Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Metal Flowers on a Wood Grain Card

Ok, there is the coolest post that I feel the need to share with you all immediately. Granted, I have been meaning to pop back over and check it out again...and leave Irini a comment for two weeks!!!

I think instead I'll just tell everyone here how amazing she is. I just about fainted when I saw what she made with one of my flowers. 

So, click that link and scroll down to the last card..... 

 I KNOW! That flower from Potsdam, New York went to Irini all the way in Greece and onto that amazing card! 

And she returned the favor with a parcel of flowers she made and one of those flowers was this red one that is AMAZING!!!

Lucky for me she gave me a HINT on how she did it and I was able to put together a tutorial.

WHICH this post doesn't contain. No need to call me bad words. It's coming. I promise!
But, I did figure it out so I can write a tutorial. Do I get any credit for that?? ;-)

Here is my pink version all fancy on woodgrain!

And another shot so you can see the shimmer in the sun. 

And a close up. 

And would Miss Karen Wray please send me her addy? I want to pop this card in the post for her! She is in Australia and sent me the coolest stamp and card at Christmas time. Like, I am such a dork yelling from the mail box....I GOT HAPPY MAIL FROM AUSTRALIA!! We have a long driveway. It's not like THE MAN could actually HEAR me. Well, maybe he saw me dancing....

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Estate Planning with Peace and Harmony

I have lived through a variety of events (at least four that I recall) where loved ones have passed away and their estate was divided. The first I remember was my Uncle Ted's house that was chock full of lovely items and a few not so lovely things like dusty stuffed things that were once animals....They were creepy and almost something you imagined might come to life in the dark....

The most memorable division of items was when Grandma Ireland's estate was divided and the three sisters spent hours and had spreadsheets splitting things up. It may have not exactly been pleasant.  I wasn't there, but it sounded contentious. 

So, in my mind? Avoid something similar at all costs. Make your wishes known up front. Totally wish my Grandma had done that if circumstances had allowed it. 

Now, it's not like I'm going to fight with anyone myself. I am an only child, but I have two kids and I'd like things to be straight forward with my estate which of course will eventually a very long time in the future, involve furniture and art belonging to my parents. 

Basically, the sum total in my mind? There are at least three different estates wrapped up in my parents house and if you asked me where something came from in particular in their house? I'd fail miserably. 

So, I asked really nicely for a cliff note book. One that said what came from where. 

It is similar to scrapbooking in that if you don't know the particular story behind something, it loses meaning over time. I am sure there are piece of art that were owned by my Grandma that have great stories that have somewhat been lost as they were never relayed. Case in point is the china which was supposedly used at the White House by a president. NOW, that would be a really good story to know, don't cha think?

Now, these albums could have been done digitally or by scrapbooking, but I more wanted something "down and dirty" where it didn't take huge amounts of time. Now, looking at this book, it still took my Mom quite some time to make. Plus, she made two. 

I have two kids so she wrote both of them a note in the front. 

I have a similar book myself that I need to at least start. I'd like Luke to know that the china that I inherited from Nate's family will someday belong to his wife and how it survived a house fire. 

And while you are reading this, please rest assured I am not really into "things" but into peace, harmony, and preserving family history. Life is way too short to be bitter about not getting Uncle Ted's stuffed and dusty raccoon. 

Monday, February 27, 2012

A Trip to California Layout for the Once Upon A.....Sketch Challenge

There is a very interesting challenge up at Once Upon A...Sketch that I had to play along with.
February 15th Challenge

Journalling criteria/theme: HOLIDAYS/VACATION 
Have you printed out all those photos from your last holiday/vacation or most favourite holiday/vacation? We would LOVE to see them and hear all about it. With the theme of holidays/vacation for this challenge, we would love to hear about: your favourite holiday/vacation of all time or a favourite place you would LOVE to take a holiday in . Or how about the last holiday/vacation you went to?  Maybe you have not travelled yet? Then tell us about your DREAM HOLIDAY /VACATION destination. 

I try to be pretty good about vacation photos and get scrapped since I forget the details quickly. So really didn't have any past vacations that I wanted to scrap. But I found the concept of where I want to go to be quite interesting. 

I could do PAGES AND PAGES on that! I decided to focus on our next big trip we're planning. If not, I'd have been all over the place, literally. THE MAN tells me that we're going to own a huge camper when we're old people and travel. Sounds heavenly to me!

I flipped the awesome sketch that was included sideways so I could make a photo collage work in landscape. 

Here is a close up of my journaling. These photos were taken at my Aunt's house when I was little. See her and my uncle down in the corner? I would like to go back to their place at some point as I have great memories of my time there. 

Here is another close up of a flower cluster. That one flower in the middle was dyed a while back and I found it during a deep dive in my flower stash. Rooting around in there used up a few things that have been around forever and kept my copper color going. 

And, how about this metal scallop? It's really paper, with metal foil tape placed over it, embossed, painted, sanded, inked up and then die cut. I am in LOVE with this process and want to share a tutorial very soon. 

Happy Monday and head over to check out their challenge. Still a few days left if you HURRY! 

Sunday, February 26, 2012

A Sunday Story: Office Crowfoot by Bruce H. Mero

Officer Crowfoot
By Bruce H. Mero

          We had just passed the sign welcoming us to Dundee when the speed limit changed from 55 to 30. I had anticipated the change and was doing just a tad over 30 when a Yates County Sheriffs cruiser passed me going in the opposite direction. I watched in my rear-view mirror as the brake-lights on the cruiser lit and the Sheriff did a U-turn in the road. He started to follow my truck. Crap, I thought, I was not really speeding when he passed me.

          My friend, Bill and I were on the way to Mitra's house in Campbell to pick up some bulky items she had recently purchased for me. We were about a half-hour from her place when we entered Dundee.

          I carefully signaled a right hand turn and cautiously lingered at the stop sign for an extraordinarily long time. Very slowly, I turned and approached the only stop light on Main Street. The signal turned to green before I had to come to a complete stop, so I accelerated a tiny bit and then set the cruise control at 28 mph. Slowly I crept my truck through the half mile or so of houses. The Sheriff's car followed me still. The speed limit changed to 55 as I started to exit the village. The cruiser's gum ball lit up and spun red and headlights on the car flashed. He was pulling me over. Whatever for, I thought, what the hell?

          My friend Bill, beside me in the passenger's seat snickered. "You're going to jail Mero, in Dundee, no less. I'll send you cigarettes and a file."

          I pulled my Dakota over onto the shoulder of the road opposite the Dundee Speedway and turned the ignition off. The Sheriff's cruiser pulled up behind me, lights flashing and gun ball spinning. Already I could see opposing traffic slowing and drivers looking to see who the cop had stopped. 

          In my mirror, I watched the Deputy swagger up to the side of my truck. I'd already rolled-down my window and was mentally preparing my defense, whatever that was since I had no clue why he'd pulled me over. I had already found my driver's license and truck registration and had both ready to give to the Deputy.

          Bill stirred and said "He's on foot. You got him. Make him chase us. Fire up this puppy up and floor it."

          I gave my friend a disapproving scowl, smiled and greeted the Deputy as he stooped to my level. "Good afternoon, sir. What's the problem?" I said.

          "Can I see your license and registration, please," said the Deputy?

          "Sure," I replied and handed them both to him through the window. I noticed the ID tag over his pocket said his name was Crowfoot. "Why did you stop..." I attempted to say. He had already taken my license and registration with him back to his cruiser. Several minute elapsed before he came back to my truck.

          "Do you know why I stopped you," he said sternly?

          "No clue," was my feeble reply. Bill snickered beside me and motioned for me to floor it and speed away.

          "Your New York  State Inspection sticker is not current," was Officer Crowfoot's reply. "In fact it expired nearly two years ago."

          "No way," was my immediate answer. "No way. I just had this vehicle inspected."

          A discussion ensued between Officer Crowfoot and myself about how old my State Inspection actually was. Crowfoot told me he'd noticed when he passed me on the road west of the village that the inspection sticker was the wrong color and that was why he followed me. He also stated that he could have pulled me over in the village, but waited until we were passed the town to pull me over as a courtesy and to save me some embarrassment. More rubber-neckers slowed down to see the criminals the cop had stopped in their town.

          I insisted that my inspection was current, though I was beginning to doubt myself. He insisted that a current sticker was red and mine was blue...the color from two years back. He pointed to a slowly passing car, the driver rubber-necking to see who the Sheriff had stopped.

          "That sticker is red. That car is current. Yours should be red. Look at this guy," as another rubber-necker passed. "He's legal. Here's another and another. All red.," said Crowfoot. "Your sticker is blue, its expired. I'm issuing you a ticket." He walked back to his car. He had convinced me.

          Bill insisted that we give "this rube a chase. He'd never catch up with us until we've crossed the county line," he argued. "I'll go back to talk to him."

          My disapproving glare kept my friend in his seat. Ten minutes passed, then twenty minutes.

          "He's checking you out," Bill exclaimed. "You're clean, Mero, you wuss. He's got nothing on you, not even a library book overdue. Got to let you go on this...why the hell is this taking so long? I'm going back to have a talk with that guy." My stare told Bill to stay put.

          Thirty minutes.

          A second Sheriff cruiser pulls up behind the first, gum ball spinning and flashers resplendent. A huge guy in a Sheriff uniform squeezes out of the second car and approaches the first cop car. "Great'" I thought. "Now two cops."

          More rubber-neckers slowed to peruse the scene. Surely the townies from Dundee thought that the cops had nabbed a couple of terrorists. Two Sheriff cruisers. More excitement the town had not seen for years. 

          The fat guy slid into the driver's seat of Officer Crowfoot's car. More time elapsed, now forty minutes since I was told by the deputy that he was going to give me a ticket.

          Forty-five minutes. Officer Crowfoot came up to my window. He said that I had a pretty clean record, according to the files. No tickets. I pleaded that I'd never had a traffic ticket in all of my years driving and that he could let me off if he wished. He acknowledged that my record was completely un-besmirched, but said something to the effect that this was going to be my lucky day. I was getting my first traffic ticket. He said that he was sorry for taking so long, but the computer in his car was giving him issues and that he was unable to print my ticket. The second Deputy that had showed up and had parked his gum-ball flashing cruiser behind his was an "IT specialist" and would fix the problem. It wouldn't be long before I'd be on my way with my very first traffic ticket. He stood there sheepishly for a minute and I decided I'd play my trump card, something I'd always thought I'd do if I'd ever been stopped in Yates County.

          "By the way, Officer," I said. "Do you know Daryl Jones? He works for your department."

           Daryl was my former brother-in-law. He was a Deputy Sheriff and told me that mentioning his name would give me a pass in Yates County if I ever needed a favor. Seems as though I might need one right now, so I  mentioned his name to Officer Crowfoot.

          "Nope," replied Crowfoot. "Don't know him." He went back to his car and peered into the window at the second Deputy sitting in his cruiser.  

          So much for that, I thought. Daryl wasn't going to be much help to me this afternoon.

          Fifty minutes. More rubberneckers. Even an Amish guy in a horse and buggy slowed as he passed to take a look.

          Fifty-five minutes. Crowfoot came back to my car. He explained that the computer in his car was a second-hand unit that the Sheriff Department has been given as surplus from the Air Force Base in Rome and it was apparently malfunctioning. He explained that he and his IT guy could register the citation with Albany from his car, but they were not able to print the ticket and give me a copy. He was required, by law, to provide me a hard copy of the complaint against me. If he couldn't give me a paper copy of the ticket, he would have to let me go. He certainly didn't want to do that, after all of this delay, intent to leave me with a souvenir of my time in Dundee. He went back to his car.

          Sixty minutes had now passed. Crowfoot again approached my truck, this time slumped and appearing contrite.

          "You are free to go," he said.  "I can't print your ticket, dammed computer. I'm so sorry. You have nothing to show for all of this time. Get your truck inspected before I stop you again and write your ticket by hand."

          Good advice. Within the next couple of hours I'd had my truck inspected in Corning and had a fresh new, red inspection sticker emblazoned on my windshield for all, especially Officer Crowfoot, to see. Bill busted my balls all of the way home, but it mattered little. I had skated. My first ever traffic ticket had been avoided. When told of the day's adventure, Gretchen swore that she was going to add an epitaph to my tombstone that boasted of the "no traffic tickets ever" thing. That all changed a few months later in a small town called Cranberry Lake in the Adirondacks, but that's another story.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

A Day Out Scrapbook Page

So what do you do when your 14th Anniversary falls on the same day that your hubby is going out of town? Well, you improvise and beg him to take a day off earlier. 

So, Luke got TWO parents attending his field trip to Lake Placid! 

What fun for us!

Parents don't get to ride the bus so we had to take our wheels up to Placid on our own. 

Which meant an hour and a half of uninterrupted conversation. Can you IMAGINE?

Of course we were a bit in front of the bus so arrived to where we THOUGHT were supposed to be early and took a quick wander. 

Here is the ski jump!

For those of you unfamiliar with Lake Placid, NY....they hosted the Winter Olympics in the 80's. So all sorts of fun wintery type stuff all over plus a lovely little town. 

Thankfully THE MAN and I got bored, wandered around the ski lift and realized that Luke's bus was below us. So, fast trip DOWN the mountain to where 48 kids were riding tubes down the hill. 

Here is a view DOWN the run. That little speck you see way down in the middle?  Kids riding tubes down. 

Of course Nate and I had to take a run. I told the guys pushing I could push myself off and they thought that was funny so BOTH pushed me. I screamed the entire way down. 

And don't worry, you don't gotta lug that tube back up with you to the top. They have runners in pick up trucks. 

Luke musta made like 7 runs or something. Most of the his class only made a couple of runs, but he is pretty quick at moving if there is fun to be had. He had to have run back up that hill. Oh to have that energy. 

Then they bused the kids BACK up the mountain to let them ride the Sky Elevator.

Can you imagine 48 little kids and various assorted parents all taking turns to ride an elevator to the observation deck? Yes, like sardines we were packed into the elevator.

Breathtaking views from the top though....

Let me show you the house THE MAN picked out for us to live in. Too bad we don't have a spare million dollars...I am pretty sure anything in this neighborhood is a wee bit outta our price range!

Can you spot that house almost in the middle? Guess my zoom is better than I thought on my camera!

Used a snippet of one of these photos above to go behind my awesome Lake Placid title I got at a local scrapbook store for this page. 

After the Sky Elevator they took the kids to the HUGE speed skating ice rink in front of the High School.


Just a random shot of the rink with the high school in the background and the gym class that was playing soccer in the snow in the middle. AND yes, kids WERE wearing shorts! 

So much fun in such a short period of time. I do think a trip to Placid is in the cards sometime soon. We are still spending time on the weekends getting their play area in our basement all wrapped up.

It is almost all together, so photos of that soon. 

Remember? That was our Christmas present to them!

Anyhow, hope your day is awesome and bright!

Friday, February 24, 2012

Little Rose Cup All Glazed ;-)

My first attempt is outta the kiln! I was so happy I chose yellow. Pretty fond of yellow roses. 

Below is a side shot of my bloom. I added some light blue glass to the center and it mixed with the yellow to give me some cool green. 

Here is a photo of the inside of the cup. 

Another side shot....

It is a wee awkward to drink outta, but I am giving it a whirl. It was more like a proof of concept piece. Could I still throw just a little and can scrapbooking apply to something I used to love! Who would have thought a rolled paper flower would work in clay!

 Both answers are yes, so my coffee is even sweeter with that knowledge!

And, to get you thinking spring, a fabulous line up of birdie houses waiting to be fired! 

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Polishing a Turd OR a Blank Slate

When we were looking at houses, my big excitement with the house we purchased was that there was a HUGE basement that had a TON of room It wasn't "pretty" but some paint would help. 

A long North Country winter is always better with more room, a spot for messy crafts, and a nice guest room. SO, big selling point for me. 

Shortly after moving, a plugged drain tile in our back field caused the drain in the floor of the basement to back up and most of the basement was under a couple of inches of water.
We "think" we have fixed the problem. However, as is the case with water, you never do know. So our plan  this winter when we started some work in the basement was really to do low budget things like paint. 

Here is a before shot of our downstairs bedroom prior to moving. In fact, this photo was from when we were looking at the house with the agent. 

Here is messy shot of things when we are moving them around ready to paint. 

Sorry about the title, but that is what my husband chose to call this project. My personal title would be blank slate due to the white walls.

As you can see, the ceiling is textured, which made painting along the edge VERY difficult. Came up with a clever plan to deal with it. I'll share here shortly. 

Now, due to the fact this room has no windows, it is nearly impossible to get a good photo. 

We typically would ADD a smaller window towards the ceiling as that is something we did at the old house, but that is at least a day long project and this room is not used enough to warrant that. And, again, to quote the hubby, we're not trying for amazing here. We're just looking for nicer, cleaner, and more comfortable. 

Here is our new updated room painted with Eddie Bauer Home Valspar Weathered Glass paint, tan cement paint, and a white baseboard molding. 

The antique dresser was something we picked up in our truck on the way to our new house on moving day from my friend Kristy. They had also moved and although it was family heirloom, it was taking up space in their garage. Plus, the beveled glass had cracked in the mirror. Got that fixed here locally by a guy who also was in love with this mirror, but minus the bevel since that was big bucks!!!!!

The bed frame also was part of the set, but so old it did not fit on an existing frame. It came with a larger sized headboard and the smaller sized piece you see here. We opted to use the lower piece for stability as we had to cobble together the headboard to work the bed frame. 

And now for some close ups so you can see some of the things I am working with in this room. 

First up, the edge of the ceiling. 

There is NO WAY to paint this well. I ended up taking a paint straight edge and a can of white spray paint and touching up places I hit the ceiling. Those little tiny dots of whatever the heck it is? They are soft and fall off. So, while you are trying to not get paint on the ceiling, you are also trying not to get bits of ceiling in your eyes. 

Second, the huge gouges in the wall I failed to plaster. Thought the bed would cover it up and that is my story!

Thirdly, my furniture IS old and has signs of wear. BUT LOOK AT THAT MIRROR. Oh sorry, outdoor voice. 

And lastly, it's not amazing, but I painted the hardware in the closet so it would fade into the wall. The hubby tried to put the flimsy shelf back up but it was bowed and I begged him for something better.

Rummaging around in his barn, he found this awesome piece of wood that made me SUPER happy. 

You might be wondering why I am posting my "glitches" and not so perfect items in this room. 

There is of course a reason. 

Over at The Nesting Place she is hosting a "It doesn't have to be perfect to be beautiful" party. 

I did have to take a quick peek at what other people were posting. I must admit, I have butterflies showing you guys my "issues" and my basement!!!!

Felt better immediately.

Please take a quick gander at her website and enjoy the breath of fresh air she is giving us!

Thanks for wandering around my basement!  ;-)


 p.s. I really did mean it about blank slate. I have a cool over the bed piece of art planned and a new lamp! Not to mention the Spare Oom Wreath you spy on the wall.......

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

A Sympathy Card

Sending a card to a friend I know that likes to scrapbook I realized I couldn't just send ANY card.

She is undergoing the loss of someone close to her and I wish her strength to get through it. 

Hoping my card all the way from NY helps.

I did try to make my card multipurpose. This is exactly 12 inches long, so can easily be glued down on a page with a photo in the top part. I am hoping she can whip up an easy page when she's back to feeling better and it helps.

In the weird way that scrappin' is somehow therapy, I have made pages of  funerals. Sometimes it's the only time when whole extended families get together. So, those photos are rare. 

Anyhow, I wish her strength. 

And, thanks Irini for that neat die cut I used on the front and the doily! You sent a present all the way from Greece that I am now sharing with a friend in a different state! 

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Close to My Heart Project: Painting with Stamp Pads

Every now and again I get a little e-mail from the girls down south where we moved from. They have been continuing on the tradition of getting together on a Sunday afternoon and working on some scrap projects. And, nicely enough they keep ordering stuff from me and I get the pleasure of designing a project. WHICH to me, is the best part!

So, in the new Close to My Heart catalog (in fact on their cover) there is a lovely new paper set called Stella. My hostess liked this new set and the colors associated with it. So, I opted to base the project from that paper package and associated colors.

One lovely color is Sunset and the other Lagoon.

I opted to "paint" my board here using Orange. I'm sending her both stamp pads so those girls can pick. OR, of course there is always the option of clear or white!

I am rather fond of Sunset, although Lagoon is pretty awesome too.

So, basically prepped the base using Gesso. A thin wash though so the stamp ink will stick nicely and the wood grain will show through.

Second step is gently rubbing the stamp pad all over the wood so you get the desired shade. More would mean you'd see less wood grain, less would be a lighter orange since the next step will allow the color to "run" and show the grain more.

The last "painting" step is a nice coat of modge podge. Let it dry and apply your paper!

And, here is my finished decorated project! I see my letters at the bottom are popping up just a wee bit. I'll have to hit those with more modge podge.

These new blooms worked out perfectly with my color scheme! Here is a close up. I did use my Sizzix and a Spellbinder die to cut out the recycled leaves that I left all brown and plain. I am sure the girls will ink them up if they so wish.

You can see just the edge of the really soft velvet rub-on that I used. I am sending a sheet for them to try on their projects as well! I am IN LOVE!!!!

I made a neat die cut using that same recycled cardboard and ripped strips of the Stella paper. It was so pretty and works so well together, I wanted to use a bit of each!

I ran the card board and strips of the paper attached with adhesive through my Sizzix to get this lovely scalloped shape. Of course, inked up the edges with Lagoon.

I choose to complete my project with a photo. But, I can easily see a nice big Monogram or something else in the center. Those girls always take my projects and make them their own, so I really can't wait to see what they do.

As always, e-mail me if you have any questions! And yes, I do stuff like this all the time with my stamp pads. They seem to be never ending since I've had CTMH stamp pads forever and only have refilled the black once. Use up your stash!!!

And, Sistah In Law, my completed project is heading your way! Thanks for the lovely photo of your three kiddos!

Monday, February 20, 2012

Photos for Cards Layout and a Happy Monday to you!

Hopelessly late for the Get Creative Challenge yet still in time for the Bird is the Word Challenge....

So, I seriously love this page. More than anything I've made in the last couple of weeks. I am a sucker for Valentine's Day, roses, lace, and hearts....So, I must give a quick thanks to the girls at Get Creative for hosting a challenge that included this great sketch.

And, also give a quick high five to Scraptastic for putting together a great kit.

I was on time for one challenge. Bird is the Word has "heart" as their new challenge word. Now that is a great word for this layout!!!

Here is a close up of my rose buttons I made a bit back and two are part of a prize pack I'm offering for the Another Freaking Scrappy Challenge Blog.

Hop over here to check out my post.

I promise I will write a tutorial just as soon as I gather more supplies. The clear buttons were a random find at a store that isn't close to me, but I have my ways of getting more!

Hope this Monday finds you full of Love in your Heart and you get a chance to play along with some fun challenges!

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Sunday Story: Distress Call by Bruce Mero

Distress Call

by Bruce H. Mero

            A serious problem for airports, the hazard to aircraft presented by flocking birds is one studied at length by the Air Force Bird-Aircraft Strike Hazard (BASH) Team at Tyndall Air Force Base in the Florida panhandle.  Bird-aircraft collisions create an extreme danger to pilots, occasionally an airplane crash results from such collisions. It creates considerable expense to the Air Force when bird strikes damage aircraft or when birds are ingested into jet engines. Accordingly, a number of measures have been developed and tested at Air Force installations by the BASH team, designed to reduce the number of birds at locations on bases where aircraft operations are conducted to minimize bird-aircraft strike hazards.

            As the environmental manager for Griffiss Air Force Base, it was my job to implement bird habitat/bird reduction measures the BASH Team had developed to make it safer to fly airplanes at the Griffiss airfield.

            At Griffiss, the most significant bird hazard was from Seagulls. Fortunately it is a bird species that had been the object of a great deal of attention by the BASH Team. The size of the bird, its slow take-off and flight characteristics, its propensity for traveling in large flocks and its affinity for the acres of low-cut grass and vast pavement areas found at most airfields, make it a particular problem. Seagull-aircraft strikes were frequent at Griffiss

            I’d been in constant contact with the Tyndall folks, that fall. The rains had come early. Seagulls were concentrating in huge numbers on the ramps and taxiways, eating earthworms driven out of the soil and onto the concrete by the saturated soil. The birds generally were not a hazard to the slow moving airplane in these areas, but flocks of gulls loafing near or crossing the active runway were very dangerous and causing aborted take-offs and landings.  Airfield Operations crews chased the birds around in trucks, but they often moved only a few yards away from the passing trucks, landed and continued feeding.  Blasts from firecracker devices were employed to scare the birds, but proved only minimally effective.  The flocks were barely deterred and just moved to a quieter spot.

            While we waited for the BASH Team to provide assistance, the Base Commander decided to take the matter into his own hands and organized a Seagull shoot. Every officer and senior NCO on base who owned a shotgun was invited to participate. The Colonel intended to kill the gulls, en masse, to rectify the problem. As was often the case, however, the environmental office (me) put a brief halt to the plan by telling the Colonel that Seagulls were protected under the Migratory Bird Act and they could only be killed if a Federal depredation permit was issued by the US Fish and Wildlife Service. Of course, this news was very popular with the Commander and he gave me a week to get my (expletive deleted) permit. He reminded me that this was HIS base and he was going to do whatever he wanted here and that included killing hundreds of Seagulls, Federal law be damned. Furthermore, he stated that he was going to direct his hunting party to pile the hundreds of Seagull carcasses in my office after the kill on their way to the Officer's Club for an apr├Ęs-hunt party. He got really nasty when I suggested that he take the dead birds with him to the Officer's Club and have the head chef prepare a meal for the valiant hunters from the birds. Enough beer, I suggested, and they'd taste just like chicken.

            Long story short, the permit arrived in time for the Colonel to conduct his hunt. At the end of the day two seagulls had been killed by the three dozen shot-gun toting, camouflage-wearing hunters who showed up for the shoot. My guess is that those two birds died of fright when three dozen shot guns went off in the first volley. Two birds, total; several hundred rounds fired. Those two bird carcasses did eventually end up in my office, not because of the Base Commander's threat, but because we had to provide a species identification to the US Fish and Wildlife Service as a condition of them issuing us the depredation permit.

            The BASH Team eventually sent me a device they were sure would solve the problem, a Seagull distress call. It was a commonly known fact that birds of all kinds pay close attention to everything going on in the flock around them. Their individual survival depended on warning cues from others in their group. Someone on the BASH Team had captured a Seagull, wrung its neck and made the bird cry in pain; recording the plaintiff scream on tape. Theory was that when the tapes were played in the vicinity of other Seagulls, the sound of distress from the wounded gull would cause the others to flee in panic. Griffiss would be an early test of the device for effectiveness.

            I took my portable tape player and the distress call tape to Base Ops and went out onto the ramp with the Airfield Manager and a couple of his staff to test the device. The Base Commander got wind of the plan by his pals in Base Ops and drove his staff car onto the ramp to join us. We stopped our little caravan in the middle of a particularly large accumulation of gulls and set-up the tape player and two large speakers in the back of the Base Ops truck. The Colonel stepped from his car. He had just come from a meeting with the Mayor, downtown and was in dress blues. With the volume on the tape player set at a medium level, I turned on the sound. A horrible scream came out of the speaker resembling fingers raking across a chalkboard. Sure enough all of the birds jumped off the ground. They didn’t fly away in panic, however. The flock just milled around in the air a couple of dozen feet above the vehicles looking for their injured compadre. I thought that if it worked pretty well at half volume, what would happen if I played it again at maximum volume? I turned the volume higher and played the tape again. We humans all winced at the horrible sound. Every one of the hundreds of Seagulls flapping above our heads crapped in unison. 

            The Base Commander retreated to his car, too late to undo the besmirching with Seagull dukie he'd just experienced. He drove his car away with his windshield washer streaking poop across the window. The rest of us just laughed. It was funny; a terrible mess, but funny. The results of our test of the distress tape was dutifully reported to the BASH Team, every aspect. It was my sense that the very serious voice at the end of the phone had a great laugh after our call.

hey Lisa from Kansas, Dad said your nice e-mail inspired him to add some to this story!!!

Friday, February 17, 2012

48 Hours of Snow Double Page Layout

A few of the native New Yorkers that read my blog were like SNOW photos? That is 'cause it's our everyday. Well, not so much this winter. This winter has been pretty mild, but there is still time for it to really dump on us.

Anyhow, when I posted my ice and snow photos earlier this winter, I was told to scrap them.

NEVER IN A MILLION YEARS would I have come up with that on my own. 

It's like scrapbooking someone mowing the lawn or doing laundry. It is our every day. But you guys without snow thought it was special so I am now seeing it from your eyes. SO, thanks! Someday maybe we'll move outta the snow belt and it will be very very special!!!

Right now I'm still loving my kit from Scraptastic from January. It seemed the perfect thing to pair up all these photos that are colorless.

Here is a close up. I choose a grid pattern because I wanted smaller photos and chunks of bright paper. I I haven't made a layout like this in forever.

Do you see those very lovely velvet leaves from Helen that are peeking out from under those lovely green and blue flowers! And then the little snowflakes?  All exotic imports from South Africa and Helen!

And here is a shot of the second page.

If you look back at the first photo, you can see the transition from day one which was ice to the storm to day two of snow!

So thanks ladies from places down under and away from here for inspiring me!

Thursday, February 16, 2012

My Dad Scrapbook Page for the Once Upon....A Sketch challenge

ha! This post is for Brian 'cause I just found out he's stalking my blog. I wonder if he read the post I did about him??? Hmmmm. Anyhow I thought he'd enjoy this photo of Dad.

I am not sure why Dad's looking all grouchy. Perhaps he didn't want his photo taken in Lexi's adorable flower boots? Him and Mom went for a walk along our creek and this photo returned with them.

Yes, I see that I forgot my date on my page, which was the whole point of putting that sticker there that! The funny part is that this photo was taken right after Christmas....and I used Valentiney paper.

Anyhow, this page was created so I could play along with a challenge at Once Upon a.....Sketch.  The criteria was:

February 1st Challenge

Journaling Criteria/theme: LOVE

February 14th is Valentines Day here in Australia and in many parts of the world. For this challenge we would like you to create a project about the one MALE you love. And we do not mean just your partner or spouse. We mean any male in your life. 

Ideas for journaling: You could journal about the love you have for your son, father, grandfather or a special person in your life or any pet.

And, here is their lovely sketch:

As tempting as it was to do another page about THE MAN, I couldn't take any more possible comments about layouts being cheesy. That left either my boy Luke or my Dad. Now Luke gets umptreen trillion pages made about his exploits. Dad is usually not in the spot light. Not 'cause he shouldn't be, but 'cause he is like THE MAN, just like the foundation upon which things get built. Every now and again he does something crazy like wear purple flower boots and just needs to be recognized!

He is the dude e-mailing me Sunday am sayin' hey, where it that story I wrote? Did you forget to post it?? Like I said in my journaling, keeping me straight.

Used some special blooms all fancy on this page. The first one is from Petaloo and my Scraptastic Feb. kit. The SECOND red metallic one, I know, you totally want. SORRY! Special one from Irini!! Isn't it fab!?

I should have used in on the challenge I did from her blog, Get Creative that I am sadly very very late for. BUT, I love the page I made! I'll post that up soon. Used up more of the Scraptastic Hearts A Flutter Kit that I see is still on sale if you'd like one yourself on this page.

AND, look at those leaves!! Love them so much! Thanks so much Helen! You are a gem!!!

And, would you please leave my Dad some love on those boots! He is stylin!