Saturday, December 29, 2012

Framed Roses

Happy Saturday!  After making all those mail-friendly Christmas cards I decided to make something pretty just for me.  It’s got all the layers, shapes, and doo-dads I love, plus a favorite Flourishes floral (A Year in Flowers 2).  I really must use more of the florals from these sets (note to self) as they’re all so beautiful.


I cut out the roses and glued them to the center circle after coloring with Copic markers, and used rather muted colors for the framing and matting to let the roses pop.  I think the recipe below will explain all the other elements.

Well, that was fun!  If I don’t make it back here in time, I’d like to wish you all a happy new year!

Stamps:  A Year in Flowers 2  Paper:  Stampin’ Up! Crumbcake textured, Flourishes Classic Ivory, Prima Romantique designer paper  Ink:  Memento Rich Cocoa, Copic markers for coloring  Accessories:  Pearls, silk ribbon, corner punch, Spellbinders Large and Small Standard Circles, Lacey Circles (used the negative cut to form the scalloped frame), Basic Lattice, Floral Flourishes

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Merry Day After Christmas!


I hope you all had the most beautiful Christmas ever and will continue to enjoy the season at a more relaxed pace for a few days yet.  The days leading up to our Christmas were full of the usual – shopping, wrapping, cleaning, decorating, baking, a potluck and gift exchange at work, visiting friends and family to spread Christmas cheer and deliver gifts, making more long distance phone calls than usual – it’s all fun and all part of the season.  In the photo above Rich and I were visiting the spectacular light display at our local Shore Acres Botanical Garden.  If only I had a photo that did it justice, but you’d really have to be there…



Wally and LuLu opened presents on Christmas Eve, just like the rest of us.  Here’s LuLu…


And Wally…


They loved their new squeaky toys, and Christmas Eve got a little noisy for a while there.


I’m looking forward to the rest of my (much needed) post-Christmas vacation.  I plan to spend some quality time in my stamp room when I’m not out having fun with the doggies.  Wishing all of you merry days as we count down to the new year.  See you again soon!

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Pretty Ornaments

I hesitated to share this card because I can’t tell you where I got this image.  It was a free digi from somewhere.  I saved it to my computer and then promptly forgot where I found it.  The thing is, I’ve been enjoying Pinterest lately and one of my boards is titled “Free Digital Stamps”.  Mostly I repin other free images I find on Pinterest.  I repinned one such image recently and shortly thereafter got a message from Pinterest stating that the original pinner had taken the image without the owner’s approval and it had been removed from all boards.  I sincerely hope I’m not doing wrong by sharing this today, and I’d love to say “thank you” to whomever made this very pretty image available.


This is another one of those simple cards – a pretty image surrounded by pretty paper (BasicGrey Jovial).  I printed on Flourishes Classic White cardstock and colored with Copic markers.  I dared to add a gold glittered sprig and bow, hoping it will be indiscernible to the post office officials.  The ornaments are glittered as well.  Perhaps you can see it a little if you use your imagination.  The sentiment is from JustRite.

Happy Holidays!

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

BaZoople Christmas

I finally finished the last of my Christmas cards and, as fun as they are to make, I’ll be looking forward to moving on to other things now.  I tried to keep them all lightweight and not too bulky this year and I can tell you it’s not easy to resist adding that little something extra.  Buttons and bows, flowers, rhinestones, pearls, lots of layers and dimension – I love all those things and they’re part of what’s fun about card making.  I think I’ll not worry about it next year and just figure the extra postage as part of the expense of Christmas.


Today’s card uses an Inky Antics Holiday BaZooples set which I bought last year.  I love the fun of these characters almost as much as I love the fun of coloring them.  This one was watercolored on 90 lb hot press watercolor paper with Stampin’ Up! inks.  The layout, such as it is, was determined by the shape of the designer paper scraps.  I save every tiny piece as though I have a shortage of designer paper.  Perhaps that’s why I have so much designer paper – if I would ever give up any of these trimmings. . .

Enjoy this last week before Christmas.  I’ll be plenty busy, but after this week I’ll be on vacation till after the first of the year.  So looking forward to that!  Thank you for coming to visit!

Monday, December 17, 2012

Hello from the Kids

Time out for a quick pic of Wally and LuLu just to let you know they’re as happy and well as ever.  I took this photo in front of a little studio (?) in the back yard of our son’s new home on a recent weekend when we helped him move in.  My newly retired husband has plans to help with repairs and improvements so I can see us dividing our time between our home on the coast and his in the valley.  It’s not much of a picture, but at least they’re dry for a change.

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Remember LuLu a year ago?

She’s grown and changed a bit, but still just as sweet as ever.

I’ll be sharing Christmas cards the rest of the week.  Happy holidays!

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Dover Butterfly and Cosmos

Hello!  Thank you all so much for the warm welcome back on my last post.  It’s good to be here and to be out visiting again.

I’ve been doing a mighty lot of stamping lately, not all of which will make it to the blog, but I do want to share this card so I can tell you about another great resource for free digital images to color.  A friend directed me to a site called Dover Publications.    The link will take you directly to where you can sign up for free samples.  Each week they’ll email you a sampling of books.  You can click on the books, particularly the ones that mention coloring, and there you will find sample images to save to your computer.  It’s different every week, but I always come away with something I like.  This is one of them.


The butterfly is a Great Spangled Fritillary and the flowers are Coreopsis.  I love how the two coordinate in color.  I printed on Flourishes Classic White Cardstock and colored with Copic markers.  With a craft knife I cut around the petals of the uppermost flower in order to slip the sentiment panel behind it.  I sanded CTMH cardstock and the designer paper for an earthy look.  I hope you enjoy!

Sorry, no puppies today but bless your hearts for loving them as I do.  Happy holidays to all!

Monday, November 26, 2012

Hello at Last!

It’s been a long time, hasn’t it?  I never meant to simply drop out of sight, but that’s surely what happened.  My reasons for doing so are dimming with time, though I hope you’ll trust that all is well in our world and my memories of you and the time we’ve spent here together are as fond as ever.  Let’s see if I can recall and explain…

I guess it all started with an increasingly acute sensitivity to the amount of time I was spending on the computer.  I use it for shopping, bill paying, communication, research, art, photos, videos, music, planning and organization – you name it, I use it.  Then along came a nightmarish computer software conversion at work – frustration on so many levels that I’d just as soon forget – and when I came home from work the last thing in the world I wanted to do was sit down at the computer.  Time for the amazing healing powers of Wally and LuLu.

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There’s nothing like a long walk in the fresh air and the ensuing cuddle time when they’re dry and soft and putting on the sweet.  And, boy, do they ever know how to put on the sweet.

There’s also been a lot of home improvement projects going on.  That’s LuLu making off with the paint rag.


I’m still cleaning up drywall dust from the bedroom project.

I thought I might get more stamping done if I wasn’t taking the time to photograph the cards and write blog posts and, indeed, I did make six Halloween cards and many miscellaneous without a single photograph.  I’ve now commenced in earnest on the Christmas cards and I thought I’d share three of those today.  The first is a digital from Sassy Cheryl’s with a Hero Arts sentiment.  I colored with Copic markers and added glitter and a poinsettia.  I’m trying to keep each of my Christmas cards mailable with one postage stamp this year, so in order to use the poinsettia I removed its bulky center and replaced it with three 1/8” punched and glittered circles.


Next is a Squigglefly Holiday Bells digital image.  This one has a more vintage look.  It’s also colored with Copic markers and I relied on glitter and texture to relieve the flat look.  I put spots of gold Stickles glitter, rather than gems or pearls, on the white panel (Spellbinders Labels Eighteen), and dotted the green beads with a Sakura Glaze pen.  The green panel is white core cardstock embossed with a Cuttlebug Heritage Collection folder and then sanded.


Finally, I have a card that’s very easy to make in multiples, so this is one of several I have in the works.  I brayered the inside front flap of the Cuttlebug Lace Tree embossing folder with mustard ink and embossed the white cardstock, then cut out the tree.  I layered a Cuttlebug Tiffany embossed panel onto the card front, then added the tree on dimensional foam mounting tape.  I added dots of Goldenrod Stickles glitter glue to the tree and it’s all done.  I used Stampin’ Up! Whisper White cardstock which is rather lightweight, and this will easily be a one postage stamp card.


Catching up:

  • While I was away LuLu turned one year old.  Though we celebrated, I’m sorry she didn’t get a blog post.  She’s my sweet little princess and Wally’s my big handsome boy.  I love them both so much.
  • I had a birthday in October, and so did my husband.  Better yet, he retired on his birthday.  I’ve never mentioned this on my blog, but for the last several years he worked and lived away from home and Wally, LuLu and I spent much of our time on our own.  We never planned to live that way and we’re glad it’s finally over.
  • Also, you remember when our home was burglarized?  The DNA analysis on the bloody shirt the crook left behind when he broke our window finally made it to the top of the list and they found a match with a young man who has been in and out of jail several times.  A sad, wasted life.  He’s going to prison now.

I’ll try not to stay away so long this time, but I can’t say for certain when I’ll be back.  I hope you all had a lovely Thanksgiving.  Take care!

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Bearing Down on the Apple Harvest

I scooped up these two free images – apple tree and bear – at the Birdie Brown blog the other day, and since I colored them before the month was over I’m participating in their challenge.  The only stipulation is that you use one or both of these images.  That’s my kind of challenge.  It looks like these free images will be available until Sept. 30.  You can find them and the challenge here.


I printed on Flourishes Classic White cardstock and colored with Copic markers.  The blue sky was sponged with SU!’s Soft Sky ink.  The sentiment is from JustRite.  I finally got to use one of my sweet little apple buttons, too.  I don’t even remember where I got it.

Have a happy day!

Monday, September 10, 2012

Autumn Flourishes

Hello, again!  I thought I’d share another fall card today.  Things are slowing down in the garden somewhat so I’ve got a little more time to stamp.  Already the mornings are chilly, the days are shorter and I’ve been enjoying the time I spend puttering around the house and getting crafty.


I used two Flourishes sets on this card – the pretty leaves of Autumn Flourishes (retired), and Medallion Motif for the sentiment and dotted circle.  The leaves are stamped in cocoa and rose, and I sprinkled in some lilac splatters using a stamp from SU!’s Itty Bitty Backgrounds (also retired, I think).  The pretty Spellbinders shape is one of the Fancy Tags Three.

Thanks for dropping in today.  See you again soon!

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Wally’s Lovely Smile

Wally and LuLu are not allowed to roam the neighborhood, but given the chance they will slip next door to see Tori (chocolate Lab) and her people, just as Tori will occasionally pop over to visit us.  Polite and friendly sort that he is, he’ll always stand at the door and smile in at them.  On this day, Tori’s “dad” grabbed his phone and took a couple of pictures.


I’m not sure how dogs know the appropriate times to smile, but Wally nearly always smiles a greeting when he’s particularly happy to see someone.  We didn’t teach him.  He won’t smile on command and, in fact, he never gives us this kind of toothy grin.  However, I love the ear to ear, tongue hanging, sparkling eyes smile of pure happiness he wears most all the time.  You can’t help but smile back.


Are you smiling yet?  I hope so.  Have a good day!

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Rootin’ Tootin’ Magnum

I just had to share this photo of Wally’s buddy, Magnum.


He spent the day recently with his young friends while his people were at work, and I do believe he had himself a pretty good time.  I’m sorry that I had to crop out the beautiful little girls who dressed him up, but I didn’t have permission to share their photo.  I can just imagine the fun they had.  This is only one of several outfits they posed him in.

Magnum’s Pa doesn’t like to see Magnum dressed up, feeling it’s an insult to his doggie manhood.



I guess I could name this photo “Tippy Toe Magnum”.

Seriously, I do respect Magnum’s Pa’s feelings on the issue, but I believe it is a mark of Magnum’s manhood that he could so willingly submit to this treatment for the sake of these little girls’ happiness.  I’ll bet he got lots of hugs and kisses that day.


Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Vintage Birthday

Today I have the honor and privilege of being featured on the Digital Two for Tuesday blog.  Cora makes these images available for all to use for no other reason than that she enjoys what she does – searching them out from among vintage catalogs, books, magazines, and bringing them back to life in the 21st century .  These are honest to goodness vintage images and I’ve had great fun collecting and coloring them.  My birthday boy and another very cute illustration are available there today.


I printed the image on Flourishes' Classic Ivory cardstock and colored with Copic markers in shades of gray.  Pale gray ink was sponged around the edges of the image panel.  I'd hoped to make this card completely monochromatic, and I did accomplish that with the coloring, but then I mixed in some tan with the designer paper, and couldn't help but add that little pop of color with the red string on the button.  Almost monochromatic.  The button, by the way, is nearly as vintage as the image.  A Cuttlebug embossed border adds a bit of trim across the front.  The black cardstock (from CTMH) has a white core which peeks through when the cardstock is sanded, as I did around the card edges and over the embossed trim.  The designer papers are KaiserCraft Vintage Timeless.

I wanted to cut the image panel with a shaped Spellbinders die, but I didn’t have just the right size, so I pieced together two sections of the Curved Rectangles Nestabilities:


The embossed border strip covers the seam.  I imagine any of the die cut shapes could be shortened or elongated in this manner as long as you have something to cover the seam.

Well, this was fun.  Reminds me of my old designer days but, no, I plan to stay free wheeling with plenty of time to love on my Wally and LuLu.  I’ll be back later in the week with something to tickle your funny bone.  Hope to see you then!

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Changing of the Seasons

Hello!  I don’t have any cute Wally and LuLu photos today, but I do have a LuLu card made with one of the images Alexandra sketched for me.  It’s time to get started on those fall, Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas cards, so I’ve picked out a few images to color (in between the floral and baby cards).  I’m in a coloring mood and I have literally hundreds of digital images.  I know it sounds gluttonous but, though I’ve made my fair share of digital purchases, I’ve also picked up a lot of free images here and there and that’s why I have so many (justifying).  Several of my images came from Alexandra’s blog.  You won’t find Wally and LuLu there, but she has shared quite a few of her floral sketches.  This likeness of LuLu was sketched from a photo taken last fall, so I thought of it right away for my first fall card this year.

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Sweet baby girl.

I stamped the leaves, the sentiment, and the grass sprigs.  The coloring was done with Copic markers and the designer papers are years old from Stampin’ Up!  I hope you enjoy it and I hope this stamping/coloring mood lasts.  See you again soon!

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Just a Couple of Photos From the Garden



There’s always something pretty going on out there…sigh.  I hope you enjoy.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Then and Now

When we first brought LuLu home, Wally didn’t seem certain that the tiny creature was actually a dog and, though he was kind and gentle, he was also wary and watchful.  While she loved him at first sight and bonded immediately, there were times Wally wanted to be left alone, such as when he was settling down for a nap.  LuLu always wanted to cuddle.  Wally wanted none of that.  He would barely tolerate this sort of contact and I’m pretty sure he didn’t realize how close she was when this photo was taken.  During their waking hours we were constantly hearing, “Mom, she’s touching me again!”


Look who’s snuggling now.


LuLu doesn’t mind a bit.  Have a great day!

Saturday, August 18, 2012

The Best of Friends

Wally and LuLu are so lucky to have each other.

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Everyone should be blessed with such a friend. 


It’s these sweet, quiet moments that most tug at my heartstrings.


They’re unbelievably precious to me.

Our August days have been filled with the things of summer – picnics, family reunions and gatherings of friends, painting porches, trimming hedges, and tending the garden, barbeques and a good book in a comfortable chair while Wally and LuLu quietly entertain themselves.  They adjust to the moment.  I hope they don’t mind that my camera and I occasionally intrude on those moments.  I’ll want to remember them always, and so I post them here where I can revisit the serenity and purity and love and decency they bring to my world.

And then there’s the garden…

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A sanctuary of beauty and wonder. 



My favorite place to get away from it all, and that’s exactly what I’ve been doing this month – casting off my weekly stress and sinking into a big blanket of comfort come Saturday.  Taking it easy, slowing down, and living in the moment – just like Wally and LuLu.


They’re great teachers.  They bring me happiness and calm, and in return I’m devoted to their health and happiness.  What a beautiful way of life.  Thank you for sharing life with me today after my brief absence.  I dropped off the blog scene in all respects for a while, but the urge to reconnect is pulling me back.  Wishing you a lovely day.