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

October 31, 2014

Fun with Pumpkins & Leaves

Happy Halloween!!!

Been wanting to try out some pumpkin crafts I saw on Pinterest and Buzzfeed.  I went out and got a couple of mini pumpkins to try out the first two.  I cleaned out one of them (and roasted the seeds. YUM!), marked it with pencil and use different drill bits to make the designs.  

I LOVED how it came out!  Unfortunately, the pumpkin got moldy & collapsed within days.  I was so disappointed.  

I had to try a painted and glittered pumpkin.  This took all damn day and I was regretting having started this project.  The paint took forever to try and needed several coats to cover.  Then had to slather mod podge on it for the glitter.  Thankfully I added the glitter outside rather than inside b/c I made a huge mess.  My back yard is rather sparkly now.  After it slooooowly dried, I sprayed clear sealant on it.  I wanted to leave it outside to dry but it was like 5:30, so I brought it inside and put it in my craft room. The fumes from the sealant set off the smoke detector which promptly scared the crap out of Sagan, and I had to rush to get the battery out.  I left it outside the following day for hours and hours to dry and de-stink it.  Like I said, Never. Again.

Then I saw a couple of different projects that used lace and/or a paper doily adhered to the pumpkin with black paint sprayed on it, as a stencil.  I tore my craft room apart and could not find the paper doilies I was sure I had.  I found my lace but i was reluctant to use it.  Then I unearthed a white crocheted doily that I got from JoAnn Fabrics.  I had to cut a slice all the way to the center of the doily in order to slide it around the pumpkin stem.  Then used spray adhesive to stick it to the pumpkin.

I realized there was no good way to keep the black paint  from getting all over the place at the doily edges, so I attempted to spray it so that it would look more artsy.  Let it dry for about 25 minutes, then I peeled off the doily.

Not too bad eh? 

Since I only had the one pumpkin at the time & we were expecting bad weather, I had to press it into service to complete a second project, which was using maple leaves as stencils on the pumpkin.  The white where the leaves were is bits of the adhesive.  I didn't bother cleaning it off as this was just a prototype experiment.

This actually looks kinda cool with the doily top.

One of my friends posted this cute leaf project, which also included a hedgehog but I couldn't find those leaves, so I just did the foxes with maple leaves.  Those are green pineneedles for the whiskers.  The ears are red leaves from a burning bush plant in my yard, and the noses are from some other plant in the yard.  I did the eyes with a black sharpie on white paper.

A few days later, I sacrificed the maple leaf pumpkin in order to roast more seeds.  Which leads me to another point.

I've been seeing some instructions on how to roast the seeds and my way is different and, IMHO, way, way better.  For one, I don't wash the seeds when I remove them.  The crispy, cooked pumpkin on the seeds adds so much more flavour.  I season them with some ground sea salt, but then I roast them at 325 for well over an hour.  All the instructions I see say to do it for 8-10 minutes!  No.  Just no.  I mean not unless you want to be picking the chewy seed bits out of your teeth for the next 2 hours.   

325 for an hour to an hour and a half yields delicious and crispy seeds.  These are my crack. Seriously.

I carved a Cape Cod too.

And a ghoul from the Pumpkin Masters stencil kit.

There were quite a few more pumpkin ideas that I would have liked to have done but oh year.

I hope everyone has a happy and safe Halloween!!!!  

October 29, 2014

Bourne Historical Society Fall Harvest Train, Part 1

Back in Sept., Sheila asked me if I'd be interested in going on the Harvest Train on October 18.  It was going to go from BBay to N. Falmouth and back.  Hells yeah I'll go!!!!!  The opportunity to actually be on the railroad bridge?  Yes please!  

The weekend before our trip, we had just a deluge of rain.  2 days before our trip we had another deluge. But the 18th dawned warm and clear!  We walked downtown from my house.  

Here it comes!  The Bourne Historical Society chartered the train for the day from Cape Cod Central Railroad.

Our tickets were for the Cape Codder car; we had opted for the first class tickets.  The non-first class tickets were for seats in double decker cars.  

Shot this from my window!  OMG! So cool we are gonna cross it!

Out over the Canal on the bridge.  This was so freakin awesome!!!!  I have now been under and over all three bridges ("under" being by way of the Canal Cruise we took a couple of summers ago).

West entrance.  Mass Maritime on the right.

Looking down

There were some scarecrows set up along the way but they were hard to shoot b/c we were moving along a little too fast to get good pictures of all of them.

This conductor guy came around to get our raffle entry ticket stubs.  That's some mustache!

The scenery was awesome and there were members of the BHS that provided historical narration.

It hadn't occurred to me that we were going to travel along the route that I take to Mashnee, Pocasset, my secret beach combing spot, etc.  I should've realized it, because I see and cross the tracks when I drive it, but I didn't.  

I wasn't expecting to see so many people out, waving to the train as it went by.  

Monument Beach

Every once in awhile I'd get up to take a picture out of the window on the other side of the train.

Back on my side.

Stay tuned for part 2, on November 2, as the next post will be for Halloween!!

October 27, 2014

Foliage on the Canal

Liz was down for the weekend a couple weeks ago, so she & I met up at the Sandwich Marina for a walk to the Sagamore Bridge and back.  It was a GORGEOUS day.  So warm & clear.  The trees were on fire.

I hadn't walked to the bridge on this side since the 1980s, before I moved away.  They have now marked the miles and half miles on the service roads on both sides.  We were so engrossed in our conversation that I didn't notice exactly how far it is from the Marina to the bridge and back.  I looked it up when I got home; I never realized it was a 4 mile round trip.  Not too shabby!

They are still painting the bridge.  See that guy up there?  The traffic is a nightmare because of this project which is taking way, way too long.

There was a woman on a bike, that was stopped and looking straight down at the water.  At this point, the service road is quite a bit higher from the water than it is on the other side, so we couldn't see what she was looking at.  She looked up at us, saw our cameras and said, 'You might want to take a picture of the heron down there.'  We were grateful for the heads up!

Cormorants on a boom.

Looking at the east entrance.