Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Another Sunny Day!

(This was written on Tuesday night - just couldn't get the pictures to download until this a.m.)

Well, our luck is holding out so far .... blue skies again today.  It looked a little "iffy" this a.m. but the sun came out late in the a.m. and it was a beautiful day again.  We arrived last night in Doolin which is a small little coastal town.  Not a lot of nightlife going on but there are a couple of pubs in the village.  We had dinner in one of them last night and listened to some traditional Irish music - no singing, just instrumentals.  After a few songs, one began to sound like the other.   I did have my first Irish Coffee last night though! 

We made a list today of how many pubs we've visited in our trip.  So far, we are at 28!  But you have to understand that all our meals (except breakfast) have been eaten in the pub except for 2-3 lunches.  My sister thinks we'll need to attend AA when we return!  You know, we have to get the full Irish experience!

Today we took a 40 minute ferry over to Inisheer Island which is the smallest of the Aran Islands.  When we departed from the ferry, there were several locals offering tours around the island.  Luckily, we didn't take the first one we saw - he wanted 10 euros each - but instead took the last one for 5 euros each!!  It was absolutely fascinating!  There are only 200 residents on the island with 1 primary and 1 secondary school and 1 doctor and 1 nurse on the island.  The roads are super skinny with hand-built rock walls on either side.  He took us by a 10th century church ruin where the patron saint is buried; a 15th century castle ruin, a shipwrecked boat from 1960; and  a burial site from 1500 BC.   The land is totally divided up and handed down through the generations to family members.  The whole island is made of limestone.   The Irish (Gaelic) language is the only language spoken on the islands.  Of course our guide also spoke English.  There was a young couple on the tour with us who were from Ireland and only knew a few words of Irish. Only about 9 % of the total Irish population speak Irish.  Our guide stopped and spoke with another man on the tour and it was great to hear them converse in Irish.  The other couple told us that was a rare treat for us.

In between those narrow stone walls are where you drive!  The larger areas are for the residents - gardens, cows, etc.

The inscription is in the Irish (Gaelic) language

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Did You Know?

Disney World in Orlando, Florida, covers 30,500 acres, which is 46 square miles. That is twice the size of Manhattan.

In 2003, the personal fortune of J.K. Rowling - best-selling British author of the wildly popular Harry Potter books - surpassed that of the Queen of England.

Dr. Seuss wrote Green Eggs and Ham after his editor challenged him to produce a book using fewer than 50 different words. 

If the minimum wage had risen as fast as CEO pay since 1990, the lowest-paid workers in the United States would have earned $23.03 an hour in 2005.

On average, women utter 7,000 words a day; men manage just over 2,000.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Beautiful SUNNY Ireland

I finally have good internet in my room and don't have to sit in the lobby to type!!

We have had the most beautiful weather in Ireland ever since we have been here.  We haven't seen one drop of rain and the skys have been "Carolina Blue" every day.  I'm afraid we are due for a change tomorrow though but we are not complaining.  I have only had my jacket on a few times - mostly just sweaters and long sleeve tees.

We have seen and done so much that I am keeping a travel journal and trying to jot things down.  (It's hell getting old and not remembering what you did yesterday!!)  I think my last blog post, we had finished our days in Kilkenny and were headed to Kilarney.  On our way we stopped and toured the Rock of Cashel which is a 12-13th century cathedral.  It is just amazing to me how old these buildings are and to think the residents of America were living in tee pees!!  While in Cashel, we visited a (very) local pub there - Pat Fox's.  We had met an Irelander on the road and he told us to stop in and tell his brother hi so we did!  From there, we headed to Cahir where Ashley and I toured a medieval castle.  Sonny had seen his fill of castles and cathedrals so he sat in a park and read his novel.  Afterwards, we met him in a local pub (surprise!!) and had a pint.  When we were leaving, there was a funeral procession going by.  It was very interesting to us - instead of everyone following in their cars, they were walking and flanking the car carrying the casket. 

From there we drove on to Killarney.  Our hotel was ultra modern.  I was not so impressed with Killarney - it was more of a party town and of course, us being there on a Saturday night didn't help.  We had dinner in a small pub (great fish & chips!) and watched a soccer match against Ireland and Macedonia.  Everyone in the pub was glued to the tv just like us watching the Steelers play!  When Ireland won, there was a jovial atmosphere.  We left there and went to another pub thinking we would listen to some good Irish music.  Instead, we could have been in a bar in America with all the young people shoulder to shoulder and the rock music playing.  We did not stay there long!!  Unfortunately, at our hotel there was a bar with live music playing in the courtyard downstairs that was also really crowded and our window overlooked the courtyard.  They partied until about 2:30 AM!  I was not happy!!

On Sunday we managed to book a tour bus (all day) to see the Ring of Kerry which is a 100+ mile horseshoe around the Iveragh Peninsula. The route goes along the peninsula with views of Kells Bay and the beautiful Dingle Bay.  There are lovely mountain range views along the Iveragh Peninsula also.  I got some great pictures!  We made several stops to take photos.  We went through one little village that only has 90 people living in it!  (Molls Gap)  The downside of the tour was our tour driver.  He had a very heavy accent and no one on the bus could understand him.  We tried to slow him down which worked for about 5 minutes!  But it was much better than Sonny having to navigate those narrow coastal roads!  Their roads here (not the major highway) are about as wide as one lane of our highway - with no shoulder and stone fences on the passenger side.   Last night we had dinner (and a few pints) at Danny Manns Bar.  It was quite large but there was a good singer in there singing many Clancy Brothers songs that we enjoyed.

Today we drove to Doolin.  Our first stop was a beautiful little town, Adare in the county of Limerick.  It is  regarded as being Ireland's prettiest and most picturesque village.  Adare's streets are lined with original thatched cottages which have survived for hundreds of years. Some of the cottages are kept by local restaurants and Arts & Crafts shops, but many are still privately owned. We just strolled around town and the Visitors Center.  Our next stop was in Bunratty where the original Durty Nellie's Pub is located.  We had lunch there and took a lot of pictures.  Durty Nellie's is a favorite bar of ours in San Antonio when we visit there so it was fun to find the original.  After lunch, we toured the 15th century Bunratty Castle, the 19th century Bunratty Folk Park and the Village Street. The Castle is the most complete and authentic medieval fortress in Ireland.  Built in 1425, the castle was restored in 1954 to its former medieval splendour and now contains mainly 15th and 16th century furnishings.

Here are some pictures - in no particular order!





Saturday, March 26, 2011

Answers to Quiz

Answers to yesterday's quiz!

1. (b) On the floor, to the left of the clutch.  Hand controls, popular in   Europe, took till the late '60's
 to catch on.

2. (b) To sprinkle clothes before ironing.. 
 Who had a steam iron?

3.. (c) Cold weather caused  the milk to freeze and expand, popping the bottle top...

4 . (a) Blackjack Gum.

5. (b) Special makeup was applied, followed by drawing a seam down the back of the leg with eyebrow pencil.

6. (a) 1946 Studebaker.

7. (c) Wax coke bottles containing super-sweet colored water.

8. (a) Wax for your flat top (butch) haircut.
9. (a) With clamps , tightened by a skate key, which you wore on a shoestring around your neck.

10.. (c) Eeny-meeny-miney-mo.

11. (c) Polio. In beginning of August, swimming pools were closed, movies and other public gathering places were closed to try to prevent spread of the disease..

12. (b) Taxi , Better be ready by half-past eight!

13. (c) Macaroni ...

14. (c) Hiding under your desk, and covering your head with your arms in an A-bomb drill.

15. (a) Princess Summerfallwinterspring. She was another puppet.

16... (a) Immediately sniffed the purple ink to get a high.

17. (b) Put in a special stamp book, they could be traded for household items at the Green Stamp store.

18. (c) Ammunition, and we'll all be free.

19. (a) The widely famous 50's group: The Inkspots.

20. (a) Tony Bennett, and he sounds just as good today.


17- 20 correct
 : You are older than dirt, and obviously gifted with mental abilities. Now if you could only find your glasses. Definitely someone who should share your wisdom!

12 -16 correct
: Not quite dirt yet, but you're getting there.

0 -11 correct
: You are not old enough to share the wisdom of your experiences.

Guess I'm OLD - I got them all right!!  What about you?

Friday, March 25, 2011


Having so much fun!  We left Dublin yesterday in our rental car and drove to Kilkenny.  What an experience!  Sonny was gripping the steering wheel all the way while trying to figure out driving on the wrong side of the road!  The roads here are quite narrow and it is pretty scary.  Ashley sat in front to be the navigator.  I started out on the passenger side in the back but quickly moved over behind the driver so I didn't have to see how close we were coming to the stone walls on the side.  We only touched the wall once - only folding the mirror in and only missed about a half dozen turns resulting in us having to turn around and backtrack.  When we got to our hotel, Sonny parked the car and we have walked all around ever since!  It is about a 20 minute walk (about a mile) into the town.

Last night we walked into town and found The Kytelers Inn / Pub that had a couple playing Irish tunes.  This was just the type of pub that I imagined in Ireland!  The Kytelers Inn dates back to 1324, when Dame Alice Kyteler, a Banker-Money Lender, Brothel Keeper and Black Witch first established business on this medieval site. Dame Alice Kyteler was accused of being a witch and sent to the dungeons beneath Kilkenny Castle. But by the political power of the Chancellor of  Ireland, her former brother-in-law Roger Outlawe, her escape was organised. Her guards were beaten senseless and Dame Alice was released from the dungeons and freed from the sentence of death that hung over her. Instead Alice Kyteler's servant, Petronella, was burned at the stake for witchcraft in 1324.  The pub is supposed to be haunted.  There was a couple of local men sitting at the bar who got up and were dancing the Irish jig.  I got up to take a picture .... big mistake!!  One of the men grabbed me and started dancing with me - as if I know how to dance a jig!!  I was able to keep up for a few minutes but thought if the song didn't stop, I was going to have a heart attack!!  By the end of the night, we were quite good friends with Adrian!  He is the local tailor here and is quite a character.

Today we took a walking tour of Kilkenny and learned the history of this medieval town.  It is just hard to believe how old the buildings are.  We also took a tour of the Smithwick Brewery.  The brewery is situated on the site of a Franciscan abbey where monks had brewed ale since the 14th century, and has ruins of the original abbey on its grounds. It is Ireland’s oldest operating brewery, founded by John Smithwick in 1710 on land owned by the Duke of Ormonde.  The Smithwick's unlike the Guiness tour in Dublin is actually at the brewery. You get to travel through and see beer in the making.  It was very interesting.

I am very tired tonight and my battery power on my computer is about to die!   We need to plan out our day tomorrow.  We will be driving again = this time headed to Killarney.

History Quiz

How much of this do you remember?

1. In the 1940s, where were automobile headlight dimmer switches located?
a. On the floor shift knob.
b. On the floor board, to the left of the  clutch
c. Next to the horn.

2. The bottle top of a Royal Crown Cola bottle had holes in it.. For what was it used?

a. Capture lightning bugs.
b. To sprinkle clothes before ironing.
c. Large salt shaker.

3. Why was having milk delivered a problem in northern winters?

a. Cows got cold and wouldn't produce milk.
b. Ice on highways forced delivery by dog sled.
c. Milkmen left deliveries outside of front doors and milk would freeze, expanding and pushing up the cardboard bottle top.

4. What was the popular chewing gum  named  for a game of chance?

a. Blackjack
b. Gin
c. Craps

5. What method did women use to look as if they were wearing stockings when none were available due to rationing during WW II.

a. Suntan
b. Leg painting
c. Wearing slacks

6. What postwar car turned automotive design on its ear when you couldn't tell whether it was coming or going?

a. Studebaker
b. Nash Metro
c. Tucker

7. Which was a popular candy when you were a kid?

a . Strips of dried peanut butter.
b. Chocolate licorice bars.
c Wax coke-shaped bottles with colored sugar water inside.

8. How was Butch wax used?

a. To stiffen a flat-top haircut so it stood up..
b. To make floors shiny and prevent scuffing.
c On the wheels of roller skates to prevent rust.

9. Before inline skates, how did you keep your roller skates attached to your shoes?

a. With clamps, tightened by a skate key.
b. Woven straps that crossed the foot.
c. Long pieces of twine.

10. As a kid, what was considered the best way to reach a decision?

a. Consider all the facts.
b. Ask Mom.
c. Eeny-meeny-miney-MO.

11. What was the most dreaded disease in the 1940s and 1950s?

a. Smallpox
c. Polio

12. 'I'll be down to get you in a ________, Honey'

a. SUV
b. Taxi
c. Streetcar

13. What was the name of Caroline Kennedy's pony?

a. Old Blue
b. Paint
c Macaroni

14 What was a Duck-and-Cover Drill?

a. Part of the game of hide and seek.
b. What you did when your  Mom called you in to do chores.
c Hiding under your desk, and covering your head with your arms in an A-bomb drill.
15 . What was the name of the Indian Princess in the Howdy Doody Show?
a. Princess Summerfallwinterspring
b. Princess Sacajawea
c Princess Moonshadow

16. What did all the really savvy students do when mimeographed tests were handed out in school?

a. Immediately sniffed the purple ink, as this was believed to get you high.
b. Made paper airplanes to see who could sail theirs out the window.
c. Wrote another pupil's name on the top, to avoid their failure.

17. Why did your Mom shop in stores that gave Green Stamps with purchases?

a.. To keep you out of mischief by licking the backs, which tasted like bubble gum.
b. They could be put in special books and redeemed for various household items.
c. They were given to the kids to be used as stick-on tattoos.

18. Praise the Lord , and pass the _________?

a.. Meatballs
b. Dames
c. Ammunition

19. What was the name of the singing group that made the song 'Cabdriver' a hit?

a. The Ink Spots
b. The Supremes
c. The  Esquires

20. Who left his heart in  San Francisco  ?

a. Tony Bennett
b. Xavier Cugat
c. George Gershwin

----------------------------- -------------------------------


Wednesday, March 23, 2011


Having a grand old time here in Dublin!  Got in yesterday at 5:30 - Ashley met us at the hotel around 2 and we were off.  There's a nice pub next door to our hotel - The Bleeding Horse.  We walked over and had lunch - corned beef, mashed potatoes and a brew .... yummm.  Then we wandered around Dublin, walking down to Trinity College, the oldest university in Dublin.  We stopped off in several pubs around town.  I have discovered one thing about Ireland so far .... there is no worry of getting thirsty!  On each city block, there is at least one or two pubs.  I've never seen anything like it.  I'm not a big beer drinker but I do enjoy hard cider and it is on tap at each pub.  Don't want to think about how much weight I'm putting on.  But, we are walking a lot so that will help! 

Today we got on a "hop on hop off" bus and saw the sights around town.  We an took individual tour of Kilmainham Gaol which is a jail that was built in the late 1700s.  Quite impressive!  Then it was on to a tour of the Old Jameson Distillery.  The actual distillery has moved out of the city but again, the building was built in the 1700s.  The tour was interesting taking you through the entire production process.  And at the end, there was a tasting room.  I have a good friend that loves Jameson (hi, Sharon!) but I have tried to drink it and never was a fan.  Ashley and I both had it with cranberry juice and it wasn't bad.  But the best thing is Ashley and I are both Certified Irish Whiskey Tasters!  They asked for volunteers from the group and at the end, we performed a taste test with Jameson, Johnny Walker Black Scotch (yuck!) and Jack Daniels Black.  After the taste test, we were given certificates with our names on them. Our next tour was at the Guiness Brewery - Sonny's favorite!  After a tour of 7 stories, we ended up in the Gravity Bar for our free pint where we had a fantastic 360 degree view of the city as the sun was setting.  Arthur Guiness was a smart man - he signed a 9,000 year lease for the property in the late 1760s!!  The brewery covers 55 acres!

We visited several really old pubs and had lunch at a beautiful Victorian pub, Ryans.  It even had an authentic snug in the restaurant which was an enclosed area so women could go in the pubs and have a beverage.  Several more pubs later, we ended up back in our hotel around 10 pm although Sonny is still roaming the pubs! 

Tomorrow we pick up our car at the Dublin airport and Sonny has to figure out how to drive on the "wrong" side of the road ... just a little scary!  We begin our tour of southern Ireland.  I tried to download some pictures but keep getting an error.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

I'm In Dublin!!

Just a quick post to tell you I'm HERE!!  Haven't seen anything but the hotel so far.  We arrived here about 5:30 am.  I didn't sleep as much as I had wanted to on the plane - just slept in bits and pieces.  I took a sleeping pill shortly after take off but I don't think it kicked in until about the time we arrived.  I was so wobbly when it was time to get off the plane, Sonny had to carry my backpack.   And to make it worse, the door wouldn't open so we had to get off the plane on the metal stairs onto the tarmac.  I was weaving like a sailor and holding on the rails.  I even got sick as soon as I got to a bathroom.  I won't be taking those again!  As soon as we got to our room, I went to sleep and slept hard until 11:00 a.m. (Ireland time).  Right now we are 4 hours ahead of EST but they will "spring forward" this weekend.  I am sitting in the lobby now watching the doors for Ashley.  According to Luftansa, her plane arrived at noon (it's 1:30 now) so she should be here any minute!!  Sonny & I are both starving and anxious to try out a local pub!!

March Stamp Club

My Stamp Club met last Thursday and we made three cards. 

This one uses the reinker technique that was so popular last year.  I let them choose their colors and do 4-5 flowers.  We used two of the flowers on this card and they took the other two home to make another card (I hope!!).  This just makes the most elegant card.  I was surprised that no one order this Fifth Avenue Floral stamp set.  I think it is such a versatile stamp. 

Stamps:  Fifth Avenue Floral, Cute By the Inch
Cardstock:  Pumpkin Pie, Barely Banana, Always Artichoke, Shimmery White
Accessories:  Orange Ribbon, Bird Punch (leaves); Scallop Punch; 1 1/4" square punch; Manhattan Flower embossing folder; Big Shot

This card was CASE'd from Brenda at QBee's Quest.  This turned out to be a little bit too much for my gals even though I did most of the work before they got here.  I had the all the cardstock precut and scored; even stamped the owls so they just had to punch them out.  The middle fold uses stickers from a retired Scrappin' Kit.  They just had to stamp the "celebrate" on the back and the Take a Spin on the front plus the arrow.  It's just hard for me to "dumb it down" sometimes but I'm learning!!

Stamps:  Take A Spin; Party Hearty; Punch Bunch (SAB)

This is the third card that we did.  I gave them a choice of this card or the next one.  Most chose this one.  Again, I precut all the squares for them so they just had to glue them down and stamp and emboss.   It was a good one to use up a lot of scraps - some retired and some current.

Stamps:  Fifth Avenue Floral, Warm Words
Cardstock:  Concord Crush; Melon Mambo, Dusty Durango, Kiwi Kiss; Bermuda Bay; Whisper White
Access:  Corduroy Button; Silver Embossing Powder, Versamark

Aren't these little birds just the cutest?  This is one of the stamp sets that you can get with Sale-a-bration for FREE!  Actually, my daughter got this one last month and is letting me use it.  The flower in the corner is also from Sale-a-Bration - it is a sticker from the Ice Cream Parlor kit.

Stamps:  Happy Together
Cardstock:  Whisper White; DSP (In Color pack, pg. 175)
Accessories:  Corner Punch; sticker from Ice Cream Parlor Scrappin Kit (SAB)

Monday, March 21, 2011

Mom's Brownie Recipe

 Remember these days - or maybe you are still in this era of your life!  God Bless You! I had a very precocious little boy who loved to explore and get into things when he was a toddler.  Oh ... to have those days back!!   Cherish every one of them.  I don't think my Jeff was ever as bad as "Billy" in the recipe below but I thought it was funny!  Enjoy!

Mom’s Brownie Recipe

Remove teddy bear from oven.
Preheat oven to 375. Melt 1 cup margarine in saucepan.
Remove teddy bear from oven and tell Billy "no, no."
Add margarine to 2 cups sugar.
Take shortening can away from Billy and clean cupboards.
Measure 1/3 cup cocoa.
Take shortening can away from Billy again and bathe cat. Apply antiseptic and bandages to scratches sustained while removing shortening from cat’s tail.
Assemble 4 eggs, 2 tsp. vanilla, and 1-1/2 cups sifted flour.
Take smoldering teddy bear from oven and open all doors and windows for ventilation. Take telephone away from Billy and assure party on the line the call was a mistake.  Call operator and attempt to have direct dialed call removed from bill.
Measure 1 tsp. salt, 1/2 cup nuts and beat all ingredients well.
Let cat out of refrigerator.
Pour mixture into well-greased 9x13-inch pan. Bake 25 minutes.
Rescue cat and take razor away from Billy. Explain to kids that you have no idea if shaved cats will sunburn. Throw cat outside while there’s still time and he’s still able to run away.

Mix the following in saucepan:
1 cup sugar
1 oz unsweetened chocolate
1/4 cup margarine

Take the darn teddy bear out of the @#$% broiler and throw it away—far away. Answer the door and meekly explain to nice policeman that you didn’t know Billy had slipped out of the house and was heading for the street. Put Billy in playpen.

Add 1/3 cup milk, dash of salt, and boil, stirring constantly for 2 minutes.
Answer door and apologize to neighbor for Billy having stuck a garden hose in man’s front door mail slot. Promise to pay for ruined carpet. Tie Billy to clothesline.
Remove burned brownies from oven.

-Author Unknown

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Spring Has Sprung!

Spring is officially HERE!!  The first day of spring is March 20.  We have had beautiful days recently.  I don't think I will find spring weather though in Ireland and England.  I have packed for the cold!  According to the AccuWeather site, it will be in the 40s and 50s next week in Ireland.  So, I guess I will be taking my boots instead of my flip flops!!  

Last Friday when our friends were visiting, we went to Old Salem in Winston Salem and had a wonderful day.  The cherry trees were in bloom and were just spectacular!  Check out my blog heading - it was made with My Digital Studio and pictures I took of the blooming trees!  Here are a few more pictures from our visit.
Camelia Bush

Graham & Margaret

Margaret & Sonny with one of the Salem ladies

We finally got the delay feature to work on the camera!

The guys waiting for us gals!

Trees lining the driveway of Salem College

Close up of the blooms

Margaret & I under the tin tea pot

The year's at the spring,
And day's at the morn;
Morning's at seven;
The hillside's dew-pearled;
The lark's on the wing;
The snail's on the thorn;
God's in His heaven -
All's right with the world!
(Pippa's Song by Robert Browning)

My posting will be sporadic the next few weeks.  I've scheduled a few postings in advance.  We are leaving March 21 and will return April 9!! 

Friday, March 18, 2011

Blogger Award

Thanks to Jackie (Scrappy) at Scrappy Knitters Blog  for awarding me with this award!

Rule #1: Link back to the person who gave you the award  (see above)
Rule #2: Share seven random things about yourself, so here ya go -
  • I watch too much TV - My favorite tv shows are American Idol, Off the Map, Brothers and Sisters, Parenthood, Army Wives, Amazing Race
  • It's very seldom that I eat at the kitchen table!  For breakfast (and usually lunch), I eat in my craft room while playing hearts.  For dinner, Sonny and I eat on tv trays in the den while watching Jeopardy!!  That is our dinner routine.
  • I'm addicted to playing games on the computer - spades, hearts ...
  • I'm not a neat person but I love being organized.
  • I regret that I never graduated from college
  • I am a big procrastinater but work well under pressure.
  • My pet peeve is all the inserts in magazines (like postcards for subscriptions).  I always know if I've read the magazine because all the inserts will be gone!!!
Rule # 3 Award seven newly discovered bloggers with this award.

Debbie's Design
Created by u
Pink Buckaroo
Card Monkey
Workin Out the Inks

Thursday, March 17, 2011

St Patty's Day Cards

I made St. Patty's Day cards for each gal in my Stamp Club.  I kept them pretty simple but thought they turned out cute.  I only had two shamrock stamps that I had gotten from M's so I downloaded some images from My Digital Studio today.  So easy! 

Margaret (my Tx stampin' buddy) is the hostess this month for stamp club.  She and Graham flew here Tuesday night and we have been enjoying catching up with each other.  After we picked them up from the airport, we visited a new sports bar and had a few drinks before coming home.  When we got to the bar, they were just finishing up a live trivia game.  We love trivia and game shows so I'm going to remember this place and try to go back again in time to play trivia!  When we lived in Gig Harbor, we played trivia with Ashley and her friends every week at the "Stelly-deli."  It was a lot of fun.

I'm getting packed for my trip .... not long now.  Ashley is doing her own count down on the other side of the world.  It will be so great to see her as well as enjoy the sights of Ireland and England.  I'm still deciding whether I will be taking my lap top (heated debate at our house!) and keep you updated on my travels.  If not, I will be taking a journal and documenting my trip in it.

Here are a few of the cards I made for St. Patrick's Day.

 Hope you had a good day of "wearing the green."

American Idol Night

Naima Adedapo, “What’s Love Got To Do With It” (1984). She got off to a bad start then stayed flat during most of the song.  Tina is a powerhouse singer and Naima did nothing to even come close to that greatness. She didn’t even sing the chorus. She probably put herself back in the bottom after redeeming herself last week.  

Paul McDonald, “I Guess That’s Why They Call It The Blues” (1984). I think Paul could’ve chosen a better song. When I think of Paul, I don’t think of Elton.  But he sang in his unique voice, did his wacky dance moves and smiled that crazy-perfect smile  I like Paul, but tonight, I thought his performance was just OK.

Thia Megia, “Colors of The Wind” (1995).   I liked what I heard from her but it was boring.  I agree with Randy.   I do hope she steps it up next week. I’m tried of all the sleepy songs! 

James Durbin, “I’ll Be There For You” (1989).   James is such a performer.  He had me singing along.   James did something smart - he’s planted himself in the finale. He got Steven Tyler to agree to sing with him AT the finale. That was brilliant. He’ll have people voting for him for that reason alone. 

Haley Reinhart, “I’m Your Baby Tonight” (1990).  This just wasn’t the right song for her voice. And I agree with Randy. Who is she? Who does she want to be? I’m  confused. I still like the blues vibe we hear, but song choice is her downfall right now. She had some good moments but moments aren’t good enough. 

Stefano Langone, “If You Don’t Know Me By Now” (1989). Loved it!!  His performance was absolutely flawless. Great vocals. Believability. He owned it. 

Pia Toscano, “Where Do Broken Hearts Go” (1988).   I love Pia.  She is in it to win it as the judges said!  Her talent is undeniable

Scotty McCreery, “Can I Trust You With My Heart” (1993). I got physically angry when I heard Scotty was once again singing a country song. I know he sings country and shouldn’t stop, but I want him to take a rock song and put a country spin on it. I was so mad! And I wanted to hate his performance, but I couldn’t. He has this weird power over me. I can’t not like his performance or that voice.

Karen Rodriguez, “Love Will Lead You Back” (1989).   No - not for me - another snoozer. She brought nothing new or exciting to the song and she’s probably in big trouble.  

Casey Abrams, “Smells Like Teen Spirit” (1991).  He was SCREAMING in my opinion, but this is not a favorite genre of mine. I thought it was awful. Like Jennifer said, Cobain had this mad intensity when he sang that song, but he didn’t scream it.  I knew Steven Tyler would love it though. 

Lauren Alaina, “I’m The Only One” (1994).  Can she not say “hell”?  Did she really change the lyric from “burning hell” to “burning flame”?  Her performance was good. She completely redeemed herself from last week’s not-so-good performance. And she’s sick. That’s star quality right there. 

Jacob Lusk, “Alone” (1987).   I think this song has been done every single season. It’s time to retire it. I   thought it was weird for him.  He  blew out his pitch at one point that made Jennifer make a funny face.  He needs to hold back a little bit. I respect the power in his voice but he just can’t keep in under control.  

Probably the Bottom Three: Karen Rodriguez, Casey Abrams, Naima Adedapo
Probably Going Home: Karen Rodriguez

Monday, March 14, 2011


Saturday night my cousins had a birthday party for their mom who turned 80 on Friday.  They told her they were going to celebrate her birthday on Saturday but it would just be the family.  Her daughter drove up from Raleigh and her son came up from Charlotte to celebrate at Candy's home.  So, she was really surprised when my mom, sisters, brother, Sonny and I showed up.  I wish I had remembered to take my camera to take some family pictures.  It's hard to think up presents for 80 year old ladies!!  But I decided everyone needs cards!  So, I made a few cards and a card box to put them in for her gift and it was a big hit.

I used a 6x6 paper pad from SEI that I got at CK last summer for all the cards and the box.  Stamps used are all SU.

Card Box - Stamp  from Oval All

Card #1 - I used the Sizzix Butterfly Die with a brad in the center.

Card #2 - Stamp from Occasional Quotes.  Nestabilities dies

Card #3 - Martha Punch; SU Daisy Sizzix Die with SU brad in center

Card #4 - stamp - Occasional Quotes

Card #5 - Occasional Quotes stamp and Owl Punch.  Also used SU embossing folder.

Close up of Ms. Owl!!

This is the birthday card I made for Aunt Carol - a CASE from last month's Monday Mailer!

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Look on the Bright Side

Have a great week & make it a happy one!

Look on the Bright Side
For every negative that consumes your happiness,
Affirm two positives that sustain you.
For every should've you wish you’d done,
Acknowledge something you’re glad you did.
For every loss that has altered your world,
Count from it something you have gained.
For every limit that has ever beset you,
Consider your possibilities.
You can’t always change the way things are,
But you can change the way you wish to see them.
Never stop looking
For the brighter side and beyond. 

--- from The Language of Positive Thinking by Eric T. Moore

Friday, March 11, 2011

Idol Results

American Idol results show was weird tonight!  It was just a lot of fluff with guest singers and commercials.  They really should make the results just 30 minutes and be done with it if that is the way they are going to do the results show!  There was no suspense tonight or stretching it out.  They pretty much announced the bottom 3 right away - Ashton, Karen and Haley - and told the rest they were safe.  Then Ashthon was sent packing.  J-Lo had to tell her they wouldn't be using their "save" tonight (duh!!).  It is as though the program is all about the entertainment and not about the contestants.  
In my opinion, they wasted a save vote on Ashthon last week.  They should have saved one of the guys instead of 3 girls.  The guys were ALL so much better than the girls I thought. 

Casey Abrams was not on the Idol stage. Early in the episode, Ryan said he is in the hospital again but didn’t elaborate. According to other blogs, Casey might have a stress-induced bleeding ulcer.  That's not good!  Hope he gets better and is back on the stage next week.

Adam Lambert was back on the Idol stage tonight performing a song he wrote.  He looked really good - not all made up with loads of eyeliner, etc. that he usually wears.  His performance tonight will be remembered for it's poignant simplicity, it's relevant message, and the fact that a traditionally flamboyant artist shed his glitter and glam in the interest of something bigger than himself.   His song was aimed at troubled youth struggling with their identity and with the prejudices they face as a result of being different.  

Here is a card I made last week.  This one is a little different for me.  I saw a similar card in a magazine and decided to give it a try in my own style.
The DSP is from Sale-a-bration catalog.  I just wrapped the various ribbons around a piece of twine that I adhered behind the DSP.  The "wish BIG" is from the Happy Birthday stamp set that is in the Occasions Mini although mine is a digital version (printed out with My Digital Studio).

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Top 13 perform for Idol

The “American Idol” lucky 13 took the stage Tuesday night to deliver songs from their own personal idols. There were a couple of obvious, and not-so-obvious standouts.  The judges are beginning to bore me!!  We need someone like Simon.  It should not fall to Randy every time to be the bad guy.  I don't expect J-Lo to criticize but I sure thought Steven Tyler would be a little more honest.  Maybe as the competition goes on, they will express how they really feel.

Lauren Alaina, “Any Man of Mine.”  She does Reba a lot better than Shania. She didn't do anything for me this time.

*Casey Abrams, "With A Little Help From My Friends"  I liked him!  One star from me.  

Ashthon Jones, “When You Tell Me That You Love Me.” Did Wildcard Ashthon do anything to reverse the fact that she didn’t make America’s cut last week? Not in my opinion. I liked her at one time, but I’m losing interest. It was all just OK. Even Steven was bored with her.

**Paul McDonald, “Come Pick Me Up.” Paul is shaping up to be my favorite.  I wasn't familiar with the song that he sang but I loved it and his performance!  Two stars from me.  He’s definitely fun to watch and listen to. His voice is incredibly unique. And those moves.  He’s a weird one. But good weird. 

*Pia Toscano, “All By Myself.” After last week’s performance, Pia had a  lot to live up to.  She did good with Celine Dion's song which is a tough one.  She brought a lot of power.  One Star!

***James Durbin, “Maybe I’m Amazed.”  His performance tonight was the best. From that soft and crystal-clear start to his powerful and James-esque range, he showed his versatility. He proved that he’s not going to scream at us every week.   Very well done. 

*Haley Reinhart, “Blue.”  She pulled off some Patsy Cline and Lee Ann Rimes business tonight. She was twanging and yodeling. Very nice. I’m not sure why Randy Jackson was being a jerk when he judged her. I thought he was way off.

*Jacob Lusk, "I Believe I Can Fly"  I liked his performance.

Thia Megia, “Smile.” Zzzzzzzzzzzzzz.  She doesn’t seem to have much charisma. Maybe it’s nerves.  The song just kind of happened then it was over. Nothing fancy. Nothing fun. Nothing that even showed what she’s capable of. 
*Stefano Langone, “Lately.” Our second Wildcard pick of the night proved he deserved to be there. His energy was refreshing. His stage presence is spot on. Great tone. And he did a dance mix version of that song.  

Karen Rodriguez, “I Could Fall in Love.” Oh Karen. If you’ve been singing Selena all your life, then why did it sound so bad tonight?  She brought nothing new to the song despite her saying she was going to. It was  bad.  

*Scotty McCreery, “The River.” I knew he'd do Garth!!  I was expecting more from Scotty. I like him a lot but I didn’t hear anything special tonight. It just felt like he was holding back too much. The judges liked it - I was afraid they wouldn't.

*Naima Adedapo, “Umbrella.” A wildcard pick in the last spot? Wow.  She was good.  I  liked the rap and reggae she did, but overall, I think the production and her dance moves were better than her singing. 

My picks for bottom three:  Karen, Ashthon, Thia
Probably Karen going home

What say you?

More Sweet Summer

As promised, I am sharing the rest of the cards I made over the weekend using Sweet Summer.  I now want to make a little coordinating card box to put these in.

  • Pattern Paper –  Poppy Parade In Color stack (pg 175), Whisper White
  • Stamps –  Sweet Summer (SAB); Make It Count (retired)
  • Color Mediums –  markers
  • Embellishments –  Bling with imaginisce tool
  • Tools –  Martha Scallop Punch
  • Pattern Paper –   Concord Grape DSP, Whisper White, Concord Grape
  • Stamps –  Sweet Summer
  • Color Mediums – markers
  • Embellishments –  Concord Grape ribbon
Here is a close-up of the flowers that are popped up:

  • Pattern Paper –  Melon Mambo, Ice Cream Parlor DSP (SAB), Whisper White
  • Stamps –  Sweet Summer (SAB)
  • Color Mediums –  markers
  • Embellishments –  Bling with imaginisce tool; Green ribbon
  • Tools –  Nestibilities scallop; SU Wallpaper embossing die
Which is your favorite????

    Wednesday, March 9, 2011


    We went with some friends last night to see the comedian, Gallagher.  He was performing at the Galway Hooker in Cornelius which is one of our favorite restaurants in the area.  I have never seen Gallagher perform live but used to watch him back in the 80s on tv. His shows were always filled with long monologues of social commentaries, but he gained attention for his surreal, incongruous props - a giant couch-shaped trampoline, an oversized Big Wheel bike, and of course, the Sledge-O-Matic. He was always so funny and at the end of his acts, he would always smash a watermelon with a mallet spraying it all over the first few rows of the audience.  We were a little concerned last night because The Comedy Zone at Galway is pretty small.  But, it was ok - he didn't smash a watermelon.  Although I think he may have earlier in the week when he performed in Charlotte.  Gallagher has definitely gotten OLD!!  He's now 64 and makes fun of the aging process.  Sonny and I could relate to a lot of his observations!!  His comedy is probably not for everyone - he makes fun of gays and blacks a lot.  But, if you can overlook that, you will laugh at him.  We had a great time.

    I've been on a spree making cards lately.  Sunday I concentrated on one of the stamp sets in the Sale-a-bration catalog, Sweet Summer and made several different cards in the in-colors.  I will share a couple with you now and show the other ones tomorrow.

    For this card, I used the In-Color Patterns Designer Pack (pg 175) - Blushing Bride.  Since it is double-sided, I used the stripe side for the top and the pattern side for the bottom of the card.  The green "happy birthday" strip, I created in My Digital Studio but you could also easily do it with any word processing program.  I stamped the flourish from Sweet Summer on the striped paper and used markers to color it.  I stamped the leaves on a white 1 1/4" circle that I layered onto 1 3/8 pink circle.  I stamped the flowers, colored them with markers and cut them out.  It's hard to see but I dotted each middle with a Pearl Pen.  I wish I could tell you where the sentiment came from, but I don't remember!!  I put some bling on either side of the sentiment and "poofed" it up in the middle.

    Again, I used the In-Color pack but this time it's Peach Parfait.  I used the Dotted Swiss embossing folder on the white card.  I cut the scallop pieces - Peach and Pear - with my Nestabilities.  I stamped the flourish from Sweet Summer directly on the striped paper.  I stamped the leaves on Pear Pizazz and cut them out.  I stamped the flower onto Peach Parfait, colored it with markers and punched it out with the 1" circle punch.  I added a little bling to the flower and a piece of Peach Parfait ribbon to the bottom.

    Tuesday, March 8, 2011

    Baby Blossoms Monday Mailer

    I wasn't so sure about this stamp set at first but after seeing all the pretty cards different people had made with it, I changed my mind.  Plus, it is a 2-step stamping technique set.  SU's two-step stamping is what attracted me to the company in the first place.  I love that technique.  There are several sets in the SU catalog that feature this technique.  They are noted in the catalog by this symbol:

    The way two-step stamping works is that you stamp the first image in your lightest color.  Then you stamp the second image on top of the first image in a darker coordinating color.  For the Baby Blossoms stamp set, there are a lot of small images.  I ordered the clear set (less expensive plus better for space purposes!) and after putting the set together, I kept the rubber piece that you punch from and put my stamps back in the holes.  That way, I can tell at a glance if I am missing one of them and it is easier to find the stamp that I need.  

    I also made a "cheat sheet" for stamping the images.  This is helpful to see which stamps go together.  Here is a close up picture of it.

    Of course, a lot of these pieces can be interchanged to be used with each other - like the different size leaves, etc. but this is a good guideline if you need it.
    So, on to the card I made with this set.

    Doesn't this look like springtime???  I just love the colors - Baja Blue, Regal Rose, Old Olive and So Saffron.  The card base is Sahara Sand and the "white" piece that I stamped on is Confetti White.

    I just learned how to make those ribbon rosettes too and was so excited that my first one actually turned out!

    You need 10" piece of Seam Binding Ribbon (satin will probably work too), 1" circle punch, sticky tape, Crop a Dile.
    Here is what I did:  punch a 1" circle from Baja Blue cardstock and a 1" circle from SU's sticky pages (or you can use red-line tape instead).  Cover the Baja Blue cs with the sticky circle (this will be the front side.)   Leave the protective cover on the sticky circle for now.  Punch a small hole in the middle of the circle with your Crop-a-dile and then cut a slit from the middle circle to the edge of the circle (just one side).  Put a piece of red-line tape on the opposite side of your slit.  Now, feed your 10" piece of seam binding ribbon up from the FRONT of the circle and stick the end down to the tape you put opposite of the slit (back side of circle).  Now, on the other end of the ribbon, cut it into a point so that you can grab 2-3 threads and pull them, gathering the ribbon.  Work your gathering down through the whole ribbon until you have about 8" length of ribbon.  Now, take the protective cover off the circle and begin rotating the circle while you stick down your gathered ribbon, creating a flower.  When you get to the end, pull your end piece around to the back and tape it down with red-line tape.   Voila!  You should have a rosette!

    For those of you who do better with seeing the project, there is a video tutorial,  HERE.

    This is my first Monday Mailer to Brenda.  Hope she likes it!!

    I still have not been able to skype with Ashley but at least I am reassured that she is ok.  Her internet has been down in her building since last Friday.  She was able to send me an e-mail at the clinic although she cannot access her personal e-mail there.  I'm sure she knew I was worried.  She hopes it will be working later today and we can talk.  She has been really busy since she is the only doctor on site now.  The other docs are relieving people on leave at other bases.  She told me that the weather has been bad there for a few days.  I thought this was interesting - "The weather has been crappy the past couple of days...last night and this morning it is actually raining mud which is really disgusting.  After walking home with a to-go plate last night, the top of the white styrofoam was covered with orange colored rain drops...The sky in front of the aid station this morning was bright orange which was pretty cool although I guess it was actually mud containing rain clouds."  So I guess we can be thankful for the weather we have here in the states!!