Monday, May 30, 2016

All The Tea in China

Today is my last day as hostess at Art Journal Journey. I want to thank Valerie and Susi for the opportunity to host this month. I also want to thank everyone who posted pages and joining me on a journey. It was a really enjoyable month for me, and I loved seeing everyone's  fantastic journal art.
Since it is Tuesday, it is time for my  T for Tuesday  post over at Bluebeard's and Elizabeth's blog. I am also linking up to Art Journal Journey. And today is the last day of the journey theme for this month.
So today I have a tea themed page that's also about journeys. A good cup of tea always leads you home. I looked up the origins of the tea plant, which is China, so I used an old map of that area, and painted in the Chinese character for tea. And then I used some of my tea stamps, all of which I have had for a long time. Finally I added this TH woman image, because she looks like someone who might have had a trip to China and also like she might love to drink tea. At least in my story that is true for her.
So its back to work  after the long weekend. I managed to get a lot of gardening done and also painted the floor on my porch. That's what I wanted to accomplish, so I am happy about that. And I also took a fly fishing lesson on Sunday. One of the things on my bucket list is to learn to fly fish and I took that first step.
I need to practice some more though.
I can toss my line out in the backyard until I get it.
And June is just about here. June! I can't believe it but I am really loving these long days and summery weather. How about you? Any big plans for upcoming  new month?
That's all for me. Thanks for visiting.

Sunday, May 29, 2016

Memorial Day Holiday

I LOVE having Monday's off. Three day weekends are the BEST.
Especially this one because when I return to school tomorrow I only have 14 days of kids left.
That is very exciting.
So thinking about this puts me into the "How shall I spend my summer break?" mindset. Other than the usual, what do I want to do with myself? I don't get bored very easily so maybe nothing but the usual sounds good.
So we are winding down the month over at Art Journal Journey. Just a little bit of time left to squeeze in another journey themed page.

And with it being late May, it is just a few more weeks of school until summer break. The kids are getting so antsy to finish this years school journey. I am too actually. There is something very exciting to finishing up the school year and being to refresh a bit before starting fresh in the fall. So here's my page for AJJ. This is what the end of the year can feel like.
Saturday was so summer like it was hard to imagine that there was even any school left. I mentioned yesterday how we went to my mother in laws for the afternoon as she lives on this pond. We had a fun afternoon... until this unexpected visitor arrived.
 And yes, there I am in the water. It was a little cold going in, but it was 91 degrees outside (almost 33 degrees Celsius).  I actually went in 3 times. And I had the honor of the first person of the season to go in and actually swim.
 My daughter and my niece are here-floating around and chatting. Our dog Maddie decided they were having more fun so she swam out to them.
 My husband put in the swim raft and then swam out and relaxed on it himself. Everyone went in except my mother-in-law.
 And Maddie was swimming after some sticks. Our other dog didn't go in. He had more fun chasing butterflies and dragonflies as they fluttered over the water.
I also did a little reading, in between swimming and chatting. And we all enjoyed our afternoon cocktails in the sun.
But then, as the afternoon got closer to evening, our uninvited guest arrived. We just called him Bruce. I will refer to him as Bruce.
So anyhow, I was in for my third swim, floating on the same float you saw my daughter on, lounging near the dock and chatting with my sister-in-law and mother-in-law. And my mother-in-law notices something in the water, swimming close to the shore than me. This was enough to FREAK ME OUT. I screamed like a girl (no shame in that) and jumped off the float and swam out deeper. Everyone was laughing at me, but only because they were glad it wasn't them in the water. When it was safe to get out of the water, I did, and I thought, that will be the end of it.
So I sit back down, and after a little bit I look down and noticed two pieces of rope on the back edge of the dock, There was a blue and white rope and a brown and darker brown rope.
And I asked if there was rope there My mother-in-law says-"Oh yes, its some old rope." And my brain is racing because I know we've had blue and white rope, but the other rope, is it just dirty old rope? So I get up and move out on the dock, and my sister-in-law quickly follows me and mouths "There's a head."
She's freaked out too.  I can tell.
My mother-in-law said Bruce was more afraid of us than we were of him, but he wasn't was he? Since he came out to warm himself in the sun while we were sitting there.
Meet Bruce.
About a 3 foot long northern water snake.
Gives me the creeps just looking at him.
So we hurried up to the house for dinner and we had to have a couple more drinks just to calm our nerves.
 And a yummy dinner. And talked about Bruce a lot while we ate.  We were still traumatized I think. Well my mother-in-law wasn't. She has nerves of steel at 82. She and my husband chased him off and he swam away. We hope he never comes back.
 It was a gorgeous sunset after dinner.
 My husband had a box of fireworks he had bought for New Years Eve, but with no snow cover he never shot them off. So he decided we needed a little evening entertainment.  We kind of worried Bruce had returned, but luckily not. He could hide really well under cover of darkness if he was there.

My phone doesn't take the best photos of fireworks, but its what I brought down to the dock with me. You get the gist. It was a really fun day, except for Bruce. But its an adventure to start the summer and a good story to laugh about over and tell-as long as he doesn't come back..
Hope I didn't go on too long. Thanks for stopping by.

Saturday, May 28, 2016

Taking on Water

Happy summery feeling Saturday from New Hampshire everyone. We are hot and humid today, beach weather. This morning I want to go do a few chores and then we have plans to go to my mother-in-laws this afternoon. She lives on a little pond, so I might even venture in for my first swim. The water is still cold but I just may have to do it to say I did. My mother-in-law is a lobster lover (she eats it like every other week) so tonight we are having lobsters there for dinner, which should be a fun time. My sister-in-law and her daughter will be there too so it will almost be like a little party. Luckily lobsters are on sale for $4.99 a pound, which is cheaper than  hamburgers right now.
Sounds like the rest of our weekend isn't going to be as warm or sunny so I'm glad to have today to have a bit of summer fun.
So some of you might remember that last weekend we tried boating but the engine blew a plug and we started taking on water. In my spring-summer journal I made a page to commemorate that sad and and adventurous event. (Here's the original post Not All Journeys Are Smooth Sailing.)
So I used a background sprayed with a bit of blue ink. I did a bit of doodling (the waves and the rope border), a bit of stamping (the center vintage boat ad, the rope frame, the ore, the water level sign)) and lots of painting. Then I used the metal compass and and the title sticker. I thought I was done at this point, but when I was looking for another water sticker, I found a very old sheet of boat stickers I had. So I added the boat and the life jacket and I thought they really finished my page perfectly.
So this month the theme is journeys at Art Journal Journey, so I linking up my page.
Hope everyone has a great Saturday and that your weekend has started off in a good way.
Thanks for visiting.

Friday, May 27, 2016

One Trip Around the Sun

It is Friday again. This past week went soooo fast for me. Here in the US we have a long weekend on our doorstep. The kids in my school district are off today, as we have a teacher workday. My hope is that we get out after our workshop ends at 2. Getting out a little early before a long weekend would be a good thing to help beat the holiday traffic and help with morale a bit too. 
So today I have a journal page. The idea came from the 1997 movie GATTACA. Don't know if anyone has seen it, but it is about a world where people's DNA being engineered is more important than what someone can do or achieve with what they naturally inherited. I always show it to my kids at school, and while recently watching it I was inspired by one line that Uma Thurman  says to her new boyfriend Ethan Hawke.  GATTACA is the space center and Ethan Hawke plays a man named Vincent who is an astronaut (as is Irene, played by Uma).  He is going into space for a year, and although he's worked very hard to get to that point, he is now uncertain if he wants to go. Uma replies  to his comment about being gone for a year "That it is not that long. It is only  1 trip around the sun."
(If you haven't seen the film, I recommend it. I haven't given anything away in my description.)

This is a fairly quick page made with painting and some stamping and a little bit of collage too.
Since it is Friday I am linking up to Paint Party Friday. Thank you Kristen and Eva for hosting such a great site. And also I am linking up to Art Journal Journey where the theme is journeys. Although the month is winding down there is still a few days left to link up and join the fun.
Hope everyone has a great weekend, and if you are celebrating the long Memorial Day weekend, hope you enjoy the extra day off. 
Thanks for stopping by my post!

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Long Strange Trip

Thursday already. Wow, this week is buzzing right by. And we've gotten warm and it feels like summer. Has me thinking about the few weeks left of school and my summer break after that!
Today I have a page which could have worked last month when Linda hosted Art Journal Journey, as my page is inspired by music. This month Art Journal Journey has a theme of journeys, and when I was thinking  of different journeys the phrase "What a Long Strange Trip Its Been" came to mind. This is also the name of an album by the Grateful Dead. So I took the title/phrase and ran with it. The album is NOT about the circus, but when I think about the title those performers came into my mind, so today I give you the big top. (With a little bit of psychedelic 1960's color background.  It kinds of reminds me of looking up into the top of a circus tent, doesn't it?) 
I painted the background and decided it was so colorful I left the stamped images (Oxford Impressions) uncolored so they would pop off the page a little better. Then I added the stars. The little ones are metal and the big ones are chip board that I used a Sharpie to make the check design. Overall I am happy I didn't color in the images because the black and white really works on the bright colors.
So with the summery weather and the fact the kids don't have school tomorrow (teacher workday) and then its a long holiday weekend here in the US, I can image productivity is not going to be high with  my students mind today.  Maybe not high on my mind either.
Hope everyone has a fantastic Thursday, and as always, thanks for visiting.

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Off on an Adventure

Hi everyone. Today's journey takes you to Cambridge, Massachusetts in the US to Harvard University. Monday I took 16 of my students on a little journey there to visit their Natural History Museum. It is one of my favorite museums, and if you like nature and even nature art, and you are ever in the Boston area, I highly recommend the visit.
The museum has been around for many years, and it has that old kind of feel to it. Harvard has redone much of it, but it is still wonderful. I love the old feel.
They have many taxidermied animals.

Some fossilized skeletons.
 This is a ferocious giant sloth and below is the gorilla. I wouldn't want to run into either of them.
This awesome fish called the coelocanth which is a missing between fish and land animals.  If you look closely at its fins, they are little legs with fins on the end. (Sorry, their specimen is in a golden colored liquid to preserve it. It doesn't help the photo at all though). In 1938 one was caught off the Comoro Islands near Africa, and this animal that they thought was extinct and only knew about in fossils was actually found. 
They also have lots of beautiful insects on display too.

I think the most exciting thing is the glass flowers though. These are amazing and don't look like glass at all. In fact, when you look at them you think they are real, freshly picked and put in the old cases. They were made by a father and son team, Leopold and Rudolph Blaschka , of Germany between 1866 and  1938. When the son died the art went with him. Although the Blaschkas made glass models of marine life for general sale, the flowers were commissioned especially for Harvard and I believe this is the only place you can see them.
There are a lot, like 40,000, and I am not sure all are on display, but here's a sampling of photos I took.

The white dots below are light reflections on the glass of the cases, not holes in the glass.

Some of my kids and I had a big chat around the glass bananas and their flowers. We had talked about how our present bananas, the Cavendish variety, is being slowly wiped out by a fungus. The age of this means these are not Cavendish, but the form that went extinct in the 1960's called the Gross Michel.  The kids saw this before me and called me over. I love it when they actually have a real connection between the world and what we do in class.

This team also made some glass sea animals before they were contracted to do the flowers.

Of course this is only a small sampling of the museum. I took a bunch of other photos but I think you can get the gist.
Hope enjoyed your virtual museum trip. :)

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Tea with Alice

Happy T Day everyone. Today is the coolest day we are suppose to have for the week because we are suppose to get a little rain. Otherwise it is like summer has arrived. 
So being Tuesday it is time to stop by Elizabeth's blog Altered Book Lover  for a little T celebration. I have a journal page today celebrating not only T but Alice's journey into Wonderland. For some reason I had a really difficult time photographing this page and getting the colors to come out accurately.
I am also linking up to Art Journal Journey. This month's theme is journeys.  There's are so many different journeys, both real and imaginary, like my page, and there is still some time to link up.
Had a great trip to Boston with some of my kiddos yesterday. The museum was great and we had a nice lunch too. No time to get photos on the computer yet, but hopefully will have some for you tomorrow.
That's all for me. Enjoy your T day.

Monday, May 23, 2016

Places to Go, People to See

Monday is here again and another week is beginning. I can't believe how fast this weekend went by . Well, actually, yes, I can believe how fast it went by  because weekends always fly by. 
Today at school I am taking a class on a field trip to Harvard University. We are going to their Natural History Museum, which is one of my favorites. It is kind of old and dusty, well, not exactly dusty but some areas are older and have a lot of character and are filled with some interesting old specimens. And there are  these spectacular glass flowers  made by a father and son between the late 1800's and the 1930s. These flowers look real, not like glass. 
I will snap lots of photos to show you later this week.
So today for Art Journal Journey I have another page related to this month's theme of journeys. I collaged most of the page with photos and words from an old Italian fashion magazine I have in my stash. The background is an old map pulled out of an out dated atlas, and I added a few stamped images like the suitcase. Then I wrote around the edge.
This gal looks like she has places to go and people to see.
So I didn't get a lot of down time this weekend. Between the boat adventure, running errands, planting flowers, moving some furniture, it was busy. But that is OK. I will go back to work to rest.
The hubby and I picked up a new cabinet at a sale this weekend. I had seen it back in January and fell in love with it, but the hubby suggested that I wait and see if it was still around when there was a sale.  I actually listened to him, and it was there, so we picked it up. I will show you once I get pictures onto the computer. I have this habit of buying very heavy furniture that is built to last, and I really wondered if we could move it into the house from his truck seeing it was just him and I. But we did.
Tonight I am going to load it up with everything on the messy shelves by the door, and then I can shut the doors on all the mess.
Hope its a great Monday for everyone. Thanks for stopping by my blog. I always appreciate it.

Saturday, May 21, 2016

Not All Journeys are Smooth Sailing

Today I have a little story for you.
This Saturday morning was gorgeous. Not quite as warm as summer, but warm and sunny. When we got up we decided we would put the boat into a local lake and take our shakedown cruise. 
We were on the water just after 8 AM and enjoying the view.
It was so nice even Maddie fell asleep.
Lake Winnipesaukee is the largest lake in our state and the second largest in the 6 state New England area. We live about 10-15 minutes away from the southern end of the lake which is an area known as Alton Bay.
That's where we put in our boat. The bay is a long finger that you have to traverse before you get into the main body of the large.Since it is a glacier carved lake, that makes sense that there's a long finger like bay.

As we made our way down the finger like bay we realized the floor was getting wet. Thanks to my daughter who first noticed that.  So my husband opened the engine cover and notice the motor was spraying in all that water. So we turned around and headed back in, with the boat getting more and more water in it. We keep stopping, letting the bilge pump push out some water, but the water was coming in faster than we could pump it out. Finally my daughter started rowing. She worried we were going to sink. I don't think we were at that point yet, but she was a little nervous. We told her she could paddle. So she starts paddling which didn't really move us any more than the water movement did anyow, but it kept her busy for a few minutes. It also caught the attention of some other boaters who came over gave us a little tow into the state boat ramp where we launched.
 The dogs were fascinated by us being towed.
Nor were they very nervous about the water.
So much for our boating morning.
We took the boat to 2 marinas  trying to find the part that broke on the motor. The hubby got his info, and then we brought the boat home. Once the hubby gets that part checked, we'll find out if it has to go into for some work or not.
Now we were home and done with the boat by noon, so it was a very short boating day.
Sad face for me.
Then I got to spend my afternoon running errands. Wahoo!
Hope everyone else had a less adventurous day than us.