Art day with my sister

I am so happy to visit my sister and spend time with her.  It is always fun to create together.  while I was there, I introduced her to stamp carving.  I think she just might like it.  There are so many opportunities with stamps! I even took her to find a letterbox at a nearby park that she didn’t know was there.  Ooh, and I used my new Xacto blades.  They are much better at the details.  i will have to keep trying them.  I also dug out a paper needle?  I think that is what it is.  It came in a scrapbooking set for punching and setting rivets and brads on paper crafts.  I use it to make small holes.  Haven’t finished my stamp yet, so I am hoping it will look okay.

Lastest Carving project.

Latest Carving Project.

20140722_095424

My sister’s carving

20140722_103628

Trying out a new tool

 

We also enjoying acrylic painting.   It’s nice to relax and create for no reason at all except for the shear enjoyment of it.  I’m not sure if it’s finished yet, but I am happy with where it is going.  The open road is calling my name and soon I shall listen and go! Can’t you see the inspiration. I love going for a drive.

Tools of the Trade

Tools of the Trade

20140722_115345

My Painting in the works

 

What projects are you working on?

 

Purple Diamond

Yes!  I have finally found a purple diamond, and a series of seven no less.  😉 (Yes, this is another letterboxing post.  It’s fun, you should try it out.)

Anyway, this one had a whole story that went with the boxes as you found them.  It was very nicely done, and the boxes were not too hard to find.  The carvers were amazing, and almost looked like photocopies, only in stamp form.  I did have to venture off the trail some, which wasn’t that big of a deal.  It did get muggy and I am so glad I wore jeans despite the sweatiness (I just made up a word!) as the last box was behind a tree that had a lot of overgrowth.  And I mean a lot.  I almost gave up, but decided to just push though the brush and finally found the last box.  I went with my parents as they were interested in what this was all about.  Not sure if they are ready to hit the trails yet, but they enjoyed their time with us and that’s all that matters.  We even carved them a persona; stamp to log in with, but we did forget to make them a logbook for their finds, so we had to use the back of the clue sheet.  Well, that works for now, but of they get into it more, they will have to get a real one.  😉

After finding the series, we headed over to Hobby Lobby to pick up some more carving material, no not for my parents. They don’t think that they are very artistic.  Not sure what we’ll be carving yet, but it should be fun no doubt.

 

A pretty day on the trail for letterboxing

A pretty day on the trail for letterboxing

 

Yikes!  Snakes on the trails

Yikes! Snakes on the trails

 

Hope you brought a bushwhacker!

Hope you brought a bushwhacker!

Then we headed off to a classic car and hot rod show.  Lots of Corvette Sting Rays there.  And a Ford Cobra.  Nice.  There is something to be said about the sports cars of days gone by.  Almost like the golden age of automobiles.  They just don’t make them like that anymore.  Sweet curves and sleek sides, complete with chrome to glide through the night.  Cars from a time when you would cruse the streets, to drive for the sheer pleasure of the wind in your hair and the open road.  A time when you would drive not to go somewhere, but to be anywhere, the thrill of adventure, you could be anyone.  I believe that is why there is such a drawl to these car shows.  It excites people’s sense of adventure, open road, the freedom from traffic and everyday life.

 

Yes please!

Yes please!

wpid-img_20140719_190024.jpg

Shelby Cobra

 

wpid-20140719_185618.jpg

Sweet Ride!

Sweet Ride!

 

I don't know much about engines, but here's one from a corvette.

I don’t know much about engines, but here’s one from a corvette.

South bound

My aunt is in town so I drove the long miles to visit her at my folks house.

I stopped at the Walker county rest stop because fantastic in plastic was there and I love corvettes, so it has been on my list to get since about May when I first found out about it.   It was a nice carve as all the stamps from Boots Tex have been thus far that we have found (Boots Tex is a trail name) .  As I was stamping in though,  ominous clouds with rolling thunder started approaching.  I was wearing the wrong shoes,  because for some reason,  I didn’t think about these being in the forest.   But I survived with only minor cuts and bruises and sandy toes and hurriedly stamped in and placed the box back from whence it came.   I then hurriedly looked for the other box that was Right There so I was not going to leave it for next time!   And I’m glad I did because I found a hitch hiker!   It’s a treat when you get one of those in a box you find.  But oh those clouds were growing darker by the second and wait,  what? A six sided stamp?    I will be rained on for sure.   I quickly stamped the stamps in my log book and placed it back where it came and high tailed it out of there!   Oh, but the smell of pine, intensifying with the threat of incoming rain, such a wonderful sent. I don’t get to smell that much anymore.

image

A pretty view while stamping in

image

Oops, wrong shoes!

image

Storm clouds getting closer!

image

Inky Fingers! Looks like I strangled a smurf.

Because rain was immanent,  my plans to go to Huntsville State Park were dashed,  so I went to Hobby Lobby to look at their carving supplies.  I found little detail blades for the craft knife.   I will see if those can help me achieve greater detail.  Now, what shall I carve?…

After dinner it was still raining, but I did see a rainbow!    That made me happy.   🙂

image

Rainbow in the sky

 

I decided to go to the cemetery to do some ducky boxing (letterboxing in the rain, a term I coined and am sure no one uses!  ;)) By the time I got there,  the rain had just about let up completely.   I was barely sprinkled on as I found the two boxes there,  both by Boots Tex again and booth lovely carves!   Such inspiration.

 

image

The Cemetery, such a peaceful place.

image

These little cement crosses were interesting.

So I was 4 for 4 today and I found a hitch hiker!   Fun.

My weekend art project

A couple of weeks ago I was playing around in the pool and sprained my wrist.   I feel like a Barbie doll!   I can’t do much because of that,  so I opted to do an art project this past weekend since you don’t have to do much with your wrist.

I have recently joined the ranks of letterboxing, a fun past time involving hand carved stamps,  a box,  some clues, and the great outdoors.  Because of this hobby,  I have grown to love stamp carving.   I had completely forgotten about it.   Waaaaay back in middle school,  I carved a linoleum plate.  It was chosen for the display in the hallway.

image

My print from middle school

Now,  I carve on rubber carving blocks and use them for many different projects.   I do have a few out in letterboxes as well.   It’s fun and not very expensive.

This weekend I decided to take on the challenge of the portrait stamp.   Not easy, let me tell you.   It was fun and I made them of my two favorite letterboxers.  I do need much more practice getting details more pristine.  So look for more carvings from me!  Maybe try it yourself!  You never know, you might get hooked.  Look around on pinterest to see lots of ideas on how to use your custom carved stamps.

 

A portrait stamp

A portrait stamp

 

image

I also finished my first ltc (letterbox trading card). I’ll show it to you later since I want to keep the stamp image a surprise until the others in the trader get theirs. There is so much to this hobby it’s hard to keep up sometimes!  We enjoy going out following clues as a family, and we make lots of fun memories. That’s the best part about it. That’s the best part about summer as well, lots of time to make family memories!  What are things you do to make some fun memories with your family?

 

What art projects did you do this past weekend?

Ansel Adams Masterworks

Recently I attended Ansel Adams Masterworks, a traveling exhibit of some of his best work.  These images were printed by Adams himself and are exquisite in detail and tonal range.   Hand printed in the darkroom, full of chemical smells, dodging and burning each print into perfection; that my friends, is dedication to one’s art.  I spent countless hours in the darkroom in college learning the craft, printing for assignments; but never with such dedication and thoughtfulness to each individual piece.  His depth of field and focus throughout the images was amazing.  The museum handed out magnifying glass to study the pieces with.  Looking through the glass, it seemed that each image had an almost three dimensional aspect to it.   He said of Moonrise, Hernandez, New Mexico: “If you have practiced and practiced, the process is intuitive.  You suddenly recognize something and you react.”  This image he made just one exposure, and could not find his exposure meter to take a reading of the light.    This is knowing your craft.  Once he had taken the exposure, the light on the crosses was gone and the moment was over.

What he writes of one of his images: “I think of the negative as the ‘score’ and the print as a performance of that score, which conveys the emotional and aesthetic ideas of the photographer at the time of making the exposure.”  Thank you Mr. Adams for your performances!

It was an amazing set of images and I am glad I took the time out to view them and to see a master of the craft’s work up close and personal.

To learn more about Ansel Adams and to see some of his work visit Ansel Adams

 

image

So excited to see this!

 

 

 

image

Thank you Arlington Museum of Art for hosting this master’s body of work.

 

 

 

image

Amazing attention to detail.

 

A little adventure day

Today, since I had most of the day to myself, I decided to make it an adventure day.  After dropping the kids off at Camp Nana, I headed out to explore the surrounding area.  What better way to do that than to letterbox?  What, what?  What is letterboxing you say?  It is a global treasure hunt that takes you to off beat places that you might never have heard of or ever wanted to go, that is until someone placed a letterbox there!  You follow clues to find a hidden custom carved stamp.  That’s right, a hand carved rubber stamp, a little piece of artwork for you to find and stamp in a notebook.  Why?  For fun of course!  “What’s the point of being a grown up if you can’t act childish sometimes?” -Doctor Who.  Besides, it’s fun, it’s free and it gets us outside and spending time together.  But today, it was just me.  🙂   (Go to Atlas Quest to learn more about letterboxing!)

 

I started in Hillsboro.  There was only one box reported to be active there.  The others had vanished.   But this one was still alive and kickin’!  And look at these crepe myrtles.  That is what makes Texas pretty in the summer.  I never would have known this beauty was here if it wasn’t for letterboxing.  I walked around the grounds some.  The museum is only open on Saturdays, if you would like to stop by when you are in the area sometime.    If you do end up stopping by, beware of the guard dog.

The Cell House Museum, Hillsboro, Texas

The Cell House Museum, Hillsboro, Texas

 

 

The "guard dog"

The “guard dog”

Letterbox found!

Letterbox found!

 

Then my adventure turned west down TX 22, to Meridian State Park.  I love hiking and state park, so why not stop here and find the couple of letterboxes that are hidden there and get a hike in too?  So I did.  There was a purple diamond hiding in there.  Those are special boxes that are loved by many of its finders, so many, that it is deemed a box of the week.  I have not found one yet, so I was excited at the opportunity.  After following the clues, there was no box.  I looked under every stone, but did not find it.  Oh well.  I did find the other box on the same trail though.  So I am now 2 for 3.  Not a bad day so far.

 

This is where the clues led, but there was no box to be found.

This is where the clues led, but there was no box to be found.

 

Lots of stones, but no box.

Lots of stones, but no box.

While I was in the park, and had no little complainers, I decided to take a hike around the lake.  It was a 2.5 mile hike and it was just what this soul needed.  I was almost the only person in the park.  For most of the hike I was alone.  I did see a few people fishing, but that was about it.  It was hot, but not uncomfortably.  The smell of cedar and juniper filled the air.  Many different birds sang their sweet melodies, insects buzzed in the trees, and the rustling of the leaves in the gentle breeze made this hike worth a little heat.  There were also many monarch butterflies fluttering about.  My daughter would have loved it.   It was so nice to be alone and enjoy myself.  I am thinking I need to do this more often.  Perhaps once a month?  Sounds good.

 

On my hike

On my hike

 

A butterfly on the trail

A butterfly on the trail

 

After finishing my hike, I proceed to the next town with a letterbox.  This one was located just outside Hamilton, Texas and it was placed to commemorate “Billy the Kid”.  Apparently he did not die in New Mexico, but rather lived out his day out here in good ol’ Texas. There are even museums with “evidence” that this was truly THE notorious outlaw.  This was an easy enough  box to find.  I did find it rather interesting the types of “presents” left on the memorial.  And “next door” to Billy, was an  interesting marker, for Briggs.  It had a piano on it, but no dates.  Maybe they were on the back and I just missed them.  I did clean off a WWII vet’s marker.  The grass is starting to grow over the end of the marker and dirt was covering part of his name.  It kind of makes me upset to see that.

There was another box here in the cemetery, but it was vanished as well.  It hadn’t been logged as found for about 2 years though.  3 for 4 now.

 

"Billy The Kid"

“Billy The Kid”

 

So onward with my adventure day.  Up north to Stephenville I went.  There was a box there, but had been reported to be missing for quite some time and by  quite a few people.  I took their word for it that it was gone, and ate dinner instead.  After a tasty meal, I headed back to the road.  I passed some interesting buildings, so I quickly turned in.  The grounds had a bunch of the areas older buildings, moved here for everyone to enjoy and remember days gone by.  There was a neat little gingerbread house and an old church.  There was also a strange statue of the big bad wolf.  I might just have to carve that character and place a box out there.  It’s worth a see!  (I’ll leave the picture out so you can go find the park and the letterbox when I plant it, sound good?)

 

Fuzzy's for dinner

Fuzzy’s for dinner

 

Historic Park in Stephenville

Historic Park in Stephenville

 

Now that I had made plans to come back and place a box, I moved on to the next and final stop on my adventure.  The Texas Hill Country Furniture and Mercantile, Home to the worlds LARGEST ROCKING CHAIR.  Truly it is.  They had a sign stating the Guinness book of world records deemed it so.  It was made from Cedar and was very tall!  I walked all over and did not find that letterbox.  There were grasshoppers though.  So many, it was very hard to walk around without getting jumped on.  I opted out of  going in the store, mainly because I was getting tired and thirsty and was ready to go home, and partly because the box was missing.  3 for 6 today, still isn’t bad, but was hoping for one in each town I visited.  Oh well.  We’ll just have to plant some new ones in the future.  🙂

 

World's Largest Rocking Chair

World’s Largest Rocking Chair

 

Thank you for coming along on my adventure day.  I hope there are more in the near future.  I wonder where the road will take me next time?

 

A little patriotism for the summer

First,  I must comment that the weather here in Texas is an unheard of pleasant 86° here this day of July 5.  Normally we would be roasting at near 100°+.  Ahhh.   God had been good to us this summer. ♥

As this is the fourth of July weekend and people are decked out in their red,  white and blue; fireworks light up the evening skies and families gather around the bbq, I sit and think how wonderful we have it here, how much our founding fathers went through so that we may live in prosperity, the sacrifice of our solders to guarantee that we can continue to prosper and have that opportunity. We try to teach our children that we have been given so much.

I feel honored to be living in the United States and am glad for the opportunities I have here. I thank our service men and women for their service to our country.

I hope you have enjoyed your time this weekend, be it with friends or family or in solitude. I know I did.

So I finally started a little blog.

I have been wanting to start a blog for some time now.  Just haven’t gotten to it yet.  So here it is, fresh and new.  I’ll share little things with you that you might find inspiring, insightful, helpful or just plain silly.  It’s a way for me to connect to the larger world out there and maybe make a little impact on someone’s life in a good way.  So much of my life is consumed with motherhood and managing the house, that I forget to stop and take time out for me.  I would run around like a chicken with it’s head cut off, not knowing what to do with myself when I had a few minutes to spare, all to me.

So here is one solution to that, this little blog.  A place for me to share a little bit of me with you, and maybe by reading, you won’t be lonely, you’ll see you are not in this alone, that all us mothers feel similarly, and just want to feel, well, human.

Stop what you are doing right now, and take some time for you.  Read a book, paint, listen to your favorite song, or, write a little blog about nothing and everything all mixed up into a jumble of stuff that might prove interesting one day to someone.  😉

p