I formatted this right with a good res.) Please let me know if it works and I'd also love to see what you do with it! :

 Tis the season and we are now experiencing the coldest frigid weather we have had so far this winter( 29 degrees F but feels like 2 degrees F with the wind!)  so that means trying to stay warm. And another new thing I recently did was to make these mug cozies to keep not only my coffee or tea hot, but keep  my hands warm too! 

 I was in AC Moore in the yarn dept. when I saw a tablet of sheets with directions for crocheting these and I thought why not? It does say it's for beginners:) And it is!! I made each one in less than an hour and sewed vintage buttons on them.

 Here's what it looks like opened flat:

 You should be able to find the directions online at the AC Moore site if you wish to try making some yourself. Or I can make one for you!

 I also signed up for a new online class to start my new year with something different and new to me but more on that in another post.

 So how are you beginning your new year? Anyone choosing a word? Nothing is resonating with me right now so I'll just leave it.

 My latest mixed media art journal is about finished so I did purchase a new one. Once I have begun it I'll share about that too.

 I'll be taking down and putting away all the Christmas things this week and when that's done I plan on making lots of new art and reading in the comforts of my warm home, dreaming of summer:)

 Linking to the Simon Monday Challenge (theme is "something new") Moo Mania and More (anything goes), and  T Stands For Tuesday.

" And now we welcome the new year; full of things that have never been."    Rainer Maria Rilke