Sunday, November 13, 2011

I've been absent, I know

Just in case it was noticed, thought I'd own up to having been gone for a while.  Nearly a month, sheesh.  After I returned from San Francisco, I came down with a cold and had to lay low for a few days.  Then I needed to get cracking on my sister's 60th birthday gift/card and get it done before leaving for Hawaii for 10 days.  So I focused all of my attention and energy on that project and finished it 2 days before departure to Hawaii.  I did laundry and began packing when taking intermittent breaks from the birthday project, got pre-vacation hair cut and manicure/pedicure appointments out of the way.......I felt that I didn't have a spare moment to make cards or scan them or post anything on my blog.

Unfortunately, I also had no time to photograph the gift I made for my sister so I could share it here.  We returned home from Hawaii yesterday evening and suddenly it was today and time to go to our daughter's where a celebration for my mom's birthday was held.  It was there that I gave my sister her gift as her birthday was celebrated yesterday.  Her guy and her two adult children came down to southern California to celebrate, bringing one of our sisters with them.  In addition, another sister and her two adult children also came down and two other sisters who live here in southern California, along with their families, also celebrated the 60-year old's birthday yesterday.

The gift I made for my sister is a vintage-look album made from heavy chipboard and has card stock flag pages.  That's what it's called when an accordian-folded base is affixed to the inside of the spine and an individual page is then attached to one side of each of the folds.  The cover, spine, and pages are covered with decorative paper in vintage colors and patterns.  Papers are Prima products from their Printery collection.  There are Cricut cut embellishments, lots of Prima flowers and bling and, of course, a good smattering of distressing in Mementos rich cocoa ink.  I also used clear Stickles to highlight some areas on the pages and give them a bit of extra bling.  I placed sepia toned pictures of my sister; of groupings of various sisters (by the way, I have 7 sisters.........); of my sister and her kids; of her guy and her, including their high school grad pictures; and I also included sayings about sisters and birthdays.

Sure wish I'd had time to take pix but I'm glad my sister loved her gift and that I was able to complete it before our trip.  And I have a bit of a reprieve from making another birthday card for a sister turning 60 since that birthday is still a couple of years out.

I found another organization that has requested Christmas cards, this time for folks in nursing homes who need to be cheered, and I will be making cards for them.  In addition, I need to make Christmas cards to be given to the troops, not for them to mail out, but for them to know they're not forgotten.  And then I'll be cranking out some Valentine cards since that's another holiday coming up.

My internal time clock is still a bit cuckoo and I still need to unpack and begin laundry.  (Thank goodness the saga of the washing machine is done.)  I plan to post more cards as soon as they're made and hope to do so soon.  Tomorrow will be partially a recovery from the hustle bustle but I hope to find time for stamping too.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Another week gone by

It's been nearly a week since I last posted.  I've come to accept that I'm not able to consistently post on a daily basis and am okay with that.  There was a time I couldn't adjust a goal, it was all or nothing.  Glad that's over.

I had a great weekend.  It actually began on Friday when my daughter and granddaughter arrived early Friday morning and we left for a trip to northern California.  We arrived at my sister's around 6 p.m. where we stayed until Monday morning.  It was a great visit.  On Saturday my daughter and granddaughter took BART into San Francisco to play tourists at Fisherman's Wharf and had hoped to get onto a tour of Alcatraz but had no success as all the tours were booked in advance.  They were prepared for that to happen so they just strolled in and out of shops and enjoyed the nice weather until it was time to catch BART to return to the east bay.

My sister and I spent the day at her home, leaving once to go to a local craft store.  Of course we had to.  I bought paper and embellishments and a storage case for my Cricut cartridges and booklets.  One of our cousins joined us at my sister's home and we spent the afternoon playing.  Our cousin brought her Cricut and we stamped and created cards and tags .  I showed my sister how to heat emboss a stamped image and also explained my techniques as I finished some Christmas cards I am sending to OWH.  I shared some tips and tricks for stamping and my cousin and I shared with each other.  I didn't even realize that my cousin likes to make cards and this past weekend I learned that she also gravitates towards the same tools and supplies that I do.

The next day we traveled south of San Francisco to attend a party for another cousin's 4 year old grandson.  My granddaughter was delighted that some of her other cousins were there also.  The cousin we'd spent the day with on Saturday arrived with her husband, daughter, 2 grandsons and her sister.  So we got to see another cousin we haven't seen in a while.

Driving home on Monday went fairly quickly until we hit commute time traffic coming out of Los Angeles.  We ended up taking longer to get home than we did going north but at least it was uneventful.

I enjoyed spending time with my daughter and granddaughter and visiting with my sister and cousins.  It's good to be home, though.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Never say never and more cards

I was never going to buy a Cricut.  At least that's what I declared on a regular basis.  Unfortunately hanging out at my local scrapbook store and seeing the creations of the instructors there......some very talented wormen......gave me second thoughts.

Once of the reasons I've been MIA here is I bought a Cricut......the new Expression 2.......and have been playing with it rather than composing blog messages.  So I think I'm ready to produce images for my cards now.  I've amassed 10 cartridges and 2 came preloaded on the machine.  I'm looking forward to spending some "quality" time using the Cricut and hope to be able to post some results soon.  Never say never.

I've also been making and scanning cards and I'm getting ready to ship another box to Operation Write Home.  They're primarily Christmas cards and I'm going to finish up the last batch I'm making in the next few days.  I'm including some of the Christmas cards in tonight's blog posting and there are also a couple of cards from the get together I attended with friends a few weeks ago and 3 from another class I took at Hearts N Crafts.  Oh, and I'm also posting the mini scrapbook I will be teaching at the next get together that will be held in March.  You'll see in that scan there are white index tabs attached to black tags that slide out of the "pages" of the scrapbook.  Each of the pages will have a tab but I only tabbed 3 of them for demonstration purposes.  The tags will be used for photos or journaling.

So, without further ado, my cards:

First, the mini scrapbook -

Some Christmas cards -

The cards I made at Hearts N Crafts.  We used patterned papers with coordinating printed card stock die cuts

My own cards -

The last of the cards made as part of the 10 minute projects at the get together in September =

Cards from Michael Strong's classes

I took two additional card making classes taught by Michael Strong last weekend.  And, of course, I'm now signed up for his November classes.  After all these years, getting to meet him and to learn from him........ I am completely thrilled.

Once again, one of the classes was given in the morning and the other in the afternoon.  The morning class focused on Michael's set of 3 panel stamps: hummingbirds, dragonflies and butterflies.  During the class in August we used the dragonfly panel only.  In the afternoon class last weekend, we used Michaels set of fans for the cards.


The following card includes a bookmark.

The disks on the following card are two of the smallest fans in the set,  placed together at their straight sides.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

What a great experience! (and more of my cards)

I participated in my very first blog hop this weekend and have come away very pleased. There were over 130 participants in Operation Write Home's Card Making Day blog hop. So many beautiful Christmas cards and such inspiration! If you didn't get a chance to see the entries, please check them out here:  (sorry, I don't know how to make the word "here" a link yet.)

You'll need to scroll down to see the 132 blog names listed, I'm # 132 having been moved there after it was found that there was a bad link to my blog and it had to be deleted and I was re-added at the end.  Anyway, I did receive some very nice comments from folks when my blog could be seen after the move and it was gratifying to hear good things from other artists.

As I stated I would yesterday, I'm posting more of my cards tonight but will still have more to follow.  I've spent my time very productively at Hearts N Crafts these last couple of weeks.

So, enjoy..........

Saturday, October 1, 2011

My post for Operation Write Home's blog hop

Following is a Christmas card that I'm sending to Operation Write Home so someone overseas will be able to send it to a loved one or friend.  

To make this card, I used white ink to stamp a solid poinsettia on red card stock.  Then I stamped and embossed a poinsettia outline stamp with silver on a small square of the same card stock and layered it on a slightly larger square of white card stock.  I attached that to the front of the previously stamped card and also silver embossed the outline stamp on the card.  I attached sheer red ribbon at the card's fold.  The completed card measures 4.25" x 5.5".

I found Operation Write Home through a link on another web site.  I don't remember exactly which one but  I'm sure it had to do with rubber stamping since I've seen other links since then.

I read all of the information about Operation Write Home on their site and was immediately energized to participate.  One of my nieces is married to a man who was deployed to Afghanistan and I know of others whose loved ones have been deployed overseas.  My sisters and mom and I participated in a group named Operation Gratitude to help send packages for the holidays to troops overseas and I believe that started my appreciation for helping to bolster the morale of those who've been deployed and to provide service to those who provide so much for us.

Being involved in making cards for our troops has been so uplifting and has become a passion.  I hope that I instill this passion in others as I tell them about OWH.  So far, a sister and some folks I've met at my local scrapbook store have started making cards also.  I would like the troops to know that people here care about them.

Please visit other blogs that are participating in the OWH blog hop.  Here's a button to help you on your way:

Friday, September 30, 2011

Catching up, again

I can't believe it's been over a week since I last posted.  It seems that every time I thought about sitting down at the computer, there was something else calling for my attention and suddenly it's now more than a week later.  This week just flew by.

Last Saturday I joined the group that gets together twice a year, this time for just the day.  We had so much fun creating all day, sharing projects and learning new techniques from each other.  Following are the 10 minute projects that others provided for us to complete.  Others I completed during the days I spent at Hearts and Crafts this past week are still packed away and need to be scanned.

Our washing machine has been repaired once again and seems to be working just fine now.  My husband and I have been playing laundry catch up and, sadly, enjoying it.  I thought about my mom washing by hand and also using an old wringer type washer and I know that what I had to do for just a couple of weeks is nothing like what she had to do for a much longer period of time.  I'm grateful for what I have.  I don't always remember to be though.

I plan to post more cards tomorrow.  Right now I need to make sure I get a post in for the blog hop.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Once again......

I spent the day at the scrapbooking store and worked on cards.  It felt strange not to make Thanksgiving cards since it's still a couple of months away.  Those all needed to go to the shipper with yesterday's mailing to make sure they were on time for distribution to the troops.  So now it's back to Christmas cards and the other day-to-day type such as birthday, thank you, etc.

First things first....I worked on unfinished class cards with a friend this morning and then we went to lunch.  Following lunch, I returned to the store to work on cards for OWH.  I planned a couple of designs, cut card stock, then stamped and assembled parts of the cards.  I'll complete them and set up to make more of other designs when I return to the store next week.

I've been trying to decide which card to post for the blog hop in which I'm participating for OWH.  There's a button in my blog's right hand sidebar that includes the date of October 1 for World Cardmaking Day.  To participate I needed to register (done) and create a blog post that won't go live until 3 a.m. EST on 10/1 and I need to include a holiday themed card in that post.  I've made my decision so am able to post a couple of other Christmas cards here.

Before I sign off, here's another chapter in the never-ending saga of our washing machine.  Sigh.  The repair person came back out last Saturday and announced to my husband they needed to order another circuit board and it would take about a week to get it in.  Appliance Geek Squad called today and told my husband the repair person will return on Tuesday.  This had better be it.  No, really.  Our extended service plan states, to the effect, that our appliance will be replaced if the repair person has to be summoned a fourth time.  No, I'm not taking bets or asking anyone to hold their breath.  We shall see.

Okay, on with the cards.......

Wednesday, September 21, 2011


I spent the day at Hearts N Crafts with a friend yesterday and made a few more Thanksgiving cards to include in the box I'll be mailing to Operation Write Home today.  I brought all of the cards home to count them and box them for mailing.  Our total number of cards from the OWH event at the store, including cards that were brought in, totaled 155!  Wow!  What an accomplishment!  I'm pleased that we will be able to represent the store well in serving those who serve us.

I scanned a few more cards to post here.  I'm still not caught up in scanning so more will follow as I have time.

Monday, September 19, 2011

A couple of cards

This is just a quick check in tonight since I thought I'd go to bed a little earlier than usual.  I ended up staying home today to recharge my batteries.  Not literally.  I needed some recuperation time to regather my thoughts and energy since I ended up running on empty at the end of last week.  I spent the day reorganizing my paper and card stock for tomorrow and cutting some pieces using my electronic cutting machine.  No, I haven't broken down and purchased a Cricut; I have a Slice which is adequate for my needs and works just fine.  I've also scanned a couple of cards since I haven't posted any in a while.   More will follow in a couple of days.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Catching up

I haven't been able to post anything til today, I've been stretched a bit.  Last week I ended up spending 4 days at the scrapbooking store and by the end of the day yesterday I was totally wiped out.

Tuesday was a regularly "scheduled" day since my cleaning lady comes to our home every other Tuesday and I automatically head for the store so I'm not confined to one room at home.  On Thursday, I worked on cards at the store and visited with a friend who came there to work on her projects.  Friday I was there also in case I was needed to help prepare for the following day's Operation Write Home event.  I wasn't and just spent the time working on cards.

Saturday was the day of card making at Hearts N Crafts for anyone who wanted to make cards for OWH.  The owner had donated scads of stickers, stacks of them filled a table, as well as trimmed decorative paper scraps that could be used as backgrounds on cards.  There were also folded cards and card-sized envelopes she donated and she made available chalks for coloring images, some stamps and ink for folks to borrow and some card making books for us to peruse for ideas.  And the entire classroom with its 10 large tables were made available for this event.  In addition, the owner made one of her employees available to cut images for us using a Cricut cutting machine with a myriad of designs available.  Additional paper was made available by one of the store employees who teaches there and she donated her stash of scraps, some of which were full sheets of decorative paper.  I spent over an hour sorting them into various categories: floral, checkered, dotted, seasonal, get the picture.  One of the ladies who came to stamp yesterday brought additional folded cards and envelopes to share.

Well, besides me, three people came to make cards yesterday.  Each of the others stayed 4 to 5 hours or more and I was there from 10 am to 5 pm.  A few people came by with cards they'd made at home to drop off because they weren't able to stay this time and a few of the store's employee's made a few cards as well.  I spent most of my time cutting some of the donated decorative papers, stamping Operation Write Home on the backs of the cards, and tucking them into envelopes.  None of the cards made or brought in yesterday had OWH stamped on the backs.  I'm going to guess well over 100 cards were produced for this event, counting cards that were brought in previously.  I'll know for sure when I return to the store tomorrow and finish sorting and counting all of the cards to prepare them for mailing.  I plan to mail on Tuesday if I am able.

Lest I give or develop the impression that I live at the store, I am planning to be there only 2 days this week.  Tomorrow to complete the sorting, etc. and while I'm there I might as well work on cards since I didn't get to do much of that on Saturday.  Then on Thursday a friend and I will work on cards from a class that we took so that we can finish things we started.  She's brand new at this and does well but welcomes support and I agreed to be there for her.

So, no cards scanned but since I won't be at the store as much  this week, I should be able to get that done to post them here.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011


I wasn't able to stay happy about doing laundry for very long.......the machine seems to have some of the same problems as before.  I haven't been able to get an overload message to show up although my husband reported that the message occurred for 2 of the loads he ran during the weekend.  I've run only one load since then and although the water fill was what I felt to be too high, no overload message came up.  Also, the machine didn't seem to make the same kinds of motions, kind of a blossoming effect is normally seen in the tub.  How do I know that?  We have one of the high efficiency washers and it's top loading with a glass window in the lid.  Picture two grown people running the new washing machine for the first time 4 years ago and those people mesmerized by the action of the machine as seen through the window.  We giggled at the sight of ourselves watching the clothes washing.  Well, I'm going to run a load in the morning (too late to do one now) so I can see what the machine does on yet another setting.  That way I'll have the detail I want to give to the repair folks.  My husband has none of the details about the load he ran other than the message he saw.  Sigh.

I was at the local scrapbooking store all day on Tuesday and made a few cards, new designs, and started the "bones" of the card I want to make for one of my sisters for her birthday.  This will be a significant one so I want to make a very special card for her as I did for another sister last year.  I also started the set of cards I'm making for a friend and completed one of them.

Today was another stay at home day except for a brief time this evening when my husband took me to dinner.  Going out is great because the restaurants typically serve too much so one can box up half of it which I did to take to the store for lunch tomorrow.  Yep, another full day at the scrapbooking store, this time spending the day with a friend.  And there will be yet another day on Friday so I can assist in getting everything set up and ready for, you guessed it, another day at the store on Saturday.  The OWH event at the store is taking place this Saturday and I'm anxious to see how it turns out.  I would love it if we have a good turn out and more people are inspired to get involved.  We shall see.

I didn't get my cards scanned so cannot post them tonight.  Hope to when I get home tomorrow or Friday.  Time to call this a day.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

It's the little things

Imagine being happy about being able to do laundry.  Yesterday a Geek Squad technician returned to repair our washing machine.  It had gone out again, a month after being repaired for the same problem and when he came out last week he said he needed to order parts.  The machine would stop after filling with water and declare an overload condition.  The clothes weren't overloaded, the washer was...with water, since it filled way beyond the level warranted by the amount of clothes in it.  The last time, the sensor was replaced.  This time it was the sensor, the suspension rods and the control board.  Thank goodness for service plans.  And for the reasonable cost for them by Best Buy.  At this point we would have shelled out over $700 for the 2 repair visits instead of the $200 for a 5-year service plan.

I spent the rest of the day yesterday and some of today working on cards that I'm making as a gift for a friend as well as additional cards for OWH.  In a week, we'll gather at Hearts N Crafts to make cards as a group to send to OWH for distribution to the troops who are deployed overseas.  It would be great if we could make this a regular event.  If that isn't to be, at least the awareness of others will be raised and, hopefully, some of them will continue on their own to contribute to this cause.

I'd hoped to work on upgrades to this blog today but other activities took precedence.  We'll see what tomorrow brings.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

A quiet day

It's been in the low 100's to high 90's over the last few days and no real relief in sight.  I'm so ready for fall weather....

I spent the day at home, finished packaging up kits for my 10 minute project, double checking that each was complete.  Also prepared some pieces for OWH cards.  Most of the day, though, I read The Help and now I have just a few more pages before I'm finished.  So of course I'm looking for another book to read.  We've got loads of them here.  It's just a matter of making a decision.  My husband and I have gotten into a Nelson DeMille kick so we have a few of those; we have a couple of Patricia Cornwells; ah, I know..... a work friend gave a book to me when I retired and included a note that I would now have time to read long, long novels.  It's entitled New York and it's 860 pages long.  I'd intended to read it when my husband and I went on a cruise in February/March but never had the time.  Now's a good time to start it.  I'll wait for a few days after I finish The Help to give myself time to digest that one first.  It's a great book, very well written, and I am now anxious to see the movie.  My good friend has already seen it though and my husband will dismiss it as a "chick flick."  I'll have to wait for it to be available through Netflix.

I have a couple of card ideas rattling around in my mind right now so I'd better sketch them before I lose those thoughts.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Making progress

I've almost completed all of the preparation for my 10 minute card project.  I need to put adhesive on 15 more pieces and then create the individual kits that will be given to the group members in about a week and one half.  Hooray!  There'll be no staying up all night in a frenzy to get everything ready.  I plan to set aside everything I need to take to the gathering and just ease on out the door the morning of the event.  Ahhhh.  Sure beats years past when I was working a 40 hour week, commuting for a couple of hours per day and trying to fit a personal life into my schedule.  Love it!

Yesterday,  one of the scrapbook store customers brought in 22 cards that she'd made to donate to Operation Write Home.  They were Halloween and Thanksgiving cards and the work was fabulous.  I stamped OWH information on the backs of the cards and did the partial envelope tuck that we've been asked to do when sending in cards.  Today, one of the customers brought 30 cards in and I did the same with hers.  Each of her cards were made with great attention to detail and only a few of the cards were duplicates so this customer, too, came up with unique ideas for just about each card.  At this point we already have 52 cards ready to be sent for distribution to our troops.  I can hardly wait to see what we produce all together.  This is getting to be exciting!

I need to tend to a couple of things before getting some sleep tonight so this is a short one.  Hope to find time soon to tweak this blog a bit.


In my mind, it's still Tuesday.  That's because I've not yet slept and awakened to a new day but I just looked at the clock and see that it's after midnight already.  Another cliche': Time flies when........ okay, I won't complete that.

I spent most of the day at my favorite scrapbooking store.  Visited with a friend there while we worked on the 10 minute projects we're taking to our group's gathering at the end of the month.  I also stamped the back of some cards that one of the store's customers made for OWH since she won't be coming to the store to stamp/create cards on the 17th.  All of the cards made for OWH need to carry the program's name so people sending and receiving them will know that they were made for Operation Write Home.  So we already have 22 cards that will be going to OWH for distribution to the troops.  Yay!

I made the sample for the 10 minute card project today and cut many of the pieces that will go into the kits that will be given to group members so they can make the same card.  Tomorrow I will return to the store and stamp the images on 16 cards so I won't have to tote ink pads and stamps to the event nor run the risk of any damage to them.  The group members will need only to assemble the cards and that'll be a good way to make sure the completed project will not go over 10 minutes in the making.  I'm hoping that the last of my preparations will go quickly tomorrow so I can also get some card making in for OWH.  I've made many Christmas cards to send to them and want to make sure I send the other types as well since folks will still be having birthdays, be needing to be thanked and needing to just hear from their friend or family member who's been deployed.

It's time for me to call an end to Tuesday and get some sleep so I can greet Wednesday.  Hopefully on the following day I can figure out how to link this blog to another new one I need to create since my art page isn't exactly what I'd wanted it to be.  It can't be changed and I want to be able to add new items to it as I create them.  I'd also like to put up pictures of jewelry I've made.  Another project.  This blogging stuff is a bit more complicated than I'd imagined but it's getting there.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Future cards

I've decided to start posting cards and other artwork on another of my blog's pages entitled "My Art."  Click on the link in the right hand panel.

Note:  (written 9/18/11) I took down "My Art" as the page was not what I had intended it to be.  In my newness to blogging, I didn't understand that the additional page that could be created here is only static and I would be unable to add to it.  I'm still exploring another means to be able to display my work.

More of my cards

Last month I had the opportunity to take a class taught by an artist named Michael Strong whose work I have long admired.  During the time I wasn't stamping, I came upon some of his rubber stamp images in his Cloisonne line and remarked to a friend that if any stamp would get me into stamping again, it would be one of his.  Well, I'd already started stamping again and it was with utter delight that I learned of the monthly classes he teaches and was fortunate to reserve the last seat in July's classes.  Michael teaches 2 on each of his class days, it turns out, and you know how the saying goes.......(another cliche' here) "if one is good, two is better."

The first class introduced different techniques and I learned to make lace from a stamped square of toilet tissue as shown on the aqua and cream colored card, coloring within stamped images with different types of art media and I relearned about stamping with bleach as shown on the purple and black card.  Those were made during the morning class.  In the afternoon, we made the asian themed cards in the style of ikebana, the Japanese style of floral arrangements.

The next class will be in October and you can bet that I'm signed up for it.  September will be skipped because Michael will be in Germany.  I'm looking forward to the next adventure in stamping with him.