Thursday, December 30, 2010

joy bliss delight glee

Inspired by a go-to sketch and the "Hugs & Kisses" card on page 17 of the Jan/Feb '10 Paper Crafts mag, this was made from a kit I won as blog candy from Paper Crafts Magazine's blog a while back. They supplied the DP, card stock, pre-printed sentiment, button and jute twine. Theirs called for a country-inspired star, but I had my heart punches handy and Valentine's is fast approaching, so I switched it out. I popped up my negative space heart to add a bit more dimension, and distressed the stripes and heart pieces. An easy peasy but cute card, eh?!

stamps: n/a - sentiment provided; paper: Cosmo Cricket's Early Bird Collection - Apron Springs and Farmers Market DP (cut in half - they're 2-sided DPs), Kraft and cream card stocks; ink: Ranger's antique linen distress ink; accessories: button and twine

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

at the movies w the B's

When I was a kid, we lived in Franklin MA, kitty-corner from a very nice elderly gentleman whose name I couldn't pronounce, who we called Mr B. Methinks his name was Mr. Bukowski or something like that. I was just thinking of him when I wrote the title post. The couple who lived next door to us (who I have no recollection of themselves) had a grown son (to me at least, back then when I was 6 or so) whose jazz band used to practice in their basement. I used to sit by their basement windows to watch and listen. I love jazz to this day. Smooth jazz, that is, like that played on Smooth Jazz V98.7. I'm listening tonite as I blog surf and post ... but I digress ...

My eldest and I took in a movie today - the earliest 3D showing of Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader - and then grabbed lunch at the local Qdoba. The movie was great, as expected, as the 2nd of the series was too. This one mainly features the two youngest of the Pevensie clan - Lucy and Edmund - who have been sent to live with their cousin during the war. The cousin's a snooty bugger. The Pevensie youngsters, while trying to make the best of a bad situation, seem to be barely tolerated by their hosts, but it's pretty short-lived, as they're swooped into another adventure in Narnia with Prince Caspian soon after the movie begins and remain there for most of the show ... and while also accompanied by their cousin Eustace.

I occasionally glanced over at Geoff during the movie to see how he was enjoying it - he spent most of the time leaning forward in his seat, except when he'd relax and would beam at me. Pretty good flick, folkes!

yikes! stripes!

Remember that commercial's song, "Yipes, Stripes! Beech Nut's got 'em!"? Well, stripes is the current Tuesday Trigger challenge from Cath Edvalson of Moxie Fab World and Paper Crafts fame. Here's my first Valentine's Day card of the year ... and it's all about the striped popped-up background in non-traditional colors for my guy's card this year.

This is a non-traditional size for me as well - 4-1/2" square - as I'd lost my source of free larger rectangular envelopes that I used to use for my former 6" square cards. I dunno why I hadn't thought of making square cards a bit smaller earlier! This size will fit into my regular A2-sized envelopes.

stamps: Technique Tuesday's Loving Words by Ali Edwards; paper: SU's Kiwi Kiss, Sahara Sand card stocks; ink: Ranger's black soot distress ink; accessories: Heidi Swapp's time crazy life tape

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

USPS to release Pixar stamps 8/11

spotted this evening at The Pixar Blog: The USPS will release five stamps featuring characters from Cars ('06), Ratatouille ('07), Toy Story ('95), Up ('09), and WALL-E ('08), all "forever" stamps, as part of its 2011 commemorative stamp program. They'll go on sale August 19 in 20-stamp panes (read more at USPS). Pretty kewl, eh?!

thinking of you

This could easily have been used as either a Christmas or "thinking of you" card but today's is a sympathy card for a family whose father/Grandfather passed away recently. My Dad passed away 6 years ago last month, and I know firsthand how it is going thru all the "firsts." I'd meant to send before now but I first collected a couple candid pictures to send along with it.

stamps: SU's Essence of Love, Seasonal Whimsy; paper: CTMH Outdoor Denim and Staples' white card stocks; ink: CTMH's Outdoor Denim

Monday, December 27, 2010

facebook overtakes yahoo

Had you heard? According to traffic rankings recently released from comScore, Facebook pushed past Yahoo! with an estimated 648M unique visitors worldwide in November, making it the #3 largest Web site, and pushing Yahoo! into 4th place with its estimated 630 million visitors in November. And the leaders, you ask? According to the kind folkes at Website Magazine, "Google remains the world’s largest Web property with about 970 million unique visitors in November 2010, followed by Microsoft with 869 million and now Facebook." Check out the article at Website Magazine for more info.

Both sites started as student portal sites - Yahoo! in 1994 as "Jerry and David's Guide to the World Wide Web," started by David Filo and Jerry Yang, Ph.D. candidates in Electrical Engineering at Stanford University, and Facebook in 2004 by Harvard students - Mark Zuckerberg with his college roommates and fellow computer science students Eduardo Saverin, Dustin Moskovitz and Chris Hughes.

I'm a stats junkie ... could you tell?!

Sunday, December 26, 2010

first hand-painted ornament

Here's a close-up of one of the ornaments on our tree this year which holds special sentimental value to me. It's the first hand-painted canvas I ever purchased - and completed (yes, I have plenty of unfinished projects to last well into my retirement, whenever that occurs!).

I found a wonderful needlepoint store shortly after I moved to the Flint MI area back in '83. Alma H ran the shop; methinks her DH Ralph joined her after his retirement to provide custom framing services within the shop, but he was there when I first became a regular customer. When I moved here, I signed up for a couple adult enrichment classes at the local high school - beginning classes in needlepoint and in stained glass. The needlepoint hobby stuck with me and I only made a couple projects in stained glass tho' I enjoyed that as well.

My anal retentive nature really came to the surface with my first project. I learned the most frequently-used needlepoint stitch as well - the frog stitch (can you say, "rip it!"?), as I was unhappy with both the basket's handle and the gold outline around the ornament. They weren't drawn perfectly symmetrical, but therein lives one of the beauties of needlepoint. IF you're completely filling in the background, as I did here, you can fix those imperfections!

Thanx for joining me in my trip down Memory Lane!

Saturday, December 25, 2010

O Christmas Tree

I've posted pics of my Christmas tree on the blog the last couple years; here's this year's!

Silly me ... I realized after decorating the tree that I'd forgotten the cranberry strings; usually they're the first thing we put on it, and lemme tell ya ... it's MUCH more difficult when you put it on last! It's just the top 3rd of the tree, but I have a star at the top. A friend of mine has Frosty the Snowman's top hat on hers. I wonder what my readers have? I got a great angel for the tree many moons ago but it turned out to be too large so I just sometimes put her on the mantle.

These cranberry strands were such a terrific buy. Years ago I'd purchased a few uber expensive strings at a home decorating party and I LOVED 'em but should have purchased more, and had kept a lookout for them for years. I found these at a dollar store in Flint a few years back and grabbed their remaining stock - 9 strings! - and threaded them together so they're one long continuous string now. After every 6 cranberries these have a peppermint candy which at the time I'd have preferred they'd left off but I guess I've grown accustomed to. At the time I thought I really didn't need all those strands, either, but our tree has grown in recent years and now I'm glad I grabbed all 9 sets.

Geoff decided to rearrange the Santas I'd needlepointed in years past. At first he wanted to add them to my creche, but I gently persuaded him to leave 'em on the sofa table. He thought they looked better flanking the star that I keep our Christmas cards in. See the poinsettia at the far left? That was supposed to go home w my Mom this evening but I forgot to even give it to her. I put it inside a baked bean-looking pot that my sister had purchased some years back (had I ever mentioned that I was born in Boston MA?). The wreath holder and wreath both came from a craft show I went to with my stampin' buds, Pat and Kim, a couple months ago.

... and here's a close-up of the Santas - they're all Petei painted canvasses - most from classes I took years ago at Needlepoint for You in Auburn Hills MI. Some are "old world" Santas and some are their interpretations of different nationalities. I've others in various stages of completion that I really should get back to one of these days ...

I'd needlepointed the figures for this creche before I started on the Santas - and I put that up this year. It'd been on hiatus the last couple years as methinks I've enough Christmas and Halloween supplies to stock a small store, so I rotate what I put out.

Next year my DH has suggested we put up the ornaments I've needlepointed over the years on the tree again. This year I only included a couple home-made ornaments each from me and both of my two boys. Some years ago my youngest asked me why our tree couldn't look like all his friends' trees - which he said contained plain ornaments. So, we switch off now. A couple years ago I picked up a pkg of red ornaments from IKEA (my first ever trip to one that opened south of us). Last year I used all hi-gloss ivory ornaments - another t'riffic deal from a dollar store. This year I used the ivory ones but added some red (mainly from assorted cardinals I've collected - BIG surprise to my friends here!), some home-made, and some VERY sparkly gold glitter 3D stars (yep - these are from Family Dollar).

OK, enough about decorations. My older brother (hi Jac!) sent me a picture of his real tree, so this post all started to show him my fake one. We switched to a fake pre-lit tree in 2002 - I love Quicken, and had to look it up!

Merry Christmas, folkes!

Merry Christmas to all

Yes, Santa visited us some time during the night. I know, 'cuz the cookies that my eldest left out for him were gone when he woke this morning, LOL! Geoff woke before me for the first time EVAH, and went to the living room, then shared with me in disbelief that there weren't any presents protruding from under the tree (you see, I'd wrapped and tucked them behind the tree and surrounding furniture, and hadn't moved 'em yet). I didn't offer any reasonable explanation about why Santa placed 'em there, so he must be thinking Santa's showing the first symptoms of dementia ...

Here's wishing you a very merry Christmas, all! Hope it's a happy one for you all, and that 2011's your best year yet!

Friday, December 24, 2010

from the heart

This pine stamp conveys peaceful feelings to me ... I used it in one of my first Christmas cards of the year colored in greens and browns (see Nov 7th post) but this time it's for a sympathy card so I chose a simple CAS black silhouette today.

stamps: Stampendous' Ponderosa Pine, SU's Holidays & Wishes; paper: Staples' white, SU's Basic Gray and Purely Pomegranate card stocks; ink: Ranger's black soot distress ink; accessories: Tim Holtz's Tidings tissue tape

Thursday, December 23, 2010

red, white, and black

black & white with a splash of color - it's one of my fav color combos, and the basis of my card that my stampin' buddy Pat sent me this year. I'm not sure whether that vellum background was pre-printed with the design or stamped, but it's over white card stock and matted on black. the ribbon's all sparkly and I love the gold snowflake brads ... and yep, it's gorgeous!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

in our prayers

This La Crème DP is so soft and subtle - it's what pulled me toward the purchase of this DP package at Jo-Ann's and was the first DP I thought of using when called the situation arose that called for some sympathy cards this past month. It looks like dark gray stitching on a soft creamy yellow background. I used my latest nestie set - labels 8 - for the background and my dove, scalloped circle, and word window punches to make up the little cluster with the sentiment.

stamps: n/a; paper: A1's Neenah Natural White, DCWV's La Crème matstack and cardstock matstack; ink: PC-generated; tools: Cuttlebug w Nestie Label 8 die, ek success' word window and scalloped circle, McGill's bird punches

Wednesday, December 15, 2010


Today's card is inspired by one of the tags posted by the lovely and talented Broni Holcrombe in this post, using the gorgeous snowflake tissue tape Tim Holtz recently released and a Sizzix sizzlit die set I recently acquired. Sometimes the displayed project used on a die is almost enough to make me not consider it; this is one of those cases. The picture on the die was real glitzy and shades of blues with a blue/purple glitter added to it - NOT my style. I did glitz up the dies a bit by adding a bit of gold tied into a bow thru the faux button. I have to admit it was more laziness than anything else. I know I have some twine about but couldn't locate it right away. Then I thought of grey perle cottons that I must have on hand (I used to needlepoint lots before I got hooked on card-making ... MUST get back to that! so many unfinished projects, so little time, y'know?!), but I was too lazy to go dig 'em up. Even the pewter snowflake eyelet was dissed - I'd have had to pull out my affixer thingy (technical term, here) and the circle punches were handy. So ... here's today's card! It's a bit distressed using Ranger's antique linen distress ink.

stamps: GinaK's believe script; paper: A1's Neenah Natural White and SU's Basic Gray card stocks; ink: Ranger's antique linen and black soot distress inks; accessories: Tim Holtz' Tidings tissue tape and unknown ribbon gold/black cord; tools: Cuttlebug w Sizzix Snowflakes Sizzlit dies

Sunday, December 12, 2010

FTL120 savvy-style

A slightly varied version of Clean & Simple's FTL120 sketch layout (I'd left out the ribbon and just realized that, while taking my picture ... sigh ... but don't think it'd work for this one), here's another Christmas card. I'm lovin' the Crumb Cake and Vanilla combo lately so hope you're not tired of it yet!

I picked up some clearance wood single stamps yesterday while shopping at Karen's 50% off sale including one sentiment stamp (let love ring!) that was very much Amuse ArtStamps-style, then returned home to find that my "go-to" sentiment stamp this holiday season has been another of theirs. This sentiment's from their Winter Set, part of a collection I'd picked up at a "New To You" sale at Capture-A-Memory last year. It includes some SWEET snowflake stamps, a cute BK one, and a couple penguins. I'd intended to but make a card for my stampin' bud Pat using the penguins, as they're a fav winter image of hers, but this sentiment's become MY fav! And the "let love ring!" will become an all-round, valentine, and wedding stamp "go-to," I'm sure!

stamps: Savvy Stamps' Winter Set; paper: SU's Bella Bleu DP, A1's Neenah Natural White and SU's Crumb Cake card stock; ink: Ranger's black soot distress ink; tools: Cuttlebug (LOVE IT!) with QuicKutz' snowflake embossing folder and MFT's Let It Snowflake Die-namics

p.s. did I happen to mention that the Cuttlebug is my "go to" tool? I LOVE that thing!

it's a wrap!

Saturday was Commencement at my workplace (insert shameless plug here for Kettering University) and here's a pic from its opening ceremonies. It's a wrap of a very busy week - I'm always like the proverbial chicken, running around with its head cut off, wrapping up last-minute projects leading up to Committee meetings in advance of our Board day, which was Friday. That, and some year-end filings, most of which I submitted this past week (one final piece is required for another filing this coming week and I'll be ready to relax a bit!). I used to then volunteer at all the Commencement exercises but recently cut back to only working at those during the summer. So, I wasn't present but would have liked to have heard the speech by Stan Ovshinsky, our honorary degree recipient. You can click on either the picture or the KU link to read more about either the Commencement exercises OR follow up on Mr. Ovshinsky's career that includes over 400 patents (you interested in solar energy, or use a cell phone, digital camera, or laptop? thank this guy!). And don't tell Charlie, pictured above, but he's gotta be my fav of our current trustees!

Saturday, December 11, 2010

oh JOY

Every other Saturday I try to split my time between my two favorite scrapbooking stores. Some folkes don't have one store close to them; I consider myself blessed to have TWO specialty stores, not to mention three large chain stores nearby (JoAnn's, Mike's AND a Hobby Lobby)! This weekend's trek was to Karen's Creative Stamping where I'd missed the last couple make-'n-takes (hey, it comes with the season - weekends get BUSY, right?! LOL!) so they saved my kits. I met up with my stampin' buds - Pat for b'fast, then we met up with Kim at the store - and we got busy stamping. Here's my fav card of the 3-1/2 that I made there. I'm altering the 4th to be more in my style. It had a bright red poinsettia but I favor dark reds and dark greens for Christmas ... like today's featured card!

Today's card also coincidentally works for Saturday's sk121110 sketch layout at Paper Craft Planet. I'm just glad they were all great Christmas cards, as my inventory was slacking. I'd only made 5 Christmas cards so far this month; dunno whazzup w THAT (though, sure, I know that I made some in November too)?!

No deets today - all supplies provided by Karen's. But isn't the tree great, Kim?! It reminds me of a SWEET Tim Holtz die ... sigh ... and apparently the DP was of various similar-themed small pictures (think a couple different reindeers, a close-up on the packages pictured below the tree, etc.) that you could cut and use. Naturally the store ran out of the DP - it was all gobbled up by those who'd attended the make-'n-take that I'd missed, I'm guessing!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

my stamp camp fav

I attend a monthly stamp camp with the lovely and talented Angie Jarman, and this is my fav card (heck, it was the only card!) from tonight's class. We also made a couple stinkin' cute candy holders and a couple gift card holders - both of which will come in extremely handy as I have two boys - one of each for each!

This card was developed by a buddy of Angie's and she was sure to give proper credit where due, but I'm sorry that I don't recall her buddy's name off hand. I don't have the SU die they used for the elf's shoes, but I recently picked up the Nestie Label 8 and that'll work for future renditions! And don't you love the chunky glass glitter? Me too!
Thanx for stopping by.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

don't they go by in a blink?

It's hard to imagine it's been thirty years to the date since John Lennon was murdered ... and slightly more than 40 years since my cousin Robin (wearing my fav color, purple, in the picture taken this past fall) was born. Robin passed away this past Monday after having battled cancer. Her Facebook quote was "Life ain't always beautiful. BUT IT'S A BEAUTIFUL RIDE! :O)" and she definitely made it more beautiful.

You know the quote, "Some day you will read in the papers that I have died. Don't you believe a word of it! At that moment I shall be more alive than I have ever been." I'm reminded of that, and of a scene in Meet Joe Black where Anthony Hopkins delivers a speech at his 65th birthday party that goes something like this:

"I thought I was going to sneak away tonight. What a glorious night. Every face I see is a memory. It may not be a perfectly perfect memory. Sometimes we had our ups and downs. But we're all together, and you're mine for a night. And I'm going to break precedent and tell you my one candle wish: that you would have a life as lucky as mine, where you can wake up one morning and say, "I don't want anything more." Sixty-five years. Don't they go by in a blink?"

Enjoy the song, folkes:

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

1st Christmas card rec'd

Claudia & Al even beat out my buddy Margarita this year, and I don't think anybody's EVER done that before! My first Christmas card of the season arrived in today's mail. It's got a stickle-sort-of sparkle on the snowflakes that make up the tree; isn't it SWEET?! Thanx, Claud! And that probably means I should get a move on ...

Sunday, December 5, 2010

the most wonderful time of the year

To borrow a phrase from the season AND Erika Taylor of Ink Cut & Fold blog fame, you've really gotta visit to see all the goodies she's offering for her upcoming blogoversary! What're you still doing here?! GO VISIT by January 5th! Click on the picture of just a portion of the booty, pictured on this post or on my sidebar. Bookmark or "follow" this blog first, natch'!

happy b'day, Walt!

Almost entitled "it all started with a mouse," this post pays homage to Walt Disney, who was born on this day in 1901. I LOVED (and still do) Disney - watched the cartoons as a kid (remember the Silly Symphonies?!), the wildlife adventure shows, and was among the throngs of people to visit EPCOT in its opening year (1982 ... showing my (chronological) age here!). For a time, I took my younger brother to Disney movies, then we both took a younger neighbor when we started feeling a little old to be heading to animated movies ... we got over that, and I got to be friends with others who shared my interests when I moved to the Flint area (hi Monica, if you're out there!). But, it didn't really all start with a mouse - tho' Mickey is probably still his most famous character! Thanx for visiting during my trip down Memory Lane!

Miss you, Walt! I imagined you as a kindly old uncle when I was a kid.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

at the movies - Burlesque

My Mom and I took in a movie and eats Saturday while I visited, and saw Burlesque. Suffice to say, small town girl moves to California, struggles, and makes good - it's tried and true movie storyline and works well. Predictable, but if you like musicals, or for that matter, Cher, Christina Aguilera, Cabaret, Chicago, or Flashdance, see this one; you won't be dissapointed! Boy, these ladies can SING, and the dancing's great too! I'm giving it 4.5 of 5 stars.

And, let me just ask for the sake of asking ... could everyone else who was enjoying supper at the Dearborn Olive Garden have driven themselves and met their friends there? The parking lot was filled to capacity but there was only a 10 minute wait (actually, that's what they told us, but all we did was stop in the restroom and the buzzer gizmo was already telling me that our table was ready) and the restaurant wasn't packed ... and while I'm on the restaurant review (we loved their soup, salad, and breadsticks, by the way!), can you tell me why it is that people with crying children don't have the decency to get up and walk their fussy kids in another area where they won't disturb others? I'm always amazed at people who bring babies to restaurants and theaters. We had a crier in the movie (thankfully, not for long periods) and another at the restaurant (thankfully again, located on the other side of the place so we only heard the pretty continuous screaming from a distance) ... I'm just sayin' ... and the movies are LOUD! I can't imagine it good for a tiny baby's ears, let alone ours, sometimes!

Friday, December 3, 2010

I believe

I knocked out another Christmas card while watching a bit of golf this evening w my DH (Tiger's currently leading the 2nd round of the Chevron World Challenge). This one's a CAS design using punches, a Nestie, and a QuicKutz embossing folder - easy peasy! Speaking of embossing, did you see that Taylor's introduced a 2-side metal impression plate? I saw it in her e-mail today. It's actually a debossing plate, I guess, as it's meant to create a depression into your card stock ... but I don't see why you couldn't use it either way. Her first one's scallops on one side and interlocking circles on the reverse. Check it out here. Me likey (hi Allison!)!

Today's sentment is one of my first ever unmounted stamp purchases from a small company called StampingFreak that later morphed into GinaK Designs. For the longest time I'd just left it unmounted, and a piece of 2-sided sticky tape adhered it temporarily to my acrylic block (I have one favorite acrylic block that never gets put away, tho' I do have assorted sizes stored in a bag nearby). I finally broke down and mounted it today. Hey, no need to rush things, right?! LOL! Speaking of rushing things, it IS December now, so I should probably be taking inventory of how many Christmas cards I've still got to make. Sigh ... always so much to do and so little time to do it, y'know?!
stamps: StampingFreak/Gina K's believe; paper: A1 Neenah Natural White and PAPERTREYink's Ripe Avocado card stocks; ink: Ranger's black soot distress ink; tools: Cuttlebug w Spellbinders Labels 8 Nestie and QuicKutz phrases embossing folder, Fiskar's ornament and SU's Word Window punches

SCT winter issue's out

One of my fav Canadian mags has released its winter issue today ... and it offers both a free online or downloadable version! Isn't that sweet of them?!

Clicking on the magazine pictured on this post will take you to the free online version. Enjoy!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

joyeux noel

Another Christmas card today, this one based on one of Karen Giron's sketches, SSSC94 (pictured below), and made using some super scrumptious retired DP that I was fortunate enough to have been able to purchase from Angie, a demo whose stamp camps I frequent. It's gorgeous stuff, don't you agree?!

This will be a quick post tonight as I'm ready to hit the hay. G'nite all! Thanx for stopping by!

stamps: Cornish Heritage Farms' Joyeux Noel; paper: SU's Bella Bleu DP, A1 Neenah Classic Natural White and SU's Crumb Cake card stocks; ink: SU's Crumb Cake, Whisper White; tools: Cuttlebug w MFT's die-namics