July 30, 2012

SYTYC and a Recap

This competition is really heating up.  We are officially half way through the competition and I honestly think that last week was the tightest the competition has been thus far.  Let's Hear It For The Boys, everyone stepped up their game and it was so difficult to even attempt to predict how it would end up.  I was so close to getting a win, so close!  My cufflinks came in a close second, two votes out of first.

I will post a tutorial later this week on how to do your own custom cufflinks.  It's really easy and you can really customize it for that special guy in your life.

This week's theme is, "Out and About."  I had a lot of fun crafting for this week and hope you head on over and vote for your favorite.  I always hope your favorite is mine, it always makes me feel good when it is!

You can click on the link above or the photo to be taken to this week's challenge post to go vote.

I also wanted to share a recap of all the projects that I have done so far.  I hope to make it all the way to the finals!

Click here to go to the tutorial

July 24, 2012

Photo 366 #30

There have been some amazing skies this week.  Well, more like amazing clouds.  It had made one thing clear to me, I am not great at photographing clouds.  I need to get better at that.  At least I got one that turned out well this week.

July 17 - The only good cloud shot I got.  Many of the clouds reminded me of Maxfield Parish paintings.  It was so pretty out.

July 18 - I saw a really cool photograph of a sun setting while laying in and focusing on the grass.  This was my attempt at that.  Not great, not bad.

July 19 - This is a hawk's nest the kids and I have been watching.  Not sure of the specific breed as if we got any closer than the 100-150 yards, we would be trespassing.  There were at least two babies this year.

July 20 - We were invited to go swimming at a friend's house.  Her daughter is in gymnastics and starting flipping into the pool, so Maben did too.  It was a little scary and really cool to watch.  Don't worry, he wasn't as close to the edge as it looks.

July 21 - The kids and I went on an after dinner walk and the light dancing on the tall grasses was just beautiful.

July 22 - Animal, the biggest baby in the house always wanting some love.  I get this look from him a lot.  I am just glad I was able to do it justice.

July 23 - And he sleeps!  Colton is into that stage where he doesn't really nap anymore, even though he really needs it.  This was 5 or 6 days in a row without napping before he finally allowed himself to go down.

July 23, 2012

SYTYC: Let's Hear It For The Boys and A Reveal

I survived another week, thanks to all your voting!  I have my husband to thank for the suggestion of doing a sunset out of stained glass.  I actually went through a couple ideas, trying to come up with one that I determined to be good enough.  I will show off the other finished piece that I did later this week.

This piece is really hanging up in the window of my art/craft room.  I love it and it makes me smile every time I walk in there.  I wish that I could have showed off the look of the green glass a little better, it had an amazing white/light green swirl at different opacity levels.  It really makes it look like you are gazing upon a mountain.

This week's theme is, "Let's Hear It For The Boys."  It looks like some tough competition this week.  I would love it if you hopped on over to So You Think You're Crafty and voted.

Vacation: Provincetown Whale Watch

I think the most exciting thing we did on vacation was a whale watch.  It was AMAZING!  I understand why people instantly fall in love with these amazing beasts.  I have always been drawn to the water, but this just had my heart all a flutter. 

We bought our tickets through Whale Watch Dolphin Fleet.  They were awesome.  It was also great that both of the kids were free.  They offer many rides throughout a given day and there is a naturalist on board that records data of all the whales that are spotted, gave us plenty of information about that area we would travel to and answered any question you had.  The woman on our trip was very friendly and very passionate about her job.

Grandma snuggling a sleeping Colton on our way out to see some whales.

The first whale we saw was a fin whale.  I think spotting it as quickly as we did shocked the captain as we were going pretty fast to get to the prime whale area and did a sudden slow down to see this one.  We were still fairly close to shore and not even north of the cape yet.

The next whale that we spotted was a lone humpback whale.  This is Dyad.

Dyad wasn't too exciting, she did provide us with the signature tail show of a humpback whale. 

She kept diving, so we didn't stick around too long.  Each time they dive down, they stay down for about 6-7 minutes.  The captain decided to move and and I am sure every one was elated that he did after we saw what happened next.

What we stumbled upon next was truly amazing.  We could see it off in the distance, large splashes.  Once we got closer, we could see what it was, a mother humpback whale and her calf.

While it looks like they are waving to the tourists, in fact they were fin slapping.  They would raise a pectoral fin high into the air and slam it down on the water with great force.  Researchers aren't sure why they do this, but it was a lot of fun to watch.  The calf was taking notes and doing it too.

The mother, Dusky, is much larger than her calf, whom is still unnamed.  The calves aren't typically named until they are at least a year old, sometimes even older.  The first two years are critical in their lives and this calf was only about 6 months old!!!

The calf provided much of the entertainment.  He displayed (it's a boy!) a wide variety of behavior.  He did the fin slapping (flippering) that his mother did, but he also did quite a bit of breaching.  Breaching is where they jump up out of the water.

He did a spinning head breach, where he jumped up and spun, then land on his back and he performed a chin breach where he jumped head first and slapped his chin on the surface of the water.

From my limited research on this subject, the calf didn't perform these acts with as much height as a mature adult could, but the show was still amazing and I am not going to complain that it could have been better.

We watched Dusky and her calf for about an hour, just as they were winding down, our three hour tour was over and it was time to head back in.  The boys had a wonderful time watching the whales, the people on the boat were more than willing to let the kids slide in and get a great look as they could see over the top of them.

Once back on dry land, the kids were still very excited about the morning.

They were eager to pose for the camera, which is quite the rarity these days.

The Dolphin Fleet boat we were on is seen in the background on the left.

Maben even snapped a photo of my husband and I.  I'm so glad he is an eager photographer, now I don't have to ask strangers to take a photo of us.

If we ever find ourselves back out on the Cape, we will be doing this again.  It was a magical experience that I can't let myself pass up if given the opportunity.

I was not paid or compensated to mention the Dolphin Fleet, I was just eager to give a great review of an amazing trip. I would be eager to go on another whale watch if they did want to pay or compensate me!  

July 19, 2012

Pillowcases for Charity

I was the Administrative Vice President for my local chapter of MOMS Club for three years.  It was an amazing and rewarding experience.  The biggest part of my position was to coordinate all of our community service projects. 

The last project that I coordinated was to sew pillowcases to donate to children with cancer.  We did this through the ConKerr Cancer organization.  It is such a simple and wonderful mission, provide a smile to a child by delivering a pillowcase to them during a hospital stay.  For anyone who has had a hospital stay, there is nothing fun about it, so anything to brighten a stay in the hospital is well worth the effort. 

Anyways, the members of my MOMS Club outdid themselves.  We were able to collectively donate 50 pillowcases!  50 PILLOWCASES!  That shattered my expectations.  Here is a small sampling of what we donated.

I was lucky enough to get to spend hours (I really mean hours) in Joann Fabrics buying much of the fabric used.  Some members did their own shopping too.  I am sure they had just as much fun as I did.  I want to thank our local Joann Fabrics staff for being so nice to me when I walked up with 30 bolts of fabric.  I completely understand how intimidating that could have been.  Your efforts were noticed and thank you!

We tried to make enough that would encompass children of all ages, boys and girls.  I wish I could have had the room to photograph all 50 pillowcases.  They were all great!  A big thank you to everyone in my MOMS Club, you made my tenure as AVP well worth all the effort. 

If you would like a instructions on how to make your own pillowcases, you can go to here.  ConKerr details two different methods for making pillowcases, I personally like the hotdog method.

Have you ever sewed/crafted for charity?  If so, what did you do?  I am curious, because I would love to be able to use my talents more to help out others.

July 17, 2012

Photo 366 #29

This week was for the birds, literally and figuratively.  Vacation hangover hit me like a ton of bricks and Colton was sick with a cold.  It was not a fun week.  I felt exhausted and didn't really venture for any photos.  I even forgot to take a photo!  Not bad considering that the only day so far that I have forgotten to take a photo was day 196 in a 366. 

July 10 - While the kids were sleeping in the car, I drove by my favorite spot to see scissortail flycatchers and I found two juveniles.  Here is one flying away.

July 11 - A baby dove fledged from the nest a little too early and landed in my yard.

July 12 - Today's photo had me doing the happy dance!  I got my tickets to go to the Antiques Roadshow in a couple weeks.  YAY!  Those are some seriously cool looking tickets.

July 13 - With the abundance of rain we have had lately, it has derailed a project we were working on.  We were going to lay another walkway with the flagstone, but instead, it has turned into a tadpole pond.

July 14 - I was so tired, that I took a 4 hour nap today, then went to bed super early and slept for 11 hours.  There was no photo taken today.  I thought about it, but was too exhausted to really process the thought.  I'm now kicking myself for it.  Day 196 fail!

July 15 - From my kitchen window I saw a juvenile blue jay sunning himself in the yard.  He's so fluffy!

July 16 - I noticed in my neighbor's driveway that mushrooms have started growing in the cracks.  I have seen quite an array of different fungus growing this year with all this rain and in some interesting places.

July 16, 2012

SYTYC and My Reveal

It's that time again, the polls are open over at So You Think You're Crafty.  This week's challenge was ombre.  Go check it out and vote!

I also want to share with you my craft from last week.  I did the Beach Angels for the theme Summer Bounty. 

I loved how these turned out.  I am still laughing at my inspiration for it.  Have you ever seen the movie, "Sahara," with Matthew McConaughey in it?  Well, he picks up a pair of clam shells and says they are called angel wings.  Yup, that was my inspiration.

This was such a fun and easy project to do.  I did it while on vacation in Cape Cod.  All the shells came from the beaches there and I picked up a hot glue gun for $5 and the jewelry cord for $2.

The thing that surprised me the most, that these aren't already being made and sold in beachy tourist spots.  Well, maybe it is being made and sold is some beachy tourist spot, just not the one that I frequent.

July 13, 2012

Vacation: Provincetown, MA

I planned on getting this series done a little sooner, but between needing to sort through 1,500 photos (yup, I typed that correctly), editing the ones I think are worthy, crafting for So You Think You're Crafty and trying to get sick kids back to normal, I have found myself with not enough time on my hands.  I guess my point is, bear with me, I'm trying to get it all done.

Now onto vacation.  We stayed in Chatham, and I have been there several times now, but had never had the opportunity to get up to Provincetown until this trip.  Provincetown is the very tip of Cape Cod.

View Larger Map

Now, I was lucky enough to get to visit Provincetown twice!  This first trip was a girls day.  I went with my future sister-in-law Maxi.  We got to get to know each other much better and she's pretty awesome! 

Maxi and myself

Provincetown is a rather unusual place.  It is a community rich in the arts and culture and is a popular vacation destination for gay couples.  I loved it!  PTown (as it's referred to by the locals) had so much to offer that I don't even think I scratched the surface.

We started our day out walking along Commercial street.  Lots of great shops, a few that we stopped to look at.  Lots of great looking restaurants, a few in which we indulged ourselves and we even popped into a couple art galleries. 

Looking down Commercial Street

I also had to stop and gaze at a very beautiful Town Hall.  It looks more like an old home, not quite like a municipal building. 

There are also a few memorials.  Here is one dedicated to the sons of Provincetown who served in WWI.

Located in the background is the Pilgrim's monument.  I wish we would have had the time to climb to the top, but we got stuck hanging out in a restaurant eating and drinking and meeting some charming people. 

Now, a quick bit of history.  The pilgrims didn't first land at Plymouth Rock.  (BTW, going to Plymouth rock is more disappointing than the Alamo)  They first landed in PTown, stayed a while and realized that they could not sustain their new colony here.  The Mayflower Compact was drafted here before they sailed onto Plymouth, MA.  This structure was erected in their honor.  You can learn a bit more about here.

We walked up and down MacMillan Pier, checking out all the boats and the harbor.  We also walked up and down Cabral Pier (aka Fisherman's Wharf) which is located parallel to MacMillan Pier. 

Cabral Pier was not as pretty.  It looked to be reserved less for tourists and more for local boaters and fishermen.  Here is a photo of the Mooring Launch Office.

This is also where I was able to capture this next photo showing an afternoon thunderstorm rolling in.

We took the advice from a local and hit up a restaurant with a great view of the harbor and waited out the storm.  It was too far to run back to the car.  I am so glad we waited it out.  This is the view from our table looking upon the harbor after the storm lifted.

I double rainbow!  Amazing!

After we left the restaurant, we ran to the beach to check out the sunset, which wasn't as impressive as the storm as it was moving out, but I did find an interesting broken sign.

I'm not sure of the story behind the sign, but will definitely research it later.  Such an odd thing to stumble across.

On our way back to the car we came across a local performer, David Scarbie Mitchell, the man behind Lip-Schtick.  His show looks like a lot of fun, would love to see it some day.

Seriously, look at those legs!  A little jealous.

And that my friends, is a FABULOUS end to an amazing day in PTown!

Next time, I will share our Whale Watch out of PTown.  Another amazing day! 

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