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

April 29, 2014

Eggsperiments 2014

This year I only did a few eggs, unlike last year's eggstravaganza of different techniques.  I found some new dyeable plastic eggs at Walmart so I went that route to see how they'd do with the dyes.  Despite my best efforts, I made a huge mess in the kitchen.

And yet I still wasn't able to dye the entire dozen in an afternoon.  They don't seem to take the PAAS kit dyes very well.  The pink one on the far left was done with 2 red PAAS tablets dissolved in just vinegar.  They don't recommend dissolving the dye tabs in water at all, or else the results will be very pastel.  The green one behind the pink was done by squirting green food colouring right on the egg.  That resulted in the deeper green shade, but it also didn't dry evenly.  The yellow & pale purple were done with gel food dye in yellow and blue.  I cut out that one egg, painted it with green acrylic paint and added the Santa.  That one on the end is dark purple acrylic paint.  One not show is painted black with a coat of red glitter paint.  It should be noted that paint takes a wicked long time to dry and requires multiple coats.  I was rapidly losing interest.

Then I broke out the drill and drew a half assed design on the egg and drilled it out.  This took awhile too because of my elbow tendonitis and the weight of the drill was making it very painful to do more than just a few holes at a time.  

Next time I'll take the time to make more even holes! 

Then I made a couple of sugar eggs that I let dry for a few days before decorating them.  The recipe for these makes enough sugar for 2 eggs.  I forgot that and realized after I coloured it blue that I had to figure out if I wanted to make 2 blue eggs and make a whole other batch for purple or what.  I decided to just throw purple dye into the blue sugar, mixed it well and it ended up coming out a nice shade.

I also decided to make the recommended royal icing which dries fast and hard.  Last year I used regular store bought icing in the can and it never truly dried all the way.  My piping skills leave much to be desired and I'd probably work out the kinks with practice.  They are pretty fun to make.

Remember the tiny pagoda I found at the flea market?  I painted it blue and went for a blue willow type design for this egg.  

And a wee chick with bunneh ears in the purple.  Those are candy flowers and candy pink pearls.

I forgot how time consuming it is, decorating these things.  Took me a couple of hours one afternoon to decorate just four of them.  I used yellow liquid food dye on this egg and loved the deep shade.  

Went a little nuts with the rhinestone strips but I just knew those crystals would look awesome against the yellow.

Here's the Santa egg, finally finished.  I painted the inside with silver glitter paint (that took 3 days to dry too, I might add)

Here's one I made for Lady Axe.  I'd gotten that red and black Jolly Roger when I won the "Talk Like A Pirate Day" Artbeads giveaway.  I painted the egg black then covered it with a thick layer of red glitter paint.  The skull piece fit perfectly against the back of the egg.  Then I glued heavy silver chain around the edge (mostly to hide my raggedly cutting job!).

A little bunny on felt grass with some candy flowers glued to it,

Including the egg with the holes drilled in it, I have completed only 5 of the dozen!  Again the big question is, what the heck am I going to do with all of these eggs?  Including all the ones I made with real shells last year!! Could I have been a Faberge' egg artist in a past life!

April 27, 2014


Boy did April fly by! I cannot believe we are coming into summer already.  Well....calendar-wise. I'm not sure Ma Nature got the memo.  Some bulb flowers have bloomed, some trees have buds.  The month went by really fast.  It was April Blogging from A-Z and I had a hard time keeping up and I was a bad minion for Tina, basically bailing on my task(s) by the letter G.  It wasn't enjoyable for me at all, less so than last year. So this will be my last year participating other than as a commenter.  It got off to a horrible start, IMHO.  So many bloggers abjectly refused to turn off their CAPTCHA boxes.  One didn't have their comments enabled.  One blog was 'by invite only'.  Lots signed up and bailed.  Oh, another pet peeve:  "Read More".  No. Just No.  Not taking that extra step.  Have your whole blog post showing or don't even bother.  And I apologize to my friends on Wordpress, and I hate to sound exclusionary, but maybe they should split off and host their A-Z, and Blogger can have one too.  

We had a wicked storm all day on April 15th with high winds and rain coming down in sheets.  It lasted well into the night (can't believe power stayed on) and by 5:00 AM on April 16th, it had turned to ice.  Woke up to a skim coat of ice and snow, and big fluffy flakes coming down.  I grabbed my coffee, got on line and this was greeting me on my Facebook newsfeed.  I totally cracked up.

Earlier in the week, I'd spirited away my boots and heavy coat to the back room.  Luckily the sun was out by 8:30, the crap melted, but it remained extremely windy.

Pics of the poppies on a super lazy day.

Peeps is soooo cute.  I can't believe how grey she's gotten.  My sweet girl.

Tiny guy kickin' it with his stuffies.  One night he took a stuffy with him to his crate at bedtime.  I almost died from the cuteness.

Spring giving it the ol' college try.

Gorgeous full moon on the 14th/15th.  There was a total lunar eclipse but at 3:00 AM I wasn't about to actively seek it out.

Me and the hubby visited the big flea market in Wareham one Saturday.  I got those small Easter figurines for .10 each.  So $1 for all 10!!  Couple watches and a tiny pagoda, and that whole thing of beads for just $2.50!!

I can't believe I spotted this amongst all the stuff that was in one of the booths.  I had a major league brainwave idea for this wee pagoda!

We don't observe Easter from a religious or egg hunt standpoint, but it was a really nice day so we took a walk on the Canal, went for ice cream at Canal Creamery and then browsed the Whatchamacallit Shop for a bit before heading home.  I took this pic in the ice cream store.  Their ice cream was really good too.  Lots of flavours to choose from.  I got oreo and Russell got black raspberry.  

I saw these lovely beaded and wired pentacles on Pinterest by Elemental Enchantments.  I love all of their work.  I decided to try and make one.

Well mine's somewhat warped because I had a hard time with the wire.  I used chop sticks which, of course, didn't lay very well because they had to be stacked at the tips.  I really had to wing it with this project and another 'only one will be made' items.  I started to regret starting but I also wanted to finish cause I hate unfinished projects and now it can be crossed off my 'Crafts to Make Bucket List', and maybe order a real one from Elemental Enchantments!  I gave this to my friend Sheila to give to her daughter Melody.

Other than that, just dealt with some nagging health issues.  My elbow is still giving me a ton of trouble.  I took too much advil and that caused some bad stomach pains.  My dad had ulcers when he was in his late 40s; I remember being really little and taken to see him in the hospital.  That meant I couldn't take anything for pain at all for a few days so the elbow flared up.  Also, taking a break from crafting was really difficult and that's just exacerbated things.  Bad headaches have also started to become a problem, as has back pain.  But my doctor is in Hyannis, which means all referral appointments would be there too and I'm just unwilling to keep having to drive there, esp. with spring and summer coming on.  I am hoping that I can get back to walking now that it appears that spring is indeed on the way.  I just can't believe the first 4 months of the year are over already!

April 25, 2014

Needlework Projects

I finally got this butterfly project done.  I will never do 18 ct. black Aida again.  I went a little rogue on it.  For one thing, there is supposed to be another circle around the main design, done in dark brown.  I was tired of dark floss against the black background so I blew it off.  I was also supposed to do a bunch of couching.  I get the concept of how to do it, but as the kids say these days, 'ain't nobody got time for that'.  So I blew that off and fudged it by using backstitch.  Not terribly crazy about the results but whatever.  The instructions also said 4 strands of floss for the French knots. Yeah right.  I did some and they looked awful so I cut them out and used 2 strands. The border around the circle was supposed to be just purple floss and the inside circle border was to be yellow floss mixed with thin, shiny gold strands.  I decided not to do the inner circle border at all, and mixed the gold strands with purple floss for the outer circle.  I'm just glad it's done!

This needlepoint kit was among the ones my mom's friend sent me, otherwise it's really not my cup of tea (see what I did there?), design-wise.  It's been quite awhile since I did needlepoint and I forgot how fast the design works up.  Despite all the different colours, this was easily done in about 2 weeks' time, and not working on it day and night.  One of my friends bought it!

I picked up that embroidery kit & those other bits and bobs at the church thrift shop in Bourne. I am thinking about doing this kit with a combo of beads and stitching...'beadpoint'.  Someone already started it but I'm planning to snip out all the stitches.

Cannot remember where I got this next cross stitch kit from....probably a catalog, but possibly online.  It looks soooooo easy, doesn't it?  Just white floss on a small piece of Aida.  Easy peasy lemon squeezy.  I got this quite awhile ago, at least 6 or 7 years ago.  I remember bringing it to work to do during my lunch hour.  That's when I started encountering trouble with it.  There are an awful lot of quarter stitches which are kinda hard to make come out good.  Then there are also an inordinate amount of French knots, which I have hated since my very first needlepoint kit in high school.  I struggled to find the center and a few false starts were due to being off by a row or two.  I've ripped this out & started over more times than I can count and the Aida lost all structural integrity. The pattern is hand drawn and I don't think they did a very good job with it at all. So it ended up sitting in my drawer at work for a long time.  Over time, lunch hour stitching projects came and went, and this bookmark just sat there till I started packing up all my personal effects to move.  It sat in my 'needlework' box in my craft room since 2011 till I finally started ferreting out projects I really want to finish.  I put it in the project queue, but kept passing over it to work on new kits.  Finally, I started this again and guess what?  I screwed it up!!!! Could. Not. Believe it. I was so careful, but I fudged it badly.  It's like there's some awful anti-stitching forcefield around it!!!!!

I like the idea of a bookmark and it came with the tassle and the felt backing, so I wanted to somehow salvage it.  I started to look through my various pattern books to find something small enough to fit.  These little celestial patterns were perfect.  I am a total math failure but somehow I managed to calculate correctly. This is absolutely the last time I will use black.  This one was 14 ct so easier to see than the butterfly, but still, it's not easy to work on black.

I will be starting a new Doctor Who-themed project shortly for one of my bffs.  Stay tuned.

April 23, 2014

Taking Your Life In Your Hands...aka, The Bourne Rotary

The Bourne Rotary is not much fun to navigate at all.  I don't like it one bit and it's like trying to drive in a video game.  I think this region is the only one that refers to 'rotaries'; elsewhere they are called traffic circles or roundabouts.  This one is huge with 5 major roads plus the gas station & state police barracks all converging on it, with cars going around side by side and trying to exit at the various roads, plus people trying to merge on at the same time.  This is a screen cap of the aerial view of the rotary in the center with all the roads going on and off.  There are smaller rotaries at either end of Buzzards Bay, but they aren't near as big as this one.

I stopped to get a couple shots of this place, which is next to the gas station.

Shot of the rotary from the lobster place.  That's an I-Hop restaurant on the other side (International House of Pancakes for those unfamiliar with the I-Hop name).

Bourne Bridge

Then I went to the I-Hop parking lot to get a shot of this shrubbery greeting at the foot of the bridge, as you cross over to the Cape.

I-Hop had one of those whales too, but it desperately needs to be repainted!

State Police barracks.

I hope you enjoyed this little trip around Bourne!

April 21, 2014

Bourne, Part 3

President Grover Cleveland had a summer home in Bourne, called Gray Gables.  This is the train station which was moved to the grounds at Aptuxcet Trading Post in the 70s.

Aptuxcet Trading Post.  This was established in 1627 by the Pilgrims of the Plymouth Colony.

Trading Post.  Not open for the season yet.

This is a half-scale replica of a Revolutionary War era coastal sloop which is being restored.

Lots of turkeys on the Cape now!

This is down the street from the Trading Post, near the train bridge.

Looking across at Mass Maritime.

And over at my 'hood

I hung around here for awhile, in the hopes that a train would show up but it didn't. 

I really never get tired of shooting pictures of this bridge.