Sunday, May 27, 2012

Purple Birthday

One of my friend's celebrated a birthday this week.  Her favorite color is purple so I put together this card for her.

Field Flowers and some Artistic Etchings on Whisper White, Wisteria Wonder and Concord Crush  Ink and paper also.  This is one of those cards that looks so much better in real life - the colors just don't photograph well.  

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Weekend Eyepleasers

Pen, cob, and cygnets - a swan family.

Male housefinch.  

I wish I had had my camera with me upstairs later in the day.  This male was high in the top of an evergreen with 4 females trying to get his attention.  They were surrounding him two at a time and fluttering their wings against his body.  What a spectacle!  I've read that the females try to go after the males that have the brightes plumage.  Guess this guy was considered pretty hot!

It was very windy on the way home and the clouds looked like they were rolling waves.  By the time we pulled over and I got out the camera, all that was left were these gray ones which if you use your imagination you might be able to see a pod of dolphins.  

These next three pictures are the three varieties of peonies we have in the yard.  Don't ask me the names though.  Can you tell I like the pink ones?  You can see in the second picture that the are in a cage - most of our plantings are in cages or fenced in because we have such a deer problem.    Not very charming but necessary.

Creatively, I've been working on some zentangles but nothing ready to share yet.  I gessoed some more papier mache items in preparation for tangling them in the future.   

It was a lovely weekend that started with a tea sponsored by the Barnegat Historical Society.  (I'll be posting pictures of that separately.)  Catching up with friends out to dinner was a lot of fun.  Hearing stories of our "youthful" days - some of them never heard before - made it a memorable evening.  The weather was beautiful but just a bit too windy for biking.

  Hope you had an enjoyable weekend too.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Anniversary & Flea Finds

Last weekend friends of ours celebrated their 35th wedding anniversary and since that anniversary is the coral or jade anniversary here is the card that I made for them.

I stamped the image in Crumb Cake and used my markers and a blender pen to color the corals and the shells.  The hint of blue for water was swished on with my aquapainter and two shades of blue ink.  I hope they enjoyed their very special anniversary.

On Saturday, HWNSNBP and I stopped at a little flea market being held at a local nursing home.  

I don't know exactly why, but I couldn't pass up this old metal roll dispenser.  I don't know if it was the subtle pink color or the fact that it was only 25 cents.  (Of course, HWNSNBP just shook his head !)

There's room for - and it's also in raised letters - wax paper, aluminum foil, and paper towels.  I need to think about whether I will refinish this or just clean it up and add to it, but it will go in the stamp castle to hold those exact things it is meant to hold and can be used for my crafting.

These pieces of jewelry were only a quarter for the pair of earrings and a quarter for the wood circle pin.  I photographed them with a quarter to get a size reference.  I will not be wearing the earrings.  I thought that they would make a great card embellishment (probably another color though), and the pin has possibilities.

But for 75 cents and a nice stroll in the warm sun it was a fruitful stop.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

JB12:10b - Embossing Again

So............. for this card I embossed two ways.  I used an embossing folder for the snowflake panel and the punched tag was from the leftover cut out circle from the first card.  The little birdies in the snow image is a Picture Show Stamp ( that I first inked with VersaMark and then with Night of Navy ink and then clear embossed.  I then, very carefully, colored the birds with my aquapainter and inks.  I stuck that modern label punch behind it and added the navy bow.  The snowflake was an MS punch that I added a half pearl to.  I wanted something short to center at the bottom under the image and used the word PEACE.  Hmmmmmm, wish I had that stamp in just a tad bigger font!

Looking at this picture, the card does appear a little boring, but IRL the navy and white really pop.  I think it could be my picture taking skills were not up to par as I had only 12 minutes to photograph, edit, and post this post.  My fault totally - I had everything laid out last night and should only have had to put finishing touches on it.  This wasn't procrastination this time - just distraction.  I come home with a plan and in no time the plan is shot to ..........  

It's been a while since I visited that Etsy store and I'm seeing a few more things I think I'll have to indulge in! But I will have to put that off until later because the weeds are calling to me.  I'm only waiting until HWNSNBP is far enough away with the lawnmower from the area that I want to weed tonight.  It has rained over the past couple of days and the grass is begging to be cut and the weeds are trying to take over all the flower beds!

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

JB12:10a - Embossing Around the Christmas Tree

When I was trying to pick out a stamp to use this week for this challenge I was happy to find this one in my stash not having used it before.  It just had to be a bluebird.  Right?  I intended to post this last night as it was raining and I was finished with it early enough, however, if you've read my previous post, you'll know that I was a bit distressed and thought I'd better leave it for today.  

So as the title implies, we were to use some form of embossing on our cards for this challenge.  Whether it be dry or heat embossing - didn't matter, just as long as something, some part, was embossed.

The white panel is embossed and I used a circle punch to make an opening so I could fit the stamped image inside of it while using the card base as a frame for it.  The sentiment was stamped on a scrap of vellum and is glued onto the embossed panel just under the snowflakes.  IRL you can see the embossing through the vellum still giving some texture to it.

The image was stamped onto watercolor paper and I used my aquapainter and inks to color it.  You really can't see that the snowbank was painted with glimmer pearl and I took a glitter gel pen to give some sparkle to the ice.  Last step was to add the snowflakes and half pearls.  

Okay, gonna see if I can get another card done for this challenge using a different embossing technique.  But, should you want to see what the lovely Jingle Belles have done so far, click here.  

Monday, May 14, 2012

No Pictures

I watched her the last couple of evenings.  How brave she was sitting there.  The darkness to her was even more so because she was inside at night.  Alone except for the five promises of new life she now gave her full attention.  Alone, with one visitor only in the daylight.  Come to relieve her watch.  Let her stretch her wings.  Bring her tasty morsels.  But at night it was up to her. Keep them warm.  Keep them safe.  She shifted position carefully.  She tapped the bottom with her beak and turned the eggs every now and then.  She knew her job.  She didn’t know her fate.

It was time to turn the camera off.  We heard a noise.  It should not be.  It was more than the rain on the box.  Something trying to get in.  Was it her mate?  No.  It had an arm. It came in quickly.  It swiped back and forth.  Something’s trying to take her I screamed.  There was movement.  Both the bird and the arm.  Then she was gone.  The arm came back and swiped back and forth again and again but all it got was the grass from the nest.  The eggs were too far down to reach.  But she was gone.

He ran outside with a flashlight into the pouring rain.  He looked but did not see her.  He did not see the owner of the arm either.  Did it have her?  Did she fly away?  The nest is a mess but the eggs are safe.  But it’s raining, and it’s nighttime, and it’s only mid-May.  Not warm enough to be unattended.  Not after four days of patient incubation.
If she’s not dead, will she come back?  We don’t know.  We don’t know. 

Having the camera in the box was a joy that suddenly became so painful.  We wanted to be witness to nature but not this way. 

We are so sad.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Teacher Appreciation Day 2012

Just a little something I saw here on Pinterest that I wanted to do for Teacher Appreciation Day.  

I covered a wooden frame that I found at Mike's with some DSP.  The saying was generated from my printer and some sticks from the yard.  The finishing touch was the addition of the butterflies.

This will be for the teacher in the family, however, today it will be displayed in the office at school along with a bowl of three different kinds of pretzel sticks to honor our staff on Teacher Appreciation Day.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Bluebirds of May

We have been getting entertained by the bluebirds.  How, you may ask?  Well, a couple of Christmas' ago I got HWNSNBP a birdcam for the bluebird box and he finally got the extra cord so that he could hook it up.  The original camera only comes with 100' of cord and we needed about 100 more feet to maneuver around the obstacles and run it down the hill and into the house to be hooked up to an old tv that we had.

The blues spent very much time visiting the empty house and checking it for it's sturdiness and durability.  They would go in and tap the bottom with their beaks and then chirp back and forth as if in conversation assuring each other that it was a safe place - and the bottom was not going to fall out.

Trust me, the picture is a bit more clearer than what you see here.  I had to try all the cameras I have and quite a few setting before I found one that would get a half decent photo.  We don't see the rolling waves on the tv screen but the cameras pick it up.  

Then the nest building began.  They sure were busy putting straw in and ....... taking it out again.  This went on for days.  She would rearrange and rearrange and nestle in and then fly out and away.  

This was beginning to become worrisome and then Saturday, when we got back from our errands, lo and behold, there was an egg.  So yesterday I camped out right around the time that I think she laid the egg the day before and waited.  And I waited.  And I waited (zentangling in between).  

 This is a short video below.  When she raises her head and opens her mouth it's because he is bringing her a tasty treat.  The camera is a mike also but my video camera didn't seem to pick up the sound.  But we can tell when they land on the box and enter it because of the sound they make.

And seemingly unaffected - she laid yet another egg and I couldn't even tell it had happened until she flew away.

Today there are three eggs!  There can be up to five so we'll have to wait and see if she's done.  Then she should start incubating the eggs so they will all hatch about the same time.  We are expecting rain for the next three days so it will be cool and damp.  Mr. Blue will be responsible for feeding her and maybe taking a turn at the incubating.  

I wish we could figure out how to stream the feed so I could watch them from school or share it with you out there, but this will have to do for now.  I am excited to see the eggs hatch, and the babies being fed, and how they sleep at night (it's an infrared camera), and how they practice jumping in the box.  All of it!  I hope we don't miss too much of it while at work.  I'll try to share pictures as we go along, but as you can see, the quality isn't that great.  

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Sunday Zentangles - May 6

This first one is for a dear lady who owns a frame shop and whose display of frame samples inspired me.  How many ways could I come up with to use that chevron shape?

That center frame "knot" was begging to be used again here.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Rummages, White Elephants, and Garage Sales

Well, a couple of weekends have passed since the White Elephant sale and I did come home with a couple of things including these glasses for 10 cents each and the little blue fish bottle for a quarter.  I found two big bags of envelopes in various sizes for 75 cents a bag.  Trouble with them, I found out, is that some of them do not have any adhesive on them.    The doilies in this picture were found at a rummage sale at one of the churches in Barnegat this weekend.  (25 cents each)

Also scored at that rummage sale were these balls of crochet cotton.  The box was marked 50 cents.  My boxman, sans box, was a bit incredulous as I just kept digging deeper and deeper into the box and pulling out all these balls of cotton thread.  The even more incredulous part of this is that we were at this sale on Saturday - 1/2 price day - so anything that did not have a red dot (and these did not) was 1/2 price.  They charged me $3.50 for all the cotton thread and the two doilies above and I was smiling ear-to-ear when I left as I explained to HWNSNBP that one ball of thread new in the store would probably have been that much.  I ignored him when he said "Yes, but what are you going to do with it?"  

There were garage sales galore that day and we had stopped at a few before the rummage sale.  My only purchase before the rummage was a bag of fairly new and large buttons.  The woman who was selling these had some sandwich bags filled in a box on the table and I asked her how much she wanted for one of the bags because I did not see a price on them.  I don't know why I always seem to be interested in things that do not have prices.  But back to the story.  She asked me what I would pay for it and I offered her $3.  She looked at me kind of funny and said to look at the price on the box which was turned and facing to the side (so that's why I had not seen it).  It said 25 cents.  I think she was thinking she could get 25 cents per button and when I offered her the $3 for the bag with all the buttons you see on the tray below, along with the hot dog, it brought her back to Earth.  She countered with $4 and I quickly said yes and then she told me to pick out 4 more loose buttons from the box - the four dark blue ones top row.

After the rummage and picking up some lunch we went out to run some errands and came across another cluster of garage sales.  I found these aluminum containers - not food safe - for 25 cents a piece.  I have some of these already and paid $1 a piece at the Target dollar spot I think.  They are perfect for holding spools of ribbon side-by-side so you can see all the ribbons.  (If you're wondering if I have enough ribbon to fill them you need not.  I am a ribbon addict too!)  The little aluminum tea ball was a quarter and I have an idea for that that doesn't involve tea.

But my "catch" or "bargain" or "steal" of the day was this tin full of...........................

BUTTONS!!!  Old, colorful, buttons.  Usually when I see people selling buttons anymore they are pretty much sorted out to only have white and brown and black with maybe some metal ones thrown in.  This tin wasn't marked and when I asked the woman what she wanted I found myself holding my breath and mentally trying to decide how high of a price I would pay.  She mumbled, "ooooh those are very old...............three dollars."    Quick as a wink I snapped the lid back on and gave her the $5 for the aluminum containers and the buttons.  

Sifting through these back at the condo I was transported back to the playtime currency of my youth and my grandmother's button tin because there were a lot of buttons that seemed familiar in there.  While HWNSNBP was doing some painting in the afternoon I set about to rinse these and the others off and to take my pictures.  

I know that the tins that we had when I was young were just full of buttons, but many times now I've seen buttons mixed with other sewing notions like pins and needles and in this case there were tacks and nails and game pieces and pieces of chalk and crayon amongst other things.  So you really have to be careful not to get stuck by something that might hurt you.  Also, some of the buttons had disintegrated and some of the metal things had rusted leaving the buttons themselves pretty dirty.  

I tend to hoard my buttons.  I have jars full of them and can't resist picking them up at sales when I see them unless they are outrageously priced.  Speaking of outrageous prices, we found that a lot of the garage sales that we had stopped at had prices that were ridiculously high.   And come to think of it, we didn't see too many people buying things but there were certainly a lot of lookers!

JB12:09a & b - Peace on Earth(Day)

As you know, April 22 was Earth Day and keeping with tradition (it is tradition if you do it more than once, right?) we were asked "to create a holiday card which re-uses, re-purposes, re-cycles, up-cycles, or in some way "rescues" a bit of... well, SOMETHING... which you'd've either thrown away, or perhaps just overlooked in terms of card-making?"  Read all about it here.

Let me think - do I have anything that I could re-use, re-purpose, or recycle?  Are you kidding me!!!!   There is a multitude of "stuff" hanging around here that I would love to put to good use.   How about some saved Christmas packaging.  There was a plaid box, a piece of red foil box, and a vibrant green piece of cardboard backing from some presents.  A dive into the ribbon scrap basket found the knotted ribbon already knotted and ready to go.

Over the last couple of weeks I have had several conversations related to this very subject.  It has taken me 8 years to realize that I will never use up all that I have accumulated for my crafting.  The 8 years being the time I have been working full time.   Every once and a while I will purge a little of it - mostly stuff that is easily replaceable - but it gets to the point of being overwhelming.  No, I am not living like someone you might see on the "hoarders" programs, although HWNSNBP and the kids might argue that point when they open up the closet door in the bathroom upstairs and find practically one whole shelf full of empty toilet paper rolls which I tell them are going to be obsolete soon according to the tv commercials, but it could easily get that way.  We do recycle as much as we can, but there are a lot of recyclables that can have another more artistic life.  The problem doesn't seem to be materials - it's time.  If only I could recycle those lost times of the day into productive times. 

When my sister passed away ten years ago, we had to go through her things and let me tell you, there was quite a lot to go through.  She was single and had 8 cats and many birds also.  And when it came to shopping, she never passed up what she thought was a good bargain.  However, there weren't enough hours in the day to possibly use all that she had accumulated.   She had a barrel, yes a barrel full of needlepoint kits.  They went to a recreation program.  She had scads of fabric and yarn, and paints, and beads, and well, practically a craft store of her own.  It was too much to assimilate into my stash so I had to be picky and choosy, but sadly, some of that stuff is still sitting, unused, 10 years later. 

I need to not be like that.  I'm not planning to leave this world soon, but when I do I don't want to leave a craft mess for someone to have to deal with.  That being said, maybe it's time for a bit more purging.  But in the interim, I am glad to have challenges like this where I can put some of the stuff to use.

This card below I like a lot better than the first one, if only for the colors.  The "snow" is a piece of that foamy wrapping stuff that I just tore a piece from and the solid trees are a bit of the leftover from the same package I used on the tree above.  Those printed trees are the inside of my dental benefits envelopes.  The swirls in the sky were made with VersaMark ink using a stamp from the $1.50 bin at Mike's and I couldn't find the longer punch so I just stamped PEACE on the turquoise punch. 

So let me ask you, what do you save to repurpose?