Monday, October 31, 2011

Hallowe'en - The Night Of The Visitors

Our family has celebrated Hallowe'en in kind of a non-traditional way for many years.  Yes we dressed the kiddies up and took them door to door, but we were very specific in where we went.  The parents also dressed up.  We made it our yearly visit to the neighbours.  We didn't just ring the bell, grab the candy and run.  No we actually usually spent about fifteen minutes per household, just plain old visiting.  Usually it was the kiddies getting restless that spurred us to move on. 

Unfortunately, the girls are a little past trick-or-treating stage, and I have to admit, I miss the annual pilgrimages and contact with old friends.  I'm wondering if the Missus and I should just suit up and head out on our own.

Oldest on her first outing.
First night for the two little cherubs together
How would you feel leaving your daughters with a mangy looking pirate like that?
Henry VIII was my best effort I think.
Can't remember, this was either Hallowe'en or a Murder Mystery
Thankfully the Emo stage only lasted one night!

My Daily Quest concept seems fraught with issues when located in the brown section at the bottom, so I am going to move it into the body of the blog and see if I can get it to work better - wish I was a little more tech savvy in this regard. So here is today's Quest and instructions:

The Daily Quest

This is a new daily feature on The Musical Gardener blog. Below is a question, or puzzle that will change day by day. Do not use the comment section of the blog for your answer.

Answer to Yesterday's Puzzle: c) Boston - the rest are all varieties of irises

Today's Puzzle: Easy Peasy (I want you to get the hang of these )

What phrase or word does the whatzit in the above box represent?

Please respond with your answer to the email below. I apologize but you will have to type my email address in manually (I'm attempting to avoid spammers).

And that is about all I have to say for today.

Musings and meanderings from the Musical Gardener.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Okay Here It Is - Contest Time

Well don't say I didn't warn you a couple days back.  Things are about to change - but don't worry, the changes are small and hopefully we'll have some fun..

I've been mulling this one over for a while, and I think I've come up with something that will hopefully encourage some active participation on the readers' parts, not just passive reading.

I am going to first of all give you the carrot.
  I propose to draw or paint, for the winner, a portrait of their pet, their favourite flower, building or landscape.   

Okay digest that one for a minute.  To see some of my work check out: Some of my artwork

Here is the contest and the rules and it may get a tad tricky so bear with me.

1.  If you are currently a follower, I will give you a baseline five entries. An entry/point/ticket means your name is tossed into a hat.

2.  For every comment (sorry happy faces don't count) you add to my blogs over the next two months, I will give you one more entry.  I know it is kind of like that forced communication mark in high school, where you got marked for commenting in class on other people's reports.  I have no problem resorting to low-brow blackmail to get my chocolate cake and brie!

3. For each new follower I get, who gives your blog credit for finding mine, I will give each of you another three entries.  So every new follower automatically gets three entries.

4. Ten entries to anyone who shamelessly promotes my contest on their blog.  You can take my name in vain to your heart's content. One point, if you somehow link to mine (please let me know if you did, as I might not otherwise see it).

5. Please note I am starting up a new concept on my blog - The Daily Quest.  For every correct answer that I get in my email, one more ticket entry will be yours.

6.  The contest will run from November 1st until December 31st of this year.

7.  The winner will be the person with the most tickets/points/entries as of that last date.

8.  The winner will then make his/her selection of portrait subject and email me a good quality shot of said topic (one {1} subject only please, I don't wish to paint a gaggle of geese or the entire main street of your hometown).  I will then proceed to capture a likeness on canvas or paper, with my brush or pencil - of course sharing the process via blog in the new year.

9.  As well to make it interesting, I will be making one random draw for each of November and December and that winner will receive a smaller prize.

So let's have some fun together.  I know I'm pumped and looking forward to meeting more people, getting scads of feedback and working on a visual keepsake for someone out there in blogland.

An example of what you might win (minus the frame).


Now on to the next item at hand.

The Daily Quest:

I like to try to keep my mind somewhat sharp and  I like nothing better than a good brain teaser.  So I have come up with the notion of a simple little daily puzzle or something that needs thought and solution.  Unfortunately I am not entirely happy with what I see as my options in my blog template for offering such an item.

Scroll down to the bottom into the brown section, just north of my bare feet.  See it?  This is the instruction side of things.  It should not change from day to day.  My email is the problem.  I was hoping to just simply put in a toggle key that said contact me, and it would automatically open up a window so you could email me.  I have not discovered a way of doing that - if anyone out there knows how, you'd be forever in my gratitude.  I'm thinking though it may not even be possible because then it would leave it open to spammers.  So for the time being, to respond you will have to set me ( up in your email and fire your answer off to me manually - my apologies.  I'm not sure if spammers will still be able to pick it off, but I'm going to try it this way and we'll see how it goes.

Okay, now look to the right of the instructions.  This will be what changes daily.  As you can see today it is text - and a Who Does Not Belong question.  Figure out which of the four answers is the imposter and email me your answer.  I know it is not November yet, but two points for everyone who tries it - think of it as advance pay.  Tomorrow it could be a picture, a drawing, or more text, but it will be located in the same spot.  Any questions?

And that is about all I have to say for today.

Musings and meanderings from the Musical Gardener.