Tuesday, September 30, 2008
1. No work - School Holiday - no rain - beautiful weather
2. Saw not one, not two, not three, but four bluebirds this morning in the garden.
3. Had breakfast and did some shopping with Rachel - she will be leaving tomorrow after school to start her new job in DE.
4. Got to go to two craft stores today.
5. Saved a chipmunk from certain death-by-bird-netting.
6. Chris moved back home - new nickname for him "Boomerang"
7. Got text message from Sunshine (ex-girl friend) thanking us for letting her be a part of our family for a little while
Tonight, after everyone is asleep I will be sitting down and writing my daughter a letter that will be part of that card above. It is her Time to Bloom. Where are my tissues!
Stamps: Organic Grace, Bellas Bloom
Paper: Rose Red, So Saffron, Orchid Opulence, Basic Black, Confetti White
Ink: Rose Red , So Saffron, Orchid Opulence, Basic Black, VersaMark
Accessories: Aquapainter, 1 1/4" and 1 3/8" square punches, Styled Silver Hardware, Med. Oval Punch, Round Fire Brad, 1/4" Rose Red grosgrain
Sunday, September 28, 2008
Fast forward now to Monday afternoon when I arrived home from work. I usually check our answering machine for messages and then check my e-mail. Imagine my surprise when I opened up my e-mail to find out that I had been chosen as the winner of a blog give-away. Early in the month I had added a recipe to the comment section of Lettie's blog Polka Dot Pineapple. Yep, that's it. That's what she wanted - our favorite holiday recipe and why it was our favorite. I gave her the recipe for Pumpkin Roll that we have been making since the early 80's. On Monday, all the comments in that particular post were assigned a number and then a Random Integer Generator chose the winner. And I was the lucky one. Really. Yes, really.
After some quick e-mails back and forth, Lettie told me that she had put my box of goodies in the mail. So I waited patiently. How long would it take for a package to come by USPS from Hawaii to New Jersey? Well, HWNSNBP was home from work on Friday with a vacation day and sometime in the afternoon, before it was time for me to leave the chains behind at school, I received an e-mail from him. "You have a package from Hawaii" I was estatic and had all the more reason to hope for the end of the day. When I got home it was there on the counter. He told me to go sit down and open up the box and enjoy my goodies.
You see them all - they're gorgeous and I am so lucky. And I just know that it was meant to be that Vera didn't have a bag for me - Look at the bag Lettie made! I'll have a new sunglass case and a pocket tissue holder. I'll also be travelling in style with my new jewelry holder. The five strawberries might be favors for a spring tea party I'm thinking of having, and I can wear the beautiful flower pin to it. The little hairpins will be shared with someone special as my hair is too short for them. Our Christmas tree will have two new handmade ornaments and a beautiful new ornament hanger. And I just noticed that I didn't include the little flower pincushion she made - I will fix that soon.
She even included these edible goodies (which will remain unopened until at least after that wedding I mentioned above).
Thank you Lettie for your generosity and for your wonderful creativity. You are a gem. Please visit Lettie's blog and you can enjoy firsthand all the wonderful work that she does.
Saturday, September 27, 2008
I have been tagged - not once, not twice, but three times and I have been neglectful in acknowledging it. Not because I don't appreciate it, because I do. As you see, tagging is meant to bring new readership to your blog, which is not to say that I don't appreciate the readership that I have now, because I know you're out there even if you don't leave me comments (ha!).
How do I know that? Well, if you look at my left column and find the little logo that has numbers in it, it shows the number of visits to my blog and if I click on it it will take me to a place that has a map that shows where my visitors are from. I have to say that I'm just as thrilled to see visitors from New Jersey as I am to see them from the far reaches of North America and the other five continents that have provided me visitors (I haven't had any visitors from Antarctica - yet!).
It's fun to see how far my words and works have gone and I've met some pretty interesting people already through this blog including Lettie from Polka Dot Pineapple who tagged me this summer and told me it was okay to take my time passing the tag, and Ashley from Heart Hugs who said the same, and most recently by Cindy Motherway from This is My Story who would understand if I waited longer, I'm sure, but guess what - today is the day I will do my tagging.
But if you and they don't mind, I will combine the requirements so as not to bore you all to death with "interesting facts" you don't know about me.
1. My first trip to the emergency room as a child was because I stuck a screw up my nose. (And if I hear anything about that in public from my friends I will simply tell everyone that you are delusional.)
2. I took dancing lessons with my sisters for 10 years and danced for the soldiers at Fort Dix when I was 16 and had a "costume malfunction" long before the Jackson/Timberlake debacle.
3. I was nominated for Homecoming Queen but didn't make the finals by one vote, which turned out to be the vote of my youngest sister who "didn't think that she was allowed to vote for me because we were related". (I don't think she has voted in an election since, although I don't quite know why as she has not been related to any candidates.)
4. I was asked to do a TV commercial for a continuing education institution but my employer would not let me and no, it wasn't because they heard about the Fort Dix thing, there was some kind of company rule.
5. I like show tunes - well who could have taken dancing lessons for 10 years and not liked show tunes. Actually, there's only a few music genre's that I don't enjoy.
6. I can recite the names of all 50 states in alphabetical order in less than 60 seconds by heart. (I had to find some other useless talent after I gave up dancing.)
7. I......... I............I lost interest in myself. Go look at these blogs that I have found recently. I'm not going to tell you about them because I want you to go there and see for yourself. The subject matter is varied so you are bound to be entertained and might even find a favorite or two:
Debbie at I Need a Martini Mom
Katherine at Yellow Rose Arbor
Hey Harriet at Hey Harriet
Laurraine at Patchwork Pottery
Lori at Stamp Some Smiles
Jak at Crafters Kitchen
Joanne at Mainly Flowers
I'm going to mix things up a little here with the rules. I'm not going to tell them they've been tagged - I want you to. I want you to visit these blogs and if you like what you see there, leave a comment and tell them that I sent you!
Friday, September 26, 2008
He doesn't like me talking about him on my blog, but I have to say that he is a great guy and I am a very lucky lady. Happy Anniversary Dear.
Tuesday, September 23, 2008
What we had to do to enter was to post a comment to her first post of the give away that included a recipe for your favorite holiday cookie or dessert and why it is special to you. I left her the recipe for Pumpkin Roll which is special to me because HWNSNBP and Chris won a Cub Scout baking contest with it. It's a tradition at Thanksgiving in our family and has been since the 80's.
Please take a moment to visit Lettie at her blog which I've linked above and in the left sidebar. You will be in awe!
Thanks Lettie for such a great give away and for sharing your creative genius. Oh, and did I mention that Lettie lives in Hawaii. I just love how this blog has found me friends all over the globe!
We were to use Apricot Appeal, Bashful Blue, and Pumpkin Pie in our project this week. I decided to get out yet another new stamp set - Kindred Spirits along with the butterfly from Dreams du Jour, and the sentiment on the tag from Always in My Thoughts. I bent the rules a little and added just a smidge of Chocolate Chip for the stems of the flower spray.
I had to show you a close up of the tag and the ribbon. This is what happens to grosgrain ribbon when you pull it apart. You just don't pull willy nilly, there is a method to it. Here's how I did it. I cut two inch pieces of 1/4" grosgrain (apricot, blue, and pumpkin) and I tied them together in the center with a length of gold metallic stretch cord. Then carefully, with my snips, cut the vertical edge off one side of the ribbon towards the center - one piece at a time. Then you can pull the threads away from each other until you just have the other vertical piece with all the excess horizontal threads which you will cut off and discard. There are about 12 pieces of ribbon in this puff. Let me say here that this does take a little time to do, so keep that in mind.
One last thing, if you look closely............ very closely.................. at the tissue paper, you will see that I stamped butterflies on the tissue.
Friday, September 19, 2008
"I want you to come to room 121 at Park Forest Elementary tomorrow morning. You are doing the craft center. Don't be late (9:15)"
Little does she know that I would have loved to do that. For more reasons than one. I substituted in our elementary schools for 15 years before I took the job in the school office. Almost every sub that I knew had their favorites and most of them stayed away from Kindergarten, Art, and Gym. Now, I wanted to work so I would say yes to anything, but I really enjoyed Kindergarten and Art. Gym was the killer for me, not so much the physical activity, because as a sub, you're not running around. It was the noise that got me with that.
I loved to be called for the elementary art class or the kindergarten. The other subs said I was nuts.
"You get dirty in those classes." (Yes, you might, but I'd rather be dirty than catch some middle-schooler drawing dirty pictures.)
"You're on your feet all day." (Yes, you are, but if you're not moving around in a middle school classroom, someone is going to be drawing dirty pictures.)
"I can't deal with all the whining." (Whose? Theirs or yours?)
No, I was the go-to person when the art teacher was out three days in a row at a workshop every fall, or when the kindergarten teacher(s) were doing testing, or had extended absences. And I was appreciated. And they told me so. And not just on one day in April ....... um, I digress here, sorry.
So when I saw that comment last night it brought back some good memories. What would I do for the craft center in Vodka Mom's, er, Mrs. Patrick's Kindergarten class? I think, since it is fall and near Halloween, and because I had owls on the mind, that I would do paper bag owls and/or bats. They are fun and easy and we could talk about them being nocturnal and what that meant. If, Mrs. Patrick so desired.
Which also reminded me of the time I was subbing in Kindergarten and doing a lesson on nocturnal animals. I read the class a book while they were sitting on the carpet. Then we talked about what nocturnal meant and listed the animals that were nocturnal on the board. Then, I believe there were worksheets to color (I would have added the bag animals here, but I was following the teacher's plans).
Later that morning, when we were all packed up and waiting for the buses I asked the class what we had learned today. And the answer I got from George, who always wore his rubber boots to school in kindergarten - "We learned that owls are not turtles."
Could you have kept a straight face?
Wednesday, September 17, 2008
I just got this SU set called Owl Together now. I made the owls into Teapots (yes, they're teapots, not owls doing their best John Travolta imitation!!!). I'm calling this Tea T'owls - get it - I know, I crack myself up. Anywhooo, you may be wondering why there are 3 owls. If you look closely at the picture of the actual teapot, you will see that the knob on the top of the pot is a little owl. I couldn't leave the little guy out now could I!
I stamped the owls on Confetti White cs. Lucky for me that they looked kind of cute lined up this way cause I had intended to either cut or punch them out. They are watercolored and colored in with SU markers. I tried to keep to pretty neutral tones. The leaves are punched with a little leaf punch I bought many years ago - I know not where. I even had to get out the WD-40 to loosen it up. The leaves are matched up to the colors in the owls.
The bottom of the card was run through my Cuttlebug with one of the new embossing folders I recently got. A little knot bow of Choc. Chip grosgrain was added to the line of leaves.
So what do you think? I'd love to hear.
Tuesday, September 16, 2008
Stick of butter (or margarine)
Container of cocoa powder (I'm guessing unsweetened because of the next ingredient)
Bowl of sugar
Partially unwrap the stick of butter so you can still hold it without getting your hands all greasy.
Dip the open end first in the can of cocoa powder and then in the bowl of sugar. No heating necessary, just take a bite.
Repeat as often as you can stomach it.
Sounds delish - no!
So I ask, what's the weirdest thing you've concocted to eat?
I'll go first - my sisters and I used to make open-faced salt sandwiches when we were younger (much younger). We outgrew that. But I do still have a salt craving now and then!
Monday, September 15, 2008
The colors used this week were Always Artichoke, Creamy Caramel, and Regal Rose. I stamped the flower images on Whisper White and then used the key tag punch. The problem I see now is that they remind me of something - I won't say what, but Rachel agreed with me. So I definitely won't be using this as a sympathy card. What do you think?
I had some scraps left so I decided to make a bookmark. I used the same flower from the Bella's Bloom set and punched it out with the new Jumbo Oval Punch. Then I used the coluzzle oval template to get the Regal Rose layer. I Faux Tiled the Artichoke background on this too.
Each school year I try to come up with something to put in the staff mailboxes for their birthdays and I think I'm going to do bookmarks this year. Our first birthday will be coming up this week so I will be prepared for that. You can't see too well from the picture, but the corners were punched with the corner rounder punch. I didn't want it to be lumpy so I didn't add any ribbon (this time). I might add some at the top in the future.
This will work well for the female staff - now I have to come up with something for the males.
I spent the afternoon Saturday at my Upline Debbie's house playing with the new Big Shot. We did some cute little projects which I'll post later this week. I know you're going to love seeing them!
Thursday, September 11, 2008
There is a flag that hangs on the wooden railing of the one-lane bridge over the railroad down the street from me. The rail line travels to Newark Penn Station where the passengers change and board a train to New York. The flag is there to remember the passengers on that rail line that left their homes on September 11, 2001 and never returned. I'm fairly certain there will be candles there tomorrow night also.
Did I know anyone that perished that day - no not personally. But all of our lives were changed forever that day. The sadness and uncertainty was overwhelming at times. I remember the silence of the skies. I remember the panicked phone call from Rachel who was just starting her freshman year at college and away from home for the first time and trying to comfort and calm her all the while aching that we were apart. I remember travelling to Delaware the very next weekend for Freshman Parents Weekend and seeing the candlelight memorial along Rt. 95. I remember taking the rosary off my night table and using it. I remember waking Christopher who was home with me that morning (as he was, ironically, when the bomb went off in the World Trade Center in 93) and telling him that something horrible was happening, and calling my husband and actually watching the first tower collapse while we were on the phone, not being able to describe to him the shock of moment.
I was compelled to paint this picture. The vision that kept going through my head and the words that went with it. It was my self-imposed art therapy. Did it help me forget? No, but strangely enough, I do get some comfort from it.
I don't know if anyone will read this today, but if you do, I will not ask you to pray, but I will hope that you remember in your thoughts the victims, the survivors, the rescue workers, the families and all of us really, who have been changed forever.
Wednesday, September 10, 2008
And here is my offering for the week.I got out a retired stamp set - Give Thanks - and stamped the pumpkins and sunflower on confetti cream cs with Basic Gray ink using the masking technique. Then I got out (SU! friends, now is the time to close your ears, er.... eyes?!) my Prismacolor pencils and Odorless Mineral Spirits to color the image. I have to tell you that I have had this set of Prisma's for over 30 years. I picked them up at a flea market in Vermont for $15 (which at that time was a little pricey, believe it or not) which would be a steal now, cause they go for more that a buck fifty for one. (If you ask my kids - they will tell you that mom's colored pencils were always off limits for school projects!) Using the mineral spirits on paper stumps helps to blend the colors.
I haven't done a lot of coloring this way lately (or ever for that matter), but I think it came out pretty good for being so rusty.
In my stash of goodies, I happened to have some leaf buttons which tied in (get it!) with the theme.
Hope you enjoyed it!
Monday, September 8, 2008
The other couple, P&B, will also be celebrating this week. They were married two weeks before we were 31 years ago. They too will be receiving one of these cards. I'm just glad that I finally got them both in the mail so they should have them in time.
Like I said in the post below, this technique is really not that difficult. Maybe you might see one or two more like this in the near future!
The colors for the INKredible Color Challenge this week were: Green Galore, Brilliant Blue, Ballet Blue, and Tempting Turquoise. I know I've already used Snow Swirled in a challenge, but it was just sitting there, tempting me, so I went for it.
This is a free standing pop up card, and if you click here you'll find a very good tutorial from Splitcoast Stampers.
There were five punches used on this - the Key Tag punch, the 1/2", 1 1/4", and 1 3/8" circle punches, and the corner rounder punch. The ornaments on the tree are popped up with dimensionals. When making this card, you have to keep in mind how dimensional you want the pop up part to be as it has to fit through the slit that you will be cutting. I would have liked to pop the tree off the background, but my slit was two narrow for two popped layers.
I really wish you could see this one in person because the colors are so much more captivating in real life. Will this be my (our) Christmas card this year? Hmmmm, maybe........
Saturday, September 6, 2008
I punched some word window shapes out of pink cs to glue the shells to. Wasn't it lucky that I had picked up shells with a pink hue on vacation!!! Then I took the heart patterned stamp from the Sprinkles stamp set and stamped that in Glorious Green on Gable Green cs. I cut the strips just wide enough to be able to stick the ends into the word window punch to round them and then sponged the edges with Glorious Green ink. The circle is cut from Whisper White cs with the coluzzle and I stamped the pink flowers from Spring Solitude with Pixie Pink ink.
I could have added more stalks and shell flowers but I didn't want to over due it and clutter up the card.
The edges of the Glorious Green cs were torn and roughed up and I added some ribbons from my stash (ribbons were from Michael's). The main card is Pink Passion with a panel of Pixie Pink as the background. I used the ticket corner punch on the corners and added a "ring" on the upper left from Gable Green sponged with Glorious Green.
Here's a close up of the shell flowers.
I need three, yes three anniversary cards for this week and one lucky couple will be getting this one, but it will have to be one that I can hand-deliver because the shells are very fragile and I wouldn't want anyone to get an envelope full of shell fragments.
I know I'll be using the shells again for other projects so I'll have to look into how to send them in the mail. Got any ideas?
Each year when we have been on vacation at the Jersey shore we have made an annual trip down Rt. 35 to Ernies Bait and Tackle Shop in Normandy Beach. When I was a child my Aunt Lucille and Uncle Don had a house in Normandy. Being from a family of 7, at that time it was out of the question for us to rent a place to stay so my aunt and uncle would let us stay at their house for one or two weeks during the summer. My father loved to surf fish. He would frequent Ernies shop during those weeks and in later years, after my aunt and uncle sold the house and moved to Florida, he would still go there on weekends in the fall with my brother Robert to buy lures to fish in the surf at Island Beach, not too far from there.
My aunt and uncle didn't move until after we were married, so my husband was familiar with the house and the beach there and got his initiation into surf fishing with my father. Later on, after we had children, we would rent a house down the shore and my parents would stay with us for a week and we would stay a second week on our own. During those times, there were many bluefish caught.
Dad is gone now and my brother hasn't been fishing in years. And although my husband does most of his fishing off the dock now (with a much smaller pole and a bobber), we still take that trip to Ernies to see if maybe there is a new pole or tackle that might be necessary to add to the collection.
Whether he finds his new fishing toys or not makes no difference to me because there is another treasure there at Ernies that never ceases to intrigue me. They have baskets and boxes and bags full of shells. Oh, they are all sorted by type, size, and even by color. But they are so beautiful to look at. There are so many different types and textures. Who can resist picking up a smooth shell with a leopard pattern and running their fingers over it? Or holding the conch shell up to your ears to hear the ocean?
I usually pick up one or two shells to set on my windowsill above the sink at home, but this time I decided to go for some tiny bagged shells. I thought that I could use them in my cards. As you can see in the pictures above, I was drawn to mostly pink ones.
I've always been attracted to the tiny shells, even when shelling on the beach. I'm afraid that my shelling days are not what they used to be however, between the eyes and the back. When we walked to the point at Barnegat Lighthouse I couldn't resist looking nonetheless and I did find some, but those little treats are nestled at the bottom of the bag of "stuff" that HWNSNBP was picking up on the beach and, at the moment, I don't know where that bag went.
But, today I stumbled across my little treasures and I hope you enjoy the pictures.
Monday, September 1, 2008
The colors for this week are Chocolate Chip, Old Olive, and Pumpkin Pie. I did add Very Vanilla cs but I think that it's okay to add a neutral color when doing the challenges.
The card base is Choc. Chip, and the Pumpkin Pie Background is stamped in Pumpkin Pie with the Watercolor Vine wheel.
The openings are punched out with the 1 3/8" square punch on the PP layer and with the 1 1/4" punch on the OO layer. The message from Always in My Thoughts and florals from Pocket Silhouettes are stamped onto Very Vanilla with Choc. Chip ink. The butterfly comes from the Dreams du Jour set.
The ribbon is 5/8" OO grosgrain.
I would use this layout again in other color combinations. There is a bit of measuring involved in lining up the openings but it's not that hard.
The card is meant for the family of the interim principal we had this summer. His mother-in-law passed away peacefully last Wednesday at the age of 89.