Gardening with Groundhogs and a Man Tag

Gardening with Groundhogs

I thought I would share a view of my garden from my backyard deck. My amazing hubby, over at CY Innovations, put up the fencing and more raised beds for me this past spring. I am growing:

  • red onions
  • sweet potatoes
  • strawberries
  • blueberries
  • blackberries
  • red raspberries
  • basil
  • oregano
  • mint
  • dill
  • peppers
  • cabbages

Last year, my cabbages and tomatoes were eaten by some unknown creature. If you have a garden you know how maddening it can be to pour your time and money into a project just to have some free loader come along and eat all your hard work.

Despite installing new fences and chicken wire around the perimeter, something is still getting in and eating my cabbages. My hubby caught one groundhog in my garden already this year so I installed bird netting around the cabbages. That evil groundhog is now gnawing holes through my bird netting and demolishing my cabbages. There goes my dreams of homemade sauerkraut and dill!

What are your suggestions for keeping out unwanted creatures? I am thinking barbed wire and electricity?!

On a happier note, here is a masculine tag that I created.

Creating The Tag

For the background, I used a Christy Tomlinson Unity Stamp. I embellished the sides of the image with stamps and that is pretty much it. Simple, huh?

Happy weekend!



Plate IX: Art Journal Layout and Some Recent Reads

Recent Reads/to-Read List

I can’t think of much to talk about that goes along with the title of this post, so I thought I would talk about some of the books that I have been reading or am going to read.

Back in February I started reading along with the yearly challenge at our local library. Read 75 books by the end of the year and you get entered to win a $175 gift card to Amazon. We buy everything on Amazon so I thought that was a great incentive.

I love reading but up to this point I have found it difficult to prioritize this into my schedule. You know, kids and life tend to get in the way of snuggling under a blanket with a warm cuppa tea and a good book. Well, it is almost August and I have read 62 fiction/non-fiction books this year minus the cozy blanket. I forgot how addicting reading can be when you find a great author. I guess I proved to myself that reading can be a priority. That just means that something else gets bumped down on the list. At this point in time that happens to be my sewing and maybe a few household chores. 😉

So, here are my recent reads.

A few on my to-read list:

Reading has nothing to do with this journal layout but here it is.

Creating the Journal Layout

I am having so much fun using my new Seth Apter stamps from PaperArtsy! My pages were made using a brown grocery bag.  Of course I used paper scraps, gesso and paint for the background.

To embellish, I used a few stamps from 7 Gypsies and chipboard circles.

This layout will go perfectly in my new steampunk art journal.

Related: In case you missed my other steampunk art journal pages: The Distant Wanderer and It’s All Perspective

Challenges Entered:

Simon Says: You’ve Got the Edge (Doodling around the edge)





It’s All Perspective: Art Journal Layout


I find it amazing how we can all read the same paragraph or hear the same speech and come away with our own, very different perspectives. My husband and I are classic examples.

Just the other day we interpreted a conversation between us very differently. I mean, night and day difference. After much discussion, we realized for us, it is the difference between the male and female brains. My husband doesn’t ever read between the lines. But me on the other hand, I think that may be all I do. I can’t help myself. For example: When someone doesn’t talk to me, I replay my previous encounter and analyze every detail over and over again until I have considered every possible offense that may have occurred. A lot of times, I find out I just misinterpreted the silence. All that needless worry. I can’t tell you how many times this perspective- flaw has gotten me into trouble.

So, it is all a matter of perspective. Are you a in-between the line reader or do you see through black and white glasses?

Creating The Journal Page

Keeping with the perspective theme I think that eye stamp goes perfectly.

My steampunk journal, needed another layout so I pulled out my older Tim Holtz stamps and went to work. I remember browsing though them a month or so ago for a project and by passing them thinking they were old news.

I was wrong.

These stamps are fabulous and I feel as though I just rediscovered them.

My pages are made from paper bags. I added a sheet of vintage book paper before washing the page with gesso and Fresco Finish Paint. I used some washi tape, paper scraps and chipboard to embellish. I tried using some black vintage thread this time around since it seems to be a trend as of late. I really like how it looks against the the contrasting white gesso. A little bit of doodling around the edges, some splashes of color and a few micro watch parts and the page came together.
Products Used:

Challenges Entered:

Mixed Media Place: July Challenge

Rubber Dance: (Ribbon, Twine, Thread) July

Scrapki-wyzwaniowo: July Beauty

Altered Eclectics: July Anything Goes

Eclectic Ellapu: Summer Colors



The Distant Wanderer: Art Journal Layout

The Distant Wanderer

This past weekend, my hubby and I did a bit of wandering ourselves in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. Originally, we planned to make it a day trip so we could visit the Adams County Irish Festival. After some thought, we changed our minds and made it an overnight trip without the children. Our youngest is a bit over a year and it was our first time leaving her. She did fabulously, thanks to such wonderful grandparents!

It was a very humid and hot weekend but we had fun browsing downtown Gettysburg, some outlets, the battlefield and the Irish Festival. We ate amazing food, listened to tons of Irish Music and enjoyed each others company. Don’t you just love summer?

The title of my journal page reminds me of the care-free activities and trips that we are free to enjoy during summertime.

Creating the Journal Layout

I made this layout for my new art journal. I am working on a name but it will have a steampunk theme. I specifically made it for the Lindy’s July Color Challenge. I used several Lindy’s colors (Sea Mint Green, Long John’s Silver, Golden Sleigh Bells). The background texture was made using my recent favorite stencil by Stencil Girl.

The stamps I used are from the new Seth Apter release over at PaperArtsy. I have been using them a lot lately and I am loving the versatility of these stamps. I used several stamp sets from 7 Gypsies as well.Related Posts: The Book Of Memories and Seth Apter’s New Stamp Release
Challenges Entered:

(I used Gold, Green and Brown- Links above in text)

13 Arts- #56 Create Your Own Background

Frilly And Funkie- In The Good Old Summertime (Favorite thing about Summer is Wandering around while on vacation)

How to Make Petroleum-Free Eucalyptus Chest Rub

 Eucalyptus Chest Rub, Kid Approved

Whenever my kids are sick, I always try to give them something to ease the pain. The worst is when they have a stuffy nose and their little body is struggling to breath. No one likes to see someone they love laboring over something that should come easily.

I started making this Chest Rub for my littles when I became acquainted with alternative/natural medicine.  I wanted something that was Petroleum-free because my children’s safety is important.

My kids love using this chest rub. It is effective, safe and I can use it too! Not only is it is easy and fun to make but it makes you feel as though you can help ease the discomfort of your little ones.  What mommy doesn’t want that?!

How To Make The Eucalyptus Chest Rub

  1. Gather ingredients on Recipe.
  2. I didn’t have Rosemary essential oil so I infused fresh rosemary into my olive oil. (over low heat until the rosemary leaves wilt and turn brown. Strain oil and continue per recipe)
  3. Here are all my butters melted over the stove on low before adding my rosemary infused olive oil
  4. Add infused oil to melted oils and remove from stove
  5. Add in essential oils, stir and then pour into small jars
  6. Label and allow to sit for a few hours to set.

Top Quality VS Average

I get most of my supplies on Amazon although my rosemary was fresh from my indoor rosemary plant. (pictured above) I am not a stickler for top quality products because, lets face it, we are not made of money. If I can give my family a healthier lifestyle without spending top dollar than that is me doing my best. I would love to be able to afford those expensive essential oils that you pay twenty plus dollars per one ounce and treat it like it is liquid gold. You know, licking up the extra drops so it doesn’t get wasted. Ok, I exaggerate. I wouldn’t lick it up but I would certainly feel guilty for every drop that dripped down the side of that bottle.

Have you noticed the new craze is essential oil companies like Young Living and DoTerra. Supposedly, they are the only good essential oils out there. I am all about being healthy and cutting out the chemicals but man, I think these companies are milking the word ‘Organic’ for all it is worth. All essential oils are concentrated plant compounds removed and distilled into liquids form. How can one lavender plant be better quality than another lavender plant?

This is only my opinion. I am sure you all have your own. All I am trying to say is, eat and live healthy, cut the crap out of your diet, and do this to the best of your ability without breaking the bank. Don’t go into debt for that ultimate essential oil collection 😉

Related: One of my favorite Medicine Making books is reviewed HERE. It has a lot of easy home remedies you can make from your garden/yard.

Products Used

The Book of Memories: A Mini Art Journal

A Book Of Memories

Memories…something that we never forget, as least, I hope that is the case. I have so many wonderful things that I want to remember. I wish our memories were like flash backs in the movies- vivid color, crisp images and and the ability to quote a conversation word for word. I for one can remember none of these things. But I recall the feelings and emotions associated with a certain event and that in itself is enough. Wouldn’t it be amazing if we all had books filled with our favorite experiences and memories, playing back the event as seen through our eyes? I really want someone to invent that!

Instead, you will have to settle for this mini book I made using some new stamps that I LOVE!

Creating the Mini Art Journal

As I mentioned above, these stamps are newly released by Seth Apter for PaperArtsy. They are so amazing! I feel as though I cannot say this enough. They are full of detail and are the perfect blend of grunge and vintage.

For the Cover, I stamped one of the main images, aged it, colored it and used chipboard to create a cover.

The inside pages were made using white card stock and covered with old book pages. I stained everything using Distress Stains to create an aged page. All the stamped images and background stamps are from Seth’s new sets. You can see my release project for Seth new stamps HERE. Also, I just completed a art journal centered around my all-time favorite drink, TEA! It is called Splashes of Tea.

Thanks for Stopping by!


Paper Crafting MagazinesChallenges Entered:

Craft Stamper: July Anything Goes

Love To Create: Challenge 13 Anything Mixed Media Goes

Creative Artiste: Challenge 28 Anything Goes

A Inky Mess: Challenge 12 Mixed Media

Castles in My Mind: Art Journal Page

Castles in My Mind

Castles In My Mind

Castles In My Mind… a phrase that makes me think of the beautiful places in my imagination that I wish to visit.  Just the other day my hubby and I were discussing our bucket lists. As our children are still young, we have yet to check off the more adventurous items on the list but that doesn’t mean we cannot dream. We are looking forward to paying off our home once my hubby settles into a new job and then we can start planning to whittle down the list. I am looking forward to many wonderful summer vacations with the hubby, making memories and being in each others company.

For now, I will have to settle for traveling through books. I have been reading a lot lately and it fuels my desire to experience new cultures, food and people. I just finished the book, The Little Paris Bookshop. It is about a book seller who owns a floating bookstore. He eventually makes his way up river through France and stops at little villages and towns along the way. A fabulous read for those interested in books, travel and new experiences.

So, that is what I had in mind when I created this journal page.

Castles in My Mind 2

Creating the Journal Page

This is another journal page that I reworked because I did not like my first attempt. I added more layers of gesso in the background and white embossing powder over the gesso. Scraps of various textured paper were added behind a fabulous Lynne Perrella stamp.

Do you have a bucket list?

What great books are you currently reading?

Thank you for stopping by,


Challenges Entered:

Art Journal Journey: Summertime Love

Frilly and Funkie: In the Good Old Summertime (I love summer because of vacations and family times and what better way to represent that in my project than with bright colors)

Simon Says: Summer Sunshine



Seth Apter’s New Stamp Release


Seth Apter Stamp Release AND Guest Designer

Today, I have a Guest Designer post over at the PaperArtsy Blog, using some incredible new stamps. Here is a little sneak peek of the mixed media assemblage that I made. I’ll show you another project later on in the week using these stamps so stay tuned.

Have you ever heard of Seth Apter? You can read a little about him and see his art HERE.

But for now, head on over to the PaperArtsy Blog and let me know what you think.
Paper Crafting Magazines

Remarkable Friendships Continue To Delight: Art Journal Page

Friendship Never Melts Away

Speaking of friendship, my best friend from New York is coming to visit with her family this weekend! It is not often that we have visitors here in rural Pennsylvania so we are all hyped up. My boys are looking forward to seeing their friends and I am craving time with my best friend to catch up and relax. In the past, we used to get together and eat food. Lots of food. Fried food, sweet food, comfort food. And we would always end up sick afterwards. This time around we are many years older and hopefully smarter so we are opting to stick with our no wheat, no sugar diet. Believe it or not there are still a lot of yummy foods to eat. I follow the Trim Healthy Mama plan and have had a lot of success with healing gut health and weight maintenance.

So, that was just a little blurb about my life right now. On to the making of the journal page.

Creating the Journal Page

First off, I up-cycled this page as it was a previous design team project. I made it for a stamp release over at Artistic Outpost. I kept the stamps that I previously used to embellish and added a different focal image as well as more texture to the background.

I gave it a little more color and texture in the background and added a Tim Holtz ephemera photo as the focal image.

Paper Crafting Magazines

Other pages in this journal:

Home Is Where the Heart Is

You Need to Embrace the Little Things

Steampunked On the Road

Learn From Your Remarkable Journey

Products Used:

Challenges Entered:

Craft Stamper: Take It Make It June “Anything Goes”

Stamps and Stencils: Words With Meaning

A Inky Mess: Challenge 12

Crafty Creations Challenge: Anything Goes

Gift Bundles for Artists

Learn From Your Remarkable Journey: Art Journal Page

The Journey of Motherhood

I haven’t taken a lot of amazing journeys in my short life but by far the most memorable one has been mothering. I have had so many unbelievably, happy moments surrounded by the little people that I  treasure most. The giggles and miss-pronounced words have always been a favorite of mine. And who doesn’t love those first steps and the knowledge that you have the power to make everything better. Just a kiss and a snuggle in mommy or daddy’s arms and everything is right in the world again.

And then there are the days that I am convinced I could not have birthed such miserable and selfish little monsters. From the constant bickering to the endless whining I want to go shut myself up in the bathroom and lock the door. But then, they are calling out from the other side, banging on the door as though the Borg are right there, only seconds away from assimilating them. But thankfully, these days are few and far between and always give me a reason to enjoy the happier days.

This quote is perfect for everyone because we all should be learning as we travel through life. And that is why I chose it for this journal page.

Creating the Journal Page

When I started this page, the inspiration was this Lynne Perrella stamp from PaperArtsy. I love how the journey is illustrated by the horse and carriage on her hat. I painted her using Distress Markers and then added some highlights using a pen. I usually stamp with my favorite ink pad but the image never seems bold enough so I enjoy adding a little bit of doodling to make the image pop.

My background has been embossed using a stencil and of course I have added leftover paper strips, gesso and stamping.

My husband recently bought a wallet and the kraft packaging ending up being the perfect background for my stamped image. I finished off with some stamped flowers, also from PaperArtsy, beads and a sentiment.

More Journal Pages From This Art Journal:

Home Is Where the Heart Is

You Need To Embrace the Little Things

Steampunked On the Road


Products used:

Challenges Entered:

Simon Says: Use Patterned Paper


STAMPlorations: June Mixed Media Challenge (Stenciling)

Love to Create: Challenge 12 Anything Creative/Mixed Media Goes

Creative Artiste: Challenge 27 Anything Mixed Media Goes

Try It Tuesday: Letters or Numbers (Letters)

Mixed Media World: Challenge #26 Anything Mixed Media Goes



Why He Calls Me ‘The Plant Hospice’


String Of Pearls

Newest Hobby

Recently, I have found a new hobby (hubby calls them obsessions). Houseplants. I mentioned in a previous post that my husband calls me the ‘Plant Hospice’ so this new hobby may be a bit surprising.

I love this book, The New Bohemians: Cool and Collected Homes that I recently read. In this book, houseplants are used liberally as pieces of decor, which I found to be interesting especially since I haven’t had much success at keeping indoor plants alive. Outdoor plants is a entirely different story.

Related: You can read my book review HERE

Watering plants and reading the signs of what they need seems to be a art form, one of which I am slowly acquainting myself with. Last month, I visited a local green house to buy fruits and vegetables for my outdoor garden.

While I was there the selection of indoor plants especially succulents was amazing. I figure, succulents are the hardest plant to kill because they are extremely drought tolerant so why not give it a go?


Aloe Vera




Purple Waffle





Various Succulents


20170523_150222Plant Hospice?

As of right now, all my indoor plants are still living and a few are thriving. But a few of my succulents have started to shrivel up, turn yellow and have a hint of crispiness (under watering?). I feel like no matter what, I can’t win. I cut back on the watering so I don’t over water and I end up under watering them. One of these days I will hopefully get the hang of this houseplant thing before they all die.

Do you have any tips on keeping your houseplants alive?

Steampunked On the Road: A Masculine Art Journal Page


Signs for the Road 1

Life is One Big Road with Lots of Signs- Bob Marley

This quote is so true isn’t it? We have so many different roads that we can take in life and each choice we make impacts the road on which we end up. When we are young we don’t always put much thought into our choices and we just live in the moment. But, crazy enough, those moments can cause consequences that we live out for years to come.

I am so grateful that I had a wonderful father that encouraged me to ‘read the signs’, make good choices and think about the outcomes before hand. I can’t say that all my decisions have been the best, I am human and flawed after all, but I look back and see places where I could have made a different choice which would have put me on a entirely different road.

In honor of upcoming father’s day this is a shout out to my Dad, my Father-in Law and to the Amazing Daddy of our 3 children. Children need dads to help guide them through life’s tough spots. Dad’s make a huge impact whether it be positive or negative. I am so Thankful for these positive and Godly influences in my life and in the lives of my children.

This quote was perfect for my masculine themed journal page.


Signs for the Road 2

Creating The Journal Page

The background for this page is a crumpled up paper bag that had been cut, painted, stenciled and stamped upon. I love the old advertisements as they add a vintage quality to the page. I stamped in the background with a Christy Tomlinson Stamp and stenciled some punchinella, despite it looking like big black blobs.  I used a few older die cuts from my table stash and am feeling pleased with the steam- punkish result… and very fitting as Sunday is Father’s Day.

Signs for the Road 3

Speaking of Father’s Day, what special traditions or things do you do for the men in your life?

Challenges Entered:

Frilly & Funkie- You’re My Inspiration (Steampunk Guy)

Stamps and Stencils- Words With Meaning (Stamping and a stencil)

Chall #37 graphic

Mixed Media Monthly Challenge #37- #32 Put a Stencil On It

SanDee & Amelie’s Steampunk Challenge- Anything Goes Steampunk/Industrial

You Need to Embrace the Little Things: Art Journal Page

The Little Things 1

The Little Things

Just a few little things that I can find to be thankful for.

  • a kind husband
  • 3 beautiful little people that call me ‘Mommy’
  • belly laughs
  • a home of my own
  • sincere and trustworthy friends
  • hot cups of tea
  • long hot showers
  • More books to read than time
  • plenty of food on my table

Someone will always have it better and someone will always have it worse, is a phrase I heard often growing up. As I get older I find this to be true, especially the latter. Social media has opened our eyes to a world that most of us never knew existed. The crime, hate, perversion, violence and disregard for authority, that I suppose has always been present, has somehow made its way into our daily lives.

I admit, I don’t like the news, so much of it is depressing and disheartening. But I come away being thankful to God for the vast amount of blessings that he has given me whether they be large or small.

Do you stop to think about all the little blessings despite your difficult circumstances? I am learning that it could always be worse. I know without a doubt that I have someone watching over me and I know He is providing those blessings that help get me through the tough times.

I thought this quote fit into my journal page perfectly.


The Little Things 2

Creating The Art Journal Page

Now that I have shown you all of the pages in my Splashes of Tea Art Journal, I thought I would share my other art journal that is neither themed or titled. It is just a random mix of pages that I created.

So, this page is various paper scraps and die cuts in the background (an attempt to clean up my work space). I have stamping, ink sprays and embossing mixed in to add texture and visual interest. The image was a free download from Land of Nod, although I am unable to find her site for a link.

Challenges Entered:

A Perfect Time to Craft: Open Challenge #6

Creative Artiste: Challenge 27 ‘Anything Mixed Media Goes’

Art Journal Journey: Circles


Splashes of Tea: A Vibrant Mixed Media Art Journal

The Cover

Last but not least, I am sharing the cover of my tea themed art journal. I have named it ‘Splashes of Tea’ due to the many paint splashes throughout. I found this old arc welding manual at a yard sale for a few cents. The cover has lots of cool texture not to mention it is leather bound. Such a great find! When I first made this journal cover I didn’t have a theme in mind. But afterwards when I decided to make a ‘Tea’ themed journal, I thought this cover would fit perfectly. It happens to be the only part of the journal that does not contain the word ‘tea’ or have a tea related picture.

The Inside

If you haven’t seen the inside of this journal here are the links:

Tea With the White Rabbit

The Chinese Tea House

Afternoon Tea

Keep Calm and Put the Kettle On

Too Much Tea

Tea in the Garden

You & Me the Perfect Blend

Spectacular Tea for Me and You

Tea Cups in My Bonnet

Calming Tea with My Girlfriend

The Details

As I already said, I made this cover before deciding on a theme. It was a design team project for PaperArtsy. You can view the step by step tutorial and products used for this cover HERE.

What themes or topics interest you? Have you created a themed art journal?

Thank you for taking the time out of your day to stop.




Calming Tea With My Girl Friend: A Vibrant Art Journal Layout


Calming Tea & Scones

Scones and tea seem to go together. Where I live there are not many places to go to have an amazing cup of tea, except perhaps my kitchen. I love having the opportunity to pull out my tea sets and serve my favorite loose tea in a pot, along side a yummy treat. I don’t bake as much as I did in the past due to my constant battle with a ever expanding waistline but I have always loved sweets with my tea. My favorite side would have to be scones or a fruit dessert. Here are a few recipes that look amazing!

Peach Pie Scones with a Vanilla Glaze

Caramel Apple Scones

The Best Glazed Mixed Berry Scones

Cranberry-Orange Scones

Raspberry-Almond Scones

I don’t know if you noticed from these recipe names, but I have a major obsession with fruit. If you try any of these recipes I would love or hear what you think or see a picture of what you made.

Speaking of tea, go grab a cup and I’ll share how I made my layout.


Creating the Mixed Media Art Journal Layout

By far, this is my favorite layout in the my Tea journal and my last. The way the background came together with all the various colors and splatters makes me so very happy every time I look at it. I embossed the tea cup stamp and then added some watercolors. I think it makes the tea cup pop as opposed to just stamping in ink. I added lots of little embellishments I have had on my table for ages so it was a nice feeling to use those up. I doodled around the edges of the chipboard pieces to make them stand out more and I like the result.


Tea Inspiration

Since I decided to share my love of fruit desserts, I thought I would pick out a fruit flavored tea that is really yummy. Sadly, mine is all gone but I really enjoyed this tea especially when iced and sweetened.
Do you have a favorite fruit flavored tea or dessert? I love recipes (hint, hint… 😉 )

Divine Twine Baker's Twine — Cotton Candy

Willow and Sage Magazine

Challenges Entered:

A Bit More Time to Craft– #45 Anything Goes

Simon Says Wednesday Challenge– Anything Goes

A Perfect Time To Craft– Open Challenge #6

Simon Says Monday Challenge: We’re Going Around in Circles

Craft Stamper Take It and Make It– June ‘Anything Goes’