Tuesday, January 29, 2019

Jingle Belles - Thank You Santa

Our Jingle Belle Challenge this week is to feature something that you got for Christmas - be it from Santa or something you treated yourself to.  I have no shortage of things to choose from as I went a little overboard on some of the pre-Christmas sales.  What I chose to feature this time however is the stamp that I won during the last JB Challenge of 2018 - this beautiful Magenta holiday foliage triple.  I paired that with a Penny Black die that I gifted myself, and some background paper from Moments that was also a gift. 

Once again I stamped the image twice so I could play around with colors and now have two.

I'm hoping to grab some time again this evening to fit in another one or two more..... I have some very thoughtful people in my life (HWNSNBP included who I usually tell "this is what you're giving me for Christmas" when the package(s) come in).

Please join me in checking out all the other lovely creations over at the Jingle Belles.  And you just have to see the gorgeous inspiration cards that Steph and Lauren have made for the second week too!

Monday, January 28, 2019


I received this letter board as a Christmas gift from my son, daughter-in-law, and grandson.  I had it on my Amazon wish list which I highly recommend using.  I've been posting random (appropriate) quotes at school with it.  I highlighted appropriate because I have a tendency to be sarcastic/snarky and that's not exactly appropriate for an elementary school.  This was one of the quotes from the past week.  It was a message for the kids, but not only for the kids.  This is for anyone facing challenges. It might be the person who made that New Year's resolution and needs some encouragement to continue, a student who is struggling with a subject or a social situation, someone with a marriage that needs work, or a person with a personal health crisis.  The list could go on.  

Currently I am trying, yet again to lose weight. I had done quite well with Weight Watchers in the past but over the last year or so, I fell back on old habits and put back on what I had lost plus more.  Never a good thing.  In light of some current health issues, and generally not feeling good about myself, I rejoined and have lost a little more than 30 pounds since October.  The plan is easy but it does take continued effort but I am learning to adapt it to my life including those little celebrations that involve food.  My current plan of action involves not denying myself the slice of birthday cake, or cookies at the holidays, or lunch with friends.  Those things are part of life and I want to enjoy them, but I can enjoy them in moderation.  I don't know if I've explained it clearly, but that is my plan of attack.  Everyone has their own battles to fight and they need to make their own battle plan.

These colorful peppers below became part of my dinner recently.  I sliced the tops and bottoms off and julienned the centers.  Then using my counter top grill (which was hiding in the basement) I grilled those up along with a couple of salmon steaks.  Don't you love the colors!  The only other ingredient I added was a little olive oil.  

It was delicious.  And so was a lunch I had recently with friends at my favorite tea room.  This rose was in the flower arrangement on the table.  Those colors again..........

Saturday, January 26, 2019

Happy Birthday Chickadee!

Yesterday was our daughter's birthday and I'm not sure that I've shared that she is expecting.  Her cravings have been fruit and ice cream.   I stamped this Unity image and colored it with Prismacolors.  So she got some fruit.

This is also a Unity image that I colored and put in the inside - so she got her ice cream too!

I actually stamped the image a few times so I could play with the color combos.  So I have some more fruit for future cards - birthday or thank you's.

We traveled down to DE today for a quick visit and were very surprised to see this hot air balloon in the sky.  It was 20ยบ on the ground - I can't even imagine how cold it was up there!  

Monday, January 21, 2019

Orchids Instead of Snow (Picture Heavy)

Watching the news early Saturday morning we heard that there was an orchid show at the Douglas College Student Center in New Brunswick.  The weather forecasters had been hyping a big storm coming so much so that the governor had issued a State of Emergency to become effective at 12 noon even though it wasn't supposed to start snowing until at least 4.  Since it's only about a 20 minute drive for us we thought we could get there and back in plenty of time and it didn't look threatening at all.  The only problem we had was that the Orchid Society had the wrong address on their website and we wound up on the Rutgers campus driving in circles until we found a young family who, although they weren't from the area, were able to help us find our destination 7 mins. down the road.

We walked around the displays and I took many pictures - just sharing about a dozen.

Rachel said the ones below look like evil French genies.

Some very odd pattern combinations.

Looks like a parrot in there doesn't it?

The closest thing to blue.  The blue orchids you see being sold are dyed.  These were so pretty with their mottled petals.

And I see an angel in this one.  

One of the displays.  I don't know how these people get these beauties to flower at the time of the show and I don't know how they transport them in such cold weather.  

I was able to get a couple of questions of mine answered.  The first was about my white orchid below. This one sent out a flower stem which developed leaves before continuing with the flowers.  I'd never seen that happen on any that I had and I wasn't sure what to do about it.  When I asked one of the vendors he said that it doesn't occur often, but it will send out some roots from where those leaves are and when it does I can separate that from the mother plant.  In the meantime he said to enjoy the flowers. This has been blooming for several months already.

My other question was regarding the drops of honeydew that I have on almost all of my orchids.  I was afraid it was a pest, but it turns out that they are very happy when they produce that and as long as there are no aphids it's harmless.  

I hadn't planned on purchasing any plants.  We've accumulated a little more than a dozen over the last few years which have surprisingly been gracing us with long-lasting blooms throughout the year.  But I saw this one and it was different than any of the others we have so we decided to take a chance on it.  Happy to see that it made it home in the cold weather unscathed.

So with the day off today I went through some of my stamps and found an orchid and this other stamp with multiple flowers that reminded me of the new one.  I stamped them with fadeout ink and colored them with my Prismacolor pencils since I inadvertently used regular cardstock instead of watercolor paper.  I drew in the leaves and roots on the orchid and the pot that they're both in.  I'll probably be using this as a card front in the near future.  

I colored some other stamped images today but I'm going to save sharing them until later as they definitely are going on cards.  

Oh, and by the way, the "snow" didn't start until very late in the day and then only was a cover before turning to rain.  Today however, the temps have dipped into the single digits and below 0 with the wind chill.  A holiday and day off for me, but a good day to stay in for the most part.

Tuesday, January 15, 2019

Jingle Belles - All Wrapped Up Again

Another quick sweep of my work table this past weekend and I came up with this cool Santa that was actually on the front of a card that was given to me last year I'd been saving.  I first attached it to a piece of red cardstock and then fussy cut around it.  And it's popped up with some dimensionals.  You can't tell from the picture, but the dark pattern on it is actually silver which is why I chose to add the white ribbon with the silver snowflakes.  There is wrapping paper on this too.  The kraft with the red twigs and white snow is one of my favorites from IKEA.  All of this was added to a red card base.  

I don't quite like how the whites match up in the picture - the lighting was just not right this morning.  IRL the ribbon is not as blue-white and the Santa is not as yellow-white trust me.  

Once again, I invite you to head over to the Jingle Belles blog to see all the great additions to the gallery there.  You might get some good ideas.  I always do!

Wednesday, January 9, 2019

Scribble Picnic - HOLIDAY PARTY

We have standing plans on New Year's Eve to spend it with our Table 7 family.  The location is rotated every year, the menu is changed up year-to-year, some "activities" may change year-to-year, but the one constant is beer pong.  This is not your current college beer pong format of throwing the ball at the cup(s).  No.  This is the original form of beer pong.  Played on a ping pong table with paddles, a ball, and cups of beer.  

Full cups of beer are placed at specific points on the table.  If it's a singles game, the cup is one paddle up from the edge on the center line - 2 cups on the table.  If it's doubles, the cup is one paddle in from the lower edge and the side edge - 4 cups on the table.  When playing doubles they have to alternate serves and hits just like conventional ping pong.  The object being to hit the opponent's cup to make them take a drink - usually 4 sips to a cup.  If you get the ball in the cup they have to chug a whole cup.  Our male counterparts in this Table 7 family have been playing this game this way since 1973 when one of them (HWNSNBP) learned the game in college and subsequently brought it back for the gang to play.  

Though they may have slowed down over the years, they are still very capable of hitting the cup as you can see in the video below.

These days they're usually only good for about 5 games, but there have been other occasions when they've been at it all afternoon in tournament form.

There are 9 members of this Table 7 family.  All but one of us grew up in the same town.  All but two of us went to the same high school.  The longest friendship of the group are two that have known each other since first grade.  We began calling ourselves Table 7 when the first child of the group got married and we were assigned Table 7 at the wedding.  Since then, it is an unwritten rule that no matter where in the room they put us, our table is 7.

In the past, for our NYE menu, we've tackled sub sandwiches, lasagna night, chili night, pizza night, and we even had a meatloaf cook-off a couple of years ago that evolved from a little bit of bragging of who had the best recipe.  This year we opted for Sicilian pizza's and all brought our own favorite toppings.  There are always some delicious appetizers and we are never at a loss for desserts as we all usually have goodies left from the holidays that we bring to share.  We reminisce and laugh until our sides hurt - there have been many good stories along the years.  We toast in the New Year with the NYC ball drop with the traditional champagne and sparkling cider.  

It's not fancy but it's fun and we all look forward to having many more years together.

Whew, I know that was long, and it's late - I had all but forgotten that today was the day for this Scribble Picnic challenge and then I saw Christine's post on Instagram this morning and knew what I would be doing right after work today.   However, we decided to run some quick errands tonight, kind of a wild goose chase you might say which I will post about at another time.  So I got an even later start.  So right now, before the time frame runs out, I will draw and end to this and head on over to Michael's blog to see how the other picnickers are celebrating their holiday parties.  You can join me by clicking here.  

Tuesday, January 8, 2019

Jingle Belles - No Time Like the Presents

We just undecorated the tree on Sunday.  So glad that it takes a lot less time undecorating than decorating.  We have mostly what I call "directional" ornaments which take time placing just so so that they face outward on the branches.  And we have a lot of ornaments collected over the years so the decorating process is both fun and lengthy.  It's all packed up now.  But that doesn't really put an end to Christmas because there is a transition right into Christmas for 2019 in the form of the Jingle Belles Blog Christmas card challenges.  

As you might be able to tell from the title, the theme this fortnight is "presents" in the form of gift wrap or tags - used or new.

For my first card I chose to use something used.  This double-sided gift wrap lent itself well to be repurposed into a card.  I rescued a portion of the striped side for my background and found one of the deer motifs that was not wrinkled and easily isolated.

The card base is white and the deer is framed in white also.  I found a scrap of white to add the sentiment to.  The deer pattern is ghosting through the white parts of the wrapping paper, but I actually think it looks a little cool.  

Okay, so I've saved a few more bits of Christmas wrapping that I hope to get to before then end of this challenge.  Until then, you can always check out what's been shared already at the Jingle Belles blog by clicking here.

Sunday, January 6, 2019

Future Family Member Birthday

I don't think I've shared the good news here - my daughter got engaged this Christmas.  We are very happy for them.  They're looking down the road to 2020 for a wedding date.  And.... today is his birthday.   

I'm not that great with masculine cards so I asked Rachel for suggestions and she reminded me that he is a Dallas Cowboys fan.  Hmmm, silver and blue and stars, right?

I found the black dsp with silver x's in my stash and searched around for some silver paper that was not too blingy and came up with this that looks like hammered aluminum.  The sentiment is also a brushed silver.  So it's definitely got a metallic thing going on, but not in a feminine way.  It's a 5 x 7 card so I had to search around for a suitable envelope - guess that will be on my list for purchases next time I hit the craft store.