Tuesday, December 29, 2015

...and a Happy New Year!

  I hope whatever you celebrated and however you celebrated this last week,  it was a good one! And now it's almost time to reflect on this past year and also think about what we hope for in 2016.


 Below are the gorgeous Christmas hand made cards and tags I received from friends near and far:






                              To my talented friends I thank you SO MUCH!!!

 And some Christmas fun and surprises:


 Our sweet 14 yr old Annie. I just had to put those ears on her:):) But then she got to open her gift-of course it was a package of treats . After all, she is all about the food!

Hubby and I don't exchange gifts per se because we can always get what we want for ourselves (and it certainly takes the pressure off hubby:) However, I always get him something unexpected-nothing grand, and I buy myself some things and wrap them so he can be surprised by my gifts too:)


Bill loves this Peanut puppet from the Jeff Dunham shows. It's his favorite of all the puppets. And if you've never heard of Jeff Dunham you must look for him on you tube or on tv or live - his ventriloquist acts are amazing!! So this Peanut is a bobble head and has 10 different sayings that are typical to him. Start the day with one of his sayings or not, -just look at him-and how can you not smile! I also got hubby a Peanut t shirt.

 And lookie what I unwrapped:



 I ordered these fabulous stencils from this site! I had been eyeing these designs in particular for almost a year and kept changing my mind about which ones I really wanted (ever since seeing some of them in a Cloth Paper Scissors issue). So, Christmas was the perfect excuse to order a whole bunch! I cannot wait to make lots of gelli print papers with these!!!

 This was another gift I got myself:

                                        a perfect apron for me -don't you think?

  And then came my big surprise from hubby. He actually bought me something-AND wrote his own inside for a card! He gave me a generous gift card to my favorite Irish place in town -you know it- so that I can buy one of their special wool made in Ireland sweaters or wraps!! I think we'll make 33 years next year:):) Of course I felt guilty about the stencils-but only for a little while!



 So, as this is my last post for 2015, I want to first of all thank you for another year of taking the time to comment and visit my blog. It means so much and there is no better feeling of community than here in blogland.

 Here's to a SPECTACULAR 2016!! May it be everything your heart desires.

Linking to Art Journal Journey, T Stands For Tuesday, The Simon Wednesday Challenge (theme is "party"), and  Paint Party Friday.

" Use this week to let go of all you do not wish to take with you into the new year, and to step into the truth of your highest potential."                  Alan Cohen



 






Monday, December 21, 2015

Winter Solstice


 And the countdown begins! First I want to wish everyone in the Northern hemisphere a happy Winter Solstice. It officially arrives at 11:48 PM Eastern Time. I am happy for it because as it is the shortest day of the year it also means that from here on in (despite it being the winter season) the days will get longer and the nights shorter in preparation for the Spring Equinox!


 The poem reads: 'Winter is awakening, the solstice sun is rising, the heart of nature dreaming, poems of Earth now sleeping. The seasons are weaving the journeys of creation, the seeds are quickening in Mother's sacred wing.' I found the poem on Google images and thought it was so beautiful. The images I used are from ARTchix Studio.

 Saturday my friend LuAnn and I exchanged Christmas gifts then went into town to have lunch and check out the Christmas market and local shops. I bet my T Stands for Tuesday gang can guess where we dined:):)


 Of course we had our personal favorites along with a pot of decafe currant tea. It was delicious and most welcoming as it so far was the coldest day this season with blustery winds that just went right through you-ugh! It certainly did not stop the throngs of people about! Sorry to say I have no pics. Besides being crowded it was TOO cold for me to take the time to take any photos!



  Wishing everyone a joyous holiday however you may celebrate!! In my next post I will share the gorgeous cards, tags and ornaments I received from blogging friends.

  I noticed some bloggers questioning the popularity or lack thereof of having a blog, and whether or not it's worth all the effort one puts in to it. Of course it is a personal preference but personally, my life has become SO enriched because of all of you in blogland and I wouldn't want to give that up for any other social platform!

 And many thanks to all the awesome hostesses out there for your dedication to art and a variety of other challenges/ link ups!!

 Linking this post to Art Journal Journey (theme is collage); Mix It Monthly (theme is what wings are for-use feathers if you can); Moo Mania and More (theme is Christmas); the Simon Monday Challenge (theme is winter wonderland); T Stands For Tuesday; and Paint Party Friday.

 " Winter, a lingering season, is a time to gather golden moments, embark upon a sentimental journey, and enjoy every idle hour."      John Boswell




Monday, December 14, 2015

A Little Christmas Tour




  Hey there! Finally got all my decorating finished (cards still in the works) and I thought I'd show you around. So grab your cuppa and join me won't you? My choice is coffee at the kitchen table for my T Stands For Tuesday gals.

This is the tree in the den filled with handmade ornaments from swaps, exchanges and gifts thru the years. I love this tree!



                                     These displays are also in the den.


                                      This is the tree in the sitting room.





                              
     The two  displays above are also in the sitting room as are the stockings:

                                    I made the first three many years ago.


  And in the living room:

                            
    This is a real mix of things including the Elvis ornament I bought hubby some years ago as he is such a fan of his music. And I love my Hallmark singing sleigh riders!





   Hubby has yet to notice my newest Santa edition for this year (the Irish one) :):)


 And -in our home at least-it just wouldn't be Christmas without this guy:


  Bought him for hubby some years ago during a time when he really did act like the Grinch when it came to the holidays. And now we just have fun about it!

 Hope you enjoyed my tour. So now I want to know - how do you decorate? 

 For the art part I have  a wintry journal page to share:


 I created my girl in the style of Julie Nutting. Background is a deli paper gelli print on which I stamped snowflakes. The image was collaged with text paper and cardstock. Face and hair painted with acrylics. I embellished the hat with a pinch of glitter and bling. The words are stamped with an old foam alphabet set.

 And just for fun I played with the colors in photoshop and these are the results:




 That's all I got for now. I am TOTALLY enjoying record high temps in our neck of the woods -65 F!!


 Linking this post to Art Journal Every Day; Art Journal Journey (theme is collage);  Art It Friday - Show Your Face; Paint Party Friday; Simon Monday Challenge (theme is Just A Pinch); T Stands For Tuesday; Try It On Tuesday (theme is snowflakes, snow or winter whites). Hope to find you in one - or more of these wonderful places along the way!

 " Only when the clamor of the outside world is silenced will you be able to hear the deeper vibration."       Sarah Ban Breathnach






Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Tis The Season!



 Well hello my lovelies. Hope you are all well. I wish to thank all of you SO much for the get well wishes last week. I am finally pretty much over it outside of a bit of congestion and tiredness but thankfully that horrible coughing is gone. Which means that now I need to get in GO mode! Hubby brought out all the Christmas dĂ©cor boxes from the attic so I can work on that. I made those house ornaments above today and hope to get more done as I do like to slip a little something into some of the cards that go out. I had a note written along with a little drawing from some years ago about these colorful whimsical houses and decided to make some of my own. I only wish I knew where the original idea came from. The images are from ARTchix Studio and though they are no longer in business Stampington sells some of the products.

 I also got started on my cards that need to go overseas to France as they are priority right now. I do hope to get them mailed by the end of this week. Here are two:


 The stamps are from Magenta. The first one uses ink and the second one was done with colored pencils. Linking this to the Simon Monday challenge for the theme this week of "Holly Jolly Stamping". I am also linking to the Moo Mania challenge of using your favorite stamps or images. I have always loved Magenta stamps and have QUITE a collection of them! In addition they were the only stamp company that had French stamps at the time and I was honored to be able to take classes from Nathalie and Helene back in the day:) I am entering these cards in Magenta's December challenge (winter theme). Images used: leafy stamp- 14443E, Joyeux Noel- 07280H, and holly branch- 07280H.

 In my last post I shared photos from a special exhibit we attended at one of our local art museums titled "Colors Of India".  You can see those here.

 This is the second exhibit we saw while there. It is titled "Cocoon Awakenings" and the glass blown art is by Steve Tobin-a world renowned local artist:


Sorry if you can't read it-I had to get a shot of it on the wall and the sun was reflecting. Here are some photos of his work:




 These vessels were at least 6 ft. tall and were just spectacular to see in person!! Each one was encased by an iron "gate" if you will in order to protect the piece. It truly was like our local paper stated - like walking through a forest of glass and steel. The artist had done these quite awhile ago. These are his new pieces:



 
The photos just don't do justice to these gorgeous spheres dangling from the ceiling and casting the colors on the walls! Wow!

 In my next post I will share photos from the third exhibit we saw on the same day :) After that we decided to go for a late lunch. Of course we ended up back down town to our very favorite Irish restaurant:):)  I made sure to get a pic for my T Stands For Tuesday gang:


 My choice that day was a boxty filled with chicken breast strips, mushrooms, leeks and a bit of blue cheese. It was heavenly!! And with that I had a glass of sauvignon blanc which complemented the meal perfectly. Hubby had a burger (what a surprise) and a beer. I had always wanted to try one of their boxtys. And last Tuesday Halle mentioned a Norwegian crepe - like food called a Lefse (also made with potato) and I guess it was on my mind since. Thanks Halle:) I cannot wait to take my Mom to have one of these boxtys because I know she will LOVE it too.

 That's all I have for today. Lots of work to get done for the ever so near Christmas holiday! How about you? Do you shop early? Do you make gifts and/or cards? Do you bake? Or do you skip out, hop on a plane and head somewhere warm, just you and your significant other? Ok , that last ? was a dream of mine-someday...

 See you Friday for Paint Party Friday!

" May your walls know joy, may every room hold laughter, and every window open to great possibility."                      
                                                        Mary Anne Radmacher





Thursday, December 3, 2015

Restored

 Well, here we are already in the last month of this year. Happy December!  I am still fighting off a nasty upper respiratory infection so please bear with me. Apparently many people have been dealing with similar this last two weeks especially :(

 On one of my "couch" days hubby and I finally watched "Woman In Gold" . It was out early Spring this year starring Helen Mirren and Ryan Reynolds. Have any of you seen it? It's the true story of Maria Altmann who sought to regain a world famous painting of her Aunt Adele (done by Gustav Klimt) after it was stolen by the Nazis. I LOVED this movie!!! It was heartbreaking, very moving, and sometimes funny. Helen Mirren was spectacular in her role and she and Ryan Reynolds had a wonderful chemistry onscreen. I highly recommend it!

 It so moved me I made a journal page inspired by the movie and Klimt:


 The background is a gelli plate print on which I stamped with Lumiere gold paint. On her dress are squares of Japanese origami papers collaged over a black dress also painted with a light coat of gold Lumiere paint. If only I knew how to capture it...

  Linking to Art Journal Journey (theme this month is collage); Art It Friday -Show Your Face (theme is about being inspired by an artist); and Paint Party Friday.

 I did manage to get two quick and easy Christmas cards done as I needed them ASAP:


 and they are perfect for this week's Simon Wednesday Challenge which is "Let It Snow"!

 Last week hubby and I went to a local art museum to see several special exhibits on display. It would be too much to show at once but over the next few posts I will share photos.

 Today I am sharing photos of an exhibition by photographer Jeffrey Becom titled Colors Of India:


                                          I hope you can click on it for a larger view to read.

 Here are some of his pigment photos:











 Aren't those colors just gorgeous?  India has been one of many places on my bucket list so I especially enjoyed this exhibit!
 That's it for today's post. Oh, if you haven't seen my post showing my DIY planner along with the You Tube video that inspired it do check it out HERE!
  Wishing you all good health and a wonderful weekend.

" Although even when I am being idle I have plenty of food for thought both early and late - thoughts both about and not about art."       Gustav Klimt