Thursday, April 24, 2014

April Birthdays

Our beautiful daughter-in-law had a birthday this week.  

I cased this card from Tricia at the Speckled Sparrow and if you click on that link you will see some more cards that she featured as a set.  Each one of them beauties!

Also this week, a good friend of mine celebrated her birthday.  I was able to meet with her and another friend on the spur of the moment for dinner and we had so much fun.  

This card was inspired by a card I saw that Debbie Henderson made.  You have to check out her butterfly pop-up card here.  There aren't any butterflies on my card.  Instead I have flowers, but I loved the way she used multiple thought bubbles without any thoughts as part of the design.  Pretty cool, huh!  And this sentiment got the laugh that I intended it to which was a plus.

Happy Birthday ladies.  Love you both!

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Happy Administrative Professionals' Day

You may call it Secretaries Day, Admin Day or Administrative Professionals' Day, or even Administrative Assistants' Day.  There seems to be a change each year in the title.  My thought is that they continue to try to hit on all the different kinds of professionals that are part of an office support staff.  So you may include receptionists, clerks, secretaries, admins, assistants, etc.  Basically, if you're not the boss, manager, principal, and you work in the office running the company/school, today is your day.  (Actually they have designated the whole week, but we won't be greedy.)

Our wonderful staff gave us a beautiful potted container garden with three lovely houseplants which I'll keep at my desk as long as it continues to thrive.  We also got a balloon and card signed by staff members.  

I usually try to make a little something for all the secretaries/clerks in our district (there are 18 of them including myself).  Eighteen is not a lot if you keep it simple.  That was the most important thing because between Easter, a couple of birthday cards, and a few other projects I've yet to post, time was of the essence.  So I started by reviewing my Pinterest boards and came up with this project using the scallop square die and various punches.  I stuck to using colors from the current In-Color group (Pistachio Pudding, Strawberry Slush, Coastal Cabana, and Crisp Cantelope plus the Wisteria Wonder  instead of Baked Brown Sugar)  which made it very easy to mix and match the pieces.

I took the Hardwood stamp and stamped each square with the same color ink as the square for the tone on tone look.  Click here for the instructions on how to make this box.  It's super simple when you use the scallops as your score line indicators.  No measuring!

Then I prepared all the trimmings.  Flowers and leaves from stamps, punches and dies.

I know those flowers kind of all look white in the photo but they're not.  I used the same color inks as the boxes with the exception of the Pistachio Pudding.  No green flowers on these. 

I filled them with three York Peppermint Patties wrapped with white cotton thread and tied in a bow.

One of the ladies said they looked like a little window box.  I hadn't thought of that, but they do, don't they!  Holding a little sweet treat.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Jingle Belles - Joy to the Earth (HAPPY EARTH DAY!)

Happy Earth Day!  I know.  It doesn't LOOK very green, but really it is.  It's not much of a challenge for me to actually have "stuff" to recycle, it's more of a challenge for me to actually do it.  Thanks to the Jingle Belles this week, I can put some of my hoarded stash to good use.

What you see on this card is actually the front of a Godiva chocolate box that I received at Christmas.  I loved the pattern and the glitter and they use boxes that are very nicely made.  I was able to slit this part away from the logo and gently peel it off the box.  There is no cardboard attached to it now. 

The little snowflakes were a bit of trial and error. I have a slew of that foam packing wrap in all different weights.  I also had a new snowflake wreath die.  I wanted to see if I used the die and snipped the wreath if it would be able to be used as a straight line and it did.  The other part of the trial and error was finding the right foam thickness.  Kind of like Goldilocks, I needed to find the one that was "just right!".    Below that little border, well actually what I first put down on the red cardstock was a piece of red shiny fabric-like paper.  The bow is from my scrap bag and most likely came from a Christmas package at some time. 

I had a piece of white glitter foam and I traced the letters J and Y on the backing and carefully cut them out (looks like I still might need a little trim here or there) and instead of knocking myself out trying to cut an O, I used a glitter sticky dot.

I don't think you can really get the effect of all the sparkles, but I knew that that box was too pretty to put in the trash.  Oh, and since I peeled the top off and left the cardboard, I still have a box to use.  Just need to replace the paper!

I really do feel good when I can reuse something and goodness knows that I have enough stuff stashed away that has possibilities. 

If you'd like to see what the other Jingle Belles have done this week with their recyclables click here.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Yellow Everywhere

Those male goldfinches have really brightened up!

On Sunday we took our bikes to a local park with a bike path along the river.  The Marsh Marigolds were all over the place but what really caught my eye were the Trout Lilies.  They are also called Dogtooth Violets but they are not a true violet.  The root is supposedly shaped like a dog's tooth.  I prefer calling them Trout Lilies as the leaves remind one of brown or speckled trout.

We also spied patches of Bloodroot - their pretty white flowers with yellow centers.  If you were to break the stem or dig up the root you would see the red sap that gives them their name.  I would not advise this however, as I've read that it can cause sores that take a very long time to heal.

The only surviving Forsythia that we have in the yard is inside the garden.  We used to have some between our property and that of our neighbor but the deer, who are not supposed to like this plant, apparently love it.  Fortunately the fence provides some deterrent to them.

And of course, there are daffodils coming up all over.  These are some that HWNSNBP cut from the garden.  They can't be seen from the house, so they're meant to come in.  We've got many different varieties all over the yard - white, yellow, some with orange, some with salmon pink - as the deer do leave these alone.  We had 80ยบ temps this weekend but there may be a freeze tonight so I hope they don't get frozen before we have a chance to enjoy them some more.

What's blooming in your neck of the woods?

Saturday, April 12, 2014

My Cactus Committed Suicide..... or Maybe it was Just Trying to Escape

 This is the cactus that I have had on my desk at work for the last 5 or so years. I used to just babysit it during the summer when the staff was gone, but it got too big and potentially dangerous to keep in the classroom so it stayed permanently in the office. The picture was taken during the holiday season a few years ago.  I would dress it up for the holidays and it was often one of those conversation starters with first-time visitors to our school.  Usually the students would say "Is that real?" to which I would reply yes and warn them not to touch because it was known to pinch people.  

Two weeks ago I turned the pot as I do on occasion to keep the cactus from growning crooked.  The next morning I came into work to find the pot moved and the cactus in pieces on my desk.  There was an e-mail that the night custodian had sent to our head of maintenance explaining that they had come in to empty the garbage in the office and found the "plant on the secretaries desk" had fallen.  They attempted to clean up the spilled soil from the pot, but probably assumed it was beyond hope.  

Trying to make light of the situation I blurted out to the first person in the office that "my cactus committed suicide".  They thought I said my cat committed suicide and wondered how that was possible.  Then when I pointed to the pieces on my desk they understood what I meant.  

Lucky for me HWNSNBP was working from home that day and was able to stop by the school and pick up the pot and the pieces of what was left of the cactus.  Then we went pot shopping the next day and courtesy of some leather gloves of his I was able to attempt to salvage what I could.

The very smallest of the babies as I refer to them, was damaged too severely as was about half of the largest broken piece.  (Which eventually totally died.)  I've had the white pot at home in a shady place since the accident since that's what the directions on the cactus soil bag said you should do for the first few weeks - keep it in a shady place.  And I think those three pieces will make it.  

Let's keep our fingers crossed.  I'll be taking it back to work next week.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Jingle Belles - Spirit of Christmas Past

What do you think of when you think of vintage Christmas?  Do you think of lace and velvet?  Or maybe ice skating and sleigh riding?  When I think of vintage Christmas it takes me back to my childhood days when I looked forward to baking cookies and doing craft projects.   So the image that I used for this card combines a little of both of those.  

This image is a Tasha Tudor stamp.  I could go on about the sweet little books that Tasha Tudor wrote and illustrated, but to keep it short I'll just say that I purchased this stamp, not so much for myself, but to use for my cousin who happens to have a passion about all things Tasha Tudor.  

I stamped the image in Marina Mist on a piece of school drawing paper in the hopes that it would resemble a page that you might see in an old coloring book.  A vintage coloring book maybe?  And I used the plaid background because it reminded me of the comfortable flannel pajamas that we wore in those days.  

Oh, and the buttons and seam binding - well, what would a Christmas craft be without buttons and ribbons?  

Join me here to check out all the other Spirits of Christmas Past.

Friday, April 4, 2014

Sharing Their Creativity

The card above came from my blogging friend Dana.  Dana lives in Florida now, having moved there from Indiana a few years ago.  And did I ever mention that she is a published author?  No?  Well, yes she is.  She wrote a book entitled "Treadwell".  I've read it and let me say that it was one of those books that captures you and doesn't let you go until the absolute end.  I highly recommend it and can't wait for the sequel or prequel or whatever she writes next!

Dana is getting back into making cards and boy, it's like she never took a break.  Her cards are wonderfully thought out and I'm so pleased that she shared this one with me.  Thanks Dana.

The next two cards were Birthday RAK's from Splitcoast members Rita and Heather.  What a wonderful surprise it is to receive a handmade card out of the blue from someone you don't even know.  That they spent time creating something to share for your birthday sure does make one feel special.  And they are so pretty!

I also recently received mail from New Zealand.  One of my "pig ladies" (and I use that endearment with the most love) Sushine not only decorated the envelope she sent with a multitude of flying pigs...

inside was this little lovely.........

You can't tell from the picture, but the head wiggles!  Sooooo stinkin' cute!  Thank you Sunshine!  And thank you for all the extra wings you also sent along.  

From across the Atlantic came this beautiful card from my blogging friend Sabrina.  Just look at all that detail, right down to the rainbow strips behind the image panel.  What a happy card!

See how she adds that sparkly outline.  I think she's "Goldilocks'd" it.  What do I mean by that?  It's not too much and it's not too little, it's Just Right!  

Sabrina also made me something else I'll be sharing in a few days.  Right now, before too many days passed, I wanted to thank everyone for the birthday wishes.  Unfortunately I've been sick all week with bronchitis and a sinus infection so I'm wondering if I can have a birthday do-over next week?