"When you recover or discover something that nourishes your soul or brings joy,
care enough about yourself to make room for it in your life."
Jean Shinoda Bolen

May 30, 2009

Western Card

Here is a western themed card and I thank TyAnn for the original design! She furnished the stamped image, and she also furnished the color scheme.

May 28, 2009

Update - Varmint

Varmint is now free of her bandage, and after spending most of the morning exploring her many stitches, she settled in for a long afternoon nap and is doing very well. She's decided this injury is not going to keep her inside, so she's been trying all day to get out the door - little does she know! Varmint is just as active as she's been in the past, so this injury really has not slowed her down one little bit.

May 27, 2009

Explosion Box

Here is the Explosion Box I've been working on the last couple of days. As you can see from the second picture down, this was made especially for my husband, Gary, who is truly my world. The colors, although not very clear, are our wedding colors. If you double click on the pictures, you can see the individuals layers much better. I hope you enjoy the views!

Explosion Box - Lid

This is the top of the lid

Explosion Box - Outside Layer

In this view, the lid is holding up the other layers.

Explosion Box - Middle Layer

In this view, the lid is holding up the inside layer.

Explosion Box - Inside Layer

The completely opened box.

Napkin "Ring"

I made these last fall when I finally had my dining room and kitchen freshly painted. If you can't tell, I've got a coffee house theme in my dining room/kitchen!


Varmint the kitty is doing great - she's already figured out how to slip her bandage down to get at the stitches, so the next 10 days will be very challenging. Abby, the toy-aholic has been keeping me busy this morning, demanding I play throw or tug-a-war with her and I've been trying to get pics of the finished explosion box taken. So, once Abby settles for her afternoon nap, I'll post the pics! I think Gary will be very surprised when he sees it.

May 25, 2009

Varmint Kitty was in the hospital!

Well, here is a picture of our dear little Varmint, following her overnight stay at the vet hospital. She has to wear the bandage until Thursday, then in two weeks, all the stitches come out.
There were no local veterinarians in town, so we traveled 110 miles to the city first thing Saturday morning for her treatment. I was totally impressed by the vet we chose, and Varmint was allowed to come home Sunday afternoon and was welcomed by all our furbabies. She's doing great, but has lots of stitches, and taking medicine, too.
I always tell people Varmint is a skinny little kitty, but the vet has informed me she's healthy and just "petite," so I'll never call her skinny again! Abby the schnauzer was happy to have her playmate back in the house, even though it will be at least two weeks before they can play.

Abby the Schnauzer

Since I'm posting the picture of Varmint, I thought I'd share the most recent pictures of all our pets. This is Abby the schnauzer. Abby is 4, a real ham, and I think loves having her picture taken. Abby is very friendly, loves to play with her buddy Varmint, and has plenty of toys to keep her busy. As you can see, Abby's ears were never bent and stick up like statues! Abby escaped being groomed last weekend, since our energy was spent worrying about Varmint (wasn't she the lucky dog?).

Prince the Schnauzer

Prince, our 8-year-old schnauzer does everything he can to avoid the camera (it took two shots to get a picture of him facing the camera!). Prince is shy, afraid of fireworks, thunderstorms, and anything else that goes bump in the night. Prince also has one ear that sticks straight up and one that is bent, as they should be. Prince just got groomed so he's sort of bald looking, since we trim them short this time of year.

Henry Bear

This is Henry our big butterball kitty. He's as lovable as can be and just wants to be your best friend. He's 10 years old, and for some reason, he and Varmint cannot stand to be near each other!

Louie Kitty

This is kitty number 3 - Louie. He's 11 and sometimes he's Henry's best friend and other times, they can't stand each other. Yes, he's under the Christmas tree! That's one of his favorite napping spots in December!

May 23, 2009

A NEW favorite item in my craft space

While at the retreat last weekend, I noticed an awesome paper storage system, but unfortunately, the system is no longer available. So, Jeanne & I put our heads together and came up with an alternative. I've had two sets of wire cubes sitting around since I left college, so I put them together, and using those great little slip ties, used some of the components to install shelves in the cubes and viola! 12 x 12 paper storage. I then cut core board to cover the outsides of the cubes & to make the "doors" to prevent sun damage to my paper. Total cost yesterday: $10.88! Everything else was recycled or re-purposed.

This and That

Well, yesterday did not go well. Our old kitty, Varmint was in a cat fight mid-afternoon, and it was almost midnight before we found her and brought her inside. She's been seriously injured, but she's doing a little better today. We're still keeping a close watch on her. I'm just waiting for a decent hour to call the vet for her to get treatment. Last night, I had to call a vet in Great Falls for advice until this morning when she can be seen (hopefully) by one of our local vets. We made the decision that no matter how crazy our three kitties drive us, they are from now on, inside cats. I was heart sick when I saw Varmint. She's almost 15, and only weighs about 4 pounds, and the cat that fought with her was probably closer to 12 pounds. Plus, Gary tells me the truck seriously needs new brakes, which thrills me no end since we've only had the truck since January. I guess that's a pitfall when purchasing a used vehicle! Oh, and the car needs the air conditioning fixed (the car is a 2006!) and needs the tires balanced and rotated. I think that's it for today's list!

Deer up close

During the retreat, one of my favorite things to do in the early evening was to step out the back door of the main hall and watch the deer cross the highway and start feeding.
This picture was as up close with my zoom lens as I could get. I was actually only standing about 15 feet from these deer. They were certainly not tame, but they sure didn't mind people nearby. Don't you just love digital cameras?


Although I've been back from the retreat almost a week now, it's taken me this long to pick up where I left off at home! The retreat was lots of fun, the ladies were full of creative ideas, we stayed up late, and I made lots of new friends! The beds were sort of hard for sleeping (who did much of that anyway?), but the location was amazing and the weather was perfect. St. Thomas Camp is only about two miles from Monarch, and has wonderful accommodations. I was able to finish all my Thanksgiving and Christmas cards for 2009, so now I can play for a while. I started my explosion box, but only got the box itself done, not all the good stuff inside and out. I'm still trying to come up for air, so it may be a while before that project gets done.

Purses 2009

I think this is the perfect birthday card for my dear "niece" Cherinda - who really loves clothes! All the purses are cut out with punches (except the two squares) and put together with small scraps of DP.
Thanks to "dldean" from SCS for the inspiration and purse patterns!

May 14, 2009

Final Count Down!

The retreat starts in less than 36 hours! Later today, I'll finish packing for my stamping/scrapping retreat in Monarch, Montana (not too far from the Showdown Ski Area). I've got lots to do, like laundry and making sure Gary has plenty to eat while I'm gone. I'm baking goodies to munch on - chocolate of course! My projects include this year's Thanksgiving & Christmas cards, plus an explosion box (a first for me!). Kathy at "Bowl Full of Stamps" showed me an explosion box made into a scrapbook project and I've decided to make one for Gary as a surprise. When I started packing stuff for the explosion box - that's when the thought crossed my mind that it would almost be easier to stay home rather than transport all the stuff I'm taking with me (like almost every punch I own!). I can't even imagine packing stuff to actually work on scrapbook pages! I'll take my camera, take lots of pictures, and hopefully have a great time!

May 7, 2009

Even More Favorite Tools!

I recently purchased the distressing tool from CTMH and I'm really loving it. It's in the shape of a wheel, easy to hold, and to use. Very inexpensive, too! I also have a few favorite glues and tapes I use: Zig two-way glue I use on almost every project if it involves paper or cardstock! It's great for adhering letters cut with my Cricut Expression. Two other glues I use on a regular basis are the Tombow multi glue, and "Quickie Glue" from Sakura. It's a pin-point sized roller and is super for fine line glittering. Scotch brand double-sided tape is a must have for me. I use tons of it while creating cards. My favorite "puff" tape for adding dimension is the Scotch brand foam tape. It's about the only thing I use when I need to add dimension in both scrapbooks and cards. My favorite tape for adhering ribbon is the 1/8" double-sided tape called "Be Creative." It's the best tape I've found so far and I purchased it at the Scrapbooker's Treasure Box store in Brooks, Alberta. It comes in all widths, is much less expensive than other brands, and the rolls are much larger so I don't run out so often!

Masculine Birthday Card

Nothing beats an antique truck for a masculine birthday card theme! This one is for a dear "nephew" whom I've know since he was 3 and he's somewhere in his mid-twenties now. I used the same "crinkled" cardstock method as in the Father's Day 2009 card.

Father's Day 2009

For the background on this card, I simply sprayed a piece of cardstock with water, both sides, then crumpled and straightened to dry. I've never used this texture method before, but I think it really gives a nice added dimension to the card.

May 5, 2009

Stampin' Varmint Kitty

This is our old kitty, Varmint, who is 14 now and has very little to do with me. She's a man's cat, mostly because she belonged to my late husband when we married, and was a spoiled only child. But, she loves to hang out in my craft room and take a nap where she can find a flat surface. The only time she has anything to do with me is in the winter, when she enjoys curling up for a nap on my lap!

Baby Boy Buggy Card

Gary's niece had a baby boy on May 5, 2009, and since the baby was three weeks early, I was unprepared with a card. So, this is the card I made for her. I also made this card for Gary's daughter last fall when Gary's first grandson was born . NOTE: This card was copied from a wonderful crafter on the SplitCoastStampers website. If I could remember her name, I'd include it here!

May 4, 2009

I'm going to a retreat!

On May 15th, I'm going away for a whole weekend to a stamping/scrapping retreat in beautiful Monarch, Montana! So, I've been very busy this weekend working on samples of the projects I'll be taking with me. So far, I've got our Thanksgiving & Christmas cards designed, and I think maybe I'll take supplies to create an explosion box. What's an explosion box you ask? Well, you can see one at my friend, Kathy's blog - Bowl of Stamps, or you can wait and I'll post a picture of my box when I get it done. Kathy's is an awesome example, since she made hers into a "scrapbook in a box" and did a terrific job! I'm not sure what I'll use this box for, but I've been wanting to make one for a very long time. Hopefully, it won't be as hard as the woven basket I made, which turned out okay, but it's not the best project I've ever made! It was not easy and took me forever. It's sure not something I'll post on this blog! Besides working on projects for the retreat, I've been keeping a close eye on Gary, whose doctor increased doses for his migraine medications and had him so over medicated, I took him to the emergency room! He's almost back to normal, and has returned to the old doses. Everybody is trying to figure out why this VA doctor increased the doses - it's still a mystery! Another great thing I did this weekend was talk to my friend Lloyd from Washington. This guy sends the funniest emails, every one of them makes both Gary and I howl with laughter and I just love chatting on the phone with him! Lloyd is like a brother to me and we first met back in 1985 (wow - 24 years!) when I was working with the ambulance service and Lloyd was on my crew. Then, his wife invited me for coffee and we've been close friends ever since. My friend in Canada, Michelle, and I email every single day and I'm not sure I can get through my day without hearing from Michelle! We recently spent two days in Canada visiting Michelle, and really enjoyed our trip and the visit to the Dinosaur Park near her home. We actually went to deliver the scrapbook I made for Michelle's daughter, but really, that was just an excuse to go visit Michelle! Michelle makes the BEST sandwiches and her mom makes the BEST shepherd's pie (her home canned fruit is pretty darn good, too!). Now, I'm off to make myself a latte, since I cannot, under any circumstances, start my day without caffeine! Happy Monday and have a wonderful week!

More of My Favorite Tools

I'll add to the list of favorite tools I use: 1. Embossing Body (SU) really does work! It's really important to use the embossing buddy when using dark embossing powder like I used in the Easter Blessings card, otherwise, your image will have little black specks everywhere! I learn very well from mistakes! 2. Did I mention Gary as a tool? Well, Gary is real honest about whether my cards or pages look good or need more embellishments and unless the card is for him, I get an opinion about every card and scrapbook page I create! 3. Baby wipes! I'm not sure I can even craft without baby wipes to keep my hands clean! My hands have a tendency to get oily quickly, so I've always got a "wet" one handy. Plus, baby wipes are great to remove excess ink from stamps, & cleaning ink off a variety of surfaces (doesn't work on clothes!). 4. Micro tip scissors from SU - I cannot even begin to tell you how often I use these. They are super sharp, super pointy, and can get into the smallest places. Plus, they're still under $10 in their catalog! My sister swears by the CTMH version of these scissors, and they're the same price. 5. Disposable gloves - these are super cheap in the paint section of any hardware store. I use them whenever I'm dealing with lots of permanent black ink and since I'm know for getting ink all over my hands, no matter what project I'm working on, disposable gloves are a must have for me! 6. GooGone - I'm not sure how I ever survived before Gary introduced me to GooGone. At the time, he was working for the local True Value hardware store (isn't that every man's dream - working in a hardware store?) and I wanted to get some sticker glue off something in my craft room. He brought a bottle home and now I use it for lots of things. The best use I've found is for getting adhesive off scissors, just to name one of it's great uses! Beware, though, the label on GooGone warns not to use it on rubber, so if you are unmounting rubber stamps, don't use GooGone to remove adhesive off the rubber. Now, GooGone has a spray bottle, which is super convenient!

Easter Blessings Card

I always try to make a special card for Gary no matter what the occasion (literally, I never make his cards again for anybody else!) and when I saw this stamp set and the "stained glass" instructions in the CTMH Spring 2009 catalog, I just had to figure out an Easter card for Gary because I knew I couldn't wait until Christmas to use this stamp set! It's real simple, you emboss the image in black, watercolor the image, apply liquid glass or crystal effects over the entire surface, let it dry a very long time, and you have stained glass! The "cross" is actually 4 squares from the stamp set arranged to look like a cross.

First Cricut Expression Card

I made this card to say thank you to Gary for my birthday present - a Cricut Expression!
The flower is cut 5 times starting at 1" and then 4 more times increasing by 1/4" increments.

Lots of Hearts!!!

I made this card for Gary for Valentine's Day 2008 and it took hours to cut out all those hearts! He's worth every minute, too!

Sock Monkey Christmas

I'm a long-time sock monkey fan and I made this card for Gary in 2008. I actually had to find a picture of these socks to cut & paste the right "textures" for the look on the sock monkey body and heels. If you're curious, the actual socks are called Rockford Red Heel socks by Fox River and have been around for generations! I used the computer and dark green ink to print the names of the reindeer (notice sock monkey in the list?). I also had to draw the actual socks to hang on the right side of the card (and I'm no artist!).

Anniversary Card for Gary

I made this card for Gary for our first anniversary (2008) and it contains all our wedding colors - Elegant Eggplant (SU), cream & gold. I didn't have gold cardstock, so I embossed the mat layer with gold embossing powder.

Pet Father's Day Card

When Gary & I married in 2007, he became "daddy" to my dog and three cats, so I decided to make a "Thanks for adopting us" card for him for father's day from Varmint, Louie, Henry, and Prince. Since that time, we've adopted another forever pet, Abby, another miniature schnauzer.

Map Birthday Card

This card was specially made for my nephew. It's another example using a CB embossing folder - this time I embossed a piece of aluminum foil. The map is simple printed off the internet and the truck is stamped on top with ink smudged around the edge using a sponge. My nephew loves old trucks, he's a master diesel mechanic, and lives in South Carolina.

Soccer Card

My great-nephew is nuts about soccer and this was his birthday card last year.

Cuttlebug Birthday Card

Here's a very simple birthday card - I let my Cuttlebug do all the work!
(I brushed the embossed surface with an inkpad.)

Riley Moose Zoom Zoom Card

My brother-in-law has a red sports car & I couldn't resist using these Riley Moose stamps from Hanna Stamps for his birthday card.

Anniversary Card

An anniversary card for my dear sister and brother-in-law using my favorite color CS from Stampin Up! - Elegant Eggplant.

Mother's Day Cards 2009

Two color combos

Birthday Card for Dylan

This is a birthday card for our great niece and I had to make a card as cute as she is!
Inspiration: Buzzy Bumblebee's twirling dolphins (SCS)