Saturday, December 29, 2012

Saying goodbye

Tomorrow is the viewing for one of my firehouse buddies from way back. He passed away on Thursday. I've known John for about 20 years or so. He was a chief at my fire department for a while and just an all around good guy. He had a Harley and used to bug Rick and I to take some motorcycle trips with him and his wife, Barb. He never really thought about the fact that Rick's motorcycle was not a comfortable one and gave me a sore butt after just an hour riding on it; he just wanted to hang with his friends. I went to high school with John and Barb's daughter, Tori. Their son Jes rode his first ambulance call with me. Although we might not have seen each other as often as we'd have liked, our lives were intertwined in so many ways. When Rick passed away, John and his family were there for me. Now, it's my turn to be there for John's family, as much as the reason pains me.

With them in mind, I set about making some sympathy cards. I have a wonderful set from Verve Stamps with some beautiful sympathy and loss sentiments and I put it to use, along with some scraps and embellishments from my stash.

Here is my favorite of the three, which is the card I made for his wife.
The background stamp is from Our Daily Bread. They have a whole line of stamps that are shaped perfectly to go with Spellbinders Nestabilities. This card is based after a sketch by Amarylis on
I made this card for his daughter and her family. The large flower is from the Dollar Store but the small ones are Wild Orchid Crafts. The butterflies and corners are done with punches. The ribbon is from Hobby Lobby.
 And finally, the card for his son and his son's family. I wanted to lean a bit more to the masculine side with this one. As you can see, I used various Spellbinders dies for all three cards. I love my Nesties! Thank you for stopping by today, and I hope my next post isn't nearly so depressing.
Rest in Peace, John. You will be missed more than you could ever know.


Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Playing along at Elisabeth Bell's World and first snow of the season

I can't believe it snowed on Christmas Eve. I think it's the first time we've had snow here near Annapolis, MD at this time of year in, well...years. Mind you, it didn't really accumulate, but it sure was pretty as it came down. So white and fluffy! And that really non-subtle statement takes me into the next thing. I'm a guest DT for Elisabeth Bell's World challenge this month, which is "fluffy white snowflakes". I am so excited, because I love Elisabeth Bell's work. She is amazingly talented. Anyway, what a fun challenge for the month, don't you think? I know that Christmas cards are mostly mailed, but you can start on your cards for next year or even make any kind of wintry card for those winter birthdays, thinking of you, whatever occasion you've got coming up. Just make sure to use an Elisabeth Bell image and snowflakes, and upload your card to the challenge blog. Details HERE. And while you're there, check out the beautiful cards but the EBW DT. I always find their stuff to be very inspiring and stunning.

This is the card I created for the challenge. Notice all of the little snowflakes hiding in the flowers?

Just in case you need a closer look at this adorable little angel, here she is in all of her glory:

I colored her with copics, added some liquid pearls, and then cut her out with a spellbinders die. Note to self: next time, cut the image first, before adding the liquid pearls. Duh.

I'm headed out to WV today to visit the cemetary where my husband is buried. Well, that's the hope, anyway. Depends on the weather. Right now, the snow has stopped and things are looking clear, so I might be taking a drive. It's a beautiful drive and always brings me a measure of peace to "visit" his final resting place. I hope you all have a wonderful Christmas full of peace, love, family and friends. Huge holiday extended bear hugs (and in case you don't know me, that's saying something. I'm not big on that extended hug thing! I'm a grab 'em quick and let 'em go girl, usually). Merry Christmas!!!

Friday, December 14, 2012

I'm snow happy!

Ok, maybe not. Maybe what I am really hoping for is enough snow to go snow tubing later this month, but not enough to make me have to shovel my way out of my driveway. Is that even possible? I hate shoveling snow. Hate it, hate it, hate it. Driving in snow is even worse. Now, I love some snow if I can sit in my house and enjoy the warmth while I watch it fall.

Anyway, it's my turn to host over at Guylou's Inimitability. I decided on a snow theme, figuring everyone's pretty creations would show me the good about snow, right? Everyone knows I love kitty cat images, so I had fun with one of them from Guylou. Check it out:
I used Aleene's snow with glitter. I applied it with a speckle paintbrush. Then I added some liquid pearls for the snowflakes in the sky, and punches to create snowflakes in the corner of the image. This cutie is colored with copics, of course. The fur is C3, C1, and C0, with a bit of R11 for the cheeks and nose. I added glossy accents to the eyes, as well. The sentiment is popped up with pop dots on either end.

Now it's your turn. Show me some pretty snow, so that I don't dread it quite as much once it finally shows up for real!!! Enter your project at the Guylou's Inimitability blog for a chance to win a gift certificate to the store and the opportunity to be a guest DT in a future challenge. As always, thanks for visiting!

Oh, and I should note that this card is also for:
Papertake Weekly - white or snow

Sunday, December 9, 2012

FINALLY! Done, de done, done...DONE!

I am finally finished all of my Christmas cards. Ok, I probably spoke too soon. I will probably receive a card from someone and need to throw another one together quickly to return the sentiment. But, for now, I can feel happy, relieved and de-stressed because I am done (at least for now)!

My house needs cleaned, but I didn't have the energy for that today. Frankly, I didn't have much energy at all, as I'm still not feeling 100%. However, I pushed past the light-headedness, low energy, and headache to finish up my cards. Here's a few that I managed to knock out today:

If nothing else, I had fun coloring with my copics and playing with pretty papers. I have way more Christmas paper than I ever thought I could possibly buy. I just seem to gravitate towards it. As you can see, I also had some fun playing with my Nestabilities and some embellishments. I even found a few stickers in my stash that worked well (who knew? I thought I'd pretty much gotten rid of all of them).

Now it's time to get crackin' on the calendars I have to finish before my family comes over on December 22nd. What was that I said earlier about feeling relieved and de-stressed? I think I lied.

Saturday, December 8, 2012

A wee little wish

Well, I guess the joy of being sick is that no one wants to be around to catch that crud, so they leave you to your own devices (with the exception of texts and calls, offering to suck it up and visit if needed, while probably hoping that you don't take them up on it. LOL). Ok, so yeah, this is me, just trying to make the most of a yucky situation. I've been sick for the last few days. It's one of those kinds of sick where you still have your brain power (no mugginess), so you don't want to pass the day on the couch, but your body doesn't have much energy to do much of anything else. In my case, I took my little lap desk down to the couch and tried to color some images. I'd color one or two parts of the image, then feel worse again and have to lay down, then color some more, lay down some more, and so on. Needless to say, the clean and simple card I'm about to post shouldn't have taken me nearly as long as it did. But hey, I've got another Christmas card done!

This is Wee and reindeer from Whiff of Joy. You can find this little cutie here. I colored the image with copics, after stamping in Memento ink on cryogen paper. The patterned paper is some Basic Grey from my stash. I added a sentiment from Stampendous. Even though Wee is technically a gnome, I think the sentiment still works. I added a little button with some twine, punched out a border to go around the image and ta-da! Like I said, this little card took way longer than it should have, but that's what happens when the crud invades your territory. I hope everyone else is having a wonderful, crafty, illness-free weekend!

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

The definition of insanity

So, from what I am told, the definition of insanity is to do the same thing over and over, and expect different results. By that definition, I might just be ready for a straight jacket. Each year, I swear I am going to start my Christmas cards in January, with plans to make 2-4 cards per month so that I have more than half of them done by the time Thanksgiving rolls around. Each year, I start them after August and wonder why I am always rushing to get them finished on time. Every single year. I don't know why I expect to actually have them done by Thanksgiving each time. It's that insanity thing. See?

Anyway, I went to a crop last weekend and managed to complete 8 cards. I kept them relatively simple and used images I had previously colored. Here's a sample of the 4 I like the best:
These are pretty much a good representation of what I got done during that crop.
I used up all of the images I had precolored, so I took the time towards the end of the crop to color up some new ones, including a new Magnolia that I got from Oozak. I love that store! Anyway, I think she's the cutest little thing. She was fun to color and I love the idea of using her to peek around ornaments, or through windows, or even around a Christmas tree. Oh, wait, do you know which Tilda I am talking about? Sorry. Guess I should show you. Here's what I did with her over the next few days:
 I used my new Tilda stamp, plus a Spellbinders 2010 stamp set and die for the ornament and sentiment. Here's a closer look at one of the cards, so you can see the cuteness that is this Tilda just a little bit more easily:

Isn't she precious?

Another reason to highlight this card - she is for some challenges:
7 Kids College Fund - holiday inspired
Oozak - anything goes plus red
Papertake Weekly - anything goes with option of a gift for Christmas
Pretty Little Ribbon - Christmas
Clear it Out - Happy Holiday
Ribbon Carousel - the Holidays

All of my images are colored with copics. Now I'm off to see if I can add some more cards to the pile, because I've still got a few to make in order to have enough for everyone on the list. So much pressure! If only I wasn't insane, I'd start these danged things in January. I'd make it my New Year's resolution, but everyone knows I still wouldn't do it!