Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Jingle Belles 35 - The Midas Touch

It's not that I was feeling industrious.  Nor was it because I needed to make two cards for our Jingle Belles Challenge.  But I figured that since I had the embossing powder out, and since it was a nice cool day and I did not need the fan on, and since we had our power back, and since the power was still out at work and I was able to come home early, I might as well take advantage of it and stamp and emboss more than one image.  You see our theme this week is "The Midas Touch" and we were to use gold and/or silver on our card along with our choice of neutrals.  Our guest Belle is Leslie of The Crooked Stamper.  This is a wonderful challenge that also let me ink up a new stamp set - Comfort and Joy.

My choice was further inspired by the fact that I bought the two-pack of Nutella at Costco and had opened each jar and had carefully removed the gold foil seal on the jar to use in some craft project.  So I had two of those to use also. 

I really did not intend to wait until yesterday to work on this/these cards, but Sunday, as I was preparing my work space (cleaning and purging would be good words too) our power went out - the tail end of Hurricane Irene had nailed us.  She flooded our basement, but we had that under control.  And she toyed with the power off and on for most of Sunday afternoon.  But just as the sun was beginning to go down the wind was too much for the power lines somewhere down the road and our power went out.  Lasted about 18 hours which is not bad compared to some people who are still without.  But when you are planning to emboss, and I must say that I don't often do that, you need electricity for your heat gun.  So I had to put this off until yesterday.

I will tell you though that I put that time before the sun completely went down to good use.  There were numerous (I'm embarrassed to say just how many) stamp sets that I had not mounted and that was one of the things that I could relocate to the kitchen counter by the window.  So now I have no excuses to ink up some more of my new sets soon.

Here are the details of the cards.  The cardstock is metallic gold cardstock that I picked up at One Little Spark.  The stamp set is called Comfort and Joy from the new Holiday Mini catalog.  I stamped that bird image in VersaMark ink on Very Vanilla cs and embossed with gold EP.  The gold Nutella seals were die cut with the Sizzix Pennant die.  The top card has a bit of crocheted lace (thank you Sabrina) and some gold cording threaded through.  The bottom card is outlined with SU's gold glass glitter.  They both have an antique gold SU brad.  I used some of those paper doilies that are in my stash and the sentiment is also embossed.   

I think I will earmark these cards for the grandmothers.  Now I'm off to see the other beauties - join me here.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Teapot Tuesday 161

Behind Door Number 1 we have the Yellow Flower Ladybug teapot.

Behind Door Number 2 we have the I'm a Little Teapot Ladybug Teapot.

Behind Door Number 3 we have the Ladybugs and Leaves Teapot.

And of course there's a story to go with it that you can find here.

I chose to combine the teapots in a matter of sorts.  I have yellow flower(s), leaves, and a lone ladybug on my card.

The stamps are from the new set Array of Sunshine which is a hostess set.  I stamped the background with Daffodil Delight flowers stamped off once, then masked and the leaves then stamped in Old Olive.  The three raised and layered flowers use a multitude of ink pads - Daffodil Delight (straight and stamped off once), Crushed Curry, More Mustard, Peach Parfait, Pumpkin Pie, Tangerine Tango, Dusty Durango, and Cajun Craze.  The little ladybug is a wooden one that I have a bag full of in different sizes.

While it took me a while to do this card (all those layered flowers and masks took time cutting), it was good to focus on.  It's been a crazy weekend and without power at school, crazier even. 

Our destination this week is a fellow teapotter who is undergoing some pretty extenisve surgery today.  We're all wishing her well as you can see in the gallery this week. 

Blue Monday - Retirement Wishes

Morning Glories - I love the color of Morning Glories.  I always have as far back as I can remember.  The only beef I have with Morning Glories is that they take so long to flower.  We plant them early and they climb and climb and climb and it isn't until August that they begin to flower.  And, when they do bloom, the blossoms face south as does the back of the house, so to get the full effect, you have to be standing on the other side of the vine.  This particular blossom was underneath the vine and the picture was taken later in the day when most of the flowers were closed which is why they are named Morning Glories - because they are most glorious in the morning.  I think that Morning Stars would have been a good name also.  As you can see there is a star in the blossom.

The pool noodles seem to be giving me a message.  With the night temperatures dipping into the high 50's and low 60's, the daytime pool temp has dropped to a chilly 68 degrees - a little bit too cold to enjoy.  Makes me a little sad because that means the pool will be closing soon and this is one of the only ways that I have been getting any relief from this hip and leg thing. 

Our Mailman is retiring tomorrow after 30+ years on the job.  I don't know exactly how many years he's had this route, but I do know that it's been for most of the time that we've lived here.  I thought that deserved a thank you and a wish for a happy retirement. 

This little mailbox and the bluebird are from Picnic Parade (retired).  I stamped it onto watercolor paper and used my aquapainter to color it.  I stuck to a red, white and blue color scheme. 

Maybe you remember the little mailbox stamp holder that I picked up at the flea market last month - well, we decided to fill it with stamps and give it to the mailman.  That will keep him from having to go back to the post office for some time after he retires!

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Hereford Inlet and Pigeon Talk (With a Little Pink Saturday Too)

After our visit to the garden at Leamings Run we ventured into North Wildwood to visit the Hereford Inlet Lighthouse. This has to be one of the more picturesque of the lighthouses we've been to if only for the lovely gardens that surround the lighthouse itself. 

Once you walk around the back of the building there is a lovely garden with many paths that you can take.  We took the path out to the little boardwalk area.  Just before you climb the walkway to the boardwalk they have these two lifeboats strategically placed. 

These pigeons were perched on the roof of the lighthouse and we just so happened to eavesdrop on them.....

I know, pretty sad - so let me leave you with some Pink Saturday pictures.

A crape myrtle in full bloom on the garden visit.

And the sunset from Monday night over the wildlife refuge in Barnegat.  I know it looks nothing like that tonight, but by Monday, hopefully the sky will illuminate it again.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

A Visit to Leamings Run

For years I've wanted to visit this garden in Cape May County.  It was such a beautiful day - breezy and not too warm, so we decided to go for it.  The hummingbirds and butterflies are nearing the beginning of their migration and according to the website should be easily found down there.  This was not your typical garden as it was nestled in a wooded area.  The paths were lined with trees and low growing greenery including many different types of ferns which were deliciously cool and patches of 20 ft. tall bamboo which were interesting and a little scary too.  Well, let's see what we saw........ 

There were frogs and turtles.  Almost missed this one.

This one was very content and was still in the same position when the path swung back around the other side of the pond.

Something about that shape below that seemed out of place.

Look under the lily pad for this creature.

No creatures visible here - just a beatiful water lily.

This rickety looking bridge was actually quite sturdy and made a beautiful reflection in the water.

It had a refreshing little man-made waterfall next to it along with scads of flowers.  Look at the height of that cleome. 

These cardinal flowers were interspersed in the planted borders and wildly throughout the paths.  No wonder the butterflies and hummingbirds like it here.

The little 17th century farm had some interesting buildings.  I just loved the texture of this roof on the smoke house.

And the question of the day - why are there 2 seats in the outhouse?  Inquiring minds want to know!

Still no hummingbirds.  But another flittery creature or two - Spicebush Swallowtails vying for the best flowers.  Just look how beat up the poor things wings are.

 And yes, there were hummingbirds.  Most of them flew off before I could get close enough for a picture but this one lingered just long enough to make the whole trip worthwhile. (Look in the center of the pictures near the tall pink flower.  If you click the pictures they should get bigger)

Let's try this one a little closer.

It took us a little over an hour to wind through the whole of the garden.  The paths were very nicely manicured and ranged from sand to soil to gravel to muck - but not enough to ruin your shoes.  I doused myself lightly with bug spray just before we entered the garden as recommended.  Still there were areas where it got a little itchy.  We hadn't had rain for about a week at this point so some of the flowers were looking a bit bedraggled.  But, all in all, it was a pretty nice walk.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Jingle Belles 34 - Holiday Fall To Layout

Are you ready for a great sketch?  Are you ready for a great Clean and Simple Sketch?  Well I was.  I checked the prompt before we left for vacation and using what little time I set aside I whipped up my card for this week's challenge

Oh, you want to see the sketch first, right!  The sketch comes from Clean and Simple Stamping blog.

I used an image and sentiment from Easy Events, one of my new sets from SU.  I love that you can cut apart the sentiment from the image and easily put it back together on the acrylic block if needed.  In this case I split them to conform to the sketch requirements.

The card base is Read Red with a Crumb Cake panel on the left.  I used my new lace border punch with Whisper White between the layers.

The circle was cut with a circle die and the bird punched out of a discarded candy bag from the holidays.  I added a little sticky pearl for the bird's eye.  The flowers are an old attempt at tatting that I recently found in some "stuff" that had been accumulating.  The white glittery dots were added as the sketch called for. 

Here's the image and bird up close.

This was a fun challenge.  I am going over to see how much fun everyone else had.  Click here to join me.

8-23 Vacation Day and 1:51 p.m.

We headed down to Cape May today.  The first stop was the lighthouse mainly because of the need for a restroom at about that time.  We took a quick walk through the little free museum and then headed into downtown Cape May for some shopping and lunch.

We were in a little shop called Tea By the Sea which sells tea ware and is also a little antique mall when at 1:51 the earth literally moved.  I was standing in an area of the shop that had a wooden floor near the outside of the building and I could see HWNSNBP about 20' from me on the concrete floor more towards the center.  Things on the wall started shaking, the ceiling and floor included.  Much like you would feel if you were standing near a railroad track as a train approached, but there were no tracks in the area.  I could feel the floor move under my feet and looked at the gentleman that was a few feet from me and made a comment to him wondering if that was an earthquake.  It lasted a good ten seconds, which doesn't seem long, but just sit and count to ten and realize how long that is.  Mere minutes passed and someone in the store got a phone call and the news was out - there had been a 5.9 earthquake centered in Virginia that was apparently felt up and down the whole east coast.  I know probably everyone with a blog is writing about this tonight so I might as well as this is definitely a first for me. 

When we walked back to retrieve the car, people were clustered in the parking lot and strangers were sharing information.  Our son called but the call was cut short and then for what seemed like hours, the lines were so tied up, we could not contact anyone by phone, only text messages were getting through.

To continue on our journey of the day, we headed down to Sunset Beach and I splurged and bought myself a piece of earthquake jewelry.  Well, that's what I'm calling it.  This sterling silver ring with the circles entwined in the center and the bars radiating outward.  Don't think I won't always remember when I got it!

Again, there were people still clustered in small groups attempting to make calls and not getting through, but sharing any information that they had.  What was particularly scary was speaking to a woman who had been on the beach.  She said that she thought someone was behind her shaking her chair before she realized what was going on.  She also said that all the birds came off the water and dogs that were on leashes were pulling to get away from the water.  We wondered if there was a chance of a tsunami. I know we weren't the only ones thinking that way. 

I had to take a picture of this wonderfully colorful umbrella that was so pretty with the sky today.  It was a gorgeous just below 80 degree day with a lovely breeze. 

We headed back to Barnegat making a quick trip to Smithville and the candy store there (well, it is vacation!).  The chickens have quite a life there walking around among the shoppers quickly snapping up any morsels or crumbs that were accidentally or intentionally dropped.

By the time we got home it was getting late, but not late enough to do some fishing.  Here are the results - HWNSNBP's dinner.  Eight snapper blues were caught (5 by him, 3 by me) in less than an hour.  We stopped only because this was quite enough for one night. 

Just a quick dredge in flour and then a few minutes in the frying pan with a little oil and there you have it.

By the way, the reason that this earthquake was felt so far and wide up and down the east coast has something to do with the plates.  They are layered, rather than side-by-side which apparently causes the sensation to travel longer distances.  We have not felt any aftershocks and don't know if we will. 

In addition to this earthquake thing today, the other big news has been the prospect of Hurrican Irene coming this way by the weekend.  Sheesh!  What a vacation, huh!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Teapot Tuesday 160

Oooh yeah!  Look at that sweet teapot.  And you bet there's a sweet story to go along with it.  Just click here to find out. 

I got my cheater's e-mail as we were getting ready to go away, but I wanted to get this card done.  It was going to be about birds.  Do I have bird stamps?  Yes?  This should be easy. 

I usually print out the picture of the teapot and the story so I can take it with me up to the stamp castle.  Well, my printer is acting up and relying on memory alone - which can be a little tricky when you're trying to remember if you've packed your nightgown, or calculating how many pairs of underwear you're going to need - was how this got done. 

It had to be quick and geez, look, I did it so quick that I forgot the bird cage(s)!  And, I really didn't remember seeing the part about not bringing fluttering birds, although what is fluttering on this card is not exactly a bird.  So I think that I am definitely coming in the back door at the party. 

The stamped birds and owl along with the net made from the birdcage stand come from the SU set Aviary.  The flying pig comes from somewhere else that I just can't remember right now.  The sentiment is hand written and in case you can't read it, it says "You're gonna need a bigger net!" 

I have to go check out the gallery soon because I heard that there may be some bluebirds there!

Monday, August 22, 2011

Bird Monday, Bike Monday, Beach Monday

Blue Monday.  We biked this morning and walked this afternoon.  Out to the point at the lighthouse.  It was too nice a day not to at least try although my hip was screaming and there were many stops on the way.  Lucky for me that I could periodically sit on the rocks and collect myself before trudging on. Once we made it to the ocean I put down the towel and took in some sun while HWNSNBP walked the beach.  This is my view of him from the towel - so you see it is not facing the wrong direction. 

Below are puddle jumpers we saw on our bike ride.

And the cormorants have returned to the pier - along with gulls.

HWNSNBP's picture of the lighthouse today.  (Not a bad job dear!)

And the bird on the beach he was following.  Could it be a plover or a sandpiper?

This gull dove into the water and fetched out a blowfish.  He started on the rocks with it and then brought it down to the sand.  He stood there trying to pop it and wasn't having much luck.  Rest assured, we told him/her that we really weren't interested in stealing it from him. 

On the way back we noticed this collection of broken sunglasses on the rocks.  Makes me wonder if they had been brought there or found there? 

HWNSNBP scavenged a partial seahorse from the debris line.  It is missing it's face unfortunately.  I don't ever recall finding a seahorse on a beach in NJ ever.  There's always something new out there.