Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Casing the Catty 1

Starting tomorrow there's a new SU catalog.  While browsing my copy I found some real inspiration in some of the projects that are featured in it.  I thought I would do some casing using what I already have. 

This card (pg. 113) is made with the set called Paradise and it was one I had that had not seen ink yet.  I changed up the colors using Old Olive and Baja Breeze and added my sentiment with a punch treatment up in the left corner.  The centers of my little flowers are knots of linen thread.

This card went to one of our teachers who returned to school the last week after having her second surgery of the year.  She is very young and has been through too much this year for someone her age.  This was a welcome back card.

I've got plenty more pages marked for casing!

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Teapot Tuesday 100

Aha, a centennial teaparty!!!  But this is destined to be a relaxing one.  You'll have to read Cindy's story here.  This is our inspiration this week............

And this is Felix "Fishhook" Johnson.  Felix spends his free time fishing on Teapot Island all by himself.  You see Felix needs to get away by himself because he's always being made fun of by his friends.  It's the hat.  His mother makes him wear that silly hat all the time.   At one point he thought that it would seem cooler if he added a Skull and Crossbones to the hat - he could be a pirate.  But his mom didn't like that idea.  No.  No son of hers was going to be a pirate.  But, he could be a fisherman. 

So instead of the Skull and Crossbones she added a fishhook to his hat. 

His buddies didn't get it.  They thought it was just the letter "J" for his last name so they just avoided him.    What nut in a pointy hat needs their initial on it? 

So everyday now Felix takes his fishing pole and heads on out to the beach.  He's just been very lucky as you can see.  He has a pile of fish there!  Some sparkly fish for dinner tonight.  Maybe his mom will get tired of cooking fish and let him be a pirate.  Maybe then he could find some sparkly pirate treasure and he could buy teapot island and make all the boys wear silly hats!

This card will be going to a teapotter who has recently had some serious surgery.  I hope that it makes her smile!

The little fisherman is from Poppystamps (so are the fish, I just stamped them by themselves and painted them first with silver shimmer paint and then gave them a coat of sparkly gold).  The palm trees are from Tropical Party and the sentiment is from Very Punny (ret.). 

I masked the horizon on my Tempting Turquoise background and sponged some Brilliant Blue and Turquoise ink in the water area.  I had some paper waves left over from a previous card and added them in.  White Craft ink was sponged around the shoreline and a little in the water, oh, and also the clouds in the sky.  The sand is torn Sahara Sand cardstock.  The sentiment is meant to look like it's on one of those plane banners that fly along the shoreline all summer. 

Okay, go and check the gallery now!!!

Monday, June 28, 2010

Dead Tree Lake - On the Way Back

So, on that same trip two weeks ago coming home, again we tried a different route and came upon this lake.  I don't know the name of it (I think it is Lake Bamberg, but I'm not sure) but as we passed it, HWNSNBP agreed that it would make a great picture and turned the car around so I could take the pictures.  (You should click on the pics to make them larger.) 

Found out that when you sit with the camera in an air-conditioned car, you should probably keep the lens cap on until you get out of the car.  The lens fogged up and I almost got no pictures.  And I had to get that guy in the red canoe in there - he wasn't moving very fast!

Stuck in Traffic

Last time we traveled to Barnegat (a couple of weeks ago) we were trying a different route and didn't make our usual turn.  Instead, we continued on 206 and got stuck in a bit of traffic at the light.  When I picked up my camera HWNSNBP immediately asked what I was taking pictures of as he could not see what I saw from my side of the car.  I just loved all the architectural detail on this house.

Saturday, June 26, 2010


I have some wonderful blogging and tea party friends.  Over the last several weeks I have received some of their beautiful work and although I've personally been enjoying them, I've neglected to share.  So let's put an end to that now!

My friend from Ireland, Sabrina sent me this gorgeous thank you card.  Sabrina has a creative blog in which she shares her wonderful photographs, recipes, and ocassionally her cards (I get to see more of those in her SCS gallery).  She is a fantastic photographer and she's taken me to places in the world I've never been with a great eye that is also present in her beautiful cards.  Just look at this beauty.  It is one of my treasures now.  Thank YOU Sabrina.

Then there's Patricia aka kokirose.  Patricia is one of the teapotters and she always has warm words and comments for her fellow teapotters.  She sent me this lovely birthday card and it was chock full of stamped images for me to use in the future.  I know I'm going to have fun with these.  Thanks so much Patricia!

And last, but certainly not least is Judi (aka jovialjudi).  Judi is another blogging buddy from North Carolina who recently celebrated her 38th wedding anniversary.  On her blog she ran a little giveaway and I was chosen to receive this marvelous stamp set from Papertrey Ink.  I can't wait to give it a work out - it's my first set from that company and it's got a lot of wonderful images.  Just look at what Judi did with it.....

I'll say it again, I have made some wonderful friends through this stamping and blogging hobby. 

Friday, June 25, 2010

Branchburg Bars

(Warning - this is a little long, but I had to get it off my chest.)

Two weeks ago I sat in the audience at a Board of Education meeting.  This was part of my view.  The window is above the dais and the combination of the flagpoles and the electrical lines I saw through the window formed a pretty neat pattern but also reminded me of bars on a window much like you would see in  a jail. 

How apropo that a lot of us were feeling locked up.  We were locked in a place where no one was making the very important decisions that needed to be made.

In April our Governor decided to cut state funding and thus produced some severe cuts to our school budget.  The budget, even though it was trimmed to the bones, was defeated by the public.  A defeated budget then goes to the Town Council who decides how much more money has to be cut and makes suggestions to the Board of Education of ways to do it.  We had heard that our Town Council would be compassionate in not asking for much more money to be cut knowing that the Governor had basically screwed us already. 

Well whoever started that rumor was so wrong.  The Town Council decided to ask for another $2M to be cut and offered suggestions.  They also said that they would reconsider the amount if their "math" could be proven wrong.

Our Business Administrator rolled out the facts and figures and it was hoped that the council would re-evaluate and lessen the amount.  Hope proved futile.

They did lower it, but were still asking for $1.5M - more than any other school district in the state!

The Board doesn't have to take the suggestions that the Council makes, but they do need to come up with that dollar figure and they've been working on coming up with these cuts since April.  Much too long! 

Decisions needed to be made and unfortunately they weren't being made in a timely manner.  Oh yes, the Board was working on the budget, but it wasn't going anywhere.  We were pretty much kept in the dark until earlier this week.  It was then that the agenda for the meeting of the 24th was released.

In the school that I work in our Library/Media Assistant and several Student Aides were let go.  And although none of the teachers who work in my school lost their jobs, several of them were reassigned to other schools.  We will be sharing positions of the specials teachers next year with our sister school and going to a 6-Day schedule.  Our Board of Education cut 20% of the staff - 60 teaching positions.

Up until last night, I was genuinely concerned that my job as a school clerk was on the line.  As it turns out, I will have it - at least for another year.  I say this because the governor is promising more cuts and more budget caps for the next year.  If that is the case, more positions will definitely be lost.

I feel that this is going to have a hugely negative impact on the education of our children in the State of New Jersey.  Increasing class size and eliminating programs, and in some instances extra-curricular activities, cannot amount to a quality education.  We are taking a step backward.  People are blaming it on the economy.  People are blaming it on teachers.  People are saying that making these cuts will fix everything.  Others are saying that this is just the tip of the ice berg. 

Although I work for the school system and I am not a teacher, I did work as a substitute teacher for 15+ years before I took my office job and I can tell you that anyone who thinks that teachers don't work as long or as hard as people in the corporate world have to be amongst the most narrow-minded and uninformed.

What I'd really like to know - in this world of political correctness - is how it became acceptable to publicly attack someone's profession with such hostility?  That has been the norm lately where the teaching profession is involved.  "They make too much."  "They get too many benefits."  "They have summers off - what are they complaining about!"  If these people think that it's so easy then why didn't they become teachers?  I think this is directly related to the lack of respect by the students.  They hear what is being said negatively and unfortunately it is making an impression.

I could go on, but I've stressed out about this enough for one week.  If you've read to the end, thank you for listening.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Kirkside Garage Sale

I know this blog has been really slow lately.  I've been trying to catch up on some organizing chores and gardening here and on top of that got a little side-lined with a minor injury.  It also has been a very bad end of the school year and I'll do a separate post about that.  But in the meantime, I wanted to share what I found at the semi-annual Kirkside Garage sale a couple of weekends ago.  

Here is the whole kit and kaboodle minus one 12 x 12 Canson scrapbook brand new in the package.  All totalled, I spent $6.50.  (The plants were not new purchases.)

There were two pilsners with etched sailboats on them which have a special destination in mind at 50 cents for the pair.

A stack of 10 plates for $2 to use - don't think I'm crazy - in my garden border.

A large round glass jar for $1 and the hand crocheted pansy doily displayed on the jar which I absolutely could not resist for $1.  I know how much work went into that doily and it was a steal for that amount. It may be a little faded but it's a beauty to me. 

And speaking of steals - two hand embroidered tea towels were marked 50 cents for the pair.  Someone put a lot of work into these.

The scrapbook was $1 and the two cooling racks were 25 cents a piece.  I don't recall every seeing racks in the smaller sizes and thought they would be nice to have around the holidays. 

I always give them the extra change plus a little more when they ring me up because it's a fund raiser and not just a family doing it.  What annoyed me though was that it was supposed to start at 9 and HWNSNBP and I pulled up at about two minutes to 9 and people were already walking away with boxes of things.  I guess I'll have to try to remember that come October when they have their fall sale.

So, anyone out there found any garage sale treasures this spring?  I'd love to hear about them!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Teapot Tuesday 99

Isn't this just the sweetest little bluebird teapot?  Over the years I have looked and looked at bluebird teapots.  I do have one in my collection and have seen many others, but never this particular one.   That Cindy is like a magician, pulling something new and clever out of her hat every time. 
Well, this week we are to send lot's of birdies to California to help celebrate one of our teapotters' mom's birthday.  Hmmmmm, bluebirds!  Would I happen to have any bluebird stamps?  Not to worry - of course you knew I would.

I think this is one of the very first stamps that I purchased.  These five little birdies represent the five little chicks in our bluebird box as we speak.  Mother bluebird - or Mrs. Blue as we referred to her - has met with foul play and Mr. Blue is left to care for the sweet little things.  I have to report that he is being very diligent and they seem to be thriving.  We can only hope that they grow up to look like these quints hanging out on the branch. 

The stamp is an Anita's stamp and the sentiment comes from Vintage Labels.  I used my Nesties Labels 10 to highlight the image.  It was watercolored with ink and my aquapainter in Ballet Blue, Cameo Coral, Close to Cocoa and Bashful Blue.  I also used a dauber to add some more Bashful Blue to the surrounding sky. 

The base card is Cameo Coral with a panel of Bashful Blue DSP.  I added some punched lace acrose the top and some Bashful Blue satin ribbon at the sides.  The half pearl comes from SU's Pretties Kit.  The image is popped up on dimensionals.

Now to wish Clyndago's mom a happy 75th birthday and check out all the other birdie cards in the gallery.  Something tells me I'll be back to this challenge again this week!

Monday, June 21, 2010

Strawberry Birthday

My office mate celebrated her birthday last Friday.  I put together a "Strawberry" theme gift for her.  There was a hummingbird feeder in the shape of a strawberry, a dishtowel with strawberries on it,  a placemat, strawberry candy and tea, strawberry lemonade mix, pie filling mix, and mousse mix.  All in a red bag.  Here is the card I made.

I used the strawberry from Tart and Tangy on the Kraft base.  The scalloped circle was stamped with a stamp I picked up in the dollar bin at Mikes.  I had to use pink flowers on the white background so I decided to add the pink daisies to the card.  The flower centers where made by cutting So Saffron cardstock into teeny tiny pieces and sprinkling them on to some red line tape circles.  The sentiment comes from Well Scripted.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Bluebird Updates

HWNSNBP ordered 2000 mealworms.  Here he is shaking them out of the muslin bag and into the plastic container.  He poked holes in the top of the container, added oatmeal for food, and a slice of potato for moisture.  He'll keep them in the basement. 

In the mealworm feeder go 25 mealworms. 

Mom has noticed them. 

"Hey look what I found.  I'm scared to go in.  You go."

"Didn't I tell you they were there?"

"Thanks dear."

What a pair.

The nest on 6-16, all but one hatched.

The nest on 6-20.  All hatched.

But.......... it looks like Mrs. Blue has met with disaster.  We found the feathers and part of a wing on the ground near the nest box. 

Mr. Blue looks so forlorn.  He has been keeping watch on the box and feeding the chicks.  We did not see Mrs. Blue all day and fear that she has been killed.  We are hoping that Mr. Blue will be able to do all the work himself in that box.  Keep your fingers crossed.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Teapot Tuesday 98

If you've followed along with the teapot stories that our Teapot Queen Cindy posts with the weekly challenge you'll know that the number 42,000 pops up very frequently.  I think at one time we were to catch 42,000 pounds of fish, and then another time someone made 42,000 things disappear.... well how funny was it when I recently took a bus trip with my mother and sister and the bus we took was number 42000!  No kidding!  Of course my mother and sister not being teapotters had no idea why I would possibly want to take a picture of the bus number and the bus rules.  I tried to explain, but they just rolled their eyes and nodded their heads and looked at each other as if to say "she's finally gone round the bend."   And the looks I was getting from the bus driver - I don't think he'd ever had anyone take a picture of his bus before.  Must've thought I was some crazy scrapbooker that had to take a picture of everything!  Here it is........

And the rules of course.........

When I got home I just had to share the pictures with Cindy and that's when this week's Teapot Challenge was hatched.  Cindy not only wrote a story about Bus 42000, but she also included another one of my crazier moments.  You see, last summer when I was doing the school supply order I accidentally added a zero to one of the purchases.  Instead of ordering 80 dozen pencils I ordered 800!  It's a good thing for me that pencils are cheap and pencils can keep!  It made no sense to send them back - would have cost too much - so they're stashed away for safe keeping.

But, back to the challenge.  Here is the Teapot that Cindy found - a lovely red bus.............

She has written a great story to go along with this bus, and my bus, and believe it or not.... the pencils.  We're having the party on the bus this week.  You'll see on my card that Bus 42000 is leaving behind some of the other "challenge" buses.  Bus 83 had 53 passengers.  Bus 63 had 55 passengers.  And Bus 72 had a mere 18 passengers.  Let's see how many passengers we can get on Bus 42000 this week.  Afterall, Cindy's teapot is a double-decker.  We can really get it rocking!!!

My buses were all punched out and added to the "pencil" background.  The sentiment - which I thought was fitting - is from Favorite Thoughts. 

Okay, so let's get going.  Let's go see how many passengers will be on this challenge ride!  Come check out the gallery.

And hey Cindy, if you're reading this - thanks for another great week of tea party fun!!!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Teapot Tuesday 97

Our guest hostess Bonnie (aka lovelightand peace) brings us this lovely teapot and a story about dragonflies.

We are to show Darla and Dingle Berry Dragonfly pretty things.  Well I just so happened to be working on some birthday cards for June birthdays and I thought these would fit in nicely.  (Of course I did not realize that butterflies would eat dragonflies, so let's assume these butterflies are moths!)

I used the Black Magic with a Twist Technique and the Watercolor Trio stamp set.  SU's watercolor pencils work spectacularly with this technique.

For this next card I found a dragonfly stamp I had bought from a clearance bin somewhere sometime ago and stamped it in Stazon onto Vellum cs.  I added some white gel pen to the body and used my Gold Shimmer paint to illuminate the wings. 

The colors really pop off the black paper and I don't know if you can tell that by the pictures - it is hard to photograph black cardstock and get the depth of color.

Okay, now which card for which birthday?   Hmmmm. 

Monday, June 7, 2010

Watermelon and Flowers

What a mix right?  Well the watermelons are not edible in this case.  I saw this cool little basket on Patti Lee's blog.  It reminded me of something that my mother would bring to the beach when we were children.  I had to give it a try myself using the Tropical Party stamp set to embellish it. 

Doesn't that look like layers of sherbet?  Well, that got me thinking of layers and colors and somehow I thought it might make a good watermelon slice.

I played around with it a couple of times to see which way I liked it most (the top one won out in my opinion).  You can see below that some have black stitching, some have a solid white panel.  Well, what to do with those little baskets?  I filled them with a little bag of cherry, coconut, and licorice jelly beans and brought them to our downline meeting Friday night for the gals.  I'll be showing you the great projects we worked on that night later this week.

We spent quite some time in the garden on Saturday despite the heat.  I have most of my perennial bed done.  Anyone know where I can get glass mulch?  I want to line the path with it and can't find a local source.  

Last fall I found some packets of seeds I hadn't used yet (daisies and bachelor buttons) and HWNSNBP threw them in one of the raised beds we set aside for cutting flowers and guess what? - We got daisies and bachelor buttons.

And here are some petunias I couldn't resist at the Great Swamp even though I usually don't have very good luck with petunias.  The color combination intrigued me - the centers are a solft green that blends outward to a soft yellow and then pink.  Here they are against the water in the pool.  

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Teapot Tuesday 96

This week Sheri (aka Ksnurse) is our hostess and she has not only brought us an adorable teapot but a story about some escaped flamingos that is really true.  Please check out the Teapot Post for this week to get the whole story.  It seems one of the runaway, or should I say flyaway flamingos has found a new friend to hang with. 

These punched flamingos were inspired by Ellen Kemper who does a lot of punch magic.  (Click on that link - you know you want to see what I'm talking about!)  She made these awesome flamingos out of the two-step bird punch.  

I turned this into an anniversary card.  HWNSNBP and I just celebrated the 37th anniversary of our first date.  Flip that number and it'll tell you the year ('73).  I'm usually not one much for figures but here is something I find interesting.  In 1973 I was 18 years old, a senior in high school and Friday, June 1st was our senior knock-off day.  I cut school to go down the shore with friends, came back early and HWNSNBP and I had our first date - we went to the movies to see 2001:  A Space Odyssey (the most boring film I've ever seen BTW).  Years later, after many more dates, HWNSNBP and I had two children, the second of whom is a daughter.  She was a senior in high school in 2001 when she was 18 years old.  On Friday, June 1st of that year it was also her senior knock off day and I do believe that she too, cut school and went down the shore with her friends.  

Oh, and about the flamingos - there was a flamingo that used to show up unexpectedly in the yards of a group of friends some years back.  He watched our mailbox for a spell, and found residence in the yard of some Disneyworld vacationer's and then we lost track of it.  I think he might be paired up with Sheri's other lost flamingo.  Thank goodness they have each other!

The card base is Sahara Sand and the dsp is from the SAB prints pack.  The palm trees, flowers, and greens were stamped using the Tropical Party stamp set.  The sentiment comes from Teeny Tiny Wishes.  Okay, now I'm off to visit the Teapot Gallery