January Journaling…

Hello Folks! I just realized that we’ve come to the end of January! Boy, did this month really fly! Even though this has been a busy month, the new year has actually gotten off to a good start, and I feel like I might be catching up on some things around here. The Christmas decorations are all packed away in new matching clear plastic bins (Hooray for the new Dollar General just down the road from us!), ten year’s worth of reenacting clothing from various centuries has been washed, ironed, and folded, and the utility closet has been thoroughly cleaned. I’ve even had a chance to work some more on this year’s art journal. Here’s a peek into the “January” pages…


I used one of the Bare Books for this year’s journal, divvied up the pages to about 4 per month, and added some tabs so I could easily find my place throughout the year. I’m not sure how the tabs will hold up over an entire year, but they are a fun addition! (Thanks, Martha!)

The tree sketch was a simple line drawing exercise… The crabapple is my favorite tree in our yard, and I think it’s been here since our first year in our home. I wanted to capture the movement of the twisty, tangly trunk in simple lines for this first sketch, instead of being super detailed about it. These pages  also include a quote, and a poem, and a prosy little bit about the snow we’ve had this month. For more January journaling ideas, follow this link… Or for February, head here instead! Or, for all the art journaling posts, scroll down and click on the “Art Journaling” category in the sidebar!

Something I noticed from my original January Journaling page… the Doodle of the Month for January  was “Snowflakes.” And I doodled snowflakes all over that page. But all those snowflakes had a major flaw. Silly me… Snowflakes have 6 sides, not 8! They really should look more like this…

JanuaryJournal - Version 2

I drew the mittens from “out of my head.” Don’t you just love mittens strung together? I was *ahem* 20 years old before I knew WHY mittens came on strings. Here in Delaware, where snow is not usually a huge part of our winter, we snipped those strings as soon as a new pair of mittens came home from the store. I honestly thought it was part of how they were packaged. Then I got married, moved to upstate New York with my new Hubby, and got a job working at a nursery school. And guess what? There’s a reason for those strings, and I think preschool teachers in snowy regions must be the most appreciative people in the world FOR those mitten strings! All the little children in that school kept their mittens strung through the two arms of their coats, so when they put on their coat the mittens were dangling from the sleeves, just waiting for their little hands! No missing mittens! No wondering whose mittens were whose! Amazing!

I tried to get a little bit of shading and texture on the mittens…
…maybe you can see it if I crop the photo…

JanuaryJournal - Version 3

I tried to think of the mitten as a “round-ish” object, and darkened the color around the edges to give it a bit of depth. And then took a good look at a knitted sweater to see what the texture looked like… Knitting sort of looks like little “V’s,” so I used a darker blue colored pencil and made a bunch of rows of V’s, sort of following the contour of the mitten. It took less time than I thought it would to add that little bit of texture. And I think it made the mittens look just a little  bit warmer.


Something else I’m doing with my art journal this year is adding in little thoughts about habits I’d like to establish or goals I’d like to accomplish. I do have a “written” journal where all that daily stuff gets recorded, but sometimes things get lost in there amongst all the wordage, so tucking goals in my art journal makes them stand out a little more. The little boxes with “#2” and “#3” written in them are actually mini summaries of a really great blog series I recently discovered… Click on the picture below to visit Daniele’s 52 Ways for More Serenity in Life and HomeShe’s adding a new tip each Monday, and they’ve been a great encouragement to me so far this year! Go visit if you get a chance! (Daniele writes much more graciously to her readers than I do to myself… I need some “tough love!”) 😀

JanuaryJournal - Version 5

How about you? Anybody doing some Art Journaling?

We’d LOVE to see it!

Ten Things to be Thankful for This Morning…

1. We were home when “it” happened, so a major crisis was averted.

2. I was not the one taking a shower when it was
discovered that the water heater was not working.

3. My parents live next door, and their shower works just fine.


4. My Dad’s a builder, and his long-time plumber (and fishing buddy)
gave him a couple of slightly used water heaters that were removed
when clients decided to upgrade to gas hot water.

5. The new (to us) water heater holds 10 more gallons than the old one.

6. The new hot water heater was free.

7. My Hubby knows how to replace a hot water heater.

8. The vacuum and I got to spend some quality time in a hard-to-reach
place that hasn’t been cleaned since the last major appliance broke.

9. Ditto the mop.

10. It’s supposed to snow.



In every thing give thanks:
for this is the will of God
in Christ Jesus concerning you.
~I Thessalonians 5:18~

On the Second Day of Christmas…

… It Snowed!

It actually started last night, so we can officially say
that we had a white Christmas!

And we decided today was the perfect time
for an official “Snow Day.”

A much needed “get the coffee going, stoke the fire,
and stay in your jammies for a while” sort of morning.

And on this wintry morning, I thought I’d share
a bit of December with you…

April the Goat decided to escape last Sunday
as we were heading out early to church.
I think she just wanted her neck scratched.

We had another visit from a little feathered friend.
A hawk was chasing her, and she got confused
and bumped into a window.
Hubby held her for a while, and then settled her onto the woodpile ’til she could gather her senses.


And Christmas came.


This Christkindl is one of my favorite decorations…

During the Protestant Reformation,
Martin Luther began the tradition of a child-like gift giver,
to discourage worship of Saint Nicholas,
and to represent Christ incarnate.

Christkindle eventually became more angelic looking,
but I like this symbolic version.

The boy Jesus… the Lamb of God…holding the Bible.

And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us
and we beheld His glory,
the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,
full of grace and truth.
~John 1:14~

Merry CHRISTmas!

Christmas things in the works…

Hello Folks! We’ve been trying to get in the Christmas mood lately, since we have a couple of shows coming up, and will need to have Christmas-y sorts of things on the table!

We’re going to be at…

and also at…

Christmas in Odessa

So, that means lots of Christmas carols playing around here for inspiration. Haven’t broken out the hot chocolate or mulled cider yet, but that’s next.


This morning, I took a few minutes and added our current Christmas designs to our Tidings of Comfort and Joy shop page. And a few on our Miniature Papercuts page. There’s still a bit more to come, so keep a watch on it… my scissors are still snipping…

Oh, my gosh, my golly
It’s time for mistletoe and holly…

(…and maybe a bit of pine too!)

Preserving the snow…

Some folks save snowballs in the freezer (really, I know a few!), and some folks take pictures, but we got out the scissors and started snipping! In honor of the Double Blizzard of 2010, this papercutting went into a frame this morning…

Paper Blizzard
9 & 3/4″ Square, Outside Framed Edges
$115, plus $10 shipping

So far, it’s a “one of a kind.” Those snowflakes are buggers to paint… the white gouache is thick, and tends to stick the papercutting to the painting surface. I had to keep lifting the soggy snowflake tips off the surface as I moved on to the next flake to keep it from sticking permanently! Hubby was outside fighting snowflakes, and I was inside fighting them!

Here’s a glimpse out the back door after the blizzard was finally over… thought my California girl would like to see it…

And a glimpse of where Kate and I hibernated… it got a little too cozy at times, but the art room was too cold to stay in there for long!

And before I go… take a peek at these two unexpected visitors to our yard…

A killdeer running along the ditch bank! It’s a little too early for her to nest!

And a very cautious deer peeking through the cedar tree at us! She stood by the pond for several minutes watching the cars go by, and then ventured into the front yard.

Hope you all have a happy Valentine’s Day!

We survived… and more is coming!

Hello folks! We survived the Blizzard of 2010… and more snow is headed our way this week! Goodness! I mean, this is Slower Lower Delaware, and we’re just plain not prepared for this much white stuff! I’m not complaining, because I really don’t mind being shut in… I can putter around to my heart’s content. However, I can say that I’m completely satisfied with snowfall this Winter.

We ended up not losing power, though it did blink a bit and threaten to go off. Lots of folks around us are without power, though, including Hubby’s parents… theirs just came back on as I was typing this post! We were fortunate to have only lost a piece of fascia (had to ask Hubby how to spell that!) from under the roof edge… and that made an awful sound in the middle of the night! And there’s a huge “avalanche waiting to happen” hanging over our front porch, bending down the guttering. But considering the could-have-beens, we made out well. And it turns out we didn’t have to cook anything on the woodstove. but we did anyway. Tonight is Kate’s famous Split Pea Soup. Yum.

Here’s what it looked like out the front door, mid-blizzard…

We had our own little snowy swimming pool in the front garden!

Before I sign out, I just wanted to post about a Give-away on a talented papercutting friend’s blog… Pop over to Sharyn Sowell’s blog and say hello for me!

And stay warm!

The making of a blizzard.

Well folks, we’re getting some snow! Again! This storm has everyone in alarm, and I must say it’s prompted several trips to the grocery store for us, as well as the piling of firewood on the porch, and the filling of pots with water. Just in case. As of 10 p.m. tonight, we’re officially grounded. The Governor said so. Which is okay, since home is a nice place to be. Especially when the weather outside is frightful!

Hopefully the electric will stay on and phones & internet will stay up. If not, we’ve got plenty of books to read aloud and Scrabble and Monopoly and lots of candles and kerosene lamps and a woodstove. And gals that know how to cook on a woodstove. Gals that secretly long for the opportunity to test out their backwoods survival skills in a real life  (but not life threatening) situation. That would be Kate and me. We’ve got a whole shelf of Foxfire books and the Reader’s Digest Back to Basics guide, so we’re ready. We are SO ready.


And in the spirit of frostiness, here’s the beginnings of a Snowy Story. It may take a while to finish.

It’s a blustery day!

Another Winter Storm in Delaware! We usually get very wet snow, since we’re pretty close to the ocean, but this is dry and fluffy snow, and it’s blowing like a blizzard! Kate has requested we make some Snow Cream, so we’ll give that a whirl later today!

Our poor kitty was not happy when I opened the door for her to go outside. After pondering the situation for a moment, she took about three steps into the snow, and then turned around and came back inside! She then tried to see if the weather was any better out the front door, but alas, the atmospheric conditions were the same. So she headed back upstairs to hibernate.

We spent the blustery morning getting things ready for the post office, and then Hubby and Kate headed out to brave the frozen tundra. Our week has been somewhat eventful, and has included an ER trip. Half of Tuesday and all of Wednesday were spent hanging out at the hospital. Good news is all is okay!


Anyway, we didn’t get to post new pictures to our Current Designs Page earlier this week, so that’s next on my agenda this morning! We have a new frame color that looks really pretty with the wintery Snow Folk! If you get a chance, check it out!