A site for my handmade cards, accompanied by my photos and written meanderings which are occasionally witty, often tongue-in-cheek, and rarely profound. Beginning in June 2013, you'll also see lots of NBUS, which is an acronym I coined for Never-Before-Used-Schtuff. Feel free to join in, use the acronym, and use up your NBUS too! Thanks for coming by! Have a beverage and enjoy!

May 31, 2012

One Layer Wednesday #90 ~ Dudes Rule

It's tantalizing Thursday!  Actually, it's bloody hot Thursday here. The meter of therms is sitting at an even 100 degrees this afternoon.  Mother Nature is off her meds.

I've been flitting around again today having lunches out and what not, but I did make a QAD (quick and dirty) CAS (clean and simple) (well, which is it?!) card for Susan's Dudes Rule One Layer Wednesday  ~ which she rules! ~ challenge.

I used the twinks very favorite stamp which is filthy black on the wood around the rubber because, try as they might with their itty-bitty hands, they can't help but rock the pad into the ink because the stamp is so big. 

My imaginary dude warranting this card is a flashy father, driving a real red cop magnet along and around the bendy winery roads.


His name is Reginald and the year is 1937.  He doesn't have to wear the ridiculous goggles because he can't really go all that fast on this road, but he does anyway because Sheila thinks he's rakish.  Reginald knows his car is rakish, not his persona, but he won't correct Sheila's grammar because he doesn't want the light in her eyes to dim.

Sorry, where was I?  You begin, I'm sure, to see why I love One Layer Wednesdays.

Yesterday, I cut a wee bloom from my hydrangea to bring to our lunch hostess, Barbara.  Naturally, because I'm addled and forgetful, I found it still waiting on my kitchen counter when I got home.  I thought, thereover, I would share it with you.


Is it just me or do you, too, see a flower angel?

In other Animal Kingdom/Childrens' Hour news, I had a startle yesterday having to do with Lizzie.  First of all, ever since I put Dino on the wall as a possible playmate of the month, I have not seen Lizzie.  I got to thinking, and sat down.  If I were Lizzie, wouldn't I be afraid of Dino?  So, alas, I removed Dino back to the toy box.

Fast forward several hours, I left my playhouse to return to the big house and there was Lizzie back!  But wait?  My shoulders pinched together and my brows knitted.  I did not like the looks of her.  Instead of all arms and legs and tail and webbed fingers and toes splayed out, she was all bunched up.  Something looked a miss.  Is that what little lizards look like sleeping, or, oh, no, d.e.a.d.?  I rushed forward into the house and beseeched Mister.  He gallantly hopped into his red rakish roadster and, well, okay, he walked out to investigate.  I couldn't bear to look.

It's fine, it's okay.  All is well, well, sorta well.  Lizzie scooted off, alive.  Phew!  But Mister reported that her appearance looked odd because she no longer has a tail.  What?!  Oh, how sad.  Mister assures me it will grow back, but what cruel critter lurks in my paradise backyard that could do such evil?

Dino is back on duty as a sentinel.

Back in crafting world, I'm delighted to welcome Annie of Curious Crafty Treasures and Michelle Williams of Monday Morning Stamper.  Happy to have you ladies!

Please enjoy ~ and, as always, thank you for stopping by to visit.  Special thanks to you if you take the time to join as a follower or leave a comment!
Paper:  Stampland glossy
Stamps:  River City Rubber Works, 1298-P Roadster;
  SU sentiments, set unknown
Inks:  Memento tuxedo black; SU real read

May 30, 2012

WOYWW #156 - Happy 3rd Annie & ATC Swap

Wishing you a wonderful Wednesday!

Lots of excitement in the World of WOYWW today!  Julia, our fearless leader, is in Spain.  I wish her a very happy third anniversary of her popular What's On Your Workdesk? Wednesday blog!  I joined in about six months ago and immediately felt a part of a warm and crafty group of gals!

In honor of the third anniversary, Julia came up with the idea that we all participate in an ATC (Artist Trading Card) swap.  How fun!  What?  It was no good pretending I had any idea what the heck that was if I wanted to participate.  You can't really fake a swap.  Julia, fortunely, gave us plenty of notice so those of us who had never made an ATC could look at Mrs. Google's images and hop around the various WOYWW artists' blogs for ideas and then just, well, make one of our own.  I can't wait to send mine out and get one in return!  That's another first for me ~ it's my first swap, too!

It's fairly early in California, but the list is already long.  Yee-ha!  It's not too late to join in the fun, however!  Click over and jump in!  BTW, you don't have to participate in the ATC swap ~ just link a peek at your work space today!

In the meantime, my desk is rather blah.


I've got old cards ready to send out as thank you cards for kindnesses received on my vacay in Iowa recently and you can see a stack of them ready to go.  (When I say "old cards," I don't mean like used cards or cards I found in Aunt Grenadine's attic.)  Also the "gradulation" card I made yesterday.  That's about it, folks.  Move along.  Let the police handle it.

I've a full day today with doctor appointments and friends coming over for a pre-lunch visit and then we are off to our quarterly Ladies Who Lunch meeting.  Only lady-like cocktails will be consumed.  I want to wax inelegantly about the word cocktails, but I must dash.  You'll have to conjure up your own paragraph in my stead.  Ta-Ta!

Oh, first, I see I have another follower to welcome!  Hi Jackie!  You definitely want to click over to her amazing Rockwell Designs blog!

Please enjoy ~ and, as always, thank you for stopping by to visit.   Special thanks to you if you take the time to join as a follower or leave a comment!

May 29, 2012

Retrosketches #13 ~ Graduation Card

Gluten Oben this Tuesday!

As I've hopped around the blogs the last several months, I've seen fellow crafters playing in the Retrosketches challenges and this is my first time joining in.  This week's sketch:


(I love how these sketches are literally sketches, complete with coffee/tea cup stains!  It was very hard for me not to add the stain to my card!)

I made a graduation card:



The twins were four years old when their father graduated from law school.  Adam made me so proud when he said, "Daddy has his congraduations today!"  A chip off the old block.

Which reminds me.  When Daddy (our son) was just learning to speak, I commented to Mister on a Sunday drive through the countryside, "You know when you stop and think about it, you could really mess up a kid.  What if we told him that horses were cows and cows were horses?  I mean, he doesn't know."  Mister smiled a bit condescentedly and drove me back to the care center.

Well, of course, I didn't do that to our son, but I did tell him the story when he had his own sons.  Now he thinks it's really funny to embellish lie and tell people that I DID teach him the wrong words for things.  As if. 

I'm so delighted to welcome a new follower today!  Please stop and visit the awesome Karen of Serendipity Dragonfly.  Isn't that a great blog banner?!

Please enjoy ~ and, as always, thank you for stopping by to visit.   Special thanks to you if you take the time to join as a follower or leave a comment!


Paper:  Stampland glossy; PTI white;
  glossy gold unknown
Stamp:  SU Sprinkled Expressions
Ink:  Ancient Page black
Ribbon:  Offray 39271 Congrats
Dimensionals:  eksuccess

BTW, I see there is a smudge on my camera lens. Sorry about that. I'll clean that right up.

May 28, 2012

One Layer Wednesday (OLW89) ~ Schweet!

Happy Memorial Day to my fellow Americans!  In my day we loudly objected to the war in Vietnam, but we never lost sight of the fact that we had the freedom to do so.  Nor was it ever intended to be disrespectful of the services; quite the contrary.  God bless those who have served and continue to serve and God bless their families.

Today I feel like I've done the last of the catching up I wanted to do with a card for the One Layer Wednesday challenge.  This week the challenge is hosted by the fantabulous Cheryl Emery.  I wish more of you would play with us.  Even if you think it is too simple or too easy, who doesn't like a few simple, yet beautiful cards to have on hand?  And if you think it's too hard, you know what they say, stepping out of your comfort zone is good for you.  They say it, I never did.  I just want to join in as many different challenges as I can because I find it makes my brain cell fire up.  You do whatever inks your stamp!

The theme for this week is something sweet.  I love all the fruity, ice-creamy, cupcakey ideas that are already linked, but I went in a different direction.  What's sweeter than a weddle baby?!


I noticed the first photo looks too washed out; now the second one no longer looks pink like it is IRL.  Oh vell, at least you can see the booties are embossed.

~~~~~

While doing major yardscaping yesterday, I found a boy toy (I wish) in the vinca.  I immediately named him Dino, but of course, and set him up on the wall so Lizzie can have a playmate.  I would be so elastic if I ever manage to get a picture of the two of them together!


I'm aware that I'm having a doover of my childhood in my dotage.  I think if your first one wasn't all that great, the least you can do is have another go at it.

And finally, I wanted to share my two little hydrangea bushes with you.  I love how this year I'm getting a full range of pastel colors in the beautiful blooms.  I love them almost prezactly as much as I love lilacs.



Please enjoy ~ and, as always, thank you for stopping by to visit.  Special thanks to you if you take the time to join as a follower or leave a comment!


Paper: I'm sorry, I can't remember.  I've
  had it for years.
Stamp:  All Night Media 995G07
Ink:  Imprintz white embossing powder

May 27, 2012

CAS-ual Fridays CFC 54 - Manly Man

I hope you are having a sunny Sunday!  We are overcast with coastal fog here.  Keep that in mind when you look at my outstanding photography below.

I'm playing today in another favorite challenge I have missed.  This time, Michele is challenging us to make a clean and simple masculine card using designer paper.  Most of the players are making Dad cards and I am no exception:


Mister is away on a motorcycle ride, so I was able to sneak a thingie from his tackle box.  I always found it amusing that the full name is "fish and tackle box."  Yet all the times I have good-wifedly sat on the bank, I never once saw Mister tackle a fish. 

And while we're at it, why is it called a bank?  Because sediment is deposited there?  I'm proud of that answer and now a bit sad that Mister doesn't read my postings.  You see Mister is a geologist and he would grin to know I was paying attention back in the 1900s when we fished, before he concepted that it wasn't for him and he turned to motorcycles as a hobby.  Nevertheless, sweetly, he keeps that old tackle box in case one day the twins want to try fish tackling.  (Or, ahem, the Mrs. needs a fishing embellishment.)

If you haven't played before, you should check out CAS-ual Fridays for a fun challenge site!  This challenge is being sponsored by the extraordinary


One more thing about the card I made and fishing and words.  Did you notice the funky way I made the corners?  Didja get it? I "angled" them because fisher dudes are also called "anglers."  Because first you angle your way to the bank and then you line up your tackle.

Now yesterday I gave you the Word Of The Day.  I don't plan to do it every time, but I checked today and I'd like to know which one of you has connections with the person at Google Headquarters who decides what word to use as the Word Of The Day.  Speak up!  Because I like smart alexs, and someone picked the perfect word for me.

ventose \VEN-tohs\ , adjective:

Given to empty talk; windy.

Fine.  I'm leaving.

Please enjoy ~ and, as always, thank you for stopping by to visit. Special thanks to you if you take the time to join as a follower or leave a comment!


Paper:  California Paper Goods, sparkly gray;
  Bazzill white; DCVW, I think, designer paper
Cuttlebug Alphabet
fishing thingie; gold brad
Corner chomper

May 26, 2012

Less Is More Week 69 - Recipe

Saturday salutations to all!

Today I made a card for a challenge I've missed while I was away.  You can find it at Mandi's and Chrissie's awesome Less Is More website.  This week is recipe week.  We are to create our own recipe and bake it up in a pan which is not square, nor rectangle, but some other shape.  The word "recipe" made me think of cupcake shapes, pie shapes, gingerbread shapes.  But the words "shaped card," on the other mind, made me think of a terracota pot.  Like this:



I have my Cuttlebug and Spellbinders Nesties to thank for it.  And I thank C&M for the challenge, because I've been dying to try these dies.  I got a little too heavy-handed with the watercoloring/shading on the side of the pot, but I'm not very good at do-overs.  I think, unless it really reeks, that one's creation is still one's creation even if it doesn't always meet one's personal, and someytimes impossibly high, bar of expectators.

And anyways, my backyard looks like I've been gone ten weeks instead of ten days, and it's amazingly georgess outside so I've no time for a doover.  Ha, doover.  I like that. 

By the wayside, here's a word I saw on my "Word of the Day" that I thought you might like:

ingeminate \in-JEM-uh-neyt\ , verb:

To repeat; reiterate.

Seriously?  That's a new one to me.  It sounds like a word I would make up or use wrong on purpose.  "The people on the airplane were all coughing, so I felt sure that they had ingeminated me with the flu."

The correct way to use it in a sentence is, say, when talking to Mister, who likes to repeat himself unnecessarily:  "Hon, I get what you're saying.  Now you're just ingeminating yourself."  That sounds wrong somehow.

Either way, it's a cool new word.

Two years ago we had a little lizard move into the backyard as soon as the new wall went up.  The twins and I looked forward to the times when she would appear.  We named her Lizzie, but of course.  Last year we didn't see her at all.  But this morning when I went out to take pictures of my card, there she was!



Welcome back, Lizzie.  I missed you.

Please enjoy ~ and, as always, thank you for stopping by to visit.  Special thanks to you if you take the time to join as a follower or leave a comment! 


Paper:  Biggie Jr. watercolor
Stamp:  Penny Black Bees & Bunny 2305H
Ink:  Memento Tuxedo Black; Marvy markers
  water brush
Cuttlebug/Nesties Flower Pot

May 25, 2012

Papertrey Ink May 2012 Blog Hop

I'm back!!  Happy Friday, everyone!  In the U.S., lots of you may be away for the long Memorial Day weekend, or about to depart.  I wish you a wonderful holiday!  Stay well, stay safe, act like a child, and remember to use sunscreen. 

I had a fantabulous time, but first to card business for those who came for that.  It felt so good to get back to my playhouse last night and make a card.  Of all the challenges, I decided to particulate in the PTI blog hop.  I have purchased just a couple (liar) new PTI products since last month's hop, so now I feel I can properly play.  The monthly blog hop is a one-day affair du juor.  Click on Nichole Heady's (capture the moment) blog for the details and the linkie and join in the fun!

This months inspiration is a unique color scheme that has been popping up everywhere this spring. A bright green (Simply Chartreuse or New Leaf) paired with bold black & white patterns.

It was a fun challenge.  Here is my take on it:


The card ingredients are below.  It was my intention to have the three white brads resemble flower stamens.  It ended up, however, looking like a bird had built a nest and laid three little eggs in the middle of the flower.  I'm down with that.

While I was away, two new followers joined!  I'm thankful and delighted to welcome Allisa Chilton of Rocky Mountain Paper Crafts and Alexandra Grape of Pinself, Schere & Co.

Please enjoy ~ and, as always, thank you for stopping by to visit.   Special thanks to you if you take the time to join as a follower or leave a comment!  (Sorry, you have to scroll down past the personal yukity-yakity to find the comments . . .)

Paper:  PTI white, true black, new leaf
  DCWV background
Stamps:  PTI Frilly Flowers and Signature Greetings
Ink:  PTI true black
Dies:  PTI flowers; Nestie pointed flower (center)
Misc.: White brads, pop dots

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Ten days away and I could, well, you can imagine how much I could write!  I'm a bit more fog-brained than normal, jet-lagged, and dog-tired, so I'll capsize it for you as best I can.  Little epistlets may come to me in the days ahead.  A few highlights:

Perfect weather.  I wouldn't have minded a small thunderstorm, Frankly, because I do miss those.  But I was over the moon not to have any humidity at all.  High wind was the only excitement weather-wise and that was only noteworthy when it made Clear Lake look like the Pacific Ocean because of all the white heads on it.  The picture below is not a good picture of me, Donna, and Dood, but you can see even our short hair stood on end or was flattened in the wind. 

Also, I had to include this picture because we peed ourselves later that night when we noticed in the picture there is guy peeking out from behind the tree like a perv!


Perfect little rental house for our sisters weekend getaway.





Donna, Diana, Dood.

We enjoyed the Surf Ballroom museum and the memorial erected nearby in honor of Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens, and J. P. (the "Big Bopper") Richardson.



We were thrilled to discover a hummingbird moth flitting about the pink flowers not a foot from our table on the patio.  My sister, Diana, is the most talented photographer among us, and I'm sure she took some great photos.  Mine are awful, so until sis has time to download hers, this is a web photo:

picture of White-lined Sphinx Hummingbird Moth Sucking Nectar Image

(Photo credit.)  Isn't it amazing how much he looks like a hummingbird?  Our little guy stayed around a long time for our enjoyment.

Here we are at lunch as we explored the town.


Donna, Darnell, Diana, Dood.

~~~

Back at Donna's house, she suprised us all by having a nearby advertising signpost include a welcome expecially for us!


How cool was that?! 

Here is a picture of our diet.  You can see that all the food groups are represented appropriately.  I'm sorry that the photographer had accidentally moved the two-pound box of See's chocolates to her bedroom, but rest assured that the most signicant item on the food plate chart (chocolate) was also ingested with vigor.


We played cards and we played boccie ball and we talked and talked and laughed until we cried.  Here we are just chilling in Donna's screened-in porch.


Dood, Darnell, Donna, Diana. 

It was a longer time together than we normally have and I'm so grateful for that.  I miss them all so much already.  Thank you, Donna, for hosting us and Jerry for tolerating us!

I also got to get together with dear friends from high school since I'm going to miss the reunion in July.  My friend, Glenda, is like Mary Lou Henner when it comes to memory, so she's just the person to have around as we remembernisced about Days Gone By!  My overnight stay with her was so fun and way too short.  It was also a delight to see my foster sister, Connie, who drove down from Wisconsin.  And on my last night in Iowa, I enjoyed conversation and an outstanding dinner out with my BIL, Kerry.

My flights were all pretty uneventful, if you discount having to BE at the airports at 4 A.M.  I had a layover each direction, so I had to buckle and unbuckle my seat belt twice each way.  Thereovermore, when the planes landed, that was four times I tried to stand up in my seat without first unbuckling my seat belt.  Let me tell you, you can only stand up so far and then you violently plop back into your seat, red in the face, and bruised in the thighs.  Shouldn't I have learned by, say, the second or third time?!

Laundry is calling.  I've been letting it go to voice mail, but I'd better go answer it this time.

May 14, 2012

Less Is More Week 67 One Layer - Gone Fishing! and Color Throwdown #191

Happy Monday! I hope everyone had a wonderful Mother's Day in the USA!
I am playing today in two challenges.  Unlike the majority of you talented crafters, I'm incapitated of making one card for many challenges, as a rule.  Two seems to be my max, but this time, these two particular challenges were in combat able, so I had to separate them.
First, I played in the Simply Less Is More Week 67, One Layer challenge:
ONE LAYER CARD
This time we have the stipulation to
USE THREE STAMPS
not four, not two... but 3!
I made this card:
Three stamps, wallah!  It is representative of me going on vacation for the next ten days, and a favorite philiosophy of mine.  The "Gone Fishing" is not part of the challenge, just to be clear. I wanted to put it in the title in case someone wanders onto my site and wonders why I haven't posted in a while.  Wandering and wondering.  I feel a song coming on . . .
(BTW, thank you for your supportive comments/emails re my last post.  I am pretty amazing!  Just kidding, I am not!  What I have learned as I've been on my personal carnie ride through life is that my story pales in comparison to sooo many others!  No one gets out alive without carrying crosses of their own and most of them are way heavier than mine have been!)
My second post, just in the nicature of time, is for Color Throwdown #191:
You know I can't resist these deluscious colors.  This challenge closes in about no time, so here is what I made:


Once again, it is my enormous pleasure to welcome a new follower:  Loll Thompson of Stamping With Loll.  Loll's work is, well, she leaves me speechless on a regular basis.  Recently, when I could find words, I left this comment on one of her posts:  "I hate you."  Really, she is THAT good and I have a great big fat head now that she has chosen to join me. Schweet!
We had a great weekend.  The twins played baseball at a.m. 9 o'clock, which was wonderful because it wasn't hot for them or their speculators.  They played so well!  Back in the 1900s when our son played, I remember the players were a lot less focused on the game and more focused on the how the blades of grass made dancing shadows on their cleats.  Or maybe that was me?  We came back home and made Mother's Day cards for their mom and made origami boats by the ream.  Adam had made 29 at last count.  Here they are trying to see how long they would float on water.

That bucket looks like the boys should have been in Hazmat suits, but no worries, it's just an old deck paint bucket.

This morning when I was taking the card pictures, I noticed one of the California lilac bushes was attracting bees.  I took a couple of pictures.  I apologize for the blur, but he was zooming as bees are wont to do.  I wanted to get an adequate shot of the pollen sack he was lugging around with him.  (Aren't worker bees boys?)  I wonder if that sack o' pollen would be akin to me trying to carry . . . nevermind, that kind of math hurts my brain sack.




Please enjoy ~ and, as always, thank you for stopping by to visit.   Special thanks to you if you take the time to join as a follower or leave a comment!  You can talk about me while I'm gone, but don't forget about me, please.


Dysfunctional Fishing
Paper:  PTI rustic cream
Stamps: Impression Obsession, Inc.:
  Ice Fishing Martini #2295; cherry:
  Stamps by Judith: Sentiment, unknown foam
Ink:  SU night of navy, Marvy cherry, Su green
Marvy corner punch

Gathering of Friends
Paper:  SU certainly celery, pool party,
  tempting turquoise, elegant eggplant
Stamp: Penny Black sparklers 4040K
Ink:  SU elegant eggplant
Accessories:  Pacific Point brads;
  K & Company dimensionals;
  Fiskars paper edger;  pop dots

May 11, 2012

CAS-ual Fridays, CFC52: Feathered Friends

Ba-da-dum, it's Friday!  And, before I forget, Happy Mother's Day to everyone on Sunday! 

I made a card today for the CAS-ual Fridays weekly challenge. 


The sponsor is:


Ad:  AnnaBelle Stamps is an Australian based online store that has an exclusive range of photopolymer stamps and embellishments as well as other crafting supplies. We ship world wide and have just introduced FREE shipping on all orders over $75.00 so be sure to check the store for full details! Our incredible DT showcases our stamps and embellishments on our weekly challenges and twice monthly hops on our blog, where there is always a chance to win a prize! Come for a visit today :) This week's winner will win a mini shopping spree!

So how cool is that?  Click over and make a project with birds!  My card features one of my favorite stamps to watercolor:


What a fabulastic artist ~ just look at the expressions on those birds!  I send this to people who have been promoted.  They say getting to the top of the heap isn't all it's cracked up to be, but boy, you couldn't convince that bottom bird of that!!  Nor the top bird, for that matter!  It makes me giggle whilst I'm watercoloring. 
You guys have honored me so much, I can't tell you!  Almost daily I am welcoming new followers and it's such a privilege!  Today we celebrate Julie Day of J.Day Designs and Dotty from Dotty A Designs!
Please enjoy ~ and, as always, thank you for stopping by to visit.   Special thanks to you if you take the time to join as a follower or leave a comment!


Non-card-commentary follows the card attributes . . .

Paper:  Biggie Jr. watercolor; Bazzill dots
Stamp:  Stamps Happen, Inc. - Carolyn Shores Wright
  "Pecking Order" #80274
  Accents by Stamps by Judith
Ink:  Marvy markers, water brush

~~~~~~~~~~

I mentioned I was going to tell you the story of the sisters.  Just to warn you, it is not really funny, as is usually my style, but it is heartwarming.  It did occur to me that I have to edit this somewhat and not show you pictures of the whole family, just in case someone is shy about it.

There were seven of us.  Five girls and two boys, in that order.  Our mother was pregnant for four years straight with the first four.  All girls, we were born in 1948, 1949, 1950, and 1951.  Dad liked to drink and play cards.  He was never home much, so we didn't really miss him when he went to the Big House for writing bad checks.  It did, however, give Mom's uterus a much-needed, almost three-year rest.  Then she delivered another girl in 1954, a boy (finally!) in 1955, and another boy (oops!) in 1957.  (It was January, so it might as well have been 1956.)  Things started to unravel after that.  I only saw my father a half dozen times in my life, that I can recall.  He passed away at age 46 in 1967.

Information is sketchy and comes from an aunt and uncle.  For her own reasons, our mother, who has also passed away, refused to tell her story, even into her 80s.  I think Para Noia came often to her and it was sadly misplaced.  All anyone wants to know is their story, good or bad.  No judging.  Your parents and your grandparents, that's all part of your story, and information should not knowingly be withheld once everyone is all growed up.  I feel.

Once Dad was gone for good around 1959, Mom spun out, acted out, and passed out more and more. She turned her rage on me, again for her own reasons, of which I'm ignorant.  It's not an unusual tale of abuse (sadly) and this is not about that, so we'll skip ahead.  After a couple of years, authorities placed me in a foster home when I was 12 years old.  I was the only one abused and the only one removed.  It was the last time I saw my brothers and sisters, except for one sister, for the next 40 years.  Although I tried on one occasion, a reconciliation with my mother was not something she was interested in and I never saw nor spoke with her again.  I consider the loss to be hers, never having me, my husband, our child, or our grandchildren in her life.

Foster homes are wonderful and save the lives of many children.  Mine was not so wonderful. My foster mother was also abusive, mentally more than physically, but I got through it.  My life, thereafter, has been one blessing after another (including my husband's family and countless friends) and has more than made up for the gruesome childhood years.  I'm so happy to be here. 

When I was 19, sister Doris ("Dood") found me.  That's a goose-pimply story in itself, but this isn't supposed to be a book.  We were in each other's small weddings in 1970 and 1971 and we corresponded by letter once or twice a year after that.  Life went on and things happen in life the way things do and one day a couple of my siblings let Dood know they would like to meet me.  I was at a place where I wanted to meet them, too.

And so it happened on a beautiful day, June 10, 2001, all seven of us brothers and sisters meet at a city park in a small town in the Midwest.  We came from as far away as the Philippines!  I had t-shirts made for the momentous event.  "D-Day" they said, because all seven of our names start with the letter "D."  We were also able to include our mother's sister and her husband, and our mother's brother and his wife, all of whom were estranged from our mother.  We had some happy childhood memories of times spent with those aunts and uncles and so it was a joy to include them as well.  Also happily present were many of our children.

Within a year, both our aunt and her husband, and our uncle, were dead.

I told you it was an Oprah story.

The three youngest have not been much interested in annual reunions after that first one, but the four oldest girls have faithfully gotten together every year since, for 11 years!  We've met in California, Oregon, Iowa, Missouri, New Mexico, and Florida.  Needless to say, we laugh often and we laugh a lot.  As we've gotten older, Depends comes along.  Last year, I had to resort to stuffing a tea towel in my pants because Depends didn't hold up to that kind of laughter!

Here is a picture of the four of us in early days:



Diana, Darnell, Dood, and Donna 

And last year:


Dood, Darnell, Diana, and Donna

You see why I would have been disappointed if I'd had to cancel my trip next week! 

In another episode, I'll show you the cookbook I wrote of all of the sisters' favorite recipes. 

We are off early in the morning to see the twins' Little League game.  It's the first one we've been to and I know it will make our eyes well up as we remember going to their father's games ~ that seems like only yesterday!  Then we are bringing the boys back home with us for a sleep-over, so I won't be on tomorrow  and probably not on Sunday.

I hope you have a great weekend and, again, Happy Mother's Day!


May 10, 2012

OLW 87 - Think Outside The Box

Terrific Thursday to you!

Another favorite site challenge of mine is One Layer Wednesday, which is more in my wheelhouse than multi-layer adorned cards.  I wonder why I use the word "wheelhouse" when I have no idea the meaning or the origin.  I wonder if our styles in cards are reflected in our clothing.  I've been known to wear bright colors and, yes, I do have matchy-matchy shoes in colors such as fuschia.  If you've ever worn Enzo Angiolini flats, you can't help but want a pair in all of his delicious, sometimes colorblock colors.  They feel like slippers.  They must not make fuschia any more, but I found these to show you:
Enzo Angiolini - LibertyEnzo Angiolini - Liberty 2

But other than that, my embellishments run to my eyeglasses and that's all anymore.  Clean and simple dressing, clean and simple decor, clean and simple cards, clean and simple living.  If you don't count cussing and martinis.

If you like one layer cards, or want to take a walk on the wild side and try one layer cards, the One Layer Wednesday challenge is there for you.  No pressure, no prizes, just a fun way to stretch your creative consciousness.  Place your right hand just below your belly button, left hand on top of your head, just behind your right ear, breath deep, deeper, deeper still.  Wake up!  And now you are a one-layer card genious.  Far out, man.

I must not have my glasses on today.  I'm definitely having trouble staying focused.  So.  If you click on the above link, it will take you to Susan's blog and on her salad side bar, you will see a list of three other names.  This week's challenge is being hosted by Jennifer at Styles Ink, so click that and you will get all the details.  In a nutshell, we are to make a card that is NOT square or rectangulated.  Like a nutshell.  Why didn't I think of that?

Instead, I looked at my new Nesties and decided to use "Blossom Three" and when I opened the case and saw all of the thin nestled dies, I thought that if I taped the dies to the paper and then watercolored variegated decremental shades of roses and pinks in between the layers of dies, well, it might look something like a blossom, like this:




Or a bull's eye.

We always do close-ups of our cards for our blogorinos and today, for some reason, this card looks like it is 6 feet by 6 feet IRL.  When one of my sisters, who I shall not name, first saw my website, she said, "Okay, but how do you make your cards life-size like that inside your tiny playhouse?"  I realized that if I didn't have a camera, or a computer, and I was literal by nature and believed what I saw with my own eyes, then I would wonder, too.  I simply told her that Mister cuts the lumber for me, just so, and I can fit it in the playhouse no problem.  It's the giant markers that give me trouble when it's a little chilly and Arthur Itis comes for coffee.

Okay, stop the silliness for one second.  I have to plug a company that doesn't know I'm doing this.  I use clear cellophane resealable bags to protect my cards and I needed to order some.  I haven't needed them in a while and my last orders had been placed with a company that now has a $200 minimum, so that no longer works for me.  I went instead to Clear Bags and placed my order.  They do have a $3 "small order" fee, but after comparing other companies, it was still the best price.  I placed the order and a half hour later, a young man called me. 

He wanted to let me know that they were out of stock in the California warehouse, but they had them in Tennessee, so my order would come from there.  Okay.  In addition, he said, "I noticed that it is cheaper for you if we send them through the post office, so your total is $3.50 less."  What?!  I thanked him provulsively!  I mean, who does that in this day and age?!  So I felt the least I could do was give him a plug.  (Boy, there's a word with a ton of different meanings.  Don't worry, I'm going to back away from it.)  Do check out Clear Bags and see if they can serve your product needs.  That kind of service should be celebrated and applauded by spreading the word!

I'm also happy to announce that more sunshine has entered the house with the addition of Gisele of Gigi's Creative Corner and Carol of Stampin Carol as followers!  Thank you so much for joining the party!

Now that two days have gone by without any migraines, it's looking like I will be able to make my trip next Tuesday to see my sisters.  That's a story in itself that I'll share before I go.  It's an Oprah-worthy story.  I miss Oprah.  So I'm going to pull down the suitcase and try on everything I own to pick out just the right outfits and matching flatware.  How old will I be before I stop that ridiculeness?  Anyway, depending, I may have to go shopping for new clothes.  For sure I need new unders and a couple new boulder holders wouldn't hurt.  Well, if they fit right, they wouldn't hurt.  You see how I get going and then I can't stop?  That's it.  I'm pulling the emergency brake for all our sakes.  The day awaits.

Please enjoy ~ and, as always, thank you for stopping by to visit.  Special thanks to you if you take the time to join as a follower or leave a comment!

Paper:  Biggie Jr. watercolor
Stamps: None by Westinghouse
Ink:  Marvy markers: blush pink, dusty pink,
  bubble gum pink, Victorian rose, and rose pink
  (not sure if that's the exact order)
Water brush
Pink little blingie flower centers

May 9, 2012

WOYWW 153

Julia Dunnit's brilliant What's On Your Workdesk? Wednesday site was the first blog challenge I linked to when I tip-toed into this good and gracious world of cyberfriendly stamping sites.  I've grown to look forward to this Wednesday ritual of reconnecting with folks from all around the world as we peek into each other's craft areas.  So I really missed all of you last Wednesday as I lay in the hospital (see past posts), feeling better and maddeningly unable to visit and comment because the hospital wi-fi was on the fridge, I mean fritz.  One more day in that nuthouse and I would have partook of an archy.

That was then, this is now, and how have you all been?  I've a story for my show and tell this week, as usual.  I'm a talker and it doesn't bother me if most of you don't have time to read it.  Excuse a second, some tears fell into my keyboard.  I was saying, I have fun writing it anyway.  But for those who want a quick-peek-just-inside-can't-come-in-my-shoes-are-dirty-I'll-stay-out-here-gotta-dash-anyway, I wanted to show you two of the adorable cards I received from friends:

From Donna:
From Kathy:


Aren't they great?  If you're clicking off, have a great week!  BTW, having said how much I missed you last week, I should note here that I am leaving next Tuesday on vacation to reunion with my sisters in the great state of Iowa, God willing and the creek don't rise.

Actually, my post should be entitled "What's Above Your Workdesk? Wednesday."  When I moved out of the uninsulated garage, which ran to extremely uncomfortable hot/cold knicker extremes, and into the playhouse, Mister and I splurged on a little wall air conditioner for me.  Aside from being noisy, it's been a joy to behold.


Cept for one little thing.  I do hate to complain amongst (amidst?) all these blessings, Lord knows, but it turns out that when I am sitting in my chair, the top of my head and the bottom of the air flow shooting frigid air straight into the room just perfectly match up.  Picture wasps of my hair flapping in the breeze.  Turns out I have a thing for cold air blowing directly onto my thinning bean.  It's a hate thing.

Mister thought and thought.  He nodded off occasionaly, but to his credit, he mostly thought.  We brainstormed.  It was just really a light sprinkle.  Then he very cleverly decided to buy some plastic acrylic sheets and have them cut, just so, this x that, two at an angle, and he would glue sides A and B to side C and be done with my bagging about it.

Only trouble was, he told the nice lady at the home supply the wrong measurements.  (As a public service, and to save you the trouble, you should know that when that happens, there is apparently a law limiting each household to a specific foot measure of acrylic and you are not allowed to go back to the store and buy the correctly measured product.)  Mister also had trouble finding a glue that would work on Polly Filene Hydrochlorinoid. 

I said, oh, honey, never mind.  How about we buy one of those furnace vent plastic sleeves that direct the air flow into the room?  They are adjustable and I have this strip of magnetic tape, and if we . . . what's that?  Oh, well, sure if you'd rather try and make your pieces that are too small work, stretch and bend unbendable acrylic, and glue your fingers together with this glue that isn't really meant for . . . no, no, you go ahead.  You betcha.

He can be stubborn like that.  He was gonna die trying, I'll give him that, but by Godfrey Daniel, he made it work!  That thin bead (not!) of yellow you see is the glue.  Oh wait, I remember now.  He squeezed every last drop from that tube of glue, lips pulled back in an angry sneer, teeth glenched, eyes wide, as layer upon layer, glue globule upon glue globule, were laid down in such a way that even our pet elephant would not be able to unsunder the seams. 

(I think broken cookies don't have calories, he thinks we have a pet elephant.  I don't judge.)

(And wasn't that mean of me to make you say 'glue globule' twice? It feels like you've got peanut butter stuck to the roof of your mouth, huh?)



Bless his heart.  And it does work, too.  Now those of you who have clicked on my playhouse picture and come on inside know that I have a Organized Crafting Disease or Ocute Cleanliness Disorder.  So you'll know that my love for Mister runs deep for me to allow this globby schmeary unsightly, but highly effective, invention in my precius space.  It's being patented, too, so don't even think about stealing the idea.

In case you noticed it, here's a closeup of the little sign I have hanging on that wall.  I plan someday to use it as inspiration for a black and white card with lady bugs and hearts (and crazy ladies?).


The twins, before they could read, would ask me every time, what does that say, Bama?  I would read it to them.  Ever have four identical eyeballs stare at you with confusion?  They're older now and I think they are beginning to understand where I'm coming from.

Have a great week!  As always, thank you for stopping by to visit.  Special thanks to you if you take the time to join as a follower or leave a comment!