Sunday, October 31, 2010

Happy Halloween

It is a sunny, but windy fall day here in Southeastern Massachusetts. The kids that go out Trick or Treating tonight will have a nice night for it, as it won't be too cold or raining.
My sons, daughter in law, and grandkids, nieces and friends always drop in to visit while out Trick or Treating.  I always make goodies to feed anyone who is hungry.
This morning I got up early and started pizza dough. I also made Italian sausages with onions/peppers, Italian meatballs and sauce to be eaten in sub rolls.  I just finished putting the pizza dough in the pans.

For a sweet treat I made Halloween cupcakes and a few caramel candy apples, and a pan of apple crisp. Below:
I found these sprinkles by Wilton, to use on my cupcakes at Michael's. I bought them with  a 50% off coupon. I only bought them because of how they were packaged in test tubes in an acrylic stand. I used the sprinkles on my orange frosted cupcakes.
Halloween sprinkles test tubes
 Halloween cupcakes Halloween cupcakes and candied apples1
Little Bella came by to see Grandma. Bella was dressed as a little pink kitty cat. Too bad you can't see the cute little tail on her  costume.
Bella 10.31.10 first Halloween Bella Halloween closeup 2010

Tonight for the neighborhood kids who come knocking on our door to trick or treat, I am handing out fruit juice boxes and individual bags of Oreo cookies. Every year the kids love getting the juice boxes.
Happy Halloween to all of you!!!

elaine signature3

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Thinking of you card for an online friend

As I've mentioned before, I belong to the Yahoo, online art group, An Affair with Art. Jeri Aaron is the gal that started this group. The other day Jeri underwent a very long and delicate surgery.
 I wanted to make a thinking of you card to send out to her so that she would have mail when she is discharged from the hospital. 
I took a little time this morning between baking and doing housework to rubber stamp an envelope and make a greeting card. The muted green cardstock has a piece of white mulberry paper, scrapbook paper, a rubber stamped image, and a silk flower on the front. The edges of the papers were inked.
Jeri glad your surgery went well and wishing you a very speedy recovery.
October 30

Now back to housework and getting my Halloween treats ready for tomorrow night for all the children who come to Trick or Treat.
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Wednesday, October 27, 2010

My Fabric Mod Podge Prize arrived today and what I created

This morning I heard a loud truck outside the house before 7:30 A.M..I looked out the window and saw a Fed Ex truck. I couldn't figure out what was being delivered at that time in the morning, as we hadn't ordered anything. My husband brought in the package, and told me it was for me.

Inside the box, I found the prize that I won from leaving a comment on Suzy, of the Georgia Peachez blog.    I was one of  3 lucky winners whose name was announced on October 17th., as winners of her giveaway. The Fabric Mod Podge prize was donated by Amy, of  Mod Podge Rocks .Thank you Suzy and Amy both so much!!!!! I almost never win anything.
Below: What I found in the box that Amy sent.

Mod podge prize modpodge prize
I tore open the box and not only found the Fabric Mod Podge that I won, but a bonus bottle of Dimensional Magic and brochure. Woohoo!!!! I was totally pysched and couldn't wait to get started on my first fabric Mod Podge project. 

I had on hand a package of 4-  6 x 6 cork tiles that I had picked up in Joann's as they were $2 cheaper than the same item in Michael's.. I had been thinking of what I would try when my fabric mod podge package arrived. I had already set aside my fabric for the background and fussy cut the mermaid and coral/starfish from other fabric that I had on hand. Fabric Mod Podge is much thicker than regular Mod Podge, but spread easily with a foam brush. I cut my fabric to cover my cork board just like I would  cover a book, cutting notches in the corners for a nice fit. I need to add a large piece of magnet sheet to the back.
mermaid cork board
I hope you like my mini mermaid cork board. What do you think? elaine signature3

A Wonderful Gift

My 86 year old aunt  gave me this lovely old mantle clock this afternoon. Auntie had told me quite sometime ago that she wanted me to have this clock, but I had just never taken it home with me.  The clock works and is from the early 1900's. It is a key wound clock. You can just wind it or you also have it chime the hour. I love it! It's pretty neat gift don't you think?
antique clock
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I've Been Bad

Yes, very, very bad, and I have been for most of this month. You see, I have a sweet tooth, and I also love caramel apples. I don't make candy apples any other time during the year, only in the fall, but mostly in October. Don't ask me why, maybe because the new Macoun apples have been harvested. Have you ever eaten a Macoun apple? Oh, they are so darn good.  They are a cross between a MacIntosh and I don't know what other variety, but they have lots of crunch and are so juicy. When made into candy apples, even the hot, hard, red coated apples they keep their crunch and crispness after being dipped.
Anyway, in the produce section of the grocery store you can buy packages that have 5 round caramel sheets.  They have made it too easy for me to get my fix. All I have to do is wash and dry an apple, mold the caramel sheet over the apple, put in the stick, and pop the apple in the microwave on medium power for 20 seconds.
 caramel apple package caramel candy apple sheet candy apple
Some days during this month, I have made myself 2 of these treats, and I've savored every bite.  Bad of me and of course for the waistline, but oh they are so darn good. But hey, isn't this a way of getting some daily  fruit and fiber and October is almost over. ( LOL)
Do you have a food vice in any particular month? If so, share with me so I won't feel so guilty. :-)
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Sunday, October 24, 2010

Day Of The Dead Shrine

I signed up for a DOTD shrine swap awhile back. The shrine has to be mailed by October 27th. Of course, the procrastinator that I am,  I waited till the last minute to work on mine.
I couldn't find a suitable tin or box to use as my shrine. I remembered that I had bought a tombstone shaped wood piece that opened a month or so ago. So, this afternoon, I dragged it out.  I painted it black, cut out DOTD fabric and used regualr mod podge to attach the fabric to my shrine, as I didn't have fabric mod podge. I sure hope the fabric sticks to the wood.  I glued a candle, skeleton button, silk flower, metal heart, Lotteria cards and skull beads to my shrine.
I want to get my piece out in the mail tomorrow. When I took the photos of my shrine,  the mod podge wasn't dry all the way. It was already dark, and the lamp cast a glare. Sorry.
Front:dotd shrine front

Inside:dotd shrine inside with door open

Back:dotd shrine back

I found the information below on the internet.
SUBTOPIC: Day of the Dead, or "Dia de los Muertos"
AUTHOR: Andrea Pretti
BACKGROUND INFORMATION: Day of the Dead also called "Dia de los Muertos," is a holiday (or festival) which is celebrated in Mexico, Ecuador, Guatemala, and other areas in Central and South America populated with the Latino ethnic background. The Day of the Dead is also celebrated in areas of the United States, such as California, Texas, and many others, in which the Mexican/American heritage exists.
November 2nd is the official date for Day of the Dead, although it is celebrated between October 31st and November 2nd. These dates correspond with the Catholic celebrations of All Saints Day and All Souls Day. This correspondence results from the Catholic Church's efforts to "find similarities between the indigenous and Christian beliefs." This celebration has a complex history that has been transformed through the years. Today the celebration takes place at about the same time ancient corn festivals were celebrated, when food from a plentiful harvest was shared with the deceased. Now certain customs vary within different regions. The best way to describe this holiday is to say it is a time when family members who have died are remembered. In Mexico, this festival is considered to be the most important holiday of the year.
Although this celebration is associated with the dead, it is not portrayed as a morbid or depressing time, but rather a period full of life, happiness, color, food, family, and fun. There is excitement everywhere. In many areas, outdoor markets are displayed in which they sell many symbolic goods, such as special breads, flowers, pottery, baskets, candles, paper puppets, candy skulls, etc. The main symbols of this holiday are skulls and skeletons, which are displayed throughout the cities. Scenes of skeletons hugging, marching, dancing, and laughing are seen in window displays on the streets. Marigolds are another significant symbol for the Day of the Dead festivity, and are known as the "flower of the dead." Their scent is believed to "attract the souls and draw them back."
People celebrate this holiday in their households, as well as in the cemeteries. In their homes, between Oct. 31st and Nov. 2nd (a time called "Todos Santos"), offerings of food and drink are prepared for the dead. "Ofrendas" (offerings) are often set up in the home on an altar displaying portraits, personal goods, clothing, favorite foods, and possessions of the deceased family member. Sometimes they are shown at the gravesites as well. On Nov. 2nd, family members visit the gravesites of their loved ones. They decorate their graves with flowers, enjoy picnics consisting of favorite foods of the deceased, and socially interact with others at the cemetery. This is an important social ritual that the Latino people see as "a way of recognizing the cycle of life and death that is human existence." In certain areas, an all-night candlelight vigil takes place by the graves of the family members. The whole occasion is festive, and everyone talks of the dead as if they were still alive. During this time, people "remember, re-live, and enjoy."
The common foods eaten on this holiday include pan de los muertos ("bread of the dead"), which is flat bread baked in the shape of skulls and crossbones. It is said to be good luck to be the one who bites into the plastic toy skeleton hidden by the baker in each loaf. Candy in the shape of skulls, skeletons, and coffins, and many favorite Mexican dishes (tamales, moles, chiles, enchiladas) are consumed as well.
This holiday is believed to "welcome the souls of the dead." The souls are said to return each year to enjoy the pleasures that they once had in life. They are thought to return to be with their living relatives for a few brief hours each year in this world, but come as spirits who have returned from another world. A widely held belief is that the souls of the children ("angelitos") return first, and food and gifts appropriate for their age and taste will be set out for them. Everything is in miniature: cups, plates, small breads, etc. The adult dead are said to return on Nov. 1st and they are given the most elaborate foods and drinks the family can afford. It is believed that the candle light, as well as the scents of the marigold flowers and the copal incense, help the returning souls find their way back. Sometimes paths of marigold petals are scattered by the family from the cemetery to the door of the house. The ghosts can find their way by following this yellow path. The ghosts (or spirits) are not usually seen, but their presence is felt.
There are folktales believed and told that say the dead spirits will get revenge on the living if they get poor treatment during these days each year. Leaving nothing (or inferior gifts) on the altar causes the spirits to be angry or sad. These superstitions inspire many people to participate in this holiday celebration for this very reason.
The Day of the Dead can range from an important cultural event, to a religious ceremony emphasizing the actual worship of the dead, to just a unique Mexican holiday symbolized by special foods and candy. In Mexico, the more urban the setting, the less the religious and cultural importance is recognized by the people. The more rural and "Indian" the setting, the greater is the religious importance of the holiday. Therefore, this celebration is usually of greater social importance in southern Mexico than in the northern part of the country.
Today, the Day of the Dead is a cherished, complex holiday celebration where death is seen as life. The common principle for this holiday is "whatever pleased the dead in life they are to have again." It is a holiday when the whole family comes together - both living and dead. This holiday festivity is believed to be a time for the departed to join the living in the celebrations of  the "continuum of life."
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Saturday, October 23, 2010

Mod Podged: Coaster Project

This summer on one of my mini vacations on Cape Cod,  I found 3 nice round drink coasters at the VNA thrift store that were inexpensive, and I bought them. The round coasters had the design of the state of Texas and a cowboy hat design. I don't live in Texas, so I wanted to give the coasters a face lift, and this morning I finally got around to altering them. I painted the top of the coasters with a coat of white gesso. When the gesso was dry I mod podged decorative napkins to the coaster tops. Below are my NEW coasters. I will probably use them as little extra tuck in gifts. The floral bouquet is round, but it doesn't look like it in the photo.
floral bouquet, rose with script, shoes
coasters round
This past week, I found more coasters. A stack of 10, heavy coasters at the Salvation Army. The way the coasters were taped together I didn't realize that they were engraved with  Classic  golf tournament players and tournament info.
I didn't know if I gesso'd over the tops  of the coasters if they could be salvaged. I wasn't sure if the slight indents would show up when the napkins were decoupaged on the tops.  If the indents were really evident, then I was going to cover them with heavier decorative hand made paper, and then with napkins. Here are the first four that I worked on this morning with just the gesso, napkins and mod podge. I still have 6 more coasters to recover.
coasters beach . coffee coasters sea . garden chair
The coasters all need a finishing coat. I will probably spray them with Envirotex.
Below is the link to my picture trail albums. In the Misc. Artwork album you can view several coasters that I mod podged with napkins in the past. My picture trail albums.
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Newest Family member

Yesterday, October 22, 2010, my niece, Trish gave birth to a beautiful, baby girl.  Cassidy (Cassie) Bea Garbitt . Little Cassie entered the world at 9:10 A.M. Weighing in at 7 lbs. 14 oz., 20 inches long.   Cassie has twin,  3 year old brothers, Kyle and Cody. Now Bella will have a cousin/playmate close to her age. Bella will be 5 months old tomorrow.
Cassie Garbitt birth photo 10.22.2010
   Cassidy Garbitt 10.22.10
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Thursday, October 21, 2010

Bargains at Salvation Army Store

I had some time to kill Tuesday afternoon before I picked up my granddaughter at her high school. I decided to stop at the Salvation Army store in Bridgewater. I spent $2.50 and I was happy with my new    treasures                                                                                                          
A wooden house that is 5 x 5 1/2 with little compartments, and a chimney. I thought this would be a great to alter. I don't know why it photographed with striped bands in each opening. I will post a photo later on of the little house after I have altered it, but for now, I need to finish up some swaps that I signed up for first.
wooden house to alter
Next, I hit the glass aisle, as I am always looking for pieces to use to create garden totems. I lucked out and found 3 pieces of solid blue glass. A large, heavy, rimmed plate, a blue vase that wasn't thin rimmed and tall, heavy glass. I have found that a lot of the blue glass pieces in yard sales or thrift stores, the blue is only painted on and chips off. 
 I was really happy when I scored these pieces. I have some blue and white vases that I found  this past summer that I can use these pieces with.
blue glass ware elaine signature3

Monday, October 18, 2010

October Inspiration Mingle for AAWA

Here is a photo that Susan selected  for our inspiration swap this month on An Affair with Art, yahoo group.  I will be sending my card  to Joan, and I hope she likes it.                    
October inspiration aawa
My interpretation of this months theme:
fall colors card & envelope
Aren't fall colors beautiful?                                                               
I decided to stamp a greeting card. First I  created a tag. I used several of my Tim Holtz  ink pads for the background color. Then I used Marvy markers on my stamps to color the leaves,pumpkins and the words. To finish it off I added a couple  of ribbons and a decorative brad.
I then tore a piece of rusty, red cardstock and stamped leaves all over it as a background, but the leaves don't  show up in the photo.                                                                                                                     
I mounted my stamped tag to the torn background paper, and adhered them to my base card. I inked around the edges of the base card lightly.  I then rubber stamped an envelope front and back to coordinate with the card adding the same saying that is inside the card.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

A lovely autumn day

Today was a gorgeous, sunny day here in Southeastern Massachusetts after a night that the temperature really dropped.  Got up early and went out to breakfast with Tom. When we got back home, Tom went to work as we are still harvesting our cranberries. I went out to the garden and picked more tomatoes.                                                                                             
Took a quick walk around the yard, and ran into the house to grab my camera to snap a few photos of some flowers that are trying their best to go out with a bang.  Beauty surrounds us.
The hydrangea's lost their blue color a long time ago, but for the most part instead of turning drab light brown they have picked up color again. The leaves are still green.
 hydrangea late color pretty shade of violet
hydrangea late near cellar some dried flowers along with this beautiful shade of red.
hydrangea lace  late lace hydrangea
My clematis has one last bloom that opened this morning before going dormant for the winter. Gorgeous color.
 clematis 10.17.10
Then under one of the apple trees I found this group of mushrooms. These are different than the one's I normally find.
Under the cherry tree, on the property line, I found a few broken small branches that must have come down in the last windy rainstorm. The branches had lichens on them and, so I took a photo of them. Funny thing, if you bring these lichens indoors they become hard and brittle, but throw them back outside and the dampness turns them soft and downy again. lichens
After walking in the yard, I went to see my little Bella. Bella is growing so fast and on the 24th she will be 5 months old. Not much hair yet, but that's okay. Here is a photo I took of her with a little stuffed pumpkin that I brought her.
bella with pumpkin10.17.10
Hope you had a wonderful day.elaine signature3

I Won!!!!

I received an email this morning from Suzy, of Georgia Peachez blog. that I won a bottle of Fabric Mod Podge from a giveaway on her blog for leaving a comment. Amy, of Mod Podge Rocks will be mailing me my prize.  What a fun way to start the day.
Thanks again Suzy and made my day. :-)

I hope you all have a fun and creative day.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

More Mod Podge this time...Gourds and Tray

Well, I have been sticky fingered here the past few days from Mod Podge.  I hadn't put away my big jug of matte Mod Podge and wanted to try using it on a few other items. I saw on Mod Podge Rocks,  photos of gourds that had leaves and flowers applied with mod podge. So cool.
I thought the finished project looked really neat. I didn't have any pressed vibrant colored flowers or leaves to use at this time, as all of my dried flowers that I pressed were a couple years old and the colors weren't vibrant.  So, I decided I would try decoupaging napkins. I had a bunch of gourds that I grew, but unfortunately our growing season here in Massachusetts isn't always long enough to get good sized gourds. We can't plant early enough as we get very late spring frosts. I pulled out my gourds and here is a photo of some of the assortment of the one's I grew. All of the gourds that I have grown have been very thin shelled.  My gourds below.
 gourds mine w pumpkins flower1 gourds mine with pumpkins flower2
The photo below are gourds that were given to me from a friend that ordered them from a gourd farm. The gourds I was given are heavy shelled and much bigger. They can be cut to use as bowls, bird houses, whatever gourd art strikes your fancy.
gourds big ones from ca
In my picture trail (around my yard album) I have photos of my gourds growing.
This past spring I found 2 gourds that I hadn't found in the fall when my gourds were harvested. They were out all winter, and covered with black areas on them that I couldn't remove after cleaning, scrubbing and sanding. I should have taken a before photo to show just how bad they were.  So, I decided to paint the 2 gourds . The worst one, I painted black, which turned out not to be a good color choice.  The tall gourd I painted copper. I used napkins, but I had to keep going over the same cut out pieces to get a color to show that wasn't muted from the dark paint. I'm not extremely happy with the end results, but they look better now and will just have to do.  For the round, flat gourd originally I used cut out pears and leaves, but they didn't show up because of the black paint. I then cut out colorful leaves from decorative napkins.
gourd flat round leaves1  gourd painted black and decoupaged.
gourd tall front with bird.pumpkin1 copper painted gourd ,back side with pumpkin and crow.
gourd tall back1 front of gourd with cut out napkins-maple and oak leaves

Yesterday I painted a cheap wooden dollar store tray black. This morning I used a decorative, beverage sized napkin to Mod Podge to the tray. Below is the finished tray. The napkin had 4 images of the loon, but when cut in half it fit the bottom area of the tray really well. I only needed to trim off a little bit.
loon mod podge tray loon mod podge tray and napkin finished tray and the napkin that I used on my tray.
My next Mod Podge project is going to be using fabric Mod Podge and fabric. I read about that on Mod Podge Rocks too. :-)
And, I found a nice glass bottle with a cork stopper that I want to decorate.
Now, I have a question and I'm hoping someone can give me an answer...what am I doing wrong? I always iron my napkins, separate the napkins down to one layer, cut them out. I put a thin base coat of Mod Podge, and then my napkin or whatever. Let it dry, and then add a top coat, let it dry the recommended time, and repeat. But, my napkins always get wrinkly and bumpy no matter how many times that I smooth them out. When using napkins they are very thin and fragile and tear easily when smoothing any wrinkles out. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
Thanks so much for visiting and come again. Blog comments are always welcome.elaine signature3