Thursday, March 31, 2016

A Colorful End of the Month

I didn't keep up with my photo challenge this month, but I did get some good, colorful shots this week to share.  The first are the violets that appear each spring ...... wherever they want.  Really.  They are volunteers at this point.  I added them to certain areas of the yard many years ago and each year it seems I find them in different places and not where they were last spring.  

A friend had given me yellow violets from her yard which she had gotten from her sister's garden.  This was the first one to bloom this year.

And the blue and white violets, or confederates as they're sometimes called, came from my childhood home having been planted there by my grandfather who found them along the river banks he fished. (There's a little tiny spring beauty in there too!)

These scilla's have spread like wildflower wildfire.  I told HWNSNBP today that it's amazing that all of them we have all over the yard came from a bag of about 20 bulbs, the size of an acorn.  They must like it here.

As do these chionodoxa's, or glory of the snow.  I must admit that I have a weakness for blue flowers, especially this shade of blue!

These pink primroses haven't bloomed like this in years.  

And I'm not even sure the name of this flower, but don't those blossoms look like some sort of animal with their mouth open?

We have a few hyacinth's blooming.

And HWNSNBP potted up some Johnny-jump-ups that we got over the weekend.

There are daffodils blooming in the yard also, and the forsythia is perking up nicely.  And just as these flowers are beginning to open we're once again expecting a possible freeze.  Oh well, glad I got out to enjoy them this week.

And I also enjoyed having tea with two good friends this week at Teaberry's.  Their entryway hanging tree was decorated for Easter.  So pretty and colorful.  

And speaking of colorful, have I shared this little gadget.  I think I wrote about our office being without heat for a week recently, and then it happened again last Monday.  This time, it turned out to be a simple fuse - yes some of our school still runs on these kinds of fuses.  The maintenance worker showed it to me and I asked for it and put a piece of washi tape around it.  Now it sits on my desk.

And one last burst of color is the latest wind map that I worked on last night.  Admittedly, this is not for our region, or recent for that matter.  I googled wind maps and images and found the one that this is based on which I think was over one of the poles.  This one was a little more complex that the others.  Please excuse my current obsession with doing these.  I'm just having a lot of fun doing them.  Now I just need to find a good light pink marker - I thought I had one, well actually two, but they're kind of dried up.  Maybe I'll have to do some marker shopping this weekend.

I'm sharing this with Our Beautiful World - this week's prompt is "part".  You can see the parts of the flowers and the fuse, which is part of our heating system.  If you have a few moments, check out the other entries from around the world here.

Sunday, March 27, 2016

Happy Easter

We woke up early today to attend a sunrise service on the dock and despite the cold we were blessed with the vision of the sun rising as we celebrated the Son's rising. 

Two little silver rabbits found on one of our journeys.

Some springtime colors and supplies ........... to make .............

(This was what I needed the bird for.  I cut off the sparkly stuff and trimmed down the tail feather.)

And another little Easter project courtesy of Pinterest and A Kailo Chic Life.  A sheet of mosaic tile (about $2), some plastic eggs (about $1), a sharpy, and some E6000 glue and, oh yes, soil.

I had these little broken off pieces of succulents in a bowl on the kitchen counter since the fall - there actually had been many more of them but these little ones were what was left.  I did use all six eggs, just didn't get to photograph them all together.  

We visited my son and daughter-in-law last night along with Rachel.  Today, it was just the three of us at the condo for Easter brunch/breakfast because of the turmoil my craft room project has created here.  But it turned out well as we were able to catch that service and sunrise this morning and after we ate, we headed back home and she back to DE.  

I already feel so much more relaxed than a normal Sunday knowing I don't have to go to work tomorrow.  Hoping to make it a good week.

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Just a "Little" More Journaling

Looking back I know I've posted this first one before, but I just wanted to show the difference in the medium that I used.  This one is with pencils - Caran D'Ache Pablos. IRL you might think that it is stitched with colored thread. (Hmmmm, could that be the next way I try to do these?)

A different set of markers for this one.  I don't know the manufacturer.  The markers are double-tipped and the barrel is unmarked and silver. What I do know is they are an inexpensive set.  I tried these because there were a couple of shades of the blues and the greens.

Today was the last day of school before our spring break.  Ten days!  Sometimes, at the end of the week, I key up a song to play over the intercom as the last bus group leaves school.  Most often it's been Pharrell Williams' "Happy".  Last week it was "I Wear My Sunglasses at Night".  Today one of the teachers in the office this morning started singing "All You Need is Love" by the Beatles.  This was in response to it having been a very, how should I say.....difficult week as far as personalities getting along go.  I told her that I was going to play that song at the end of the day - it was agreed.  And I did.  

Our wiseacre gym teacher, who is young enough to be my son was in the office and wanted to know "what era" that song came from because "he had never heard it before" as the rest of us were singing the refrain.  I told him jokingly he needed to get out!  Then the phone call came and I thought it was just going to be a teacher telling me that I left the mike on and they could hear the music, but no, the day and week had to end with letting me know that two students who were supposed to stay for tutoring were unaccounted for.  Sheesh!  I am soooooooooo ready for 10 days break!!!!!!

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Jingle Belles Vintage Christmas

Taking a short break away from my craft room redo on Saturday morning, I managed to coax HWNSNBP to take a drive to Hobby Lobby because I just needed 1 thing.  Seriously, I only needed one little bird to finish a project I started last week and the selection was not what I had hoped for. (Not to mention that I'm sure I have some birds around here that would have been perfectly fine for the project but putting my hands on it would have been near impossible.  And the bird I did find came in a package of three - like I really need the two extra!)

So he helped me pick out the bird and then somehow we got separated.  If it wasn't for the fact that he had the basket, I would have thought that he would have gone out to the car because he did bring the newspaper with him.  Sadly, even though I'm cleaning out my craft room and have become overwhelmed and almost sick to my stomach at the amount of paper that I have accumulated, I did walk down the paper aisle.  I don't go out to Hobby Lobby too often so I wanted to see what their stock was like and that's when I spied this vintagey Christmas paper. The background and the image panel came from two separate sheets.

But I liked the colors and knew there would be something on the image sheet that I could highlight.  I found the Cherry Cobbler netting in my stash as well as the crocheted trim that was a purchase from the dollar spot at Target, um, yeah, well a while ago.  The leaves are from a Sizzix holiday greens die and I used a textured coffee sleeve from Panera.  (Ya never know what you're going to find in my stash!)  Not sure if you can see that I took some gold shimmer paint to the edges of that holly.

And let me just add that when I did find him, he had picked out a couple of things (for the yard) and actually spent more than I did!

Okay, let me mosey on over to the Jingle Belles blog to see all the beautiful vintage creations.

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

We Have Bluebirds!

There's the mama - hanging upside-down and sharing the suet cake with a white-breasted nuthatch.

And papa likes the suet too!  They've both been spending time in the mornings and late afternoon hanging around this suet feeder.  We haven't seen this to this degree before.  But we certainly are enjoying it.

And then I watched him dive down into one of the flower beds and jump up onto the tie with something in his beak.

Some sort of juicy bug I presume.  And he can have as many of those as he wants.

Back up in the tree he just kept posing for the camera and I just kept clicking away.

Happy to report that they are interested in the nest box and that they started building their grass nest in there on Saturday.  I have a short video but I can't seem to get it posted. I'll keep trying.  They are so much fun to watch.  

We were hoping that they would start nesting, then there was the threat of a snowstorm this weekend which, thankfully, stayed away.  Only a dusting of snow was visible this morning and it quickly melted.  Of course, March is still very unpredictable.  I remember several years ago when they actually had eggs laid by the end of March only to have them freeze.  

Whatever happens, I'll keep you posted.

Monday, March 21, 2016

Card Catch Up For March

With spring on the way I was glad to use some softer colors for these cards.  Three different occasions - sympathy, birthday, and bridal shower.  My stamp cave is all topsy turvy but seriously, I just cannot bring myself to buy a card.  Not because I think my cards are better than any I could buy but because I have so much invested in supplies that ........get the picture!  And, while I have been cleaning out, I am finding all sorts of good things that I'd forgotten I had, like this heart die,

and this stamp set with the spring wreath, and

this embossing folder that it seemed like I waited forever to come in.  

I spent a few hours, yes hours, on Saturday afternoon sorting paper - cardstock scraps.  Scraps.  All sizes and shapes of scraps. I have to question whether I'm being frugal or a hoarder?  Am I being green by reusing or should I be adding to the recycle bin? What I have come to realize is that it is much easier to have ideas and spend time buying supplies than to actually find the time to put all those ideas in motion.  I can only hope that by getting this room, this stamp cave, this craft studio organized that I can focus on being more creative and more stress free.

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Happy St. Patrick's Day

My new pink shamrock plant (oxalis) in it's new pot put on quite a show today.

All the green and flowers today reminded me that I have not shared this fun gift that I received from one of my blogging friends Dorrie.  She sent me this beautiful adult coloring book a while ago and this is one of the pages that I have finished.  I think I used just about every single green pencil and marker that I have on all the different plants in this garden.  

Coloring is relaxing.  The hardest part is choosing the colors you're going to use!

St. Patrick's Day wouldn't be complete without a shamrock shake. Thanks to my office co-worker who had to make a bank deposit, she was able to pick up shakes for us on her way back.

It was a lovely almost spring day here today and I got my sorry self outside early this evening to do a little walking. I found this scilla peeking out in the driveway..........

and this patch of green moss which reminded me of a balloon on a string.

Spring is just a few days away and would you believe that they're forecasting a snowstorm for our area on Sunday.  Estimates go from 1-6" and depending on when it starts whether it will actually stick or just be a "white rain".  The bad part about these storms has been the coastal damage that they come with.  Our New Jersey shoreline took a real beating in 2012 from Superstorm Sandy.  A lot of damage was done to our barrier islands - Mother Nature wants them back.  And even though there have been a lot of beach replenishment projects, each of these nor'easters changes the topography again and again.  Millions of dollars have been spent and will continue to be spent to save the beaches and the homes that line them.  We are lucky that our place is on the mainland and well above ground level.  

Sunday, March 13, 2016

Weekend Wonders

We had to take a run to the condo this weekend to test the oven.  Since I am redoing my craft room at home, everything has been emptied out of it and into the spare bedroom and, really, every other open space that I can find upstairs (she hangs her head in shame).  So..........we decided to spend Easter weekend at the condo which is my home away from clutter.  Last time we were there HWNSNBP attempted to heat a frozen pizza in the oven only it took so long and hardly defrosted that; 1) he gave up and went out to get himself a couple of slices, and 2) we kind of thought that there was a problem and it should be replaced (we think it was the original oven and would be quite old).  So we hurried down there after work on Friday and luckily we were in time for the sunset.  

The sun was actually greatly to the left of this area at this time of the year but this was the show that the light was kicking up on the clouds as the sun set.  I was so thrilled to get the pink reflected in the water which is pretty high right now.

We bought an oven thermometer to check and sure enough the oven wasn't heating properly.  You get to a point where you have to decide if it is worth calling someone to repair it, or replace it.  It is a gas oven so replacing it on our own is out of the question (and HWNSNBP wasn't even insulted when I told him that I would not be comfortable with him doing it).  Like I said earlier, it is old and doesn't owe us anything and we really don't need anything with bells and whistles for down there, just something that will get to the right temperature so we left pretty early Saturday morning to go order a new one.  

On the way there, the only way out is still along the bay beach as they are not yet finished with the bridge repair, and as we travel by that area I always glance over at the marshy area across the street from the beach.  This time both HWNSNBP and I caught a glimpse of this swan very near the road and he immediately knew that I wanted to turn around to get some pictures.

He (and I'm assuming it was a he because of the thickness of his neck) was all along and actually looked quite sad.

He didn't get nervous as I approached but kept a safe distance.  There were other swans further out and I couldn't help hoping that his mate was not too far off.  Or it could be that he was a young male and had not yet found a mate.  I silently wished him luck as he swam away.

When we got to the mall to order the oven, on the way out of the store I happened to look up and saw these clouds.  I remembered reading about this type of cloud recently and never had seen one but I'm pretty sure that you call this a fallstreak hole or a hole punch cloud.  See where the hole opens up in the solid cloud and what was in the hole seams to drain out of it.  I know I'm a kook but these kind of things get me excited.  I wonder how many times in my lifetime I might have actually seen this but not known what they were?  Thanks for bearing with me.

I managed to steal a few minutes from my room project to color these images.  I got a MISTI as a Christmas gift and I really wanted to give it a try.  (For those of you who don't stamp a MISTI - which stands for Most Incredible Stamp Tool Invented - is a tool that helps you stamp an image repeatedly in the same place to get the clearest possible image and works like a charm on textured paper like watercolor paper.)  I used my Zig Clean Color brush markers to color these and later today I need to make them into cards. 

My Sunday morning treat is a bear claw from Panera that HWNSNBP picked up for me while I was oversleeping due to the time change.  Thank goodness I have him for a real-life alarm clock during the week (so I can blame him if I'm late this week).  I can only imagine how many late passes I will be writing out tomorrow morning at school!

And one last share, as I was catching up on some Facebook posts there was a video with instructions on how to fold these origami butterflies which I just had to try.  I've seen it before but this morning I had some paper within reach to give it a try.  I was so pleased how the stripes on the edge met up.  I think I'll be making some more of these.

Now, since HWNSNBP has pointed out that he found me exactly where he left me when he went to do his errands, I'd better get moving. 

Enjoy the rest of the weekend!

Saturday, March 12, 2016

March Photo Challenge ......

Here we go..........a few days into the month

March 1 - Clock 
This is my new Flying Pig Clock.  We picked it up this summer down in Cape May at a store that was going out of business.  HWNSNBP was the one who spotted it first and said I should get it.  I hemmed and hawed, but since it was somewhat drastically reduced I agreed with him.  It will be going in my craft room which we are aiming to have done by the end of this month, so you will see it in it's new home.

March 2 - Morning
March 2nd is Read Across America Day and everyone in our school received a Dr. Seuss bookmark that morning - me included!

March 3 - Kitchen
Can you tell I've been longing for spring - buying flowering houseplants like the small pink cyclamen on the window ledge.  It's in a plastic cup inside the silver cup that my great-grandmother bought for each of her grand, and great-grandchildren when they were born.  My mother finally gave it to me on my 60th birthday and it really needs polishing, but the flower fits so nicely in it now.  And HWNSNBP found another bag of paperwhites in the basement refrigerator that I planted in a bowl of glass stones.  We picked up a pink flowered oxalis and the little blue plant at the Great Swamp Nursery on a recent trip there (we also bought ceramic pots to plant them in but I haven't gotten to that just yet).  

March 4 - Where I Sat
March 5 - Sharp
I was going to take a picture of the chair I sat in for bloodwork I had done this week, and thought about getting a picture of the colorful "sharps" they use (empty ones of course), but I chickened out thinking the technician would think I was a bit too nutty.  So I will have to revisit these prompts at a later date.

March 6 - What I Wore
A new scarf that I treated myself to from Zulily (which is becoming a slight addition for me).  

March 7 - Hair
Once upon a time my hair would not have stood out this much against a black cape.  

March 8 - A Mess
Trying paint samples on my craft room walls.  This was my son's room and I always loved the color, but I want something different and HWNSNBP has put up with my indecision.  There were some holes that needed spackling which is the white you see.  I had a Tiffany blue in mind but it seems to be eluding me.  The closest, and what I've decided to go with is what is called True Turquoise next to that biggest white spot and not too clear in this picture.  This room is a mess and will be a mess for the next few weeks.  The ceiling and walls need to be painted, the carpet pulled up and replaced with laminate flooring and all my stamps, tools, and supplies that I've been slowly taking out will need to go back in with more shelving and something other than a folding table.  I'll keep you posted.

March 9 & 10 - Homemade/Favorite Drink
There was a post on Facebook with a recipe for a Shamrock shake knock off with less than 1/2 of the calories of the original.  I decided to try it out.  Then I decided to spit it out!  The homemade was no where near as tasty as the original...... and I followed the recipe.  The mint whipped cream was okay and I was tempted to save that, but for what?  So for the month of March I will enjoy the real thing only.  I just have to limit myself to one per week.