Saturday, August 31, 2013

10 Things Saturday

Long Labor Day Weekend here in the US.
Although not the astronomical end of summer,
it is the end of the summer season socially here.
And after working 4 whole days,
I am ready for a long weekend-
before the back to school push really starts on Tuesday.
(What a baby I am, huh?)
Always a sad thing to see summer finish up,
shorter days-
cooler nights-
tinges of colors in the leaves-
but I do love fall.
If only I didn't have to miss so much of it cooped up inside at school.
So today,
10 fall goals.
(or around 10)
I'm not including the usual things, like making art or getting out to walk or any of those things I am going to do anyhow.

1-Check out Game of Thrones on HBO. I haven't seen any of it and I would like to watch the first 3 seasons (or 2 seasons) that I have never seen.

2-Make more pie. I have been a a big pie kick. Next on my list is Key Lime.
Gonna make one this weekend to try to cheer up Katie since she has shingles.
(What a way to start to school year.)
Plus I found key limes at the grocery store.
And with apple picking coming shortly, some good old apple pies will be on my list too.

3-Get back into knitting more. It was kind of hot, humid and I was too busy this summer to knit much.

4-Work on getting my reading pile next to the bed down a bit more.

5-Make a point of getting outside as much as possible. I am better when I can do that.

6- Find a short trip for New Years week since I am off all that week- 2 weeks this year for the holidays-wow! That never happens.

7-This has been a home improvement year in my house. Decluttering, fixing up and updating. I hope to get a few more little chores done. That's what we've been doing all year, nothing too big but lots of small projects are leaving my house looking pretty spiffy. When it is clean, that is.

8- Play hookey one or two days from work if I need a down day. Or if there's a good art class someplace I want to take. Or maybe to do something fun. Life is WAY too short to always be responsible-especially when you are 99.999999% of the time.

9- Do fall things. Pick apples. Carve a pumpkin. Go leaf peeping.

10-Practice some Spanish. Or my French. Someday I might actually have a chance to use either one of them again.

11-Get to a Maine hockey game. This season there aren't a lot of games they play down in our neck of the woods. I may have to take a little roadtrip to see them play this fall.

So do you have any fall plans or goals?
See you again soon.

Friday, August 30, 2013

Long Weekend!

Even though I have a fairly early doctor's appointment today,
at least I don't need to get up between 4:45-5:00 a.m.
The hardest thing about going back to work!
For sure!
My body can deal with 6 or 6:30, but any earlier,
man oh man.
I hope you have some plans for your weekend!
So I took 2 of my pattern pages and did some spraying with some Dylusion's spray ink. Then I painted some flowers, which I outlined. I added the gal from Stampotique and played with my white pen.
Eh voila.
Here's a better view of the right side.
I like having all the colored patterns underneath it all.
So this week has been busy with back to school. Haven't gotten into the studio at all but I have done some more pattern drawings while watching tv. We've seen a couple of movies on Redbox this week-finally saw Life of Pi which I  really liked. Been wanting to see that movie  for awhile now.
Any other good flicks you'd recommend?
Have a great day!

Thursday, August 29, 2013

It is NOT all Beaches and Resorts

Costa Rica is NOT a place of just plush resorts and green jungles and blue oceans.
It is a complex place that I got a tasting of during my 10 days there.
Hardly enough time to really get it.
But the landscape is beautiful and the people are lovely.
And it is different from here in the US.
Do you know shampoo and those other beauty products are so expensive they are kept under lock and key in stores?
Love these colors.
And this salsa is always out on the table. Not a chunky tomato based salsa.
And I had rice with every meal. I am tired of rice right now.
You only mix rice with beans for breakfast.

One thing that really surprised me in Costa Rica was the bakeries. Lots of good bakeries. Who knew? 
And if you ask them what this baked good is, you'll laugh when they tell you its a donut.
Boy was it yummy- that's carmel on the top.
And with nothing to scale it here- this was probably 7 inches across.
Good thing I split it with Immaculee.
And better than ice cream. Guanabana (soursop) and leche (milk) smoothies.
There's all kinds of smoothies in Costa Rica. Some made with water. Some made with milk.
This one was beyond delicious with milk.
If you haven't heard of guanabana (like me) before, this is what it looks like.
So hope you learned something new about Costa Rica.
I love learning new things about places.
Its all part of the adventure.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

A Card for You

Last week I made a bunch of cards-
now that the daughter is back at school I need some
to send to her.
I usually send a few every week-
gives her something in her mailbox.
I think even as an adult I like something fun in my mailbox still.
As long as I don't just get  bills or junk or other stuff I don't need.
Anyhow, still have to snap some photos of those cards.
This card was not for my daughter though-
a sympathy card for a co-worker.
Since I made this awhile back I can't remember who made this great
sun image. I added a little watercolor ink color. Then I die cut the tree and added some
Distress Stain with a bit of Stickles mixed in,
just to give it a little more pop.
No saying on the front as I wanted it to be a bit more subdued.

So today all the kiddos come back and I have my first full day of classes. Yesterday we just had freshmen. Tomorrow we wrap up the week.
Friday we're off for a 4 day long weekend.
I am already ready for that!!!
You'd think I haven't had time off for a awhile.
Any plans for your long Labor Day weekend?
Katie will be home-
the poor kid has shingles-
her first week back at school too.
And Dave's got major back issues, can't even put on his own socks.
Hospital central practically.
So my weekend plans-
who knows?
Well, gotta run.
Thanks for stopping by.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

In the Jungle

"In the jungle
The mighty jungle
The monkeys screams at night."
Those howler monkeys- they start at like 3 a.m.
Here we are, on one of our 2 rainforest hikes in Costa Rica.
One of those noisy howler monkeys we saw and heard.
I never saw wild monkeys before.
Pretty cool.
This how they look when they make their noises. 
Did you ever read The Lacuna by Barbara Kingsolver?
She describes the howler monkeys at the beginning of the book and it is a very memorable description.
Looking up!
No monkeys in these palm fronds.
And check out those leaf cutter ants.
They are all over but really pretty cool.
Those little leaf fragments are being carried by those leaf cutters on their ant superhighways through the rain forest.
They take the leaf pieces and use it to feed a fungi that they grow in their giant ant hills. That in turns feeds the young larva.
What adaptations
Why I find biology so crazy cool.
I never thought I'd be hiking in the rainforest and I did.
It was hot, damp, muddy, noisey, lush, fascinating.
Maybe not sound very appealing but it was.
More another day.
Thanks for visiting.

Monday, August 26, 2013

More Costa Rica- Tropical Blooms

Tough morning.
I need to go back to work today.
But in another way I am ready to go back.
Just want to say its been a weird summer.
Think I just had too much going on and never really got into down mode-
until last week.
And yesterday my baby moved back to college for her senior year.
Yes, you heard me right, her senior year.
I am in shock.
Enough of that already.
To keep us all cheery,
here's some beautiful tropical flowers just growing here and there in Costa Rica.
The plants there were just amazing.
This plant, whatever it is called, fills up with water from all the rain they get. We were told that people use that water and nectar mixture that forms for shampoo. Didn't try it myself. This might actually not even be the flower, but it is pretty amazing looking.
I felt like was walking through a greenhouse.  Even on our rainforest hikes we saw these plants that you can buy for houseplants here. Wandering jew, philodendrons, bromeliads. Never mind all the other trees and plants that grow.
It was a feast for my biological senses.
These flowers are adapted so it is easy for hummingbirds to get into them. They're more open on the top.
Those hummers buzzed all over the place.  Here's one who landed on a branch not too far away.  More in silhouette than specific colors, but you can tell its a little hummer. 
And wild orchids. Just growing on the side of the road.
Here's a few more gorgeous blossoms for you to enjoy.

Isn't this a great feast for your eyes on a Monday?
Maybe someday I will figure out the names for all those gorgeous flowers.
Have a great day and thanks for stopping by.

Sunday, August 25, 2013

A Good Read

Product Details
A little bit over the top. but am really enjoying this.  Took maybe 80 pages before it pulled itself together, and at times I say a little contrived-
But it has hooked my attention-kind of like an Indiana Jones movie with a female heroine-
but is the best book I've read all this summer.
Speaking of summer-
moving Katie back to college today.
Tomorrow I go back to school.
Did it really even happen this year?

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Travel Journal

I didn't keep a travel journal in Costa Rica- literally no time. 
But I have a few more pages from my Colorado trip journal to show you- I finished it up the other day.
Took me quite awhile for me.
And I didn't get as much done during my journey as I usually do.
This journal is some journaling, some collaging and some things like stickers.
A few little folders that hotel keys and other receipts came in.
I also some images I stamped and cut out and added to the pages.
I found this sheet of old postage stamps at an art sale-with all 5 states on it.  So I was bad and copied them and cut them out and used them for this 4 Corners page. And I punched and added some post cards,
Add a restaurant coaster  and some pictures I cut off a bag.
Stickers, little clear word blocks, stamped images.
I also cut out of those free tourist brochures you can pick up at hotels and other tourist places.
How about a grocery store receipt. Its all part of the trip.
Anything that helps pull the trip together and jog a few memories down the road.
You know, put a smile on your face down the road too.

Next time I take a trip (though I am not exactly sure what that trip will be right now),
I am going to try a new form of journal.
I love this style,
but I think it is time to shake things up a bit.
Not sure what I want to do for a travel journal yet though.
Any suggestions?
Have a great day!

Friday, August 23, 2013

The Good with the Bad

So coming home from Costa Rica I have been in a real slow summer mode.
And next week I go back to school.
So much for summer mode.
It's been a busy summer, with 2 trips, painting my kitchen cabinets and a few other chores.
Not much time to shut off my motor so to speak.
So the other morning I worked at the lake and did some pattern drawing.
I am addicted to drawing patterns ever since I took the SEWN class offered by Mary Ann Moss.
I used one of the new small Dylusions Journals for these-I picked it up to bring to Costa Rica with me since I thought I might have some time to sketch.
Just about 30 minutes one night was all.
Anyhow, seems to me this paper kind of leaks through a bit. Is it just me? I didn't get to gesso any pages so maybe that's it.
Anyhow, wasn't as happy with it as with the big one, though I think I might just be remembering things wrongly.
Not really crazy about any of these patterns I drew. Some I like better than others.
Funny how some days nothing turns out in the liking range and other days you love everything you create.
Why is that?
I like the corner pattern on the left. Maybe not those colors. And I like the colors on the right.
So much I did another page in them.
What I don't like about the paper in this book is that it doesn't hold up to watercoloring very well.
I do know its not watercolor paper, but I had hoped that at least with these Distress Markers I could a quick water brush over them to get a bit more depth.
Oh well,
live and learn as they say.
Think I'll add designs elements and collage over these.
I hate having art I don't like.
The perfectionist in me I guess.
Something I need to learn to live with.
That's all for now.
Thanks for visiting.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

The Kids

More Costa Rica photos to show you today.
My intense 10 day immersion trip was through my school (where I teach) and a local university. Our big focus was to see what life is like if you are living in Costa Rica as a local. With lived with a host family for 5 nights. During the day we had class at both ends of the day, and then in between class we had various activities and adventures to get to know the area we were in-Porto Jimenez in the Osa Peninsula
Several of our activities were visiting school- the local elementary. and high schools, a private bilingual school in town and then 2 rural mixed grades k-6 schools. They were definitely my favorites. We taught some English lessons and observed and participated in some other activities.
The kids were adorable.
6th grade science class in the public Porto Jimenez elementary school. Kids must be in school k-6 but after that it is optional.
Here's 2 of my colleagues teaching.
Assembly for us at the private bilingual school. The woman in the front in the red shirt is our fearless leader Helaine.
The high school science class. Man, this was SAD. This teacher had no control nor seemed to care about control. I guess you get assigned by the government when you graduate from college and the least experience you have means you get sent to the least desirable schools. This school had a pretty decent tech area but academics were scary.  Plus look at the rooms.  No supplies.  No lab tables. No books either.  Very rote-memorize everything. And the windows weren't windows but open air and with kids milling around everywhere it was not a very advantageous place for learning. Very sad actually.
Here is my new friend Nancy (on the left) from the trip. We are at one of the rural mixed grade schools we visited.  We were teaching the kids some action verbs and the verb was surfing. I taught them singing and eating. We all laughed a lot and it was Fun!
Here's the younger kids learning the verb running.
Here's the same exercise at the other rural school.
So back home-
I think I am finally getting back into the swing of New Hampshire life. This is my last week off, Monday it is back to the grind.
That is good and bad, but this trip being so close to the end of the summer put me back into the school mode a bit.
The heat is back here too, but maybe that means next week will be cooler.
So while I was gone my kitchen cabinet painting got finished and the kitchen looks great. I went out and got some new shelves for one of my cabinets which I hope get put in soon. I also took a trip to my fav. craft store Tuesday (since it was in the vicinity of the Container Store where I bought my shelf unit), got new sneakers since I left my torn, soggy and muddy old ones in Costa Rica, and worked one morning at the lake. I've also been working on my paper from the university from this trip. Its been a busy week. Hope to have some art up to show you soon and have been going through my trip photos. More there.
Some whales, monkeys, tropical flowers...all kinds of things to show you.
Have a super day and
I appreciate your visit.