Moving!

Hi everyone!

I know I have been absent for a while now.  I have been off pondering moving to a new blog.  I decided that I would like a little more control over my blog and have moved to a self hosted site. I am very excited about the possibilities of this new venture. I think it will be a grand adventure, and I hope that you will come along with me! I hope to share more adventures, more art projects and  inspiration.  You can  follow my journey and share in my creative discovery over at Ofthingsandwhatnot.com

Thank you for your support, interest, and fellowship.

Pam Powell

 

Advertisements

Dinosaur National Monument

Dinosaurs have always fascinated people.  What were they like?  How did they live?  What really happened to them?  Perhaps it is the mystery of the eternal unknown that keeps us interested.  We are intrigued by a piece of a bone, and more so of an entire skeleton.  Some study the bones in depth.  Others collect them.  So when we are able to see thousands of bones, encased in a cliff side, just as they were left millennium ago; found and left partially buried for all to be amazed; we drive the long lonely miles to get there.  Out in the middle of almost nowhere, thousands of prehistoric creatures are fossilized on a ridge in Utah, just over the boarder of Colorado in what is known as Dinosaur National Monument.  It is quite a site to behold; one that needs to be done in person.  But, it is not just the fossils that are interesting.  The rock formations are incredible,  and the ancient Fremont people left us petroglyphs along the red sandstone rocks – relics of a time long past.  To visit Dinosaur National Monument is to take a step back into history.

I encourage you to take the time to visit someday.  It is quite worth the trip indeed.  We highly enjoyed it and the kids were amazed that we could walk right up to the petroglyphs.  It is easy to imagine one of the Fremont people sitting on the cliff face, carving out his image on the rock.  They were also curious about the multitudes of partial skeletons on the “wall”.  We wondered about what other treasures might be hidden still beneath what has already been unearthed.  Hiking was hot there, so we only did a short mile from the quarry back to the visitor center.  There were treasures to be seen along the hike as well.  Dinosaur National Monument does not disappoint, and there was so much we were unable to see.

 

The quarry

The quarry – yes, those are vertebra.

 

Desert beauty

Desert beauty

 

 

I like to think this one says "The aliens have landed here. Stay out"

I like to think this one says “The aliens have landed here. Stay out”

 

To Travel is the greatest of joys

I have traveled to some beautiful locations in Texas.  I am always a sucker for scenery.  I love the open road, the possibilities, the adventure of the unknown.  I enjoy seeing new places and experiencing different things.  It keeps life interesting, inspired, and unique.  It keeps me going.  It relaxes.  Soothes the soul.  There is just something about the unscarred beauty of the natural earth that beacons, asks you to come closer, to breathe in deeply, and to exist in a state of purity, if only for a moment.  And in that moment, you are one with nature.  You feel creation all around you, and if you listen closely, you can hear the rocks sing.

 

tree

 

Purple Flowers

 

River

 

Yucca

 

cacti

 

These are a collection of images I took within an hour of each other, and within the last few months.  Since I can’t travel as often as I like, local travel has to satisfy me for now.  As long as we are willing to open our eyes, our minds and our hearts, we will see the beauty, experience the thrill, of all that nature has to offer, and see things in a new light, letting it inspire us and widen our understanding.

 

Where have you traveled to recently?

A little Letterbox TLC

Recently, we went letterboxing and one of the boxes had a comment that it needed some tlc.  Since we would be in the area twice within days of each other, I decided to do some repairs to it.  We found it, and it was in need of some major help!  The stamp was in three pieces, the box broken and the logbook soaked.  The kids were excited to help out a box in need of repair.  I must confess that I was a little excited to help out too.  The owner of the box seems to have moved on, or has had life happen and has not been active on the letterboxing site.  I took pictures of the progress, but forgot to take a picture of the pages of the logbook drying out on my dashboard.  It was quite a site!

 

After the stamp was fixed, the box painted and a new logbook purchased, we placed the box right back where it had been.  I hope it has a long life ahead of it!

 

The broken stamp

The broken stamp

scoring the back

scoring the back

Gorilla Glue!

Gorilla Glue!

Painting the box

Painting the box

Piecing the stamp back together.

Piecing the stamp back together.

The Mountains are Calling…

The Mountains are calling and I must Go!  John Muir

The Mountains are calling and I must Go!
John Muir

I love this quote by John Muir.  It pretty much sums up my life!  😉  This is an image I took a couple years ago on a trip with just me and my husband.

We recently took a trip to Colorado to get our fix of the mountains and introduce the kiddos to different animals and  terrain.  I will be sharing our adventures over the coming weeks.  I hope you will come along with us.

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.