Tuesday, April 01, 2014


Good Morning!  Yes, I'm still alive and kickin' up here.  Feel much better but still dealing with the cold and feeling very tried.  From what I hear this tail end part just hangs on for dear life--LOL!  Grab a cupppa (for me it's black coffee, of course) for T-Stands For Tuesday.  Lots of pictures since it's been a week since I've been here to chat.
You can see how smeared and dirty my windows are up here.  All I get is reflection of my camera when I try to get pictures close through the window (and the recent blizzard did nothing to help that with its dry snow beating against the glass).
Karma's been loving being next to me at the craft table on her TV tray perch. 
She gets her chin scratches... 
...and loves thumb rubs under her collar.  It had been brown up here for long enough that I switched over to her summer collar, but I jumped the gun a little--LOL! 
I got another birthday package! 
From Janie Junebug
This tower of boxes was filled with fruit and snacks! 
And you know I will find a use for those pretty boxes!  Thanks, Janie!! 
I have felt so special this birthday with the wonderful comments, emails, ecards, gift cards, snailmail cards, and presents!  Goodness!  Thanks to each and every one of you for really making this such a sweet birthday even though I was (and still am) sick and fairly miserable.  Really lifted my spirits more than I can tell you.  :):)
On Saturday it was 43 degrees (6 C) and so windy they said it felt like 33 degrees (0 C) but we had kids playing ball outside with no coats and a couple in shorts!  All the ice had melted out of the yard.  
They were predicting a blizzard moving in Sunday night and horrible travel for Monday morning.  The storm didn't arrive until late afternoon here.  It hit farther north than expected and instead of getting 6-12 inches or more of snow here we only got 2-3 inches.  But highways 94 and 29 were closed down overnight--no visibility--and it was as white as could be out there with howling, pounding wind.  North of here Grand Forks got 11.5" and Grafton got 20" of snow!  So we were lucky.
What did I do during the storm?  Worked on the test papers.  Got all the markers and pens gathered up... 
...and worked on the eleven sheets one by one. 
This morning was bright, sunny, and calm after the storm. Blew so hard that most of the drifting is up against the building. 
Karma wanted to go check out the snow on the porch, of course.  I was holding the screen door open with my foot as I snapped pictures and she wondered why I had the door open, interfering with her sunny corner. 
I finished the test papers!  Here's the stack.  If this is of no interest to you--feel free to scroll on past.  ;)  From the top, left to right: Dylusions sprays (used two of them to really saturate), black Distress paint, blue watercolor paint sopped on.  Then below that I put a thick layer of two Noodler's inks (black and Baystate Blue--which is the stainiest blue I know), ModPodge, gesso--and under those two big smears is a long thick layer of Sumi ink and black craft acrylic paint.  Below all those went all the markers and pens.
These three which are torn down from large sheets did really well and would be good for mixed media.  Left to right: Canson Rivers, Aquarelle Multimedia, and Stonehenge. 
The Aquarelle Multimedia paper didn't do well with the Baystate Blue ink--but nothing else bled through any of them and there was pretty mild buckling. 
Next Canson Drawing Paper and Canson Bristol.  No bleed through at all and only buckling when really wet.  These performed better than I expected. 
Next Strathmore #140 lb cold press watercolor paper and Strathmore Ready-Cut hot press watercolor paper.  As expected, they did excellently--no bleed-through and little buckling.  [BTW--any small spots you see on any of these first papers, unless noted, were from touching the paper above by accident when they were still wet.] 
Next is the Ingres sheet paper and the Bee Artist Marker Pad. 
The Ingres paper appeared to be so porous and thin that I was actually shocked at how well it performed.  I didn't expect it to do well at all with the wet media and yet the only one that bled through was the Dylusions spray!  Buckled to beat the band, but didn't bleed--not even the Sumi Ink.  I expected it to bleed with the markers: Mark-A-Lot and regular Sharpies, but it did really well on all the drawing pens except for the Uni Pin 1.0 and the paper was easy to write on even though it has some texture to it.  I was quite pleasantly surprised!  No wet mediums, though, unless you want a lot of buckling. 
This Bee Artist Marker Pad--well, the Sumi Ink bled through--along with both the Noodler's Inks--and the Dylusions.  Since this paper is meant for markers I didn't really expect the fountain pen inks and sumi to bleed through.  But it did even take on the Marks-A-Lot marker without bleed through.  It's very smooth and would work well without a really wet application.
And lastly we have the Borden & Riley Bleedproof Paper For Pens tablet and the Canson Pro Layout Marker Tablet. 
The Bleedproof Paper For Pens--well, the Sumi ink blotch and both the Noodler's ink blotches bled through--and the Dylusions some.  But it did pretty well with the permanent markers--except the big old Mark-A-Lot marker did bleed through and the Sharpies-almost.  Using pen on this paper for drawing and writing would be fine, but no really wet applications or permanent markers if you want to use the back side in a journal.  Very smooth.
Well, the Canson Pro Layout Marker Tablet was kind of a disappointment.  It did work for most of the pens, but not for any of the permanent markers or that Uni Pin 1.0 drawing pen--and this is supposed to be made for markers?  Wet mediums buckle profusely, as you can see, even if they don't all bleed through.  The paper is quite thin so you get some shadowing--can read right through the backside.  I'm wondering if that will be an issue in a journal or not.  I'm guessing maybe not--but I'll find out.  ;)  This was the worst of the lot, as far as I'm concerned and the one tablet I wouldn't buy again...unless it surprises me and turns out to work well in a writing journal.
I am so glad I did all this testing before I used any of these papers in bookbinding journals so I know which paper will work for what type of journal.  Was kind of fun, too.
Karma stayed outside in her patch of sun for a while even though it was 17 degrees (-8 C) with a wind chill of 0 degrees (-18 C). 
And she was happy the snow was just sticky enough for her to have footprints to eat off the carpet if she was quick after she raced inside. 
I am still dealing with the tail ends of this head cold.  Still pretty much feeling like a zombie, but at least I made it today.  :)  Will get around online when I am feeling up to snuff.  (Wonder where that saying came from--LOL!)  Caroline comes this afternoon, so I'd better get moving and pick up cat toys.  Thanks again for the wonderful birthday Friday!!  Have a great rest of the week!!  :) :)
"Do your best and then relax. Let things go on in a natural way, rather than force them."
Paramahansa Yogananda


  1. hope you get to feeling better soon. and hooray for warmer temps - even if snow insisted on coming back again.

  2. So many people think of you on your birthday because you are loved.


  3. I hope you are feeling lots better really soon.
    Love those pics of karma. She is so cute!

  4. This has just been one of those awful winters...the cold stays forever...the snow keeps coming...and the sickness lingers.
    Feel better!!

  5. You are certainly thorough with those tests, Rita. I think you were right to do them, it should pay off in the future. And I too love the Karma pictures and wish you the happiest of happy birthdays! :-)

  6. I feel bad for you being sick on your birthday. I hope it was the best ever, though. Karma sure looks happy, especially in the the sun.

    I'm glad you did all those tests. Take it from me, that Canson, which is NOT cheap, is horrible. It bleeds through to the back of the next page, and buckles like crazy. Wish I had known this before I bought my tablet. Thanks for doing this, dear, and again, a happy belated birthday.

  7. You have a lot of patience to make all those test pages! I'm impressed, but now you will know just what works best on what! Glad the latest snowstorm missed you-you have certainly had enough!

  8. Wow! what brilliant birthday gifts. All that fruit and those snacks! I am sorry I didn't realise it was your birthday but happy returns in arrears :)

  9. awe sweet Karma:):) Sorry about the awful weather and your lingering illness. Hope both things go away completely very soon! Despite all that looks like you've gotten some arty things accomplished, and your tower of gifts looks great. Happy T day!

  10. Hello and Happy T Day and happy belated birthday!! We have had the crazy weather again too, snow then sun then snow again. These last two days though have finally felt like spring, YAY!!
    I LOVE those gift boxes you got, so pretty! Sorry to hear your still not feeling good, hope your healthy again by next T Time visit. How cute Karma is and enjoying the weather too just like we do.
    Take care and thanks for sharing!

  11. Happy Birthday!

    Here are a couple of interesting links about the phrase "up to snuff":



  12. Happy T-Day and happy be-lated B-Day!
    I recognized those boxes. My old office mate sends me something every X'mas! They are the best! You are so loved.
    Crazy weather you are still having. I remember those college days when the kids would go out and sit in the sun in their lawn chairs just because it's above zero. Crazy but when you are young you can do a lot!
    Yeah the tail end can linger. Hope you feel better real soon.

  13. Really awesome test papers... quite interesting and some surprises. thanks for sharing your results!

  14. Did I miss your b-day? Happy wishes anyway. I have to go back and study your paper experiment, you provided some good info. I hate it when paper bleeds through.


  15. While I hope you are feeling up to snuff - I hope you don't actually want any snuff!! :)

    Are those bright blue sky days nice?

    ...and your thoughtful friends?

  16. I'm glad you were able to enjoy your birthday, despite being sick, and that you were spoiled; always nice when people take the time to show you they thought of you on your special day! :)

    Still waiting for it to snow here, and the weather over the past couple of weeks makes me think I'm quite likely to be waiting some time; like until next Winter! Luckily, I got a package from Iggy with some snow in it, so that will hold me until our weather decides to co-operate.

    I hope you can get rid of the tail end of that cold soon, so you can stop feeling like a zombie. Be careful though, because judging from the books I've read on the subject, it's things that just seem like common colds that are the first signs of becoming infected and potentially turning in to a zombie. Seriously though... Feel better soon! Hugs!

  17. Happy Belated Birthday! And, glad your cold is a little better :) nice to see that blue sky and Karma enjoying that sun! Your paper and ink info is interesting--thank you!

  18. I'm happy you're getting better, but I want you better all the way!! I love Janie...she's the best. She's a queen, you know. :) I'm glad Ms. Karma got a spot of sunshine and that you didn't get hit as hard as expected with the snow. It's APRIL!!! Enough already.


  19. Happy birthday, sorry you aren't feeling the best. I missed getting to you last week, things just got on top of me. Glad you had some wonderful gifts. Those fruit boxes are gorgeous, I'm sure you'll find a great use for them. That weather doesn't look good at all, I hope spring arrives for you soon.
    Luv Von

  20. Anonymous8:45 AM

    Still so snowy! What pretty boxes.

  21. As soon as I saw those boxes I knew you'd have something in mind for them! :) I am glad you had a good birthday although you weren't feeling good. I totally missed out on wishing you a good one, so Happy belated birthday!!! :)

  22. I am sorry to hear you have been poorly and I am also sorry I missed your birthday.

    Hope you are well soon and belated Happy Birthday wishes.

  23. I'm glad you had a nice birthday, despite being sick. I hope you're feeling much better by now.

    We had some freaky weather in our area the other day. Some places less than an hour away from where I live received up to a foot snow...a very heavy, wet snow. We were lucky and only received snow and sleet showers that didn't amount to anything.

  24. Sorry you're still tired, but you've obviously made good use of your time. Happy Birthday too!

  25. Happy belated birthday, Rita! That gift tower looks incredible with all the fresh fruit. What a treat!!


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