Monday, November 30, 2009

Not Like November

Yesterday I took a walk in our yard.  This in part being that it was a pretty mild day, and secondly because that's the only exercise I'm allowed right now.  Even though I felt a chill and had my gloves, coat and Arctic 180's on, I was surprised to find Mother Nature was still enjoying the last hurrah of November.

The trees, with the exception of the oaks, have lost all of their leaves, so the color of the landscape is only punctuated with green where the moss, grass, or evergreens are present. 

In the garden, I can still see the remains of the chrysanthemums, but they are past their peak also and are fading fast. 

I was surprised to come upon some spring bloomers that had been tricked back into flower by the mild weather.  There were two primroses blooming amongst the crispy leaves.  A pink one and a yellow.

They are certainly showing their hardiness. 

Then I happened upon this little fellow (sorry it's blurry)....

It's a Wooly Bear caterpillar, and he was moving quickly across that terra cotta duck.  I think he knew that the weather was about to change.  There is a superstition about the Wooly Bear.  They say that the wider the black bands are, the more severe the winter will be.  Well, what do you think this one is predicting?

The sun was going down quickly as I moved to the front yard where I could see four deer romping around in the woods across the street (the day before I had seen a huge red fox in that same place as I was pulling out of the driveway).  The deer wanted to cross the street into our yard but seeing me there gave them reason to pause.   I stood poker still and eventually they did cross over, but they were cautious and didn't approach.  In fact, I didn't want to spook them so they would run back across the street in front of some unfortunate motorist. 

Yep, you never know what you're going to find around here.  The day after my surgery HWNSNBP found this in the driveway while he was doing the leaves......

He came running in for the camera (unfortunately he didn't use the zoom) because we don't see these around here much, let alone in November.  We're assuming it was a garter snake close to 2 feet long.  He scooped it up with some lawn tool he had handy and deposited it across the street to slither away. 

Okay, I promise to get back to my cardmaking and crafting now.  Although I still can't sit comfortably on the couch with this corset on, I am able to sit in a straightback chair for longer periods of time, so I'd better put the rest of the time I have off to some good use. 

Friday, November 27, 2009

Lunch Anyone?

I don't think so!

We visited Rachel in Delaware a couple of weekend's ago and passed this stand on the side of the road.  Funny how you sometimes take things literally.  It reminded me of a time that I had been in the car with my sister Andrea and we were going to some function.  We were coming up on a busy intersection and traffic had slowed down.  There was a sign on the side of the road that said "Rescue Squad - Donate Ahead".  Of course, we both looked at the sign and busted up laughing because in it's poorly handpainted script it appeared to say "Donate A Head".  How I wished we had a Barbie under the seat.  I would have loved to see the reaction when we dropped the head in the basket.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving

Some Thanksgiving projects using Gifts of the Earth.   The top one is simply a panel that I added to a little wire pumpkin place holder that I found in the $ bin at Michael's.  There were two in each package - a great little buy!

The next three are all using the same stamp from that set.  I stamped the image 3 times for each frame and colored and cut out layering it like paper tole.  It was very time-consuming but I really love the way they came out.  (I kept the acorn for myself!)

I hope you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

CASing a Magician

Back in September I attended Fall Fest - a gathering of SU stampers in North Jersey.  At that event was Michelle Zindorf, an extraordinary stamper whose talent I am in awe of. 

I visited her blog a while back and found a couple of projects/tutorials of hers that I thought I would like to try.  One of them was even posted the weekend that she was teaching us here in New Jersey. 

Here are two cards that I recently did using her tutorials.  Even HWNSNBP was impressed. 

If you are a stamper, check out her blog.  Her tutorials are really descriptive and easy to follow and her artwork is over the top! 

If you're not a stamper, go look anyway.  You'll be blown away by her talent.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Teapot Tuesday 69

Maureen is our hostess this week and because it's a holiday week and everyone is very busy, she gave us a simple challenge this week.  Thanks Maureen!  Here is the beautiful teapot that she chose.  (Here is a link to her blog.)

I love the rose on this teapot.  I love the color and the placement - it's just such a sweet tea for one set. 

The rose reminded me of the rose from the Manhattan Flowers texture plate, so I took some Shimmery White paper and before I embossed it, I brayered Rose Red Ink on the plate.  I hope you can see in the picture below, the shimmer that comes through the ink.  It turned out just like I had hoped. 

I trimmed the flower and then mounted it on some more Shimmery White.  Added the sentiment from Teeny Tiny Wishes and mounted that on Hunter Green.  The background/base of the card is Purely Pomegranate, stamped with the leaf stamp from Autumn Splendor in VersaMark ink.  I am lucky enough to still have some Purely Pom stitched grosgrain for the bow and the last step was to add the little stick-on jewels.

I have a few thank you's to catch up with for my wonderful friends who have been taking good care of me while I recuperate.  This will come in handy!

Please take a look at the teapot gallery this week - I know you'll enjoy it!

Monday, November 23, 2009

A Dozen Hints to Weather Abdominal Surgery

I've been taking a little blogging break - it's been hard sitting at the computer. Well, it's been hard sitting period. I had a total abdominal hysterectomy in January and just had to have the incision repaired because it herniated.  This is not an uncommon thing I'm told, but I can surely tell you that I've learned quite a few things about abdominal surgery this year:

1. Make sure you either have a pedicure or at least remember to trim your toenails before surgery because you will not be touching your toes for awhile.

2. Be prepared to feel every little bump in the road when you're in the car. This is definitely worse during pothole season or after a snowstorm. And always remind the driver when you're approaching railroad tracks to slow down.

3. Sneezing, coughing, laughing, and yes, choking will bring tears to your eyes more ways than one. This is definitely not the time to forget not to inhale while you're eating a cookie covered with powdered sugar. Know what I mean!

4. Elastic waist pants and granny underwear will prove that comfy trumps sexy fashionable.

5. Take the pain meds, but be prepared for the big "C" - constipation. You will begin to sound like your grandmother when you relate the highlight of the day as whether or not you've had a bowel movement.

6. What falls on the floor stays on the floor. Unless you've been working out your grabbing reflex with your toes or have one of those grabber thingys, anything that falls on the floor should be left for someone else to pick up. If it's a liquid, cover it in paper towels. If it's in the middle of the room, kick it to the side so you won't trip on it. And,

7. Wear slippers or shoes in the house. Just in case you were dumb enough to drop the container of straight pins on the rug, you won't run the risk of becoming a pin cushion.

8. Remember what I said about not touching your toes - well that should include feet. You should expect to become adept at putting on socks with one hand while standing holding onto something with the other hand. This can be a challenge for you but real entertainment for your spouse.

9. Do not go shopping in a crowded place with anyone unless you can push the cart. You will need it to guard your "sensitive" mid-section from the hustle and bustle of the crowd. In fact, taking along two people to flank you will protect you from the side-attack.

10. Get into your car butt first. Sitting down and swiveling on the seat one leg at a time is much easier than lifting one leg in and attempting to sit down. And make sure that the door is halfway open and not all the way because you will have to bend sideways to reach the handle if it's too far and you really don't want to risk tipping over and falling on the pavement.

11. Cooking is not out of the question, just make sure that the utensils you need are located were they can be reached easily. You know you'll be craving a grilled cheese sandwich and the frying pan will be in the back of lower cabinet when you want it.

12. Have several extra bed pillows on hand. That way you won't have to make multiple trips up and down the stairs when you go to bed at night and remember that the pillows you need to elevate your legs at night are still in the nest you made on the couch for sitting in comfortably during the day.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Teapot Tuesday 68

MariLynn found a beautiful cardinal teapot for this week's challenge.

This is really very pretty and inspired me to create my first Christmas card of the season.


I used lot's of new stuff here - two new punches, the ornament punch and the large snowflake (for the greens), new ribbon, a new stamp set - Holiday Best - a new texture background - Eyelet.  Yep, lot's going on here. 

The edges of the ornament are sponged in Champagne Mist shimmer paint and then Chocolate Chip.  I don't know if you can see the little bit of shimmer that's there.

This card also goes with today's color challenge - Always Artichoke, Real Red, and Chocolate Chip.   Very Vanilla is my neutral. 

Okay, one down and how many more to go?  Christmas cards that is!

Monday, November 16, 2009

Has It Been 10 Years?

Last Monday night HWNSNBP and I were proud to attend the induction ceremony for our son Chris' HS basketball team into the High School Athletic Hall of Fame.  Hard to believe it's been 10 years since he graduated.  They've made a fine group of young men.

Chris is second from the right.

Great Job Guys!!!  We'll Always Be Proud of You!

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Wedding Wishes

I attended the wedding of a colleague last Sunday.  It was a gorgeous day and they made a gorgeous couple.  The girls in the bridal party wore dresses in burnt orange.  This is the card that I made for them.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

All the Way From Ireland

I was thrilled to be woken up yesterday by my husband who handed me an envelope that came all the way from Ireland.   My friend Sabrina (cook22) sent me a beautiful card I just have to share.

Sabrina participates in Teapot Tuesday - which is where we met.  She makes wonderful cards and she takes gorgeous photos.  Take a look at her blog.  Thanks for thinking of me Sabrina. 

Earlier this year I had an abdominal hysterectomy and developed a hernia in the incision.  I had surgery on Thursday to repair the hernia (which turned out to be two) and I'm home and recuperating now.  I'll be taking some time off from my Thursday's Throw Aways and we'll see how I feel come Tuesday for the next teapot challenge. 

I may not be posting much for a while but I'll be checking out blogs when I can.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Teapot Tuesday 67

We have another guest hostess this week - Charlene (LilLuvsStampin).  She chose a very cute teapot with a very cute story about poor little Dusty the bear.  Check it out here.

I'm a bit tired so I'm going to cut to the chase on this one.  I searched through my stamps and found a cute little bear stamp from Provo Craft and an even smaller one from All Night Media and the round sentiment from Sweet Celebrations.

And the little bear close up

I used a texture plate and my new MS deco fan punches for the white medallion.  I slipped some half scallop circles under the medallion to give it some more color. 

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

One More for Teapot 66

Okay, so I couldn't resist.  Here is my flying pig.  See her cute little curly tail.  She's got super strength in that tail that will help get Santa's sleigh off the ground and flying around in no time.  (Check out the story on Cindy's glob if you're lost.)

I drew the pig and colored her with my SU watercolor crayons, adding a bit of shine with some Platinum Shimmer paint.  The background is a texture plate that I inked up with Bashful Blue ink and ran through the Big Shot.  That left the raised areas white, kind of like some whispy white clouds. 

I'll be depending on a pig for support myself later this week.  They'll be using some heart muscle tissue from a pig to help repair an incisional hernia that I've developed.   So I'll have a real good reason to celebrate National Pig Day come March 1st.

So, keep me in your thoughts on Thursday.  I'll be posting periodically for the next week or so while I recuperate.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Teapot Tuesday 66

Hey, did I ever tell you that our Teapot Queen lives in Colorado?  And you know what happened in Colorado lately, don't you?  You know, that little balloon launch, um, er, stunt.  Well, pair that with this week's teapot and you'll have our challenge for this week. 

It seems we're heading to the North Pole to give Santa a hand getting off the ground.  Go check it out..... go on...... I'll wait.  

Well, you see, I can be inspired by flying things too.  In fact, it was just a week ago that I had stayed up late to watch the World Series (GO YANKS!!!) and then got caught up in a stamping project - what else - so it was pretty darn late (some would say early) when I got to bed.  It was a hazy night and kind of spooky outside.  Put that together with the lateness, the closeness to Halloween, and being tired and something odd was about to happen. 

I climbed the stairs to our bedroom and before I even turned on the light I took a look out the window across from the bed.  There was an eerie pink glow in the sky and in the middle of it was a cigar-shaped object with white, red, and blue flashing lights moving very slowly across the horizon behind the trees.

Gasping and blinking my eyes I tried to focus on what I thought I was seeing.  Yes, it was there for real.  And it took me a little while to realize that no, it wasn't an airplane or a UFO.  It was, in fact, the blimp that had been covering the World Series game in New York returning to our local airport for mooring. 

So Santa (you did read Cindy's blog right?) here is another way to help you get around this Christmas. 

Aha, I bet you thought I was going to give him a flying pig!!!!   Not tonight.  But here's a really clever flying pig card from crazykim!  I love it!!!!

And my UFO close up.

This card by Michelle Zindorf was also an inspiration for my card.  I absolutely love her work.  Her tutorials are so easy to follow and I think I've gotten pretty good results.  (I did try that direct to paper card on her blog and I'll be posting that soon.)

So.... Live Long and Prosper, and drink tea from a teapot.