Friday, October 31, 2008

Happy Halloween!

What is your costume for today? I'm not going to get dressed up for tonight, but I will wear a "space alien" headband to work, today. That's about how dressed up I'm going to be. What are your kids going to dress up as? My son no longer goes trick or treating, but I did make him a little treat to enjoy. It's a clear pail filled with M & M's, Reese's Peanut Butter Cups and Kit Kat bars. He wears braces, so we have to be careful about what he can have on Halloween. I love these Martha Stewart plastic test tubes. Aren't they perfect for the "mad scientists" in our homes? LOL! Enjoy your Halloween, everyone!

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Thought for the day (and I'd love your honest opinion)

If you could step away from the internet and cardmaking magazines, re-evaluate your personal style, find your mojo, re-examine your art without being influenced by current trends, how long do you think you would last without looking at someone else's work? Could you do it? Or, are you (no judgement, just wondering) someone who regularly examines what other artists are doing and attempt to give your interpretation of another artist's work?

Personally, I am guilty of using other artists' work for inspiration. Whether it's Tim Holtz's artwork or the cards in the latest stamping catalog....I'm guilty of looking for inspiration elsewhere. Not always. But, sometimes I will do this. I think it's because I'm too afraid (sometimes) that nobody will like what I create if I step out of the box and do something really, really off-the-wall. Sometimes, it's just laziness on my part. On the other hand, I'm equally afraid of my artwork being viewed as "just like the others." Nothing really original about it.

OK....your turn to share. Again, no judgment. I'm just wondering if I'm alone with this point-of-view, or if others share it also.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

PSA: If not for it for them

I've heard some cynics say that they don't vote because they feel that their votes don't count. I wholeheartedly disagree with this, and I'd like to put another thought out there for everyone to ponder.

If you don't feel that your vote matters, well, it matters to the hundreds of thousands of Active duty military men and women, our National Guard and Reservists. Because while some folks may ponder whether it's worth voting or not, our soldiers are serving our nation to protect YOUR right to vote.

If you don't think your vote counts as far as the politicians are concerned.... well, it does count to someone. It counts to that young man or woman standing watch in Afghanistan, Iraq, Korea, in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, and even in rural Montana, North Dakota and Wyoming. They are continuing to stand watch so you will have your chance to cast your vote on November 4th. They're the ones who are making sacrifices for you. Their families are making sacrifices for you.

So, if anything.... do it for them. Please make an effort to vote on November 4th.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

You'd be hard pressed to find these colors in the San Francisco Bay Area

My family is from San Jose, California. As many of you may know, we are an Air Force Family, and we move around quite often. Living in the midwest gives us an opportunity to experience four very distinct seasons. When we lived in the Bay Area, the temperature varied season to season by, perhaps, only ten degrees. The trees stayed green, for the most part, and just got greener as you approached Winter. Here are some pictures that I took of some of the trees around Omaha. I hope you are enjoying the colors of this season, no matter where you are. If you're in the Southern Hemisphere, lucky you! I also love Springtime, so I'd bet you're probably loving the season where you are, also.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Happy Wednesday!

I made card candy for Mary's swap on the Stamp Shack and decided I didn't like it. So, I started all over again. When you think of "Asian" themes you may automatically think of the colors "red, black and white." Well, those were the colors I had started with. I decided it just needed a punch of color; so instead, I decided to go with fun, happy, blue, yellow, green, black, white..... I like how these candy packets turned out, in the end.
Here's the apple pie I baked with the Jonathan apples we picked on Sunday. I guess I must not have crimped the crust very well on one side of the pie, since a little bit of the ooey gooey goodness came out. I don't care if it came out to be a somewhat ugly pie. LOL! It is DELICIOUS! I just baked it the other night, and last night, we only had one slice left.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Guess what we did today?

After waking up this morning, we discovered that we had a gorgeous day ahead of us. So, we decided to take a day trip to Nebraska City home of Arbor Day. It's located some 45 miles southeast of our city. Not at all too far to drive. It was a beautiful drive going there. The sun was incredibly warm for this Autumn Day (it warmed up to 72 degrees today) and there was hardly a cloud in the sky. Just picture perfect.

The first thing that we did was go on the "Tree Adventure." It's a self-guided nature hike through a forest. Along the trail, you would see animal footprints in the concrete. You're invited to guess which animal created the footprints. A few feet down the path, you would discover the answer. Then, some 30 feet later, you'd see another set of footprints. We saw a ton of trees, from birch, maple, oak, hazelnut, was so beautiful and peaceful to be in the forest.

Yes, I've decided to grow some funky ears. LOL! No....these "cones" are supposed to magnify the sounds of the forest. (Just like the tin cans and rope that you played with as a child). It was so cool hearing the rustling of the leaves.

We climbed the canopy tree which was 1,044 feet above the ground. I hate heights, so I couldn't stay up there for very long. Do you notice me looking away from the camera? That's because I was getting nervous as we were climbing up to the top.

Hands down....this was the best part of our day:

It was time to pick apples!!! This area of Nebraska is known for its apple orchards, and Arbor Farm had one of the best orchards in the area. We decided to pick Red Delicious, Golden Delicious and Jonathan apples, which are cooking or baking apples.
Sean and Lucas decided to start with the Red Delicious apples first. Here they are, picking apples for the first time. Actually, this was a 'first' for all three of us. We've never been apple picking before. The lady who gave us our bag told us that just about all of the apples near the bottom of the trees had already been picked over, but there were some gorgeous ones near the top. I figured that was quite alright since those apples at the top were probably getting the most sunshine and they looked a lot bigger than the apples on the bottom branches.

Here are two of the Golden Delicious apples that Sean and Lucas picked from the tree.

I had to give it a shot, also. I have to admit, it's not as easy as it looks. I think I was too afraid of bruising the apple, so I wasn't tugging as hard as I probably should have. It was lots of fun trying, though.

We filled our bag with at least ten pounds of apples... a total of 15 apples. I plan to bake a pie tomorrow night with the Jonathan apples that we picked. The farm also gives you the chance to take a tree home with you. It's a pine tree. Because they encourge ecologic awareness, the Farm would like to see each visitor or family plant a tree when they returned home. Since we already have two pine trees, one giant oak, maple, birch and locus tree, we weren't too sure whether bringing another tree home was a good idea.

What's a farm without a scarecrow? This one was a 'friendly' scarecrow inviting visitors to come in late October dressed in Halloween costume.

You could pick your own pumpkins, but they harvest them for you. They don't actually let you pick your own from the vine. It was lots of fun seeing little children rummage through the pumpkins.

We finished out the day with some hot dogs, cheeseburgers, apple pie a la mode, and wine tasting. Sean and I sampled some red and white wines that the farm produces. We also shopped for Christmas presents in the store.

All in all, it was a spectacular day; and we are all very tired. Thank goodness we had leftovers in the refrigerator. I was too tired to cook. LOL! I could do this kind of thing each weekend. We are so fortunate that we have a farm like this near our city.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Magnolia card and a silly night at my house

I made this card for a dear friend who recently underwent surgery. I hope she likes the bright colors and flowers. I stamped the Tilda image on the blue cardstock, and heat embossed white powder over the entire image. I wanted to capture the raindrops and make them stand out. Then, I stamped the image twice on white cardstock, using Adirondack Espresso Ink and colored it with COPIC markers and Inkessentials white pen. The paper I used is by My Mind's Eye. The stamped sentiment is by The Angel Company. The puppy dog is by High Hopes.
I popped up Tilda and the puppy dog over the card. I think it's super important to color the image beneath the card, also. The recipient will see what's beneath the pop-dots; and I just feel that if that isn't colored in also, it doesn't seem like the card is completely finished.

On another subject......My darling husband, each afternoon, calls me as he's leaving work, and asks me if there's anything that I needed from the store. Usually, my reply is, "No." But, last night, I was craving a cupcake with buttercream frosting. Now, I know the grocery store closest to my house will sell half-a-dozen cupcakes with buttercream frosting. But, my husband came home claiming that none of those cupcakes were "cute enough." So, instead, he bought ONE DOZEN cupcakes because he thought the "Madagascar" movie theme was cute. Isn't he a hoot? Also, he said he got a quite number of funny looks as he strolled through the grocery store in his Air Force uniform, carrying his "green grocery bag," and then picking up a dozen cupcakes.

This is what happens when a silly cat thnks he just absolutely had to follow his nose all the way into an empty bag of Cheetos. Yes, kitty...your head IS too big for the bag. So, my darling cat, Sable, discovered this sad reality just a little too late. I couldn't resist taking a picture before releasing his head from the bag.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Yay! Yay! Yay!!!!!!

Yippee! I made something. LOL! I squeezed in 30-minutes this afternoon to make a card before I started fixing supper. I love to photograph outdoors, so I was trying to get this done while I still had some light. It's been gloomy/raining for the past three days; so I had just a small window of time to shoot this card outdoors and take advantage of the little light I had left. I was inspired by Jennifer's card Alterations, Sew and Go. Jennifer cleverly covered the headpins on the House Mouse image with Stickles. Pretty cool, huh?

While I was looking at this vintage image, I saw the little stars and remembered that I had some "star" bling in my stash of embellishments. See what happens when I surf blogs? I bet you do this too. You see little things here and there and you file these ideas in your memory. Thank you, Jennifer, for the inspiration! I'm sending this to a new friend that I've made through 2 peas in a bucket. Are you ready for Halloween? Are you planning to give out a lot of candy? We usually get a lot of kids ringing our doorbell, so I will be shopping for two LARGE bags of candy in the near future.

Pausing momentarily for a break.....

Arrrgh! I've been wanting to knock out a card or two or three for the past week. Unfortunately, my paying job and life, in general, has been hectic. I'm not neglecting my blog on purpose. Trust me....I'm so anxious to create something fun!! LOL! Hopefully, this afternoon, I'll be able to make something before the sun goes down.....

Oh....and on a side, but very important note....if you're a US citizen and haven't registered to vote.....time is running out!! Just a friendly reminder to register and show up and be heard on November 4th!!!

Sunday, October 12, 2008

I've learned something new today

I'm always looking for ways to enhance my blog a little. I'm not techno-savvy, by any stretch of the imagination, but I do like to "change things up" a little bit, from time to time. Today, I learned how to center or move the justification of my paragraph to the center. I stumbled upon this website: HTML code tutorial. It's pretty easy to follow, but you still need to understand some of the jargon. I scrolled down to the section on "paragraph," clicked on "align" and that's how I learned how to move the alignment of my paragraph (look at my previous post before this one to see my new knowledge in action. LOL!) I'm going to see what else I can learn from this website. Who knows? Before too long, I may end up writing a brand new blog template!

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Winner of the Snowflakes stamp set and I have a BIG announcement!!!

After placing one through 27 into the integer generator, the number that came up first was 19. That post belongs to Lauren, who created this fun card. Lauren, please email me with your mailing address, please, and I will get this cute stamp set to you this week!

My big announcement (drum roll.......)

I have been a HUGE fan of Sugar Nellies for quite some time, now; and so last week, I answered their call for a Guest Design Team member. Today, I found out that I had been chosen to be one of their Guest DT's!!!! I am now a SUGAR BABE!! Woo-hoo! I am so excited because it so much more fun to design cards when you're IN LOVE with a stamp line. So, I am now eagerly awaiting to see which stamps they'll assign to me, and I'm excited to promote such a fun stamp line.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

SOF Wonderful Women and Make It Sparkle Challenges

This is for Deborah's Wonderful Women challenge for Stamptoberfest 2008, as well as Becky's Make it Sparkle challenge. Have bling? Must make card! LOL! The stamped image is by Buzz N Bloom (an Australian stamp company). I used an EK Success punch on the corners and finished off the card with a litte bow in her hat.

This is how I store my "bling." Since I have a ton of them, I just keep them together on a large binder ring.

And don't forget to join in on my Happy World Cardmaking Day blog candy giveaway!

Stamptoberfest Cut It Out and Happy Holidays Challenges

Stamptoberfest fun continues on 2peas in a This card was created to fit the Cut it Out! challenge as well as the Happy Holidays card challenges. Are you having as much fun as I am? Let me tell ya...if someone could pay me as much as I earn now, to do this 24-hours a day (give or take a few hours for family time, showering, sleeping and eating), I would stamp and make cards all the live-long day!!! Anyhoo.... back to the card....I used a Hero Arts stamp set from last year. I colored the images with COPIC markers before cutting them out. Then, I used pop-dots (gotta love those pop-dots) to add dimension to the card. Finished it off with ribbon, and voila! I'm rockin'-and-rollin'! I hope you're joining in the week-long fun at 2peas. The challenges are super-fun and really get your creative juices flowing!

Woo-hoo! I've been tagged!

I've been tagged by Anne of Gaal Creative. I'm supposed to post 6 random things about myself, list the "rules", and tag 6 new people. It's kind of a fun "getting to know you" kind of game!

6 random things about me:
1) I grew up in Papua New Guinea, a country that sits on the equator between the Philippines and Australia. I lived there between first and ninth grades.
2) I was a broadcast journalist in a previous life (I gave it up shortly after my son was born).
3) I am passionate about dancing. I danced ballet between 8 and 20 years of age; and now I love to dance ballroom.
4) I LOVE Jane Austen's novels and I'm a sucker for period-films.
5) I believe in the paranormal, but not in the sense that it's all spooky and scary.
6) I was female athelete of the year in 8th grade. LOL!

The "Rules":

link to the person who tagged you
list 6 random things about yourself
tag 6 new people
let each tagged person know by posting a comment on their blog
link to the 6 people you've tagged
and let the person who tagged you know that you posted

So, here are the six people I'm going to tag:

1) Renu of Midnitecreations.
2) Charity of Say it with stamps.
3) Christie of I Must Stamp.
4) Thanh of Yummy Creations.
5) Jennifer of Ink and Scrap Habits.
6) Stacy of Stacy's Memory Triggers.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Stamptoberfest Flourishes Challenge

I am having such a great time making cards today. Actually, I've only made one card, today. LOL! Time just got away from me. With "time" in mind, I used that as my theme for this Flourishes challenge by my friend Anne. Basically, we have to use two types of flourishes on the card. One of the flourishes has to be stamped. We can use the same flourish stamp if we want to, but one color has to be a different color. I decided to stamp one of my flourishes (Stampin Up) and then take some die-cuts (Quickutz) out of gold cardstock for my second set of flourishes. The large "face" image is by A Stamp In the Hand. The time pieces and gears are by Stampin Up. I colored most of my cardstock with alcohol inks. Finished off the card with bronze letters and decorative brads.
Don't forget to enter my Happy World Cardmaking Day blog candy challenge.

Happy World Cardmaking Day!!!

Hello cardmakers around the world! Happy World Cardmaking Day! To honor this day, I would like to offer up blog candy. I know many of you are just so excited about this day, that your creative juices are probably overflowing. Many of you (myself, included) are probably pondering your handmade Christmas cards. What stamps will I use? How many cards should I make? Well, to help you in your decision, I would like to offer you this beautiful Snowflakes clear stamp set by Inkadinkado. All you have to do is post a card (this has to be verifiable) that you've made this week, starting today. So, it has to be a card you've made between October 4 - October 10th. Deadline to enter will be 11:59 PM Central Time, Friday, October 10th, 2008. The card can be of any theme and can be of any size or dimension. This is open to everyone around the world. Please link the image of your card on the comments section of this post. Again, it has to be verifiable. If you post your design on a webpage that I need to sign up and be a member of, I cannot verify your card. One great source of posting images for free is 2 peas in a Of course, if you have a blog, just give me the link to be able to verify it. I will use to pick the winner from all of the qualifying entries. Again, Happy World Cardmaking Day! Have fun! I cannot wait to see all of your lovely creations!

Friday, October 3, 2008

Sugar Nellie Hugs and Kisses

Stamptoberfest on 2 peas in a has begun! This is a week long celebration of cardmaking; and to mark Saturday, October 4th, World Cardmaking Day! I hope you join in and celebrate with "the Stamping Peas." Check out the Master Thread for challenges. Lots of folks are offering up wonderful prizes in addition to challenges.
I created this card for Dawn's "Use These Three Things" Challenge. She asked that we use a stamped image, patterned paper and ribbon on our card. This also fits Thanh's Think Pink challenge in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Thanh challenges us to create a card or any project using pink as the primary color.
I always had this Sugar Nellie "Sweet n Sassy" image in mind when I discovered this patterned paper by My Mind's Eye. The "Hugs and Kisses" ribbon completes the challenge. I colored the image with COPIC markers; and added bead spacers and crocheted flowers to bring more dimension to the card. Thanks for stopping by, and Happy Stamptoberfest, everyone!

Thursday, October 2, 2008

A few vintage Halloween cards

I had a couple of hours to decompress this afternoon, so I took advantage of the time and worked on a couple of vintage Halloween cards. I had bought some CD's, a few years ago on eBay, with vintage clip-art and images. This CD is one of my favorites. It has about 250 Halloween images. I don't have too much time to stamp, so I thought I'd play with clip-art, instead. I fell in love with these two images immediately.
I've started a few loads of laundry this afternoon, and in about a 1/2 hour, after my son gets home from school, I will be taking him to his work orientation. We've been running on adrenaline for the past four days. Last night, I was so out of energy, my eyes were close to shutting down as I was driving down the Interstate. My husband's promotion ceremony was really, really nice. A lot of friends and coworkers came out to congratulate him. Brigadier General Mark Owen presented my husband with his new rank. My husband had worked for General Owen earlier this year as his Executive Officer. General Owen is such a nice man and we were very privileged and appreciate that he carved out a few hours of his time to spend with our family. We've had a great time with my husband's family. My nephew is so funny and he's growing up so quickly. It was so much fun going to Hobby Lobby with my sisters-in-law. I've never been able to shop at a craft store with them before. But, with all of this activity (eating out each night and not coming home until 9 PM), Sean, Lucas and I are exhausted. I've asked Sean that we all stay home tonight and just have dinner at home because Lucas is almost running on empty. I think I've caught a cold, but I'm fighting it with medicine. Tomorrow, Sean and I will have lunch with my mother and father in-law before they fly home in the afternoon. It's been a wonderful week. Exhausting, but it's been a lot of fun.