Saturday, December 31, 2011

Goodbye 2011 - Happy New Year!

A beautifully fluffy coating of snow to usher out the old year...

Goodnight and Happy New Year!

Friday, September 23, 2011

Happy Fall - Leaf Special Effects

C and I took a walk last weekend and discovered some interesting pre-fall maple leaf colors.  I've never noticed this dark/light pattern before, so I pulled out my camera.  Although it was still light out, my flash went off and turned the background black.  I took the second photo without the flash to show the true scene. 
But, I liked the contrast-effect, so I took another flash photo (below).  I will try this "technique" again very soon.   

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Remembering Ten Years Ago

I wanted to re-post this card from a couple years ago. It was not made with any occasion in mind, but it seems to be appropriate for today, the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

This is a re-post of what I wrote two years ago:

Although this is not a serious or controversial blog, it IS a personal journal of sorts, and I can't let the day go by without pausing for a moment to remember that day and thank God I didn't lose any loved ones. I was in London with my oldest nephew (for his high school graduation trip) when we started to hear that something had happened - via talk on the street, a canceled performance (because it was USA-related), and an eerie photo of a single WTC tower with smoke pouring from it. It wasn't until we returned to our hotel later that day that the whole shocking series of events was played on TV before our uncomprehending eyes. We had several days left of our vacation, so the delayed flights home didn't affect us. In fact, we flew home the first day planes were allowed back over U.S. airspace. When we landed in Pittsburgh, the passengers gave the pilots a round of applause and we were greeted by airport personnel as if WE had done something heroic.

And maybe we had. We got on those first planes and returned to our homes and lived our lives, because that's what the living must do to honor the departed.

If you have any thoughts or memories of that day, please feel free to share them here.

Tuesday, September 06, 2011

Tuesdays Around Town - Renaissance Festival

[Time is flying as usual, so I'm posting the first batch of Renaissance Festival photos, with more to come]

Over Labor Day weekend, I went to the Renaissance Festival in the southwest metro with my brothers and nephew.  The weather was nearly perfect: not too hot or cold, with a few clouds to keep the sunburn to a minimum. 

We got there just after it opened, and saw many of the actors entering the village (above).

David and I were looking at a map in search of breakfast when we were waylaid by a dance troupe in need of a couple of extras to help them learn a number.  We had fun, but learned our lesson: heads up if you don't want to be part of the act :)

A bald eagle from the Raptor Center.

Some of the quirky buildings before the crowds appeared.

(Above and below).  A trip through The Secret Garden and Enchanted Forest.  Inside a hobbit house.

Miniature houses - about 5 feet tall.

A sleeping fairy - or woodland nymph?

It became a popular day, but never really too crowded.

Look closely at the roof above (click to enlarge) - there's a dragon  coming out of the windows.

Wind Rose Mill and Wine Cafe

The Wacky Chickens comedy act.  They clucked and pointed to snatch this boy out of the audience and make him play along.  He was hilarious.  See him in before and after photos of the glasses and chicken cap they made him wear. 

A new feature at Ren Fest this year - the alligator cage, with saddled turtle (above)

Mead, the first wine, was sold in a few places.  I had 2 glasses for good measure.

Saturday, September 03, 2011

Color Inspiration Challenge - Blue Shamrock

Happy Labor Day Weekend, Everyone! I am spending the first day of the 3-day holiday making some cards. The first one is for the Papercrafts Connection Color Inspiration Challenge 8:

The Bazzill (company) color equivalents are Breaker Bay blue and Shamrock green. I did the best I could to match them. All cardstock is by DCWV. Shamrock paperpunch is Martha Stewart. The ribbon is actually 2 layers - plaid over 2 widths of blue. The two little metal tags were in my stash - the white one has embossed lettering and edges - I slid it through a Stazon black ink pad. 

The black cardstock is "faux" embossed with more shamrock punch-outs.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Moxie Fab Tuesday Trigger - Girly and Gutsy

The room above was last week's Tuesday Trigger: Girly and Gutsy over at Moxie Fab World.  As so often happens, I worked on a design that I didn't finish in time to submit.
But I was happy enough with this card to submit it to the Papercrafts Connection August Gallery Challenge instead.  The floral printed cardstock and the striped are by Die Cuts With A View.  I used an Anna Griffin paperpunch to punch the rose design in black cardstock, layered over the bold yellow..  The sentiment is 2 stickers, and the ribbon is pink plaid layered over two widths of yellow. 

Monday, August 08, 2011

Botanical Bird and House Card

I'm finally back with a card designed for the Moxie Fab Fanatical About Botanical Challenge.  It's a "something old, something new" project.  I used my Cricut to cut a bird shape from cardboard and covered it with a botanical-pattern wallpaper that is several decades old.  The Cricut was also used to cut the house shape that I matted over a traced and hand cut folded card.  

The flowers at the bottom were stamped with a set of Rubber Stampede "Country Garden" stamps that I've had for many years.  The set would work very well with a stamp positioner to design a scene, but I simply cut out and layered each of the bouquets for a bit of dimension. 
The sentiment is another oldie, but goodie - Mini Mates by Stampin' Up; layered over a mini punched oval that I re-used from another card.  With other house shapes and other bird or butterfly shapes to choose from, I can see many variations on this theme.

Friday, August 05, 2011

I Shall Return

Hellooooooooo o  o   o    o......

I've got so many photos and posts to share with you, but I have been temporarily out of commission during our heat wave - with no whole-house A/C, I can survive, but that's about all.  And I know many people don't have even the luxury of a window A/C, like I've had, so no complaints here - just an explanation of my absence.  Seems like cooler weather is finally coming, so I will try to catch up on blogging, among other things.  My to-do list reads like this:

Cut down jungle on north side of house
Cut down field on west side of house
Cut and remove rest of carpet from bedroom
Drain and move waterbed to opposite side of bedroom
Spray paint dresser in basement and move to bedroom
Make my Christmas cards (this NEVER happens until a week or so before
Catch up on all the cards I need to send as well as some that have been requested

What do you think - that's just for August :)

PS - the house in the photo is an actual house designed and built as a replica of the house in the animated movie "Up" - cool, right?  maybe I should just paint mine like that.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Border-Punched Medallion Card

One of my favorite EK Success border punches was used to make this card for the Moxie Fab Beautiful Borders Challenge.  We were to use border strips in an innovative way, and I've played around with this particular punch in the past to create a sort of medallion.
With  a little experimentation, many border punches could be used to make multi-sided embellishments.  I found that a square of just over 2.25 inches is needed for the edges of the border to match up, then it is quite simple to punch this 4-sided shape.  The patterned papers are by K and Company and the chipboard flowers are by Cosmo Cricket.  The sentiment is a sticker.  I added a little gold metallic pen and ribbon.

And here's the border punch.

PS - I missed the deadline to enter this one, so don't look for it in the line-up :)

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Buon Appetito ATC

The lovely little scenic card above is this week's Moxie Fab World Tuesday Trigger.   I took my inspiration from the scene itself and not the colors to make this interpretation: it's an Artist's Trading Card showing a table in an Italian restaurant.   

Here are the details:
1-PC-label over olive green ribbon over patterned paper.
2-Bottle punched from blue vellum with stamped and colored-pencil label (Rubber Stampede).
3-Glass punched from mottled tan c/s, liquid is pink paper w/ Crystal Effects on top.
4-Oval-punched 'plate' w/spaghetti of packing straw embedded in melted sealing wax...on an oval of gingham paper.

Friday, July 08, 2011

Congrats Card x 2

The winners of Papercrafts Magazine 2011 Gallery Idol contest were announced this morning, and neither of my entries made it to the Top Twenty.  But I'm pretty happy with the way these turned out.  The "Clean And Simple" card above consists of the word cut on my Cricut, two layers of cardstock over the base (to achieve the pink frame), and store-bought confetti carefully selected and attached. 

The "magnifying glass" card came together as I'd imagined it.  I thought it would be fun to print the tiny "Congratulations and Good Luck" and one large "Congrats" that appears to be magnified - for that older reader, ha ha!  The magnifier was made with metallic cardstock that I inked up a bit.  The round layers were either punched or cut with a Martha Stewart circle cutter and the handle was shaped by my round punches along a straight piece.  For the lens, I added a circle cut from a sheet of plastic.
I added a tiny tag in the corner: it may have come from the packaging :)