Friday, August 28, 2009

Another Word Verification

Two weeks ago I came across a Blog Hop that involved about 14 different blogs.  It took a while to go through them all and all the while I was doing that I kept thinking how it would really be beneficial - exercise-wise if you really had to hop while doing it.  At least you'd be moving around.  Then I really had to laugh out loud when I went to post a comment and this is what came up

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Textures of Nature

Below are some pictures taken on the beach on Monday.  This was after Hurricane/Tropical Storm Bill went through the area and churned up a lot of interesting things.  You can see the textural patterns in the dry sand as well as the wet sand.

Imagine if you can, walking down that beach and hearing the crunch, crunch, crunch, of the many millions of tiny mussel shells that had washed up.  From a distance I had thought that it was seaweed, but upon closer inspection it was not, it was all those shells. 

I have to tell you that in places, the smell was a little more than you cared to intake.  But there is beauty all around.  Sometimes you just have to look down to find it.


Thursdays Throw Aways - Week 24

I promised I would be back this week to show you another use for those negative cut-outs (see this post). 

This time I used them as stencils for my pastels.  I created the background for this card by chalking up a sponge dauber and rubbing it over just the edges of the daisies.

I added some butterflies on Pacific Point squares and some ribbon and here you have a birthday card for a butterfly lover - my mother!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Friendship Wallet

It all started when I came across a blog called PagePeople- Stampin', Scrappin' and Gifts and a post about using up old DSP (Designer Series Paper).  Hmmm, I have a bit of that myself.  So I went to my stash and pulled out some Old Olive Prints Pattern paper.  I printed out her very well done directions and proceeded to make a few wallets. 

That was in June.

Fast forward to August and these wallets have been on my work table for a while now.  What shall I do with them?  I was mounting one of my new stamp sets - Herb Expressions and had a thought about how I could use that.  There are four herb images with their names and what they are representative of.  And there are four sentiments that go along with these representations.  All of them deal with friendship, so I thought I would create this Friendship Wallet.

All the herb images were stamped in Basic Gray on Confetti White and either colored with markers directly or with an aquapainter. 

All the sentiments were stamped in Chocolate Chip on Very Vanilla cardstock.  The images were mounted on one side of the Confetti Cream card, and the sentiments on the other.

All embellishments are done with SU papers, punches, and ribbons.  I believe one of the ribbons I used is retired, but you can substitute something current for that or use one of them twice.  And of course, you can use current DSP instead of using up your retired paper, but what are you saving it for!?!

Here it is in pictures - if you have any questions, please feel free to contact me via e-mail and I'll try to answer them as best I can.

The sentiment on the belly band is from the For All You Do set.  Each of the cards has a ribbon pull tab so that you can easily pull it out of it's pocket.  I've kept the embellishments pretty flat so that they go in and out of the pockets without getting hung up. 

Just a funny note - I had originally colored the Thyme images making the flowers yellow, but that didn't exactly go with the rest of the colors too well.  So I decided to check and see if there was a variety of Thyme that had pink flowers and there was.  I found
a site from Massachusetts that sells the plant and this is their write up about it: 

"Red Creeping Thyme, 2 to 4 inches high Full Sun, Ornamental herb valued as a groundcover, from a dense mat of dark green leaves that are covered with red flowers early to mid summer, bronze foliage fall fragrant, attacks butterflies and is deer resistant"

I dropped them an e-mail to tell them that while I could use plants that are deer resistant in my garden, I really didn't think I needed any that attacked butterflies...........   I haven't heard back from them yet!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Vacation Birds

The first is a view from the condo - the rest are from the Barnegat Inlet. They're clickable.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Teapot Tuesday 61

I'm posting this a little early because we have a day trip planned for tomorrow and the other reason is that I don't know how long this internet service will allow me to be on.  When I was supposedly packing for our week away on Saturday night I remembered that Cindy had posted a sneak peek for Teapot Tuesday.
Very intriguing for a teapot don't you think?  Well I don't know what the story will be behind this one, or what any of the other requirements will be but here is my story:

I'm thinking that maybe Cindy has been notified by the law enforcement agents that the teapotters are under investigation.  You know there was talk about some jewels going missing when we joined The Queen, and then there were the allegations of bribing the judges in the California Cow Contest.  As I remember it, there were some other questionable shenanigans at some of the other tea parties also.  And now, Cindy is trying to add more teapot members.  Yes, didn't I tell you.  This challenge is not just on her blog anymore.  This challenge is on Splitcoast.  So, you see, there are any number of people who visit there who can become teapotters also.  This is why I think they're keeping an eye on us.  They need to find out just what it is about tea on Tuesdays and stamps and paper that causes so much strange behavior (and fun!). 

So late, late, late Saturday night, or maybe it was early Sunday morning by then....... this is what I put together for this week's Teapot Tuesday based on Cindy's Tea Peek from the week before. 
I was thinking of doing something with a magnifying glass, but then I found these notecards from the $bin at Michael's on my counter.  The flower reminded me of the emblem on the hat of the teapot.  So I added a small panel of Bashful Blue on the bottom and some black and white trim and ribbons.  Then I added more ribbon in the form of Bashful Blue grosgrain and then the embossed flower.  The flower has a stick-on jewel in the center - a sapphire (Maybe a leftover from the England trip!  Eek, maybe that's what they're looking for!) for September.  I will need three anniversary cards for September so it's good I'm getting a head start.

The sentiment is from the Teeny Tiny Wishes set - which I find that I'm going to more and more for it's versatility. 

Here is a close-up of the bottom of the card
I will try to remember to give you all the links when I return.  Just remember you can check out Cindy's glob by clicking the link on my left sidebar. 

Sunday, August 23, 2009

The Ikea Influence

My daughter Rachel was home for a few days last week and during that time we took an excursion to IKEA; in her words - her Disneyworld.  She is moving into a new apartment and needed some "stuff".  Of course it always helps to have mom and dad, who heroically offered to come along to help with the heavy stuff, with you.  (I really think he wanted the meatballs!) 

When you shop in the store in Elizabeth, the tax rate is lower, which is another reason why we went there.  They are not quite done with their renovations, but we managed to find the things she needed and more.

I found this tray
Isn't it cool! 

And here's how the conversations went:

When I showed it to HWNSNBP: "What are you going to do with that?"

When I showed it to Rachel: "That's cute."
                                         Me:  "What am I going to do with it?"
                                   Rachel:  "Mom, it's only $6.  Go for it."

And so I did.  And so I did this
The card is stamped with the hostess set The More The Merrier on Whisper White and I used all the new In-colors to color the birds with my blender pen.

It's mounted on a panel of Melon Mambo that I ran through the Big Shot with the Finial Press Textured Impression embossing folder.  I added a border of Basic Black scallops and some Bermuda Bay polka-dotted ribbon.  I wanted black brads so I took some of the white ones I had and embossed the heads with black embossing powder.  (Be careful and make sure to use a long handled tweezer or pliers to hold the brads while embossing!)

The sentiment is another one from Teeny Tiny Wishes and punched out with the word window punch.

You never know where you'll get your inspiration from or your good advice to go for it! 

I think she learned that from me!

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Saturday Inspiration

I know I should not be playing this morning - I should be packing, but I loved, loved, loved, this website that was the Inspiration Challenge on SCS today. They actually have a store in the West Village. Doesn't it look fun? I wanna go there - who wants to go too?

The inspiration I choose was the bird paperclip magnets (which would look gorgeous on my desk at work don't you think!).

And here is my card

It's a cloudy rainy day here so the picture is not as bright as it should be. I love these colors together. Apricot Appeal for the card base and the panel is Melon Mambo. The birds are a stamp that I got years ago when I first started stamping at a little stamping store down in Delaware. It's a Magenta stamp and I stamped it in Basic Gray on Watercolor paper and used my SU markers to color it.

The sentiment is from Teeny Tiny Wishes and I even clear embossed the daisies from Upsy Daisy on the bottom of the melon panel. The bow is Tempting Turquoise grosgrain.

Someone I know through my cousin just had to have an appendectomy so I think this will certainly brighten up her day!

Friday, August 21, 2009

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Thursday's Throw Aways - Week 23

I love these die cuts but there is a lot of scrap left over when you're done. So..... I decided to try to put that leftover to some good use.

I took my 1 3/4" circle punch and punched out the negative space from the smallest daisy.

Then I tried adding those flower disks over a piece of patterned paper. I added buttons to the flower centers and a little bit of ribbon. This card is very simple. I'm loving the Teeny Tiny Wishes stamp set. There are so many good message choices for quick and simple cards.

Next week I'll show you another use for those negative spaces.

If you've missed any of my Thursday's Throw Aways you can click here.

I Felt Like a Tree Today

I felt like a tree today.

As I was driving home I noticed, already in mid-August the trees were losing their leaves. Some more than others. If you looked closely you could also see that a lot of them were beginning to show signs of changing color. This hasn’t been a particularly warm summer here, though we’ve had a fair share of rain and at present we are in a bit of a heat wave. I suppose all these things factor into the early leaf drop and the color change.

It’s a metamorphosis. Not what you think of when you think butterflies but a metamorphosis nonetheless.

These great trees stand up to a lot of variables. The cold, the heat, the wet, the dry, the calm, the wind; much like we do ourselves. And some of them weather the changes better than others. Surely, a lot of that has to do with location. Their surroundings have a big role to play in their survival.

This is when I began feeling like a tree. I thought of how I started out as a seed, then, with the right care, managed to become a seedling. How I had to have been nurtured and protected in that stage by my parents in order to become a sapling, growing taller and stronger by the day.
There came a time then, when as a tree does, I began to produce seeds and some of them were able to take root. Thus carrying on the species.

I thought about how trees have to adapt to their surroundings. Haven’t I had to do the same? I’ve been uprooted and transplanted a few times.

I thought about how they have to withstand the changes in temperature and what the excesses do. How that puts stress on them. Is this not how I feel now about temperatures? As I get older the change in temperature seems to affect me more.

I thought about how they have to be flexible in the wind. Haven’t I had to show flexibility with my life choices?

I thought about the seasonal changes that they go through and how Mother Nature has taken her toll on them. When I look in the mirror I see this myself. Not just the outward change in hair color, or additional creases here and there. But the internal changes too.

I, like a tree, have set down a long taproot where I am. I’ve swayed in the wind and rain. I’ve weathered extremes of temperature and fought disease. I’ve produced seedlings of my own. And, I’ve stood among other great trees. Many who have sheltered me and made it easier to withstand the forces of nature.

Yes, I felt like a tree today.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Teapot Tuesday 60

Hard to believe I haven't posted anything since last Thursday! Acccchhh! You know that doesn't necessarily mean that I haven't been doing anything, don't you? I think these summer hours that I've been working have really caught up with me. But..... the good news is, this week is the last week I have to work them! Yeah!!!!

You can expect to see what I've been up to in the next couple of days. But right now, let's turn our attention to this gorgeous lighthouse teapot. Those of you who know me know that I do love lighthouses. HWNSNBP and I have participated in the Great NJ Lighthouse Challenge for the last 9 years (it's held in October). When I went to link my posts about it I realized that I never finished posting the pictures from this years' challenge. I might have to remedy that, but not today.

Today I'm going to ask you to go over to Cindy Motherway's glob and look at the simply wonderful lighthouse card that she created. She definitely is a paper genius! The story that goes with the teapot this week has us trekking up to Peggy's Cove in Nova Scotia and we have to pay for our lodgings in the lighthouse by catching or providing 42,000 lbs. of fish.

So given my love of lighthouses, you would think that this challenge would have been a breeze. Not so much. Believe it or not, I only recently picked up this lighthouse stamp. I got it at a little stamp store down in Delaware that is, unfortunately, closing. That store was really what got me so interested in stamping to begin with. I found the store while exploring a little when my daughter attended the University there. She had given me a gift certificate to the store for Christmas and thank goodness we managed a trip there in May.

Yes, I know, enough blabbering. I stamped the image on confetti white cardstock so that I could use my inks and an aquapainter to paint in the scene surrounding it. I'm not particularly happy with this card. I started it late last night and actually had the lighthouse on a dirt cliff. Then I realized that we were supposed to be in Nova Scotia and the lighthouse, if it were on a cliff, would probably be on a rock cliff. So after I totally screwed up the dirt/rocks with ink, I resorted to adding paper boulders.

I have to tell you that when I showed the card to HWNSNBP, he told me that it looked like the ink on the lighthouse was dripping. Sorry hon, that's the way the artist drew it.

I used my Top Note die to frame the picture. I gave it some wood texture with my cuttlebug. I wanted to add some roping and knots and actually found a cool website with animations of how to tie fishing knots, but I went with a simple overhand for this. The card base is Creamy Caramel with the edges sponged in the same color.

Oh, and don't let me forget the fish. I didn't know where to add any fish to the card, so I added some goldfish crackers to the photo.

So, whaddya think? Do you think it's missing something?

Don't forget to go check out the Teapot Tuesday Gallery on Splitcoast. There's some jaw droppers there!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Thursday's Throw Aways - Week 22

I had to laminate a couple of things at school this week. When you're done running your items through the laminator you have to trim the excess laminating film away. There's always about 6 inches of film at the beginning of the roll. So after I did the trimming I rolled up the excess and brought it home.

There are a number of ways that this excess film can be used. If you cut it into rectangles about photo size, you can use that film as a blank for when you use your Stamp-a-ma-jig. Or you can use it in cardmaking or scrapbooking as a window.

I wanted to try something else. I got out my new texture impression embossing folder - Petals A-Plenty, cut a piece of the laminate to the size of the folder and ran it through my Big Shot.

Then I ran some Taken With Teal cs through the Big Shot with the pillow box die. I trimmed the laminate so that it would make a band around the pillow box, used my red line tape to stick it together, and added the ribbon around the box.

The last step was to add the flowers from the Three For You punch. The centers being 1/4" glossy white punched circles.

I have to say that the laminate embosses quite nicely and I'm definitely going to find another project to do with this.

So, the next time your child's teacher is looking for volunteers, volunteer to cut out their laminating and I'm sure they'll let you keep the scraps!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Another Teapot Card

I don't know what possessed me, I'm exhausted, but I can't get to sleep. So instead, I did this.

There's no stamping on this card. Just a lot of punches and dies. And one huge bee. But doesn't she have a friendly face?

The bee is made from oval and round punches. I punched a yellow oval the same size as the black and then cut the stripes from that. After they were glued on I trimmed it to the body shape leaving the slightest hint of a stinger. It was much easier that way.

The head is a 1" round punch of Creamy Caramel and a slice of black. The wings are vellum ovals that I used some glitter pen on.

I added the clouds to the white background by using a sponge dauber and a scallop punch.

There's some doodling around the inside of the oval frame and the center of the daisy is a white pompom.

So, which is your favorite this one or the first?

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Teapot Tuesday 59

Look at this sweet little bee. What a face! You have to go and check out Cindy's glob and see her card for this week. I think it's even cuter than the teapot. I played the busy bee today and unpacked boxes, and boxes, and boxes at school in the supply room. It was only about 110ยบ in there. Well, at least I got a good workout!!

So, I'm cheatin' a little with my card today. We're supposed to have bees on our card. I have some bee stamps but I decided to pull out this photo that I took of a bee and use that as my focal image today. The white flower the bee is visiting is what we refer to as Gooseneck because it reminds you of a gooses neck the way it curves. Today it reminds me of a spout on a teapot!

The red flower is, wait for it...... bee balm. I just love how the red bee balm came up amongst the white gooseneck. I have to tell you though, that the gooseneck is very invasive and is taking over my little flower patch. We will be yanking away come cooler weather.

I did add a little stamping with the word "bloom" from SU's Bloomin' Beautiful stamp set. It's stamped on vellum and cut out. The base of the card is Purely Pomegranate (I love this color!!!) and you can see a little of the newer Melon Mambo in the scalloped oval. The white cs is actually glossy paper. The additional bee on the card is another one of the bee buttons that I found while cleaning out some "stuff".

Now I have to get bizzier and buzz on over to the Teapot 59 gallery. Come join me as I visit all the gals!

Those boxes got the best of me today, so I hope I don't fall asleep before I get through them all.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Catching Up Monday

Yes, I've been MIA. You would think that having Fridays off during the summer I would have time enough to get to the things that I want to do. But...... that's not the case.

I have been able to get in touch with some friends though.

On Friday, HWNSNBP and I had lunch at Joe's Meat Market in South Bound Brook. My sideline Dolly and her husband Joe serve the most delicious lunches!!! (They have dinners too. And soon there'll be even more. I'll keep you up-to-date!) If you're in the area, you really should check them out.

On Saturday I dropped off a little goody bag to my cousin Barbara who is recovering from some oral surgery. She's still in a lot of discomfort but I think we cheered her up a bit. (I found some old letters she had written to me in high school and gave them to her to read while she is recuperating. Funny the things you save!)

Then on Sunday, my friends Joan and Linda and I went to NYC to see Girls Night the Musical. It was a great show and a lot of fun and I couldn't have asked for better company. We took the train and did some walking and managed to avoid getting rained on until we returned home.

In between all that I've been working on a little project which I'll share the beginnings of below. Just the pictures now - I'll put it all together when it's done.
And tonight I wanted to make sure that I had a birthday card ready for my sister Karen. Her birthday is this week and I will probably be stopping by to see her Wednesday, so I needed to be prepared.
This card was inspired by a card I saw on Julie Ranae's blog. She made her card for the CAS challenge this week - Show Your Bling. I had one of the same embossed panels on my workspace just waiting to be used. I found some jewels and added them to just one flower to make it stand out. The picture really doesn't do it justice. It really is much prettier IRL.

Thanks Julie Ranae for your inspiration.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Friday, August 7, 2009

Owl Bookmarks

Here are a couple more scrap bookmarks. You never know what you're going to find in that scrap pile. The little one is magnetized. No birds were hurt in the creation of this project.

Thursday, August 6, 2009


Well here's the dish. I had an AC Moore 40% off coupon last week and on Saturday HWNSNBP was going in that direction to price something and asked if I wanted to come along. If I didn't have the coupon I would have stayed home, but that wasn't the case. He dropped me off at AC Moore and went about doing his errand.

So what do you do when you walk all around the store and you don't find anything to spend your 40% coupon on? I bet most people would walk out empty handed, but not me. I headed on back to the stamp section which I had only casually looked through before and started an honest to goodness search for something different. Yes, it had to be different than the about 20 million other stamps that I already have.

I've always liked pandas and I knew I did not have a stamp of one. So I made my little purchase and I didn't even need a bag for it!

With all the stamps that I already have that I haven't used yet I still was itching to use this one. I inked it in Black Stazon and stamped it onto Whisper White cs. I used markers and my aquapainter to color the image. This took a while, but it was very therapeutic at the same time.

SU's Embrace Life set supplied the bamboo which I stamped in black on the Crushed Curry and in VersaMark on the Dusty Durango. I colored the leaves with a green marker on the Crushed Curry piece. The three balls are from the Circle Circus set and they're popped up on dimensionals.

Now I've got to start inking up more of those other 20 million stamps!