Oct 18, 2019

Gathered Together

This Colorado Stamp Company Thanksgiving set is very different from anything I own. I love the suggestion of a family gathered around the table celebrating the holiday. It's got a Normal Rockwell feel that I find very comforting.

Colored the image with Copics in fall colors and popped up on plaid paper.

Thanks very much to The Colorado Stamp Company for sending this set to me. I LOVE that company's sets -- all different than usual. They asked if they could send a set and I wasn't sure what set it would be until I opened the package. A mini Christmas!! Very kind of them.

MOOD WHEN DONE: Well, grateful! No matter how stressed out I get, my one day a week gig at the International Rescue Committee reminds me of how much I have.

Oct 15, 2019

Modern Graphic NOEL

Took me several tries to figure out what to do with these fun bright NOEL letters made with Altenew's Bold Alphabet Die. Since the "L" is out of proportion with the other letters, it made more sense to use them horizontally, but I wanted this layout.

First, I tried a plain white background. Snooze.
Then I tried pattern paper. Meh.
Finally, I bumbled across this cross stitch die from Paper Smooches. Provides just enough detail without being distracting.

Added a sentiment from Penny Black's Christmas sentiments and decided to stop.

MOOD WHEN DONE: Great! Recently "celebrated" the 2 year anniversary of heart surgery. Lots happened since then and it was a good time to look back. Then I decided looking back and pondering life was taking time away from crafting, so I put an end to that pretty quick!

Hope you are having a good week!

Oct 9, 2019

Christmas Sweaters

Love the set 'Tis The Season by Julie Ebersole. It's retired, but so are most of my holiday sets. (Have you seen the deluge of new holiday sets? Wow, so much talent out there!)

Made a fun background by repeatedly stamping the sweater on pale gray cardstock. Colored them with Copics in an ombre design of sorts. These sweaters are hand knit so that's my explanation as to why they aren't identical (ha).

The stamp includes a black star on the top of the tree, but I added some clear glue and fine white glitter over each star as the sweaters needed more white to pop off the gray background. Colored the collars with a white gel pen for the same reason.

And that's one more card for the stash!

MOOD WHEN DONE: Good. I've haven't stamped much lately and briefly thought about packing it all up and putting it away, but Mike just stared at me when I suggested that. I guess that would be the end of life as we know it, so I'm glad I came to my senses...

Oct 8, 2019

The Blandos

The small TV in the kitchen is on. From my seat in the living room, I can't hear what show is keeping him company, just the background sound. I bet it's an HGTV rerun.

I hear him drying the dishes. It bothers him to have pots and pans and my plastic drinking cup, with its hard plastic straw, drying on the counter. Even when he was working, drying the dishes was a priority. He'd get up from his desk in DC and walk to the subway, hop on, transfer trains, all the while carrying his heavy black backpack full of office work that he'd look at after dinner. Then, once in Virginia, he'd walk to the shuttle bus, wait, and board the bus for the 10 minute ride home. He'd hop off, walk home, and climb the stairs to the kitchen. After kissing me hello, he'd park the backpack by the stairs, and still in his suit, pick up a dishcloth and dry the dishes I had placed there to air dry while I was cooking.

It is important to him to have clean counters, to have everything in its place, to have our lists of things to be done checked off one by one. Once -- once!! -- he left his shoes in the living room and I immediately knew something was wrong. I wondered if he had died. (He just forgot them.) The world, he, must be fine, as the counter is empty, the bills paid, the credit reports reviewed, the trash taken out, the furnace filter changed -- all on schedule. It's taken me awhile, but I'm on board. Routine is our joy. Sometimes I dry the dishes too.

Someone once called us The Blandos. It wasn't meant as a joke; rather as an insult. But I knew, even at the time that the words were spit out, that they came from jealousy. The person dismissing our life  had a life in chaos. I understood.

But it got to me. Bland. Tasteless. Boring.

I used to worry that we were missing out on life. We haven't been on a safari or a cruise to Alaska. We don't eat out much and we stick close to home. Staying up past 9 is a distant memory. But I don't worry about that anymore. Sometimes nothing is more sweet than listening to the same sounds every day, eating the same meals, watching the same TV shows, all with someone you love.

Perhaps that's why the past few years have pushed us off kilter. Living in Belgium for a few months, hospital stuff, surgeries, the move to Dallas -- this isn't the life of The Blandos. But here we are, back to a routine. It's a new routine. We miss our old one. We miss our friends and our neighborhood and the DC skyline. There's a lot to miss. But, one year later, and there is a lot to embrace, particularly our son. It was the right move.

Now I hear him turn off the kitchen lights and turn on the back porch light and the alarm system. He's walking to the living room, carrying his tiny white bowl of wavy potato chips, a beer, and two (not one, not three) Hershey nuggets. I'm in my seat on the sofa near the lamp and in a few seconds he'll join me on the sofa in his seat, on the opposite corner. We turn on Lester Holt and the NBC Nightly News.

Life, gratefully, is bland again.

Oct 1, 2019

Poinsettia Wreath (The Ton) #1

The title of this post says it all -- I'm making a bunch of Christmas cards with the beautiful set, Poinsettia Wreath, by The Ton.

I colored this one with Copics. It took a long time, especially when I got distracted, left the caps off some green Copics overnight, and had to start again with different shades of green. Since I got distracted by having to cook dinner, it seems to me that cooking should be crossed off my to do list until after Christmas ... right?

This is a very large wreath, and the entire wreath will not fit on an A2 card, so you have to select which parts to feature or make a larger card. I started using this set by borrowing a layout from the amazing Vera Yates.  Look at this gorgeous card she made using this set.

When a stamp has a lot of detail, I have a hard time distinguishing between leaves, flowers, and the spaces between them, particularly when I'm leaning over to color the image. To avoid coloring a flower petal green, I colored all the leaves at once, and then did the flowers. (Translation -- I screwed up the first time I colored this image.)

MOOD WHEN DONE: Happy to add to my Christmas 2020 stash. So far, I think I have 5 cards. Better get moving!

Sep 25, 2019

So Mini Hellos on the Foiled Fox Blog

Sharing 3 cards on the Foiled Fox blog today. You can find the post here. They all use a set I love, The Stamp Market's So Mini Hellos.

Had a lot of fun with this set and you can read all about it and some tips on using it.  Thanks for checking it out!!

Sep 23, 2019

Autumn at the Dallas Arboretum

The calendar says it's autumn, but Dallas has its own ideas! It's still hot and sunny. No complaints though - after watching what is going on in Houston and the Bahamas, I don't think I'll be complaining about the weather again.

When we moved here last year someone told me that the trees would go from green to brown and that there would be no fall colors. That certainly wasn't true in our neighborhood -- but not until mid November. Since September has been warmer than usual, I'm not sure we'll get enough cool weather to turn the leaves this year, but it will be fun to wait and see.

In the meantime, there's the fall festival at the Dallas Arboretum. The arboretum is our favorite place in the city. Dallas isn't a tourist destination -- it doesn't have the natural beauty that other places have. But it does have White Rock Lake and the Arboretum that runs along the side of the lake.

Mike ran a race there the other day, and instead of running (never going to happen),** here are a few pictures I took.

An arch of crepe myrtles.

Pumpkins line most of the main walkways.

There are numerous sculptures of children throughout the park. I think they are all for sale. So fun!

Another mini waterfall tucked away off the main paths.

There's a Pumpkin Village with a Charlie Brown theme that is darling and perfect for kids (and adults!). Open for the next few weeks.

Gourds everywhere.

Lucy's on the job.

I do wonder how all these pumpkins and gourds will withstand the hot sun, but in the meantime, they are beautiful.

MOOD WHEN DONE:  Grateful!

It's been a year since we moved into our house. It's been a bumpy transition year, but we are so happy to be near our son. That has really worked out well.

I hope to be back soon with a card, but only after I can take a decent photo. None of them are coming out - grr.

** Have you seen the movie Brittany Runs a Marathon? Highly recommend and based on a true story.