Sunday, March 18, 2018

Winter Can't Stay Away

It's a VERY cold morning here in my world. 7 degrees (-13 degrees C). Brrr. Winter doesn't want leave this year. But the sun is shining and the skies are blue so at least it's not dark and dreary.
And it will be a good day to stay inside and make some art. There's always a bright side to these cold winter  days. (Did I really say winter days?)
So let's go tropical today where it is warm and lush.  Here's a page out of my Nature Journal.

I began by tearing this tropical foliage paper into scraps which I then collaged on my page. The hummingbirds are stamped images which I painted and colored with watercolor markers. Then I fussy cut them.
I drew the flowers based on a photo of honeysuckle. I colored then, fussy cut them also, and added them to the page. Then I added a couple of strips of these gold stars.
I am linking up to Moo Mania and their latest challenge called Color Effect.

And here's  a few tropical plants for your viewing. I took these photos at the arboretum at Smith College the other day.

In the tropical greenhouse. You can see some other folks who are in there also. (Most people were doing the bulb show, and yes, I promise to show you some photos of their gorgeous spring flowers.)
 I find it amazing that pineapples grow off a stalk like this one-close up above and view view below.
 Some plants have such fascinating shapes and textures too.

The outside of a cottage cheese tree looks like roots.. 
Looking up I discovered not only this cool view but these cool cones.  This is a cyclad.

And how about a cocoa pod growing on a cocoa tree. I wonder if they use these pods to produce cocoa for hot chocolate or even chocolate for themselves.
And finally they had so many orchids in the arboretum. I will show you more another day but here is a little tease.
Hope everyone is having a fantastic weekend!

Saturday, March 17, 2018

Wearing the Green

Happy St. Patrick's Day everyone.  

Yesterday there was a teacher work day at my school. Since we had no students, 3 of us biology teachers  asked if we could skip out of school and go visit Smith College in western Massachusetts. Smith College has a fantastic arboretum and right now they are having their spring bulb show. Our principal agreed to let us go seeing most of our department co-workers were already going to a workshop and there was only going to be us left in the department. So we headed off on 3 hour road trip.
Three hours may seem like a long drive, but we 3 are friends and had time to catch up, talk about work and even do a little stress relieving complaining. :)
The bulb show was fantastic.
But St. Patrick's Day is all about green so I will save the bulbs for another day and show you some interesting green from the arboretum today.

 The diversity of leaves is amazing.  They gives me some ideas for art too.

Hope you enjoyed some green today.  

Friday, March 16, 2018

Sweet Friday

Happy Friday everyone. Another week is winding down, and it did fly by for me. Maybe it did for you too.
Today I am off on a teacher field trip. I'm going to see some flowers and green and some exotic plants. I am so excited, and will tell you more in another post.
But today I have a spring sketch for Rosie's challenge at Art Journal Journey Rosie picked spring as her challenge, and I am loving the opportunity to do some spring pages.
Today my page is something that is fairly unique to northeast area of North America-maple sugaring.  When I drive around at this time of year I pass people who have buckets hanging off their sugar maple trees. The trees get tapped and the sap runs into the buckets.  Then the excess liquid is boiled down and voila, you have maple syrup.
In case you are interested, back in 2016 I did a T Day post about maple sugaring which you can read here T Stands for Making Maple Syrup. We have a sugar shack down the road from our house.
And maple syrup is a "healthy" sugar source, as I recently found out.

So to make my journal page I first gessoed the paper.  Then I painted the trees (I need a little more tree practice I think-they look a little stubby on top) and the ground. Then I added the buckets. Finally I used a watercolor crayon to color the sky. I gave the colored background a water wash, and while it was still wet I did a bit of rubbing with a paper towel which created this cool sky effect!
Have a great Friday everyone.

Thursday, March 15, 2018

Not to Depress You

Welcome to my world.  We had two HUGE snowstorms in less than a week so we look like January not mid-March.

 The dogs like to play in it, but it sure makes chasing squirrels difficult.

I wrote this post last night. They said we could get an inch or 2 more snow from the last snow squalls of this storm.
I hope I woke up to the same amounts I went to bed with.
Yesterday when I was home on a snow day I took some more bird photos. The good news is the male goldfinches are looking slightly more yellow than last week. That means they are on their way to their summer plumage. Can it actually be a sign that spring might come one of these days?

Now the news is saying there is a chance we might get another big storm at the beginning of next week. Please keep your fingers crossed or say a prayer or use voodoo or SOMETHING to make sure that doesn't happen. I am open for anything if it keeps the snow away. We  here in New England are obviously not sending the right karma into the universe because the snow keeps coming.
A snowy March stinks!
Spoken from the mouth of someone living the nightmare.   :)
But the sun is suppose to come out today.  That might mean melting...
Hope your day is sunny, bright and spring like.
And thanks for visiting me. I do appreciate you stopping by.

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

The Birds Will Eventually Fly North

Hi everyone.  Tonight I have a spread from my nature journal. It's a spring themed page so I will link it up to Rosie's spring challenge at Art Journal Journey
Spring is usually when the birds fly north and return, although this year I haven't yet seen any summer birds back. Not surprising with all the snow. We've  gotten dumped on today, and it's been  dark and dreary and the snow has been flying in every which direction.
It's been  just a nasty day.
As I write this Tuesday evening we have at least 16 inches of new snow (around 40 cm) and it suppose to snow  all night.
I can't even look at it!

So my top photo is a slightly lightened view of my page. I have these flying geese rubber stamps and I used those, but since they are black on the darker blue they are hard to see in the photograph.  Below is the page actual color.

I painted the sky blue and then added the clouds, the watercolor crayon light blue edge, the black doodle and then the stamped images along with the sticker letters and the wooden feather.
And I doodled in the compass points on the two left hand corners. You can see those better here.
And since I was home on a snow day, I had a long play in the studio. I am going to join in to a couple of other challenges today.
Here's a new one for me. I'm going to join Daniela Rogall at her Think Monday, Think ATC. This week the challenge is all about chairs.
And I pulled out my little bin of spring/Easter stamps and had a lot of fun playing with them.
Here's one of the pieces I made. 

I am linking up to Tag Tuesday and their Spring/Easter challenge. And since there's a Mama chick and her little babies, I am linking up to the Mum's the Word challenge at Try It on Tuesday.
I had a lot of fun playing today-anything not to have to look at the snow coming down.
Hope everyone had a sunny and more spring like Tuesday than me.
Thanks for stopping by.

Monday, March 12, 2018

T Stands for a Fun Day Out

Happy T Day everyone. Another Tuesday has arrived and it is time to share your drink related posts over at  Bleubeard and Eizabeth's blog.
I will start today's post with my breakfast photos from this past Saturday.
My husband and I hadn't been to our favorite hole in the wall breakfast place since back before Christmas.
There was a 30 minute wait, but it was worth it.
I started with a mug of their rich homemade hot cocoa. If you're going to splurge and have  cocoa, what's a few calories from the whipped cream?
And for breakfast (well more brunch as it was going on 11) I had their homemade hash with eggs, toast and for my side I had their homemade baked beans.
I can never finish this meal but the hash and the baked beans always get eaten. 
Now it's time to burn off those calories. So it's off to the beach to walk the dogs.
It was windy and chilly, as you can see from this windsock, but that means you walk faster and get your metabolism going!
We were at York Beach in York, Maine. It is a great beach to walk-long, flat and has hard sand, especially at low tide.
(And CJ, one of these days I am going to go stay at the Anchorage some nice winter weekend and eat fried clams too! The hubby and I have talked about doing that for years-he wants to be able to swim in the pool. I wantto walk to beach as much as possible. :) )
There were several lobster traps washed up on the beach. They were pretty battered too.  Probably in the last two big storms we  have had (in the last 2 weeks)  they broke lose in the rough seas and got pushed in from the tide. I am sure the waves kept pushing hem into those rocks.
 They make some nice texture photos.
 And the dog found the smell fascinating.
The town of York is rebuilding their bathhouse. 
And we found some treasures on the beach.

 Maddie found this shell particularly interesting also.

I was playing with the new lens my hubby surprised me with for my birthday last week. Some of you have asked about it.  My new lens  is a Tamron 18-400x. I just love it.
 It also take great close ups too.
And a few more photos. You can see in the bottom photos there was snow near the beach also. (Actually more than at my house.)

Beach walking is such a fun thing to do.  And a good way to escape some snow.  We have another BIG storm on this T day, or at least what they are predicting when I post this Monday night. We could get up to 18 or 20 inches -that's like 46 cm before it wraps up.
I have some photos from the lighthouse near by which I will share next post since I think this post is long enough.
Have a fantastic T Day everyone, and thanks for visiting me. I do appreciate your comments and visits.