Wednesday, October 13, 2021

Jingle Belles - Dreaming of a Pink Christmas

If you follow along with the Jingle Belles and here you will know that this time of year is saved for a very special challenge - the Pink Challenge for Breast Cancer Awareness Month.  Pink holiday cards with a majority of pink on them are the criteria.  

Most of you that follow know that flying pigs are special to me and even though this pig doesn't have wings it can certainly fly down a hill on those skis.  I bought this skiing Santa pig stamp from Rabbit Hole Designs last winter and didn't get around to using it until now.  A pink pig would be perfect for this challenge - but how to stage her........

But first to color her I stamped it in fade out ink and used my decades-old Prismacolor pencils with a few gel pen accents where needed.  Choosing the right shades of pink to try to match the background papers was an afterthought - well, after I finished the first one.  I searched through my papers to find backgrounds to blend with and also the card backing.  This pig's complexion proved a little harder.  Which made me glad that I didn't color the few images that I had stamped in tandem.  

I chose a different combination of pinks for this card and trust me, those doilies are white IRL, they look a little dingy in the photo.  

When I bought the stamp I also bought the die so I didn't have to fussy cut it.  The sentiments "Merry Pigmas" and "Happy Hoglidays" came with the stamp and I should note that HWNSNBP doesn't care for either, but I thought they would be okay.  Thoughts?

So, the other special part of this challenge is the donation that goes to the Breast Cancer Awareness Foundation by our Jingle Belle hostesses.  They each donate $2 for each card = $4/card combined.  

Since my pink pig has a personal tie to breast cancer awareness I thought it would be a nice idea to make a donation of $2 for each comment I get on this post (1 per user).  If you can't figure out how to make a comment, send me an e-mail and I'll count you in.  If you post as anonymous I'll need an e-mail as there could be multiple anonymous posters.  Click on my profile for my e-mail info.

I'll be visiting all the other Pink Christmas participants soon and you can too by clicking here and leaving some love.

Tuesday, October 12, 2021

UFO's - Of a Different Kind

UFO's - Unidentified Flying Objects or............. UFO's can be UnFinished Objects.  In this case they were identified flying objects that were unfinished.

Going through some of the accumulated "stuff" both in the stamp cave and our "den - repurposed as HWNSNBP's work space" things were found.  Many of them unfinished, lots of them unstarted.  In the stamp cave I found some bead and wire ornament kits.  Two of them were angel kits which I decided to complete this summer.  They weren't hard to do, I just kept putting other projects before them, but finally finished them up a couple of weeks ago.  

This next UFO I found whilst looking for something different with a Halloween theme (which I still haven't found).  At some point, who knows how long ago, I had started cross-stitching this witches dress.  At least I think it was me, or it could have been part of my sister's stuff that I wound up with.  In any case some of the lower leaves had already been started and since it's October and the time for witches I thought it would be a good time to actually finish this.  I ran into a problem when I ran out of floss for the pumpkin on the right.  Thankfully the instructions had the number of each of the floss colors so I was able to pick up another skein at Michael's.  Of course I chose to get back into cross-stitching with black canvas and a pattern that used half-stitches - meaning my eyes were challenged as well as my fingers.  And if that wasn't enough of a challenge, the clothespin for this kit was MIA and despite all the wood bits and bobs that I have (a post for another time) I couldn't find one in my stash.  I did find a few 1"x4" blocks and I was able to carve one down with my dremel tool into a head and body.  I thought I had taken a picture of the before and after but apparently I didn't.  I gave her a green face and black body underneath and substituted some orange ribbon for the suggested floss bow.  I think she turned out rather cute. 

Now where did I put those cross-stitch angels again?  It might be nice to get them done before Christmas. 

Wednesday, October 6, 2021

Jingle Belles - Dashing Through the Snow

Our nights have been getting cooler but thankfully not cool enough for snow yet.  However, those Jingle Belles wanted us to be in a snowy-frame of mind and add snow, in any form, to our cards.  So here's a family of Flakes surrounded by flakes wishing Joy.

I took these photos at the same time in the same place and see how the camera changes that wood background depending on the color of the card background.  It's frustrating at times and I really should get out one of my lightboxes but I'm playing Goldilocks as one is too big and the other is too small and I thought this natural lighting would be just right.  No porridge for me!

The snowman were cut from a portion of a larger stamp by Newton's Nook - Frozen Fellowship.  The JOY die is from Ellen Hutson, and I don't know the source of the snowflake die at this time.   I used white glitter paper for that and wish I would have remembered the tip from my stamping friend LeAnne about peeling the backing off the glitter paper before die cutting it.  It was much easier to punch out that die on the second one after I had spent so much time with an exacto knife on the first when it didn't completely punch through.  I stamped some additional snowflakes onto the card base in VersaMark ink.  The little glitter snowflakes are the punchouts from the snowflake die.

I've really got to get back up into the stamp cave and tidy up, but I think I'll visit some of the other snowy contributions to the Jingle Belles first.  You can join in by clicking here.

Monday, October 4, 2021

Foxes and Owls

I've had this Sizzix die set in my stash for a while now and decided it was time to make some foxes and owls.  I will find some autumn treats for the grandsons to fill them up.  I think maybe some pretzel nuggets and goldfish as their parents aren't too keen on the sugary treats.  (But I might sneak a few M&M's in there for a real treat.)


Sunday, October 3, 2021

September Birthday

My mother turned 90 in September and I forgot to get this posted before the calendar page turned.  These sunflowers are for her.  They are made using a new BotaniCut die from The Greetery.  The background is also a from The Greetery.

We passed a field of sunflowers today but we didn't stop.   Last year they were in an adjoining field and their heads were all faced away from the road so it was totally unexpected to see them facing out a little further back.  They say they follow the sun so I guess you have to know the right time for viewing.

Thursday, September 30, 2021

Cape May

Once school started and the crowds died down we picked a day with nice weather to make a trip to Cape May.  I loved the way this planter looked in the sunlight with just the shades and textures of green and white.  I could see a couple of pumpkins being popped in there for the fall.

The obligatory picture of the lighthouse against that beautiful sapphire blue September sky.

We stopped in the West End Garage and strolled through the antique stalls.  This mannequin was in the front window.  The skirt was made of book pages and paper butterflies.

We went for lunch at the Cold Bar on the Lobster Dock.  From where we were sitting outside I could see into the building through this window and noticed that they had a little collection of the solar dancers under a skylight.  The people sitting under the window had no idea why I was pointing my camera their way.  I had to be quick about it.

The seagull on the other hand was waiting for one or both of us to be distracted enough to steal some french fries but he gave up when he heard his friends calling - there must have been a better meal at another table.

We stopped in the store with all the garden flags and windsocks and picked up a couple of things there.

Then we went over to the Swede Shop and and I fell in love with these felt owls and splurged on a set of them for the fall.

I found a few new Christmas ornaments to add to my collection too.

There were help wanted signs in most of the store fronts and this store was understaffed also.   We're hoping to get back to Cape May during the Lighthouse Challenge weekend coming up mid-October.  The store manager told me that they had more new ornaments coming in soon and she even took my contact info so she could let me know what they have.  Hopefully we'll have good weather that weekend and the challenge will go off as planned, otherwise we'll have to pick another time to do some shopping.

Wednesday, September 29, 2021

Wild and Wet September

Our growing season is winding down.  Things are looking a little ratty in the back and I've already started pulling out some.  We have a second crop of green beans that were planted mid-August with GS1.  And the dahlias in their cages are putting on a pretty good show.

You can see that the leaves are already accumulating.  Those cleome plants were quite straggly and I saved almost a whole Cool Whip tub full of seed to sow next month.  What I didn't realize about these plants is that they have little thorns on the stalks and they can be a little painful to pull out without gloves.  

Our moonflower vine finally decided to bloom earlier this month.  It is true to its name in that it blooms at dusk and the blossoms shrivel up during the day.  

Taken from the house with the outside light on.

With the start of September what was left of Hurricane Ida targeted our area.  This is all the gravel that was washed down the hill during the deluge.  We had close to 9" of rain in a very short amount of time which caused flash floods and major river flooding.  Thankfully we didn't lose power and were able to keep two pumps running in our basement.  Our drains around the house couldn't keep up with the water coming down the hill.  There are three steps on the right side of this picture below and they became a waterfall.  Water came through the stone wall and even took part of it down next to our garage.  

This picture below is showing the pond that was collecting outside the dining room doors.  It came very close to coming over the pad.  There is a drain there, but the water came so hard and fast it couldn't keep up at times.  We both would have been outside sweeping this away with brooms but there was a lot of lightning.  We've done that in the past before we improved the drainage system, but even the improvements that were made couldn't help with this storm.

We took a ride the next morning.  For those that don't know our area, there is a brook across the street from us (downhill) that feeds into the North Branch of the Raritan River.  You could see that the water had come up and flooded the road in several areas on our street not only by the water/dirt marks on the foliage, but by the cars that had been abandoned that apparently were caught in the flash flooding.  The picture below shows the bridge about a half mile down the road from.  The road on the other side of the bridge was completely under and just past those trees there was a car that was submerged to the point of having only the top hood being visible and another one a little further that wasn't as covered probably on a higher portion of the road.  

That road, the continuation of Station Road goes into the little hamlet of North Branch which has a history of flooding and this time it was no different.  The tractor trailer you see in the picture is sideways in front of the bridge that goes over the North Branch River.  This picture was taken by someone who lives on that street who had water up into the first floor of their home.  In the days after these pictures were taken, when the water receded the homeowners and business owners had the grim task of removing all that was damaged by the flooding.   There were so many water rescues in our area that night and there was loss of life.  There were heartbreaking stories of people watching others being swept away in the deluge and of others that were missing.

The town that HWNSNBP and I grew up in is about 10 miles from where we live now and is bordered by two rivers the Raritan (which is fed by the North Branch) and the Millstone River.  I can remember several times that the town was flooded when we were living there.   We were no longer there when the last hurricane that came through, which I believe was Floyd in September of 1999, and there was a lot of damage to homes in low-lying areas.  A lot of the homeowners at the time lost their homes to condemnation.   Some people relocated but there are a lot that didn't and unfortunately this time the water was even more unforgiving.  There were several gas explosions in the town causing fires in buildings that couldn't be reached by emergency personnel.  Driving through the town last week it was heartbreaking to see the piles of belongings that had not yet been picked up.  People are still cleaning up.  My heart breaks for those that lost so much.

The landscape surrounding the little bridge down the street has changed.  They've had heavy equipment in near there trying to clean out the debris that was washed downstream and got hung up on the bridge.  And the mosquitos are just thriving in all the still wet areas making it very uncomfortable working outside in the yard.  But we are thankful that we were able to be safe without any losses.  As is normally the case after such an event, we are reevaluating how to be better prepared in the future - especially since we are no longer spring chickens.