Sunday Straphanger High Point, NJ

In the northern part of NJ, High Point has the highest elevation in the state, (aptly named) and when the weather is clear you can see into three states.

The obelisk resembles the Washington Monument.  We visited on a crisp autumn day, with a touch of snow on the rocks which the sun hadn't melted.   Another visit in the summer with the trees framing the monument from my walk through the park.

Watching the sunset and the colors change in the sky.

Smiling in Sweet Dreams Tea Party Bear Aceo

How many ways does tea inspire you?  The theme Inspiration Avenue Weekly Challenge this week is Tea!

Sweet Dreams Tea Party Bear ACEO
My time is filled up this week with all kinds of unfun things, so I had just a little while to make the aceo, and as usual, what starts with one idea, meanders to its own tune.  I merely inhabit the same space as the paper and paint.  I'll guess this happens to some of you, too.  I must have been hungry when I painted this card.

He's just a little Teddy Bear who was left on the table when the guests got called in by their mothers.  He's all in a sugar haze from eating the petit fours, fruit tarts, fancy cookies, and more.  All that's left for him to do is sprawl out with a full and sore tummy with the frosting evidence on his forehead, chin, ears, and paws.   If  he's left alone and no one comes to collect him, when he wakes up there'll be room to finish off the cupcakes, if he can scrape the frosting off himself!     The things Teddies get up to when you're not looking...

What's Doing Wednesday? Butterfly Story Mixed Media Aceo

She fell apart but the angels put her back together with one of their own wings and a feather for ballast and attraction.  Since she was broken she thought she'd never fly again and no one would think she was beautiful, but the angels told her to look past her condition to her spirit, and so she has.

                                                                         See it In my shop

I wish this image was a better one, but at the moment, the memory card and readers are not working, so this image is from the scanner which made the text boundaries a bit blurry, which they aren't in seeing it for yourself. 
When the reader is fixed or replaced, I'll make a new image.  This has stopped me from adding new photos, too.  Ahh, technology.

Plane to Sea At the Beach Aceo

Aceo Theme Challenge for July, "At the Beach"
I haven't been to the shore, the real Atlantic Ocean- wide, wild, and wonderful ocean for too many years. Fortunately, there are photos and memories to substitute as a touchstone.  

This is my aceo for  At the Beach Theme on The Aceo Challenge blog. Just for authenticity, I used some salt on the beach mixed with the paint.

When I thought about the crowds, heat, salty water, dunes, boardwalk, etc.  the small planes which flew over the water facing the banner towards the beach came to mind.  They flew many ads for restaurants.

Once in a while, a marriage proposal on a bright white cloth would be flapping in the wind off the rear of the plane.   I'd look around for the lucky lady, but she was nowhere to be seen.

Have you ever seen these planes flying over your vacation spot?

A Trunk A Trunk of Burnin' Love Photo Editing

Don't worry, "tree happy."  
After the tree above, had some branches cut, it gave me some love with the heart.  
And the bad puns keep rolling on...   Elvis has not left the building!

What's Doing Wednesday? Childhood Dances Aceo

Flowers, music, and shorts although in this aceo it's the boys wearing the shorts learning a dance.  This reminds me of childhood, having to learn dances for school fairs and plays.  Anyone remember the Maypole Dance?  We had a school fair centered around Spring and later in the year we had to learn how to Square Dance!  Now, that was a true adventure and the teacher was persistent even through the hysterics.  Please don't ask me to do-si-do!

                                                                         See in my shop

Here's Looking At You, Pup Photo Collage

Selection of about 1/3 of the finished collage.
Clicking on the image will enlarge for easier reading.

Thank You to Giveaway Winners

Congrats!  Contact me through my email, in my profile at the bottom of the page.  Send your address for mailing and your win will be on its way.  Thanks so much for entering and following on GFC!    

ETA:  Susan's been in touch and everyone else I emailed.   I'm pondering what's the next Giveaway...

What's Doing Wednesday? Butterfly in Pocket Collage Aceo

Collage ACEO
The idea of living in a pocket, something so fragile as a butterfly, seems to me, fictional.

This is like a dream, or a child's wish, only to find that they've killed the thing they wanted to keep close. Fortunately, this is my aceo dream, so the butterfly survives!  It's resting on the quilt at the moment. 

This also looks like a mermaid's tail in a sea of blue waves with whitecaps and seaspray.  Do you see different stories in your work?

ETA:  I've just added this aceo to the theme week on Inspiration Avenue  after reading about the theme on Imgirl  blog.  Wings is the theme, why not add yours?

Awake and Somewhat Alert Snow Photo to Cool the Heat

Snow Hug
It's hot, humid, and hot outside.  Here's a reminder of the good old snow days that will be here before we have put away our summer clothes.

There's been a little trouble with my computer of late, it was in for fixing a few days last week.  It's been threatening to go kaput (again) with the "blue screen" and early, early before the birds are up and singing which is at 4:20am until the clocks go forward an hour, last Thursday, just after I sent an email to a friend and made a blog post about technology and then decided not to post it- turned off the system and awoke later in the morning to find that husband had taken the tower in to the shop.  Karma about that unposted piece, I suppose.

I had written too long a post scheduled to publish last Sunday, and incorporated too many topics, and so I have removed that post.  If anyone read it, bless you- if you can remember what I'm suggesting. 

Have you heard of "Google Alerts"?  I never thought to sign up for them,  didn't see what significance there could be for little me.  Well, after hearing more about these alerts, I decided to sign up and found out why these alerts can be of service to us.  That's the main reason for the Sunday post removal.  It was hijacked and kind of makes a person, me,  feel sick, but there's little that can be done, if anything, to prevent such things.   So, if you got this far and I still make sense to you- great- it's been a rough week for me in different ways.   I guess I'll divide that long Sunday post and change the title and repost.  Have you ever been hijacked and what did you do if anything  to safeguard?

ETA:  Just when I thought it was safe, now the memory card reader and brand new card are finito.  I lost all my photos on the tower, twice; I can't tell you how horrible that is.  I had a full memory card and all those photos are gone, too.   Will try and find a way to make this work, somehow, someway.

2nd ETA:  Have moved on from the problems and found a way around them.  Also, Google Alerts were updating regularly, but have been glitchy for a few months.  

... Your Old Nonsense ... Wise Quotes and Cold Photos

Finish every day and be done with it.
You have done what you could.
Some blunders and absurdities no doubt crept in; 
forget them as soon as you can.
Tomorrow is a new day;
begin it well and serenely
and with too high a spirit
to be encumbered with
your old nonsense.

This day is all that is good
and fair.
It is too dear, with its hopes
and invitations,
to waste a moment
on the yesterdays.

"Ralph Waldo Emerson"

Broken But Useful Giveaway

Okay, so these are in sad condition, pages came undone, but the recipes are all good and tasty.  These are The Welsh Kitchen little recipe books.  I was sorting books when I moved things around and found 3 of these same cookbooks, so here are 2 I'd like to give away.

Recipes from WalesEnter to win 1 of these books by following the blog on GFC, see the little button in the right sidebar.  Leave a comment with your following name so I can follow you back.

If you'd like extra entries, share this giveaway and let me know in a comment where you've shared it.  That's it and I'll announce the two winners in a blog post, just contact me with your details so that I can mail the book.

P.S.  Enter my other Giveaways, see the list in the right sidebar.  GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED, THANKS FOR STOPPING BY!

What One Can Do July 4th Tribute Fort Mercer

From the founding of the USA and throughout the years, citizens and immigrants have fought for freedom for themselves, their neighbors, and for strangers abroad in other lands.

"Thank you" to those who serve in many various ways, your energies and sacrifices are not unnoticed.  With minds and hearts enjoined they persevere in dangerous and frightening situations.  Their families and friends give support that they uniquely create.     

Photo by Bill Coughlin.
The Declaration of Independence, the Liberty Bell, and the Betsy Ross flag are all well known pieces of the nation's history.  There are so many people and places in the War for Independence which go without notice.

These times, especially, with the amount of technology, there are still so many unnamed men and women, skirmishes, battles, triumphs, and tragedies which are not even given a second of airtime, or internet space.  That will probably never change.  There is more news happening than can be managed or handled efficiently, fairly, and without prejudice.  That's just the way it is, despite the efforts to share knowledge, there will always be a lack of knowledge and attitude of not wanting or needing to know. 

This placque describes one of those moments in time which changed fates for all those involved and for the fight for independence in 1777.  One person at a time can make a difference, no matter the side you are on.                                                                                                          
Tributes to our service men and women! 
Honor, Safety, Return Home Soon...              



Dear o-Ann Fa r and raft Stores

"Interrupting the Sunday Straphanger series for a little legitimate and needed venting."

Letter to corporate officers of Jo-Ann Stores follows:

"Dear o-Ann Fa r   and  raft Stores,

The ast t me   e ked, t e USA and ot er Eng  s  speak ng  ountr es made use of a  26 etters n the a p abet.  n fa t,
w erever Eng s s used, a  26 etters are earned.  T s s mere y a    e on my part.

So, f you an read t  s, p ease respond.  t's a s me t at you are se   ng t ese produ ts to t e pu i and espe ia  y market ng t em n your new Tea  er's and S  oo s a s es!

A rep y wou d e appre  ated.  D re t your exp anat on to me ere.  T ank you."


This is what writing with all letters of the alphabet at my disposal looks like.  The above letter to Jo-Ann Fabric and Craft Stores is with all the missing letters from the package.  "B, C, H, I, J, and L"

It is not a mistake on Jo-Ann's part.  The package says there are 48 pieces and there are, they include numbers and punctuation.  The 48 pieces plus the 6 missing letters would be 54 pieces.

Outsourcing, is that the problem?  Come on, Jo-Ann, get it together and learn your ABC's!  Plus, this product is being marketed to teachers in their new store design.  There are now several aisles of products for students and teachers.  This was in one of those aisles.  To bring in these products, many others have been left out.

I asked a store employee for just a regular stencil sheet, and she told me to go to a competitor.  Thanks, I should have.  This isn't the first time Jo-Ann employees have suggested a competitor.  Overall, the people who work at the store are very helpful.  I've witnessed them going "the extra mile" to anyone who needs help.  This is good customer service.  Sometimes, they have that, "deer in the headlights look" when they are asked about something, usually a product or brand.  It must be overwhelming at times keeping up with the large product line and the constant rearranging going on in the store.

For the past six months or more, they have been leaving off the overhead lights in some of the areas of the store.  It's practically twilight in some of the aisles.  When my eyes can't take the strain any longer, I just give up and leave without purchasing.  I blame Jo-Ann corporate and the changes in product line, missing quality of products, trying to save money by keeping the store semi-dark, etc.   I'm not looking forward to the 15 mile drive, one way, to the store to return this.   The images are the best ones I could make with the scanner, sorry for the foggy appearance.

Enduring Symbol Liberty Bell Quote



Happy Independence Day, July 4th, 2011!

(Photo from National Park Service.)