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Friday, September 25, 2015

Party Details

The PJ party with my friends was lots of fun.  We played word games, talked, exchanged "White Elephant" presents, snacked.  I had picked up two pepperoni and cheese pizzas. Cookies abounded, offset by a fresh fruit salad, but the creme de la creme was Amaretto cheesecake.  It was so soft and fluffy. Yes, it was baked by my friend, and she topped it with Amaretto syrup and whipped cream.  Oo-la-la!!!  Believe it or not, I only ate a 1/2" slice. (whimper)

Around 3:15 a.m. the unfortunate soul on the pull-out couch was sitting upright in the dark.  "Oh, you can't sleep either?"  Wanting more pizza, we ended up going out (quietly) to sit in the screened-in gazebo to talk for a while.  Then after some pizza we settled in for a few hours shut-eye.

Breakfast together at a local diner was really good.  I just might have to make this an annual tradition!

Pink and Charcoal Gray Swap Wrap-Up

The ATC group swap was a huge success.  This was the table where I was sorting, redistributing and getting ready to mail out the Pink and Gray ATC's.

It was so much fun, I volunteered to guest-host another swap:  a Dots and Stripes post card exchange.  Some really fun pieces are coming in already.  Stay tuned...

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Muse on Nature's Details

This hot off the press today:

In the realm of nature, there are oft-unseen layers- of fibers, facets, integral components.
Autumn's colorful leaves trace down to veins and stems, individual cells.
Bird plumage flashing lovely colors relies upon the single strands of each feather
as its pigments pick up cues from the sunlight.
A shiny fish may have small or large scales, which function as mirrors of any available light.
And the gossamer of dragonflies, again, reduces to the small cells in a stretch of their sheer wings.

How wonderful the detail and cunning handiwork of the Master Designer.

Fall Foliage along the Black River -
Watertown, NYS

Lake George Park, NYS

View from Rondaxe Mt. on a misty late-October afternoon
Adirondack Park, NYS

Dragonflies on Calcite, Eastern Tennessee

Purple Pine Cones on White Spruce - Spring - Watertown, NYS

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Oddities and Eyesores?

A recent trip to Northern New York State gave opportunity to admire a few interesting landmarks and colorful oddities.  I dug up some background about my first picture:

According to an article archived at an area museum, the Lifesaver monument is a tribute to Edward John Noble, who negotiated with the inventor and chocolate manufacturer Clarence Crane to promote his hard candies inspired by a druggist's flat pill-making machine.  (Crane's idea was to create a candy that would hold up better than chocolate in summer's heat.)  In 1913, the flat mints, alluding to the Titanic's loss in 1912, were called LifeSavers with the slogan "For that Stormy Breath."

Pep-O-Mint was the first flavor created.  The popular five-flavor pack came into production in 1935. During World War II, G.I.s introduced the candy to other countries to the tune of about 23 million boxes as they shared from their rations.  In this country, children were recruited to sell Lifesavers for a commission.

I remember receiving gift books of rolls of various flavors of LifeSavers in the 1960's.  My favorite was Butter Rum.

Gouverneur, NYS

The Toilet Gardens in the college town of Potsdam, NY were in the news this summer after having been vandalized, and it wasn't the first time.  Hank Robar started decorating his lawn to protest village property restrictions, but it evolved into an "ART FORM."  Of course, not all of the residents appreciate his artistic endeavors.  It's either "Beauty is in the eye of the beholder," or "It's an eyesore."  He continues to ask locals to contribute unwanted toilets for his collection.    I just HAD to stop the car, get out and take a few pictures:
Disgruntled resident's statement...

Is this ART?

Classy Old Singer

Still on my vacation, every time I stepped off the elevator at the hotel I admired this gorgeous sewing machine.  It was in very pristine condition... *sigh*

Black River Views

During my redent visit to Northern New York State, I stopped along the Black River in Watertown, New York to take pictures of the limestone cliffs which are filled with fossils.  I remembered black raised circular protrusions, maybe chert, which almost resembled cross sections of tree trunks.  I was unable to get down to them to take pictures at this time, but the river was pretty.  Yes, Autumn colors are here and there... 

Friday, September 11, 2015

Take A Picture - It Will Last Longer

Before I tackled canning a double batch of Green Tomato Marmalade, I just felt like grabbing the camera and spending a little time outdoors taking pictures.  (I have added some gladiolas to a previous post.) These were fun to set up:

Metal Lotus Pod (Broken Watering Can)

Bee Balm (smells good!)

Just picked, almost ripe...

Thursday, September 10, 2015


Finally, I was able to spend some time in the craft room/art studio putting together some book marks for an upcoming swap.  A few more are awaiting finishing touches. Starting out with the marbleized (imported) hand-made papers, I was reluctant to cover them.  A few bits of collage here and there, a wrap of gold thread, a marbleized doily, gold and silver pens, rubber stamped images on paint-stained paper towels...  fancy fibers for tassels, and-  Voila!

Reverse side:  third one in is NOT a dog...

And later the next day...



This year I planted winter's survivors near the road by the fence between properties.  They are late opening, it's almost autumn here.  But the rainbow of cheery colors will be worth the wait.  This stalk of pink gladiolas broke, so I rescued it.  The others are still blooming outside  Don't they make you glad just to look at them?

Monday, September 7, 2015

Bird Post Cards

These are three recently constructed tone-on-tone collage cards I decided to send in to the MMSA group swap.  Vintage bird designs have a certain charm...
Magic Mesh and grass-embedded paper

Marblized paper and Magic Mesh on petal-embedded paper

Magic Mesh 

Friday, September 4, 2015

Party Plans

A trip is in the planning stages, and since I will be traveling through an area where I used to live, I thought I would throw a pajama party for some friends there.  I know, I'm not ten years old anymore. But hey, why wait until a funeral to get friends together?

First, I asked each one to bring a favorite dessert or snack.  One of them is famous for different varieties of cheesecake, so I'm hoping...  Another offered to make mint chocolate brownies.  It gets better and better!

Then I chose a color theme.  (Do you think I've guest-hosted one too many post card swaps?)  Pink and Green.  I like those two colors together.  Like a peony bush.  I wandered through two Dollar stores and a BigLots, looking for inexpensive little accents to brighten up the room. Here's a hand-crafted project to add to the ambiance:  wrap-around sleeves for battery-powered candles. With scrapbook papers, ribbons and double-stick tape, they were quick and easy to assemble.