Saturday, September 29, 2018

Second Wedding Card

The second wedding card that I made for Rachel.  I usually ask her for any ideas like colors, themes, etc.  She said her friends were fans of the Philadelphia Eagles, so maybe something in green and silver.  

Easy peasy with those die cuts.  I would have preferred a die that said the complete word "congratulations" though.  At least I had this one.  I'm adding it to my shopping list.  

If I can find a little time I think I'm going to put together a few of these just to have for the future. I think it would be pretty for other occasions too and with any color.  Hmmmm, there's an anniversary coming up.........

Monday, September 24, 2018


41 years today.  The dance may be a little slower, but the sentiment is the same.  

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Scribble Picnic - Explore

The Scribble Picnic Summer Hiatus is now officially over and we are once again picnicking.  Our host Michael and his lovely wife Alexandra are picnicking in new surroundings having moved from Colorado to Kentucky this summer.  We're taking our cue from their new "explorations" to share a little exploring of our own this time.  

One place that HWNSNBP and I like to explore is Barnegat Light, NJ where you can find Old Barney standing steadfast marking the inlet there.  There is a rock jetty along the inlet that extends about a mile to get to the Atlantic Ocean.  Part of the jetty has a cement walkway on top of the rocks with guardrails.  At the end of the walkway, the nimble ones (of which I am not so much anymore) are able to slip through the guardrail and either continue on the rocks to the ocean or climb down off of them to the sand and continue the walk there.  Water often collects along the inside of these rocks during high tide causing tide pools strewn with smaller rocks.  You can often find birds foraging in these waters.  This area of the island is a protected area for migrating birds that come here to nest.  We've seen many types of birds there.  Here is a link with more info on it:  Barnegat Light.

We like to bring our bikes to Barnegat Light early Saturday or Sunday mornings for a quick ride around the area.  The scenery is great, it's flat, and we have a 5-mile circuit we like to take.  Most times at the end, we'll pick up pork roll, egg, and cheese sandwiches (or split one) sitting at the picnic tables along the other side of the lighthouse.  (I know if you're not from New Jersey you won't know what pork roll is, but trust me, it's very good.)  We do some people-watching as well as boat watching there.  We haven't fished there ourselves in a while - maybe this fall.

I also did some exploring with new art supplies.  I splurged on a set of Arteza brush pens and I've been playing around with them a little.  (Purple mountain majesties anyone? Amber waves of grain?)

What I really have to "explore" is this mess on the dining room table.  I know there are creative people out there who are very neat.  I am not one of them.  I won't apologize for it.  I am comfortable in my own chaos.  I don't ask others to be.  But honestly, it doesn't always look like this.  I'm still trying to get back into a creative schedule now that school has started again.  "I'm doing the best I can."  My new mantra for the year. (Take it anyway you like.)

So, off to Dotty Hill to join all the picnickers and see what they've got to EXPLORE.  You can check it out too by clicking here.

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

So Many Rainy Days

I know I shouldn't complain about all the rain we've been having here considering what Florence is doing to our southern neighbors, but it has been one wet weekend after another.  Maybe not both days, but a good portion of them. 

Even these seagulls look like they had enough of the rain camping out atop the fenceposts.  We had taken a ride with friends down to the southern end of Long Beach Island being tricked by the sun going in and out amidst the periods of showers.  The rain couldn't dampen the time with good friends though. 

That Sunday morning we headed home early - again in the rain, and decided to stop in Bayhead at Mueller's Bakery for some treats to have later in the day before we visited with the little guy and his parents.  I told HWNSNBP that there would probably be a line of people waiting on a rainy Sunday morning, and I was right.  He actually got lucky when someone standing outside the store gave up waiting and gave him his ticket, so he was actually about 20 people ahead of where he would have been without that ticket and still stood in line for 25 minutes. 

So what did I do while waiting in the car in the rain for that long?  Well, after I checked my e-mail's and Instagram, I guess I fixated on the number of spokes in the wheelrims I could see in the lot around me and took some pictures.  Most of them had five, but I did see the one with 7 and one with 8.  I know, it's a little wackadoodle to take pictures of wheelrims, but there's something about the geometry of those rays.  I think the last one would be fairly easy to accomplish by folding paper, but the other two, with their odd number would take a much greater effort. (Unless you were mathematically inclined and could figure out all those angles and degrees. Which I'm not!)

Last Friday night, the sky cleared just enough to give some color to the sunset.  As is usual, the sun is now setting a lot to the left of our view out the back now making it somewhat impossible to catch that golden orb before it sinks out of sight.  Sometimes there is enough "glow" to go around.

And the clouds make it so dramatic.

So I can't give you the recipes for any of the goodies we picked up at the bakery a couple of weekends back, but I will share the link with a recipe for Fresh Peach Bread with Peach Glaze from Tastes of Lizzy T.  Grab some fresh peaches whilst you still can and give this a try.  I've made it twice now and both times I've used heavy cream in place of the milk in the bread and haven't had to use any extra liquid in the glaze.  

I'm seriously looking to packaging up peaches in the recipe proportions and freezing them to have on hand for the holidays and those winter doldrum days.  

Saturday, September 15, 2018

Jingle Belles - Peace on Earth

I have a container on my work table that I put new purchases/gifts in so I have them easily at hand to give them a try.  Due to some "retail therapy" I now have two containers that are chock full of goodies that I treated myself to or was gifted by someone else.  This Memory Box Peaceful Dove die was in there.  And, since this Concord & 9th Geode stamp set was in there too I tried putting them together along with the PEACE sentiment die for this fortnight's challenge at the Jingle Belles.  

I stamped the geode in VersaMark on watercolor paper using my MISTI and first sprinkled some silver EP in places and then went back with white EP for the rest of it. Then I used some Color Burst powders for the geode and the background.  The spotty background was just water droplets left to stand for a bit and then mopped up.  

The dove is popped up on slivers of dimensionals and I have already made note to pick up some sticky back foam sheets to use in the future with these delicate dies that I want to be more dimensional because it was a bit time-consuming cutting up little pieces of dimensionals and trying to find places on the die cut to use them where they wouldn't be too noticeable.  Perseverance won out though.  

Going to scoot over to the Jingle Belles and have little look at all the Peaceful creations there.

Friday, September 14, 2018

Mini Scrap Collages 190-196/365

Sorry for the poor photo quality on these.  It's really been so gloomy here and I tried to get these snapped early yesterday morning before work so I could post them during the day.  You see how that went.  What a crazy start to the school year!  You've heard the statement before "you can't make these things up" - well, they seem to be coming in clusters.  And to top it all off, just in time for the weekend, I'm not sure whether it's my allergies or the start of a cold which has me feeling like my head is about to explode.  Ugh.

Saturday, September 8, 2018

Anniversary Sunflowers

I needed a couple of anniversary cards for this month and after seeing lots of advertisements for nearby sunflower farms, I decided sunflowers would definitely be good for this time of year.  I found this Unity stamp stashed away - Windswept Petals.  I don't know how long I've had it and after some pretty extensive searching I was only able to come up with one example of how it was used so I had to come up with my own thoughts on it.  The flowers themselves were pretty easy, but the background needed a little extra thought.  As you can see, I added green to the open areas and blue to the rest of the background.  The only thing that I did not like was part of the stamp itself.  See where the petals extend past the frame?  I don't like that they left the line from the frame visible in those petals, so after auditioning this sample, I used an Exacto knife to cut out those lines from the petals on the stamp.

I also used my Susan's Garden sunflower die to make a paper sunflower, complete with leaves to add to the final card.  I trimmed around the image and mounted it on a chocolate chip card base layered with some birch bark paper first.  There's also a length of burlap-like ribbon on that panel.  Then the paper sunflower was added.  Can you see the petals are clear of that line now?

One for a 40th anniversary, one for a 41st anniversary, and one for a future occasion.

And here is the updated faux succulent planter.  I took the paper succulents off the reindeer moss and added some Spanish moss before gluing them back down and I think they look much better.  And the ladies loved them!

Wednesday, September 5, 2018

Mini Scrap Collages 183-189/365

Sorry, everything is rush, rush, rush this week - first week back with staff and students - lots to get ready.  Work to bring home, preparing for staff luncheon first day, shopping for last minute supplies. I feel like my life isn't my own sometimes.  And it's defeating when you're too exhausted to even create ANYTHING.  I don't regret doing things for other people, but as I get older I find I ask myself the question more often "Why am I doing this?".  Am I ever going to get time to do for me what I want to do instead of what I have to do?  Ahhh, it's a conundrum. 

Sunday, September 2, 2018

Nature - Real and Faux

We have deadlines for certain things at work and when it's something that I have control over I like to add a little incentive to it. 

Our staff gets a certain dollar amount to spend on "extra" items they might need for themselves/their classrooms.  Things like holiday pencils for the students, special borders for bulletin boards, extra staplers, electric pencil sharpeners, pretty post-it-notes, purple gel pens (yes, there seems to be a cult of purple-gel-pen users in my building), etc.  

When I distribute the ordering materials, I give them the deadline (usually a week or two before it is actually needed, shhhhhh!) and tell them that the first three orders in get a special prize.

Now, they get about a month to put their orders together and of course, there are the ones who hand them to me almost as soon as I hit send on the e-mail. (These people tend to order the same thing year after year so it's no wonder they already have them done.)  So the #1, #2, and #3 persons get a little extra $ to spend - I split my allotted $ amongst them, so it's not costing the district anything extra. 
 For those that haven't secured the top three places, there is another way they can win a prize.  Anyone who places an order for the exact amount that they were given gets a prize.  

This may sound pretty easy but it isn't.  They use catalogs to pick their items, however, we use a statewide bidding system, so the price in the catalog is usually a bit less.  So there's a bit of trial and error with this.  

Still, I usually get 2 or 3 staff members that "hit the nail on the head" and lot more that are "close but no cigar".  
Since I don't have any more funds to use, what I do is give them something handmade by me.  

I have given live plants before in a variety of containers, but this time, I was inspired by something I saw on Pinterest that used a piece of birch as the container.  During a snowstorm this winter, our neighbor's birch tree was so laden with snow that it was hanging precariously into the street.  The snowplower reported it and the road crew came and cut the tree down.  (Really, shaking the snow off the branches would have been effective and our neighbor could have put restraints on it, but he wasn't there when the chainsaws were.)

HWNSNBP rescued some of the cuttings after he determined our neighbor did not want them.  
I added a section of a styrofoam egg to the top of the wood, covered that with some reindeer moss, and added a raffia bow.  Then I used some paper succulents in varied colors that I had created with dies.  

I'm thinking that I want to add some Spanish moss to these so I may be making some changes when I get home.

Oh, and I put some self-sticking cork on the bottom of these so they don't weep onto anything.  

Stay tuned.