Wednesday, December 31, 2008
Tuesday, December 30, 2008
These cards were made for Technique Lover's Challenge, posted every Monday at SCS. Both cards started with designer paper by K and Company folded into a "squash" shape (that was the challenge) and a Rubber stampede stamp. I used watercolor pencils and regular colored pencils and printed the sentiment on my PC. The pear card is tied closed with ribbon attached behind the image. The apple card is kept closed by a coated paperclip, decorated with a bit of ribbon.
Friday, December 26, 2008
After taking these pictures, I headed out to a movie ("Seven Pounds" - excellent!), then home to change clothes, finish a couple cards, make a little altered tin (and upload it to my SCS gallery) and leave to pick up Mom. Our family gathering at Paul and Ann's included 9 adults, 16 children, a variety of tasty foods, the gift exchange, and musical entertainment by the young cousins. I played pool with TL (thanks, TL!). He did very well and I recalled spending my youth in a poolhall. Just joking! Mom used to be on a bowling league when my brothers and I were kids, and we learned how to play billiards while she was bowling. I claim no talent in that area, but I started to regain a feel for it after 2 games.
Time flew by - after bringing Mom home, it was almost 11:00 as I was driving into my neighborhood, and all of a sudden, the familiar jingle bells of Axel's "The Night Before Christmas" came on the radio. What a thrill! Although we had the "45" of it to listen to every year, and copies on tape, hearing it on the radio after many many years made me a little teary-eyed. I guess it just brings back wonderful memories of Christmases past when I was the child, Dad was still alive, and falling asleep on the way home from the Christmas Eve get-together was possibly the best part of the day.
Thursday, December 25, 2008
Wednesday, December 24, 2008
Monday, December 22, 2008
Saturday, December 20, 2008
2008 was my second full year of working on my greeting card business, Clee'. Many pieces finally fell into place. Minneapolis went wireless, so I got connected. I bought and assembled all the storage cubes I needed for my studio, so my supplies are finally organized. More importantly, I discovered Etsy.com, a website for artists and craftspeople to sell their wares. It was a thrill to upload a card design to "my store" and wait for my first sale. That honor went to cousin Sara (thanks, S!), but I soon had several other sales, including 3 cards mailed directly to Minnesota recipients bought by a woman in Singapore! Ah, the power of the web. :) I also sold a needlepoint pin I had made 30 years ago! Once I thought about all the handmade things I had just waiting to be used and loved by someone else, it wasn't hard to list them for sale. The Etsy shop is still in the beginning stages, and my next step will be to do some marketing.
Mom, Craig and I vacationed in Hawaii (Maui) in April. There's a short video on the right side of the blog that shows one of the highlights of the trip. But there was no day that was not as wonderful as the day before. We rented a car and drove all over the island, from our base on the southwest side near the ocean, to the top of a volcano (Haleakala) and along the precarious, but breathtaking Hana Highway with its 54 bridges and 600 hairpin turns. The weather was perfect, even with the bit of rain we got the day we hiked in Iao Valley. We went to the best luau in all of Hawaii (according to many reviews), a cocktail cruise (during which we spotted the whale in the video), and a snorkeling cruise (Craig had more success than I, but Mom and I got to view some ocean life from the glass-bottomed boat). We had a week and Maui isn't that big, but we felt we could have stayed another week!
The hairpin turns of a Maui highway were nothing compared to the twists in our family life. Craig had quadruple bypass surgery in June and Mom broke her ankle in August (on her birthday!). So, summer included many trips to the hospital, a nursing home, doctor appointments and therapy. The good news is that they are both fully recovered and back to work (Craig) and bowling (Mom).
Summer was also time to celebrate several BIG birthdays - Mom turned 80 and Minnesota and Bloomington turned 150! We had a Hawaiian-themed family picnic at Minnehaha Falls for Mom's birthday. I found plates and tablecloths with tropical designs, and everyone wore their best Hawaiian shirts. For the Minnesota and Bloomington Sesquicentennials, I tried to visit as many historic places as possible, including Stevens House in Mpls, the re-dedication of the Bloomington Town Hall, and Dakota-Pond Mission Park. Our almost mild summer weather was conducive to playing hometown tourist.
It's been a beautiful Fall as well. And a busy one. For my birthday, I was treated to lunch at 3 Fish (thanks D&K and Mom), lunch at Olive Garden (thanks Mom), and a performance of "Wicked" at the State Theater (thanks AJ). I finished my Christmas cards just days ago, and happily completed another large card order (thanks Aunt C!!). As I write this, snow is falling and we are guaranteed a white Christmas. That may not put everyone in the holiday spirit, but it is always my wish-come-true. I don't even mind shoveling...and I've shoveled about 6 times already! :)
Whatever the weather and whatever you may be doing, I hope you are healthy and happy, enjoying the holidays and looking forward to the New Year. Happy 2009, Everyone!
Friday, December 19, 2008
Thursday, December 18, 2008
I didn't start the cards right away. I couldn't decide between my "vision" or the next card in the "12 Days of Christmas" series I've been drawing on and off for the last 10 years. I know some of you look forward to seeing the next one, but when December arrives and I haven't even started the sketch, the pressure can really sap my creativity. I'll admit last year was an exception. I went from sketch to mailed cards in a few days. I finally decided to go ahead with the paper-cutting idea, partly because it represents the style of card I've been designing most of the year.
The finished card is made up of 2 punched-out trees, a punched deer, a punched star, and hand cut hill and large tree. The large tree is a blown-up copy of the small tree. I punched out a tree, put it on my copier and scaled it up to make a template. I'll admit my drawn cards would have been easier; after the drawing is done, it's just a copier project. But I'm happy with the result, and I've even thought of a 3-D project with the same design. (All the paper punches are by Martha Stewart.)
You can see some of the cardstock textures in this close-up. The star is pre-glittered cardstock. Let me know what you think!
Friday, December 12, 2008
A simple little Thank You card made with 2 sizes of scalloped oval punches (Marvy Uchida), a "word balloon" punch (Fiskars), tiny flower punch (Martha Stewart), and pieces of other punches to form the eyes, ears and mouth. Background is photo paper from DCWV.
In the meantime, here's an SCS Sketch Challenge card, using designer paper (probably DCWV), and cardstock, plus grosgrain ribbon and a Stampin' Up image stamped and embossed 3 times. The sentiment reads, "The ornaments of home are the friends who frequent it". The sentiment is also an SU stamp that I bought at a garage sale. It's dated 1994, but I have no idea what set it's from, or the name of it.
Thursday, December 11, 2008
But I was more prepared for this one. The red ring was painted on its trunk months ago. Besides that, it's not "my" tree, although it's right next door.
It went quickly. The front-loader (first photo) was tied to the tree so it fell in the street as was planned. It felt like an earthquake when it fell! I went into the next room to check on the cats - they were sitting up wide-eyed, but pretty calm.
I finally mailed this baby card to my cousin Lisa and family. They welcomed their 11th child, a boy, last month. The card was made for Virtual Stamp Night at SCS before the baby was born, so I waited to post the photo until now. I stamped the little jacket 11 times, colored it with markers, and punched it out with a scalloped circle punch. The 12th circle is a sentiment from Stampin' Up. The background is designer paper from my stash, and I added tiny beads at the inner intersections.
Saturday, December 06, 2008
Thursday, December 04, 2008
Nice table! Kim said the tablecloth was a recent purchase. The leaves are embroidered and appliqued, not just printed. I don't think we took a photo of ourselves!
Thursday, November 27, 2008
Sunday, November 23, 2008
I split a photo in two to avoid the cardinal sin of photography: placing an object dead center in the frame. There was a lamp right in the middle of the original photo. Now, it's just two views of Santa's living room.
Children were posing on his lap for photos in between several performances of a short play put on by Santa and his elf - something about Rudolph's nose.
Today was lunch at The Olive Garden with the ladies in the family, and my friend AJ. I had the endless salad, and was then treated to chocolate cake brought out by the OG staff, singing. I guess I didn't know any places that still did that. AJ caught it all on her video camera. If I don't look too weird, I'll try to get her to post it here.
Tuesday, November 18, 2008
Last weekend, Mom, D&K and I ate at "3 Fish", a great restaurant near Lake Calhoun. We celebrated D's birthday on the 12th and my upcoming birthday on the 23rd. D got a few more pics than I did, including one of us blowing out our candles, but I had to show you the lovely presentations of my ahi tuna BLT (with orzo salad on the side) and our desserts. The one on the right is key lime pie and the one on the left is a chocolate cake in a thin cookie shell. We all shared the two pieces, but I think I would go back and order either one for myself - they were that scrumptious!
Monday, November 17, 2008
I also changed my blog template again. I wasn't happy with how the text was aligning on the old one. As much as I don't like the design aspect of software, I would love to figure out how things were intended to work/look, because they sure don't work/look anything like simple/logical sometimes!
Wednesday, November 12, 2008
Tuesday, November 11, 2008
Here's another use for a thread-spool rack. My Martha Stewart punches were all neatly arranged in a drawer until I bought one too many (sigh)! This is an upcycled (a word popular at Etsy.com) idea I've used several times. I no longer store much thread, so I used some racks I already had and several broken ones found at JoAnn's for bargain prices. I put all the good pieces together to form one rack for decorative edged scissors, hand-held paper punches, and now, the MS punches. In the photo above, you can see the other upcycled idea - an old CD rack used for ribbon. I added fishing line across the bottom opening of each row of slots, so the ribbon can't roll out.
Friday, November 07, 2008
Wednesday, November 05, 2008
Tuesday, November 04, 2008
Happy Election Day! I walked the few blocks to my polling place this morning, and waited less than a half hour to vote - it was a breeze! The last few days have been amazingly warm for November. Yesterday the temp was mid 70s! I took one photo on my way back from grocery-shopping and the other today on my walk back from voting. I think these are both a variety of maple. I love my red maple tree, but it's already bare of leaves, while these still provide color late into Fall.
Monday, November 03, 2008
Happy November, Everyone! It's already the third day of a new month, but I'm going to challenge myself to post something new every day AND list one NEW item for sale in my Etsy shop. I had just listed this "Happy Turkey Day" card yesterday and I received an email today that it had sold! That's my fastest sale yet. I've already re-listed it AND am finishing off a designer version in non-traditional turkey colors. Since this is my birthday month, everyone who leaves a comment on my blog will be eligible for a free card of your choice from my Etsy shop. I will put all the names into a drawing on Nov. 23 (that's my birthday), and one (or more?) lucky winners will receive the card of their choice.