Thursday, March 31, 2011

Shabby Tea Room

Here's my entree for this week's Shabby Tea Room Challenge...I used a lot of the blue with hints of pink and green from the color palette...and I used flowers.
The background is a distressed white card stamped with Hero Arts flower circles...which are colored. The Japanese girl is from Curious by Design. She is stamped and colored and then layered on some blue paper...I added some blue ribbon and a saying from Postmodern Design. And I star...I just felt she needed that star. 
I've dug out some Asian inspired stamps lately after hearing all about those poor people in Japan with the earthquake and then the, the force of nature is just something else.
Hope you all enjoy my card.


What is this some kind of early April's fool joke? They are saying a BIG snowstorm tonight and tomorrow! A big snowstorm?  Winter is suppose to be over, isn't it? I hate these cruel springs...the kind that can't quite fight off the last hold of winter.
Can you tell this kind of (LOL) upsets me?
So, to get my mind off the impending doom, here's a few scrap/journal pages from my family's summer 2009 vacation to Northern California and Crater Lake. These all all from Crater Lake-if you can't tell-lol.
This crazy page is to celebrate the gorgeous blue the lake is. The photo is looking down into the water. I really LOVE the tag I made on the left- the base is stamped with a PostModern Design stamp, tinited light blue, the heart is stamped and cut out (used the plain back) with words written on it and then inked a darker blue. I added the words stamped on another paper (7Gypsies) and then overstamped the whole thing with some circles. There's also some fringe I made at the bottom.

A collection of cabin receits where we stayed our one night at Crater Lake. Also a bird I die cut and colored, some Martha Stewart paper and the bottom stamp, a die cut tag with the 5000 miles stamped on it and some other stickers and paper tape.

A pocket to hold my map which I made from a Sizzix pocket die and then decorated it with gaffer tape from 7Gypsies, some Hero Arts gemstones and a Crater Lake sticker I picked up at the park visitor's center. I also used some die cut trees and some more gaffer tape along with a  flying bird sticker which is ancient from my stash.
We took a boat trip on the lake to to get photos you got people's I included it because the journal is suppose to be like the trip. I love my bottom art...some die cut trees, some 7Gypsies stickers, some gemstones by Hero Arts, a few circle stamped images, a butterfly sticker.
More of the lake. I don't know who made the tiny fish stamp-maybe Magenta- but I added it to the distrssed striped paper. The photo is actually mounted on a piece of inked of scrap...I added some Jolee flowers, some board tag stickers which I decorated with stamps and a Making Memories sticker.
Finally another boat trip photo on distressed and scrap paper. Using some of those much loved Autumn Leaves postmark stamps, a tag I die cut, distressed and used an ancient stamped phrase on...also wrapped on end in copper craft wire and cut out a craft wire leaf to finish it off.
Anyhow...don't think the wam glow posting these photos will last too long with people talking snow weather all day... and yesterday it was in the 50's, sunny and gorgeous...a real snow melt day at home...
Try to keep your chin up and smile...I will...try at least...

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Travel Journal Pages

Good Morning!
Yesterday I was so happy to see the sun and for the temp. to hit about 45 degrees. Did my tired of winter soul a bit of good.
So I came home yesterday after having a chat with the daughter in a Burger King Parkinglot about a sticky roomate situation and photographed some recently done pages in my travel journal/scrapbook...whatever you chose to call it. It is a scrapbook of a trip-yes...still working on summer of 2009...but my style is more journalistic in some ways...I like to make the photo the center of the page and add around it but not overwhelm the page. And me, I'm kind of messy, grungy, distressed style. Lastly, I like the page to match the "feel" of the photo. Back to nature have a nature feel, city has a city feel, etc.
So here you go, a few pages to view.
Here's a page that tells a part of the story. I like this page a lot. I used watercolor paper (my background sheets for all pages) and doodled the frame which I colored in black and green. I wrote in the words and colored and highlightened them. The bird is a die cut (I do love my Christmas Sizzix and you can see die cuts showing up a lot in my work now). I colroed the bird first with ink and then with Copics and I really like how it looks and how it feels on the page.
And for those you from Oregon, I now realize its Jacksonville, not Jackson. I apologize for my mistake.
In Jacksonville I got this photo of some mailboxes, which I like. So I created this page which I also like. I used background paper on my watercolor sheet. The flower and leaf are Sizzix die cuts which I used with leather paper and then added a marker stem and a page reinforcer ring around the flower. The postmark stamps are from one of my all time favorite and most used sets by Autumn Leaves. I wrote in the flower to and from because it fit what you'd find on an envelope at the post office.
Katie and Dave in Jacksonville...paper scraps, a die cut leaf, Making Memories and 7Gypsies stickers plus some Dimensional Pearl Paint dots.
Whoops, what's this? Its Harley, my baby-boy out on the SNOW in my backyard- taken on 3/29/11. You can see we still have a lot of that white stuff.
Our "joke" on the trrip was about the Happy California Cows like in a commercial on tv seen often around that time. This time we were in Oregon and passed this field of cows. I decorated the page with the stamped image by Delafield...which never really stamped very dark, and then colored with Copics. I actually stamped it six times, colored all six, and then cut them out and put them on the page.
I really like this page too...I used striped paper which I distressed and then stamped some Tim Holtz images onto and also the words which is an old stamp from PSX.. Then I added the tag...which I made by die cutting a card overlay and then cutting that overlay in half (on a card it would go front and back of the card). I felt very clever thinking to do that. On that tag I stamped some Penny Black pine needles and then wrote out the words...except the California word which is a sticker from Making Memories. I like how I got the letters to look 3d...then added some die cut trees, a deer and a flying bird/hawk sticker from an older sheet I discovered in my stash, some Dimensional Pearl paint dots and  drew in the ground under the trees and deer. 
Katie in the redwoods...a BIG photos to show how big those trees really are. On the right hand side I added a file tab which I inked. I also inked and distressed the paper background a bit. I added some older rusty star stickers from in my stash, some Tim Holtz postcard tape over which I created a waxed thread design with Dimensional Pearl dots. 
Distressed background paper, 7Gypsies tape, some die cut scallops on woodgrain (Martha Stewart) paper, some 7Gypsies typewriter keys I got on super markdown, my Autumn Leaves postmarks again and just some scrap edges of Grungepaper.
I love the stamped background I made here using a Hero Arts pine tree and the hug a tree saying from I think either Basic Grey...maybe. The 2 deer are stickers with some Hero Arts green pearls on them. The sun is an older magnetic stamp from a set I won on eBay and I highted and edged with brown marker.
I find coming home and doing journal pages like this is very relaxing and really does let out my creativity...without too much worry about how the final page looks. And because of that...I usually really like how the pages come out.
Like Rick Steves says...keep on travelling
and from me
make fun journal scrap pages.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

It's Just Another Day

Closer to April....
Although the wind is still whipping...the snow seems to be melting...I need spring!
I need this week to move along too unlike last week which dragged and dragged...
But enough about all of that.
Here's a card I made last Sunday which I very much like. It starts with white cardstock. Then on a seperate paper I stamped this background stamp (Cornish Heritage Farms) and used red and mango ink for color the background. I used pinking style scissors to cut it out. I added some 7Gypsies paper tape before I attached it. I cut out the corner swirl on some flowered paper from 7Gyspies. The woman is stamped with an Oxford Impression stamp. I cut away a lot of the background around her but left the lacey bottom. I added a bit of Tim Holtz tape horizontally then and I also added a button sticker which I found tucked away in my sticker stash. The saying is from PostModern Design and I used a few gemstones in the corners. I'm very pleased with how this card came out. You know how it is, sometimes you like a card and sometimes you love a card you make.
So since I'm in a blase morning mood...wishing it was really spring like and in the 60's today (sorry- but I have spring fever so horriblely  right now)'s some springy photos from our Death Valley Trip...a month ago!
Landscapes different from what my backyard looks like right now--
(another words, not snowy)
Devil's golf course.
Leave only footprints.

Enjoy your day!

Monday, March 28, 2011

Date Nut Bars

Posted Monday but written Sunday night!
Strange title perhaps, but today I made my second batch of date nut bars in the past week...just can't seem to get enough of them.
I made my own filling with dates, a bit of sugar and orange juice- YUMMY and then made crumb top and bottom with some fattening butter but lots of oats too. The recipe is from the Fat Witch Brownie Bakery book...lots of yummy bars and brownies in there.
It was a good weekend-but COLD. The wind was a killer. Went out to lunch and shopping with Katie at T.J. Maxx Saturday and have been watching the NCAA Men's Ice Hockey semi-finals...another game tonight with UNH against Notre Dame. Maine never made it this year-BOO HOO- but that's how the date nut bar crumbles sometimes.
I also did a bit of cleaning and started a French journal...practicing my French phrases and making sketches to help me learn them and visual...just my learning style. I even made the journal using watercolor paper and stitching up the folios...I've shown a few inner spreads beflow but will show you more when more of it gets finished.
I am feeling a bit let down with the way winter is dragging on though...just so long as it doesn't snow this week, and if it gets into the 40's...I think so many people are in downer moods right now around here since the winter is just hanging on and on...we need spring to jump start our joy I think.
Here's the spread from my French journal. I've been writing, doodling and using stamps, Copics and water colors of various sorts to make my pages pop and my memory work to remember more.
Here's another spread. I've only gotten through a few pages but the point isn't just to fill up the book but to work on actually learning some new words and phrases as I go.
Anyhow, happy Monday...enjoy and may you have spring in your neck of the woods.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

A Little Bird Told Me

Here's a simple little card...first I made a card with green cardstock...I added a small cut piece of flowered paper. Then I die cut the bird and hand cut out the branch. I used some brown ink to color the branch. The bird was first stamped in a yellowish color with a script design. Then a used some red ink to color the bird, along with some red and brown Copics. I attached that down onto the twig I handcut. Then I put down some 7Gypsies tape...and I took some Germam foil gold flowers and cut them in half and attached them under the tape to make a cool little metal trim. I stamped the saying (Hero Arts) and added a felt flower by Prima and some red gemstones to make the center of the flower- and VOILA...a simple cute little card...well it is simple and I think its cute.
So what's your weekend plans? I don't have any and that's ok since my next few weekends will be pretty quiet...maybe I'll get more done in my studio-either new art OR some more cleaning done...who knows. All I know is that April is only few days away which is exciting...why is March always such and exhausting month? Its probably the hardest transistion month of the year...wanting winter to be done with and gone.
Whatever your plans...have a great one...and hope you find a little art time too.

Friday, March 25, 2011

What a Day

Yesterday was an insane day. I ended up getting home very car appointment turned into an almost 3 hour job and work was BUSY and it felt like Friday all day but was only we had snow showers all day...YUK...along with a thousand other small things...and never mind I knew all day how I had to go into the dentist today and get my abcessed tooth worked on some more since a piece broke off the other studio time yesterday...and I really needed studio time because its my release when things get crazy...
But anyhow...
I got LOTS of reading done at the car service center ...I'm trying to finish up a few books that are half done and I've also started this book which I am enjoying a lot...though its not quite as travel centered as I thought but I still like it and would give it high marks for enjoyable light reading. That was a good thing.
And since this book is about travels, I thought I'd show you a couple more photos from our vacation- did it really happen-- it seems so long ago?
This is the Bottle House in Rhyolite, Nevada- a ghost town (my first). This house was made out of beer bottles and adobe...interesting actually. You can see the whole house here-
and then more of a close up of a wall- you can see me snapping in window refection.
Rhyolite is now part of a free stop-- run by the Department of Interior.
As I said, it was my first ghost town.

And I don't think I shared this spread in my travel journal with you either.
Did I mentioned Dave and I are going to North Carolina in July for a week? One of my good friends lives down there and she's celebrating her 50th out on the Outer Banks so we're going for a few days to see her during her special birthday. Then we'll have a few days of sight-seeing/vacation while we're there. I've been to her house in Raleigh, but never out to the Outer Banks. Looking forward to it. The way yesterday went, I wish I was leaving tomorrow.
Happy Friday!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Light and Airy

It's Wednesday of those nights where I had good intentions but instead took a LONG nap and now only want to crash on the couch and watch popcorn for dinner...I think its the late winter blahs...snow on the ground and just keep watching slowly melt...too slowly after Monday's 5 inches of snow rewhitened what had melted...frustration to say the least. Work has just been busy too...this week is one of those super busy almost overwhleming weeks. Last night I motivated myself to do a few things...but is NOT happening. I can tell you that.
So instead. I will blog and post this card  made a couple of Saturdays ago.
I started with  a piece of white card stock and some watercolor markers. I colored the flowers (Hero Arts) and with a light spritz of water I stamped them. This technique has been all over some blogs lately- and its a great way to make a nice watercolor look. You can do the same thing with watercolor pencils or watercolor paints. Glad to see its making a comeback. On a seperate sheet of paper I stamped the woman (Oxford Impressions)  and  I used some very light toned Copics to add a bit of color to it.
Then I layered a  piece of textured paper, and put my beautiful woman down and added a few dragonflies (Hero Arts) and a round word (Hero Arts). And I added a saying veritcally (PostModern Designs). I really like this card, its light and airy and the I love the colors...wish my world were these colors right now...not brown and mud and dirty white and grey skies....
Anyhow, hope your Thursday is great.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Shabby Tea Room Challenge-Bingo

This week's challenge at the Shabby Tea Room is using 3 embellishments from the Bingo chart...I'm going for die cuts, flowers and gemstones. I die cut the following- the pocket, the tag, the swirls and the partial flower at the bottom left corner.
I love the shabby distressed look, so I used mango, brown and torquoise inks to color some tagstock. On the pocket I added a part of a dry embossed piece of leather paper-I used a Sizzix Tim Holtz collage texture plate and cut out the clock since it went with the sleepy girl, some Tim Holtz paper tape, a clock pin  some stamped stars (using the new Hero Arts star background) and the sleeping girl which is from LaBlanche stamps. I used Prima flower gemstones- so that should cover both in my row, I think. I added some blue Stickles into the center of each flower gemstone. I coordinated the tag with the pocket. The tag and swirls are diecuts. The mushrooms are from the same stamp as the girl- from LaBlanche stamps. More Hero Arts star background, Tim Holtz paper tape, Prima gemstones, and the words are using some Autumn Leaves letter stamps. I colored all the stamped and cut out images with Copics and highlighted them with some gel pens.
Happy Day making art!!!!

Sunday, Yesterday and then Today

Not to be cliche, but what a difference a day makes!
Here's Sunday!
Dave and I went to York Beach, Maine to walk the beach.
Dave and Harley walking together!
I have no idea who this family is but its kind of cool the way their standing looking at the little flock of seagulls.
And here's me in shadow.
Just BLUE! Blue sky, blue water, a little strip of and out to Nubble Light.
My belated birthday present- new BOGS boots. I love them!
Then we have
But first, I have to show you some more of Sunday.
Chilly but bright!
And isn't this the craziest thing? A stack of lobster pots decorated with shiny green shamrocks for St. Patrick's Day.
OK, now I'll show you
Monday March 21
My road on my way home from work!
It was
The first full day of SPRING.
No jokes here-this is real.
Winter won't give up her grip.
Be back tomorrow with something cheerier.
Hopefully all this will melt by then!

Monday, March 21, 2011

More LaBlanche

So today's post is this cool heart stamp by LaBlanche stamps. I stamped it, colored it with Copics and then cut it out and put it onto a background stamped with a large Judikins stamp. This is also a beautiful Judikins stamp with birds and flowers, and I stamped it with purple and I think its got a great midevil feel to it. I added a strip of 7Gypsies paper tape which I colored and added a little red design to, and also added some German metal scrap which is in this awesome bronze color. Then I finally put down a little strip of scrap paper and the words stamped onto some distressed paper, punched all my corners...and also added some Stickles to the German metal scrap but you can't really see any sparkles in this photo.
So its the first full day of spring-yesterday was cool but gorgeous and today they are saying SNOW- 1-4 inches around here. Hope its closer to 1...who wants snow right now?
Happy Monday all...

Sunday, March 20, 2011

More first day of spring!

We need a card for spring about I'm putting up a second post today. This is a very simple fancy techniques here. I trimmed the card bottom. I stamped the clouds (Hero Arts) and doodled them in with a white pen.. The sun is just something I freehanded with yellow paper and some yellow ink. The words are from Technique Tuesday-their retired spring set. I love these cows and sheep, they are from Aladine and I think the leaves are from Hero Arts, just repeated several times, colored and then some Prima gemstone flowers put in between each stamped section.
The sun is shining here today and we're off to the beach for a walk!!!!


Yes, today spring officially arrives! HURRAY! Not that it always seems very spring like in New Hampshire...but today we have equal day and night and it is spring which means everything is on the UP side of improving.
Yesterday Dave and I went up to my mother-in-laws house...she's been gone all winter and her house has been closed up and not plowed as you'll see below. But we stopped at the grocery store afterwards and they had these sprigs of forsythia out for sale.
Here's me at the end of her driveway. I'm standing on the pile of some snow where a plow had turned around. Her house is down that clearing behind me and through the woods.
Here's Dave trekking in.  And me-below- stuck (practically) in the snowbank right near her front door. It was slightly snowing at the time too.
You can see some melt has happened- our temperatures well above freezing and in the 60's Thursday and Friday have helped.
The lake is still frozen over and with the light snow squall, its foggy and very wintery looking. I wouldn't go out on the ice though...we were  standing on the shore.
As you can see here. Its a pretty view in a wintery way.
Not as pretty as this view was last July 4th though.
Or this one below.
Well, the GOOD news is that the nice weather will be here before we know it.
So yesterday afternoon I did some more cleaning in my studio- it's STILL a big mess, but I made big was so great to get out and walk some yesterday morning that I was really perked up to work. Its getting there...eventually. I don't think I've ever let a space get so messy in my entire life so the work to clean it is CRAZY, but I am trying to weed down my stamp collection to a more manageble reach a point you just get too many. That's my stash right now...but I think today Dave and I are going to walk the snow or mud there since its suppose to be a pretty nice day. Also going to the Kittery Trading post to get my birthday present, some Bogs mud/rain boots I want...hope they have them still. I saw them back in January in the winter...and now that its spring!!!
Happy spring to you.