Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Happy New Year

This is how the gifts were opened on Christmas morning. Mabel helped with all of my gifts, but this one was from her. She loves to lay in my lap on a nice soft robe, so she gave me a new one. I hope you had a beautiful holiday season. We still have a big amount of the white stuff on the ground. Kyle and I are running away to Disneyland for the day to try out the tiny new camera and see some greenery. I love the way they decorate Disneyland for the holidays, so we thought we sneak out for a peek before it's gone for the season. No big plans here for New Year's. I've been reading about things to eat on New Year's for luck. I'm leaning toward fish since we have lots of good stuff from the latest deep sea trip the guys took. Do you have any lucky food ideas to share? Please don't say black eyed peas, ewwww....

Thanks so much for all the kind words about the video tutorial. We had fun making it and will definitely make more soon.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Happy Holidays

Welcome to my open house blog style. Please read all the way to the bottom for a special treat. I thought I'd share a bit about our beloved holiday traditions. Our tree is decorated in no particular theme, but every ornament has a story. Each one was a gift, or handmade by a loved one, or purchased on a vacation. Some have been with us since we were small children. They are all special and sentimental and together make a beautiful tree. At least it's beautiful in my eyes.

We go to the fireman's bonfire and donate toys and eat hot dogs and listen to Christmas music each year. It's corny and small community and so much fun. We also have the world's shortest Christmas parade here in Blue Jay. We missed it this year, but try to get to it every year. Again, small community fun here on the mountain.

We travel down to Knott's Merry Farm early in December each year. It is the real kick off to the holiday season. We ride roller coasters, listen to carolers and see snoopy on ice. Love it, and oh the grand finale is Mrs. Knott's famous fried chicken dinner.

On Christmas Eve, we travel off the mountain to my parents home. We all share a delicious ham dinner and open gifts to each other. This night is for family and friends and the cast has changed from year to year. All are welcome and it's such a fun time of love and laughter.

Christmas morning is a smaller affair. Just the three of us in jammies sharing our gifts to each other and zipping downstairs to see what Santa brought. We all have stockings, even the dogs. That's the last part of gift opening. We usually get some hot beverages rolling along with the gifts followed by a late breakfast. The rest of the day is a quiet day of playing games and reading the newest books we received. Sometimes my parents visit later in the day if the roads are clear. That isn't going to happen this year since we are still covered in snow and more expected on Christmas Day.

And now as a thank you for visiting my blog, I have a gift for you. My sweet hubby spent the afternoon helping me make my first video tutorial. It is the same technique I used to make this ATC. We have much to learn, but hope you will enjoy Painting with Alcohol Inks.

Next stop for the Open House Around the World:
Cindi in Maine

Monday, December 22, 2008

RAK winner

I posted a little RAK on December 9th to celebrate my good fortune with Cloth Paper Scissors magazine. The next new issue is going out to comment #12, Beth Norman. Thanks so much to everyone for taking a moment to share my good news. It seems there was a bit of confusion, my snow people are featured in a newsletter, not the magazine. The snow people in the magazine were made by Sue Pelletier. She is an amazing artist whose work inspired my snow people.

Stop by tomorrow evening for a little holiday open house blog style.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Butterfly ATC

Still working along my journey of making the 12 tags of Christmas in ATC form. This one is based on Day 10. Oh, so many wonderful little discoveries in this one. Have you tried the distress reinker, perfect pearls, and water in a mini mister yet. This was my first real go at this combination. I am in love with the shimmer. It's really amazing. I don't know why I waited so long to try this, but I'm so glad I finally did. I used the mister over the new masks that Tim Holtz has out. I first saw these at a convention and thought they were too big. Fortunately I have a dear friend who thought better and sent me two last week. Thanks Jan. I was able to mask 4 ATC's at once with the large mask. Cool stuff.

The second really wonderful thing about this tutorial was that Tim used snaps in his flowers. I didn't have the ones he makes, but heck I have lots of old sewing stuff around here. These are vintage snaps that I bought in my treasure hunting. Such a fun new twist on a flower center. It's the little things that make me so happy, and using snaps in my papercrafts makes me smile.

The third thing I tried new here is the grungeboard treatment. In the tutorial Tim stamps an image onto plain grungeboard, embosses it and then cuts out the image. I didn't have any plain sheets of grungeboard, but I do have a plain set of nature grungeboard, so I used a butterfly out of the set. Then I embossed a background design over it and painted with perfect pearls and water like he did. Such a fun way to dress up grungeboard.

Thanks for stopping by today.

Thursday, December 18, 2008


I've been working on some things to submit with the theme fucshia. That's not a color that I ever work with. It's really a fun exercise in creativity to give it a shot. I haven't done color challenges in such a long time. I love them. Just thought I'd share a peek of what I'm working on.

Hubby is trying to come home after this huge storm. We haven't seen him since Monday and he's on vacation now. I hope he gets here ok. We must have close to 3 feet of snow now. In the 18 years we've lived on this mountain I've never seen this much this early. I'm very afraid of February and March. That's when we usually get lots of snow. It's my goal in life to be a snowbird in the winter. A girl can dream.

Edited to add: My sweetie made it home safe and sound. He brought home groceries including my favorite chocolate donuts and peanut m&m's. Gotta love a man who shows up with food and shovels snow. Thanks for all the good thoughts that brought him home safely.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

so much snow

This is the view in back of the house

The dogs playing in the snow yesterday. It's too deep for Mabel today, she sinks.

The view out my craft room door today

That big lump you see at the end of the railing is my car

This is the back deck. The little corner you see there is the table.

Day 8 ATC

Here is the ATC I've been trying to share with you for days now. It's based on day 8 of Tim's 12 days tags.

Now if I could just figure out how to resize photos in this new photoshop elements 6, I could show you more. Love the new computer, hate trying to get answers. ugh! It's been snowing here since early Monday morning and we are buried. We gave up on the shoveling today and decided to stay in.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

what's a few more inches...

Remember the post a few days ago about the television? Well, it continues to be a bigger is better theme here this week. I came home after another day of teaching P.E. yesterday and guess what I found...a new computer. I guess a huge monstrous television just wasn't enough. We now have an imac with a 20 inch screen. Seriously. After I got done throwing a fit about the expense, I tried it out. Absolute heaven. I can watch video tutorials and actually see what's happening. It plays music and is really really fast and easy to use. I don't know how to download photos yet, but I'm working on it. I have another ATC to show you when I figure it out.

Stop by Scrapbook News and Review today if you have a minute. We are giving away lots of goodies for our Playtime at the Pole Crop. Don't forget the RAK on the snowman post. I'm giving away the next issue of Cloth Paper Scissors. Thanks for stopping by.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

get out! seriously....

I have this little routine of late. I wake up with the sunrise or just before and as I'm thinking about the day ahead, a thought hits me. The new 12 days tag is up on Tim's blog. So I grab my robe and put the kettle on. I get my tea ready and settle in for a nice happy visit to Tim's new tag of the day. I ooh and ahh, and look at every step and dream about winning the amazing prizes he's giving away. Then, I hold my breath, make a wish and read over the winning blog comments from the previous day. I almost passed out this morning when I read the first winner:

did a little math while drinking my tea with you this morning. There were 17, 594 comments and you gave away 64 prizes in the first 8 days. That works out to roughly a one in 275 chance that you might pick me today. Better odds than the lottery and the art is unsurpassed.Posted by: Tami B - December 09, 2008 at 9:04 AM

That's me! I am having the most amazing week. I'll be swimming in holtz stamping goodness very soon. Thanks Tim. Now, it's off to reality. I'm teaching middle school p.e. again today. I'm not sure my feet will be touching the ground while the girls are playing football. I'll be on the sidelines doing a happy dance.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

exciting news!

The snow people that my cousin, Terry, and I created last month are getting their day of fame. Our little snow families are featured in Cloth Paper Scissors e-newsletter today. How wonderful. Thanks so much to CPS for finding our snow people and sharing them with everyone. You made my day. My snow people are so happy up on the mantle sharing space with the rest of the snowman collection.

A big happy welcome if you are stopping by today from Scrapbook News and Review celebration. In honor of my exciting news today I'm doing a little RAK. I'll randomly choose one winner from everyone who leaves a comment here to recieve the next issue of Cloth Paper Scissors. It's my favorite magazine, and I'd love to share one with you.

If you have a need to pay forward a kindness this season, here are a couple of my cardmaking friends that are doing good deeds for others. My friend, Lesa, is a breast cancer survivor who started Little Life Preservers to help bring cheer to other women facing a breast cancer diagnosis and treatment. My friend, Sandy, started a wonderful group called Cards for Heroes which provides handmade cards to troops to send home to their families. I'm proud to be able to help these friends with their efforts when I can. Both of these groups always have need for handmade cards, envelopes, and postage. Thanks so much for stopping by today.

Monday, December 8, 2008

day 6 ATC

I'm still working on doing all of Tim Holtz's 12 tags of Christmas tutorials. This is my ATC take on his Day 6 Tag. I gotta tell you I love painting with alcohol inks. I've been meaning to try this for such a long time. I'm so happy I finally did. He does a great tutorial about it on his blog. It's so easy to do and the results are amazing.

I painted behind my colored images with gesso instead of the paint dauber he used, and it worked just fine. I didn't have all the fun embellie goodies he used, but the basic part of this is the same. I added in a rub-on sentiment and some stickles on the ornaments. The stamped image is by Stampington. Thanks for stopping by.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

size matters

We bought our big holiday gift yesterday. A new flat screen plasma monstrosity. Ok, so here's how it went down. We decided about a month ago that this would be our big holiday expenditure. Hubby cashes out banked overtime a couple times a year for large purchases. Usually once around the holidays and once around summer vacation. It's a nice way of saving up for things and avoiding those nasty credit cards. So, we went out to lunch yesterday after the guys took a tuna fishing class at Bass Pro Shop. They loved it, and I shopped at Macy's and looked at girly stuff.

After lunch, hubby starts about we should look at TV's and begins to list a multitude of places he wants to look. We are in a huge shopping mecca about an hour away from home. He's already done hours of research online about prices, brands, etc. The last thing I recall before this is he found a 37" one at Sears that sounded perfect. Not too big for our small house and plenty of pixels/definition/lines or whatever for our needs. So I say lets just go to that Sears Grand place and do it. They have what you want. We don't need to go to a million places. He agrees.

I liken shopping for a tv to shopping for a car. No appeal whatsoever. My current car was purchased without me ever driving it. It was similar to my other car but it had more room and leather heated seats. I love that. We bought it through the fleet dealer, no haggling. I just had to go to the dealer and pick the color. That's how I like to shop for stuff. Make it easy.

So, we arrive at Sears. I look around for a few holiday gifts while hubby looks at the TV's. I check in and he's with the salesperson and they are looking at 37" tvs. Good. I take Kyle over to look at jeans. We finally find some in his size, tall and thin. Go back to check in. They are now looking at 40" tvs. They tell me there isn't much price difference and these are really wonderful. That's 3" bigger already. Kyle takes me over to show me all the mature video games he wants for Christmas so I can decide if they are ok as I roll my eyes. We go back and now they are looking at 42" tvs. The salesman tells me it's just 2" more. Ok, it's really 5" more and that's alot to a woman. I just walk away smiling to myself. That's how we got a monstrosity. Hubby's happy with those extra 5", I'm still in shock.

I took the photo above beside the highway near our home last winter. I love the blue skies after the storm against the snow. No snow yet this season.

Friday, December 5, 2008


Taking a quick break from the 12 days of ATC's to talk about cookies. Yesterday I went to the annual cookie exchange. It's been going on for 9 years now with slight differences in co-hostesses and attendees. We each bake 4 dozen cookies and bring those along with copies of the recipes to be shared. I've made all sorts of cookies for the exchange, trying to make something different each year. This year I made gingersnaps. They were not the prettiest cookies, but they sure taste yummy. I now have two beautiful trays of cookies to share for the holidays minus quite a few that the guys yummed up last night. I also met a couple of new friends yesterday, and now that I think of it many of the ladies I know I first met at this event.

I'd like to share with you a bit more about the recipe card part. I figured out how to get 4 recipes onto one sheet of 8 1/2" x 11" piece of paper. I'm sure it's not rocket science, but since it took me a while, thought I'd share my tips in case anyone else needs to make recipe cards this holiday season.

  • When you get in the word processing program start a new blank document page.
  • Go to file, page set up, then to orientation, and choose landscape. Now your page is running across the long end of the paper.
  • Next you choose format, then columns, and then number of columns 2.
  • At this point you are ready. Go to the top of the first column and type in your recipe.
  • Copy the recipe and paste it below the first recipe. You will have to play with fonts and sizes now to get two recipes to fit in the first column.
  • Copy the first column and copy it to the second column. Make sure that your spacing is even between the recipes, so the cutting is easy.
  • Print out your page and cut apart the four recipes. to 3 1/2" x 5 1/2". The spacing on my cards is not perfect, but that's why we embellish.
  • I then cut a 12" x 12" piece of cardstock into 4" x 6" pieces, which gets you 6 cards out of one piece of cardstock.
  • Decorate with stamps or stickers and attach recipe to cardstock base.

I hope you can use those tips the next time you want to share a recipe with some friends. I know some folks like to include a recipe card when they share food with neighbors or at a potluck or at a shower. Maybe you'd just like to make a pretty recipe book of your favorites. I keep my cookie recipe cards in one of those small photo albums with pockets that you can pick up pretty inexpensively.

At Scrapbook News and Review's holiday celebration today, I'm the blog-alog link. I'm so excited to be a part of all the fun. If you stopped by from SNR or if you are one of my regular friends stopping by, please leave me a quick note about your favorite holiday cookie memory. I'd love to hear about it.

I'll leave you with just a few quick links of friends whose blogs never fail to inspire me. I hope they inspire you, too:

Thursday, December 4, 2008

day 3 ATC

This was a fun ATC to create. I'm still on my journey with Tim Holtz. Here is the link for his day 3 tag that inspired me. I know mine doesn't have the same image or fragment thingie, but the layout is the same and so are the techniques. Ok, here's the scoop. I have 2 santa stamps and you'd think that would be enough. Well, neither one translated well for ATC size and for this technique. So, I tried out a reindeer that didn't work and then spied these little redbirds. They are perfect because I could color them with the same red and green inks.

Next roadblock was the fragments thing. I don't have those yet. I saw them, but couldn't imagine what I'd do with them. Tim is a genius that way, showing us all these things we need. At first I thought I might just cover with crystal effects and use that. I also thought about those clear bubble stickers, but I only have little ones. Clear buttons came to mind, same problem, too small. Then I remembered I bought a package of mica when the scrapbook store closed. I had to find it first, then play with it. I loved geology in college and thought about it the whole time. I do have an affinity for rocks, collecting them on my travels. So, the mica was a great solution for me. It also cuts really easily if you separate it into thin sheets. If you use it, be sure to put a heavy book over your project to keep it flat as it dries. The paper underneath a tendency to buckle a bit and pull away from the mica. I adhered it with crystal effects.

The rest pretty much follows his tutorial. I didn't add any metal to mine mostly because Terry and I used up most of the wintry words I had on our snow people. I do like that he painted them white to get white in the letters. Wish I'd seen that before we made the snow people. Off to see what day 4 has in store for me.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

12 ATC's of Christmas

I love to read tutorials online, but I rarely ever actually try them step by step. This time I thought I'd give it a go. These ATC's are my take on Tim Holtz's 12 Days of Christmas Tags. I started on Day 2, but am planning to try to give all the days a go. I was fortunate enough to have been able to take a full day of 3 classes with him last year at my local scrapbook store. He is such a great teacher and to be able to have online tutorials from him is amazing. I'd love to know how he got the speckles on his tags without getting the mixative everywhere. I made quite a mess last night with a toothbrush.

Other than the colors of alcohol ink and the glossy cardstock, everything I used was a variation of what he used in the tutorial. It's really about the process, so don't fret if you don't have all the supplies he uses. I used pearl mixative instead of silver because I don't have silver. I used black soot ink with clear embossing powder since I threw out my black embossing powder. I hated getting little black spots in stray places. I used regular brads with my grungeboard pieces instead of the idea-ology line goodies. Of course I used different stamps too. I do love the stamp set he used on day 2, just didn't have it. Ok, well now I'm off to read what he's created for day 3.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

a couple of great links

I don't think I've shared yet that we lost almost everything on our computer this week. Not sure how it happened, but the computer got viruses, worms, trojans, and who knows what else. It was awful. Hubby ended up having to start over from the beginning with the computer. We finally have photo shop back, but I haven't taken pictures of anything to show you. So instead, here are a couple of places I love.

Check out The Crockpot Lady. She's been trying out a new crockpot recipe each day this year and giving honest feedback on how she and her family liked or disliked it. We've tried 2 recipes so far, Taco Soup and Turkey Meatballs that I modified into mini meatloafs. We all loved them, and this time of year crockpot cooking makes life so much easier.

Stop by Scrapbook News and Review this week and sign up if you aren't already signed up. We are having a 2 week long celebration with a daily email sent right to you. There are lots of fantastic giveaways and some great inspiration along with games, challenges, and fun blog links. I hope you'll join in and maybe win something wonderful.

Friday, November 28, 2008

lost and found

Most days we walk our dogs. It's good for them and good for us. If hubby and I are both home, we walk them together. It's a time when we discuss so many things since we are just out there walking and enjoying nature's wonders. We live in a mountain area with lots of undeveloped wooded areas around us. The place we walk has a little stream to the side and hills on both sides. We occasionally see quail or coyotes. We regularly see squirrels and lots of birds. The dogs love it. Up until today the most exciting things we've found are pretty rocks and little treasures that we use in our arts & crafts.

At one point today, Mabel, the hero of our story began barking madly. She barks at other dogs (usually bigger ones)and when the doorbell rings. Neither of those things had occured. So, we looked around and saw a little boy on the hillside past the creek. He looked to be playing, so we walked on. There are lots of kids in our area, so we didn't think much of it. A few minutes later on our way back we noticed the boy sitting down, crying. After talking with him we found out he was lost. We never would have seen him at all if Mabel hadn't barked.

Hubby reassured him that we would help him and that he was a police officer. We walked the little guy around to the neighboring houses and cabins and he didn't recognize anything. He was visiting from out of town and was only 6 years old. We brought him home and hubby called the sheriff's. They kept him on the phone until they got here. Kyle and I entertained our frightened young guest with Mickey Mouse videos and milk and cookies. Fortunately, his family finally did call the sherriff's to report him missing. When they did, the deputies told them that he was safe and they took him home.

If you ever lose a child, call 911 immediately. Those first few moments are critical. Most people look for the child before calling. I can think of two other times children went missing here in our mountains and were never found. I'm so glad we were able to play a part in giving this family a happy ending.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving

As I'm getting the pies in the oven tonight, I'm thinking about giving thanks. I'm most thankful that my parents are coming up to spend the holiday with us. This time last year, Mom was in the hospital and we weren't sure she'd be here for another Thanksgiving. I'm thankful that my son is in school full time this year and doing well. After spending such a long time homeschooling him to help him acquire the tools he needs to succeed in spite of dyslexia and dysgraphia, I wasn't sure we'd get here. I'm thankful for my loving and sweet husband who goes out there everyday facing the difficulties on the street with compassion to do his job well. I wish he could be home for the holiday tomorrow, but somebody has to keep everyone safe in the city. I'm thankful for the kindness of friends who've taken a moment to show me they are here for me and who've helped me laugh along the journey.

May your Thanksgiving be filled with love and laughter and a yummy dinner.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

the gang's all here now

Here's the whole crew of snow people. The top photo shows my gang all together. The second photo is of the snow family that my cousin, Terry, made. We had so much fun making these new additions to our holiday decor. I'm thinking the best part of this project is that now when we put out our holiday decorations, we will remember how much fun we had together. If you missed the previous days' posts, there are lots of details about how I made each snow person. Terry used fine glitter on her snow people and beautiful pastel colors. They are so soft and shimmery in person.

Thanks for joining me on this journey with the snow people. I can hardly wait to get out the holiday decorations now and get the house looking festive. I'm including these guys in the Mixed Media Monday ornamental challenge this week. We started making them on Monday, so I think it's appropriate.

I'll leave you with a couple of close up shots of Terry's snow family:

Friday, November 21, 2008

here come the boys...

Introducing Leon and John. These adorable fellas are made from spice jars. I don't think I mentioned earlier that the inside of the jars are filled with beads and baubles. It's hard to see them in the pics, but they add a little weight to the bottom and extra shimmer. One of the spice bottles is a vintage one I picked up in my treasure hunting and the other had dill in it until a few days ago. It was fun raiding the cupboards to make these families. You can see the mag in the back of the photo where we got the idea to make these. We attached the glitter to the heads and hats with Golden gel medium and to the bottles with Crystal Effects. Both were applied with a brush to small areas and then glitter poured over. The glitter we used is all really old. The chunky glitter that I used seems to still be shedding, so I may have to do something else to it to get it to stay on better. Anyone have an idea about that?

Ok, so on the left is Leon. He is made from the current dill spice jar. His eyes and mouth are brads, his nose is a game piece from who knows what game. I have a big bag of game pieces that I've collected over time. The hat is a wooden game piece wrapped with wire and a bell and bauble are attached. He has tinsel around his neck with a rhinestone bobby pin going down the front. I attached letters spelling out noel to the bobby pin. My mom has these ceramic letters that spell noel that she's put out for decoration for as long as I can remember. It is still great fun to sneak in and rearrange those letters to another word. Leon is a favorite of mine.

Next up is John. He is sporting a salt shaker hat from the Pearl salt shaker shown yesterday. In his hat are a variety of pins and wire with beads and baubles. His eyes and mouth are brads. His nose is a vintage pen nib. He is sporting wire around his neck and a leaf, vintage key, candy cane, and baubles are in the mix. The little red metal piece is from an elastic wrapper. The word at the bottom is winter. John and his mate Pearl are made for my great grandma and grandpa who are no longer with us to celebrate. They were the sweetest little grandma and grandpa. I thought they should be a part of the snow people who will adorn our mantel. Lois is representative of my great aunt Lois. She was a wonderful cook and a very snappy dresser. I wish she were here to celebrate with us, also.

Tomorrow I'll show the whole crew along with Terry's snow family. Hers are so very different from mine. Can't wait to show you. Thanks for stopping by.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

meet the girls,

Here are a couple more of the little snow girls. These two little cuties are made from salt shakers. We'll start with Lois on the left. She has a thimble and lone clip-on earring for her hat, with some millinery pearls and leaf behind it. Her scarf is made of felt with a rhinestone buckle. There are some rhinestones from old jewelry on her dress and the word celebrate is down at the bottom. My favorite part of her is her old metal curler wings.

Next up we have Pearl on the right. She has lots of gold tones. Her eyes and mouth are made of brads and her nose is a metal photo holder. Her hat and halo are made of a copper fitting, an ornament top, wire, small key, pearls, bells, large medallion, and a rhinestone. She has some tinsel, wire, a bead and leaves around her neck and the word dream with a pearl down at the bottom. Feather wings finish her ensemble.

I love these little salt shaker snow people. We sort of came up with this idea at the last minute. We walked through a small antique shop on the way to pick up Kyle from school trying to find some icing tips to make hats. Then we saw two unmatched salt shakers. Pearl is made from one of them, and the other is in Terry's snow people family. Lois and the other like her in Terry's set came out of the cupboard. We emptied out the salt and peper and used them to make these. Don't worry, I have another set of salt and pepper on the stove for now. They could be in snow people set #2, though.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

introducing big mama

My cousin, Terry, and I decided to have a crafty sleepover party this week. We had both been so inspired by the snowmen bottles in Cloth Paper Scissors that we had to try them. This is the first of 11 snow people I'm sharing with you this week. We called her Big Mama because it just sort of fit. Her base is a small glass flower vase and the head is made from air dry prang clay. The rest is a huge assortment of treasures from my stash. It took us a couple of hours just to dig out everything we wanted to use to create our snow families. She has a vintage felt bird on her hat that is fashioned out of a rusty washer and plastic plumbing piece. Her scarf is a feather boa and her wings are real feathers. Her eyes are made of brads and her nose is a game piece. She has a rub-on sentiment down at the bottom and some beaded trim and millinery flowers finish off her ensemble. Of course she is covered in vintage chunky glitter to add the touch of snow everywhere.

What a wonderful time we had getting glitter, glue, and feathers all over everything. We decided that we now see why people make dolls. These little snow people took on such personalities as we created them. I have pictures of Terry's snow people to share also, since she doesn't have a blog yet. She needs one, though. It was so much fun to create together, it's been too many years since we did that. We learned to sew together when we were in Kindergarten with our first sewing machines. Terry is a much more accomplished seamstress than I am, but working with these little people was a great equalizer. We live about a day's drive away from each other, but something tells me that we'll be making that drive more often now that our kids are teens and young adults.

It's been an amazing week for me. My hubby swept me away to San Diego this weekend for our 18th anniversary. We spent an entire day in the art museums at Balboa Park. We ate every single yummy thing our hearts desired and filled up our wells with beautiful inspiration. The weather was picture perfect and it is such a vibrant city. I think my muse really loved the museums. She has lots of ideas now.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008


Have you seen my muse? I think I got too wrapped up in politics. Muses don't like politics. So, I got really crazy this week. I decided to tear out the whole floor/bottom of my craft closet. I piled it all up in the middle of the craft room. Good grief! Where did all this junk come from? I found some missing restaurant gift cards that I've been looking for since last Thanksgiving. Seriously. I also went through the whole stash of kid art. I've been stashing it away since pre-school. I guess now that he's taller than me, it was time. Oh my goodness. I recommend that you get out the tissue box before trying to go through over a decade of art projects. All those sweet little notes and handmade cards. My heart is full. My closet is orderly. My muse is still missing.

Friday, October 31, 2008

bogo sale in my etsy shop

I'm having a buy one get one free sale in my etsy shop this weekend. Please stop by and take a peek. I'm doing the happy dance because I sent in my absentee ballot, and no longer have to watch the talking heads. Can't think of a better reason to celebrate.

The details are on my shop announcement right at the top of the page. It's really easy. Buy one item, and let me know which lower or same priced item you'd like for free. Better yet, buy 5 things and get 5 things free. I'll even pick up the shipping on your free items. Happy shopping!

virtual swap

My friend Jan is hosting a virtual swap. It's where the host sends you some stamped images and you make them into a card. The idea behind it is to see how others might use an image that you need some more ideas on. These are the two cards I made with the same image. The one on the left is colored with markers and lots of stickles applied. The one on the right has lots of distress ink smeared around on it. I love these kinds of swaps because it makes me work outside the box a bit. I don't think I ever would have done these things with this image unless I'd faced a challenge. The virtual part of the swap is that you don't mail anything out, just post your results on the web. Thanks for the fun swap, Jan.

In other news, I'm done voting. Made my picks on my absentee ballot and took it to the post office on Wednesday and kissed it goodbye. No need to watch the rigamarole now. I'm tired of it all. I thought I might post a friday funny, but Sandy did it for me. If you'd like a good laugh about the whole thing, go check out this post on Sandy's blog. Oh my did she give me a good laugh today. I don't think I could give up ketchup in favour of vinegar on my chips, but the rest doesn't sound nearly as bad as what we are dealing with at the moment.

I haven't yet opened the bags of candy meant for the trick or treaters tonight, but it's just a matter of time. Happy Halloween. Eat some chocolate for me!

Monday, October 27, 2008

peace, love, vote

Only one more week left of ugly name calling and finger pointing and blaming. I'll be so happy to see November 5th arrive. The way I figure it, our country is a mess no matter who wins this one. I'd just like to see a little tolerance all around. People in my state are really fired up over one of the propositions this year. I just read in my very tiny local community that 2 people were arrested for removing signs for one side of the battle and there is a $2,000 reward to find someone who removed signs for the other side. What happened to freedom of speech? Seriously.

When November 5th gets here, we are still one country. No red, no blue. Just Americans trying to live our lives. So, that's how this little art piece came to be. I've been wanting to try my hand at some small art quilts combining cloth and paper. Today was my first shot at it, not great but it's a start. I learned that you shouldn't make holes first in your paper if you are sewing it to fabric. I remember how much I like hand sewing and how much I like working with fabric. This little piece measures about 5" x 6". It's my entry for this week's Mixed Media Monday lock and key challenge.

Supplies used: Stampfrancisco image stamp, CTMH letter stamps, gesso, staz-on black ink, various markers, vintage lace, piece of vintage mattress pad, vintage key, purple metallic thread, handmade flower, black brad, and the cutest little hanger that I got at the scrapbook expo this weekend.

Friday, October 24, 2008

who's there?

This is a combined challenge arch. First it's the paper patchwork challenge hosted by Cora over at Gothic Arches this week. The challenge was to create a patchwork of papers for the background and throw some paint over them. That was fun!

Then it's the things that go bump in the night over at Mixed Media Monday. My friend Kim is hosting this week, so I had to play even though I've never done a challenge there. Honestly I'm a bit intimidated by the talent of the folks who play in the challenges. Such amazing artwork. I really enjoyed the process of making this arch that feels really outside the box for me.

I don't do spooky, so it's not easy to get that feel going. I think my little sister made me watch way too many spooky movies with her as a kid. I can't even go into a community haunted house. I'm just a big chicken. So, I guess this was a face your fears arch. Thanks for stopping by.

Supplies used: titan buff and nickel azo gold Golden Fluid Acrylics, black Staz-on ink, Ink Blocks stamp, variety of Ranger Distress Inks, lots of paper scraps including a clothing tag, map and postcard, owl pic from vintage dictionary, vintage rummy game piece.

its a wonderful life

I'm in an ATC swap for our favorite Christmas movie. Originally I really wanted to find an old Dr. Seuss Grinch book to tear up to make my ATC's. We always watch it and it is so fun and whimsical. I looked high and low at every thrift shop around to no avail. So, I gave up because I was up against the deadline. I relied on another favorite holiday movie. I decided to try to depict It's a Wonderful Life in some way. This is the result. Do you remember the last scene that shows the christmas tree in black and white and a little bell on it rings? There is tinsel on the tree, too. So, here is my best shot at it with what I had here. It's from my memory as it's been almost a year since I last watched the movie.

"Everytime a bell rings an angel gets his wings."

Supplies used: Hero Arts stamps, Nick Bantock charcoal grey ink, Ranger silver embossing powder, Sakura gelly roll pen, ivory and grey cardstock, silver wired trim.

Thursday, October 23, 2008


Here is what we made out of the fabric below. I was wearing the blue one when I took the photo this morning, so it's not in the pic. I can't even count how many nightgowns we've made from this pattern over the years. This isn't a real pattern that you can buy in a store, but is based on a nightgown that my mom and aunt liked some years back. Usually we get into production mode and make a gozillion of them, but this time we just had a few hours, so we only made three. If we all go somewhere together and share a hotel room, we match. LOL

Wednesday, October 22, 2008


Mom and I usually spend our Tuesdays together while my dad is golfing. Sometimes we go shopping or out to lunch and sometimes we do things at her house. Yesterday we spent our time sewing. I've had these three fabrics for quite a while waiting for a certain project. Each one made their own item, but the three things are the same.

We have the best time sewing and chatting and unsewing. You see anytime I sew something, there is always unsewing involved. If you sew, you know what I mean. It's those darned little mistakes that get me about sewing. It's not so bad when you are working together because it's about the time together as much as the project. I think we only had to unsew twice and one time I sewed a whole piece with no thread in the needle. That's not bad for a 4 hour stint.

I'll show you the finished projects tomorrow, but for today I'm wondering if you have any guesses about what we made.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008


The leaves here are positively luminous this week. They inspired me to make this card for my card swapping group that met here at my house yesterday. Everyone brought a brunch dish to share and we worked on our Christmas tags. All six of us were here and we haven't all made it at one time in so long. It was such a fun morning of creating, laughing, eating, and catching up. I spend most of my creative time here by myself, so it was wonderful to share my space with the group. This is the same group of ladies who introduced me to all things inky and stampy about 6 years ago. What a wonderful journey it's been.

Supplies used: PSX main image, Penney Black leaf image, Staz-On pumpkin ink, orange peel Stickles, sheer orange ribbon, gold metallic cardstock, kraft and pumpkin cardstocks.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

challenge cards

Here are a couple of cards I made today inspired by challenges over at a one day online crop with the fiskateers. It's a crazy bunch of crafters over there who love to make all sorts of goodies. Of course using fiskars products is always encouraged. Both of these sentiments came from a Heidi Grace set of stamps that I won on 2peas stamptoberfest. Oh, I do love these stamps. There are 7 different quotes in this set and each one has a nice frame making it easy to cut them out. They are clear stamps that really stamp well with versafine ink. Clear stamps are hit and miss for me, but these do the job well.

Of course you can see I had to grunge up these cards a bit, too. There are some vintage math pages here along with a piece from an old map. Add in some old buttons and lace and I'm in nirvana. It was fun to create just for the sake of creating today. It seems I get myself into this mode of creating for swaps, assignments, or class samples. That's all good, but sometimes it stifles my muse. She was happy to join me today. I hope you make time for creativity this weekend.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

gift card holder

I just finished hosting a gift card holder swap. It seems to be the most common gift for the holidays. I now have a beautiful assortment of handmade holders. This was my contribution to the swap. It was a pretty simple one to make and it does the job.

If you'd like to make one, you need a piece of cardstock 7" x 4 1/4" and two pieces of patterned paper 2 1/4" x 4" and 1 1/4" x 4". I used a corner rounder on all 4 corners of the cardstock and 2 corners of the patterned paper. Score your cardstock 2 1/2" from one end and 1 1/2" from the other end and fold. You'll need to add in a small brad on each corner of the bottom folded up piece to create a pocket after you attach the patterned paper to it. I used a bit of pretty trim to tie mine closed, but you could use velcro. Decorate as you'd like. That was clear as mud I'm sure.

Supplies used: Stemma patterned paper, confetti cardstock, SU stamp and punch, brilliance ink, white cord trim, 2 small brads.

I filled up my etsy shop with a bunch of holiday goodies I've been collecting. I'm starting to get in the mode of thinking about the holidays. I have a few gifts purchased and have my tags and gift card holders all ready thanks to some great swaps. For now, though, I think I'll go out and decorate the front for Halloween. We've had some nasty winds the last couple of days and I need to do some serious cleaning outside.

Friday, October 10, 2008

feather dance

Here is my entry for the turquoise gothic arch challenge this week. I tried to capture the colors in my favorite turquoise stone earrings. I love the juxtaposition of distress inks with the stickles glitter. I saw that ranger is coming out with distress stickles which made me think why not try it with what I have now.

Supplies used: PSX kokopelli stamp, Impression Obsession feather stamp, SU swirl and net background stamps, Stamps n Memories circular moon stamp, peeled paint and broken china distress inks, deep lagoon versafine ink, patina stickles, K&Co charm colored with stream alcohol inks.

Thursday, October 9, 2008


It's the little things in life that make me so happy like faster internet speed. Oh yeah, so worth the $5 more a month. I can actually comment on blogs. It was getting very frustrating that a ton of my fave blogs totally jammed up my computer. Here's to being connected again!

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

I can't even think of a catchy title for this post. I did not watch the debates today and only caught a bit of the news. I had a sick kiddo home and had to take him to the doctor. Tonight I played bunco with my friends. It's our 6th year playing bunco once a month for 9 months of the year. For those of you who haven't played bunco, it's a dice game that you don't have to think much about and you chat alot, but you change tables every game. So, there are 12 women moving around to 3 different tables all night. We chat about life and our kids and those type things. It's fun.

Tonight was a very different kind of bunco. Running through the conversations were 3 different lay offs in our group. Money worries. Not enough money for gas. Not enough money to buy regular groceries, rice and beans on the menu for every meal. No real talk about politics, just real worries and real problems in real people's lives. People I know and care about. Friends. It sucks. Guess I'll go watch the debate and catch the late news.

Monday, October 6, 2008

busy weekend

I spent the majority of my day on friday cleaning out my mess. I have admitted here before that I'm very messy about my creative space. I achieved my goal of a clean room for World Cardmaking Day on Saturday. So, Saturday arrived and I had visions of stamping the entire day away. My family had other plans, they wanted me to go shopping and to the movies and out to lunch. Normally a great thing, but not such great timing. So, I spent the early morning finishing up samples for my class in a couple of weeks to deliver to the shop in the same area as lunch and shopping. It's an altered game pieces class. Here is a pic of the sample board:

We had a nice afternoon out, and I ran to my craft room as soon as we returned. I made a small pile of cards for my friend Lesa's new endeavor. Lesa is a breast cancer survivor who is paying forward the kindness shown to her during her treatments and recovery time. She started Little Life Preservers to send cards of encouragement to women diagnosed with breast cancer and going through treatment. Here are the cards I'm sending to her today:

And in between all of that I won a drive-by prize at Stamptoberfest. It's a mystery set of stamps. I love a little intrigue in the day and winning is always good. The challenges at 2peas are going on all week, so you can still play and so can I.

Our winter wonderland card crop at SNR was a huge success. Lots of beautiful cards were uploaded and lots of happy stampers won prizes. I loved the whole idea of focusing on getting those holiday cards rolling. Stop by and stroll the gallery for some inspiration on your holiday cards. My new favorite holiday color theme is light blue and kraft tan because of a fun color challenge we hosted. Here is my card that I made for that challenge:

All in all a great weekend even if I didn't stamp like I planned. Oh and if you need an action fix check out Eagle Eye at the theaters or Iron Man on video. I loved both movies, but I was exhausted from all the action and holding my breath waiting to see what happened next.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008


I can't imagine a more important time in my adult life than right now to get informed, get registered, and vote. I am a little obsessed with national news lately. I really do believe this time will be in our future history books. Just how it will be portrayed is yet to be seen. I intend to be a part of it and be able to tell it to my grandchildren some day. We have just over a month to get our ducks in a row and get ready to exercise our right to vote. Thank you to all the women who came before me that had a part in giving me that right. It's not a right I take lightly. If you are not registered or if you have moved, call your county registrar of voters. It's not too late. You can even download the forms online.

supplies used on this gothic arch challenge: kraft cardstock, gesso, saddle brown staz-on ink, sepia glass finish liquid embossing by Plaid, vintage watch parts, used vintage postage stamp, coin charm, and a ton of stamps~~feather by psx, alpha for vote by POD, elongated watch by Eclectic Omnibus, front view watch by Hampton Art Stamps, mini postcard and postal cancellation by Auntie Amy's Embossing Arts, thank you definition by Hero Arts.

Monday, September 29, 2008

world cardmaking day

Oh how I do love holidays. This Saturday is a biggie on my calendar. It's a whole day set aside just to make cards. Right up my alley. I am busy clearing the decks and checking out challenges to get ready. Lots of sites will be hosting challenges on Saturday. My new gig, Scrapbook News and Review, is hosting a winter wonderland card crop. There are some fun prizes from sponsors along with lots of challenges. Stop by Saturday morning for a fun kick start the holiday season.

2peas in a bucket stamping board is hosting stamptoberfest that will begin on friday and go on all week. There are always lots of fun challenges there with prizes, too. I'm not hosting one this time around, but I'm already making a list of challenges I'd like to try. The group on the stamping board is so much fun and so welcoming.

Join in on all the fun even if you haven't ever joined these groups before. It's free to register on both sites and you'll need a scanner or digi camera to get photos uploaded of your creations. Even if you don't want to enter anything stop by for the inspiration and fun.

Do you know about any other wonderful events happening for this most important day? Please share them if you do, I don't want to miss anything.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

while the cat's away...

What's a girl to do when the guys leave on a quick fishing trip? Well, for starters I had cookies for breakfast and surfed the web in my jammies. I filled up my etsy shop with lots of goodies and hopped in the shower about noon. Then I rolled out to my favorite junk shop for some treasure hunting. Oh I do love to dig through all the junk they have there. I scored a really old bingo game and a bunch of rusty stuff. So far I just collect rusty stuff, but I have dreams of taking a class with Michael deMeng and actually assembling it into amazing shrines. Some old sheet music and a single baby shoe hopped in my basket, too. Then I journeyed over to the library to pick up the 4th twilight series book that I've been on the waiting list for. How convenient that it arrived just in time. The sushi and sorbet are what I picked up for lunch. A lazy afternoon of reading rounded out the day. Of course you know there were a few house chores in there, but we don't need to talk about that. The guys came home happy and sunburned and stocked up the freezer again. They limited out on bonita this time around. They said it was the best fishing trip, yet. I agree.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

black and white

I shipped off a whole package of these ATC's to England today. I don't do many swaps these days, but this one really caught my eye. The host of the swap, Lisa, is a member of the Stamp Shack and has really been blowing me away with her ATC artwork. When she decided to host her first swap with a black and white theme, I just had to join. I love the way a whole page of color coordinated ATC's looks. I also love to hold artwork in my hands. ATC's are such a nice way to do that.

Things around here have been a little nuts, so I haven't been posting much. After Mabel got kennel cough, then Shelly got it. As soon as they started getting better my hubby got sick. He's recovering from a pretty good case of bronchitis. It takes alot to keep him home from work and he's been home for about a week and a half. I think Kyle and I dodged the bullet and are still well.

My alcohol inks class was an absolute joy to teach. Some of the ladies are already signed up for another class with me. I have two more scheduled this year including a second installment of alcohol inks since they enjoyed it so much. We will be working on transparencies and metal next time. I need to get my samples finished up soon.

My anniversary sale was a great success. Thanks so much to all who stopped by. Be on the lookout for lots of additions in my etsy shop this weekend. I've been busy treasure hunting and have lots of ephemera and vintage patterns to list. A couple of other vintage surprises, too.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

friday funny

While suturing a cut on the hand of a 75-year old Texas rancher whose hand was caught in a gate while working cattle, the doctor struck up a conversation with the old man. Eventually the topic got around to Sarah Palin and her bid to be a heartbeat away from being President.

The old rancher said, ' Well, ya know, Palin is a post turtle.'

Not being familiar with the term, the doctor asked him what a post turtle was.

The old rancher said, 'When you're driving down a country road and you come across a fence post with a turtle balanced on top, that's a post turtle.'

The old rancher saw a puzzled look on the doctor's face, so he continued to explain.

'You know she didn't get up there by herself, she doesn't belong up there, she doesn't know what to do while she is up there, and you just wonder what kind of dumb ass put her up there to begin with.'

cards for heroes

Have you heard about Cards for Heroes, yet? It's a wonderful group of cardmakers who got together to make cards for our troops to send home to their loved ones. I just sent my third package of cards out today with over 30 Halloween cards. My son loves Halloween so much that I know if his dad was away he'd love to get a card from him. I'm so glad that a few kids will get some joy when they open these cards from their mom or dad. Mostly I used papers and cardstock stickers that FiskarsCrafts donated from their Heidi Grace and Little Davis lines. They were so much fun to put together. I almost never make cards without stamping, but with all of these pretty papers and embellishments I didn't need any stamping.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

etsy paper anniversary sale

It's my one year anniversary on Etsy this weekend. I'm having a paper sale, since one year is the paper anniversary. All items made of paper in my shop are now marked down 25%. This includes lots of patterns, books, and ephemera. Stop by if you have a minute.

Thank you so much for making my first year on etsy such a great success.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

exploring alcohol inks

These are the samples for the class I'm teaching next weekend. I have some students who have already signed up. Yipee! It will be on Sunday, September 14th 1:00 to 3:30 if you can join us. The class fee is $25 and includes everything you need to make all these fun goodies. I can't wait to see what my students teach me this time. I'm hoping they use different color combos for whole different looks. I love that part of teaching. The link to the shop is over there on the sidebar if anyone local is interested.

In other news things are rolling along here. Mabel has a pretty good case of kennel cough that she caught from the neighbor dog Kyle was watching last weekend. Would have been nice to know the dog was sick. It cost me $100 for Kyle to make $30. Whatever. I got lots and lots of fun goodies at all the sales last weekend and I made a nice little profit from the scrapbook store yard sale. I should be able to buy everything I need on my credit for a while. Love that. My cousin won a 1 minute shopping spree at her local stamp shop and was able to rake in $400 worth of goodies into her bag in 1 minute. How awesome is that. She's coming to visit and stamp with me in November so we can use all those fun goodies. Hi Terry :)

Oh, and I just finished reading the first book in the Twilight Series by Stephanie Meyer. I'm thinking that the weekend hubby is away cycling in Mammoth isn't the best time to read a vampire book. LOL...it was a good read though.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

another treasure hunt weekend

It's all about the yard sales this weekend. Kyle has decided he wants a GPS to do some geocaching, so he's holding a yard sale today with a bit of help from his Dad to keep it running smoothly. I dug out some things last night to add to his sale. It's so hot this weekend that I think his big seller will be the bottled water he's selling for $1. There are literally hundreds of yard sales on the mountain this weekend. Mom will soon be on her way up and we are headed out to hit a few sales this morning with chocolate donuts in hand.

I stopped by a few sales yesterday and picked up those fabulous keys. I've been trying to find old keys forever. They have been elusive, but yesterday I spied these in a wine glass just as I was about to leave the sale. Definitely a diamond in the rough. When I pulled up it looked like a guy yard sale with lots of electronic type stuff and the guy manning the sale was a bit suspect. So glad I stopped anyway and went on with the hunt. I'm certain that my ancestors were hunter/gatherers.