Friday, May 22, 2015

A Splash of Colour



Happy Memorial Day to all my U.S. readers. Here’s wishing you pleasant weather and a wonderful weekend. It’s still pretty cold here in Ontario and everyone is remarking about how they cannot remember such a cold May – well, we had a record breaking cold temperatures in Jan and Feb too and March and April were a bit colder than average temperatures so no surprise that May is cold. Once it warms up they are predicting record breaking heat waves. Figures. If the wind would go down it would be lovely outside. We haven’t bought a single flower to plant in the garden yet which is also unusual. There are frost warnings out for tonight and tomorrow night so maybe next week we’ll hit the greenhouses.

Today we picked up 4 rhubarb pies from the church; had some rhubarb stalks given to us; bought a huge bag of asparagus and I spent the entire afternoon baking and freezing. We have 8 bags of asparagus and 4 bags of rhubarb frozen for this winter and I may freeze some more. But in spite of being tired tonight I think I’ll go down to the lower studio and make some cards or do a bit of scrapbooking.

Here’s today’s card.


Some days I just want to make some quick cards and this card was very quick to make but I love how they turn out. The beige background was a single sheet note card which came embossed.  It’s not water colour paper but plain but heavy cardstock..... but that doesn’t mean you can’t splash some water colour paint on it. That’s exactly what I did – I loaded a brush with water colour paint and just splashed it on, rinsing the brush between colours and let it blend a bit. Once it was dry I stamped the butterfly and the sentiment. Then I loaded up the brush again and tapped it so it splattered little dots of paint all over the card. Once it was all dry I glued it to the actual card base.

That’s all for a cool Friday,

Cheers
Violet

Thursday, May 21, 2015

A "Betty" from Art Impressions Card

We had such a busy day yesterday I didn’t have time to post a card. First we went to Windsor to return my camera to Henry’s for repair. Alas, they could not repair it there and it has to go to Toronto for repairs. Thank goodness I took out the extended warranty! Last night was the quilt guild meeting as well so there wasn’t much time between getting home from Windsor, checking emails, chatting with sister and getting supper. After all that I was too pooped to post!

Today’s card is another favourite from Art Impressions called “Betty” and it is still available. Love this stamp and I haven’t coloured it up for quite awhile so it was time to do so.
 

“Betty” is coloured with my Prismacolor pencils and blended with gamsol. This is a huge stamp and it doesn’t fit any of my dies so I just cut it down to the size I want for the card I happen to be making. The edges are inked – of course – I hate white edges. The sentiment does not come with the stamp nor does the music notes. I just stamp them on afterwards. The blue and shadows are chalk. The card base is lime green cardstock and then I pulled some matching green checked paper to mount the image on. It needed a little something so I wrapped the green ribbons across the image and green checked paper before gluing it to the card base.

That’s all for a cool Thursday – yes, it’s still cool here in Ontario but hopefully it will warm up by the weekend.

   Cheers

Violet

 

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

The Bad Decision Quilt



Once again the weather cannot decide if it’s a) summer (yesterday was very hot and humid and we almost put the A/C on or b) fall (very cold wind today). Spring does not seem to be an option this year. However, we braved the cold wind and Joe cut the grass while I cleaned up the garden – lots of grass growing in it for some odd reason – and weeds because of the man behind us and the people beside us who do not pull their weeds! Grrrrrr! I also got a couple more cards made this morning so overall a pretty productive day – and it’s not over yet!

As I was trying to decide what card to post today I came across the photo of the quilt I made for my middle daughter and realized I hadn’t posted it yet. So here’s Janette’s quilt.


This quilt is HUGE! Joe is not tall enough to hold it up (he’s just under 6’) even with his arms up in the air and it’s still dragging on the floor. So what you see on the floor is also on top. It wasn’t meant to be that way so here’s the story behind it. I made this quilt top (the giant star and first dark plum border) probably 6 or 7 years ago...maybe longer. I know I hadn’t been quilting long and had not pieced many quilts at that point…mostly crazy quilts. It really was too difficult for a beginner but I didn’t know that. (Bad decision #1) In fact, I don’t think we knew exactly what we were making so it was likely a mystery quilt class. (Bad decision #2 – turns out I hate mystery quilt classes) We were told how much of each fabric to bring and to make sure it was bright and had great contrast – and one of the suggestions was if we choose a dark purple, go with a light green with a pink middle. I decided to follow the suggestions – bad decision #3! I hated the green when it was done…..and it turned out to be a square quilt which I also dislike. So the top got folded up and put away for several months or more.

Then I dug it out and took it back to the quilt store and asked for help in making it not square and bought the co-ordinating fabric. Folded it up and put it way again. Bad decision #4. Months later I got it out and sort of forgot what Rick (owner of quilt shop) told me what to do and it turned out larger but still almost square – about 2” difference. Back in the box it went.

Somewhere along the way I had taken a photo of it and I happened to show a picture of it to my daughter and she liked it (go figure) but then again, purple has been her favourite colour since she was a baby. So I pulled it out again but upon closer inspection I noticed a lot of the seams were not sewn properly and I had to “unsew” (rip out) about a third of the seams and re-sew them. I can’t believe how bad my sewing was back then but when I think back we were told to hurry with our sewing or we would never get the quilt done in one lesson. (Bad decision # 5 – don’t rush when quilting). I was looking for something else and lo and behold I found a large strip of the dark plum fabric in the stash. Once I added a strip to the top and bottom it was no longer square –very, very large, but not square.

Then I realized that the backing I had for it was sized for the first square size (did not buy extra fabric - bad decision #6) so I had to find more purple fabric in the stash and piece the backing. Once the backing was done I needed to quilt it. I just own a domestic sewing machine but I couldn’t afford to send it out to be quilted. People, this was bad decision #7 and it was the worst. I believe the quilt ended up being about 72”x 90”! Trying to scrunch a large quilt into the bed of a domestic sewing machine is not for the faint of heart…but I did it!

Okay I bet you think that’s the end of the story. Oh no, bad decision #8 is a repeat of bad decision #6 – I didn’t have enough binding now – I was 30” short. I didn’t think there would be a chance in you-know-where that the quilt shop would have any of the same fabric left but in the corner of the wine coloured fabric section I found a bolt with about 2 yards left! Woohoo! I felt so lucky I stopped at the next store and bought a lottery ticket. ….bad decision #9 – waste of $2.00 as I didn’t win a thing.

So by the time the quilt was finished, winter was pretty much over so she hasn’t actually got it yet but we will be going down for a visit soon and take to her. Confession – this was her Christmas gift. Bad Mother!

Sorry for the long post but it was a story that just had to be told.

Cheers
Violet


Monday, May 18, 2015

A Wedding Card and Birds



This weekend was a holiday weekend in Canada. It started out being called Victoria Day named after the former queen of England but somewhere along the way it ended up being the May 24th holiday even though it doesn’t always fall on the 24th. Now it’s just referred to as May 2-4. We did get some more bird watching in but the photos are not the best as the birds were either way up high or in a tangle of bushes. We did see the rare Brewster’s Warbler though so that was nice. Unfortunately my camera started to fall apart on Saturday - not kidding. The outer housing that holds the lenses came loose and by Saturday night I knew I wasn't going to use it on Sunday. I have a back-up camera but I missed my Canon. Hope they can fix it.

 This is the Brewster. You can see what I mean about being in a tangle. I just took these so we would have proof that we saw this bird.


 The Common Yellow throat (below) is one of my favourites. He was waaaaaay back in the swampy area.
 Joe laughed as I took a picture of the Turkey Vultures but I told him I just had to take a photo of something sitting still and not in a tangle. Man are they ugly birds!


Today was doing laundry, cleaning the car and puttering around day.

Today’s card is a wedding card I made a couple of weeks ago.


While I was tiding things up and rearranging things in the lower studio where I craft (aka the basement) I came across a bag of wedding themed items including that bride and groom kissing under an arch but it was an odd colour of paper which is why I’ve never used it. Time to do something with it! I took my little jar of Tsukineko 70 Vegas Gold all-purpose ink, gave it a good shake then used a sponge to sponge on a couple of layers until I liked how it looked. That ink will cover up just about any colour. Love it. It was then glued to the black cardstock. The butterfly panel on the left is a Memory Box die. Then I just added the Spellbinder’s die cut label with the Mr. & Mrs. on it after it was edged in black. It needed a little something at the top so some gold rimmed pearl peel-offs were added. It will do nicely I think.

That’s all for a holiday Monday,

Cheers
Violet

Friday, May 15, 2015

Beautiful Birds

We made another trip to Rondeau Provincial Park yesterday and we came across Joe's favourite bird, the Scarlet Tanager...plus a few others. Here are my favourite photos from yesterday.






The bottom bird is the same bird as the top but he looks more orange in the top two photos because of the sun hitting him. In the bottom photo he was in the shade of a tree and had just caught a wasp.

Here are a few more photos.



That's all for a Friday. I'll be back with a card next week.

Violet



Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Is it fall again??



Brrrrr. Yes, brrrrr. The wind is so cold today it feels like fall again….in fact there is a chance of frost tonight. It was too cold to head for the lake for more birding today and I made the mistake of sticking my head out the door to double check the weather and the wind hit my cheek and oh boy, the brain disorders hit and they hit hard. Darn! Didn’t get much done this afternoon. I didn’t get too much done yesterday afternoon either. Joe didn’t get the grass cut until after the lunch hour so by the time we ate it was about 2:00 and he wanted to hit the shower and relax. So, I headed out to the grocery store by myself. This is most unusual as we have gotten groceries together since we’ve been married unless one of us is sick or can’t go….and probably no more often then a half-a-dozen times each. I did pretty well but the clerk helped me put the groceries in the cart and I guess she put the 10# bag of potatoes on the bottom shelf and I didn’t notice it when I unloaded the groceries. It was so windy and cold in the parking lot I guess I was going too fast and didn’t think about the potatoes. So, I hope whoever found them is someone who was in need of a random act of kindness, if it was unintentional. It’s annoying but not worth losing sleep over.

Today’s card is monochromatic card using a feather, a die cut butterfly and a dry embossed background.



These cards are so quick and easy to do. First dry emboss a background with an embossing folder of your choice and I prefer to have an open design instead of a tight busy background. This one is swirls and leaves so perfect for this card. The butterfly was die cut and glued on and the feather was glued on. I stamped the frame and sentiment and the cut around the frame and attached it with dimensional glue dots. Then it was glued to the darker blue card base which has the fold at the top.

That’s all for a too-cold-for-May-Wednesday,

Cheers
Violet

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

A Scrapbook Layout



Once again the temperature has done a 180ยบ turn and it’s a cool day out there. It would be a lovely day if the cool wind would calm down though. Yesterday we both spent a couple hours sitting on the front porch [me reading and both of us watching people not stopping at the stop sign…… and talking on their cell phones (will they ever learn not to?)] Too cool to sit comfortably out there today though. Joe is hoping to get the grass cut if he doesn’t get rained out – very cloudy right now.

I thought I’d post a scrapbook layout today. This is graduation season so this is my granddaughter in 2010 and one of the pictures is her graduation picture.


The background paper came with the white flowers in the corner. The large photo and the grad photo (the only one I have) were mounted on white first but the other one was mounted on black because the background was so white it needed something to make it pop. The lacy frame strips are Dazzles from HOTP (Paper Wishes). Her name, which I love, was die cut with a Cuttlebug Alphabet die. The little birds and butterflies are peel-offs as well.

That’s all for a cool Tuesday,

Cheers
Violet


Monday, May 11, 2015

A Thank You Card and Birds and Beavers



Well we had a wonderful weekend and hope all of you did too. Bird watching was hit and miss, as usual, as a lot of the warblers were very high in the trees so it was hard to identify them. As one lady said, “It’s like watching black dots jumping around.” However, last night around the supper hour Joe and I decided to walk one last trail before heading home (an ice cream break recharged the energy level) and we were the only ones on the trail and the much sought after Prothonotary Warbler showed up and we watched it and photographed it for over half an hour before others showed up. I got so many good shots of him (yes, this was the male) it was hard to narrow down the favourites but I’m posting 5 of them….along with one Rose-breasted Grosbeak and the beaver! Yes, Rondeau now has beavers and this one put on quite a show for us. They are huge – and quite ugly in my opinion.

The card posting is after the birds and beaver so feel scroll down quickly if you are not into nature photos.








Now for the card:

I wanted to make some simple thank you cards for the quilt guild to give to our guest presenters. This is one of them. The background was embossed and then lightly touched with dark brown ink to just hit the embossed areas in places. Sometimes I like all the embossed areas hi-lited but sometimes less is more. Then I just added the brown strip and added gold strips (peel-offs) to the top and bottom of it and added the peel-off sentiment. The peel-off rose was glued to white cardstock and then I coloured it in and glued it on. A simple but nice thank you card.

That’s all for a cloudy (and thunderstorms coming) Monday,

Cheers
Violet

Friday, May 8, 2015

A Cat Lovers Card and some Birds



Looks like we went from winter right into summer and skipped spring altogether. Last week the furnace would come on at night and today we had temperatures at 30C (86F) in town and a little cooler by the lake – 75F. We have quite a collection of hooded sweatshirts and jackets in the trunk but today we were just in T-shirts – no jacket required. Lovely! We saw several of the migratory birds today but they were all very high in the trees so I didn’t get any good shots – until just before we left at 7:00 tonight. Some were down low and here are just three of my favourite shots of the day.

A card is posting after these bird pictures so feel free to scroll down past the birds if you wish.






 
Today’s card is for the cat lovers out there.


More paper from the stash being used! Love it when I can find paper from various companies that match so nicely. This image was coloured with my Prismacolor pencils and blended with gamsol. I still prefer these to alcohol markers. All the gold bits and the sentiment are from various peel-offs. I don’t keep the packages so I don’t know which company makes them.

That’s all for a “feels like summer” Friday night. Wishing you all a wonderful weekend. If we get out birding again (rain is predicted so who knows) I’ll be posting some more bird pictures over the weekend.
 
Cheers
Violet

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Finally Some Birds

We finally saw a few migratory birds today. The majority of them are staying high in the trees so I didn't get many photos but a few good ones.


This bird is the most sought after bird in this area.
Some people will sit all day, and I mean all day, to get one shot of him.
We were lucky today and got this one good shot.





 
 
I'll be back with a card tomorrow. Too tired tonight.
 
Violet
 
 

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