Monday, March 30, 2009

Virtual Stamp Night

After 2 weeks of sniffling and sneezing, it was wonderful to get back to some card-making. Saturday was a mini "Virtual Stamp Night" at Splitcoaststampers, and I made cards for two of the half-dozen challenges. Las Vegas (Hello LV cousins and aunt!!) was the overall theme, and the card above was inspired by the circus (as in Circus Circus). I didn't have any circus-related stamps or papers, but I thought these colors and patterns were very "circusy". The sentiment was a scrap I found already gold-embossed on vellum. Everything was layered onto black. I added the enamel mask charm and ribbon.
This card was inspired by the ceiling of the Bellagio - using a transparency and flowers. This is my first try at the technique. I used a lighter weight of acetate - the type found in page protectors - but it stands up on its own and that's what counts. The flowers by Hero Arts were stamped on the front of the card, the caption by Hallmark was stamped on patterned paper attached OVER the stamped flowers, and the white mat was attached BEHIND the plastic (so no adhesives are visible). The larger piece of designer paper is attached to the inside back of the card, and I left it unstamped for my own sentiment later.

I hope one or both of the views shows you how this was designed - it's hard to get a good pic of "clear".


After the fire was put out, I was able to take a look at the back of the townhouses and take these photos. Now it appears that the fire started in the garage of the middle unit. The garages are attached by a short walkway, so there is virtually no space in-between to fight a fire or keep the main houses from burning. The news reported that the firefighters tried to work from inside, but were forced out. It's too soon to tell, but a fire involving fuel from a car would explain the black smoke I saw pouring out when the hoses were aimed in the midst of it all.
Good news - one of the residents who wasn't home at the time, came home looking for her two cats and they were both eventually found! This was a different resident from the one I mentioned in the first post. I'm so glad no humans were hurt, but a scene on the news of a fireman bringing a gorgeous cat out to safety just brings me to tears.


There was a lot of excitement (and not the good kind) in my neighborhood this afternoon when a row of townhouses one block over caught fire. The fire station is only a few blocks from my house, so I didn't pay much attention to the sound of sirens until I heard them stop nearby. Looking out my front door, I saw several mail carriers parking their vans, and as they walked past my house, they told me there was a house fire on the next block! I wasn't even dressed yet, but threw on pants, shoes and a jacket, grabbed my camera, and ran down the alley. The photo above is the view between the houses on the back of my block.
I asked one rescue worker if everyone got out and he said he didn't know, but I later saw a woman sitting on the curb with her cat in a carrier, so I know she's OK. The news reports said no one was home at the time.

The photos are pretty self-explanatory. Keep your eye on the unit with the vent-pipe. It appears to me that the fire started in the unit to the right, but quickly spread next door. As bad as it looks in these first few photos, I got there before most of the damage was done.

The fire just kept rolling out of the roofs. At least a dozen fire trucks were on the scene, and it seemed the fire could not be stopped.

In the photo above, the fire seems to be stopping, but that was not the case.

I moved down the block when they brought more hoses in. Look at that vent-pipe now. And the roof is gone.

They finally brought in the ladder with hose attached, and sprayed from above. It was too late for the middle units, and the townhouse on the far right caught fire in the attic, but when I left, the fire had stopped.
What a terrible tragedy for those families. At least it appears nobody was injured.

Monday, March 16, 2009


Pretend I sent this card to all of you who celebrate St. Patty's Day! It's a copy of an actual 1909 postcard that was sent to my Great Grandmother. The sentiment I added covers up the original "To wish you a happy New Year". I tried to match the script in my version. The other additions are the punched-out glitter shamrocks, the plastic watch embellishment, and highlights with a glitter gel marker. I also inked and roughed up the edges.

I don't know if I'm Irish or not. Dad seemed to know a lot of Irish tunes, but we've never proven any ties to that part of the world. So, I count myself among the people who are "Irish on St. Patrick's Day". Many blessings of the day to all of you!

Spring Inside and Out

Spring has a feeling, a look and a fragrance. The last three days were all about the feeling. There's still snow on the ground, though quickly receding with the 50-and 60-degree temps we've been having. There's still ice on the lakes, though the ice shacks have been removed and the ice is turning the gray shade it turns just before it melts. But, it FEELS like Spring when I can open my windows and turn off the furnace, at least in the daytime. And it FEELS like Spring when I have to take off my jacket while walking around the lake.
But, for the LOOK of Spring, we in the north will have to wait several months until the outdoors looks like the Park at MOA (Mall of America) right now!

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Happy Ides of March

Since we studied the play, Julius Caesar in high school, I've always been aware of the term "beware the Ides of March". The Ides of March is the name for the date March 15th on the Roman calendar. The term ides was used for the 15th day of the months of March, May, July, and October, and the 13th day of the other eight months. In Roman times, the Ides of March was a festive day dedicated to the god Mars and a military parade was usually held. In modern times, the term Ides of March is best known as the date that Julius Caesar was assassinated, in 44 BC.

I still remember the passage I had to memorize from the play:

Cowards die many times before their deaths

The valiant never taste of death but once

Of all the wonders I yet have heard

It seems to me most strange that men should fear

Seeing that death, a necessary end,

Will come when it will come

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Testing Blog Header

I'll be back later with a new post or two - or five (I know it's been awhile since the last one)! I'm testing out a different blog header. The one above is the test only - the photo was taken in Hawaii last year. There's a print photo in my collection that is one of my favorites, and when I find it, I will know how to add the text without any fancy software.

PS - Here is a new post that was backdated. It's my "25 + 25 Random Things About Me" list that started out on Facebook. The backdating happens when you start a post, save it to drafts, then post it at a later date

Thursday, March 05, 2009

Land of 10,000 Lakes

This ATC (Artist Trading Card) was made with plans to sell it on Ebay, then posted on Splitcoaststampers for today's Ways To Use It challenge. The background is an old MN map. I added punched shapes and microbeads...and a dragonfly stenciled with the negative space of a punch. Some of the paper is pre-glittered and some of the edges were inked.

I did not do much Marching Forth yesterday, so it feels good to be up early for a change. I've already had my oatmeal with raisins and uploaded twice. I'm off to check for jobs online and submit my resume to several more postings.

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Sunday, March 01, 2009

Happy Chinese New Year

Ok, I'm a bit late for the start of the Chinese New Year, but this would have been a good card to send to someone for the occasion. It's actually a card made for a "Frugal Finds" challenge at SplitCoastStampers. I will give it to a friend who has a birthday in April and likes all things Asian. The main elements of the card are all upcycled finds - dragon image cut from menu at a Chinese restaurant, round coaster from a Thai restaurant (I added the black punched circle to cover up the advertising), and the red background was cut from a poster being thrown out at my last office job. I used Stazon ink to stamp the four images in the corners, punched out 2 other corners with the corner punch that seemed to match the best, and covered the dragon with Crystal Effects for stiffness (it was also adhered to cardstock before cutting out).