Saturday, April 30, 2011

My PC is Sick!

A sunset from the beginning of April.  I had neglected to post this, but had it queued up.  I may not be posting for a bit.  I have a virus on my computer and need to get it removed by someone who knows what they're doing.  Obviously I do not.  Until then, I can use HWNSNBP's computer but cannot upload any photos.  I may be able to get my challenges posted from (shhh) work (shhh) on Monday or Tuesday, but I'm not counting on it.  I'll be trying to visit my blogging friends when I can during my breaks, and you can always reach me by e-mail which will forward to my Blackberry. 

The virus is called Windows Recovery Virus and I don't know how I contracted it.  I was looking at Splitcoast this morning and clicked on the Spellbinders ad and I started getting messages that my computer was At Risk.  My virus software kept telling me it had gotten rid of a Trojan, but then this screen popped up that said I needed to run a Windows Recovery process.  Thankfully, I did not click on the link to upgrade and give them any money or credit card information to do that.  The grammar was faulty and I didn't trust it.  I was able to check it out through HWNSNBP's computer, and there are instructions of how to get rid of it, but I do not want to screw things up further, so I will be looking for a PC doctor on Monday. 

Wish me luck!

Friday, April 29, 2011

Just For Fun

We had some nasty rain yesterday with a short time spent in a tornado watch box on the weather station, but thankfully no tornado.  The wind afterward collected petals from the surrounding crab apple trees lined the edges of the sidewalks and looked so pretty.  Reminded me of confetti after a parade.

We had a little fun at school today.  Let me say we tried to have a little fun at school today.  There was so much buzz about the Royal Wedding that jokingly I said we should all wear a tiara or crown to school and have, as my daughter suggested, a Princess Party.  The staff has something they call Fat Friday on Friday's where each week a few of them take turns bringing in treats for those that participate and they put them out in the Faculty Room.  So we had people sign up to bring in things like scones, muffins, cream puffs, etc.  I also brought one of my teapots and tea cozy and my box of assorted teas. 

Last night I made some of these book marks to hand out to the staff who wore their crowns today.  The picture is not showing the very lovely soft plum color that I used and is also the color of the doily in the background.  Two of the stamps are from Artistic Etchings and the sentiment is a stamp I found in the dollar bin at Mike's. 

Monday, April 25, 2011

Teapot Tuesday 143 and a Bluebird Update

Well wouldn't this teapot be right up my alley!  I've scoured the internet and darned if I could ever find this bluebird teapot.  I do have one - my Rosie B. Farmer Songbird Garden in pink, but this one is cute too.  So there's a story to go with this teapot and you can find it here.  The destination this week is kind of fun.  We are to send our card to the person who posts their card in the gallery to left of us on SCS.


I used my retired Avian Toile stamp and watercolored it.  The trim on the top was cut using my MS fringe scissors (one of those splurges with a Mike's coupon). 

So at this point I thought I'd report on our bluebirds.  Yes, we have another nesting pair this year.  As I was going through my pictures I noticed we had pictures of nests on the same day for the past three years.

Nest 4-9-09

Nest 4-9-10 

Nest 4-9-11 

The lack of pine needles in the current year picture makes me think that this is a new pair of bluebirds and not a returning pair. 

And there was a couple of pictures of eggs on the same day in two separate years.

 Eggs 4-19-09

Eggs 4-19-11

Look how sweetly they have woven some feathers into the heart of this nest.   Presently there are 5 eggs in the nest.  We believe they are brooding now, so in about 12 days we should see hatchlings.  I'll keep posting as I can.

Jingle Belles 17

Recycle...... reuse..... and jingle - that's our challenge for this week.  Timely I think, as the challenge is posted on Fridays and last Friday was Earth Day.  Jingle Belle Kathe Deck made this suggestion. 

I've done a couple of recycling projects this past week in honor of Earth Day but you know I have enough recyclable, reuseable, repurposeable stuff around here to definitely pull together one if not more cards.

Let's start with one.  I have been saving this red insert from an apron that my mother gave me for Valentine's Day.  I have a project in mind for most of it, but I knew I could get a 4 x 5 1/4" piece for my card.

That piece I ran through the Big Shot with an embossing folder.  I actually did it backwards, meaning for the flowers to be raised but I kind of like it as it turned out. 


The only things not recycled on this card are the card base and the silver tape around the embossed panel.  The skiing Santa on the sparkly background is taken from the front of a gift bag that I received at Christmas that had a gingerbread cookie mix in it.  The Santa is raised on dimensionals and the panel is too.  It was already framed in silver which is why I chose to add the silver foil tape to the red panel.

On the bottom the white ruffle is made from that thin foam sheeting you can find between glass items.  I cut it into a 1" strip and took a needle and thread and gathered it.  The baker's twine on this card is from a bakery box and not new.  The red ribbon is from the neck of the Easter Bunny candy that I bit the head off of yesterday!  And the button came from somewhere or another. 

So out of eight parts, 6 of these are recycled.  Pretty good - eh!

Okay, let's go see what the other's have been up to.  Click here.

Special Occasions - Special People - Special Cards

A birthday card for Chris' girlfriend Michelle.  Her birthday was Saturday.  Her favorite color is green. This uses the tulip embossing folder, Bliss and butterfly embosslit.  Happy Birthday Michelle

Saturday was also the Teapot Queen Cindy's anniversary on Splitcoast.   The teapotters put together a surprise card blitz for her featuring polka dots!  What else would we expect for the Teapot Queen?  Happy Anniversary Cindy!

My friend Sabrina celebrated her birthday this past week also.  She and I share a love of birds and I had recently made a card similar to this for HWNSNBP.  When I posted it I posed the question of colors - what other colors should I try with this design.  Well, Sabrina gave me her suggestion and I thought I would use those colors along with more bird stamps that I had to create this card for her birthday.  Happy Birthday Sabrina!  Thanks for the suggestion.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Friday, April 22, 2011

Recycling This to That - Combination Holidays

These tags from new cushions

become rolled roses.

 This netting becomes.....

 This poof.

 These old key tags become.....

 New key tags.

 Add the new key to, a package of seeds, a flavorful teabag, a little pen, some lemonade mix for a bottle of water, some mini m&m's and wrap in a piece of repurposed stamped tissue paper....


 and add to a peat pot and you have a combination Earth Day/Administrative Assistant's Day gift.

Earth Day - From Tray to Candleholder

I have a couple of recycling projects to show off today for Earth Day.  Hope you enjoy them.

Cupcakes are a hot item, but in our school so are the Chocolate Chip Cookie Pizzas as a classroom treat to celebrate a student's birthday.  I see them come in in multiples and they're not inexpensive.  I think they run about $15 a tray.  They get sliced up just like a regular pizza but in much smaller wedges.  Then the "extras" are distributed to favorite teachers, specials teachers, the principal, nurse, etc.
I asked my favorite third grade teacher buddy to save me the tray from a recent birthday pizza and of course he looked at my like I was nuts, especially when I told him that I wasn't going to reuse it as a tray.

You can barely see that the tray is embossed with a pattern, and yes, from this view you can see some of the knife marks that occurred during the cutting.  But you don't see them when you turn the tray over - you only see the embossing.  So what did I do with it?  I cut it very carefully into manageable pieces.  Let me stress the carefully part.  This is metal and it will damage you if you don't respect it.  Once I got it into smaller pieces I took my Flower Folds and Daisies #2 dies and punched two different sizes of the flower folds and a daisy that was slightly larger than the circumference of a battery operated tealight - see where I'm going with this ?

Use a scoring tool and rescore the folds in the smaller of the folded flower so you can bend them up.  Then center your tealight in the middle of the daisy and fold the exposed petals up around the light.  Leave a little wiggle room because you'll need to take the light out to turn it on and off.  To put this all together I just used double-sided tape.

Yeah, he was surprised and impressed when he saw the finished product! 

I'll have another project later today.  Stay tuned!

P.S.  If you don't have access to a leftover Chocolate Chip Cookie Pizza Tray you can usually get trays like these at the dollar store.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Thursday Birds

I was on my way out of the house to do an errand today and remembered I forgot the letter that I was going to mail.  As I came back into the house my attention was drawn to the window in the living room.  Someone was peeking in.

My camera was nearby so I was able to get these pictures..... and a few more. 

I eventually left (without the letter btw) and when I got back a hour later, he was still there.  Just sitting peacefully on the branch of the rhododendron outside the window.  As I attempted to get closer still, he flew away.

Monday morning, before we left the condo, we were treated to this guy camping out in the driveway to the parking lot.

The day before, on our way back from our errands, we noticed a photographer with a camera with one of those cannon lenses on the side of the road.  I could see that he was poised to take pictures of a couple of egrets who were hanging out in the marsh grass alongside the road and adjacent to the condo property.  By the time we got unpacked from the car, the photographer had left.  The wind was blowing and buffeting both the camera and me, which made it pretty difficult to get pictures, but I got lucky to get these.

 I'll have an update on the bluebirds tomorrow.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

A Petal Scarf to Remember Dad

Some time ago I was doing some blog surfing and came across a project on a blog called annekata .  She had this somewhat easy but clever project that she created from t-shirts.  When I saw what she had done I remembered that my mother had, some time ago, given me a stack of colorful t-shirts that my father used to wear.  He loved vibrant colors and he also like these shirts and when he found something he liked, he usually had an assortment on hand.  I had them put away in my closet to use someday for a project long forgotten, or not really planned yet, and since I had just received my Stampin' Up order with my new circle dies in it, I thought that it was time to put these shirts to good use.

I carefully cut strips from the shirts starting at the bottom and used the 3" circle die to make about 28 die cut circles of two different colored blue t-shirts.  Then I matched some embroidery floss as close as I could to the colors I chose.

Using a circle of each color back-to-back, I laid them out slightly overlapping and off center and pinned them in place.  Then I took a nice sharp needle and two strands of floss and sewed them together with a running stitch.

You can see how the petals open up when you hold the scarf up giving it a nice effect.  Of course you can add as many circles as you would like to make this as long as you like.  The cotton t-shirt material is so nice and soft around the neck.  I don't think this will be very effective in cold weather outside, but it does make a pretty accent piece to wear. 

Let's see, I've got more shirts to choose from - coral, red, lime green, lavendar, and blue.  Maybe I can get started on some Christmas presents this spring!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Jingle Belles 16

This week's challenge is brought to us by Betty Brett over at Betty Bee's Buzz.  In this challenge we are to use die cuts.  They're calling it A Christmas Card to Die (cut) For. 

I used 3 dies to create this card if you include an embosslit as a die. The tree, the half circle and the banner on the bottom are all from the Petal Cone die.  The tree is layered on a Top Note die cut and on the tree are embosslit buttons in Cherry Cobbler.  I did not sew those buttons on - I found that quilting thread is stiff enough to not need knotting.  I do use a needle to add the thread to the button and then a piece of sticky tape on the back holds the thread in place and allows you to adhere it where you want it. 

The die cuts are all from the retired Ski Slope DSP and they're on an Early Espresso card base with an added Cherry Cobbler seam binding bow.  I think I will go back and add Merry Christmas from Teeny Tiny Wishes under the tree trunk - what do you think?

Are you ready to see how the other ladies put their dies to use?  I am.  Click here to join me.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Teapot Tuesday 142

Tea and tulips - that's what's cooking at the party this week.  I love tulips.  My grandfather used to have beautiful parrot tulips.  When we first moved into our house we planted many tulips and the first year they came up they were beautiful.  I had spent many hours going through bulb catalogs planning successive blooms and pairing colors.  We spent more money on them than we should have, but we looked at it as an investment.  Then the deer found them.  They ate them all.  The Angeliques, the Emperors, the parrots, the stripes, all of them.   The only tulips I've had in the past few years are those that we got on clearance and put in a secluded place in the garden to use for cutting flowers.  Did you know that tulips continue to grow after they're cut?  The can grow up to an inch overnight and if you use them in an arrangement they should be trimmed daily so they don't get too droopy. 

This basket of tulips is going to the 90-year-old grandmother of one of our teapotters.  She has broken her arm and is in need of some cheering up as it's been a long healing process paired with a bout of vertigo. 

My new Totally Tulips embossing folder really spiffs up this clean and simple design.  The image is from A Flower For All Seasons.  I colored it with markers making the bird a bluebird of course! 

I expect we'll see lots of these kind of arrangements at flower stands all over the place this coming week with Easter on the way.  Until then, let's go check out the gallery.

It's a Whatsis and the Titanic Tea

If you've been here before you might remember I won a beautiful bracelet from Mich L. in LA.  Well, in March she posted another wonderful creation made from something that is or was pretty common - a glass knob or drawer pull.  I saw hers and knew I had to give this one a try myself. 

Thirty-one years ago (Dear Lord am I really that old?  Yes, Lorraine.  You are!) when HWNSNBP and I moved into our little house, there wasn't much left behind by the previous occupant except a console television set that didn't work and a wood cheese box that contained various brass door catches and hooks, a metal file, and two glass drawer knobs.  Well, she also left several layers of contact paper in the kitchen and bathroom but we won't talk about that.  The tv went to the curb and the cheese box got tucked away, eventually ending up in our laundry room after we renovated the house.  It didn't take much to find the knobs and I already had some beads and silver findings that I thought would work, I just needed to get the chains.

I managed to drag myself, and I do mean drag myself - remember I'm getting old and my leg isn't working well these days, but that's a story for another day - to Michael's and picked up a couple of ball chains and got out my stash of beads and findings.  Of course there had to be a diversion, that being the fact that I had to look several places before I could find my jewelry pliers.  Scavenging between performances on Dancing With the Stars can be very invigorating even with a bum leg!  But once I had everything ready in front of me I started playing around with some possible combinations and this is what I came up with.............

My glass knobs are two different sizes, and because I didn't really read Michelle's clear instructions carefully enough, I used the largest head pin that I had to string the beads on instead of using craft wire, which was a tight squeeze, but it worked.  I used some Swarovski crystals I had at the top and bottom of the knob and I was even able to add some smaller ones inside the channel which gives a nice effect that I'm sorry you can't see too well in the pictures.

I wore one of these when I went to a special tea with my mother and a friend and her mother last weekend.  It was called the Titanic Tea as it was very near the anniversary of the fateful voyage.  In addition to a wonderful meal, there was a historical storyteller who entertained us with information about the Titanic.  Meet Eliza Blackwell Dupree.....

That's the name she went by during her presentation.  Her real name is Alisa Dupuy and she does these wonderful historical sessions.  I've seen her on a couple of ocassions at Teaberry's Tea Room in Flemington and I would recommend their specialty teas to anyone who is looking for a good meal and entertainment.

Waiting at our tables were lovely china dishes, each with a blossom of butter on them which we used a little later on a wonderful slice of fresh warm bread.  We chose our hot tea from the very lengthy tea menu and while we waited we were served a sparkling jasmine tea.

Our next course was a choice of soups.  I chose the potato leek.  They were all served in a beautiful little china tea cup and saucer.

We also had a choice of salads - I chose the strawberry spinach salad.

During this time, the storyteller regaled us with her story as a second class passenger on the Titanic.  She provided us with an information sheet of facts and passed around copies of other artifacts for us to peruse as she continued her talk. 

These were the finger sandwiches that came next.

After the sandwiches we were treated to scones with clotted cream, lemon curd, and raspberry jam.  I admit I could not finish mine and asked to take that and the dessert home.  So did my dining partners.  We had a slice of lemon tart and an eclair to enjoy at home later.

There was a gorgeous sunset as my mother and I returned to my house.  I took a slight detour to be able to take an unobstructed picture without any power lines - so hard to do anymore.