Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Looking Back on 2013

Its exciting and also kind of sad that tonight we close the book of this year. 2013...where did it go to? 
I'm excited for 2014, but also sad to see a good year become history.
How about you? 
So as is fitting (and very cliche)  for the very last day of the year, I want to look back and figure out the highlights- the things about 2013 that really knocked off my socks in some way, shape or form.
(heads up- this is a LONG post)

3 fantastic trips
First of all in February I went by my little self to visit my friend Vicky and her husband Bob in Taos, New Mexico for a week. My first trip to New Mexico. It was an arty, foodie, historical trip. Even visited the local dump.

Secondly, we took a family vacation to the 4 corners region of Colorado and Utah. First family vacation since Feb. of 2010
It was great to travel with my family and great to visit a few things on my bucket list.

And lastly, I went for 10 days on a school/grad credit trip to Costa Rica. It was my first group planned type trip ever.  It was a big adventure for me, living with a family I didn't know, with lot of Spanish I don't speak, doing some great ecology, visiting schools...

oh yeah, and a fun little weekend adventure in Burlington VT in November!

the year of fixing up the house
wasn't a resolution but it happened-
was some good karma in the air.
Cleaning out some of the clutter (more to do in 2014)
getting my bedroom cabinet and finally getting my clothes organized
painting the kitchen cabinets (and putting in a few slidey drawer things too)
Felt good getting some of these little projects done.
Maybe 2014 will be more of the same?
That studio needs so much purging and cleaning!

my first ride on a horse!!!!!
It was truly a magnificent and adventurous and something I definitely want to do again.
Maybe 2014 will be the year I take rising lessons.
Do I look like an old fat lady or what?

A great holiday season.
Lots of fun, time with friends and family, happy spirits, joy and cheer.
We really did a great holiday season in the Nelson household.
I thoroughly enjoyed it all.

I can't say 2013 was a great reading year for me.  I wanted it to be.
I really did. But I didn't read tons of books to start with
some of those reads weren't that wow for me.
Here's  some my favorites.

Product Details


                                         Sad the series ended

Product Details

Lunch in Paris: A Love Story, with Recipes

And I started thinking about books by foreign authors in November. I want to do more of that.
Reading some books by foreign authors that is.

Discovering Downton Abbey.
Game of Thrones.
The 50th Anniversary of Dr. Who.
and watching another year of True Blood

This was the year of Boston Strong.
Not a personal thing, but a thing about this part of the planet.
The Red Sox winning the world series at home in Fenway.
Boston strong.
several trips into this great city for me.
Field trips and personal trips.
Although I live in New Hampshire and consider myself very much a part of this state
(been coming here all my life since my Grandmother had a house in NH)
I was born and grew up in Massachusetts.
Gotta love Boston if you're born here.

Making pies.
A years of pies.

Chocolate cream
coconut cream
key lime

Oh yes, and Slutty Brownies

and Chocolate martinis
some of those delicious flavored liquors

A sad sad moment-
Losing our little Emma cat.

spending time with my favorite people.

playing with lots of supplies that made me smile.
Gelli plate

Liquitex Acrylics
Dylusion Spray inks
Tim Holtz Distress Markers
stencils, stencils and stencils
rubber stamps too.
my journal
my camera

Viva paint pens
and dies.
A few classes.
Dyan Reavely and Dina Wakely-
Learning new things is always a high.
Lots of other things too but you arty folks know
what I'm getting at-
I hope.

Little adventures:
Road trips to mom's house and a few other places like  the Wrentham Outlets
attempting a veggie garden that once again didn't happen
but my flowers looked fantastic this year.
Boat trips and fishing
another summer the kayak never got taken out.
Hanging with friends-
lunches with Vicky at Johnson's
reading and naps on the screen porch
reading in bed in the morning before you roll out of bed
late of course
bald eagle watching
hockey games-go Maine- a new coach this fall and you are looking good.

I love it.
New suitcases from Vera Bradley
Drawers for my bedroom cabinet from the Container Store
Clothes from Chicos and LL Beans
Just cruising through Target
The summer sale at Keepsake Quilting
Of course, trips to Absolutely Everything
Even my weekly foray to Trader Joe's

Watching sunsets and sunrises
watching the deer that came into my yard
our little funny possum that we discovered last week
Seeing the seasons change and seeing how nature varies from place to place
Being out on the ocean and feeling the wind through my hair

15-Thankful for our good health
my good health
Katie being so successful at school
my job being a place I usually like to be
wishing I had more art time and maybe a little more art career

16-Thankful Harl is still around at almost 14-
old but still great for an old doggie.
Him and Leo making me laugh so much
and the hubby too.
I love laughing.

And laughing is a good way to end to this list.
Any wild highlights from your year?
So to wrap up this post:

Monday, December 30, 2013

Holiday Journaling

Its been a relaxing and enjoyable last few days.  This vacation is all about the downtime-that much I can tell you!
Have had a little bit of studio time so far (really need some studio cleaning time-maybe later this week)- and thought I shared a few journal pages I have worked on.
This top page I used that new Tim Holtz present die. I found it marked down 50% at Michael's before Christmas and I really like it. I didn't realize that each present is separate and you can  stacked them or not, however you want to.
My stack looks like its about to tip over since the bottom gift doesn't look to even.
Ha-ha-looks like a pile I'd really make.
I've been an entry for every day since I started this journal. Sometimes the entries aren't more than a little tag,  sometimes a day is several pages. 

This page is particularly like my overlapping stenciling.
Not sure I like journal format. And think some of my pages are just a bit messy, but its a journal and I often find when I look back months later I like my pages a lot better than when I first make them. That space between making them and then stepping away from them makes a difference.
Besides, its ok not to think everything you make is fabulous and fantastic and the cat's meow.
This view doesn't show you the light green background or the sparkley words at the top. But it is both.

What I do like about journaling is you get to experiment with different things.
Learn some new tricks.
What works and what doesn't work.
I've got a lot more left to do.
A lot more experiments to try.

So yesterday I thought I was going to be ambitious and start some studio sorting and picking up.
Nope, got cloudy and rainy and we watched the last 2 episodes of season 3 of Games of Thrones.
Wow-what an ending-now need to wait until March.
But spent a lot of time thinking about how to reorganize and rearrange the studio. Got me frustrated too.
I want a nice big space, but I don't have it. Can't figure out how to get it either without spending 10s of thousands of dollars to built an addition or an out building. 
Let's be real.
Got a few small ideas, along with a BIG purge-suppose that's a good way to start the new year- eh?
I'm hoping tonight or the next couple of nights some great idea will come to me in my sleep.
Isn't that when the best ideas always come to you?
Will let you know if anything does come to me.
Thanks for stopping by, listening and looking.

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Cool Quote and Photo I Came Across

Liked this.
Thought it was appropriate for this time of year.
Made any resolutions yet?

My vacation week has been low key. Not really couch potato mode, but at times, close to it.
I am LOVING it.
I needed some time with no expectations from myself
and the personal decision that it is OK to waste as much time as I want.
At one point I thought I would really like to go away over the holidays- or at least go away after Christmas-since I had a big chunk of time off-
but now that I'm in the zone-
not at all bummed out to be hanging home.
Besides having a great shopping day in the snow Thursday,
going out to lunch with the hubby and my daughter yesterday,
hanging in the studio a bit yesterday-as well as couch potato-ing it.
Finally watched The Lone Ranger Friday night and although not a 10, it was a better movie than I expected.
And last night, Maine beat Princeton in the Florida Classic tournament so tonight we have the championship game to watch.
That's about it here.
My house is still a MESS.
The studio is still a shambles.
But its not going any where.

Maybe today I'll be a little ambitious.
But then again-with ice and snow coming this afternoon-
maybe not.
Read some more of my fun book

watch the rest of season 3 of Games of Thrones,

Happy Sunday everyone.
Stop by again soon.

Friday, December 27, 2013

Post Holiday Chatter-A Lot of It too!

Happy post-Christmas everyone.
Hope everyone enjoyed their holiday-
if its one you celebrate that is.
I had a fantastic holiday this year-
low stress, lots of laughs, relaxing mostly.
One sad point though-
my sister-in-law with breast cancer was told she has only experimental treatments left-
and was told to do those things she really wants to do.
How can anyone be so brave and hear all that?
Major kudos to her.
I can't even focus on it-it is so sad.
(She is only 50).
So not to get myself all super downer
let me show you a few snapshots from the holiday.
Here's a lovely photo for my mom of her grandchildren.
Butter anyone?
And Katie made this Christmas tree cake to take to my mom's house on Christmas Eve and it slid under the seat and looked more like Mount Crumpet from the Grinch than a Christmas Tree.
But luckily we have a house full of engineers and almost engineers,
and the tree was set right again.

And indulged in.  It tasted quite delicious.
We took a family selfie on Christmas morning.
Although a little crooked on my head- I got a new hockey hat! Yeah. Frozen Fenway and 3 other hockey games are coming up in January.
We has this cute baby visitor- not a rat but a little possum. 
And got this fun photo of the hubby.
And even though we carried on my aunt's tradition of lottery scratch tickets, only Katie won $2. Good thing I never buy them except for Christmas.
And Katie got a warm hat for winter.

And Leo had a fun time with his new toys, boxes and bows.
And Harley just doesn't like any of it once he's eaten his stocking treats and
he retreats outside for some peace and quiet.
So after all the hoopla of Christmas,
Katie and I went out and had a few errands to run-yesterday.
We ended doing some great post holiday shopping-
deals and deals.
Christmas decoration marked down at Target.
Bathrobes, fleece shirts and a new jacket at the LL Bean outlet.
With snow falling all around.
Lots and lots of fun we girls had yesterday.
And this morning the snow was so pretty I had to try out the new camera lens I got from the big jolly guy.
And today I need to clean up the holiday MESS
There are boxes and bows and things all over the house still.
Will leave the decorations up for another week-ish-
but for today
some cleaning
some studio time
some enjoying my vacation.
Can't believe my first week is almost over with.
But things will settle down a bit now that the holiday is over.
I hope!!!!!!
Thanks for stopping by and sharing a few minutes of your day with my chatter.