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.

Thursday, December 31, 2009

Ain't It Grand?!

It's December 31st and this is our fourth snow!!! Can you believe it? This one was only a few inches. Last winter we got one dusting. As I sit here in the warmth, my poor husband is out on the tractor plowing. He's not a happy camper. When I rejoice about yet another snowfall, I get "the look". I'm sorry...I love snow. Always have. When I was in college, the minute it started to snow, my friend Lori and I would pull on the boots, bundle up, and take off for parts unknown. We'd walk for miles. Fond memories.
Snow instantly converts brownness to magical beauty. It's cozy. It slows us down.

This was the December 19th snow...the biggie. About 14-15 inches. We haven't gotten that much for a long time. Adam and Renee will never forget this one. They drove up from North Carolina in it. A drive that should have taken about six and a half hours took eighteen. Yes. But they arrived safe and sound.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Color Challenge

It's been a long time since I've participated in a challenge for SCS (Splitcoaststampers) or even visited the site for that matter. I spent some time there today and the colors of the Tuesday color challenge piqued my interest...black, soft suede and vanilla. Love neutrals. I added Stickles to some of the details in the bird stamp for a little subtle bling.

Recipe: stamps- Inkadinkado, Small Script (SU); paper- black, vanilla, soft suede (SU); ink- black archival, Color Box Petal Points (brown); accessories- Cuttlebug embossing folder, SU ribbon, frosted lace Stickles.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Basic Grey Fall

I've mentioned more than a few times how much I love Basic Grey designer paper, and I never tire of using it. The distressed solids provide such a rich and interesting background for the silhouette stamps. These are a couple of cards I've had finished for two months and just haven't gotten around to photographing. I've used my favorite leaf stamp. With no hardware, these are flat and easily mailed.

Recipe: stamps- Branching Out (SU), leaf from Botanicals (SU); paper- Basic Grey designer paper, black, rich razzleberry (SU) leaf on tire swing card, rust (leaf on other card); ink- black archival.

Mini Lunchbox

Tosh sent us CCEE'ers a mini lunchbox to decorate for the October 26 challenge. And by mini, I mean 3 1/2" by 2 1/2". I sprayed the box with Rustoleum hammered pewter paint and covered the sides and front with pink designer paper. The snowflake is stamped and embossed in white, then areas are colored with diamond Stickles.

Recipe: stamps- Rubber Stampede; paper- Wild Rose (Frances Meyer); Ink- white pigment (Color Box); accessories- diamond Stickles, white ep, pearl trims, pink satin/sheer ribbon (Offray).

You won't be seeing any more CCEE challenge cards for a couple months. We're taking November and December off. With those two months being so busy, we decided we deserved a break. I'm sure we'll all be stamping, just no challenges.


The CCEE challenge for October 19th was the 'featured stamper' and our challenge hostess, Tosh, chose 'Sparklegirl', aka Silke. Tosh really took the word "challenge" to heart and loaded it for us this time. The card was to be square, feature a girl, have sparkle, and true to Silke's style, have lots of white space. Also, (if that weren't enough) because of Silke's name, we were to feature the faux silk technique. For those of you not familiar with this technique, it actually quite easy. You stamp on tissue paper, crumple it, cover a piece of cardstock with glue, and apply the 'uncrumpled' sheet of tissue paper. It has so much texture and gives a really nice effect. My touch of sparkle is dots of black Stickles added to the dog collar. Every dog needs a black diamond dog collar! I checked out Silke's blog to get hints of her interests and found that the family dog is a boxer, thus my choice of stamps. Also, I dressed the girl for fall by giving her long sleeves and boots.

Recipe: stamps- Le Jardin Botanique (SU), My Favorite Things; paper- white, white tissue paper, Basic Grey; ink- black archival, SU markers; accessories- black Stickles, Prismacolor pencils, Turpenoid.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Dam # 5

One of my favorite things to do is to go for a drive, find a road I've never taken before, and discover where it goes. Sometimes it's just a nice drive and sometimes you discover little treasures...a beautiful scene, something historical, a new bird (for my bird watching list), a neat little flea market, etc. We so often overlook that which is right under our noses.

Last week, Gary and I took the long way home from a simple trip to Lowe's, traveling down a road we hadn't traveled in a long time. We live close to the C&O Canal, and we stopped at Dam #5. The day was cool and gray, but it was still a beautiful sight.

An old lockhouse.

Friday, October 30, 2009

A Birthday Challenge

This may look familiar. I used the exact same background for another card recently. Monday the 19th, our CCEE hostess issued a double challenge. Half of it was to make a card for Cindy's birthday. Cindy collects teapots and loves polkadots, so we were to incorporate this in our projects. I have no teapot stamps. But I did happen to have one image that I had stamped ages ago, using a friend's stamp. It was black on natural. Out of all the designer paper I have, the only paper that coordinated was the paper Cindy sent us for an earlier challenge. I had made an extra base card when I did that project, as I often do when I happen to do something I really like, and I love these papers. So please forgive my uncreativity, but this is the result.

Recipe: stamps- teapot (source unknown), sentiment (computer generated); paper- black, ivory, dp (source unknown); ink- black archival; accessories- paper flower (Creative Memories), button.

Monday, October 26, 2009

"Chair"man of the Board

Okay, I have a thing about chairs. I love them! It is very difficult for me to pass up a sturdy chair at a flea market, no matter how bad it looks...especially if it's in the $5 to $20 range. I kind of try to sneak them into the house now, because my husband is to the point that he gives me that "look", and I get "what in the world are you going to do with another chair?

I bought this for $5 to use for a desk chair. And of course, I forgot to take a 'before' photo. So I laid the old seat fabric over the finished one to get this picture. The seat was very uncomfortable due to a few broken support wires in the front, and was covered with a scratchy, faded fabric (not quite as orangey as the picture looks).

Using an upholstery fabric remnant I bought for a whopping $1, and replacing the broken wires, this is the result. Professional upholsterers shouldn't look too close, but I'm pleased with my $6 chair.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Shape Up Tall

Last week our CCEE shape challenge was square, this Monday's is to make a tall card. I turned it on it's side which I guess makes it a wide card, but I think it will pass. The four panels are cut from Basic Grey distressed designer papers, using a narrow strip on the inside part of the card behind the punched border to make it stand out. The stamp is one I've had for ages, but still love. I stamped it on four different printed papers, embossing it in black. Then I used close to cocoa and old olive SU markers to color the center and the leaves and stem, after which I cut them out. The brown base card is stamped with the "sanded" background stamp from Stampin'Up. The finished card fits a standard business envelope.
You may have noticed that I often do not put a sentiment on my cards. It's usually because I don't want to limit it's use to a particular occasion. I can always add a sentiment later, when I actually need a card.

Recipe: stamps- sanded (SU), sunflowers (Anita's); paper- brown linen (DCWV), Basic Grey dp, various dp; ink- white pigment (Color Box), versamark; accessories- black ep, ribbon (Offray), SU markers, eyelet border punch (SU).

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Shape Up!

Although I really should be talking about a new shape up plan for myself, it's really the name of this Monday's CCEE challenge. Our hostess, Tosh, wanted us to make a round card. And of course, the first thing I thought of was a baseball. I used one of those wonderful distressed papers from Basic Grey for the ball. I think it captures the look of an old scuffed baseball. Then I just grabbed one of the many baseballs we have around the house and studied it. I drew the curved lines with a thin tipped black marker and added the stitches with a red sharpie. The bench was stamped on a woodgrained paper, also Basic Grey.

Recipe: stamps- Put Me In Coach (Storage Units, Inks and More); paper- Basic Grey, white; ink- black archival; accessories- SU markers, red sharpie, white gel pen (for coloring popcorn).

Monday, September 28, 2009

Going Digital

No matter what you're into, there's always something new to challenge you. A relatively new (at least to me) thing in stamping is the availability of digital images for purchase. You buy the image, download to your computer, print onto your cardstock, and color away! Some of the advantages of this is the fact you can change the size of the image or flip it to face the other direction. This is all new to me and I am still learning.
This is the supplies challenge week for our Monday CCEE project and our hostess, Frances, purchased for each of us this digital image called "End of Summer" from Mo's Digital Pencil. From that point on, we were free to do what we wanted.

Recipe: stamps- sentiment (Stamps and Smiles), End of Summer (Mo's Digital Pencil); paper- Buckaroo Blue (SU), white, designer paper (Chateau Toile Flat, from KandCompany); ink- black archival; accessories- paper flower (Creative Memories), button, Prismacolor pencils and Turpenoid.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Flower Pot Pocket Card

Say that four times, fast! :)
This is the Monday the 21st CCEE challenge, and there is an excellent tutorial for it on SplitcoastStampers. I had a lot of fun doing my autumn version. The flowers are attached to the panel that slides in and out of the pot. You can write your sentiment on this. I got the idea for using the 'sanded' background stamp on the pot from my Stampin'Up consultant, Carol, and I love the look. We did a beautiful summery one at her monthly stamp club. She also taught us how to do the crimped leaves for another project. You cut an oval leaf shape, fold it in half tip to tip, and run it through the crimper on a slant. Love it!

Recipe: stamps- sanded (SU); paper- white and terra cotta colored cardstock, designer paper (Hopscotch mat pad, K&Company); ink- white pigment (Color Box); accessories- eyelet border punch, green gingham ribbon (Offray), Flower Layers#3 dies (SU), crimper.

CCEE Sketch Challenge

The challenge for Monday, September 7 was this sketch provided by our hostess, Frances.

And this is my resulting card. The bottom half is a jumbo wheel called Bright Blessings. I don't use my wheels as wheels though. I always remove the rubber by slicing with a craft blade right at the seam, and peeling it off. It comes off very easily. To stamp, I lay down the sheet of rubber on a scrap of paper, ink it up, remove it from the paper and lay it close to the edge of my work table. Then I take the paper to it. For this particular one, I stamped the portion that has the 'give thanks' leaf again on a scrap and cut it out.

Recipe: stamps- Whimsical Autumn by Carolyn King ( manufactured by Gina K. Designs) (basket and ivy), Bright Blessings (jumbo wheel, SU); paper- natural, designer paper (Basic Grey "Wassail, spice tea"); ink- always artichoke (SU), black archival; accessories- antique gold brads, brown woven ribbon (Offray), Creative Memories circle cutting system, pop dots, leaf stencil (source unknown), Prismacolor Pencils and Turpenoid.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

August Supplies Challenge

Cindy (Mothermark on SCS) supplied us CCEE'rs with some beautiful materials this month, and this is my result. The large ladybug is copied from the one on the ribbon. I used a circle punch for the head and hand drew the simple torso onto the red designer paper. I often do not add a sentiment right away when I do a card. This allows me to add an appropriate one for the occasion needed at the time.
I'm sorry I don't have any info about the materials used. I will add it later if I find out the sources. Just a reminder- you can click on all the photos for a closeup look.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009


I'm playing. I'm still relatively new to this blogging business. Even though it's been over a year, I've never changed anything I'm doing. Not even the photo size. So this time I just went nuts and chose "large" instead of medium. I like to live dangerously.

Just Because

This was taken from a fencepost beside my house.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

...And the Flowers and the Trees...

Can you guess what's coming next week?

Recipe: stamps- Nature Silhouettes (SU), Bella Toile (SU); paper- blue sky, black; ink- black archival; accessories- black rhinestones, Cuttlebug embossing folder.

Let Me Tell Ya 'Bout the Birds and the Bees....

Let it up to Cindy (Mothermark on SCS) to come up with very creative CCEE challenges for August. Last Monday's challenge was to do a card with, you've guessed it, birds and bees on it. Since I didn't have any stamps that had both, and had very little time to think creatively, this is the best I could do. The bird looked like he was standing in mid air, so I drew a little fence post under him.

Recipe: stamps- Inspired By Nature (SU), Le Jardin Botanique (sentiment, SU), Botanicals (bee, SU), bird (source unknown); paper- black, white, dotted patterned paper; ink- black archival; accessories- scallop border punch (SU), ribbon (Offray).

Pickled Tink

I certainly haven't had much time to stamp lately. But I'm not complaining, because God has blessed us with a wonderful harvest this season and we've been able to put up a lot of food. My kitchen counters are full of pickles right now. We did 11 1/2 quarts of lime crisps, 4 pints of banana peppers, 21 1/2 pints of zucchini relish, and 20 quarts of zucchini pickles. In addition, I've made zucchini cake, zucchini bread, frozen grated zucchini for future cakes and breads, fried zucchini, and baked cheesy zucchini rounds. Plus, I have a recipe for zucchini soup but haven't made that yet. If anyone has a tried and true way to use zucchini, I'm open. :)

Monday, July 27, 2009

July Supplies Challenge

Today's weekly CCEE challenge is the supplies challenge (my favorite). Dawn sent us this beautiful designer paper...I love the colors. I used the daisy from 'Looks Like Spring', embossing three of them in white on colored card stock and cutting them out.

Recipe: stamps- sentiment (Stampabilities), flower (Looks Like Spring, SU); ink- always artichoke (SU), Versamark; paper- white, marigold morning (SU), yellow marbled, designer paper (heidi grace designs); accessories- white ep, sheer ribbon (Offray), white gel pen, 1/2 inch circle punch (flower centers).

Ice Cream and Cake

Often when making a card, I'll make two with the same supplies. When I did the ice cream card, I made a second base card with the Basic Grey designer paper. Although it isn't visible in the photo, the cake stand is colored with crystal Stickles.

Recipe: stamps- cake (PSX), sentiment (Upsy Daisy, SU); ink- black archival; paper- barely banana (SU), white, pink marbled, Basic Grey DP; accessories- crystal Stickles, scallop border punch (SU), dotted swiss Cuttlebug embossing folder, SU markers.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

For Love of Lilyturf

Another favorite of mine...Lirope muscari, common name 'lilyturf'. I love it because it's foolproof. It does sun and shade, wet and dry, and always looks good. (Would that I could do the same). It grows in mounds, has beautiful foliage on it's own and gets a pretty purple flower in late summer. These pics are from last year. In the spring, shear back the dead foliage before new growth begins and divide if needed. The only thing to watch out for, is that there are two types of liriope. 'Muscari' is clumping and 'spicata' sends out runners and is invasive. Make sure you "choose wisely". And Susie...I was right, it is pronounced lir-ee-oh-pee (I looked it up). :)

Monday, July 20, 2009

My Little Visitor

You're going to have to click on the picture and enlarge it to see her...a female ruby throated hummingbird. They're so funny. I've seen four at one time so I know I have at least that many. They are all females and they will not share the feeder. Whoever is drinking at the time will chase everyone else away. There are four feeding portals, but will they share? No.....

Ah, Summer!

This week's CCEE challenge was to make a fun summer card. What's more fun than ice cream? This beautiful Basic Grey paper made me think of ice cream colors. The stamp is one of the $1 stamps from Michael's. It's a two scooper and I just stamp it several times and cut and paste the scoops. You can't see very well in the photo, but I crimped a little of the white panel.

Recipe: stamps- ice cream cone (katie & co.), snap stamps (karen foster); paper- barely banana (SU), white, pink and white marbled, Basic Grey dp; ink- black archival, SU markers; accessories- Cuttlebug embossing folder, crimper, scallop border punch (SU).

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Sorry, More Flowers...

Note to self. I love this trailing silver grey Dichondra (Silver Falls). A definite keeper for containers. The purple flower is Torenia 'Purple Moon'.

Don't you just love Gerbera daisies? They're such a happy flower.

I have a new favorite flower (this, of course, changes from moment to moment)... Diascia 'Genta Pink' (also called twinspur). All this is from 3 starter plants. It has a mounding habit and has been covered with flowers since I bought it in early May. I'm anxious to see how it does throughout the rest of the season. I did learn one disappointing fact online this morning. I purchased it as a perennial, but for my zone it's considered a tender perennial and treated as an annual. However, it's definitely worth buying each year.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Little Pleasures

"It isn't the great big pleasures that count the most; it's making a great deal out of the little ones."
Jean Webster, Daddy Long Legs

This bouquet contains rose of sharon, gooseneck loosestrife, coral bells, shasta daisies, queen anne's lace, liatris, and a yellow wildflower called linaria vulgaris (also goes by butter and eggs, yellow toadflax and wild snapdragon).

June Supplies Challenge

Charlene was the CCEE challenge hostess for June and sent us beautiful designer paper, ribbon, brads, and punched ovals. The butterfly is embossed.

Recipe: paper- chocolate chip (SU), white, pink designer paper (source unknown); stamps- butterfly (Anita's), Essential Sentiments (My Favorite Things); ink- chocolate chip (SU), pink (Mist Collection, Color Box Petal Points); accessories- brads, ribbon, clear ep, punches (SU).

Play Ball!

My cousin's son turned seven in April. When asked what he wanted for his birthday, he told his dad that he wanted a signed baseball from my son, Adam. How sweet is that? I contacted Adam, who sent me a baseball for him. This is the card I made to accompany the baseball and a couple signed cards. I was happy for the opportunity to use this adorable stamp set and color coordinated it to match the team colors. The form of the card is called Tri Shutter and actually pretty simple to do. You can find directions for how to make them on the Splitcoast Stampers website.

Recipe: stamps- Put Me In Coach (Storage Units, Ink and More); paper- black, white, dp (source unknown); ink- black archival, SU markers; accessories- chalks (for sky).

Monday, July 13, 2009

No Time To Blog

This is one of the reasons for being so behind in my blogging. The garden is starting to come in. This morning we finished up the last of 24 quarts of green beans from the first picking. I had a lot of help though. My husband, Erin and Jill all helped pick, snap and fill jars.

My Jenn Flower

...known to others as gaillardia or blanket flower. I like to name a plant after the person who gave it to me, or someone it reminds me of. My friend Jenn gave this to me when she moved to Texas. She's thriving, Jenn!

Blue Bayou

I wish I was talking about an exotic spot where I'm vacationing this summer, but (sigh...) it's only the name of the color of my card.

Recipe: stamps- Sanded (SU), Botanicals by Rhonna Farrer (Autumn Leaves); paper- blue bayou (SU, white, Old World Stack (DCWV); ink- blue bayou (SU), oasis green (VersaMagic chalk ink), Mist collection (Petal Points by Color Box); accessories- pewter brads, silver embroidery floss.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

I Actually Do Have Readers!

...because a few of them have gotten after me for not posting for so long. Thank you, friends! And sorry I've been so lax.
Wow, has it been a busy month! But we've gotten a lot accomplished, too. Probably the most work has been done gardenwise...both vegetable and flower. We've planted corn, potatoes, sugar snap peas, green beans, squash (zucchini, spaghetti, and yellow straightneck), cucumbers, tomatoes (several varieties), asparagus, peppers (green and banana), onions, green striped pumpkins, swiss chard, eggplant, cantalopes, lettuce, and cabbage. I think that's everything. Thank you, Lord, for blessing us with a rainy spring and early summer. Everything has gotten off to such a good start. I've frozen peas and this morning we finished twelve pints of zucchini relish. If anyone wants the recipe for the best relish they will ever eat, contact me.
The flowers are so beautiful this year. The photo is from June 10th, so it's not quite up to date. I'm continuing to work on the beds, always a work in progress. No matter what, the weeds always thrive, don't they?

Friday, June 5, 2009

A Miracle!

...to me, at least. The neat thing about this pic is what you don't see. Blackbirds, starlings, grackles, and cowbirds. Last weekend I told my husband I was thinking about stopping feeding birds. "All I'm doing anymore is feeding blackbirds." It had gotten to the point they were emptying the feeder at an astonishing rate and scaring away all the little birds. And all I was doing was making noise and chasing them away like a madwoman.
As a last resort, I got on the computer and googled "getting rid of blackbirds at feeders". I got three results: one- learn to appreciate blackbirds, grackles, etc. okay... no! two- buy or rig a feeder with a fencing cage around it (sold to protect against squirrels)...larger birds can't fit through. Okay...pretty good idea, a definite possibility. three- try safflower seeds. Most small and songbirds love it. Blackbirds, starlings, etc. don't have a taste for it. Hmm...interesting. So I bought some, put it out Sunday night. Monday morning, no black birds. Tuesday, no black birds. It's Friday and I've seen maybe three or four at the feeder all week. They check things out and take off...not interested. It's absolutely amazing to me. The cost per bag is a little more, but I'm not going through bird seed at the speed of light anymore so it will even out in the long run.
How cool is that?!

Monday, June 1, 2009

Charlene's Sketch

Another Monday CCEE challenge. This month, Charlene (LilLuvsStampin) is the hostess and provided us with a sketch to follow. The printed chipboard flowers I used were included with a tin of Prima flowers I found at Target.

Recipe: ink- pink passion (SU); paper- white, pink passion, gingham check dp (Me and My Big Ideas); stamps- Upsy Daisy (SU); accessories- Cuttlebug embossing folder, gingham ribbon (Offray), Creative Memories oval cutting system; flowers (Prima).

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Springtime Magic

More garden progress. The photos are a week apart. Isn't it amazing how fast things grow? We've just had a full day of rain. When the sun comes out things are going to go nuts blooming.