Monday, January 15, 2018

Hobo Travels

Happy 2018!  I see the year is moving right along without any interference from me.

I once again went through my selection process for a planner/journal for the new year.  Actually, this process started about the middle of last year. The system I set up for last year really wasn't working for me (I'm starting to think it's ME, not the planners!) 

I have looked at the Hobonichi as well as Travelers Notebooks that everyone raves about.  I decided to try out a Hobonichi, the small version that contains 6 months of planning and calendar pages.  I found a pretty good deal on eBay and placed my order on June 2 of last year.

Things did not go well, as evidenced by these pictures from my "scribble notebook" that I keep for note-taking.

 After almost a month of waiting, and receiving no explanation from the seller other than an invalid tracking number, I gave up.  Ebay was really on top of the problem and promptly refunded my money to my PayPal account.  I used those funds to re-order the Hobonichi directly from an Etsy seller in Japan.  Since I paid the premium shipping price (to expedite the shipping to the states), I also ordered a rubber stamp shaped like a postal scale and some washi tape.  Might as well as it didn't change the shipping price.

I had the new Hobonichi in just over a week.  Much better service than the eBay guy!

I played in the Hobonichi off and on the rest of the year, but not as much as I had planned to.  It was enough to learn that I liked it for certain things, and I decided to order a larger version for 2018, which I did. 

I have to compliment Ebay on their handling of the first order.  They were very prompt with everything.  They even gave me a $20 credit for my trouble, which I turned around and used to buy the Jane Davenport tins of watercolor (both of them), that had just come out around that time. 

So, in conclusion, I have learned... that... I need more play time :)

Friday, December 1, 2017

Happy December!

Wow, it's December!

I'm just going to pretend I've been posting faithfully all  year.  These pictures are from last year, when I was doing a December lettering challenge.  I didn't finish the month.  I've worked on my planner/art journal this year, but have been lax working in it the last couple of months.  The job I took two years ago at a nice company was taken over a year ago by a... let's say another company, and I feel like every day is chaos. 

But I'm determined to soldier on, make more art, post more here, and keep my faith that good times are just around the corner.  I know the holidays can go either way for a lot of folks.  You have to dig deep sometimes to find the good, but it's there.  We're all in this together, whether friends, family or strangers. 
                                                           Happy December!

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Fall Colors

It's been far too long since I had play time.  I just needed to paint something.  So I got out some paint and stencils and spent a few minutes painting in my planner/journal.  I tried to leave enough room for writing :)

Monday, August 21, 2017

Stampaway 25

Seems like only days ago... Oh, wait, it was only days ago I was in Cincinnati at Stampaway USA, year 25 for this excellent convention.  There are many things to love about it, but number one on my list is merely taking a road trip with my best friend, who I almost never get to see anymore, and seeing old friends from far and wide.  Being able to shop with favorite vendors, great class offerings, seeing awesome demos by nationally known teachers, and checking out the latest products is icing on the cake!

We knew in advance there was major bridge construction on the bridge from Kentucky to Ohio.  You had to decide pretty early if you wanted to take the detour.  We took our chances on the bridge.  It was early afternoon on a Thursday plus the sign said trucks were prohibited.  We figured there would be less traffic and no trucks, so even if it was slow, we'd still be okay.
Okay, so the truckers ignored the signs.  Soon the Cincinnati skyline became more visible against the brilliant blue sky.  Traffic was slow enough that I got to take a few pictures.  Bridge traffic was a little slow, but about normal from other times when there was no bridge construction. (If you are traveling that direction, the Brent Spence Bridge has its own website with updates and apps to keep  you informed.)
This year we stayed at the brand new Hyatt hotel that was built adjacent to the convention center.  It really was nice being mere steps away from the classrooms and only a few more steps to the convention later.  Hyatt and the convention center share parking too, so that was convenient.
The hotel lobby had a map of Cincinnati, or at least that's what they said it was.  It's not marked, so use this map at your own risk!  Pretty cool, though.

Gaye taught her first class Thursday night.  It was a backgrounds class, and the students learned great techniques and put their samples in a little book Gaye provided.   Thanks to Lisa for standing on a chair and taking this shot of Gaye during a demo (okay, she was already up on the chair and I handed her my phone.)

Gaye's second class, Friday morning, was this great little planner.  So much attention to detail and supplies provided to the students.  Gaye's classes never disappoint.
The theme of the Friday night preview was pajamas.  This was by far my favorite two attendees who went all out with a cat ladies in pj's theme.
Great demos as usual..  Dyan Reaveley is always friendly and has great demos...
What can I say about Mary Beth Shaw, aka Stencil Girl.  I could watch her for hours, and she never seems to get tired of demoing for the masses.
I always get inspired by her journal pages.  

There was also some guy named Tim demonstrating.  :)
Big kudos to Connie Williams, who started Stampaway 25 years ago, and received roses during the convention.  Stampaway remains a highlight event for those of us in the eastern part of the U.S., and it is very special to all of us.

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

If it's August...

I should be finishing up the laundry... but instead I am playing in my planner...

 I should be packing, but instead I'm setting up a little travel journal.  I wonder if the Field Notes notebook will be too small.  I'll give it a try!

Happy 25th Year, Stampaway USA!

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

One of These Days

One of these days, I'll get around to finishing up my recap of my trip to Western Kentucky and Tennessee.  I'll probably show the little travel booklet I made.  I'll show the stamps and stencils I got.  And I'll talk about the Dina Wakley journal I bought, the one with pages made of watercolor paper, burlap, canvas and kraft paper.  Yep... I will, one of these days...

Sunday, May 28, 2017

Mini Getaway - Part 2

It only took me--- how long?  over a month to write part 2.  I blame it on working night shift.  I don't think I'll ever get used to these hours.

But I vaguely remember going to Paducah recently.  :)
On day 2, I was so sleepy when my alarm went off in the hotel (see comment about night shift).  I knew there were a lot of places I still wanted to visit before I hit the road again.  I got up.  I made coffee.  I fell asleep again.  My alarm went off again.  I got up.  I made coffee.  I took a shower and made friends with the housekeeper who was knocking on my door.  I'm sure she was checking to make sure I was okay.  Or maybe she just wanted to clean the room.  Due to the language barrier, I couldn't be sure.  Through hand gestures I finagled more coffee from her.

After finally feeling human, packing and re-loading the car, I was off again, very much later than I had planned.  But since part of the plan was catching up on sleep, I guess I was still on track!

First stop was Ephemera Paducah.  This is a little shop that sells mixed media art supplies as well as vintage goodies, and regularly hosts some very talented nationally known artists.  I would love to attend some of the workshops there. .
My pictures really don't do it justice, but I was on a shopping mission.  There were lots of cool things all around the store.
 This old ledger was huge!  I probably could not even have lifted it to look at it!
On the right below is what I refer to as the Tower of Stencils.  You can't tell just how many stencils there are, mostly on the back side of the tower.  The only reason I didn't buy more stencils than I did is that I already had most of them!  There were all the latest art supplies from Tim Holtz, Dina Wakley, and Dyan Reavley.  The owner, Kristin, could not have been nicer.
When I left there, I noticed all the wonderful Victorian homes along the street.  This big yellow house was right next door and undergoing some renovations.

I headed toward the river, but I was also looking left and right at the homes.  I wanted to take pictures of everything, but at the same time didn't want to linger too long.  I should have spent more time looking straight ahead, as a lot of the streets were one-way and I was so busy looking at houses, I almost turned the wrong way down a one-way street.  That made me stop looking at houses and pay attention to my driving!

I made my way down to the center of town which was along the riverfront.  One of the places I had planned to visit was the National Quilt Museum.  But that has to wait for another visit as there wouldn't be time.  It has become a big claim to fame for this little town, and they have an annual Quilt Festival.  It has spurred a growth of new hotels in the area.  The one I stayed in was new, and my room had a full size kitchen and 2 queen size beds, for only $72 per night.  That is unheard of.  I'm sure it's more during Quilt Week, but I'd stay there again in a heartbeat.
And there is the river, where the Tennessee  River meets the Ohio River.   If it looks cold, it was.  It was below average temperature for late March/early April.  Wind was blowing off the river and I was quite cold!
There is a very long flood wall along the river, and each concrete panel is painted with a mural.  it is quite impressive.  Another time (on a warmer day), I will take the time to study each one and read each plaque in front of it.

There is a steam train down at the far end of the mural wall.  There is a large parking lot across from the wall, which is very convenient to the riverbank and also downtown.  This was painted on the street, but is no longer legible.  Something about being careful what you put in there as it drains to the river.
As I drove out of town, other things caught my eye, like this large painted butterfly on the side of a building...
 ... and this painted honey advertisement.
One of the things I had envisioned myself doing before my trip was sitting at a coffee shop and sketching some of the old buildings in Paducah.  I didn't have time to sit outside at a coffee shop plus it was too cold anyway.  I had scouted buildings on google earth before I left home.  I had practiced sketching a couple of them, so I cheated.  When driving around, I found a church I had sketched at home, and held up my sketch.  I'll pretend I had a lazy coffee on a sunny day while sketching it.
There were lots of interesting buildings that require further exploration.  And I was surprised at the number of antique malls.  One could spend at least 2 days just going through those!  But I was off on the road again before it got too late in the day.  Headed south, to see my family!