Thursday, March 21, 2019

Meet me in St. Louie, Louie

Today I'm again joining Jo from Let's Art Journal who is our host this month at Art Journal Journey with her Hello Springtime theme.  I'm also joining Moo-Mania and More with their Colo(u)rful theme.  In addition to that, I'm joining Try it on Tuesday with their Say it with Flowers theme.

It's definitely springtime at the Gateway Arch in St. Louis, MO (Missouri, the state just east of Kansas in the U.S.).

According to Moo-Mania and More, they want to see colo(u)r in our entries with hardly any or no white areas.  I assure you, the arch is silver, made of brushed steel, and the clouds are the only white in this entry.

I may be stretching Try it on Tuesday's theme, but these are definitely flowering trees.  They even make a statement! 

The paper doll stands on washi tape (both the tape and the doll are by Tim Holtz).

I took a bit of license on this song.  The second line is actually "meet me at the fair."  This sentiment reads:
Meet me in St. Louie, Louie.
Meet me at the Arch.

The arch grounds look NOTHING like the last time I was there.  That doesn't surprise me, though, since I haven't been to the arch since the mid-1990s.

I began to wonder when all these flowering trees were planted.

Nothing like the internet to help fill in the blanks.

For this page, I began by printing a music score I found in my stash.  I'm not sure if it came from the Graphics Fairy or the New York Public Library.  I added it to my Challenges altered book using very strong double sided tape.  I did the same with the image I found in a magazine.  I used the same tape to adhere the image. When I laid the book completely flat, the pink paper broke at the center of the book.  I used the flower I created from punches to hide the page number and reinforce the flower theme.

Now I digress.  Years ago, I traveled to New York to see the reopening of the Statue of Liberty.  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.  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 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.

The Arch grounds were completely revamped beginning in 2015.  This and all following photos are from the St. Louis Dispatch, the city's main newspaper.

Back in the 80s, the City had concerts on the lawn in front of the Arch every July 4th.  I saw famous people like Elton John, Joan Jett and the Blackhearts, Willie Nelson, and others.  There were up to 850,000 people in attendance at some of the concerts.  It was summer and humid, but if it rained, the ground, which was basically fill dirt, turned to mud.  Believe me, I know.

Apparently that isn't the case anymore.  Now the project has brought in tons and tons of topsoil and planted nearly 4200 London Plane trees.  This is no longer a St. Louis National Expansion Memorial, because in 2018, according to Wikipedia:
The United States Congress approved the Gateway Arch National Park Designation Act in early 2018 to re-designate Jefferson National Expansion Memorial as Gateway Arch National Park. U.S. President Donald Trump signed the act into law on February 22, 2018.
This is a concept drawing, so I have no idea what the Arch looks like today.  However, you can see the trees that line both sides of the Arch.  Perhaps you will meet me under the Arch, too!

I'm so glad you decided to visit today.  Please also join Bleubeard and me at Art Journal Journey, Try it on Tuesday, and Moo-Mania and More, too.

Wednesday, March 20, 2019

Spring has arrived

The spring or vernal equinox will arrived at 5:58 p.m. EDT.  It will be at 4:58 p.m. CDT (see my right sidebar for Wichita, KS time.  Theoretically spring has arrived in the northern hemisphere and autumn has arrived in the southern hemisphere.

Today I'm once again joining Jo from Let's Art Journal who is our host this month at Art Journal Journey with her Hello Springtime theme.  I'm also joining Moo-Mania and More with their Close to Nature theme.

It's time to greet spring, even if it hasn't yet arrived where you live.

It's definitely time to turn the page on winter.

It's time to get rid of snow and ice.

We definitely want our cardinals to stay,

but we want to see them nesting in the warmth of a spring wreath,

not a frozen snow encased wreath.

Yes!  It's time to welcome springtime!

Spring has truly arrived, if only in my altered book.

For this two page spread I created in my Challenges altered book, I began with two cards, one that signified winter and one that signified springtime.  For the winter page, I added ice crystal Stickles.  I did nothing for the springtime page, except add the sentiment I colored using water soluble crayons.

I'm truly delighted you decided to visit today and hope you celebrate the vernal equinox with me.  Please also join Bleubeard and me at Art Journal Journey and Moo-Mania and More, too.   I believe I've missed the nature theme at Moo Mania, so I will not be entering that today.

The reason I was offline so long began when my friend Kathy came to visit on Friday.  I explained I had to wait for the service repair person from AT&T.  Around 3 p.m., I got a "courtesy call" telling me the repair person couldn't make it until sometime between 5 p.m. and 8 p.m.  I got a bit frustrated and said I had already waited and had company who was hungry and we were NOT going to wait till 8 p.m. to eat.  We would have to reschedule.  

Yes, that's a rocking horse gift
She said she would have to talk to the repairman.  She called me back and said the earliest she could get the repairman to visit would be Monday between 1 and 5 p.m.  I was frustrated even further, but wasn't about to let them dictate my life any further.   At the time, I didn't realize I couldn't link my AJJ and MM&M art, but dear Susi came to the rescue and linked for me.

You'll have to wait till next Tuesday to see the rest of the goodies I received.

Monday, March 18, 2019

T STands For Pancakes For a Good Cause

After nearly a week of being offline, I believe I am back.  I'll be by as time allows.  I've already started visiting a few so far and will continue to do so as I can and time allows.

Last Tuesday when I couldn't get on the internet, I got very frustrated.  I called my foodie friend Sally and I asked her to take me to Sam's (the wholesale members-only equivalent of WalMart.  She has a membership there.

Right after we walked in, I found the refrigerator/freezer of my dreams.  Everything I wanted: a double door top refrigerator with moveable shelves, and two freezers on the bottom also with re-positional shelving.

Sally was quick to point out this was more than likely top of the line.  Those are U.S. dollars!

As I was shopping, I turned the corner and found this.  I immediately thought of my internet friend Divers and Sundry.

She is ALWAYS finding the number 42.  I was so surprised, I had to take a close-up!  I finally found a 42, also!

For those of you who don't get the significance, 42 is the answer to the ultimate question of life, the universe, and everything.   The phrase is from "The Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy."

Then I talked Sally into going to Free Pancake Day at IHOP.

We both ordered a breakfast and got three free pancakes, too.

We both had water with our meals.

At the end of the meal, we both gave three dollars each to Children's Miracle Network.  It was definitely free pancakes for a good cause.  I told Bleubeard he contributed, but all he (and Squiggles) got was kibble I bought at Sam's!

It's now time for you to share your own drink related post.  It can be gifts you received, photos, a place you visited, movies, postcards, 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.  Old photos are acceptable because they may be taken any time, not just on Tuesday and not just this year.

Today (Tuesday, March 19), is double kibble day.  Please click on the free kibble shown on my right sidebar and whether you guess right or wrong, you have still donated 20 pieces of kibble to needy dogs and 20 pieces of kibble to cats.  You can also donate a scoop of litter just by clicking on the kitty in the litter box.

Cherry blossom time

For this spread in my Challenges altered book, I'm once again joining Jo from Let's Art Journal who is our host this month at Art Journal Journey with her theme Hello Springtime.

Today we are celebrating the Cherry Blossom Festival around the tidal basin in Washington, D.C., which is our nation's capital.  These cherry trees have an interesting history.

Here are the words describing their planting and the history behind it.  I copied the information from in case you can't read it or in case you need to translate it:
The Cherry Blossom Festival, which runs every year from March to
April, commemorates the gift of approximately 3,000 cherry trees
from the Mayor of Tokyo to the United States in 1912. The gift
celebrates the friendship between the Japanese and American
people. The Cherry Blossom Festival, located mainly around the
Tidal Basin, attracts hundreds of thousands of people to D.C. each
year. Peak bloom occurs when 70% of the Yoshino Cherry trees are
open. Most people are familiar with the beauty of the cherry blossom
trees; but few know the history of how these trees came to surround
the Tidal Basin. That story starts with an individual buried at
Arlington National Cemetery.
Often overlooked and forgotten are the first President and First
Lady to be buried at Arlington National Cemetery President
William Howard Taft and his wife Helen Nellie Taft. In 1909,
Mrs. Taft received a letter from Mrs. Eliza Ruhamah Scidmore, a
local author and member of the National Geographic Society,
detailing a plan to plant cherry trees around the Tidal Basin. Mrs.
Taft responded to the letter by agreeing to the overall plan; but she
suggested some minor changes to the layout of the trees around the
Basin. The Japanese consul was told about the plan and offered to
donate approximately 2,000 trees. In 1910 the trees arrived in
Washington DC and the Department of Agriculture discovered that
they were infested with insects. A few days later President Taft
agreed to have the trees burned. The mayor of Tokyo and others
from Japan decided to donate another batch of cherry trees to the
Capitol. In March of 1912, approximately 3,000 trees arrived in the
Mrs. Taft and the Japanese ambassador's wife planted the first two
saplings on the northern bank of the Tidal Basin. Those trees still
stand today with a small plaque commemorating the event. If you
want to avoid the crowds at the Tidal Basin, come to Arlington
National Cemetery to see a variety of Japanese cherry trees
including: Yoshino Cherry, Akebono Cherry, Weeping Cherry and
other blooming trees like magnolias, dogwoods, red buds and
Japanese crab apples. And while you are visiting, don't forget to stop
by section 30 to thank Mrs. Taft for her role in bringing the cherry
blossom trees to Washington D.C.!
Copied in whole from

This is an amazing sight to see, and of course,

it definitely signifies spring.

Faux cherry blossoms dot the page.

For this two pages spread, I began with black non-archival construction paper as my substrate.  It measures 9" X 12" (22,9 X 30,5 cm) and covers all but the very top of the two pages. I cut a page from an old calendar so it would fit on the pages.  I colored some copier/printer paper using water soluble crayons, then cut flowers using two punches shown in the first photo.  Finally, I found the history of these trees on the internet and copied the information using my laser printer.  I then adhered everything in place using heavy double-sided tape on the construction paper and calendar page (because the slick calendar paper is so thin, it would have buckled under the moisture of any wet glue) and glue dots to hold the faux cherry blossoms.

I'm so happy you decided to join me today and I hope this history of the cherry blossoms in Washington, D.C. was as interesting for you as it was for me.  Please also join me at Art Journal Journey.

UPDATE: I'm finally back online!  Can hardly believe it!!!!!

Sunday, March 17, 2019

Happy St. Patrick's Day

Today I'm once again joining Jo from Let's Art Journal who is our host this month at Art Journal Journey with her Hello Springtime theme.  I'm also joining Moo-Mania and More with their Close to Nature theme.

Whether you are Irish or not, today is the day to celebrate wearing of the green. What signifies springtime better than St. Patrick's Day?  The Irish believe you must plant potatoes on this day, so spring has truly arrived.

Whether you are lucky enough to find a four-leaf clover, or are merely finding shamrocks, they are definitely found in nature.

The sentiment, an Irish Proverb:
A good friend is like
a four-leaf clover,
hard to find
and lucky to have.

You'll find three four-leaf clovers

among the many shamrocks.

For this piece, I began by coloring a sheet of 110 lb card stock using Staz-on reinkers (two greens) and 91% Isotropyl alcohol.  I then found shamrocks on the internet and printed 16 on a page using my Photoshop program.  I did the same for the four-leaf clovers.  I colored both pages with watercolors (cheap children's) and cut them until I was blue in the face (or until I could no longer feel my hand).  I can see the advantage to having dies and punches, because this was NOT a labor of love!  I printed the Irish Proverb and colored it using two water soluble crayons.  I began outlining the Ireland information I found in an old encyclopedia using a green pen.  However, I got frustrated and finished using a green stamp pad.

I thought I would show what my front flower bed looks like as of March 16.  The flowers around the rose bush and many in front of the porch are naked ladies or surprise lilies.  The greenery will die back soon, then the Naked Ladies/Surprise Lilies will appear in July.

Also showing their greenery are tulips along the driveway (far left in photo)

and hyacinth near the walkway.  Spring may soon be on its way.

I'm simply delighted you decided to visit today to share St. Patrick's Day.  Please also join Bleubeard and me at Art Journal Journey and Moo-Mania and More, too.  I'd love to see your garden, too.