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10/16/2017

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 while...like 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.


 

10/14/2017

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 den...as 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

10/12/2017

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.

10/09/2017

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.

10/07/2017

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.
 
 
 


10/06/2017

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.



10/04/2017

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 :-)

10/02/2017

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.
 
Hugs