October 31, 2011

Year of Living Graciously - November

Hold hands with a mate, sibling, friend or child - in public.
Pumpkins are orange.
Ghosts are all white.
Candy is yummy.
Enjoy your fright night!


October 25, 2011

Major Award!

My painting efforts were recently awarded with, not one but two, count 'um, two blue ribbons at the Northeast Florida Fair! Below is a glass carafe bearing a colorful palm tree.

Below is the tall ship I painted. There is a story behind this. Notice the smaller version in the lower left corner of the picture.  That is a photo of the much larger painting done my mother. Her painting is the favorite of all my siblings. Since my brother, Bob, is a retired Navy Chief and currently a tall ship sailor, who better to keep company with this treasure in the place it was created, our family home.  I took the photo just to have a copy of my mother's wonderful artistry. After a year or so, it came to me that I should try and re-create her ship. To see the ship through her eyes and stroke on paint in similar hues touched my heart as I realize my love of color is the same as hers. 

But wait, there's more.  On my list of things to do is the making of Captain Fancy Patch videos. Captain Patch will be played by my ever-cooperating husband, Bruce. He will read my silly and family friendly Martha Bear™  teddy bear stories meant to encourage reading through our free online Rascally Readers program at http://www.marthabear.com/. And what kind of pirate would he be without a ship? Well, Captain Patch has one now and so you have the origin of the Rosie Freckle. Mom would get quite a chuckle out of all this, I'm sure.

October 22, 2011

Easy Mummy Hand

I saw a photo of a homemade mummy hand in Martha Stewart Living magazine.  I didn't read the directions so made my own version.  It's easy and fun and you can keep it from year to year.  Make several for Halloween decorations.

You'll need:
1 old glove (gardening perhaps), washed and dried
white gauze
gray crayon

Stuff the fingers and glove fully with crumpled newspaper.  Begin wrapping gauze around the fingers, one at a time, ending up by wrapping the palm and back of the hand.  Tuck the end of the gauze in to secure it or it may be glued. Scuff the surface with gray crayon to make it look old and dusty.  See pics below.  Enjoy!

old, clean gardening glove
begin wrapping fingers with gauze
finished mummy glove!

October 10, 2011

The Goodbye Lie Diaries - Captain Waite Taylor- Nor-easter

Fernandina on Amelia Island, Florida
October 1880s

Captain Waite Taylor writes - Southbound on the Gentle Comfort from Savannah, Georgia to Fernandina, Florida, a nor'easter stirred the seas the last 24 hours. As usual, many passengers felt the rise and fall of the  deck as we rode the waves to home port of Amelia. It is wonderful to spy my Breelan waiting on the dock  of our island home. I love the waters but I love my Breelan more...    


Fernandina on Amelia Island, Florida
October 2011

Jane Marie writes - We recently had a nor'easter on Amelia Island. We have wooden walkovers crossing the dunes now and I stood atop one to take these photographs below. The wind was blowing so hard, it shook the walkover and I am surprised the pictures are not blurry. I am glad you made it home safely. I know Breelan is, too...


October 5, 2011

Goodbye Lie Diaries - Breelan's Witch Fingers!

Fernandina on Amelia Island, Florida

Breelan writes-
We Dunnigans enjoy Halloween, as you know, Jane Marie, and make Edible Witch Fingers for our annual party. You  might try them in your century. The children have a wonderful time trying to create what they think is the most realistically frightening finger. Give them a try.

This is what you will need:
Pumpernickel dough (Peeper makes the most wonderful pumpernickel bread)
Almond slivers
Sesame seeds

Roll small balls of dough between your palms to form 3 to 4 inch snake-like shapes for the fingers. Place almond slices on the tips for nails.  Score with a knife three times for knuckle wrinkles just beneath the nail and then again half way down for the second joint of the finger. Blunt the opposite end from the nail to make the finger appear severed.  Gently bend and squeeze the finger to look crooked and old.  Sprinkle with a seed or two to look like tiny warts. Place your raw fingers on a buttered cookie sheet. Let the dough rise then bake in a moderate over until done, 15 to 20 minutes, depending on the heat. 

October 2011
Fernandina Beach on Amelia Island, Florida

Jane Marie writes-
You know, I once saw a picture of Halloween Witch Fingers.  Can't remember where or when or I would give them credit, of course, but since you sent the directions, we couldn't wait until Halloween and had to try them.  They turned out great!  We added a bit of red decorative icing on the "severed" end to look like blood.  We dipped them in warm honey butter and will make them again nearer to Halloween. We going to a party and will take them along to impress everyone.  By the way, since I don't have Peeper nearby to make the dough, my hubby Bruce got some at the grocery ready to bake. I'm sure it's not as good as Peeper's fresh bread but it made for good looking fingers.  I snapped a picture for you to see our work.  Thank you for the fun idea! 

PS We also made some marshmallow eyeballs with raisins in the center and added "blood."

raw dough before baking

baked Witch Fingers and Marshmallow Eye Balls

October 1, 2011

Scarecrow Costume - Easy

I has the girls dress like scarecrows for a fall Bunko party at my house. My costume cost me nothing because I gathered everything I needed from around the house. So if you happen to need a costume for Halloween, be a scarecrow and have fun! Find out how below:

Jane Marie as a Scarecrow

You'll need:
Straw hat
Leaves cut from construction paper in fall colors
Silk flower - 3 to 4 inch in diameter
Small ornamental bird (optional)
Old plaid shirt
Jeans or overalls
Multi-color raffia for tie
Natural color raffia for hat/hair (optional)
Rope for belt
Garden gloves (optional)
Old colorful shirt for vest (optional)
Neck kerchief (optional)
Straight pins and/or glue stick
Dark brown eyeliner
Gold eye shadow
Pigtails or braids tied with wired ribbon (optional)

Look at a variety of leaves and cut out similar shapes for hat. Slip leaves in hat band or tie a piece of raffia around the hat to make a hat band. Pin or use glue stick to keep leaves in place but don't harm hat. Secure large flower on front with pin. 

Optional:  Pin or stitch long strands of raffia inside hat to hand down and  appear as hair or put hair up in pigtails or braid and tie with bright wired ribbon. Bend ribbon so it stands out from face.

Roll up the sleeves of an old plaid shirt. Cut the sleeves of another old colorful patterned shirt and use as a vest if you want.  Tie a length of rope around waist.  Pin raffia bow at neck or tie kerchief around neck. Wear jeans or overalls.

Apply gold sparkly eye shadow on lids and up to eyebrow. With dark brown pencil eyeliner, draw three long lashes above each eye and three long lashes below each eye. Outline lips with same pencil extending a line two inches straight out from each corner of the lips.  Add three vertical lines on each extended cheek line to look like stitching. Apply medium or dark lipstick inside brown lip line, reapplying lip line if necessary. Apply heavy blush to the apples of the cheeks. Add blush or lipstick to tip of nose, if desired.  

October - Year of Living Graciously

Each month I suggest an idea for living graciously.  Give October's a try:

Tell a clean joke!

Scroll down the right side of this blog to view the entire Gracious Living list.