Monday, October 31, 2016

Happy Halloween!

Somebody dressed up as a monkey for Halloween. 
I think he makes a pretty cute monkey!

This is the card that I made for him.  Inside it says "you're the cutest pumpkin in the patch"!  Pumpkin or monkey he sure is!

And I really need to share this card that came from my blogging buddy Lauren.  She's one of the Jingle Belles and a fellow Jersey girl and one of the most gifted artist's I know.  Just look at that spider web SHE DREW!!!!

I like to tangle but this is absolutely wonderful.  Her lines are beautiful!  Thin and precise and gorgeous.  And the machine stitching she added is so cool.  

And did you happen to catch those sneaky little spider brads?  This has to be the most fantastic Halloween card I've ever received. 

Thanks Lauren.  Hope you all have a Happy Halloween.

Saturday, October 29, 2016

2016 Lighthouse Challege

The sun was barely up when we left the house.  It was cold, in the high 30's, but at least 20ยบ warmer by the time we got to the first lighthouse.

Tinicum - closed for climbing indefinitely (though we weren't going to climb anyway).  HWNSNBP overheard one of the local lighthouse officials say that it was deemed to be structurally unsound by the Coast Guard and even they wouldn't continue climbing to the top to finish their inspection.  

There were a couple of vultures hanging around the ball field adjacent to the lighthouse area, but not the committee that was there last year.

Then down 295 to Finn's Point.  Strangely this lighthouse, which hadn't been open for the last couple of years was open for climbing this year.  There was definitely a strong line waiting their turn.  I remembered when I had climbed it, at least 8 years ago, I could see the Delaware Memorial Bridge from the top.  

The next stretch is usually the longest - across the southern counties of the state and through some very interesting places.  This is the last of the lighthouses that overlooks the Delaware River.  The water was fairly calm there and the seagulls were lining the boat ramp pilings.

There was renovation going on at this site also and it was dressed in scaffolding.  I always like to try to get different views of these sites and if the tide is out, which it was when we were there, I like to walk down the small beach area to get a little further from the front of the building.  The opening in the immediate proximity to the building doesn't allow for a picture of the entire building.  

So I walked along the sandy area and came upon a group of people standing up from the water, next to the weeds.  The woman that was with them yelled at me for wearing a Yankees sweatshirt in Phillies territory and I ignored her and kept walking and then unfortunately stepped into some really wet sand and started sinking.  HWNSNBP was not within helping distance yet and I was beginning to panic because I didn't want to fall backwards and I didn't want to lose my sneaker in the muck. Thankfully, I managed to stay upright with both shoes still on and not throw out my back with the gyrations it took to save myself.  The result was being able to find a path into the weeds to get a much better view of the front of the lighthouse.  The other result was very wet feet!  Thankfully I had other footwear in the car because I did not want to walk around the rest of the day with wet, sandy shoes. 

We pass this shack on the road to and from this lighthouse.  Since we spotted it several years ago I like to take a picture to kind of document how it it being claimed by the vegetation.  It's one of those creepy and fascinating at the same time things.  Here's a link to a previous post about it.

From there we head to Cape May and since it was so close to lunch time, we decided to stop for lunch at the Lobster Dock first.  We were being stalked by this wounded seagull.  Actually, everyone eating near us was being stalked by him as he limped from table to table, but was unable to find any hand outs.  Even when there were crumbs, the sparrows that hang around that area were much faster than he was.  Poor thing!

And then of course, the lighthouse.  The park area was full of cars and besides those people that were there for the challenge, there was a ton of people over by the bird watching area. Lot's of people with cameras.  Big cameras.  Really big cameras.  As we were leaving I could see that there was a bunch of them standing in front of a clump of trees and I assumed, because I saw some flying around, that they were taking pictures of the migrating monarch butterflies.  So I asked HWNSNBP to stop and I got out with my camera.  Sometimes those people with the really big cameras can be really rude.  I would never think of walking in front of them to take a picture, but sad to say, there were two there that had no trouble doing that to the others.  I had a dragonfly in my sights and then I had an ass in front of me and not the four-legged kind.  So we moved on.  

It was very crowded at the next venue.  We had to park a couple of blocks from the lighthouse at Hereford Inlet and came across this heart in the sidewalk.  

It is a very picturesque setting, though not as well-manicured as it has been in the past.  We both thought that they could have at least cut the grass on the front lawn for that weekend.  But it still looked pretty.

What has become our traditional picture in the reflecting globe.

This was the view from the oceanside.  

We skipped Absecon and the life-saving stations and went right to Tuckerton Seaport.  I was surprised and that they had it so decorated for Halloween. There were two inflated gargoyles on either end of that roof that I didn't get in the picture.  

The last stop of the day, and the last stop of the challenge for us was our familiar friend Old Barney. You can see how the sun was getting ready to set and we were really worn out from all the driving for the day.  

We arrived at the condo just in time to catch the last glimpses of the sun as it was setting for the day.

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Colorful Fall

The goldfinches are taking on their winter coloring but still look beautiful amongst what's still left of the zinnias.

Goldenrod is flourishing this year all over, but looked especially pretty along this sand dune.

The monarchs are migrating.  There are many places along the Jersey shoreline that you will find them before they take flight across the Delaware Bay and down the coast to Mexico.  

This one was fueling up on the lantana at the garden behind the Hereford Inlet Lighthouse.

The sun through the golden leaves of the maples lining the river bank on my way to work.  

And as I further attempt to sort through things as I'm re-entering my craft room, found items that I've saved for much too long are being repurposed.  These fall colors kept popping up and enticing me to use them up.  

This layered mandala is one of a few that I had stored away.  I believe this was one of the first stamps that I ever bought.  Outlines stamps, purchase in Delaware at a little stamp shop that I found while visiting my daughter when she went to school down there.  (We're talking around 2001-2002.) They've since gone out of business, but this is where my stamping addiction took root.  

Behind the mandala is actually a repurposed gift card holder - Starbuck's I think.  And a maple leaf jewel. Found a whole box of them............

Another Outlines stamp mandala. This one colored with colored pencils.  I centered it on a kraft card base and then used a ruler to mark out where I wanted to put my stitching and then punched the pilot holes with a needle tool. The variegated cotton thread in fall colors was another "re"find.  

Our weather is anything but normal for this time of year.  With the temps back up to the low 80's we opted to turn the AC on again while we had our little "Indian summer".  And as I'm typing this the weatherman is saying it's going to be blustery, brisk and cooler with the next 24 hours.  

Hope you're enjoying fall wherever you are!

Monday, October 17, 2016

Kite Festival

Okay, so, now I'm only a week behind........because this was from last weekend.  The International Kite Festival on Long Beach Island in NJ.  It was a funny kind of day, one that had you needing a jacket/sweatshirt but not really needing it once you started moving.  Or maybe that was just me.  The air was damp and the skies were just a tad bit foreboding, however, that proved to be okay as far as looking up and taking pictures.   We played the weather right and went for first thing on Saturday morning and we were glad we did because shortly after we left it started raining and it didn't stop for the rest of the weekend we heard.

We could see some of the kites on the beach as we came off the bridge.  And here is the view as we got to the top of the dune before entering the beach area.

No, the pig is not having an embarrassing moment - just bad timing with my picture and getting that white kite behind her.  I could have picked the other photo I had of her but I wanted to get the fish in here.

A whole pod of whales.

These are very appropriate for the beach.

All kinds of creatures - real and fantastical.

A couple of last photos before we left - you can see the size relationship of the kites and people in this one.  The little kids were loving running under and sitting under the duck which was tethered pretty close to the ground.  We think this will be a great event to take Ryan to next year and Michelle agreed.  

Pig down!

I'm doing a little artistic challenge this month call Inktober.  The goal being to do one drawing in ink each day.  This octopus was one of my inspirations.

My drawings are pretty simple.  I've seen some posted on the internet that are very detailed and wonderfully done.  There are so many gifted artists out there.

These sharks were the inspiration for the card below.  I had just put a tangle in my tangle calendar called Shark Teeth and it seemed fitting to give them the whole page.  I'm using a little booklet of index cards held together with a ring.  It came with a front and back hard plastic cover with an elastic band to hold them together.  (A Dollar Tree find.)

And one more close-up of that flying pig.