Saturday, November 28, 2015

Vintage Postcards - Our Beautiful World

Today was Small Business Appreciation Day and I managed to coax HWNSNBP into taking a walk through downtown Somerville - the nearest town to us and where our kids went to high school. Unfortunately, it was drizzling and though it wasn't cold, it was a bit uncomfortable walking around and there wasn't as much of a crowd as we had anticipated.  (Though that can be a good thing too.) We did drop into a few stores but the one that we spent the most time in was an antique emporium.  I could have spent the whole afternoon there, but I didn't want my escort to get too bored so after spending a bit of time going through a box of vintage postcards, I took a quick walk-through and then finished up with this purchase of five Christmas-themed postcards.  I do have a purpose in mind for them which I will hopefully get to post at a later date.  But since the prompt for Our Beautiful World this week is VINTAGE, I am sharing them now.  

The background for my postcard photos are the strips of scrapbook paper that I am using to make......

these stars for my Christmas Elf project.  I'll share more of that too at a later date.

Let me be off to keep folding and also to check out the other VINTAGE photos from around the world at Our Beautiful World.  Won't you join me?

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Stone - Our Beautiful World

This week's prompt is STONE.  Is there a difference between rock and stone?  I tried looking it up and it just became more confusing.  Basically stones are smaller pieces of rock.  They can occur naturally like the pebbles you see below or "stones" can be cut from larger rocks.  In either case, I think they are full of both beauty and strength.  

These river stones (really pebbles) surround our above-ground pool and this little redbud seedling has taken hold in them.  The yellow heart-shaped leaves really stood out against the layer of other leaves, stone, and the metal side of the pool.

Finding a black feather stuck in those grey stones begged for a photo.

As did this little, singular red leaf.

I always love finding the sea birds amongst the rocks.  

One of our favorite things to do is to walk along the stone jetty at the Barnegat Inlet.  Here you can see a plethora of boats entering and exiting the inlet.

I have walked along the top of those stones.  Treading carefully.  

And alongside the stones, tide going out.

And, most of the time, on those walks, small stones or beach pebbles will wind up in and amongst the shells we've collected on the beach.  Who can pass up a treasure like that?

Won't you join me to see "stone" from around the world at Our Beautiful World?

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Jingle Belles - Bring Us Some Figgy Pudding

Figgy pudding, or gingerbread, or cookies, or candy, or cocktails - anything gastronomically holiday.  I did a quick scan of my stamps to see what I might have that would be appropriate and I mean quick, because I kind of just checked what was out in the open and didn't dive into the "Christmas" stamp shelf.  Then I remembered the tray of holiday-related items that I had put aside.  I throw in the discards from my previous cards like ribbon scraps and diecuts that didn't get used and then I also have some stuff in there that was at one time package decorations. 

But after sorting through it, it was the Christmas Ale label that I really wanted to use this time.

I remember that my brother-in-law had brought a couple of bottles of that ale to our house a few years ago at Christmas and I painstakingly removed the paper label in hopes of using it for something someday.  The snowman is from a packet of tags that I cut out of a magazine many years ago.  The ribbon and velvet leaves were some of those things that were on packages in another life.  I gently pulled the plastic veins off the back of the leaves so they would be easier to work with on this card. And there happened to be some holiday candy buttons in there which I just could not pass up.

Since I had gone through that tray and found some other card-worthy things, I made another simpler one (not theme related).  That's a gold foil oval behind the angel button.  (These colors are not really looking that good on my computer, but IRL it's much better.) 

Now it's time to feast (pun intended) my eyes on what the other Jingle Belles have been up to this week.  Click here to join me.  

Sunday, November 8, 2015

Photo Challenge for November

This was the sunrise over the bay a couple of weeks ago.  I love how the orange was reflected in the water.  The clouds look very ominous here, but it was just that it was daybreak - the rest of the day was beautiful.  

I'm doing another photo-a-day challenge for the month of November.  Cell phone pictures only with a daily prompt.  I've decided to put it on another blog - one that I was using to test my photos on - Things I Noticed Today.  Click on the link to get there.  

Saturday, November 7, 2015

Weekend Travels

A friend from work had a birthday earlier this week and I tried to portray the colors of the season in this card to her.  We have so many vibrant colors this year.  The weather forecasters had warned that the reds and oranges would be disappointing because of the lack of much rain this summer. They couldn't have been more wrong.  I don't think I've seen a more beautiful autumn.

The leaves of the Japanese Red Maple have actually brightened to a beautiful shade of magenta, and our tree looked spectacular next to the neighbor's yellow Sugar Maple.  

We took a quick run to the condo this weekend and along the way, at a stop sign, I couldn't get over the spectacular rainbow of hues in this roadside planting.  I think they're called Beauty Berry Bushes alongside the red one.  Such a striking contrast in the chartreuse green leaves and purple berries. 

Normally you can get to our condo two different ways.  Along the bay beach or by way of this little bridge that connects the marsh behind us to the bay.  Currently however, the bridge is undergoing repair and will be closed until June.  We're certainly glad again at this point that our son and daughter-in-law were able to move into their new house and not have to be at the condo for another winter. The road along the bay is prone to flooding during storms and I feel for the people that live there year round not having another way out.  

And one more picture of some beautiful plants that we saw at one of the local nurseries.  Don't you just love those flowering cabbages...... or is it flowering kale?  Whatever, there's the green and purple combination again.

I hope you enjoyed out little travel and if you would like to see some more travels from around the world, please check out Our Beautiful World this week.  I'm headed there now.

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Jingle Belles - Getting Sketchy

I've been very remiss with keeping up with the Jingle Belles challenges these last few months and believe me, HWNSNBP has noticed and has asked me for a count of my finished cards a couple of times already.  I told him I'm not counting, but I know that right now I am short on cards.  Luckily there are still several weeks to do some catching up.  And this challenge is all about the sketch!

This one as a matter of fact.

Pretty sketch - don't you think?  Anyhoo, this is what I came up with.  Okay, so black isn't a usual choice for a holiday card, but here is the dilemma I was working around.  Stampers out there - have you ever liked a stamp and then bought it and then wonder "how the heck am I going to color this"? Especially if you're lured to the beauty of the stamp by a catalog picture, or a sample you've seen and it's done in color.  Or maybe you see it and picture in your head how you would color it never giving full attention to the method.  Well, this stamp (from Picture Show Stamps on Etsy) is one of those and it just happened to be on my work table almost begging me to use it for this sketch.  I guess I could have done it in any single color, but I went for the black embossing because I also had this pack of SU paper in black and white (and red and pink) graphic designs on my work space.  I thought the wavy piece could be done in red like a scarf.  And then I went a little further with the scarf thing and used some baker's twine and crocheted a little scarf and added a much larger tassel to it trying not to sway too far from the original sketch.

I added some die cut glitter paper stars and "be merry" die cut from silver paper.  HWNSNBP says it's a top 5 card for the year, but I think he was just happy that I managed to get another Christmas card done. 
So let me get over to the Jingle Belles and see what other sketchy loveliness is there. 

Saturday, October 31, 2015

Boo! - Some Halloween Pumpkins and Sugar Skulls

First, I have a Pinterest-inspired project to share.  I saw a lovely white pumpkin that was decorated with.......melted crayons.  I just had to try it.  So the first challenge was finding a white pumpkin and not pay an arm and a leg for it.  We did find a decent-sized one at the fruit stand that we usually frequent on our way back and forth to the condo.  When we got it home, I looked for, and was surprised to find so quickly, the shoe box of crayons that I had stashed away for projects such as these. 

The directions said to lightly crazy-glue the crayon pieces to the top of the pumpkin.  Sounds easy enough, right!  Well, I should have paid more attention to the details and the picture of the stages. The project originator actually glued the crayons the other way - end to end around the crown of the pumpkin.  I chose to go with a little more stability and glued them into the natural creases of the pumpkin top.  

I was working outside because I knew that melting wax was not something I wanted flying all over the place inside.  I tried first with a hairdryer.  That didn't work too well. It was pretty chilly outside. So I got out my heat gun and used that keeping my distance from the surface of the pumpkin so I didn't burn it.  You can tip the pumpkin a little holding onto the stem to get the wax to drip in the direction that you want.  (And make sure to use good wax crayons.  There were some that I found were not made of wax that was easily melted so I swapped them out.)  This is where it would have been helpful to follow the directions on how to glue the crayons on. Surely if they were the other way, there would have been more surface to melt along and the tipping wouldn't be necessary.  

The hot wax will continue to drip off your pumpkin so make sure to put something disposable underneath it and keep your distance for flying wax!

You can see that it came out pretty neat.  Not too much erroneous mixing of the colors!  It's going on my desk at work until Halloween.  Then the squirrels and chipmunks will enjoy it. 

Another colorful project that I had worked on was using another sheet of the watercolor paper that I had been experimenting with my new Brushos on.  It looks very tie-died I think.  But what to do with it?  You might remember the card I made for my mother last month here.

Using my Silhouette, I found a pattern for a pretty sugar skull and cut that out of plain white cardstock and then added the "tie-died" piece behind it.

I really like the way this looks.  I think I would have enjoyed coloring a background for that skull, but the paper works beautifully.  And it went to my blogging friend Clare in California who loves Halloween.  

And lastly...... sorry for such a long post....... I took a 75 cent pumpkin about the size of a softball and with a fine-tip black marker, tangled it using the natural grooves of the pumpkin as sections.  

I didn't take the designs all the way down.........

but only about 3/4ths of the way so as to look like the design was draped on.

And then I just rubbed it very lightly with a little petroleum jelly to give it a little sheen.

Oh, gosh, I did say last but here is the real last - promise.  The Stampin' Up Paper Pumpkin kit from September had the supplies to make these cute little broom treat holders.  Just a few pieces of chocolate and a couple of pumpkin Rice Krispie treats fit in the bag and were distributed to a few of my favorite buds.

So Boo to you and have a Happy Halloween!  

And if you want to see some more worldly BOO - please check out Our Beautiful World here.