Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Christmas Flutter

I wanted to share the wonderful Christmas card received from super talented Tanya Watts. You remember Tanya from past blogs, she is a designer that lives in Belgium (her blog is a must see!). Well back in November Tanya invited anyone that read her blog to send her their address and she would mail them a Christmas card. She didn't "care if you lived on the other side of the planet", if you were on her list she would send you one of her handmade Christmas cards. I wasn't shy and added my name to her list. True to her word, Tanya sent me this great card. I love it when Christmas keeps fluttering in!

Monday, December 29, 2008

Wrong Turn

I'm back to blogging about birds. But this time it's a colorful one. In fact this one showed up on Christmas day dressed in a red suit.
My husband saw him through the sun room window. The bird ( I have no idea what kind it is, I guess if we are going to become bird watchers I better get a bird book to identify what kind we are looking at) staked his claim to the bird feeder . He was after the sunflower seeds.
He flew off to sit on the fence for a while.

I think he was waiting for me to leave. ( I was taking pictures thought the window) A friend of his came by to wait with him.

We had another visitor, this one had a black head and a yellow beak. Not your usual Arizona backyard bird.
They must have flown south for the winter. Which was a big joke...it has been freezing here in the Valley of the Sun. The birds must of thought they took a wrong turn.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas, Ho Ho Ho, and all that Jazz

To say I "scrap swiped" this idea for my 2008 Christmas card would be an understatement.When I saw the November/December Somerset Studio magazine cover, I knew I had to find a way to make Rachel Killpack's fabulous "Christmas Star" in to a card.
I wasn't sure if I could pull it off, slowly the pieces came together. Without looking to hard I found the patterned paper. Bo-Bunny Press (Jan Lanoy) "Winter Whisper Swirl". The music patterned paper is K&Company, "Life's Journey Music". I had the white feathers left over from a long ago project and bought the silver star garland at Joann's. Then the search got a bit harder. What the heck was I going to use for the flourish in the center of the angels? I ended up getting a wooden applique, which I dry brushed with white paint and highlighted with distress ink. When it dried, I scanned the wooden applique, then printed it using the wallet size layout to get the size I needed. I cutout the scanned flourish, highlighted it with a white gel pen and covered with Crystal Stickle glitter. I went through all my old photos looking for an image I could use for the angels. I couldn't find any picture that would work. I check the Internet, nothing. I finally got on Flickr and found the exact image Rachel had used. It had been posted by Suzee Que. After printing and cutting out the angels, I used a opalescence eyeshadow and tinted the angels so they would have a bit of a shimmer. The angels and the flourish were backed with chipboard to give the card some dimension.
As my husband and I were addressing the envelopes for the card, he asked me if I had made this card before, I told him this was the first time. He said he had seen this someplace before. I told him he had...it was on the front cover of Somerset Studio I had sitting out for the last month. Yep... it was a total scrap swipe!
Wishing you all a very Merry Christmas!

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Blue Christmas

The Christmas card for 2007 was a scraplift ( "lift" sounds so much better than "swipe") I don't remember where or when I saw the idea, but all that wonderful Basic Gray pattern paper grabbed me. I think the line was called "Figgy Pudding" and I liked the idea of using shades of blue for Christmas. Of course I used "Tim Holtz" distress ink "old paper" on all the edges. I also found a great clear rubber stamp for the star garland. I must have punched dozens of yellow stars for the tops of the trees. The inside message reads, "He who has no Christmas in his heart will never find Christmas under a tree".

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Retro Christmas

Back to the cards of Christmas past with this one coming from 2006. I had found this Melissa Frances retro Christmas patterned paper at Mystic Paper ( back when they were across the street from their present location, in a corner of an antique store...they have come a long way!). The paper reminded me of wrapping paper used on the presents when I was a kid. I had a photo of Christmas taken at my uncle's house in Tucson about 1957 of my sister and I with our cousins. The picture and the paper were a perfect fit for a Christmas card. I did a zig-zag stitch on the machine with green thread, added the "Merry Christmas" ribbon and a green tree brad.

If you are keeping count and wondering if you missed a post on the Christmas card for 2005, you didn't. I was so busy I didn't get cards made so boxed cards were sent.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

No Last Minute

Being a floral designer means the week before a big holiday I have to have EVERYTHING done (a flower shop gets to be pretty busy this time of year). There can be no last minute to do list. That is just what I have done this last week. Got all the shopping done, addressed the Christmas cards, made candy with my DH ( yum..divinity),
got the gifts boxed for out of town family,
and finally trimmed the tree, DH put some Christmas music on the stereo to get us in the holiday spirit.
Tonight we are going to hear the "Messiah"...can't get more Christmas than that. By this time tomorrow I should be up to my elbows in Christmas pine, holly, and red and white carnations.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Oranges and a Charlie Brown Chirstmas Tree

Nothing says Christmas in Arizona like going out in your back yard and picking an orange off your tree. This is the time of year when the oranges ripen, get their color and become ready to eat. The grand kids can't wait to pick, peel and eat a juicy navel orange. (the neighbors cat just likes to rub up against the leaves)

While most people are shoveling snow, we Arizonans in the Valley of the Sun squeeze our backyard citrus for juice, plant pansies in the garden, and decorate the Christmas tree.
I have a naked "Charlie Brown" tree waiting in the front room for lights and ornaments...
I know, I know it's two weeks until Christmas!I am making a dent in my to do list though...I finished my Christmas Cards and have most of them addressed..now if only I can remember to get down to the Post Office and buy stamps !

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Posted Once Again

I already posted this card I made for 2004 (but here it is again). It was inspired by a light green sparkly Christmas stocking I found at Joann's (fabric and craft store). I liked that it was so festive and fit perfectly into the holiday season..but not the traditional red and green (in case you haven't noticed I go for the non-traditional). I looked all over for a shear light green material, but couldn't find the same color as the stocking. I finally bought the stocking and cut it apart to get the material I wanted. I layered and stitched (using the sewing machine) with metallic gold thread the material on top of a Bazzill card stock that complemented the shear material and edged the card stock in gold. Layered on that, I used an ivory card stock, "happy holidays" rubber stamp, heat embossed in gold. This was my first attempt at heat embossing. I made many, many "happy holidays", before I got enough that actually looked like they read "happy holidays". I used a willow green paint over the gold embossing and added a gold star brad. The card base was stamped with a sheet music rubber stamp in gold. Then I gold edged the card and placed the light green layers over the gold rubber stamping. The message on the inside of the card reads "As the merry bells keep ringing happy holidays to you"

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Christmas Past

While I'm working on this years Christmas cards, and all the other Christmas projects I have on my to-do list, I was going to show you cards from Christmas past. I pulled out the one from I believe 2003. If I remember correctly I made these cards during the summer of that year because I was caught up on all my other projects. I have never been caught up again! The brown, green and gold holly paper was a wrapping paper , a holly rubber stamp, gold ink, a star brad and fiber. I was really into lots of floppy fiber at the time. The message inside the card reads..."Christmas waves a magic wand over the world, and behold, everything is softer and more beautiful".
All I can say is, "I have come along way in my designs"!

Monday, December 1, 2008

Shiny Brite

I am hooked on Shiny Brite ornaments. It started out innocently enough.
Every year I would pick up one or two, here and there. Then I discovered the "mother load". There is a shop in Mesa called "Treasures from the Past Antiques".
I don't know why, but they always seem to have a larger selection then most other antique stores in the area. The weekend after Thanksgiving they have a sale.
So of course as long as they're on sale...I have to check out what they have and end up buying. Now I have a collection. What to do with all those ornaments?
Well my other collection is terrariums, so that's how all those Shiny Brites are displayed. This year the grand kids are not at the house all the time so I have a vase full of them on the coffee table.
The pink and green one, and the gold textured 1920's ornament are my latest finds.

I also found the glittery retro birds at the antique store, thought they were kind of cool,
so three of them came home with me.
Back to decorating...

Friday, November 28, 2008

Post Thanksgiving

Last night after all the Thanksgiving company was gone and I was done cleaning for the evening. I cut a slice of pumpkin pie, loaded it up with whip cream, and by the glow of the computer monitor, I put my feet up and listened to
"Alice's Restaurant Massacre" on Mike Putman
(aka jack and cat curio) blog play list.
The perfect end to a Thanksgiving day, thanks Mike!

Hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving.

This morning I do believe I finally got the last of Thanksgiving paraphernalia put back where it belongs. All the "stuff" you only pull out once or twice a year, so you have to get down on your hands and knees to put it away. We had such a house full for dinner, a lot of the furniture had to be moved. Of course that leads to a cleaning while you are at it. I have started bringing out Christmas decorations and trying to remember how I displayed them last year.

Now it's time to get back to making my Christmas cards...yes I do know I'm cutting it kind of close!

The cat beat me to my table... she is right on top of the glitter!

Monday, November 24, 2008

I got an Award!

Best thing that happened to me all day...I received an
Kreativ Blog Award from Tanya Watts, a wonderful mixed media, scrapbook and altered art designer in Belgium.
Thank you Tanya!
The rules:
1. The winner may put the logo on their blog
2. Put a link to the person who sent you the award
3. Nominate 5 blogs for the award.

I'm going to pass it along to ...

An designer from Scotland. She always has such lovely mixed media art on her site, it's fun to see what she will do next.
Is not only a great paper artist and but she creates wonderful solder ornaments.
She has to be the fastest scrapbooker there is, and all her design are such fun...and she is a cat lover too!
Has the most wonderful old photos and creative art on her blog.
Is just getting started in the blog world, and really working it! She designs (among other things) these great Palo Verde Gals. And Lisa lives in Gilbert so that makes us neighbors.
If Tanya hadn't already given Mike the Great the award, I would have given it to him. Mike makes all us Mystic Paper groupies look good.
So take at peek at these artist they are all very talented, and such fun to visit their blogs!
PS...thank you to my niece Sarah in Idaho, that talked me through, over the phone on how to cut and paste my blog award!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Cards of Christmas Past

Sheri, our Mystic Paper Design Team Captain sent out an e-mail to all the team members...we officially have the month of December off. With all this free time on my hands (HA!) I'm in great hopes of getting my Christmas cards completed. The good news is I have actually gotten started, which comes as a big surprise to even me. So to fill in the time, I'm going to share some of my cards from Christmas pasts. Just let my know if it gets boring.

Thursday, November 20, 2008


Got the new monitor up and running, we're back in business!

We were talking about my Mystic Paper Design Team project for November. The paper in my kit was all soft pastels, perfect for all the spring, baby and wedding ideas. But I went way out of the box and came up with a Christmas album. That's right PINK for Christmas. Before you say "she has really gone too far with this idea"... have you seen the front cover of Scrapbook Etc. for November/December. The Christmas layout is in PINK and green.

The front cover of Romantic Homes magazine...PINK for Christmas. So we are going PINK! And who doesn't love all the sparkly glitter this time of year?
Yes, the album is loaded with glitter. I know what you are thinking...wouldn't this be a great gift for your aunt-cousin-secret sister-coworker-neighbor. And you are right, it would be! Heck it would look wonderful sitting on your coffee table for your friends and family to woo and aah over while they are visiting during the holiday season. Come on! You can do this...just think PINK

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

We are experiencing technical difficulties

My monitor kicked the bucket! I've unplugged, jiggled, shook and pounded on it, and it's not coming back. Yes I am very much annoyed...and that is putting it nicely. The good thing is my husband had the for site to buy an extended warranty, so "they" are sending us a new one, eventually. It's pretty sad when you have you call and ask somebody if you can use their computer so you can post a blog! I'm at my Aunt Louesa's house using her computer. You remember Aunt Louesa from the "Family Connection" post. I get to post and have a nice visit too. As soon as the monitor comes in , and DH has it hooked up, I'll show you the Sugar Plum Christmas book. In the mean time you can catch part of it at the Mystic Paper blog site.

Sunday, November 16, 2008


Almost forgot the back cover...it wouldn't be a book without a back cover!

I turned my Mystic Paper Design Team project in to Jennifer on Saturday, she said it was "stinking cute"... high praise indeed. If you are up to another book I'll post it. Here is a sneak peek...
Sheri finished her Design Team project as soon as she picked out her kit, while she was on her way home in the car! Seriously she is so fast, and she designed such a fun book. Lindsey has come up with so many beautiful ideas, her ornament is fantastic. Yasu once again has designed some great layouts. So click on over to their blog site and take a look.

Friday, November 14, 2008

The End

All good books must come to an end, and these are the last pages in the Summer Book. Which by the way still doesn't have an official title. The page on the left is another junk mail envelope with a large velum window, stamped, rub-ons , distressed with ink and lined with Basic Gray patterned paper. The tag has puzzle pieces that I sanded, then inked.
An acrylic page has a black rub-on flourish. Behind the acrylic is the last page. It is of my grand kids. I photographed them (and photoshop the picture to sepia) as they were walking away, turning to wave good-bye. I have taken care of both GK since they were three weeks old. This year they are both off to school, so except for holiday weeks I won't be watching them. The side of the page reads "8 years of Granny Day Care" and on the bottom of the page"Remember everything I taught you and when you need me I'll be here".
We all know that summer ends when the school year starts, so...the end

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Aberdeen on Holiday

Remember back to the beginning of the
Summer Book post...I was whining about not taking a trip this summer. These are the pages that started the whole book. The first"NO" is pointing to an embellishment that says "journey". The second "NO" is to a washer that says "destination" and the third "NO" is to a strip of negatives (no pictures). The page on the right with the three butterflies was the first page. At the bottom of the page was another summer incident. We have some friends George and Linda that live in Shetland. Of course Shetland is famous for their wool sweaters and they raise sheep for the wool. While Linda was growing up her family raised sheep. Linda and her sister got to have a lamb to raise. As the lamb got older and became a sheep it was destined for other things besides being a pet. The sheep that weren't raised for their wool were sent off to Aberdeen (to become some body's dinner). Linda and her sister would come home from school, unable to find their pet sheep were told by their mother " They have gone off to Aberdeen on holiday". So when I called my children to tell them the news of the cat, I told them Dingbat had gone off to Aberdeen on holiday.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Station Break

Time to take a "station break" from the SUMMER BOOK. I received an email from our fearless design team leader Sheri, letting us know our design team kits for November were ready to pick up at Mystic Paper. She picked one of my favorite patterned papers, Melissa Frances. In fact years ago Mystic was the first place I was able to purchase Melissa Frances paper (the company is located in Canada). This patterned paper is from the Thankful line. A portion of the proceeds are donated to a breast cancer awareness and support website. We like this paper. When I opened my kit and saw the soft pastel patterned paper, velvet ribbons, fairy dust glitter and fun tag book, I was thinking it would be wonderful for baby cards, wedding layouts, Easter projects and Mother's Day albums. Then I started thinking outside the box...way outside! I may be in dangerous territory ...stay tuned.

PS; I haven't looked to see what Sheri, Lindsey and Yasu got in there sacks yet, I'll have to check out there blogs.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Feeling HOT HOT HOT!

I am a fifth generation Arizonan. While I did spend my early years living in other states, as an Air Force brat, Arizona has always been home. I love it here, I don't understand why someone would move to the "Valley" and be so surprised that in the middle of July it's 120 degrees. We live in a desert for crying out loud! So the Arizona summer got pages in the "Summer Book". The birds (see "Fancy Colorful Birds" blog) got their tribute on these pages also.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Waiting for Grandma

If you remember back to my "Family Connection" blog, I had spent the summer going through family photos, histories and working on genealogy. Most of this renewed interest came about because of the death of my husband's grandmother last November. Grandma's death was sudden. She was 100 years old, and in good health. These pages are in remembrance of her.
The paper has the look and feel of textured wall paper. I rub a white ink pad over the surface, and highlighted with a white gel pen. I used the same gel pen to decorate the laser cut "Waiting for Grandma".
I pulled apart then re-assembled a large white flower. The center is a brad, I covered with tacky tape, and rolled in tiny glass marbles. The "together" tag probably came off a shirt, and the love charm from a wedding announcement. Grandma is hiding in a velum envelope.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Three water is smaller than four water

These pages of the book are inspired by my granddaughter. During the summer I signed my grand kids up for two-two week sessions of swimming lessons. The kids were so excited you would have thought I was taking them to Disneyland. The first day of the first session we went to the public pool, the kids found their classes and the teacher asked the kids to jump into the pool. My DGD would not jump in, apparently 4 feet was too deep for her. She would slide in but wouldn't jump in. For two weeks, every day I explained how she was 47 1/2 inches tall and the water was 48 inches deep. I asked, "Can you touch the bottom?" Yes she could touch the bottom. Still she wouldn't jump into the pool. The last day of class, the teachers tested the kids. DGD made several attempts to jump into the pool, only to slide in at the last second. Finally the last attempt was a half slide-half jump. She came running over to me all excited that she had jumped in. I told her it didn't look like a jump to me, but we would let the teacher be the judge. We walked over and asked the teacher if it was a slide or a jump...he said it was kind of a jump. But he did suggest she take the class over. The next session of swimming lessons were at a different public pool in the city. The first day of lessons came...we had the talk about really jumping in this time. We got to the pool, and were sitting on the chairs waiting for class to start, and I pointed out the fact that the shallow end at this pool was only 3 feet deep. She went off to class, the teacher asked the kids to jump into the pool, and DGD JUMPED IN! When the lessons were over and she came over for her towel, I asked her why she jumped into this pool but not the last one. She said she jumped in because the three water was much smaller than the four water. How are you going to argue with logic like that?
The photo of the woman in the old fashion bathing suit , diving into the pool, is my great grandmother. She apparently like to jump in.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Make today worth remembering...

The first pages of the book have pockets. The left pocket was made from
AMX-CC offer. The opening is slanted. I sanded off the lettering and applied turquoise ink to distress (and of course some Ranger distress ink pads), a stamp in black ink and a rub on. The tag in side the pocket has a turquoise loop that I found bouncing around the dryer, not sure what it came off of.
The little black safety pin was connected to the small black tag between the the cover and the acrylic. I applied another black rub on to the acrylic page.
The "Today" page is one of the junk mail envelopes with large velum windows, distressed, stamped and rubbed on. Basic Gray patterned paper lines the envelope.
The back of the tag is a line from the Music Man..."You pile up enough tomorrows, and you'll find you are left with nothing but a lot of empty yesterdays. I don't know about you, but I'd like to make today worth remembering".

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Working Title..."Summer Book"

I have taken a trip every summer for the last nine years ...big trips, sometimes more than one. The kind you really diet, scrimp, save, bring sack lunches to work, look up on the Internet all the wonderful things you are going to do, find it all on a map, kind of trip. When I come home I scrapbook them all. In fact trips are of my favorite things to scrapbook (next to my grand kids). Places like Scotland, Ireland, Shetland, England, San Francisco, New York, San Diego and last summer I even dipped my toe in Paris (which means it was a really quick trip). This summer there wasn't a trip. None, Zilch, Nada, Zip. Despite the fact British Airways taunted me with their fabulous "low" fares. This summer I had to use my imagination to run away from home.
Now I told you that story, to tell you this story...

I was helping my grandson open a toy he had gotten for his Birthday. I started complaining about the over packaging. Thick sheets of plastic acrylic, book board weight backing. There I was holding the pieces in my hand, getting ready to toss them in the recycle when the creativity began. I measure and cut until I had 2 pieces of acrylic and 2 pieces of backing the same size. They sat on my work bench for about a week waiting for me to get inspired.
While shredding the junk mail I came across some envelopes with large velum windows that were the same size as the acrylic and the backing. A design for making a book was coming together. The book would be my summer get away. I didn't design the pages in any kind of order. I only set two boundaries for myself. I had to use supplies I already had and the pages had to be about the summer of 2008.
As of today, this book still doesn't have an official title.
To be continued...

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Cat in the Hats

As you can see this cat has a rough life. This day the grand kids were over and the sun room turned in to a playroom which means the cat went into hiding. Barbies, cars, Lincoln Logs, stickers, costumes, books, and more, all over the room. The hats got dumped on the footstool and when the kids went home to mom and dads house, the cat appeared from her safe place (that place cats hide while the grand kids are at granny and papa's house), she discovered the hats. This was something new and different on the stool, so apparently upon closer inspection, it called for a nap.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Someone told me it's all happening at the Zoo...

..."I do believe it, I do believe it's true"...You all do know Simon and Garfunkel's "At the Zoo" right...or am I singing by myself?

We took the grand kids to the Phoenix Zoo the other day. It's something we try to do with them in the Fall. You know, weather is a bit cooler (it was 95), it's Fall Break so there isn't a lot of people around (it was packed), and it's fun to see all the animals (anything in the cat or dog family was napping).The grand kids had a great time, I got to play with my camera, and grandpa got to push both kids and all the "stuff" around the zoo in one of those cover cart/stroller things.
We always start with the Giraffes, the kids like to climb up the lookout tower, where they can be about eye level with the giraffes. There we two baby Zebras, not so small , but still just as cute. We walked through the Monkey Village.
A good time was had by all. And yes I admit it...I dig the Zoo.