Wednesday, February 24, 2021

Make New Friends


 Today I am joining Valerie, who is hosting Art Journal Journey this month with her Heavy Metal theme.

I'm working in my new watercolor paper altered art journal.  I'm focusing on silver and gold today.

I'm using the old adage: Make new friends, but keep the old.
One is silver, the other gold.

I'd love to make friends with this lovely vintage lady.

The focal image began as part of an old cardboard box that originally held a lady's hat.  It was quite old and deteriorating, so I cut the image into an oval so it would fit on the page in my large watercolor paper journal.  When I adhered the image to the page using a strong glue stick, it was a bit off center.  When I moved it, part of the back didn't come off the page.  I didn't dare try to adjust it a third time.  I computer generated the sentiment, then used a silver Krylon pen to add silver and a brush to add gold fluid acrylic to the words.
Thanks so incredibly much for visiting today.   I hope to also see you at Art Journal Journey

Monday, February 22, 2021

T Stands For ?


Today I'm at my dining room table asking what each of these items have in common.  Can you guess?
Does this give you an idea?  This is a clever gadget Cloudia (and Pixie) shared with us at Christmastime last year.  It was a novel idea and I knew I wanted to follow up on it, but I got caught up in other things until today.

Now can you guess?
This is my answer to Cloudia's adorable jar opener.  It was a birthday gift from my friend Sally many years ago and it is so useful, there's hardly a day goes by I don't use it.

I remember Lisca saying how practically every can she buys in Spain now has a pop top. That's not exactly the case here in the states, although I am seeing more and more uses for this function.

This is the real reason I was so happy with this amazing tool when I got it nearly 10 years ago.  This is the can opener portion of the tool.  It opens cans safely, with no sharp edges.  These can lids can be (and have been) used in my art. 

To be honest, I have never used this function.  In fact, I didn't even realize what it was for until I started doing a bit of research.  Apparently, it releases the suction under the lid and makes it easy for anyone to open these lids.   This is much like what Cloudia's tool accomplished, but in a different way.
The metal part acts as a bottle opener.  Some people call a bottle opener a "church key."  I've never used it because I seldom buy bottled drinks that require this.
The back side of the metal bottle opener has a gripper that fits over plastic bottle caps and easily opens these.

Apparently, if you turn the tab opener backward (which I showed above), it opens drink cans.  I don't purchase that many soft drinks, so that isn't something I would use all that often.

There are more functions, like the metal part that sit to the side of the can opener which apparently can be used to open chip packages.  However, I didn't have any chips, so I can't show how it works.

Now that you know the functions, allow me to create a bit of art for T this week.

I'd like you to meet high flying Llyle.  And isn't he the cutest little creature you've ever seen?  Come on, you know he put a smile on your face.

He is part Llama 

and part metal.  Heavy metal, that is. 

Llyle is so cute, he qualifies for Try it on Tuesday's latest theme which is Oh so cute.  Since much of him is metal, Llyle also qualifies for Valerie's theme at Art Journal Journey which is Heavy Metal.  I hope you will visit both these challenge blogs and share your own art inspired by their themes.
For this page, I began by spritzing several colors of my handmade shimmering mists on the watercolor paper.  I was gifted with a 2020 calendar of Llamas, so chose one for this spread.  I fussy cut Llyle's head and placed it under one of the can lids I colored using a blue Sharpie.  I added a star from my stash and legs made of gold and metal pen nibs.  I used E-6000 to attach the lid and pen nibs.  I colored the sentiment using dark blue watercolor.

Now that I've shown you mine, please share your drink related post this week.   It can be gifts you received, photos, a place you visited, movies, postcards, mail art, junk mail, catalogs, books, sketches, mixed media, drawings, paintings, tags, scrapbooking, or other art that is digital, hybrid, or traditional, as long as it in some way relates back to a drink, any drink.  Regardless, please share below and Bleubeard and I, along with the rest of the T gang will be by to visit.   Please link only your T post and not your blog in general.  Bleubeard would like to remind you that old photos are acceptable because they may be taken any time, not just on Tuesday and certainly not just this year. 


Good as gold


Today I'm joining Valerie, our host this month at Art Journal Journey.  Her theme is Heavy Metal.  And because most of us will agree these paper dolls are Oh So Cute, I'm also joining Try it on Tuesday with their Oh So Cute theme this fortnight. 

For this page I found a quote by Charles Dickens.

It reads "As good as gold."

I thought these two

TH paper dolls

looked like they fit the quote nicely.

For this page I created in my watercolor journal, I started by laying down two colors of dye ink all over the page.  I then added two joss papers that were gold and silver.  I computer generated the words and colored them using two metallic gel pens.  I spent a lot of time going through my paper dolls and found two that met both size and subject criteria.  I intentionally left one silver square blank.

Thanks so incredibly much for visiting today.  I hope to also see you at Try it on Tuesday and Art Journal Journey.  And I hope to catch up with everyone who has already linked at AJJ, even though it is increasingly more difficult to play catch up.

Sunday, February 21, 2021

Monday Murals: a religious icon


It's time once again to join Sami at Sami's Colourful World and her Monday Murals.  Even though it's still Sunday in my world, please note that Sami's mural link goes live at 10:01 a.m. my time today.   

I have a friend who is Catholic.  I know he is observing Lent, so I thought I would try to find an appropriate mural for the occasion.

It looked like a religious icon to me.  I was taken by the gold stars.

I'm not sure of the significance of the small child hiding under the woman's dress, but I was impressed by the lovely ceramic tiles that made up the mural.  At first, I didn't notice that two tiles were missing.

This mural is located at Our Lady of Perpetual Help, 2409 N. Market, Wichita, Kansas, USA.  The artist is unknown.
If you enjoy murals from around the world, please don't forget to visit Monday Murals at Sami's Colourful World.  If you look around, you might find one near you, too.

Saturday, February 20, 2021

Saturday Afternoon at the Movies: two mini-series to compare and contrast


I thought I would do my version of Saturday Afternoon at the Movies.  I thought I would compare two mini-series and how well they stand up to today's standards.

I know many of my internet friends are enjoying the "All Creatures Great and Small" series offered by Masterpiece at PBS (Public Broadcasting System).  It's James Herriot's story of being a veterinarian in the 1930s to 1940s in Yorkshire, England.  What surprises me is, the same people who are so enamored with this series fail to appreciate the show that precedes it, also a Masterpiece entry.

For those who aren't watching PBS on Sunday night, the show is called Miss Scarlet and the Duke.  It's about one of the first female private detectives (and possibly THE first) in Victorian England.  
Eliza Scarlet has taken over her recently deceased father's private detective agency.  Left nearly penniless after her father's sudden death, she turns to a friend and would-be suitor, Rupert Parker, with whom she shares his secret, the fact that he is a homosexual, which is strictly forbidden (and punishable by death) in Victorian England.  Rupert bankrolls her agency and helps keep it afloat.
As infuriating to Eliza as it may seem, she must join forces with a Scotland Yard Inspector, William "Duke" Wellington to solve cases she has been asked/hired to solve.  Oftentimes she finds herself being shut out of places to visit and persons she needs to interview in order to solve the case at hand.  Eliza is not above deceit and deception when it comes to helping her clients, much to the chagrin and dismay of the Duke.  This is especially true when he is the recipient of these deceptions.

Although marriage is normally the only option for a woman’s financial security in Victorian England, Eliza refuses to bend.  To her benefit, she has a decent middle class upbringing, which affords her all the comforts of many refined Victorian ladies.  This also helps her reputation, especially since before her father became a private detective, he was a Chief Inspector at Scotland Yard.

Eliza is played by Kate Phillips and Duke is played by Stuart Martin.  As I was watching this series, it struck me how it seemed like another series I had enjoyed.

Those of you who are privy to TNT network may have seen The Alienist.  The first season contained 10 episodes and was considered what TNT called a "psychological thriller."  The premise was three very different people came together to solve the murders of street children by a serial killer.  

Unlike Eliza Scarlet, Sara Howard (played by Dakota Fanning) is considered a part of high society.  She becomes Theodore Roosevelt's secretary and the first female employed by the NYPD (New York Police Dept.). Although currently a secretary, she hoped to be the first NYPD  police detective.  Sara, along with Laszlo Kreizler, an alienist (or psychiatrist), and John Schuyler Moore, a cartoonist and illustrator employed by The New York Times newspaper, form the team who hunt down the serial killer.  Although there are many subplots, these three are the ones who solve the murders.  During that time, they expose corruption in the police department, along with a former police chief's killing of a homosexual.  Daniel Brühl plays Kreizler, Dakota Fanning (as noted above) plays Sara, and Luke Evans plays Moore.
In the second season, Sara leaves the NYPD and starts her own detective agency.  Sara, Kreizler, and newly promoted New York Times reporter Moore team up when they search for the Spanish consul's kidnapped infant daughter.  The second season focused on the role of women in society, the corruption of institutions, especially mental institutions, yellow journalism, and income inequality.   
Like Eliza Scarlet, Sara Howard has her own demons to contend with.  Each has a loss, Eliza her father, Sara, her love interest John Moore, who learns he has gotten his former fiance Violet pregnant. Both women are surrounded by men who are stuck in their own times, while both women are pioneers in their fields and ahead of their times in their thinking.  Both of these series are worth viewing, especially if you are a woman. 

You can catch several episodes of Miss Scarlet and the Duke on PBS.  You can watch several episodes of The Alienist on TNT.  Thanks for stopping by today.  Bleubeard and I appreciate it.

Friday, February 19, 2021

Friday Smiles 409: hard to find something to smile about this week


It's been a difficult week here, and I'm trying to find something to smile about.  After all, it is Friday, which means it's time to join Annie (at A Stitch in Time) along with the wonderful ladies at Friday Smiles.  

For those who didn't know, I had surgery recently, which got infected.  I was not supposed to do anything on the computer, I couldn't watch TV, read a book, or do anything that put undo stress on my eye.  When I looked in the mirror, one entire side of my face was swollen and turning a putrid color.  Out of boredom, the boys and I slept most of the time, which was good, because

like much of the country, my world was white and bitterly cold.
I was also one of the thousands of people who was caught in a power outage blackout.
Here is information from

The largest energy company in Kansas has been directed to implement rolling blackouts and move into emergency operating plans amid a Midwest cold snap that is stressing the nation’s energy supply.

“In the Kansas region of Evergy, we haven’t had to do something like this since the 1980s,” said Evergy spokesman Chuck Caisley.

Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly said Monday afternoon that the next two or three days will be “critical” to weathering the arctic freeze and energy crisis that has sent natural gas prices soaring.

Although the crisis isn't as bad as in Texas, where much of that state has been without power for four days, it's still been almost unbearably cold here.
For 14 days, the state of Kansas has been below freezing for daytime highs.  On Monday, the surface temperature night time low was -15F (-26C).  The feels like temp was -28F (-33,3C). It was even worse on Tuesday, with a surface temperature of -17F (-27,2C).  We are starting to warm a bit, though because tonight it is only 0F (-17,8C).

I admit I'm not just frugal, I'm downright cheap when it comes to utilities. My rule is it must be below freezing two days in a row before I turn my heat on.  When I turn it on, I place it at 55F (12,8C), the lowest temperature my thermometer will go.  I drip my water into buckets, which I use to water my plants or help flush my toilet.  Nothing goes to waste when it comes to my utilities.

When I lost electricity (and gas because it is controlled by an electric starter), I feared my pipes would burst.  Luckily they didn't.  It was hours before I had electricity again, and it took almost a day for the house to warm to the point I could walk around without a blanket.  That was yesterday.  I'm hoping the weather will begin to improve soon, and I can once again turn my heat off.

However, there is one thing that made me smile this week.  On Sunday, which was Valentine's Day, I found this gift tied to my front door knob.

I think it came from my next door neighbors, but I have no real idea who left it.  It was certainly something to smile about.

I will leave you with a few of my favorite Bernie Sanders and his mittens memes.

Honoring the Mars Rover's successful landing yesterday.

Now let's head over to Annie's because she knows how to put a smile on everyone's faces.  And whatever you do, please don't forget to start your weekend off right with a few Friday Smiles of your own.  If you would like to play along, Annie would love to have you join us.  After all, your smiles are more than likely much better than mine today.

I just saw that Shaz has died.  I "met" her through WOYWW.  She battled cancer for years and that ugly disease finally took her from all of us.  She was giving, caring, and warm.  My heart goes out to Doug, her loving husband who has been by her side through this entire ordeal.  You will be missed, dear.

After I link today, I am going to eat something and go to bed.  All this shivering has made me hungry and sleepy.  Now where are those two gray purring heaters I feed so they'll keep me warm?


Wednesday, February 17, 2021

Fantasy Flowers


Today I've created some fantasy flowers.

They are actually for Valerie's theme at Art Journal Journey

Her theme is Heavy Metal.

Note the flourish I tried to add on the end of the "s."  It is supposed to match the "stems" of the flowers.

It's hard to photograph gold, so there are some glaring flowers in the mix.

For this page, I began with 110 lb. cardstock, to which I added three colors of green and a bit of gold for the background.  The flowers are washed and dried peanut butter cup holders and the stems are removed from recipes I used in a previous journal page.  The flowers were covered with gold fluid acrylic paint.  I was going to color all the stems, but decided that was too much bling.  I'm not really a bling person.

Thanks so incredibly much for visiting today.  I hope to also see you at Art Journal Journey.  And I hope to catch up with everyone soon.