Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Halloween Pumpkins

On Sunday, HWNSNBP and I went over to the Vandermark Merrit Glass Studio and took advantage of their "Make a Glass Pumpkin" program.  

Here is a montage of the steps - we each made our own pumpkin.

Retrieving the molten glass from the glory hole.

Our glass master Jake explaining to keep the bar rolling in the furnace.

Then it comes out and gets rolled into shape on the metal table.

Get it to be like a thick, fat candle.

Back into the furnace to reheat.

Then into the coffee can that is filled with the colored bits of glass that give the glass it's color.

After reheating the bits into the glass it then goes into the metal mold to get it's basic shape.

Here Jake is adding the air bubble to the molten blob.

Once the bubble is in, we had to blow gently to inflate the glass while Jake kept the air in the base of the pumpkin.

We added a little at a time so it didn't implode and Jake spun the rod and used a tool to keep the bottom straight.

Then we took it over to the stem station.  By this time the pumpkin was cooling and we used a tool to snap the pumpkin off the rod with a clean break.  Then Jake took some more molten glass and we (he) created the viney stem.

The last blast is from a torch to round the end of stem where it had been snipped.  Then he used a special rod with a hook on the end to place it into a cooling oven overnight.

I chose to make a white pumpkin with a clear stem.

HWNSNBP made an orange and green one.  

You can see the relative size next to a medium-sized apple.  

Pretty cool!  We're contemplating whether we want to make Christmas ornaments next month.  If I remember, next year I just might want to make a blue pumpkin!

Tuesday, October 30, 2012


I'm posting this from my phone as we have no power at home.  Our power went out around 9:30 last night.  The wind was wicked and very LOUD.   I was holding my breath as you could hear it building up.

We have a couple of trees done but luckily none near the house - lots of branches though.  We hooked up the generator for the refrigerator and a radio to get the news.

From what I'm hearing, our New Jersey coastline has been devastated.  We're hearing sporadic reports about our state and its frustrating not being able to see anything.

Right now our family is safe.

October Birthday

Looking back at my posts from last year at this time, I seem to get the urge to clean up and use the elements I have on my work table around this time of the year.  This was one of those cards that just came together with some of the leftovers that I had from other projects - mainly the paper scraps.  I don't have a tried and true rule of what size scrap I save but these were some that I had accumulated.  The Bermuda Bay piece I embossed with one of my new folders and the Calypso Coral piece I scored to get that texture.  I did stamp the leaf using the colors of the paper and I snapped the legs off that fabric brad and just glued it on instead.  The sentiment is from Teeny Tiny Wishes.  I really like how this turned out and I hope the recipient does too!

Monday, October 29, 2012

Leaf Roses

When you have a yard that looks like this and see a sea of yellow maple leaves.........

Collect about 30-40 of them and google maple leaf roses for the directions to make these.......

I wrapped the leaf stems with floral tape.  You can dip these into paraffin wax to keep them longer or you can just use them as is.  

How will I use these?  Haven't decided yet.  

October Sympathy

A friend from work recently lost her mother.  She was in her 90's and to me that made me think vintage.  I wanted something pretty so I used this paper from the small paper pack in the SU holiday mini.  I also used one of my new embossing folders for the paper lace.  

I made the stick pin with elements from the Pretties Kit (retired).  

This woman came back to work and sent us the most heartfelt e-mail thanking us for our thoughts and prayers in addition to personal thank you notes.  She is a single mom and has a young son who is not coping well with the loss and she's been so strong for him.  My heart goes out to them both.

There's a Storm A'brewin

We are waiting the arrival of Hurricane Sandy here in Central Jersey.  I am hurriedly putting together a couple of scheduled posts because 1) we may lose power, and 2) this will keep me busy for a little while instead of watching the round-the-clock news coverage of what's coming.

We've already had a little scare with the power going out for a few minutes neither of us having showered yet! - That is bad because we have a well and without power, we do not have running water.  So I think we set a new record of getting that done in 10 minutes!

The last several days we have been getting ready.  We visited the condo in Barnegat and pulled in the furniture off the porch and tied down the air-conditioner.  The condo is up on pile-ons so we shouldn't get water, but the wind will be another thing.  Pictures sent to us yesterday before the storm arrived already showed the bay breaching the dock across the street.  Can't worry about that now.  We only hope that the people who live there year-round took the evacuation seriously and have headed inland.

I made the grocery store run on Saturday afternoon - not my favorite day or time - but surprisingly there wasn't much of a crowd though there were shelves that were empty.  Trying to shop for things that can be eaten cold or can be made on the stove top (we have a gas stove) was a little challenging.  I really do not like what I call "crap in a can" type stuff like spaghetti o's and such.  And we've been trying to stay away from those box mixes but I succumbed and got HWNSNBP a couple of canned goods and found the mac and cheese that did not need milk so we could keep the refrigerator closed.  Let's say our menu for the week will be interesting.

Yesterday we got the message that school will be cancelled for two days and HWNSNBP's place of business has closed, though they are encouraging all who can to work from home if they have power.  This is unprecedented for him.

We have a generator that will mainly be used to run a pump if the basement floods.  This was necessary last August when Irene came to visit.  HWNSNBP has filled the gas cans and we have water in plastic jugs I had been saving for a project I was planning.  Thankfully I had not yet cut them up.  That water is for toilet flushing (again because of the well).  We have bottled water set aside for drinking and cooking.  All the gutters have been cleaned and the leaves swept away from the drains as much as can be at this time of the year.

It's been raining, but not heavy, and there have been some wind gusts.  And like I said, the lights went off long enough already for us to have to reset all the clocks.  If we have flooding, this street may become an island, but we are prepared.  The worst is expected later in the day.

Hoping all of you in the path of this storm stay safe.

Friday, October 26, 2012

JB:12:22 - Creature Feature

The Jingle Belle Challenge this time has us using a live creature on it.  Sounds like fun, especially leading up to Halloween.  There are sure to be some eclectic choices out there.  

I made two cards this week because I need to catch up and fast.  I did a rough count, including the couple of leftovers that I had from last year and I am still almost 20 cards short of what we'll be sending out.  Make that 22, I just remembered 2 more people.  Maybe they will be the lucky ones to get these cards.

I've had these Memory Box stamps for a while and they just needed to be paired together for this card challenge.  The sheep was stamped in Basic Gray on WW cardstock and colored with pencils and markers.  I cut up a piece of white cs that I had embossed with the chevron folder and wrapped them with some white yarn.  

The sentiments were both stamped in Real Red and I used the fancy label punch on them.  I believe all of the background papers that I've used are retired, but I could be wrong.  I just can't keep up with that stuff anymore.  

Yes, I think the recipients of these cards will have to have a sense of humor.   

Hopefully I will be getting another two creature feature cards done by next Wednesday.  I know I have some Christmas bird stamps that I've been itching to use!

Hmmmm, now which one shall I post in the Jingle Belles gallery?  I just remembered that I can only pick one per post.   You'll have to click here to see which one I chose.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Eleven Stops, Twelve Tops and More


Finn's Point

East Point

Cape May

Hereford Inlet


Tucker's Island


Sea Girt

Sandy Hook

Twin Lights South Tower

Twin Lights North Tower

Well, we did it again.  A little over 500 miles this weekend - gorgeous weather - beautiful colors - 11 Lighthouses, 2 museums, 2 life saving stations.  Favorite stops included Marlboro Farm stand for some colorful mini pumpkins, and fall plants, Kohr's custard in Stone Harbor, I had to have the pumpkin/cinnamon swirl, and the WAWA on Rt. 47 for a pumpkin latte and muffin.

Additional sights included two bridal parties, or was it three?  Two near disasters included a flock of birds taking off over the car christening it (thank God the moon roof was closed!), and a standard poodle charging me on the beach at Sea Girt (thank goodness I turned my back, but he schmutzed my backside - gross).  

More pictures to follow soon.  

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Fall Garage Sale Finds

Last Saturday was the fall garage sale at the reformed church down the road.  I like these sales because they always have a lot of merchandise priced very reasonably.  I've never come away empty-handed and this time was no different.  HWNSNBP actually picked out the cut glass bowl  - we were looking for a nice glass bowl to float some of the large dahlia's in the week before and didn't seem to have anything suitable except a decorative stemmed glass.  This was a bargain for a buck!  The clear glass canisters were 50 and 25 cents and they'll join the small collection I've started of clear glass canisters.  I couldn't resist the small all- white teapot - it will join the other all- white teapots I've picked up at previous sales.  It wasn't priced but I didn't flinch when they said $2 because I really wanted it.  

These appear to be small candle holders.  They had such a sweet little blue flowered pattern on them.  Not sure what to do with them yet, but I'll have to put them somewhere where I won't forget about them for next spring.

This crafty stuff was all bargain priced.  Three rolls of floral tape for $1, some upholstery tacks also for $1.  Four packages of shoelaces for 25 cents.  A rubber stamp for 10 cents.  A stylus and brass stencil for 25 cents and on the lower left you can barely see three small wood and wire sleds priced at 25 cents each.  

Some doilies and napkins for 25/50 cents.  I also picked up a large white eyelet tablecloth for $3  that did have a hole in it, but we can "embellish" around that.

And it seems that I just can't pass up these balls of cotton thread any time I see them, especially when they're priced at 25 cents.  

Thankfully I had my "boxman" with me.  It was a chilly morning but having him with me meant less time spent out in the cold.  He drops me off while he parks the car and while I start perusing the tables he finds a box he knows I probably will fill - and it all did fit nicely into that one box.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Saying Good-Bye to Summer

Just a few pictures of the dahlias before everything froze last Friday night.  It was chilly as we picked as many as we could and brought them in.  It was a good thing we paid attention to the forecast because few of the annuals survived the night.  

Friday, October 19, 2012

Getting Back to Creativity

I must admit that it has been a little difficult getting back into the swing of creating, well actually doing anything much after work these days.  I guess I've been so charged up over the wedding while trying to keep the stress out of work that it's taking me more time to rebound.  It didn't help that I had that cold the week before the wedding either.  Our office still sounds like a sick ward with all the coughing going on.  

But, slowly I have been trying to hack away at the list of cards and projects that I want to accomplish this month. 

The card above is a thank you to a dear friend who brought me a special gift and was really supportive of me during this whole wedding process.  I was literally driving myself crazy trying to find my diagonal plate to do the scoring on the wedding card (in another post) before the wedding, but last week I was able to put my hands on it and I also found the punch that I thought that I had lost.  Yippee!  

The card above uses the fancy doily die and I tried a little trick that I found on Pinterest - to put clear packing tape on the cutting side of the die so it is much easier to get those intricate cuts and pieces out.  

One of Rachel's college roommates is expecting and she wanted me to make a card for the shower. Admittedly, baby cards seem to be out of my comfort zone and I don't have very many images that I feel are usable.  So I went to the stand-by onesie stamp and stamped it onto dsp, cut it out and used some mini clothespins to hang it on some pink cotton thread over the embossed panel.  In the background is the lattice die framing the onesie panel.  Some punched paper lace at the bottom, ribbon and bow and we're done.  

The stamped image above is Tweet Leaves from the SU Holiday mini catty.  I do not yet have the leaf die that it's made for so I lightly sketched out a leaf shape of my own.  I adhered that image to a piece of More Mustard and then trimmed that to frame the leaf image.  The card base is Summer Starfruit and the other pieces are of Early Espresso, Pumpkin Pie, Old Olive, and I believe Cherry Cobbler.  Much like the marker colors used on the image.  This is going to a friend who just had some pretty serious surgery.  Hoping it will brighten her day.

The next two cards were inspired by Monday's Try a New Technique on Splitcoast - Acrylic Block Collage.  You basically take one of your acrylic blocks and add ink to it by swiping, daubing, sponging - however you want - spritz it with water (go lightly with the spritzing!)  and press it onto your paper.  

Let it dry and then mask around the edges with some post-its.  You can then stamp your image(s) over the background that you have created.  Thus creating a one-layer card.  But you will see from both of mine that there is an additional layer and that is due to the fact that I used too much water and things looked a little messy.  Fixing messy is sometimes easier than you think.

In this case I added the circle pieces on the first card on either side and on the second I stamped the leaves onto some colored cardstock and cut them out.  

The bird image is from Serene Silhouettes and the feathers are from Fine Feathers.  The sentiment is from the retired set Warmest Regards - another one of my stand-bys.

I still have a few things to catch up on and then there's also Halloween at the end of the month.  Oh, my and two birthdays I nearly forgot!  It feels good to be getting inky again!

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Wedding - Part 4

These are the table decorations that I made for the rehearsal dinner.  I wanted to personalize it a little for Chris and Michelle and took some of their engagement photos and few of the favorite pictures my son provided and printed them out to fit these 3.5 x 5 frames.  I found out the hard way that although you can readily buy 3.5 x 5 frames in most places that print photos, you cannot print photos that size.   Luckily I was able to print them out from my computer.  Each of the glass blocks held two photos back-to-back.  I replaced the back easel part with plain cardboard and glued them together at the sides and the top, leaving the bottom open.

In the bottom of the glass block (the opening is on the top hidden by the decos) I put a layer of sand.  I then took a tongue depressor that I snapped in half and pushed that into the sand so I could  slide the frames onto it so they would wobble around.  The hardest part was adding the shells afterwards.  It took a variety of "tools" to get them placed just the way I wanted them.  My intention was to keep it simple on the inside with the decorations so you would be drawn to the pictures.

I used the paper that I had leftover from making the invitations to decorate the outside.  You can barely see it in the photo, but there was a band of Bermuda Bay completely around the outside of the block.  I had used the same shell embossing plate to emboss that.  On the top I added two of the Apothecary Accents framelits as a base for the Pool Party flower that I created using dies and punches with a crystal brad center on each.  Then I hot glued the tulle ribbon in layers like a bow.  Die cut leaves in Sahara Sand and a few shells on the top finished them off.  

The real challenge was transporting them without having the pictures fall over, but thankfully it worked out fine.  I only made 4 of these and they went relatively fast once I figured out the picture problem.   (Side note:  the best price for these glass blocks was definitely AC Moore).

I wanted to keep the card that I made for them simple but a little elegant.  I stuck with the Sahara Sand, White, and Very Vanilla color scheme.  I was driving myself crazy trying to find my diagonal scoring plate and gave up on that and used one of the texture plates instead.  The texture was much more visible IRL.  I added sticky pearls where there were little circles in the texture plus a few more.  There's a Delicate Doily sizzlet there and a Very Vanilla flower made from various punches. 

I embossed the sentiment with pewter EB and framed it with one of the frames in the SU Holiday Mini.  Since I popped it up with dimensionals, I covered the holes on the sides with sticky pearls and added a sticky rhinestone above the sentiment. 

Luckily I still have a partial box of off-white envelopes that were a bit larger than this card so the flower did not get crushed. 

These are a few of the cupcakes that were leftover from the reception.  Instead of a cake, they had a cupcake tower with a small cake topper.  These were delicious - red velvet with edible chocolate shells, starfish, and sand dollars.  Yum!  All the food was delicious from the cocktail hour appetizers to the expansive buffet dinner.  Besides the cupcakes they also had an assortment of desserts and a coffee bar.  

And here we are with our gang at Ship Bottom AKA Table 7.  A bit fuzzy, sorry it must have been the photographer!  That's us on the right side.  I loved my dress and thank my daughter for shopping with me and picking it out.  HWNSNBP looked very hot smart in his navy blue suit.  

My hip posed little problem while I danced that night and dance I did.  It might have just been the high of the evening keeping me going although it did take me quite a long time to find a comfortable position to get to sleep that evening.  It was all well worth it though.  

And lastly, some pictures from the Photo Booth.  (The Looking Glass is Michelle's sister Julie's business.)  Keep in mind that we were meaning to "ham it up" a bit!  

Thanks for bearing with my absence in posting this last month or so.  Things should get back to normal soon.  Actually it will be a new normal now that we have a new family member.  My son is very lucky to have found such a beautiful, kind, caring, creative, thoughtful, bride.  And we are so proud to have her join our family.