Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Halloween Tags

I decided to work on some Halloween projects this morning as I was in the mood to stamp. I created 3 medium sized tags. I have a few other Halloween projects that I am still working on, but they aren't finished yet. I had fun making these tags.
halloween spooky ghost tag

halloween r i p tag

halloween trick or treat tag
I used the following Tim Holtz ink pads on my tags...Dusty Concord, Black Soot, Peeled paint, Tea Bag, Broken China, Frayed Burlap, and Spiced Marmalade. I used the Ink blending sponge applicator tool from Ranger to apply the ink to the tags. Also clear $1.00 Halloween stamps that I bought at JoAnn Fabrics. The Halloween pumpkin and ghost are die cuts that came from either JoAnn's or Michael's on clearance last fall, but I noticed that they are selling that same package again this year.

Celeste..let me know which tag you would like for your September Halloween tag swap from ArtHaven so I can get it mailed out to you. Thanks!!!
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Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Fall is time for Apple Crisp and Candy Coated apples

Yeah, I know, I've been posting a lot of recipes lately and not a lot of art. But, this is the time of year that I like to bake. I don't turn my oven on in the summer at all. Also, many go apple picking this time of year or just to the local supermarket and buy paper tote bags of fresh apples from this years crop. Nothing like a fresh, crunchy, red, ripe apple for a snack.

When I was in 7th grade, many, many, many years ago in my first home economics class we made things like brownies, custard, and my all time favorite dessert, Apple Crisp. I have used the recipe below since then. It is my families favorite. If you decide to make it; I hope that you and your family will enjoy it too.

I use Macintosh or McCoun apples for all my cooking as I like ending up with soft apples after my dessert is baked. I don't like hard apples in my pies or crisp, but use the kind of apple that you like best.

Apple Crisp
5-6 cups peeled/sliced apples
 3/4 C. quick oatmeal (not instant)
 3/4 C. br. sugar
 1/2 C. flour
 1/4 tsp. Cinnamon
 1/2 C. butter/margarine
 Dash of salt
 Grease 2 qt. baking dish or pan and put in your sliced apples. Combine all the dry ingredients, cut in the butter, and mix well. Now dump the dry ingredients over your apples. I mix this in a little.
Bake 35-40 minutes in 350 degree oven until apples are soft. Serve hot or cold. You can top your crisp with whipped cream or ice cream if desired. Enjoy!

Recipe for Hard Red Candy Apple Coating:
Wash and dry 12 red apples (I like using McCoun's as they don't turn brown inside and they stay crisp)
 12 skewers or popsicle sticks
 3 cups sugar
 3/4 cup corn syrup
 1 cup water
 few drops red food coloring to desired color
 Stir until sugar is mixed well
Cook mixture to 290-300 degrees on candy thermometer
Set pan over boiling water while dipping apples
 Place apples on greased baking sheet to harden.
And, then get ready to enjoy your yummy candy coated apple.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Little Bella at the Cranberry bog

These two photos were taken today at my aunt's cranberry bog.
 Bella at the bog 9.26.10
Bella 9.26.10 at the bog
Bella the Patriot fan 9.26.10
It must have helped wearing the Patriots gear, because the Patriot's won their game today.
Bella is growing so fast and I can't believe she is now 4 months old. How time flies.

It's a Jungle out there

Well, not really, but it sure seemed that way as I was in the garden picking tomatoes this afternoon.  Can you imagine, my husband, Tom, planted 54 varieties of tomato plants that he started from seeds.. What the heck was he thinking??? :-)
Tom plants his tomatoes in tall wire cages that he made.The cages are suppose to keep the plants contained. Yeah, right!!!  That so didn't happen. The plants got so big they sprawled out the sides of the cages, and up thru the tops and it makes it hard to get in between the rows to pick the ripe tomatoes. It felt like I was in a jungle while picking tomatoes.

basket of tomatoes 1 just a sampling

The wind picked up this afternoon, and it got dark and cloudy,  the temperature dropped, as we are suppose to get rain tonight. If you leave the ripe tomatoes on the vine after a heavy rain the tomatoes split open and spoil.  I picked a couple good sized baskets of cherry tomatoes, and several baskets of the big tomatoes. Tom grew tomatoes that are yellow, green, green striped, purple, pink, black, red, orange and shades in between. They are all good tasting even the different colored ones.

Tom didn't get our garden planted until the 4th of July, and so we still have lots of tomatoes that aren't anywhere near ripe yet. Thank goodness he has an irrigation sprinkler in the garden that we can turn on when the night temperatures reach freezing, and we can extend the growing season. Hopefully to harvest all the tomatoes. You can't really tell the size of the garden, or that the vines are loaded in the pictures below. These photos are only a very small portion of the garden.

tomato garden 2 tomato garden 1
Tom also planted green beans, zucchini, summer squash, broccoli, and cucumbers. We are still picking green beans and squash.
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Ghost earrings

halloween ghost earrings
Booo! Now don't be afraid. These little ghost's won't harm you. Halloween is creeping up on us faster than we know.  I saw these little handmade lamp work glass ghost beads, and  I  just had to buy them. This morning I made them into a pair of earrings. Aren't they cute? Not scary at all. I think they must be related to Casper. :-)  I also made another pair of pumpkin earrings.

This morning I took a walk into the woods to find a branch to display my earrings on so I could take a photo of them. Walking in the woods, I couldn't believe the amount of acorns that had fallen to the ground and made lots of crunchy noises as I walked along searching for just the right branch.
Here is  a photo of a tree that's leaves have already turned color.autumn leaves

halloween ghost and pumpkin earrings1
halloween ghost and pumpkin earrings 2
The background fabric in the photos; is  fabric that I bought yesterday at JoAnn's.  I plan on making a small pillow featuring the haunted house section. Unfortunately you can't see the whole image in the photo. The small skeleton fabric beneath the earrings is also a piece of  fabric I bought yesterday. Fun stuff!

I also took a photo of the strands of beads I bought yesterday at not simply beads. It was very sunny and I kept getting shadows. Drats, I hate when that happens.
The first strand is olive, brown and a greenish turquoise, a strand of multicolor bell flower shapes to be used as angel bodies for earrings in purple, green, blues, dark pink/maroon, a strand of rust colored, green with navy (love these), and lastly, purple Czech glass discs.
bead strands 

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Saturday, September 25, 2010

Tim Holtz products

Today the weather was absolutely gorgeous just too nice to stay in an clean house. So, I decide to take a ride to Plymouth. I went to the waterfront to the not simply beads store. I didn't find the beads that I had gone there looking for, but I did end up buying several strands of beautiful beads. I also bought some really cute handblown glass ghost beads to make a pair of spooky, Halloween earrings. I will probably make the earrings tonight. I will post a photo when I get them finished.

My next stop was at JoAnn fabrics. There I bought 2 different Halloween fabrics.  I am hoping to make a haunted house pillow from one of the fabrics. I also picked up a spool of Halloween ribbon, stickers, and a few other little things.   I just  love digging thru the clearance bins hoping to find a bargain. My heart races when I find things on sale at an awesome price. I just love a bargain. :-)

I figured I couldn't go to Plymouth without making a stop at Michael's.  I am so glad that I decided to stop. They started to redo the Tim Holtz section at the beginning of the month. Today the shelves in that section were stocked with many of Tim's new items. It was great to find so many  Tim products the store hadn't carried before. I was hoping to find his newest book, but they didn't have that. I guess, I will have to order that online.
Since my last visit to the store the Tim section now has packages of grunge paper, the clear ruler with holes, tissue tape, the attacher/stapler with boxes of the tiny staples. The area was void of ink pads, but I was told that they would be coming in on Monday. I didn't see any new clear stamps of Tim's and don't know if they will get any of those sets in.
A few weeks ago they started bringing in several of Tim's new items, and I picked up quite a few items then. I am hoping they will continue to expand the Tim section. I love using my coupons for the more expensive items. I always feel so good when I get a bargain, don't you? :-)
Today, I bought a few Tim items, and debated on getting the attacher thingie, but wasn't sure how much I would use that. Do you have this item? Do you use it often?
I also ended up getting a pad of decorative 8 x 8 Halloween papers to make cards and a few other Halloween embellishments.
I figured I did enough damage to my checkbook for one day so I better stop my shopping expedition for the day.
I didn't go home. Instead I stopped at my friend, Betty Ann's. Betty Ann wanted to take a ride in my new vehicle so we did that. When we got back to her house we spent the rest of the afternoon chatting on her front porch enjoying the fresh air, warm breezes and sunshine. I had a great day, and I hope you did too.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Our Cranberry Harvest...water picking

 If you are looking for cranberry recipes: Ocean Spray Cranberry recipes

Monday, we started our  cranberry  harvest season. We mostly do the cranberry harvesting by water picking now, where years ago it was so much more labor intensive and the berries were dry picked.

I wanted to share some of the photos that I took at our bog this afternoon.
My family has grown cranberries since the early 1900's here in Plymouth County, southeastern Massachusetts. The vibrant sea of floating red cranberries looks like a red carpet, and is a beautiful sight, don't you think?

Cranberry bogs aren't underwater all year long as some think.  Bogs are made on a bed of peat and sand. The vines are kept wet by irrigation systems, where once they had to be flooded for irrigation or frost nights. The bogs are divided into sections with irrigation ditches, and there are ditches that surround the bog. There are higher dikes surrounding the bog sections to keep the water in the ditches, and for use as roadways. Once the harvesting starts the guys work seven days a week, in rain, cold, sunshine or whatever the weather happens to be until all the berries from all the bogs are harvested. Harvest usually last about a month or a little more.

To get ready for the harvest flags are set out on the bog sections to flag off rows, and to mark the ditches so the machines don't end up in the ditch. The bogs are then flooded, and when the bog is covered in water, a water picker goes onto the bogs sections. A reel on the water picker beats the berries off the cranberry vines and the berries then float to the surface. There is a large reel on the front of the picker, and also a side arm reel that knocks the berries of the edges of the bogs. The berries are then corraled with large booms (rubber or wood sections) that are pulled from each end to bring the berries to one spot near shore where a suction tube siphons the berries onto a conveyor belt. The berries are constantly being pushed towards the suction tube until all the berries are off the bog. The berries go up the conveyor belt and into a waiting tractor trailer truck, and then they are brought to the local Ocean Spray cranberry plant to be processed.
bog wet picking blaine Blaine, our foreman running a wet picker. There is a reel on the front of the picker that beats the berries of the vine. The side arm reel is used for picking the berries on the edge of the bogs ditches.

bog richard wet picking1 My brother, Richard running the water picker machine in front.

bog sea of red1 berries that have been beat off the vines with the wet picking machine float to the surface waiting to be corraled.

bog sea of red4 harvested berries waiting to be corraled

 sea of red 3 more harvested berries floating on the flooded cranberry bog.

bog corraling the berries corraling the berries

bog suctioning the berries to truck1 berries suctioned off the bog with a large tube onto a conveyor belt that is in the back of this truck.

.bog to conveyor to tt from the conveyor to the waiting tractor trailer truck.bog to tractor trailer tractor trailer truck filled with the fresh picked cranberries and ready to go to Ocean Spray.

bog frog I couldn't help myself, I had to snap this photo of the big bullfrog in the bog ditch that was giving me the one big eyed stare while I stood on the bog dike checking him out. The frog is covered with dead cranberry leaves and a few berries that floated off the bog after the berries were picked. There are irrigation ditches that surround the bog  also divide the bog sections for irrigation.

this photo is a section of bog that was already harvested. The bog is a lush green from spring until after harvest. This photo shows the bog (L), ditch and dike (R)

Soon after the harvest the vines will turn from a lush green to maroon/red as the vines go dormant for the winter.
I hope you have enjoyed my photos of our harvest. If you have any questions, just ask and I will answer them for you. I have other cranberry harvest photos of wet and dry picking in my picture trail albums. Elaine's picture trail
Thanks for looking. Leave a comment as I'd love to know what you think of the photos. 

Here is the link to a later post I wrote on my blog in November 2010..step by step photos of  making cranberry sauce
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Monday, September 20, 2010

Little Pumpkin Earrings

And so for my 3rd project that I did today. I had some small orange beads that I bought last fall that have ridges. The beads reminded me of little pumpkins. This morning I thought I would try and make them into pumpkin earrings.  The earrings really came out cute, but they sure didn't photograph that way. I used little glass green leaf shaped beads, and 2 small seed beads for the stem on my pumpkins.
pumpkin earrings
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Halloween Pop Up card

Well, today was an artsy kind of day for me. This is the 2nd project I completed. For months I haven't accomplished much of anything. I had just been in a real funk all around not just art wise.
Anyway, I put together the pop up card that I start awhile back. The card was difficult to photograph as there wasn't much sun, and the flash kept creating a glare and fading the colors. The front of the base card is a nice orange sparkle cardstock, but it didn't show up that way in the photo. 
halloween popup card front
Here is the inside of my card. It has a vellum moon with tiny bats, ghosts, a bare tree with an owl in it's branches with a tiny tombstone in front of the base of the tree, a haunted house and a tombstone with a skeleton.
halloween popup card inside
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September Inspiration mingle: Collaged Clipboard

Each month there are sign ups for an inspiration mingle on AAWA, a yahoo group that I belong to. A picture is posted  for us to look at, and then we must create a piece of art to send to an assigned partner. Below is the photo of for our inspiration.
september inspiration
This month my partner to send to is Roxanna. My  inspiration came to me when I was down in the basement digging thru containers of my art supplies. I found a bag that had small clipboards in it. I immediately thought of our inspiration because the clipboards reminded me of a bed and pillow.  Okay, I guess I have an active imagination, but that is what came to mind. After looking at my finished piece I am going to cover over the button paper on the top left and add something else in that area. 
I used mod podge with napkins, prints, tissue paper, postage stamp, ribbons. I then added  buttons from my stash to cover the metal clip part of the clipboard.  I hope Roxanna will like my creation. Can you see where I was coming from in my thinking? (LOL)
 I started with a plain 5 3/4 x 9 inch clipboard .
             clipboard plain            clipboard with buttons   
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Saturday, September 18, 2010

A Delicious Recipe to share: 9/21/10: updated with photos on how to assemble the braid

chicken broccoli braid single3
Good morning bloggers. I was asked to make 2 Broccoli Chicken Braids for a family gathering that I was going to on Saturday. I love making this recipe that I found in a magazine a few years back. It is a reduced calorie version of the recipe that is in a old Pampered Chef cookbook of their Chicken Broccoli braid.  It is really delicious and easy to make. I most always have the ingredients in the house as it is quick and easy to put together if company drops in. Anyway, the braids are the only creations I accomplished today.

Makeover Chicken n' Broccoli Braid
Prep time: 25
Bake:15-20 minutes in a 375 degree preheated oven

2 cups cubed cooked chicken breast/ or a package of Perdue short cuts original chicken strips
1 cup chopped fresh broccoli...I usually steam my broccoli for a little bit, but you don't have to.
1 cup ( 4 ounces) shredded reduced fat cheddar cheese
1/2 cup chopped fresh sweet red pepper
2 teaspoons dill weed ( I usually use only a little more than 1 tsp.)
2 garlic cloves minced fine or use your garlic press
1/2 a small onion chopped fine
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup reduced fat mayonnaise
1/4 cup plain yogurt, but in a pinch and you don't have yogurt, I have used reduced fat sour cream
2 tubes reduced fat refrigerated crescent rolls
1 egg white, beaten
1 Tablespoon sliced almonds if desired for the topping

In a large bowl, combine the first 7 ingredients
Stir in the mayonnaise and yogurt

You can make one large braid, or 2 smaller ones. I usually make two braids. I keep the  tubes in the refrigerator until I am ready to assemble, or the dough gets to soft to work with.
Unroll a tube of the crescent roll onto a  ungreased baking sheet or onto parchment paper on the baking sheet. Lay the 2 strips from the tube side by side and press the seams together to seal the perforations. I usually put wax paper on top, and use a brayer to flatten out the dough  to get the seams sealed tight. Brayer in both directions until dough is approx. 12 x 15 inches.
I usually make 2 braids and bake on separate baking sheets so the dough browns evenly.
Now to assemble.. If making one braid spoon  all  of the mixture down the center of the dough, or  spread 1/2 of the mix down the center of the rolled out dough if making 2 braids. Don't go all the way to the end of the dough with the mixture.
Now, cut slashes evenly about 1 1/2 inches apart on both sides of the dough, but not touching the filling. forming strips on both sides.
Bring one strip from each side over the filling, braiding. Starting with the ends fold up the ends first and then fold the strips over the filling making a braid. Pinch the ends to seal. I then run my hands down the braid to even out the filling. Close any open seams. Brush the braid with egg white.
You can now sprinkle with sliced almonds if desired. Bake in a 375 degree oven for 15-20 minutes until the crust is golden brown and the filling is heated through.  The braid can be eaten hot or served cold. The braids also freeze well. When the braid is cold, wrap in plastic wrap, then in foil if freezing.
The directions sound complicated, but these aren't hard to make at all. Below are a few photos of some of the braiding steps.
chickenbroccolibraidassemble slits in the dough, but not touching the filling
chickenbroccolibraidassemble2 ends folded up over filling
chickenbroccolibraidassemble3 braiding from side to side
chickenbroccolibraidassemble4 completely braided and  ready to bake

 chicken broccoli braid1
In this photo I put both braids on one baking sheet when they were cooled down after baking.
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Friday, September 17, 2010

A New Vehicle and a little art

It has been days since I last wrote on my blog. I'd been busy looking at new vehicles. We hadn't bought a new vehicle since 1993. Drove that Dodge Caravan until it had 248,000 miles on it, and not much paint. Six years ago we bought a used Saturn wagon with 54,000 miles. The car now has 124,500 miles on it, it is still in excellent shape, but it is so low to the ground that I had a hard time getting in and out of it. So, last Saturday afternoon we bought a 2011 Kia Sorento. We picked it up from the dealers on Tuesday afternoon. The Kia has a 200,000 mile warranty as the dealer doubled the warranty. It is bigger and so much higher than my little wagon, and I am still very cautious driving it and learning how everything works. I find I still take the wagon out to do errands. Crazy, huh? :-)

While working in the yard this past week I must have come into contact with poison ivy. I don't remember touching any, but my right hand and forearm is loaded with it. I keep putting on Caladryl lotion, but the itching is driving me nuts. Ugh!!! Next time I will wear a long sleeve shirt instead of a short sleeve shirt when I work in the yard. The temperature is starting to drop especially at night fall and cold weather is coming too quickly. So, have been busy picking the garden. Our cranberry harvest will probably start on Monday and I will share some photos when they start water picking the berries. There are some old harvest photo's on my picture trail site if you haven't seen them.

 It's been a busy week. Went to my doctor on Monday to have the wrist/hand looked at that I injured in August. Since it has been a month and it's still not a 100% I figured it was time to do something about it. I think nurses are the worst about going to see the doctor.  My primary care  doctor sent me to an orthopedic doctor on Wednesday, and now I am waiting for an MRI appointment. How fun is that? NOT!!!!!! I don't look forward to that at all.

I bought some nice crisp MacIntosh apples from this years crop the other day, and they are so crunchy and  yummy. I think I will make some caramel and red candy coated apples on a stick, as it's been many years since I did that.  Reminds me of my childhood and carnivals and also when my son's were small. I always made them for them at Halloween. I just need to drag out my red candy recipe that I dip the apples into. Time for homemade apple crisp too. I have used the same recipe since I was in 7th grade. It is a favorite with my family.

Today has been a grey and dreary, rainy day, and so this afternoon I sat down and started making a Halloween pop up card. Wow, it has been years since I made one, and I forgot how much fun they were to make. I am always trying new techniques and sometimes the old techniques that I learned when I first started stamping in 1990 are fun to go back to.  I have also been working on a few other Halloween tags/cards and I will post pictures when I finish them. I am so behind on my journal pages too as my wrist has bothered me, and I haven't done much crafting at all lately.  I better get started, as I have some swaps to complete for this  month. Have a wonderful weekend.
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Thursday, September 9, 2010

Some old Cabinet Cards for your enjoyment

I was rummaging around in boxes in the basement, and came across some old cabinet cards that I have had for many years. If you can use them, please feel free to make copies for your art. They aren't in the best of condition, but they were that way when I found them in the attic of one of the storage buildings at our cranberry bog.  At the time when I rescued these photos there had been also many boxes of old glass negatives. My brothers had the building cleaned, and the guys who cleaned up, threw all kinds of wonderful vintage stuff away. The negatives went, ladies victorian clothing, ledgers, magazines. I was heartbroken when I found out what they did.  They thought it was all junk. I wish I would have gone and checked the attic sooner.
The little boy has a red x on his outfit, and I can't figure out how to get rid of it, as I don't want to destroy the photograph completely. Don't know why someone would do that. Maybe it was child who found a red pencil. The speckles look like it could be from dampness from being stored in an  unheated attic for years. I
don't have a good photoshop program, or I would have tried to clean up the photos.
 cabinet card baby with red x
cabinet card baby girl
cabinet card church
cabinet card group photo
this baby girl's photo was a  yard sale find. I don't know who any are in these photos. So, make your own story while using the photos in your art. Click on the photos to enlarge them. Enjoy!!!

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