Monday, May 30, 2011

Memorial Day

I hope you had a wonderful Memorial Day weekend.  Ours was nice - pretty quiet but we did spend some time with family.   Yesterday Sonny and I took the boat out on the lake early before the lake got too crowded.  We threw the anchor in our usual cove and read our books.  When we first got there, there were only about 4-5 boats but when we left around 2, there were probably 10-15 boats just in that cove.   Later in the afternoon, Marianne and Mom came over and we sat out on the deck and visited.  One of the chairs (mine!) was covered in baby praying mantis.  I've never seen such a thing! 

Unfortunately, in order to sit in the chair, I had to brush all of them off it!!  Felt like a real killer. 

Later Marianne's husband, Greg, came and Sonny cooked some burgers and hot dogs for us.  I made potatoes and a yummy peach cobbler!  After dinner, we took a boat ride.  When we got back home Angela (my other sister) had gotten off of work and come over to enjoy some dinner.  Then we watched the Coca Cola 600 race .... what can I say - we live in Race City USA!!

Marianne spent the night and we did some crafting today.  We both worked on our Button Farm mini scrapbooks.  It was a fun relaxing day.

Here is the Memorial Day card I made tonight.  It uses another SU stamp set that I bought at the used stamp sale for a steal ($4).  It is pretty old but a good one.  I'll be using it again soon to celebrate Ashley's homecoming.

Speaking of Ashley, I chatted with her on Saturday (instant message) and again today.  She didn't see any patients today and she said she's only seen a few patients the whole time she's been there.  She's read several books,  watched 3 episodes of Off The Map and several movies.  She's only been there since Friday!!  Luckily, she said they have a pretty extensive library since she only took 10 books with her.  She'll read all their books by the end of her 2 weeks!!

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Monday Mailer / May

Here are a couple of the Monday Mailers I have sent and received this month.  I'm trying to think of a theme for June's Monday Mailers.  I'm leaning toward Retiring since June 1, Stampin' Up will announce their retiring stamps.  Got any predictions?

I am loving this stamp!  I sponged the water and the sky onto Glossy White paper, masking a circle for the moon.  I heat embossed the moon with Vanilla Embossing Powder (used Versamark on the circle first.)  The sails are cut out separately.  I used the Modern Label Punch and put 2 Itty Bitty Buttons up top with a blue circle behind the buttons and linen thread through them.

 This is a great card from Becky using Flower Fest from the Summer Mini.  I just bought this stamp set and will be making some cards from it this weekend.

This is another beautiful card that I got this week from Becky .... great for a wedding card!  She used the new Flower Garden embossing folder and debossed the front of the card.  Just lovely!!

Ashley arrived at her new location yesterday.  She took a 20 minute helicopter ride to get there.  She will be relieving a doctor who is on R&R for a couple of weeks.  The new post only has about 60 soldiers so it is much smaller than her post.  She said she will probably only be seeing 1-2 people a day!  Conditions there aren't as nice as where she is stationed - no cable in her room, food not as good ...  We have not been able to Skype - only talked via Instant Message.  She is hoping to be able to Skype with us tomorrow.  There is only one computer there that has a headset and video and it was in use today.  So, tomorrow she is going to take her own headset to call us.  She said she will be catching up on her sleep and her reading while she is there.  She also took a bunch of movies to watch.  Any of you who know her know that she likes to be on the go all the time.  My guess is she is going to go nuts over there!!  But the good news is it is almost June so her countdown to coming home has begin!!  Mid August doesn't seem that far away.

Friday, May 27, 2011

One Flaw in Women

 God doesn't give you the people you want; He gives you the people you NEED... to help you, to hurt you, to leave you, to love you and to make you into the person you were meant to be.  

 One Flaw In Women 

 Women have strengths that amaze men.....

 They bear hardships and they carry burdens,

 but they hold happiness, love and joy.

 They smile when they want to scream.

 They sing when they want to cry.

 They cry when they are happy

 and laugh when they are nervous.

 They fight for what they believe in..

 They stand up to injustice.

 They don't take "no" for an answer

 when they believe there is a better solution.

 They go without so their family can have.

 They go to the doctor with a frightened friend.

 They love unconditionally.

 They cry when their children excel

 and cheer when their friends get awards.

 They are happy when they hear about

 a birth or a wedding.

 Their hearts break when a friend dies.

 They grieve at the loss of a family member,

 yet they are strong when they

 think there is no strength left.

 They know that a hug and a kiss

 can heal a broken heart.

 Women come in all shapes, sizes and colors.

 They'll drive, fly, walk, run or e-mail you

 to show how much they care about you.

 The heart of a woman is what 

makes the world keep turning.

 They bring joy, hope and love.

 They have compassion and ideas.

 They give moral support to their

 family and friends.

 Women have vital things to say

 and everything to give.



Thursday, May 26, 2011

Dublin Pics

I've been working on my Ireland pictures using My Digital Studio.  It's slow going but enjoyable.  I really like all the things I can do with MDS.  Here are the pages I've done so far.

Happy Days Are Here Again

I'm happy - first off, Hines Ward took home the Mirror Ball Trophy on Dancing With the Stars.  And last night, Scotty won on American Idol!  So I didn't have to get mad at Idol (or America's votes!) this week!!

It was a fun show last night.  The final 13 contestants kicked off the show with a Lady Gaga song.  I like her songs - just don't like to look at her!!  Next the contestants did duos with stars.

James Durbin was singing with Judas Priest. I was hoping he’d be singing with Steven Tyler.   THIS is the kind of performance I was looking for in the finale. It was fun even though I am not a fan of heavy rock and metal.  Rock on James!!

Jacob’s duet. He’s singing with some dude named Kirk Franklin who is a gospel singer AND Gladys Knight!! Jacob must be in heaven.  This is Jacob's element.  I sincerely hope he has a successful career in Gospel music ahead of him.

Next Casey comes out with Jack Black!!!  Sooo funny!  They did Fat Bottomed Girls.  That was entertaining!

The girls come out singing  Single Ladies.  I like that song.  They were good too.  Turning out to be an entertaining night so far!  Beyonce joins the girls with her hit, Crazy In Love. They’re really pulling out all the stops with the celebrity guests tonight. Fun, fun, fun. This beats that boring finale any day.

Haley sings with Tony Bennett. Very classy!

Another ladies performance… with TLC this time.  Not my thing, so we fast forwarded through it!

It’s Scotty’s turn to sing his celebrity duet, and he’s singing with Tim McGraw… Live Like You’re Dying. Wish Scotty had sung with this much passion last night.  He held his own with McGraw!!  Would have loved to see him with George Strait but Tim McGraw is FINE!!

I do believe this is the first time I’ve ever heard Marc Anthony sing. He’s kind of homely looking to be married to such a knockout as JLo?  Oh well, to each his own.  And then she comes out and shakes her booty.  Sorry - I just don't think that was appropriate for Idol!!  We were fast forwarding until JLo came out and Sonny slowed the VCR down!!

And the top thirteen guys take the stage with their medley of Tom Jones songs.  Except Scotty sang Green Green Grass Of Home - did Tom do that one?  Not sure.. And then Tom Jones, himself.  This certainly is a blast from the past. How many face lifts (or tanning beds) do you think this guy has had? 

Scotty and Lauren get to introduce a special teacher that they invited to the show. And Ford gives each teacher a Ford Focus. Who knew being a teacher could bring you such perks??  Good for them!  Lauren's teacher was actually her principal.  Bet she won't be serving any detentions when she returns to school!  Ford also have Scotty and Lauren a car of their choice - bet Scotty's will be a Pick Up!

Now Lady Gaga takes the stage. She is so bizarre. Another un-appropriate act for Idol I thought.  Glad I don't have young children watching!

Once again, Lauren gets the best spot.  And surprise (not) - she’s singing her duet with Carrie Underwood.   She’s having so much fun.  I wish I had watched Idol back when Carrie won.  It would be fun to see how she did back then because she is certainly on top of the world now!

Beyonce is back, singing her new single, One Plus One.  She does have a spectacular voice, though, can’t deny that.

 After this show, the results are going to be rather anticlimactic.

Next performance was Bono and a group from the Broadway show of Spiderman.  I love Bono but another fast forward!

Then Steven performs.  He’s at the piano, singing Dream On.  Fun, for sure, but he doesn’t have the voice he once had.  But he still throws in that signature screech at the end, although it looks like it might have almost killed him. And it’s over almost before it started. Guess you can’t expect the guy to have the endurance that he had 30 years ago, huh?

FINALLY time for the results. Lauren looks about ready to puke.  And the winner issssssssssssssssss…SCOTTY!!

Scotty pulled it off.   YAY!!!  I'm happy for him.  Just hopes he makes it big as a country singer once he is through with his Idol committment.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Idol - Final Two Perform ... Rigged???

Sorry - I didn't post this earlier but I was too mad at Idol!!   Read on and you'll understand why.

First, let’s discuss Lauren’s injured vocal chord.  Evidently she busted out a vocal chord; the doctor described it as a sprained muscle. She’s on some sort of medicine and I guess she can still sing.  But I thought it was a major way to gain her some sympathy votes.

Round One - Contestants' Choice

They chose their favorite song from the season to perform again.
Scotty chooses Gone.   I love country rocker Scotty, and he’s bringing the house down. Nice job.
Lauren chooses Flat On The Floor. So they’re both going for the fun, upbeat songs first.  Another smart choice, I like this song on her.  It’s a strong performance and America will like it.
Round One goes to Scotty. I thought he was stronger over all, but then he generally is.

Round Two: Celebrity Picks

Each contestant gets to choose a music icon to choose their song.
Scotty’s music hero is George Strait, and George chooses one of his own songs for Scotty to sing — Check Yes Or No. It’s a cute song and all, but it’s not going to win Scotty the coveted trophy.
Lauren chooses Carrie Underwood, who picks Maybe It Was Memphis for Lauren’s celebrity pick. It’s good, but  I think she’s just too young to really connect to this song.  But as usual, no one seems to notice.
That said, I’ll give Round Two to Lauren. I thought Scotty’s Round Two performance was a bit of a sleeper.

In fact, the whole show was a sleeper. Is it just me, or is this the lamest finale show in Idol history?

The judges finally speak!  And they agree — Scotty gets Round One and Lauren takes Round Two, and they really haven’t got much else to add (but what else is new?)

Round Three: The Next. Big. SINGLE! 

First I had to fast forward through some guy named Taio Cruz sing some repetitive hip hop number called Positive. 

Okay, getting on with it. Scotty’s new single, should he win the season, is called I Love You This Big. Uh-oh. I have a bad feeling about this. It actually started out great, but I kept waiting for it to go somewhere, well, BIG.  But it did not. Although I did like the high note at the end, and I like how it shows his range, I will not be downloading this from iTunes and I doubt anyone else will either.

Okay. So. Lauren’s big hit single is called Like My Mother Does.
Now HOW is Scotty supposed to compete with this? It seems like a set up to me. They give him some generic sleeper song and they give her this emotional Momma, America and Apple Pie number. She actually goes down to the audience and sings to her momma. Yeah, they might as well have brought out the confetti and saved themselves (and the rest of us) from the two-hour spectacle they’re promising us tonight.
The judges are pretty much handing the trophy to Lauren right here and now. Ya think they have a favorite in this competition? Couldn’t you tell?

So yeah, anyway, Round Three, and the Season 10 Idol crown just might go to Lauren Alaina.   I would really like to be surprised and see Scotty WIN as he well should but we'll see.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Dancing with Anniversary and Birthday Cards!

I'm gonna try and write this while I'm watching the finals of Dancing With the Stars!  Sonny even taped it downstairs so he could watch it with me!!   All season I would tape it upstairs and watch it the next day.  He would come up and just watch Hines Ward perform.  I'm hoping Hines wins tonight!!!

So, I have a couple of anniversary cards to make.  Last year this time, I was headed to Texas for two weddings (and luckily, not a funeral - get it??  a movie title!)  I forgot to take a picture of one of the cards today before I mailed it.  I made it using the (retired) Wild Rose stamp set that I got for $3 recently at Stampers Alley's used stamp sale.  What a deal!!  But, here is the second anniversary card I made using the wonderful Sizzix Daisy Die.

I love this die and used it to cut out 3 different sizes of the daisy in Real Red.  The leaves are Pear Pizazz punched out with the Owl Punch.  The heart border punch is non SU.  I used the Polka Dot background stamp (retired) on the white cardstock for the background and then ran it through a Polka Dot embossing folder for some added texture.  The brad in the middle is also retired from SU - I think I got it in the Clearance section.

I have also been making birthday cards.  I have about 10 birthdays in June!  Here is the one I made tonight using the Wild Rose stamp set ($3!!!).

This is my favorite style of stampin - two step stamping.  It is what got me involved with Stampin' Up to begin with. The colors I used on the flower are Peach Parfait and Pumpkin Pie.  The leaves are Pear Pizazz and Wild Wasabi. 

Monday, May 23, 2011


Good news!  I picked up a Take Ten magazine this weekend.  While looking through it, what do I find but one of my cards on page 73 (and highlighted again on page 125)!!  If you get a chance, take a glance through the Summer 2011 issue of Take Ten and you'll see this card:

I sent about 17 cards in to Take Ten last January and have been checking the magazines monthly.    I have had cards published in the magazine before.  They are supposed to send out a complimentary copy when you are published, but I've only received a complimentary copy once before and I've had 4-5 cards published.  Well, I had to eat my words this time.  When I got home today, there was my Summer 2011 Take Ten waiting for me (after I'd bought one!) with this note:

Isn't this cool?  Always nice to be recognized.

I want to remind you of the special that is going on until the end of May at Stampin' Up.  Since it is National Scrapbooking Month, they have several stamps for sale that are good for scrapbooking.  But, in my opinion, they are just as good for card making - especially Word Play.  Word Play is my "go to" set for sentiments.  I just love it!  It is a set of 12 stamps and the sale price for the clear set is just $20.27.   Another good one that is on sale is Printed Petals.  Anyway make sure you check out the special HERE and let me know if you want to take advantage of this special!

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Graduation Owl

Sorry I've been MIA the past few days.  Thursday I had my club ladies over and that night Sonny and I went out for pizza.  We go to a pizza buffet restaurant in Denver that has the most delicious dessert pizza!!  That's the main reason I go there.  I don't usually eat the pizza ... they have great chicken wings on the buffet that I eat along with salad.  Then I go for the Chocolate Chip Pizza!  Yum!!  Sometimes they put chocolate chips and peanut butter chips on them - warm with cream cheese!!  My fav!  I'd like a slice right now!! 

Saturday we went out on our boat.  It was a beautiful day with temps in the high 80s - one of the nicest week-end day we've had in a while.  Usually when we take the boat out, we drive around for a short while and then find a quiet cove and drop the anchor.  We both enjoy reading so that's what we do .... plus, it's usually a good opportunity for me to nap.  I'm reading a good book at the moment that Ashley read and sent to me - "The Help."  It is a tale of what it was like to be a black maid during the civil rights movement of the 1960s in racially conflicted Mississippi. There is such deep history in the black/white relationship and this story beautifully shows the complex spectrum, not only the hate, abuse, mistrust, but the love, attachment, dependence.   My family had black maids when I was growing up so I can relate to this story.  My grandmother and later my Mom had one maid from the time I was a small child until I went away to college.  Bertha was like a member of our family and even came to our wedding and is in some of my wedding pictures.  Anyway, after reading this book all day on Saturday, I was craving some good ole' Southern cooking - like Bertha used to cook for us.  I am not nearly the cook that she was but I came home and made biscuits (that were kinda flat!) and took some pork chops out.  I soaked those chops in buttermilk and then floured them real good and fried them up.  Sonny came in the kitchen and asked me what the occasion was!  I usually cook as little as possible.  But it was good.  Guess I'm just on a roll.  Wednesday night I got the crepe maker out that I got when we first got married and we had chicken crepes.  Of course, later that night we used those crepes for ice cream and strawberries!!

So I've also been making a few cards along with cooking.  I needed to make a graduation card.  We received a high school graduation invitation from Jeff's high school English teacher's son.  Jeff graduated from high school 14 years ago (can't believe it!!) and this little boy was just 4!   We were good friends with his teacher and used to dog-sit for her when they went out of town.  Jeff had her as a gifted/talented teacher all four years of high school so they had a pretty special relationship.  Anyway, I saw this card on Sandy Hancock's blog.  Isn't it the cutest?

 This is the card opened.  I used the Owl Punch and made a little graduation hat for him. 
Supplies:  Cardstock:  Brillant Blue, Black, Whisper White
Stamps:  Curly Cue, Word Play

Card Closed

Today I got together with a few friends for a monthly stamp get-together.  Connie is so good about organizing these get togethers in town.  We try out different products and help each other perfect them!  Today we were working with Flower Soft.  I have several pots of Flower Soft and have used it before but it is not a favorite product of mine.  So, it was fun to see what others have done with it.  Connie did some beautiful cards with the stuff.  Here is one that I did:

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Idol ---- Final THREE!

Well, sadly this week American Idol seemed flat without James. He is such a showman. The other three — they’re good. They can all sing. But there is no anticipation of what they might do next, there’s no excitement, no… James.  But I believe he will go on to bigger and better things.

All of the performances last night were good, but they were not all spectacular, as the judges seemed to convey. I couldn’t help but to wish once again last night that Simon was there to cut through the flattery and get to the heart of the matter. I’d love to know what he had to say about last night. Do you think he was watching? Can’t you just see him in his white undershirt, watching Idol at home, making his snide comments to the TV screen? Or maybe not.

Round One: Contestants’ Choice
The contestants chose their songs for this round, and Beyonce is the guest mentor. She doesn’t add much to the show, or at least, they don’t really show her coaching the kids so it’s hard to tell.

Scotty kicks off the show with Amazed. I really do like this song choice for him, and I love how it showcased his amazing vocal range.  I think Scotty’s really been working on his microphone grip, trying to keep it more vertical and using only one hand so the other hand is free to wave about and make dramatic gestures. He hits a high note (for him) and holds the ending just right.

Lauren sang Wild One. Another good song choice but she did that thing again where she sings 2 lines of the verse and then jumps right into the chorus.  And suddenly it was over. I felt like it ended before it even got started.   Randy and Steven stuck to the same script, urging Lauren to believe that SHE WAS HAVING FUN up there. I'm not sure about that, but Lauren definitely does have fun using Ryan as a lean-to before commercial breaks.   I really DO want to like Lauren. She was an early favorite but I just can’t figure out why she can’t nail a song. There is so much talent hidden under all that hair. The judges love it, so whatever.

Haley sang Zepplin and I liked it.  I felt like her vocals weren’t quite spot on but I think the song was a good fit for her.  And I love that they let her dad accompany her on the guitar. Steven kind of summed it up with, “She got her freak on!”   Did anyone notice how she jumped onto the Classic Rock bandwagon now that James is gone? That is the first time she’s claimed Classic Rock as her genre. Clever girl. She’s definitely trying to grab his share of the votes.   MVPs of this performance were definitely the stairs, which finally exacted their revenge by tripping her, if only for a moment, and her guitar-shredding dad. What a nice moment for her. The dad part, not the tripping

Round One Winner: A toss up between Haley and Scotty.   I loved Scotty’s performance, but his seemed rather safe, whereas Haley took a risk. It wasn’t perfect, but it worked. And it was memorable. Of course, she sang third, so that helps.

Round Two: Jimmy Iovine’s Choice  

Scotty sang Are You Gonna Kiss Me or Not.   I liked it - a good fit for Scotty.  After being reminded of his season 10 audition, J. Lo kindly requested that Scotty re-shave his head. I still can't get behind the idea of this child as a sex symbol, but a makeover could provide for over a minute of filler for Idol, so there you go....Scotty McCreery: soon to be hairless in a Nokia Theater near you!!

Lauren sang If I Dye Young,  What a depressing song for a 16-year-old girl to sing!   But she did a good job with it.  She missed the key change during the song, but J. Lo just chalked it up to "the honesty of what you were creating in that moment."  (a diplomatic term for mistake!)  Whatever - heaven forbid there is any criticism!

Haley continued the high with her Stevie Nicks impersonation, "Rhiannon", during which she had some intimate moments with a wind machine. She’s never looked better, and Randy must have been dozing off when he called the song "somber". Really?

Hard to call a winner for Round Two!  The judges were split. Steven said his girl Lauren, while Jennifer (who is just way gone on Scotty) said, "Scotty, Scotty, Scotty" and Randy (who is just way gone on Jennifer) said, "Scotty, Scotty, Scotty." I think that Scotty was at his best but that Lauren was better. She not only hit the notes beautifull, but also conveyed the emotion of the song.

I fast forwarded through Beyonnce’s performance. And it’s on to Round THREE!

Round Three: Judges’ Choice

Scotty sang She Believes in Me by Kenny Rogers.  So again, it was a solid performance.  I just wish they had given Scotty some more challenging songs than they did.  That worries me.  . "We all wanted to see if you could hit that big chorus. I guess you showed us," Jennifer said afterwards, throwing him a lingering side-glance. Wait a minute. I'm pretty sure none of the judges were "wondering" if vocally consistent crooner Scotty McCreery could "hit a chorus." Give me a break.

I'm surprised none of the judges named Scotty's dad  (Baby, Lock Them Doors) as the winner of the third round. Major upset.

Lauren sang I Hope You Dance. This is one of my favorite songs. I absolutely love the message, and it always gets me when it comes on the radio. It was nice to see Lauren changing up the melody a little bit to make it her own, and I thought she did a really good job with it.  It was a solid performance. 

Haley wrapped up the show with You Outta Know by Alannis Morisette - a strange choice.  Alannis sings angry girl music and that's not the picture you get when you think of Haley!!  Her voice could not handle the lower register of the verses -- "oughtn't" the judges…know that?  Even Haley had to laugh it off as she bungled a few notes at the beginning, as if to say "Who cares, we all know the whole point of this angry anthem is the part where I get to yell."  She killed the chorus though!!

The Round 3 winner? Steven surprised me by picking Haley rather than his beloved Lauren. Randy and Jennifer, marching in lockstep as usual, chose Lauren.  I'm thinking I may have to go with Haley too - just to be different although I love Scotty and want him to WIN!!

Randy, this is the semi-finals. They are ALL in it to win it. Shut up.

Haley - I thought tonight was her night. She set the bar high.  Throughout the competition, we have watched her grow and mature and gain confidence. The complaint used to be that the judges didn't know who she was. They couldn't put her in a box. But she knew who she was, and over the weeks, she's shown us.  She's stood up to the judges when they were harsh on her and came back strong.

Scotty - This is the night where he needed to really bring it, and I felt like he sang three similar songs — none of which really showed off his trademark base notes, and none that really showcased his fun personality. That said, of the three that are left, he has been the most consistent throughout the season and the most confident in who he is and the type of artist he will be so I ended up voting for him about 20 times before I went to bed.  I’m sure the reason James went home last week is because all the teeny-boppers are out there voting while all the adults are busy putting kids to bed.

I truly have no idea who is going home tonight. Scotty didn’t come through the way I was hoping he would. Haley took some risks and had some great moments, but she didn’t have the consistency that she should really have to make it into the top two. Lauren kind of upped the ante and she’s a crowd (and a judges’) favorite, so I think we might see Lauren and Scotty in the finals. That said, Haley has somehow managed to slip in under the wire each week, and I wouldn’t be surprised if she does it again.  I really don't think (and hope not) that Scotty will be voted off tonight.  That said, I didn't think James would be voted off either!  So my guess for tonight is the final two will be .......
Scotty and a girl!!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

More Summer Mini Cards!

I played mahjong today and actually got embaressed because I kept winning!  We only play with $2.00 so when you're out of money, you don't pay.  By lunchtime, I had won every game and the other gals at my table didn't have any money left!!  Usually if I start out hot like that, after lunch I never win a game but that wasn't the case today.  I didn't win them all, but I did win half of the remainder games!  My winning streak has been going on for several months and the gals tease me that they won't sit at my table!  I told them I gave them a break while we were on our trip.

I made this card yesterday and I just love it!  I used my markers (Melon Mambo and Crushed Curry) to color the Flower Garden Embossing Folder (the debossed side) and then I ran my Whisper White card stock through the Big Shot.  Such a simple but lovely card!

This is another new technique that I discovered yesterday.  I stamped the Fabulous Florets with White Craft Ink on the Crumb Cake card stock and heat embossed it with white embossing powder.  Then, I used my Versamark Pen (never used before!) and colored in the flower petals for a fabulous tone-on-tone.  Topped a few of the flowers with some purple rhinestones that I found in my stash and voila .... another simple but pretty card!!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Let's Get Nautical!

I've been having fun today making cards with my new stuff!!  It arrived on Friday and it just seems one thing or the other kept getting in my way to create.  This morning I drove to town and got my hair cut and when I returned, I was ready!!

I'm loving the Nautical Expedition paper and had a hard time cutting into it!!  But as a friend told me today, I can always buy another pack!!  I need to keep that in mind.  I also received the Beyond the Garden DSP yesterday and ooh, la, la!!  It is gorgeous.

 This card uses The Open Sea stamp set and a small piece of the Nautical Expedition DSP!!
  • Paper:   Naturals White, Night Of Navy, Nautical Exp. DSP
  • Ink:   Night of Navy, Cherry Cobbler
  • Stamps:  Word Play, The Open Sea
  • Punches:   Circle Punches - 1" and 1 1/4"
  • Accessories:  twine, Bakers Twine, Big Shot with Two Tags Die, Blue Eyelet, Red Brads, sponge daubers

These cards are the same except for the sentiment and the button and brad at the top.I stamped the sails onto white card stock and cut them out and stamped the red boat onto a piece of Cherry Cobbler and cut it out.  I raised them up with dimensionals.
  • Paper:   Whisper White, Not Quite Navy, Cherry Cobbler, Crumb Cake
  • Ink:   Espresso
  • Stamps:  Sail Away; Sanded Background stamp, Teeny Tiny Wishes
  • Accessories:  Button, Twine, Distressing Tool, Large Grommet; Baker's Twine
Guess you notice the strong resemblance of the Sail Away cards with my Monday Mailer from Becky????  She inspired me.  These will be offered to my stamp club gals on Thursday.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Butterfly, Butterfly

I've been on a butterfly quest today!  Over the past few months, I've seen a lot of Butterfly Easel Cards on different sites.  I always thought they were pretty but never was inspired to make one .... until today.  And I made three different ones today.   The cards are made using Stampin' Up's Butterfly Die and the Big Shot.

This is the side view. 

This is the smallest butterfly easel card.  I used Rich Razzleberry cardstock and ran it through an embossing die.

This one is a the largest butterly.
This card uses Pink Passion (retired) and some DSP that Judy gave me.

I made a card and incorporated the easel butterfly into it.  I slid the easel portion behind the Top Note.  This is going to be a club card this week.  The card base is Elegant Eggplant.  The butterflies are made with Eggplant, River Rock and Melon Mambo which were run through different embossing folders.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Monday Mailers for May 2011

Sorry there was no post yesterday.  Blogger was down last night so I wasn't able to post anything.  It's gotten pretty warm here .... well warm for us anyway - in the 80's.  I finally couldn't stand it any more and switched on our A/C yesterday - mainly because of the humidity.  We've had some rain this week and the air is really thick outside now.  I know my Texas friends wouldn't consider our temps as hot nor would Ashley where it is already in the 90's in Mosul.  Luckily, Ashley has been able to get a vehicle so she is not having to walk everywhere she goes.  They will be moving her clinic in the next few weeks and she tells me it will be about 1 1/2 miles from her living quarters so the vehicle will definitely come in handy!  Her attitude has not been the greatest since she returned from her R&R and I think she is marking off the days with a vengence!  August can not get here quick enough for her.  Most of the people she has been working with in the clinic have left by now and she has a new staff.  She is the only one of the medical staff that ended up having to stay for a year - the rest only had a 6-month rotation so that is not sitting well with her ... coupled by some respect issues she is running into.

Just a quick comment about American Idol before I share my cards.  I was quite shocked last night when James was voted off!!  When they announced it, Lauren and Scotty were upset, and Haley almost had a smirk on her face.  James sang one last song for us and kissed his wife in the crowd.  I thought James' performance on Wednesday night was the best of the night.  I put a lot of the blame on the 3 judges.  These judges have done a huge misjustice to the contestants by not being truthful in their comments. They seem to be afraid to step on anyones toes by giving them a bad review. All they can do it seems, is praise them, even though at times, some of the performances were horrid!!!..... Then the voters vote accordingly it seems to me.  I think the voting procedure needs to be restructured. The title is Scotty's to lose now.  I thought  it would be between Scotty and James for the final two.  Both were true to themselves and stood out each week. Biggest shock to me since Chris Daughtry went out in week 4 several years ago.  But, Durbin is better off not winning ... just like with Daughtry, the people who will buy his music are more likely to accept him now.
One more thing - Last night they showed a Steven Tyler this year has been odd, videos by J-Lo, video by Steven, a book by Steven, makes ya wonder who they were marketing, the Idols or the judges? Just sayin' that's all.
OK - stepping off my Idol soapbox!

Here are the Monday Mailers so far this month:

Paper Pieced Sock Monkey - The first card I mailed to Tina.

  • Paper:   Whisper White, Pacific Point, Real Red; Celebrations DSP 
  • Ink:   Black
  • Stamps:  Loads of Love; Sock Monkey, Sock Monkey Accessories
  • Punches:   Circle Punch - 1 3/8" and 1 3/4"
  • Accessories:  Buttons, Red Grosgrain Ribbon; Celebrations Accents; Stampin' Dimensionals
Printed Petals - Card #2 to Tina

  • Paper:   Whisper White, Real Red; Sahara Sand; Daffodil Delight; Pear Pizazz
  • Ink:    Real Red
  • Stamps:  Printed Petals; Oval All
  • Punches:   Ovals; Bird Punch
  • Accessories:  Scallop Square Sizzix Die, Antique Brad; Finial Press Emb. Folder
Card being opened
Card completely opened.
Card #1 received from Becky
 Isn't this card the greatest?!!  I just love it.  She cut the boat out separately and popped it up with dimensionals.  This is the single stamp in the Summer Mini on page 11 - Sail Away

Card #2 from Becky

This DSP speaks for itself!  This is the paper on page 23 of Summer Mini - Beyond the Garden.

Becky sent me 2 cards this week - she didn't think the 1st card (Beyond the Garden DSP) was good enough!

This is a great card also.  I wasn't going to argue with Becky - I loved receiving both cards but it wasn't necessary!!  Don't you love how she punched the bird using the DSP (sneak peek - Paisley Prints).

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Final Four Idols

Lots of drama last night as the final four perform hoping to be the TOP THREE next week!  The big prize - the hometown visit - is at stake this week.  They are all headed home, but only three will return to perform next week.  This theme week is a double bonus.  Phase #1 is Songs That Inspire You.  Phase #2 is songs by Leiber and Stoller mentored by Lady GaGa. 

James starts out singing "Don't Stop Believing"  He did a good job and as usual, all the judges ate it up and loved it.

Haley sang an unknown song written by Michael Jackson - The Earth Song.  Wow, did she get the judges stirred up!!  Randy pretty much hated it; J-Lo thought it was not a good song choice; and Steven loved it!  Haley pretty much gave them a major dose of attitude.  I can’t see Haley surviving, and she would be wrong to put all the blame on the judges. Haley has shown in flashes that she is an amazing vocalist and her duets with Casey were highlights of the show. Very much at risk this week.

Scotty sang the 9/11 song, "Where Were You"   He did a good job and got a little emotional.  Scotty gets points for smart song choice. Scotty is only 17 and will be a country legend at some point. Cheryl Crow said it best when she said she can't wait for him to get to Nashville. This young man is the whole package and I can hardly wait for his CD’s and concerts.

Lauren sang "Anyway"  She started out rough but her vocals got much better.  I didn't care for her outfit but of course, Steven did!  The judges loved her.

At the break, Ryan asked JLo who won Round One.  As has happened all year, she wouldn't commit.  But Randy speaks up and picked James, Scotty and Lauren and told Haley she needed to step up her game.  Another attitude moment for Haley!

The second round is mentored by Lady GaGa.  OMG!!  Can't wait to see what advice she gives Scotty!!

First up is Haley singing "I Who Have Nothing"  I love her dress!!  She pulled out the stops on this one .... good for her!!  She got a standing ovation!!  It was one of the best performances of the year.  Like they say, she is in it to win it!!  I’m glad that she finally got the props she deserves.  However, it all feels a little “day late dollar short” from this judging panel.

Scotty sings "Young Blood"  by The Coasters.  His performance was great but I sure wouldn't have picked that song!  But he was very comfortable on stage and you got to see two sides of him.  The thing I noticed in this performance is Scotty appears to be perfecting his stage presence.  The vocal was just another Scotty status quo, but I see growth in his performance.  I think Lady GaGa was a little too way out for Scotty!! 

Lauren sings "Trouble"  After Lauren’s appearance in the bottom 2 last week, she needed to pull out the big guns, and neither of her performances really did it for me tonight.

James sings The Clovers, "Love Potion."  
He gets the props for best stage performance, I will give him that. But he has to be careful because there are always bum notes from him when he gets too excited and jumping around the stage.  And he never gets called on this.  But I will give him credit for the entertainment factor. 

This is a tough week to predict. There’s no clear loser or winner this week. The judges were terribly hard on Haley, so that could send her home. I mean they’re clearly trying to achieve that, especially Randy. But she’s picked up so many fans during the past couple weeks. Lauren was in the bottom 2 last week, so she may be the most obvious person to go home. BUT her fans could’ve been scared into voting after her bottom finish last week. So maybe Haley will actually go home. Or maybe something crazy will happen and James will leave. Nah. It’ll be Lauren or Haley.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

MDS & Hybrid Cards from Summer Mini

My Summer Mini goodies won't arrive until Friday.  I can't wait!!  In the meantime, I bought a few of the images for My Digital Studio.  That is such a good way to get the images for a low price - usually under $5.  The following cards are made either totally with My Digital Studio or by printing off the images and making the card with the printed images.
This card uses the printed image.  I printed the ship from The Open Sea in Not Quite Navy.   The background paper is also from My Digital Studio.  The card is Cherry Cobbler.  I used my distressing machine (that Marianne gve me) to fray the edges of the card.

This card was made in My Digital Studio.  See how the ship is smaller?  I like it that you can manipulate the size of the images in MDS.

This is a hybrid card .... I printed out the surfboards and shells from MDS and made the card.  I tore the Crumb Cake cardstock and stamped it with my Itty Bitty Background stamp.  The surfboards are printed in Peach Parfait, Wild Wasabi and Melon Mambo and match my background paper great!  The DSP is from an old stack that I had in my stash of paper.

This card was done totally with My Digital Studio.  I love the combo of Melon Mambo and Bermuda Bay (which is a retired color).

The Summer Mini catalog offers an express version of My Digital Studio.  Read about it HERE.  Anyone who purchases My Digital Studio Express can always add the full content available later by purchasing the My Digital Studio Express Booster Pack, adding $500 worth of content.

National Scrapbook Month

In honor of National Scrapbook Month, I did a few pages today.  I used My Digital Studio to make these pages using pictures from our recent trip.  I am going to make it a goal to do several pages each week.