Saturday, May 28, 2016

Let's go to the Russian ballet

Before I get to my art, I just want to say as of Friday night, I have experienced 12 consecutive days of rain, often accompanied by hail, high winds, and on eight separate occasions, been under a tornado warning or watch.  My electricity has gone out twice since Tuesday and my internet is on the fritz.  I've had TWO floods in my basement and the rain just keeps coming.  I say all that in case I don't manage to visit you today. Thanks in advance for understanding.  Now for the art.

I'm once again joining Art Journal Journey where my dear friend Erika, aka BioArtGal, this month's host, chose "Journeys" as the theme.
Since the ballet is always accompanied by music, I'm also joining Try it on Tuesday where their theme is "I can hear the music."

It's amazing how many St. Petersburg, Russia travel brochures feature the ballet.

This is apparently something you do not want to miss if you actually travel to Russia.

Materials include a used file folder that I colored by applying three acrylic paints using a faux credit card.  To that I sewed around the page and added pictures from five different travel brochures.  I wrote the sentiment using a Sharpie on a strip of vintage sheet music.

I hope to see you at Art Journal Journey and Try it on Tuesday.  Thanks as always for your continued support of my art.  It means the world to me.

Friday, May 27, 2016

Music helps me escape to other lands

I'm once again joining Art Journal Journey where my dear friend Erika, aka BioArtGal is this month's host.   Although AJJ's theme is "Journeys," I'm also joining Try it on Tuesday where their theme is "I can hear the music."

So today I actually got out some rubber stamps (yes, they are all red rubber, and all but the Eiffel Tower are wood mounted, which seems to work best for me)

and took a trip that led me to foreign songs.

In case you can't read my messy handwriting, it reads: Music helps me escape to distant lands.

Materials used include a freebie sheet from Stampington magazine that I sewed to my used file folder substrate.  The three wood mounted stamps are from Hero Arts and the UM is not marked.  Believe it or not, I may actually be getting better at stamping.

Thanks for joining me today.  Of course, I would like it if you also visited or joined the challenges at Art Journal Journey and Try it on Tuesday, too.

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Up and Away

I'm once again joining Art Journal Journey where my dear friend Erika, aka BioArtGal is this month's host.  Since her theme is Journey, I decided to create a very different one from those I have been making.

Unlike my imaginary, albeit real life journeys I have taken you on this month, this journey takes us on a fantasy trip.

I began by spritzing some of my handmade shimmering mists. 

I was incredibly impressed with this beautiful LaBlanche silicone stamp my friend Valerie sent me.  I've never been much of a stamper, but I swear, these LaBlanche stamps could actually turn me into one.  This was the first time I inked the stamp, and instead of trying it out first, I immediately stamped it onto the used file folder.  I realize most people (most of all, me) have to break in a finely detailed stamp like this one, but not so with this LaBlanche hot air balloon.  I'm actually hooked!

Some of you may remember I received this wonderful bicycle stamp from Chris that I placed inside the house that is being carried up and away.  The excess thread from sewing the roof to the house became the conduit between the house and the balloon.

Thanks for joining me on this fantasy journey today.  I am always appreciative of your visits.  I'll see you at Art Journal Journey.

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

WOYWW 364: the one where she welcomes the 7 year itch

Many who know I've participated in What's On Your Workdesk? Wednesday will want to join me at Julia's Stamping Ground.  But Julia isn't there, and won't be for a few weeks, because after she returns from holiday, she is scheduled for surgery.  So who better to take the reigns than Jan, who many of you know as LLJ and can be found at Lunch Lady Jan's Fabric Frenzy

My work table (yes, I stand to make art) shows I've been working hard on a swap.  I thought this package would be in the mail on Monday, but here it is almost Wednesday in my world, and it's still on my table.

Leave it to WOYWWendy to photo bomb the picture.  After all, she was born on this day seven years ago for our first anniversary.  I think she has the 7 year itch.

I know you really came to see the rocking horse I always show during WOYWW, and this one is a clear stamp I received from my friend Voodoo Vixen.

It's the first anniversary in which I have not made a PIF gift, but time and life have not been on my side recently.

So, thanks to Nikki and her lovely blog button, Wendy and I will just wish you a wonderful WOYWW anniversary.  Now let's join Jan as she steps once again into Julia's shoes.

EDIT: If you are a Google + only blogger and have your comments set up such that only those who have signed up for G + can leave a comment, I can't leave you one.  I'll visit, but I'm not going to join G + for anyone!

Monday, May 23, 2016

T Stands for Tea and Scones

Today we've landed on the British Isles.  That happened when I decided to buy a couple of blueberry scones.

I have made scones in the past, but the ones I made

tasted more like a sweet biscuit, while these had the texture of cornmeal.   I thought they were not really heavy enough (or maybe too gritty) to be a scone, but I bought them at a local bakery, which I won't purchase scones from again.

My water is heating so I can steep this bag of tea which came from Kew Gardens.  Not to be confused with the various cities named Kew Gardens found in the U.S., Kew is the Royal Botanical Gardens situated in London, England, although technically it is located outside of London in Richmond, Surrey.

I received this beautiful card late last Monday afternoon, but it was too late to share it, because I already had my post scheduled, which I try to do with all my T posts.  I was outside when the mail carrier brought this and we both agreed it looked like it had been through a war zone.  On later contemplation, I think it got caught in the automated stamp cancelling machine.

This gorgeous card was hand made (and in perfect shape, I might add)

by our own dear Susan Ariel.  This is definitely frame worthy!  Isn't it wonderful?  Thank you so much Susan.  I am very grateful, even if it did take a long time to reach me.

Now it's your turn to share a drink related post.  It can be anything as long as there is a drink involved in some way.  That means it could be a movie, a photo, a postcard, a painting, a page in a book, traditional, hybrid, or digital art, or simply a cup of any drink, including hot tea as I've enjoyed today.

Sunday, May 22, 2016

In the garden of good and messy

I promised I wouldn't update my garden posts until the end of the month, or the first part of June.  Because so much has happened since I last showed the garden, I thought, because there was a lull in the storms, hail, and high winds, I would show you what I've accomplished in my veggie garden and flower bed.

My two mint plants (black pots on left and right of photo) look like they will be back, even after I feared I had lost both. 

The plant in the middle pot is my lone bell pepper I bought at the garden center.  I had no room for it in the ground, so got desperate.  The last time anyone saw that black pot, it was filled with ants, which are now thankfully gone.

The two large white pots in the back have mesclum starting to sprout.

The pots in the back part of the photo are from left, the other pot of mesclum, a new sage to replace the one I lost last winter, and spicy thyme, which apparently died when I brought it outside and didn't give it time to acclimate to the sun.

The two white pots in the lower part of the photo are sporting mint. 

One is lemon, one orange.  They were from the garden center.  You don't have to tell me I have a lot of weeding to do, which I will start as soon as I put my camera away.

Sage and now dried up thyme.

Now we're getting into the basils and cilantro.  In front is rosemary, which is doing well after it was released into the garden a few weeks ago.

The row of white pots holds either sweet basil or cilantro/coriander.   The pot at the far back is my lavendar, which may or may not make it, since it also was put into the sun too soon.

The row of black pots hold the basil I purchased on herb day, while the front black pot holds stevia. 

I finally got all my tomato plants in the ground.

On the left are the two Romas I bought on Herb Day and on the right are the Sweet 100 plants I got at the garden center.

I definitely need to thin the radishes which are surprisingly plentiful.  

Of course, I had to take a photo of the overall garden, which is 10 feet long by 4 feet wide (3,05 meters X 1,22 meters) and even holds a compost container at both ends.

I can't forget my blackberry, which started quite small, but has now

taken over the entire back fence.

The blooms are incredibile.

Aren't they beautiful?

The blackberry flowers outshine my flower bed, that's for sure.  The flower bed doesn't look too bad here,

but when I back up a bit, you can see how destructive the winds and hail have been.

My once lovely decent flower bed is now badly in need of damage control.

At least my grass isn't as high as my neighbor's.

In a way, it looks a bit like an alpine garden in this area.

Thanks for visiting today.  I hope to be by for a visit later today, but right now, I am either working hard in my craft room on art, or working in my veggie garden trying to show all the weeds and sprouting seeds who is the boss.  It's apparently not me, though.  Again, I appreciate your visit.

Saturday, May 21, 2016

Another stop in St. Petersburg, Russia, this time to the Hermitage

I've created another two spreads for Art Journal Journey.  My dear friend Erika, aka BioArtGal is this month's host and her theme is Journey.  This journey takes us once again to St. Petersburg, Russia.

Located directly across from the Winter Palace and Hermitage is the curving General Staff and Ministries Building and its well known arch.  It matches the Winter Palace in scale and grandeur and sits across the Palace Square.  It was built between 1819 and 1829.

In the background is the Palace Square and the Winter Palace, which houses the Hermitage.  The Winter Palace has more than a thousand rooms, now holding much of the Hermitage art collection started by Catherine the Great.

Designed to commemorate victory over Napoleon in 1812, the outer walls of the archway are decorated with figures of the "Goddess of Glory" flying on cannonballs, while the arch on the Palace Square side displays the sculpture of "Glory in her Chariot of Victory" being pulled by six horses.

According to several travel web sites, the third and fourth floors of the General Staff Building houses magnificent art of all eras that rivals the art in the Hermitage.

There's one word that perfectly describes The Hermitage, and that is opulence.  If you plan to visit, be prepared to wear floor-protecting booties over your shoes in certain buildings.

There are six buildings that comprise the entire complex, including the Winter Palace, Small Hermitage, Old Hermitage, New Hermitage, Hermitage Theater, and General Staff Building.  Originally designed, founded, and completed by Catherine the Great, the museum contains one of the largest and oldest collection of artifacts, including numismatics, archaeological artifacts, arms and armory, and the largest collection of paintings in the world.  There are over 3,100,000 total items, many of which are however, not on display.

Materials used in this two page spread include a used file folder, images from three travel brochures, buttons, a paper doily, and washi tapes.

Thank you for taking this imaginary journey with me to The Winter Palace, The General Staff and Ministries Building and arch, and The Hermitage in St. Petersburg, Russia.  Please don't forget to visit Art Journal Journey where journeys can be real, artistic, or imagined, like mine was today.

Friday, May 20, 2016

Craft Barn's A is for Apple

Today I've created my Craft Barn's latest alpha/dictionary entry

for the letter A.

Not at all original, and not exactly anything to write home about, but I'm proud of the apple I stamped, as well as the A, also stamped.  Both were stamped, then cut from fun foam.

I even placed the dictionary definition on a piece of fun foam.

I had a chance to visit every participant's last entry, and was totally impressed with all the dragonflies I saw and the clever way they were used.

Thank you for joining me today for this latest Craft Barn entry.  Thanks, too, for your support of my art, which means the world to me.

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Even more fun at St. Petersburg in Russia

My dear friend Erika, aka BioArtGal is this month's host at Art Journal Journey, where the theme she chose was Journeys.  So we are off on another Journey, also to St. Petersburg, Russia.  She remembered St. Petersburg is also called Peter the Great's "Venice of the North."

Today we are returning to The Church of Our Savior on the Spilled Blood and St. Isaac's complex.  Directly between St Isaac's Cathedral and the City Hall building (originally known as Mariinsky Palace some of which can be seen on the right of the image) sits something nearly as famous as the Church of Our Savior on the Spilled Blood.

It is known by many as the Blue Bridge (Siniy Most) and is the widest bridge in St. Petersburg and is often referred to as the widest bridge in the world.

Made of cast iron, you can see one of the sides in the picture.  The name "Blue Bridge" originated from the tradition of color-coding downtown St. Petersburg bridges. As a result, the lower part of the Blue Bridge is still painted blue.

For the back side, I have chosen Smolny Cathedral.  Smolny Cathedral was originally intended to be the central church of a monastery, built to house the daughter of Peter the Great, Princess Elizabeth, after she was banished and not allowed to take the throne.  It was at this time she opted to become a nun.   However, as soon as her predecessor was overthrown during a coup, carried out by the royal guards, Elizabeth decided to forget the whole idea of a stern monastic life and gladly took over the Russian throne.

Based on several internet sources I visited, although the age in which she lived was rather harsh, Elizabeth (especially in her younger days) was an amazingly joyful woman, who later displayed a passion for entertaining. As Empress she was notorious for never having worn the same ball dress twice.  That gave the country an enormous collection of mid-18th century dresses. 

The cathedral is the centerpiece of the convent, built by Bartolomeo Rastrelli (he also built the Winter Palace and Hermitage which we will visit later, as well as the Grand Palace we visited on Saturday) between 1748 and 1764. When Elizabeth stepped down from the throne the funding for the convent ran out.   The building was finally finished in 1835 with the addition of a neo-classical interior to meet the changed architectural style of that time period.

Today Smolny Cathedral is used primarily as a concert hall and the surrounding convent houses various offices and government institutions.

Materials used for these two spreads include backgrounds created with a faux credit card and stencils, two travel brochures, washi tape, Sharpie, and a die cut flower from HOTP.

 Thanks for joining me again today for this imaginary journey to St. Petersburg, Russia.   And please don't forget to visit Art Journal Journey where this month's journeys are as unique as the people taking them.