Friday, August 28

Friday Finds: Halloween Postage Stamps!

Do you like having a special Halloween stamp on your October cards & letters?
(Even bills--just to give your biller a little scare!)
Well, there's a  bunch of them to choose from in Zazzle's Halloween Postage ranging from cartoon cute to ghoulishly scary!
You'll find plenty of Disney's Nightmare Before Christmas stamps  among them, plus a smattering of Halloween wedding & Halloween party type stamps mixed in there, too!

I've picked out a few I liked and I've organized them into the following categories:
 Artistic, Classic & A Bit Creepy!

Candy Corn Postage Stamp
They Say Halloween Postage

Color Pop Pumpkin Halloween Postage
Expressive Pumpkin Patch Faces Postage Stamp

A Bit Creepy:

Green Skull Postage
Flamin' Jack Halloween Postage

Skull Bat Halloween Postage
Or, if you're interested in just some nice autumn stamps, do check out Zazzle's Autumn Stamps!
October will be here in a month, so it's not too soon to start thinking about ordering your favorite Autumn or Halloween postage, that way it will be already on hand!
If you'd like to browse Halloween Greetings, go here!
That's it for today! Come back Monday for Good Eating!

Wednesday, August 26

Garden Pic Wednesday: Blue Balloon Flowers!

I feel a change in the air already--the feel of autumn!
I mowed the back yard today and it was so nice outside. Warm, but with a dry feel. Finally--not sweltering!

For Garden pictures today, I have 3 things:
First: A Balloon Flower blooming in front of my blue ceramic cat:

This Balloon Flower is one of about a dozen I raised from seed I saved last fall and planted various places. I put one in each pot that sits in front of the Pampas grass out front. This one looked so sweet blooming in front of the ceramic cat! That ceramic cat looks beat up because the deep freeze of the 2014 Arctic Vortex it sort of blow apart, but since it's yard art, it's okay if it looks a little rugged.
Balloon Flowers are a terrific, compact perennial that bloom all season. I prefer the blue, because I collect blue garden flowers, but it also comes in white.

Next: My fully bloomed out Pink Pampas:
A couple weeks ago I had a bloom of the first couple plumes, but here she is in all her autumn glory.

Finally: A photo of a Red Camellia I took during that same 2014 Arctic Vortex freeze that I've designed into a Christmas greeting card:
It was peeking out from under a ice-frosted leaf when I took the shot, one of those gorgeous kind of Camellias that look like a huge red carnation. 
For the card, I added frosty snowflakes and the words, "Let It Snow."  Inside message can be customized.

Just one of many Holiday greeting cards I've been working on!
You can visit my store to see more!
That's it for today!
Stop back for Friday Finds!

Tuesday, August 25

Polyvore Tuesday: Take Flight With Maurices

I had a delightful lunch today of chicken salad made from leftover rotisserie chicken, watched a recent new episode of Nickelodeon's Ninja Turtles while I ate, then filled the bird feeder and watered the garden. 
After that I did some work updating Christmas cards in my Zazzle store. I have quite a few new designs to add, plus Zazzle is having a holiday card design contest I've been creating a couple things for.
The contest requires created a card design plus a coordinating stamp, address label & envelope sticker to go with it.
Really, I had no idea what anyone would use those stickers for---now I get it! Envelopes! Duh.
I will most likely post my contest designs for you to see on some future Friday Finds after I've entered the contest!

Today's Polyvore set is one for another officially sponsored contest, this one by a fashion company called, "Maurices" and it's themed on the "Perfect Maurice Blouse."
  I found an article called "Taking Flight" and tried to suggest this Maurice blouse was perfect for traveling. I thought the leopard shoes a nice touch.
The last contest sponsor only picked winning entries that looked like a magazine with some kind of print, which was annoying. 

The Perfect Blouse with maurices: Contest Entry

The Perfect Blouse with maurices: Contest Entry by madamdreamweaver 

That's it for today!
Do come back for Garden Pic Wednesday!

Monday, August 24

Good Eating Monday: Asparagus!

Today's Good Eating topic is "Asparagus." 
Certainly one of my favorite veggies. And extremely good for you, too! 

Mature Asparagus
Asparagus is actually about a 5 feet tall when allowed to mature and has a airy, fern like character.
My Mother had a patch of it when I was growing up in Indiana. According to what I've read, it performs best in climates with cooler temperatures and well augmented, weed-free, mulched soil. It's a perennial, so it comes back from the roots each year.
Though there are apparently improved hybrids that can tolerate warmer climates, such as California, the plants don't like being too wet and are prone to fungal issues--both of which are very big problems in Florida where I live. So, I've never bothered trying to grow it.

Young Asparagus
The part you eat is the immature spear heads the come up in the spring for a period of 8 to 10 weeks, then, after that, the next growth is allowed to mature.
But just because I can't grow it, doesn't mean I don't love eating it!
I usually buy the plain frozen spears. Frozen is still fresh and it's less  trouble. Just microwave and enjoy!

The Nutritional Value of Asparagus
I was really surprised to read all the health benefits eating Asparagus has!

* It's very low calorie. I know I can eat a whole frozen bag of it and it's only 60 calories!

* It's loaded with fiber, folate, vitamins A,C,E & K and chromium, which is a trace mineral that helps your insulin be effective. 
Folate works with the B-12 you get in fish & meats in your diet and helps keep your brain working good.

* It's a rich source of "glutathione," which is a detoxifying compound that helps break down carcinogens and protect you from cancers.

* It's also packed with antioxidants, which helps your body stay younger.

* It's an excellent diuretic as it's packed with high levels of "amino acid asparagine," which not only helps your body release fluids, but also flushes out excess salt! 
 Eating asparagus does have one small harmless side-effect--it releases a  sulfuric compound into the urine, which gives urine a temporary odor for about a day.
The odd thing is--most people can't even smell it!
 It requires a genetic predisposition in the olfactory senses to smell it--meaning one must be born with a nose gifted to smell it. Otherwise, you'd never know.
Lucky me, I have the gifted nose.
Go ahead. Laugh.
Drinking cranberry juice helps.
Eat up, me hearties, yo-ho!

Friday, August 21

Friday Finds: A Beautiful Scrapbook-Style Photo Memory Calendar!

I'm pleased to show you my most recent creation: a Scrapbook-Style Memory Calendar!
I've spent nearly two weeks working on it.
 The principle of scrapbooking is about creating a collage of layers around a photo to  highlight it. Usually pages in an album, though scrapbooking can also be done digitally these days & kept in virtual albums. Very often it includes a bit of text about that photo.
So, based on the inspiration of scrapbooking, I created this calendar

* Each month is a different color theme and uniquely decorated with graphics I've given a 3D sticker effect to look layered on--scrapbook style! 
* This calendar holds 16 personal photos! And they fit in white frames to look like old fashioned paper photos!
* Each month has a text box that says "My Thoughts About This Photo, where you can type whatever makes the photo you add a special memory!
* Customization options include: year, culture, holidays, calendar size, coil color and interior calendar style!

 The back cover has thumbnails of every month!
Scrapbook-Style Memory Calendar 

A Perfect Gift Calendar!
Now you can send all your family and friends an absolutely gorgeous
2016 calendar that looks scrapbooked--without you doing all that work!
Send the Grandparents a calendar of the grand-kids to enjoy all year long!
Commemorate that last family vacation! 
Or make just a general "family fun" calendar!
How about a calendar of wedding photos to send family members who weren't able to attend?
Or a calendar of special events, such as Golden Anniversary?  Maybe you'd like to make a calendar all about the new baby to send to all the relatives!
You could even fill your calendar with photos of your "furry kids!"
The only limit to what you can do with this calendar is your imagination!

Here's closer view of what the November page looks like, as an example:
The plaid chevrons look like "fabric" and the fall leaves look like "pinned" stickers.

The fields for typing in text and uploading photos for each month appear in the right hand column on the Zazzle create page as soon as you click the calender link as well as the:
year, culture, holiday options, calendar size selector & coil color option. 
(The 2nd photo upload for July is at end, after December--so don't panic!)
If you want to change the interior calendar style, just click "customize" to view those thumbnail options.
There are very few actual scrapbook-style calendars even listed in Zazzle--and none with the 3D look of this one! 
Please, do drop by and have a look!
You might like to save it to your favorites or bookmark it to do later!
That's it for today! See you Monday!