Monday, August 30, 2010

Teapot Tuesday 109

Have you ever thought about what it would be like to live to be 100?  Some large birds like this parrot might live to be 100 years old but just like humans they would have to be very healthy and well-looked after.  But to be a human being and to live that long - well what an accomplishment!  But how about this - my friend Jackie has befriended a woman by the name of Mrs. Eula Cousins.  Mrs. Cousins is going to celebrate her 108th birthday on September 14th.  

My friend Joan had shared my blog with Jackie and she was marveling at some of my posts and we got to talking about the Teapot Tuesday challenges.  I was explaining all about it and added that we have recently added a Destination Station.  When I went into more detail about it she brought up Mrs. Cousins and  asked if Mrs. Cousins 108th birthday could be a "Destination Station".  Well, the only way to find out was to ask - and so I did.

I e-mailed Cindy and shared with her what Jackie had sent to me and she was tickled to say YES!

"Mrs. Eula Cousins was born on September 14, 1902 in Elizabeth City North, Carolina. She was an only child and describes her childhood as a "glorious series of adventures"!! She moved to Philadelphia and married Dr. William Cousins (an Optometrist) and they enjoyed 42 years of marriage!

The two of them were known philanthropists and sponsored many children to attend college. They traveled extensively to Germany, Spain and the Scandinavian countries! Mrs. Cousins is a lover of History and reads 2 historical novels a month. She loves poetry and reading!

Mrs. Cousins was known for her flower gardens and her favorite flower is the rose. She grew over 50 different varieties in her garden. She loves cats and had a cat named Marcy Ann that lived to the old age of 17. She loves crafts - she sews, crochets, and makes bookmarks using her dried flowers.

She is busy making blankets to be donated to dialysis patients. She currently has a parrot named Star that she loves to care for! She attends 4-6 hours of classes at Cathedral Village and describes herself as life long student of life! My fondest memory was spending the day with her to watch the inauguration of Barack Obama! Imagine how many Presidents she has lived to experience!

She is the oldest resident at Cathedral Village and is busy planning her party to celebrate 108 "glorious" years of life!"

Cindy, being the wonderful storyteller that she is has woven a story that touches on Mrs. Cousin's wonderful, adventurous life and her little parrot Star.  You can read it here.  The teapot she chose is perfect and here is my interpretation..............

I did not have any parrot stamps and I could have gone another way with this, but I really love birds so I thought I'd try my own watercoloring of the bird.  (Shhhhhh!  DO NOT tell HWNSNBP that cards can be made without stamps, okay????)

The sentiment I added (which is a stamp from SU's Whimsical Words - whew!!) says - "The more candles the bigger the wish" - so to you Mrs. Cousins may you have the biggest and best wish and receive many beautiful cards from the lovely teapotters. 

And anyone who is reading this who would like to send her a card - it doesn't have to be handmade - just e-mail me or leave me a message in a comment and I'll send you the address.  The more the merrier!!!

I"ll be back to add the links to the challenge and the gallery once they are posted!

Saturday, August 28, 2010

This purple martin house is one of many that can be found surrounding the parking lot at the Cape May Lighthouse.  We ventured down there on Wednesday hoping the sun would come out and we were not disappointed.  It was so nice to be out in the sun and warmth with a lovely breeze.  I've been indulging myself during this vacation both with favorite food treats and mini shopping sprees.  In the outdoor mall in Cape May there is a frozen custard place where I got the usual vanilla and orange sherbert twist (and sampled the chocolate peanut butter too, YUM!).  I also bought some macaroons at the Nut House. 

I found some sand dollar and crab earrings and couldn't decide which to get so I got them both.   The Swedish shop yielded some little glass figurines and I got some shells and starfish at the novelty store at Sunset Beach.  I almost coaxed HWNSNBP into tea at the Butterfly Tea Room but we would have had to wait an hour and that was not on our schedule.  

By Thursday night the clouds had all but disappeared and we took a walk out to the dock.  As we were standing there, there was this strange reddish glow to the right of the lighthouse across the bay.  At first we thought it was the spray from fireworks but it didn't go away.  Then we kind of realized simultaneously that it was the moon rising over the ocean.  Not having my tripod with me this was the best of a series of quick snaps.

Friday night I was better prepared and had my tripod handy and I got the lighthouse as well as the moon.  As you can see it is a little past full stage.

In the morning we will embark on our annual crabbing trip with our friends.  We have teams this year and it's promising to be a fun day.  Go Team Blue!!!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Almost Full Moon Over the Bay

I brought my tripod with me hoping to get some good pictures of the August full moon but the weather hasn't cooperated.  It's been raining a lot.  This was taken Sunday night, and yes, it really was that blue.  The moon just seemed to appear out of nowhere.  I hope you can see the reflection on the water.  This was taken from the public dock across the street (without the tripod). 

We tried to do some fishing at the lighthouse, but the wind was not cooperating and the birds, oy, the birds were trying to grab the bait.  I was afraid we might snag one of them and we were getting wet so we didn't stay long.  Hopefully the rest of the week will see more sun.

This is a close-up of one of the pine trees behind our unit after the rain on Sunday.  The sun was setting behind them and they really looked bejeweled. 

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Teapot Tuesday 108

Isn't this a gorgeous dress?  Could you image someone wearing it to a ball or a formal dinner aboard a cruise liner about 96 or so years ago?   The liner being the Titanic and the owner of the dress being Margaret Brown aka The Unsinkable Molly Brown.  Well, that's exactly where our story went this week.  And I must admit that I clicked on Cindy's links and did some perusing of the Molly Brown Museum and found out some other interesting facts. 

As we were packing up to leave for vacation I had to make this a quick one so I decided to give a facelift to the walls in one of the "green" bedrooms. 

I used my Watercolor Trio stamp set and stamped the flowers in Pear Pizzazz on paper of the same color.  You see the variations in color because I stamped more than once before reinking.  Then I added a band of Blushing Bride that had been run through the Bit Shot with the Square Lattice embossing folder.  Added a bit of white scallops and then laid down a piece of red line tape.  The new Stitched Poly ribbon is so soft and I wanted to gather it up a bit so I took a needle and some quilting thread and just ran some stitches loosely across the back and pulled it till it curled like you see in the picture.  I knotted the thread and then pressed the gathered ribbon onto the tape.  I think it looks pretty cool. 

After I added the sentiment with the curly label punch, I decided to stamp some butterflies from the same set in Blushing Bride, cut them out and gave them a little punch of color and texture with some MS micro beads (the only non-SU product on this card). 

This card has a destination to a young lady who has gone through some health challenges this year and who has an interest in all things Molly Brown.  I hope this will lift her spirits a bit as she tries to imagine new wallpaper in one of those museum bedrooms!

Okay, enough from me, let's go take a look at the gallery

Monday, August 23, 2010

Saturday Afternoon with the Yankees

If I hadn't given a title to this post would anyone recognize this facade? 

We arrived at the stadium early and walked around inside finally taking our seats at the time above.  Game time was 1:00 so we sat and did some people watching and had a bite to eat before the game began.

We caught the tail end of batting practice - as you can see the players are leaving the field.

This is Kim Jones of the YES Network propped in front of  the Yankee dugout doing her pre-game spiel.

Derek Jeter at the plate, Eduardo Nunez at first after his first Major League hit.

Enter Mariano Rivera to take that lead and hold it til the end.

Final score Yankees 9 - Seattle 5

We left early in the morning and took the train to NY.  I can't believe that the price has gone up so much.  It was $27.50 each round trip to NY Penn Station.  Then we got on the subway (the C to the D) which brought us right up across the street from the stadium in the Bronx.

Between the last two stops on the subway we got a quick serenade by an impromptu Mexican duo on the guitar and accordian - they were complete with costumes and had a third person walking through the car with his hat out.  I have to say that we were completely caught off guard with this although it did make us smile.

Thankfully it was an overcast day for the most part until the later innings so we didn't get overheated in our seats which, by the way were great - right field four rows in. 

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Teapot Tuesday 107

So, you wanna hear a fish story?  I've got two.  One real and one not so real.

The first one took place this weekend.  HWNSNBP and I were "down the shore" and wanted to do some fishing Sunday morning.  So, we got ourselves together and walked across the street to the public dock.  We found a spot and got our lines ready and started casting away.  It was a nice cool morning but we weren't getting any bites and the view of the lighthouse across the bay was very enticing.  So much so that I said to HWNSNBP that we should have gone fishing at the lighthouse.  Then there was a lightbulb moment when we looked at each other and almost simultaneously said - "Do you want to go?" 

We packed up our gear (2 poles, bait, bucket, and tackle box) and headed out there.  It was a good 30-40 minute drive, but we were lucky enough to find a parking space right near the inlet. 

HWNSNBP brought his fluke rig and I was fishing with spearing for blue fish.  I was a little flummoxed as there was a metal railing on top of the concrete wall bordering the water.  I didn't know if I should climb up on the bench behind us or onto the concrete itself to cast out when HWNSNBP told me just to stick my pole between the opening in the railing and cast that way. 

There was a couple sitting the bench near me as I was mumbling to myself wondering how I was going to do that.  Let's say that was the beginning of the amusement we would provide, because as I made my "short" cast out into the water, almost immediately I got a hit.  HWNSNBP hadn't even gotten himself set up and I was reeling in the first fish.  A small bluefish, that promptly fell off the line onto the ground in front of me - so I stepped on it.  Then we had a little "discussion" about whether we were keeping that fish or throwing it back.   Well, into the bucket it went.  My hook got rebaited and before he could get his in the water again I had another fish!   

By this time we were attracting more attention as it seemed no one else was catching anything.   After I caught my third fish, someone went over to HWNSNBP and commented that I was catching all the fish and he wasn't getting anything!  I know he was sadly aware of that!  That prompted him to put the fluke rig away and get his light gear out at which point we both were pulling them in.  I have to say that he did catch the biggest fish of the day.........

With it's head straightened out it's almost 12 inches.  It's a small bluefish.  He filets them and usually I just dredge them in flour and pan fry them.  He enjoys eating them either freshly cooked or cold on a sandwich the next day - it really depends on how many we've caught.  The total for Sunday was a dozen caught and 5 of the largest kept, so he had a nice meal of it.

While we were there, there was a brother and sister fishing next to us in the 8-10 year-old range.  They weren't catching anything with their bait and kept asking us questions.  What were we using for bait?  Where did you get your bait?  What are you going to do with those fish?   And then the question I was waiting for - "Do you think we could borrow one of those spearing?" 

Which brings me to this week's teapot with the second fish story and destination station.  This is the teapot that Cindy chose for this week ..........

She always finds the coolest teapots!!!  This one has another one of her great tales to go with it and we were asked to make a card for a little 8-year-old boy who has had a bone marrow transplant - the donor being his sister.  He loves fishing.  That just reminded me so much of the brother and sister who were fishing next to us on Sunday. 

So here is my card, complete with - wait for it Cindy - Pencil Bobbers! which we use when we fish in the bay. 

I think this school of baby blues has gotten the wrong message.  They're suppposed to bring pencils to school, not pencil bobbers!  

So, come and take a look at the rest of the gallery with me.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

It's A Boy, It's A Boy, It's A Boy

Aha, you might be thinking triplets but no, it's just been the summer of baby boys.  Three of the people I work with have had additions to their families.  Two teachers each had their second son, and another teacher her second grandchild. 

I scored the Bashful Blue cs to look like a quilted blanket.  The sentiment comes from the Hostess Set Occasional Quotes and it's stamped in Bashful Blue.  The peapod is from a retired set called Even Full and I stamped it in Basic Gray on watercolor paper and used my aquapainter and Certainly Celery and Garden Green ink to color it. 

I tied a snipped of Bashful Blue taffeta onto the scalloped edge and "hung" the peapod through the hole. 

My best wishes to the families of Benjamin, Rex, and Christopher!  God bless them all.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Separate Sunday Walks

The past couple of Sunday's we've walked both at the lighthouse and near the bay beach.  The birds always seem to be ready to have their pictures taken.

See the gull on the right.  He actually laughed at me after I took this.  His "ha, ha, ha, ha"  certainly sounded like laughter.  He made us laugh.  A good way to start that trek down to the beach.

I almost got wet taking this one.  Looking up the dune towards the lighthouse the gull standing stoically looking out to sea.

These two were perched on those signs looking toward the beach as if wondering where the lifeguard was.  I have no idea what those signs are for as they're facing away from the beach.  Probably some kind of warning for boaters I'm guessing.

Opposite those signs is this wooden pier where a flight of cormorants were gathered.  This is the first time I can remember seeing these birds in that area.  They might have been there all along, but their distinctive body shape clicked in my mind this time (thanks Sabrina - your bird identification on your blog has helped me here!).  There was something about the silhouettes of those birds against the shining water.

You might think that this one is either drying his wings or getting ready to take off.  Actually, I was reading a little about cormorants and he's probably just letting the others know to keep out of his space.   

The last three pictures were taken with my pocket camera which doesn't have a viewfinder. I take most of my close-up indoor pictures with that one and it does well with those type of pictures. But I prefer my bigger camera with the viewfinder and the zoom lens when shooting outdoors. Can you tell the difference between the first two pictures and the last three?  I know I would have gotten more detail on the cormorants with the big camera.  I'll have to remember to throw it over my shoulder the next time we head out that way.

I know this is supposed to be mainly a crafting blog so I hope my visitor's aren't getting bored with my Ramblings in Photos.  We've been spending more time "down the shore" lately which has kind of temporarily side-lined my crafting.  But it's a good trade-off being able to relax and enjoy our surroundings. 

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Teapot Tuesday 106

Okay, I'm not a dog lover but this is terribly cute - don't you think!
 This was our inspiration teapot this week and it has a wonderful story to go along with it.  Here's a link to the full story - click here.  We also have a destination station this week.  A young man with leukemia whose baseball team has shaved their heads in a sign of unity to support him during his treatments.  He needs a little uplifting.  I hope that this card with a little trivia question will lift his spirits a little.

Here's a close up of the question:

Do you know the answer?  Uh uh, no fair looking it up on Google.  If you really want to be a KOOK you have to know these kinds of things!

The card base is So Saffron and the baseball field is Garden Green run through the big shot with an embossing folder.  The dog is made from various punches, as are the baseballs.  Stitching was added with a Real Red marker.  The question and multiple choices were stamped with my Just Rite stampers and "hey andrew" was stamped using Rough Letters. 

So did you guess yet?  Okay, I'll spill.  The answer is D.  It takes 88 inches of red waxed string and 216 stitches for each baseball.  

Now come with me to visit the teapot gallery.  

Clean and Simple Challenge 79 and a Special Lunch

I've been anxious to do some challenges lately and time has just not presented itself until today.  I checked out the CAS challenge on SCS and the theme was "Garden".  Well, I have plenty of stamps that could represent my garden, but I decided to use the stamp that I won on Judi Rose's blog - the PTI 3rd Anniversay Set.  Judi is one of those wonderfully creative stampers that I really find inspiring.  You should go visit her and see what I'm talking about. 

This is a really cute set that has many possibilities.  I chose to use the stamp that I thought looked like sunflowers.  It was stamped in Wild Wasabi on Whisper White.  I then stamped the image again in Summer Sun and Close to Cocoa and cut out the flowers and their centers.  They were popped up to give it some dimension.  The butterfly was stamped both directly on the card base and once again on a scrap and cut out.  I bent up the wings and added some antennae.  The last touch is the ribbon which is inserted under slits I made on either side of the main image.  It's attached at the spine by a Chocolate Chip brad.  Ooops, and then I stamped the sentiment in Close to Cocoa.  The clear stamps made it very easy to line that up.

It was great to get back to some creating.  I think my trip with a couple of friends to "Pumpernick's Deli" today helped bring back some of my mojo which has been dormant for a while.  Wanna see what I had?

This is called a Rachel - one of their famous sandwiches.  It's the sister of a Reuben, the difference being it has coleslaw instead of sauerkraut on it.  I chose to have mine open-faced and with turkey.  And yes, I ate the whole thing!  All this and a pickle bar too!  It was a delicious lunch with great company.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Garden Pest

We've been plagued by many pests this year but none as unusual and creepy looking as this...........

It's a tomato hornworm - the caterpillar of the hummingbird moth - and those white rice-like attachments are the eggs of a parasitic wasp that will literally devour the worm when they hatch.  The horn, by the way, is on the tail of the caterpillar.  We've never had these before.  I think most current tomato hybrids are bred to resist this pest.  I'm wondering if we didn't get this infestation from an heirloom plant we picked up at the Master Gardener's sale.  It might be that that variety is not resistant to these pests.

The garden is not doing that well as we have not had any significant rain for a while.  I lost my early crop of blackberries to the heat.  We've been trying to salvage the current crop.  I've been getting just about a quart every few days.  I can tell you that there certainly is an abundant crop of mosquitoes though!!!

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Teapot Tuesday 105

Isn't this fantastic!  I'd love to stop in and shop in that store.  One of our teapotters sent Cindy this picture and that's how it became our inspiration piece for Teapot Tuesday.  Click on the link to find out more about the challenge this week.

This is how I was inspired both by the teapot and the story this week.  Doesn't the teapot kind of remind you of the water tower in Petticoat Junction?  Maybe that thought was planted by Cindy but I pictured this lovely floral dress hanging on the side of the teapot/water tower.

Here's a close up of the flowers and the dress.  The centers of the flowers are MS microbeads.

The Lockhart stamp was a recent purchase from a little stamp store down the shore.  It was on their sale rack and it called my name as you can see.  I used my paper crimper on some Whisper White cs for the background and punched the fence from the same paper.  The image was colored with my SU markers and highlighted by cutting it out with my Labels Two Nestabilities.  The flowers are punched out of Marina Mist with the SU Three for You punch and the leaves are in Garden Green and punched with another MS punch.

I added two ribbons to the fence piece - Bashful Blue taffeta and the new 1/8" satin in Marina Mist - and three little bows on top of that.

If you check out the link above you will see our destination station this week is to someone who needs a little cheering up.

Now I need to go to the gallery and spread some good comments there.  I've been so busy lately that I've been rather neglectful in that way.  (Sorry ladies!).  Won't you join me?

Monday, August 2, 2010

Bird Beach Party

Usually in the morning when we are in Barnegat, the view outside the back over the wildlife preserve is full of a lot of bird activity.  Actually, the birds roost in some of the dead trees surround the water making them look like they're decorated from a distance.

But this one particular morning, the gathering of the birds reminded me of the old postcards you used to see of people on the beach frolicking in the water.  Some were in it, some were just getting their feet wet, some were walking, some were standing in the water talking, some had their children with them, and some might be fishing along the jetty ..........

No lifeguards needed on this beach!

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Shower Favors

Here's the secret project I've been up to the last couple of weeks.  My table was full of shower favors for a co-workers' daughter's bridal shower being held today.  She has little glass carafes that fit very nicely which will be filled with fresh flowers.  She's promised me a picture. 

The basic pattern for these comes from Diana Gibbs' Box in a Bag.   Then Julia Bettencourt transformed one of those into this little watering can which I have made before.  I put my spin on it by stamping along the bottom of the can and punching along the top.  The little tags were stamped using a Just Rite stamper - a new toy for me!  The back of the tag has the date on it.  Actually, I wound up adhering two tags together rather than trying to line up the stamp each time.  Worked perfectly - that idea was from the mail lady at work - thanks Carol!

There were 70 to be made and honestly, they are really not that hard to do.  I set myself up like an assembly line, completing each step for all the cans at the same time.  I find that that's much quicker than doing them complete from scratch for each individual one.  And, the project can be portable that way also.  You can take it along with you to get those pieces cut or stamped or adding the red line tap, etc.