Yesterday (Sunday), I was treated to a bluebird sighting in the backyard. It was brief but it sure did make my day!
Monday, December 29, 2008
Yesterday (Sunday), I was treated to a bluebird sighting in the backyard. It was brief but it sure did make my day!
Sunday, December 28, 2008
The funny thing is that I was going to use that very same tree stamp for our cards this year, but after seeing such beauties come to me I thought I'd try something else. That's only a partial reason why I didn't mail ours out until (shhhh!) yesterday!
Of course I had this grandiose idea to adapt the medallion from this card into an ornament and that would be our card, but after punching out all those circles and squares, I had to opt to make two different cards and the second one didn't have any stamping and was a card I did for a Teapot Tuesday challenge a couple of weeks ago.
Friday, December 26, 2008
Tuesday, December 23, 2008
Today, December 23rd, is an anniversary for our family. Ten years ago today my dad died. He had developed an immune disorder after bypass surgery called ITP that came upon him rather suddenly. It all started with a bloody nose that wouldn't stop and tragically was dismissed by the doctors in the emergency room who packed his nose and sent him home. What they didn't realize was that he was bleeding elsewhere internally and by the time they did, the platelet transfusions didn't help. The loss of blood had caused stroke(s) and we were told that he would not recover. We had to make the agonizing decision to take him off life support and stood circled at his bedside as they turned the respirator off. He could not and would not ever be able to breathe on his own again, but his heart, because of the bypass surgery was strong and continued to beat for ten minutes. My mother, my sisters, my brothers and my husband all were there. My children, 17 and 15 at the time, chose not to be and part of me is very glad that they didn't stay. We left the hospital and travelled to my mom's house to begin making calls. Planning a funeral anytime is stressful, but planning a funeral this close to Christmas ..... well, what can I say other than it was difficult at best.
But somehow we managed to get everything set in place and to gather at our house for our Christmas Eve vigil. My father would have laughed to see how my daughter, a non-fish eater made $80 from her aunts and uncles that night for eating a piece of herring. I don't remember what gift we had bought for him, but I can assure you that there was a bucket of chocolate chip cookies with his name on it. You see, his usual response to "what do you want for Christmas?" was always "a bushel basket of $100 bills, but I'll settle for a bucket of chocolate chips!" And that's what he would get (bypass or no bypass).
There were good moments and bad moments that night but the most touching moment came when my mother handed my sisters and me a small wrapped box. She asked us to open the boxes together and when we did, there was a pair of cameo earrings for each of us. She told us that "daddy picked those out for you."
I don't recall any other time that my father had "picked out" a gift for us. I know that he would "pick up" what my mother told him to if he were shopping, but I cannot honestly say that he would have made any specific choice. During his recuperation from surgery he spent a lot of time watching TV and he loved watching QVC. It was during one of their jewelry programs that he spotted the earrings and he told my mother that he wanted to get the earrings for us for Christmas. And that is why I call them the Christmas earrings.
Ten years have gone by and I still miss him. Merry Christmas dad, and thank you for the earrings. They're beautiful and I will cherish them forever.
Friday, December 19, 2008
Tuesday, December 16, 2008
The card is not as simple as the teapot and may be a little over done, but I like the outcome and hope you do. I think that I would try this again and use a different ribbon - perhaps a thinner satin or grosgrain in red.
Oh, and the little red bird is a hint as to what might be coming up next week.
Sunday, December 14, 2008
Then we had cream scones with clotted cream, lemon curd, and raspberry jam. (I could not finish mine and asked for a take home container). This was followed by the desserts. Yes, that's right - desserts, of which I took home almost all. We had Gingerbread Trifle, Lemon Cake, Orange Brownie, Mincemeat Square, and a slice of Fruitcake. And finally, Pomegranate Sorbet. This was all accompanied by a pot of tea of our choice.
While we were eating, an actress playing the part of Ebeneezer Scrooge's sister, performed "A Christmas Carol". She was very engaging and a pleasure to watch and listen to.
The tea room was decorated for the holidays with trees in every room, flowers of the season, and candlelight on the tables. It was a wonderful evening.
On Sunday afternoon, my friend Joan and I took a little excursion over to the Vandermark Merritt Glass Studio right here in Branchburg. Twice a year they hold an open house and the public is invited to watch them at work and then browse their studio. They have displays of their work that they put on sale at this time.
These pictures on the right are from the glass working that we were able to observe. It was all quite interesting and I'm glad I had a chance to learn about another art form and see it all up close.
Friday, December 12, 2008
Thursday, December 11, 2008
I have put together the recipe booklet for the event for the last two years and I thought I'd share the current one.
It very simply began with a couple of packages of $1 notecards that I found at Michael's. I just added some embellishments to the front cover, typed the recipes up and stapled them into the card to make a little book.
I tried a new recipe this year which came out pretty good -
Oatmeal Coconut Crisps
1 c. flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. baking soda
3/4 c. butter or margarine (softened)
1 2/3 c. sugar
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla
2 1/2 c. uncooked oats
1 c. flaked coconut
Stir together flour, baking powder, salt and soda - set aside. Cream butter and sugar until light. Beat in one egg at a time. Stir in flour mixture, vanilla, oats, then coconut. Drop by teaspoonful 3" apart on ungreased cookie sheets. Bake in preheated 375° oven for 10 to 15 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool on rack.
The clear ice brads are from the pretties kit. I added those and used a glitter gel pen to add some sparkle to the card. Boy was that hard to photograph. I hope you can see it.
I know that I've probably said this before but I hope you all are enjoying the Teapot Tuesday Challenges as much as I have. I hope Cindy doesn't run out of pots too soon!!!
Tuesday, December 9, 2008
In an attempt to make myself feel better about my negative feelings for the holidays I wrote a post about it. Unfortunately it did not involve only me. It was not kind of me to include my family, afterall they have to deal with my negative feelings on a more personal basis. So I have removed the post.
Sunday, December 7, 2008
The first picture has the tree in blue. The left one (don't mind the cut-off bottom) has been bleached, the right one has an added white motif.
The next picture is of a white tree inked in blue
and a blue tree with some coloration and white added.
I plan on mounting them on another piece of cardstock and giving it a 1/8-1/4" frame which will enable me to add a ribbon or decorative thread hanger.
Any thoughts would be appreciated. You should be able to click on the image to make it larger. Oh, and I will be also doing the stars or a snowflake for the staff that does not celebrate Christmas.
The Great NJ Lighthouse Challenge - (8) Tucker's Island, (9) Barnegat Light and (10) Barnegat Lighthouse Museum
Barnegat Lighthouse or "Old Barney" as it is affectionately called, is probably the one lighthouse that we have had the most exposure to. We have been lucky to enjoy our vacations for the last many years at my friend's condo which lies across the bay from the lighthouse in the town of Barnegat. The lighthouse itself is at the northern end of Long Beach Island, and we usuallly drive out there once or twice while we are there. The drive during the challenge however is much quicker as it is "off-season" and not as many vacationers in mid-October.
Friday, December 5, 2008
Thursday, December 4, 2008
The frame holder is something that I picked up at the Christmas Tree Shop last year and now I wish that I had picked up more as they were only $1. (Oh yes, I have tons of $1 alterable items here in the house which has me worried sometimes that if I bring one more thing into the house the floors will collapse from the weight. So you will be seeing a lot of these $1 items being altered into gifts for the holidays!)
The finishing touch was the addition of the bow in the lower left corner. She likes birds so I'm pretty sure that she'll like it. What do you think?
Tuesday, December 2, 2008
This week she featured another Christmas/winter teapot - this lovely tree pot (ha!). You just have to see the fabulous card that she made so do make sure to visit her glob. She is such a paper genius!!!
So once, again I thank Cindy for having such a fun tea party and letting me play.
Yes, we did manage to get a little shopping done in the morning but not at the Christmas sales. They were just quick trips to Michaels and Costco to pick up a few things. The shopping for the pierogis had been done by HWNSNBP much earlier in the morning before I even woke up. (He does lists well!) So all that was left was to prepare the kitchen. Now given the amount of "stuff" that I have in the kitchen this could take 1/2 hour or so. And that stuff has to have a place to go - which is all over the house, wherever there is space. With that done, I washed down the counters and covered the table with a plastic tablecloth and waited for the rest of the ingredients and the workers (my mother, sister, and brother) to arrive.
While we were sitting collecting our thoughts before we each took our assigned positions, HWNSNBP went and got the mail. When he brought it in the kitchen he announced that I had a letter or something from Kentucky. My mother says "who do you know in Kentucky?" To which he adds "oh she has friends all over the place because of her blog." My sister's head spins around and she says "You have a blog? You aren't blogging about the family are you?"
No, I'm not and have not. Yet. At least not about that side of the family!
So let me tell you, or rather show you what I did get from Kentucky...... this beautiful card from my blogging friend Dana over at Life is Good. I don't remember how I found Dana, or maybe she found me, but I do enjoy visiting her every day through her blog. I'm sure if we ever do meet in person we would be fast friends.
To Dana, I say thank you for the beautiful handmade card. It means a lot to me! To my family, just know that I'm keeping good notes!
Saturday, November 29, 2008
The next stop on the tour is Hereford Inlet. This again, is one of the "house" lighthouses although this one is on the Atlantic. Hereford Inlet is just north of Wildwood. I do believe that this is the first time that I have taken a picture from this angle. I thought the flowers along the fence looked so pretty.
When you go around behind the lighthouse there is a beautiful garden with shady paths and an herbal garden too. The path takes you up to the sea. It is lined with gorgeous flowers, and in the past, those flowers have been covered with butterflies. This year it was a bit cold and windy and I don't remember seeing any butterflies.
Back again in the front between the fence and the building is a gazing ball. If you look closely at the ball you should be able to see two people reflected in it.