Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Christmas cards galore



I have been working on my Christmas cards lately getting ready to spread some Christmas cheer via the U.S. Postal Service. These are just a few examples. I try not to make any two exactly alike. Not that I could make two alike if I wanted to...




Above is a Christmas cardinal. Below is one I am particularly happy with. I cut the tree image with a set of oval spellbinders dies and made each layer progressively higher using pop-dots.


 


I like the non-traditional colors on the 'Peace' card.




Here's a shot of our Christmas tree. A nice big one!



That's all for now. Thanks for stopping by!

Monday, September 27, 2010

Crafty mojo?

At long last, I finally got my craft room all set up.... and have I taken time to play in it? Just barely. It seems like life has been a whirlwind ever since the move. That is not a bad thing but it has been difficult to sit down and get my crafty mojo going.

This weekend I was able to fit in some quality crafting time. Here's a card I made this weekend. The Noah's Ark image is a digital stamp from Squigglefly.  It was a lot of fun to color that with my colored pencils. The card is for a baby boy so I went with a blue background and some blue buttons.


With the arrival of fall and the holiday season fast approaching, there are a lot of card making occasions on the horizon. Hopefully I can get back into my crafty groove and take full advantage of my awesome craft space.

Friday, September 17, 2010

The Splurge

I don't often spend large quantities of money on myself... at least not for frivolous items but today, I treated myself to:


This new Coach purse.


The one and only Coach purse I owned was several years old. Plus I found myself in need of something larger as I struggled to cram all my "stuff" into it. And yes, I know, I could try not carrying so much "stuff" around with me but getting a new purse seemed like a lot more fun. My new purse has a lot more room and several separate compartments which I like.





Now, I already promised my honey I would reserve a section of the new bag for him so he can free up his pockets when we are together. So here's what I'm thinking:





That should be enough room for your "stuff", right dear?


Oh.... and I didn't want my new purse to be lonely so, I let her bring a friend home with her.



I mean come on, they look so happy together. How could I separate them?


Now, don't ask me how much I paid. Just smile and nod and tell me I'm worth it.


Thursday, September 16, 2010

As The World Stops Turning, Weezer Keeps Rockin' and Rollin'

I grew up watching soap operas with my Mom and Grandma. They were both housewives and it was the daily routine after lunch to turn on The Young and The Restless , The Bold and The Beautiful and As The World Turns . Although Mom and Grandma gave up the soaps long ago, I have watched them off and on throughout my adult life. This Friday the final episode of As The World Turns will be aired. The soap that first went on the air in 1956 is coming to an end.


It's kind of sad to see such a long running show end but some people are taking it a little TOO hard. Yes, I know, if you watched it daily you will miss it... but it's just tv ok? The actors and actresses will move on to other things. Some are actually slated to land safely on The Young and The Restless. Life goes on.


****


Last night, much to my delight, as I was poking around on itunes, I discovered a new album had been released by Weezer. I immediately purchased Hurley . Weezer never fails me. Their upbeat sound makes it hard not to smile. Hurley rocks.


I was amused to discover one of the bonus tracks on the deluxe album is a cover of Coldplay's Viva La Vida. I wouldn't have imagined that working... but it totally does. If you get a chance, check it out.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Craftopia Rises Again

Finally!! I once again have a real craft room. It's so nice to have a true designated area for creativity rather than being banished to the kitchen table and working out of bankers boxes like I did for the past few years.








There's still work to be done but the bulk of it is there. I can sit down now and actually craft!!


On another creative note, I went to The Cummer Museum and Gardens yesterday. Even though it's a rather nifty place and close by, I had not visited it in years. If you are in the Jacksonville area, you should stop in and take a look around. (It's even more enjoyable if you have a handsome fella strolling along with you holding your hand from time to time like I did.)


Well, that's all for today. I'm off to find something to eat and to relax. Two more days til the weekend and it can't get here fast enough for me.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

the last single woman in America

I'm almost finished reading a book called The Last Single Woman in America by Cindy Guidry. This isn't one if those 'woe is me, I am single' books. This is a book about a single woman sharing her relationship experiences, thoughts on love and why she is still single and it's peppered with humor. I can hardly put it down.


I'm not sure a man could relate to this book but I can safely say that every woman I know, single or not, could get something out of it. Kudos to Ms. Guidry for putting her feelings out there for the world to see.


The most recent chapter I finished was titled "love". In it, Cindy is asked by a man who has reportedly never been in love to describe what it's like to be in love.


"So how do you describe being in love? It's illogical and therefore defies rational explanation. I'm pretty sure it's a temporary form of insanity brought on by a weird chemical reaction that's been cleverly designed to trick people into agreeing to spend the rest of their lives together. "


Given my experience, I guess I can see that point of view.


I mean, it MUST be temporary insanity. All things considered, I should be depressed right now, mourning my last chance at true love, etc., etc... but instead I'm sitting here with a goofy grin on my face and a huge case of the giggles. What's that all about? I don't really know but I know enough not to question it. Good things are happening and I'm going to let them happen. Why not? I deserve to be happy as much as any one else. I'm not going to punish myself for past mistakes.


I think that everything in life comes with a lesson. If we learn that lesson, we get to move forward. If we don't learn, we must repeat the lesson. I have learned. I'm ready to move forward. What ever lesson is next, bring it on!!

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Of Cards and Critters

Hello friends. Taking a few minutes out to blog this afternoon.


Below are a couple of my recent creations. Both are the result of some challenges from the Splitcoaststampers site. I am happy with both cards but am particularly proud of the second one. It didn't turn out ANYTHING like I planned, it turned out better.






On the home-front, we have spent the last week and a half letting Tonks (who I mostly call Tonkers) get comfy in her new home. We have refereed any interaction between the cat and my well established dog, Miss Katie. Katie likes to stand outside the cat's room and bark... and bark... and bark. It has been hard on the ears but we expected this.


Last night we decided it was time to let the fur-kids face off. The tables turned very quickly for poor Miss Katie. A few warning hisses from Tonks and then....SWIPE... followed by a YELP. Katie was not really hurt but she sure was shocked. She has never lived with a critter that didn't let her rule over them before and that includes some really big dogs. Now instead of being tormentor, Katie is the tormented. She wants nothing to do with the cat and turns to go the other way when she sees her.


This morning Katie trotted into the living room where Charles and Tonks were sitting on the couch. Katie spotted the cat and turned to retreat but when she turned her back, Tonks POUNCED on her backside. YELP!!! Katie made a bee-line for where I was in another room. I think she would have crawled up my legs if she could. Poor baby!


I'm sure there will be many more days like this before the cat and dog learn to co-exist in peace but I have faith that we will eventually get there. Until then, I bet we will have plenty of stories to tell.

Monday, May 10, 2010

More About Tonks


Tonks

We still haven't gotten any really good pictures of Tonks but here are a few glances.


Tonks pretty much spent the first 24 hours at our house hiding inside the box-spring of the bed in our guest room. Eventually she let us visit with her a little bit at a time.


Charles and his new baby:




I tried to get her to look at the camera to no avail....



Tonks is eating, drinking and using her litter box just fine. She doesn't venture far from "her room" yet. We are letting her do things at her own pace.


Miss Katie is VERY curious about the kitty. She goes to the door of Tonk's room and sniffs and sniffs. Occasionally she barks. I get the impression she's mostly trying to tell us "Hey! There's something IN there!!"


We are introducing Katie and Tonks slowly. A few well supervised peeks at each other is all they've been allowed so far.


I'm sure I will soon have plenty of adventures to tell you about regarding our fur-kids.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Tonks the Cat

Charles and I are pleased to announce the arrival of the newest member of our family, Tonks the cat. I'm sure you would expect such an announcement to come with photos of the new fur-baby. However, Tonks is in hiding and is not yet ready for her first photo session. We are letting her do her own thing and giving her time to get comfortable in her new surroundings. We will get better acquainted and take pictures when she is ready.


I had a particularly rough week at the office and it ended on a very sour note. Without going into a lot of whining detail, I will quote my good friend Kennie: "Mean people suck"!!


After such an ordeal, I am particularly glad to have something positive to focus on such as getting Tonks adjusted in her new forever home.


I also find the Serenity Prayer comforting at such times.


God grant me the serenity
to accept the things I cannot change;
courage to change the things I can;
and wisdom to know the difference.

Living one day at a time;
Enjoying one moment at a time;
Accepting hardships as the pathway to peace;
Taking, as He did, this sinful world
as it is, not as I would have it;
Trusting that He will make all things right
if I surrender to His Will;
That I may be reasonably happy in this life
and supremely happy with Him
Forever in the next.
Amen.


Wednesday, May 5, 2010

We MUST be NUTS!!

The thing I love most about my dog Katie is the fact that she's the one living creature on this Earth whose greatest desire and delight is just to be near me. She has been the one steady constant in my life for the last 11 years. Men, friends, homes and jobs have all come and gone. Katie and I have been together through it all. When I come home from a rotten day at the office and see her scampering to greet me with little tail wagging, it truly makes my day. There's nothing better.


Charles loves Miss Katie too but the fact is, she's very much my dog and some times I think that's painfully obvious to him. He has mentioned many times that he misses having pet rats. Those were gone before we met. (Thank goodness! I veto the idea of bringing any rodent into the house! )He has also brought up the idea of getting another dog but I don't think I want another while we have Katie. The truth is, I think he is longing for something that would be his.


For a while now Charles has talked about wanting a Russian Blue cat. And now, we've found one....


There was a 4 year old Russian Blue cat listed at a local animal rescue. I e-mailed for information about her last night. The next thing I knew, we were filling out an adoption application! Just a couple hours later, we received word that our application was approved. If all goes as planned (and I know some times they don't) we will be picking up the newest member of our family on Friday evening.


The folks at the rescue say that Tonks (odd name but Charles says he likes it and probably wont change it) came from a home with "two hyper little dogs" and some other cats so she should be able to handle sharing a home with Katie. (Katie on the other hand, will probably freak out at first but will hopefully adjust quickly.) The previous owners evidently lost their home and could not keep their animals. So sad! Having to give up a pet must be so hard. I hope we can give Tonks her forever home. I hope this will give Charles what he has been missing too.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Nature's Yard Art

The flowers in the yard have really out-done themselves this year. Here are a few pictures I took this weekend.
This is a LARGE rose bush.... It's just loaded down with blooms and buds.



These beauties were ready for their close-ups!

All these flowers were already here when we got the house. The only credit we can take is for not having killed them so far. That counts, right?


Speaking of flowers, the ones in the designer paper on this card are quite lovely. (See how I craftily changed the subject from the title matter to card making? *wink*)




I call this one "Flowers For Moo". The stamp is designed by Penny Black. I just love her stuff and I have a soft spot for moo-cows.




That's all for now. Come back soon!

Saturday, April 10, 2010

JessicaLynnOriginal Spring Flower Contest

I'm not usually one to enter into contests but I decided to give it a whirl here just for fun.


This card is my entry for the JessicaLynnOriginal Spring Flower Contest.



I printed the flower (JessicaLynnOriginal digital stamp which is currently available for FREE on the JLO web site) two times, one larger than the other. (Remember how I said in my last post that one of the cool things about digital stamps is being able to re-size the image? Prime example!) I used the smaller of the two as my focal point and the larger I cut to create the corner accents.


Other Materials: All the paper I used for this card is PTI . I used my Cuttlebug machine and the swiss dots embossing folder on the background panel. The flowers are colored with markers, the center flower is accented with gel pen and glitter pen. The center is also raised with pop-dots. I finished off the card with six black half pearls.


I want to thank Jessica Lynn for the free digital stamp. I had a lot of fun making this card.


Thanks for dropping by. Now, go get your free flower and play along!

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Splitcoast inspirations and such

Two of the things I love most about the Splitcoaststampers community is how much inspiration you can find there and the fact that you can meet crafters from all over who truly become your friends. Some times I just browse the gallery, some times I check out the challenges forum but no matter where I look, there's tons of inspiration to get my crafty mojo going.
Here are a couple of cards I made for challenges posted on Splitcoast:


I LOVE the Riley and Sophie Moose stamps. Thank goodness they found a home at Riley and Company instead of being lost forever when the company that formerly carried the line went bust.
Don't you just love the tiny clothespin embellishment?


This next card was fun to make. I had not used my Daffodil stamp by PSX in quite a while. I got several compliments on my coloring of these flowers. Just goes to show, you can get good results with some cheap generic markers. I know Copic markers are all the rage but I just can't justify the cost of them.





This card is for a breast cancer awareness card swap. A sweet lady named Grace had sent me the little bra image and sentiment as a gift. It seemed perfect for this purpose. I just designed my card around that focal point.
This swap is hosted by my friend Vivian. Please check out her blog, Lovely Lady Lumps
and support her fight against breast cancer.


Last card for today.

The dress and sentiment are both digital stamps from Squigglefly.com . While I don't think digital stamps will ever replace the joy of inking up some rubber for me, I do see the appeal. Where else can you re-size your image to your liking? Squigglefly has some VERY cute images so if you have been thinking about trying digital stamps or are already hooked, be sure to check them out. The prices are great and as another benefit, you don't have to wait for shipping!


Happy crafting my friends!

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

New Toys and Techniques

Ahh I've been at it again. This first card is an angled view of the Easter card I made for my Grandparents this year. It was the perfect excuse to use my new toy, Spellbinders Labels Seven. I used several layers of the labels and made a score line down the center of them to make it look like a book. I inked the edges of the 'pages' to enhance the effect.



The two cards below are made with techniques that have been around for a while but are new to me.


This first one uses a technique called spotlighting. I've been meaning to try this for a while and finally got around to it. I thought this big butterfly and flower stamp was perfect for it although you can do this with anything really. It's not difficult at all.


I was pleased with the end result here.



I have a big bag full of scraps of beautiful papers that are leftover from numerous projects that I can't bring myself to just throw away. This next technique is a great way to make use of those pretty little bits.


Just take your card front, randomly glue little pieces of paper all over the surface and then trim any pieces that go over the edge of the card off. It creates sort of a patchwork quilt or abstract collage look for your background.


This was my first try at it and I think it went pretty well. Perhaps next time I will use a wider variety of papers.


That's all for this edition!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Just a Stampin' Fool

I've been feeling creative lately and doing a lot of stamping. Stamping is relaxing and therapeutic for me. It's my creative outlet.


I'm currently hosting a card swap on Splitcoast called "Feeling Fruity". A combination of my severe case of spring fever combined with seeing some really awesome fruit themed cards in the SCS gallery recently inspired the swap.


Here are a couple of cards I made for Feeling Fruity:



I've been holding on to that super cute cherry ribbon for about a year now. I have a bad habit of saving materials for some future special project that never comes. I am trying to get over that and this seemed a good time to put that hoarded ribbon to use.


This weekend I worked on some fish themed cards for a swap I am participating in (not hosting).


I knew I wanted to use my fishbowl stamp but I hated the idea that this cool fish DP by K&Company would be mostly covered up by it. So.... It occurred to me to stamp the bowl and my little Gina K. fish onto vellum paper. Now I have my fishbowl AND you can still enjoy the DP. I'm kind of proud of that idea. I hope the people that receive my cards in the swap will like it as much as I do.



I think the best thing I made over the weekend was the Easter card I will be giving to my parents this year:




I got this great stamp set by Inkadinkado at Christmas time and have been looking forward to using them for Easter.


That's all for now. Thanks for visiting my little chunk of the www!

Friday, January 29, 2010

Peace Like A River

Two of my Grandmother's favorite hymns are It Is Well With My Soul and Peace Like A River . Today for some reason I felt the urge to hear them so it was off to youtube where I found the linked videos. Both are moving but this amazing version of 'It Is Well' which begins with Bill Gaither telling the tragic story of how that beautiful song came to be written is beyond words and I urge you to watch it.

As most of you know, I am not usually very vocal when it comes to religion but, I am a born again Christian and though I am far from a perfect example of Christianity, I am firm in my beliefs. God has a way of sending us messages when we need them. Today I needed to hear the messages in those two hymns. Maybe some one who comes across this post is in need of them too.

It's so easy to get bogged down in the trials of every day life and get low and depressed. Problems and drama can come at you from every direction, even from well-meaning friends. When you find yourself feeling that way, take a moment to open yourself to the message that God has for you, remember what it is that truly matters.

It is well with my soul.

Friday, January 22, 2010

34

Charles and I have birthdays two days apart, his on January 14th and mine on the 16th. Our birthday weekend was full of fun and celebration. Our friend Karen flew in from The Big Apple to spend the weekend with us. Saturday night we met up with other friends for dinner (yummy yummy Mexican!!) and then the party moved to our house. We had a wonderful time. How blessed we are to have such great friends in our lives!
Since Karen's whirlwind schedule prevents us from seeing her often, we had a combination of Christmas and birthday(s) celebrated while she was here. We also did lots of shopping, hitting up some local shops and antique malls. As always, Karen and I made time for some stamping. Here are a few pics:
Karen loves Snoopy The girls at the birthday party
I love moo Bananas!

Now that the holidays and birthdays and such are behind us, it's time to get serious about my weight loss again. During the holidays I decided the most realistic goal I could have was not to do TOO much damage and I did ok with that. What fun would life be if we could never indulge ourselves just a bit? It's time to get back down to business now though. We will see what the scale says at weigh in on Tuesday.

After last weekend's fun and a work week that zipped by at lightening speed, I am ready for a relaxing weekend. Hope you all have a good one!