Monday, September 1, 2014

Happy Birthday to Me!



Happy Birthday to me! Happy Birthday to me! Yup, today’s my birthday and I’m the ripe old age of 67 now. I still feel like I’m in my 20’s most days, and probably act more that way too according to some people (hubby) but I enjoy life too much to sit around and feel sorry for myself for what ever problem crops up. I prefer to dwell on the positives instead of the negatives in life.

This is going to be a long post because I want to share my experience on Saturday biking at the park. The card will follow so skip this part if you don’t want a laugh. It was very hot and humid on Saturday…and every day since then. This is the first time all summer that we’ve had the A/C on 3 days in a row…..but back to the bike ride. We like to ride the trails and came out of one and onto the pavement and I’m riding along just enjoying the day when I looked down and saw a spider on the mirror attached to my bike handle…a big spider too….and he was crawling up towards the handle. AAAGGGHHHH. I HATE spiders and I took that hand off the handle and started yelling for Joe to come back to rescue me. Turns out I don’t steer very well with one hand and while panicking. Luckily we were on a closed road so I didn’t hit into a car or one didn’t hit into me because let me tell you people I was all over the place. I finally had the sense to stop and jumped off the bike just as Joe came back and he’s all panicky thinking I’m having a seizure of some kind and when I point to the dreaded spider he started to laugh. Laugh people. He was laughing at me. He blew the spider off which swung down his web so Joe waved over the web and the spider hits the pavement….right by my foot! STOMP! Joe says, “What did you do that for? That spider wasn’t going to hurt anything out here?”  Yeah well he landed by my foot and it was an involuntary reaction. Took a few minutes for the heart rate to return to normal that’s for sure and it didn’t help that Joe kept looking back at me and smirking. Okay you would think that’s the end of the story but it’s not. I woke up about 2:00 a.m. in a cold sweat because that darn spider was spooking me in a nightmare…and he was even bigger and closer to me. AAAGGGHHHH! Took awhile for me to get back to sleep because every time I closed my eyes, you know what I was seeing! When I told Joe in the morning about the nightmare, did I get any sympathy – NO! I got, “Serves you right for stomping on it”.  Grrrrrrr.

He made up for it though! His sister is still in hospital and not the local one so yesterday we drove to where she is (about 2 hours drive most days) and had a visit. She is getting much better and will be home in a day or two. So, we decided we wanted some Chinese for supper and we remembered going to a nice one with lots of choices that was reasonably priced so we headed for there – closed  {we don’t eat meat (except sea food and Joe eats chicken on occasion) so we like the buffet style ones} Oh boy that left the Mandarin Inn which is very, very nice and very, very expensive. We went for it. We had the best Chinese meal ever and that was my birthday meal gift. Nice! I haven’t had crab legs for about 4 or 5 years so I feasted on them the most. Definitely got my money’s worth there! Not sure what today will bring because we just had a rain storm come through and they are predicting a thunderstorm as well. Doesn’t matter. Just being alive is a fine birthday present to me! I think I’ll get some more card making in or maybe work on my current quilt project!

Okay, now the card. This is another Magnolia image.


Once again it was coloured with Prismacolor pencils. (My birthday gift from my girls was a set of Derwent pencils with colours I didn’t have and they are every bit as nice as the Prismacolor ones…and a set of the Derwent water colour pencils which I really wanted.) Back to the card….the ovals are from Spellbinder’s and I die cut both the purple and white one with the same die and then cut off the edge of the white one to layer on top of the purple. The ones in the set were too big for what I wanted. I sponged chalk around the image.  The ribbon and paper is from the stash. The ribbon at the top is just a piece of left over ribbon. I keep these instead of throwing them out because they sure come in handy for accent pieces.

That’s all for a Monday.

Cheers
Violet


Friday, August 29, 2014

Tomorrow you can eat broccoli???



Tomorrow you can eat broccoli???  I'll explain at the end of the post.

Another Friday already! It started out cool but turned out to be a beautiful day. All the clothes dried on the clothesline without any chance of rain which was nice. I spent the morning putting another quilt top together but then we decided it was too short for the son-in-law I had it planned for (he’s 6’3” at least) so I have to make another row of blocks. No problem. I have lots of stash. This afternoon just as I was leaving to visit people in the nursing home the mail came and the only mail was a parcel from my girls – a birthday present. They bought me a set of Derwent water colour pencils and a set of Derwent coloured pencils, like my Prismacolor ones. Nice. I wanted to sharpen them and play right away but I had to get my visits in first. Tonight will be colouring time!

Today’s card is for the Stamping Bella challenge which was a sketch.


I love these Senioritas images. I coloured it with alcohol markers, except for the face and hair. I don’t have any markers in the flesh tones – yet!!! All the paper is from the stash.

Tomorrow you can eat broccoli is the sentiment inside today’s card and this time I photographed the inside as well.
 

This is the long weekend. The end of summer once again. (big, big sigh) Even though I love the fall colours it means that nasty cold wind and wet snow is going to follow. Lots of rain predicted for our area over the weekend so not sure what we’ll be doing. What ever you have planned, I wish you lots of fun and good weather.

Cheers
Violet


Thursday, August 28, 2014

The Great Blue Heron and a Warbler Card



It was another typical, for this year, summer day today. Hot while in the sun but cold when the sun went behind a cloud and the wind picked up. We had our blue jean shirts on and off all afternoon depending on where we were in the park. Yup, another 26.7km on the bikes again today. They are calling for rain for the weekend so we thought we better get a ride in today.

I am posting a card today but first I’m posting some pictures of a Great Blue Heron that I took last weekend in Sarnia. We went for a long walk through Canatera Park and there is a lot of water throughout the trails – canals and a small lake, Lake Chipican. Right opposite Lake Chipican is Lake Huron. As we were at the edge of the small lake Joe spotted this heron standing still and hunched up. After I snapped a few pictures we continued along the trail and looked back to see the heron move to the edge of the lake by the road and start feeding. I was only about 15 feet from him and he didn’t even look at me. Beautiful bird. Here are a few photos of him. I was actually looking for the Green Huron but once again he eluded us. This one made up for that though.






Okay and now the card which also features a bird – the most sought after warbler every May in Ontario – the Prothonotary Warbler. We were lucking enough one year to see two males and a female and they sat still for some photos – about 200 I think!!! This is one of my favourite photos of the male and I made it into an easel card.


I should have taken a side view shot but I didn’t. The sentiment was added in Photoshop on the card and the sentiment stamped on the blue portion is from Stampin’ Up. To keep the card from folding down flat I added a row of gems along the yellow bit. It does lay down flat for mailing but they look so nice standing up. If you’ve never made an easel card before, I encourage you to do so. There are lots of tutorials on YouTube and on the Internet itself.

That’s all for Thursday,

Cheers
Violet

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Especially For You Card



This is going to be a very short post today. It’s almost 11:00 pm and I just finally had a chance to sit down at the computer to read the newspapers and catch up with family on Facebook. Busy, busy day for sure! This morning was yard work day and then we had to drive to London to visit family in the hospital, had supper out, came back home but decided to run all our errands that we could tonight in case tomorrow is nice enough to go for a bike ride.

Today’s card is another Magnolia image.



I coloured this one with Prismacolor pencils. I love these images. Pretty straight forward card so not much explanation required. I just pulled paper and ribbon from the stash that seemed to work with the coloured image. I know most card makers pick the paper and then colour to match but I quite often sit upstairs at night and colour while watching television so that doesn't work for me. Luckily I have a large stash of paper to choose from so, so far, it has not been a problem.

That’s all for Wednesday.

Cheers
Violet

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Stacked Presents



The heat wave is over! We had a major thunderstorm come through around the supper and it brought in the cooler air. A/C is off again and the windows are open.

When I was in the Christmas card making mood on Monday I checked out this site: www.christmascardchallenges.blogspot.ca and their challenge was to make a Christmas card with a present or stack of presents on it. Here’s my take on that.


 
I bought this stamp (used) a few years ago when the Paper Pickle was clearing out old stock to bring in new stocks. I haven’t used it much but it sure fit this week’s challenge. I coloured it with alcohol markers, except for the yellow which is ink. The squares are from one of the Spellbinder’s Squares die set. The card base is from Michaels – one of their $1.00 a pack ones. It came with the scallop edge so I cut a matching piece of paper from the 12x12 piece and glued it to the inside. One the card is closed all the pictures and words line up. Here’s the inside so you can see what I mean.


I will be adding a sentiment to the inside but haven't got that far yet! 
One more Christmas card done! I spent the afternoon working on another quilt and hit the lower studio after supper working on some cards using vellum, which I seldom use but starting to like it a lot! Stay tuned to see them!

Cheers
Violet

Monday, August 25, 2014

Christmas Card Catch Up



Well summer has finally arrived! It was hot and humid today and tomorrow will be even worse with the humidity making it feel close to 100ºF. The A/C will be on and I’ll be down in the lower studio (aka the basement) getting some cards and scrapbooking done. I don’t venture out in that heat unless I have to.

Terrible about the earthquake in the Napa Valley in California. That must have been terrifying.

I’ve been getting behind on making my Christmas cards so today I hunkered down and got four done. The first card was for last week’s challenge at http://merrymondaychristmaschallenge.blogspot.ca but I didn’t get it done in time to enter it.



The challenge was to make a card using black, gold and silver. Well, I ended up skipping the silver part seeing as the card was too late to enter. I ran a piece of white cardstock through an embossing folder and then lightly inked gold ink over the top and mounted it on the white card base. The stamp was embossed in gold on the black panel which was die cut with a Spellbinder’s die. The gold strip along the side is stolid gold but the light made it change colour. The little gold stars, the sentiment and round dots are stickers like Dazzles. The sentiment was glued to a black die cut label and then I glued it to the same gold paper as the as the long strip and cut around it leaving about 1/8” edge.

Then I decided to make a card for this week’s challenge which was to use a wreath.


Lots of layers on this card. The stamp is from Hot Off the Press and is one of their small $1.29 set stamp sets. It is hard to see on the card but first I stamped the wreath, the holly and the word “Joy” in cream on the white cardstock. These were all part of the same stamp set. Then I stamped the wreath in black on that panel plus on another piece of white cardstock. I coloured the second stamped image and cut around it and then glued it over top of the one stamped on the white panel, lining them up so the swirls matched. Red gems were added as berries. The sentiment is a sticker and mounted on a Spellbinder’s die cut label and then I glued it to the green and cut around it leaving about 1/8” edge. The beige and green cardstock was die cut with the Spellbinder’s Card Creator set so I don’t have to measure each one. It needed something else so I added the three large red gems to the left side and three small ones under the sentiment.
 
Then I made another card using the same wreath stamp. Lots of layers on this one too.


This time I stamped it on white cardstock and die cut it with a Spellbinder’s large scallop die and coloured the outside with the same blue Copic. The wreath and the blue part was coloured with alcohol markers. It needed some bling! The berries are red stickles and some green stickles were added to the holly. I wanted the blue layer to match so I ran the same blue Copic marker down the edge of white cardstock and used that as one of the layers. The ribbon was already died with Distress Inks and it happened to match the blue paper so I just tied a bow and glued it on. The sentiment is hidden under the bow a bit but it is easy to see in real life. The card base was in the stash and it matched too. I must have made it for another project but then didn’t use it. Cool!

Wow, three cards in one post. That doesn’t happen often!

Cheers
Violet

Saturday, August 23, 2014

A Scrappy Quilt



Well, I’ve decided to rename our local “weather specialist” to the “weather guesser”! This morning we turned on the radio for the latest weather report and it was suppose to be “sunny all day with a few clouds. Hot and humid feeling like 31C (almost 90F). Okay, we better don the coolest shorts and sleeveless tops and fill four water bottles with ice water. After breakfast Joe goes out to load the bikes while I finish getting the BBQ meal ready and packed. He comes in and says, “I’m not sure about today. It’s cloudy, looks like rain clouds too, and there is a very cool wind blowing”. Really I say? Does this weather specialist ever walk outside and look up in the sky or does he just stare at computer screens? We were ready to go so we took a chance but grabbed long sleeve shirts, just in case, - and we needed while eating. Well, about 3:00 we finally saw some blue sky but humid it was not. The clouds were thick and grey but no rain where we were. It actually turned out to be a very comfortable day and we ended up doing 30.9 km (almost 20 miles). Weather specialist, yeah right!!

This is the latest quilt top I finished. It will be donated to the Chatham-Kent quilters guild comfort quilt group to be finished and then given to someone undergoing chemotherapy.  




This was such a fun quilt to make and used up a lot of the stash. Each block measures 5 ½” with a 1” strip down the centre on the diagonal. The pattern said to cut the blocks down to 5” but I easily got 5 ½” so I wasn’t going to waste extra fabric for no reason….even though I do use all my scraps to fill pillows that are then donated to the local animal shelter for the puppies and kittens to sit on. Then the pattern said to lay all these blocks out on the design wall and then sew them together. My sewing room is a long walk-in closet. There is no design wall. I have a design floor which is in another room. So, I decided to sew four of these blocks together into what is known as a four-patch and then I laid them out on the floor. Joe helps me when I get them all laid out to make sure I don’t have two the same side by side. I hope who ever gets it likes it.

I have one other quilt top done too but not photographed yet.

That’s all for a Saturday,

Cheers
Violet

Friday, August 22, 2014

A Bellariffic Friday Card



Yesterday I posted that they were forecasting about a week of rain. This morning Joe turned on the radio to get the news and weather and the weather specialist (what he calls himself) says we are in for a "bank of sunshine for the next four or five days!" What? What happened to the rain that was forecasted? I guess it must have moved south of us because it was indeed a nice sunny day here – very hot and humid but typical for August. I know you can't count on the long range forecast but it doesn't normally change that quickly overnight!

I was busy this afternoon and got another quilt top put together. I had the blocks made but they needed to be finished into the quilt top. Done! Then I pulled out another set of completed blocks and I have them sorted for yet another quilt top. I’m on a quest to reduce the amount of fabric I have! The paper, beading, and scrapbooking embellishment stashes are also being deleted…but much more slowly….mainly because I keep buying more supplies!! Oh well, life is short, may as well do what you enjoy while you are here.

Today’s card is for the weekly challenge at Stamping Bella.



This stamp is just too darn cute. I love it! It was coloured with Prismacolor pencils and then glitter was sprinkled on her dress. It looks nicer in person than the photo shows. The die is a Spellbinders die that I bought on sale at the Paper Pickle. It was one of those sales that were too good to pass on but I wasn’t sure I would use it all that much. Turns out I use it a lot and I’m so glad I bought it. The background papers are from a very old paper set that I won and I just added the bow down the seam.

That’s all for another week. I finished another quilt this week and if I have time over the weekend I’ll post it.

Cheers
Violet

Thursday, August 21, 2014

A Stamp for All Occasions



We put another 28.15 km on the old bikes again today! Today was the only day the weather was nice enough to ride even though it was hot and humid most of the day. In some parts of the park it was cool and windy. Strange weather for sure. The weather forecast for the next 8 days is rain, rain, rain with a few thundershowers thrown in as well. Hopefully the forecast is wrong and we have a few nice days too.

I don’t watch very much television but the other night I was watching America’s Got Talent and the comedian mentioned Canada and said “aboot” instead of “about” and indicated he was talking Canadian????? Huh??? Personally I have never ever heard any Canadian pronounce “about” as “aboot”. I suppose it could be a French-Canadian accent but it is NOT main stream Canadian. Isn’t it funny how something like that bugs you! So if you hear someone say Canadians say “aboot” instead of “about” tell them they have been terribly misinformed.

Okay, I’m off my soap box now. Today’s card is another anniversary card.



I stamped the image on white cardstock and coloured it with my new alcohol markers. This stamp could be for any occasion. I think I picked this one up at the thrift store a couple years ago. I stamped the sentiment which is from another stamp set in the middle. Once it was coloured, I used a stencil brush and pounced Tumbled Glass Distress Ink inside the oval and around the edges of the flowers. It was mounted on the deep red, then on the background, which is two pieces of paper from a paper pack that I taped together and then added the white Dazzle (stickers from Hot Off the Press) on each side and the long strip of white Dazzle along the bottom. It needed something else so I added three pearls.

That’s all for a Thursday,

Cheers
Violet

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

A Pink Card and how to fix an "Oops"



Today feels like a typical summer day with hot humid weather and of course a chance for a severe thunderstorm. We had some light quick showers this afternoon but Joe did get the grass cut and I got some weeding and trimming done in between the rain drops. We actually had to turn the A/C on this afternoon. Yesterday was errand day and grocery day and one of the errands was to buy a new printer. I’ve been without a printer for over a month and Staples had a good HP printer on sale $110 off so it was only $89.99. I hope it’s a good one and not a dud! In hooking it up after supper I somehow unplugged the keyboard and with no keyboard there was no typing. By the time I figured everything out I was brain dead so I didn’t get a post in.

Today’s card is another magnolia image.




I warned you it was very pink! The image was coloured with Prismacolor pencils. The background paper came from a .99 paper pack from Michaels. The hot pink paper and ribbon is from the stash. The ovals were die cut with a Spellbinder’s die.

Now for the Ooops! On Saturday morning I had about an hour to kill before we were heading out for a bike ride so I hurried down to my lower studio (aka the basement) and started to experiment with a piece of water colour paper, Distress Inks, stamps, stencils and paint. I had the piece looking pretty good and then I had the not-so-brilliant idea to stamp and emboss in black a large mostly solid flower stamp on it. Well that didn’t turn out very well as the stamping was not even. I tried colouring in the negative parts of flower with an alcohol marker and that really ruined it.  I hate to throw things in the garbage so I grabbed some bird dies – one from Memory Makers and one from QuicKutz and die cut some from various parts of the paper. They are lovely!
Here is the piece that I originally made with the birds put back in place and I know you can barely see them which is good as I wanted you to see the original piece.


 
Can you see the lovely background I created using stencils and Distress Ink? Too bad I ruined it.


 
Here are the birds die cut from that piece. I have room to die cut a few more yet. The background was quite lovely until I added that flower but now I have these funky birds to use on other projects. So, the reason I’m showing you my “oops” is to show you how I take an “oops” and turn it into something useful instead of adding it to the garbage pail.

 Cheers
Violet

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