Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Happy Administrative Professionals Day

I made these little tealight boxes for the ladies that work in my district.  We rely on each other throughout the year for knowledge and support.  The little tag included with each one reads:

Don't feel bad
if people remember you
only when they
need you.
Feel privileged that
you are like a 
that comes on in 
their minds when
there is darkness.
We light the way 
for each other.

First Birthday

Earlier this month our grandson turned 1.  His mom and dad planned a party for him for this past weekend.  The invitations were so cute and they had a star theme going so I made him this interactive card with stars.  It's a spinner card.  When you tilt it, the star spins around the center circle.  Of course, he's too little to actually be able to play with it.  But it was fun to make and I think mom and dad had a little fun with it too!

All those cameras pointed at him, he didn't quite know what to do.  He didn't cry when we all sang, in fact he was so good the whole time we were all there. They had given him birthday cake on his real birthday and he actually did cry then, so he didn't have any at the party.  He had his own little snack.

It was a pretty long afternoon for him, but he was a trooper.  We thought he might fall asleep in the high chair after he ate, but he pushed through it. 

Grandpa and I gave him this tractor which he was more into pushing at this point.  His daddy had a tractor that was a bit bigger than this with pedals when he was a little boy and he loved it.  We actually bought this one at least a year before we had any grands in the hope that someday we would. It's just his size now.

"Look everyone!  No hands!"

With grandpa.

Our daughter-in-law's birthday was also this weekend and here is the card I made for her.  I tried in vain to get the colors right on the screen.  The card base is actually Bermuda Bay - more of a greenish blue and not so turquoise.  And the greens are much prettier IRL.  

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Jingle Belles - Peace on EARTH Day

This is one of my favorite Jingle Belle prompts.  I get to recycle some of the things that I have saved from Christmases past and also from previous projects.  This card has some of both. 

The wreath was not a wreath to begin with.  It was a string of wire with red and green beads on it that was used to wrap up a package.  I just wound it around my fingers to make a wreath out of it, using the beadless ends of the wire to hold it together.  The bow is some elastic cording that was also on a package.  The wreath sits on a piece of gold embossed cherry cobbler paper that was left over from a card I made a few years ago.  And the green card base was also a leftover.  

The beads are so much prettier IRL, trust me.  I shall try to be back before next Wednesday with another EARTH Day card.  Goodness knows I have a lot of stuff I can recycle.  

Want to see what's in the Jingle Belles gallery so far?  Click here.

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Scribble Picnic - LADDER

Strictly sketching it this week for me.  Just couldn't fit in time to color.  I took some vacation days to coincide with our school spring break, but with Easter also coming and with some other projects I've been working on this month, I was glad just to get the sketch done.   

I took my inspiration straight from our garden.  We keep a small folding ladder up there to be able to monitor the bluebird  box.  It took a little bit of a tragedy to learn not to leave it close to the box.  If we can climb up the ladder, so can a wiley raccoon.  So we make sure to  put the ladder far enough away from the box when we're done.  The round cylinder on the pole is a baffle to keep them from climbing up the pole to the box.  

You see below a bluebird fledgling who made it out of the box back in July 2010 and landed on the ladder where it stayed for quite awhile before gathering enough courage to attempt to fly away.  This just might be the Mr. or Mrs. Blue than now inhabit the box coming home where it all started.

I'm heading over to check out all the other LADDERs from the Picnickers.  You can join me by clicking here.  And should you want to join in, next week's theme is TREE,

Saturday, April 15, 2017

Thanks for Helping Me Grow Tags and Cards

Our grandson will be changing "classes" at daycare soon - he's growing so fast.  My daughter-in-law Michelle asked me to make some cards and tags to go along with a little gift she is giving his caregivers.  She wanted the theme to be "thank you for helping me grow".  

I knew I had plenty of flowery things to work with, but I didn't have a stamp that said exactly that.  So I took a quick look through Etsy and found these little charms at Findings For Less.  I think they look pretty good and she loved them.

The daisies are a Susan's Garden die and a little labor intensive, but I don't mind doing that kind of work.  I gave them to her with a choice of green or white ribbon to use to tie them on.  

Michelle is adding these to a special gift she is having her cousin Sara make.  Sara is a pyrographer and you can see some of her work here.  

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Scribble Picnic - Rabbit (With Spring Flowers on the Side)

Goodness, that title almost seems like a menu entry, but don't worry I won't be serving any rabbit this Easter. I do hope that the "hot" weather we're having doesn't toast the flowers too soon though.

This Scribble Picnic RABBIT might be a chocolate bunny camouflaged to hide amongst the spring flowers so as not to get eaten.  Inspired by a ceramic bunny in blue and white that I used to have, I chose to use different flowers and colors.

I was half tempted to use the cracked glass technique on this to make it look like a well-worn ceramic piece and had it been done smaller, and I could have used it on a card I probably would have, but to keep in the sketch pad it didn't seem prudent to use all that embossing powder.  

Both HWNSNBP and I are amazed at the amount of flowers that have bloomed in this garden this spring. We have not planted anything new here in a long while so it appears that the plants are happy and are spreading their happiness throughout.  Besides the crocuses and daffodils which are bulbs, we have scilla and chionodoxa springing up in the oddest places.  I know those were originally corms when they were planted, but we're thinking that they also will self seed if they are in the right conditions.

We even have some pansy and Johnny-jump-up volunteers on the pathway.

Today I noticed that the Confederate violets are blooming along with the spring beauty.   

And I spied a few yellow wood violets although they're getting fewer and harder to find.

The bluebirds are regulars to the suet feeder these days.  They wait patiently for their turn while the other birds feed.  They happily grab up what might have fallen to the ground.

And I'm happy to report that the nest cam does indeed show a nest in the making.  There was a lot of wing waving and in-an-out-check-it-out by both the Mr. and Mrs. But you can never be certain that they're going to nest there until they get that nest built.  By the way, HWNSNBP has decided to name them Phil and Cora.  Extra points if you know who Phil and Cora were.  I'll be posting updates on the nesting progress throughout the spring and early summer.  Hopefully we'll get a couple of clutches again this year.

Okay, enough about the flowers and birds, it's back to RABBITS and time to mosey on over to Dotty Hill to check out what's down, or up from the rabbit hole!  Click here to join me as I visit all the Scribble Picnickers this week.  And should you care to join in next Wednesday, the theme is LADDER.

Jingle Belles - Getting Sketchy

Our Jingle Belle Stephanie has given us a sketch to work with this time on the Jingle Belles blog.  

I had a couple of ideas for this but nothing was working on paper.  I thought I wanted to use this Unity tree stamp with snowflakes, but all the snowflakes that I had were too big.  And then when HWNSNBP and I were doing some errands on Monday - I had birthday coupons to several places that were about to expire, Michael's being one of them - I happened down the clearance aisle and found these snowflake stickers. (They were a steal and I have enough left to make another card!) Just the snowflakes are stickers, I added them to the silver foil discs. But my tree was so big I had to turn the sketch around.

I opted for some Concord Crush paper as my background and edged the panel with silver EP.  The tree, by the way, is also embossed with silver EP.  This is a very clean sketch and I like how this looks, but HWNSNBP thinks it needs a sentiment somewhere.  Will he get his way or not?  Time will tell.  

Please join me whilst I grab a cup of Chai Latte and make my way back over to see what all the other Jingle Belles have come up with this time.  

Sunday, April 9, 2017

LegacyPop/All Things Paper

I follow the blog All Things Paper by paper artist Ann Martin from Delaware.  Ann regularly features other paper artistry on her blog other than her own and this past January she introduced the new venture called LegacyPop by Robert Sabuda and Chuck Fischer who have combined "their artistry with laser technology to create amazing architectural pop-ups".  As an introduction to their new partnership they held a giveaway via Ann's blog and I was one of the winners.  

At the time they were still in the production stages but at the end of March I received my package and was totally blown away.  

You will see here the gliclee print of Highclere Castle featured in the PBS Series Downtown Abbey and the card which features a beautiful laser-cut front.  

I haven't done justice to the beautiful paper that this is created with.  The gold paper has a shimmer to it.  This highly detailed card front is absolutely gorgeous.

And when you open it up, it is even more amazing holding the pop up rendition of the building as well as a write up and more drawings related to the subject.  

The second building - yes there were two - is Thomas Jefferson's Monticello.  The gliclee prints are a wonder in themselves and very frameable.

This blue paper has a shimmer to it also and makes it look so rich.

Not only can you purchase a pop up of a famous building of your choice, you can also have a custom design made of your favorite building.

Thank you LegacyPop.  Your artistry is amazing.  And thank you Ann Martin for sponsoring this giveaway.  Please click on their links above for further information.

Thursday, April 6, 2017

Sharing Their Creativity

Last Friday was my birthday and I have to share what was in a package I received from my blogging friend Sabrina about a week before that.  Sabrina lives in Ireland and we connected through the Teapot Challenges that I used to do several years ago.  She is a cardmaker, papercrafter, needleworker, photographer, expert cook, musician, birdwatcher, and as you can see, lover of many of the things that I too love.  I always feel transported away to new and interesting places, get ideas for the use of new techniques she uses, and am urged to try some new recipes when I visit her blog.  

I am so lucky that she shares her creativity with me.  She made this beautiful framed piece with that wonderful quote about shells.  And those shells.............

She has a wonderful technique of making shells from paper.  Don't they look real!

And along with that beautiful framed piece were a few other lovely things and this beautiful handmade card.  

This actually kind of reminds me of the little fishing village known as Viking Village at the north end of Long Beach Island in Barnegat Light.  There's a row of little buildings that housed the fisherman that settle there that have now been turned into little shops.  

Sabrina also added one of her shells to this handmade envelope.  

Thank you Sabrina!  Thank you for sharing your talents with me!

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Scribble Picnic - Grandfather Clock

Our Scribble Picnic theme this week is GRANDFATHER CLOCK and whenever I see or hear about a grandfather clock I'm reminded of the song we learned in grade school - "My Grandfather's Clock". How it "stopped, short, never to go again when the old man died".  My clock has stopped short also. I imagine it belonged to an old sea captain who couldn't bear to part with it after he retired and it didn't work anymore.  So he converted it into a cabinet to store some of his seafaring memories.  One can only wonder at what might be in that little chest.

I haven't done much in this toned tan sketch book, and I apologize that it doesn't photograph well, but I had it in my mind that I wanted to do this with white to make it look ghostlike, as if it were fading away.  Since I hadn't used it in so long I nearly drove myself crazy Monday morning trying to remember where I had put it. I had extended my weekend with a little bit of a mental health day and how ironic to be feeling so mentally challenged about it.  When I gave up and moved on to another project up in the stamp cave** I was sitting at the computer up there and just happened to look down into a tote next to the table and, yes, you guessed it, there was the sketchbook.  At that point though, I had used up so much time looking that I needed to put this on the backburner while I finished some cards and tags that my daughter-in-law asked me to make.  I'll be posting those soon.

The Grandfather Clock Song

by Henry Clay Work
"My grandfather's clock was too tall for the shelf
So it stood ninety years on the floor
It was taller by half than the old man himself
But it weighed not a pennyweight more

It was bought on the morn on the day that he was born
It was always his treasure and pride
But it stopped, short, never to go again
When the old man died

Ninety years without slumbering
Tic toc tic toc
His life's seconds numbering
Tic toc tic toc
It stopped, short, never to go again

When the old man died.

(There are more verses if you Google it.)

Thanks to this Scribble Picnic challenge, or rather the challenge I gave myself looking for this particular sketch book, I found some other interesting things I had tucked away which I'm looking forward to "playing with" soon.  

I'll be off now to visit the other Picnickers to see their Grandfather clocks.  You can join me by clicking here.  And just in case you want to join in next week, the theme is RABBIT. 

**I've kind of gotten used to using the phrase "stamp cave" even though it is less cavelike since all the improvements.  Maybe once I get it all organized I will think up a proper name......... if that ever happens!

Edited:  Thanks Michael for the enhanced photo.  Much better I think!

Sunday, April 2, 2017

Write_On - National Letterwriting Month

This is a double challenge for me.  (One) to use up some of the scraps and make use of some of the cards I already have to (Two) write a note/letter to someone each day of the month of April.  I've been trying to put together at least one scrap card when I sit down to do my regular challenges.  Sometimes there are a couple.  Some are simple, others a little more involved, but I'm really trying to make use of things that I just couldn't throw out.  Things like duplicates of stamped images that I didn't use on the original card created, or simply, scraps of paper, designer or plain, that I felt might have a use in the future.  Now is the time to give them some life.  And that is also appropriate for this month that includes Earth Day as some of the elements may be reused/repurposed.

The image on the left card was a duplicate I had that was unfinished - I added some more white pencil to it and the little vellum butterfly from the scrap box.  The card on the left uses colored scraps along with some punched "lace" and three clay roses that I really never got the hang of, but these were usable.

I have a ton - well probably not a ton in actual weight because I'm sure the floor would cave in - but let's say a plethora of scrap paper and pads.  And stickers - another underused commodity in the craft room.  These butterflies found a home on some pretty scrap paper.

This card uses the stamped flower image along with the circles I punched out of a card that I received. 

A square of scrapbook paper with a punched butterfly.  The butterfly's body is one of those little clips that hold socks together before you buy them.  (Yeah, I save a lot of stuff!)

I found those folded pieces in the scrap box along with that turquoise tag.  I did use some alphabet dies to cut HI out of the bottom of the tag with another scrap underneath to match the colors in the folded piece.  

Believe it or not, with the exception of the ribbon and the card base, this was all in the scrap box.  You can barely tell from the picture but the background panel is embossed with shells.  Another challenge is to use up some of the miles of ribbon that I also have.  

So, I've made a list - in no particular order - of the peeps I will be sending a note to.  I hope that they are pleasantly surprised!