...family, friends, home and other tidbits of a blessed life

Friday, March 27, 2009

Mother Nature's rampage...

Mother Nature can be so cruel. Those beautiful tulips and narcissus were my friends whose smiling faces greeted me every afternoon after another day of work. I would peak at them in the mornings so to make sure they had rested well during the night and check on their needs while I would be away during the day. Little did I know when I planted them (yes with help from husband) that they would become so near and dear to me. They were bright spots in the yard.

The wisteria is now weeping. Once they were beautiful purple hued chandeliers suspended from life sustaining vines. Now, they are droopy blobs of purple clinging to those vines for dear life . Will they survive, restore themselves to their former beauty? Probably not. One day I will come home to find their little bodies lying on the ground only a mere shadow of their once greatness.

So I ventured outside armed with a pair of scissors. I was determined to save what I could. All those little beauties who once stood upright and were now lying on the ground. Before more harm could come to the, I snipped them from their green cloaks and brought them inside. I was rewarded with a glorious bouquet of smiling faces. And now I wonder did I do the right thing? Some green cloaked buds have restored themselves and are now standing upright again. Should I have left them with their brothers?

As I rounded into the kitchen with my bounty and looked out the kitchen window I was greeted with another sad sight. Perched in a tree ripe with new green leaves sat a very cold looking blue jay. Huddled into himself, trying to beat the fierce winds and stay on the branch. I quickly reached for my camera to capture his splendor. Would he find a shelter for the night? Will he miss the smiling faces that once stood at attention as he flitted through the yard to the bird bath? Certainly order will be restored. And just maybe this year, hunting Easter eggs won't require coats, mitten and gloves.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

It's almost April, so it's calendar time...

Can you believe that next week will be April already? The days keep flying by. However, spring has finally arrived. Will we be getting our annual Easter freeze this year? Surely not, but mother nature has her own sense of humor.

The April calendar is really very simple. Not a lot of tools and supplies. You will need: QuicKutz circles and squares nesting cookie cutter dies, QuicKutz bunny, 3 stamps or really good handwriting, black Versafine ink, pink chalk ink, beige ink, a really fine (005) black marker, an April calendar, some cardstock, glue dots and a ribbon.

The saying of the month is: The first of April is the day we remember what we are the other 364 days of the year. Mark Twain. I print this on cardstock and then cut to size of the CD holder, or by this time, the same size of your other calendar pages. Die cut 3 circle "rings" and one square "ring". Die cut the QuicKutz bunny from appropriately colored card stock. Layer and adhere all pieces as shown. If you click on the picture it will enlarge and you can see where the pen was used for the detail of the bunny's eyes and how the pink chalk in was used to highlight the ears and cheeks. Be sure to edge the bunny with the beige ink. Curl the ears, so don't glue dot them down all the way, glue dot a bow to the larger circle. Stamp were desired. Enjoy...

Be Creative!!!

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Spring Heartfelt Swap

Wow, this was fun. Talk about stress though!! There were nine of us who committed to creating an ornament for each person in the group. It was truly a diversely talented group. There were Stacy and Marlis from Lubbock; Hope and Cherie from Bloomington, Indiana; Lonnie and Michelle from Oregon; Julie from Roswell, New Mexico; Amanda from Lincoln, Nebraska; and Natalie from Lodi, California. We only had one rule, there had to be felt on the project somewhere. So I sweated and fretted and then I just "did it". Because my blog was so new, I was able to post my project when I finished it. Click here and you can see that submission.

I was excited with each and every ornament that was to grace my spring tree. Each one was "sew" charming and "sew" perfect. I had branches pulled from the yard for a bouquet, but they just didn't work. So I took my 40% off coupon to the big craft store that doesn't open on Sunday and purchased a new, white feather tree. I might still be able to find one of vintage quality at a reasonable price, but this one is okay. And the granddaughters love it and think it's "great" (to quote granddaughter #1 who is just 4).

We live in this great house built in the 60's. It has a hallway, a real hallway that runs along the front of the house that is nothing but windows and built in cabinets. Love it, love it, love it. The cabinets are up to window height so there is a long expanse just waiting for decorating. It just makes me smile each time I walk by. Thank you gals, your ornaments are wonderful!

You still have time to create one of your very own - So Be Creative!

Friday, March 20, 2009

Tongue in Cheek

Many of you know that I am not a native Texan. I sound like one, sometimes think like one, drive like one for sure. But I was raised in Europe, born in Germany and lived in France for 13 years. Specifically in Orleans, south of Paris. I have two half-brothers that still live there, one in Poitiers and one in Digne, north of Nice in the Provence area.
It seems that as I age, I am drawn to things that spark memories from my youth. I guess losing my mother has made mortality a real thing. Losing our nephew in January has really made me wistful for days when life seemed easier.
So I found this really great blog. Tongue in Cheek. I am so enamored with her writings, musings, pictures, and recipes that I truly cannot wait to get up each and everyday to visit France through her eyes. So if you are a Francophile and need a daily fix.. check Corey out. I think you'll love her photography and her tongue in cheek approach to life in France.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

QuicKutz club project 3/21/2009

Wow, the project is finished and the supply list turned in. Sorry it's so hard to see the page, but clear acrylic is a bit of a test to either scan or photograph. (If you look closely, you'll see me in as a reflection!).

Front side says spring but of course you could use anything. I used the QuicKutz Gazebo font. Ran it through the X-box to adhere it. I used one of my favorite edge punches, creamy beige Color Box chalk cat's eye ink pad, and tiny glue dots. There is a clear flower to the top right, but don't have your heart set on another like this... we are tearing into a delightful My Mind's Eye kit. You can also see the charming QuicKutz pinwheels in action.

On the reverse side, I've added more pinwheels. In class the papers and colors will vary however they are all fun and go together well. I'll be showing you how to plan your page and hide your adhesive! Once that is mastered, you are on your way to another creative option.

I'll be demoing both the Sizzix and Spellbinders dies this time so don't miss out on the fun. You'll also be the first to see a new class I put together for you. It's "clearly" fun. See you Saturday at 10 and check your email for a supply list!

That little box is just a prop. It was needed to prop up the scallop edge of the page so you wouldn't have to tilt your head while viewing.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

a frivolous fantasy flower

What can you do with these supplies? You can create a most delicious fantasy flower. Walnut crystals are wonderful mixed with Perfect Pearls. That's the white powder in the little container. It's a shimmery powder that can be used in a lot of ways. Mix a bit of the Walnut Crystals with a bit of the Perfect Pearls in a Mini Mister by Ranger. Add some water to fill. Now you can spray a shimmery colored ink on items to change the color of so many things such as paper and ribbon and flowers and the list goes on and on. I love using Distress Ink to edge die cuts. Dip the dauber into the ink and gently rub over the edge of the die cuts. I usually start on a craft sheet/mat and rub up onto the die cut. Liquid Pearls make delightful little dabs that when seen, can't help but make you smile. The little pink pot of deliciousness is a product called Twinkling H2O's. It's a shimmery watercolor paint that can be applied easily with a water filled brush. Sadly, this product is being discontinued, but you can get them here. Talk to Polly and she'll be delighted to send some on their way to your resource center. I've got a very fake but highly luminescent piece of a string of pearls and a gold wire once wrapped around the Ranger Mister and cut to the desired length. That is a set of Spellbinders flower dies. I know so not being loyal to my beloved QuicKutz, but these are great too. And they play well in the same sandbox.

So here's this darling flower. Ok, ok, so I've got a very bad case of spring fever. Forgive me, but the weather has been extremely spring-like. So die cut the flower pieces in coordinating DP. Emboss each one with the embossing pad. This gives the nice raised outer edge on the flower pieces. Distress Ink the edges. Dab the Liquid Pearls around the edge of the larger flower. Paint the middle set of petals along the edge with the Twinkling H2O's. Just drop a spot of water into the little pot, let it set a bit and then use the water brush to paint those edges. Spray the flower center with the Walnut Crystals-Perfect Pearls and water mixture. Paint the edges of a contrasting Prima flower with the Twinkling H2O's. Stack the flowers as shown using glue dots to secure. Tuck under a folded piece of the string of pearls. Adhere a contrast silk flower as the center and dab a larger glob of Liquid Pearls in the center. Done.

Of course now I have to do something with it.. not really, it's pretty sitting on my desk just waiting for the right project to come along.....

Be Creative and thanks for stopping by.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

In the pink

If you create a layout for one grand daughter, well you've got to create one for the other grand daughter as well. Our youngest grandchild is two and loves pink. Or maybe she loves pink because her older sister says she does? Whatever the case may be, she gets very excited when she sees something for her that is pink. She just giggles and exclaims "peeeeenk"! Since this is displayed with her older sister's layout, on small easels next to one another, I tried to keep some of the elements the same. Same big flower different color, buttons, pearls, wire spirals, and lace flowers. Click here to see the post with the blue page.

This year, instead of creating a layout and stuffing it in a page protector in an album, I have purchased a few easels on which to display the pages before they find their permanent home in an album. How much fun it is to see the pages. And the girls just love to come over to see which picture is on display.

The large pink flower is a QuicKutz die cut from white cardstock.
Stamp the flower with VersaMark Watermark stamp pad using your favorite background stamp. Sprinkle with clear embossing powder. Shake of excess powder and heat emboss. Using a sponge dauber, dab two colors of Ranger's Distress Inks (Fired Brick and Tattered Rose) sparingly on the flower. Spritz with a fine mist of water. This will blend the colors. Buff the ink off of the embossing. I then over-sprayed with a mixture of Walnut Ink Crystals, white perfect pearls and water. Once again, lightly remove the ink from the embossed areas. Adhere a paper flower with a button center to the center of the pink flower. Wrap gold wire around a Ranger mister, clipping as desired. Glue a pearl to one end and stick the other end between the two flowers. Hope you have fun creating a layout of your own...

Be Creative!

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Oh Birdie where art thou??

Well, finished or not, here it is. Although it's sitting outside, I have no intention of leaving it there. It's sitting pretty in the living room with a white ceramic bird perched at it's side. Since we've no more dollhouse store in town, I've had to resort to internet shopping and so far have found one window box that I'd like to put in the back window... but I'm a wee bit concerned about the shade of green in the box. I might just gut up and order it anyway. If i don't like the green, I guess I could always use Ranger's Alcohol Ink to color it to my liking? We'll see. My inspiration came from Floliescrap, you can see her Christmas house here. Scroll past the French words and you'll see her marvelous creation.

I purchased my little birdhouse at a local craft store for about $3.50. First I painted the eaves and roof a cool roof red. Then Mod Podge'd the Basic Grey Paper on the house itself. And at that point went spring crazy with the embellishments. Take a close look and enjoy.Now you've seen it, be inspired, create one of your own.

I've got some goodies planned for this week. But first let me say, that my DH and I spring cleaned the yard this weekend. I raked. I picked up leaves. I got to use the man machine (the leaf sucker and blower). I used muscles I didn't know were there. I am woman. I am sore. Oh I dread the morning. It's going to be painful! Being creative is only painful while creating, not the next day!!

I have a cute little layout of my darling granddaughter Zoe to show you this week and I have to share all the beautiful spring ornaments that I received from the "Heartfelt Spring Swap". Oh they are so lovely and so from the heart. I can't wait to share them with you. Must be nice and give everyone a chance to get theirs via snail mail.

P.S. Forgot to state that I had the company of one butterfly, a red cardinal and a golden eagle on Sunday. That was a real treat.

Be Creative!

Thursday, March 5, 2009

You can teach an old dog new tricks.

So maybe I'm not really an old dog, but there are days I certainly know that I have reached that magical age of knowing how old one is by the way the body creaks getting out of bed. Still beats the alternative.

Tuesday evening a gracious lady taught me (the world's worst student) how to solder. Well, she did the best she could with the material with which she had to work - me. Nonetheless, we managed quite well. And she made me do it all, even attach the jump ring which took me almost an hour because I'd get it on, want to clean it up, and lo and behold, the jump ring was on the end of the soldering iron - again! But I finally got it on. Nancy had so much patience that she never lost her cool. Just winced a time or two when I picked up the gem with my bare hands. I guess I will have to learn the hard way that freshly soldered materials are hot.

Regardless of the trials and tribulations, this was so much fun. Oh gosh. I can imagine the possibilities that can be sandwiched between glass... embroideries, quilted fabric, pictures, pressed flowers, alcohol inked images, painted beauties...
And you know, it's not perfect, but I don't even care.

Try new things and Be Creative!


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