Sunday, June 26, 2011

Busy few days

Friday, I took a ride to Rhode Island with my cousin, Cheryl who is a florist. We went to a wholesale florist so she could get flowers to make funeral arrangements for my cousin, Lillian that passed away.
Saturday, we went to the Cape for the funeral. After the funeral, family went to my cousin, Jon's house. Sad day, but it was nice to see cousins who live far away..Saipan, Florida, Ohio, and Vermont.
Later in the afternoon on our way home we stopped at our niece's for her twins 4th birthday party.  There was lots of good food, and it was fun watching the twins open their many gifts.
Here are a few pictures that I took. The twins..(in red)  Kyle and Cody received so many gifts. The boys loved trying out their new scooters that their Aunt Kelly gave them.
 Below is Kyle having a serious talk with my dad.
6.25.11 Kyle with Grampa Harju 6.25.11 Kyle and Cody scooters  6.25.11 Kyle on scooter 6.25.11 Cody on scooter
Today, I spent a most enjoyable afternoon with my good friend, Betty Ann. We  took a ride to  look for a double white clematis at several nurseries in the area, but we had no luck.                               We did find a site on the internet that had a double white clematis,  and I am going to see if I can order one. I am hoping it's not too late for this year's planting. The name of the white clematis is Duchess of Edinburgh. Then, I took Betty Ann around the cranberry bogs to see what wildlife we could spot.
Here are some photos I snapped of a great blue heron. Every time I moved to try and get closer it flew off, but I couldn't get the bird in flight. By the time I got the bird in my lens and got the correct zoom, it had moved.  As we were leaving the great blue heron flew off, and a second bird that had been hidden from our view joined it. I was quite a distance away from the bird taking the photos... Thank goodness for zoom lenses.
blue heron 6 blue heron 5 blue heron1 blue heron2 blue heron3 blue heron4
Cat a nine tails...a week ago the cat tails were still all yellow, but this week they are starting to darken.
cat a nine tails unripened3
cat a nine tails2 cat a nine tails1
I was distressed to see dirt bikes had ridden up and down the large sand pit where the bank swallows were nesting. I did see some swallows flying in and out of their nest holes.

Hope you all enjoyed your weekend. The sun finally did come out yesterday afternoon, and also today in the afternoon. We have had rain for several days straight.
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Thursday, June 23, 2011

Got Leg's ?

I decided I would make a pot roast with vegetables in my crock pot this morning.  I had peeled and cut my onions, celery, and potatoes. I had started peeling carrots, and I got a laugh as I pulled this carrot out of the package.

carrot legs
Silly me, I had to take a picture of this weird carrot, and couldn't bring myself to peel and cut it up and add it to the crock pot. Gee, do you think if I put it for auction on ebay someone would buy it? New Barbie legs, or perhaps write up some ridiculous story, and maybe make a million dollars. (LOL)  Even sillier...coat the carrot with envirotex and make some art project out of it. Just kidding. :-)

Now, I am off to run errands, pick up a few groceries, and then head to my dad's, make his lunch. Then, I will take dad and we will go visit mom in the nursing home. Then I will take dad home, make his supper, and finally return home. Thankfully, our supper will be done.
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P.S..coming home from my dad's on a nearby cranberry bog I saw 2 adult turkeys and 4 little ones. Too cute!!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Alphabet art..C is for Cranberries

How could I not go with cranberries to use as a theme for my alphabet art C tag.  Cranberries was the first thing that popped into my head. 
Below: front of my tag using the cranberry stamp that I designed.
alphabet tag C front
Back side of my C tag.
Water harvested cranberries scene. I found 2 different 12 x 12 sheets of cranberry themed scrapbook paper at Colorful Creations scrapbook store in Hyannis. I cut the tag with my Big Kick and my Tim tag die out of the glossy paper with the water picked berries scene. The paper looks likes a big photograph, don't you think?
alphabet tag C back side
Today is the first day of summer, and it is also the longest day of the year. Tomorrow the days start to get shorter again. Summer just doesn't last long enough. Enjoy your day!!!
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Monday, June 20, 2011

Art tag inspired by new Tim stamps

Last week I used a coupon at Michael's to buy one of Tim Holtz's new foam mounted, red rubber stamp sets. Yesterday, I took a few minutes to make an art tag using my new stamp images.
I used one of my many pre cut manila tags that made with my Big Kick and my Tim tag die.
My  Tim distress ink pads were out on my desk,  and so I chose to use...peeled paint and shabby shutters for my tag. Next I sprayed my new Smooch Spritz  pearlized accent sprays onto the tag. The colors were  Citrus Tickle (yellow green) and Splash (blue). In the past several weeks I have found several packages of the Smooch Spritz's marked down from $9.99 to $3.99 in a variety of colors at Michael's. I have had fun using those Smooch sprays on my tags. There are some new colors in the Smooch Spritz's, but those weren't marked down.
I then stamped my new Tim  images with black memories ink onto my prepared tag. While waiting for my tag to dry I pleated some of Tim's paper tape. When the tag was dry I adhered the tissue tape to the bottom of my tag, and then added a butterfly to the center of the tape.

art tag TH friendship
This morning I ran some errands, including getting my oil changed. Then I made what was going to be a quick side trip to A. C. Moore. I spent way longer in the store than I thought, as it took me awhile to decide what to use my 50% coupon on. I ended up using my coupon on a Tim embossing folder that I didn't have.             
While in A. C. Moore I met a very nice lady, and we ended up talking for quite awhile.

Before heading home I stopped at the nursing home to see my mom. Other family members came while I was there. Mom ended up with  quite a gang visiting including 4 of her great grandchildren. While at the nursing home, I gave my granddaughter, Bella her first taste of a red Tootsie Roll pop, and she loved it!!! :-)

Now that I am home, I have to start some laundry and think about what to make for supper tonight. Take out sure sounds good right now.
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Friday, June 17, 2011

Stray Kitty naming contest winner is....

Sorry that I didn't post the winner of my contest a few days ago, but my days remain hectic.
Our stray has remained nameless long enough. We had a difficult decision to make, as there were several names that were suggested that Tom and I both liked. After going thru names left in the comments on the original posting, and then when we found out our stray was a male kitty. After much debating our stray kitty now has an official name.
4.13.11 stray kitty2
The winning name is.......Tuffy, which was suggested by Debbie of CraftyMooseCrafts .                                                                                    Tom and I both thought that Tuffy was an appropriate name for our stray kitty, because he managed to stay alive from birth thru the long freezing, snowy winter living on his wits outside.
Debbie...let me know if you would like earrings or something Tim Holtz to use in an art project. Please email me   your mailing address.
Thanks to all that suggested names. elaine signature3

Bearded Iris

I haven't had time for art, but wanted to share with you a lovely iris that my cousin picked up for me while visiting her aunt in New Hampshire. Cheryl's aunt, Priscilla sell plants. Cheryl also bought me another new re blooming iris while at her aunts, a pretty blue. The blue iris had already bloomed by the time I received it, and so I will have to wait until fall to see it bloom. I wish all my iris bloomed twice in a season. 
This deep violet purple iris is really pretty, and shimmers when the sun shines on it.
 iris deep purple black iris deep purple superstistion
iris blue victoria falls waiting to see this blue iris bloom.
Below is another photo that I took at the cranberry bog. High up in another sand bank is a belted kingfisher's nest hole that my brother,Paul found and told me about. He saw the kingfisher going in and out of it's nest hole. Kingfishers always nest near water so they have a good supply of fish to eat.
The day that I went I didn't see the bird, but thought that those of you who have never seen a kingfisher's nest might find it interesting. I love birdwatching and also find the different bird nests interesting.

 kingfisher hole2 kingfisher photo from bird book kingfisher info
I also picked up a good sized white quartz rock that I found at the base of a sand pit while I was driving around the bog. I am always on the lookout for white quartz to add to my rock garden in the back yard. My car always needs a good hosing off after driving around the dusty dirt roads.

Tom is slowly getting the numerous tomato plants that he started from seed into the garden. I can't wait for garden fresh, ripe tomatoes. Just thinking of eating a garden ripe tomato sandwich is making my mouth water.
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P.S... while I was driving my dad home late this afternoon I spotted a male Eastern Bluebird flying back and forth across the road. I sure wish a pair would nest in one of my bluebird houses that I have in my yard.

bluebirds from bird book

Monday, June 13, 2011

Nature Walk around the Cranberry bog

After visiting my mother this afternoon at the nursing home I decided to take my dad for a ride around the cranberry bogs since the sun finally showed it's face.
I was happy to see lots of baby goslings with the mother and father geese walking around the bog dikes. I saw 2 wild turkeys walking around the edge of the woods, but the birds were too fast for me to get photos. Drat's !!!
I took a few pictures of  pond lilies at my dad's bog. The sun was fading fast, and I wasn't sure if I got the pictures until I got home and downloaded the photos from my digital camera. There are lots of white pond lilies everywhere, but there were only a few spots in the reservoirs that had pink lilies.
pond lilies pink at dad's bog1 pond lilies white at dad's bog
Also at the bog... near the top of the sand banks on the sheer cliffs of the sand pits we found some bank swallow nests. Unfortunately, with all the heavy rains we have had in the past few days many of the nests were lost due to the sand caving in at the top and the sand/nests collapsed and sheared off the face of the sand banks. You can see in the photo below some of the bank swallows nest holes in the big chunks of compacted sand that fell, but many nest survived.  The little swallows dig out holes in the compacted sand to build their nests. The birds were still using the remaining holes that were left intact.
bank swallows nest1
bank swallows nest2 chunks of sand that fell with nest holes
bank swallows nest3
bank swallows nest4 nest holes at the top of the sand pile
bank swallows nest5
bank swallow picture from bird book bank swallow info
Since last week, bee hives were placed around the bogs to pollinate the cranberry blossoms. The cranberry honey that they produce is very tasty. There were bees flying everywhere, and I just prayed none would fly in the open car window as I snapped a photo. I didn't want to get out of the car to take the picture and taking a chance getting stung.
bees at hives to pollunate the cranberries
photo below...cranberry vines with pink blossoms starting to open. You can see the tight buds that haven't opened yet.
cranberries in bloom2011
last week I shared photos of rebuilding a bog and setting out bare vines. The photo below was taken at my brothers cranberry bog 1 year after replanting last year.  A cranberry crop was picked off those vines last fall.
vines 1 yr old after rebuilding bog
It is always very peaceful being around the bogs. You never know what you will see for plants and animals. I
also enjoy the time  spent  with my dad who loves being at the bogs.
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Saturday, June 11, 2011

Century Farms

Last year the Farm Bureau published a book on Massachusetts farms that were at least a 100 years old. I just received a copy of the soft cover book from my brother Larry.

Click on the pictures for better viewing.
Century farm project book cover 2010
My Finnish grandparents farm was mentioned on page 43. Read Article below
Century farm project.Harju write up
Last year my dad was contacted and was asked to submit a photo for the book project. Since Dad doesn't have a computer he asked me to send the photo by email for him.
The photos used in the book were all reduced to a small size. I submitted both of the photos below,  the photo that was published has my Finnish grandfather, Fiilus standing with his plow horse, Jerry, and 4 of his oldest children, Reino, Ellen, Eino and Toivo.
Harju Homestead with family and horse3
Like the article mentioned; my grandparents had chickens, pigs, cows and a horse that did the plowing and pulled the wagon when haying the fields. The farm also had a large garden and fruit trees. The property has a large barn, garage, and screen house. Years ago the cranberries would go through several processes in the screen house before being packed for shipment. Now all the  cranberries are processed at Ocean Spray.

  I have many fond childhood memories of time spent at my grandfathers house. Unfortunately, I never knew my grandmother, because she died 2 months before I was born. We only lived a couple of miles from my grandfather, and we visited almost every night. As I got older I would ride my bike or walk over to visit.  I spent many happy hours at the farm.
I learned to ice skate on the cranberry bog by the house with my brothers and cousins in the winter. Grandfather gave us an old chair to push on the ice to keep our balance and to help us stay upright as we learned how to skate, but sometimes we used an old cranberry box to push around the ice.
Long before we were old enough to even think of driving my brother, Larry and I would drive and old truck thru the fields. One time I couldn't stop it in time and hit the barn door. No one was hurt, thank goodness.  Now, most of those fields have been replaced with cranberry bogs.

On summer nights while at the farm we would watch baby foxes near the sand piles that were around the cranberry bog while their mother was out hunting for their dinner. The babies were so inquisitive and cute and would come right up to the car and look at us. 
In the spring and summer we loved to pick blackberries near the barn and watch barn swallows build their nests. It was fun to watch the parent birds feed the young after the eggs hatched.
Grandpa always had a bag of M&M's to share with us, and a cold glass of ginger ale and a sweet. We always looked forward to that treat.
On the front lawn, my older brother, Larry and I would have sword fights as we played pirates using the spikes from yucca plants. The stiff points on those leaves were sharp as they poked into a leg. Ouch!
We also had sword fights using the long beans from the catalpa tree in the front yard.
We would catch fireflies on a summer night in the fields and put them in jars with holes poked in the cover so they had air. I treasure those wonderful childhood memories.
Sadly, my grandfather passed away at the age of 85 when I was senior in high school in 1966. I think of him often and still miss him. My dad, Wilho and my aunt Gert are my grandparents only remaining children and they are now 92 and 87. (my dad passed away in 2014 at the age of 95 1/2)
My grandfather came to this country from Finland with $5.00 in his pocket. He worked hard and was a good provider for his family. Many other Finnish families stayed at the farm with my grandparents in their farmhouse when they first emigrated to the United States from Finland until they found jobs and places to live. I am so proud of my family and what they have accomplished.
My brother Paul and his wife, Linda lived at the farm for a little while when they first got married. My niece Trish and her husband, Ronnie and twin boys and my niece Julie, her husband Geoff and son Graham have also lived in the farmhouse before moving into their own homes.My youngest son now lives in the farmhouse.
Harju Homestead2 
right corner of photo..large catalpa tree with Yucca plant under the tree to the left.
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Friday, June 10, 2011


I had leftover scraps of polished stone cardstock and thought I would try my hand at inchie's. The leftover polished stone glossy cardstock scrap pieces were still out on my desk, and since we lost our power, I gave them a try. 
I can tell you right now...I didn't have much fun creating with these little 1 inch squares of paper. I was totally brain dead trying to figure out what to do with them. My first attempts are very simple, but at least I can say I gave inchies a try.
Top left..just stamping, on the top right..I recycled a sheets of stiff  white plastic grid that I found under pizza  in the bottom of the take out box. I then added a cut out butterfly.
Middle row..just stamping on the left, and on the right...a scan of a cop out, right?
Bottom...stamped a background and then just punched a small hole and added a brad that had a rhinestone in the center.
I can't imagine how others fits so many things on such a tiny space and create lovely little pieces of art.  I went real simple and still struggled. Inchies  just aren't my thing, but I will probably give them another try. I hate admitting defeat.
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