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Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Weaving Webs of Friendship

This year's theme was "Weaving Webs of Friendship."
Our opening ceremony wove a giant web.







The ceremony is on our website under Fun Stuff.

Later we used the yarn and some spiders to connect our spiders to our friends' and build a virtual web showing how interconnected we are!
We asked people to take a photo with the theme board and send it to us!  Email yours to gsgreatescape@yahoo.com.


Monday, September 29, 2014

Last Swimming Day of 2014?

 It's rare that nature gifts us with a warm day so we can swim at GE but to prove that we take our motto (Be Prepared) seriously, we include swim suits on our packing list and try to have a lifeguard on hand.  This year we had two - Binx and Ariel - and so those who wanted to frolic in the cool waters, were able to take a refreshing plunge!


Sunday, September 28, 2014

Home from GE 2014

I think all who were there will agree that GE 2014 was as close to perfect as it gets for us humans!  Mother Nature cooperated big time!  I'll try to post a photo every day for the next week or two so you can see what we did and made and ate and what fun we had.

So what did we do on Friday night?  We sang, we danced, we ate!





Friday, September 26, 2014

Alcohol Ink


My name is Deb and I am addicted to Pinterest.

As I pinned lots of art to my Art Journaling and Tags boards ( I have over 11,000 pins) I saw that lots of lovely pins, especially of tags, specified ‘alcohol’ or ‘distress’ inks as a medium.  Quite often, they were used to give a ‘vintage’ look to works.

I looked at them in the store but holy moly, I’d never pay 5 to 8 bucks for a 2 oz bottle of paint!  For a while I just distressed tags by dragging the edges over a stamp pad.  But pads are not cheap either! So I went to the internet to find out how to make my own alcohol ink.
Red, orange, yellow food coloring ink, green and blue acrylic, purple food coloring, coffee and tea!
 One site said combine alcohol and some pigment in a little bottle.  Three possible pigments are acrylic paint, food coloring and Rit dye.  I had alcohol and all three of the possible pigments, but just one bottle – which to try first?  I went for acrylic paint in tan.  I really liked the result!  As I realized later, the acrylic gave a heft and opacity that resulted in spattering instead of total coverage as the food coloring was to do.

Then I looked for small spray bottles.  Finally found them at the Christmas Tree Shop, .99 each in the travel sample section. I made blue and green ink with the acrylics. I found I particularly liked combining the tan and the green as backgrounds for tags, as in my ‘little bird series" (see photo below.)  The Dollar Store is a great source for cheap isopropyl alcohol – it’s 50 percent but that works fine.  If you want to pay more for 70 or 90 percent, it will dry even faster…

So once I had lots of bottles and alcohol I started experimenting with food coloring – and more.

I have the Wilton 8 color gel set, so I started with that in yellow. I thought the gels would give a great depth of color, but that didn’t turn out to be the case.  I then added some of the old fashioned Durkee yellow coloring, and that was great.  The food coloring, though, is totally transparent on the paper.  But, the gel comes in colors such as purple that are hard to mix with the old fashioned 4 color set.

I had experimented with coffee and tea aging before and although I liked the look, I didn’t like what water did to the paper – it changed the texture and buckled it.  I decided to make coffee and tea inks with alcohol.

I have a metal filter for my coffee, so I suspended it in a mason jar, put in some coffee, and poured the alcohol over.  I found that I had to brew it twice to get the intensity I wanted, and it leaves a bit of residue which does wipe off easily.  It is best to flatten the object or spray both sides if possible.

The tea worked best of all!  I put two bags of Red Rose in a jar with two ounces of alcohol and let it sit for an hour.  I love the reddish brown tinge tea gives - I find that more attractive than the coffee brown!  I sprayed the tag (middle, below) and laid it on my patio table to dry – and both sides have this wonderful stencil look from the wrought iron table top!  That was a total success in my book!


From left to right: plain manila tag, coffee, tea, and food coloring (yellow and purple) alcohol inks.
The textured paper background is white paper salvaged from a fruit box at Costco, sprayed with alcohol inks made with acrylics.
The backgrounds for these guys are the alcohol/acrylic ink - see how it spatters, rather than covers evenly.  The ink with food coloring gives an effect more like watercolor.  Below, two layers of alcohol ink, plus another layer applied through a stencil.
I also dyed balsa wood with the ink.  Good for making signs, cutting out letters, wood burning, etc.  Below, the balsa strips without dye, tea stained, and with the red food coloring dye.



Thursday, September 25, 2014

And We're Off!

The Thursday Croo is already at Wabasso, running around posting signs, cleaning up, turning on fridges, checking to make sure there are beds and mattresses in the right places, putting TP and soap in the washhouses, and just generally making camp ready.

The kitchen crew is on to the 'checking it twice' portion of the list making process.  Aren't you glad that Market Basket is back on line?  I'll be blowing the Warner store a kiss when I get off the highway tomorrow afternoon.  Those were some difficult weeks this summer... I'm not sure we could pull off GE without our fall back store.  Someone on the committee always ends up taking a trip there on Saturday to buy something that's run out or been overlooked.

If you aren't able to be with us this year, we'll miss you (Anne, heal well!) and we'll send you a silent thought during the opening ceremony on Saturday morning.  Send one back, won't you?


Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Summer Escapes - Work and Play - Play?

Before the plaque joins us at Camp for the Great Escape, (whoops, actually it's off for another trip to the UK!) here's a report on its last long journeys.  First, it accompanied Laura to Milwaukee, Wisconsin.  It checked out this cow in Logan airport.  (It's in the lower right corner by the cow's hoof.)




 Wisconsin is not the only cheesy state.... but it might be the only one with cheesehead hats on sale in the airport.  In spite of these lighthearted photos, Laura was on a work trip.  After her return the lucky laminate got to participate in a trip more on the order of the active pursuits it's gotten used to; Laura, her husband and the plaque participated in a bicycle trip from the Berkshires to Boston.  Laura didn't want to toot her own horn and tell me how far she actually rode, but one leg, from Devens to Boston was 52 miles!  That night she camped out in Boston Harbor and sent these pictures taken from her campsite of the harbor before and after sunrise.




Just before sunrise.
A view from a tent.  Did Laura rest on her laurels that day?  No, she rode 30 more miles around the city in a "Hub on Wheels" tour. 
Starting line.
She passed by the Zakim Bridge on her way into Boston, and who was by her side the whole time? Well her husband, presumably, but also a little friend.



Monday, September 22, 2014

Great Escape Auction

GE runs an auction to benefit our beloved camp, Wabasso, and other Girl Scouting causes.  This year we have some vintage GS pieces to auction, including some of the cute little green dresses (second from right) from the 1960s/70s  seen in this photo from Medford Days! 
@GirlScoutsEMass #medforddays vintage uniforms pic.twitter.com/noDlMRiZbE

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Many Hands Make Light Work

If you've been on a Girl Scout camping trip, you're familiar with kapers. At Great Escape we love kapers because many hands make light work! And that leaves more time for singing, eating or just chatting with friends for everyone.

At Great Escape this year we have 3 types of kapers. We'll be using the same random selection process as last year that takes into account each person's individual needs and skills.

Meal Hoppers: Hoppers are responsible for setting or cleaning up from one meal. And you know how much we love to eat at Great Escape!
Closing Camp: Each unit needs to be tidied and closed up at the end of our weekend together. Those sleeping in the unit will complete these jobs, which include sweepers and my personal favorite - Potty Princesses!
Service Activity: As part of Great Escape's giving back to Camp Wabasso each year, we break down the beds and put them away for winter storage. The more the merrier for this heavy duty task!

Be sure to stop by the concierge table after you check in to choose your kaper for Great Escape!

Friday, Last Day

Tomorrow, Friday, is the last day to register for the 2014 Great Escape!  This year we have new friends coming from as far away as Pennsylvania and Washington State to join us. 


We'll be missing a few old friends who can't make it this year but excitement is building amongst the committee members!  Hope you are all excited too!

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Sleeping Warm

Just 9 days left!  The trees are starting to change color!


The weather in New England is famously fickle.  I’ve known the last weekend in September to be over 90, but this year the weather seems to be trending to the cold side.
 
Last night Holly, George and I were talking about our favorite tips for sleeping out in cold weather.  All of us agreed that fleece socks were our number one tip! I recommend a camisole under long sleeve fleece pajamas or long underwear,  and a drawstring hoodie with a front pocket for warmth.  Holly likes two small fleece blankets - one for her feet inside the bag, one for her head, outside the bag.

I asked the GE committee:  “What is the one thing you would recommend people tuck into their backpacks to ensure comfort at GE this year, if the weather continues to be unseasonably cold? (Not including raincoat and pants...) Or, what do you sleep in that keeps you comfortable?”

Here are some responses!   Comment if you think we’ve missed something!

I am a huge fan of a thin fleece sleeping bag liner and a hat. Also, change all clothes before going to bed.  – Sue

I like to use the hand and foot warmers. I throw one in the bottom of my bag. Keeps my feet nice and warm. I have also used a thermacare back patch. - Kathy

I like to wear a hat if it's really cold or pull a hood up over my head. But I like it to be a little chilly when I sleep, so usually I end up with 1 foot sticking out of the bag! – Danielle

Always put clean clothes on, especially socks! Hat and fleece hoodie keeps drafts away. Fleece blanket under the sleeping bag keeps cold from the mattress from seeping thru. If you wake up, go pee! Otherwise it keeps you awake and cold, because your body devotes energy to keeping that liquid warm! Pat

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Lean In - Have You Read It Yet?

I haven't finished it yet either!  But it's in my purse read to go off with me to sit in the Toyota place waiting room - I'll read it over the fine coffee and donuts they provide.  I've really enjoyed what I've read so far, and it has changed my attitude toward some of my GS and students.  I am so looking forward to hearing what all of you think.  (And yes, skimming is fine...come to the discussion on Saturday whether you have read it or not.)

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Full Workshops

Good Sunday morning!  Here's a list of full workshops.  A lot of people have already registered, but remember, we ask that you register by September 19th, one week before the event so we can make sure to have enough of everything for you.

Stained Glass
Truffles
Yoga
Me Time Crafts: Custom Mugs
Art Journaling
Decorated Wooden Cigar Boxes
Holiday Yarn Wreaths
K-cup Crafts
Letterboxing and Geocacheing





Saturday, September 13, 2014

Halloween Yarn Wreath

Here's a sneak preview from Kathy's yarn wreath workshop.  Isn't it gorgeous?   Kathy's workshop is full but some still have openings!

Friday, September 12, 2014

Thursday, September 11, 2014

The Menu - Note From The Kitchen Crew

Our kitchen crew has put the finishing touches on the 2014 menu.  Sarah wrote me this note:

It's that time of year again... We start refining the recipes, reassessing quantities, and adding the special touches that help to seal the theme of "Gracious Living in the Outdoors". The kitchen crew has been hard at work over the last week pulling all the details together for this year's Great Escape.

We hope you are bringing your appetites! Friday night we'll fill the dining hall with the aroma of freshly baked chocolate chip cookies. Saturday morning brings the favorite pancakes and bacon. Of course we'll have Danielle's hospitality folks providing the coffee, tea and hot chocolate that's always available, as well as a large supply of bagels and sweet pastries!  
 
Join us at lunch for the baked potato bar and salad bar. This year's soups are a hearty vegetarian chili and a creamy cheddar broccoli soup. 

Dinner is maybe our favorite meal to cook. We'll start with appetizers including homemade salsa. The main meal will include BBQ chicken or tofu, vegetarian baked beans, mashed potatoes, garlic sauteed spinach and cornbread. (Hungry yet? We are!) 


Last year's dinner service.
Dessert... Where do we begin? Join us this year for an old-fashioned ice cream parlor. Homemade chocolate sauce, caramel sauce, marshmallow sauce and topping galore. It's bound to be delicious and we've got a few surprises in store for you as well.
 
Sunday morning we'll close out with French toast and sausage. 

On Friday, Sarah and Andrea will start the massive shopping spree needed to feed 80+ folks. We make quite the impression at Costco and Market Basket, let us tell you. This year's shopping includes:

24 pounds of bacon
6 gallons of milk
2 gallons of Half & Half
110 ounces each of kidney, pinto, and garbanzo beans
80 chicken breasts
18 pounds of fresh spinach
160 potatoes
2 large tubs of sour cream
5 dozen eggs
and the biggest container of minced garlic we can buy.
Last year's little pies!
But the best part of this year's shopping trip? Andrea bought a minivan! So much more space...

We can't wait to see you all in just a few weeks. Make sure to stop by the kitchen and say hello!

Sarah, Andrea, Beth, Jess, & Brenna
 
There's still a little time to register - hope to see you there!

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Summer Escapes - The Boundary Waters

http://dmg-photography.com/blog/2014/09/a-boundary-waters-travelogue-day1

The plaque gets down for some real, nitty gritty, and occasionally dangerous travel through the boundary waters (between the US and Canada) with Dave, Betsy, Pat, Paula and Donna.  Go to the link above to find words and photos!
Pat and Paula, Betsy and Donna on Gunflint Lake
Pat and Paula will be offering a canoeing session at GE this year, as every year, weather permitting.  Join them and us! 

Donna, Pat, Paula and Betsy plus the lucky laminate at Journey's End.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Summer Escapes - Maine Means Lighthouses!

The plaque cares deeply for our environment and our history!  On a recent voyage to the great state of Maine, it took time to salute the mother of modern environmentalism, Rachel Carson, at the Rachel Carson National Wildlife Refuge in Wells, ME.

GE's accountant and bird expert, Laura, was the plaque's escort on the Maine Lighthouse Ride, a benefit for the Eastern Trail, a rail trail being built from Kittery to Portland.  Here the plaque visits Spring Ledge Light in South Portland.

Laura cycled 100 miles with the plaque!  You can congratulate her at GE.  Here's her photo of Portland Head Light.  Having fun, doing good.  Well done, Laura!

Monday, September 8, 2014

What Happened to the Grasshoppers?

When I was young and looking for something to do on a summer's day, my mother often sent us out with a jar to catch grasshoppers.  We ran around the grass patches of our city home, stirring up the grasshoppers and trying to capture them in the jam jars lovingly prepared with perforated tops and blades of grass inside.  It seems to me that we seldom see grasshoppers any more.  Have they fallen victim to the chemicals every suburban family seems to lavish on their lawns?

And this year I noticed many fewer cicadas singing - is it just the lack of hot weather or are they leaving us too?
Let's look and listen at GE and remember to get the girls looking and listening too.

 Here's a poem by John Keats about the sounds of these little creatures.  Don't be turned off by the author - the poem is a simple one.

The Cricket and the Grasshopper - John Keats

The poetry of earth is never dead:
When all the birds are faint with the hot sun,
And hide in cooling trees, a voice will run
From hedge to hedge about the new-mown mead.
That is the grasshopper’s – he takes the lead
In summer luxury, – he has never done
With his delights, for when tired out with fun,
He rests at ease beneath some pleasant weed.

The poetry of the earth is ceasing never:
On a lone winter evening, when the frost
Has wrought a silence, from the stove there shrills
The Cricket’s song, in warmth increasing ever,
And seems to one in drowsiness half-lost,
The Grasshopper’s among some grassy hills.


On the Grasshopper and the Cricket – by John Keats (1795-1821)
The poetry of earth is never dead:
When all the birds are faint with the hot sun,
And hide in cooling trees, a voice will run
From hedge to hedge about the new-mown mead.
That is the grasshopper’s – he takes the lead
In summer luxury, – he has never done
With his delights, for when tired out with fun,
He rests at ease beneath some pleasant weed.
The poetry of the earth is ceasing never:
On a lone winter evening, when the frost
Has wrought a silence, from the stove there shrills
The Cricket’s song, in warmth increasing ever,
And seems to one in drowsiness half-lost,
The Grasshopper’s among some grassy hills.
- See more at: http://www.wartimehousewife.com/page/2/#sthash.sHrhRLhn.dpuf
On the Grasshopper and the Cricket – by John Keats (1795-1821)
The poetry of earth is never dead:
When all the birds are faint with the hot sun,
And hide in cooling trees, a voice will run
From hedge to hedge about the new-mown mead.
That is the grasshopper’s – he takes the lead
In summer luxury, – he has never done
With his delights, for when tired out with fun,
He rests at ease beneath some pleasant weed.
The poetry of the earth is ceasing never:
On a lone winter evening, when the frost
Has wrought a silence, from the stove there shrills
The Cricket’s song, in warmth increasing ever,
And seems to one in drowsiness half-lost,
The Grasshopper’s among some grassy hills.
- See more at: http://www.wartimehousewife.com/page/2/#sthash.sHrhRLhn.dpuf