Thursday, December 6, 2012

Santa's Sweatshop

I've begun making special cards for special people.  This one is for my sister Dede.
And this one is for Briley.
This one is for our little angel, Bella.
Unfortunately, I don't have time to write anything clever.  I must get to the church to practice the organ.  I have five services to play this month.  Ugh!  And I must get back to Santa's Sweatshop.  Those gifts won't make themselves and so far I have found no evidence of elves just cat hair!
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Friday, June 15, 2012

Pretty Little Works of Art

I really love easel cards!  This card was created for a friend who has been very ill.  I do hope it will cheer her and help her to recover quickly.  It also gave me the opportunity to use some new toys that I had not used before, i.e. Heartfelt Creation's "Decorative Chateau Gate" die and "Outside My Window" stamp set.  There are lots and lots of layers.  The image of a mill is hand colored using SU Markers and and Aquapainter.  It turned out pretty wonderful even if I do say so myself!  I will definitely be using this die and stamp set again.

Since I love the easel card so much, I made another 6X6 using only Stampin' Up! paper, ink and accessories (except for the brown ribbon and lace which were in my sewing stash!)  This Elegant Bird die is to die for!!!  The color combination is pretty cool as well.  Pool Party is my all time favorite blue (I describe it as a warm aqua blue - reminds me of the Caribbean).

This is waytoo much fun to be legal!!!!!
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Sunday, June 10, 2012

Father's Day

I thought today was Father's Day so I worked feverishly yesterday to get this card finished.  That was on top of having had NO sleep on Friday night.  When I say no sleep, I mean no sleep.  My butt was totally dragging the ground all day Saturday.  Oh well, enough of poor me!
This card has all the elements of Richard's passion - gardening.   Plus it has his big red truck!  Unfortunately, we have both been very upset about our rose garden which is nine years old now.  It has been infected with a horrible virus called Rose Rosette Disease.  It is spread by microscopic mites.  All of the infected bushes must be destroyed.  Richard has been cutting them out and burning the canes.  It is very sad.  Not to mention a lot of money going up in smoke!
I hope the card will let him know how much I appreciate all the work he does to make our home stunningly beautiful!  (That's when I give it to him NEXT Sunday!!!)
Here are some pictures of the gardens that I took a couple of weeks ago.  Richard has such an amazing green thumb!!!

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Sunday, May 27, 2012

Birthdays All Around!

There are several birthdays in May and June (including my own!) so I have been making special cards.  One of my favorite techniques is the Treat Cup Slider on Split Coast Stampers ( created by Lydia Fiedler.  I seem to keep finding new ways to interpret this card. It is really labor intensive - at least for those of us with a short attention span! I tend to look at the pictures and forget some of the steps so I mess up a lot! However, it's all worth it in the end. Here is the card I created for Robert's birthday. Robert is an avid gardener and grows lots of butterfly attracting plants including the milkweed that attracts Monarch's. I believe he reported 68 caterpillars one day. The evolution must have been amazing to watch. At any rate, I created this card as a nod to his love of flowers and butterflies. Too bad I missed the cake!!!  

Tuesday is Charlotte Ann's birthday.  She was born exactly one week before my second birthday!  So I don't remember much of life without her.  She has been my rock for as long as I can remember.  When I was 5 (she was three) I was taken to kindergarten.  Being a very shy child (I know, it's very hard to believe, but true nonetheless!) I cried and cried because I did not want to be left there.  Charlotte Ann came up to me, put her arm around me and said, "Don't cry Turter (that's three year old for Sister), I'll stay with you."  And she has always been there when I needed her.

We also have waaaaay too much fun for adults.  That's probably because we are Geminis and Geminis never really grow up (The Peter Pan Syndrome!)  We both play music - piano, flute, sax - and sing, so when we get together there is lots of wonderful noise!  And lots of laughter.  We both love to sew as well.  Our grandmother's were both amazing seamstresses.  I guess we got that gene from both sides.  This card takes it's cue from that love of sewing.  Happy Birthday, little Turter!

The chick in the hot pink dress points up the fact that Charlotte Ann stands out in a crowd!!!

Thursday, March 1, 2012

A Bag for Miss Rosie

      My sister called the other day and told me about a little lady in her church named Miss Rosie.  In the south we always precede a lady's name with Miss (or Aunt - if she's very close!)  Miss Rosie teaches Bible study and has a wonderful ministry in their church.  My sister asked if I remembered the bag I had sent her for her birthday in which to carry her music.  It was embroidered with a grand piano and musical notes.  She furthered queried where I had gotten that bag.  I replied that, of course, I had made the bag myself - silly girl!  She proceeded to tell me about the ratty bag that Miss Rosie carries for her Bible and study materials.  Obviously, this bag is a complete disgrace!  We cannot have that.  So, knowing that I could not refuse her, my sister asked if I would make something more presentable for Miss Rosie's stuff.
     I went to my computer and looked through the designs I have and found one I thought would be perfect.  It is a Sunbonnet Sue reading her Bible by Embroidery Library (  I get some of my best designs from them.  I added a couple of floral fluorishes (from a design CD called Spring Linens - I think by OESD) and her name.  I stitched it out on my Babylock Ellisimo.  It took most of a day to stitch out the design and about half an hour to put the bag together.  LOL!!  I must admit, if I could get by with carrying a bag monogramed "Miss Rosie" I'd keep this thing.  It is just way too cute!

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Thursday, February 23, 2012

Don't put all your eggs in one basket!

      Wham!  Something woke me at six this  morning.  Wide awake - no drifting in and out.   Don't know what it was, but I suspect it was an explosion inside my brain.  As soon as I awoke, I had this card in my head.  Yesterday while preparing for a Stamp Camp coming up on Saturday, I was stumped as to what to do for something "different" than a standard card.  So I borrowed an idea from Lydia Fiedler of Split Coast Stampers.  Her's was a Halloween card with a slider so the treat cup can be accessed from inside without having to rip the card apart to get at the candy.  Lydia is brilliant!  If you don't believe me, check her out on Split Coast.  She inspires me daily.
(Hope that link works!!!)
     I wanted to do an Easter basket with tiny little eggs (Okay, so they are peanut M&Ms.)  I think it all came to me in a dream just before my brain exploded this morning.  All products used are from Stampin' Up! (except for the M&Ms).  I used Crumb Cake cardstock to make the basket.  I cut a rectangle and ran it through the crimper on the diagonal in both directions so it gives it a bit of a basket-weave effect.  Then I cut the angles with a craft knife.  I cut the handle from the Frame, Oval Scallop die and snipped off the upper section.  The paper is Very Vanilla, Pretty in Pink and Marina Mist cardstock.  The DSP is from the Beau Chateau collection.  The "slider" is Pretty in Pink over stamped with Versamark using the large floral stamp from the Mementos stamp set.  Then I used the smaller floral with Pretty in Pink ink. You can't see it very well in the picture, but it makes a really subtle pattern on the cardstock.  I cut the tab for the slider using the Decorative Label punch and more Beau Chateau DSP and added a pink brad from the Subtles brad pack.  The little sentiment is from the new Heaven Blessed stamp set.  It needed some green (everything needs green because it's my favorite color!)  So I punched some little leaves from Pear Pizzazz cardstock using the Bird Builder punch.  The perfect touch even if I do say so myself.  Drum roll please . . . . . . . .

     The most difficult part of the whole card was not eating the entire bag (and it's one of the BIG ones!) of peanut M&Ms.  I really, really love peanut M&Ms.

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Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Ready for Spring

      Okay, it's been a very weird and warm winter.  (I think that qualifies as an alliteration.)  Since most of the roses have started to sprout little tiny leaf buds, it's time to get the season started for real.  We did manage to have a measurable snowfall a couple of weeks ago, but seriously, it's time.
     Since moving to the mid-west nine years ago, I have discovered that winter is grossly overrated.  Where I grew up, on the Texas Gulf Coast, winter was a magical, mystical thing we read about in story books and saw in movies (i.e. Dr. Zhivago.  Remember that opening scene where black clad zombies trudged through the immense snow with a casket hoisted over their heads?)  Now that was what winter was about!  Not one long season of hot, sticky, humid, damp, (I could go on for days with adjectives describing the non-winter aspects of the Gulf Coast) . . .
     However, nine years into this experiment in seasons, winter has totally lost it's appeal.  It's just plain cold.  Cold to the bone cold.  Shivering in my thermal's cold.  Freezing my butt off cold.  Get the picture?  So as I sat in my "studio" (if you saw it you'd die laughing at that one!) shivering, I was inspired to create something to remind me that it WILL be spring soon.  So I came up with this little art piece.  What do ya think?

     At my next stamp camp I am going to unleash these materials from Stampin' Up! on my girls (snicker) and see what they can come up with.  Make it your own, ladies!  This should be great fun.
     We will also create a couple of cards.  You can never have too many butterflies - - -

     And this one . . . . .
     Hope you have a creative day.  Think SPRING!

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Defying Gravity - almost!

      This has been a really crazy week.  The full moon, while beautiful, played all kinds of heck with my abilities to glue things together straight!  Or maybe it was the gravitational pull of Saturn, or Venus.  Whatever it was, I had one heck of a time.  Lots of things went in the trash and there was lots of mumbling explitives under my breath.  Not the kind of relaxing fun I usually have when I play with paper and ink.  Oh well, the cards are done now and all I have to do is put them in the mail (some of them anyway.)
     My mom is turning 86 on the 19th so I made a special card for her.  I also  made some pretty kitchen accessories to send her.  One can never have too many pretty cup towels!  This one has a design that looks like Spring.  I need Spring right now.  Here's the card.  Happy birthday, Mom.
And here is the cup towel and dishcloth.  I embroidered the cup towel and crocheted the dishcloth!

     Our good friend, Mikey, has a birthday on Tuesday (Valentine's Day).  I had fun making this "masculine" card for him.  He also has a great sense of humor so I used funny quotes.  The inside says "What if the Hokey Pokey really is what it's all about!"  Happy Birthday, Mikey.

     And of course, there's Valentine's Day proper.  I made Valentines for my BFFs.  Here are a couple of them.

     And now for the most important happening this week.  Valentine's Day is also mine and Richard's wedding anniversary.  Wow!  14 years - where did that time go?  It seems like yesterday - and yet it seems as though we have always been together.  Love you, Babe.  Hope you like the cards I created just for you -  Happy Valentine's Day, my love.

And Happy Anniversary to the love of my life!

   Whew!  It's been a busy week.  I think I'll just enjoy the next few days.


Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Merry Christmas. Really?

      Note to self.  When photographing a card with a cream colored background, use a contrasting color for the background!  Oh well, it still shows up pretty well.  I'm doing the Christmas Card Challenge on Split Coast Stampers (  I signed up to do two a month.  That should give me a pretty good head start by the time December rolls around.  Especially since I only got a very few cards out this past Christmas.  Here are my first two for January.  Got 'em done just in time!

     I love creating backgrounds with stamps.  The angel, harp and snowflakes were stamped on the cardstock.  Then I used new paper from Stampin' Up! called Everyday Elegance.  I like using things that aren't particularly theme oriented to add color and interest.  This one is a keeper.
     The next one is made with Stampin' Up! Frostwood Lodge Designer Paper and the new Doily die. They are both so terribly Victorian. I love the doily in Real Red.  Who says doilies have to be white?  Not I!

     This is a pretty good start on my Christmas Card stash.  Maybe I'll go ahead and sign them, address them and get them realy to mail!

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Monday, January 23, 2012

Two for Me!

      I've been busy making things for gifts lately.  I finally finished a couple of things for myself.  I love this nice warm scarf.  It's made from pom-pom yarn and works up really thick and wonderful.

     The yarn for the handbag is made with two yarns worked together.  It turned out really great.  Lots of color and texture.  The main yarn is a bulky weight that is made up of an ivory yarn wrapped with a varigated fuzzy yarn that gives it its color.  It is worked along with a fine olive green yarn with a tiny sequin every few inches.  Adds a bit of bling! 

   This will go with lots of different outfits!  Love it!

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Friday, January 20, 2012

Another Project Completed

      I completed another knitting loom project.  Unfortunately, it was too late to go into The Birthday Box!  This handbag is for Andra's birthday which is coming up on Sunday.  She will get this one late.  I have a friend who says that one should not just celebrate one's birth DAY, but should celebrate one's birth MONTH.  So this will give Andra a chance to keep celebrating her birth month!

     I spent some time sorting through my yarn stash this morning and found that I have a LOT OF YARN!  Guess I had better keep at it.  On to the next project!!

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Sunday, January 15, 2012

Two of My Favorite People

      Two of my favorite people are my son, John, and his wife, Andra.  For obvious reasons, I love my boy.  And I couldn't have done a better job of picking a daughter-in-law if I had done it myself!  She is beautiful and creative and just plain wonderful.  So, in honor of her birthday and their wedding anniversary on January 22nd (yes, they got married on her birthday!), I made two special cards.  Inspired by the colors from their wedding (Andra loves all things purple) the color schemes center around purple.  They also have elements of love and renewal (hearts and butterflies).

     And here is the birthday card.

Happy Anniversary, John & Andra.  And Happy Birthday, Andra.

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Saturday, January 14, 2012

A Great Day!

     Today has been a great day!  It's cold and cloudy, although there have been moments of sunshine.  I spent most of the day baking.  I have decided to make my own bread from now on.  I love baking bread.  I learned how to make bread in the 8th grade!  That was a couple of years ago.  (Snort!)  I do still have the cookbook we were given in Home Ec in 8th grade.  However, I used a recipe from King Arthur Flour. ( I really like King Arthur Flour.)  This bread is 100% whole wheat with lots of seeds (sesame, sunflower, flax).  I am all about real whole grain bread.  So while the bread was rising, I baked a cake to take to our potluck dinner after church tomorrow.  I also made some apple, raisin, nut bars that are just plain yummy!

After all the baking was finished, I decided to "finish" the hat and scarf I made on my new knitting looms.  I believe I have said before that my mother-in-law (who is an expert knitter) calls my looms idiot knitting!  That's okay.  They are great fun and wonderful therapy.  I learned to crochet when I was seven so I have always crocheted.  However, knitting still eludes me.  These looms are just great.  My older son sent me a set of round ones for Christmas along with a lot of pattern books.  I got the long loom set on sale at Michael's after Christmas.  I made the hat on one of the round looms and the scarf on one of the long looms.  I am very proud of them both.  Plus they are nice and warm!  I used one strand of ivory acrylic worsted weight and 1 strand of the metallic yarn together.  I just needed to sew on the buttons today.  I can't wait to wear them.

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Friday, January 13, 2012

     It has been a very busy week!  On Wednesday, my BFFs Joanie, Rita, and Phyllis gathered at my house to do some PUNCHING!  Phyllis has been doing punchneedle work for several months and we all wanted to learn how.  It is (well Phyllis' anyway!) beautiful work and fabulous therapy.  Thanks to Phyllis' guidance we were all punching away and trying to make ours look as beautiful as hers.  I think we were all "hooked" on this new needle art form.  I will add it to my growing list of crafts.  Like I need another one!!

     I've also spent a lot of time sewing this week.  I got to use my new Elna 444 Coverstitch machine.  LOVE IT!  I made a nice warm fleece top and did all the hemming on the Elna.  Lots more of that to come.

     I also made something I have been wanted to get to for months.  Rita and I attended a Martha Pullen even in St. Louis over a year ago.  It was a week long "sew-in" with Martha herself.  (Love that woman!)  I bought several embroidery machine design packs at the event.  This one is my favorite.  I finally made my chatelaine!  I have been wanting to do this forever.  It is a wonderful "gadget' for keeping all your hand sewing tools at the ready.  (You wear it around your neck in case you don't know what a chatelaine is.)  No more searching for lost scissors or hidden tools.  I think it turned out beautifully.

     This is the CD I used.  You can find it on

This will make my sewing even more fun to do!

     This has been a very productive week.  Since we had snow yesterday, I turned up the heat in my (tongue firmly in cheek!) studio and went to work.  Looking forward to more sewing and card making today.

     Speaking of card making here are a couple of cards I made recently:
 For a musical friend

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