Sunday, December 30, 2007

Happy New Year's Eve Eve! I've ordered my groceries online for delivery tomorrow. So my plans are set: a quiet evening at home with the feline friends. I have a couple Netflix films to watch. Maybe I'll put on the nature show that made Jazz go nuts. That should be good for a laugh (I wonder if I can get a video of her jumping at the TV as she did last time, and send it to YouTube?). I also plan to gather up all the ticket stubs and playbills from this year and TRY to put them in a scrapbook. Then it will be 25 more to go (scrapbooks that is). At least I'm in good company; even Martha Stewart admits she hasn't actually put any of her yearly ephemera into a book, but is saving it loose in labeled boxes or files.

The tag pictured here is one I made last year for a swap with friends. I made a color copy of a vintage postcard and added the 'celebrate' banner and the wax seal, along with a few touches of gold pen and glitter, a little torn paper in one corner, and the requisite brown ink along the edges to age it. In the new year, I won't be posting anymore previous card designs; from now on it will just be the new ones as they are made. I will continue to post 'before' pics of my redecorating project.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Merry Christmas, everyone! I'm ready to head off to the family get-together in a couple of hours, but I didn't want to pack up the gifts without taking a photo of them. Some years I try for a theme with my gift wrap and this year I used an old favorite - newsprint. I used comics when I was first wrapping gifts as a teen or pre-teen. It's free and recyclable! The card-making ladies at would call it vintage :)

Miss Santa Bear behind the gifts is one of the stuffed animals I bring out only at Christmas. They're a great way to fill up the space beneath the tree before the gifts arrive. I received a Santa Bear and Miss SB from a friend 20 years ago. Dayton's Dept Stores sold a new version each year, and I believe they are retired now with the end of Dayton's.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

I'm dreaming of a white Christmas. It's not just a dream - it's happenin'! Snowing today before dawn and many inches expected. I'll be among the procrastinators trying to get some last-minute shopping done, but it's beautiful out there. Here's another older snow photo...I'll update when I return.
Update: I won't change the photo from last year - the snow is almost as piled up as you see. It snowed all Christmas Day and I've yet to shovel the driveway. At least you can see the yellow trim that was painted in spring of last year. The garage is concrete block - not as old as the house - probably built in the '50s. The windows need replacing - maybe with glass block.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

The cats - Zane, Harley, Jazz and Cubby - have their own tree. I took the photo in the library, but, it will be set up in the bedroom. I use miniature ornaments and look for anything with a mouse or bird. That includes Snoopy with his friend Woodstock. I have always collected Santas, angels and snowmen, so the tiny versions of those will find their way to this tree also. The string of lights is battery-operated LED.

Monday, December 17, 2007

If you received my Christmas card and found your way here by the info on the back, here is the promised newsletter:

It was a 'St Paul' year. I had decided to make this the year I got out of my own little neighborhood to see the other half of the Twin Cities and it seems I did pretty well. These were all St Paul events:

MN Public Radio 40th Anniversary open house
Science Museum 'Race' exhibit (with nephew G in town for a visit)
Live broadcast of 'A Prairie Home Companion' at the Fitzgerald Theater
RetroRama Fashion Show party at the MN History Center
Como Park Conservatory spring flower show
Grand Old Days block party

...and that's just the first half of the year! I was back at the Science Museum to see 'Pompeii' recently, and just last night was treated to 'Inspecting Carol', a play at the U of M Centennial Showboat, and dinner at Muffaletta. Thanks D&K!!

My other goal was to see more of MN outside the metro area. I'm still working on that, but did manage to spend a little time in Stillwater, Afton, Hastings, Bayfield and Duluth.

It was a good year for plays and music at the Bloomington Theater, Cedar Cultural Center and the Dakota Jazz Club (my first time ever at the latter two). I visited each of the major art centers to see exhibits of Bob Dylan, Georgia O'Keefe and Frida Kahlo. And it's never a bad year for movies! I saw more than usual by signing up for every free ticket offer that came to my email box. Can't forget food...Mom, D&K and I went to a fun meal-making session at our local Sociale Gourmet and came away with many delicious fresh-to-freezer meals

Although it was another too-hot summer (for me), C and I biked on several paved paths around town, logging at least 15 miles each time. One route took us from Minnehaha Falls to Fort Snelling, across the Mendota Bridge and through Crosby Farm Park (into the cool forest).

On a serious note, the collapse of the I35W bridge over the Mississippi and the storm that knocked down Mom's 40-yr-old tree had us counting our blessings. With the flooding south of us, it was a scary year for Minnesota.

Although minor by comparison, problems with computers and internet connections delayed the opening of my website, ( In the meantime, I had fun stocking and organizing my workroom and challenging myself with various card designs.

So, that's just a bit of my 2007. It was fun to re-read my journal and remember all the events. I hope your year was a good one and the coming year even better!

P.S. - I'm not sure why there's too much space between some of the lines above. It's not by choice and I have yet to find a fix.

It's a happy day when you finish a task you've set for yourself! I've been working on drawing a new "12 Days of Christmas" card each year. Here is this year's card. It took me 4 days from first sketch to mailed. Not bad when under pressure! The Canadian cards might not arrive on time - sorry, cousins, I'll try harder next year. My goal is to finish all the cards in the series next year and arrange them into a small poster. The size and layout of each card has been designed with that in mind. Six down, six to go! :)

Saturday, December 15, 2007

I'll be back later with another post about the 12 days of Christmas. Until then, here's a link to a funny Youtube video of that theme.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

After last year, this grapevine wreath became a permanent decoration. The little white Hallmark ornaments represent 12 wishes for a new home, such as abundance, generosity and true love. Except for Santa, the images are non-holiday, so I decided to take off the ribbon and the glass walnut ornament, and leave it up year-round. I later found the perfect beaded starfish to attach in place of the bow, in keeping with the beach-house theme of my decor. It's good to have this photo so I can recreate the bow.

Monday, December 10, 2007

The tree is decorated - hooray for the tree! I've had a long-standing tradition of putting it up the day after Thanksgiving and am woefully behind this year. But, since Christmas is still 2 weeks away and New Year's day (when it will be taken down) three weeks, there's plenty of time to enjoy it. The photo is from last year since the wall behind the tree has been stripped of wallpaper and is rather unphotogenic. Except for the number of ornaments, the tree doesn't change much from year to year. I did try to put in a few less branches this time to give the larger ornaments room to hang freely. And I had to buy a new star because I can't find the one in the photo, although all my ornament boxes are labeled and in one location. Today it's on to the cards. Late as ever, but I do plan to have them in the mail tomorrow.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Greetings from snowy Minneapolis. The photo is from last year, but it looks the same outside right now. We finally got a before-Christmas snow to last awhile and help the holiday spirit (at least for me).
I will try to begin regular posts this week. When I started the blog last March, I had second thoughts about needing another 'hobby'. I had also started tearing down some wallpaper to begin redecorating and didn't get too far before the heat of summer set in. Except for the bathroom, this is the first such project in 27 years! So, after the new year, I will begin again on the walls and keep you updated on my progress - in words and pictures. In the meantime, I will post all the before pics. I'll also write about my card business, still in the planning stages, and post pics of greeting card designs, and other fun stuff.