Monthly Archives: April 2018

Art Journal Challenge Week Seventeen Christmas

I did it! I pulled off my week seventeen Art Journal Challenge, even though I left town on Thursday and am still out of town!

I was inspired by Julie Fei-Fan Balzer art journal for ten minutes a day. Tuesday morning, I decided to paint some gold blocks on my still blank week seventeen page.

Okay. I liked the gold blocks. After work on Tuesday, I added green blocks. On Wednesday morning, I decided to cut my scrapbook pages I had torn out on Sunday into squares.

Now it seems like my theme is squares. I pick up a random stencil. I stencil a few squares in green. I’m leaving in the morning for Hocking Hills, so I tuck the journal with a few markers, and find time to glue and embellish over the next day or so.


I like how random this turned out. Looking at this in the photo, it seems a bit sparse, but it really isn’t, on the page. I’m satisfied.


Art Journal Challenge Christmas

Onto Week Eighteen!

Art Journal Challenge Week Sixteen Pick a Word

Pick a Word

First this prompt puzzled me. I thought it was about “Word of the Year” type thing. Then I realized it was from a homegrown challenge I did a few years ago. I arbitrary picked a word from a book and then expounded around it.

My Word was Factory

But that sounded…really familiar. Sure enough, I opened my Word Challenge Journal, and there it was! artjournalchallengechooseaword I wasn’t going to reinvent the factory again, so, another choice!


The pen landed on Bed it is!




Prepping for Buckeye Trailfest

Whew! I’ve been prepping for Buckeye Trailfest 2018! Last year, I attended my first  Buckeye Trailfest. This year, I am an active participant at Trailfest!

Buckeye TrailFest

What is the Buckeye Trailfest?

Buckeye TrailFest is the largest annual gathering of BT hikers, volunteers, members and enthusiasts. On April 25-29, 2018, we are proud to host our friends from all along the North Country National Scenic Trail for the Annual North Country Trail Celebration! All this during the peak of spring wildflowers and waterfall flow in the heart of Ohio’s Hocking Hills at Camp Oty’Okwa!”


I am giving two presentations for Buckeye Trailfest. One is called Presentation: Technology for the Buckeye and North Country Trail Hiker” I call it  “Map Apps for the Cell Phone” and the second is “Hands-On Workshop: Newby Guide for an Overnight Hike”.

Map Apps for the Cell Phone

A presentation last year about GPS for hiking led to thinking, what about us newby folks who don’t even know there are hiking apps out there? It seemed like it would be a good over-winter project, I would learn a bunch about hiking apps. My presentation was approved, so whoops, gotta get something down in writing!

I decided to focus on a few free apps. As a total newby myself, I can’t see shelling out money for an app I may not understand and then not use!

I’ve been working on my slide presentation. This is available now on

How to Set Up a Tent

The official title is ” “Hands-On Workshop: Newby Guide for an Overnight Hike”. I’m not sure how I am going to do with time constraints. I was originally going to set up three tents. Since I can’t locate the third tent (I may have given it away) I went with the two tents.

Learning curve! I got the tents out to see how long it would take me. The first attempt took about 40 minutes! Yikes! I forgot everything!


I have two tents. The green tent is a REI One Passage. It weighs about three pounds. I don’t know if I would backpack with this, it’s a little heavy. It’s fine to car camp, and probably do an overnight bike.

The second tent is pretty cool, it’s a Tensegrity from Sierra Designs, a light weight design. I had a bit of a learning curve with using the hiking poles as part of the tent design, but after the third set up, I felt pretty confident.

You Tube is your Friend

This was a good video to watch to help set up my  Tensegrity tent

This video was also helpful

Sierra Design tent



I have a few stoves to show how they work.

I got my ancient Jet Boil out to make sure it still functioned. Yep! Fired right up! Check! A Jet Boil is not something you most likely would like to schlep on a long hike, but it’s great for campground cooking. Heats water in less than one minute!

Rocket Stove

This is the rocket pocket MSR stove. As you can see, it fits in the palm of your hand, and will fit into a pocket. It uses the can fuel just like the Jet Boil does. Combine the MSR rocket with a can of fuel, this would be far better to backpack with.

Solo Stove

For those hikers who don’t want to carry fuel with them, consider the Solo Stove. You fuel this stove with Mother Earth-small pieces of wood and dry grass.

Once you have your fire going, the ring on the right goes on top, then your pot goes on that. You keep feeding wood chips/branches/twigs into the large opening on the ring.

The instructions do say you will need a wind screen around this. I set this up in my driveway, when it was windy, and it took a bit to get the fire going.

Considerations with Solo Stove: ability to find dry kindling. It takes much longer to get water to boil versus the MSR and Jet Boil, but you don’t have to carry fuel along with you. You can buy an alcohol burner which contains denatured alcohol (which weighs far less than the canned fuel) that fits into the Solo Stove as a back up.


I am leading a hike on Thursday, the Grandman Gatewood Hike! This six mile hike will take us past  Old Man’s Cave, Cedar Falls and Ash Cave! This section is part of Buckeye Trail, North Country Trail and American Discovery Trail.


The weather is looking “okay” for Buckeye Trailfest. I’m looking forward to getting outside after this snowy spring we’ve been having!

Are you coming to Buckeye Trailfest? Why not?

Art Journal Challenge Week Fifteen Cities

This week’s Art Journal Prompt was Cities!



I’m not a city person. When I first think “city” I think, buildings, steel, traffic, lots of people, streets, cars.

Beauty in Cities

But sure, there is beauty in cities. I’ve seen great ‘works of art’ in some graffiti. I guess I wouldn’t want it if I owned the building, but is there a way to stop it?


What about gardens and parks? They are usually beautiful. People can get a little bit of a nature fix with a flower pot on a balcony. I really like the idea of rooftop vegetable gardens.

This was a fairly easy prompt to work with. I had printed out an old city map of Berlin, the picture on the left is of Columbus from inside the Columbus Statehouse.

Monopoly Stamps

The Monopoly stamps I found in the air duct in our guest bedroom-who knows how  old these are! I had to figure out how many years we’ve been in our house, so these have to be more than 18 years old..


(Remember that game from McDonalds?) A little internet research showed this should have been the game from 1995.

artjournalchallengeweekfifteencitiesThis was a pretty good prompt for the week. I actually did a little writing, or journalling on this challenge.  Onto Week Sixteen!


Day Late for Opening Day for Trails



I fully planned on getting outside on Saturday for “Opening Day” promoted by the Rails to Trails Conservancy, yet I woke up to this!Snow in April

Snow in April

It wasn’t going to warm up and I wasn’t going to fight wet clumpy snow on the Towpath, so I bailed. My Opening Day would have to be postponed.

A Day Late

Sunday I was determined to get training accomplished. It was going to be a high of 40, but nice and sunny outside. I drove to my local Great Guernsey Trail, a six-mile now seven mile bike trail!


Two Laps

With our constant spring snow and cold temperatures, our landscapes are still very much brown. Hence not much to look at while you bike along. I listened to podcasts. “Chasing Creativity” “The Hamilcast” accompanied me today.


Very few folks out this sunny Sunday, a few walkers, two runners, and at the end of my ride, two bundled up cyclists.

I was starting to get rather cold at the end of my ride, but I managed to get a solid 24 miles in. I’m planning on riding the Ohio to Erie Trail at the end of May, so I need to get time in the saddle in!


#RTCOpeningDay on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram

Art Journal Challenge Week Fourteen Little Red Riding Hood



This week the pen landed on Little Red Riding Hood for the week fourteen prompt. It’s the fourteenth week of the year! Where is the time going?

Daffodils in snow

Why won’t spring arrive in Ohio?

Little Red Riding Hood

With this prompt I had an immediate idea of what I wanted to do. I just about nailed it. I decided to quit before I ruined it.


I painted too deep a blue on the left hand side,trying to cover up the orange that bled through from the week/page before. I gesso’d the page, painted it twice, and finally hit it with the deep blue. Oops. I painted over it again. I decided to add trees to try and mask my mistake. I then quit before I wore a hole in the notebook.


Close Calls

I set the notebook down next to the hot air register, wanting to dry up the paint to move on. My German Shepherd then picked it up in his mouth and settled down to chew! Luckily I caught him in the act. I’m growing rather attached to my little Book of Challenges. I think it’s going to be a cool momento for the Year 2018.


Art Journal Challenge Week Thirteen Hurricanes


Ooh, Week Thirteen, the unlucky number, and my pen happened to land on Hurricanes! I think we can all agree hurricanes are unlucky. They’re big, formidable, unstoppable, leaving a path of destruction in their wake.

Art Journal Challenge hurricane


Three song lyrics came to mind from “hurricanes”. Two are from the American musical “Hamilton”.  Alexander Hamilton writes one of his first essays after a hurricane hits the island of Nevis. This comes from the first song of the musical, called “Alexander Hamilton”

Art Journal Challenge hurricane

Then Lin Manuel Miranda brings the theme back around again, where Hamilton decides he can write himself out of the scandal that could have been brewing about an alleged embezzlement by outing himself and his sexual affair by writing about it!!

Art Journal Challenge hurricane

“Like a Hurricane” is an old Neil Young song. This is also one of Young’s song, if you saw him Live in Concert, goes on for about ten minutes.

Art Journal Challenge hurricane


I dabbled with crayons, pens, paint, ephemera (fancy word for paper). Onto Week Fourteen!