Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Teapot Tuesday 148

This is Synchronized Syd - she's a hoot isn't she.  You can read the fantastic story to go along with this teapot by clicking here.

So you know when they do their synchronized swimming routines everything is done in unison.  Our challenge this week was to use the teapot as our inspiration and have two of something in unison. 

I have two butterflies with lavendar on the left and white on the right (just like Cindy mentioned in her story).   This is the Split Negative technique.  And our cards this week, being that it is the last Tuesday of the month, are going to a fellow teapotter.  I'll have to do some further investigation into that to see who it's going to be. 

This butterfly comes from a pack of $1 cling stamps that I picked up at Michael's this weekend.  I also have a pack to send to my teapotter destination!   The sentiment is from (I'll have to come back with that) and the border is an MS punch.  The colors are Lavendar Lace, Whisper White and Basic Black. 

And here's a little 4 x 4 that I threw together with some of the scraps. 

Okay, let's go see what those teapotter's have been up to this week.  Click here for the gallery.

Monday, May 30, 2011

Memorial Day

During the course of the year we get directives from the County Superintendent's Office to fly the flag in front of our school at half staff in honor of someone who has passed.  Sometimes it is an elected official but more times than not it is in honor of a soldier from NJ who has perished overseas.  Sometimes people call and want to know why the flag is at half staff and we are able to share with them the particulars. 

Today, Memorial Day, all flags were to be flown haf-staff from dawn until noon in honor of those who gave their lives in our nation's service. 

One school - Southern Regional High School in Manahawkin - had a wonderful display of American flags on their front lawn this weekend.  To be exact, there were 6,040 of them.  These flags were dedicated to the 6,040 soldiers who have lost their lives in the Afghanistan and Iraq wars.  It was a sight to behold.

You can read more about it here.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Strange Birds

Several years ago I was at a community garage sale and came across some unpainted wooden birds that someone was selling for ten cents a piece.  I bought them -  a bunch of them.  At ten cents it was definitely worth it, but this is as far as I got with painting them.  We have had them out in the yard in various places over the years but this year HWNSNBP clumped them together and I think they look rather nice against the dark mulch. 

These birds reminded me of a stamp I had picked up in the $ bin at Mike's.  I colored the stamped image exactly as the picture on the back of the stamp was colored and paired it with some of the retired Ice Cream Shoppe DSP and ribbon. 

I'm sending this to a friend who has been taking care of her mother and could use some cheering up.

And I had enough paper to put together a couple more items, including a bookmark.

Just as a side note - our baby blues have definitely fledged over the weekend and the royal mister is looking to start a new nest.  It's so funny to hear him calling in the trees surrounding the house, but I cannot seem to put eyes on him.  I know the parents are busy educating the fledges to ways of the nature world.  Maybe we'll catch a glimpse of them now and then should there be another clutch in the works.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Jingle Belles 21 - Lavendar Inspiration Christmas and Birthday

Our Guest Hostess this week is Amanda Profumo.  Amanda found a design board at Paper Doll Romance she loved and shared it with us for this week's challenge. 

I used some retired Lavendar Lace and Lovely Lilac cardstock along with a cuttlebug snowflake embossing folder and a MS snoflake punch to create this card.  I'm thinking I might add some ribbon at the top, maybe organza or silver. 

The sentiment is from Four the Holidays and it's embossed in White EP.

So much of this color going on even in nature now.  On our way back from the Great Swamp Nursery you could see lot's of flag irises growing in the trenches alongside the road we travel through the swamp. 

Since I had those colors still out, and my friend's birthday was coming up and it's one of her favorite colors, I took the inspiration from the flowers to make her a birthday card.

I used the SU's new floral embossing folder and the sentiment from a recent hostess set I believe.  The flower centers are MS micro beads.  I'm just hoping that that ribbon stays put.  It's been so damp and rainy here it kept popping off so I hit it with the heat gun just to try to make sure.  Let's hope I'm not embarrassed by loose ribbon!

Okay, now let's go check out the Jingle Belles.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Teapot Tuesday 147

We have gone from the beach last week right into the drink!  The realm of Neptune.  The undersea world.  However you want to spin it, and Cindy certainly can, we are partying with the fishes this week. 

I had a minor procedure today - a shot of cortisone in my lower back to hopefully help with the numbness I've been having in my leg - anyway, it was the kind of thing that keeps you out of work for the day so I was able to sit quietly and visit some of my favorite internet places. 

One of them is a site called One Pretty Thing.  They post daily links with a theme, and I love that they have pictures with the links.  I happened to see a Father's Day post that I thought would work well for this challenge. 

You see, this week our Destination Station is a young man of 10 who loves fishing and he is going to be the Grand Marshal or head Pooba or something of his local Strawberry Festival.  So we were baited, uh, asked to see if we could get those two things to fit together somehow. 

There was a post on One Pretty Thing that showed a Father's Day Card - you can find it here - and I decided to use the Strawberry as the bait for the fish.

I used my Twinkling H20's on the fish (thanks Sabrina for reminding me about these).  I sponged some Bashful Blue on the white bristol board card base for the sky.  The waves are scraps of shades of blue cs that I used one of the oval punches on to make waves.  The strawberry comes from Tart & Tangy and is hanging on a hook I cut out of a piece of an aluminum tray.  The fishing line is just drawn in.  The sentiment is handwritten with white gel pen and highlighted with White Craft ink.

Here's a close up of the fish.

Last week I had been playing around with some leftover polished stone paper I had lying around.  I happened to have stamped these fish from Inkadinkado's Patterned Pets in Black Stazon and then put the piece aside.   And when I was cleaning off my workspace I found the leftover piece from Riot of Petals that looked very much like some seaweed at the moment.  I decided to use my Shimmer paints on the fish and put this together. 

Here are the fish close up.

My fisherman actually got to cast away this Saturday.  He sent me this picture from his cell phone.  I'm pretty sure that this was before the fish pulled the pole out of the pole holder while he was using his second pole causing him to make a mad dash to rescue it from the drink.  The realm of Neptune.  The undersea world..

Let's go visit the gallery

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Teapot Tuesday 146

This was our teapot inspiration this week.  Our lovely Teapot Queen charged us to bring anything to do with the beach.  And our destination is a young man from Pennsylvania who was recently in a serious accident. 

I thought that since this young man lived in Pennsylvania and he liked the beach he might just be able to visit some of the beaches and therefore the lighthouses of New Jersey.  

Starting at 12:00 is the Tucker's Island Light - at 4:00 is Old Barney at Barnegat Light - 6:00 is the Twin Lights of Navesink - and 10:00 is Hereford Inlet Lighthouse. 

I used the retiform technique on this blocking the areas with post-it notes while I worked on each one separately.  Besides the lighthouse stamps I used The Open Sea, Stippled Shells, and a retired wheel on the Ruby Red card base in VersaMark.  The separate areas were sponged on the edges with Marina Mist and Crumb Cake.  The mariners compass, minus the NSEW directions was punched out and mounted on one of the gears from the gear punch, punched in Not Quite Navy.  I added a little piece of hemp that I wrapped and braided to the center of the card. 

Check out the great beach scenes in the Teapot Gallery this week.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Box of Blues

Judging by the size of these little guys this will probably be their last photo before fledging. They look a tad bit cramped in there and I'm sure that they've been jumping around getting ready to fly the coop. 

It's been raining here off and on since Sunday.  The grass is out of control.  There was a brief window of opportunity for those that get home earlier from work to get out and get those mowers going, but the sun and dryness didn't last long enough for us.  When HWNSNBP got home the sky was already threatening and we just about made it up to the garden to get this picture before the skies opened up again. 

This damp weather has brought a little nuisance about in my kitchen.  Ants!  The tiny ones.  I am so afraid to spray anything because of Kirby our cockatiel.  Birds are very sensitive to pesticides so we really have to be careful.  I have tried bay leaves on the counter - didn't work.  We got some of those ant traps - haven't worked.  I laid down a line of salt - hasn't phased them.  This morning I got out the boric acid powder and laid down a line of that - there were less of them around when I got home from work, but I had to clean it up before it did any damage to the woodwork, so we may be visiting HD for some safe spray. 

Any other suggestions for getting rid of ants? 

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Jingle Belles 20

This week's challenge was to create a card featuring Santa Claus, or St. Nicholas, or Father Christmas, or Sinter Klaas, or Pere Noel, or Kanakaloka, or Babbo Natale, or Swiety Mikolaj - well they're all here.  He may be known by many other names but we all know what he represents benevolence. 

I have only a couple Santa images, but this simple one was in the dollar bin at Mike's a couple of Christmas' ago and he's taken up residence in the stamp castle.  Thought it was time to pull him out and get my money's worth. 

I used my Stamp-a-ma-jig to position the Santa's to look like a snowflake, but upon thinking, snowflakes are six-sided so this must be some crazy kind of Christmas Flower.   Anyway,  I stamped him in Basic Gray ink and then used my markers to color him.  His cheeks are highlighted with blush which I hope won't fade out too much.  We shall see in December!

This is a bigger card than I normally do - wound up to be 6x6 so I needed to use a piece of bristol board for the base.  The red and green trims are from the Sizzix die that makes all those trims - can't remember the name right now.  The buttons are strung with some red cotton twine.  It needed a little more dimension so I added those white pompoms on the hats and the red corduroy button in the center for punch.

Here's a close up!

Now hurry over with me to catch the other Santa's on the Jingle Belles blog - I'm cutting it real close to the deadline this week!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Baby Cards and Baby Deer

Babies are springing up all over the place at work.  I've been falling way behind on these cards.  Here's a boy card and a girl card.  Admittedly, I don't think I excel at baby cards. 

And here's the fawn and it's mother that have been hanging out on the playground behind the school.  There was a newborn out there last week and this one was there today.  Hard to tell if this one was just born or not and whether it could be the same one from last week.  Thankfully it will be raining for a couple of days and the students will be indoors.  Maybe by the time they are able to cut the grass, these deer will have moved on.  Last year the township mowers with their big machines did not see the baby in the grass and there were disastrous results. 

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Mother Nature's Collages

Autumn Olive blossoms on the mulch.

Pathway slate with dogwood, redbud, and maple noses after the rain.

Bluebird Update 5-15

Fuzzy baby bluebirds
Snuggled in their nest

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Jingle Belles 19

Our challenge this week was "Spirit of Christmas Past"  which translates to "vintage".  I had printed off this vintage image from http://www.vintageimagecraft.com/ some time ago and had it pinned to the wall in the stamp castle.  Luckily I remembered it was there and trimmed it up to use for the challenge this week. 

I used a More Mustard card base with a layer of Cherry Cobbler under the BasicGrey Wassail dsp.  The trimmed print was given a Chantilly lace ruffle and some Champagne glass glitter.  The Cherry Cobbler Shapeability label was stamped with "Merry Christmas" from Four the Holidays and embossed with gold EP.  I used Always Artichoke seam binding for the bows.

I have to tell you that HWNSNBP was impressed with this one - must be the glitter or something.   He said it looks like an old-fashioned card and even though the terminology wasn't quite right, I knew I hit the mark with vintage.

So let's go see the other vintage creations.  Click here.

Bluebird Update

The nest on 5-5.  Three of five eggs had hatched.  The next day all five were hatched.  The parents take the shells away from the nest box to avoid enticing predators.
The rest of the pictures were all taken on 5-11. 

The nest with 5 sleeping chicks.

I was working in the garden and HWNSNBP put some mealworms in the feeder.  It took quite some time for the Royal Mr. to come out of the tree and check it out.  They both were very wary of my presence.

Below you can see him in the feeder grabbing a mouthful of worms to share.

I wish I had better focus on this one.  The Royal pair sitting on the fence, each with a mouthful of worms.  At this point I decided to leave them alone so they could get on with the feeding. 

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Teapot Tuesday 145

So, should I say we're in for another hare-raising experience this week at the tea party?  I was so excited when I saw this teapot knowing that I had just purchased this stamp on ebay, I didn't really pay attention to the part in Cindy's story where she says not to bring any more rabbits to the party.  Uh, oh!

Yes, but these are teacup bunnies - Rosemary and Sage.  They are of the rare three-toed variety and you see, rabbits are herbivorous which you might think makes them partial to herbs but that is not the case.  Rabbits are partial to almost anything green, but these bunnies know a good thing when they see it.   Sage and Rosemary have a little business going of growing and marketing their own Bunny Toes Herbal Tea.  You know when your parents give you names like Sage and Rosemary you have to put them to good use, right?  They thought they'd have their picture taken in teacups, you know, like that famous photographer who takes pictures of babies in flowerpots and stuff, and use that as the label for their new Tea Line called "for you".  You see how clever they were to add not only the herbs, but the bunny paws too?  You see them, don't you? 

To be honest with you, there is a spoon under the bundle of sage that came from Gardening from the Heart.  The herb in the corner comes from Herbal Expressions and is actually supposed to be lavendar, but the leaves and the flowers can be very similar to rosemary so I stretched a bit with that.  I think this is the first time I've ever used markers on colored cardstock and because the cs color is light, I do like the way it turned out keeping the colors true.  The sentiment is from Teeny Tiny Wishes.  The bunnies are colored with my Crumb Cake marker and the rest of the image is watercolored. 

Our destination station is a woman in Florida who is recovering from a hysterectomy and could use some cheering up.  I hope this helps! 

Want to see the rest of the cheery cards?  Click here.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Mother's Day Weekend - Fun and Flowers

My message to all on my butterfly easel card - Happy Mother's Day.

The card for my mom and HWNSNBP's mom.  (Crazy colors, huh!)

Butterflies shared with some co-worker's and friends.

We had a full day of flower gathering starting with the Master Gardener's Sale at the 4-H Center.  I picked up some more perennials to add to the garden.  I hope the Royal Family will like them.  (That's the new name for the bluebirds thanks to an idea spurred by Lydia on SCS.)

On the way home to drop those flowers off I asked HWSNSBP to drop me off on the road so I could get a picture of the fishermen in the river.  Funny how they were much more clearly visible from the car.  Must have been the height of the vehicle because I thought for sure getting out would make for a better picture.  This is my route to work in the morning and I have been seeing fishermen up to their waists almost on a daily basis.  They remind me so much of my grandfather, although I never did go fishing with him, he would leave early on the weekends and usually come back with a creel full of trout he would clean at the kitchen sink and fry up in a cast iron pan.  Dziadziu, as we called him, would sometimes bring home wildflowers that he would find along the riverbanks.  He often gave them to my mother when she was a little girl.  They could be found replanted in the yard and some of them have found there way here to our yard including some sweetpeas and confederate violets.

HWNSNBP has not been freshwater fishing for years.  He did bring home some wild irises once, but they have disappeared from the yard.  The Virginia Bluebells he has brought from the river have thrived though and have sown themselves wildly in places.

Our next stop was the Arboretum to pick up the chrysanthemum cuttings HWNSNBP had ordered.  They were also having a plant sale in a tent and I splurged on some more plants including some scented geraniums.  This picture below is one of the many primroses that were blooming in the borders along the parking lot. 

Again I was reminded of my grandfather when I saw this.  We had a beautiful large kerria bush in our yard growing up.  I just loved those yellow-orange puffy blossoms.  I bought one and planted it here but it has never bushed out like the one from long ago.  I have never seen one potted though.  It looks pretty with the pansies.  I wonder what they will pair it with once the pansies have petered out.

One more flower related errand to the Great Swamp Nursery to get a hanging plant for my mother and pick up some of our bedding annuals.  Needless to say this will not be the last trip there this season.  The impatiens were a little too small yet we felt and they did not have any blue browalia ready.  We did get our periwinkles and some herbs and tomatoes.

So today, as it's turned out to be a glorious day, I will be planting and catching up on some craft projects that I have been putting off.  That is, after I finish watching Pride and Prejudice that I just happened to see was on last night and dvr'd.  I've got just about enough time in the window while HWNSNBP visits his mother.  I was lucky to get to see my mom last night and deliver her plant so I would have the day to do as I pleased.