Mt. Rainier and Lenticular Clouds - Dec. 2008 copyright: JMM

March 29, 2013

An Award, Gearing up for A-Z, Life and a Giveaway!

An Award
All of my other blog posts were scheduled to publish so I am a few weeks behind in thanking Tina from the Life is Good blog for presenting me and the other Tina's Terrific Team Members with the Very Inspiring Blogger Award.  Please feel free to take it and use it on your own blogs, as I'd just end up nominating all my friends for it anyway.  I'm supposed to list a few things about myself but I have really run out of stuff that I haven't already shared, so sorry if these are repeats.   Let's see...

1.  I'm very non-competitive and I think that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.  I am thrilled if my friends decide to try a craft idea because they saw that I tried it first.  We need more crafting and hand made stuff!!!!  I never liked board games, esp. ones like Trouble, that require a certain killer instinct.  Trivial Pursuit is the only game I really like.  I never joined any teams.  I don't compete with anyone with the games I play on Facebook.   I do, however, enter contests but I don't get upset or in a twist if I don't win.  And if I do win, I will back off on entering on the same site so as to give others a chance to win.

2.  I love having my back scratched and drawn on (with fingertips) and my hair played with.  When we were little, Sharon, Diane & I used to sit one in front of the other and draw on each other's backs, taking turns at regular intervals because one of us would be in the front and not have anything to do while one was in the rear not getting their back drawn on.

3.  Jobs I have held:  Chambermaid/hotel laundryroom (Cape Cod), part time/summer relief radio station engineer (Cape Cod), answering WZOU Boston's Hot Hits request line, switchboard operator in Boston (lasted 1 day), McDonalds cashier in Hyannis (lasted 2 weeks during high school), TV production engineer in Hyannis & Boston, secretary to the owner of a construction company (San Francisco), receptionist/office manager (SF), legal assistant/paralegal (California & Washington), fill-in school lunch lady (current).

4.  Major league pet peeve is that very few people ever, ever, EVER pronounce or spell my last name right.   They always leave out the second 'N', even when I have just said and often spelled the name for them.  It pisses me off to no end and was a source of great frustration growing up.  However, it was important to Russell that I take my name back when I divorced Brian, even though my life was so much easier when my last name was Wolf.

5.  I loooooooooove being a stay at home wife.  I love to spoil Russell when he's home, and believe me, he's spoiled rotten, to the point where I'll dish out the food and bring his plate to him so that he can kick back in his recliner.  I love to cook & bake for him & have all his fave foods when he comes home.  I enjoy the domesticity of cleaning & cooking, taking care of the dogs, being flexible enough to do lunch with Marsha on the weekdays and see mom & my cousin.  I love being a stepmother, especially getting to know my stepdaughter, and being there for her if she needs something during the week.

Gearing Up for A-Z

A-Z starts on Monday, April 1.  I'd like to wish all the participants the best of luck and hope that everyone sticks with it to the end.  And please, for the love of all that is holy, TURN OFF THE CAPTCHA!!!!!  I will not be leaving comments on blogs that have this annoying feature.  I have already backed off on commenting regularly on blogs that have CAPTCHA.  Dump it.  It's only pissing people off and will decrease the amount of traffic and comments you receive.  

That said, I had to make one small change in the comments on my blog. It's so minor that no one's probably even noticed, but I disabled the ability to leave anonymous comments.  I went into my blogger spam folder and was surprised to see the hundreds of comments that landed in there.  Just for the heck of it, I also checked all the comments left on my blog since Day 1 in 2006 and was shocked to see how many anonymous spam comments had accumulated, especially since January of this year.  One of my old posts from 2007 had 247 comments on it, 240 of which were links to garbage!!!  It took me hours and hours to delete all that crap.

Where is this increased spam coming from?  There's a work-at-home thing that's apparently making people money; it was written about in a few reputable sources but said sources failed to give the details of what it entailed.  I had started the sign up process several months ago, but I stopped at the part that stated that you had to "share links to products and services with people".  Reading between the lines, I realized that meant spamming blogs and Facebook pages with said links.  I refuse to do that so I never went through with the sign up.  I can only guess that is what has contributed to the increase in anonymous comments.

I left the ability to email me, although I'm not terribly comfortable with it because I'm getting way more spam on my email since I turned on that feature.  I hardly ever got spam before that.  I will leave it on for the time being because some of my bloggy buddies like to respond via email.  I have also had a problem with a former classmate of mine who got in such a twist over my unfriending her on Facebook (then I had to block her), that she's tried stalking me on Pinterest (I had to block here there too), and she made a FB account in her dead mother's name in order to send me a super nasty message.  If she finds this blog, I will have to disable the email and possibly have to take it private for awhile.  So far she hasn't *knocking wood*.


Not much going on, life-wise.  I continue to look for work but there's not much around here.  I'm on the sub list for cafeteria work in the Wareham School District.  But that pays minimum wage and I figured out that at $8.00 per hour, for a 2.5 hour shift, it's a whopping $20.  Deducting the small amount of taxes and social security, I'll come home with like $15.  Hardly worth it.  That, in no way, helps my dire financial situation, especially when you factor in the high cost of gas and wear/tear on my car.  Not that it's a far drive (7 miles one way).  Almost everything I've applied for on Craigs List has been a big fat scam.  One place was based in Wisconsin and the email I got from them mentioned 'multi level marketing' (aka Pyramid Scheme), and said that I'd be acting as a bill collector for their local accounts, deposit the money into my account and transfer it to their account after deducting my fee/cut.  Um, no. I think not.  Another one said there were court jobs in this area and I applied for it and it turned out to be an ad for paralegal school.  WTF?!?!?!?!  All the other jobs are located way too far away; farther than when I commuted from Bonney Lake to Tacoma.  I'm not going through that grind again, esp. with summer coming up.  I'm getting pretty close to 'would you like fries with that?'  If I could score a M-F morning job at a fast food restaurant that'd be fine, but I don't do nights or weekends.  I applied for a part time data entry job and they emailed me to say they were interested in talking to me but wanted to make sure I knew it was part time and $12 an hour, and was I still interested.  I emailed back that yes, I was interested and part time was what I was looking for.  Have I heard back?  Of course not.

Then we woke up to this on Friday, March 22.....I was NOT amused.  Winter's got a stranglehold on us and won't go away.

At least it melted fast.

So I've been spending my time crafting as you know, spring cleaning which with dogs in the house is like brushing your teeth with oreos.  I haven't done much photography since I quit 365.  I need more memory cards and haven't had the cash to purchase them.  My camera's sensor is dirty again and that's a source of great frustration.  I paid $50 to have it professionally cleaned last fall and it was dirty within 2 days.  I continue to try and clean it myself with limited success.  One of my high school friends is a builder and has offered me a paying gig shooting pics of a remodel he's working on so that will be good.

Here are a few more projects I've done over the past week or so:

Glitter magnets

2 Artist Trading Cards...on the back of this one I put sticker letters that say 'Tempest Fugit'.  The ATCs are about 2.5" x 3.5", so pretty small.

And one that's beach-related.  I added the glitter to her bra and scales.

And here are a couple of colour book pages I did recently as well.

A Giveaway

Finally I want to promote a crafty giveaway at Victorian Motto Sampler Shoppe.  If you enter, please mention that I sent you there so that I get more entries!  I know I don't have a snowball's chance in hell to win anything because of their huge following, but I keep entering anyway.

I'll see you all Monday, April 1 for the beginning of A to Z!! 

March 27, 2013

Poor old Boardwalk's taken such a beating over the last few years.  Back in 1992, my dad was part of a group of volunteers, called The Geezer Brigade, that rebuilt this for the umpteenth time, and the first time it was being built to last more than a couple of years.  They sold boards to the community for $10 to raise the funds and my then husband and I had a board on it.  It was so cool to see everyone's names.  A few years ago they rebuilt it and sold boards but for $75 each.  I didn't get one and I was bummed to find out that the one I purchased would not be salvaged so that I could at least have it.  Well it's in wicked bad shape now, after the fall and winter.  People continue to walk on it though, stupidly, because the underpinnings are shot and it could collapse.  It's blocked off as you can see but people remove the blockage boards and walk on it anyway.  

I cannot emphasize enough how devastating these breaches were to see.  Big huge chunks of dunes, just gone.  Washed away.  The entrance to the Canal is just a short way away, off to the left.  I have noticed that since the storms, the Canal water has taken on a more aqua colour and I wondered if that's because of all the sand that washed away.  We had a high tide as the storm was in full swing and the dunes crumbled under the powerful waves.  Sea water spilled over and flooded the marshes and a lot of homeowners who thought they were safe because 'the Bay is waaaay over there' found themselves watching the water take over the whole marsh and come up to their doorsteps.

By way of comparison, this is the same area, not quite zoomed in, taken in March, 2011, two years ago. 

The town has brought in trucks and sand and are beginning to try and salvage the beach.  That's where Dune One is.  Was.  The Dune One Girls haven't been out there because the area is just way too unstable and I don't think anyone wants to see it in person.

 Mill Creek

This part of Town Neck was mostly rocks last year.  Layers and layers of rocks, piled up.  Not anymore. I was standing in front of Horizons Restaurant(now called 'Hemispheres' but we all still call it Horizons) & looking towards the Canal entrance when I shot this on March 12.

Here's a pic of the same stretch of beach, taken September of 2012, looking towards Horizons which is on the far right.  Wonder where they all went?

Layer upon layer of rock, almost all but disappeared. (also taken last Sept).

A few people were walking what was left of the beach, but I didn't have the time to walk it when I was here.

The jetties are buried and do no good anymore.

The bottom line is that Ma Nature, she just don't care.  The earth has been changing and shifting for billions of years and will continue to do so.  All we can do is try to ride it out cause we can't control it.

March 25, 2013

Somebody Stop Me.....

These are all the eggs I've done thus far....including some that I made a few years ago in Washington (3 in the front row and 2 in the center), plus the 3 silk tie eggs I did last summer in the back row.  The only one missing is the red one I gave to my step daughter.  So pretty. So much work.

But was I satisfied?  Oh no no no.  Why would I be?  Especially when I still had almost a dozen jumbo white eggs left, and I wanted to try decoupaging onto the undyed eggs.  This one is mod podged with blue and purple fibre paper.

I was gonna go a totally different way with this egg till I ran across the fancy 'E' in an ephemera book.  E being for Earle, not egg.  This was very hard to do and very hard get that pearl bead circle even.  Plus I had a major measure fail so that the designs on the front and back are closer to each other on one side than the other.  

This is the other side of it.  I would love to know what percentage of my life is spent waiting for glue to dry.

Meanwhile, I was also making this Ravenclaw-inspired wand for myself.  I left the chopstick wood plain because the wand in is light coloured pine. I only painted the hot glue part.  

I used a small, blue frosted marble and 2 grey Picasso beads.   The gold metallic thread is supposed to represent the core of unicorn hair.
 Somebody stop me.....

March 23, 2013

Faberge', Schmaberge'

For this blue egg, I spent a great deal of time standing there keeping the bottom submerged so that it would get really dark, then the center and top.  It looks soooo good when it came out of the liquid but did not dry well at all.  I'm definitely gonna keep this one; it's my Ravenclaw egg.  ;-)

This was in the green dye bath for a long time, and dried blotchy  & aqua, too.   All those rhinestones are hiding a multitude of sins.  

Red and purple.  Not generally a fave colour combo but this looks OK.  Maybe someone who belongs to the Red Hat Society would like it. 

This uneven pink streak on the purple egg really proved to be a problem.  The big honkin pink ribbon is hiding a good bit of it, but the pink dyed part is still uneven and creates the optical illusion that the ribbon is crooked.  My rhinestone supply has been significantly depleted.  

This was my last green dyed egg, on which I'd attached that ribbon and then had second thoughts about it. Despite my best efforts to peel it off carefully, the shell came with it so I just wrote it off as a loss.  

Imagine my surprise to see that the inside of the shell had dyed a beautiful shade of green and was nice and even!!!  I wonder why that happened?  It looks so incredibly GOOD inside.  Maybe next year I will see what happens to the insides of the eggs once they are dyed, and then a section opened up for an interior scene.  If I'd known the green was going to look this good I would have tried to make something with it.
 Sick of eggs yet?

March 21, 2013

The Yolk's on You, Egghead

I had 3 PAAS egg colouring kits, so I used 3 dye tablets per bowl, mixed with vinegar and not as much water as was called for.  The green always comes out aqua, and purple has always been their problem child because it never coats evenly, which is too bad because the purple parts are beautifully rich.  I've also had trouble with the blue.  The red, orange & yellow have always been their best dyes.  (This year the orange was sacrificed for a marbelized technique that didn't work, as seen below).

I was trying some different techniques again, by staying away from the pastel colours.  This red and black one is the re-used shaving cream swirl egg. The red dye coated it beautifully; it looks painted doesn't it?  I made this with my stepdaughter in mind, so I gave it to her.  She liked it a lot. :)

This yellow one is a little blotchy because it was originally orange with melted butter swirled in the dye to try and create a marbelized pattern. It didn't work that well at all, and the butter clung to, and hardened, on the shell. When I washed it off, nearly all the orange dye went with it.  So I dunked it in yellow for awhile. Oh, and a word on dying a blown egg.  It ain't easy.  They float of course so it's extremely hard to get an even coat around the egg without constantly turning it.  I even tried weighing it down by letting the egg fill with as much of the dye water as possible to sink it. That only worked to keep it half submerged.  So then I tried to keep it down with a spoon, that also had to be weighted down because the egg popped out of the spoon very easily.  It was quite the scene in my kitchen that day....I made a humongous mess.

This was another Pinterest idea, to use round glue dots and glitter.  I had the glue dots, but for some reason I had a problem with some of the adhesive surface because the glitter would not stick to it no matter how much I dumped and pressed it in.  It's OK....not a fave but at least I can say I tried it.  It doesn't look too bad from a distance.  If you try this, have a dry craft paint brush to brush the excess off the egg.  It works way better than trying to do it with your fingers.  The glitter will stick to your fingers, not the paint brush.

The other idea I saw was to glitter the entire egg, but I didn't have enough of any colour that would have thickly coated the egg, so I used Terrifically Tacky Tape on the center with multicolour glitter, and more rhinestones.

Even more to come.

March 19, 2013

It's No Yolk!

It's that time of year again...time for Egg Crafts!!!  In preparation, I'd been buying and blowing jumbo white eggs for about 2 weeks.  If I wanted scrambled eggs or to make a cake, I blew out 2-3 eggs and used the contents for my cooking, while rinsing the hollowed out shells.  Out of a dozen I was successful with 10, and planned to use one that cracked in the center for a scene.  

I've been meaning to try this for awhile.  Hardboil the eggs first and then tap them all over to crack the shell.  I'd seen two different techniques for the dying, and I tried them both.  The blue was made by putting it in a colandar and dripping blue dye all over it and making sure it ran into the cracks.  Rinsed it off with cold water, dried it as best I could, then began carefully peeling the shells off.  It takes time and a great deal of patience.  The red one was put back into a pot of water that had the food dye mixed in and boiled a few minutes more.  I helped this along by also dripping red dye directly on the shells.  Rinse with cold water and peel carefully.  

There I was, happily sticking rhinestones on this blown egg, thinking 'eat your heart out, Faberge', when I got to the top, pressed too hard and punched right through the shell.  This was the end result of 90 minutes of precision sticking.  I wanted to cry.  Note to self: dye the shell next time, don't leave it white.

Sooooo, I was whining on Facebook about my poor broken egg.  As usual, someone came through for me, my longtime friend Doobie suggested I try patching the hole with white paper.  BRILLIANT!!!  I had to make the hole bigger and remove all the caved in pieces and rhinestones.  I painted a coat of superglue inside the egg and all around the part of the shell that was still showing on the outside. Then started gluing bits of white card stock on and letting it dry.  The next day I reapplied all the rhinestones.  This is the shattered hole area, all redone.  It's not perfect of course, but at least it worked!!

This was the egg that got broken on the side.  I coated the inside with mod podge first.  Then I painted the shell with pink acrylic paint.  It took four coats to finally look completely covered and not streaky. The chick toy was adhered to the inside with E6000, and used white glue to adhere the fuzzy green ribbon "grass" around the bottom.  

Next, I had to make a ribbon hanger loop so that got glued to the top w/ E6000, then I glued ric rac to the edge and punctuated the curves with rhinestones.  Then I painted a coat of mod podge over the pink paint and let that dry, before adding the back ribbon and rhinestones. 

This one was made by putting shaving cream on a dish and swirling food dye into it, then rolling the egg in the cream and wiping or rinsing the cream off.  It was supposed to look marbled but doesn't really.

More to come.

March 17, 2013

Party Animal

March 12th was Sagan's 8th birthday.  You'd never know it because he still acts like a frolicking, mischievous puppy most of the time....that is when he hasn't taken over the couch for nappies.  He got lots of extra snuggles, hugs, belly rubs and kisses that day!!!!   

Who can resist such a face?  I was making a special treat for him (and his sister, too, of course) and he was sniffing around next to my elbow, but as soon as I turn around to look at him, he obediently sat.  See, he knows what he's supposed to do, he just likes to push the envelope as much as possible!!!!!  "I be good mama!  See?  I sitz down!"

Of course once I turned back to the task on the counter, he was surfing around behind me.  I turned around to my right and again, he sat.  And Pepper was giving me the 'hurry up with those, will ya?!' glare.

Peanut butter & cheese on a biscuit!!! Om nom nom nom!!!!  Pepper took hers to eat  in my freshly, spring-cleaned  livingroom, while the birthday boy inhaled his in the kitchen.  
 Happy Birthday silly little fella!!!!

March 15, 2013


I was absolutely crushed that a spring craft fair at the Legion was canceled due to a scheduling conflict.  Lots of people rent that place on weekends for various and sundry reasons like wedding receptions.  It was supposed to be on March 23rd.  I am still really shy about selling myself to people and am grateful that Marsha was gonna do it with me again.  What I look forward to the most is seeing so many friends.  I felt a little bit cut adrift after that because I'd been making stuff like these votive cups.  Piecing together small glass chips on a round surface is way, way easier than working with large chunks on a square one. 

Seed and microbeads.

Since all the candle votive stuff was still out on the table, I decided to keep decorating them even though the show was canceled.  The ribbon weave was a MAJOR pain in the butt and this is yet another 'never again'.  The results look cool but it was very time consuming and difficult to keep the ribbon taught enough to cover the metal posts, as well as straight.  That one has a separate glass votive cup that fits inside, therefore there is no fire danger.  

Blinged up my eyeglass case the other day, too.  Can't believe I didn't think to do that before.  "The obvious was hidden".  

I also saw a project idea to make a Golden Snitch (from Harry Potter of course).  I found a smallish ball that I had, which was already pre-glittered.  I kind of wish that the ball was more gold than copper but it still looks cool.  The wings are made from bent wire with tissue paper glued over it, then glittered.  I used E6000 to glue them to the ball.

I hope that the show is rescheduled for a date in April or May.  Till then...