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.