Watkins Glen Gorge

Part 2 of our NY trip was the Watkins Glen gorge. It was so beautiful! There were waterfalls all over, over 800 stone steps (my legs were NOT happy with me by the time we reached the top, but it was so worth it!), stone walls, tunnels, and multiple bridges. (My stone structure obsession continues! lol) The gorge trail winds under and around multiple waterfalls, so close to the waterfalls at times that you can reach out and touch the water! Which I didn’t, cause it was a bit chilly the day we went and I hate being cold :) At a couple of the waterfalls, the path took you behind the falls, making for some very cool pictures and even a few videos! Haven’t figured out if/how I can upload videos here yet, so that will take some looking into. Halfway through my camera battery died and I had to switch cameras, so some of the pictures have an orange date on them and some don’t.

This post has many, many pictures. Watkins Glen was so beautiful it was hard to narrow it down to just a few favorites :) I hope you enjoy!

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 If you ever get the chance to visit the finger lakes of NY, I definitely recommend checking out the Watkins Glen gorge! Bring extra camera batteries. And good walking shoes! And maybe someone willing to carry you back down…. :P

Thanks so much for stopping by!

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Stone stairs, NY, and the Tough Mudder

NYC trip

Letchworth State Park’s Glen Iris Inn

There has been so much going on around here lately, it’s been hard to stay focused. I meant to post about our recent trip to NY (I did actually sit down and start to get the pictures resized and edited, which incidentally led to the previous post of accidentally deleting a large amount of photos), and I meant to post about getting a new camera that has video capabilities, woo hoo! (and then discovering how weird my voice sounds on video, blah!), and I meant to post about my hubby’s upcoming tough mudder and raising money for wounded warriors, but I haven’t managed to sit down and write about any of that.

UNTIL NOW! (Very dramatic, huh? lol)

The main reason is that we are getting ready to move. We’re not sure where to yet, which is both exciting and terrifying, and it hasn’t been all that conducive to creating. My hubby just finished up his active service contract with the Marine Corps, and we are now free to move where ever we want! I can’t wait, I love the opportunity to start from scratch and explore a new place! (also the excuse to get rid of stuff we haven’t used in forever is a plus.) For a while we were moving around a lot, 3 moves in as many years, and I was getting tired of the packing/unpacking that went along with that. But we have been in one place for about 4 years now, and I am excited about finding someplace new!! Especially when it will be somewhere of OUR choosing, yay! So job and house hunting has commenced :P

We were able to take some time to go visit family in PA recently, and in the middle of that we took a mini vacation with my Dad and step-mom up to NY. We visited 2 beautiful state parks (Letchworth and Watkin’s Glen), and checked out a couple of awesome museums (Corning glass and the Rockwell). Originally when I thought of NY, I thought that the whole state was just the city, lol. But it is not, and it has a lot of beautiful scenery, making for a really pretty drive. I took a ton of pictures (and so did my hubby, hurray for backup pictures!), so I thought I would break them up into different posts, to keep it from being a mile long :P

First up is Letchworth state park. It seemed to be the smaller of the two state parks, but part of the trail was closed due to some damage from all the rain the area had had recently, so it may not actually be much smaller than Watkins Glen. While the rain might have made a mess of part of the trail, it also made waterfalls really strong, which was cool.

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I am a bit obsessed with the stonework, especially the stairs and the bridges, that both of the parks had. I will admit, I took a LOT of pictures of stairs. But that’s normal right? I’m sure it’s totally normal :D

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Rainbow in the mists of the second waterfall.

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It was overcast that day, but we didn’t get rained on. All of this is from the mist off of the second waterfall! Made us quite soggy :P

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You can make out a stone bridge just to the left of center, but that was part of the trail area that was closed, so we didn’t get to go there.

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This was as close to the third and final waterfall as we got, but it was still a beautiful walk and we had a great time!

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More stairs. I wasn’t kidding about being obsessed. I didn’t post all of my stair pictures tho, so you should be happy :)

Important: My hubby is raising money for the ‘Wounded Warriors Project’ through the Tough Mudder. It is a 10-12 mile obstacle course, generally run by people who are a bit off  their rockers, (read: slightly crazy) but still lovable :P Besides regular(?) obstacles, there will be ice water, electric shock, possibly fire, and mud. Lots and lots of mud. My hubby, his mom, and his brother will be participating as team Minion. They even have matching shirts with minions on them :P I shall be spectator-ing, as I am in no need of freezing or being shocked electrically.

If you would like to support this worthy cause through this insane event, you can donate to my hubbys team here! All donations are greatly appreciated, and go directly to the ‘Wounded Warriors Project’ through Eventbrite. Thank You!!

You can find more info on the tough mudder here, and the wounded warrior project here.


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I’ve become lost, send pizza…

Have you ever gotten one of those promotions from CVS or someplace like that for 10 cent prints, and you think ” hey I haven’t printed any photos in a while, I should really do that!” And then you start sorting through pictures, trying to decide which ones you really love, and wondering why you have four of what seems to be the same shot of almost everything you’ve ever taken a picture of, and then you are deleting* some to save room, and reorganizing all your pictures, and before you know it, you’re lost in the world of  picture sorting and its been hours since you’ve surfaced and by the time you do reemerge from your computer the day is halfway gone, you haven’t eaten anything, and you’ve forgotten what started all the madness.

*You tell yourself to be ruthless, keep only the pictures you really love, and delete the rest. And at first you’re doing good; 35 pictures from the kid-you-used-to-babysits birthday party four years ago where you only knew like 3 people? You keep one or two good shots of the birthday kid, and the rest, BAM, gone! Easy peasy. But it gets harder. The dozen or so (or millions, depending on how much of an animal person you are. Personally my cats and dog are super photogenic, I can’t help that they are adorable and end up in front of my camera lens so much, lol) pictures you have of your pet doing something cute, you can’t decide which one is the best, because they’re all so cute, and you don’t want to delete one and regret it because you might never get the chance to retake it and what if the one you are going to delete is somehow the best out of the dozen (million) so you can’t possibly get rid of those, but you’ll come back to them. That’s it! You’ll save them for later, when you are more emotionally distant and the decision doesn’t make you feel as if you are getting rid of a family member, instead of just a picture. Those photos, man, they cling to you. Not like a crying kid screaming for candy, but like the sad, quiet kids you see on the commercials that ask for donations to feed starving children. The photos stare at you with big sad eyes saying “How can you delete me? What did I do? ” And you’re like “it’s just a picture, I can do this! Oh, but it’s so cute, I’ll save that  one. And that one. And…I’ll come back to these later….” and then when you think you’ve finally reached the end and have actually made a dent in all the chaos, you realize you still have 3657 photos of the 3987 you started with, and you bang your head on the desk.*

Then, you accidentally highlight a large majority of your photos when you meant to just click on one and hit delete before you realize what you’ve done, and suddenly your day is a lot more free than it was a few seconds beforehand….. (-_-)

-What did you do today?

-”I spent most of the morning and afternoon organizing and deleting photos.”

-How many do you have?

-”About 200″

-What took so long then?

-”I started out with almost 4000 and I accidentally deleted about 3500 four hours after I started.”

-Oh. That sucks.

-”Yes, yes it does”


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Hello again….

Have you ever mentally written a blog post or two(dozen), then forgot to actually sit down and type it(them) up? Yeah, that’s me. :P I have been terrible about posting the last few months, but let’s just jump right back in shall we?

First: The Documented Life Project. (check out Art to the 5th’s blog for more info) I’m sure many of you have heard about it, and are possibly participating. Instead of buying a planner I decided to make one, and I posted a few pics on instagram and flickr when I was done. I got some questions about how I made it, so I thought I would explain a bit.

I used 80lb. sketch paper for the signatures, I sewed the signatures to two layers of unbleached muslin,  then glued that onto some heavy chipboard. I covered the inside and the outside of the covers with some scrapbook paper, and used black duct tape to cover the spine. If that’s confusing, I hope the pictures help explain it a bit. I didn’t think to take any pictures during construction, but hopefully you can see what I mean.

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I used gelli prints for my tabs and stamped the months on with StayzOn ink.

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The spine is duct tape, and if I need to expand the book as it fills, I can easily cut the tape down the middle and add more. I left room between the signatures when I sewed them to the muslin so they are able to expand as well, just in case.

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The picture above shows the muslin the signatures are sewn to, glued to the inside of the back cover and then covered with patterned scrapbook paper.

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A bit of a break during the picture taking for the supervisor to do her thing, quality testing and what not :)

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I haven’t kept up on all of the challenges, but I taped in inserts for them that I can come back to later. A smart idea would be to write down what the challenges are that I missed on post it notes and stick it on the back of the inserts…I should probably do that, lol.

I have completed a handful of the prompts:

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Second: A drawing I did in my art journal that I’m pretty happy with. Haven’t decided yet if I want to add color with colored pencils or water color. Maybe both.

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And third : I got some cans of spray paint the other day and had a field day playing with them! I had a few krylon already, but had never used them, and Michael’s had some of the liquitex spray paints on clearance so I grabbed a couple. I can’t believe I haven’t played with these before!

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I also spray painted some glass bottles to use as vases on our mantel. The paint doesn’t stick real well to the bottles without a clear coat, but I love how they turned out. A couple of colorful fake flowers, and now our mantel is looking pretty :)

Thanks so much for stopping by!!

Posted in Art journal, Doodles, drawing, gelli plate prints | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Using up some of my gelli prints (finally! :P)

(I am seeing a trend develop here: I don’t post for a long time, then I assault you with a multitude of pictures. Terribly sorry about that :P )

I was watching some youtube videos the other day and came across Kiala Givehand’s video “book-in-a-day 19, duct tape book.” I thought it was an awesome way to use some of the loose pages I really liked, but didn’t want to fold in half. ( Kiala folded her pages to make her book, but I didn’t have any problems using just individual sheets to make mine.) Everything I needed to make my book was found in my craft room already, so I could get started right away, I hate waiting! I used a variety of papers: some long so they could be fold out pages, some smaller, some heavy, some light weight, most of them gelli prints or gelli printing clean up pages, some painted papers, a transparency, some journal pages already in progress, ect. ( it cleared out only a tiny amount of space in my gelli prints folder, but hey, I tried lol ) The lighter pages I glued together back-to-back, to help strengthen them. I used heavy boards from an old magazine holder I had for the covers. I cut the large front and back rectangle pieces apart from the sides and bottom of the holder, and sanded them because the surface was shiny and I wanted to glue papers over them. The most time consuming part of this whole process was waiting for glue to dry :/ Other than that, it was pretty quick! I used the duct tape for the spine, since I didn’t have a folded cover, and it has been holding up very well! This is, to date, my favorite handmade journal ever!

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I wasn’t too worried about page placement, I usually work on pages as singles anyway, not two-page spreads. I am seriously loving this journal, I love the weight of the heavy covers, the feel of all the painted papers, it’s awesome :)

Posted in Art journal, crafting, gelli plate prints | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

An overload of pages ;P

You may think that because I haven’t been blogging that I haven’t been doing art stuff, but you’d be wrong! Prepare yourself, you are about to be flooded with all of the art journal pages I have been working on! lol

These pages don’t have a particular theme, they are in fact very eclectic. Some were inspired by online classes I have been taking, others started out as gelli prints or leftover paint pages, some were test pages for different supplies, a few were inspired by techniques I saw on youtube (like Christy Sobolewski’s awesome tagology page). Some of the journal pages use scraps or packaging that otherwise would have been thrown away, there’s fold out pages and hidden pockets, washi tape, tissue paper, so much going on!! I have had a great time working on these random pages without pressure or expectations, and I love the layers that have evolved on most of the pages. The yellow washi tape in the upper right hand corners of all the pages isn’t part of the page, it’s just there so I know which way is up when working on the pages, lol :)

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The pages are random, but I am having a great time with them :)

Thanks for stopping by!

Posted in Art journal, gelli plate prints | Tagged , , , , , , , | 8 Comments

Happy New Year!

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Just wanted to say a big “Thank You!” to everyone who follows, comments, or just stops in to check out my blog. You are very appreciated! I hope everyone had a great Christmas, and has a great New Years as well :)

Take care!

Posted in Life | Tagged , , | 3 Comments