Saturday, May 31, 2008

Checking Etha's blog

Timing is everything!

Etha just let me know that there was a fire somewhere- not her house!- and that somehow that means her blog is down because her server is down.

So, if you tried the link and it didn't work, please check back again tomorrow!

Tag Time

My friend Etha tagged me about a week and a half ago- and I am just now getting around to answering her. So, here is the way it works:

1) Link back to the person who tagged you: here's the link
2)Post these rules on your blog
3)Share six (6) unimportant things about yourself

Ok- here goes:
I wear a size 8 1/2 shoe
I was 30 before I got my ears pierced
I cannot wear clothes made of/with wool or acetate
I got a prize in 4th grade for the best handwriting
The only time I ever went to the circus (with my family in 3rd grade) I forgot my glasses and couldn't see anything
I cannot knit no matter how many times I try to learn or who tries to teach me

Hmmmm... thinking up 6 things that are UNimportant- that have nothing to do with who or what you are- is not as easy as I thought it would be!

4) Tag six (6) people at the end of the entry

I am tagging:


There's a new contest at Sheetload of Cards. They are having a "Reader's Choice Guest Artist" contest and I have nominated my friend Etha. She does such beautiful work and I know she'd be great for Sheetload. Check out her blog and you'll see why I think so. If you agee with me, please go to the Sheetload site and nominate her also.

Now I have to spend some time making a few cards that I will need next week. Pictures when they are done.

Thursday, May 29, 2008


There's time here for a quick check-in.

We had a lovely time for most of the Memorial Day weekend. I didn't make any cards, but I did some playing with new stamps and new markers. I now have several images to use for cards when I get a chance. Friends came down for a cookout on Sunday and we spent hours just chatting and laughing. Monday was also a beautiful weather day. On the way home, our son had a blowout in a front tire of his car. DH and I were only a couple miles ahead of him when he called, so we turned around and the guys changed the tire rather than waiting for the auto club. That meant we got home a LOT later than expected.

It's finals week for the seniors at school, so I was kept really busy giving the exam and getting grades calculated. I still have the rest of my students so there are "normal" class activities to keep up with as well.

This weekend will include taking the time to make cards for my senior students. I have the card designed and everything ready- now I just have to find the time and DO IT!

Throw in the usual doctor's visits and PT sessions, on the phone with the insurance company (yes, there is still no answer to the wheelchair request!), a couple of necessary meetings, making a run to Mom's between doctor and meeting, and I forget what else, and I'm BEAT!

I got a box in the mail today with some new Art Impressions stamps! There are only two more weeks of school! It's 20 days til Disney World! DB and family are on their way home!

So, I might be tired, but there are such wonderful things on the horizon, I'm a happy camper!

Friday, May 23, 2008

Memorial Day 2008 - A Tribute

Memorial Day Weekend

This is another picture of the beautiful beach in the town where DB has a home. He and his family will be coming back to the USA on Thursday, so we are here to get the house all shipshape for their arrival and to enjoy the magnificent holiday weather.

I've got a lot of Memorial Day memories over the years. The earliest ones are of attending Mass in the chapel at my father's high school. He served in World War II as did most of his classmates. His yearbook had many pictures with small black ribbons attached to them. Every year he took me with him to the Mass at school, which was always followed by a short service at the war memorial outside of school. Between my own schools, the places DH and I have coached and both of us being teachers, I've learned quite a few alma maters in my time, but the first one I ever learned, and the one I can still sing today (although there has been no reason or excuse for many years) is that of my father's high school.

Memorial Day was always a day for my dad and all my uncles to remember their lost friends and brothers in arms. It was also a joyful time for my family- both sides were very blessed in losing no one during WWII. So, we were always a family that celebrated Memorial Day with a reason. We continue to be blessed. My brother served during VietNam but spent most of his time on a ship in the North Atlantic. My son is probably too old now, but would never be eligible for military duty due to his eyesight- which we discovered when he took the physical to apply for Annapolis many years ago.

This weekend will be a quiet one with only a small cookout on Sunday on the partying agenda. I woke up today horribly sick, so I hope I can eat by then! Other than that it will just be resting up, getting ready for the really hectic last few weeks of school, and maybe, finally, doing some playing with my pens, pencils and cardstock.

I hope everyone has a wonderful holiday weekend- and please take the time to remember those for whom this weekend is intended as a tribute, our veterans.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Israel Kamakawiwo'Ole

I love Iz's music. Yesterday was his birthday- he would have been 49.

My short month in Hawaii several years ago gave me a love of the Islands, the Hawaiian people and their beautiful culture.

At his death he was called a Hawaiian treasure. He is a treasure to the world.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Another fun quiz

According to this fun quiz which I found at Lee's blog, I am 7 Gypsies paper. I don't actually *have* a favorite brand of paper, but must admit that what I have seen of 7 Gypsies is really nice.

This quiz, plus a visit this afternoon to the gallery at SplitCoastStampers, has really gotten me thinking that I need to make a lot more use of all the patterned paper I have accumulated in the last few years. To do this I want to spend some time with the Sheetload templates, and also with the 12-from-3 and 10-from-3 designs at Firecracker Designs.
I got some more organizing and helpful work done this weekend. I bought a box of sheet protectors yesterday and have now printed out all of the up-to-date sketch challenges from SCS, all of the card sketches from PageMaps and some others I aso found. I also have been working on swatch sheets for my Twinkling H2Os and Prismacolor pencils and lists of which Marvy markers and Derwent watercolor pencils I have. (I also splurged today on eBay- found an incredible price for a large set of Prismacolor markers plus a lot more Prismacolor pencils and just could not resist.) When I get finished I will have a binder with all my lists in it, my swatch sheets and hundreds of card sketches- it will be great to take along for crops and crafting days and make things much easier at home also.
Tomorrow will be a pretty usual Sunday- laundry, grocery lists, getting everything ready for the week. I also hope to spend a little time actually paper-crafting rather than just planning for it or getting organized to do it. This time I hope to try my hand at my first ATC- that's short for Artist Trading Card.
ATCs are small (2 1/2 x 3 1/2) cards that are made stricly for trading with other artists or crafters. The idea came out of Switzerland about 10 years ago and is now practiced not only by paper crafters but also by crafters and artists of all types. For more information, see here for some basic info, or google ATCs for tons of sites.
The animals are not in view tonight at WildEarth; there seems to be some connection problem and there is no way to get onto the visual drive. Since I was too tired last night and tomorrow is a school night, this means a whole weekend without a safari- VERY disappointing!
Fortunately, reading a good book is always a good alternative- so off I go with Rex Stout!

Friday, May 16, 2008

More Yippee!!! and other things

The mailman was good to me today. The beautiful "Emma", the print by Nancy Noel, arrived late this afternoon. She is already hanging in the dining room and I love going past her- she is beautiful. Another YIPPEE!!
Good news on the phone this evening- my brother and his family, who have been living overseas, will be coming home for a month before he starts his new job. I am very excited- can't wait to see them all. Still MORE YIPPEE!!!

I hope to do some cardmaking this weekend. I want to try out another Sheetload set and send it to them for this month's "Share a Sheetload" which will go to That is a group which sends handmade cards that are blank inside to deployed military for them to send to family and friends. GREAT program.

I also hope to get some time on the WildEarth drives this weekend. I would LOVE to be able to stay up for tonight's drive, and I WILL try, but I am so tired after a long week at school that it seems unlikely I'll last tonight. So, tomorrow, hopefully, there will be a great drive and I'll get to see lots of the amazing animals. If you have not yet checked it out, click HERE or see the link on the left for WildEarth and also check out Africam and the others while you are at it. The whole experience is amazing!!! Be aware that Africam has added commercials every 10 minutes.

I had a wonderful visit today from two students who graduated two years ago. They both attend an Ivy League school, are doing really well at college and have great plans for the summer. It is so special when the kids come back and share their new lives. It is even more special when they are being so successful.
I would write more, but I keep having to make corrections when my chin bounces on the keyboard, so it's off to bed for me.


It's a really dreary, gloomy, grim Friday afternoon. BUT....... I WON the "Shout Out to Sheetload" contest so I'll be getting a new Bella and some Bling!

So, many thanks to the nice people at Sheetload! You started me out for a good weekend!

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Happy Art News

In January I went on a crafting weekend in Lancaster with a group of friends. We had a great time. For anyone who might not know, Lancaster is the center of the Amish area in Pennsylvania.

While there I saw a print on the wall of the hotel lobby that just absolutely entranced me! I actually asked the hotel manager to find out about the picture for me and she gave me the name of the artist, Nancy Noel.

Since then I have been stalking her work on eBay. I have looked on her website and have totally fallen in love with her Amish paintings. The one I saw first in Lancaster is still my favorite, and I WILL own it one of these days, but I also found another one that I REALLY want to get, and many that I would like to have.

One that fell into the "would like to have" category showed up the other day on ebay, and already framed even! I put in a low bid, never expecting it to sell for that amount, and somehow, no one overbid me!

So, I now own my first Nancy Noel print! I am very happy about this. I have visited Lancaster numerous times and each time I am more enthralled by the Amish culture and the simple but incredibly beautiful ways they "dress" their lives. One of their dolls sits on my living room window sill. Someday, an Amish quilt- a REAL one- will cover our bed. And now, one of our walls will hold one of these beautiful images.

Check out Nancy Noel's work if you like "realistic" but gorgeous representations. I'm not jinxing myself by writing the name of my favorite, but here is the one I just bought:

Isn't she gorgeous????

I will sleep happy and peaceful tonight, knowing she is on her way, and this image will make me smile every time I walk past it once she is home here.

I cannot help it- I love beauty.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Share a Sheetload

I posted a "shout-out" to the Sheetload blog the other day. While checking their blog today, I discovered that they are doing this month's "Share a Sheetload" project for Cards for Heroes. This is a group that sends cards to our military serving overseas for them to send to family and friends.

So, if you are interested in trying out the Sheetload technique, AND want to help a really great group in the process, just go over to the Sheetload blog and read all about it.

Looks like I'm going to try to find time this weekend to do a Sheetload!

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Sunday evening, as usual.

Time for my usual check-in.

Schoolbag is packed, clothes are ready for the week, laundry is almost caught up, grocery shopping is done: time for a new week and I'm ready!

I didn't do any actual crafting this weekend but I spent a bit of time studying. One of the weird things about my many crafting interests is that I spend as much time reading and researching as I do actual crafting. I have always done this. When I got really interested in cross-stitch I spent unknown hours studying the history of stitching, learning about all the current designers, studying the different types of needlework, etc. I learned about hardanger and crewel and blackwork, and the differences between pulled and drawn thread work. I think I took at least one class in almost every technique there is. I tried stumpwork, and did minature embroidery on 40 count silk over one. Then there was tatting and bobbin lace. I have a library about both of those also, and all the supplies I could ever want.

This weekend I printed out a master sheet for all my Prismacolors, and spent time making color swatches for each pencil that I own. I did the same last week for all my Twinkling H2Os. I also watched a video from Art Impressions on their watercolor technique. I definitely want more stamps from them- I tried the technique just once so far- see the beach scene in a post from a few days ago- and absolutely LOVE it. The video turned out to be very interesting and I learned a lot.
I also spent a couple of hours renewing my studies of Hawaiian quilting. I have virtually all the books written on that topic and spent time today going back to various online sites about it. I have 3 Hawaiian mini-quilts projects going on in differeing stages and I am determined to finish at least one of them this summer.

I guess I'm just a life-long learner. I am always looking to learn something new, try something new, master something new. I have to be reading or doing something educational or creative all the time.

Well, tomorrow my creativity will be aimed at teaching, so I'd better get to bed- it is WAY late for me to be up. Blame Frank Sinatra- TCM is having a Sinatra festival and there was a musical with Peter Lawford and Kathryn Grayson on that I had never seen. It was fun and now I'm tired, so off to bed I go!

I hope all the Moms had a great Mother's Day!

PS- I finally got to use some stamps of Belinda Landtroop's from Clear Artistic Stamps. Belinda is a doll and her stamps are very unique- they are done from her hand-drawn art. Here's the card I made:

Happy Mother's Day

Here is a little something for all the Moms out there. Enjoy!!!

Happy Mother's Day!

Friday, May 9, 2008

Shout out to Sheetload!

This is the front page of this month's Sheetload of Cards e-zine.

On the Sheetload blog each month they provide a template and set of directions for making a bunch of cards quickly using only a few supplies.

I tried this last month for the first time and really enjoyed it.

You can see samples of the cards I made in my gallery (link on the left).

Take the time to check this out- for those of us who like nice, precise measurements and clear directions, this is a great site.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Beautiful Wednesday!

It's another BEAUTIFUL day!!!! To quote DH- who, I believe, was borrowing a little from TS Eliot- "May is the best month".

I got my Art Impressions catalog today. I did a make-it take-it class with their stamps at the Pennsauken show and fell in love with their watercolor technique. I bought one set of stamps at Pennsauken and want MORE! I tried the technique for the first time this weekend and I am definitely going to be doing a lot more scenery cards with them in the future-after I do some more practicing. For now, since it is MAY and it is GORGEOUS, I think I'll just take my catalog and a nice cold soda, and go sit outside!

Here's a pretty bad scan of my first attempt. The smudge marks that look like fingerprints are actually places where there is a shadow because I used too much water and the paper wrinkled. I WILL get better at this- the potential results are TOO wonderful not to work at it. Anyway, here's the scene:

Enjoy- I'm off to the patio and the sunshine!

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

A Beautiful Tuesday

The weather since Sunday has been just gorgeous! The sunshine is making everyone more cheerful, it seems, (or at least almost everyone, lol!) and everything looks better. The trees and flowers are blooming, the grass is bright green and growing at a ridiculous rate, and spring, glorious SPRING, is finally really here!

I find myself wanting to be outdoors. I want to start wearing really bright colors. I want to wear sandals and ankle bracelets, and it's definitely time to get a new toe ring. There are some things that just shout "spring/summer" as soon as you put them on. Summer is my most favorite season, but I really love the spring because winter is gone and summer is coming and I can be warm and have the anticipation of even better days coming.

I think it is time to dig out the beach/patio chairs and sit outside after dinner. The little kids will be riding bikes up and down the block, the older kids will be skateboarding in the street and everyone will just be in a better-than-usual mood.

My DH is getting ready for his next trip- this time he is heading to the Pacific Northwest. I'm not quite as jealous this time- the lure of Mount Rainier and the daily rains of Oregon pales compared to my desire to see Monument Valley and the Grand Canyon. He also will be gone a LOT less than a month this time. Again, I am happy and thrilled for him that he is able to fulfill this, literally, dream-of-a-lifetime.

My aunt just got out of the hospital, so I will be sending her a card. It is one I made for the National Scrapbooking Day party on SCS Flybabies; this one was a sketch challenge. I still need to make a special envelope for it- and I will be able to do that in only about a minute, thanks to the Enveloper. This gizmo is a recent inport here from England and I REALLY like it.

I originally got the Top Score/Enveloper combo from Crafters Companion. I think they both work really well. Many of the posters at SCS are totally addicted to the Scor-Pal, with some others voting for the Scor-It. Both of those are more expensive than what I paid for the CC combo- which was a lot less than at the CC website. During a recent The Angel Company promotion I was able to get the Scor-Pal for 1/2 price, so, having read so many rave reviews at SCS, I did. Now I'm working on comparing them.

When it comes to scoring cards, for me the Top Score is easier- I don't mind moving my cardstock, and having the notations right on the board so I don't need to calculate is really nice. The Scor-Pal *might* give a little nicer score but it is close. However, when it comes to making envelopes, the Enveloper has the Scor-Pal totally beat for ease. Cut your paper to the correct size, make 4 scores determined by the chart and marked right on the board, fold, glue and VOILA! A beautiful envelope.

With the Scor-Pal you need to start from the dimensions of your card, make calculations, cut your paper, find the score lines, make scores, do some more cutting, then fold and glue. Notice the difference. Now, I'm a pretty smart person and all that is not difficult, but WHY would I do more work than I needed to do?

Another item is size. Since I use the scorer only for cards, I don't need it to be the more than 12" x 12" size of the Scor-Pal. The CC combo not only fits in my craft travel case, it fits in the front flap space. BIG difference. AND, noted here for a few special friends, the Scor-Pal is basically battelship grey while the Top Score and Enveloper are PURPLE!!! (Hi, D&C!!!)

I'm going to keep using the Scor-Pal for cards for a while, to see if I can discover what it is about this that makes so many at SCS such firm believers in the product. But, for envelopes, do not even TRY to get my Enveloper away from me!!!

You know what? The heck with waiting until after dinner- I am going to go find DH to set up the chairs outside, and go sit in the sunshine NOW.

Here's the sketch challenge card I made Saturday and will be sending to Auntie (the image is an Elzybells stamp):

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Busy weekend

What a GREAT weekend we had! We did all kinds of papercrafting; tried out many new techniques; got a lot accomplished (Cindy way more than me!); had magnificent weather today- all in all just a great weekend.

I got several cards completely finished and I have images for several more. I got the mock-up for this year's graduation card for my seniors done, made a beautiful ( if I do say so myself) Mother's Day card as part of the National Scrapbooking Day challenges on SplitCoastStampers, and got a general card done in another challenge. I played with watercoloring in multiple ways including some new things with Twinks, did my first "scene" with my Art Impressions Beach set, and we explored lots of new ways to use Nestabilities. It will turn out to be an expensive weekend for Cindy- both the twinks and the nesties were new to her and now BOTH are "must haves"!

Now I am exhausted and need to get to sleep to be ready for a new week at school. Clothes are ready, school bad is packed, so all my usual Sunday night chores are done.

I'll post some of the pictures from this weekend as the week goes on. For now, since I know for sure that my Mother does NOT read here, here is the piece de resistance: the Mother's Day card.

Friday, May 2, 2008

Fun Friday

Cindy and I are having a great time! We've played with Cuttlebug + Nestabilities; we have colored with prismacolors, Derwent watercolors pencils, Twinks and I forget what else. I am so tired I cannot believe it. Big post in a few days with all the news.