"What one can see out in the sunlight is always less interesting than what is behind a windowpane."

Monday, May 30, 2011

Hate War, Love Your Warriors

WHEW! After a very hot morning of walking in the Memorial Day Parade with the Girl Scouts, I've been spending hours destashing my art room once again!

If you're on the look-out for Somerset Studio, Stampington & Co, Sewing, Cloth, vintage, Needle felting/Wool, and Polymer Clay books or magazines, stop on by and visit my Etsy Shop (side-bar). Everything is pretty much Half-Price!

Happy Memorial Day Weekend!

Friday, May 27, 2011

Missing My FOLLOWERS List

This is strange. I just noticed my entire Followers list is missing. Even the button is gone. Has this happened to anyone else? I don't know if it's my computer or Blogger. I can't figure out how to relist it. Anyone? Anyone? Bueller? Anyone?

Thursday, May 26, 2011


MMMMM.....Remember playing Pick-A-Pop at the carnival? The object was to pick out a lollipop and if it had black magic marker on the bottom of the stick, you won a prize. The best part was that even if you didn't win a prize, you still got to keep the lollipop!

I remember winning a stuffed walrus at our local carnival playing this game. The anticipation of slowwwwwwwly lifting the stick out to see that black marker was the best part! I even remember seeing adults actually cheat. They'd lift the lollipop out part-way and then put it back down. Talk about sore losers!

This is the LAST carnival game I made for our Mid-Summer's Festival. I had to wait to show you it while I bought the pops. No specific instructions. I found scrap wood in the basement, red spray paint, polka-dot scrap paper, and vintage silver garland to make it. I think the kids are happier with the results than I am!

Sunday, May 22, 2011

The Ringling Bros. Circus Came to Town!

It must have been over 30 years since I'd been to the Circus. Back then, we had to drive all the way to Philadelphia and sit so high up in the arena, we could barely make out what was going on.

Now just across the bridge into Jersey, there's a much smaller, community-oriented arena where every seat is a good seat.

The kids got to see horses, elephants, clowns, and acrobats up close!

These tight-rope walkers had everyone holding their breath.

Not only could they walk across the rope, but ride a bicycle backwards. I can't even do that on hard ground.

After breathing a sigh of relief that none of these performers broke their neck, some clowns rode in on whacky bikes, something like you'd see out of a Dr. Seuss book.

More insane acrobats.

And the tiger trainer.

These tigers were so fluffy, I'd have given anything to get to hug one. As long as their mouths were muzzled and they were tied up!

He had an entire cage of them, sitting up with their front paws high in the air.

Have you ever seen the show, "Fatal Attractions"? It's all about people who live with and work with wild animals. I just kept picturing one of those tigers losing it and having the trainer for lunch.

This last tiger hopped out like a kangaroo.

They fly through the air with the greatest of ease.
They're the daring young ones on the flying trapeze!

Children. Do not try this at home. Setting yourself on fire and getting shot into the air should only be done by professionals, using the utmost caution.

The elephants were larger than life!

People. Hear me. The next time you think your job is bad, think of this. While the elephants were performing, a worker ran out with a huge shovel, got herself right below the elephant's big old butt, and tried to catch it's enormous poop as it flew out. Meanwhile, she got whacked in the head with the elephant's tail, causing her drop her load. While looking down for a split-second, the elephants began turning in circles. This sent our poor lady literally running around in circles, trying to catch the poop as it came out. Everyone's eyes were on this poor lady, rather than the dancing elephants' performance. Finally, she was able to catch some and throw it out in the can, while others came out and shoveled it up. All the sudden, I bet YOUR job doesn't sound so bad huh?

They say there are no atheists in fox holes. I say, there are no atheists standing under the rump of a defecating elephant.

The biggest shocker of the night, was during Intermission. Ted told me to look back. There, only a few rows higher was one of my friends, Beth, sitting directly behind us! We had no idea each other were going to the show. Not only did we pick the same time, but same row and section too! How's THAT for a coinky-dink?!

We emailed each other the next day and agreed, the lady catching elephant poop stole the show!

Friday, May 20, 2011

Oh, Quit Clowning Around!

Just finished the newest photo-op for the Mid-Summer Night's Festival.

The hardest part is cutting the face out. The hole came out much bigger than I wanted.

Oh well. Maybe I'll get lucky and a big-faced person will show up!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

The Carnival Game That Sent Me to the ER

My last carnival game! After weeks of working on them, I reached the point where I've had enough. Doesn't it figure that the last game was the one that would send me to the ER?

This I dubbed, "Knock 'Em Down". The object is the knock down all the cans, which are shown in the following picture.

The cans were once filled with tea. I bought these during a time I tried giving up Coke and learn to drink tea. I'm still learning. In the meantime, they make the perfect cans to knock down!

So I ripped off the labels and painted the cans a deep glossy black. Luckily, I found some vintage-style zoo and carnival stickers to decorate the cans.

I had hoped to find Circus stickers too, but the zoo animals worked out just fine.

Meanwhile, my right thumb is still sore and get this, I had to take another trip to the doctor today. I'm having an allergic reaction to the antibiotics and the fingers on my left hand developed an itchy rash. I'm a mess!

Seeing my kids have fun playing games that I made with my own two hands makes it all worth it.

Now that the games are done, onto the decorations!

Sunday, May 15, 2011

A Trip to the ER

Well...that's what happens when you work with wood and sharp tools.

While finishing my last carnival game, I pricked my thumb on some really sharp wood shards. I couldn't see any splinters, but for days it's felt like I've had something stuck inside my thumb. Using a pin and alcohol, I kept picking at it, hoping to find the cause of my now twice-the-sized swelled thumb. No luck.

When I woke up this morning, I found the swelling had just gotten worse. Leaning over the bathroom sink, I squeezed my thumb in hopes of relieving some of the pressure. Instead, I suddenly got sick to my stomach, everything started going black and I fumbled my way into the bedroom to tell Ted I was going to faint. He still sleeping and I was worried about my passing out in front of the kids. Soooo.....he hopped up while I went down!

About 45 minutes later I was in the ER getting a Tetanus shot and prescription for antibiotics.

Since when did doctors get so young? I found myself telling Ted, "The Physician's Assistant was so cute." I'm guessing she wouldn't have taken that as a compliment!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

I'm Yer Huckleberry!

Who's up for some good old-fashioned Nurse paper dolls? These are for you to enjoy. I hope you can print them out without any trouble.

I believe these are all from the 30s-40s.

My scanner drives me nuts. It took one page of accessories and saved each item separately so now they're huge. You may have to do some adjusting.

A few people have asked where I've been. I've just been here. This is the time of year where I completely focus on Spring Cleaning. Dusting, mopping, purging, organizing everything in site. I haven't been on the computer much because I need to keep motivated and moving.

Soon I'll be caught up and back to blogging more faithfully.

It's a good thing too because I think I'm going through Blog withdrawal!

In the meantime, I think I'm burning out on carnival games. Though there are several other games I'd like to try to make, I don't think I'll have the time or energy.

I find myself sticking my tongue out at the finished games. Maybe I took on too much too fast.

While excitedly telling my friend about all the games I was making for this party, another woman looked over at me and asked, "Jill, what are you reading?" Ironically, it was called, "Meditations for Women Who Do Too Much." That ranks up there with my reading and nodding my head in agreement to, "Suicide by Sugar" while popping malt balls in my mouth.

So, after spending the morning food shopping (and unclenching my jaw with a tire iron looking at the price increases), I decided the lawn needed mowing. Another two hours later and I started a pan of lasagna while writing to you. Soon, I'll need to pick Mary up from the bus and hopefully, get the kids to eat. Hmmm....wonder if I can do some art journaling?

During all of this, I'm trying to kick the Coke habit. Get your minds out of the gutter! I'm talking about the soda or *pop* as some of you call it. It's times like this I wished I liked coffee or tea.

And although I don't have allergies, the pollen this year is even getting to me. I sneezed so hard yesterday I practically knocked myself over. No kidding. It threw me back two steps. How embarrassing.

But at least the weather's finally been gorgeous. Sunny, 70s, with a cool breeze. Perfect for opening all the windows and airing out the house after a loooonnng winter's nap.

And the fruit! Juicy and scrumpsh!!! I'm so jealous of those of you who live in warmer climates and can buy fresh fruit all year round. Strawberries every morning with Chocolate Cheerios! There's a combination without all the calories.

And when night time approaches, and I lay my wee nappy head down to rest, it becomes clear - today, despite being just a lowly "commoner", today I discovered the Sacred in the Ordinary. And that's a pretty nice thing to find!

Friday, May 6, 2011

I Haven't Gotten Much Sleep Lately.....

.....but it's been worth it! Another old-fashioned carnival game is finished and it's one of my favorites so far, called, "Tin Pan Alley."

The object is to bounce a wiffle ball off the base and into the tin pan and try to match two colors. We found that even if you just throw the ball in, it's just as challenging. The ball darts in and out of the cubbies while you hold your breath anticipating where it might land.

The original plans for this game use four muffin tins and a three-foot long base, which is where the "alley" comes in. While looking for old muffin tins on Ebay, I came across these dy-no-mite industrial-sized hamburger pans. I also totally underestimated how heavy one would be! To save everyone from getting a hernia, I decided to make a box-shaped game, rather than the long alley. This also saved me on tons of storage space. As you can tell from the kids, they have no problem with this change of plans!

Next up? "Pick a Pop"!!