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. Note: my Privacy Policy can be found at a tab below and you can find my NBUS Challenge online. I hope you'll join in the fun there! Thanks for coming by! Have a beverage and enjoy!

July 31, 2012

WOYWW #165

Happy Hello to all WOYWWIES and NON. 

You're all WOWie to me, my dears, but some of you play over at Julia's fun Stamping Ground in an extra ordinary game called, "What's On Your Workdesk? Wednesday."  Some of you just peek in the windows and that's perfectly okay.  We won't call the coppers.   In our childhood days, we played "you show me yours and I'll show you mine."  But here in WOYWWzerville, we will show you ours even if you don't want to show us yours.  We're fresh like that. 

I took lots of pictures, big surprise.  The difference is I won't chat a lot to make up for it.  As you know I have Organized Craft Disorder.  Disease.  Take your pick.  As I've been playing in the Playhouse the last few weeks, I could feel that old familiar tickle creeping up the back of my neck.  My Third Eye was noticing that me (yes, me) and the twins have all gotten a little too lazy about putting stamps back in with their assigned foster families.

I had to put a stop to it.  Today was the day.



The drawers got cleaned out, too, of course.  I found out I still have a little room to grow!  I wonder if I'll evolve to only clear stamps down the road?  I've become quite fond of my little wooden buddies over the years, especially after I discovered the Stamp-a-ma-jig!  BTW, you might ask, Where are my clear stamps?   Ah, geez, whadya have to bring them up for?  I'll tackle them another day. 

One of my online friends said I made her feel better once she saw my place and realized that she wasn't the only one with an "art store addiction!"   The truth is that most of my stamps have been purchased at garage sales, or stamp store swap meets, or from friends who have quit the hobby, or (sadly) from a dear neighbor who passed away.  And I've been stamping for over ten years, so that's a long time to be acquiring my stash.

Speaking of addictions, I'm going to have myself a little vodka now that my OCD is under control for the time being and snoop around your place to see what addictions you have up your sleeves!

Enjoy!   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!

July 30, 2012

Dynamic Duos #13 ~ Mono; Retrosketches #22; and Pixie's Crafty Snippets #31

Good Morning Monday!

I hope you've had your breakfast wherever you are because we are going to talk about coffee and crumb cake today.  I used to make my nephew the most delicious coffee cake with corn flakes and cinnamon on the top.  We all remember how yummy it was, but I've lost the recipe over the years.

I made a card to play in three favorite challenges.  And then I made two more cards just to show off.  What?!  Yup.  I love the colors and the sketch and after I made my original card, I realized that I simply had  to make at least one more card using my cups and coffee bean stamps.  I mean, duh!

Here we go.

The colors are from the dynamic ladies at Dynamic Duos and this week the challenge is monochrome attic.  The colors are Early Espresso and Crumb Cake.

How fun is that?

And speaking of fun, I'm playing with the always fabulous Retrosketches. 

The ONLY reason there are not coffee stains on my cup cards is because I didn't think of it until after I had emptied the coffee pot.  I hope someone does that! 

And because I was able to use paper and ribbon from my Paper Mountain and Ribbon Valley, I am also linking up with the crazy band of delinquent girls over at Pixie's Crafty Workshop, where this week it's Snippets challenge number 31.  Shirley, you can join in 'cause you've also used snippets on your card, right?  Way to go, ladies!

So here are my cards.  First, the non-coffee card.

I have no idea from whence I got that fantastic feather charm, but I've been dying to use it on a card.  I wish I had a stamp with an old-fashioned ink well, large enough to balance that charm.  Wouldn't that make a perfectable card?!

Here are my two coffee and crumb cake cards:

From a distance, those coffee beans look like Oreo cookies or ice cream sand witches.  Anyone super hungry yet??

Can't you picture that unique and beautiful striped button coming from a 1952 designer coat?

That really was fun.  Hope you join in!


I leave you with a happy fuschia flower.

Enjoy your day!   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!

Just A Note:
Paper:  SU early espresso, crumb cake;
  Glitz, "Pretty in Pink"
Stamp:  SU, unknown set
Ink:  SU dark brown embossing powder
Ribbon:  SU, early expresso
Charm:  Unknown
SU scallop punch; Corner Chomper
Four Cups:
Paper: SU early espresso, crumb cake;
  Glitz, "Pretty in Pink"
Stamps:  Cups: Creative Images; coffee
  bean: Stamps by Judith
Ink: SU dark brown embossing powder
Ribbon: SU, early expresso
Random button
SU scallop punch; Corner Chomper
Coffee Pot Set:
Paper: SU early espresso, crumb cake;
  SU crumb cake text pattern
Stamps:  Michael's WS-023; coffee
   bean: Stamps by Judith
Ink: SU dark brown embossing powder
Faux ribbon: SU early expresso paper
Random button
SU scallop punch; Corner ChomperPixie's Crafty Workshop

July 29, 2012

Color Throwdown 202; LIM Week 78 ~ Sketch; and Summer Tomato Recipe

How You Doing Sunday?

We went over to have dinner with the kids yesterday and to see DDIL's sister and her husband who are visiting from Minnesota for a few days.  We haven't had the pleasure of their company for many years, so it was great!  They have eight children and Papa and I are their adopted grandparents!  Sadly for us, but happily for the parents, the kiddies didn't come along this trip. 

Halfway home, I nearly lost the hearing in my left ear as I smacked myself for not taking a single picture!  Everyone there should smack themselves, too, because they didn't think of it either.  At least Papa and I can blame it on age! 

I thought about finding a picture somehere here on the Intertube and saying it was us, but I think I'm allergic to something in my garden.  I've just been out gardening for a couple of hours this morning and my left eye is now watering and burning.  (Could it be a delayed reaction to whacking my own self in the head hours ago?)  So anyway, let's hop back on the focus train, shall we?  Because of my eye, my vision is blurry, so I'm not inclined to go off searching for a picture of fake relatives.

I can, however, present you with a card I made, which just might be the reason you stopped by.  Today I made another UBERCAS card for two challenges:  a sketch challenge and a color challenge.  The perfect combo.

The yummy colors come from this week's Color Throwdown (CTD202) challenge:

 ~ and the sketch comes from this week's Less Is More (Week 78) challenge, hosted by the talented Mandi and Chrissie.

 ~ and my card:

UBERCAS.  The sentiment sticker background color is more Razzley Berry IRL. 

With tomatoes  and basil coming in (here at least), I want to share this incredibly delicious stew.  It is SO, SO easy!  The source is Sunset magazine.  It sounds funny to eat stew or soup in the hot summer, but this heats only long enough for the cheese to start to melt, so it's petid.  Also, ours is always more juicey and soup-like than they show in the picture.  Which is what you want because the juice is amazing and perfect for warm, crusty bread!

Warm Tomato and White Bean Stew

Warm Tomato and White Bean Stew


3* pounds ripe tomatoes, rinsed
About 1/2 cup slivered fresh basil leaves
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 clove garlic, peeled and minced or pressed
About 1 teaspoon kosher or sea salt
Fresh-ground pepper
1 can (15 oz.) white (Cannellini) beans, drained and rinsed
8 ounces fresh mozzarella cheese, drained and cut into cubes (1/2 in.)
About 1/2 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese

Crusty bread.
* Personal note:  We find that we prefer the recipe when we use closer to 2 pounds of tomatoes for a better ratio of tomato, to bean, to cheese.

Click to see savings

  1. Core and dice tomatoes. In a 4- to 5-quart pan, combine tomatoes, basil, olive oil, garlic, salt, and pepper to taste. Let stand until tomatoes are very juicy, at least 15 minutes.
  2. Set the pan over medium-low heat and gently stir in beans. Stir occasionally until mixture is warm to touch, about 5 minutes.
  3. Add mozzarella and parmesan cheese. Gently stir just until the mozzarella has softened and starts to melt into strings, 2 to 3 minutes. Taste and stir in more salt if desired. Spoon stew into shallow bowls and top each serving with a sprinkling of more basil and parmesan cheese.

Enjoy the rest of your weekend!   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:  SU very vanilla and pool party
Stamp:  SU, unknown (old) set
Ink:  SU rich razzleberry; PTI Hawaiian shores
Sticker sentiment:  K & Company
Bling: Crystal Affects

July 28, 2012

CAS-ual Fridays #63; Freshly Made Sketches #45

A happy Saturday hello! 

Yet another favorite clean and simple challenge blog I love to participlate in is CAS-ual Fridays.  This week (CFC63) the challenge is:

Awesome colors of lime, aqua, and navy which I love together!  The generous sponsor of a $20 gift certificate is StopAndScrap.com!

For the layout of my card, I chose to play with sketch number 45 from the fab Freshly Made Sketches, which is this sweet sketch by Cindy Hall:

And my card:

I made this card for my friend to give to her step-daughter who wants to give it to her daughter to give to her grandma.  The little girl's name is Emma and while she wears stylish and modern polka dotty shorts with a bow in her hair, it's easy to picture her barefoot, wearing a prairie dress with a bow in her hair, running to meet her grandma coming to town in her buck wagon.  Chuck wagon.

I know, I know, I said I don't like to make cards that don't fit easily into envelopes, but when I saw this sweedorable bow from Lil' Inker, I just HAD to get it. 

We went up the Delta and had lunch with friends yesterday.  Afterwards, we walked down to the fishing pier and spotted this little guy:


Look how close this little pelican let me come to him!  Sadly, it has lost its way coming inland for food when it should be flying out over the ocean.  Hope the sweet baby can figure it out soon.

Enjoy your day and the Olympics, wherever you are!   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:  SU green galore; island indigo;
  and white
Stamps:  SU little girl and dotty dots, set
  unknown; unmarked tiny circle stamp
  used to design up her shorts; and
  Hampton Art Stamps sentiment 23-3
Ink:  Versafine black; SU night of navy;
  Marvy and SU markers
Bow:  Lil' Inker bow die
Pop dots; corner chomper; brad

July 27, 2012

Clean And Simple Cards. CASology #3 ~ Fruit; and One Layer Wednesday #98 ~ Summer!

And back around again to Friday!

I love me some CAS cards and really enjoy that now I have two wonderful challenges to play in featuring clean and simple cards.  This week, it so happens, I could join the two and make one card to fit each. 

First, we have the creative CASology challenge where this week the DT has this inspirational cue word:

And, secondly, Cheryl is hosting this week's One Layer Wednesday (OLW) challenge where the inspiration is to make a one-layer card with a summer theme!

I made a one-layer card of blackberries, mmm, or maybe purplish raspberries, up to you.  Raspberries used to grow wild along the east property line at Grandpa's during the early part of summer.  Uncle Shike, who lived with Grandpa, would pay us with a pack of Black Jack gum if we picked a whole bowl.  That was very hard to do, even as much as we loved that gum, because our little hands would not stop popping the berries in our mouths instead of our bowls!

I used my Versamark embossing pen for the first time, that I can remember, even though I've had it for years.  I first embossed the leaves and then the fruit.  And then I did the fruit again with a glitter embossing powder.  The image part of the card, I have to say, I am really happy with.

You just concentrate on that and not on the scoring.  Dang.  Notice how I hid the card in the flowers?  I shall be practicing my scoring and planning better so that the next time I want to score, especially score a frame or multi-layer frame like some people (Bonnie!) are able to do, I will do the scoring first.  That way if the score tool pops out of its groove and goes awe rye, I don't have a panic attack and keep making more lines and then more lines and then stop cold in a flop sweat because I don't want to completely ruin what is otherwise a really nice card, punctuating the whole scene with a naughty word, even if the Playhouse windows are wide open, I don't care.  Phew!  Lean on back, can you feel it?  That was a close one.

But it's all good.  It's all good.  The focal pocus of the card is what matters.

Enjoy your day!  Have a wonderful weekend if I don't see you around!  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:  PTI white
Stamps:  Image and sentiment
  are both SU, unknown sets
Ink:  Versamark pen; Marvy markers;
  Gelly Roll markers: #522, #530
Embossing Powders:  Embossing
  Arts Co. very violet; SU olive; and
  Creations Unlimited, fairy magic

July 26, 2012

Retrosketches #21 ~ By Tracey

A Thursday hello!

I was able to take some time yesterday and make a card for this week's sketch over at Retrosketches.  This sketch was designed by the very talented Tracey McNeely of "In My Creative Opinion."  She does lovely work and I wanted to honor that by joining in the challenge.

I look at these sketches, as you probably do, and cock my head and point my ears, which helps me think better.  Yes, like a dog, trying to figure out if you're going to sit there and eat that whole sandwich in front of him, or actually share part of it.  I stop short of drooling, however.  I save that for looking at stamping magazines and any online stamping supply stores.

My heart was in the challenge, but my Original Creative Thought was low on batteries, so when that happens, I create literally.  Here is the design sketch:

Here is what I saw. 

I saw a little candy baggie and sentiment kisses.  Which made me think of chocolate kisses, which look like chocolate chips.  And I have a chocolate chip stamp!  By that I mean I have a rubber stamp in the image of a chocolate chip.  If I had a chocolate chip stamp, it would have been eaten long ago.  As it was, I was going to use an actual chocolate chip where the white heart brad is, but while I was making the card, I ate all the chocolate on accident.

When Dan was little he used to say, "I did it on accident."  Not "by accident," the way adults say it.  He knew that things were done "on purpose," so it only made sense to him that the reverse of that would be "on accident."  I didn't have the heart to correct him because, frankly, it made sense to me, too, and I've said "on accident" ever since.


You remember how Mister built me clever collapsible structures out of PFC pipe so I could hang sheets over my hydrangea bushes on hot days?  Then a nice follower said she just puts small garden umbrellas over hers.  Oh, snap!  So that's what I do now.

It's a lot easier and a lot more colorful than my old beige sheets, but we have a lot of hot days and I'm starting to ask myself if they're worth it, considering they have to spend almost the entire summer covered up, so they don't shrivel up and burn.  And they're located in the shadiest part of the yard, so moving them is not an option.  Sigh. 

It looks like I'm hiding tiny naked sunbathers from the neighbor's prying eyes!  Which, okay, I find rather amusing.

Enjoy your day!   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:  PTI brown; unknown beige; vellum
Stamps:  Penny Black,  with both xes for
  kisses and oes for hugs, but I just used
  the kisses part (169UL); chocolate
  chip: Stamps by Judith
Ink:  SU chocolate chip; Marvy marker
Nesties scalloped circle die
Dotted swiss embossing folder
Unknown heart brad, baker's twine
Corner chomper

July 25, 2012

WOYWW 164; Dynamic Duos #12, Part Tuos

Happy Wednesday!

On my workdesk this week I'm working on making journals.

I make them for a little nearby boutique, and as gifts.  I find inexpensive ones at local dollar stores or big lot stores and then put a lovely cover on them.  (You can see some other cover ideas at the top of this Home page at the "My Journals" tab.)  Inside the journals I hide a few colored vellum pages of inspiration which I print on my computer and cut down to size.  I imagine it being a lovely surprise to whomever receives a journal  as a gift.  Inspirational quotes such as:

If you are losing your leisure,
look out.
You may be losing your soul.

Logan P. Smith


Spend the afternoon.

You can't take it with you.

Annie Dillard

Head over to the fabulous Julia's website What's On Your Workdesk? Wednesday (WOYWW) and join in the snoop-de-doo!


I've made another card for the very fantastic challenge Dynamic Duos, where this week (which is running out) the challenge is poppy parade and basic black.  There is a wee bit of time left if you want to play along!

I did this card especially for Victoria who missed seeing any critters on my card yesterday!  How's this, sugah bean?

For the background stripes, I simply cut strips of the two colors of paper, taped them together on the back side and then cut it to fit.  The hedgie image is embossed.  Who doesn't love hedgies?  Just to be honest, those are stickered ladybugs, not punched ones, so no extra credit.

It's a play day today.  I'm taking my LTBFF out to lunch for her benchmark birthday and to see the new Meryl Streep comedy, "Hope Springs."  Hmmm, well, okay, not.   I just checked the movie listings and that movie doesn't open until August 10th.   Bummer. 

How the word "benchmark" came to be was that in 1904 there were these three lads playing tag in the park.  Every time a game was over, the winner would go to the nearest bench and make a mark with his jack knife.  The youngest, I forget his name, got so excited when he won, that he didn't even notice the old lady sitting there on the bench.  She was appalled at their defacing the park benches, so she snapped him up, threw him over her knee, and gave him a good spanking.  As she set him upright, she snapped, "There!  That's a bench mark you'll not soon forget!"

I'm so pleased to have another follower join the journey over t'here!  Please lay down your scissors and give a warm welcome to Carole of Carole's Creative Critters ~ hey, speaking of "critters!"   Thank you, Carole!

Enjoy the day!  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:  SU white, black, poppy parade
Stamp:  Penny Black, "Ladybug 'n
  Hedgehog 1433E
Ink:  Memento black; no-name black
  embossing powder; SU pp marker
Stickers:  EK Success "Mini Ladies"

July 23, 2012

A Fourfer! CFC 62; Dynamic Duos #12; LIM 77 ~ Theme; and Pixie's Snippets #30

Ah, Monday!

I'm discovering that sometimes not making a card as soon as a challenge is posted can be a good thing because sometimes they play together oh so nicely!

I haven't been on for a couple of days due to twin-sitting.  In my interim, these challenges hit the airwaves:

1.  CAS-ual Fridays (CFC62)

Create a Clean And Simple card using a black card base

There is a $20 gift certificate for this week's winner, generously provided by:

2.  Dynamic Duos #12 ~ Poppy Parade and Basic Black, Extra Credit If You Use A Punch

3.  Less Is More 77 ~ Theme ~ The theme is Sewing!  It could be machine- or hand-sewing, faux or stamped . . . you can even use sewing-related images.

We'd love you to display our banner

4.  Pixie's Crafty Snippets Challenge 30 ~ Simply that, use up some of your snippets in your creation and you can join in the shenanigans on the playground!

And my card:

It's actually a lovely card coming from me, eh, what with no critters on it or otherwise whacky whimsy.  Red and black together, especially with a pop of white, are so striking.  It's fun to get extra credit for using the punches for the flowers and leaves, which I would have done anyways.

I think the "sewing" will be cool with Mandie and Chrissie at LIM because it can be "faux" sewing.  But I'm not sure if there is enough "white space."  (White space means "an area of the card which has no image, layer, or embellishment.  It can be any colour dependent on the colour of the card blank.")  I still struggle with that one unless my card base is white and I just put a tiny stamp image on it somewhere, as I am wont to do.  Then I know I have lots of white space, literate that I am.


We had a fun time with the twins!  This visit they were really into making cards in the Playhouse!  They made 14 cards!!  We had to have a reminder about cleaning up the stamps and putting them back into their proper places between cards, but overall, they do really well.

I was greeted with this at one point when I went out to see how they were doing:

When I entered I was told I couldn't come in because they were "closed."  I told them I was the owner and they were only squatters, so they couldn't keep me out.  That prompted a question and answer period about the economics of store ownership and the rights and privileges of landlords, tenants, and squatters.

I took a picture of them hard at work.  Pardon the glare and background exposure which happens when you take a photo through a window from the outside looking in.

I have to share a couple of their cards.  (Most of their creations this time were for their parents.)

One of my cards, from Henry, featuring my favorite froggies:

One of Papa's cards, from Adam.  With no example or advice from me, he made this card out of buttons laid on the card in the shape of a motorcycle!

Seriously, that's some clever card or I ain't his grandma!

And just two more photos of two brothers enjoying Fudgsicles on a hot summer day.  First one pushed the glider while the other lounged and then they switched.  They didn't talk about it, they didn't discuss who would go first, or for how long.  They just did it.  

It seems like only yesterday they could both sit together on that glider, feet-to-feet.

Five minutes later, they were fighting over Legos.  But for a few minutes there it was like choreographed twin magic. 

I'd like you to meet the very talented Tracy of Created by Tracy who is the latest inspiring artist to join our party!  Thank you, Tracy, and welcome!

Enjoy!  As always, thank you for stopping by for a visit.  Special thanks to you if you take a moment to join as a follower or leave a comment!

Paper:  PTI black, SU poppy parade, white
Stamps:  Hero ArtsFrancy Dresses Fancy
  Notes LL854; sentiment unknown
Ink:  PTI black; Imprintz white embossing powder
Tools:  SU paper piercing tool; PTI angled lable
  die and Cuttlebug
Accessories:  Marvy tiny punches: flower, leaves;
  Copic fine black writer; bling unknown; pop dots