Blue Vase of Sunflowers

Happy Monday evening. I hope none of my UK pals are going to have any problems with the storms that I've read are going to affect your shores. We had a textbook beautiful fall day to start the week. Overcast this morning, cool, but then the sun came out. Our temp hovered around 70F for most of the day. Had Bro #2 down the street for some leftover rotessarie chicken. After finishing the last baseboard cleaning yesterday, got presentable to visit the store. Too tired to cook so a lovely cooked chicken from our local Sam's Wholesale fit the bill for us. This is a good value for the money, as we usually get a couple meals from the chicken, and it's under $5.00 for one. Our local groceries have one about 3/4 the size Sam's or Costco sells, and for nearly $7.00. Got a couple of frozen side dishes to heat, and that was dinner. One of his grandkids had come by, so they handled the meal for him last evening. Kitchen now cleaned, comments caught up, so here goes a post.

A friend is having a bit of "Life" strike just at the moment, so thought this card I had done while MIA might cheer up a bit.

The image is an oldie, wooden block, but it's always fun to color. The vase has some glossy accents on it, and of course, the usual WoS for some sparkle. Couple layers on the die cut sentiment. Butterfly was handy to add a little trim. This looked cheerful to me...

When moving 'stuff' in the pc room so that I could even get to the baseboards, I found a box of very old cards done when I first started trying to learn how to watercolor. I have to say, don't think I've had much improvement in the intervening years. But hey, I'll share anyway! These are not cards that will ever get mailed (unless I get desperate!)-- I've got a pretty good stash of most occasion cards, except for sympathy ones. Should do some of that type when not needed specifically, as it's pretty hard to do when you actually need one to send.

Now for the oldie water colors. I think just the old pancake type of color was used for these cards. These were done when we still had a local stamp store, and I think are circa 2005 perhaps.

2nd one has extra petals added over layer 1 for a bit of dimension. I think this was a Penny Black shop stamp -

Used some versa mark stamping, gold embossing on this one, then water coloring.

Probably versa mark again, with a black embossing, then water coloring. The edging around the image was done with a ruler and water coloring as I recall. Anyway, you can laugh if you want. I did when I opened the box and found these. Didn't know I still had them.

Today was a real good rest day. Read a book, had a nap...and leftovers to heat up for supper, so an easy day. Before I get back into my lazy bad habits, I've made a list of some other chores that I've needed to tackle for a cleaning out bookcases, and tossing away a lot of junk...dust collectors. It's a good feeling when you get finished, even if you are tired!!

Ya'll have a good evening, and come back when you can. Big hugs, and thanks for looking in! I missed you guys while I was gone! God Bless.



Birthday Birdhouse

Good evening, and welcome. We're just back from celebrating an 89th birthday with a big family dinner. Actual birthday is tomorrow, and my family must have some strong, long-lived genes. My parents were 85(Mom) and 89(Dad) who was 20 days away from 90; got a couple aunts who lived past 100, uncles in the 90-s. So it looks like the 2 oldest brothers got these genes. The remaining brother is 81, is in very good health, active, good eyesight...which we feel is a blessing, since our family seems to have the Macular Degeneration curse. My brother's 4 daughters came to celebrate with their Dad for this special birthday, some of his grandkids, and 4 gr-grands. Brother #2 (87) went with us. It was noisy! A bit emotional for the birthday fella too, when they brought out the cake and sang Happy Birthday. I was wishing they hadn't done this, as I felt he was embarrassed to have gotten a bit teary. I think he was pleased however.

Here's the card he got from me. Someone had to tell him what it looks like as his vision is poor.

Die is a Gina K scallop frame--cuts out the scalloped center piece along with the stitched frame. Oxide Ink distressing around the edges, inlaid the center; added a bit of WoS, some bits of DP for trim. Found a set of bird motif brads - sort of a darkish pewter, decided to add one.

Cut the sentiment at a slant, since the font is a little on the wonky side. Did 3 efforts thinking it was OE, finally decided the stamp is meant to look like this. A bit of distress ink edging again. Tucked it under the bird brad. Added some Walnut Nuvo pearls, one of which is on top of the brad, but don't think the photo shows it well.

Been working on the baseboard cleaning gig & nearly done. Started in the office, which is a smaller room than the living room, so thought that room would go quickly. Moving a bunch of 'stuff' out to get at the baseboard took most of the day to get the task done. While doing so, decluttered some: think small packs of hardened rubber bands, dried out glue sticks, rusty paper clips, old pictorial calendars I had saved for 'some reason', bags that were to be decorated, memorabilia from by-gone trips. Just office supplies past their Use By Date and all dust collectors. So living room (or it's not at all formal) will finish up this effort.It also has a chair rail trim which will need to be wiped down  as well as the baseboards. Already found what is to be the next task before all my motivation is gone: Emptying 2 bookcase of every single item, and wiping down. Usually I just dust the edges where you can see the dust. May do some cleanout there too.

Ya'll have a wonderful Sunday, and thanks for your visit this evening. God Bless and Big Hugs


A Halloween Skeleton (from DH)

Good afternoon on an absolutely beautiful Thursday. Finished up the window washing chores (except for 3 - one in garage, 2 in attic...but at least the ones we look through every day are cleaner!)  DH helped some, but we have different ideas as to what clean is. His help was appreciated though.

He was sending a package to his ole navy buddy in Oklahoma, and wanted to make a card for the fella. DH used to make Halloween cards, but he got tired of it. So when he asked if I'd help him (which means find the supplies), I said of course. That night he set to work. He'd previously pulled out some design papers, which I'd found. Just thought I'd been rummaging and forgot to put these back in the stack, so of course I did just that. Then he couldn't find them. Picked out his stamp, told me his idea. Since he had chosen dp, not c/s, I wasn't sure the heat embossing of a very detailed image would be effective. See what you think.

- Stampendous Cemetary wooden block stamp, one I'm certain he picked out to buy. Not my style choice as to subject. It's extremely detailed as well. He inked generously with WOW embossing ink (seems to work better for me with these very detailed stamps - more so than Versamark), then sprinkled WOW white opaque embossing powder. It was his idea to put on the red 'pearl' eyes. He used the stamp press he'd bought for me, as this block stamp is pretty large, and needed a good deal of pressure to stamp as well as it did. With the embossing, it was not easy to see if it had stamped nicely, until it was heat embossed. I think he got a very crisp image...It looks much better IRL than the photo shows. (that's the photographer's problem, not his!)

Image glued to orange glitter mat & then to  black top fold card base, which is not showing up against the background of the DIY photo booth. It is a black card base though. This turned out better than I thought it would, with that blue crackled DP. DH likes Halloween.

Now that windows are (for the most part) cleaned, the baseboards need to be cleaned, so that's my chore this afternoon. Goal is 2 rooms at a session, so my back doesn't get too mad at me! I'm trying to go with the flow on this burst of cleaning energy. Can't explain why or where such came from, except looking at the dust & grime for so long, really was getting on my nerves, -- making me feel like a worse housekeeper than I know I am :-) It won't last long, I expect!

 Sure hope that you are having a lovely afternoon with pretty weather. It was coffee on the front porch this morning. Grass still wet with dew, and the neighborhood was quiet, except for the occasional noise of a far-away lawn mower. Very peaceful and pleasant.

Thanks for joining me - I'm trying to return all comment visits before posting something new here.
Ya'll come back, heah? God Bless and Hugs.


Birthday Hummingbird

Hello and welcome. Hope that everyone had a pleasant weekend. It was rather quiet here, did a few house chores, made some phone calls, ran some errands. Yesterday we finally got some much needed rain, but then late afternoon, we had tornado warnings for our area. Nothing dreadful happened right around this community, but in the next county, a small twister blew down some trees. We might get  more rain today, which will be ok. I can work on cleaning the windows that face on the front porch, as I will be under roof if I should step outside to wash instead of tilting those windows inward.

Today's share is another bits & pieces cards, that was sent to the son-in-law for his birthday which is later this month. The hummingbird is a pretty Northwoods image (wooden block) which I couldn't resist when I saw it. NWoods has the prettiest flower and birds images of any company I've seen; always stamp out crisply aside from Operator Error. Sometimes with the large blocks, the stamp press works terrifically to  help with OE.

The background is Very Old Stuff  with a large pattern but I liked the shade of green with the colored image. Tried to cut it to take advantage of the pretty floral, but at least managed to get the insect intact. It looks like the very bottom edge 'bubbled', but didn't see that until in the photo. The die cuts a large rectangle, the oval, including the skinny oval frame. Cut the DP along with some dark green c/s, and used the dark green to create the inlay framing look. The golden frame is part of the image, and colored with a pentel gold metallic pen. Wink of Stella was also used on the frame. Also noticed that when editing, I forgot to add the signature hallmark :-) Ah me.

Am enjoying the visits from my old friends....I'm so grateful you all stayed with me while I was MIA so long. I'm doing my best to return visits as comments are made, and hope to get back to visiting  lots of other followers who haven't re-found me lately. We're still trying to provide support to the 2 widowed brothers, while getting back to the routine of our own lives.

Thanks for taking time to visit today. How do you like the blog's Fall look? (actually it was last year's Fall look, but had to remember how to upload the template - hope I've got it right).Thanks Loll!

Anybody watching The Outlander new series? I've enjoyed it so far. Also loving the Doc Martin Series 8! We're waiting to see some of the stuff we saw filmed, and also looking at the scenes and saying "Did we see that bit?" or "Do you remember that?" Adds such added fun to the viewing.

Hugs & God Bless.


Birthday Flowers

Good afternoon, and thanks for  coming by today. Whew, I finally got the porch cleaning task finished. Hubs found some of the blue liquid turtle wax that he's used for years on the cars, and it really speeded up the process. It's what I've used in years past, but I couldn't find it in Walmart when I was searching. He remembered he had some in the garage, so found it. Poured some in a bucket with water, and was able to wipe off grunge and wax (sort of!) at the same time. It did have to be hosed off, so I  hope it didn't wash off the wax. It protects a car finish, so hope it will the porch railing vinyl. It's a good feeling to get that task finished. (He came out and said "You know you're just wasting your time. It will get all dirty again". I told him, Yep, I did know that, but at least we can start the winter out with it clean! Men. They sure don't think like women!) Next week hope to start on cleaning the windows before our cold sets in.

Sharing a card today that was for DD's Big 5-0. I was ashamed I didn't make a truly "Special" card for her. Too much stuff going on. I did start one with a Tim Holtz Crazy Dog, a couple weeks ahead, but just couldn't wrap my brain around how to use the dog.... Even after looking at Pinterest samples of that stamp set, still couldn't design a card. Found another image that had been colored some time back- made it into a card, and still, last minute to mail it. She did get it in time. We had planned to go to Florida, but Mr. had a doctor's appointment that it was important to keep. We'd have only had 2 days with her, and that's a long way to drive for just 2 days. We hope the check enclosed helped out if she was disappointed! (I put her husband's card in the same envelope. His birthday is right after hers).

This is a beautifully detailed Northwoods wooden stamp. I borrowed the stamp from someone when we had the group going, but don't remember if I ever bought one for myself. I've used this image for other cards, and it's always a lot of fun to color. I can spend an entire evening working on it, putting aside, coming back to check my shadows and highlights. This one was 'inlaid' -sort of - into a skinny blue frame, then into the stitched yellow frame, and then placed over a top fold card base.(think this is a Waffle Flower rectangle die-- can't remember!)  Used some clear Nuvo Jewel drops on some of the flowers (I think!). This image stamped out very well, as do all the Northwoods stamps I've ever used.
Hope your weekend has been off to a good start. Thought we might get some rain, as we could certainly use a little moisture. Another hurricane is in the news, and hurricane season ends in November, thank goodness. I was watching the dark roiling clouds while working on the porch, expecting to finish in the rain. Guess it blew on by us.
If I missed sharing a card from anyone, and you know you sent it, please advise, so I can go through them again. We kept these on the mantle, and I would try to photo when each arrived. So I'm hoping I didn't miss anyone. Until next time, God Bless, and Big Hugs.


La Collinette Hotel

Good afternoon. Just finished catching up some comments and dog sitting my brother's toy schnauzer...who is very attached to him now, and gets anxiety attacks when she is left. So even though I'm allergic to her, she has to be held and cuddled. So we did that, while I did some catchup visiting with some sweet blog visitors. Now I wanted to do another post, while it's quiet-- (should be out finishing cleaning up the front porch railings, but I've convinced myself it's too late in the day to start it! I've become a champion procrastinator).

We've got another absolutely lovely day. More like summer again, than Fall, although it was cool this morning.  I promised to share some gorgeous cards picked up while we stayed at the La Collinette Hotel in the Isle of Guernsey. One of the managers (Veronica) is a card maker, and had some of her cards displayed in the lobby. Just had to buy a few. I think European cards are quite a bit larger than those most of us Americans make. These cards measure 7x7 - so lots of scope for design elements. Hate to think of the postage though :-).

Here's the hotel where we stayed for the 3 days we were in Guernsey.

Everyone was so pleasant to us, and it's such a lovely place. We had great weather. Our room had a balcony deck, that overlooked the pool. We took a nap with the doors and windows open each afternoon after a busy morning - cooling air wafting in, and a lightweight throw felt quite cozy over my legs. It's not a real 'fancy' hotel, but was clean, airy; the room and bathroom were roomy and well appointed. I'll tell you about the place we stayed first in London later on.

Here's the cards we purchased from Veronica. It was a tough choice, as I wanted them all!

Aren't these just so beautiful and well made? I especially loved the way Veronica used the design paper, since I'm challenged to use large designs in so many of the papers I've bought. Thought the border detail on #3 was very appealing as well.

Hope you will enjoy them. Also hope that Veronica might pay a visit to the blog, and see that I've shared her cards here. I had given her the link, and said that I would feature these on a post. I was away so long, that even if she had time to look in, she may have given up on me!

Sending wishes to all of you for a super great weekend, with happiness in whatever it is you might be doing. Thanks for visiting, and I'll get back to commenting as fast as time allows. God Bless, Hugs too.


Birthday with Oxide Background Stenciling

Good evening. Thanks for such a wonderful response to my post yesterday. It was such fun seeing old friends again. I'm still trying to get back in the groove, and will share some of the pictures of our trip soon. This post is a card from August, for my #2 Brother's 87th birthday. It was a tough day, and all his kids and grandkids, some neighbors & ourselves showed up for a cookout. The hard part is that SIL's birthday was 2 days after his, and usually his daughter had a party for the both of them. But we got through it; by and large - it was nice. I think it was just a bit much for him though, although he hid it well. We didn't tell him so many folks would be there, just that a couple of us would be at the cookout. (Not my idea to surprise him...I didn't think it a good idea not to be straightforward about it).

The background was made using some DI oxide inks through 2 different stencils (which I don't remember what they were, but will check if someone is interested).
The leaves were cut from a die set (thought it was Lawn Fawn**, again I'll look it up if need be). Cut from white c/s, then used versamark, copper, gold and silver embossing powders.
The sentiment was also cut from white c/s, then heat embossed with the same gold as on the leaves.
Mounted the leaves on a stitched die cut rectangle, called it done. It was one of the cards made from bits and pieces that had been done earlier. I thought it had a bit of a rustic feel to it. Planned to add a twine bow to it, but that looked too much so I didn't.**
Added some cards sent by lovely people on the Cards by Friends page...hope you have time to look at those.
Until next time, God Bless and many hugs. And thanks for looking in.
**Edit: Enlarged the picture to check it and realized I'd used a Paper Trey Cover plate, with a feather quilt design to emboss this background.

**It's Concord & 9th.. Thanks Anita for sending me the info so I didn't have to hunt through dies :-)


Distress Oxide Ink Thank You

Good evening. I expect all of you think I've disappeared forever. Sadly, our family has just had a lot of illness and bereavement in the last 6 months. In April SIL#2 passed away, and right after the funeral, her husband developed a very bad eye infection in his 'good eye'. He has macular degeneration, has been getting the shots for about 7 years, and shortly after getting one, got a really bad infection which basically blinded him for about 6-8 wks. Just added to his depression after losing his wife. Someone had to be with him 24/7 and do pretty much everything for him. We're down the street, so we were staying there all the time for about a month.  His kids and other relatives came into the breach so that we could take our planned trip to the UK in early June.

The afternoon prior to our departure I spent at the emergency room with SIL#1, who had brain cancer last August, underwent surgery and treatment, seemed to have been doing very well. Then she started having some bad symptoms. It was another lesion on the opposite side from before, and was deemed inoperable. So after an encouraging phone call from that SIL the night prior to leaving, we set off. What she said was: 'You can't do anything to help me here but pray, and you can do that traveling just as well. I know you've wanted to go, so go and enjoy yourself.' I tried real hard to do that...but.....

We visited Pt Isaac, where I got to shake hands with "Doc" and "Louisa". I must say that Caroline Catz is much more beautiful IRL than she is on the program...and she's gorgeous in the film! Had a couple photos with John Marquez, saw the other major actors in my favorite tv show. Just didn't have a long enough time to explore Cornwall, but what we saw was so very beautiful. Then on to the Isle of Guernsey, also very lovely with friendly people. Then back to London, for a flight to Edinburgh. Again, great time, and thoroughly enjoyed all the sights. However I got one of my breathing attacks there, after exiting a pub into a gaggle of smokers. Still managed to take our booked bus tour up into the Highlands for a day...awesome scenery there. Back to London, where thankfully we had a hotel with air conditioning, as that was the time of the heat wave. We had a couple tours booked there, but I had to stay put, as I was coughing badly, having trouble breathing, and just generally miserable. Tours were non-refundable, so I persuaded DH and our friend to go ahead. Talk about feeling sorry for myself.

Anyway, when we returned  home, the SIL news was grim. So from June until early September it was a watch, wait and pray. She was so brave & courageous, but left us on September 13, with her 4 daughters and my brother by her side. We all know she went to the Lord, and was content to do so. And by then, everyone was relieved & thankful she was now out of pain and at peace.

With all of that, not been in the mood to craft, blog or do much else. Additionally many relatives have come and we hosted some of these.

However, I did manage to do a couple cards, which I photo'd but just not had the frame of mind to share as yet. Also received SO many comforting emails, that seemed to arrive just on the right day to lift my spirits. Ditto for wonderfully lovely cards, which I will share soon (well I hope I can get back into the swing of blogging, visiting, and seeing my friends' work).

Please forgive me for being so long MIA, but I hope you understand. It's part of Life and living to have to say goodbye to those we love, but oh, it's so hard. And in the span of 10 months, our family lost 3 sisters-in-law, 2 of them we were so close to. They lived nearby, and had been in the family for most of my life -- really more like sisters than inlaws. None of us can actually believe they have left us.

I wanted to say a heartfelt thank you to so many of you who kept me smiling & feeling grateful for emails & cards in the times when all I really wanted to do was crawl in bed, and just cry. Thank you!

While in Guernsey, we met a young lady at the hotel where we stayed there, who (gasp!) is a card maker. She had some of her wonderful cards displayed in the lobby, so I'll be sharing those too.

For tonight, here's the 2 cards I've found on the computer. Realized I still have some in the camera that I didn't download

My first experiment using black gesso, crackle embossing paste with a stencil (which didn't turn out the greatest, but I had fun). Had gotten the first set of Distress Oxides, so used those over the embossing. It's a technique I hope to revisit, and get better results. I was inspired by one of the cards my friend Loll had done. Hope you'll take time to see Loll's pretty card, if you've missed it.
The 2nd card was done for a neighbor who lost her Mom. The background was made with sponging Distress oxide on c/stock, then die cutting the sentiment. The inlaid sentiment on this card was cut from the same color of oxide sponged over a stencil which had been placed over white card stock. Switched the sentiments with the backgrounds, and have another background ready to make into a card. Seems like we're having to do more of this kind of card lately.
I will be sharing some of my wonderful blog friends' cards, but I knew I had to get this post done tonight, else tomorrow I'd find another reason to put it off. We're trying to get the house winter ready, as we had our first really cool day on Sunday. Porches being cleaned, and then need to clean some windows. Still are having relatives come in to visit with the brothers, so we are yet a bit busy with that part of our life as well. I miss you all, and hope to get back to visiting your blogs and commenting real soon! In the meantime, God Bless, and thanks again for your friendship and kindness! My next post will be a happier one, I promise, but I did want to share this update with you.



Thank you #2

Hi, welcome and I'm back with another Thank you card for a neighbor who so kindly provided a delicious meal catered for the family. That's a Southern 'thing' for those of you who are unfamiliar with this tradition. Here in our area ...the neighbors bring food to family when there is a death or sickness. We have a good sized subdivision, and one neighbor coordinated who was bringing 'what' and on what day. I grew up with this tradition, but after living in Florida for so long, where nobody did this kind of thing, even I was amazed at seeing this outpouring of support. My next door neighbor waited a couple days after the main 'giving meals'  and then she had a delicious meal catered and delivered to my brother's house. Just makes you feel so humbled to know how your family is regarded. Both my SIL & brother are very well loved in here, knew everyone, and everybody knows them. It was nearly as big a shock to the neighbors as to the immediate family. If you have time check out this humorous video by Jeanne Robertson that details in a cute way this Southern tradition.

I also wanted to say a huge Thank You to all of you who sent me such lovely supportive emails. Meant to say that in the last post, and forgot! It meant so much to me, to sit down and read something kind, as we were going through the journey of letting go. As I've said previously, the wonderful people I've met blogging, have been By Far The Best Part of this unexpected endeavor I took 5 yrs ago! God Bless you all who cared!

- background was created using sprays and brusho-s. The flowers were previously colored piece using Tombow Watercolor markers - Direct to Rubber & spritzing, so was trying to get something complementary to the flower colors for the background. First time I think I've tried the purple Brusho, and there is no pink Brusho- only Rose Red. (Have the 25 color set, bought back before the price got so expensive!)  So lots of experimenting to get a pink shade :-). There's some white Brusho and white pearl spray in this piece too.

- a postage shape die cut the image, and a brusho snippet previously done was used for the mat. Needed some green to separate the image from all that pinky purple.

- embossed the background, added a lovely flourish that had been a RAK from sweet Jennie . Used copics to change the white flourish to a color that worked with the background. Used some Nuvo crystal drops to add centers to the flowers.

Simple sentiment, just trimmed, edged with color, and Voila! Got it mailed yesterday - finally!

Thanks for popping in, and God Bless. Hugs too.


Thank You .....

Good afternoon, and thanks for dropping by to visit. I'm sorry I've been MIA for a while, and equally sorry to say it's apt to continue for a time yet. I did want to post a thank you card for kindness by neighbors & friends...and after the card share a bit about what's going on in our lives. I expect you have been aware that my SIL's illness resulted in gentle passing shortly after she was moved to the teaching hospital in our city. Thankfully, all her children arrived in time - although she was in a coma, and we don't know if she was aware of anything. The service was heartfelt and lovely, with a wonderful eulogy given by her grandson-in-law. (well, if any service of this kind can be considered lovely!) What an outpouring of support my brother & his family have had from our really boggles the mind. People have been so very kind to all of us.

Still lots of things to be done & we're trying as best we can to help him adjust, do the things that follow this kind of situation. One daughter is local, but she also works. So we try to help with whatever he feels he needs/wants done. He's solo'd in the day a couple times, but said he is not ready to be alone just yet at night. We've stayed with him some nights - he wants to stay in their home, and a few nights, 2 of his granddaughters - very young adults - have come over to stay with their "Pawpaw". I've told him, he'll know when he is ready to be there alone at night.. I understand how he feels the loss more at night.

- a snippet from a box of long-ago colored flowers....a Stacy Stamp. Just die cut with a S/B Deckled rectangle, edged with DI mustard seed. Found some 6x6 papers, cut rectangles from the plain S/B rectangle set.

- background was stamped on DP in Memento Bamboo Shoot green with the same flower used in the focal image. Then embossed (and ended up with the wrong side of the EF, so this one got debossed!)

- Scalloped rectangle punch for the sentiment, and the card was done. Even with all the elements to hand, still took a while to get it together, get it photo'd, before mailing :-)

On a much happier note: We have been planning a big trip for a couple of months. The unforeseen events made me feel I couldn't go away just now. However, we've arranged (hopefully) for my older brother & SIL to come stay at our house while we're away, and at night, go stay with #2 brother. It's good to have somebody in the house anyway, and they live a some miles away from our subdivision. Don't drive at night (well, he doesn't drive as he has Macular Degeneration too - as #2 brother is dealing with as well). So that's the plan.

We are driving to Boston, then after a rest from the drive, fly from Boston to London with our best friend (the Yankee! Who happens to be in Spain just now with our DD & SIL. They flew from Fla, he left from Boston, and they met up in Spain). Boy, do we sound like world travelers. Really not!
From London, the plan is to take the train down towards Pt. Isaac, rent a car, and drive. I hope with 3 of us in the car, we can insure we stay on the proper side of the road. This has been a dream of mine for so long, and I figured it was just that - a dream. Nearly dropped my jaw when I heard DH on the phone back in February, "ask your travel person about setting up this trip". And he did, got all the flights, reservations planned. Then when we had the family emergency, I said I didn't feel able to leave. As long as my brother has somebody to look in as he needs it, then I can go. I'd love to meet up with lots of my UK pals. However, with 2 men, I'm not sure that would work. Both would be great about it, but -- this is a sightseeing trip for the 3 of us. We have so many things each of us wants to see, so I thought it best to not try to plan on meetups that might be tricky to schedule. We'll be in the UK for about 3 wks, then fly back to Boston. Be there for a couple days to rest, then drive back to South Carolina. I've been so excited about this for a couple of weeks...

I'm taking a little hiatus from the Christmas Card Club - just can't seem to manage what is going on at the moment with our family, & making cards, keeping up with our obligations, and trying to assist in another scenario. So I do hope you will all understand if I don't visit for a while. And I hope you won't forget me! I'll be back - God Willing. Just need some time.

Please do look on the Cards by Friends page. We have received some of the most beautiful cards from some of you. I can't describe how comforting we both found them, and how kind of those friends who had us in their prayers. Will share with the rest of the family in time; just now, they have enough doing the things that are part of a death, and try to just get through each day. We will--we are a close family, God fearing, and strong together.

I wish all the Mothers a wonderful & most happy day, that you can be with your children.
God Bless and thanks for being my friends. I'll have another scheduled post in a few days...and perhaps even finish up some tidbits...who knows!




Just to let you know, I will not be around here much in the next days. Tonight we took #2 SIL to the ER. She & Bro #2 had both been sick with some kind of bad bug that last about a month, and she was improving...we thought. Today had a fever, but was feeling cold all day, with a really bad headache. About 5pm, got a call, would I take to the ER..So I knew she was bad, as she is not one to give in and go to the dr easily.

We had a long wait, but after the dr. saw her, they were going to do some blood work, put her on IV. It was cold in the room, and both Brother & I were cold. He asked how long this would take, and did we have time to run home, get some longer pants, sleeves, and let him tend to the dog. Were told to go ahead.

Picked up DH to go back with us, as it was dark & I'm not fond of driving in the dark. When we got to the hospital, she was not where we left her, and were informed, her condition deteriorated severely & rapidly right after we left, and the staff had taken her for a Head CT.

She came back to the room shortly, followed by the doctor. She was in severe pain, threshing, incoherent and nauseated. The doctor said she has a bleed of about 1.5" in the lower left part of her brain, and they were calling to get a neurologist to be available at one of our bigger teaching hospitals. In about 30 minutes she was transported by ambulance, which we tried to follow but it runs red lights!

We get there, and see the ambulance leaving, but when we checked in at  the ER, they had no record, said ambulance still enroute. That was my first warning vibe, since we all recognized the transporting ambulance leaving the parking lot.

Anyway, the first doctor had said call her children, so we knew it wasn't good. Plus he was quite frank with me when I asked about her chances. The nurse at the bigger hospital told us her condition had deteriorated again rapidly and severely during the trip, so they immediately rushed her for another CT scan, and discovered a 2nd, and bigger bleed, which was filling up a ventricle. Not much hope of recovery and even if by a miracle she did, the damage incurred is irreversible.

SO...for the next week or so, I will not be around. I ask for your prayers if you feel you can say some for us.Two of their kids are here, but 2 have to travel from afar. Her name is Peggy, and she is a blessed and sweet lady. Sometimes very stubborn, but we all love her dearly. Right now, we're asking that if it is God's will that we have to let her go, that He will give her a peaceful end with no pain or fear. Thank you.


An Inlaid Rose for CAS Mixup Challenge

Good afternoon on a lovely & quiet warm Saturday. Doing bed linens after running some errands this morning so just took a minute's break to do a little post. I've been wanting to join in with the current CAS Mix Up Challenge and finished up a couple of cards that might work for this month's challenge.

Here's the 2nd card - both used the same Gina Marie flower die, and were made from Brusho backgrounds.

These roses have been floating around on the desk for some time, and so has the embossed background. Hunted up the Gina Marie rose die and die cut the background (and reminder to self: best to die cut first, then emboss! I was lucky enough on the first card that the Mbossibility folder (So Trendy) lined up perfectly, so I could re-emboss after the die cutting sort of flattened out. On the 2nd card, I diecut the opening for the inlay, then embossed). 

Card #1, with fun foam behind the rose inlay

The same design, just having the rose facing opposite direction. The reason I did a second card? When making this one, I had the bright idea to add a cut foam shape behind the rose (fussy cut the shape). The dimension is great, but thought it may look more like it was just adhered to the top of the card front, rather than inlay. But the rose was glued to the foam, then both pieces were inlaid into the opening. Looks quite nice IRL.... This is a really pretty die, and I like the look of the brusho pieces that were extremely easy to put back in the shapes.

A new Easter card was added to the Cards by Friends page, and I'll be back later with another CAS watercolor challenge card.

Ya'll have a great afternoon, and I'm off to the CAS Mix up Card Challenge..rules are in the badge at the beginning of the post. You still have time to play along!

Hugs and Prayers.


Red Flowers for Easter

Hello. My name is Mary, and it's been nearly 3 weeks since I ordered online or bought any stamping products. (Do we have a Crafters Anonymous group? If so that should be our mantra! I think that's how AAA members start the meeting!!!! LOL). Being honest, I do have a partial order of reinkers that are outstanding. Have been very disciplined at just deleting the advertising emails from the places I frequent though.

Sharing an Easter card that has been received, and so ok to post it here now. When I finish the post, it's back to the Dungeon and hopefully to move some more things around. Found some polymer stamps I'd bought from a fellow stamper some years ago. These were in clear CD cases, and as I tried to lift these stamps, many of them just tore apart (and yes, I was careful too!) It's made me decide I will not buy stuff like this at garage sales nor from anyone else unless I can open the case and check that the contents are still usable. I think there's about 10 cd's with this kind of thing. This would not happen with red rubber I'm thinking. A bit disappointing...but guess I didn't spend a lot of $$$$ on the stamps.Had this happen before with stamps in CD cases -- bought at a big stamp garage sale, where stampers were selling old stuff. Live & learn. If I ever sell anything in this fashion, I will make sure that any products are still in good shape, not ready to fall apart. Not sure if this happens because the clear stamps weren't cleaned properly, or if the material just deteriorates over time and perhaps stored where it was hot. Just sayin', a word to the wise, and I know all of us are always on the lookout to score a nice set at a good price. Maybe you've had this happen too. I'll be keeping my polymer stamps on the material they originally came in. (still could stick to that surface and be difficult to remove, perhaps).

Here's the card, and once again, it's snippets that I've discovered in the housecleaning in the stamp area.

- Can't remember what company the die is from (perhaps a MBox die?). It was cut in white, then colored with copics. Had a white underlayer, then adhered another white one that had been colored.

Think the red mat is a Darice die (NBUS) and tucked some sequins around that repeated the colors in the floral motif. Thought this made a cheery happy Easter card.

Ya'll have a lovely day. Come back when you can! Hugs.

Edit: Thanks to Borqna for suggesting this be linked to Ike's World Challenges #86.


Easter Bunny



Hello, and just popping in to wish you a most Happy Easter, and for those who follow the Christian path, let us remember what a miraculous gift we were given on this special day so long ago.
Today's card was for DH, and the background came from stash finds. The image was from SnS Bunnies & Bows and the set is actually one that Mr. spotted some years ago while we were in the store in Florida. He liked the Tutu Bunny for DD, but he also commented on this goofy Bunny. Since the set was handy on the desk from making the Tutu Bunny, decided to use this particular Bunny on a card for  him. It just looks like this Bunny has had such a hard day--delivering Easter Eggs no doubt. I think it will give Mr a little grin.

Can't remember how the embossed background was created, but the card base is cream colored, as is the sentiment piece. Decided not to trim off the bottom edge of the cream base, but let it show. The sentiment is from a CTMH Easter Set.

- Bunny is colored with copics, and looks a bit askew...once again, the camera caught it, the eyes didn't! (well, too bad, it was already glued down!).

Xstitch circle die, then a decorative S/B die cut from gingham...Very simple & nothing fancy, but I think he'll like it. I like the blue eyes & the buck teeth. (Mr. has pretty blue eyes too but his teeth don't stick out!)

Some lovely cards have been added to the Cards by Friends page, if you have time to take a peek.

Sending wishes that you have a wonderful day, hopefully spending it with someone that you love, or a lot of someones that you love. Our day will be quiet, and probably dinner at the local Cracker Barrel, which is a family style restaurant in the eastern part of the USA, and we are lucky to have one not very far away!

Big Hugs. Come again when you can. Until next time.


Christmas Card Club - Challenge 8

Hi and welcome to Challenge 8 of our 2017 Christmas Card Club, a group of card makers who share a card every 2 weeks. One of the group selects a challenge theme, and we create with that theme. So...this week our team mate Valery (ValeryAnne Designs) picked the theme of 'Humourous'. Now, Mrs. A happens to be the Queen of Recycled Christmas cards, which she always showcases in unusual and lovely ways, so I can't wait to see what she will show us for this challenge.

As you know, I've been in a sorting, moving, finding mode for a while; found the focal image of today's card in a box and decided it would work for 'humorous'. With a few strips of snippets paper, a snippets sort of image, the card rather made itself. I'm still not sure what I think of it,  but at least some of the VOS got used up. And I quite like Santa - just not sure about the background.

Don't know what company made the stamp, but  remember it's an old wooden image, colored with copics, and WoS. The mat die is a S/B scallop die, but not sure of the one used for Santa; rather think it's an inner decorative part of a labels die..

- strips of snippets were cut and glued down to make the background, and decided that using the border strip would suffice for a sentiment.

The card is basically 5x5, but trimmed just a scosh..(do you know that word? It means just a teeny, tiny, teeny bit!)

Do check out what my team members will be sharing for this challenge. Their blogs links are listed in the right side bar.

Hope you've have a splendid weekend, and Happy Easter. Hugs & Blessings.


Butterfly Snippets

Good evening, and today was just absolutely a glorious sunshine & warm day. No wind, just a soft balmy breeze, and a nice afternoon to sit outside - this morning had some errands.

In the cleaning process, I'm finding things that get pitched in the trash. The background of this card came very close to the trash, but as I looked at the colors, I decided to try to use it for _something_. It's printer paper, a scrap piece that has printing on the one side, but it was on the airbrush table where I spray or do messy things. The table itself has a large non-stick craft mat, but when I'm spraying, I still put down scrap paper to absorb some of the mess. Then I was experimenting with some black gesso, crackle paste and stencils, so more 'schtuff' got onto this piece. Thought it might work to die cut it, use it as a background.

Die cut the piece with an MFT stitched rectangle (which only puts in the stitching and didn't cut the rectangle. So then had to hunt for a similarly sized rectangle to cut the piece out! Still ended up doing some hand trim anyway & don't think the stitching shows in the photo). We'll just call this Carolina Creativity! The black patches are the black gesso, but there is some really shimmery gold spray on it. I liked the pink & turquoise shades, which is what prompted me to not throw this scrap away (I should say 'snippet').

The corrugated piece is one that has been rusted with Paper Artsy rusting powder and also got some of the gold overspray on it. Think it may have had some of the DI bronze stain on it too.

- Rubbernecker butterfly was stamped on a white snippet from the back of an old Christmas card, so a bit 'shiny' surface. Used Versamark, heat embossed with Ranger Black Detail EP. The black areas of the butterfly show the embossing. Used Kuretake turquoise w/c and the gold that comes with the Kuretake set. Didn't care for the shade of gold, so got out the Finetec Gold water color set (a NBUS) and just started painting with some of those colors. Liked this one much better, as it looks quite a bit like my favorite Queen's Gold embossing powder. This is a much brighter, richer shade of gold than the 2 in the Gansai Kuretake set. Laid down several layers with each color, so it doesn't look watercolored but painted. Looks quite glossy against the corrugated piece and the rather rough texture of the ink covered print paper.

Lastly, took a page from my friend Brenda W's book: Brenda is shopping her stash and using lots of older supplies to turn out some stunning cards..this sticker came from a NBUS sticker set of who knows what age!

Don't know if I'll ever mail this one...I never feel very confident with an 'artsy' it artsy or just rather silly looking? But I had fun making it, and thinking about what to do with that salvaged paper!!!

Added some pretty Easter cards to the Cards by Friends page, so hope you'll have time to enjoy these.
Ya'll have a real good evening and thanks for stopping by to visit. Prayers & hugs coming your way.


Easter Bunny Ballet

Good evening - finishing up the Easter cards, only have one more to make... for DH. Here's the one sent today to the daughter, and it's from a Sparkle n Sprinkle Bunnies & Bows rubber set purchased some years ago.

This was very easy to color with copics. Used cool grays, with just a slight touch of BG0000 over the gray...only at the edges to create some shadows.  Diamond Stickles were added on the tutu and spread with my finger. Had already used WoS, but that didn't really shine quite as much as I wanted.

- die cut with a S/B Deckled Oval - which has been retired evidently. Edged with Victorian Velvet while still in the die, lightly smoothed BG0000 around to create a background, and a bit of gray under her feet to ground the image.

- Sue Wilson Greek Collection Kefalonia die used to make the dark rose pink mat from glittered paper (inner area was removed to use another time.)

- Hot Pink card base (found in the sorting, and it only needed to be scored)...was covered with an  embossed vellum piece  - tones down the hot pink nicely (EF Dots folder for the vellum). Added borders top & bottom from a snippet that had been embossed, and part of the piece had cut too deeply. The top & bottom were fine, so trimmed off and created borders, as the vellum wasn't just quite long enough at the bottom edge! LOL.

When DD was a pre-teen, everything had to be pink. Then it went to purple...This must be something all teenage girls go through. She's outgrown that phase - don't think she's got anything pink or purple these days.

Added a new card to the Cards by Friends page, and will be adding another pretty one that came in today. Hope you have time to check it out. In the meantime, still working on the re-organization - some days I think I'm making progress. Some days methinks I'm only moving stuff from here to there. But as the saying goes, it 'keeps me off the streets & outta the bars'. Any of you ever heard that before???

Have a great day! Come back when you can, and I'll promise to do the same. Hugs & Prayers to those in need of same.


Ghost Flowers

Good morning, after a very stormy Wednesday. Today is sunny, but the wind is fierce. Just collected yesterday's junk mail - yesterday was thundery, rainy & windy off & on for most of the day. Was not interested in going out in the rain to pick up junk mail! Then late last evening, we had another front move in, with more lightning and thunder... so it's lovely to see the sunshine today, even if it is a bit brisk outside.  Will be sharing another photo of the redbud tree showing the changes the Monday & Wednesday rains have brought along, and our dogwood trees have green furze on the branches. I knew there were buds on the limbs, but this morning I could see green coating all the limbs just as I was opening the window blinds. They seemed to turn green just overnight. Spring is here I'm pretty sure, and April showers bring May flowers, so I've always been told.

Has anyone watched the series The Night Manager? Binge watched this program of an evening, and really enjoyed it. Hugh Laurie did an excellent job of playing a villain in this series.

Another card from found items....and this background was probably made with sponging distress inks (or dylusions sprays...I can't remember) and was an attempt to do the ghosting technique with a stencil and water sprays.

- flower topper was a found yellow flower die cut ( MBox Tilth die) - colored with purple toned copics. Then gave it a couple coats of UTEE in interferon blue, and did this ever change to a pretty pearlized color. Doesn't show all that well in the photo. The ghost piece needed to be larger to fit a blue card base, so an MS border punch on some white snippets (back of a recycled Christmas card), created borders. Colored various shades of purple & dark blue copics, inked with WOW watermark ink, repeated the UTEE process doing 2 coats. I'm finding the WOW gives a thicker coating than the Versamark and worked better with having the UTEE cover the piece well. (UTEE=Ultra Thick Embossing Enamel).  The stash background already had an MS corner punch treatment, which prompted the choice of MS border punches. Keep an old grungy Versamark pad that has 'gunk' on the surface from redipping embossed pieces once they have been heat embossed. This can mess up the ink pad. Was able to wipe off the newer WOW pad with a dry baby wipe, but the powder - even though melted - can still mess up a pristine pad. (if that explanation makes sense!). Once again the camera has picked up a need for a slight bit of trim up surgery on the border corners. Debating whether to add a tiny rhinestone at each of the 4 punched corners.

Paintbrush Happy MBox die cut from a light purple and a hot pink c/s, although this looks quite red here.. it really is hot pink! Tried for the shadow effect with the purple under the pink. Lastly added a clear rhinestone center to the flower and a coat of Glossy Accent to the sentiment. Nice to use up another background and some snippets!

If you look here, you'll see what 5 days and a few days of rain did to the pretty pink blossoms of this tree. The surrounding grass is also a bit greener.

Thanks for joining me this morning. Now I need to do some commenting while drinking my coffee!
Have a wonderful day, and God Bless. Hugs


Waffle Flower with Brusho Cling Background

Hello Friends, and welcome. This will be a fast post, as we've been having some thunder rumbling around all morning, and the computer will be powered back down quickly. Finished up a card last night and wanted to do a post. Haven't done much the past few days, other than enjoy a gorgeous sunshine day yesterday- after a rainy gloomy Monday. Had some neighbor visits, and we rehung the porch swing. Always takes a few adjustment to the chains to get the swing 'just right' & comfortable each spring.

On to the card:

Another background made by applying cling wrap, scrunching it over wet brusho background. This is such a fun and easy technique --- after I learned to use more intense shades of colors. The paler colors don't hold up well - at least my efforts didn't!

- Waffle flower Magical Flower die: cut from another stash background. Used a yellow-shaded piece and then part of a green one for the stem & leaf. Each time  cut just the area of the color of the size wanted, and added a piece of white snippet  with that to save the cutting plate from the die blade as much as possible (meaning there were 2 layers in some places, but only the white layer in a place-if that makes sense). For the flower part, glued the white snippet piece behind the colored piece. The center part of the flower cuts separately, and that came from a tiny snippet of a brown/yellow toned background piece. That & the stem is only a single layer. Was able to use the white leaf cut behind the colored cut, so it adds a bit of dimension. When I cut sentiments from a background, I try to save as much of the remainder as possible, as you just never know when it will come in handy for a tiny part of something!

Die cut the background with a pierced die, then just used the cutter to trim a snippet of green from the stash to fit as a mat. It's paper, not card stock, and of course it ripped when I was trying to edge with some DI pumice stone. Decided to go with that torn distressed look, and did a couple more deliberate tears, roughed up the edges, curled 2 corners. Edged all of it with more Pumice Stone.

The top fold card base is a textured cream, and the Misti came in very handy to repeatedly stamp the sentiment using Versamark Sepia several times to get good coverage. We have a lot of family birthdays approaching, so along with Easter cards, I've been trying to use up bits that I'm finding on my cleaning, to make up into cards.

Ya'll have a wonderful afternoon. Will try to post again tomorrow; got another one finished last night too, from bits & pieces, snips and snaps! Hugs & Blessings.


Christmas Card Club - Challenge 7 - Christmas Flowers

Hi and welcome to another Christmas Card Club post. Our theme this week was chosen by Carol who wanted to see Christmas Flowers. I happen to love Poinsettias (apparently more than I realized by the number of poinsettia stamps I'm finding during my sort-through of stamps).

 - Poinsettia inked with WOW clear embossing ink, then heat embossed with Ranger's Queens Gold. Tried using the Misti for this, as the red c/s has a texture and did not stamp well. I had difficulty using the Misti, so finally just started over, using a clear & see through block and the process worked better. The sentiment came from the same set, was heat embossed with Queen's Gold. It looks straight IRL, but looks a bit wonky in the photo. The camera always sees what the eye missed**.

Edit: since this card has some boo-boo surprise on it, and since I just remembered Darnell's 2nd Annual April Fool's Boo-Boo Hop, I'm going to link it into that challenge!

- plaid background is from a 6x6 Christmas pack in the stash. This is a side fold card. Was not terribly happy with how this one turned out, so searched out a MB Poinsettia die, and then another MBox set which has the petals in layers of different sizes.

- Die cut the base die from Canson #98 Mixed Media C/stock, as I'd decided to try to water color with Zigs. Once the bottom flower which is a single die, was finished, colored each petal layer (there are 3 in graduating sizes, and the stamen)...colored those. Adhered the single flower with dimensional foam squares, then layered the remaining layers with liquid glue. Added some Nuvo Crystal over the stamen.

- White background embossed with a Candy Cane stripes EF.

- Sentiment is from an old Inkadinkadoo clear set and the Misti was used for this - the white paper has a texture, and it required repeated inkings to get a sharp & even image.

Please do check out what my fellow team members have created to inspire us on the Christmas Flowers theme. Each member is listed in the right sidebar, and clicking on the name should take you to their blog.

Thanks for joining me & hope your weekend has been wonderful. Hugs & God bless.