This blog is mostly about travel, art and crafts with a few other interesting things thrown in from time to time.


February 14th is Valentine’s Day. Enjoy the Valentine’s Day crafts to be posted over the next few weeks by clicking on Art Tutorials. While you are there, visit the January 2014 and February 2014 archives for last year’s arts and crafts activities.



For the month of December, get into the holiday spirit by making holiday and winter-inspired crafts. Follow the link Arts/Crafts Tutorials.


So here we go for the next few weeks:


Four easy lessons over a four-week period will get you started in drawing even if you are not an artist. The arts instruct us about the world around us; in this case, these lessons instruct us not just about the human body but encourage us to try drawing. Loosen up with quick sketches. Learn to see and draw the object before you spontaneously.

Gesture Drawings

Contour Drawings

Dark and light

The  Human Body in Motion



HISTORY AND ART are two different disciplines…or are they? Art records the beautiful and the ugly and reflects the times in which we live. History is also a record of the events and the women and men who help to shape those times. We will explore those lives in the next few weeks with a brief biography, a list of books to read for more information on the subject and an arts and crafts tutorial. As you follow the tutorial, remember that you don’t have to do the craft exactly as it is written in the instructions. Use the tutorial to inspire your creativity and curiosity. Click on the Art Tutorials tab to get started.

And feel free to use your imagination!

To get started, who are the famous people below?




Occasionally, guest bloggers will be featured on http://www.marionconstantindes.com This week, Jenny Lis will take us to a little known place in Western Pennsylvania. Click on the My Travel Musings tab. If you haven’t been to Western Pennsylvania, you have to visit it just once: home to renown sports teams, museums, theatre, music and dance and lots and lots of restaurants……..you’ll never go hungry! www.visitpittsburgh.com

Here’s Jenny: Let me briefly introduce myself and my goals. I am Jennifer Lis. I’m a single female of a certain age who has allowed her geographical and social borders to shrink and tighten around her. I no longer plan for adventure. The car stays in the garage every evening.  Oh, I have plenty of good excuses: age, money and time constraints, additional responsibilities at home (my mother and her little dog moved in earlier this year). As a result, I don’t eat out much, beyond the cafeteria at work, and I’ve given up on traveling more than 50 miles away. But then my friend Marion asked me to guest in her blog. To do that, I have to drive and try new places. So I will slowly start to move out. This first post is about a little place only five miles from my home. I have forgotten many important details, like the name of the owner, the menu, and I haven’t taken good pictures. But please be patient with me as I begin to log my miles and expand my territory……….. Enjoy!

And since we’re talking about it, here are some scenes from one place

in the ‘Burgh, the Strip District:

A Scene from the Strip District

A scene from the Strip District Pittsburgh, PA

Strip District

Produce Stand in the Strip District


Something for everyone in the Strip

Something for everyone


Steeler Country

Retail heaven for Steeler Fans




For the next six weeks we will have fun making arts and crafts projects! and learning fun facts about life in the United States! Our resource books for our camp projects are: All-Around-the-House-Art and Craft Book written by Patricia Wirtenberg and published by Houghton Mifflin in 1968. Arts and Crafts Activities Desk Book written by Joyce Novis Laskin and published by Parker Publishing Company in 1971. The Reinhold Book of Arts and Crafts Techniques written by various authors and published by Van Nostrand Reinhold Company in 1976. And our imaginations! These books, published more than forty years ago, influenced the Our Imaginations!

Camp projects. The tutorials show ideas, materials and tools available to teachers and students today. We will also learn fun facts about life in the United States forty and forty-five years ago and explore recipes that were popular back then, too. Resources for this information include: www.thepeoplehistory.com http://en.wikipedia.org/ Life in the US between 1968 and 1976; a Short Autobiography:

Life certainly was different in the United States in the late 1960s and early to middle 1979s than it is today. My parents and I didn’t have a home phone until I entered high school in 1966. The phone was on “party line” which meant that we shared the phone line with another family who had their own telephone and telephone number. We could pick up the phone at any point and overhear our conversations. “Polite society” hung up, though, and waited his or her turn to use the line.

We didn’t own a car and relied mainly on public transportation which consisted of buses and trolleys in the city where I grew up. We weren’t the only family without a car although after World War II, more people owned cars. Often I would walk to school or to visit a friend or to meet someone at the movie theatre. Sometimes I walked for miles and miles. There were only three main television channels: ABC, NBC and CBS. They provided all the news programs, variety shows, sitcoms and other programming and went off the air around midnight. There was an educational channel (at least there was one in my home town) and local stations that were affiliates of the main channels. Television access was free for any family or person that owned a set. Cable existed for rural areas; the rest of us relied on the antennas on our sets and on top of our houses.

People ate many foods seasonally. Fruit such as strawberries and blueberries were not available all year round. There was not a large choice of low-fat or low-sodium foods. My mother who was diabetic, relied on vanilla wafers, vanilla ice cream and certain cookie products all consumed in small amounts. Panty hose didn’t come into existence until the early 1960s; women wrapped their hair in hair curlers; and we were not allowed to wear blue jeans in school. The world was changing anyway just like it is changing now, and many of the events that occurred then have led to the kind of world we are living in today.

Read the blog, “Fun Facts” on this website and see what I mean. Research more facts on your own. Pop art was popular and invaded not only museums but our lifestyles. It was fun to make arts and crafts and explore nontraditional arts. Batik and tie-dyed materials became popular but traditional arts like ceramics and painting and sculpture remained popular, too. In Our Imaginations! Camp we will explore materials and techniques using our imaginations as we go along. Ready?

Click on ART TUTORIALS and let’s get started!