Monday, October 20, 2014

Tea stands for a trip to Exploration Place and beyond

I hope you're not tired of me overloading my T Tuesday posts with a ton of photos.

Back on September 25, Sally and I headed for Exploration Place.  It was Senior Expo day and she could get me in as her caregiver.


While Sally checked out the services and products offered to seniors, I took advantage of the museum.  While the senior specific areas were packed, none of the exhibits one would normally want to see were crowded at all.  I started in the castle area, definitely designed with kids in mind.  Then I worked my way to the aircraft area.

I love the bee dance and the plane I can fly myself. 

 The next room I visited took me to windows where I could see the river, or should I say confluence of two rivers.  There was also a duck sunning on one of the dunes that was now obvious because the river was so low.  By now Sally had seen everything, signed up for more stuff than one would care to think about, and was ready to leave.

Next it was off to Red Lobster, where I told Sally I was paying for our lunch because I knew exactly what I wanted.

Sally spent an inordinate amount of time reading the menu until she found scallops that were prepared several ways.  Similar to my endless shrimp meal, but I got refills while she didn't.  Oh yes, I made a HUGE pig of myself.  Sometimes you just have to give in to your cravings.

After we ate, we stopped by the pet store so Sally could buy kitten food and three new scratching pads for her two growing monsters girls.   Then it was off to Botanica, the Botanical Gardens in Wichita for the afternoon agenda.  But that will have to wait for another week, since I've taken enough of your time already.

Time spent with my T Stands For Tuesday group is never wasted, so please share what you are drinking today.  It might be water like me, or it might be a lovely vignette, great scrapbook page, great art journal page, inspiring digital art, or something in between.  Maybe you were out and about, or just have your feet up enjoying a cuppa'.  Whichever, please share below and remember, Bleubeard will tell you your photos don't have to be taken on Tuesday to qualify.




Sunday, October 19, 2014

Craft Barn's 21st Q & L challenge: Hug and/or Nowhere

Craft Barn' s 21st Q & L challenge this fortnight is Hug and/or Nowhere.

As always, I found a quote I knew I could illustrate artwise. 

The quote was also one I found quite appealing, since I am a big fan of Carl Sagan, who is in my opinion, one of the greatest astronomer's of all time.

I'm sure you can read the quote:

Imagination will often carry us to worlds that never were. But without it we go nowhere.
--Carl Sagan
I ran the used file folder through my printer after I chose the Rubber Stamp font in my word processing program.

One of the "worlds" got the challenge number.

A final look before I link this to the Craft Barn challenge.  Materials used include a used file folder I misted with my handmade shimmering spray mists, circles cut from sand paper, and red circles left over from another project.

Thanks to all who visited last fortnight.  I was able to visit everyone, but as always cannot leave comments to those on Facebook, Flickr, or Fiona Spain.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Journal 52, Week 42: Magic

This week at Journal 52 Chelle's prompt is Magic.  Can you believe we are already at Week 42?  Seems like we just got started and there are only 10 prompts left after this one.


My entry for this week is called "The magic hat trick."

I started with my used file folder which I spritzed with various handmade shimmering mists.  I made a futile attempt to create a top hat, but you have to use your imagination.  Or maybe you can pretend it's just the magic that distorted it.

My dear friend Cindy from Pink Bird Studio recently sent me several bowler hats.  It didn't take me long to find a use for one.   I fussy cut it so it could fit inside the top hat.

I used my dove stencil I made years ago to color the bird, then cut it out.

I created the words "The," "Hat," and "Trick" using my word processing program.  "Magic" was made using various stickers.




The week number was also made using stickers.  Originally I had planned to place them on a ticket I would add to the hat.  But I got a bit carried away, forgot, and glued the numbers down prematurely.

Here is one final look at my Magic Hat Trick.  Since I'm not on Facebook, Flickr, or any other social network except blogger, this is the only place you'll see it, and all J52 entries.

And since this spread is so bright and cheery, I'm linking (yes, an actual LINK) this to MOO-MANIA and MORE's "Bright and Cheerful" theme.  And if you like mixed media, you will LOVE MOO-MANIA and MORE.

Friday Smiles # 89

I've really missed my friend Annie at A Stitch in Time and all the smiles I get when I visit her and everyone on Friday.  I've been "away," busy making a painting a day every day in September.  Now I'm ready to sit back, enjoy a few smiles, and relax a bit before Art Every Day Month (AEDM) begins in November.

I wanted to share some clever words a friend sent me, since she knew I would like them.  There are 20 words, but I'll share the first 10 this week, and the rest next Friday.

According to my friend:
Each of these gives a great description that comes in very handy when you need a fresh look at "common" words.

1. ARBITRATOR: A cook that leaves Arby's to work at McDonald’s

2. AVOIDABLE: What a bullfighter tries to do

3. BERNADETTE: The act of torching a mortgage (that would have come in handy for Annie)

4. BURGLARIZE: What a crook sees with

5. CONTROL: A short, ugly inmate

6. COUNTERFEITERS:  Workers who put together kitchen cabinets

7. ECLIPSE: What an English barber does for a living

8. EYEDROPPER:  A clumsy Ophthalmologist

9. HEROES: What a guy in a boat does

10. LEFT BANK: What the robber did when his bag was full of money

I hope these made you smile.  Be sure to stop by Annie's to get your share of the upcoming weekend smiles, giggles, and few deep belly laughs.


Thursday, October 16, 2014

Bright and Cheerful MOO-MANIA and MORE meets my 7 Continent AB


This fortnight MOO-MANIA and MORE's theme is "Bright and Cheerful."  This is the first chance I've had to create something for this latest challenge, so I went to my 7 Continents altered book.  For those of you unfamiliar with it, I started it back in 2005 when I hosted a tip-in swap.  I've added pages as the spirits and time permitted, and I thought now would be a great time to create an entry.  What could be more bright and cheerful than Argentina?  Today we'll visit Buenos Aires again, a city in Argentina, which is in South America.  If you are as geographically challenged as I, you appreciate the reminder of where we're headed.

But first, I wanted to show that I corrected (by hand) an entry I made while we were in  Buenos Aires the first time.  I show it partly because of the correction

and partly because it is the front of this decidedly different page that follows.


This colorful, cheerful, and bright La Boca district is where the Tango,

a dance native to Buenos Aires, was born.

All images from this spread were taken from various travel magazines and the background was made using my handmade shimmering mists, some through a found object stencil.

Don't forget to visit MOO-MANIA and MORE for more links to bright and cheerful mixed media.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Altered Playing Card, Week 7


I'm once again joining Claudine at Claudine's Art Corner with my latest edition of the Altered Playing Cards, or APCs.  I've been so busy this and last week, I completely forgot to check the theme for Week 7 until I visited another player and I was suddenly reminded that I had not started my cards.  I usually make them on Monday, but don't post until Wednesday because the first of the week is so busy, post-wise.

It never comes as a surprise to me that I have none of the requisite tools and products that Claudine uses, so I was amazed I had a stamp similar to hers, although I think my "Compass" is larger.

I thought of Claudine's playing cards as having a nautical feel, so that's how I designed mine.

I began by spreading blue metallic paint on one playing card using a plastic card.

While the paint was drying, I spritzed three of my handmade shimmering mists on the second card.  Something in the gesso makes these cards lose their shimmer and bright colors.

I was impatient and wanted the paint to dry, so I grabbed my heat tool.  I never use it, unless I want bubbles, which I got.  I was thrilled.  I couldn't have asked for better background texture.  Doesn't that look like a foamy sea?

Of course, my stamping skills aren't the best, so I knew I couldn't stamp directly onto that texture.

I couldn't believe I had chosen the middle image as my choice,

so I was really glad this was going on card stock, rather than directly on the playing card.

Better than I expected!

After the mists dried, I stamped both images directly on the playing card, right over that uneven texture.  All that was left now was to create the sentiments and cut out the shell.  As an aside, I've stamped more since I started these playing cards than I've stamped in my entire life.

I did a bit more than cut the shell out.  I also colored it yellow.  Then I painted some masking tape and wrote the words "By the SEA."  I wish I had stuck with one color pen only, because I thought I made a mess of the words.  And that was the last thing I did, which is usually the case when I mess up!

I wasn't about to take any chances with my second card, and generated the words on my computer.

Here are both my nautical inspired playing cards for Week 7.  Don't forget to stop by Claudine's and see her wonderful cards.  Thanks also for stopping here, because I'm not on Facebook and not a member of Pinterest.

Monday, October 13, 2014

Results of Safe Communities Event


 Several wanted to see how well our Safe Communities event went last week, so I thought I would share a few hundred (JOKE) photos with you.

Last Tuesday started with me mowing my front yard and making sun tea.  I used Lipton tea because I have an abundance of it.  Although I don't care for it, it seems other people do.

I remember Krisha from Krisha's Keepsakes saying she wished she (and the rest of the T group) could help with the party.  I was needing help because it had been so long since I'd used them, I was unable to extend the legs on these tables.

When my neighbor got home, he got them ready for whatever was to come.  Unfortunately, he had to take his son to soccer practice, so he didn't get the benefit of the party.

After the tables were set up, I was off to Starbucks for the comped coffee we had been promised.  Two disposable jugs that did NOT have to be returned were greatly appreciated, because this place was definitely not in my neighborhood. 

I had barely had time to shower and get dressed when the police officer not shown in this photo was asking for me.  Our beat officer, Officer Jerrell and I had been playing phone tag for three weeks, and I worried our event wouldn't get listed.  That meant no one would come by to visit.  That would be OK if there weren't going to be kids, but kids were already starting to arrive.

I encourage you to enlarge this mosaic.  The officer not on a horse is Officer Jerrell.  He set it up so that the horse patrol would visit and we would be the first party so he was sure they wouldn't run out of time.   Since there was another party at the end of my street, the horse patrol was able to visit them next, while they left their horse trailer at the cross street as shown in the large photo above.

The horse patrol had just barely left when the fire department showed up.  Note this is Engine 7.  Soon, another police car showed up to help answer questions and direct traffic.

Just as I was catching my breath, the police chopper flew overhead.  I kept hoping Officer Jerrell hadn't arranged for it to land in the clearing.  Note the horse patrol was on their way back, too.

Eventually, we waved good-bye to Engine 7 and were just about to finish our snacks and food when

Engine 1 arrived and asked for me specifically.  Apparently, I had requested a fire engine and we were on the list as shown by the fire chief above.


Kids and adults alike took turns getting their photos taken by friends, family, and doting parents.

Although that was all the photos I took (that are relevant), we had a wonderful time, and I learned I could request the fire truck that would hose the kids down with water.  As unseasonably warm as it was that day, it would have been welcome.

I've shared my T time this week, now it's time to share yours.  As Bleubeard would say, your photos don't have to be taken on Tuesday, but should, in some way, be able to relate to a drink, any drink.



Sunday, October 12, 2014

A visit to Inner Space (Part 2)


For Part 1 see here.

When we left off, my friend Kathy and I had just entered the display area that explained the UV and S, or Underground Vault and Storage facility, including all the records and data that are stored in another part of this mine.  This part of the facility was functional years before the idea of a museum was conceived.

Of course, we didn't realize that for awhile because we were working our way backward through the display.









Be sure to read how the museum got its start.









How the real Monuments Men found the Nazi treasures in salt mines located in Germany and Austria.  A movie by the same name was released earlier this year showing the bravery of these civilian men and women who were museum directors, curators, art scholars, educators, artists, architects, historians, and archivists who identified and saved thousands of priceless pieces of art during Hitler's reign on Germany.


Thankfully, here and two photos above is a diagram of the Underground Vault and Storage (UV & S) and how deep underground it is.


Although a poor photo, this one shows artifacts saved from MIB 2.


We were now entering a display of the area I was most interested in.


Back in the 1980s, I had a friend whose father worked in the Underground Vault restoring film.  I got to see this first hand and felt SO fortunate.






A poster (above)

and a uniform used in the making of the Monuments Men movie I described earlier.  Note how they wore gloves that kept any sweat or contamination off the priceless paintings and other artifacts.

I was really impressed with the way the museum put this exhibit together.  There was great attention to detail, even if the "mannequins" looked a bit fake.

Moving on, we were once again


treated to rusty parts.



If you enlarge this, you can read these are all locomotive parts originally used in the mine.


And here we are at the end of the journey.

In the gift shop, Kathy bought two sweat shirts and Sally bought two globes/lamps that light up.

And of course you wanted to know what I purchased.  The top two magnets came from Strataca and cost $4.99 each plus tax.  The bottom one came from the Cosmosphere and cost $2.75 plus tax.  Only a math major could appreciate this, since neither Kathy nor Sally understood it.  It was part of a plaque that traveled in space to the stars and beyond.

I hope you enjoyed these two museums as much as I did.  I am grateful each year that I can visit museums free of charge thanks to the efforts of the Smithsonian, which is free every day.  BTW, Strataca costs $14.00 (USD), with the dark ride or the train ride costing an additional $3.50 (USD) each.  The cost is less for Seniors and those who live in Reno County, where the mine is located.

After reviewing these photos, one thing I failed to mention is this is NOT table salt.  It is used to melt and remove ice and snow on highways in winter.  Another salt company in Hutchinson, KS mines and makes table salt.  It is Morton Salt Company.   That may be why you might not have heard of Carey Salt Company or the Carey Salt Mine.

Thanks also for visiting and leaving such lovely comments.  It shows the time I spent putting this together did not go in vain.