Thursday, June 30, 2022

Throwback Thursday - The Stick Book

This was one of the first books I made and an early calligraphy work that doesn't make me cringe when I look at it. I scribed and illustrated a poem that was written by the Eldest when she was a child.

The book structure is called a Stick Book by Susan Kapuscinski Gaylord  I thought the binding was clever. The pages are held in place with any sort of straight "stick": an actual stick, plastic drinking straw, pencil, or dowel.

The book measure 4.25 in. x 5.5 in. The cover was made from a piece of black Canson mi Tientes that was marbled with Ziller acrylic inks. The marbling was done in a workshop taught by my Aussie friend, Kaz when she came up over in 2000 to teach workshops around the US.

The paper is called Diploma parchment. I don't know the mill just it's paper that is traditionally used to print diplomas on. The paper works well with ink, watercolor/gouache, and gilding. Its thickness/weight is about a 90 lb. watercolor paper.

Title page: Fall written with gouache. Leaves punched from the marbled paper. I did not correct spelling errors or punctuation. 

Fall is here near peak
some color past peak
leafs Fall down

Verso (left page): turn colors Th winf
blows Cool birds fly
South days grow shorter

The illustration was a torn scrap of watercolor paper, crumpled, and painted 

Recto (right page): nights longer winter is
coming near, grass Gets frost on it we wear

Verso: two layers of mateiril.
sweaters jacket
sweatshirts dress warm.

Recto: Colophon
Fall was written by
Angelica Kennedy, age 6.
Photograph of Angel, age 5, 
and Cory, age 1, taken
6. October 1993 - Sutton, MA
Scribed with pride by
C. J. Kennedy - Sept. 2003

Wednesday, June 29, 2022

Whatcha Doin?


Today, we're running errands and then going out to lunch.

Whatcha doin?

Tuesday, June 28, 2022

T Stands for Mahoney's Garden Center

I had been seeing ads for Mahoney's Garden Center on television. Some of our friends get their flowers and stuff from Mahoney's. So one Wednesday we decided to take a ride to the Concord location (about 45 min. or so) to see what they had.

One of the first things we saw made me laugh. I'm terrified of spiders so this would be perfect.

We wandered around and I picked up some floral flats. I was immediately drawn to the Queen of Hearts petunias as I had never seen that variety before and added some verbena to coordinate.

There were lots of hanging baskets to choose from.

Miles and 

miles of flowers.  All in all a pleasant outing on a beautiful day. Since it was lunch time, we decided to find a place to eat. We were going to head up the road to Acton, the next town, for a pub-type restaurant Himself had found while looking for directions to Mahoney's. 

Just as we were making the turn out of Mahoney's Himself saw

an Italian restaurant and pulled into the driveway. I asked how come here? Though in truth I didn't care where we were going to eat. I didn't have to prepare a meal. He said he was worried about parking and walking distance at the other restaurant. He said there was something on their website that said if the parking lot was full, you could park across the street at the church. The parking lot only had 4 spaces.

We've eaten at PapaRazzi before at their location close to  MassBay College where Himself teaches. 

The restaurant wasn't crowded, and we were shown to a table at the back of the restaurant by the fireplace. Himself was happy to have a place where he could hang his cane without it crashing to the floor.

I had an Arnold Palmer (half ice tea and half lemonade)

In looking over the menu, one of the dishes I was thinking about selecting was seasoned with red pepper. I don't like hot and spicy food so I was happy there was a fire extinguisher close by.

We started with a beautifully arranged antipasto which included a delicious fig jam

There was also a basket of lovely bread. I love bread.

I ordered  Orecchiette con Salsiccia with sausage and broccoli rabe. My grandmother used to make orecchiette only she called them cappelini (little hats) and she served them in gravy (spaghetti sauce)

Himself had Veal Scallopini with potatoes and broccolini. 

For dessert, I had Limoncello Mascarpone Cake. I had also ordered a cup of Earl Grey tea, but that was no where in sight. Well, it was only a cup of tea and just as we were about to leave when

the waitress brought the tea. This  restaurant is a nice place if you want a very, very leisurely lunch.

Drop by hosts, Bleubeard and Elizabeth’s blog to find out what the rest of the T gang is up to. If you want to play, include a beverage or beverage container in your post. Don’t forget to link your blog from Bleubeard and Elizabeth’s page.

Monday, June 27, 2022

Fun with the Birthday, Celebration, and Love Stamps


If you're ever looking for ideas for mail art or cards or just like browsing, then check out Jean's blog, pushing the envelopes. There are lots of delicious, eye candy ideas to steal borrow.

Jean wrote Happy Birthday on her cake layers and I decide the space was perfect for the recipient's name. Sadly, Hallmark included a pink envelope with the birthday card so I cut a scrap of mixed media paper for the design and address.

The card was an oversized, popup card and stated extra postage was needed. The card only weighed one and a half ounces so 3 stamps is overkill, but I liked the way the stamps looked together.

Sunday, June 26, 2022

How Does Your Garden Grow?

Sunset reflected through the trees

Most of the weeds cleared from the Zensical garden


A little, green tomato

A little, green pepper

Little tomato flowers

Mint for iced tea and other green things

The morning glories reseeded themselves near the peas and 

beans. Or beans and peas.

For Father's Day, the Eldest sent Himself  two blueberry bushes. The plan: to plant them in pots, wrap the pots and let the plants Winter in the greenhouse.

Ditto with the Clematis.

Dianthus and verbena doing well in the cowboy boot

The milkweed jungle. 

Hey, Quill!

How does your garden grow?

Saturday, June 25, 2022

Fun Facts About the Commonwealth of Massachusetts


In 2003, Theodor Geisel, Springfield, Massachusetts native,  better known as Dr. Seuss was name the official state children's author and illustrator.

From Wikipedia: In May 1954, Life published a report on illiteracy among school children which concluded that children were not learning to read because their books were boring. William Ellsworth Spaulding was the director of the education division at Houghton Mifflin (he later became its chairman), and he compiled a list of 348 words that he felt were important for first-graders to recognize. He asked Geisel to cut the list to 250 words and to write a book using only those words.[53] Spaulding challenged Geisel to "bring back a book children can't put down".[54] Nine months later, Geisel completed The Cat in the Hat, using 236 of the words given to him. It retained the drawing style, verse rhythms, and all the imaginative power of Geisel's earlier works but, because of its simplified vocabulary, it could be read by beginning readers. The Cat in the Hat and subsequent books written for young children achieved significant international success and they remain very popular today. For example, in 2009, Green Eggs and Ham sold 540,000 copies, The Cat in the Hat sold 452,000 copies, and One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish (1960) sold 409,000 copies—all outselling the majority of newly published children's books.[55]

Friday, June 24, 2022

The Friday Five Good Things

Five good things that happened this week.

1. We celebrated Father's Day with lobster rolls and homemade brownies

2. Weather at Stonehenge cooperated this year so I  watched the spectacular live feed of the Summer Solstice sunrise.

3. Had a surprise phone call from my friend, S, from California. Please keep her in mind as there is a wildfire burning close to her home.

4. I received a lovely note from my cousin.

5. Called the groomer and got an appointment for the kitties the following day!

How was your week?

Thursday, June 23, 2022

Fun with the Western Postage Stamps


I needed to send a thank you note to a male friend and wanted to use one of the Western stamps. 

The idea for the design came from Jean's mail art blog, Pushing the Envelope Jean sometimes designates envelopes she receives as steal-worthy. If you need an idea for mail art, Jean's blog is full of inspiration.

Wednesday, June 22, 2022

Whatcha Doin?

Tiggy had sent a silhouette of Ink. I wanted to use it to decorate the cover of the journal I made for this year's Inktober drawings, but I also wanted to keep it or use it on something else. Ditto with the cityscape Chris from pearshapedcrafting sent to me in an exchange.

I thought I could scan them in and use the file in the Scan n Cut machine. The machine uses .fcm files. Enter YouTube and Brother Scan n Cut spokeperson, Julie Fei-Fan Balzer's tutorial on how to convert a .jpg to an .fcm. Easy peasy! 🤣

I traced the designs on Borden & Reilly layout bond paper. It's a smooth, white paper that doesn't have shadows when scanning. I went over the pencil tracing with a .01 Pigma pen.

Scanned in and imported the file into the online Brother Canvas Workspace.  Followed the steps and nothing. I noticed my outline wasn't shaded in blue. WTH? Watched the video again. Repeated the steps and zip. Easy peasy, right?

I found another video by Sew and Craft. Not only did she show the process, but she described things that could go wrong. She gave tips for file size and mentioned the outline must be heavy and dark. Like the outlines you see in a coloring book. OH!

I went over the drawing with a Sharpie marker that was wider than the Pigma and

this time it showed up correctly in Canvas Workspace. I saved it to my projects so I'll always have the image and

then I tried it out.

The image I made is on the left. Tiggy's is on the right. Notice I also flipped over the cutting mat to the light grey side so I wouldn't lose the images on the black side and wouldn't have to tear the studio apart, again.

Now to repeat the process with the cityscape.

Whatcha doin?

Tuesday, June 21, 2022

T Stands for It's Finally Here!

 Warning: Lots and lots of pictures!

Finally! The Summer Solstice in the Northern Hemisphere. The first day of Summer. And it began on Midsummer Eve with a glorious sunset at Stonehenge via live feed on Facebook sponsored by the English Heritage Site. The past two years it either rained or was cloudy, but not this year.

I was surprised people were allowed to be inside the inner circle of stones. They were also climbing on some of the large Sarsen stones that have fallen over. 

Someone had a flag (you can see it on the lower left) and was walking it through and around the stone circle. Running comments from the live feed said the flag was an integral part of a Druid ceremony.

Day is done at Stonehenge

And five hours later, the sun set in my backyard.

Because of the magic of the Internet, I was like the Little Prince from Antoine de Saint-Exupéry's story. I could just move my chair and see another sunset in the same day.

and another sunrise from Stonehenge.

Would this be another year of clouds or would the mist clear?

The mist cleared and the magic began


and after the show

the clouds moved in.

Sunrise in my little corner

The moon was visible.

Tea at sunrise. Happy Midsummer Day

Drop by hosts, Bleubeard and Elizabeth’s blog to find out what the rest of the T gang is up to. If you want to play, include a beverage or beverage container in your post. Don’t forget to link your blog from Bleubeard and Elizabeth’s page.