Tag Archives: tiny

Happy Halloween!

halloween crafts

Spooky, Creepy, BooOooOoo! BooOooOoo!

My friend the Vampire Bat used to send really elaborate care packages on Halloween and Valentine’s Day, handmade cards, candy, little seasonally-appropriate presents, the whole megillah. They were pretty special, to be honest, and I loved receiving them, but over the years, reciprocation became difficult. I had a family and work and didn’t always notice when holidays were coming up, let along make time in my schedule to plan for them a month in advance. And I guess I wasn’t the only one who couldn’t show my appreciation properly, and eventually she announced that she wasn’t going to put forth the effort anymore.

So now, sometimes, just to mess with her, I do send her handmade holiday gifts.

These little images—the “Spooky” owl, the “Creepy” spider, and the “BooOooOoo! BooOooOoo” ghosts—are from the packaging of some stickers that came in one of her last Halloween gifts to me, and they were so cute that after I stuck the stickers on things (what did I stick them on? I have no idea) I save the boxes with the intention of using them for some All Hallow’s Eve crafts for my friend. That was years ago, but when I found a random pair of metallic silver skeleton mermaid socks at Target (Target really goes all out with weird sock designs) I realized this was the year.

While playing around with the pieces (too bad I cut them up before this idea came to me) I realized that I could make a tiny card (the Vampire Bat likes tiny things) and then I realized I could make tiny books!

Unfortunately, I had used up all the printer paper printing out draft versions of a new comic book and neither The Man nor I work anyplace where we can reasonably steal printer paper anymore, so I had to use heavy card stock for the paper. It was harder to cut and my notebooks would have fewer pages, which would be hard to turn, but I soldiered on. What you do is you line all your pages up, clamp them together, and then apply liberal amounts of glue on one side. When it glues, the pages are basically bound together. Then you glue a bit of ribbon over that glued edge, to reinforce it. I used ribbon to bind the covers together and shore up the cardboard, and then I glued the paged into the cover. Viola!

For the card, I just used a piece of manilla folder to bind the 2 sides together. Lately, I’ve been trying to use up, rather than hoard, the vast quantities of art/office supplies I have been carrying around the country for 2 decades. The ransom letters and all the other words came out of a single issue of The Smithsonian.

My friend liked the gift (of course!) so now I can share it here.

Tiny Flowers of the American Southwest

IMG_9460

Lime bud

Springtime starts early in southern Arizona. We’re halfway to summer already, and there are tiny flowers everywhere. This first image is from a lime tree in my backyard. It took years to make up its mind as to whether it was going to live or die, but it finally decided to live and be 8 feet tall and make limes. Last year it made 3 limes. This year should be better; there are tons of flowers.

I took another picture where the tinier bud is more in focus. I might play with combining the 2 images, but this one is not retouched. None of these images are retouched.

IMG_9467

Tomato buds

My husband’s ex is a professional grower of exceedingly large hydroponic tomatoes, so we often end up with her extra. Sometimes it’s tomatoes (her major customer is the food service at the local university, so she always has extra when school’s out) and sometimes it’s plants (since she only has room for a fixed number of starts). These plants seem pretty happy in the back yard. We’re keeping them in pots, because tomatoes are so sensitive to the heat. I have trouble keeping them alive in beds.

IMG_9480

Santa Catalina prairie clover

Now we move out of my backyard and into the desert. I had a little trouble identifying this one at first, but I believe it is probably a Santa Catalina prairie clover. I was confused at first because there’s another type of prairie clover that doesn’t look at all like this one, but when I dug a little deeper, this seemed like a good match. The fact that I took the photograph in the Santa Catalina Mountains lends credence to this hypothesis.

IMG_9487

Baja Fairy Duster

I could photograph these things all day. And every picture would be different. Different bits of the flower could come into focus. In different light, the colors would change. I like this image because you can see the tips of each petal-like structure. I assume there’s a name for the parts of this kind of flower, but I’m not finding it.

IMG_9502

Common fiddleneck

I’m not 100% on my ID of this one, because you can’t see enough of the stalk to be certain, but I looked at a couple 100 pictures of yellow desert flowers and common fiddleneck seemed like the best match. This was the only tiny trumpet-shaped non-tree flower of the lot. And these things are tiny. They’re the tiniest flowers in this post, even tinier than the lime bud.