Thursday, March 31, 2016

What I Didn't Show You

 March was a pretty good month overall. Just a few wintery days and one little slip in the hubby's health battle, but that seems to be taken care of now too.
I know a lot of people like March, but  me, I like April better, when spring really does arrive. Thought I would show you a few photos I took in March before the month winds down and disappears into the annuals of history.
Most of them look kind of grey, but March was kind of grey in my piece of the world.
Foggy in these 2 first photos, but the ice went out on all the local lakes including the big lake near me, Lake Winnipesaukee. Earliest ice out in recorded history here for us. :)
I kind of like how the clouds settled into the hills like that.
There are small mountains behind that low cloud. In my area the mountains are 3,000-4,000 feet high for the most part. If you go a little bit north of me they are 5,000-6,000 feet, with the highest in New England, Mount Washington. Not high compared to lots of places but it has some of the worst recorded weather and strongest recorded winds in the US.
Yup, I wouldn't say so if  it wasn't,
LOVE this reflection on a grey Sunday morning. I want this house behind the pond; it is on my someday dream list to own it. Or at least it was until I heard that the people who do own it (who are Germans and use it as a summer vacation home) spent over $750,000 to renovate it.
Oh well, I can dream.
A little ice on the trees. But it was pretty.
How about a few very out of focus turkeys that roam wild around my town. Sometimes they even make it over to my house, You never know when you may come across them driving through town, as I did here back in the middle of the month.
Yes- blue sky. And big buds on the sugar maple tree in my back yard.
And a movie isn't as good if you don't share some popcorn with no butter.
And it isn't Easter without a selection of jelly beans.

Plus I am hooked on reading non-fiction right now and here's my latest read that I just finished. 
Mt. St. Helen's is in Washington state and erupted in 1980. I was in college at the time and remember we all watched it with interest. Then a couple of summers ago we went to Seattle on our summer vacation and we took a road trip down to check it out.  It was really interesting. That is in fact why I bought (not even from the library) this book and have been reading it. Thought I would show you a couple of photos I took during our day's visit.
View from the north. The crater isn't very obvious but driving in from this direction you can still see all the trees that blew down and were killed from the blast cloud.
Some new growth around all the carcasses of tree that went down in the blast zone. I love that after 34 years we could still see them.
The south west side. This is where the mud flows and ash deposits were huge. You can also see the crater. The visitor's center here had a film and when it finished they opened up a big curtain and this was the view. It was pretty impressive.
The only way to go from one side of the mountain to the other is to drive and drive and drive back out and then south. I want to say it took us a few hours to go from one view point to the other (yes, it was that interesting so we did it), but also stopped for lunch in between and it was a couple of summer ago.
Pictures of Spirit Lake before the blast show a pretty and pristine evergreen forest with the  glacier covered volcano in the background. There were cottages and even a lodge around the shores. The perfect vacation spot before the blast. Now it is hard to even tell it is a lake. It looks like it has ice or snow on it in this photo, but those are trees that actually got washed into it  during the blast, They are still floating. You can see in those 34 years it did green up quite a bit too.

Here's a famous photo of the blast that I borrowed the internet.
Still looks very frightening to me.
The book talks about the people who survived this because they were in the vicinity when it exploded in May 1980. Some of those stories are pretty amazing. I obviously enjoyed the book and hope you enjoyed my little recap.
Anyhow, I think I've written enough.
Thanks for stopping by for a visit.

Wednesday, March 30, 2016


Some time you journal for a challenge and sometimes you journal for yourself. This is one of those pages I made in a moment when I gave that big scream when my husband was having a bit more health issues (luckily they didn't tun into anything gigantic although still, they are there now- something else).
I had pre-posted the photo thinking it would make a good post, and then yesterday the new try It on Tuesday challenge began and voila, it fits that too.
So now the page I made for me is also good for a challenge.
Can't complain about that.
So check out the "quotes on artwork" for the next 2 weeks at Try It On Tuesday.
There is a bit of a glare on the right wing, but the dark edged of the page are purposely done. The girl in the heart doesn't look anything like me but her expression was how I felt at the time. The big heart is a stamp from Stamper's Anonymous. I believe it is designed by Michael deMeng, but I might be totally wrong about that, so I apologize in advance if I am off.
Otherwise its a Gelli printed background, some other stamps by Allie Edwards and Rubber Stamps of America, a little bit of assorted paint, a glitter pen and also some Stabilo pencil.
That's all for me. The mid-week, end of the quarter at school business is keeping me out of trouble.
Have a wonderful day.

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

T is for Making Maple Syrup

Happy T Day everyone one.
Stop by   Bluebeard and Elizabeth's blog- Altered Book Lover, to see what the T Gang has to show today.
I am going to show you something a little different today. No tea or coffee for me today, but maple syrup instead. Not quite drinking but needed for the breakfast photo I am sharing. 
Hope this divergence is allowed.:)
So I might have shown  you this little green building in a post last summer or so.  This is a sugar shack on my walking route down my road. And when we walked by on Easter morning we had the nice surprise of seeing them actually making maple syrup.
It is sugar season here in New Hampshire, along with Maine, Vermont, Massachusetts and other sugaring places, even if it has been a weird winter and not necessarily the best sugaring year.
 These guys have been tapping the sap sugar maple trees in the woods around the shack. In the old days they would use buckets tapped into the tree and then empty the buckets in the boiler, but now they use a bag with a long plastic pipe attached to it. This way the sap drips right down into the pipe and it feeds down into a large sap collector.

Here's 2 photos off of Wikipedia ( to show you the new bags, sap collecting pipes and the old fashioned buckets.

Once the sap is collected, they pipe it into this boiler where the sap gets heated to boiling. These guys were doing it the old fashioned way, heating the sap with a wood stove. Then as the sap heats up and boils, the water evaporated and leaves the sweet maple syrup behind.
 I'm  not quite sure how this second pan works, but they told me the more concentrated syrup works its way along  towards the tap.
I'm sure there is a little more science behind it than I briefly explained. And I  did learn a few others things talking to the guys too. I learned that syrup picks up flavors very easily so you should buy it in glass bottles if you don't plan to use it up right away. And you want to use clear sap when you go to make the syrup. The sap runs best when the nights are cold and the days are warm, not hot, and its better when the buds haven't pop (which I noticed on the one sugar maple in my yard that they have popped).
I love the idea that this is a product that is still often made the old fashioned way in these little sugar shacks, and I love the idea that I can buy some syrup made right down my street,
And yes, I live on gravel road. No pavement here in the woods where I live.
Now I want a big plate of blueberry pancakes.
Or maybe regular pancakes with an egg tucked inside.
Thanks to all of you who wished me luck with my car inspection.  You must have sent enough good vibes because my car passed. Yahoo!
Have a happy T Day everyone.

Monday, March 28, 2016

Making Art Ain't Pretty-Although Sometimes the Results Are

Took this photo back on the 19th when I took an art class. It is fun to sit in a class  every now and again. I love to see what other people come up with and talk to other arty souls. It always invigorates my creativity.
In this class we did a lot of  free painting of backgrounds. I made a page stamped with lots of painted pipe insulation ends -you know those foam pieces they put around pipes. The end is round and hollow so when you paint it you get this donut shaped image. You can see some blue ones right at the bottom of this journal page.
So then I found this piece of brown waxed dryer sheet that was in the class paper bin. (Thanks Corrine for showing me that insulation trick way back last summer and introducing me to those dryer sheets.)
I tore the dryer sheets up into scraps and put them down around some of my painted circles like flower petals, mostly because all the circles on the page looked like a garden of tall flowers to me.
At first I was going to leave them brown, but nope, too much brown in my world right now, so I painted them, along with the centers, and the stems too. Then I cut out some hearts and turned them into butterflies. the words also came from my class bag of collage elements.
This page might be a bit full, and hopefully the flowers pop enough so you can see them. The petals do pop up off the page, as do the butterfly wings, but it is rather hard to discern that from the photo.
I am linking up to Moo Mania. The theme is spring right now.

So hope everyone had a great weekend. New week now, and just about April.  Boy March has flown.
I need to see if my car is going to pass inspection today, so keep your fingers crossed it won't cost me some big repair. I worry I might need brakes or to think positive here.
I need to get it all squared away before the month is over-guess I've got to get rolling on it.
Enough for me-I do need to go to work today.
As usual, thanks for stopping by my blog.

Saturday, March 26, 2016

Hoot Hoot

I've got this cute little guy I painted to link up at AJJ today. Stop by and check out the art by clicking here Art Journal Journey. This month is being hosted by Chris and the theme is If You Go Into the Woods.
So if you go into the woods you may see this owl. He's created with paint, newspaper and Stabilo pencil. I actually painted him on a plain piece of paper and then I cut him out and attached him to  this woody looking background. The background started with me cleaning off a wood bark designed stencil, and added paints, stamping and spray ink to it.
So Happy Easter everyone (at least to those of you have celebrate). Today we had a gorgeous day and I enjoyed lots of time outside. Tonight I am just a big couch potato as I think I wore myself out with all that fresh air. Its a good feeling though. Big smile for me.
Enjoy a jellybean or two.
And thanks for visiting.

Friday, March 25, 2016

A Wild Frolic in the Grass

Happy Friday everyone! This week flew right by even though the word of this week has been chilly. Probably in reality this is more typical March weather for us  than earlier in the month when it felt more like spring.
  Longer days are great and some days we can even squeeze in a walk after work-this photo is from yesterday.
Still, it was way better than my drive to work on Monday.
 I got stuck behind this trio of snowplows the whole way down the highway.
I am so glad the snow melts within a day at this time of year.
This photo is really depressing!
You can see why I have been enjoying those photos on the blogs of people who are lucky enough to be actually having spring now.
So to forget about the cold and to celebrate spring and also Easter that is coming up this weekend, I made this journal page which I am sharing today.
These bunnies are frolicking in the grass. The page is made on a Gelli print, with 2 die cut bunnies, and some painted details.

Friday means a link up to  Paint Party Friday . Thank you Kristen and Eva for hosting.

And this fortnight over at Try It On Tuesday the theme is nature.

And lastly, the theme over at Moo Mania is spring.

Thanks for visiting my blog. I hope everyone has a wonderful weekend, and if you celebrate Easter, I hope it is a sunny, warm and wonderful day for you. Don't eat too many jelly beans or chocolate rabbits either.   :)

Thursday, March 24, 2016

The Rest of My Travel Journal

Showing you the last of my New Mexico travel journal today. If you missed the first posts about it and you are curious, you can link up here:  Part 1 of Taos travel journal and Part 2 of Taos travel journal.
Can't believe I was there a whole month ago.
My cover. You might have seen this before. It got a bit scuffed up during the tip which only made it better.
My inner cover. 
Then I took these blank tags, envelopes and pages and tried to catch the feel of my trip on them.

These are before photos. (Obviously.) I wanted to show you have the before looked .
There's a little glare here as the paper tag I made (using scrap paper and a piece I cut out of a travel magazine) are in the clear plastic envelope I recycled.
More magazine cut outs. And a piece from a clothing tag in my stash.
I really like my journals to feel like the place I visited, not just record my trip events.
If you've followed closely you've noticed I've done some rearranging of pages. That's one thing I love about using a ringed binder for my journal.
I've also used a few postcards and some stamped and cut out images.
And then I added a few pockets. Pockets are good things in my mind. I can fill them with receipts and business cards and other little things I may want to keep.

Got to love the addition of a little map or two.
Some of my pages are made from heavy board (like card board) and some are on sheets of paper. Here and there I've added in some journaling. And sometimes just all the collected ephemera works.

And then I've added things from my stash at home.
I think I finished it just in time since vacation  is feeling like it was long ago. Oh well, spring is here and it will be my April break before I know it.  I am going to take a 4 day level 2 baking class that week to build upon the level 1 class I took last summer. I'm excited and it should be a lot of fun.
So that's my journal views and all for me today. Hope you enjoyed them!

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

What's That Noise In The Woods

Here's another journal piece for Art Journal Journey. This month Chris is hosting and the theme is "Don't go into the woods".
I am also linking up to Try It on Tuesday with the theme of nature.

 I had these couple of deer die cuts that I colored with Copics. The look on the big buck made me think he looked a little bit skittish, so I decided to paint in the owl in the tree hooting.  That would be enough to make a skittish animal look around. Actually the faces on those 2 deer make me smile because I like how it gives them all these playful silly expressions.
And I want to send my thoughts to the people of Brussels and Belgium. It is a sad sad world we live in when these acts happen with such frequency or happen at all.
That's all for today my friends. Lots to do at work  and the early morning is slipping by too fast. I'm glad you stopped by to visit.

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Snow Is Melting

Happy T Day everyone. Stop by Elizabeth's blog, Altered Book Lover and check out all the T Gang posts.  I snapped this photo of my chai yesterday morning with the fresh snow falling. We ended up with a 2 hour delay to school which meant I could go back to sleep an extra hour and get to drive in with some daylight.  :)
I like the owl eyes just peeking out from the snow. That wasn't planned- just what the snow depth was.
It was a terrible drive into work and the general feeling among all us staff was that they should have cancelled school. But by the trip home a lot of the snow had melted and the sun was shining. Today the snow should all or mostly melt, which is also a very good thing.

So I was very excited Sunday morning. I was doing  one of the projects on my little spring cleaning list.  I emptied out under my kitchen work bar (not drinking bar). It was pretty full under there and I created 2 big bags of trash, moved a bunch of things down into the basement over flow shelves and then I had an idea. Maybe I needed some of those cabinet shelf sliders so things wouldn't get lost in the back area of the bar.
 This is the before with everything I cleaned out.
The hubby seemed to like my idea so we went to the local hardware superstore (Lowe's) and got some of these metal racks that slide out. I've picked up a few for my kitchen cabinets in the past and love them. They make finding things much easier and seem to hold more than the cabinets did before.
When we got home he installed them for me (pretty easy, just screwing them in), and then I finished my cleaning project.
Now when I want something I just slide out the metal rack and I can grab what's in the back.
Ha-ha- so exciting.
Have a wonderful T day everyone!
Thanks for visiting me.