Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving

David and Kim had Mom and I over to their house for Thanksgiving dinner today. It was the first get-together (I think) in their new kitchen, and a great success! We didn't go overboard on the food for just the four of us, but we had all our favorites - turkey, stuffing, sweet potatoes, green bean casserole, cranberry relish and pumpkin pie! We were treated to some of the wine they brought back from their vacation to Missouri (yes, Missouri) wine country, and saw the digital pics on TV. It was a nice relaxing day and we are certainly thankful for the health and well-being of everyone in the family - especially this year!
Before I left for their house this morning, I had a chance to post this little project for the Splitcoaststampers "Ways To Use It" challenge. The stamp is a tiny one I bought at a garage sale - it's a Stampin' Up stamp from 1994. I colored it with pencils and a little marker and glitter gel pen, punched it out and tied it to a "kitchen warming" gift for D & K.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Birthday Weekend

I try to keep Christmas from creeping into my calendar before Thanksgiving, but Bachman's was having their annual open house this weekend, and that included the arrival of Santa. He looked so authentic and traditional in his full outfit. I wasn't able to get a photo of him until he arrived at his "house" (inside the store) and he had already taken off his coat.
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

Recycled Card

I haven't done any SCS color challenges before, because they're based on Stampin' Up cardstock and ink colors, and I have neither. But today, the red/black/kraft combo seemed simple enough, so I designed this card with a recycled bag. The image was all in white on a black bag, but I colored some of the lines with a red marker. I stamped the edges of the "kraft" paper with an SU stamp - the grapes from Watercolor Garden - and decoratively punched one corner. As I often do, I printed the sentiment on vellum on my PC, then added a thin strip of kraft paper like ribbon.

Two Birthdays

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

Rockin' Cabaret

This weekend was another VSN - Virtual Stamp Night - at Splitcoaststampers, and I was able to get two cards made. I'll share the 2nd one at a later time because it was made with an occasion in mind. This card was inspired by the CD cover in the background (that was the challenge). I used drops of dyes swirled around with a paint brush on watercolor paper. After drying it with my heat gun, I stamped the notes on it, matted it on black and added the punched scalloped oval with ribbon. This took my 45 minutes - that is also part of the challenge.

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

City Turkey. Last month when Aunt C and I walked around Lk H, we detoured through the nearby neighborhood. This is what we saw! I don't know if this is a wild turkey or someone's pet. When we first spotted it, he (she?) was on the porch. This is one more reason I love my compact Canon. I carry it with me everywhere every day and have gotten some unexpected photos with it. If only I'd had it the day we saw a deer IN the lake! Of course, we don't need a picture to remember the experience, but I'd love to be able to show you what we saw: There was a strange shape bobbing along in the water towards shore, and at first we couldn't identify it. But as it came closer, we realized it was the head of a deer and she (no antlers) was swimming toward shore. When she got to the walled edge, she jumped out, ran across the boulevard and across the parkway, disappearing into the wooded area nearby. If there hadn't been a wet trail across the path, I think we would have thought we'd imagined the whole thing. I love urban living, with nature close by.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Studio Update. A few weeks ago, I added this curved display unit to my storage system, as well as the unit just to the top left of it. I was happy with the arrangement I had, but the 20 cubes were stacked 4 high, so I was missing a work surface. The additional units, plus the table-tops really make a difference! I no longer have to step into the next room to use my paper punches on the dining room table. Some punches need to be firmly pressed from above, and the stack of 2 units is just the right height. Also, all the little collectibles in the curved unit were taking up the only countertop space I had. This is much better!

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 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

Buon Appetito. Here's an ATC (artist's trading card) I made a while back. I used a paper punch for the bottle, goblet and plate, and added a stamped and colored label to the bottle. The 'wine' is Crystal Effects over a small piece of rosy paper. The spaghetti is packing fibers embedded in sealing wax, for a 3-D effect. I think this would make a cute coupon for an Italian could be be added to the inside of a larger card.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Congratulations, Mr President (Elect)! The election was going to be historic no matter how it turned out, with either the first female Vice President or the first African American President. I'm very happy with the outcome. It's historic for me personally, as well. It's the first time the President will be younger than me! I've been voting since 1972 and this is only the third time I voted for the winner. I probably should have voted for Jimmy Carter, but it was only my second election and I had no idea who he was! Of, course, that's the way I felt about Obama for the longest time, but I eventually "saw the light". When I was waiting to vote yesterday, I was reading "The Secret Life of Bees" set in 1964, and a black woman was harrassed on her way to register to vote. We've come a long way since those days, with, hopefully, many more positive changes yet to come.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Fiorello. Saturday night, Mom, D-and-K and I saw the musical "Fiorello" at the Bloomington Civic Theater. It was one we were not familiar with, but I thought it was quite good, and the first one based on a true story that we've seen. Fiorello LaGuardia was a three-term Mayor of New York City, a Senator and a WWI veteran. The music and dance numbers were very well done; there are some amazing singers at the Bloomington Theater.

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 Turkey Day - Designer Version

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.