Monday, July 4, 2022

T Stands For Food Wednesday

Today T Stands For Food Wednesday, which is hosted by Kathy at Hummingbird Studio at the Lake.  She promises a surprise this Wednesday, and I am a bit early  and don't want to miss the surprise.  I know right now, she's posting Food Wednesday the first Wednesday of the month.  I'm just glad it didn't land on the first like it did last month.

I'm going to start with the PBS mug I received as part of my contribution to my local station.  Ignore my hands around my camera and my laundry, which I had just brought in from the clothes line.

I tried to show that the white part of the mug is indented and devoid of the gorgeous blue glaze.  I wasn't expecting a mug, so that was a very pleasant surprise.
It was now time to share a recipe.  Note I am using my sunflower place mat and napkin in honor of Ukraine.  I'm using a paper plate because I am lazy and don't want to wash dishes.

When I was a child, we didn't go out to eat, except when we had out-of-town company.  I think my grandparents (who raised me from birth) and I ate in a restaurant maybe three times that I remember.

However, I remember once when I had an eye appointment my grandmother and I stopped at the lunch counter that was located in the one hotel in town.  There is nothing "special" about this salad I ordered, except the good feeling I remember having spending time with my grandmother.  The salad begins with romaine hearts.

Next I added canned pears.  I thought I was getting pear halves, but got slices instead.  I actually LIKE canned pears. Don't ask why, I think it's because of my feelings about this salad.  Fresh pears are harder to find in summer, too.

Then it was time to add a couple of ice cream scoops of cottage cheese.  I used large curd and 4% fat, but I love my rather fattening milk products.

It was time to add cheese.  I remember the restaurant served cheddar, but all I had was Monterey Jack.  Sadly, it wasn't very visually appealing because all the ingredients were white or pale.

At least the final ingredient, the maraschino cherries, had a bit of color.  Now all I need to do is pour a cup of French roast coffee and enjoy this salad I remember from my childhood.  Of course, I'll see you at Food Wednesday, too.
Now it's time to share your own drink inspired 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, handmade cards, tags, scrapbooking, or other art that is digital, hybrid, or traditional, a favorite mug, cup and saucer, teapot, coffee pot, or even a wine glass. Regardless, please join us by linking below.  Bleubeard and I will gladly visit, as will other T participants.  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 not just this year.  Please remember to visit your fellow T participants.  

Anyone living in the states who wants to trade ATCs may do so, even if you are not in the napkin swap.  The rules are simple.

1. You only need to create ONE and only ONE ATC.  You may of course, make one for other T Tuesday friends, but only one is required to play the PIF game.

2. It will go to the next person who links after you who has an asterisk (*) after their name.

3.  Contact that person by leaving a comment on their blog.  Make arrangements to get their mailing address, either through their blog or their profile.

4.  Once you have their mailing address, send your ATC no later than Friday, July 22.  Sooner is better, but I realize sometimes real life gets in the way.

5. The person whose name is before yours who has an asterisk after their name should contact you.  Provide that player with your mailing information.
6. If you choose NOT to send an ATC, or are an International player, link as usual, but do NOT include an asterisk after your name.
7. The last player with an asterisk after their name will send to the first player on the list with an asterisk after their name.
8. Next comes the hard part.  DO NOT show your ATC on your blog on July 12.  Instead, wait until your PIF recipient has received it.
9. You DO NOT have to play the PIF game if you choose not to.  Don't worry.  No one will think any less of you if you don't.  However, please DO link that day, just as you would any normal T Tuesday.  International players are not linking anyway, since they are exchanging ATCs with their napkins.
Should you have any questions, please ASK IN COMMENTS.  I will clarify your question on YOUR blog. 

Sunday, July 3, 2022

Monday Murals: Air


It's Sunday, which means 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 be aware that Sami's mural link goes live at 11:01 a.m. my time today.  I just hope Bleubeard and I are able to link this week.

Here in the States we are celebrating our Independence Day weekend.  Normally I would try to find a patriotic mural.  This year I don't feel too patriotic because I believe I have been robbed of my independence due to several (not very) Supreme Court rulings that have happened in the past week.

Instead, I'm sharing a mural that exemplifies one of those incredibly perverse rulings.  The name of this mural is Air.
As much as I would like to talk about a woman's right to choose, that's a subject for another day.  Today, I am talking about the latest decision that affects the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) and their ability to reduce carbon emissions from power plants.  This puts air quality at risk, and consequentially will also affect water quality.  According to the Ecological Society of America (ESA):
The Supreme Court decision severely hinders the efforts of the United States to reduce emissions. This majority ruling will result in damaging our ecosystems, reducing biodiversity, and harming people and their livelihoods across the nation and throughout the globe by eliminating the regulations needed to effectively reduce harmful emissions.
 This is not just a U.S. problem, but a global problem.

Those of you who only visit for Monday Murals are probably not aware that I was born on Earth Day and I have a deep love for the earth, air, water, ecology, and the environment.  According to Catherine Kling faculty director at Cornell Atkinson Center for Sustainability:
“Weakening the power of the EPA to regulate and enforce dangerous air pollutants that were not mentioned explicitly in the Clean Air Act raises concerns for other pollutants. For example, we now understand that PFAS pollution of water is very dangerous, yet this contaminant was unknown when the Clean Water Act was passed 50 years ago. As our scientific understanding of the effect of water and air pollution advances, the ruling suggests that unless legislation can promptly be passed in each instance, unnecessary and avoidable human health and ecological damages will occur.”
Air was painted by Josh Tripoli, whose work I have shown in the past.  This mural was painted in 2014 on the side of a building at 2300 East Douglas in Wichita, Kansas (USA).  This mural may be more significant today than it was when it was originally painted.
If you enjoy murals from around the world, please don't forget to visit Monday Murals at Sami's Colourful World.  Thanks for stopping by this not very independent-feeling Independence weekend.

Saturday, July 2, 2022

ICADs Days 26 to 32


 These are my ICADs for this week. ICAD stands for Index Card A Day.

Day 26: Still in my blue period.  Background is handmade shimmering mist and various papers from my stash of collage fodder.

Day 27: Gifted image of scanned and fussy cut (by gifter) TH paper dolls, background is from a paint chip sample, blue washi tape dolls are standing on, and sentiment found in my stash.

Day 28: Gifted image of Eiffel Tower and papers from my stash over a background of handmade shimmering mist.

Day 29: Flowers and various papers from my stash, along with a fairy in her garden.

Day 30: Fruit day with 4 banana labels from Guatemala and 1 from Colombia.  Gifted glittery pineapple and labels sewed to card sprayed with shimmering mist.
This would normally be the point where I would share the entire month of June's ICADs using BigHugeLab.  However, the "new and improved" blogger won't allow me to copy the links.

I did the best I could by showing two weeks at a time.  These are Days 1 through 14.

And Days 15 through 30.

Day 31: Honoring Canada Day.  Printed lyrics of Canada's National Anthem.  I had already affixed the holographic Canadian sticker to the ICAD, then tried to add the anthem.  I cut it in half, but it didn't look right.  I had to remove the sticker, which was stuck quite well.  Then I added the two sides I had previously cut.

Day 32: A bird in the hand.  Image from an old Stampin' Up magazine sewed to green card stock I overlaid with lace I applied using Pellon (also known as Wonder Under) using an iron.

Thanks so very much for visiting today.  Bleubeard and I are very grateful for your visit.  He really likes days when the collage fodder makes sense to him.  I think he really just wants that bird from Day 32.


Second on the 2nd: the Arch


I like to share a second look based on the guest host at Art Journal Journey, and this month the host is Wendy whose theme is Doors and/or Arches.  If you have been around my blog for any length of time at all, you know I love houses, which in turn have doors.  In fact, I have an entire altered book dedicated to houses.  Therefore, when I had a chance to feature an arch instead of a door, I immediately knew what I wanted to feature.

This is a small part of several blog posts, two of which I created back in March, 2019.  These posts feature what was originally called the Jefferson National Expansion Memorial in St. Louis, MO.  It is now called the Gateway Arch National Park. U.S.  The following is from these various posts.

Some of you might remember my rant about the Statue of Liberty, which in turn led to my comparing it to the Arch: 

Years ago, I traveled to New York to see the reopening of the Statue of Liberty, a project I believed in.  I contributed for three years while they worked on the Statue.  I was there on day four of the reopening.  I was young and dumb, and got sucked into Lee Iaccoca's promises, since I thought it was a good cause to repair the Statue.  I even got my name as a contributor in the computer in the basement area under the statue.  When I got home, people asked what I thought of the Statue of Liberty.  I told them how disappointed I was.  It was NOTHING like the Arch, which I had already visited several times.

First, when you visit the Arch, you may take as much time as you like to take photos, appreciate the beauty of both the river and the city of St. Louis from high above.  Even though I'm extremely frightened of heights, this didn't frighten me, and it was exhilarating.  For the Arch, you take a tram to the top and stay as long as you like.  There are viewing areas/windows that allow you to see from both sides.

When I visited the Statue of Liberty, I climbed the 354 steps, many of them tight.  I was in excellent physical health, but many people would not have made it.  My friend Sally wouldn't have even fit in the tight 19 inch staircase which winds to the top of the crown.  Back then, they allowed people who wanted to climb to the top to do so.  Now they only allow a limited number per day to climb to the crown.  Once up top, we were forced to keep moving.  I only had a brief time to take a few photos from the viewing windows and had to move on.  Such a disappointment.  It also wasn't as high (tall) as I anticipated it would be, either.  Certainly not like the Arch, which spoiled me for views and beauty.

While at the arch, you learn how it was created.  Much of the final work had to be done at night or early morning, since once the sun heated the arch, it distorted the two legs (until they were assembled, that is).

Old Courthouse in St. Louis, Missouri, USA, as seen from the top of the Gateway arch. Compliments of Wikipedia.

Because I'm so short, I had to climb up on the viewing platforms to see out the tiny windows (about 7 inches x 27 inches or 180 mm x 690 mm).  However, I was able to stay as long as I liked.  At the time of this posting, it cost $10.00 (USD) to go to the top of the Arch.  The first time I went up, it was $3.00 (USD).  The second, third, and fourth times were $3.50 (USD).  After checking the current prices, the cost for one adult Monday through Thursday is $17.00 (USD) and $19.00 (USD) Friday through Sunday.  Also forget what I said above about taking as much time as you like.  Now, the tram ticket site tells us

Guests will be limited to under 10 minutes at the top of the Arch. Please follow tour guide announcements.
Now let me tell you about the Arch.  One thing to remember is, it was 630 feet (
192 meters) high and 630 feet (192 meters) from each of the bases, too.  Many call it a parabola, and it even looks like one, but that is technically not true.  It is really a weighted catenary (meaning the legs are wider than the upper section), made up of 142 wedges that are equilateral triangles.  I got the information about these specific numbers from this fact sheet.

One of the things that surprised me was how the Illinois side of the river has been cleaned up.  

This is my own photo I took from the Illinois side back in the mid-80s.  You can see I had to walk through practically a forest of debris and dead trees to get this shot.  

I took the photo out of the frame, but because of the matte finish, it was still hard to see.

One of the years I was there for a July 4th concert (I went every July 4th for many years), I broke down and purchased a VP Fair beer.

VP stands for Veiled Prophet, and this organization has been going strong for well over 100 years.  Either I'm getting old, or I no longer know current artists, but I've never heard of the ones they are listing for this year's fair (2019 is not shown in the listings anymore). 

These live in my basement and they are part of a larger St. Louis vignette.  I also have a photo from the Illinois side of the river I took one year during the daytime.  However, I didn't have time to look for it.  On the other hand, you can see I photo bombed my own photo!

One photo I'm especially proud of (yes, my scanner was obviously dirty when I took this scan)

is this one I took in front of the Old Courthouse, which was made famous by the Dred Scott case.  I like how I captured the rainbow in the fountains.  Although it is impossible to tell from the spot where I took this photo, the name of the statue is The Runner and  yes, he is running.
Now it's time to share your own Second on the 2nd.  The rules are quite simple and everyone is welcome to join the fun look back.  All you have to do is bring back a post that you are especially proud of, or perhaps one you shared before anyone knew your blog existed.  Any post, any genre, any artistic endeavor is acceptable, as long as it's been published sometime in the past.  Then link below (direct links only, please) and Bleubeard and I, along with other Second on the 2nd friends, will be by to visit.  Please note this link is only good through 4 p.m. my time on Monday afternoon when T Tuesday goes live.  




Friday, July 1, 2022

Welcome to the neighborhood


Today we start a new theme with a new host.  Our host this month is Wendy K.  You will find her at Wendy's Craft Journal.  Wendy's theme is Doors and Arches.  I suspect we'll see a lot of those this month.

Welcome to the neighborhood.  It's nice when we get new neighbors, especially if they have an open door policy like this new owner has.

We want to welcome you to the neighborhood.  We want you to feel at home here.

Lovely landscaping and curb appeal.

Before I forget,

Here's the key to your front door.

I layered green 140 lb. cardstock on top of black 140 lb. cardstock.  I then sewed the green to the black cardstock.  I sewed a home that was part of a postcard weight pamphlet on exterior paint to the background using variegated thread.  I then sewed a key and holder from my stash to the background.  Finally, I computer generated the words which I also sewed in place using the same variegated thread.

Wendy, Chris, Erika, Yvonne, Bleubeard, and I are delighted you joined us and hope to see you this month at Art Journal Journey with your own take on Doors and Arches.  Valerie is taking a break this month.
We welcome art journal pages that meet the theme requirements, altered book pages, canvases, loose or stand alone pages including fabric and digital art.  We do not allow cards, tags, index cards, ATCs, or ATCoins, unless they are part of a journal page, and as much as we don't want to, will be forced to delete your entry.  Please remember if your blog is not in English, you must either provide a translation tool or translate it for us.  Hope to see you at Art Journal Journey soon. 


Thursday, June 30, 2022


I'm once again joining Mia from Craftartista, our host this month at Art Journal Journey. Her theme is Fish.  This will be my final entry for Art Journal Journey this month.

This turned out to be a disaster on my part.  The lady was supposed to be on the opposite end.

The first thing I did was run the glue stick along the top of the page (110 lb cardstock) I cut to the size of the napkin.  Then I stamped a row of fish using two different colors.  I then laid a portion of the napkin down with glue stick, then stamped more fish.  Because the fish on the napkin were in rows, it was easy to see where I needed to glue each time.  I stamped, then glued, stamped then glued until I reached the end of the napkin.  The lady was supposed to sit where the word "enjoyed" is now.  All that work and I messed up the final bit.

Once I messed up, there was nothing I could do.  There was no way to remove the lady from the fragile napkin.

That's when I decided to make the best of a bad situation.  I hope you can read the words "She enjoyed" that I glued in place where the woman was supposed to have been.

I placed the word "swimming" upside down.  At least all the stamped fish were going that way!

Once again, the stamped fish are upside down, but the two words read "among the."

Here I turned the word to match the stamped fishes and added the word "fishes."

One more time, the stamped fish are upside down relative to the lady.

But here, the stamped fish are right side up, while the lady is upside down.  In case you can't read the entire sentiment, it reads "She enjoyed swimming among the fishes."

Bleubeard and I are delighted you stopped by today.  He is not really proud of me, though.  Please remember, you still have a few hours before we announce a new host, so we hope to see you at Art Journal Journey with your own take on Fish.  Perhaps Bleubeard won't be quite so disappointed with me next month.  

Wednesday, June 29, 2022

My little book of fishes


I'm once again joining Mia from Craftartista, our host this month at Art Journal Journey. Her theme is Fish.  This will be my penultimate entry for Art Journal Journey.

 Call me crazy, but I created another teeny tiny art journal.

I'm actually blaming it on my friend Chris who sent me the tiny stencils I used on both the front and back covers.

I thought they went well together.
This two page spread reads "I'd rather be."  The words were colored using two watercolors.

This spread reads "under the sea."  I fussy cut all the fish and semi-cut the sea horses, except for the first one I laid down which is how they all started out originally.

This spread reads "with the fishes."  Put together, it is "I'd rather be under the sea with the fishes."

And of course, this leads to the back cover.  To decorate the covers, I mixed molding/modeling paste with gold fluid acrylic.  I then spread the mixture through a stencil using a faux credit card.  
I didn't back the squares like I did before.  These are single squares that are colored on one side and white on the other.  The squares are all cardstock weight.
Bleubeard and I are thrilled you stopped by today.  You still have a couple of days before we announce a new host, so we hope to see you at Art Journal Journey with your own take on Fish.