this crazy weather is NOT helping

Fall has always been my favorite season! The smells, the flavors, the cooler weather – – – gotta love it. Except for the past few years, we’ve been under attach. As soon as the summer heat slows down and the garden is getting slim pickins, the dreaded stink bugs start bombing our house. Literally walking outside is dangerous, because those little stinkers aim for us. I’m not kidding! The kids would hate to come home from school because there would be hundreds of stink bugs basking in the sun waiting for them to get out of the car. The sad thing was, if you looked across the street, those houses didn’t seem to have the polka dot decorations we had all over ours.

It was so bad a few years ago, that I actually resorted to using RAID. This organic girl was SO desperate, I had to do something. I hate to admit I had an old can of that toxic stuff in the basement but I couldn’t take it anymore. It did work at killing them, but you had to hit them with the RAID. And well, it was RAID! Then I tried EcoSMART Wasp & Hornet Killer {because I had it in the basement}. It was great because it would shoot really far away, so I could keep my distance. That got kinda expensive and a little overkill. Then I tried vinegar in a spray bottle {because I had a lot of it in the basement too – that’s another story}. It didn’t smell as nice as the EcoSmart and certainly didn’t kill the stink bugs as fast. The vinegar was also not very kind to some of my outdoor plants {vinegar makes a great weed killer}. Then my mom told be a friend of hers was using this…

dinny's stink bug spray

DAWN dish soap {the blue original one} and water! I filled up an old spray bottle with water and added a few pumps of DAWN. It worked great. We keep a spray bottle by each door, and a few upstairs. Any stick bug that is silly enough to land on one of our screens will get sprayed and then flicked off. We try and see how far we can flick them {one needs a little enjoyment while doing this}. Can you also tell I like METHOD Brand cleaners? This is only a few of the bottles I’ve saved over the years. They are great to reuse, wonderful sprayers and the older ones even had adjustable nozzles.

If the weather gets cool, WONDERFUL. the stink bugs seem to be fewer. But then it warms up again, and they are back. It’s a vicious cycle. The stink bugs don’t seem to be as bad as they were about 4 years ago, but I still won’t sit on the deck thru most of September.

The DAWN spray killer has been rather successful for us. But there is one downfall to it.

foaming door

When it rains, sometimes our screens foam up!

hand carved stamps

My latest crush is on hand carving stamps. With my family’s birthday season in full swing, I was feeling inspired to make some helium balloons. With my vintage Speedball carver in hand I made 2 stamps. Check out that price… $2.55 and it’s made of WOOD!

vintage Speedball linoleum carving tool

I really love to take something like this and simply stamp them onto paper with plenty of space around each stamp. It’s fun to see how different each stamp turns out with a variety of textures.

hand carved balloon stamps

Then I scan at high resolution and use Photoshop to clean up. Now I have 10 balloons that look unique. For me, that’s the way life is and my art should reflect that. For something like this, I don’t like each thing to look the same. They ended up like this.


stamped balloons

These balloons are available in my ETSY store HERE

My FIRST hand carved stamp was made using that very Speedball carver. It was for my high school art class. That actual linoleum was ridiculously hard and impossible to do any fine detail. Born to Run was just released and this Springsteen fan bought the album. Miss Bernarden was not thrilled with my topic choice, but I actually sold a few prints to friends. This was WAY before ETSY!

vintage linoleum block cut