Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Getting Ready for Halloween

It's time to decorate for Halloween, so I get out the twine and scissors, but first I grab the wine bottle and pour myself a little fortification.

I know it will take a long while to put up all the spider webs and cornstalks, so I figure it won't hurt to take a little breather, I know, I know, I haven't even started yet!

There they are, they're usually sitting on top of my head, while I spend half an hour looking for them.

What is that look for, I'm the one doing all the work?

Wow, I finally finished the webs and they really do look great, but I sure could use another breather, so I'll plop down on the love seat for a little break, and maybe another glass of the dark elixir wouldn't hurt either.

  Back to work, I have to finish before sunset and at the rate I'm going it might be sunset tomorrow.

Hey, I wonder if I could use this somewhere.

I finished with the cornstalks and scarecrows, but I think they may be laughing at me.

NO, it was this fellow, but I don't think he has much to laugh about, not with those dentures.

Of course it starts to rain, it's time to put up the fence.

Last thing is to hang the flag, yea I know the letters are backwards, but that's because I took the picture from the wrong side, besides it adds a little playfulness, don't you think. OK, so I'm just too tired to flip it.

And now I sit here and contemplate my feet and the crack in the cement.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

A Visit to Port Norris

I visited my daughter in Port Norris, NJ for the weekend and we spent a day visiting the marshes and scenic spots around them. This is the old church in Bivalve, NJ. Once a year they have a celebration called Bay Day. The tall ship A.J. Meerwald is anchored here part of the year, and they give boat tours during Bay Day. If you are interested in learning more about this, you can visit

A visitor on the dock at Bivalve, NJ

The old South Port Norris Public Schoolhouse

My daughter, Janna on the marsh trail by Bivalve, NJ

The birds that inhabit the marshes were sitting all over the railings.

The colors of the marsh were like an artist's muted palette

A weathered birdhouse at the end of the trail

We had a great day!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

A Visit to a Tearoom

My daughter, Miakoda and I decided to visit a tearoom. I have never been to one, so this was a first for me. We live near a nice little tea shop, called The New Leaf in Riverton. We had a lovely time, friendly service, fragrant tea and delicious food.

We dressed for the occasion

The decor was lovely and elegant

Our tea came in pretty little tea pots, with individual tea strainers. I had cranberry orange tea, my daughter had pumpkin spice. Both teas were fragrant and excellent.

We started with a scone, clotted cream and jam, yum!

We are vegetarians, so they made us a special plate, finger sandwhiches and a delicious salad

Dessert was lemon, chocolate and strawberry. I liked the strawberry best.

We finished with mints!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

The Power of Words

I love to read, it is one of my favorite things to do. I read a variety of things, fiction, non-fiction, biographies, how-to books, children/young adult books, cookbooks, poetry and books about reading books. I am reading Moby Dick at the moment, however I am one of those people who read two or three books at the same time, so I am also reading a young adult book, "The Magician" by Michael Scott. I am also reading "Julie and Julia" by Julie Powell. I was fairly well into a book on Jackie Kennedy, but have somehow misplaced it and will probably have to start over, if I ever find it. I carry books with me everywhere, from room to room, in the car (no matter where I am going). There are those moments, I am sitting or standing waiting for someone or something, and if I have my book, I don't get as grumpy.

I read children and young adult's books because I think they are magical, fun, interesting and full of wonderful, imaginary creatures. Children haven't lost their wide eyed wonder and ability to believe almost anything is possible. A few months back I read "Inkheart",'Inkspell" and "Inkdeath" by Cornelia Funke and enjoyed them for their imagination and ability to put me right in the story. What an idea, to read someone into or out of a book! The adventures were absolutely wonderful. I read the "Lemony Snicket" series and loved it. What fun! I like Neil Gaiman and have read three of his books and would like to read more. I have plans to reread "Alice In Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass" soon. These books inspire me in my work and photography.

I love Joanne Harris and have read everything she has written. I fell in love with her writing when I read "Chocolat". I am a great fan of Thomas Wolfe and reread portions of his books all the time. I know he isn't for everyone, but I love his prose, it is just so poetic. I once suggested to my reading group that we read "Look Homeward Angel" as our monthly selection, ouch! I think perhaps the book that has had the most influence on me would have to be "Walden" by Henry David Thoreau. I have given this book as a gift to all my children and a few friends, which I am sure they were absolutely thrilled to get. Edgar Allen Poe speaks to my soul, he is magnificent! I could go on all day listing books and authors I love.

I wish everyone to be moved by the power of words!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

It's in the Details

Sometimes it is easy to overlook the details that go into creating something, so today I thought I would share some of the details of past teddy bear costumes I have made. I have a large collection of buttons, ribbons, rick rack, blanket binding, lace, beads, cast off jewelry pieces and fabrics.

Sometimes when I start a teddy or other critter, I lay out all the coordinating fabric and other things I think might match and decide what to use, but most often I just add pieces as I go along. I have a general idea of how I want everything to look, and my sketch is my base, but sometimes things go way off from what I originally planned. I don't stop until things look just right to me. It might entail adding a piece of ribbon or a flower or another bead here or there. In the end things usually fall into place.

I hand knitted the sweater, the dress was a vintage dress, to which I added some detailing. It still looked kind of unfinished, so I made the little necklace to go around her neck, and it seemed just right.

This is a very special bear, she now lives in France. I freehand drew on her and them colored the flowers with colored pencils and fabric crayons. I then placed this great bow around her neck, but it still seemed like she needed a little something. I dug through my buttons and came up with this great button to add to her bow. I think she turned out fabulous!

I use lots of recycled denim jeans in my work and sometimes I try to use the worn parts to my advantage, such as the leg of this teddy. I purposely cut the pattern on the worn part, to give the teddy a well loved look.

I found this trim in a box of junk that I bought at a flea market. I used it on a light lilac dress, which I washed and rolled to look old. I added the beads and it turned out just the way I wanted.

An all red themed teddy seemed like a wonderful idea, but I found that all the reds kind of blended, so I decided to add a big crocheted flower of a different shade just for contrast and interest.

When I finished sewing this little dress, I thought it needed an extra touch, so I put french knots around the neck edge.

I loved this material the moment I saw it and just knew that it had to be paired with the green ribbon. I love to hand stitch the trim and seams so that the stitches show. I think it gives it the personal hand made look that I love. I found the little striped ribbon rose in the fabric store and it was the perfect final touch.

This circular crochet top for this dress took some planning. It looked a little plain when finished, so I sewed beads around the top. The final touch was to weave the green ribbon through the bodice. It was worth the extra effort.

A patchwork heart to hang from their paw

Sometimes a little applique can make a big difference!