Thursday, July 31, 2008

Teapot Tuesday Challenge 5

Here is the teapot of the week. Gorgeous, isn't it! The colors are so vibrant and the chicken is so............... lively.

Sorry, I had to pluck that chicken. I do have a chicken stamp believe it or not, but for some odd reason (I think it's the heat!!) I decided I didn't want to use it. Don't you think the "feathers" make an awfully nice flower (with a strawberry center no less)? And, (if you're a SU demo close your ears, uh, eyes now) I used my cuttlebug for the backgrounds. I keep collecting the new folders so I figure I might as well use them.


Stamps: Bodacious Bouquet, Tart and Tangy, Avian Toile

Paper: Riding Hood Red, Whisper White, Basic Black, Confetti White

Ink: Basic Gray, Creamy Caramel, Kiwi Kiss, Old Olive, Riding Hood Red

Accessories: Cuttlebug

Wren Babies

Well, the last time we looked - or should I say, that last time I posted about the wrens - there were 3 eggs in the nest.

I thought by now that these babies would have been hatched and fledged. How wrong was I!! I looked yesterday and it appears that there are 6 babies. Well, at least 5. The picture, unfortunately is blurry because the camera insisted on focusing on the feather that was sticking up rather than the babies which were further down in the nest.

Like I said, I plan on checking on them as often as I can in order to make the location less desirable for mom and dad next time.

YoYo's on a Card

My Cousin Barbara made me this card. Isn't it the cutest. Those are fabric yoyo's. Wasn't she clever to use the ribbon as the stems and leaves. I absolutely love it. Thanks Barb!

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

INKredible Color Challenge 7/28

The idea for this card was posted on our Stampin' Up! demo site by Jamie Hurley. Her card used the Summer Picnic DSP. Our color challenge for this week was to use Pretty in Pink and Pink Passion - not two of the pinks I would have put together, but I think I made it work okay. I saw the dress that Jamie made from her punches and I immediately thought of the t-shirt dress(es) that I made for Rachel when I was working at the Rag Shop. We took t-shirts or tank tops, decorated them with either paint, ribbons, doilies, or all of that stuff, then got a lenght of fabric that was about 1 1/2 times the distance around the bottom of the t-shirt, gathered it and either sewed or glued it on the bottom of the t-shirt to make a cute sundress. Sewing was actually much easier and not as bulky (and held up in the wash!).

Then when I was putting the petals on this card for the skirt of the dress I was reminded of a costume that my mother made for me when I was in grade school. I think I was in either 2nd or 3rd grade at the time and back in those days, we used to have assemblies where classes took turns putting on little skits, shows, or plays - whatever you want to call them. I remember that I was going to be a fairy or something and my mother made the costume out of some shiny silvery-gray fabric - the skirt being made up of petals over tulle. I remember it being very pretty, but I also remember being mortified at the time because my mother took a pair of my white panties and died them to match the color of the costume and that's what I wore underneath. It was a very short costume!!! Of course, later in life I realized that no one but me and my mom (and my sisters of course) knew that they were panties!!! Oy, the things that we think about as children!!!

Here's your recipe:
Stamps: Stitched, Boho Backgrounds, Canvas
Paper: Pretty in Pink, Pink Passion, Whisper White
Ink: Pretty in Pink, Pink Passion
Accessories: Bone folder, word window, 1 1/4" square, small oval, and three for you punches, Pretties half pearls, White Taffeta ribbon, Crystal Effects, Crop-a-dile (the centers of the flowers in the corners were punched from the CAD and coated with CE)


This has been brewing around in my head for a couple of weeks now. Let's see if you can guess where I got my inspiration for this card. Come on now - don't be bashful - I know there are lurkers out there. I'm not offering any prizes - just thought I'd make this a little fun. Leave a comment with your guess. I'll start giving clues tomorrow (Wed.) and if no one guesses by, let's say Sunday, I'll tell ya!!!
This card below was thrown together with the scraps. I really like using the rough texture wheel in more than one color to make the background (it's retiring as of 7/31, so contact me right away if you want one for yourself). I'm still undecided about cutting the circles that are hanging over the edge. I think I might have to to get it into an envelope. Ha!

Monday, July 28, 2008

The Fence and the Bug

HWNSNBP and his brother completed a very special project here this weekend. They erected a privacy fence which spans about 45 feet on one side of our property. Originally our house and the house next door belonged to one family and our driveway at one time continued behind our house and right into their yard. Years ago we put in a half basketball court at the edge of this driveway on our property. Since the basketball court doesn't get the workout that it used to, and since that area was so open to the goings on next door, I thought it would be nice to put up a fence to make it an "outdoor room". I won't go into the other reasons for putting up the fence, just to say that good fences make good neighbors - and this was a little bit overdue.

I have to say that they did a great job - sorry no pics yet. So, now you're probably wondering about the bug. Well, HWNSNBP thought that I should take a picture of it and put it in my blog. There are certain things that I have learned not to question. After all he did this weekend I had to comply. The bug was found on the picnic table (yes, thankfully dead). It's body is about 2 1/2" long and the antennae are about 4" long. All I can say is that I'm glad that he did not find it in the house.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Teapot Tuesday Challenge

This time I'm only a day late. Ha! Isn't this cute - the bunny in the carrots. I don't have many animal stamps so I had to search my stash to come up with a rabbit.

Here's my interpretation.

I thought that one little bunny would be too lonely on this card, so I added a second one. I think it also makes the message more personal - between two people. I flipped the outside pieces because it looked like a giant orange with a bow on it when I kept the circle shape. This is a little abstract. You can find Teapot Tuesday info on Mothermark's glob.

This card will be going to a friend of mine who had surgery today on her shoulder. She is a cancer survivor and continues to fight - please keep her in your prayers.

If you would like the recipe for this card, please check my Splitcoast gallery (I'm too lazy tonight to type it up twice). Thanks for looking.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

INKredible Color Challenge 7/21

This week's colors were very similar to last week's. We were challenged to use Certainly Celery, Old Olive, and Real Red. I just got my Sock Monkey stamp set and I thought I might be able to make his hat look somewhat like a Christmas tree. Stop laughing - it's not that bad!!
This is called a Surprise Pop Up card. As you can see in the picture below, when you pull up on the ribbon, the image pulls up to reveal the message on the inside. Pretty cool, eh!
I took my Print Pattern background stamp and inked it up with Certainly Celery and stamped it on the Certainly Celery cardstock. Then I got out my Real Red Marker and put in the lines to make it look like argyle (get it - sock monkey - socks - argyle?). I used the paper piecing technique on the monkey. I found some Old Olive DSP that had a similar diamond pattern to it. The tree, like I said above, is supposed to be a birthday-type hat that goes on the monkey's head, but it's one of those things that can have many options, such as: hat, ice cream cone, tree, string several together to make a pennant banner, etc. If you think of something else, let me know. I'd love to hear your ideas.

I dismantled a round fire brad to get the crystal for the top of the tree. So here's to a little Christmas in July!!!

Stamps: Sock Monkey, Print Pattern, All Holidays
Paper: Certainly Celery, Old Olive, Real Red, Whisper White, Old Olive DSP
Ink: Certainly Celery, Old Olive, Real Red
Accessories: Corner rounder punch, 1" circle punch, slot punch, 5/8" OO grosgrain, 1/4" RR grosgrain, sticky tape

If you'd like to know how to make a card like this you can find a great tutorial on Splitcoast in the Resources section. Or, if you'd like to learn first-hand - give me a call. We can celebrate Christmas in July together!!!
Please be sure to check out all the great samples from Colleen, Stasia, and Tracy.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Teapot Tuesday Challenge

Okay, I know it's Sunday, but I only recently came across this wonderful blog called This is My Story authored by Mothermark (screen name). I have always admired her work when I have seen it on Splitcoast. Anyhoo, she has a feature that she began in July called Teapot Tuesday where she publishes a photo of a teapot and viewers are challenged to use that as a jumping off point for a card. Isn't that right up my alley! As a novice teapot collector I sure have my share of jumping 0ff points of my own, but it's so much more fun when you're "playing" with others in a challenge. These are challenges that don't have winners, they just have fun!

So this past Tuesday Cindy (Mothermark) posted this teapot:

And here is what I came up with:

Yes, I know I don't have a spout or handle!!! But remember the teapot is for inspiration. So I have a jar, okay! It's a pocket card and the top (lid) pulls up and you can add your message there.

If you're interested in the recipe, read on:

Stamps: Carte Postale

Paper: Whisper White, Pacific Point, Night of Navy

Ink: Pacific Point, Night of Navy

Accessories: Stamp-a-ma-jig, 1", 1 1/4", and 1 3/8" circle punches, sponges, dimensionals

Saturday, July 19, 2008

A Little Window Dressing

Little is the operative word here. My office buddy and I had to make a road trip this week to Staples and while there I found these little bottles of Purell. I just knew I had to do something to pretty them up, so I grabbed a handful. Then, much to my delight, I got some new product this week including the new hostess set Window Dressing and eureka! I knew this little trio of vases was perfect. I stamped it with Basic Gray and used my aquapainter to color it in with the new In Color colors. The Key Tag punch was used to punch out the design and then I just cut straight across the bottom so it would fit on the bottle. I adhered the image with sticky tape. I'm thinking now that a little ribbon around the neck would have been cute, huh! Can't wait to see what new ribbons will be coming out with the new catty in August.

Anyway, we had a couple of training days at work this week with all the clerk/secretaries so I passed these little guys out just for the heck of it. I think they would make a nice addition to a hostess gift.

Garden Visitor

In a previous post I mentioned that I found pulling weeds therapeutic. Well, there's been a lot going on lately and I've needed some therapy and my garden (well the whole darn yard actually) needed weeding. So one night this week I grabbed the bucket, gloves, and kneeling pad and headed up to the garden to work up a sweat before a jump in the pool. Let me say that the sweat part came easily enough just walking up the hill to the garden in the heat! I was moving along quite nicely - stood up to admire my handiwork and out of the corner of my eye detected something in the grass to left of me AND IT WAS MOVING! Wasn't I surprised to see this cute little guy joining me. I don't know if he was happy or sad to see that most of the weeds were gone in the border and he was going to have to go deeper into the garden for cover. He just hung out there while I continued on with my chore. You never know what to expect.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

New In Color Mosaic

I labeled this Quick and Easy because it was a snap. I got some new product yesterday, including the new In Colors for 2009, and between watching the lllllooooonnnnggggeeeesssstttt All-Star Game in history I wanted to make something quick to show them off. So I got out my 1 1/4" square punch, punched out 3 of each color, ran the edges along the new ink pads and mounted them on some Kraft cardstock. The button is part of the new Button Bouquet buttons that will also be in the new catalog on August 11th. Even with the pink, I think this makes a good any-sex card and will be using it to congratulate someone on a new career opportunity.

The colors, looking at the 6 squares popped up left to right: Kiwi Kiss, Tangerine Tango, Riding Hood Red, Pink Pirouette, Baja Breeze, and Pacific Point

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

INKredible Color Challenge 7/14

This week's color challenge was to use the colors Real Red, Old Olive, and Very Vanilla. You think those are Christmas colors right? So did I, but.......... maybe not. I saw this card on Splitcoast and loved how the creator used So Much for the background. When I started playing around with it myself, I just couldn't seem to get the circles and dots right and then I remembered the flower stamp from the same set. I kind of liked the way it turned out so I named it Christmas? - Not So Much.

I punched 1/2" circles out of Old Olive and added the red knots to them to mimic buttons. They are all popped up on dimensionals as is the red flower. I'm thinking this would look good with other color combinations. Leave a color combo suggestion in the comments or e-mail me with one. I'd love to give it a try.

Stamps: So Much
Paper: Real Red, Old Olive, Very Vanilla
Ink: Real Red, Old Olive, Very Vanilla
Accessories: 1/2" circle punch, 1/4" Real Red grosgrain, dimensionals

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Bluebird Sympathy Card

Rachel asked me to make her a sympathy card for someone she works with and I thought this would be apropo. I'll bring you up-to-date about our bluebirds. They had their third nest all set and then the wrens showed up. It was a battle last weekend - us removing sticks from the nest, the wrens bringing more. The bluebirds were there watching. I could hear them in the trees. I'm assuming they were unsure what was going on, but once they saw the twigs, they stopped coming to the box. Eventually, I had to remove the bluebird nest because the wrens had made such a mess of it. And I kept removing the sticks. I thought that they would give up. But, no, the hen was ready to lay, so with only 2 or three sticks in the box she did. They have built their nest up around the eggs (3 now).
As they are a protected species, I didn't think it was right to destroy the eggs. But, that doesn't mean that I have to make it peaceful for them. So, whether you see them or not, I will be taking pictures, and generally keeping them in a tizzy.

Then on Friday, as I was leaving the garden after taking the picture of the wren's eggs I heard a lot of peeping in the spirea bush and saw a pair of cardinals and a nest. So I moseyed over there and got a picture of the new cardinal babies. The second pic was taken today (Sunday).
I've never seen a cardinal nest or babies before and since they are in an open nest I don't know how long I'll be able to take pictures because I don't want any of them jumping out unless they're ready to, but I'll try to keep you up-to-date.

Here's the recipe for the card:

Stamps: Avian Toile, Warmest Regards (Both Retired)
Paper: Confetti White, Regal Rose, Old Olive
Ink: Basic Gray Ink, Ballet Blue, Brilliant Blue, Really Rust, Certainly Celery, Old Olive, Regal Rose, Rose Red, Summer Sunshine, Pumpkin Pie, Bravo Burgundy
Accessories: Corner Punch, Aqua Painter, Crop-a-dile, Pink Taffeta, Sponge Dauber

I had seen the Avian Toile background stamp in the Splitcoast Gallery and really wanted it but it's been retired for some time. I got lucky and found someone selling it on Craig's List a few months ago for a reasonable fee. It was pretty stained but I was able to clean it up and have been waiting to use it. You haven't seen the last of it.

And the Winner of the Card Giveaway Is............

Debbie -

Thank you all for your comments. Debbie, please e-mail me with your information so I can get this out in the mail to you.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Pink and Yellow - Sunrise, Sunset

It's been a rather melancholy day. In and effort to achieve some privacy in our backyard, we are going to put up a privacy fence. Not for the length of our property, only for a portion that leaves us no privacy from our neighbors. And in doing so, we had to take down the basketball hoop. We put the hoop in when my children were quite young. We macadamed the area and I remember the year that Chris was away at basketball camp when my husband and I painted the lines on the court with a giant stencil. It's just about half-court size.

My son is now 27 and lives with his girlfriend, yet so much of his childhood took place on that court and in gyms and basketball courts all over the state. He still plays ball, but not here. Yes, on occasion, he would grab the B-ball and take some shots, but the court has been rather neglected. So, in an effort to gain that privacy I mentioned we thought the b-ball court would some day make a nice outdoor room.

The first step would be removing the hoop and today was the day. I couldn't watch as they took it down. I knew that I wouldn't be able to hide the tears. Sounds silly I know. Chapter ended. Next week the fence goes up and another chapter begins. Sunrise, sunset.

I had intended to use these pictures as a color combo jumping off point, but they seemed to fit in with my mood here. Pink and yellow, the colors of - my favorite cherries which evoke such strong childhood memories for me of the tree in our backyard - the rose on the first rose bush that we planted here despite my allergy to roses - the gerbera daisies that we chose to use in our planters on the deck this year - the black-eyed susans and pinks in the garden that has been much neglected because of my inconvenient back. Pink and yellow - the colors of the sunrise and the sunset...............sometimes takes your breath away

Past Birthday

Since I haven't posted in a while, and before I post my "nature" photos, I thought I would include a creation first. This was actually the card I made for my daughter's birthday in January. I took the 5/8" Old Olive grosgrain and twisted it into a stem to make it more 3-D. I also used that same ribbon for the leaves surrounding the blossom. They are basically a length of ribbon looped to look like leaves. I used the red sticky tape when working with the ribbon to make sure that it would stay stuck. The blossom is from the Time Well Spent Hostess set and I used the colors that coordinated with the Bali Breeze DSP. I only found out not too long ago that it was her "golden" birthday and what that means. She was 25 on the 25th of January. Oddly enough, now that I think of it, I was 52 when she turned 25.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

INKredible Color Challenge 7/7 & Card Giveaway

The challenge for this week was to use Real Red, So Saffron, and Tempting Turquoise. I was inspired by the fireworks from the 4th for my background and took it from there. I used Baroque Motifs for these cards. I have two because I was playing with the background and decided to use them both.

Here's the recipe:
Stamps: Baroque Motifs
Paper: Real Red, So Saffron, Tempting Turquoise, Whisper White
Ink: Real Red, So Saffron, Tempting Turquoise
Accessories: Styled Silver Brads, Coluzzle, File Label punch, 5/8" Real Red grosgrain, 1/4" Tempting Turquoise grosgrain, mat pack and needle tool

As you can see, they're a little different. Leave me a comment by Sat., July 12th and let me know if you like the top or the bottom one better. I'll write all your names on slips of paper and have HWNSNBP choose one out of a hat and send you the card you picked. It will not be written on and will have it's own envelope so you can send it to someone. Indicate your choice as either TOP or BOTTOM.

Don't let the bad photography fool you - they really are much nicer looking IRL.

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Celebrating the Fourth

I showed you the flag bags that I made - then I decided to do these with the stars. I had some good suggestions as to what to fill them with, but I got caught up with a few dr. appts. last week and had to settle for pretzel rods (which if I planned it right, would have been dipped in white chocolate and red, white, and blue sprinkles - suggested by mousechirpy) which might have passed for sparklers, and rolls of smarties, which I thought might look like firecrackers.

Some of the other suggestions were pixie sticks and red and blue licorice sticks - all great ideas which I want to thank you for!!!

We spent Thursday afternoon through Saturday morning at my friend Joan's condo in Barnegat. We had a great time. On Thursday afternoon, HWNSNBP and Joan and I did some crabbing on the dock. Joan was the only one catching any keepers and the catch of the day was another crab trap!!! She pulled that up with one of the traps that we were using. We usually don't do any crabbing at this time of the year, but they were catching them, so we thought we'd give it a try. We even saw two young men pull in an eel and a sand shark on their fishing lines.

Our friends Ray and Linda arrived later that evening and on Friday morning we all jumped in the van and headed over to Long Beach Island. We drove out to Barnegat light and walked to the point. Yes, even me. I stayed on the rocks thinking that it would be much easier on my back, but about 2/3's of the way there, it started raining lightly and I did get a little worried about slipping and falling - I couldn't get off at that point because it was high tide and there was water about knee deep on the land side. I toughed it out and my friends patiently waited for me to join them oceanside.

I decided to take the sand route back with them and on the way back we met a young woman who works for the state endangered species. She was video-taping a Piping Plover chick and its parent(s). She was very knowledgeable and we were very inquisitive. She even told us where we could find a nest with eggs that weren't going to hatch. So we booked on over there by car and were surprised when we got there (because it was quite a distance) to see her and her mother coming up over the dunes to greet us. She let us near the caged area (the cage was around the nest to keep predators away, but in no way hindered the coming and going of the birds. If you have a few minutes please view this slideshow about plovers.

We dropped in on our friends Bob and JoAnne, had some lunch and then headed back to the condo. There was a little more crabbing and then a lot of people watching as the cars started to pour into the lot across the street. We did not have to leave the condo to watch the people or the fireworks. It was a great show and a great mini-vacation. The slide show is in the post above.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Bluebird News (Plus)

See what he's keeping watch over! There's a new nest. This will make the third nest that they've built (remember the first clutch was destroyed). The youngsters from the last clutch are seen now and then trying to land on the top of the box but mom and dad shoo them away quickly. You can hear them in the trees in the neighbors yard and having toddlers, mom and dad can't leave them alone for long either. It seems they're putting in a lot of "miles" between the trees. Wait until she starts laying and incubating more eggs!

Today, on the way up to check the box HWNSNBP noticed something moving on the surface of the pool. It was a bird trying to keep it's head above water. He quickly got the net and fished it out. You can see the bird in the net below. I pried the little feet off the net and held it while HWNSNBP went and got some paper towels. The poor little thing was shaking - not sure if it was from fright or being cold. Anyway, I took it up on the deck and gave it a lecture to remind it that it was a bird and not a fish, all the while toweling it down. It let me rub it's head much like we do to our cockatiel, and didn't try to jump or fly away. Again, not sure if that was fright or recovery from shock (or probably a little of both!).

When it felt dry enough I placed it in one of the flower pots while I took care of the flowers on the deck. It was quite content to sit there and every once and awhile I would go over and talk to it and take it's picture. I must mention here that that's when I took the picture of Mr. Blue on the box. He was keeping an eye on me keeping an eye on the rescuee.

Eventually, it felt chipper enough to climb up onto the edge of the pot and began to fluff up it's feathers a bit. You can see that it gradually moved away from me and gave me a look over it's wing before it flew off.

INKredible Color Challenge 6/30

What's that you say - she has words on the front of the card - I don't believe it! Okay, okay, so I did it. "A Friend Is Someone Who Makes It Easy" - simply said.

For this week's color challenge we were asked to use Brocade Blue, Night of Navy, and Rose Red. What I really would have liked to use these colors for would be for a patriotic card being that we're so close to July 4th. Alas, I couldn't come up with an appropriate stamp set - imagine that. If you saw my stash of stamps you wouldn't believe it. So lets say then that the brain cells weren't on the same track and I couldn't think of what stamp set I had to make it patriotic!!! Yes, blame it on the brain!

I actually had a lightbulb moment with this card. I knew that I wanted to stamp the solid images first and I didn't want the stitched images to overstamp so I was going to have to mask them out. Ugh - I was going to have to cut out all those flowers. But wait - the lightbulb went off - if I'm going to use my post-it notes for the mask and they're already stuck together, then why not cut them out together??? So I was able to cut 4 of the same flower out at the same time. (Go ahead, say duh - I know you really want to! But honestly, I think that's why some people don't use this technique as often because they think they have to cut out all those little images separately.)

I have used the SU set Simply Said. I think that this set is very versatile. Along with the stamp set, I used the 3 For You punch to punch out the small flowers. You can give them a little dimension by cupping them around the rounded end of a pen cap, or wooden spoon. The flower centers were just 1/4" punched circles. I held back from putting crystal effects on them to make them shiny - still considering that. But as you can see from the pic I tore the edge of the Rose Red because I didn't want it to be too boxy. BTW, this card will be nice and flat enough to mail without any extra postage!

Here is the recipe:
Stamps: Simply Said
Paper: Brocade Blue, Night of Navy, Rose Red, Whisper White
Ink: Brocade Blue, Night of Navy, Rose Red
Accessories: 3 For You punch, 1/4" round punch, 5/8" Brocade Blue grosgrain

Please make sure to check out the other challenge cards by my cohorts in the Friends and Neighbors List on the left.