Tuesday, July 28, 2009


Shelf + Safari = Shelfari. Just a short post to tell you to look in the right column of the blog for a fun widget: a virtual bookshelf with some books I've read this summer. Fun!

[Edit: When summer is over, I will add my favorite books to the bookshelf - any and all I've EVER read].

Monday, July 27, 2009

Summer Reading

It's been a good summer for reading, and not just because it's been cooler than normal. Since my car broke down in April, I've been taking the bus to work and everywhere else, and I've been catching up on my reading while I ride. Although I don't consider myself a fast reader, I've been breezing through 3 books a month! The book I'm currently reading is pictured - "The Fly on the Wall" by Tony Hillerman. I read a couple of his books back in 1995 after I'd been spent a week driving around Arizona and Utah with a girlfriend. Those books - "Coyote Waits" and "Sacred Clowns" - were part of his series set in the desert and mesas of Navajo country. The heros of that series are police detectives, Jim Chee and Joe Leaphorn.

This summer, I've read "Dance Hall of the Dead", "Listening Woman", "First Eagle", and "The Sinister Pig", all from my own home library. In trying to read the rest of his books in chronological order, I found this book and discovered it is not part of his western series, but is instead about a newspaper reporter and is set in Minnesota! The picture on the cover shows a fictitious capitol building near a river (I've just started the book, so I don't know if the river is named).

I will temporarily miss Joe Leaphorn and Jim Chee, but I will really miss Tony Hillerman. In my internet search to find more book titles, I read that he died just this past October at the age of 83. He served in WWII, became a journalist, and and wrote almost 40 books.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Hippo Birdie To You

The caption on this card is part of one artist Sandra Boynton used on her cards in the 1970s. I don't have any sheep stamps, so I couldn't complete the sentence: "Hippo Birdie Two Ewe"! It's a young child's card, so the words are not as important as the animals. The card was made for a challenge at Splitcoaststampers - the faux grid technique. I stamped the hippo and vines and drew in the gridlines afterwards. The bird is a Martha Stewart punch.

Egrets Only

Sunday was another beautiful day for a walk at Centennial Lakes, a man-made lake/park/shopping complex. Mom and I made one loop around - a mile-point-something - and saw this egret. He (she?) let me get pretty close. This was taken with just 3x zoom. The flowers below look like little fans.

Cattails are just one of the tall grass and reed plants near the water.

The next two photos were taken a different day - for my sister-in-law, K, to identify. I was surprised to see morning-glory type flowers growing all over a small patch of grass that I pass on my way to my evening bus.

The patch has been mowed, but it sure was pretty while it lasted.

Edit: K wrote this - "Cheryl - If the impression you got was morning glory and those were the white flowers it could either be "moonflower", the afternoon blooming m.g. or, more likely, a plant called "bindweed". Both would be cousins of m.g. - K"

Saturday, July 11, 2009

A Perfect Day

Weatherwise, it was a perfect summer day. I got up as early as I do on a work day (6:15) and enjoyed the cool breezes coming in all my open windows. It was almost too nice to go outside! But I took Zane and Harley out on their leashes to the back yard while I cut and pulled weeds and stray trees. They enjoyed the shade as much as I did. Later I walked to my bank and saw this fence-sitting "head"...well, what would you call it?
It looks like an egg...or a head with feet.

When I returned, I made a card for todays Splitcoaststampers Inspiration Challenge. The website chosen for inspiration had many cute children's clothes and costumes. I chose a girl's circus costume for the colors and shapes. A girl I know is celebrating a birthday with 12 candles!


Sunday, July 05, 2009

Patriotic Picnic

I hope you are continuing to enjoy this holiday weekend. I heard, but didn't see, huge fireworks from every direction last night while my cats hid in the basement.

Yesterday's Inspiration Challenge at Splitcoaststampers was a poster website. I did a search for a picnic poster because I have some picnic invitations to make. I was lucky enough to find one with ANTS on it so I could use my Fiskars ant punch. I scalloped the striped paper with a Martha Stewart edge punch and made the custom "picnic" label with the top of a tag punch on each end. My word stamps are limited, so I PC-printed the caption onto metallic cardstock, then embossed in black to prevent smearing. Metallic c/s doesn't take printer ink very well, so embossing also makes it much bolder. The fruit stamps are by Anna Griffin - I watercolor-penciled around them after I stamped on white c/s.

See my inspiration here.

Picnic Invitations

I'm cheating a bit with this post by slipping it in out of order (I finished these cards on Wednesday, the 8th). The Patriotic Picnic card I posted was made for an SCS challenge, but I really needed to make some easier cards for a family get-together next month. So, instead of the fruit stamps and coloring on the first card, I opted for designer paper and fewer punched ants. The "fANTastic" was printed on my PC, then punched with a word-balloon punch - both punches by Fiskars. The invitation was also printed and attached to the reverse side like a postcard, although I did mail these in envelopes.

Saturday, July 04, 2009

Happy Independence Day

Happy 4th, Everyone! Despite a bit of a headache and threatening rainshowers, I went with C to a free outdoor concert at Walker Art Center's Scuplture Garden. The rain held off and we sat on the grass to listen to Haley Bonar give her last local performance before she moves to Oregon. The famous Spoonbridge and Cherry sculpture was looking good after a recent paint job. The cherry was actually detached and taken away by crane to a paint shop. It's hollow and large enough for several people to fit inside!
Haley's the one on the left. I would have cropped it differently if the tent pole hadn't been dead center! C went on to Taste of Minnesota and another concert. I took the bus home and relaxed most of the day. Our family picnic is tomorrow.

Thursday, July 02, 2009

Nine More Candles And Birds On A Wire

Here's the second version of the nine-candles card in the previous post. I switched the colors and ribbon for wire, making it more of a boy's card.
I thought the wire idea would be simple - like a spiral-bound notebook. But because the card is a folded piece rather than loose sheets like a notebook, it presented problems. I finally settled on an "artistic" wire embellishment.

As I struggled with my wire, these birds sat outside my window mocking me.

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Nine Candles And A Heron

Happy July, everyone! I have several more versions of this card planned - at least 5 cousins-once-removed were born nine years ago this Fall! So, the Splitcoaststampers sketch challenge was perfect for their cards. This week's Clean-And Simple challenge was to "make it sparkle", so I stamped the candles on glittered cardstock and punched out the circles. My PC-created checked paper is the background.

Walking around Lake H last Sunday with C, I spotted this heron high in a tree. Pulling out my trusty Canon, I zoomed in and captured his picture. If I had a log of animals seen at the lake, it would include a deer, an eagle and a loon, not to mention the wild turkey a few blocks away.