Friday, September 30, 2011

Harvest Painting..another Sarah painting

Sarahs painting of Larry picking
Since this is our busy cranberry harvest season I am going to share another painting. Yes, I'm a proud Auntie bragging again today on my very talented niece, Sarah. Sarah completed this painting last year. In the painting is my older brother,Larry. Larry is  Sarah's dad, and he is in the light shirt on the left, my younger brother, Richard is on the right, and in the back, Blaine, our foreman. Sarah chose to paint a water color of dry harvesting cranberries. Our dry harvested cranberries are sold in the stores (Ocean Spray) as fresh fruit. I hope you enjoyed both of her paintings that I shared with you yesterday and today.

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Thursday, September 29, 2011

As the Crow Flies

As the Crow flies card
Do you like crows? I happen to like these noisy, large black birds, but whenever I ask that question I find the answer is either they are liked or disliked. Where I live I have lots of woods and we only seem to see crows in the fall. I usually hear them in the pine trees before I see them. When I am on Cape Cod crows are everywhere and always very vocal.
Last Friday at the scrapbook store that is closing I filled bags of supplies for $10.00.   I found several Dreamweaver stencils, and the crow stencil was one that I put in my bag.
This afternoon, I used my new stencils and did several card fronts. I still need to add color to the others that I did now that the stencil paste is dry, but I wanted to finish the crow and make a card.
I used black stencil paste for the crow, and white stencil paste for the weather vane. Once the paste was dry I added a verdigris green metallic dust. I layered the white stenciled crow  to black card stock. Then I layered the black card stock onto Kraft paper card stock that has crow images all over it. My final layer to finish my card was a burnt orange card stock. The card is approximately 5 x 7.
As the Crow flies card.envelope1 card and decorated envelope.
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Sarah's Painting

Sarahs painting of Paul and GrahamCran-Dad

Today I am sharing a beautiful painting that my niece, Sarah Beals water colored. Sarah is very talented, and  has painted since she was a young girl. The paintings inspiration was taken from a photo that my niece, Julie (Sarah's cousin) took of her dad, my brother Paul and his grandson (Julie's little boy) Graham at the cranberry bog  when our cranberry harvest first started earlier this month.

Grandpa Paul and Graham walking along the bog dike looking at the water harvested cranberries.
paul and graham walking at the bog
Here is the original photo

Don't you think Sarah did a wonderful job? I'm in awe, because I can't even draw a stick figure. :-)

Below...I loved the posters below that I saw on Facebook this morning, and thought I would share them with you.

Dear God
Add caption

world without art
Cookie monster  
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Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Wonderful Surprise in the mail

The mail just came, and there were 2 boxes for me from my cousin, Allen who lives in Florida. Seems like lately the only time I see Allen is at family members funerals. :-(
I received an email from Allen last week to let me know he had mailed me 2 boxes. Allen didn't tell me what he mailed out, as it was to be a surprise. I have been very curious wondering what I would be receiving.
Well, I was more than surprised when I opened the boxes. What did I find inside...4 sets of old fashioned Christmas Bubble lights? I love bubble lights, as they bring back wonderful childhood memories of Christmas Day at my Grandfather's house . I never knew my father's mother, as she died a few months before I was born. My grandfather lived a few miles from our house, and I would visit often. My grandfather passed away in January of my senior year of high school, at the age of 85.

Anyway, getting back to the bubble lights. There was always a beautifully decorated tree  in my grandfather's parlor. The tree was  strung with bubble lights, glass ornaments, and even some ornaments that my grandfather made. 
As kids my brothers, cousins and I would sit around the decorated tree watching the colored liquid in the clear tubes of the bubble lights bubble away as the liquid heated in the tubes, as we anxiously waited for the time when we could open gifts. 
Family members would all come for dinner, then after the dishes were done, there would be the  opening of gifts. After the gifts were opened we would all bundle up and go  to Edaville (Carver, MA).   Once there we would stroll thru Santa Village, look at the thousands of strung Christmas lights, meander thru the museums, and gift shops. Since Carver was a small town we always ran into people we knew. Then came the train ride. We would make a mad dash for the caboose, as we thought that was the best car to ride in. The train ride was/is approximately a 5 mile ride. The tracks went thru the woods and around the cranberry bogs. You could see and hear the train pass from my grandfather's house. There were little houses at different areas around the tracks that had Christmas scenes...a childhood wonderland.
bubble Christmas lights from Allen box 2 Bubble Christmas lights from Allen1
After the train ride it was always nice to get back to my grandfather's house where it was warm, and we knew there would be birthday cake, as Christmas Day was also my grandfather's birthday. We always celebrated my cousin, Andy's birthday ( Allen's brother) at the same time, as his birthday was on the 22nd. Sadly both Andy and my grandfather have passed away, but thankfully memories never die.

So getting back to my mail, there were 2 layers of lights in each box. I haven't put up a big, real tree in several years, but this year I will definitely put up a real tree so I can use my bubble lights. I can't tell you how many memories flooded back when I opened those boxes. Allen sure knew how to make my day. i haven't heard yet where Allen found these, but I can't thank him enough.  I wish Allen still lived on Cape Cod. Love you, cuz!!
Do you have something special from your childhood that brings so many memories flooding back?

Saturday, September 24, 2011

2 Halloween accordion fold cards

 Halloween accordian fold card1
front of card
This afternoon I wanted to make a few Halloween cards. I wasn't sure what kind, but thought I would try making some cards that had accordion folds.
I took a piece of black cardstock and with a metal ruler marked off spaces the width of the ruler, and then scored the lines. Next, I folded the paper to make an accordion fold.  I then cut smaller strips in an orange print and glued those to the fronts of each fold and on the back.
accordian fold girl w wings card back
To the back I glued a length of orange ribbon.
open card to which I placed Halloween images and Happy Halloween. As you could see in the first photo the card ties in the front and is free standing when open.
Halloween accordian fold card open
accordian fold girl w black cat accordian fold girl w black cat2
This second card was an experiment. I cut a piece of 8.5 x 11 inch cardstock in half. I then used an exacto knife and a ruler to make cuts on each side of the paper about 1/2 inch in. Next time I would probably make the cuts one inch in from each side. Then I scored and accordion folded the middle of the paper and ended up with 3 folds, and then folded the card in half. On the folds I added cutouts. On the bottom front fold I added a strip of decorative cardstock. The card stands open and the cutouts can be viewed easily. I haven't made any construction cards in ages. These were easy and I thought they turned out pretty good for an experiment.  What do you think?
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Scored big today

Grab bag SC 5
The Scrapbook Cupboard scrapbook store in East Bridgewater, MA is going out of business. Everyday new items are being offered for big discounts. I hate to see another small business close it's doors, and especially since it is a store that I shop at. I don't order online as I love to see and feel the product I am considering buying before I make my decision and I hate to pay the postage.
Today the deal was...fill a bag with anything that was on the numerous tables that had been used in the SC's classroom that would fit in a 10 x 12.5 inch bag...price  $10. When you look at the picture above you may think there isn't much in the bag. I am more than happy with the goodies I put in my bag. There were empty spaces in the bag, and I probably should have repacked the bag to get more into it.
Grab bag SC 4 Grab bag SC 2 Grab bag SC 3
Yes, I fit all of the items in that small, thin, paper bag. I got envelope templates, 3 packages clear rubber stamps, a Tim book, magic mesh, several metal Dreamweaver stencils and paste. Clear UTEE embossing powder, 9 containers of Flower Soft, un mounted rubber stamp, lots of ribbon, 8 wood mounted stamps..some from Stamper's Anonymous, atc sized an larger pieces of sticky back canvas pieces, mica flakes, grunge paper, cork backed metal ruler, clear ruler, brads, small pins, buttons, Luminarts shimmering mist, scratch board pens, Fantasy fibers, Dust bunny cloth, book rings.
All the containers of product were full bottles. Well worth $10, don't you think?
I probably should have filled another bag with the distress spray inks, refills and paper punches. I may go back tomorrow to see what new items have been added to the tables.
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Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Halloween Popup Card 2011

2011 Halloween outside of popup card front of card

2011 Halloween popup card2 inside of the pop up card

It has been a year since I made a pop up card. In fact, the last one I made was a Halloween pop up card. This is a photo of the inside of my card. The card has 4 steps, and in the blank center space I added a haunted house. The little ghost coming out of the chimney is a button with the shank clipped off. It's hard to see but there are bats flying in front of the quarter moon. 2 trick or treating ghosties, a growling face pumpkin, and a black cat on the right side. Happy Halloween on the bottom. I don't know why I don't make more pop ups, because I always have a great time adding all the pieces to the steps.

I also decorated the outside of the envelope that I will send this card in. I used several colors of Tim Holtz distress ink pads, and then stamped some Halloween images.2011 Halloween popup card decorated envelope

Do you make cards for Halloween? What is your favorite type of card to create?

On another note...I went over to mom's yesterday and spent the afternoon. Then I took mom and dad to my niece, Trish's house for a lovely pot roast dinner for her sister, Kelly. I don't know of any adult who likes to celebrate their birthday as much as Kelly does. She said, it's like waiting on Christmas Eve for Santa to come. Too funny. Kelly turned 28 yesterday.

9.20.11 Kelly 28 yrs. with my gifts

9.20.11 Kelly with my birthday book present Kelly with a look of surprise as she opened the birthday photo journal that I created for her. I blogged about this book in a previous post. Kelly loved her gifts.

Seems like there is never a dull moment in this family..My older brother, Larry was taken to the hospital by ambulance on Friday evening with chest pain. Later that night he had no more pain, but was held for observation and more test. Monday the doctor did a heart catheterization and they found blockages. So, off to Boston in another ambulance ride. The doctors found 2-100% blockages and a partial blockage. The procedure went well, and Larry came home late yesterday afternoon. We were all so worried, because my brother had bypass surgery approximately 10 years ago. Larry is 11 months older than me. So thankful all turned out well.

Today it is beautiful outside...warm and sunny, compared to the dark, cool, damp last few days. I have some other projects in the works, but they may have to wait to tonight.

elaine signature3

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Decorative Witch Hat

Witches felt black hat decoration.
I love Halloween, and today I had some time and wanted to start making some tags and cards. My first project for the morning was to try making a witch's hat. Bad witch or Good witch...Good witch, of course.

I took out some stiffened felt to make my decorative witch's hat. I made a cone shape and used tacky glue to hold the felt together. I needed to use clothespins and sewing pins to hold the seam together. It took a long time for the tacky glue to hold.
 Then, I used a large soup bowl and traced around the rim onto cardstock. I then cut out my circle for the brim. I used this for my brim pattern. I placed the pattern on another piece of black stiffened felt that I bought for 99 cents a sheet at Michael's.  When my circle was cut out, I cut an X shape in the center of the circle, and then put the brim onto the hat, and glued down the flaps from the X inside the cone.
When everything was dry; I cut out a thin strip of green and orange felt and glued the felt to the base of the brim. I then cut sheer black and orange ribbons to attach to the top of the hat and added a round Happy Halloween decoration to the front. My witch hat is approximately 6 inches tall. I am not sure if this will be the final look as I may change things up a bit.
 What do you think of my witches hat?
In the morning I will share with you my Halloween pop up card and decorated envelope.
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Monday, September 19, 2011

Sewing themed Never Ending Journal

book sewing themed cover finished I finished up this journal this morning, well that is everything but decorating the cover. I haven't decided what I want to add to the cover for embellishments. I am thinking I don't want to use anything to bulky.

book sewing themed binding closeup charms

close up of the charms..thimble, sewing machine with a spool of thread hanging from the bottom, scissors.

book sewing themed binding closeup charms2 book sewing themed clear button bag insert signature with a clear baggie folded. Buttons can be stored in the zipped pocket. A small card is in the pocket flap

book sewing themed inside back cover pocket w atc inside front cover pocket with a polished stone atc tucked inside

book sewing themed paper bag insert w tags signature with a small paper bag folded and stapled with 2 tags

I think this little journal will be great for sketching ideas, attaching fabric scraps, buttons for projects that are in the works.

I enjoy making these never ending journals. Hope you like my journal too.

I have been working on several little Halloween projects and I will share those when I finish them. 

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Sunday, September 18, 2011

Cheese Dreams

Cheese Dreams before placing in the oven to cook.

When I was 8 years old I received my first cookbook as a Christmas present from my mother. I still think that little spiral bound child's cookbook has some of my favorite recipes.

I knew I would be watching the Patriots football game late this afternoon so earlier I cooked up a package of bacon to use for a quick and easy supper.  I decided I would make Cheese Dreams.

English muffins...halved. If you don't have English muffins on hand you could use slices of Italian bread for the base.

pizza or spaghetti sauce

American cheese slices cut into 1/4's  or mozzarella cheese

optional: tomato slices.. if desired. I used tomatoes from our garden

cooked bacon pieces..1 strip cut in half for each muffin half

Instead of bacon you can substitute..  pepperoni slices, pre cooked, sliced or ground linguica (Portuguese sausage), or precooked crumbled hamburg and onions.

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees

On a cookie sheet place the English muffin halves, spoon some pizza sauce on top of the muffins, add slice of tomato, 2 half strips of bacon and 2 strips of American cheese to make a cross.

Bake until the cheese melts.

This recipe is quick and easy and everyone likes them. I think instead of making big pizza's on Halloween I will make these mini pizza's for whomever stops by while out trick or treating.

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Blog...Journal winner

Sorry I didn't post who the winner was on the 15th. I will try and get the little handmade  journal mailed out this week. So, I guess those of you who entered would like to know who won.
I used a really high tech way of drawing a name. I wrote the names of all who entered onto pieces of paper. I then tossed the papers with all the names into a basket. I had my girlfriend draw the winner...the name that came out of the basket is....Kris. I couldn't find an email contact on your blog page, so please email me your mailing info.
Thanks to all who entered. elaine signature3

Monday, September 12, 2011

Start of new journals..Oriental and sewing themed

Journal sewing theme..signatures signatures for my sewing themed journal

Yesterday and today I started making some journals to save my sanity. Read below...and I promise more photos of my journals are in this message.

If you follow my blog you know that I have been busy dealing with problems that arise with elderly parents.  I love my parents and do all that I can to make things easier for them. My 88 year old mother has advanced Alzheimer's disease and her condition is getting worse. Mom has no short term memory at all and doesn't remember that she has Alzheimer's. Mom had been in a nursing home where she was well taken care of and safe. My 92 year old dad wanted her home and my brother's thought that mom should be home with dad if that made him happy.
So, against my better judgement we took mom out of the nursing home on August 16th. If I thought I was busy before; let me tell you it is nothing compared to what I am dealing with now. My brothers are hardly any help at all. I can really only depend on one of my brothers to help me out when I need help.
Mom could only come home with round the clock care. I spend several days a week taking shifts to care for mom at home to help keep their cost down. Their long term insurance only pays half of what it paid the nursing home daily and round the clock care is very, very expensive.  I take both of my parents to their doctor appointments and to do all their errands.  I bring home cooked meals whenever I go to their home for them to eat.

Dad is in denial and won't admit that there is anything wrong with my mother, because he wants her home even though he can't take care of her. Because mom can still talk about old thinks she is okay.
Both of my parents don't want the 24/7 home health care workers in their home that have to be with them if mom is to stay home and they won't let them do anything. Then they complain that the women are a big waste of money and are lazy. This is a no win situation.
Dad never cooked when mom was well, and now to prove a point he is cooking meals and they are somewhat of a disaster. Dad and Mom won't go to assisted living, because my dad built their house and he states he isn't going anywhere but out of his house in a box when the time comes.  Dad shouldn't be driving as he is extremely hard of hearing among   other things.                                                                                           
When I took dad to the doctors last Thursday the doctor told him he shouldn't be driving anymore for his safety and others on the road. Dad told the doctor that he could drive just fine. That isn't the case, but in his mind that's what he thinks. Dad has blamed me for the doctor questioning his still driving, even though it was my younger brother who called the doctor. So now Dad is going off in the car almost daily just to prove to us he can drive. If we took the battery out or removed wires, or took the keys, dad would probably call a garage to get help or find the problem and fix it. My brothers just need to get the car out of their garage! I can only imagine the sparks that would fly if they do that.

I can't state enough how much I love both of my parents. I do everything for them that I can, but I am the one they blame when my mother does something dangerous and I tell my dad that she really needs to be back in the nursing home. My brothers are finally realizing that mom was safer and better off  when she was in the nursing home.  I get 1-2 calls a day from the home health care workers. I almost hate to answer the phone to hear what the latest problem is.
Anyway, I have decided that the only way to save my sanity is to not argue with my dad.  I am only going to go check up on them a few times a week. I will still do all their shopping and errands and take them to appointments, but to be truthful, I just need a break. I feel so guilty making this decision, but I can't deal with the stubbornness and defiance. My dad had never been like that. I know deep down that my dad doesn't mean this, but it is still hard to deal with. It is so very hard dealing with elderly parents who don't want help and don't think that they need it.

Yesterday I decided since I've been taking care of my parents needs for over 2  1/2 years that I need a little break. I keep telling myself don't feel guilty as I am still doing plenty.
Now, if only I can  listen to myself and all the wonderful advice from friends so that I can stay healthy in body and mind.
I hope I didn't bore you with my ramblings, but I am sure there are many that have elderly parents and are dealing with some of the same issues and frustrations. All I want is for my parents is to be safe. Alzheimer's is such a devasting disease. Thank goodness my husband has been supportive during this stressful time.

Time for art to save my sanity....I started working on the journal below on Sunday. The journal isn't finished yet as it needs to be bound and embellished. But here are the bare bones of my first journal. The pages have cardstock, graph paper and watercolor paper. The pages are 8  1/2  x 11 folded in half.
Never ending journal oriental book cover this photo is more true to the color of the handmade oriental washi paper I used

Never ending journal oriental book cover2 outside open book doesn't show the correct color
of the paper.

Never ending journal oriental book open with unfinished signatures signatures

Below... is the journal I started working on this afternoon. I used sewing themed papers from a Tim Holtz paper stack that I cut down. This little journal is 4  1/2 x 5  1/2 . The signatures are of cardstock and graph paper. I want to add envelopes to put fabric samples in.  I still may add a watercolor paper page to each  cover.
Journal sewing theme..Tim Holtz paper stack Tim Holtz paper 12 x 12 stack
Journal sewing theme..button paper full cover
Journal sewing theme..button paper cover front cover
Journal sewing theme..pattern paper inside cover inside journal cover pattern paper cardstock.
Journal sewing theme..signatures  I am only using 5 signatures for this journal as I want to leave room for buttons, threads, fabrics.

It felt good to just sit and relax and work with paper. I did get 2 phones call today regarding my mom and dad, but I dealt with the issues over the phone. The ladies are getting paid to take care of my parents and I have to step back a bit and let them handle things.

Did you like the start of my journals? I hope that I can finish them up soon. I have a few swap commitments that need working on too.
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