Thursday, December 11, 2014

Chalking Up Another Day...

   Almost time for family reunion. Reminded of the many holidays military families spend apart. Away from family, away from home, away from any sense of normalcy. Keeping current and former service members in our prayers. Join us won't you? And while we're at it, perhaps we can add first responders of the homeland who keep vigilant watch, and are at our beck and call. Freedom isn't free; and service is often a sacrifice many will never know.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Joy to the World

   Gold embossing makes a lovely variation to yesterday's sentiment set. Adorned it with Stampendous holiday inches, and textured background. Creating and remembering all the people to whom these greetings will be sent. Always such a humbling time of year--we have been living a Wonderful Life to be sure. Holiday blessings to you and yours.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Making Merry

   Isn't it terrific when patterned paper makes such a fun background for a new sentiment stamp? I just bought several of the WPlus9 clear sets with phrases and hand-lettered sentiments. Lots of mix and match fun. I love that they are separate, the phrases can be moved around depending on your mood, and they couldn't be easier. Here's more with the color scheme reversed:
   Oh what fun it is to stamp…still counting days until my family is all home together!

Monday, December 8, 2014

Happy Feet!

   Counting the days until we get to have darling daughter home from university. So much to catch up on, new memories to be made, and another farewell when she leaves to continue her studies. It's going to fly by so we will make it count.
   My sister loves all things penguin. I took some Jolee stickers and built a set of cards around them. Had fun playing with my new shimmer spray and sentiment stamps--easy! My favorite card is the one you don't see here; I'm pretty sure the dog ate it! It was on my desk for final touches…spent a few concentrated minutes attaching the little fish hanging from fishing poles…couldn't find it anywhere when I came back after lunch. I should have looked in Odin's mouth for signs of glitter…he was skulking sheepishly enough to not have bothered though. He loves paper as much as I do. 

Friday, November 28, 2014

Go Cats!

   Made some cards for my daughter's holiday hosts. Reckon someone who works at the university just might enjoy having these original works to pen some nice messages. 
Go Cats!

Thursday, November 27, 2014


   So grateful my daughter has a home to go to for Thanksgiving holiday away at school. Will be the first one without her. Looking forward to having her home for semester break soon! We'll make another turkey dinner in her honor, along with all her favorite meals while we have her back with us. 
vertical variation

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Giving Thanks

   Wishing everyone safe travels on this holiday travel day. Over the river and through the woods to grandmother's house we go. The horse knows the way to carry the sleigh. [all that before the global warming hoopla] Be well.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Thankful for Paper Crafting Friends!

   It all starts with an inspiration for me; whether it's an original, or in this instance--a CASE[d] design from Jayne. I made a series for some Thanksgiving cards using her beautiful design and some new acrylic paint daubers from Tim Holtz. This was my practice sheet--which often turns out so nice I turn it into a card--sent this to my friend Susan who also inspires me with so much of her beautiful work. I am thankful for all my paper crafting friends all over the world. We share so much. I am always revived, renewed, and restored when I visit their creativity. Thank you Jayne for making my holiday so beautiful!
Loved the coppery sequin catching the light…
This is a total knock-off of Jayne's design--and I sprayed the whole thing with Shimmer spray to make it sparkle.
      And here's the last variation. The CAS of the CASE you might say. I hope you have many blessings to count wherever you are.

Friday, November 14, 2014

Hooray for 4H

   Cooperative Extension is celebrating it's 100th anniversary this year, and one of our fabulous 4H friends has just been honored with an award for her service. Thought I'd help her celebrate by making something green and spahkly to decorate her office desk! 

Thursday, November 6, 2014


   Doing the happy dance at my place after the completion of the most recent election cycle here in the US. Our founding documents and system of governance works as well as any that could be conceived by man…as long as we stick to it. We tend to only get in trouble when we go against the framework of checks and balances. Humans are prone to abuse any power they have eventually, and our Constitution safeguards against that inevitability. [remember Smigal and Bilbo in The Hobbit?]
   The People have spoken. I just hope those in power are listening real good.
   The card above is a large, half sheet size I made for one of my daughter's quad mates. It's nice and big for lots of people to sign to wish the recipient many happy returns…kind of brings it all back to the election! I can't resist a good pun!

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Wool of Bat

   Kind of speaks for itself don't you think? Had a little fun with this Halloween greeting sponging clouds on dark grey card stock and embossing/cutting out bats. Hope you're brewing up something fun for the weekend.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Destination: Happiness

   Making some large birthday cards to send out west to college daughter. I like this sentiment for young people since we seem to be expecting an awful lot out of them in a competitive world. So many of them are stressed out before they ever get to higher education, and are having trouble enjoying what should be the times of their lives. I'm glad we could give our own children an environment where learning for learning's sake was the goal of the day. It makes for a special kind of happiness, appreciation, and wonder for our human abilities. May you make some happiness of your own today.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Literary Halloween

   I've been busy making quotes and printing them out for cards. A grown-up Halloween style this year. We're not much into ghoulish and garish, but I did have some fun with a literary license…darling daughter will have fun handing these out next week I should think?
   And what's halloween without something from Mr. Poe?
   I have definitely been feeling Krafty lately--and plan on entering the Simon Says Blog Wednesday Challenge! Hero Arts is sponsoring this week, and I found another use for the Stamp Your Story My Favorite feather image here. Do check it out for yourselves--and put your own stamp on it!

Wednesday, October 22, 2014


   imagination |iˌmajəˈnāSHən|nounthe faculty or action of forming new ideas, or images or concepts of external objects not present to thesenses: she'd never been blessed with a vivid imagination.• the ability of the mind to be creative or resourceful: technology gives workers the chance to use their imagination.• the part of the mind that imagines things: a girl who existed only in my imagination.ORIGIN Middle English: via Old French from Latin imaginatio(n-), from the verb imaginaripicture to oneself, from imago, imagin- image.'

   Sometimes it's just enough to define something. I'll leave the rest to your….. 

Thursday, October 16, 2014

October Eves

 Happy October days friends. I'm finally inspired to start making my own quotes after admiring the ones on Pinterest for months. You're welcome to print and share this autumn sentiment, and I would love to see how you put your own stamp on it! Leave me a comment with a link to your project won't you?
   Here's the printable page link

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Time Travel

Imagine you are a young crew member on an Allied B-17 bomber safely--no small task--airborne on your way to enemy territory with thousands of pounds of munitions. You can barely see your own plane much less what may be lurking in the clouds near you; wondering what the next emerging shadow will be and if you will be ready to defend your air ship. Wondering if you will make it to the target, wondering if you will avoid the flak--on the way there and on the way back, wondering if the fighters will miss you, wondering if you will be able to see the target when you get there--if you get there, and wondering if you will make it back home. Oh my.
   I show you this photo since it was in that missing section in the nose where I filmed the video above. It also shows the hatch where the pilots accessed the plane, and from where Mr. H--from yesterday's post--was the first to bail out of their failing aircraft. If you are interested in seeing for yourself how sturdily these were built, search for B-17 damage photos on the internet. You will be amazed. Here's another doozy:

Please go read the story of the All American. I was sitting just aft of the waist gunner window--right underneath where this spot of damage would have been. I can only imagine....

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Aluminum Overcast

   My son and I had a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to experience a bit of history first hand last week. Flying on a B-17 from the WWII era. The Experimental Aircraft Association, has restored this beautiful old girl and keeps her flying for new generations to enjoy and share in a unique machine and time. I don't know what was more inspiring and joyful--meeting some of the veterans of WWII B-17 crews or riding in the plane itself and feeling just a little bit of what it might have been like back in the day.
   It was amazing to talk with a gentleman and his family who came to the media day of the tour stop. He was a radioman and I was mesmerized watching him climb back to his station and seeing his face transform as he touched things, telling us where they should have been and how they were used:
My son at the radio station
   To be allowed to experience some of his and his children's emotions as they toured the aircraft was a rare privilege I will always cherish. He told us that he safely completed 40+ missions, but that he witnessed several crews that didn't make it. Describing the 30-second take-off intervals, the forming up of large numbers of planes from several surrounding airfields; I'd never realized how dangerous it was just getting airborne without crashing into another plane! The day they took off for Berlin the plane in front of them went off the end of the runway bursting into flames killing the entire crew, yet they had to take off right after them, careful to avoid the wrecked fireball; and once in the air prayed they didn't collide with another plane as they formed up--all this peril before flying into the flak and enemy fighter planes to and from their targets. Mr. L was lucky, and Mr. H was not.
   Mr. H was a top turret gunner on a mission headed over Germany when their plane was shot down. He was the first to have to bail out--having to go out the pilot's hatch in the front of the plane because the other exits were on fire. He tells the story about being trained to count to ten before pulling his parachute ripcord, "I was a little anxious, so I counted 2-4-6-8-10." He blacked out at high altitude and woke up in the tops of trees being cut down by local farmers. He was taken to the German officer in the village who looked him up by name in his intelligence file, and spoke excellent English having been educated in Chicago. Mr. H was sent by train to a Polish prison camp, and later marched 600 miles back through Germany at the end of the war. He was finally liberated by the RAF and came home to America via troop ship. His buddy told him he should ask for duty in the bakery on board ship--which he did--and arrived home having regained much of the weight he lost in captivity on that long march out of Poland. 
   The Greatest Generation is passing rapidly and we don't seem to be teaching much about their sacrifice anymore. I hope we can make a little time to appreciate that time in history. If you have any B-17 connections please share them with us!
   Thanks for reading along today--more tomorrow! 

Saturday, October 4, 2014


   Just a thought for the day, and a way to use some stamps you might not have imagined before. These Hero Arts Brushstroke circles would make beautiful roses too…will have to give that a try sometime. Hope you are finding something to be happy about right now! I'm sending this off to a stamping friend who treated me to a lovely prize recently. Here's another variation I sent off to my daughter:
   If you try something different with these stamps do share it with us won't you? Thanks, and make it a great day!

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Journey and the Road

   A quote collage to send to daughter at school for her bulletin board. My nana used to say, "Home is where your belongings are." Our belongings have been in so many places…so I relate best to Basho's idea. Our time in Japan has meant a lot to our family over the years, and I'll leave you with another Japanese poem photographed on the road in Seattle's Pike Street Market once when our belongings were there:

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Autumn Leaves

   It's that time of year, and I've been busy making cards for friends and family near and far. 
   Inspired by a set I saw here, I made a batch of autumn cards of my own.
      The colors were inspired by the patterned paper from which the leaves were die cut, and Distress Inks were used to sponge them.
   Now I'm just waiting for the leaves to turn outside our windows. How do you put your stamp on Autumn?   

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Friendly Inspiration

   A friend of mine pinned this recently and I found it to be just the inspiration I was looking for to make my mom's birthday card. I thought it was so pretty that I couldn't resist making a few more cards for gifts. Thanks Cath! You continue to inspire from the Shire. Hope you're up to something fun today.
   Here's what I came up with using some old Stampin' Up! stamps and some newer Hero Arts brushstrokes:

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Dorm-sized Cards

   Sharing some dorm-sized cards I sent off to my daughter at school. These are all a single piece of 8.5x11" card stock folded in half to leave plenty of room for everyone in the house to sign. Turns out they're pretty handy to have around…at least that's what they tell me! 
   Hope you're up to something big this weekend! I'm playing at being artistic with tomorrow's cards and post.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Taking Time

   A little card for my daughter to set on her bookshelf. Autumn is our favorite time of year and stopping to watch the leaves are some of our most precious nature moments.

Friday, September 5, 2014


   Catching up on sharing some of the cards I've made/sent to my daughter off at university. They've had a bit of bad news there this week, and lost a new freshman in the prime of his life. Makes us old people reflect on the invincible days of our youth and count our blessings of longevity. This card happened to arrive in a timely fashion as a reminder that we must be grateful and cherish along our journey...and that like butterflies life can be fragile. 
   This is a new-to-me embossing folder, and these images are fussy cut from a free digi- download I found on Pinterest. There are lots of them so take a look and print some for yourselves.
anything with bees is a hit with my girl!
one of her favorite quotes
   I'll close with the title of the post. I finally had an epiphany last night falling asleep about the direction I'd like to go with this blog. I've been struggling with theme/focus/time constraints. I'd like to blog for more than posting my cards, but I also want to do something to get people talking/thinking/doing beyond art or hobby. It's the drive that made me become a teacher I suppose. In my classroom I had quotes laminated and posted all over the room. My two favorites were:

   By appreciation, we make excellence in others our own property. --Voltaire

Bring ideas in and entertain them royally, for one of them may be the king. --Mark Van Doren  

   I feel like we're too afraid to share our thoughts in a politically correct culture, and there's precious little civil discourse. Some I know have completely shut out what goes on in the world overwhelmed with constant media blasting of agendas. I see differences in other countries outside America, and wide regional differences within my own country. So, I am going to try to combine two of my favorite things to do--collect/think about quotes and card making. I hope the quotes will inspire you to think and contribute to discourse around you, and the art may do the same. Either way, I encourage each of you--as always--to put your own stamp on what you find around you! I'm always interested to entertain your ideas if you'll share them! Make it a great weekend.

Friday, August 29, 2014

Road Trips?

   I've been playing with a new clear set from Inkadinkado. This VW bus is such a big, fun memory of mine. My aunt and uncle had one and we often piled our two families to head to the ocean on a fine California summer day with all the cousins, sandy feet, peanut butter sandwiches, and beach toys. The moms carted everything from the parking lot in those big, straw, appliquéd tote bags...hmm that would be a fun idea for a card set! 
   May you enjoy a safe, waning summer long weekend. 

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Howdy Doodle

   A pair of doodle-ready cards for dorm distraction. My kids have always loved listening to stories and audible books while coloring. Figured my daughter would enjoy that still as a nice study break from school. She can fill them with color, expand them, and/or zentangle them.

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Traveler vs. Tourist

   I admire G. K. Chesterton. He wrote a lot of very interesting things, and this particular quote rings so true to me. This card is made with some fun Hero Arts stamps, and colored cut outs from an embossed background. Just the ticket for a dorm display work.
   Have you seen the Nia Vardalos movie, My Life in Ruins? A fun story about traveling through life. Loved Poopi!

Friday, August 22, 2014

And She's Off...

   Darling daughter is off and nearly settled in her new environment oh-so-many-miles away at college. We were lucky to have her for a gap year while she observed her hive and thought about honeybees and lots of other things. Now we focus on her brother, and we all marvel at her new experiences. 
   I made her a little stash of cards to take with her. She loves to write, has friends all over the world, and she'll add to her collection with memories and moments. I look forward to corresponding with her's such a unique way to communicate and there are nuances that are under appreciated in our twittery, instant, knee-jerk world.
   Now I'll have a great excuse to try out all the goodies I've been collecting before our move and since we've unpacked. Have some new embossing folders and they make lovely backgrounds for these Hero Arts stamps...a great way to incorporate some of my favorite quotes to share, and fun for my daughter to display on her desk. 
   I'm curious to hear from you. To whom do you write real letters? or even an email of any length? Is it a habit worth forming and/or passing on? Share how you put your own stamp on this notion won't you?

Good Techniques to Remember

SHOP this project, Rooted In Nature Sometimes we forget the simplest things as we learn new ways to do things. I was reminded how much f...