Friday, August 28, 2009

100% {surfin'} happiness

I made this card for my middle son's 20th birthday today (yes, I'm feelin' rather old these days...he's not even my oldest!). This boy of mine started surfing a couple years ago and now he lives to surf, and does so every chance he gets. It makes me sad that I don't get to see him out there doing what brings him the most pleasure --he really is "100% Happy" when he's surfing. One of these days I think he's going to talk his dad into filming him so I can see his progress {at least I hope so}. I used Mojo Monday Sketch 95 for this card (I've been wanting to make it since the day that sketch came out, but that week was the one I left for our trip so time didn't permit). I've been {somewhat} planning it in my head for this past month, and so it came together relatively quickly...and good thing since I had to get it into the mail the morning after I made it. Ironically, though, I padded it so well to protect the shell from being broken in transit that it was too thick to fit through the outgoing mail slot of our community mailbox...and because of my hectic schedule that afternoon, it ended up being mailed a day later than planned. Oops. I'm still hoping it won't be late. There's more dimension to this than the pics show, but not as much as most of my cards. The shell was originally tied with raffia to a bag of shells Chloe has {she has quite a collection}, and when I mentioned wanting to use a small shell or shell charm, this is one of the shells she brought out and offered me {she's very giving}. ;) It's larger than I was envisioning, but it was flat and didn't require me to drill a hole in it and Chloe was really excited about using it, so that's what I went with. The funny thing is that this card will likely end up in the round file since it's being sent to the son who usually only keeps the cards and things that his younger siblings make/send to him. I hope I'm wrong, but if I'm not, at least I'm aware of that probability going into it...even though I still don't understand it, and likely never will.

Well, I hope you enjoy your weekend. ;D And thanks so much for the visit; I hope you'll stop by again soon. Until then, many blessings to you!

Economy boosters (just doin' my part -lol!):

Cardstock: White Daisy, Crystal Blue, Desert Sand (CTMH)

Patterned Paper: unnamed double-sided (Creative Imaginations)

Stamps: Surfing Riley (Stampendous), 100% Happiness -exclusive store KOM for Aug09 (Unity)

Ink: Timber Brown Staz-On (Tsukineko), Heavenly Blue, Goldrush (CTMH)

Other: Cuttlebug, D'Vine Swirls embossing folder, Distressed Stripes embossing folder (Provo Craft), large oval punch, 1 1/4" circle punch (SU!), ric rac (May Arts?), raffia, shell (my sweet girl Chloe), Prismacolor pencils (Sanford), odorless mineral spirits (Mona Lisa), blending stumps (Alvin), yellow and clear Spica glitter pens (Too Marker), white pigment ink Uni-ball pen (Signo), sandpaper, foam mounting tape, glue dots

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

{Howdy}

How's your week going? More relaxing than mine, I hope. ;)

We started school today, and the kids also begin going to their Wednesday evening programs as well...Awana Club for Chloe and Jr. High youth group at our church for Noah (still having a hard time grasping the fact that 6th graders are in junior high here, unlike making the transition in 7th grade where we moved from). So we've been at it most of the day doing school, and in a few minutes from now I'll be in the kitchen taking care of dinner and dishes so we can all rush out and start making the rounds about town dropping off and picking up the kids (of course neither of their activities are anywhere near our home, and they're not even near each other!). But in between those times, my hubby and I will have a good hour of 'togetherness' --not very long, but we'll take it! It's something that's a little rare for us since leaving California (and our built-in babysitters...our older kids -lol). I'm just thankful to have these activities for them, and that this only happens once a week! ;D

Oh, you came to see a card? lol Well, okay; if you insist....

I made this card while visiting my parents last month. And aside from getting to spend time with them (and eat too much of my mom's DELICIOUS cooking!), I was really thankful to be able to use some of my mom's card-making stash (she's got a TON!) on this card.

I was making it for some friends who had graciously invited us to stay with them on the last night of our travels, and their home {and lifestyle} is VERY western. They're not farmers or ranchers, but they've got an old covered stage wagon (sans the cover) in their pasture, and horses, chickens, and dogs all over the place. (No tractor though. -lol) And if that weren't enough to convince you of their passion, their home's decor is a rich display of hardwood floors, wooden stair rails, animal-skin rugs, bar stools with saddles, beautiful antique furniture, rustic ranchers' tools, and a host of other period pieces. I love the warmth and charm of their home but could NEVER imagine myself doing the amount of dusting that must be required on all those pieces! Jannelle even does Vintage photography, complete with a large selection of costumes, props, and backdrops, in her home studio. Fun, fun, fun.

Being a city girl born and raised, with a country girl inside yearning to get out (hence, our move from bustling, overcrowded So. Cal to a more rural area), I do have some western-theme supplies, but not a lot. However, because my parents now live near the quaint little town of Wickenburg, AZ, where the western motif is a little more apparent than southwest, my mom had quite a bit for me to choose from. Knowing that I needed to make this card away from home, I did bring some supplies {like the Lockhart Boots and the rustic jute twine from Papertrey}, but Mom came to my rescue (again...she's the BEST mom EVER!) with the cute patterned papers, the sentiment stamp, the corner punch, and distressing tools --thanks again, Mom!). Oh, and the original inspiration for my card was this: ...Chloe's cowgirl boots. ;D

And if you're wondering where all the fancy piercing/stitching detail on my paper interpretation is...all I can say is that I had the template, started to attempt it, but in the end was too chicken to make that first blind pierce --I KNEW I'd inevitably have ruined them and would've had to start over. ;(

The sketch was another Mojo Monday sketch (and was current at the time), Sketch 97. I really enjoy working with sketches, and the Mojo ones are some of my favorites. ;)

Thanks so much for the visit. Y'all come back now, ya hear! (That was bad...I know. Sorry. Kinda. lol) Until then, many blessings to you!

Economy boosters (just doin' my part -lol!):

Cardstock: White Daisy, Cranberry, Barn Red, Desert Sand (CTMH)

Patterned Paper: western words Signature Collections (Creative Imaginations), red bandanna print (Carolee's Creations), Leather Saddle (SandyLion)

Stamps: Boots (Lockhart), Ride 'Em Cowgirl (My Favorite Things), Boards and Beams (Papertrey Ink)

Ink: Timber Brown Staz-On (Tsukineko), Antique Linen Distress Ink (Ranger)

Other: small star punch, photo corner punch (SU!), Standard Classic Large and Small Circle Nestabilties dies (Spellbinders), Cuttlebug (Provo Crafts), edge distressor (CTMH), Prismacolor pencils (Sanford), odorless mineral spirits (Mona Lisa), blending stumps (Alvin), Rustic Jute Twine (Papertrey Ink), foam mounting tape

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Endings {& Beginnings}

So how's your weekend going?

I'm hanging out at home getting ready to ease back into school this week. Not as fun as stamping, but necessary...and it's had the added bonus of allowing me a chance to post a bit. Three posts in two days --I'm pretty sure that's a record for me! ;) I feel bad that I've lost a few subscribers lately, so I can't tell if it's my non-posting or if it's my being too wordy (ya think? lol). Oh, well. I guess not everyone is gonna like it here...bummer though. ;(

LauraB --if you're still coming by-- I haven't forgotten that you asked for the zucchini bread recipe --I'll get that to you soon! Thanks for your patience.

Thanks, Jeanne and June, for your suggestions on the piercing templates. I think I should clarify a little though. Here's a pic of the template I was using: And here's another one I'm hoping to conquer: I can imagine piercing some cardstock and THEN cutting out the desired area, maybe using the Nestabilities dies. My issue is placing that huge, relatively solid template over my pre-cut panels. I have no idea where I'm placing it with respect to where I want to pierce. (The Pierceabilities are MUCH smaller --about a 1-inch width-- and shouldn't be a problem seeing where you're wanting to pierce.) With all the beautiful samples I've seen using these, I know my freak-out factor has got to be a user error rather than a univeral issue with these templates...which is good, because it means there's hope for me yet. lol I just want to know how to do it the right way. ;)

I made this card last week for a young lady who headed off for college this week, using the then-current Weekend Sketch Challenge by Beate. After pondering this occasion for quite some time, I was so happy to have finally figured out what stamps I was going to use, but then found myself struggling (we're talking hours here) when it came time to putting this card together...until I tried adding the little touch of blue ribbon. Bingo! That totally made the card for me. I mean, I love the Cosmo Cricket Early Bird papers (is that stuff HARD to get or what?!?), and I thought since the recipient was getting there by car, the cute little traveling image together with the sentiment would be perfect --you know, leaving home and starting her college years..."Endings & Beginnings"...get it?-- but something was missing and I just couldn't bring myself to wrap it up.

I think my hubby thought I was nuts, trying this and that and then asking him what he thought, only to start the process all over again regardless of his reply. Poor guy. lol I'm so thankful I have a fairly decent amount of stash on hand that I can go to. Sure makes life easier when you're in a pinch.

Here's a close-up of the glittery detail (just cuz I can -lol), although it looked much more sparkly in real life and also in the pic before I loaded it to this post (so maybe I still have a bit of learning to do), so you may want to click on it to get the ginormous size: I did the inside up all perty too --layering, border punch, stitching galore, even some piercing on the patterned paper (but only because the sewing machine created a hole that wasn't meant to be -lol)-- but the pic came out too blurry to share ;( so you'll just have to take my word for it.

Something else I just love: the Unity KOMs! As if you couldn't tell. ;) At first I didn't know if I'd like having so many random images and sentiments, but now that I've acquired...um, several, it seems as if there couldn't possibly be an occasion I wouldn't be able to find something that would work. Okay, hold on. Back up. I didn't really mean that...cuz then I'd never be able to justify buying another stamp! Not good. But you know what I'm trying to say, right? Those kits are awesome.

Oh, and if you like that sort of thing, did you see that Lizzie Anne Designs has just come out with their own version, called Monthly Mix? Oh, goodness, am I ever in trouble! Theirs are about idential in size and price as Unity's, and they're equally cute too --though, from what I can tell so far, I'd say they're perhaps a bit less random and a tad more seasonal. And I've always loved how LAD stamps are deeply etched and come pre-cut and already mounted on cling foam (pretty much like Unity's, except that LAD doesn't send their stamps to you still on the rubber sheet)...AND they come with their own CD case for storage too! What's not to love?! Not good.

And in case you were wondering, no, I'm not getting any kind of compensation from either of those companies (darn!). In fact, if I hadn't run into this post while going through my overloaded inbox a couple weeks ago, I'd have said neither of them had ever even heard of me (although they are somewhat familiar with my charge card number -lol). That was kinda cool...scrolling through the post, admiring artwork, and then doing a double-take and thinking, "Hey, that's MY card!" lol Totally new to me! And, yes, I know my name was misspelled, so maybe the Unity peeps still don't really know who I am...and that's okay --I'm just happy that someone must've liked my card. ;)

Thanks so much for the visit, and I hope you'll stop by again soon. Until then, many blessings to you!

Economy boosters (just doin' my part -lol!):

Cardstock: Colonial White, Cranberry (CTMH), Aqua Mist (Papertrey Ink)

Patterned Paper: Early Bird "Sunrise" and "Apron Strings" (Cosmo Cricket)

Stamps: Endings & Beginnings -February 09 KOM, enjoy Your Story...laugh -November 08 KOM (Unity)

Ink: Timber Brown Staz-On (Tsukineko), Antique Linen Distress Ink (Ranger)

Other: Prismacolor Pencils (Sanford), odorless mineral spirits (Mona Lisa), blending stumps (Alvin), VersaMark (Tsukineko), clear embossing powder, heat tool, grosgrain ribbon (CTMH), Spica glitter pens (Too Marker), Blossom Nestibilities die, Standard Circle Small die (Spellbinders), Cuttlebug (Provo Craft), Apron Lace border punch (Fiskars), crochet trim (Wright's), Cloud craft seam binding (Martha Stewart), sewing machine, thread

Friday, August 21, 2009

amusing {food-related} musings

I don't have any cards to share in this post (however, if you didn't see my previous post earlier today, I do have a card you probably haven't seen...just scroll down a little), but thought you might be in a mood to be entertained for a few minutes. And if not, then I'll just thank you now for stopping by and apologize for your disappointment. BUT if you're looking to be amused or could use a good laugh to start off your weekend, here ya go:

First up are some handmade designs by my silly and oh-so-creative 9-YO, Chloe.
I realize these require a little stretch of the imagination to consider it 'food related,' but they really are because they utilize the little wire twist ties for produce bags taken from found in most grocery stores. Not a very eco-minded activity, I know, but, all things considered, we're good with that.

Girl in wheelchair with dog: Girl with crutches --this girl's getting more mobile, so she must be getting better -lol! (I'm not sure what Chloe's preoccupation with physical maladies is here, but these are really cute; no?): Maybe she fell off her bike and broke her leg?? lol But at least we now know that it wasn't a Seeing Eye dog up there next to the wheelchair. ;) I guess she's recovered now and enjoying the good life...maybe on a beach somewhere? ;) And finally, a group shot: And now for a little food funny straight from, you guessed it, the mouth of my sweet Chloe (can I just say how much joy she brings me?!)....

She was recently enjoying a new flavor of yogurt and commented to me that it was really good. Then she added, "It might be better though if it weren't organic...(slight pause here) and if it were real cow's milk." To that I explained that organic meant only that it didn't have the bad things in it, like pesticides or hormones, but that the flavor would be the same as non-organic yogurt...and that it IS made with cow's milk. Then she says, with no small amount of relief in her voice, "Oh! Then I guess it's really good." Well, after that enthusiastic response, my curiosity got the better of me and so I had to ask her what she thought it was if not "real cow's milk." Her reply was to show me the yogurt's label: Aside from thinking of the truly adventurous spirit she has (because she's been choosing this particular brand of yogurt for a little while now and has never once questioned it...aloud anyway), all I could do was laugh! Wallaby milk?!? lol Kids --how can you not love their sweet innocence! ;)

Here's another 'food-related' clip my brother sent to me last week, and I found it to be hysterically funny...albeit just as equally frightening. Ordinarily I'm not a big fan of the ACLU, but in this case I'm in total agreement. I wasn't able to embed the clip to my blog, but if you haven't already seen it and want a good laugh, click HERE. ....So what did you think? Can you imagine?!?!?

And before you go on your way, here's something I found the other day while searching out a recipe for homemade chai latte (I was hoping to find a less expensive and healthier way for Chloe and I to enjoy one of our favorite indulgences...I'm still looking). I don't frequent coffee cafes and don't personally know any baristas, so I found this video clip rather amusing.
I had no idea what I'd been (and will continue to be) missing! lol Who knew making/ordering coffee drinks could be so fun? ;)

If you made it to the end here, thanks; I hope you were at least a little amused. I'll be back to share another card with you soon.

Thanks so much for the visit, and I hope you'll stop by again soon. Until then, many blessings to you!

Thinking of You {with sympathy}

Happy Friday! Time is just flyin' by these days, and it's making me feel like I'm crawlin' along at a snail's pace -UGH!

Well, first I just want to thank you sweet, sweet ladies for being so kind in your comments to me. It's nice to think I was missed, even if you were just saying that cuz you didn't want to hurt my feelings (it worked -lol). ;P

In light of all I have on my To Do list (which is much longer than my days!), I'm gonna make this post short and sweet today. Really. Don't believe me, eh? Well, check this out....

I used this week's Card Patterns Sketch 28 to make this card for a dear friend whose grandma recently passed away: That first one shows the true colors more accurately, but I think this next one is a better picture: I gotta say, I've never used a piercing template before. OMWord, was it ever challenging! I've always thought it would be so easy. I mean, you've got a template for pete's sake, so how hard could it be!? Uh-um...think again. Well, okay, so maybe it's just me, but it almost scared me away to the point of giving away my templates. Good grief, I felt like I was flyin' blind and thought for sure I was going to crash 'n burn any second! And making those little holes caused me the most stress I've ever felt while making a card! Me thinks me needs LOTS of practice before me feels comfortable with these very intimidating little gems. And if any of you have any tips on how to work with them, I'd LOVE it and be most appreciative if you'd share...pretty please???

Here's a shot of the inside: And here's a picture I NEVER in a million years thought I'd be able to share with you...one of CLOSE-up detail --woo hoo!!! Yes, it's a rather BIG deal for me cuz I've had this camera for about FOUR years and, thanks to my hubby...and a little thing called the camera's manual -lol...I just now learned how to do this --and of course now that I LOVE my camera, it's starting to act up a little. Uh-oh! ;(

This card had lots of layers and really had some 'heft' to it, so I was glad I didn't have to mail it. ;)

See...it was {fairly} short! ;P Time for me to get back to work now.

Thanks so much for the visit, have a wonderful weekend, and I hope you'll stop by again soon. Until then, many blessings to you!


Economy boosters (just doin' my part -lol!):

Cardstock: Bamboo, (ret.) Pansy Purple (CTMH), Curious Iridescent Cryogen White (Arjo-Wiggins)

Patterned Paper: Wisteria collection (BasicGrey)

Stamps: Thinking of You (JustRite Stampers)

Ink: (ret.) Pansy Purple (CTMH)

Other: Labels 4 Nestibilities dies (Spellbinders), Lace border punch --THANKS, MOM! ;) (Ek Success), piercing tool (CTMH), piercing template (Ecstasy Crafts), ribbon (Offray), Cuttlebug (Provo Craft), self-adhesive pearls (Joy! Crafts), pearl hat pin (eBay), sewing machine, thread, foam mounting tape

Thursday, August 13, 2009

never can say {goodbye}

Hello there! It's been a LONG time since I've posted (FOUR whole WEEKS to be exact) -- YIKES! So how have y'all been?! Fully enjoying your summer, I hope!

Our road trip was a lot of fun --the kids and I traveled through seven states, logged well over 2,000 miles, and saw some beautiful scenery along the way. (We also thoroughly enjoyed eating an In N Out burger upon our arrival in California --man, I miss those!) And the best part was getting to see my older kids, my parents, and even a few old friends again...but saying goodbye proved just as difficult for me as it has been every other time. To be honest, it really stinks. I'm so bad at it that I will even catch myself starting to get teary (in private) long before it's time to leave just knowing that THAT time is coming. Despite my best efforts, it totally reduces me to a big bawling baby EVERY time. (In years past, I've even been called a "tourist"...someone who is already aware and sad about having to leave rather than enjoying the time there. I'm not sure I want to agree with that, but it's possible there's a leetle grain of truth to it.) Sometimes I wish I could just give and take those parting hugs and just turn and leave with a big smile on my face. But, n-o-o-o-o. I have to cry. A LOT. I can't help it. My heart just hurts. And if it weren't my family, I'd be completely embarrassed. My parents get it (I'm pretty sure), but I have a feeling my kids think I'm a total freak. It's bad enough that those moments are likely stored in their memory banks, but I'm very thankful they haven't been captured on film. Can you imagine?!?!? Not so pretty.

So we've been back home {for two weeks now}, just trying to get caught up on everything before we start school again. I'm still not ready. Not at all actually. And I haven't even stamped much, nor have I been blurfing. ;( I've really been missing it, too, but sometimes life just kinda assumes its {rightful} position and I'm obliged to go where it leads. I was all set to apologize here but then figured that no one probably even noticed my absence. lol And I'm assuming that you guys all have times when you're too busy to stamp/blog too, so you totally understand...am I right? And it's not about guilt, but to share when time permits. Are you with me on that too (I hope)? ;)

I'm still way behind on the cards I want/need to make and each week the list grows, making me wonder how I'm ever going to get caught up. And still no Christmas cards made yet (I'm not holding my breath on that one, but it's still early...or so I keep telling myself -lol).

Anyway, I need to get dinner started but thought I'd just check back in to blog world, say a quick hello to any of you who happen to stop by, and share a little card I made to leave with my sweet daughter after our visit. Not my usual style (it was inspired by Heather "Pine" Nichols actually --love her fresh and simple approach), but instead of making a card I was supposed to have been packing and getting everything loaded into the car so we could leave on our trip...I was a little rushed to say the least but enjoyed making a card without patterned paper for a change. Of course it wasn't as "simple" (read: fast) for me to imitate Heather's style, but it was fun and I was happy with the end result. The butterflies are supposed to be representative of me and the littlest munchkins who joined me on the trip. ;) Thanks so much for coming back to visit me here, and I hope you'll stop by again soon. Until then, many blessings to you!


Economy boosters (just doin' my part -lol!):

Cardstock: Kraft (SU!), Aqua Mist, Melon Berry (Papertrey Ink)

Stamps: Boards & Beams (Papertrey Ink)

Ink: White Daisy pigment ink (CTMH)

Other: Classic Butterfly punch (Martha Stewart), Scalloped Scallop border punch (EK Success), button, ribbon (Papertrey Ink), embroidery floss (DMC), sponge (CTMH), butterfly trim (Wright's), white gel pen (Signo), Gelly Roll clear Stardust glitter pan (Sakura), glue dots