Mar 22, 2015

Nature Walk : Witch Hazel

After another 5 inches of snow Friday into Saturday, any signs of spring were quickly covered.   A bright sun today has melted a lot of it allowing us to open the gate and finally venture into the secret garden.

The snow drops that were peeking through on Thursday are covered again, but the witch hazel stands out like yellow and orange stars against the snow and blue sky.

I always had an affinity for witch hazel since its blooms are present in the northeast in the winter when very little other blooms exist.  And being a pharmacist, any natural medicinal holds a special place in my heart.

Some interesting witch hazel facts:

 The original manufacture of the bark of the witch hazel plant as an astringent was born in Essex CT.
The astringent is manufactured from plants in CT, RI, MA, and southern Appalachians.
Witch hazel seed pods burst open, shooting out their seeds onto the forest floor.
Divining rods were often made from witch hazel.

Label source: Professional Pharmacy Stamford, CT archives

This is my nature walk post for this still snowy and cold, but very pretty day.
Have a wonderful day!

Mar 18, 2015

WOYWW 302 - Calvinball

Another edition of What's On Your Workdesk Wednesday - see the creator of the amazing weekly event (Julia) here.

I'm still playing Calvinball with my friends over at and one of my own rules for the game was to make a layout where the embellishment is the focal point.  And so the adventure began.  I've truly obsessed over this task: from choosing just the right story to tell, to hand making the embellishment myself. 

Yes, I've made this embellishment right down to the tomato label on top of the rosette - created in photoshop:

And THIS is why I rarely get things done quickly and why I'll never win a Calvinball competition! But this is a ton of fun - and I think I'll treasure this layout when it's done!

Mar 5, 2015

Five Photos in February

Here's Five Photos from February:

1.  The "I love tracking creatures in the snow" photo.  When it just started snowing and the tracks were being perfectly preserved I was able to track a few different animals around the neighborhood.  It was especially fun to try and figure out how the deer were getting into a fenced public garden.

2.  The "Silhouette cutting machine came to the rescue" photo.  When dear niece's long awaited birthday was planned there was only one day or so to get things ready.  Needing photo booth props last minute was no problem with the Silhouette and some cool computer skillz.

3.  The "while others ate cordon bleus" photo.  This celery speared meatloaf heart was just my speed for Valentine's Day.

4.  The "after 3 ACL surgeries she better not try climbing in the snow" photo.  With snow even much higher now, this is the girl's normal path where she takes off across the front yard as I walk the street and try to beat her.  She's very confused that our tradition has come to a temporary halt.  Come spring, it will return dear girl.

5.  The "this could only happen to my sister-in-law's child" scrapbook page.  A birthday party that has  turn of events fit for a sitcom, this is one night we will all remember.  And therefor absolutely appropriate to document on a scrapbook page.  And to make the strangeness even stranger, everything happened while a scrapbooking retreat was going on in the the room next door.  Yes, scrapbookers took advantage of the cute girls, hero firemen, and real life comedy to photograph and document themselves.

So there you go - five photos in February.

And a bit of fun going on this month ...  we're playing Calvinball in the Get It Scrapped forum and gallery.

It's the kind of game where you win just by playing and being part of the community.  And I get a point for admitting to NOT preparing AT ALL for the games.  So here goes:  I DID NOT PREP!  And my low score so far is evidence of that!

If you are into papercrafts of any kind and want to join in the fun - check it out!