Tuesday, March 29, 2016

T Stands For- Tutorial!


 It's an honor to be guest designer for Try It On Tuesday (TiOT)! The theme is "quotes" for two weeks beginning today and I have chosen to make  cards:

 The backgrounds are done using a gesso resist technique - one that I love using!  Here is how to do it:

 Gather your supplies. This is only a sample of what can be used.

You will need:
                        white gesso
                        stencils, foam stamps, rubber stamps (for the gessoed images choose something that is NOT too detailed and remember to IMMEDIATELY clean off your stamps!)
                        ink pads (for all cards shown I used Distress inks-except for the quotes)

                        cosmetic wedges or sponges

                        foam brush

                        baby wipes or damp paper towel

                        white card stock and coordinating card stock for layering

The first step is to repeatedly stamp or stencil your image onto white card stock using the gesso. Allow to dry (important!) I know this doesn't look white (it is) but I wanted you to be able to see the gessoed areas.

 Once it's dry, sponge several ink colors over the whole card.  Use  the baby wipe or damp paper towel to remove the ink from the gessoed images-and watch them pop!

 Add more interest and color by stamping repeatedly with coordinating inks over the card. Now finish them up with a quote and coordinating card stock panels:

 But what- you have NO gesso you say? Guess what?  I have discovered through experimenting that you could use plain white acrylic paint and it still works!! :

 Only thing is that the white won't quite be as pronounced or pop like the gesso after removing the ink as you can see in the above samples.

 Here is the technique used on a journal page:

 You can see the finished page here. I hope if you haven't done this before you will give it a try! Thanks so much for having me at TiOT! If you have any other questions about anything including the stamps I used, don't hesitate to ask.

 And this is for my T Stands for Tuesday gang:

 Oh wouldn't it be grand to all meet up for a café au lait and croissant at a Paris café?? Of course you could have tea if you prefer:)

 This is a 5" x 5" canvas. I applied a napkin image over it then enhanced with vintage image, words and some color.

 I am also linking this post to Moo Mania and More (theme is Spring); and  Paint Party Friday.

 Will see you here on Friday for another special post ;) Have a great week!

" The beautiful spring came; and when Nature resumes her loveliness the human soul is apt to revive also."           Harriet Ann Jacobs

Monday, March 21, 2016

If Friends were Flowers...

...I'd pick you!!

        Irish bouquet from my Mom, roses from my son and lots of beautiful cards!

 Thank you all SO much for the birthday and blogiversary wishes, you guys are awesome! Hubby and I were supposed to go out this past Saturday night but the day came and we were both too pooped to go out so we spent a quiet night watching a Hallmark movie:) I did celebrate St. Patrick's Day with my dear friend LuAnn and it was a great day in town for lunch (you know where) and some shopping.
  I've shared enough photos of the meals there so here is one from the girls night/surprise birthday my son's girlfriend Kyra hosted last Monday eve:

      L to R- friend Lynn, me, Kyra,  Kyra's grandmother, and Kyra's mom Laura.

 Cheers to Elizabeth and friends over at T Stands for Tuesday! And lest you may think all I seem to drink is wine-I had tea on St. Pat's Day-not one Guinness either:):)

 I went back into my small watercolor journal and created this page:

 I do believe in the healing powers of nature. This page was inspired by Danielle Donaldson's book. Sketch is in pencil except for the lettering which is  a Pitt pen and soft grey marker. The watercolors are Peerless. Still need lots of practice but it's getting better.

 Linking to Art Journal Journey (into the woods); and Try It On Tuesday (nature). Thanks for the great themes Chris(AJJ)  and Elizabeth (TIOT)!

 And here's a completely different page:

        vintage image, newspaper, patterned paper, washi tape, acrylic paints, gesso , Pitt pen

  Linking to Moo Mania and More (use newspaper), and Paint Party Friday.
I'll be hosting Easter dinner this coming Sunday but will be around to visit throughout the week. Happy Easter if you celebrate, and don't eat everything from the basket in one day:)

" I took a walk in the woods and came out taller than the trees."      Henry David Thoreau

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Many Reasons To Celebrate!

 How is everyone? I hope by now most of you in the Northern hemisphere are seeing true signs of spring. I am thrilled to see my lilac and forsythia bushes budding!

 It's going to be another crazy, busy week so my post will be a bit longer as it is my only one for this week.

 Last Thursday hubby and I went to support our local PBS station and to be part of the taping of the new show Celtic Thunder is putting on this year:

   Here we are with two of the CT members Neil Byrne and Ryan Kelly. They are the nicest guys! They just released their own CD and we have tickets to see them in town in a few weeks:) Not only that, but we have secured tickets for the new Celtic Thunder show in town in September and we got 5th row seats!!! I could have gotten the second row but I wanted an aisle seat so I could get up as often as I wanted without interrupting anyone behind me cuz I just gotta dance:)

 Saturday night we went with a group of friends for dinner and then a show at The State Theater in Easton-the same theater in which we recently saw Il Volo. Dinner was at River Grille and take my word for it , everyone's meals were amazing! Forgot my camera:(

  And since I did forget my camera for my T Stands for Tuesday gang over at Altered Book Lover I took this pic which is where I usually am with my coffee on Tuesday mornings:) Would love for you to join us-a diverse and fun group!

 Here is the show we caught after our dinner Saturday:

  This is the write up- if you are able read it-not sure if you can click for a larger image:

 What an absolutely AMAZING show!!!! Granted, they do NOT look like the Beatles, nor do they dress like them but all you had to do was close your eyes and you would swear you were at a Beatles concert!

 Last night I was at a girl's night hosted by our son's girlfriend Kyra -which also turned out to be a bit of a birthday celebration for me and it was SO nice to meet some of her family and friends!

 And today- well, it happens to be both my blogiversary (4th) and my birthday (??)! Yes,  "beware the Ides of March!"

 I remember when finally deciding to take the blogging plunge that I would coincide my first post on my birthday. Each year I have my previous year's posts made into a book so soon I'll have another printed:) Not doing much today. Todd and Kyra are getting take out and bringing it for dinner as hubby has to work until pretty late.

 Thursday is St. Patrick's Day and I always become Irish for the day. My dear friend LuAnn is taking me for lunch at our favorite Irish place to celebrate!


 Linking my card to the Simon Wednesday Challenge (A bit o' green).

Still with me? thank you!

 The top photo is the original and I just played with the other two to see her with brown, and green eyes. French newspaper was glued to the journal page and white washed with gesso. I then drew the girl using several colors of Stabilo All pencils going over areas with a wet brush. The background was painted with acrylic paint and then a stencil was used for the words.

  Linking this page to Art It Friday- Show Your Face; Moo Mania and More (theme is to use newspaper) and Paint Party Friday.

 I'll be around to visit as much as I can. Saturday I think we're going to the Artisan Wine Bar to see Lorenzo perform, and Sunday I just want to crash!!

 On this blogiversary I want to thank all of you for your many visits and comments. What an incredibly supportive, talented and caring community this is! XO

                                    Walls for the wind,
                                   And a roof for the rain,
                                 And drinks beside the fire-
                                   Laughter to cheer you,
                               And those you love near you,
                           And all that your heart may desire!
                                                                                          Irish Blessing

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

March Madness?

 How is everyone? For those of us here in the northeast part of the US we are going to have a beautiful warm week and I am SO excited! This is also looking to be a crazy busy month as my calendar just keeps filling up-lots of good things involving music, food, drink and friends - I just hope I can keep up with it all! I'm definitely not used to such a social calendar:)

 Speaking of food and music last week we went to an Italian restaurant for dinner and took along a friend. Stefano's has been around MANY years and they still do not disappoint. And of course I will now make you all hungry:

 The menu is extensive and it all sounded so good but I finally decided on the Tortellini Rustica with their homemade tomato sauce.SOOO good!

 Our friend Lynn chose the Lobster Ravioli which she loved. I would have chosen that too but I was concerned about the cream sauce being too heavy for my stomach.

  Hubby had the Capellini Lucia which had jumbo lump crab in it. Two thumbs up!

 And for my T Stands For Tuesday group you can see the choice of drinks with our dinners:) Our entrées also came with a salad and basket of warm fresh bread with a dipping sauce. Thank goodness I didn't have lunch that day! We stayed and came especially to see Lorenzo (whom I've mentioned many times before) play in a Caribbean band. It was so much fun hearing the steel drums and summer songs! You could almost feel the island breezes:):)

 I did manage to squeeze in a journal page:

  The background is gesso, Tim Holtz Ranger Distress inks, a foam stamp (fern leaf), and UM stamp (branch). The girl is an image I did with oil pastels in a small book. I  resized and lightened her a bit before printing her out because I wanted her to appear a bit fragile in the woods. The words were added digitally.

 I'll be linking this to Art Journal Journey (theme is "if you go down into the woods" this month); the Simon Monday Challenge (theme this week is "make your own backgrounds");
 and Paint Party Friday celebrating its 5th birthday. Happy birthday and thank you EVA and Kristin!!!

 Have a super week !

" The clearest way into the Universe is through a forest wilderness."      John Muir

Friday, March 4, 2016

Techniques And Cards

   Happy Friday everyone! Hope you will all be able to enjoy a nice weekend. We have gotten some snow overnight and it's still flurrying but thankfully it isn't supposed to amount to much. The springtime birds are singing away and the mourning doves are cooing as I awake each morning, and it is expected to really warm up with the next few days:)

 Above is a close up of this journal page:

  The words on it are "her heart is in the woods". I recycled a dryer sheet and used torn pieces to frame the image.  This mosaic collage technique comes from Serena Barton and it's one I use over and over. You can find my other examples here, here, and here along with links for the technique which uses reinker glazes.

  Linking to Art Journal Journey (theme is "if you go down to the woods" ); and Paint Party Friday.

A new (to me anyway) technique I just found is this:

  It's a faux yupo paper to play with inks on! This technique comes from Sandrine Pellisier. I have heard so much about the yupo but wasn't ready to buy any just to try it out. This gives you a very similar experience according to Sandrine.

 Here's how it's done: Brush a coat of soft matte gel medium over watercolor paper or  paper with some thickness to it. I used a scrap of plain old card stock. Once dry begin adding drops of ink around the paper along with some spritzes of water and watch the inks move and flow! I used reinkers here in my example. Very cool! Let me know if you try it, and do share it on your blog!

 And now I have two cards to share. I used this sketch:

  Products: large note card and cardstock (Bazill Basics); patterned paper (Creating Keepsakes); rubber stamp ( Name Brand); Versafine Sepia ink (Tsukineko); flowers (Recollections); felt die cut leaf, large brad.

 I made another as I need to have some more sympathy cards on hand:

 Products: large note card, cardstock (Bazill Basics); patterned paper (Paper crate); rubber stamp
( Stampendous); Versafine Onyx Black ink (Tsukineko); flowers (Recollections); die cut leaf, small brad.

 Linking my cards to Freshly Made Sketches and the Simon Wednesday Challenge (theme is "touchy feely- add texture to your creations).

 Thanks so much for leaving your comments-much appreciated! I'll be around to visit you too:)

"There is no right path. Only the one that allows you to sleep soundly and wake up excited."                   Jennifer Louden

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

T is For A Special Treat!

                                     Chocolate Mousse (recipe at end of post)

 I know, it's a bit indulgent but VERY easy to make and oh SO good! I made it specially for our son's girlfriend who came over for dinner on Sunday. She is an even bigger chocoholic than hubby or son, and she's addicted to coffee too:) Usually I also make this for a dessert one evening during our gathering at the beach with friends-it's always a hit!

 And woohoo-it's March!! SO much happening this month- St. Patrick's Day, Daylight Savings Time which will give us light yet an hour longer:):), Good Friday, Palm Sunday, Easter Sunday, tickets to see Neil and Ryan at our local PBS station to promote Celtic Thunder's next concert in September!!, my birthday, and tickets for another show at the State Theater to see the Fab Faux tribute to the Beatles with the same friends we went to see Il Volo with. And speaking of....

 There was a 2 page write up in the theater program. It was a sold out show and to let you know just how spectacular they were they got a standing ovation for 90% of their songs throughout the show!!! I even got to shake hands with Pierro when he came down the aisle next to me:):) Oh I could just squeeze these boys!

 We all had dinner at a nearby restaurant called Valenca before the show. I had salmon with coconut rice, garlic sofrito, pea shoots, snow peas salad with a ginger soy sauce. It was divine!! Unfortunately some of the selections  others had were NOT so good, and not hot. Then hubby's dinner came a few min. after ours and it wasn't the right entree to boot. Service was VERY slow despite the fact that they were aware we had show tickets. And they weren't busy. They did give us complimentary desserts but we were rushed so we wouldn't be late for the concert. We'll be going somewhere else for our next show. And I won't be recommending this place to anyone as they are very inconsistent and a bit pricey.
   Linking to my friends over at Altered Book Lover for T Stands For Tuesday.

 Ok , let's get to some art. It's just a card though.

 This is for Moo Mania and More for the theme of "my favorite pet".  The stamps are older and I'm not even sure if they are still in business but here's the info anyway-dog-Rubber Cottage, sentiment-Rubber Tree Stamps, paw print-Rubber Stampede. The charm says "love".

 Wishing you a great week ahead!

 " The world would be a nicer place if everyone had the ability to love as unconditionally as a dog."
                                                                                              M.K. Clinton

                                      Chocolate Mousse

1 c. heavy whipping cream           1/4 c. unsweetened cocoa powder

1/2 c. confectioner's sugar            2 Tbsp coffee liquor

garnish- espresso beans or shaved dark chocolate

 Pour cream into a large bowl.Sift sugar with cocoa powder together into the bowl of cream. Beat with mixer gradually adding the coffee liquor. Beat til soft peaks form. Refrigerate until ready to serve. Tips- I used a square of 86% chocolate and made the shavings with a vegetable peeler. You can make this without the alcohol but use a coffee syrup in place of the liquor. Serves 6 - 8 as a little goes a long way in richness and flavor. Enjoy!