Sunday, June 29, 2008

Manasquan Reservoir

So this morning i got up early (to beat the heat and people) and headed over to Manasquan reservoir to see what i could see. i first went over to an area called the "visitors center". there you can rent kayaks, canoes, launch your boat or jump on one of the many bike/walking trails. i was a little under prepared, as it was already quite hot, i forgot my hat and i was wearing flip flops. i wish i had brought my bike since it is a 5 mile loop to cover the reservoir! i bought a bottle of water, drenched my bandana which i put over my hair and started walking. it was a nice walk although i didn't go too far before i turned around. there was no way i would make the 5 miles! plus the trail was taking me way around the water into wooded areas and i wanted to see birds around the water (herons, egrets, etc.) so after taking the photos i wanted i returned to my car and then drove over to another area where the enviromental center is. it was very quiet over there, which was nice. most of the joggers, bikers and walkers were over on the other side. i took a trail that led behind the center had a myself a nice little walk.

the best i saved for last! i had no idea i would stumble across a bald eagle's nest with 3 eaglets! can you imagine my surprise? i was the only one out there and i felt like i had made the discovery of the century. i was on a trail when i saw it and managed to make my way down this craggy, rotting log, while wearing flip flops. i walked some other logs to this little tiny patch of sand/rocks and then just sat and watched in amazement at what i was getting to see so close up and uninteruppted. the dad was sitting on a branch above the nest. my mom would call this a "God treat".

isn't this great? wish i could claim credit for this photo,
but it was forwarded to me in an email.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

getting out in the world around me

Sometimes i tend to get a little isolated here. Tucker requires a lot of care and attention - which i lovingly do as his mother. it is my life and there is no 2 ways around it. and it isn't so much the constant care that wears me down, but the grief of what happened to him and us. at times it can be crippling. sometimes my husband and i like to compare our lives to the movie "Ground hog day" where the same day happens over and over again. honestly though, the only time i really feel stressed with my role as a caregiver is when tucker isn't feeling well and that is simply because i fear for him. i wonder will this be the illness that takes him from me? things like that. it's hard. So what do i do? i create. i make things and drown out my sadness with art. my husband, who i love dearly, finds other non -healthy ways to cope. this also isolates me from him. but it is what it is. we all cope differently.

so that being said, i made myself get out of the house today. dillon is in the Poconos with his girlfriend and family, tucker had caregiver help for most of the day and tonight and my husband was over at his mom's house working on some projects for her. so i decided i would pretend that i was on vacation. i would eat what i wanted, do what i wanted and pretend that i had not a care in the world. I made a wonderful lunch of hummus, cucumbers, red onions and pita bread. i finished another page in my "gatherings" book, i went to ACMoore to get some craft plywood to make a gift, then i took a nap. in the early evening i went to see the progress on the backyard projects at my MIL, Janet's, house. after chatting with Janet for awhile, i left and headed over to Manasquan beach, in particular, the dog beach. the dog beach is the only place i know of locally to find sea glass. there is no drift wood to be found and i don't know why. how come driftwood doesn't drift onto the beaches around here? weird. alas, upon arrival at the dog beach, it is high tide. there will not be much glass to be found today as it tends to get buried under all the rocks. low tide is the best time to find it. we find a lot of blue sea glass here, which is rare. even rarer is when we find red pieces. when dillon was younger, we use to hunt for blue pieces telling ourselves we could not leave until we found one more blue piece each. it always worked.

i decided to walk the beach anyway. it is fun to watch all the doggies get excited to chase balls into the water, run after each other; barking and getting sandy. i always walk to the way back where there is a bend and it gets quite marshy. i like to think of this as my secret place. it can be kind of gritty, so most people don't go back there. guess they think it is gross. but i love to go there because you can see the most fabulous birds. and i wasn't disappointed. i got to see 3 egrets, 2 black crown night heron, a darling sandpiper, some purple martins, a momma duck and her ducklings and some funky bird that i don't know the name of. this little bird kept hovering over the marsh pools. he'd wait and wait as he flapped his wings and then dive into the water for whatever it was he saw. he made a huge splash for such a little bird. i'll try to identify him later in my NJ shore bird book.

after awhile i figured i'd better start my way back. i decided to take some photos of things that had been left behind on the beach (besides garbage!) so here are some of the things i found that had been forgotten:

tomorrow morning i plan on getting up and heading over to the Manasquan Reservoir to take more pictures over there. it is a really beautiful area and i haven't been over there in years. tonight for dinner i plan on having a bowl of lucky charms or trix. now how's that for a vacation?

Friday, June 27, 2008

"Gatherings" book w/ Nina Bagley

Back in April (gee, it seems so long ago!) at Artfest, I took a class with Nina Bagley called, "Gatherings". in that class we started creating a book of gatherings. It is a book of books. it is layers of old books that have been embellished, journaled, glued, wired, collaged, shadowboxed, ribboned, etc. While in class i finished my cover and one other page (one page being a book). So yesterday and today after finding the rest of the books i had prepared for class, I decided to do some work on my gathering book. this is really a fun and unique project. if you ever have the chance to take Nina's "Gatherings" class, definitely do it. although, the Artnsoul class in Portland is full (but look for cancellations in sept. - it always happens: you have to check out the artnsoul yahoo group, that is where you'll find cancellations....) anyway, she is teaching it again in August (2 &3) at Valley Ridge Art Studio in Wisconsin . here are some pictures of the progress of my book.

this is a "page"


this is another "page"


this is my back cover


this is how the book looks after all the ribbons have been tied to hold it together.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

cool quote

You never know when you're going to turn the corner and bump into the rest of your life.

doll assemblage

i'm busy creating things for an upcoming show in July, to be held in Long Beach Island at the local JCC (Jewish Community Center). but i think i 'll add this one to my etsy shoppe (Lemoncholy's).

Chinese Proverb

when your mind is in your heart, you are happy.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

another wren moves in

i'm seriously thinking that i need to start charging some kind of rent around here for all the bird tenants that we've had this year. found this one clearing out this house that i've got secured on my front porched. this is a high traffic area with us and dogs going up and down here, so not sure if she'll actually stay here.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

eco friendly bug control

we ordered 2 pods of praying mantis eggs from some online nursery and have been waiting for them to hatch. the instructions said to place them in a paper bag with a stick or two, close the bag with a paper clip and then put in a window sill. it took about 2 weeks and then a few days ago jeff opened the bag to check on their progress and they had hatched! so outside they went. we tore the bag in half and then placed the bag on a plant and let them find their way out. these little praying mantis's were about the size of my thumb nail!
i have a terrible aphid problem, so we ordered these praying mantis's and some ladybugs in hopes that they would eat up all the aphids. i think most of my lady bugs flew off!

commissioned birthday present

i had a request for a pendant to be given as a gift. i was told she loves birds and music. so this is what i came up with. hope you like. it was interesting working on a spoon.


looks like Mrs. Robin has been busy! taking another peek in the nest yesterday i found two more eggs. so she laid 4 total, but buried one under these other eggs (i'm gathering that she decided that something was wrong with it). after they've gone, i'll take a peek and see if i can get it.

Monday, June 23, 2008

creating a story

i've had a few inquires about how i came up with my purse story, so i thought i would share. i was born in California and lived in various areas of the state while growing up. we did use to go a place called Bass Lake, located near Yosemite National Park and Fresno (California). My mother lives there now. usually i go every summer to visit, but lately that hasn't worked out (boo hoo). When i was little we rented a house in Bass Lake. on the way there we had stopped at a gas station and at the time they use to give out little plastic toys when you filled up. It was my turn to get something special (there were 4 kids), so i got the toys, which were little animals, like a giraffe, a tiger and something else. anyway, i did indeed hide those little toys in the house where we were staying. and yes, i did forget about them when we were leaving. Also, there was a huge boulder on the side of the house that we use to play on. across the street from the house was the lake and there was a dock that belonged to the house we rented. so we would go to the dock and jump into the lake wearing our bright orange life vests. I found the water to be "creepy" and didn't like to jump off the dock. i always thought there were things under the dock and they would get me.

Another part of the story came from my stepmom, Angie, who had emailed me and told me she had a metal mesh purse like the one i picked up at the flea market when she was a little girl and that she liked putting the purse in her mouth. the "lost" part of the story came about because when i graduated from high school, my mom and stepfather moved to North Carolina. A bunch of my personal belongings were lost in that shipment; things like my beloved books and my yearbooks. So i've never gotten to look through my yearbooks again and it always really bums me out. i really wish i had them back. highschool is such an important time in your life when you are full of dreams and just enjoying life as a young teenager does. it would be fun to look at the old pictures, read all the things people "signed" in my yearbook, especially senior year. I often wonder what became of them. were they trashed? did they end up in a thrift store?

so those are the elements i combined to create my story of the lost purse.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

into the city today

today i went in to NYC with Mary Ellen. We had a really nice time. the city was fairly quiet, not too hectic and traffic wasn't bad. our first stop was in Soho for lunch at a place called "Hampton Chutney Co.". they serve indian food and i ordered a wonderful wrap -ish type meal that was served on "sada". it had turkey, melted jack cheese, marinated red onion and avacado and it came with a side of DELICIOUS AND SPICEY mango chutney. when i picked up my lunch, i was in awe of how big it was! (but i still managed to eat most of it)


next we walked a little ways until we came to Dean & Deluca. Dean & Deluca is a gourmet food marketplace with cheese, meat, fish, imported food, coffee bar, fresh flowers and produce. Oh and they had the prettiest cupcakes i've ever seen.


we walked a little ways further to stop by the make up store "Face". While we were waiting for it to open, i spied this little guy (name's Chili) and took a pic of myself through the store window looking in a mirror inside the store.

From there we made our way over to Pearl River Mart. I made a pit stop at H&M and bought a cute skirt that reminds me of something from the 50's. i love that the skirt has pockets.


Next stop, Pearl River Mart! wow, talk about eye candy. i didn't take any pictures inside though as i wasn't sure if they'd appreciate it and i didn't feel like asking. there was so much to see and look at that i spent most of my time doing just that! there are 3 levels and we only made it to two of them. i bought Dillon's girlfriend a bag, some Asian treats for Dillon. here's me in front of the store (and i am wearing one of my cool doll necklaces) and an awesome Bloomingdale's window displaying celebrating "cirque du soleil".


from there we headed to midtown to hit a couple of bead stores. we stopped at M&J trimming and New York beads, which i loved.

thanks for a great day Mary Ellen!

slide show!