Saturday, October 26, 2013

The Ofrenda

As I was researching ideas for Halloween costumes online, I came across some inspiration from Martha Stewart from her last minute Halloween ideas department.  If there's one thing I am all about, it is last minute. 

Anyway, I got to thinking about potatoes and how they so nicely lend themselves to the shape of skulls.  And skulls are cool. Which led me to noticing how nicely yams lend themselves to making ghosts and celery kinda could look like a marigold and I had beets in my fridge anyway so I figured I'd throw them in as well.  So veggie carving I did.  Primitive but unique. 

So then I needed a box or container to put all of them in. I began looking into the Day of the Dead celebration and learned that according to Wikipedia, "Tradition that is connected with the holiday include building private altars called ofrendas honoring the deceased using sugar skullsmarigolds, and the favorite foods and beverages of the departed." One thought led to another and before I knew it I had fashioned a makeshift ofrenda with carved root vegetables - patata, batata, apio, and remolacha.

I made the series available at the Dia de los Muertos event with very limited availability - after all the carving medium was perishable!  I did have a logbook but it was possibly overlooked.

Thanks to everyone for the nice and supportive feedback.  I'm glad you enjoyed something a little different.  I had fun putting it together!

P. S. Yes, I do realize that celery is not exactly a root vegetable, but who really cares? Que sera sera.

Celebrating Day of the Dead...Ralph Style!

Ralph Spoilsport hosted the best Dia de los Muertos celebration!  It was a great day full of outstanding event boxes and inky fingers. I was really pleased to meet Ralph himself.  It's always great to put a face with a name.

So, I got there a little early to set up the ofrenda. As I was getting settled, I ran into Janila and Crayola Posse. Boy was it great to see them!  It had been years since I had seen them last. As we took our places, I got reacquainted with Dogs with Wings and a little later another pal, Blue Delft, rolled in with her partner in crime, idlemoon.

Once we all got going, it was a frenzy of fantastically creepy and day of the dead themed event boxes and otherwise.  Ralph had done a truly amazing job of crafting some real gems.  His Carnival of Lost Souls was clever, unique, and darkly humorous and his Welcome Foolish Mortals had a very special twist.  And who doesn't love Tim Burton? And if all of Ralph's creations weren't enough, there were plenty more goodies to be had.  Kaypendragon's Sugar Skull (I'm sorry I didn't get to meet you!), Snowbaby's How many licks (love the adorable themed tin), Treasurehona's beautiful La Calavera Feliz 2013, and Popeye's impressive Banzai!!! were just a few of my favorites.

Blue Delft must've heard my stomach growl because just as I was starting to feel hungry, she offered me some windmill cookies.  After stamping in some more I had a quick bowl of mac and cheese to recharge my batteries.  As I was taking a breather, True Indigo surprised me with an invitation to be here now.
I am often compass challenged but I came up with it pretty easily. It was magical.  That Crayola Posse is always ready with a new and exciting - and extremely creative - adventure.  They even had a convenient stamping stump stationed right nearby!   How do that do that?!

Other highlights of the day included meeting and exchanging with Popeye, Treasurehonas, RiverSol (hope to take you up on that game next time), Anne of Green Gables, SuperDognFamily, alphagraywolf, Razbunny, Cozy Reader (loved the "bow tie"), Pink, Silly Moosehead (great get-up), Fluttering Dragonfly, and of course, Ralph himself! I was even pleased to meet Yankee fan in PA, even though I'm a BoxSox kind of gal.

Ralph had hidden some great new boxes in the vicinity.  It was a beautiful day and I enjoyed getting outside to stretch and soak in the fall beauty.  The carvings are a wonderful addition to my day of the dead collection.  I have been pouring over all of my new images since my return from the great event.

Unfortunately, I had to head out early.  As I was packing up the ofrenda, the Booshmen came by to ask to stamp in.  I was happy to oblige. I hope to have more time to connect with them again soon.  But for now, I had to run so that I could primp. I had a million dollars to win. Tough job but someone's got to do it.

Happy dia de la muertos and Happy Halloween everyone.

And again, many thanks to you, Ralph!

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Where were You March 28, 1979?

 Wednesday, March 28, 1979 is a day I'll never forget.

A Visit to the Lunatic Hospital

We spent the last part of our afternoon at the City on the Hill.  The Harrisburg State Hospital formerly known as the Pennsylvania State Lunatic Hospital. From 1851 to 1937, this city on the hill was Pennsylvania’s first public facility to house the mentally ill and disabled.

Did you know that Girl, Interrupted was filmed here?
We also visited the on-site morgue.  Building #35.  Boy did that give us the creeps. Three men went into the place while we were "taking pictures" and "eating lunch."  We asked them what it was like inside. Their answer will not surprise you.  "Creepy!"

You're a Good Man

 You're a Good Man...Charlie Brown.

Thanks for bringing us to these beautiful, interesting, and scenic places.

The Greenbelt

The Greenbelt could not have been any more beautiful or scenic (or fun).  The trees were just starting to change color.  Even the poison ivy (which abounds in many areas here) was beautiful as it changes to bright yellow.  
Location of the snoozing Grandpa Miller
We stopped by to meet Grandpa Miller but really struggled to find him.  I was thankful to have Blue Delft with me and not my usual noxers.  Our persistence paid off and taking time and rot into consideration, we finally located him.
My souvenir. Doesn't it look great in my garden?!

Thanks to all of our bushwhacking I found a little souvenir for my garden - a rusty piece of a fence that must've been pitched over the embankment from the cemetery next door.

I know Blue Delft got a kick out of me dragging that thing through the woods and across the street to the car. Getting it jammed into the car got a good laugh as well. But I think it will look great next year with gourds or peas or some kind of vine growing over it.  And I will remember Grandpa Miller and today's fun adventure when I look at it!

I Love the Sea Too

Over at the Paxtang Cemetery we remembered why we love the sea.  Of course, the royal fish would be a fan.  

Although, the "bowl" was quite deep. I have to admit that I didn't love reaching in. But it was worth it!

Using our Senses

 Our next stop found us at the Five Senses Garden.  What a fun little place tucked into the city of Harrisburg.  We noted how fun it might be to come back in season to experience the garden when the plants are in full bloom.

Not only did we find a firefly but also we found these clever critters as well.

A Purple Start to the Day

Since the kids are older and into other things, it is harder for me to get out on adventures because I don't like to go alone.  So when Blue Delft asked if I wanted to hit the trail I jumped at the chance.

Our first stop took us to a winter's blossom in a neat little old cemetery.  What a super way to start off the day.

From there we headed over to the castle.  We noticed that hopping across the stream was easier than anticipated. And with a little help from my guide, I crawled to freedom through the window.  Wow, what a great experience and what a wonderful gift.  Truly a labor of love.