Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Birthday and the Witches Tea with Pumpkins

My friend L had a birthday this past week and  I tried to use some fall colors in her card.  Pretty Petites and French Foliage were the stamp sets I used along with the hexagon punch and some DSP.  

L and J and I went to the "Witches Tea" at Teaberry's.  We were supposed to go to this last year but the hurricane put the kabosh on that.  The tea room was decorated to the nines in Halloween regalia and most of the participants came dressed as witches.  This was our favor - a rosette ornament used as a napkin ring.  Below was the menu for the evening and you can catch a glimpse of the spiderweb-lace tablecloths that wer on the tables.

I took pictures of our food and I won't bore you with them, but I will tell you that it was delicious. A four-course meal that included a bowl of award-winning soup, a tangy fall salad, my choice of braised spareribs with garlic mashed potatoes, carrot coins, and red cabbage and a final course of pumpkin mousse.  Of course we each had our own pot of tea and over 100 varieties to choose from.  

This owl was in the ladies room.  I wish I could have taken more pictures of the decorations in the main rooms but the light was very low and the seating was sold out.  We were entertained by a lovely witch who told us all about the history of witchcraft in her storyteller way.  

If you walked into the tearoom you really would have thought that it was a meeting of witches. Almost everyone had on black and some sort of witches hat.  

While not exactly a witches pointed hat, this was the hat that I wore.  I picked up this little felt top hat when we were in Delaware visiting Rachel earlier this month and I knew that I wanted to make a hat for Halloween out of it.  I really had hoped to find a pointed hat that size, but it was not to be. I had some fabric from the quilt show (oops, I don't think I posted about that yet), and some beads and fall picks that I gathered along the way and put this together.  

There are hair clips sewed to the brim underneath that I used to pin it to my head.  That white pumpkin is smaller than an adult head just to give you an idea of the size of the hat.  I think I mentioned that I had plans for the pumpkin but it wasn't to use it as a hat holder, though this did work out for the photo and looks pretty cool on the kitchen table.  

I've had a run with fabric projects this fall that I've been trying to complete along with some other things that I've been working on.  These pumpkins below are the easiest pumpkins that I've ever done.  I found the tutorial here.  I opted to use just three strands of jute and found that taking a longer running stitch around the yo-yo made it go faster and didn't leave such a big opening for me.

I had these fat quarters on hand down at the condo and thought it would be okay to make some non-traditional fall pumpkins out of them.  I pulled plates and bowls out of the cabinets to use as patterns for the circles so you see a variety of sizes.  

I'll have to get a better picture of the basket that I used for the picture.  It was a project that I had asked HWNSNBP to do for me - a  wood and wire trug to gather produce from the garden.   I didn't get a chance to use it for that this summer since we let the garden get away from us this year. There's always next year.  

I have so many things on my to-do list that I wanted to get done for Halloween but I've got a stinking cold that's knocked me for a loop.  I was going to bake cookies, try making pumpkin marshmallows and throw together some pumpkin fudge, but I don't want to spread my germs around.  It's frustrating when you stay home sick and can't get to do the things you would really like to take time off for.  

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Nature Along the Way

A quick stop at Marlboro Farm Market in Bridgeton last Saturday.  Winesaps and mini pumpkins to go.

Blue cedar berries from the grounds at the East Point Lighthouse.

A very large hawk atop the dead tress along the road to and from East Point.

Zinnia from the front yard of the lighthouse at Hereford Inlet.  

And the many different colors of lantana that they have growing there.

This pyracantha bush is just outside the doorway to the Barnegat Light Museum.  It is a beauty.

And more cedar berries on the grounds of Barnegat Light.

Friday, October 25, 2013

Lighthouse Challenge 2013....Almost

Last weekend was the Lighthouse Challenge of New Jersey.  I've lost track of the number of years that we've done this, but I think it's our 11th year and the first time we started but didn't finish.  We got an early start on Saturday morning but had to make a stop on the way to the first lighthouse that took longer than we expected which put us behind schedule to begin with.  

Below you will see Tinicum Lighthouse.  I haven't seen this light at night, but the information on it says the light is red.  It is a Rear Range Lighthouse that is still used in helping navigation on the Delaware River.  Not all lighthouses are on our ocean coast.  

The next stop was Finn's Point.  This lighthouse is no longer active as a navigational tool.

East Point below, is to me, one of the most picturesque although I had a bit of difficulty getting a clear picture from the road as my camera kept wanting to focus on the grasses that were blowing in the wind.

The information on this lighthouse says that it is the most remotely located one and that is true.  It takes the longest to get to and from there. It still guides those who sail this portion of the Delaware.

As we traveled on to Cape May it began to drizzle and continued for much of the rest of the day.  It was at this point that we decided that we would eliminate the Life Saving Station stops and the lighthouse in Absecon to avoid going through busy Atlantic City in the rain.

So from Cape May we headed northward to Hereford Inlet in North Wildwood.  Another of my favorites because of the surrounding garden.  But we didn't venture into the garden that day because of the rain.

Between Hereford and Tuckerton, with HWNSNBP at the wheel, I was able to secure a little nap.  I usually try to stay awake during this journey to enjoy the fall foliage, but with the cloud cover I gave in to a little shut eye.  Thank goodness that HWNSNBP doesn't mind driving.

There was something else going on at the Tuckerton Seaport that I think might have had something to do with Breast Cancer Awareness, but we never did find out exactly what it was before we left.  

Our next goal was to get to Old Barney, a familiar sight if you follow.  Surprisingly the water in the channel alongside the lighthouse was relatively calm and we only saw one diving bird in the area of which I didn't get a good enough picture to share.

You can see all the cloud cover below.  

On Sunday morning, though the weather was much better and the sun was shining, we decided to forego finishing the last three visits that would have taken us most of the day.  We figured that since we had skipped a lighthouse and more the day before that the challenge wouldn't be a complete one anyway and we could take advantage of the beautiful weather and gets some things done around the house.  

We do seem to have a never-ending supply of leaves to gather, and HWNSNBP got to some of that.  The two of us even managed to get over to the school to clean up and clean out the beds that we had planted there.  I picked what I could of the zinnias for a bouquet to take to work on Monday knowing that this past week would bring us a frost that would take them.... that was a good decision.  I got to enjoy them all week long on my counter and brought home the remnants this weekend.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Full Moon to Sunrise in 10 Minutes

We set out early Saturday morning for the Lighthouse Challenge.  The full moon was still visible and bright just before sunrise.  Here it is casting it's glow on a freshly baled hay field.  

The picture below was taken at a stop light with the moon over a field of solar panels under construction.  They're popping up all over the place.

About 10 minutes down the road you could see the sunrise.  

The weather stayed nice on our journey until we reached Cape May around 1:00.  Then we had a light drizzle the rest of the way.  There'll be more pictures soon.

Monday, October 14, 2013

Happy Anniversary and Pumpkins for the Girls

My son and his beautiful wife just celebrated their first wedding anniversary.  Boy, that year flew by.  Their wedding was on the beach last October and they just returned from an anniversary trip to another beach destination.  Using some of the paper that I had left over from making their wedding invitations, I created this card for them.  My inspiration came again from this card made by Julie Gearinger.  

I got a chance to use my new thinlit die that allows that circle to swing out when you open the card. On the back side (sorry I didn't get a picture) it simply says Happy Anniversary.  

This weekend was one of those golden ones.   That's what I call it when I get to see all of my children.  We got to see Chris and Michelle when they returned from the airport after we had spent the day in Delaware visiting Rachel.

I made these paper pumpkins with sunflowers for Rachel and her two housemates.  Inside there was candy of course.  

The sunflower die is a Susan's Garden die and the box pattern comes from My Scrap Chick.  I printed the pattern onto Pumpkin Pie cs and then stamped the top pieces before cutting it out and putting it together.  I used red-line tape for this to ensure that those curved sides stayed intact.  

Sorry for the blurry pictures.  My goal this week is to get my photo tent set up so I can share some decent photos again.  

It was so good visiting with Rachel this weekend and catching up.  She took us to do a little shopping at Trader Joe's in Wilmington where I bought almost everything "pumpkin" that they had and then we hit her favorite store - Target.  Lunch at Bertucci's Italian restaurant, shoe shopping at DSW and a last stop at JoAnn's Fabrics.  It was so good to see here and spend time with her - I know I said that already, but it really was.  

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

White Horse, White Birds, White Pumpkin - Charmingly

My good friend J and I attended a fall festival at a little church down the shore last weekend. There was a path through the woods that they were using to give horse cart rides to those that were interested.  We didn't take a ride but we took some time to admire this beautiful white horse.

Besides having crafts and vendors there, they also had a little rummage sale area where I picked up two wooden stools for a steal.  They need some sprucing up which I hope to get to soon and share.

I also found another seagull pin to join the one I had found at a flea market some time ago.  Here's the old one......

And the new one.  The furniture cushions at the condo are "wearing" them.  I've been keeping my eyes open for more to join the flock and was thrilled to find this second one.

Staying with this "white" theme, I picked up an artificial white pumpkin at Mike's that weekend also.  They were on sale so I went for it.  I have something planned for this pumpkin, but I need to get myself in gear to move forward with it.  I did take care of another project this past weekend though.

Big Lots had  "Charm Packs" of fabric squares for $3.  I picked one with fall colors.  There were 24 in the pack.  What to do with them?  I made yo yo's.  And then I stitched the yo yo's together to make a little mat for the pumpkin.  It covers up that empty space in the middle perfectly.

Pretty cute, eh!