Wednesday, March 14, 2018


There's a lot going on out in the universe that we don't understand and probably are not even aware of.  Could there be life as we know it on some distant planet?  And if there was, what could we do with that knowledge? Staying a little closer to home, this blue planet in our neck of the universe has many mysteries of it's own that we are still striving to learn about.  How does the whole of the universe affect us here? There are many forces in our own solar system that influence events here on Earth.  So it's not hard to believe that there are forces in the universe that by entering our solar system have an effect on us in turn.  We know that the gravitational pull of the moon controls our tides and that solar flares cause magnetic impulses that can give us the northern and southern lights or aurora borealis but what else out there is controlling our planet?  What other star flares or gaseous clouds might play a part in the life of our planet?  

Looking at a recent weather map of the latest Nor'easter we've just weathered, it appeared to me to look a little like a cross between solar flares and the northern lights.  Actually, there is a magnetic storm predicted for today which might give some of you a view of the northern lights tonight. 

I've only seen them once in my lifetime here in NJ and honestly don't remember much of what they looked like because I was only about 10- or 11-years-old and had never heard of them before.  We had been visiting an uncle a few towns over and it was cold and late, but I remembered the words "aurora borealis" as sounding strange and beautiful.  Only years later would I actually learn what it was that I had seen. 

I used some Posca paint pens to recreate the weather map.  I started with some large blocks of the main colors and then added the stroke work.  I found it very relaxing as I have with the wind maps that I have done with markers in the past.  And I really love the vibrancy of the colors in this.  

I hope all the picnickers up north get a chance to see those lights tonight.  Think of me if you do.  It's going to be cloudy here so even if it were to extend this far, the clouds would obscure it.  

Speaking of the picnickers, it's time for me to head over to Scribble Picnic and see how else the universe influenced the artwork this week.  You can join me by clicking here, and should you like to join in the fun, our theme for next week is  CREAMS which I think I might have to get some clarification on.  

Thursday, March 8, 2018

Sharing Their Creativity (Way Overdue!!!)

I've been going through some pictures this last couple of days as I keep getting that dreaded message "Storage Full" on my cell phone.  And not only that, I actually filled a card on my big camera (over 2,500 pictures) which needed gleaning.  I do transfer everything to my laptop but I've been lax about backing that up and those on my phone (even though my phone has a cloud - I have no idea where that cloud is or how to get to it) so I hadn't been deleting a lot that I should have.  I have an external drive for the laptop and I recently purchase a Picture Keeper drive for the camera and used some of my "snow day" time taking care of those things.  In the process I came across pictures that I regretfully have not published sooner because they are a testament to the talents of the creative souls that I have found a bond with over the years through the internet.

Let me start with the Christmas cards and what came with them.  The first is from Sabrina.  She used her fingerprints to creative the most adorable little penguin!  Sabrina hails from Ireland and we met via Splitcoast Stampers (remember the Teapot challenges?).  She is still an avid participant in most of the challenges at Splitcoast and is always trying new techniques.  I always love seeing what she will come up with next.  

Sabrina made me a little tetraptych or quadriptych (having four panels).  This is the front.

And the panels when opened have trees representing the four seasons paying homage to my use of this very set to celebrate the 60th birthday's of my Table 7 gang.  She wanted me to be represented and I absolutely love this as the subject matter is very close to my heart.  There is so much texture to the framing of the trees.  So much detail and thought went into it!

My friend Lauren, of Jingle Belles fame and who happens to live pretty near me, sent me this gorgeous creation.  If you've ever visited the Jingle Belles blog after viewing my posts on the challenges, you must have seen her wonderful works.  She not only makes beautiful cards, she is skilled at mixed media collaging, and also loves trying new products and new techniques.  I was lucky to have spent a day with her this summer doing just that.  

She created this wrap for the gift she sent me.  She printed the design on the paper using her techniques and talents and then decorated it with more torn paper and sari silk.  This to me is just as much a gift as what it wrapped.

Sunshine sent me this from her home in New Zealand.  Such a sweet image and a clever interactive card.  She is always trying new card designs and I am lucky that she has shared these with me.  

And Sunshine, one of my Pig Ladies, sent me this lovely card to celebrate Pig Day.  

She not only makes cards, she makes "Mail Art".  All of the envelopes that I've ever received from her are decorated so beautifully.  I know that she loves doing this and I love getting them!

My friend Clare in California who I met through blogging, is an accomplished origamist, dollmaker, and mixed media artist.  She recently held a giveaway through her Facebook page for Skeleton & Elf and I was the lucky winner.  In my "prize" package were a myriad of delightful things.  These origami crane ornaments that she made are so beautiful.  

And here is the book that she made of the adventures of Skeleton & Elf from 2015.  I know some might question her sense of humor but I find it wonderfully entertaining.  Ya gotta laugh!  She has her little elf (on the left in the picture) that she had growing up and that resembles that little Elf on a Shelf you see at the holidays, and her little skeleton in his elf hat, and all during the month of December, instead of the elf getting into trouble all by himself, Skeleton puts the screws to the elf and there are some pretty precarious (and comical) situations.  You have to laugh!  I've followed these adventures for a few years and always thought that she should make a book of them and luckily she did, and lucky for me I got one!

She also sent me this wonderful coloring book which I am enjoying.

And she is also one of my Pig Ladies and sent along this sweet flying pig ornament.......

and a very functional flying pig decorative hook for me, as well as this gorgeous card.  Oh, and lest I forget, in the picture above of Sabrina's gift, the background is a lovely turquoise scarf that Clare also sent along in my prize package.  I was truly overwhelmed with the thoughtfulness that went into this.

And I am, dare I repeat it again, truly blessed to have made the acquaintance of such talented and generous women from such faraway places.  Hugs to all of you!

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Scribble Picnic - OPERA

This week's Scribble Picnic theme is OPERA.  This didn't come easily, and in fact it is a stretch but I think, er I hope, you will find it fun.

O is for Opera and Owls so how about some Operatic Owls

O - Oberon, King of the Fairies in Britten's A Midsummer Night's Dream
P - Pamina, Daughter of the Queen of the Night in Mozart's Die Zauberflote
E -Emilia, Wife of Iago in Verdi's Othello
R - Reiza, Daughter of the Caliph of Baghdad in Weber's Oberon
A - Angelica, Queen of Cathay in Handel's Orlando

Don't be fooled that I actually knew those characters or operas - Google is very helpful with these things.  But no amount of Google could get HWNSNBP to find the "word" in the picture so I've illuminated it somewhat below.  

And here are some real owls and their opera....

I actually got to post this early today because we're having a snow day that's proving to be somewhat of a bomb.  They kept hyping up this second Nor'easter and we are in the 8"-12" belt on all the maps but so far (noon EST) just our grass is covered and the roads are just wet though it's been snowing since early this morning.  Realistically, we could have had school today, but now we will be adding another day to the end of the year to make up for today.  I really don't mind as I work all year, so this is truly a "day off" for me that I don't have to make up.  However, if we need another day they will be taking back the day before Memorial Day weekend which I will not like to lose.  So, I'm just going to have a pajama snow day and make the best of it by catching up on some projects and visiting the other Picnickers to see how they interpreted this theme.  Click here to join me.  

Next week the theme is ACROSS THE UNIVERSE which should prove to be very interesting.  Anyone want to try some "alien art"?

EDIT:  We wound up getting about 10 or more inches of very heavy snow.  Lost a few limbs of the pines and nearly lost the cable line.  Turned into a 2-day off situation.

Tuesday, March 6, 2018

Hello, Good-bye, and all the Fun Between

I had to say hello to some new plants for the fairy garden as I had it too close to the window the last several months and a few of them didn't take too well to that.

We said hello to this little sleepy-eyed boy who wasn't so sleepy when we first got there but I think we wore him out.

Playing with watercolor pencils while watching the Oscars.
Road trip to IKEA.  Someone left their orchid all alone while they wrapped a package.  Funny what you notice while you're unexpectedly waiting almost an hour to pickup a simple shelf.

Soup-tasting with two friends.  You wouldn't believe how full you can get from 17 (out of 18) little soup samples.  It was hard choosing a favorite - there were so many good ones.

Saying good-bye to our pin oak.  One of my favorite trees in the yard, but sadly, dropping too many limbs to be safe anymore.

And saying good-bye to a colleague.  Using up more bits from the scrap box. 

Monday, March 5, 2018

Jingle Belles - Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas

Inchies or twinchies...... what will it be.  That's the Jingle Belle goal this week to feature inchies or twinchies of any shape.  Mine is smack-dab in the middle - bigger than an inchie and smaller than a twinchie.  

I actually cut the 1 1/2" opening out of the blue cardstock to frame my snowman.  I added a little torn paper snow layer and some glitter gel pen.  

The blue in the second photo is closer to the actual color of the cardstock - Ballet Blue.  The camera seems to make adjustments of it's own against that brown background I've noticed lately.  I really like this color blue and I'm glad I stashed a package of it before they retired it a few years back.  

So, now I'll head over to the Jingle Belles blog to check out all the other inchie/twinchie cards.  You can join me by clicking here.  

Mini Scrap Collages 36-42/365