patterns of change

With the new year approaching, I've been thinking of change.  Not just another list of resolutions quickly made and even more rapidly abandoned, but real change~~~ that lasts.  I know it has to come from within myself and yet not of myself.  I've tried and failed more times than I can count.  So this year I am praying that the Spirit of the Lord will begin a serious edit of ME.  That the old ways, some of which are working poorly would be replaced with what HE would have me be.  I might look different on the outside, but more than anything, I want to be new on the inside.

Seeing the Color Challenge on SCS today, I was not jumping for joy...those colors are certainly not what I reach for.  However as I sat looking through my image book, I came upon this awesome Tim Holtz set from Stampers Anonymous.  It was easy then as I knew the Basic Grey paper group, Stella Ruby would fit perfectly with my pattern idea.  So I have collaged my card to celebrate the changes I hope to work toward this year.  If you would like more details of exactly how I created this card, please click over to my SCS gallery.

On a related note, I've been waiting to blog about my most fabulous Christmas present!  And I have Amy  at Tsuruta Designs to thank for tagging me  on a get to know you questionnaire (which had more than 50 questions!)  But one of them really got me going, what was your favorite childhood toy?  Well, mine was a Betsy McCall Fashion Designer set, which allowed you to create fashions for Betsy with tissue patterns and a light box.  Santa brought one to me Christmas 1962.  I have never forgotten it!  Well, one thing lead to another, and a look on E-Bay and Kovels for what the possible value of the set, and I  snagged the set off the 'bay for $7.99!!!  It was originally sold for $5.95.  It arrived a few days before Christmas and I had told my DH that this was all I wanted and on Christmas morning all watched as I relived a long forgotten memory.  I plan to save it for when I become a grandmother of daughters and we can play together!     

There is a pattern in all things...what are you seeing and feeling?


two happy's and a NEW year

It's almost here, the NEW Year!  I  am always happy to turn the page on an old year and ring in the new.  And this year 2009...how did we get here already?  Time just seems to flying by...even my sons notice how fast the days are going.  

I created a New Years cheer card for a dear friend, who has been out of the country for most of this month.  We're the kind of friends, we'll celebrate in February if that's were life takes us.  No pressure, no guilt...don't we get enough of that from other people in our life?  I know she'll just love it.  Many times she's told me her heart beats faster when she opens her mailbox and there is an envelope from me.  Now isn't that why we do what we do?  To raise someones' spirits, bring a smile to their face and treasures for a mantel!  

There are several challenges going on SCS today.  Monday's learn a new technique was actually a new fold which our hostess, Lynn created a tutorial.  Check it out when you can.  Then there has been the Holiday Challenge Extravangaza, today was to alter an embellishment .  Here's my card for both of those challenges.

Have a delightfully short week!  And early Happy New Year wishes!


the courage to imagine

I am sorry to be long in posting here...it's been wildly chaotic lately...in the best sort of ways, but I am always glad when my life is back to a routine...I am much happier in that regard.  How about you?  Are you a fly by the seat of your pants or are boundaries more comfortable?  I am thankful I have people in my life that will hold me accountable and challenge me to grow in areas where I am weak.  It's that first step thinking...just get moving so I am excited for 2009 to begin...I've still got areas to improve upon,  I never want to stop learning.

I've felt the creative muse dancing on my studio counter top lately and I've let her play.  Don't you love it when you have the seed of an idea and all of a sudden, that idea has flowered into a piece of art and you stand there thinking, 'Wow, where did that come from?'   My dear husband says he like to just sit and watch me in the creative process as an idea takes flight.  So here's whats been flying at my house recently.   These all have been posted to my gallery  on SCS for various challenges.  


the doll's choir

Tonight, I'm asking the Lord to forgive me for taking for granted the greatest blessing any of us could have, our health.  This was brought home to me today with a request of cards to dear Hannah, a young girl who is dying of a very rare cancer. I held my sons a bit closer, thankful for the every wonderful and annoying thing about them! And for their wisdom, Andy saying, 'Mom, she's going back home' in his mind, HEAVEN. If you would like to read about Hannah and her request. please check this out. I think those baby dolls are singing the way, though there is always hope for a miracle...I don't think she'll be lonely.

I am also thankful for feeling fully the emotions of righteous anger, sadness, and hope...dear Lord be a healing balm no matter what.


where the naughty girls went

I love Saturday's Inspiration Challenge on SCS.  It really helps me think outside the box and I get to see textile, fashion, furniture, and magazine designers I might never be exposed to.  Thanks so much, Stef for bringing such interesting 'sparks' each week. I had to fire one last round in the Schirmcat naughty or nice list. For the details on my box in a bag, please look here. The resources forum is a fabulous place to find just about anything related to paper crafting. I really like how the tote turned out and will definitely be making others.

So where did the naughty girls go, SHOPPING, of course.  Have a wonderful weekend...throw some snowballs or cuddle up with a peppermint mocha and someBODY warm!!!


family Christmas cards

Let's see, it's a week till Christmas eve and I have one card in the mail!  That's right on my pace.  
Terrible to admit, perhaps, but I've come to realize I can't do it all, but I'll try to do it RIGHT!  I am glad I have 'people' who love me just the same...my heart will always be in it!

It is Wednesday again and the Sketch Challenge on SCS.  My card will make #2 postal, for a beloved brother and favorite uncle.  He'll appreciate all the fluff and stuff.  I had to use liquid applique on this fun collaged Santa from Tim Holtz.  If you would like to read the full details, you'll find them here.

So how about you, want give up any hints for being more organized and put together.  I'm convinced that arty types are only disorganized and chaos reigns...please share if this is not the case with you...I'd really love to change my stripes


Western Union

It very interesting to think about how just a couple generations ago important news was received by telegram.  My card today for the
 Color Challenge had me wondering how it felt to get your information this way. I used a collaged image from Oxford Impressions 'Winter Snow' set that contains the telegram as well as the wonderful vintage Christmas tree.  I set the tree inside Stampinks Unlimited fabulous shuttered window.  Merry Christmas is stamped onto the telegram .

I'm glad for today's technology that keeps us just a touch of the keyboard away from new news...but my Mom won't have any of it though my sibs and I have pleaded for her to get connected.  She still wants her news the old fashioned way.  And I do respect that, but you'll find me busy texting encouraging notes to my sons or a voice mail to my husband...sweet nothings...I will use what we have to the benefit of my family.  And I hope I'll always be willing to learn what's new...so I can keep up!  

So this card goes out today to my parents. Some things are just better the old way! How about you?


two roads

The Saturday Inspiration Challenge on SCS has to be my favorite. I love venturing into the world around me and seeing the patterns...everything in nature is connected!  Art is certainly no different. Robert Frost's famous quote was to be the center of my design today.  The red mushroom pendant was my inspiration.   And it's interesting for me to think of how I have progressed in my paper craft journey in just over a year.  In the beginning I would go right at it, the ideas flowed freely and I would stamp in a hurry...now I visualize the end product, more times than not and SEE the steps I'm to take to get there.

Today's card is a perfect example.  I decided on my sentiment and the label first off and stamped on white card stock. But as I paused, the idea of having a grove of trees on the edge of my label  popped in my head (I realize this is not scientific!!!).  After watching Tim Holtz demo his 12 days of Christmas and how he works with the distress ink, I purchased the craft mat.  Oh my, what have I been missing with the mat...it was so easy to stencil color onto the stamp.  You 'NEED' one if you don't already own it. When I placed the label onto the wood grain background of the Basic Grey granola paper, I decided I liked the way the split in the grove looked against the dark of the wood grain. I suppose it mirrors the choice of paths.  

 This card is for a dear friend who remembers holidays in Czechoslovakia as a young girl going mushroom picking with her father and relatives who lived in the tiny villages and hamlets along dirt roads.  She ended up going to university in England and a career offer in the United States...all along taking a path that would bring her into my life.  It is fun to see where our choices take us...if we realize these roads have bends, twists, curves,  hills, summits, valleys, and many straight aways.  And I think our choice is to keep journeying  and trust.

I'd love to hear your take on the road less traveled....


but Santa

I was up for a limited challenge today on SCS.  To go green, recycle. I have a little box where I keep my rejects.  It is fun to go through it every now and then to see what's in there, kind of like 'PICK me, pick me'!  So for the Christmas collage I created today, there are 7 elements I found waiting to be combined into something fresh and new.  From the photo art, a visit with Santa, to the angel looking over the scene (naughty OR nice), I managed to bring all these ideas together.  I added the bit of pom-pom to the left edge, it reminded me of the chenille's of my childhood.  Did you know chenille is an 18th century French word meaning 'hairy caterpillar'?  

I have a couple of pictures of me and my siblings sitting on Santa's lap...I've wanted to create something with them for the longest time...today just might be the day...I'll let you know.    


Spiritual journey


I loved the concept of Julia's Ways to Use it Challenge today on SCS. It was to create something with half an image.  I decided this wonderful background sentiment from Stampotique was just what I needed.  It repeats 'WE ARE not human beings on a spiritual journey, but SPIRITUAL beings on a human journey."  My paper doll, from Limited Edition, was left with an ethereal half.   Perhaps the spiritual side is the beautiful brocade paper (from Basic Grey) and the human side is Cosmo Crickets chicken little cloud paper.  Either way, I am on a spiritual journey living my life out for Jesus.   I wish is when others see me, they'll see HIM.

Thanks for visiting with me!  


mid pleasures and palaces

Today's Sketch Challenge looked like a stoplight to me!  I had to turn it on it's side and create a 'hurry' home card.  If you would like the specific details of this card, please stop into my gallery over on SCS.

I wanted the feeling of blankets, buckets of popcorn and cuties (tangerines), and movies on my card...I think the warm colors convey that.   We're preparing for the return of our DS for Christmas break.  Our family circle will be closed again.  We all feel the excitement in the air.
It's the very wee hours, I am listening to favorite praise music and texting messages to DS.  I am blessed that both my boys communicate with me this way.  In the beginning, I didn't cotton to this new technology.  But when I least expect it a little tidbit pops up on my screen and it's like a cyber hug!  

And for my sons, if you happen to read this...Mom's started using two fingers.....Hurry home...we're waiting the tree for you!  

I'd love to hear your thoughts on being anxious for the arrival of loved ones...it is in this moment I feel so alive, so hopeful, the anticipation...that is to me  the true essence of Christmas.


a caged Merry

I loved the colors for todays' challenge on SCS.  Red Riding Hool, Baja Breeze and Taken with Teal.  This was one of those, I knew immediately what I would do!   I love the old fashioned bird cages from B Line Designs.  And I knew they needed to be the stars of my card. Please pop over to my gallery, if you would like more details on the design of this card. Thanks very much.

I admire my friend, Amy Tsuruta's clean, crisp style  and tried to model this with the card today.  I actually think it is more difficult to pull off when each piece carries such weight.  I'm kinda groovin and just might be on to a new thing!  Thanks Amy for your beautiful art that inspires me on a daily basis.


saving Santa

There's been a new volley in the war between naughty and nice over at SCS today. About 23 of us were somehow relegated to the naughty list of Santa and we've spent the last few weeks trying to change that situation.  Today, I offer an alternative...I know I've been practicing my nice skills on DH, just in case Santa doesn't stop at MY house this year. 

I remember being married just a few years and noticing my in laws didn't exchange gifts at Christmas time.  I thought how sad, and then my dear FIL told me, "If there's something we want, we just go get it."  Now with DH and I being so specialized in our hobbies, we've just about done the same! Gift cards are loving wrapped in huge boxes and placed under the tree...one size does fit all!  Which reminds me, I need to head over to Bass PRO.com.  Anyone else arrived at this place in their gift giving?


click your heels

I especially miss being in my parents home at Christmas time.  And my Mom always calls after she has had her 'Christmas cry'.  This is when she decorates the house with all the treasures from decades ago, plays Christmas music, and remembers days gone by.  Now my home is the NO PLACE like...and I'm filling it with sights, and sounds, and smells of the most wonderful time of the year.  I want my boys to have those memories just like me!

Before I was a paper artist, I loved to do counted cross stitch.  I have somewhere around 150 perforated paper Victorian Christmas ornaments that decorated 3 alpine silk trees.  I remember the year I began...I had enough to put on a wreath.  Each year more and more where added, a mantle one year and then one tree...the collection kept growing.  I get them out each year and and the memories flood back when I touch each one...it is a wonderful reminder of our journey as a family.

My card for the Inspiration Challenge today celebrates this theme, 
there is no place like home

Please feel welcome to share any holiday traditions that warm your heart!  Thanks




Todays limited supplies challenge on SCS was quite limited.  I loved it!  I tend to use more bits in my work so Fridays are good for me!  And I seriously need to take that over into my home!  But that's a topic for another day (insert Scarlet O'Hara thinking here)!  I decided to make a tag  using the limitations of the challenge.  Only snowflakes, monochromatic, one word sentiment, and bling.  

I chose my sentiment after walking through my image book.  All the usual words came to mind, but were discarded.  I kept coming back to the thought of what snow means to me and silence kept resonating in my mind.  Now I know that might 'sound' strange...the sounds of silence, didn't Simon and Garfinkle do a song by that title?!!!  But I crave the sound of silence, especially living in a house of boys.  All day long, it's their music, tv's, video games...now, please don't get me wrong, I can groove to most of their music...but after so long, my heart craves that still quiet where I can 'hear' myself think!  That is why the sound of snow falling is music to these ears!  That is why I burn the midnight oil...to be surrounded by a clock ticking or the soft breathing of my loved ones, and yes, even the snores of our big, fluffy cat, Jessie.

How about you?  What sounds are golden to you?  I would love to hear what you think!  It will be silent, but I will celebrate those words!


yes, it stinks

I love my card for todays challenges on both SCS and PCP.  For the Ways to Use it, envelopes and the 12day7 black and white and a pop of color, I was able to create a get well card with a twist!  It does stink to be sick, especially when you are 13!  So to my dear sweet son, I hope last night was the worst and you are on the mend.  I want you back in the game, on the field, in the dojo, on the Christmas tree lot, singing at church, rolling 'round the rink, improving with the rest of 'em,  and even turning pages in a school book!  I want you WELL!

love, MOM


Christmas Joy

well, another Wednesday has rolled around and it's my most challenging challenge!  Roxie's sketch always has me scratching my head and trying to play by the rules.  I'm beginning to think I need to surf around and do more of the wonderful sketches out there...maybe not!

I decided to let my My Mind's Eye papers do the work here...something charming about the snowpeople!  I also made use of the lovely brown polka dot borders of the papers (a great use of otherwise scrap).  I  cuttled the panels with the snowflake embossing folder.  The sentiment sits atop a small rectangle that has had a dusting of Martha's very cool COARSE glitter.  I hate the mess glitter makes, but in thinking about it this morning, I've decided glitter is one of those things that should make us happy...so I'm going to be sparkling all over my bit of the earth today...who knows who might catch that happiness by passing by me!

As a side note, I've got a real sickie on my hands!  DS is being tested for mono and has been so sick this week and just droopy for the last several weeks.  If I could ask for your prayers for him, we would be blessed.  


tis the season

'tis the season, are you ready?  I'm not.  And I don't quite know how I feel about that!  I mean, with all the hats I wear, it would take a 50 gallon cowboy hat to make me feel I had it together. But I've got one beautiful mantel decorated in this card for today's on color challenge SCS.  I knew I wanted to use this scene I've been working on for the past few days...I love the process of coloring and carving the pieces of paper...something about it is so very relaxing.  But in the end, it doesn't get my house cleaned or the gifts wrapped or the decorating done!!!   I think I need to make a list and check it more than twice!

If you'd like to read the details of my card, pop over to my gallery on SCS for the specifics. And I'm wishing you much success at the getting it all done thing!

I want to thank my friends for the recent awards.  I haven't checked into what is required, but I will.  It is an education to even carry them over to 'my place'!   


peace or piece, what would you choose?

Happy Thanksgiving to all who celebrate this American holiday and happy Thursday to everyone!  I am thankful to those Indians who reached out to the pilgrims so long ago and helped the fledglings survive.  They certainly didn't have to.  I'm thankful for my country, warts and all; and I believe Her best days are ahead, not behind.  I am so glad my boys are sleeping warm in their beds together again under our roof.  I'm thankful for the laughter and lightness that will ring in this house today as family gathers to fellowship and EAT.  I'm grateful for the traditions that make this our holiday.  

My card for the Ways to Use it Challenge honors these thoughts.  Have a look!  I love the old clip art that is becoming more available and the fact you can create anything with a printer!  While some of our technologies frustrate (read challenge) me, I am thankful for being able to use my computer to create.  I still must touch things and get my fingers inky and sticky from adhesive!

So, I'd love to hear what you are especially thankful for this day.  Be Joyful!


dressed for dinner

It's time for another sketch challenge over on SCS...I had a blast this week as all parts of this card flowed together.  I used one of the clip art images from a book called Lifetime of Memories.  For a collage artist, which I probably am...these books are a dream...so many little bits and pieces to play with...I'm not one known for my jokes, but I love visual puns and words, all kind of words.  And I like to tell stories of things that actually happened in my life...you know that old saying " truth is stranger (and funnier) than fiction.  There are full details in my gallery for this card.

 We're skipping the turkey at our house and grilling filet mignon on the deck tomorrow afternoon.   Being raised in the South, our food traditions run deep and change is not what any real Southerner wants on a holiday.  In that regard, I am so happy I married a Californian...we make up our traditions from one year to the next.  My husband used to tease me by saying, 'anything you do twice is a tradition'.  Well, now with two boys almost raised up,  we have our favorites, but we all are willing to go a different way and explore new food.  I'd love to hear what graces your Thanksgiving tables.


stars sang

I've written before that sketch challenges are hard for me as it somewhat requires staying within the lines.  Being an outside of the line, over the line kinda of girl, well you can see my challenge! However after I saw Jami Bova's wonderful example of the OCC call this week, I knew I had to give it a run.   I used Tin Can Mail's vintage scripture stamp. You can read the details, if you would like.

Last night was Family Thanksgiving with our Boy Scout troop at Camp Alton Baker.  The scouts left early yesterday morning to begin preparing the feast, working all day.  There was oven roast turkey, smoked turkey (my favorite), and deep fried turkey. Tables laden with side dishes...all you could want or need.  

The highlight of the evening, after we'd been entertained with skits, songs and walk-on improv, was a flag burning.  Proper disposal of our flag is handled by only two groups, the first being the Boy Scouts and the American Legion.  We watch in solemn respect as the flag was held by two of the older scouts and the stripes were cut apart and each placed separately into the fire. There was a script read about the history of our flag.  And then when only the stars remained the field of blue was laid  on the top of the flames.  I share a picture I took as the boys were moving to the fire.  I can't really explain the feeling in the room as we watched the last of that flag send it's ashes up the chimney.   I know I was honored to be there with that group of friends and family, watching the reverence the boys gave to the symbol of our country.   And for America, God bless you and long may your freedoms wave...I know your stars also shouted out last night!



I always manage a chuckle when I see this quote from Tallulah Bankhead.  I don't know about you, but I have had varying success with diaries or the more hip moniker, journals.  I remember as a young teen having the most adorable, petite diary with a tiny key to keep prying eyes from my innermost thoughts...mostly it was pried open by my younger brothers who gave me no privacy!  I have attempted  to write in a more consistent way through the years, but one thing I have managed to do is write gratitudes...lists of things I am thankful for each day.   It definitely helps me keep negativity at bay and the reward is being able to go back and remind myself of all the blessings that follow me.

My card today celebrates this idea (of sorts).  A group of SCS regulars are having a bit of fun teasing each other about Santa's Naughty or nice list.   I would have never considered myself on the naughty list before reading my name there!  You can check out the hijinks's right here 

Have a wonderful weekend everyone.  We're off to the coast for the annual family Thanksgiving Dinner with our Boy Scout troop.  It's a chance for the boys to cook a MASSIVE meal and SERVE from the well stocked dining hall of Camp Baker.  As you might imagine, they are up to their elbows peeling potatoes and such.  It'll be deep fried turkeys too!   Yum!!!

Before I go, I wanted to mention Artistic Outpost has their charming vintage Snowy Woods plate on special for $19.99.  Please have a look


A Christmas Story

It's just about that time...the bogs along the coast are  empty from harvesting those jewels we know as cranberries...our air is crisp with the smell of junipers, cedars, and wood burning.  Guess I'm not setting any records for being early with Christmas cards, but I have my first one of the season created now!  I recently found this delightful plate from Artistic Outpost called Christmas stories.  It is filled with vintage images from the 60's that take me back to my childhood.  I love the little girl sitting on her Mom's lap reading a golden book.   Today's sketch challenge on SCS  was perfect for the center image.  And then it was just a matter of decorating the squares, rectangles, and mantels...opps, well, maybe not the mantel.   I picked up a new to me Basic Grey paper pad at Michael's yesterday called 'Mistletoe and Pear'.  It is filled with these soft blue green colors and I was able to cut the ornaments from one of the pages to use in my corners. 

Thanks for stopping by and I hope your creative energies have a chance to flow out from you.


my road trip

I've got exciting news to go along with my card for today's Color Challenge over on SCS. I beginning a new journey with the announcement I have been selected as a Guest designer on Artistic Outpost's 2009 team. I am doing the Happy Dance out here in the Pacific Northwest...I love the style of images this company has in their catalog, own a good portion of them already and can't wait to see what's in store for the coming year. I hope you'll come along on this road trip with me through Artistic Outpost 's retro, hip, vintage, and funky rubber. I can just about guarantee you there'll be lots of twist and turns and close to the edge...but in my mind, that's the fun of playing!

The card was created to celebrate this very idea. I used two of AO's unmounted plates, the trike and sentiment is from 'Playtime' and the road map and road trip is part of the 'Route 66'. I wanted to give the feel of a journey...into something new in my life...a trike seemed perfect as this is my first official foray into representing someones art. The map conjuring up an idea of a trip with different roads to take helped pull my theme together. I paper pieced the trike after first stamping it with red craft ink (SU) and embossing in clear powder. I stamped the map with Tim Holtz distress ink tea dye onto SU kraft paper. The trike with the sentiment was stamped directly over the map with VersaColor black. I added silver brads to the wheels and a bit of ribbon to carry the road theme. The main panel is mounted on SU red riding hood.

So, thanks very much to Lisa and Robyn for selecting me to play with your marvelous images in the new year. I'll pedal as fast as I can, keeping up with you on this journey!


honor due

What happened to all the parades?  What happened to the honor and respect we showed as a nation to those who gave their all and some the ultimate sacrifice of dying for their country.  I'm longing for the 'good, old days' when it wasn't about stretching it into a three day weekend, I'm longing for little ones to be waiting on the curb when the bands come marching by playing John Phillip Sousa.  I want to never forget what we were as a nation and what we can be...again.

Thank you to all those who serve so proudly in my place. Thank you for the lonely nights and days and months you spend away from your loved ones.  Godspeed your return home.

My card today is in tribute for my family members who have worn a uniform of America.  I used Artistic Outpost's Hero set of unmounted stamps.


I saw the light

I adore this simple gospel song from Hank Williams (1948).  And through the years, I've heard it performed by many musicians...but non more moving to me than the David Crowder Band's version. Last year, my dear sons and I were right against the stage rockin' out. I hope you'll have a listen if you're not familiar or be blessed again..click here!

So you can imagine I was wild when I happened upon Artistic Outpost
which had a whole plate of unmounted rubber stamps based on this legendary song.  I love their vintage style and the quality of their rubber.

Music lightens my spirit and while I carry my tunes in a bucket, I always appreciate the gift of music!  How about you?


best part

I do love Friday's limited supplies challenge over on SCS!  It helps keep me focused on the balance of each element in my designs.  My art has to be pondered as each piece has meaning and is just a part of the whole story. This remembrance card illustrates this well, I think!  I wanted to remind a dear co-worker that I had not forgotten the homegoing of her DH two years ago. They were high school sweethearts and grew up together.  He adored her and their children and in time, grandchildren.  The love between them and through their family is greatly evident in the care and daily contact the grown children have with their mother and amongst themselves. A picture of love in action. I wanted my card to celebrate this.  

So I tucked the hearts around the sentiment, like a snuggle...the biggest heart for my friend and then 4 smaller hearts to represent the children. Each one different from the other.  I added faux stitching...sort of binding up those hearts together.  Of course over the years those children followed in their parents footsteps and married, blessing them with grandchildren...but then that's a whole 'nother story!

I am so fortunate to watch the love and care this family has for one another and it reminds me that truly our families, along with our health is, indeed, our greatest wealth. Love on yours today!

Thanks for spending some moments with me this Friday.




Still having a son at home, I am often reminding him to focus on his task at hand. Seems it's a buzz word these days.  But I know focus is something I desperately need to apply to my own self!  I've actually taken to setting a kitchen timer...trying to use the minutes in my favor. And I get back to vision, what am I seeing?  How am I using my gifts, my imagination?  I love to sit back and think through the creation process...dreams taking flight, when there is tangible evidence~~~ART!

I want there to always be time to discover wonder 'round every corner, in a page of a book, or out the front door as my son just summoned me to have a look at one of our Japanese maples that is ruby red against the dark of night.  His focus is adjusted...how about yours?

My card for the Featured Stamper challenge this week 'focuses' on this very idea.


on wrinkles

I love wrinkles!  I know, I know you just might think I've lost it, but wait a minute...if we live long enough we will have an assortment of them. I remember both my grandmothers.  One, the wrinkles pulled down her face into a permanent frown and while there were many years yet to live, she seemed to always project a sadness I could never quite understand.  My other grandmother was blessed with a porcelain complexion and a softness to rival an infant, fresh from God.  She had a twinkle of mischievous all her days...I loved to stroke her face and smell what was probably Pond's cold cream! Which leads me to my mother.  My mother is a sun lover and it shows on her skin today.  But I adore her leathery look and thankfully no skin cancer. I read her face and remember and dream and photograph it in my mind's eye...for I never want to forget that roadmap of her life for I know my times coming.

Smile girls...you've just exercised 27 muscles to keep those wrinkles at bay...for a bit longer.

My card for the SCS ways to use it challenge was created to honor my mother...it's winging it's way East.  I love you, Mimi!


latte for us

I loved today's technique challenge on SCS.  Use fancy napkins as your background paper.  I've had this stash forever and was delighted to use the latte cups for a card to my friend in the American coffee capitol, SEATTLE.  It's definitely a culture and until I lived there I didn't quite understand how anyone could not like cold coffee that had sat in a mug for the better part of a day. Now it's only espresso for me...a small luxury that brings much joy in my coffee breaks.

I used Technique Tuesday's 'Friends' set for my YOU & ME and those groovy mod stars.  Love this set. This card is mounted on SU black cs and I chose a Fancy Pants grid double-sided paper to place the latte napkin on top.  I peeled the two white layers off and glued it to the Fancy Pants which had been cuttled with the Paisley ef. I cut another top mug, mounted it onto white cs and UTEE'ed finally mounting it on foam squares.  It gives it a nice dimension as well as the texture of the torn napkin.  

I love the way it turned out.  I'll stick a Starbuck's card inside and slip it into the mail this afternoon.  Isn't it wonderful to have traditions with our family and friends that tie us over time to memories?  Sometime those special places are lost...one that just popped into my mind was the Howard Johnsons in the early days of the interstate system...you could pop off the road and get an ice cream cone...seems like they were always in the middle of the road.  Better not get started with my favorite food related memories, but I would love to hear yours'...



    I love the Featured Stamper challenge on Sundays at SCS.  It's a great opportunity to see how someone has developed as an artist over time.  I had such fun persuing todays' FS90, Speedystamper and in the end taught myself some new PhotoShop skills.  

I'd been wanting to use this picture of Sam from last summer in a card...
The card base is GP white. I printed my photo on vellum after the picture was altered to sepia in PS6. Perhaps I should have left it the gorgeous color it was...Sam's eyes are so blue and the stunning landscaped behind with the road snaking around...!!! The fun Inkadinkadoo kid's quote was stamped on top of the vellum in VersaColor Black and embossed with clear ep. I used bits from various papers to create the collage. The California license plate and the metal cars on road maps are from Tim Holtz. The green panel which is vintage post cards is the Passport group (Making Memories). I wanted the word CAR to show above the quote and tie the old cars together. UNDERneath the vellum photo, I stamped the word SON and in his hair right where the sonlight is hightlighting is a BIBLE, definitely THE guidebook in our family. I finished off with an epoxied circular pebble that proclaims adventure and I rolled a number wheel on the edges.  
And lastly, I couldn't forget x's and o's on his shoulder.

Please overlook this random assortment of fonts/bolds...I am still a blogging babe and it shows! Happy Sunday, all!



Yipee, Skipee!!! I learned something new!

I have to begin by saying I'm not sure about this blogging thing...the way I write and create is a bit like molasses  so I'm going to take the slow road...

But I am so proud of myself...I learned something new today in Photoshop!  I had wanted to make a vertical watermark for the longest time.  Well...though it took awhile, I created an alternative to my standard one.  Check it out on this card I uploaded to SCS yesterday for the Limited Supplies.  Funny thing...I had been unable to use my original watermark for some odd reason...and knowing so little about Photoshop, I couldn't figure out what my problem was!  Well somewhere in that grey matter a lightbulb flashed  'click on the drag' box...amazing it worked... 'all of a sudden'!  So girls, if there is any one left who doesn't know how to do this, I'd be happy to share!!!

Enjoy where you are today.

My header photo is out my kitchen window.  That is beauty berry...sets the berries beginning in August and last through the winter.  I have such a variety of the little birds who feast all through the cold.  My plaque is one of my favorite sentiments..."TODAY IS A GIFT that is why they call it the PRESENT!


on being tagged

Well, it finally happened...I got tagged!  Thanks Vicky!  I certainly enjoyed reading your 7 things, now as for me to reveal more than half a dozen things about myself! No time for paper art, I hope you enjoy my photographic talents with this pic of our wonderful Oregon coast!

1) I am a follower of Jesus. I want others to see HIM when they see me.  I have lots of work to do for that to happen, but every day I strive to love and live for HIM.  It is not about religion, but relationship to me.

2) I recently colored my hair for the first time in my life!  My DS told me he was tired of people asking if I was his grandma...'Can you image that, MOM?'...actually I can as I just had my 55th birthday last week.  But the Lord gives in HIS time and my mothering career was...well, I guess you could say I was a late bloomer!  Now I am faced with trying to keep up that glorious color!!! Read, less stamping money!

3) I didn't want to scrapbook/stamp.  I resisted for over ten years...I knew I would be hopelessly addicted. Now I dream of projects in my dreams...I love everything about it...touching the papers, the stamps, the ink...I know what you're thinking because you all are the same!  I have a corner in our family room that looks pretty sweet...we all hang here, doing computer or whatever...while isn't as spacious as I would want, it works

4)  Reading is another passion for me and I've found I have to work it in to everyday...I love the classics or obscure writings...I like to be absorbed in a book.  My sons and I read to each other.  My eldest college son still loves to be read to...we consider it a high art. And plan what book will be next!

5) I love music of all kinds and have made it a point to be a student of my sons music...yep, even 'SCREAMO, Primordial angst.  I surprise them with tickets to favorite bands and GO with them.  I was gifted a "MOMpod (purple my fav) for Mother's Day.  To say I rock out would be an understatement. Gospel, punk, old shag music, classical, beatnik...Billie Holiday, Pasty Cline...I LOVE it all!!!

6) Cheese is my favorite food.  Much rather have it than sweets.  I have a local market that has a cheese steward...that about says it all.  This week I am eating Goudas.

7) I love quirky, original restaurants.  Small mom and pop shops. 
Places where they know me and my family.

Girls, I could go on and on...but it's time to run to the bread store and co-op classes for my hip DS...no playing for me today...well unless you consider the fields of my mind! Thanks so much for thinking of me, Vicky!



I strive to be One4Joy daily even though I am not blogging that JOY daily!  But today I had to get in the grove, oops, groove with this card for a double challenge. Thursdays Ways to Use It and the Sketch Challenge from Wednesday over at SCS.  I love to think about the different kinds of friendship...hold that thought, it's time to run a carpool...be back


heart to home

Today's Inspiration Challenge on SCS was one  that touched my heart in many different ways!  I'm missing the physical presence of Sam, even though we text and talk frequently.  I'll drop my card in the mail to him this afternoon along with the monthly payment to the university!  Just to remind him home is where the heart is...

These colors, so popular now, remind me of my home growing up, along with the oranges that were our high school color.  They look edgy and modern, though I look at them and think childhood!  We have a new vintage store in town...it's ultra hip and happening and what's there, avocado, gold and oranges along with mushrooms, owls, those glass clusters of grapes in any color but purple, and teak furniture, pole lamps, and bark cloth.  My DH and I strolled down memory lane there last week.  It's fun seeing the next generation get excited about discovering treasures, the newest antiques...

How about you, are you inspired by the throwback colors?



I love to discover peoples' laugh patterns...from giggles, to snickers, to hew-haws...we are unique! I tend to store up my laughter and erupt in belly laughs so hard tears pour from my eyes.  One gal at work laughs at every breath and it is infectious!  But what are the health benefits?  

A hearty laugh can help reduce stress, lower blood pressure, activate the immune system, improve brain functioning, connect you to others, and make you feel good.  These are a few I found on helpguide.org.  And belly laughs are internal jogging for your body!  I'll be doing more of those, I tell you!  So the next time something strikes your funny bone, I hope you'll laugh more, louder and longer!

My challenge card today celebrates this very idea!  Have a happy day.


inward beauty

I'll never forget the first time I saw this stamp at my lss. Several years ago, one of the owners was suggesting it to someone who chose not to buy.  I  had to bring her home last week during the going out of business sale.  I love her face. Wrinkles and all.  That face reminds me to go beyond appearances and look to the heart.  I find myself in this position now...I've noticed my face looking older, that mature look.  I look in the mirror and think who is that woman...I 'm still used to seeing a girl.  I haven't fallen in love with what I see in the mirror, YET.  Haven't embraced HER yet.  I know I will, it's just a matter of time...

I think of my Mom who wears her wrinkles with a twinkle in her eye...I wanna be like that!  I see my dear mother-in-law, who is so elegant and always so coiffured with the polish of a makeup artist, beautiful...I wanna be like that too!  I want to feel I've a right to all those wrinkles I can just see lying in wait at the edge of tomorrow on my FACE!  I want to embrace this new era with joyfulness...I'll have to have a to be continued...I've got to see how to grow into this new woman!  

I'll check back with you and please do the same!

If you want to link back to this on SCS, here tis



I don't know about you, but I've never considered myself an artist.  That title was reserved for the painterly types...living and dead.  My friend, Kathleen is an art teacher and I certainly consider her an artist.  She buys those tubes of pigment that you squirt on a palette and real horsehair brushes.  Nope, I'm a crafter, not an artist...but I think I wanta be and then just now I look up the meaning in my online dictionary and lo and behold...I think I qualify!   Dictionary definitions

Wiktionary defines the noun 'artist' (Singular: artist; Plural: artists) as follows:

  1. A person who creates art.
  2. A person who creates art as an occupation.
  3. A person who is skilled at some activity
So, Kyle was right...we ARE all ARTISTS even if we don't know how to draw....or paint with real paints!

Hope you get to spend lots of time today doing what you love...I know I'm gonna nurture the artist in me and my DS!




I have to link this card I received recently from my friend, AMY (thanks very much)...it is gorgeous and inspired me to search out ANOTHER chandelier to keep our lil' friendly competition going!  Today's uploadfor SCS was the result.  I can't believe I found another image and a single clear stamp no less from Heidi Swapp. I stamped it with Galaxy Gold and embossed with Platinum powder.   I love the slightly tarnished look...how about you?

I'm sending this to my oldest son whom I took back to university this week.  And while it was much easier this time (and still only 100 miles from home)...the emptiness is profound...our youngest son was just commenting to me, how much he missed his big bro.  I didn't cry this time...not even on the drive home...I am so thrilled for him, it's just meant for him to be at this school during this time of his life! So I suppose you could say my heart was overflowing with contentment...knowing that all we have put into his life is bearing fruit away from us.  And that he calls on Friday night about 10:30, just having gotten back from church...a very cool rocking Jesus loving body of young adults that choose to spend Friday nights in worship and fellowship. He said,  "Mom, you will love John Mark's message....(I usually listen to podcasts on Mondays) and he spent a good 5 minutes filling me in on what had struck him."  Yep, it is contentment and a grateful heart.

Now I just hope he learns that you can always make do and even scrabble an "U" into a 'N'.  Shine bright, Sam! 



I'm sitting here in the very middle of the night feeling the serenity of my house. Tomorrow, or rather today~~~my boys arrive home from camp and it will be dirty clothes and stories and packing up for college all in the same evening!  So for now, even though I should be sleeping, I'm soaking in the serenity that being alone and creating never fails to bring to me.

My card for the sketch challenge over on SCS is filled with all the visuals that come to mind when I think on serenity.  Water, sky, and land in the country.  I've enjoyed some simply amazing sunsets recently where the golden light of the setting sun shines through the clouds and you can almost see heaven. I have a small water feature out my front kitchen window that catches the sky reflected every now and then...and that takes my breath away!  Everywhere I turn is an opportunity to bathe my senses in beauty...a salve for whatever lies ahead!

I know this week is going to bring tears as we take our oldest son back to university and away from us...but I am sure he's seeing those same skies and waters and gathering serenity for his weeks ahead.  How about you?  Have you paused lately and seen a masterpiece?



I am always amazed at the creative process. How about you, when you approach a challenge, what steps do you take in beginning and are you pleasantly surprised when you have brought something to life?  I was especially happy with my card for the color challenge on SCS today.  I just received some Kraft paper yesterday...it's a bit rough...love the texture with the multi-colored fibers woven though. I was flipping in my image book and thought this Art Declassified image would be perfect with a sepia wash. Happened upon an old clearance sheet of cologne label paper and I was on my way.

I adore the sentiment.  A good reminder for me...if I was of the tattoo ilk, I would have it inked on my arm. I might not solve all the worlds troubles, but I can RADIATE, for this moment, just for today, good cheer and happiness. So when I go out into my world this afternoon...I'm gonna spread sweetness...be it a smile, a kind greeting, or a hug.  Life's too short to let this opportunity pass me by.


very first

what a perfect challenge today on SCS!  Oldies but goodies.  This one is made even more special, because I am honoring my stamping mentor! A little background first!  I bought this stamp, PSX's Hydrangea in 1996.  I don't even know what I was thinking because I walked out of the stamp store (Great Impressions in Issaquah WA) with no ink and no paper. And as I recall, I used it once with some Crayola felt markers and then it sat in my desk drawer for 10 years!!!

I began my paper artist journey in July of 2006. In my SCS gallery is posted my first project , along with pages at the top of what is inside my pocketbook.  Needing some advice, I stopped into my lss and into my life came Konnie.  She gently, very gently listened to my questions and guided me as I was ready for the next step in stamping. I would go and just hang in the store 'round the project tables.  I would ask her if I was considering a particular stamp, tell me ways I can use this stamp or that...I HAVE NEVER BEEN SORRY FOR ANY STAMPING RELATED PURCHASE.  Konnie has been my biggest encourager.

And now for the tie-in with the Hydrangea.  One Saturday, I took the stamp into the store and asked if she could show me how to use it. Now you have to understand, Saturdays were for in-store demos. Konnie made my stamp the whole demo.  She created 8 different techniques for this one stamp and I was blown away with stamping. I never considered coloring, alcohol inks, micro beads, crayon resist, embossing, bleaching, brayering...to name a few.  But she was always there when I was ready for the next phase. 

So I dedicate my 'very first' card to her and will be mailing it today.  Sad to say, our lss is closing its' doors in the next few weeks---victims of break-ins that have broken the spirit of the owners.  I understand, but oh so sad. However, I am confident from this will come new beginnings, maybe in the art, maybe not...but I hope after a rest, Konnie will be up for playing with ink again...this time I'll set her a spot in my studio, let her use my stamps...I can hardly wait to see what she'll create!

Dear Konnie, I can never thank you enough for what you have given into my life!  I love you, my friend!



it's fun to see what brings us together, common likes or dislikes. Today I celebrate my friend, Amy, who shares a love of chandeliers with me!  We've got a friendly competition going collecting stamps which feature chandeliers...and she has scored one that is at the top of my list!  Okay, Miss Amy...bring it on! I, also, am reminded of NancyRuth who actually works around shiny, dreamy fixtures every day...what fun!  This one of mine today is very similar to one which hung in my grandmothers' house. Whenever they moved, the chandelier moved too!  It was such a beauty...all crystal pieces. 

So now along with my beloved windows, chairs, and doors, I have chandeliers...and since my ceilings are only 8ft...I'll just keep collecting them in rubber!  How about you?  What do you have a thing for?


moment in time

As my card for the sketch challenge today on SCS implies, where does the time go.  I can't believe it's been 38 years since I was a starry eyed young woman on a grand tour of Europe, a gift from my Daddy.  I can still recall the thrill I felt stepping on the airplane for my first trip outside of America.  My life has been full of passion. For travel, art, people.  It's been a curvy road, I've been sidetracked, run off the road, found dead ends, but I'm still journeying!  I'm sure there will be more wrong turns, roadblocks, and mountains to climb~~~I'm gonna motor,how about you?  



Don't you just love the gifts of summer?  God's bounty in our garden plots, roadside stands, farmers markets, and our lives!  I know I do and I am thankful for time to slow down and revel.
I love the beauty to be found in the colors of fruit and vegetables so my card for the Ways to Use it Challenge over at SCS was a natural choice.  

We are so fortunate to have numerous family farms and one of the oldest outdoor Saturday markets to obtain this harvest!  In each season, new wonders. I especially love the fall markets when the mushrooms are available...fresh from the forest floors.  All this reminds me of the seasons in my life, too.  And that my searching for balance is part of God's design on my life.

Is my house more orderly and the laundry caught up, no..but in my spirit there is peace!