Monday, October 8, 2012

Actually feeling like fall

About a week ago, I took this picture of the pasture across the road from our house. Sorry it's not any closer, but it would have cut out the number of geese that there are. Below is a closer shot. We moved to this home at the first of this year, so we are experiencing the seasons in a new way here. There is a large pond somewhere behind us that I've only seen by Google satellite images.  During the summer, we could hear what sounds like hundreds of frogs as night fell. Also, there has been a smaller gaggle of geese that fly from the pond behind to the smaller pond and pasture across from us.  Sometimes it looked like you could reach up and touch them as they came in for a landing. In September we began to see larger numbers, I would assume, from migrating geese passing through. They would spend all day grazing the pasture like a herd of cows.  The last few days I have not seen or heard any, so they must have moved on a little further south. 

Alabama has been having some weather that actually feels like fall. This is not always the case around here.  There have been years that it was warm at Christmas.  I love autumn, so I am loving these cooler than normal temps.  A couple of weeks ago, on my last Saturday off, Kerry and I headed to Tennessee to David Crockett State Park.  We had been camping there before with my brother and his family some years ago when the girls were young.
The fall color has not started yet, but it was still a peaceful, beautiful spot.  All of these shots were taken at the creek and falls.  We did take a short hike through the woods, but didn't get any good pictures there. 
My favorite pics of the day are the one above and the one below.
These are all various shots of the same falls. 
A look downstream, as the creek meanders on through the woods.

We enjoyed seeing the park again and reliving memories of watching our children play there when they were young.  Moments like these remind you again of how fast time flies.
The park is located not too far from a large Amish community.  After we left, we drove that way and took the scenic drive to see the farms.  The Amish don't want their pictures taken so I only tried to get a couple of shots of the fields.  There were several acres of sheaved corn, which you don't see much anymore.  The pics weren't all that good, though.  Unfortunately we forgot to get some cash before we left home, so we were unable to stop and purchase any of the canned or baked goods or vegetables that were for sale from various farms. We did buy some peanut brittle from a small flea market nearby.  It was locally made, although not Amish and I found a lovely little handcrafted wooden tray. The back of it right below, which is cool enough, I think.

Then here is the front.  I may hang it on the wall now as part of a grouping of wooden boxes for which I seem to have a "thing" among the other collections I also have. Eventually it may end up as an assemblage base, if I ever get my artistic head back on my shoulders again.

Tonight we are expecting a low around 39, almost winter-like around here.  I am loving it!  We haven't even turned our heat on yet.  This is the time of year we save money on our heating/cooling bill.  Being so hot-natured we have our air set on 70, but until it gets consistently cold, we don't need any heat.

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Batman Party

Thomas turned three in August and Holly happened to be here during the time of his party, so that worked out well. She got to attend AND to help out with decorating!  Emily enlisted our help to make some of the favors, decorations, and in setting up the day of the party.  We talked over different things we could have and decided a "photo op" Batman would be cute. I was volunteered to make this.  Was going for a more cartoonish look, because I thought that would be easier to do and maybe more kid-friendly.  Purchased one of those cardboard backgrounds that are used for science fair projects around here.  I sketched the figure, then painted it, and cutout the shape. 

Emily made these cute cone holders out of comic book pages to hold Chex Mix as a portable snack. Holly fixed the cardboard to hold the cones.  She and I used a lot of blue paint!

Below are the cute Batman Tootsie Roll Pops that Holly did. She printed and cut out the masks and capes, gluing all the batman emblems on each cape. Lots of tedious work, but the kids loved them!

Then shown below, the favor bags for the children attending.  Again, Holly did the Batman emblems for the bags.  When we didn't have the right shade of blue paper, she had to paint paper. The cityscape was a lucky leftover from the daycare that Thomas and Sam attend.  There had been a Vacation Bible school where they had used these as props.  They were going to be thrown away, so Emily rescued them to re-use at the party.  These are made from black paper-covered boxes with yellow sticky notes for the windows. 

Emily and Craig got into the Super Hero spirit, with his Superman shirt and her Wonder Woman.

Thomas had a blast with all the water fun. He did start out the day with a Batman shirt, but it was a really hot and humid Tuscaloosa day, so the water play started early.

Here is Kerry with Sam.  They had found a Robin onesie for him.  He looked so cute!

Birthday cake was made by a friend of ours here in Vinemont, so it had to be transported all the way to Tuscaloosa.  Kerry ended up having to do this, as Holly and I had went down the night before the party to be able to help Emily with the setup.  It made it all in one piece, looked wonderful, and was delicious, as her cakes always are.

Thomas, taking a pose, as Batman.

Long time, no blogging

My resolutions to blog more often seem to have failed, as have my promises to myself to do more in  the way of art.  Remains to be seen whether I figure out what is going on.  There have been some busy times for various reasons, working some extra days, but that is not all.  But not going to whine about that more right now.

Since I last blogged, we enjoyed a visit from Holly.  She was able to stay a couple of weeks.  While she was here, we made some jewelry, which is what I thought I'd blog about. I repaired some pieces of mine and made a few pieces for myself.  Holly made several necklaces and bracelets.

Here are the bracelets, made from vintage pins and assorted chains. Holly kept 2 for herself and then 2 were for Emily.
I made the orange and wooden bead earrings above and Holly the black ones.  She did take the orange ones as we decided they would look cuter on her.  The necklaces are shown better in the shot below.

Holly modeled the necklaces after some we had seen for sale somewhere and made these entirely by herself. A lot of the components are from jewelry that I've taken apart, some vintage.  All of the chain is from old costume jewelry pieces. Below is a necklace and earring set I made for myself.  The blue beads are new, but the remainder is more vintage rescue.

Several years ago, Holly had given me a black walnut pendant that I love.  I associate the black walnuts with my Grandmother Koehler, who would go to all the trouble it takes to get to the sweet, distinctively-flavored nutmeat inside. Since Holly gave me the pendant, my Mom gave me 3 walnut buttons that had belonged to my Grandmother.  I took 2 of these to make the earrings shown here, going for a kind of bohemian look.  I like them, but my neck is short, so they hang a little too long on me.  I may go back and take out the beads between the dangly part and the buttons.

We had fun making the jewelry. Also, during the early part of the time Holly was here, we were working on decorations for Thomas' third birthday party. Emily decided on a Batman theme. Thomas loves Superheroes, but especially Batman. I think I will make that a separate post, as it will require several pictures so you can see.

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