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

February 25, 2016

February Flew By

Seems like it was just Christmas and now February is almost over.  So far the winter has been manageable.  The snow has melted off quickly after each storm.  It's been much easier to get errands and things done this year than last.  My computer had a weird virus issue so my computer guy fixed it and upgraded me to Windows 10.  So far, not a fan.  And my mouse goes crazy and zooms around on it's own despite my changing the settings.  Does it anyway.  

So keeping on with my craft projects both new and WIPs, here is a window crystal I made for my dear friend Yvonne.  

I stashed these 3 tiny ribbon amulet bags in a little ziplock.  They needed to be stitched on the sides. The red velvet one was already stitched but I added the gold beads around the edges, key and the hanging thing.  Added beads to the blue and peach ribbons and their hanging loops.

Another project I saw on Pinterest.  I found the little Adirondack chair, flip flops and wine/cheese tray online.  Then it was just a matter of getting a large/wide enough vase and some sand.

Glued the wine/cheese tray to a flat rock.  Obviously the beach glass and shells aren't to scale!

Michael's was having a huge sale on my fave beads.  But the strands are so beautiful as-is that I didn't have the heart to break them up to make something with them.  On the other hand, I also wanted to showcase them somehow.  I ended up gluing the top loop to this aluminum bar, and adding a hanging chain which also had to be glued in place on the bar.  

While in Michael's, I also spotted a pocket watch case, which I've been trying to find to do that beach glass with tiny sand dollar project.  I also felt like doing a super fast beaded cross stitch magnet, which just took a couple of days to complete.  

I treated myself to a Mardi Gras King Cake this year.  I haven't gotten one since 2010 so I went for it. I get them from Haydel's Bakery in New Orleans.  I always get either the Queen or King package. This year I got the Queen and it comes with beads, doubloons, a porcelain figure, package of coffee, and souvenir Mardi Gras magazine. 

The cake is so incredible.  I really just like the icing but the whole thing is really good.  I gave huge hunks to both Marsha and Val.  


 I've been cooking and baking a lot lately too.  This is a spinach feta quiche.  Yum.  

Thumbprint jam cookies, which are tasty but really dry.  I could not figure out what I did wrong.  The next day it finally occurred to me that I misread "One and a Half Cups Butter"  as "One and a Half Sticks Butter", which means I only used 3/4 cup butter.  

Hope to have some other stuff to post one of these days.....not much going on this time of year.  Still too icky to do any day trips!

February 21, 2016

Windy Day at Scusset

The wacky weather out here continues.  Less than 48 hours before I took these pictures, it was -10, with a horrid wind chill around -27.  It was horrid.  That was Sunday the 14th.  By Tuesday the 16th, it was 50 with a warm wind, with rain in the forecast.  After I got home from errands, I checked the tide table and headed down to Scusset.  It was soooooo windy, I couldn't believe it.  I used my raincoat hood to keep my hair from flying around, but honestly it wasn't cold at all.

This was the first piece of glass I found and this made dealing with the wind completely worth it.

Then I found another of those flat backed glass blobbie/marbles.  Again, totally worth the trip.

This was the first time I've seen the breakwater covered with ice at the top.  It was pretty cool.

Seriously couldn't get enough of the icy jetties.

Tide going out

Tide line

 It was so dark to the east.  As I walked back towards the parking lot path, it started to rain a little.

White Cliffs all lit up in the sun

That's the biggest clam shell I've ever seen.  I've collected large ones before but this is HUGE. Whatever seagull got it had quite the meal.  Glass finds were modest but pretty decent.  Pretty rocks as well.

I made a Massachusetts from some of the glass.

February 19, 2016

Sand Treasures

About a month ago, my friend Chrissy up in BC posted on FB that she'd gotten her daughter a Sand Treasure and that they had fun dissolving it to reveal the treasures inside.  She posted a pic of what Lily found inside her sand brick and I was very impressed with her haul.  I googled the name and found the right website, HERE.  The second I landed on it, I knew I would be ordering right away. For one thing, their prices are incredible, especially considering what's inside.  Up to 5 really high quality treasures, if not more.  There is also a great video tutorial on how they work. 

I couldn't decide on just one, so I splurged a little and got 5.  But as I said, their prices are extremely reasonable.  I placed my order and a day later, I even got an email from them thanking me for my order, he was at a trade show and would ship as soon as possible.  That's excellent customer service (they are Canadian, after all). a side note....Russell & I have a difference of opinion on these.  I thought he'd love the whole reveal process.  He surprised me by saying that I shouldn't melt them down because the whole good part is the anticipation and wondering what's inside, and it's kind of a let down when they are finished.  He suggested I melt one, then mount the treasures on something and display them with 4 unmelted ones.  I countered with, How about I do FOUR, and mount the treasures with ONE brick. He, of course, countered with 'two melts, three not'.  We are currently at a stalemate.  lol 

My order arrived pretty quickly though, despite being told there might be a delay.  Extra points to them for that as well.  Each sand brick is surprisingly heavy.

I don't know what else is in the Rainbow Gold one, but the bottom is packaged to show how much stuff is in this one.  

I decided to do 'Love Treasures' because it was Valentines Weekend.  On the bottom of the brick is a wooden scraper which pops out easily.  And if it doesn't, just submerge the brick in water to loosen it.

Heart on the side

Basically you just fill a dish part way with water and put the brick in to start melting, which it does pretty quickly.  Don't melt this under running water. It has to be done in a dish.  

Pretty red glitter on top

The scraper works awesome on the sand, which has the feel of clay, and it's a kind of relaxing and satisfying feeling scraping that stuff off.  My first treasure came into view!

A few more!

VOILA!  My treasures!  3 gorgeous polished stones (rose quartz, amethyst and not sure what the yellow is), a large quartz crystal and a pewter fairy figurine.  

Dish full of dissolved sand.  Make sure you squeeze all the lumps and run your hands around to make sure nothing is left behind.  Dispose of it outside.  This cannot be put down the drain because it will definitely clog the pipes.  

I highly, highly recommend this product for any age.  The prices are right, the customer service is great and the product is high quality.  I can't wait to do the others!

February 17, 2016

Potions Cabinet

Being obsessed with all things Harry Potter, I've been dying to make an altered art potions 'cabinet' type thing.  I found the perfect little wooden box at Michaels Crafts and then it was just a matter of picking through all my supplies to find stuff that would work, besides the obvious potions bottles. Then I placed the different items in the cubbies to see  how they'd work.  

I admit, I really wanted to skip painting until last because I was eager to get started.  But I took the time to mix some blue and black paint to made a more midnight blue and painting.  After that was dry, I dotted and splatter white on it to make stars and attempted to free hand a couple of things on the top.

Next, I had to cover the insides of each cubby with fabric and/or paper.  There was a lot of drying time involved in this project too.  It didn't take long to assemble, but it did take forever to dry.

For example, I had to glue this metal owl and weight it for drying overnight.

Then it was time to get to the fun stuff!!!!!  Some of the bottles were already pre-made by me last year  I had them all on a small bookcase in the bedroom but they kept tipping over every time Sagan careened his way in and out of the crate.  And I noticed that the liquid inside had evaporated, so I had to pry up the glued-in corks to empty them out and refill.  

Top left section:

Fabric walls, ceiling and floor
2 metal crescent moons & metal key
Amortenia (red glitter)
Felix Felicis (gold glitter)

Bottom left, 'Parlor Room #1':

Music paper walls and ceiling, velvet & lace on bottom.
Cameo/silhouette made from plastic profile head on black velvet paper
Hanging bead in top corner (it's supposed to be like an overhead light)
Green lamp & candlestick under glass are from my old dollhouse that I had in the 70s.
Small copper bell
Potions book

Antique silver heart & bottle with beads glued on either side.

I made the wand from a toothpick with chain wrapped around the top and painted dark brown.  I had a small plastic book from a packet of wizard-themed plastic scrapbook embellishments, but it didn't look good.  I recently ordered a small address book for my purse, but when it arrived, it was just impossibly small, so I tossed it in my altered art supplies.  I snipped off a bit of it, the part with the staple in the spine, trimmed the edges of the paper then decorated it with a gold paint pen.  It's a good thing I can write small.

I'd steampunked the inside of the heart locket a couple of years ago but had no idea what I was going to make with it.  It was perfect for this project.  I used a piece of chain down the center of the wood side to the top of the locket to make it look like they were attached.  But I ended up liking the look of the chain so much that I edged the whole box with it.

Top shelf:

Washi tape walls & ceiling, burlap & moss on bottom
2 skull beads
Small plastic elephant center back
Small copper bell
Ceramic owl
Dragonblood (gold & silver glitter)
Bezoar (grey beads even though you can't see them at all)
Vampire Blood (also beads)

2 center and bottom sections

Center Left:

Fabric walls & ceiling, black velvet paper on bottom
Silver pentacle & owl figurine
3 tiny bottles labeled salt, pepper & scallions
Bat Wings (dark blue glitter)
Moonstone (gold stars & pink crescents glitter)

Center Right:

Same fabric & bottom
Silver wings & key
Wood chess piece
Eye of Newt (green beads)
Boomslang skin (wax coated imitation sinew cord)


Fabric back wall, bottom & ceiling, silver ribbon side walls.
Hanging piece of lace
Gold wing
Copper clock face
Plastic chess piece
Silver skeleton figurine
Skull bead
Another lamp from my old dollhouse
Parchment scroll tied with red thread
Bottle of glitter on it's side
Lacewing (I cut up white/silver ribbon in the shape of wings)
Star Thistle (multicoloured metal flowers)

Bottom Right

Fabric walls & ceiling, green velvet paper bottom
Silver crescent moon face with gold glittered star.
Another bottle on the bottom with beads (Ravenclaw colours of blue & bronze).
Moon Dust (white & irridescent glitter)
Polyjuice potion (black glitter paint inside)
Floo Powder (green & silver glitter)

Top Right

Fabric walls & ceiling, doily on bottom
Another cameo/silhouette on black velvet paper
Hanging candelabra & red lamp from my old dollhouse
Metal key
Vase with black roses (that I had to make)
Crystal ball (marble on silver bead cap)

Last but not least, a key with spider on a web!

 This was such a fun project that I was bummed when it was done.