So this is what I’ve been working on the last couple of days. The pumpkin now has a jack o lantern face that it didn’t have for the picture. I sometimes get bored and hand applique things and this is one of those occasions. I’m thinking about making a second gravestone in order to use them as couch cushions, but for the time being, they’re just stuffies. I guess thats what you’d call them. I finished the quilt some time back, but haven’t taken pictures because its really rather an anticlimactic finish- I bound the top and bottom in the fabric that I used to back it with and rolled the sides under twice to hide the raw edges. Simple as that. I also attempted to make a stuffed coffin yesterday, but it turned out lopsided, so I guess I’m going to have to measure that one before I make one. Yeah I know somebody out there is saying, why didn’t you measure in the first place and my answer to that is, I rarely ever do. If you’ve been over to my other blog, I cook the same way as I sew– somewhat haphazardly but rarely with bad results.

In case you guys haven’t guessed I have Halloween on the brain. I love this time of the year altho it makes me a little sad too. I love how the end of the summer really comes with a bang here in the midwest. We might start the day with 90 degree weather and then all of a sudden, a huge storm comes up and bam its cold. It usually happens out of the blue in early September. I always loved that big storm when I was in high school, because it almost always meant we got out early. I’d get home at 1:00 in the afternoon and it would already be dark. The perfect excuse to get the wood stove (a biiiig @$$ Fisher) going with the first fire of the season and get comfy with a bowl of soup and a good book. This year I plan to make more cardboard gravestones and I’ll try to get a tutorial up for those. They’re easy peasy but time consuming.

This is a really typical post for me in that its all over the place, but thats okay. Its the season I swear. In garden news, I have two juicy delicious little yellow tomatoes residing in my fridge at this time– the product of my garden. I’m holding on to them hoping to get a few more by the end of the week for a yellow tomato pasta pomodoro. Yum! All the big tomatoes are slowly starting to turn at long last. Go figure that I’d end up with determinate varieties that tease you with big beautiful…. green tomatoes all summer. The yellow ones are my saving grace and the best part is they’re heirloom so I can save the seeds and they’ll be true again next year. Woo hoo! This part by the way is the sad part of this time of year– the part where my gardening is fast coming to an end till next February at least. By February I’m ready to start all the seeds inside in hopes of a big harvest. But next year I’m going to grow some early girls for faster satisfaction. Ooh and I experimented with growing some spicy banana peppers next to an heirloom cherry tomato in hopes of cross polination. Thats crazy you say? Well yeah, but a family friend did that once on accident and planted the seeds the next year only to find that he had spicy tomatoes. To me that sounds like a brilliant alternative to using jalapenos in homemade salsa and chili and such. So we’ll see how that turns out. A long term experiment for sure.

Well this thing is LOOOONNNNNG so I’m going to sign off for now. I’m going to put up a recipe for bruschetta over on the other blog for those of you lucky enough to have ripe tomatoes bigger than a pingpong ball so check it out.

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How to make your own Craft Foam Stamps

I am hoping that these pictures combined with some basic instructions will give you an idea on how to do this. Its really a very simple project that can be adapted to many uses and its fairly inexpensive compared to buying rubber stamps.

Supplies

  • 1 sheet of craft foam
  • glue (I use elmers, but as long as it will hold foam its fair game)
  • cardstock
  • pen
  • craft knife
  • scissors

So the first thing you want to do is decide what you want to make a stamp of. I started out wanting to stamp Spooky on a collage that I was making, so I carved the letters out of a small frame that I made with decorative scissors. This technique gave the border edges similar to a postage stamp. I carved the letters out from the inside and learned belatedly that I had run out of room. So that stamp only says Spook. It still looks pretty cool tho I think.

 Once you’ve decided on your picture, you can either free hand cut it, in which case the color of foam you use is irrelevant, or you can draw it on a light colored foam ahead of time which I recommend. That way you know for sure it will fit. If you want a word, saying or alphabet, don’t worry right now about making the letters backwards, just carve them out as you would write them. For my example, I will make two mushrooms from one carving.

Steps:

  1. Draw picture on foam. Make sure that if you want an outline of the item that you draw double lines thick enough that the stamp won’t tear when used.( If doing stamp free hand, skip this step) Make sure that if you have stamp pads that the stamp will be small enough to ink it on the pad. These stamps can also be used with acrylic paints, but I would recommend a sturdier backing in that case.
  2. Cut out inside sections of the picture. Make sure to get the corners cut all the way through. If you are doing a mushroom like mine, set the center of the stem and the center of the cap aside.
  3. Cut around the outside of the design so that your stamp is completely free of the foam.
  4. Glue outline to cardstock or other backing material. For this stamp I used the plastic backing from some paper rub ons but for the other stamps shown I used plain cardstock. If you are doing writing, make sure that you glue the letters on backwards both in order and direction so that when stamped it will read correctly. If you are making a whole phrase, I recommend putting each word on a separate backing.
  5. If your are making this mushroom take the saved stem and cap and glue them on a separate piece of cardstock or whatever you’re using for the backing.
  6. Let the glue dry for a few minutes and you are ready to take these babies for a test drive.

In Remembrance

6 years ago give or take a few days, my aunt Marti lost the battle with cancer that had been raging in her body for just a short year and a half. She found out about it in early 2001 about a week before her mother’s death. The cancer was removed, but somehow it snuck past the doctors and moved into her brain and set up camp there in an area where its malignant tumors were inoperable. So my aunt who had always been active and kind of an angel to everyone was confined to her bed. When her hair fell out, her husband shaved his head so they could have the same hair cut. He kept her laughing and for that we were grateful. My mom and I went and spent a long weekend with her in June of 2002 singing and joking about old times. She was my mom’s little sister and since they were only about 2 years apart, they were pretty close. The youngest of 8 they tended to stick together as they became adults. When I was growing up there were two aunts who had made the move here to Missouri and Marti was one of them. She taught me to make pillows for my Barbies and had the most awesome Super Mario games for the Nintendo. She let me turn her swingset slide into a water slide and put up with countless hours Carmen SanDiego on the computer. She was the aunt that I only hope to be and tho she never had any children, (her first husband convinced her to get a hysterectomy at a very young age) she was wonderful with us. We stayed with her when my mom had a nervous breakdown and she made it less scary that my mom was in the hospital for two weeks. When she died there was a service held in Osage Beach where she had lived, but a couple weeks later there was another one held for all the family in California in one of the towns where she and my mom grew up. I was out there visiting my mom and so I went. My mom had written a song for her and we sang it at the memorial. Then my aunt’s ashes were scattered over the Pacific Ocean at Pacific Grove. It was a rough couple of days where I tried to be happy that she wasn’t hurting any more but was home with her lord. At 16 thats hard. At 22 I miss her more than ever and I know my mom does too. What I took away from this tho was to love those who are still around as if tomorrow might not get here. Lives are often cut short well before we’re ready to let someone go so I try to make the best of the time I have. I know this post rambles and is long, but its hard to stop the memories.

Light a Candle by Frieda Bacon

Light a candle to remember me 

No more sorrow

All is as it should be

Open your eyes

Open your eyes

I am living on in the skies

Light a candle to remember me

Stand and bear witness

Love is my legacy

Open your arms

Open your arms

I am living on in your hearts

Oh how lovely to be with you here

My sweet reunion

All my loved ones are near

Look to the flame

Look to the flame

I am dancing on just the same

Look to the flame

Look to the flame

I am dancing on just the same

The nasty wasty buggies involved in gardening

Dirty stinking Tobacco hornworms!

EEEEWWWWWWWWWWWWW!!! Thats all I can really say with regards to this nasty creature. This is a photo from the internet as my camera’s battery is charging, but I’m sure you all get the idea. I learned today that this ugly mo fo is a Tobacco hornworm, not to be confused with tomato hornworms that have black horns instead. They are eating my tomatoes tho so I still have reason to despise them. I was out in the garden this morning checking up on my prized tomatoes when I noticed something odd about one of my tomato plants. It was missing the leaves off the ends of two stems. Hmm not good I thought. And then I saw this ginormous caterpillar the size of my middle finger and screamed a little bit. Then I went inside and grabbed a spray bottle full of soapy water and proceeded to douse my plants with it to deter the nasty buggers. I found one more after close inspection of all my plants and have them safely secured in a jar waiting to become fish bait later this evening. *insert evil laughter* Well they will be if I can get past the scream factor. I guess I wouldn’t care so much if the nasty little bugger hadn’t eaten half just half of the largest tomato I had growing. How rude! I mean if your gonna eat it, at least eat the whole damn thing so I don’t have to see it and mourn its waste and loss. I probably wouldn’t have even noticed it was gone if they’d eaten the whole thing. Ok I would have noticed because I practically have names for all the tomatoes as they are just coming on, but thats not the point. The point is, they made a mistake when they came into MY garden thinking they could eat MY tomatoes and now they will pay the ultimate price. Anybody know any good organic bug deterents that I can make at home? I found out about this stuff, but knowing it could be costly is a set back right now as we’re slightly broke. Hooray for this crappy economy! Anyway, thats my rant of the day. Hope you all have a happy 4th of July. Play it safe. Check out my other blog, Recipes from Helle for a couple of nice summery recipes.

Random things

My step-mom sent me this forward this morning– feel free to ignore the warnings of bad luck like I do and just enjoy reading your sign. I use this particular forward to illustrate to myself that sometimes descriptions of Capricorns can be right.

 

Below are True descriptions of zodiac signs. Read your sign, and then forward it on, with your zodiac sign and label on the subject line. If you are on the cusp of another sign you most likely will have features of both signs…which may lead you into total confusion…… CAPRICORN

 

– The Go-Getter (Dec 22 – Jan 19) Patient and wise. Practical and rigid. Ambitious. Tends to be Good-looking. Humorous and funny. Can be a bit shy and reserved. Often pessimistic. Capricorns tend to act before they think and can be Unfriendly at times. Hold grudges. Like competition. Get what they Want. 20 years of bad luck if you do not forward.– The Sweetheart ( Jan 20 – Feb 18) Optimistic and honest. Sweet personality. Very independent. Inventive and intelligent. Friendly and loyal. Can seem unemotional. Can be a bit rebellious.. Very stubborn, but original and unique. Attractive on the inside and out. Eccentric personality. 11 years of bad luck if you do not forward.– The Dreamer (Feb 19 – Mar 20) Generous, kind, and thoughtful. Very creative and imaginative. May become secretive and vague. Sensitive. Don’t like details. Dreamy and unrealistic. Sympathetic and loving. Kind. Unselfish. Good kisser. Beautiful. 8 years of bad luck if you do not forward.– The Daredevil (Mar 21 – April 19)
Energetic. Adventurous and spontaneous. Confident and enthusiastic. Fun. Loves a challenge. EXTREMELY impatient. Sometimes selfish. Short fuse. (Easily angered.) Lively, passionate, and sharp wit. Outgoing. Lose interest quickly – easily bored. Egotistical. Courageous and assertive. Tends to be physical and athletic. 16 years of bad luck if you do not forward.– The Enduring One (April 20 – May 20) Charming but aggressive. Can come off as boring, but they are not. Hard workers. Warm-hearted. Strong, has endurance. Solid beings that are stable and secure in their ways. Not looking for shortcuts. Take pride in their beauty. Patient and reliable. Make great friends and give good advice. Loving and kind. Loves hard – passionate. Express themselves emotionally. Prone to ferocious temper-tantrums. Determined. Indulge themselves ofte n. Very generous. 12 years of bad Luck if you do not forward– The Chatterbox (May 21 – June 20) Smart and witty. Outgoing, very chatty. Lively, energetic. Adaptable But needs to express themselves. Argumentative and outspoken. Like change. Versatile. Busy, sometimes nervous and tense. Gossips. May seem superficial or inconsistent. Beautiful physically and mentally. 5 years of bad luck if you do not forward.– The Protector (June 21 – July 22)
Moody, emotional. May be shy. Very loving and caring. Pretty/handsome. Excellent partners for life. Protective. Inventive and imaginative. Cautious. Touchy-feely kind of person. Needs love from others. Easily hurt, but sympathetic. 16 years of bad luck if you do not forward.– The Boss (July 23 – Aug 22)
Very organized. Need order in their lives – like being in control. Like boundaries. Tend to take over everything. Bossy. Like to help Others. Social and outgoing. Extroverted. Generous, warm-hearted. Sensitive. Creative energy. Full of themselves. Loving. Doing the right thing is important to Leos. Attractive. 13 years of bad luck if you do not forward.– The Perfectionist (Aug 23 – Sept 22)
Dominant In relationships. Conservative Always wants the last word. Argumentative. Worries. Very smart. Dislikes noise and chaos. Eager. Hardworking. Loyal. Beautiful. Easy to talk to. Hard to please. Harsh. Practical and very fussy. Often shy. Pessimistic. 7 years of bad luck if you do not forward.– The Harmonizer (Sept 23 – Oct 22)
Nice to everyone they meet. Can’t make up their mind. Have own unique appeal. Creative, en ergetic, and very social. Hates to be alone. Peaceful, generous. Very loving and beautiful. Fli! rtatiou s. Give in too easily. Procrastinators. Very gullible. 9 years of bad luck if you do not forward.– The Intense One (Oct 23 – Nov 21)
Very energetic. Intelligent. Can be jealous and/or possessive. Hardworking. Great kisser. Can become obsessive or secretive. Holds grudges. Attractive. Determined. Loves being in long Relationships. Talkative. Romantic. Can be self-centered at times. Passionate and Emotional. 4 years of bad luck if you do not forward.– The Happy-Go-Lucky One (Nov 22 – Dec 21)
Good-natured optimist. Peter Pan syndrome (doesn’t want to grow up). Boastful. Likes luxuries and gambling. Social and outgoing. Doesn’t like responsibilities. Often fantasizes. Impatient. Fun to be around. Having lots of friends. Flirtatious. Doesn’t like rules. Sometimes hypocritical. Dislikes being confin! ed – ti ght spaces or even tight clothes. Doesn’t like being doubted. Beautiful inside and out. 14 years of bad luck if you do not forward

 

 

 

Well thats that. I had other thoughts for this morning but I seem to have forgotten them. The good news is that means this post is at an end– the bad? I may be back later. (Insert evil laughter here)