One Thing

Have you ever popped in to a craft store to get one thing? Then you pay for one thing and you’re quickly on your way?

That’s never happened to me either.

So it goes with my decision to make a handful of Halloween-themed cards. Scrapbook Island is one of those places that holds you in its grasp. You zig and zag, cooing at the beautiful paper and then you end up chatting with one of the creative women on staff. Then someone pops in to buy a spider web stencil, changes her mind, and before you know it, that stencil ends up in your hand basket. Wait a minute. When did I pick up a hand basket? Wasn’t I in here for one thing?

Like a kid in a candy shop, if you’ll pardon the expression, my eyes are bigger than my actual time available.  I don’t do much scrapbooking anymore, as my boys now eschew all motherly attention and heaven forbid, photographs. I’m lucky to get a couple of candid shots on Christmas day. Thanks, however, to the talented influence of my sister Sharon and my crafty friends Boomdee, Kristi and Stephanie, I’ve caught the card-making bug.

So on a hot day in late September, I sat near the window and made cards.

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I listened to Pandora Radio’s Halloween Party station to get into the right mood. I used my new stencil, old book pages from a vintage shop, and ribbon from the Island. I bought plenty of black paper that day, and a few yards of silky ribbon.  After some brief instruction on the virtues of different inks, a small bottle or two came home as well. In the end, I made seven cards and a big ‘ol mess but oh what fun, what fun!

envelopes and stamps

Envelopes and stamps

The post office doesn’t sell Halloween stamps, so I settled on Ray Charles in a bright orange shirt and assorted farmer’s market stamps.  No sense making a card and a fancy envelope, only to settle for dull and boring postage.  Now to address those cards and get them in the mail.

No-Candy Countdown:

I’m candy-free, 23 days and counting! We can talk about my paper habit in another post.

Pumpkins on Parade:

Or in other words, a parade of pumpkins. Can you believe it?

October pumpkin harvest

Pumpkins on Parade

I ran out of daylight, so I harvested these in the dark. Now that the nights are cooler, the plant is closing down. The leaves are turning to brown in some places, powdery with mildew in others.

My mystery plant grew over the edges of the box, while at the same time producing eight pumpkinesque pieces of fruit. Did I mention that it grew without a trace of water at the roots. No signs of squash bugs either. One of my readers suggested a possible hybrid. I wonder if there is a way to find out? Unlike the vines I’m used to, all the fruit formed close to the soil line on short stems. The plant just started to send out vines in the last few weeks.  This fruit is hard as a rock and heavy too.  I’m just tickled to pieces to see so many of them turn orange. I’m leaving them outside to harden for a few days, unless we get that promised rain.

Gosh I love October.  Color me orange with joy.

15 thoughts on “One Thing

  1. I still think your squash looks like ‘Golden Nugget’, even the way you described it growing is the same as mine. And mine are so hard, once they are fully ripe, it’s hard to use them. I won’t grow them again or maybe one plant to eat them while they are not quite ripe (they were great roasted). Isn’t what you said true of almost any shop!

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    • Christina, I forgot about that. I think you’re right. It’s anyone’s guess how the seed got there, but what fun it’s been to grow something new and different. I searched a few images and they grew exactly like that, close to the soil line. Were you able to perforate the skin to roast them or did you manage to slice them open?

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  2. Isn’t card making fun!! Yours look so great and I love the spiders web. I haven’t made any for ages and my stack has dwindled alarmingly. Must add that to the lit of things to do! I’m colouring you ‘orange with joy’ – such a wonderful picture 🙂

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    • [head slap] How in the world did I leave you off of the card-making list? I know why. Exhaustion. I was determined to publish my fourth and final post of the week last night, but it was a bit of a slog. I’ve not slept well these past few nights, waking at 4 and not getting back to sleep. Your cards are amazing!

      Thanks for your constant support and care. I feel your smile shining down on me. It’s wonderful.

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  3. Your cards are very spooky, Alys. And I know what you mean about entering a scrapbook store…..my paper addiction is something I try to keep hidden, but, let’s face it, paper makes my creative spirit happy.

    I’m down here in Fullerton far longer than I ever expected. …yearning for the tools of my addiction. …..paper, trimmer, tape runner, stamps and stickers and odd little bits that wait for me…….help, she calls out weakly…….

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    • I hear that, ME. I’ve always loved paper, in all its forms.

      I’m sorry you’ve been kept in Fullerton longer than expected. I hope you can get things in order soon so you can make the move and have all your crafting treasures at your fingertips once again.

      Your comment made me smile. xox

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  4. LOL, what a cooperative mystery plant to grow the fruits all so perfectly sized as to be able to harvest a line-up like that. Give that plant the Oscar, quite the performance ! You’ve been graced with pumpkins after all, how fun!

    Your rendition of a trip to the island made me laugh ! Especially the part about finding a basket in your hand to buy just one thing. Congratulations, you are just like most of my customers, hehehe. Not to mention, every time I work I think, there’s nothing I need, I have too much. Yet I find a few more goodies. I just love paper, dies, stencils !! Everything.

    I really like that Tim Holtz stencil too. Look at all the fantastic creations. You really got a lot done and I bet it was fun to hook up with Sharon for all the creativity and laughs. I wish you two lived here. I see you’ve torn paper here and there to reveal the shabby layer underneath! Love that 😀 Your trade mark envelopes look awesome in co-ordinating paper. Can’t believe where the month went. One week to Halloween, yoy! Hey? The Island is open now??? I’ll have to swing over to their website to see how it all came together. I bet it’s full of great vintage goodies too.

    I dark now till about 8:10am then it disappears around 6:15pm. This time of year is hard to get used to. When the clocks move ahead, it’ll be dark at 5pm. I see a lot of crafting in my near future 😀 LOL xoxoxox ❤

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    • And the Oscar goes to…you are so cute! Agreed, though. what an amazing plant.

      I’m so glad I have my shopping traits in common with your customers. We’re all doing our part for our local economies. 🙂

      At least you put all your goodies to good use. You are constantly creating in the Boom Room, for work, your friends and to share techniques on your blog.

      Oh and of course you knew it was a Tim Holtz stencil. You’re good. Nothing slips by the master.

      Yes, the Island is open, right in the middle of my crazy-busy week. I’m dying to stop by. Wish you could come with. Laurie has worked so hard putting it together. I wish her great success.

      You really have lost a lot of daylight, sweetie. Wow…still dark at 8:10. It’s getting light around 7 am here. Do all of the provinces change clocks or is it up to them. I know a few states leave the clocks alone. I wish we would. I always feel sleeping for a week each time change.

      Thanks for your long, newsy post. xoxoxox

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      • Re: clocks moving back. I had to look that up and this is per ‘info please.com’

        “Most of Canada uses Daylight Saving Time. Some exceptions include the majority of Saskatchewan and parts of northeastern British Columbia.”

        I knew Saskatchewan didn’t participate but the BC info is news to me. It’s really funny when you drive thru a time zone isn’t it? This one small city called “Lloydminster” is actually half in Alberta and 1/2 in Saskatchewan. Their main street is the divide. It must be weird if you lived on one side of town and worked on the other. You’d have to wear two watches maybe? Or do you always work an hour of overtime and get to work an hour early? Mmmmm, I should investigate that.

        I’m in the Boom Room this very moment. Sitting on the kitty pillow and taking a break to chat you up 😀 I’m die-cutting all the pieces for the November Calendar Kit (the second one I designed). I’m nearly done but have some stamping and sewing to do. Best of luck to “The Island”. I’m sure all their current customers are very excited and with the bigger space for classes, they’re bound to attract some new addicts……err customers 😀 I can’t wait to visit. I see other messages on my Blog from yours truly, but I’ll have to swing back tomorrow……I must finish this project tonight……ta ta! xoxox

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  5. The site of those pumpkins made me so happy! For You!
    After all your challenges with squash bugs, how wonderful! and the varied shades of green and orange are perfect.
    The cards are wonderful. Gosh, it’s been so long since I tried something like that … and that was back in the days of using nothing but colored paper! Love them, Alys!

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    • Thank you, Laurie! It was such a welcome and unexpected surprise. I’ll take better pictures in a day or two during daylight hours. They’re really pretty colors.

      With the colder weather ahead, may I suggest laying in supplies for some winter crafting? You could host wine and craft nights with your friends.

      Thanks for your always gracious comments. xox

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  6. Your Halloween cards are so lovely and I’m sure they’ll put huge smiles on the faces of their recipients. I can so totally relate to your craft shop experience, too, Alys. I really have to watch myself closely to make sure I’m not automatically filling my basket with everything I see and love! He!he! Glad it’s not just me! I hope your first Halloween party was fantastic fun! I’ll bet your amazing costumes were a huge hit. xoxox

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    • Thank you, Dani. Our first party is just a few hours away. I made my hair ‘big’ with curlers (yikes!) and I’m sporting blue fingernails. I’m having fun.

      We got a bit of rain this morning too, so it has left things feeling fresh. Our drought drags on so any moisture at all is welcome.

      It’s nice to know the hand basket shuffle is universal among crafters. There is always so much to look at, touch, size up and try.

      Thanks for your kind words and your support. You’re the best!

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  7. “Color me orange with joy.” That has got to be one of the most endearing fall festive phrases I’ve yet to hear. I love it, Alys.
    Your cards are going to give Papyrus a run for their money! What creative handiwork. I’m a total sucker for beautifully crafted cards–I love what you’ve done.
    And the pumpkin presents are a little bit of kismet joy you truly deserve. Especially with all the effort and energy you’re putting into the season. And may be Nature’s pat on the back for doing so incredibly well with your “sweetless” endeavors.
    Way to go, Alys.

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  8. I don’t know how I missed this post but it had me rolling in the floor. I can’t tell you how many times just one thing has cost me a weeks pay. A scrapbook store, quilt shop for a spool of thread, a bookstore for just one book leads to the hundred dollar club. I was determined not to buy fabric at the quilt show. Now I’m hiding it from MYSELF! Is that crazy or what. I have boxes of paper, stamps, ink that’s probably dried out and glitter. After seeing your cards, I want to make some. They are gorgeous! You girls are so talented. Happy Halloween

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