If you have two loaves of bread sell one and buy flowers. For although the bread will nourish your body, the flowers will nourish your soul.

Monday, June 30, 2008

Coffee and Friends

Another Monday, another CCEE challenge. The instructions for this one was to make a card using mostly brown and black. When I ink up a stamp I almost always stamp a few extra images, so I had enough parts to make up a second card.

recipe: stamps- SU (Floral, French Script), Inkadinkado (sentiment), Raindrops On Roses (cup and saucer); paper- chocolate brown (Bazzil), medium brown, cream, natural, black; ink- black archival; accessories- black brads, ribbon (Offray), pop dots, Cuttlebug embossing folder; techniques- paper piercing.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Garden Update

I haven't been taking weekly photos as I did at first. The changes are not as great now. But I did do some alterations to this bed this week. I had to say farewell to my bleeding heart for the year. The foliage was getting really yellow and unattractive, so I cut it out. The other plants around it are full enough to hide the cut stems. Also, I removed the lemon balm. It was too big, and I needed the space for a boxwood I got on sale. Anyway, I'll have lemon balm plants popping up everywhere that I can harvest and replant somewhere else. Also, the spiderwort is pretty much finished. I'm going to cut it back and see if I can get aother blooming from it. I'm still not totally satisfied with this bed and will probably make a few changes next year. But that's the fun of gardening, isn't it?

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Wild Wasabi Happiness

Isn't that a cool name for a color? Wild wasabi! This card is for this week's color challenge on Splitcoast...wild wasabi, taken with teal, and white. This huge stamp is difficult to stamp with dye inks. I'm just never quite satisfied. So I use pigment inks. They're thicker and coat better. This time I went on to emboss it with white. I have a flower punch the exact same size as the top row of flowers, so I added them with white pearlized brads. The centers of the flowers in the middle row are colored with a gel pen and a dot of crystal Stickles was added. For the bottom row of flowers, i just colored in the petals with the teal SU marker.

recipe: stamps (Happiness by Stampin'Up), paper (wild wasabi, taken with teal, white), ink (white pigment), accessories (brads from All Sorts of Things, gel pen, flower punch from EK Success, teal SU marker, Offray ribbon)

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Paisley Friendship

Sometimes I really have to think out a card. But it sure is cool when things fall together easily. I have a box of parts in my craft room...stamped images, parts of unfinished cards, backgrounds. This card with the paisley background that i've had for ages and couldn't find anything i liked to put on top, accidentally got thrown on a pile on my table with this stamped silhouette image. I like them together.

recipe: paper (chocolate brown, SU certainly celery, Basic Grey dp), ink (black archival, SU chocolate chip), stamps (Paisley and Thankful Thoughts-SU), accessories (Offray ribbon, metal leaf charm)

Monday, June 23, 2008

Friends Furever

One of the Monday challenges my small stamping group (CCEE) does each month is a supply challenge. One member of the group (this month, Cindy Haffner) sends the same supplies to each of us with instructions. Cindy arranged with Kim of MFT to send us an adorable stamp set called "Friends Furever". The only other instruction was to use two different designer papers. The greatest fun of the supply challenge is seeing the totally different work each of the eight of us come up with using the same materials. If you would like to see everyone else's, check out the CCEE blog listed on the left side of my blog.

This card uses designer paper from Cosmo Cricket. The child's shirt is paper pieced. The bone was cut out, sponged with Tim Holtz Distress Ink (antique linen), cut in half and positioned as hinges. I colored the image with a combination of Stampin'Up markers and Prismacolor pencils/Turpenoid.

remaining recipe: paper (SU chocolate chip, very vanilla), brads, pop dots

Friday, June 20, 2008

Meme Mose

I love the nostalgic quality of flowers. Just as a song can evoke a memory or a time, I associate certain flowers with people in my life. Sweet peas and weeping willows remind me of Meme Mose. We lived next door to my maternal grandmother so, needless to say, we spent a lot of time around her house. There was a porch type of swing underneath a willow tree, and whenever she would swing with us she sang "how would you like to go up in a swing...." in her warbley voice. To this day, I can't swing without that tune going through my head. I've sung it many times to my kids, and now to my grandkids as we enjoy our porch swing. And of course, it isn't quite right unless you sing it in a warbley voice.

I had to grow sweet peas. First of all, I love them. But just as important...they're a Meme Mose flower. In her back yard was the washhouse (which was a little building they stored all sorts of things in, and I was always dying to rummage through but seldom got to), and by the washhouse was an old fashioned metal gate that led to the road. Sweet peas grew all over the fence beside the gate. I loved getting bouquets because sweet peas are the perfect bouquet flower. The stems are stiff and the perfect length to gather into a little nosegay. And they're purple. What more could you ask for?

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Little Delights

I was weeding this morning, and found this little fellow on my liatris. After chasing him away twice, I finally captured this shot. It's not as sharp as I'd like, but I had to use zoom, got only one chance and was in an awkward position.

This is my first year for the liatris. I've loved it in flower arrangements and wanted to try growing it. I'm anxious to see how much it increases each year.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Time To Improvise

This Monday's CCEE challenge is to make a card for a fellow SCS'er whose user name is fun or unusual. The name is orangegymnut (i'd sure like to know the explanation behind that name), and the card must use orange and have something to do with a gym. Well, I have no stamps having to do with a gym...so I improvised. The Dolly Mama stamp I used has her carrying a case that reads "Is it hot in here?" (is that appropriate for me, or what? ha, ha, ha). Anyway, I cut out the stamped image, cutting it off at the waist, and cutting the case away from her hand. Next, I drew shorts and changed her shoes to tennis shoes. The barbell was drawn separately, cut out, and added to the image. The sentiment is computer generated.

Monday, June 9, 2008

Creating An Heirloom

My daughter Erin was somewhere between 1-2 years old when Gary and I bought this used buffet at the Goodwill store. It went through a good many years of use by us, then by my brother and sis-in-law, and then storage in our barn. It was veneered and was badly chipped and peeling. Erin rescued it from the barn, removed all the veneer, stripped the old varnish, sanded and sweated her way through refinishing it and it is now a beautiful refurbished heirloom...recycling at it's best!! I'm trying to get it back from her now...but no doing! LOL!

Ginger and Polka Dots

There is a website called Splitcoaststampers that has become an obsession of mine, for several reasons. First and foremost, it is an amazing source of inspiration, containing artwork from some incredible rubber stamping artists. But also, it is an awesome community of people with a common passion. I have made some wonderful friendships through SCS. I was invited to be a part of a small group of 8 stampers who, every Monday, post a card made to fit a challenge issued by one of the members. This has been so fun, and it also pushes us out of our creatives boxes. This week's challenge was to make a card with polka dots in some form, and to use gingham ribbon.

I had this card envisioned in my mind, but had none of the supplies needed to make it. So I had to get a little inventive. I created the polka dot paper by stamping with a new pencil eraser and white pigment ink, embossing with white ep. I had no hot pink paper to match my pink Prima flower, so I colored the edge of a strip of white with a pink passion SU marker. Finally, the stamp I have of the quote didn't fit the space, so I generated the quote on the computer. The layout format was created by another member of our group, Frances (known as StampOwl on SCS). If anyone is interested in seeing the other 7 cards for any of these challenges, I'll post our blog site (CCEE) along the side of my blog.

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Weekly Garden Photos

These are the most recent two weeks of garden photos, May 29th and June 5th.

Friday, June 6, 2008

The Miracle of Growth

I did something this year that has been really enjoyable for me. Beginning in April, I began weekly photographing my flower beds from the same spot each time, to watch the transformation. I am continually amazed by how fast things grow. I almost felt at times that, if I sat in one spot long enough, I would be able to see the plants move. These shots of one of my beds were taken from a second story window, and cover from April 15th through May 15th.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Old World Kind Thoughts

I finished up a card this morning that I had been working on. Some go together so easily. This one didn't. But it's finished. The thing that's prettiest about it doesn't really photograph well...the sparkle. I do love this designer paper, though. Thanks again Tosh! This beautiful scrollwork design from SU's Kind Thoughts was stamped and embossed in black. Then I colored in the areas with white gel pen, topping it off with diamond stickles. The combination of the two gives it almost a pearlized look.

Recipe: paper (black, pale grey, SU bravo burgandy, Old World Stack from DCWV), ink (black archival and black pigment), stamps (Kind Thoughts and Baroque Border from SU), accessories (white gel pen, diamond stickles, black ep, crystal brad, crystal rhinestones)

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

More Flowers

One more shot for my records. The larger purple flowered plant is a perennial, Tradescantia 'red grape' (Spiderwort). Isn't that a terrible name for a flower? The daisy is an annual, Osteospermum (African Daisy) 'Zion Pink Sand'. This is my first year for the african daisies, and I think this might become a garden staple. The plants are full of blooms. Time will tell how they do throughout the summer. I'm not totally crazy about the color. They have a tendency to look a little more sand than pink...the first photo actually makes them look more pink than they are in real life. But they're still pretty.

The Perfect Rose

I love flowers. I couldn't resist sharing this shot of my roses. Is this gorgeous or what? We planted this bush shortly after we bought our place 21 years ago, and I've long since forgotten the name of this variety. Note to serious beginning gardeners...keep a garden journal. Keep track of the names of the varieties you plant, make notes about how they do, etc. This will prove invaluable to you as you learn.

 The bleeding heart is also from my garden. This has been a wonderful spring for plants. Plenty of rain and sunshine, not too hot too soon. My beds are finally getting to be how i want them...mostly perennials with a few annuals mixed in, and nice and full. I've had to drag myself into bed more than a few nights. The old gray mare just ain't what she used to be! Speaking of rain, it just started to pour and the thunder is rumbling.

And did I mention, I love flowers?

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Paper Pieced Pansies

Here's a sample of what i do. There will be a lot of rubber stamping...something i love to do way too much, lol! This is my most recent project. The flowers and larger leaves are paper pieced, then the entire stamped image is cut out and adhered to a chipboard restaurant coaster covered with designer paper.

recipe: paper (SU perfect plum, various designer papers), ink (black pigment), stamp (pansies, PSX), accessories (brads, black ep, restaurant coaster)