Saturday, November 29, 2008

The Great NJ Lighthouse Challenge - (6) Hereford Inlet and (7) Absecon

I know I am really behind on posting the remaining stops in our Lighthouse Challenge weekend.

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.

Here is Absecon Lighthouse. To get to this lighthouse you have to travel through Atlantic City. Well, not really through Atlantic city, but around it. It is kind of odd to see this lighthouse a block in from the ocean and partially obscured from the sea by highrises.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Monday, November 24, 2008

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Another Bake Sale

HWNSNBP's place of business had another charity bake sale this week. Thankfully I had mixed up the dry ingredients for several more batches of Spice Cookies when I made them last month. I got out my package of Fall Flowers DSP (retired from last year - I've got to stop hoarding things) and broke out a new Martha Stewart border punch I got recently. I thought I'd add the Happy Thanksgiving sentiment to make them more sellable.

He told me that they were gone in 15 mins. and that the bake sale netted $1,500 (matched by the company).

I've been busy working on some more this weekend. It's been a baking busy day. Tomorrow we are having a "Cookie Walk" at work. This is the third year that we are doing it. Those that sign up bring in a batch of 6 dozen cookies and after school ends we will meet in a conference room and set our cookies out. Then we'll rotate around the table and take 3 of each cookie and put them in an empty container we need to bring. We'll continue around the table until all the cookies are gone. There are 11 people signed up this year so we should have a nice variety of cookies to have either for Turkey Day or to freeze for Christmas.

Look What I Got

Here it is just days before Thanksgiving and I am finally remembering to share the wonderful Halloween cards and RAK's that I have received in the last couple of weeks. The two Halloween cards are from my Counsin Barb (the witch card) and my co-worker Carol (the dracula card). Francesstein is from my upline Debbie. Aren't they all great! I love to receive handmade items.
The other card is a RAK that I received from fellow Splitcoaster SmilynStef. What a surprise that was!

Thank you all ladies. I greatly appreciate the sharing of your creativity with me!

Friday, November 21, 2008

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Fabulous Flower Angel

This little angel can hang on a tree or package. You will need the Fabulous Flowers stamp set and your favorite color ink.

You'll also need silver or gold cord, 1 large pearl and one medium pearl, a paper piercer or tapestry needle. The halo piece is optional - in this case I used a silver filigree circle .

Not pictured is sticky strip.

Stamp the large flower 3 times and the pointed flower once.

You will cut out these pieces using the pattern (in black) below. Use 1, 2, and 4. Cut two petals (top and bottom) from the pointed flower - this will be the wing piece.
Using sticky strip, create cone shapes from the large flower pieces. Fold the wing piece in the center.

Make a hole in the center of each cone piece.

Cut a 12" piece of cord and fold it in half - knot the end making a loop. Thread the loop through the cone pieces adding the small pearl between the upper two cones, and the large pearl at the top. (I bent a small piece of wire in half to help thread the loop through the holes in the cones and pearls.)

You will need to add your halo piece on top of the pearl. Twist the cord into a knot above the halo. You might want to add a little crystal effects or liquid glue around the top knot to keep everything in place.

Attach the wings with liquid glue or a small piece of sticky strip.

You can add glitter to the edges to sparkle this up.

What do you think! Easy?

Teapot Tuesday 21

I love this pumpkin teapot. When we were on vacation this summer I had seen a similar teapot at the Lizzie Rose in Tuckerton and meant to go back and get it before we left. Don't remember now what happened. Maybe they'll have another one next year. Oh well!

Isn't it cute though! If you haven't been following along, Cindy Mothermark posts a weekly challenge on her glob called Teapot Tuesday (that's the challenge name, not the glob name). She has a teapot collection and she posts a picture of one each week along with a card that she was inspired to make. You can see her glob and gorgeous (YOU REALLY HAVE TO GO LOOK AT THIS ONE!) card here.

Cindy invites everyone who visits to her weekly tea party. I have been to most of them and I can tell you that they are a lot of fun. She has her regulars and an occasional surprise guest or two.

I heard a rumor that even though Cindy collects teapots, she actually doesn't like tea! So........ I thought that I should come prepared to this party with my favorite pumpkin spice tea for Thanksgiving in a tea bag holder card. This tea bag holder card (say that three times fast, or better yet try typing it!), holds 2 tea bags.

I'm sorry that I don't remember where I got the pattern, but if you do a search on Splitcoast or maybe even Google "tea bag holder pattern" you might find something suitable.

The pumpkin was stamped using the SU Give Thanks pumpkin stamp and I drew in the handle and spout. I colored it with my Prismacolor pencils and odorless mineral spirits. The leaves were punched with a maple leaf punch and trimmed to look like squash leaves (I hope they do!).
I took a close up of the pumpkin so you could actually see the leaves.

So I tip my cup of pumpkin spice tea to you and wish you a very Happy Thanksgiving.

Monday, November 17, 2008

INKredible Color Challenge 11/17

One of these things is not the same - or something like that. Can you see the difference?

It started out simple enough - which was what I was trying to do, to show how simply and quickly you can pull a Christmas card together. I made the card on the right and took the picture and started my post about it, but the more I looked at it, the more I thought something was missing, or should be different. So I put everything away for the evening and came back and started again right after work yesterday.

Can you see what I did differently? Well, let me tell you. On the left you will see that the plant has a brown stem instead of a green one. I also accented the leaves and berries a bit with markers and my blender pen.

I took both of them to school today and polled a few people. Believe it or not, it was just about an equal split. But I'm kind of leaning toward the one on the left.

The main image is from the Kindred Spirits stamp set and the sentiment (see, I can put a sentiment on the front!) is from the Heard From the Heart set. Oh, and the colors of the week are Bravo Burgundy, Always Artichoke, and Chocolate Chip. I didn't have any brads in Bravo Burgundy, although now that I'm thinking of it, there probably is a way to make some (we'll save that for another day), so instead, I made some French knots out of 1/4" grosgrain.

Okay, now it's your turn to pick the one you like. Left or right?

Thursday, November 13, 2008

EtsyInspired #9

One of my blogging friends Ashley, of Heart Hugs Designs, has a challenge she posts on her blog relating to EtsyInspired Art. She chooses an artist and asks those who wish to participate to choose something from the artist's Etsy shop to use as inspiration for their creation. Usually the artist who she chooses offers one of their creations as an award.

Up until now, I haven't participated, but I decided that I would give it a try. The artist this week is Camille of Pretty Girl Things. This is the piece that I chose as my inspiration

I love this tile pendant and I think that I will be returning to Camille's shop to do a little shopping soon. Anyway, this is what I was inspired to create

Believe it or not, all of those images are the same size - it kind of photographed as an optical illusion. The card base is Kraft with a layer of Basic Gray. The images are stamped on watercolor paper in Basic Gray, Going Gray, Sahara Sand, and Creamy Caramel. I added some Kraft Taffeta for accents.

I've been using this set - Organic Grace - for a few masculine cards lately. I'm really pleased with the way this turned out. What do you think?

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Teapot Tuesday 20

I bet a lot of people could tell you who this teapot was made by, but just in case you don't know, it's Mary Englebreit. Cindy has such an eclectic collection of teapots, don't you think! If you haven't been following along with my Teapot Challenge posts, and even if you have, you should check out Cindy's glob for all the details. And I know you'll certainly want to see her wonderful card(s) - she is extremely talented! You can even leave her a comment and tell her that Lorraine sent you!

So, being a fan of ME (that's Mary Englebreit silly), I totally had a ball with this one. Who could not have fun with all those polka dots (Lettie, what do you think!!!)? Out came the box with all the polka dot ribbons. Then I chose to use just the center portion of the single blossom from Bella Blossoms. The leaves are punched from Garden Green card stock with the 5-petal flower punch and trimmed so each blossom had two leaves.

I wove the black and white grosgrain ribbons together for my black and white treatment. The background is So Saffron stamped with the polka dot stamp in the Sweet Sampler set. The finishing touch is the sheer ribbon bow with the Styled Silver Hodgepodge brad in the center.

This is a pretty cheery card so I think it'll probably be a birthday card. I'll add a sentiment later when I decide who will be the recipient.

Hope you're enjoying the Teapot Tuesday posts.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

INKredible Color Challenge 11/10

This week's colors were limited to two - Creamy Caramel and Bravo Burgundy. I was thinking holidays with these colors and I also was itching to use my new Christmas Cardinal stamp set. This cardinal was stamped with Bravo Burgundy on the Creamy Caramel, giving it a bit of a sepia look. I sponged both colors on the edges of the ovals, more on the large one to give it the look of a real frame. The cutting of the branches was the most time consuming. If you look closely at the berries you will see that I used a marker to highlight the berries to give them more depth. I also edged the leaves with my VersaMarker to keep it from looking so flat.

So, if you're keeping track of what went into this card here is the recipe:

Stamps: A Cardinal Christmas
Paper: Bravo Burgundy, Creamy Caramel
Ink: Bravo Burgundy, Creamy Caramel, VersaMarker
Accessories: Coluzzle, Photo Corner Punch, Mat Pack, Dimensionals, Sponges

Just to let you know that you will be seeing this stamp set again with a more true-to-life cardinal.

And now I'm going to ask a favor. A friend of mine is in the hospital at this moment. She is a pink ribbon friend who is bravely fighting. Please say a prayer that she can get through this crisis. Thank you.

Monday, November 10, 2008

The Great NJ Lighthouse Challenge - (4) Cape May Lighthouse Museum and (5) Cape May Lighthouse

The original lens from the Cape May Lighthouse now resides in the Cape May Lighthouse Museum on Route 9. After we left East Point we pointed in the direction of Cape May, not quite following the written directions supplied by the Challenge website and happened upon the Cape May Lighthouse Museum on Route 9. This was added to the challenge this year. The lens is housed in a barn-like structure along with other artifacts, but the museum itself didn't appear to be quite finished yet.

We ventured in to get a better look at the lens. You are looking at a very impressive glass structure. The light you are seeing is a regular lightbulb suspended inside the lens housing. You can see from the second picture that, depending on the angle, the light becomes magnified.
Next we headed to Cape May itself. Before visiting the lighthouse, we detoured down to Sunset Beach. This may appear at first glance to be some sort of sea creature, however it is not. It is what is left of the concrete ship that was sunk just off of Cape May at Sunset Beach. You can find more intelligent information at the Sunset Beach website.

This is a shot of the apex of the Cape May Lighthouse taken last year. Below you can see the entire Lighthouse. The parking lot is always hopping at the lighthouse. There is a small environmental museum center in the park there. (And a half decent bathroom facility which is very important when you're on the road all day!)

There also is a birding area in Cape May near the lighthouse.

The picture below I took at Sunset Beach. I really like the way that the sun reflected on the water. You should be able to click on that picture to get the full effect.

To be continued........

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Another Inspiration

Some cards just don't photograph well. In the case of the card in my previous post that would apply. Of course it wasn't a stunner either! So today, because the sun was out for the first time in several days, and I didn't have any specific place to be I declared a pajama day and worked around the house. I also had time to try out some of my new neglected stamps and to do some embossing.

Like I said, yesterday's card, although nicer looking in real life, did not meet up to my standards so I tried the inspiration challenge again. This time I found a little girl's skirt to use as my jumping off point. The skirt comes in red and blue and I chose to use the red one. I got out my Scandinavian Season stamp set mittens and although I have the wheel that goes with that, I decided to use another untouched wheel that I recently got - Illuminated - as the lower border.
The skirt also has some stitching near the top (smocking I believe), which brought me back to one of my earliest crafting interests. That's a story for another day.

Here I used the mat pack and paper piercer to make the holes which makes for nice even stitching. The thread is three strands of white embroidery floss.

Another untouched goody I had was the Red Riding Hood taffeta ribbon. That ribbon with the white edging was the perfect touch, don't you think!

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Inspired By......

The Inspiration Challenge on Splitcoast today was to find some article of clothing or an outfit on the Boden USA website and create a card.

I chose a long brown skirt that had oval shapes outlined in white along the hemline. The ovals were in Elegant Eggplant, Not Quite Navy and Basic Gray.

This is what I came up with. I have to say that I didn't use one stamp. I punched the ovals and sponged white ink on the edges of them. I added strips of the same colors on the right edge, also highlighted with white ink. The Not Quite Navy brads helped to fasten down the Basic Gray taffeta ribbon.

These colors are a little bit out of my comfort zone but I think this would make a good masculine card or a basic notecard for anyone. What do you think?

You can find the skirt here. You have to click on the brown box at the bottom of the picture to see the brown skirt.

Friday, November 7, 2008

INKredible Color Challenge 11/3

This has got to have been the hardest one so far. The colors this week were Night of Navy, Handsome Hunter and......... it comes..........Blush Blossom. I have to admit that Blush Blossom is one of my least favorite colors. It reminds me of a little disagreement I had with my mother.

My daughter was receiving her first communion and I had sewn this beautiful dress for her. My mother happened to work with someone who had a flower arranging business on the side and she asked him to make a little bouquet for my daughter to carry. We talked about it and agreed that it would contain blush pink rose buds and have a blush pink ribbon. When she brought it over the rosebuds were the color of blush blossom, as was the ribbon. This was not what I had envisioned and I guess my reaction was not quite what my mother expected. We talked about it a little later and after I explained my feelings to her we decided just to remove the rosebuds and just have a white bow. I just do not care for that color - sorry.

So to have to use it in this challenge was a real challenge to me. As you can see, there is very little of it.

Here is the recipe:

Stamps: Eastern Blooms, Always in My Thoughts, Sanded
Paper: Handsome Hunter, Night of Navy, Blush Blossom, Whisper White
Ink: Handsome Hunter, Night of Navy, Blush Blossom
Accessories: 1", 1 1/4", 1 3/8" and Round Scallop Punches, 1/4" NN grosgrain

To make the background I inked the Sanded background stamp with each of the darker colors separately and stamped the Whisper White cs rotating the image.

Thanks for looking!

Thursday, November 6, 2008

The Great NJ Lighthouse Challenge - (3) East Point

Our third leg of the trip was one of the longest. We traveled through Salem County to get to East Point Lighthouse. In a previous post I wrote about a shack along the side of the road just before you get to this lighthouse.
When we got there it was high tide and very blustery. The lighthouse helpers had moved their tent up next to the building which takes a little away from the picture, so I decided to post some of the pictures from last year's challenge.
This is one of the prettiest settings for all of the lighthouses in my opinion. On a nice day at low tide you can walk along the shoreline and get a glimpse of East Point throught the grasses.

I tried to get a shot of each of the light sources in the pictures that I took last year, and again, I will include them in my posts. You will see how very different they all are.

I hope you are enjoying the trip!

To be continued...........

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Teapot Tuesday 19

Don't you just love the colors in this teapot? I do. I love this color combination. Old Olive, Pretty in Pink, and Riding Hood Red. This teapot was another birthday gift for Cindy. You can read all about it on her glob. Can you believe that we're up to week 19 of the teapot challenges! I wonder just how big Cindy's collection of teapots is!

I actually was able to participate in several challenges with this card. There's a Technique Challenge (see the card below I did on Monday for that) that uses the circle medallion made with corner punches. I did that for this card but cut away every other motif so I had room to stamp the "roses". (I'm not sure they're really roses, but they fit nicely in the space!) The other challenge was today's Color Challenge on SCS to use the three colors that I mentioned above.

The large white circle was punched with a Fiskars Circle Border Punch that I had picked up from QVC over a year ago (with another one) and had never used. It comes with a pattern for either a 4" or 6" circle which you trace and cut out. Then, depending on the size you are using, you line up the circle in the punch and move it one way for the 4" and the other if you are doing a 6". Since I hadn't used the punch before it was a little stiff. I work at my dining room table and there are things stacked all over the place (Dear Santa, I'd like a studio for Christmas, please.) and almost every time that I pressed down on that punch something fell off the table, which in turn got the bird upset and he flew off the cage. You see how much fun you can have stamping!

Back to the card. You can't tell from the picture, but in the center of the button I put a green jewel from the circle ice brads. I layered the Riding Hood Red ribbon with Pink Taffeta for the bow and got my needle and thread out to gather the taffeta. I used the Boho Blossoms punch for the green leaf shapes cutting one of them in half to simulate leaves.

I'm not sure that this card is going to fit into any envelope that I have! I might have to make one. If you can't tell, I'm really having fun with these Teapot Challenges. Thanks Cindy for being such and inspiration and sharing your creativity in many ways!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

The Great NJ Lighthouse Challenge - (2) Finn's Point Rear Range Lighthouse

Finn's Point Rear Range Lighthouse

We headed on down Route 295 and took a bathroom break at the truck stop off of Exit 2 before continuing our journey.

This is another wrought-iron open-frame lighthouse. The picture may be a little deceiving as the flag pole is much shorter than the actual lighthouse.

From the top of this lighthouse you can see the Delaware Memorial Bridge and Fort Mott State Park.

I had worn my husbands hooded Yankee sweatshirt for this trip because it was quite chilly. It was here in Finn's Point that I was scorned for that. This was definitely Philly fan area!

We quickly checked in, I snapped a picture and we were on the road again to the next stop.

To be continued.......

Election Day Observations......from the school office

Yes, today was Election Day and our school is used as a polling place. In my opinion this in itself is a safety issue, but I do not determine such things so I am relegated to sit by and cope.

Luckily the room that we use for voting is accessible from the outside, otherwise I would be listening to the doorbell ringing all day long. On the other hand, this is in direct conflict with our Building Use Policy as all our doors are supposed to be locked all day. There is a problem for handicapped voters also. That outside door has a step up, so we put up a sign for the handicapped voters to use the main entrance.

As I pulled up to the school shortly before 8 a.m. today, I knew that we were going to be in for a show. The streets were full of cars and people were all over the place. Our custodian had been assigned to stand in front of our parking lot along with a row of cones and only allow the staff into the parking lot. I pulled up to the cones and waved and waited for him to move. He kept looking to see who was in the van and finally walked up to it before he realized that it was me. Since I had been sitting there for a bit waiting to be recognized, cars were lining up behind me and once I pulled through the barricade so did one or two others. When I exited my car, the lady who had been behind me was scurrying up to the sidewalk and said that she hoped that they would let her out. I mentioned to her that the parking lot was for the teachers and that the voters were supposed to park on the street. No reaction. She just kept on walking.

At about 8:10 I had to make an announcement for anyone who was parked in the driveway in front of the school, which by the way has a yellow curb, to move their cars so the buses could come in. During this time, we had teachers who were manning more cones on the other side of the school to block off the smaller parking area and keep the voters from parking on the black top behind the school. This didn't sit well with the parents who were accustomed to dropping their children off at the early drop off door in the back of the school. So the phone calls from irate parents began. The highlighted comments are what we were thinking.

"This is nuts." (Yes we know.) ( It wasn't our choice to have voting here.)

"Why don't you have any police there?" (The township clerk is responsible for requesting police at the polling place.) (You would think that they would have taken care of this!)

"How will I know my child is getting into school?" (Give me your child's name and we will call you to let you know that they are safely in their classroom. ) (Did you happen to see that there were teachers that were walking the children to the door? Did you think to actually park your car and walk your own child to the door?)

Observation - I've heard that poll workers get $200 a day to man the polls. We had our custodian and several teachers manning the parking lot and our office staff manning the phones at no additional pay.

So once the buses disembarked and the children were in class the hijinks continued. The people once again began to park in the driveway ALONG THE YELLOW CURB IN THE FIRE LANE. The police must have been called by the people who live across the street as the cars were parking in front of their mailboxes and THE FIRE HYDRANT. It looked like they might have been issuing tickets.

Then at around 2:15 the cones were put into service again to block off the driveway and clear the yellow curb/fire lane so the buses could line up for dismissal. As that approached the front doors were propped open just before the bell rang, just long enough for voters to think that this was easy access to the voting machines. There were several sprints out of the office door to capture these wandering voters (little did they know that their lives were being saved from sure trampling by the dismissed students heading for the door at the end of the day).

And I must also mention that the room the pollsters were in doesn't have a bathroom of it's own so they needed to leave that room to cross the hallway and use the faculty bathroom. Our faculty bathrooms are locked (it's part of our Crisis Response Plan) and each teacher has a key. The pollsters were given a key but for some reason apparently did not want to use it because they decided to prop open the bathroom door with a wastebasket. Again another violation.

Some school districts close their schools if they are being used for voting. I truly believe that this is the safest thing to do. Not because I don't want to deal with the interruptions, but because it compromises the safety of the students and staff. We live in a world of locked doors and allowing them to be open during an event which could become a potential crisis is simply not acceptable. We are inviting trouble. We were lucky today that we were just inconvenienced but this needs to be changed.

I'd really like to know what you think!

Monday, November 3, 2008

Decorative Circle Medallion

The technique challenge on Splitcoast today was to make a circle medallion using a decorative corner punch. There's a great tutorial here on Becca's blog. When I was looking at the gallery for the challenge, I saw this card by Julsianna and that's when I got this idea. I liked the way she added the different shape pieces through the holes that she had punched. I thought that you could add stamped shapes to the slits and wedge others in between. I was trying all different combinations which reminded me of a kaleidoscope - so I would call this a Kaleidoscope Medallion.

I have to tell you that when I was in high school my grandmother asked me to pick out yarn so she could crochet me an afghan. These were the colors that I chose - Bashful Blue, Ballet Blue, Brilliant Blue and Orchid Opulence. I remember that she made a face when I showed her the colors - you know the kind I mean - the kind that implies "are you sure?" When she was done it turned out so pretty that my cousin asked her to make one exactly like it.

The stamp set I used here is Snow Swirled. I punched 3/4" circles and squares that had been stamped with the smallest snowflake stamps from the set. I wrapped silver stretch cording around Shimmery White CS and added that to the Brilliant Blue card base. The medallion is popped up two layers to accommodate the snowflake in the middle which is popped up once.

I'm really liking how this turned out. Let me know what you think.

Halloween Goodies Finally Delivered

Well, it's only 3 days after Halloween, but I finally delivered the rest of my goodies. I found the six pack of orange cream soda in those cute little mini cans at Wegmans in September and had them tucked away.

The cookies are my spice cookies - recipe in a previous post. The little witches hat hides a peanut butter cup - simple and quick.

The 2-4-6 milk carton was an idea I saw on this blog but I left out the window. There was candy in it and a specially wrapped piece of pumpkin almond fudge. I hope they all enjoyed it!