Saturday, February 28, 2009

Lighthouses of the Outer Banks of North Carolina

How about some more pictures from my trip? Click here to go to my other blog and enjoy a beautiful day on the Outer Banks of North Carolina!

I'll be getting back to cards very soon. I have a bunch of new stuff to play with!

Thank you for stopping by! I hope everyone is having a wonderful weekend. It is SNOWING here, but it's beautiful!

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Would You Like to Win an "Original Made For Keeps"?

Wow! I need to get busy! Five lovely ladies are going to get a Made For Keeps original card ---- soon!

I saw this on Lauri's blog and was able to get in the first five! I thought it was so fun that I would do it too!

The first five people to respond to this post will get something made by me! My choice. For you!

This offer does have some restrictions and limitations:
1- I make no guarantees that you will like what I make --- but I hope you do!
2- What I create will be just for you --- one of a kind!
3- It'll be done sometime this year (most likely it will be in the next month.).
4- You have no clue what it's going to be. Well, a pretty good bet it will be made of paper!
5-The catch? Oh, the catch is that you must repost this on your blog and offer the same to the first 5 people who do the same on your blog!

The first 5 people to leave a comment win a handmade card or gift (or both!) by me! Oh, and be sure to post a picture of what you win when you get it! So....who will be the first 5 people????? Please??? 5????

Ya know what? This is my little addition: Even if you aren't in my first five, why not start this on your blog, too? Spread more love FASTER!

Ready, set.....who will the first five be??

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Photos From My Trip

I have spent the day unpacking and resting up. No new cards yet, but I've posted some photos we took on the trip on my other blog Picture This, At Last of the aftermath of ice storms that went through our area last month.

Tonight I am posting some photos of the reason for our trip to Virginia ... to bid safe voyage to my son and the aircraft carrier USS Dwight D Eisenhower and her strike group as they set out for the Middle East. These photos were taken early Saturday morning, Feb 21, as she left the Norfolk Naval Base through the Chesapeake Bay. Mom and I perched ourselves on the beach and watched for any signs of movement to the west.....

Without binoculars it was nearly impossible to see the ship cruising past the Hampton Roads Bridge, but with my 400mm zoom I was able to spot her. In this shot she is about six miles away.
Eventually she was easier to see as she cleared the local skyline, passed the Thimble Shoal Light, and entered the vast expanse of the Chesapeake Bay. This photo was also taken with the 400mm zoom and the ship was about 5 miles away from us.
Here one of the Coast Guard cutters is going out to escort "Ike" to the Atlantic waters. The ships are always escorted by the CG. The helicopter circling above is part of a 24-hour watch through the entire cruise. At this point the ship is about 4 miles away and the lens is still the 400mm.
I like this photo. The sea gull seems to be watching the ship set sail, also. We had been watching the ship for about 30 minutes at this point and were turned more to the east. The sun was beginning to cast a glare, blending ship and water into the haze.

For comparison, this photo was taken at 200mm zoom. At about 6 miles from where we were standing, the ship looked deceptively small. To the right the pier off South Thimble Island is beginning to appear. It is at this point that the Chesapeake Bay Bridge becomes a tunnel and comes back up at the point to the left of the ship.
The ship carrying my son and more than 5,000 other sons, daughters, husbands, wives, fathers, and mothers passed the Chesapeake Bay Bridge and headed for the open Atlantic Ocean. God speed! Go Navy!
Last August I had the very special privilege of seeing this beach from the flight deck of this very ship when I attended the Eisenhower's Friends and Family Day Cruise. That made this vantage point all the more amazing. (Photos of that trip are also on Picture This, At Last.)
It is always hard to watch my son leave, especially when I know I won't see him for several months. But he is doing a job I cannot begin to comprehend and serving our country with a dedication I do completely understand.
We had a great week before he left and there will be more photos on both blogs this week.
Thanks for stopping by!

Monday, February 23, 2009

I'm home!!

I'm home after 10 days away!! I haven't even unpacked yet. Had to catch up on emails and blogs first! You know, the important stuff. The second night of the trip my Norton Security wasn't behaving so no foreign wireless for me!! I used my son's computer for browsing, but was pretty much out of touch. Aarrrggghhh!

Brief stats of the trip:
  • 10 days
  • 2500 miles driven
  • 4 hotel rooms
  • 5 nights at my son's beach house :-)
  • Day trip to NC Outer Banks
  • 2 lighthouses visited
  • 1 aquarium visited
  • shopping and restaurants
  • watched the aircraft carrier USS Eisenhower go out to sea
  • hundreds of photos to process
So, over the next few days I'll be posting stories and photos. But first, I'll be reading all my favorite blogs and catching up. I sure missed everyone!

Friday, February 13, 2009

Time for a Quick Birthday Card Then Off to Virginia!

Even with preparing for a 10-day trip I was so sure I would get a bunch of cards done and line up a few days' worth of posts. Well, it just didn't happen. So, here I am, nearly ready to take off to Virginia tomorrow, leaving behind five cards in want of adhesives and embellies. They are going to be gorgeous, too! Hee hee! But now I have to wait a few days... I hope you will come back to see them!

I did get a birthday card made, though. It was one I'd forgotten to do, what with all the Valentine cards. I don't have much of a stash general cards. (It's like the story of the shoemaker whose own children had holes in their shoes.) Thanks to my Cuttlebug (the birthday embossing folder and flower die set), Xyron (for quick adhesives) and a rub-on sentiment I was able to make this card fairly quickly. I like it! What do you think?

I might not be making cards for the next week or so, but I stamped a bunch of images to color. I'll be checking in as usual to see all the great art going on out there. I'm really bummed, though that I'll miss the WOJ challenge this week. I have a really cool card laid out. But, hey, when I get home my new WOJ spring set will be waiting for me!! Goody!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Whiff of Joy Challenge #17

This week's challenge was a very fun and creative sketch by Donalda. I actually made two cards, one of them by turning the sketch sideways. Both cards are made from the same papers (odds and ends I had from other projects) and Willow and Charlie are both colored with Copics. I'm under the wire again this week, so let me get right to the cards:

Thank you, Donalda! This was great!

Sunday, February 8, 2009

A Change of Pace

As much as I love making greeting cards, I'm finding I love rubber stamping, too. I started making cards many years ago, but didn't use rubber stamps until my niece introduced me to Stampin' Up about five years ago. But even then I strayed from the stamps until recently. Since meeting so many wonderful artists online, I have also found stamps and images that just don't show up in your typical Michael's or Hobby Lobby. There's a degree of exclusivity here. I never would have found Whiff of Joy and the adorable Willow, Charlie, Oakley, Lizzie, and the others if not for going online. And that is just one of many stamp companies I have found.

Lately I've been showcasing Whiff of Joy, and there will be many more of those darlings to come. But tonight I'm showing Greta, one of the beautiful Sophisticated Ladies stamps from Rubbernecker. This is a birthday card for my future sis-in-law (I just hope she isn't checking my blog for the next couple of days). I colored this image with water color pencils. These are beautiful images and so much fun to color. I'll be posting more in the days and weeks to come, so I hope you come back to take a peek.

Paper: K & Company coordinated doubled-sided DP
Corner flourishes: Cuttlebug corner die
Flower and buttons: from my stash

Thank you for stopping by! Let me know you were here with a comment so I can go visit you!

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Studio Re-do --- Finally!

Just a couple of days before Christmas I found a smokin' deal on cabinets (see Ho-Ho-Hooome Depot ......). Well, I finally got them installed and now have ten feet of work space for my gadgets and lots of storage!

Our walkout basement was beautifully finished off by previous owners. But one rather large room was left unfinished for storage. This room is adjacent to my studio, which had previously been an office. The studio has a wonderful walk-in closet with lots of built-in shelves, and a nice cubby for some of my supplies, as well as room for my drafting table and computer desk. But it just doesn't have a large enough spot to put Cricut, Cuttlebug, papercutters, etc. and be able to leave them out. So I've expanded into the storeroom and it is going to be a fantastic place to work! Here it is.....

On the left side I start out with the X-acto paper cutter and the Score-pal. Hanging on the pegboard is a magnetic layout board, which I haven't used yet. Then I move on to my beloved Cuttlebug with all the folders and dies hanging above it. I don't have my Nesties put away yet, but I have a really neat idea for storing and easy accessibility.
Under the X-acto paper cutter are other paper cutters I've acquired over the years. I bought a simple rack for storing cookie sheets at Target, and it works very well here.
Moving on, I have my Xyron adhesive center. The various sizes are handy on top.....
... and the extra cartridges below.
Then I have my Cricut with the cartridges stored above it. I like having everything in sight, otherwise I forget I have it!! My Cricut is one of the very first on the market but it still does the job.
Now, I boldly and unabashedly show how I left my studio for the day..... Aaaaarrrrrgghhhh!! I moved some things around and will be completely rearranging things.
This little cubby holds all my papers, ribbons, glitters, brads, embellies. etc.

The greatest invention for paper storage is my Ikea unit. It sits in the cubby. Tomorrow's project will be to resort tons of paper and embellies. I've been paper crafting for about 12 years so I've accumulated a lot of stuff!
From the cubby is the rest of the studio. OMG what a mess!! All this will be put away --- somewhere!

From the door to my studio the walk-in closet is seen on the right. Since all my business is conducted in this room also, I will use much of this space for non-creative items. My photography business shares this space as well. Other than a cabinet full of frames and paper, the rest is in the computer. Thank goodness for digital!!
Well, there you have it. The good, the bad, and the ugly. I'll show more of the good as it develops.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Whiff of Joy Challenge #16 --- Valentine Card

The Whiff of Joy Challenge for this week is Valentine Card. Since I had already posted some Valentine cards earlier I made a new one for this challenge. It gave me a chance to try a different style of coloring, too. Instead of using Copics (which I love) I used water color pencils, which are terrific, too. Just one rule for me, though: except for the hair and skin I could use only one color. So I selected carmine and my Koi Waterbrush. I also went even more vintage on the card design using some ephemera and more embellies.
Here it is! I'm liking it the more I look at it, but I did edge out of my comfort zone. What do you think?

I do want to thank two amazing cardmakers who were my inspiration for stepping out of my comfort zone to try something different. Tina at Tina's Kreativblog creates beautiful cards and papercrafts using interesting embellies, always accenting her main image, never drowning it out. And Aija at Kerttulin Paja whose coloring technique is nothing short of superb, uses just one or two simple colors with amazing depth. Thank you, ladies! Be sure to look at their wonderful blogs --- you'll be glad you did.

Now, for some details of the materials I used in this card. The paper and scroll are from Basic Grey collection pack; the rose picture is from a collection of ephemera; and the flowers, pearls and clip are from my stash of odds and ends. I used my Cuttlebug and Nesties to cut and emboss the hearts and long scalloped rectangle.

Thanks for stopping by! Please let me know you were here with a comment. I always return the favor.