Wednesday, July 28, 2010


HWNSNBP was very proud when these lilies bloomed as he had picked them up on clearance from Home Depot and wasn't sure they would ever flower.  But flower they did.  The blossoms were huge - and the fragrance........ well you could smell them from very far away. 

Sand Dollar Sympathy

I lost my father 12 years ago and I do still miss him.  This year has been particularly hard on the rest of the family as we have lost his last brother and two sisters-in-law since January. 

This card is for my Aunt Lucille who was one of those special people that always made you feel good.  I have the fondest memories of her and her soft-spoken voice.  She called people "Love".  She and my Uncle Don had a house at the Jersey shore and we would visit them there or sometimes at their "regular" home.  They always made us feel so welcome - we were a band of 7 and that was a lot to go trekking around visiting relatives.  They had three children all older than us, but my cousin Lisa was the closest in age to me and I got to spend a week with them once when we were in high school. 

I remember having a conversation with my Aunt about music, she telling me how much she liked Simon & Garfunkel.  She was a high school guidance counselor and really knew how to converse with kids of that age.  She always had such an optimistic attitude.  She sewed her own bathing suits and would often wear them around the house (something I've taken to doing during the summer myself but usually with a pair of shorts). 

I was into crewel work at that time and made a pillow for them as a thank you for letting me stay with them.  It had one of those Jacobean designs on it.  Later on, when they retired and moved into their shore house year round, she brought and used the pillow there.  They eventually moved out of New Jersey and spread their time with their children in Florida and Washington State. 

My uncle passed away a couple of years ago after they settled permanently in Washington.  I had hoped someday to go to see my aunt again, but I've missed that window.  I will be sending this card with a note to their oldest daughter sharing my memories.  She had done the same thing when my father died and I remember how good it made me feel to read about her memories of him.  I hope to be able to pass on that feeling. 

I've a fascination with sand dollars lately.  I bought this retired set from my upline just for this stamp - the set is Nature's Wonders.  The background is embossed with a Spellbinders Impressability, the starfish is a Martha Stewart punch (that also makes sand dollars).  I used another MS punch - Deco Fan -  on the bottom border and trimmed it to mimic the scallop shells in the embossing.  The colors are white, Sahara Sand, and Marina Mist. 


This first picture was taken about a week and a half ago through the trees in our front yard.  Sorry it's so dark, but the sun was setting in the west and the back side of this balloon was getting illuminated.  But, it was the first balloon of the season and I had to get a snap.  I believe they were practising for the Balloon Fest which was held over this last weekend. 

The only glimpse we actually got over the weekend was on Sunday morning and even then it was not much as we were told only about 30 balloons went up early and they came down very fast due to higher than safe winds. 

We did manage to catch up with one that actually came down on the playground of the school where I work.  I did not see it inflated, but I believe it was a bee.  You can see in the second picture how the basket dragged across the ball infield before stopping.  It took many people to get this one all squared away. 

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Teapot Tuesday 104

So here I am, back with another Teapot card.   Two in one week, well, make that three because this week the challenge was to make two quick cards with a special destination in mind.  Here is our inspiration and you'll have to click here to read the story that goes with it.

Our cards are going to a children's hospital burn center in Ohio and will be distributed to children who are recovering from burns.  Here are my bright and happy cow cards - hoping to make someone smile.....

I took the two cow stamps that I have and stamped them on the lower border of the card.  Then I colored over them with a VersaMark marker and clear embossed them.  I masked the circle in the corner for the sun - used a dauber with Summer Sun ink there.  Then covered the sun and got out a Spectrum ink pad I haven't used in ages.  Reinked it and added the rainbow background.  Took a piece of tissue and wiped the ink off the embossed cows and lastly added the word SMILE as the sun's rays.

I learned two things the hard way yesterday evening.  One - if you're not going to wear gloves when you're doing a quick weeding in the garden, make sure you at least have your glasses on so you can tell a weed from an errant wild berry vine with thorns.  OUCH!   And second - turn the fan off when you are applying embossing powder unless you want it all over your work surface!

Okay - off to the gallery.  Care to join me?

Monday, July 26, 2010

Rainbows, Reflections, and More Sunsets - A Recent Day in Barnegat

An early afternoon rainstorm ends in a rainbow over the bay.
Out the back window the sky is reflected in the water.
And later - a spectacular sunset.

Teapot Tuesday 103

Yikes, it's Monday I know, but not the Monday before last Tuesday.  It's the Monday after last Tuesday, and almost Tuesday again, and geez, what have I been doing that it took me so long to get last Tuesday's teapot card done?  Well, I've been working on several large projects, one of them being an order from a friend for 70 shower favors (which I'll post after the shower so as not to spoil anything), and although I love my summer work hours, it is a long day and with this heat we've been experiencing, I just haven't had much energy for fun things.

But anyway, enough of that and look at this wonderful teapot Cindy gave us as inspiration for this week.  And it has a destination station in New Zealand for one of our fellow teapotter's daughter who has just had her tonsils out.  This brightly colored inspiration is sure to be a smile-maker for that little girl when she receives all her "heartfelt" well wishes.

Surprisingly, although it took me almost a week to sit down and get this done, it came together very quickly.  Well, with such wonderful colors and patterns to work with, how could you go wrong.  I sure hope that this will make Georgia smile.  I've not had my tonsils out, but Christopher did and from what I remember, it was not the most pleasant experience for him. 

The hearts are from the I {Heart} Hearts set and the little flowers are from a retired set called Sprinkles.  I just kind of went crazy with the colors - it was a lot of fun and so nice to be able to sit down and create something again.

So why don't you join me taking a look at the Teapot Gallery from, uh hum, last Tuesday.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Finding a New Place

We took a walk on Sunday morning along the bay beach drive at Barnegat.  Upon closer inspection we found that there was another public beach area with a long dock attached to it.  It was very refreshing to walk out to the end and catch the breeze off the bay.  Looking down I saw this crab shell and feather flapping in the wind......

If you look closely at the water in the first picture you can see the eel grass growing underwater.  There seems to be a lot of it this year and we recently heard that a lot of it is being churned up by boaters and is leaving the bay inlet and causing some smelly problems on the ocean beaches.  It is not a pleasant smell.

Here is a seagull that has apparently found a feast.  Somebody was crabbing with chicken and either they threw it away, or the seagull stole it.  That happens sometimes.  Just last weekend HWNSNBP had a fish head stolen by a seagull while he was baiting a crab trap with the tail. 

Teapot Tuesday 102

We had two teapots to inspire us today.  One was a football-related one and the other was a basketball theme.  Our sporty teapot cards are headed to a little boy who has cancer and needs some spirit-lifting.

I went home at lunchtime yesterday to try to plan out my card.  Of course I could not find the football stamp that I have.  I know it's around some place.  But then I remembered the All-Star Game was going to be on so I decided a baseball card was the way to go.

This punched baseball character is the genius of Ellen Kemper.  She has the most fantastic and whimsical punch art I've seen.  You must - I say must - click on the link above and visit her blog and see what I mean.  Check out her side bar for a list of specific characters.

I had recently purchased the stars embossing folder and new it would be perfect for the background.  It's done in the new Marina Mist.  The sentiment comes from Teeny Tiny Wishes.  I have to tell you that that set is so handy to have.  It covers so many occasions!

The punches used were:  1 3/4 circle, 1 3/8 circle, scallop circle, word window, medium and small ovals, butterfly, and the spiral binder punch is the cleats. 

Let's go see what the others have been up to in the gallery.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Another Strawberry Birthday

This card is for my cousin who celebrates her birthday in July.  It goes along with a strawberry themed gift bag.  I had another birthday late last month that I also did the strawberry theme for and just duplicated the strawberry items in it when I was buying them.  I decided to add the pink lattice piece to this card with a little vellum behind it to soften up the red from the berries.  The centers you will see below were done again with So Saffron cardstock cut up very finely and adhered with red line tape dots. 

It looks more tedious than it is to do.  I took a 1" x 2" strip of cs and cut it lengthwise but not all the way to the end.  Keep cutting it very thinly and it will start curling.  Then just start cutting it width-wise very closely and you get these tiny pieces.  I used red line dots and just dipped them in the little pile of cuttings.  Using a sticky dot or dimensional would probably also work.

I took my marker to the edges of the leaves to give them some depth.  The strawberries are from Tart and Tangy and the sentiment is from, oops forgot that right now.  E-mail me if you really need to know and I'll figure it out.

I just love how the strawberries look on Kraft (now called Crumb Cake) and Sahara Sand.  Check out this card on Dawn's blog - her strawberries are absolutely yummy, and I'm going to have to give that jam a try!

Thursday, July 8, 2010

More Bluebird News

July 1st - there are three feathered lovelies in the box.

While we were away for the 4th of July weekend Chris took over "worm duty" and put worms in the feeder daily.  Sadly, another of the chicks died and had to be removed from the nest.  But notice that they are moving around in the box.  By Tuesday, July 6 HWNSNBP had to keep his hand over the opening when he checked on them so they didn't jump out.

July 7 - When I went to put the worms in the feeder in the early evening I wanted to check and get one more picture and boy was I surprised............. they were gone.  I saw Mr. Blue in the tree watching me and I asked him where they were.  I looked around but did not see them anywhere so I decided to leave the worms anyway.  No sooner did I close the garden gate then he was at the feeder grabbing as many worms as he could at a time and he flew to the trees behind the garden.  He kept making those trips so I felt that they had fledged and they were safe.

When I came out later to go into the pool Mr. Blue was frantically chirping and flying at me and then towards the box.  I listened and heard a little chirp coming from that area and decided to go check it out.  Behind the box and that portion of the fence is a mound of dirt and it seems one of the fledges had gotten caught in that area and was flapping around.  I gently picked it up and put it on top of the feeder at which time it decided to fly deeper into the garden.

It was at this point that I decided to get my camera even though it was getting quite dusky.  By the time I returned this little guy below had perched itself on the step ladder.  Here you see it from behind........

And from the front.  It doesn't look too happy right now. 

As I searched for the other one, this one took off and eventually wound up in a clump of grass outside the garden in the property line.  The second one had also left the garden and was flying downhill toward our house.  During all this, the father was frantically trying to keep track of both of them even though they were at opposite ends of the backyard now.  Since the one in the grass appeared safe, I went down and got the other one and brought it up to be with it's sibling.  Dad was still rather frantic, but he stayed in the general area and was constantly calling to them.  I'm sure he was telling them to stay quiet - which they were.

By this time, since the temperature here has been in the upper 90's and the humidity really had kicked in, I really needed a quick dip in the pool.   And that's what it turned out to be as I wanted to let Mr. Blue take care of the fledges before nightfall (and the bats were out by now which also sends me into the house although I know they're harmless!). 

I can only hope that either they stayed put and no predators found them during the night, or that Mr. Blue was able to coax them to somewhere he considered safe for the night.  In any case, this morning they were not in the grass but I could hear Mr. Blue in the trees.  We'll continue to leave worms until we have no more, and the nest will be removed quickly in case Mr. Blue happens to find a new Mrs. Blue who wants to move in to the neighborhood.

Teapot Tuesday 101

I'm melting, I'm melting.............. oh no, wait, those are the words of the Wicked Witch of the West when she got doused with water.  No, I haven't been doused with a pail full of water, I've been avoiding my stamp room as we are in the throes of a heat wave here and sadly, that room is not air-conditioned.  It is not too easy to stamp with a fan on the highest speed blowing on you.  The breeze is comfortable for keeping you cool, however, things get blown all over the place and ink dries before it's supposed to, and markers, well I won't go on. 

So anyway, that is my excuse for 1) being late to the tea party and 2) for such a stinky card.  Well, not so much stinky as not really up to par.  I have to say that it does look a lot better in person, but it's not really what I like to produce especially for such a monumental tea party.

Yes, we are celebrating the 101st tea party with the teapot below and there is a story that goes with it that you have to read because I'm sure you'll be looking at the teapot and my card and wondering "what was she thinking????"!

A spotless dalmation that needs some spots!  So we were to bring spots, or dots, ........ 42,000 of them to be specific.  Someone else will be doing the counting thank goodness!

So I have spots on my background, spots on the ribbon, spots on the white circle (which could be a spot too, along with the Razzleberry circle), spots on the tea cup, and a spot of a brad.  Hmph!  I think I've seen enough spots for now!

The tea cup was in the $1 stamps at Michael's and the stamp with the dots on the white circle was a purchase from many moons ago at a store no longer in business.  The colors I used were also from this week's color challenge - Baja Razzleberry Saffrons (Baja Breeze, Rich Razzleberry, and So Saffron).  I forget what the dessert option was.  The sentiment on the teacup comes from the Teaparty set from Rubbernecker Stamps (oh thank you again Teapot Queen!).

So, hopefully I will get to the gallery soon and look at all the beautiful cards next to this particularly sad one!  Care to join me?  Click the link above.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

End of the Year Thank You's

At the end of the school year we in the office are often remembered with small gifts of appreciation from parents, students, and teachers.  Here are the thank you cards I made for the students.

I thought they would like the bright colors of this Kaleidoscope designer series paper.  The set Fun and Fast Notes has some great simple images.  I paper pieced the flower and bird with plain cardstock and added a punched circle for the centers. 

Monday, July 5, 2010

Pictures from the 4th

Crabbing on the dock first thing in the morning yielded 4 crabs, 1 blowfish (pictured below the fishhead, click to make bigger), 1 eel, 1 brand new crab trap.
As the sun set in the back.....
The boats were jockeying for position for the fireworks.............
The sun dipped lower in the sky..........
And at dusk the boats were all lit up on the water.......
The fireworks begin................
A dandelion perhaps.........
A dancer with her rainbow fan...........
A gold medallion..............
A fiery palm tree..............
A flower with leaves...............
I see the side view of a woman's face.  She has a jewel in her poufy hair and a pink collar. 
What do you see?

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Happy 4th of July

Aha, no I did not make this cake but I couldn't resist sharing the picture.  It was made by themaytrix and was a featured cake on Cake Wrecks post for Independence Day.  Click on the link to see the other fabulous 4th of July creations and if you really want a laugh, check out the Cake Wrecks Blog for some really hysterically sad cake wrecks!

Saturday, July 3, 2010

The Fox

This is our backyard.  During the afternoon of July 2 my son snapped this picture of what is now referred to as our neighborhood fox on his cell phone and sent it to me (so it may be a little grainy).  I had seen it myself the day before around 3:30 p.m. but I was not quick enough with my camera.   It's kind of cool, but I'm fearing for the chipmunks!  I'm thinking the fox would make a quick snack of them.  Now, he/she can have as many groundhogs as they would like!

Casing the Catty 2

Okay another CASE - this is Page 138 - using what I have and the stamp set Friends 24-7 which I haven't used enough.  The layout is slightly different adding some more width to the layers and I also added the flourish on top from Abundant Joy (ret.).  My colors are are also different.

Would you believe that I have completely lost the pink card?  I cannot remember where the devil it is. Last time I saw it, it was on my desk at work. 

The yellow card was given to a co-worker who was RIFfed.  She'll be missed!

Friday, July 2, 2010

Birthday Butterflies

My upline celebrated her birthday last Thursday.  This is the card I gave her along with an IKEA bird tray (see this post).  I used Tropical Party to make the wreath on the vellum then added the butterflies which came from the Beautiful Wings embosslit.  The sentiment is from Teeny Tiny Wishes and instead of ribbon I added bands of paper embossed with the Square Lattice embossing folder.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Bluebird Update

On Friday, June 25 you can see in the first picture that one baby is dead - look at the bottom of the nest at 8:00. 

I was advised by members of the Bluebird Forum to remove the dead chick to prevent predators from getting a whiff and destroying the rest of them.  When I went to remove the dead chick on June 26, the father had already removed that one, but one of the other chicks had also died and had to be removed.  I had a pair of salad tongs that did the trick.  Mr. Blue was watching from a distance.

Now there are three chicks left and as you can see they are getting their feathers.  Mr. Blue has been taking very good care of them.  We have been leaving mealworms in the feeder in the a.m. and p.m.   The chicks are very noisy when they're hungry, but pop is doing a great job!