Saturday, October 31, 2015

Boo! - Some Halloween Pumpkins and Sugar Skulls

First, I have a Pinterest-inspired project to share.  I saw a lovely white pumpkin that was decorated with.......melted crayons.  I just had to try it.  So the first challenge was finding a white pumpkin and not pay an arm and a leg for it.  We did find a decent-sized one at the fruit stand that we usually frequent on our way back and forth to the condo.  When we got it home, I looked for, and was surprised to find so quickly, the shoe box of crayons that I had stashed away for projects such as these. 

The directions said to lightly crazy-glue the crayon pieces to the top of the pumpkin.  Sounds easy enough, right!  Well, I should have paid more attention to the details and the picture of the stages. The project originator actually glued the crayons the other way - end to end around the crown of the pumpkin.  I chose to go with a little more stability and glued them into the natural creases of the pumpkin top.  

I was working outside because I knew that melting wax was not something I wanted flying all over the place inside.  I tried first with a hairdryer.  That didn't work too well. It was pretty chilly outside. So I got out my heat gun and used that keeping my distance from the surface of the pumpkin so I didn't burn it.  You can tip the pumpkin a little holding onto the stem to get the wax to drip in the direction that you want.  (And make sure to use good wax crayons.  There were some that I found were not made of wax that was easily melted so I swapped them out.)  This is where it would have been helpful to follow the directions on how to glue the crayons on. Surely if they were the other way, there would have been more surface to melt along and the tipping wouldn't be necessary.  

The hot wax will continue to drip off your pumpkin so make sure to put something disposable underneath it and keep your distance for flying wax!

You can see that it came out pretty neat.  Not too much erroneous mixing of the colors!  It's going on my desk at work until Halloween.  Then the squirrels and chipmunks will enjoy it. 

Another colorful project that I had worked on was using another sheet of the watercolor paper that I had been experimenting with my new Brushos on.  It looks very tie-died I think.  But what to do with it?  You might remember the card I made for my mother last month here.

Using my Silhouette, I found a pattern for a pretty sugar skull and cut that out of plain white cardstock and then added the "tie-died" piece behind it.

I really like the way this looks.  I think I would have enjoyed coloring a background for that skull, but the paper works beautifully.  And it went to my blogging friend Clare in California who loves Halloween.  

And lastly...... sorry for such a long post....... I took a 75 cent pumpkin about the size of a softball and with a fine-tip black marker, tangled it using the natural grooves of the pumpkin as sections.  

I didn't take the designs all the way down.........

but only about 3/4ths of the way so as to look like the design was draped on.

And then I just rubbed it very lightly with a little petroleum jelly to give it a little sheen.

Oh, gosh, I did say last but here is the real last - promise.  The Stampin' Up Paper Pumpkin kit from September had the supplies to make these cute little broom treat holders.  Just a few pieces of chocolate and a couple of pumpkin Rice Krispie treats fit in the bag and were distributed to a few of my favorite buds.

So Boo to you and have a Happy Halloween!  

And if you want to see some more worldly BOO - please check out Our Beautiful World here.

Thursday, October 29, 2015

October Card Catch-Up

My son and daughter-in-law celebrated their 3rd anniversary earlier this month.  They have recently moved into their new home and she has decorated it beautifully.  She is partial to green and they both love the beach so I always try to incorporate those things in my cards to them.  

I totally missed one of my favorite Jingle Belle challenges - Pink Christmas.  I had my Silhouette out and did manage to cut this card, but then I put it aside and forgot to finish it.  Then the last day I would have been able to post it I managed to finish it, but it was an hour past the cut-off time.  Oh well, at least I got it done.  HWNSNBP has already pointed out to me that he doesn't think I have enough Christmas cards stashed away yet and shhhhhhhh, don't tell him, I don't.  But not to worry there's still time.

I've taken a picture of it with a battery-operated tealight behind the front.  It looks even prettier with the room lights dimmed and you can see all three of the trees "lit".  I suppose this will have to be one of those cards that has to be hand-delivered with an explanation.  

And lastly, a birthday card for one of my Table 7 compatriots.  I wasn't too sure at first about that green banner - the color I mean - but IRL it looks great and I kind of like the way the banners from the dsp look like they are an added fringe to the bottom of the green banner.  It may be just a little late in the year for butterflies, but I think for birthday cards anything goes.

Saturday, October 24, 2015

Gatherings - Our Beautiful World

So........driving up to the first lighthouse last weekend I caught a glimpse of this guy on the backstop at the ball field adjacent to the lighthouse property.  I told HWNSNBP that I wanted to stop on the way out to see if I could get a close up of him.  Yes, they're not the most beautiful birds but they do serve a purpose.   

He even tried turning his back to me. 

Then I noticed some movement off to the left.

There were 9 more in the bleacher section.  It was still very cold and I'm sure that they were trying to warm up in the sun before they took off.  I didn't try to get any closer because I remember from a chance encounter several years ago that they hiss and like any other animal, when there is a gathering of them, they are at the advantage.  

By the way, I had to look it up and "group of vultures is called a wake, committee, venue, kettle, or volt. The term kettle refers to vultures in flight, while committee, volt, and venue refer to vultures resting in trees. Wake is reserved for a group of vultures that are feeding."  

I had a little "gathering" with some friends this week also.  I had been wanting to try one of those "painting parties" that seem to be popular around here now and by chance I had seen an advertisement for one that was being done as a fund raiser for breast cancer research sponsored by one of our local medical centers.  When I asked some of my table 7 cohorts if they would be interested they all said yes.  So here we are - dressed in pink as was requested by the organizers - at the end of our painting session.

We started with a blank canvas, a palette of paint, brushes, a rag, and a jar of water.

With great instructions and guidance by the presenters we gradually turned our canvasses......

Into a lovely scenic painting.  

The same subject matter, but all different.

It was a lot of fun.  We were able to bring snacks and drinks and they had music playing in the background.  There were about 30 ladies there that evening.  And just prior to the instruction there was a brief information session on the hospital's breast care center.  

And looking around the room at some of the past classes and some of those in the future it was decided that we would definitely do this again, sooner than later.

And just as a wrap-up, yesterday, on our way to the condo, we happened to look up and saw this group gathering in the trees at the end of the day.

Another group of vultures.  

Kind of apropos for this time of year!

So if you haven't guessed by now, this week's theme for Our Beautiful World is "gather".  Won't you join me here to see what other gatherings from around the world have been shared?

Saturday, October 17, 2015

Lighthouse Challenge 2015 - Our Beautiful World Weather

We didn't get the start that we wanted today.  Circumstances from the night before caused us to change plans a bit.  And then choices were made en route during the day based on other circumstances that arose along the way.  

We intended to start at our favorite lighthouse (East Point) and work our way back north, up the coast.  However, HWNSNBP wanted to take the long route there so that we could stop at a couple of places that we had before to do some "fall" shopping (pumpkins and seasonal veggies/fruits).  And then, since we were passing our usual starting point, we decided last minute to stop there.  That would be at Tinicum Lighthouse in Paulsboro (ABOVE).  

And then, as I mentioned, we moved along, skipping the second lighthouse (Finn's Point).  This stretch, between one and three is a llllllllllloooooooooooonnnnnnnngggggggggg drive, but it goes through some pretty interesting little towns and our goal was to stop at a farm stand we had stopped at several times before.  Well, the farm stand was OUT OF BUSINESS.  Yes, we went all that way out of the way for it and it wasn't there anymore.  But we continued on knowing that there would be others along the way.  It just took us a very long time to find one after that.

We got to East Point and the tide was out just enough to let us walk out along the bay (the Delaware Bay).  The last time we did the challenge (two years ago) the tide was out even more and we found lots of sea glass along that stretch of beach, but not today.  HWNSNBP did find what he claimed to be the biggest Horseshoe Crab shell that he'd ever seen though. 

Yes, and a handful of shells.  And I think it probably was the biggest I'd ever seen.  But boy, did it smell bad!  There was no way that that was coming home with us!

And since we were able to get to that little stretch of sand, I was able to get my pictures from there also.  A plus since the area that is cleared around the lighthouse doesn't give one enough space to get a full picture of the building.  And I think the grass in front does add even more interest to this.

This is my favorite lighthouse to photograph.

From there was another long stretch of travel.  We did find a farm stand on this stretch and before we got to the next light house in Cape May, we stopped for lunch at the Lobster House there and had a wonderful meal out on the dock.  From there we drove down to Sunset Beach (the southern most part of NJ) and I did a little shopping in the gift shop there.  Then we moved on to the Cape May Lighthouse.

Inside the fenced area on the lighthouse property was an entrance in the local Scarecrow contest which was pretty cool.

And outside the rest area, where the flagpoles are, you could see that there was quite a brisk breeze by the looks of our NJ state flag.   The weather was cool, but beautiful.  Breezy, but not blow you down wind.  The theme of Our Beautiful World this week is weather and it was cool, but beautiful and breezy, but not blow you down windy.  

Once we left the lighthouse there, we went into the town of Cape May and made some quick stops at some shops in the outdoor mall there.  I always check out the Scandinavian shop (got some beaded garland for Christmas there), the Cape May Peanut Butter Company (got some butterscotch peanut butter there), Kohr Brothers frozen custard (couldn't leave without a pumpkin/cinnamon custard cone), and Louisa's Chocolate Shop (where I picked up a bag of Bequet Celtic Sea Salt Caramels that will hopefully last me until Christmas).  

Then we headed north to North Wildwood and the Hereford Inlet Lighthouse.  This is the view from the concrete walk along between the ocean and the lighthouse.   

Not surprisingly, there were no butterflies today - too cold, but there were still some plants blooming.

And of course, as is our "tradition", I took our picture reflected in the gazing ball, which even if the ball were brand new, would still probably not be the greatest.  

The next portion of the journey was going to be about 1-1/2 hours and HWNSNBP generously allowed me a little nap in the car as we headed toward Long Beach Island and our friend "Old Barney".  This boat(?) was just coming in the channel and had just passed the lighthouse.  We have no idea what it's purpose is, but it docked not far from this point.

And as the sun was setting in the west, it illuminated the back of the Barnegat Lighthouse which stood out dramatically against the blue sky and clouds.

By the time we got to the condo, this is what remained of the sunset for the day.  The shades of orange and purple in the sky and the neutral tan of the grasses wasn't as dramatic as some of the sunsets of the summer but it was the perfect ending for an October day.

I have some more odds and ends pictures from today that I'll post at a later date.  But for now, please take a look at the weather photos from around the globe at Our Beautiful World.  

Monday, October 12, 2015

Kites - International Kite Festival


This weekend the First Annual International Kite Festival was held on LBI (Long Beach Island, New Jersey).  It was almost a perfect day for flying kites on the beach - just maybe a bit too windy for some to fly.  It was cool enough that jackets were needed (and hoods!), but because of the storm last weekend, a lot of the softer sand had been washed away and what was left was packed and easy to walk on. 

Most lines had multiple kites on them - mostly what I guess you would call novelties like this giant spinner.  

The display kites were staked into the sand and held down with makeshift sand bags.

In addition to the flying kites were the sand "kites".  Here's looking at you!

Or maybe I need a little help seeing you?

Or even more yet!

All kinds of flags were also staked into the sand.  It was all so colorful.

And plentiful!

And from underneath - against the clouds in the sky.......

they were mesmerizing!

Couldn't resist photographing these pigs (although I wished they had wings!).

And these crabs were just too cute!

Further down the beach were synchronized kite flying demonstrations.  This is only a portion of the "dance" that they did.  

And if that wasn't enough color for the weekend - we passed this field of yellow and orange marigolds on the way home on Sunday.  This is only a small portion of it.