Inch by Inch Art - Bloom

Joining in on Remembering Paris' Inch by Inch Art on Tuesdays = happiness! (and check out the other artists by clicking on the Remembering Paris link above)

Today's theme is Bloom. I have to say it was an easy theme for me. I am a dirt and sunshine girl and have been enjoying watching my garden bloom ever since the snow melted! The large amount of rain we have had in NY the last month has been a drag, but now that the sun is coming out a little bit I am beginning to notice how tall and full my plants are. Not sure I remember a summer when they were bigger. One of the fun things about a blooming garden is the visitors it attracts... I have seen a little humming bird nearly every day for a week now. He seems very happy with how the bee bomb flowers are this year and I couldn't be happier!

So, today I am sharing a Tiger Lily that I sketched and then colored in with acrylics. They are a very simple flower, native to NY, and ranks up there with my favorites (I LOVE burnt orange for reasons you will find out more when college football is closer!) I am still struggling with fitting my art in a 3'' by 3'' space... today's is a hair bigger. Must mean I am a free spirit or have trouble with authority?

Paris, thank you so much for creating this project! It's a wonderful reminder for me to slow down for a moment and spend some time creating, which has turned out to be so relaxing and rewarding! I really look forward to your weekly themes and often spend my weekends dreaming about what I want to create to represent each theme. :)


Big Boy Train

Seeing the biggest steam engine in the US = happiness!

When I tell you this train was big... I am not exaggerating. This is the biggest steam engine in the US. This was one of 25 Big Boy's and was used to haul heavy freight across the US. It was built in 1941. Standing next to it, I felt tiny! It has 4-8-8-4- wheel arrangement and weighs over 1.2 million pounds!

There are only eight remaning trains of this classification. Oh, and did I mention this guy could do almost 80 mph?

Steam Engine

Being around working steam trains... hearing the train honk, seeing the steam, and smelling the coal = happiness!

So, if you guessed Steamtown National Historic Site in Pennsylvania... then you were right.

Their is an amazing collection of all things trains. They have an incredible working turn table. You can ride a real restored steam train and passenger car. They have a TON of vintage train stuff to look at. They have a few restored train cars that you can walk through and touch (including a mail car).

I was seriously in fun overload!


It was sunny out...

So, it was sunny out yesterday and today (finally)... so please forgive the missed posts!

But... to make it up here is a tease of what's to come this week. I went to a really neat National Park with lots of things that made me smile!! Can't wait to share, but in the meanwhile, any thoughts on where this snap is from?

Guessing where a photo might have been taken = happiness! (or at least silly-ness!)

Snake Guy

Seeing things that are out of the ordinary: like this guy wearing his pet snake = happiness!

This is from the archives. It was a few summers ago when Mr. Happy and I went to a Syracuse football opener. Pretty cool town... they are really into their football (which I adore) AND... we saw this guy wearing his pet snake at the local cafe.

He was nice enough to let me snap a photo of him (maybe he gets that request a lot when he is out with his snake). My only regret is not getting the snakes name. So, for argument sake let's call him Jake.

That's what you would name a snake, right?


Dragon on the wall

Seeing cool art where ever you go = happiness!

It's fun to see unexpected things when you are out and about, running errands, or catching up your to do list. The unexpected keeps you guessing and looking about for that next neat thing. Well, this past weekend, I caught a glimpse at this dragon mosaic. I know I have seen it a million times, but it never fails to impress me and make me smile!

What's extraordinary around you?


Lighting Candles

Lighting candles on a birthday cake and then belting out Happy Birthday at the top of your lungs = happiness!

I shared a bit of Mr. Happy's birthday last week and we snapped a few pictures of the event. These came out well and really made me smile. Flame has a simple allure (especially in the dark) ... and how fun is it to belt out a song to the one you love? I don't think I sing well by any means, but I love how my singing made Mr. Happy smile anyway!

Best part, after the candles were all blown out... we got to eat ice cream cake! YUM!


Happy Spot Hump Day

Closing your eyes and imaging yourself at the edge of a lake or decent sized river = happiness!

It's Wednesday and time to think about your happy spot. This is another one of mine! I just the love the lapping sound of a lake against smooth rocks. I swear I could find a nice big rock to sit on and be over joyed just sitting and staring into the water. Of course I think my dog would like it too, but the peacefulness would be turned to laughter as she jumped, played, and wallowed in the water.

Where's your happy spot?


Inch by Inch Art - Courage

Joining in on Remembering Paris' Inch by Inch Art on Tuesdays = happiness! (and check out the other artists by clicking on the Remembering Paris link above)

Today's theme was courage. I sat down a few times this weekend to try and draw something that to me represented courage. No easy task. So, I started looking through my old photo albums for inspiration and found these shots I took from Austin, TX in 2006.

Seeing this sculpture of a lady (in a dress) firing a canon makes be remember how proud I am of the many people before us that fought for our rights and the freedom we have today. Imagine the courage that she must have had!! I bet she didn't even think twice about her personal safety, but simply stepped up and charged forward with what needed to be done. It all shows in the expression on her face!

If I could find a way to incorporate even the smallest fraction of her courage in to my life I wouldn't find the world nearly as tough as I have lately. Let's all try and be as tough as this Canon Lady!



Trying out a new recipe and spoiling your taste buds with it = happiness!

We were at Olive Garden the other day for lunch and saw that they were charging $10 for a bruschetta appetizer. $10; can you believe it? It was just the push we needed to try and make it at home. It was so easy! You chop the tomatoes, mix in some fresh basil, garlic, olive oil, and balsamic vinegar. Then put it in the fridge for a few hours. I just love when a new recipe is a keeper! You can bet we will be making this again this summer!

Here is the recipe I followed: click here


Finding something good or at least interesting in all the rain = happiness!

So, let's say a few nice things about the rain we are getting to show our appreciation. The rain has left my garden growing more full and tall than ever! My hot peppers haven't drown (yet). The watermelon is going to be amazing this year. Everything has that after a rain squeaky clean look. I haven't had to wash my car. There are plenty of puddles to run and jump in.

AND... look at this cool picture.. it's taken from inside the car, and I just adore how it looks like hundreds of tiny orbs or stars in a sky! What do you like about rain?


Flag Rock

Getting ready for the Fourth of July.. thinking about fireworks, BBQ's, and American flags = happiness!

It's fun to spend some time on the weekends with a cup of coffee to look through old pictures. I took this picture on a drive to upstate NY in 2004. I really admired the bright colors and rustic look of this rock! What's your favorite part of the Fourth of July?


Fluffy Cloud

Remembering what a blue sky and big fluffy clouds look like = happiness!

Mr. Happy took this photo last weekend during the brief bit of sunshine that we had. Looking up at the gray sky today was making me bleh... but this photo reminds me how nice it was and gives me hope again!

Cheers to Friday and here's hoping you have a nice big blue sky where you are!


Travelling Moth

Enjoying time in my garden; checking out the flowers and visitors = happiness!

Their are two ingredients that I need an abundance of in order to stay my normal chipper self -- dirt and sunshine. That said gardening is a natural fit for me since it gets my hands in the dirt often and gives me a reason to hang out in the sunshine!

My small garden is designed to be a full sun mid summer garden full of tiger lilies, bee-bombs, daisies, honey suckle vine, petunias, a variety of herbs, tomatoes, hot peppers, and cool blue-purple flowers in these photos. It's on the verge of popping into color and attracting humming birds, butterflies, and honey bees. I'll be sure to snap a couple of photos when it's all blooming!

Until then, I will have to be satisfied with these blue-purple flowers and moths -- which are drenched in color compared to all the rain we are getting!


Happy Spot Hump Day

Closing my eyes and seeing one of my many happy spots in the middle of a meeting = happiness!

This was taken on a scenic viewing point along on the roads I travel frequently. A very lush and green view on to the Hudson river. And just look how darn cool those clouds looked!!

Ahh.... I am happier already just thinking about standing there!

Grass Seeds

Appreciating the little things, by taking close look at an everyday thing = happiness!

This is a close up look at the little grass seeds that are at the top of grass if you let grass get really long. I never realized just how many seeds that a single blade can carry! So much potential in such a tiny space!

And this is a fun photo, because it is a tease of today's Happy Spot Hump day place which I will post a bit later!


Happy Birthday Mr. Happy!

Celebrating the birthday of my best and closest friend = happiness!

Mr. Happy is having his birthday today (well actually it's his birthday month!)

Darlin'... I want to wish you happy moments, laughter, and tons of hugs and kisses! You are the most special person in my life and I am so lucky to be sharing this path with you! You make me smile and laugh so much -- important ingredients for an awesome friendship and marriage!

It's also doubly special today since this marks the 2nd year since we brought Katie home and into our lives. Katie and I wish you the best birthday ever and many many more fun ones to come!

Inch by Inch Art - Traveling

Joining in on Remembering Paris' Inch by Inch Art on Tuesdays = happiness! (and check out the other artists joining in on this project by clicking on the Remembering Paris link above)

Today's theme is Journey or Traveling. I'm not sure why I have Babylonian ships on the brain, but could you imagine having to use your own rowing power to get somewhere? There is something fascinating about that kind of determination. The determination to keep pushing through anything in order to get what you want.

This is done in color pencil... and shhhh... don't tell Paris, but I used a 4x4 square since I don't cut straight lines so well.



Ever seen jelly fish glowing in an aquarium? Something about seeing their effortless dance = happiness!

Plain and simple, I am an aquarium fanatic! This picture is from 2 years ago at the Boston Aquarium; which is a must see if you are in the vicinity. The jelly fish area was dark, with the exception of a tank taller than me full of these odd sqiushy glowing dancers. Making the experience all that much cooler, was a little dial you could turn to change the colors that the jelly fish glowed.

I couldn't have been any happier at that moment, when I was imagining what all the jelly fish were saying to each other as they danced along! Mr. Happy, thanks again for feeding my aquarium passion!

Purple Flower

Admiring the spring flowers that are coming into bloom = happiness!

I always enjoy a walk through a flower garden. You don't always know what to expect and the bright cheery colors always leave me feeling refreshed and happy!


Getting Flowers

Getting a beautiful arrangement of garden picked and hand arranged flowers = happiness!

These flowers came to me from my Mom! She has a fantastic and very large garden that shows off a variety of different flowers! She has really figured out how to have uplifting color through out the different seasons. I think she even has local NY cactus. I will have to take some action shots of her garden to share here!

Mom, thanks again for making me feel really special last weekend!



Spotting geometric type patterns in nature = happiness!

I am always so intrigued when I find things like this tree along my hikes. Something about the way it looks like a porcupine or pin cushion just really makes my imagination run! And the fact that the cut part of the stump looks like it is the shape of a balloon.

Go look at something around you in a different way. You may be surprised to find your imagination waking up and dancing around!


Seeing rain and thinking of rainbows = happiness!

It feels like we have been getting a TON of rain since the snow stopped here in NY. So, along the lines of trying to make the best of it... when I have been thinking of rain... it makes me think of rainbows! I don't think you can have rainbows without rain, right?

Just think, somewhere in this rain someone is enjoying a rainbow... and that it cheers me up!

This rainbow picture was taken a few years ago by Mr. Happy on his cell phone. It was such a cool sight since their were two very bright rainbows in the sky!


Happy Spot Hump Day

Picturing your happy spot no matter what life throws at you = happiness!

This is another one of my happy spots! This lake is located along one of my favorite hikes at Sam's Point Preserve. The rocks are an intense red-orange, their are lots of places to dip your toe in the water, and when the sun is right this water looks deep ocean blue!

Definitely a spot I enjoy taking my dog for a swim. It would also be grand to have a few hours to read my book on a warm rock while looking over the lake!

Where's your happy spot?



Having the word "dandy" in your name and being bright and sunny yellow = happiness!

Although I can't stand these in my lawn they look so pretty together all lined up in a field like this. Also, did you know that they have nourishing and healing properties? Dandelion fritters can be prepared either savory or sweet and dandelion flower tea is even offered in stores! Who knew!


Artists on Campus

Taking the leap to sell the art you create through passion and excitement = happiness!

I'm debuting in an art show tomorrow and hope you can stop by if you are in the Newburgh area! This will be the first official time my art will be for sale! I probably won't sleep tonight!

More information here: www.artistsoncampus.org

Heart Rock

Knowing your head over heels in love; ever where you look you see hearts = happiness!

This is the last "heart in nature" that I have to share at the moment... but I've been having great fun finding these and hope that my luck keeps up this weekend! I think the three hearts (puddle, moss, and rock) would make a really sweet montage for a bedroom or kids room!

Go give someone you love a great big kiss!


Wet Dog

Knowing your dog is soaking wet, smiling ear to ear, and will dry before we reach the car = happiness!

This is a continuation of my previous waterfall picture... I of course bring Katie with me on as adventures as I can. One of the coolest things she can almost always come on is a hike. She is a very good hiker... always follows the rules, is pretty decent off leash, knows to leave nature alone, and always has the biggest smile! She, being a golden retriever, is also a big water lover. When she gets the chance she will splash around, snorkel, and wallow in any water possible!

So, Mr. Happy and I decided to let Katie try her paws at swimming here and she just loved it!

Heart Puddle

Finding things in nature that are shaped like hearts = happiness!

I couldn't believe my luck last weekend, but this is the second thing on the hike that I found shaped like a heart! Cool huh?


Appreciating the power and beauty of water falling some 60-80 feet = happiness!

You know what I am talking about... waterfalls!! Something about them really captures my attention and instantly relaxes me. Came across this one about 9 miles into a hike and it was so refreshing and rejuvenating (and COLD)!

I could have probably sat and enjoyed this one for hours!



Look at all those legs ... I can't take my eyes away = WOW!

I am not sure if this is something that makes me happy, but I surely can't take my eyes off this little guy. His gillion red legs and stripes... so many details and just so cool to see one in person. Also if you look really close it looks like he is shaped like a 6; makes him smart too!

Hey Mr. Centipede.... how much is 3 +3 ? See... he's brilliant!!

Painting Helper

Doing something you really enjoy and having your best friend right there for support = happiness!

Ok, so my husband, Mr Happy, is really my best friend but my golden Katie is my BFF! I have been painting like a mad woman to prepare for an art show this weekend. As I am finishing up my final paintings and taking in how they look ... I can't help but think that this wouldn't have been possible without Mr. Happy encouraging me to do this. And also thank you Katie -- your constant trying to get in my paint, paw my work, take my brushes, lick my paint water has shown me you really have artistic talent to add!

So anyway, do something you enjoy and feel incredibly happy when people support you along the way!


Happy Spot Hump Day

Picturing your happy spot no matter what life throws at you = happiness!

This is a great spot that I go to in my mind... often (after going in person once)! The part I liked best was the quiet. Yes, I could hear the occasional lapping of a wave on the rocks or a bird overhead, but reality seemed so far away when I was sitting out on those rocks fishing or taking in some sun!

Where's your happy spot?

On a side note, I think I will have to start this as a weekly thing... let's do Happy Spot Hump Days!! Stay tuned in for next weeks!


Getting roses (or any flowers for that matter) for no reason at all = happiness!

Even better than getting roses is smelling them! So fragrant, so cheery, and it just makes you feel so good. My favorite flower is probably a tie between tulips and sunflowers, but you better believe that roses are a close second (white roses to be specific)! Why not stop and smell some roses today?


Early Mountain Laurel

Seeing mountain laurel up close just before it is ready to pop = happiness!

The places I frequent for hiking have an abundance of mountain laurel. It's a woody bush about 3-4 ft tall; very thick and leafy. But what amazes me about it is that this beautiful and delicate flower has found a way to survive in some crazy rocky terrain!

It's that spirit of determination to overcome that I want to leave you with this lunch time. Amazing!


Checking out creepy crawlies up close and personal = happiness!

I'm not 100% sure what this little guy (or gal?) is, but I am guessing some sort of caterpillar? He was dangling from a tree on the thinnest little white thread... some sort of daredevil or stunt caterpillar. I just thought his silhouette against the forest leaves was really darn cool!


Love Moss

Finding love in all the right places = happiness!

I have a tendency to let my mind and eyes wander, taking in the world around me, when I am hiking. And sometimes I find the coolest stuff; like this adorable little heart shaped moss!

Hiking Adventure... I *heart* you too!

Sunshine Burst

A bright burst of beautiful soul drenching sunshine = happiness!

I am so excited I was able to capture this in a photo to share with you!! When I see the sun blazing through trees or clouds like this I can't help but think about the opening to "Lion King." And I couldn't think of a better way to start off June! Energized, refocused, and ready to seize all the opportunities that come our way.
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