Friday, September 30, 2011

Bloggers Challenge - Sketch Challenge

Good morning bloggers,

Today's post is for Lisa Somerville's Bloggers Challenge group.  Her challenge this month was this beautiful sketch.
I love the accents coming off the rounded image and had no trouble deciding how to work this one.

I chose to use my new PTI Bell's and Bough's set.  I love this set.  I picked the poinsetta image and the branches.  I decided to use the branches as the swirly images off the circle.  I picked some of my memory box christmas papers and some Kraft paper to pull it together.

Thanks for stopping by today.  Have a great day.  Stop by tomorrow.  I hope to have a card for World Card Making day.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Anniversaray card using Memory Box Snowy Owls

Good morning bloggers,

 Did you notice my new blog layout?  I upgraded to blogger plus (or whatever it's called) and decided to go with a new layout.  If you've known me of a while, I like to redecorate, so it seemed about time to give my blog a new look.  My mother in law always laughs because she comes over usually once or twice a year (they live in NY) and each time she comes she asks 'what's been moved or changed?'  Generally, it's something.   Same with my hair.  Every few years it changes too.  How about you?  Do you like to change things or leave it the same?

Today's post is an anniversary card I made for my DH.  I struggle with masculine anniversary cards, but I decided to go with this memory box stamp since I thought the two owls were cute together (like Bob and I!)

I used some coordinating Webster Pages papers and Karen Giron's Sweet Sunday Sketch.

I decided to adorn the inside as well and added a simple layer of the scraps with a round edge and a sentiment.

Bob and I celebrated 26 years yesterday.  Nothing super special this year.  Last year we were in Bermuda.  We generally try to do something really fun every 5 years. 

So what do you have going on today?   It's pretty rainy and dreary here in New England today.  The doggies are headed to the groomer.  See how shaggy Tank is?  He hates going to the groomer, but he'll appreciate being able to see again, don't you think?  As for me, it's a work day and tonight I start a new Pilate's class.  I take a Yogalates class from this instructor on Wednesday's and love it.  She added a new class at a new center and I decided to sign up for the 10 week program.  If I can keep it up that will mean I have 4 fitness classes per week.  Yoga on Saturday's and Monday's.  Yogalates on Wed and Pilates on Thurs.  I figure I usually have to miss one due to schedule conflicts so hopefully I'll make it to at least 3.  Maybe I'll finally get my core in shape.  Maybe I won't be able to get out of bed tomorrow!


Thanks for stopping by today.  Have a great day.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Make it Monday - Bitty Bird Chipboard

Hello bloggers,

Today I have a post for the Papertrey ink make it monday technique.  This week the technique was using regular cardboard, die cuts and layering them together to make a chipboard accent.  What a great idea and it really was pretty easy.

I have been wanting to make a little decorated book for forever, so this was my chance. 




So, isn't this sweet?  I started with a basic book I picked up at AC moore and an old box of eaten cheez it's.



The books are called 'visual journals' and they have beautiful, thick bristol pages inside so you can draw or write or whatever.  The outside is just a basic chipboard binding and a regular spiral binding.

I did 4 passes of bitty bird die with the cheez it box, then did my final die cut with some kraft dsp.  I stamped the tree on a die cut and then glued all the bird layers together and fit them all in the tree.  I added twine, buttons, grass die and ribbon to adorn the book.  I love all the texture and layers.

So what will I do with the book?  I plan to make this my prayer journal.  I lead a women's bible study on Tuesday evening and each week they submit prayer requests.  I will take a page for each women and document their prayer requests.  This way when I sit down to my prayer/quiet time, I have a handy place for all the requests.  I plan to make another book for blessings to record answers to prayer.  I have a picture directory for the class, so I'll probably print a wallet size photo of each women to better remember and pray for them.  You could use this book for any number of things though.  What would you use this book for?

The dimensions are 3.5X5.

Thanks for stopping by today.  Have a great day.


Monday, September 26, 2011

Monday Morning

Well since it's monday and all of us who work for a living are off to work, I thought I would give you a work update today.

My office got brand new cubicles recently.  We all were in these cubes since well forever ago.  I think this was the cube style they had when I first started in 1996 and frankly I never noticed that they were dark, dinghy and dated, well I didn't notice till we moved to our new cubes.




They had us pack up in groups of about 20 and head down to a staging area.  We moved to our temporary cubes for 2 weeks and then moved into our same space/new cubes when they were ready.  I decided to decorate my new cube with bright colors and candy jars.
I have several souveniers from places I've visited so I have those stacked on the work surface.  I don't have a lot of paper because everything I do is either on the phone or on the computer so I am a pretty 'paper free' work zone.  I love that.  Ecological and neater.

So next to my souveniers is my big gumball jar, my peppermint jar and my smarties jar.  I have to use lots of willpower not to dig into those smarties throughout the day.





This is the side where the work happens.  Yup, that's a white board behind my monitor and I've got the phone, docking station and lamp all in place.

 This is my work neighbor John.  He is the technical king.  Anytime any of us have a question about our iphone, gps or laptop, he has the answer.


This is Mark.  He sits right across from me.  He is pretty quiet, but he is a great go to person for all things computer applications related.  He is the excel king and he manages our customer data so i'm always shouting over to him about some question or another. 

Our work space is much more open and collaborative.  I like it a lot, but it is a tad noisier.  I can put in headphones if it gets too loud.

Lastly, next to John we have a sharing space.  it's not a closed wall office, but with the small table, chairs and white board it's great if you want to chat with someone about something and your cube it just too small.  Anthony is working on a new software application for me.  He comes by several times a week and we head in here for a quick discussion about the application.

There is one funny thing about this little break out space.  Check out how short that white board is.  I mean really, even if I was teaching kindergarten and the kids were sitting cross-leg on the floor, I would not write on the lower part of the board.  We find it very amusing.  We figure they had a requirement to keep the board below that glass wall, but geez, why make it so low.  We probably paid extra to have these custom made.  Too funny.  Avelina, Erin and I love the green on the chair seat.  Very fashionable don't you think?

Anyway, thanks for stopping by today and checking out my card and my new office decor.  They did a good job, don't you think?

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Make it Monday - Crow

Make it Monday - Frosted Images - Wedding Card/Bird Card

I have two cards to share for PTI's make it monday challenge - frosted images.

I made one card on Saturday using dark colors.  Then my papertrey ink order arrived in Saturday's mail and I decided to make another frosted image card using lighter colors.  They are both very different.  I love the lighter colors and the wedding card, but the bold/dark colors are interesting also with the frosted effect.  Which is your favorite?

First, sorry about the crooked picture!  The above card was made using so saffron and sahara sand.  using the frosted technique I stamped over the image with vintage cream and then smeared. I masked off the bigger bell when I stamped the images and then die cut the bow and stamped that.  The card base id 5X5 and the stamped image base and card base are natural ivory with speckles of browns and grays.  The stamp is Bell's and Bough's.  It's a Christmas set, but works well for wedding cards too, don't you think?  This card will be for my cousin Eliza's wedding in October.  I'm so happy this card is all made and ready to go.

This next card is using the freebie set PTI gave out this summer.  I inked up this bird in cherry cobbler and the branch in early espresso.  Then I stamped again in craft white and smudged.  A much different effect with darker colors.  I ripped up papers from memory box and rolled some more seam binding roses.

It was fun to use this new technique and I will hopefully use this again.

Oh, and we heard from Sarah this morning.  I love getting e-mails from her first thing.  She is in her host family home where she will stay for her 3 month in country training.  She is with a widow and two teenager girls.  Only the oldest girl speaks english, but they are managing.  She is in a small village (1500 people) and all the homes have working farms.  She is enjoying fresh made apricot jam and enjoys the food so far.  She also is in the only house in the village with internet.  God is good.  She'll get her phone this weekend and will be able to call us then.

Thanks for stopping by today on my blog.  Have a great day.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

The Cat's Pajama's Challenge - rolled ribbon roses

Good morning Bloggers,

For today's post, I learned a new technique and it's really easy.   If you have any seam binding ribbon and glue dots you can do this and get great results.  The Cat's Pajama's blog has a nice short video on how to make two different types of roses.  I chose the easier option - the basic rose.


The rose is just an accent on my card, but you can make several of these and have them be the main focal point for your card.  My card above uses the TCP adorable bunny. This one is the pinwheel guy.  Very cute.

The video from Alma is posted below if you want to see how to do the rose.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ilLPEBJqCqs&feature=player_embedded

I layered him up on some memory box paper and colored him with my copics.  I added some shiny glue to the pinwheels to give them some texture and added my rose to green seam binding ribbon and bow.

I did a little different technique with my coloring today.  have any of you seen Maryanne's blog posts this week?  She has a step by step guide to shading horses.  Check it out below.

http://ilikemarkers.blogspot.com/2011/09/new-blog-header-again.html

In this blog she shows how she starts her coloring with gray shadows and then adds the color on top of that.  I like this technique a lot.  I am always afraid to add the gray after because I'm afraid I'll mess up, but if you start with gray, you are only adding color on top and I find I use more shading this way.  So for my bunny above I did warm gray 00, 03 and 05 and added shading to his ears and lower body.  Then I added some browns with E53, E21 and E00 to give him a brown color.  I think I'll try this coloring technique again.

Oh, and have any of you seen Megamind?  You probably all saw it years ago when it came out.  I'd never seen it and we had it on last night.  Oh my word... what a great movie.  Both my husband and I laughed out loud in several places.  The animation was great too.  The characters were very believable.  I thought it was a cross between Lion King, Austin Powers and The Grinch.    If you haven't seen it, check it out.   I loved how the minion kept getting the music mixed up.  Loved how it accidentally went from bad to the bone to loving you.... funny.  I love when you have a surprise movie - one you expect to only be so-so and then it winds up being really good.  We are very behind on our movie watching.  We've just been busy all summer and haven't taken time to watch any.  We also just cancelled our netflix.  Yup, we were one of the first to say 'no thank you' to the rate hike.  We'll rent from redbox or on-demand from now on.

Well, I'm off to do some preparations for my cards for soldiers workshop on Sunday.  Enjoy your Saturday.  Stop back tomorrow for my make it monday challenge card post (I hope to get to that later today!)

Friday, September 23, 2011

Bloggers Challenge - Travel

Good morning bloggers.

This week Lisa Somerville gave us a challenge entitled Travel.  Wow, there are so many ways to go with this one.   I was tempted to do a nice beach card but now that it's fall and I won't be at any beach for a LONG time, I just wasn't in the mood - ya know?

Then I thought - gee, I could use a stamp set I got while on a trip.  I had at least 3 stamp sets I picked up at local stamp stores in other areas of the country (and world.)  I finally settled on this fun Asian Panda Bear card.  I got this stamp set at my LSS (ink about it) about 1 1/2 years ago.  This is 3 stamps.  The panda, the bamboo and the sentiment are from A*Muse. The paper is from one variety pack (6X6) by basic grey.  I love how they all go together without me having to think about it.  I inked up the panda & bamboo on the lightest patterned paper (which I die cut from my PTI die.)  Then I colored it in with copics.  I am liking the effect of stamping and coloring on patterned paper.  It gives the card a very different look than stamping and coloring on white or ivory.

So what does this panda card have to do with travel?  Well, I went to China this summer and while I didn't see any Panda bears, that is where they are from.  I was in Shanghai (the largest city in the world) and didn't get out in the countryside where the panda's live.  I did see two giant panda bears last January when I was in Taiwan.  They had a beautiful Giant Panda exhibit there, but you don't have to go to Asia to see them.  You can see Giant Panda bears in the San Diego zoo and the Smithsonian National Zoo in D.C.  I stood and looked at the two panda's in Taiwan for the longest time.  They are so sweet.  I just love them.  I think everyone does.


If you can't get to those zoo's, you can see them on this live feed from the SD zoo.  You can also go on a tour in China and see them in the wild.  Wouldn't that be cool!  I think it's very expensive though.

http://www.sandiegozoo.org/pandacam/

Thanks for stopping by my blog today.  I love visitors.  I also love comments.  Swing by this weekend.  I am planning a post for PTI Make it Monday.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Sweet Sunday Sketch/Cards for Soldiers Veteran's Day

Hello bloggers,




Today's post is for Karen Giron's Sweet Sunday Sketch.  What a fun sketch this is.  I took a few liberties with it, so I could make this patriotic card for Cards for Soldiers Veteran's Day.

I don't have any patriotic images on my stamps, but I do have real red, Big Top DSP and Not Quite Navy.  Just using these colors together makes any card look patriotic.

This Sunday I am hosting my cards for soldiers workshop.  If you live near Boston, and can come by Sunday afternoon from 2:30-5:00, send me an e-mail.  We'll make this card (above) and the cards below.  We'll send them to Pam in NH and she'll get them to our military serving overseas to encourage them.




Since I don't have any patriotic stamps, I figured we can thank the soldiers and encourage them with general fall themed cards.  I figure they are gender neutral and nice and the soldiers should like them.  Next year I'll have my eye out for some patriotic stamps so I'm better prepared for the holiday.

We heard from Sarah today.  She arrived safely in Ukraine and is excited to meet her host family on Friday.  We have been praying for a kind and patient host family.  She knows virtually no Ukrainian yet so it will be hard to communicate at first.  I'm hoping her sweet smile will speak volumes.

Stop back by on Friday to see my bloggers challenge travel themed card.

Thanks for stopping by today.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Goodbye to my Sarah.....off to Ukraine with the peace corps..

Hi everyone,

Warning - long post with no cards on this one....

Well, today we brought Sarah to the airport.  Bob and I went together and yes, it was hard.  Yes, I cried.  Yes, I'm trying hard to not cry now, but yes, I'm also so happy and proud of her.  Okay, enough yes's.

She left today for a flight from Boston to DC.  She is going to Georgetown for an intense 1 day training before she flies out.  There will be @100 US volunteers all going to Ukraine on this assignment.  She will meet up with this large group in DC.  Her training starts at noon and will go through the evening.  She'll stay (with a roommate) in DC and then go back for more training in the morning.  Then the whole group will fly to Ukraine (via Frankfurt Germany) Tuesday evening, arriving Wed morning.  From there she will go to a 2-3 day training in a confrence/retreat center.  After that she will be put in a small group (probably 5-6) with a leader.  They will each get put in their host families home and then go to training during the day monday-friday until Mid-December.  Her small group will all be in one village together (different homes) and that will probably be within 1-2 hours drive of Keiv (the capital of Ukraine.)  When she arrives in her small group training they will get to know her and shortly thereafter begin to match her with the jobs in the country.   Within 6 weeks, they will give her an assignment and she can visit her village and begin to plan for her life in the village (or city depending.)  After 12 weeks she will get sworn into the peace corps in an official ceremony and then head off for her assignment.

So that's how I think it will go from the info she shared and what I read.  I am still grappling with my mixed emotions.  It was really hard to watch her walk through the security gate.  It's tough to wave goodbye to someone you love who you know you won't see for a very long time.  I feel for the military families who do this all the time!  I understand just a little bit about the sacrifice they are making.  It's also sad because a wonderful chapter of my life is over.  I really loved this last chapter of life I had as a mother.  Being a mother to teenagers and young adults was really very joyful for me, and I'm sad to see this time end.

I knew as I waved goodbye to Sarah that when I see her again she will be changed.  She'll be a young women, more mature, more independent and not my little girl anymore. Here I go again, trying to hold back the tears...
We had a really powerful time with Sarah on Sunday at church.  My DH Bob works with the Pastor's wife Sheila at our welcome desk.    They talk each week so she had known Sarah was leaving soon.  Pastor Mike came by the welcome desk unexpectedly just as service was starting and Sarah came up to the desk at the same time. Pastor Mike spoke a scripture over her and then he prayed for her.  I was parking the car so I missed the whole thing, but Bob says it was really cool how it all played out.  We are very comforted knowing people (lots of people) are praying for Sarah.  If you are one of them, THANK YOU.    I feel very confident that Sarah is following in the path God has put in front of her.  I know God will be with her.  I hope and pray that she will recognize HIS hand in her life during her day to day activities.

Anyway, do you want to see some pictures?

Yesterday we went apple picking.  Here is Sarah in the tree trying to get the perfect macintosh apple.
Here is Eric and Jessa.  They make the cutest couple.  Sarah said to Jessa as they were saying goodbye 'you can still contact me and talk to me even if you and Eric break up...'  It's nice that Sarah and Jessa get along well and I am really hoping they don't break up (but I"m also realistic and know this is a possibility.)

Me and Sarah...   We kept singing 'she's a lumberjack and she's okay' all day while she wore her flannel shirt.
 Sarah with her little apple.  There was some joke here I just don't know what it was.

Bob and I....As hard as it was this morning we had each other.  At one point I really broke down crying and Bob just held me in an embrace.  It was so great to know he was feeling the same emotions.  It was also great to be there together supporting each other.  He teared up a few times also.  It's his baby girl too.

Okay, a few more pictures and one quick funny story.

 Here is Sarah trying to manage all her luggage.  She had to bring everything she would want or need for 27 months.  Yes, some things she can buy in Ukraine but she did really need to bring a basic wardrobe and some essentials.  Everything had to fit in two 50 pound bags, a carry-on and a personal item.  She also had to be able to manage her luggage alone (although hopefully most of the time she will have the benefit of an airport cart.)
She brought all kinds of things.  A down coat, rain boots, work clothes, casual clothes, spices, gifts for her host families and toiletries (she brought a 3 month supply like they recommended.)  She also wanted to bring a blanket (recommended) but that didn't make it.   We very carefully planned and packed everything, but guess what she did at the airport?  She started freaking out that she had too much stuff and started unloading things.  I couldn't help but think of the book 'into the woods' by Bill Bryson.  In this very funny travel book, Bill goes for a hike on the entire Appalachian trail with a fat, out of shape buddy of his.  They had to carry everything on their back and very early in the trip his traveling buddy just starts hurling things out of his pack, water, food, batteries..... why?  because he didn't want to carry them on his back.  I'm just exaggerating a little.  Sarah unloaded about 4 things from her carry on bag and abandoned the electric blanket she had on her pack.  She didn't dump everything but it was funny how at the last minute she was thinking of 'how can I live without this' rather than 'how can I carry this...'  I'll be curious to hear if she had more or less stuff than the others.  I would guess she's in the middle.  Her one bag was big and full at 50 pounds, but her other bag was only 40 and she had pretty small carry on's.  I think her grandmother (bob's mother) brought more luggage for a 3 week trip to California.....  We'll see....

Okay, I know I rambled today.  Thanks for stopping by and listening to me go on and on...

If you want, Sarah is also keeping a blog.  Her link is below:

http://sarahkatemonroe.blogspot.com/

She's not nearly as wordy as I am...

The Cat's Pajama Inspiration Challenge

Hello Bloggers, here is a card I made for The Cat's Pajama's inspiration challenge.
I had fun inking up the nut and tree images from the Happy Camper set with some cork and a doily die cut.

Today is otherwise a very emotional day for me.   My beautiful daughter Sarah left today for a 27 month assignment in Ukraine with the Peace Corps.  I'm going to miss her so much and yes, I'm sad... very sad, trying very hard to stop crying.....

But I'm also so proud of her.  Peace Corps is a challenging assignment that is highly competitive.  It requires sacrifice and commitment.   She decided she wanted to do this last fall, researched it, pursued it, got accepted and worked very hard to meet the requirements.  Today she had a lot of courage as she went off (with all her baggage) to start her training.  So my emotions waffle between sadness and joy.  Overall, I'm very happy.   She is growing up into a wonderful young lady and she is off for an adventure that will challenge her and grow her into a more mature and skilled woman.

I'll be posting later today or Tuesday with more about Sarah's leaving.  Right now it's still too raw emotionally to write about..... thanks for stopping by.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Impression Obsession Challenge - Is it fall yet?

Good morning bloggers,




Yes, it is fall..... no denying it.  Yesterday while I was making this card, I got to enjoy watching (well more like listening) Clemson beat Auburn.  I am becoming tentatively a Clemson fan since that is Eric's #1 pick for colleges right now.  I don't want to get too attached yet, because heck, maybe I'll become a Uconn fan if he decides to go there instead, but you get my drift.  It was fun to watch, because I really do love football and Clemson is absolutely crazy with school spirit and football and they beat Auburn solidly and Auburn was undefeated AND the favored to win.  It's always fun to watch an enthusiastic underdog win - unless it's against your team.  As the fans crowded the field when the win was announced I couldn't help but think that next year Eric may be one of them. 

So, this card celebrates everything about the early fall.  The color orange is dominant and that represents pumpkins & falling leaves.  The flowers are inked up to look like mums and sunflowers (well that's a stretch but go with me on this...)  I love early fall because until the first frost hits, my garden is still alive with color.  I love having mums blooming with the leaves dropping.  Gorgeous.

so a few things about the card and the challenge.  The challenge is open until Wednesday night at 10pm.  If you have an I/O stamp just ink it up with any type of fall theme and post it on the blog below.

http://mitrafriant.typepad.com/impression_obsession_news/2011/09/our-is-it-fall-yet-challenge.html

This card was made using the I/O F2290 Flower Pitchers.  I die cut a piece of cream PTI paper and then stamped the image with momento black.  Then I inked up the image with copics using 2 colors of orange, 3 colors of green one yellow, one brown and two colors of cool gray.   Then I assembled the card with cork, orange patterned paper and a die cut scalloped line of summer sun yellow.  I added a strip of solid orange and a metal clip to round it out. 

Thanks for stopping by today.  I hope you have a blessed day.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Bloggers Challenge - Buttons

Hi Bloggers,
I have two cards to share with you for this week's bloggers challenge - Buttons and one of the cards is also for the make it monday challenge with papertrey ink.  The first one is a fun and bright/cheery card. I decided to ink up this adorable sunflower image from papertrey inks friendship fillers set.  I have never used this image in one of the mason jars but I love inking it up as a focal point.  For this first one, I inked up the stamp with momento brown and colored it with copics.  I put my buttons inside my sunflowers and stamped the image on a manila tag.  I did a bit of paper piecing on the tag to add a splash more color to the top of the tag.  The plain manila colored circle cut out was quite dull, but by cutting out a circle (with a little circle punch) and then punching a tiny hole in the center I added some pizzaz to that.

The  tag is raised up and layered on my cute patterned papers.  My black polka dot paper was bugging me because the polka dots were pure white and the rest of my card was off-white.  How did I remedy this?  I pulled out my pearl colored copic marker and colored in the white dots to make it a black and off-white polka dot paper.  Yup, I'm becoming a stickler for little details like that.

The bottom edge is die cut with the pti die.  I think it adds a nice elegant touch.

My second card is a little more rustic.  This one uses the PTI make it monday technique of stamping with acrylic paint.  What a different effect this color medium has.  The images are much less crisp and it has a more country feel to it.

I brushed 3 different colors of paint on this to get the fence brown, the flowers yellow and the grass green.  My acrylic paints are from a kids paint set so the colors are quite bright and not very natural.

I didn't do any further coloring on this since the paint had a pretty distinct effect and there was lots of color already.  I framed the image within a spellbinders nestability mat that had a big circle cut out.  I did this in one pass with my cuttlebug.  It's a fun way to frame an image.  For the mat layer, I inked up this tree bark background stamp on kraft paper.  This is a hero arts stamp set I got a while ago and it comes in handy sometimes.  I added buttons to this sunflower set also and finished it off with the die cut bottom layer and a chocolate chip ribbon bow.

I left both cards 'sentiment free.'  Sarah is wanting a bunch of cards to give as gifts to her Ukraine host family and since they don't speak english, blank cards will be best for them.  I think sunflowers are a universally loved flower and grown all over the northern hemisphere so hopefully they will recognize and love the image.

So, what are you plans for the weekend?  We are going to do our annual apple picking trip.  We will also help Sarah with her last minute packing.  She leaves to start her 27 month peace corp assignment on Monday morning and I'm sure we'll be busy with last minute preparations with her.  I'll also be cooking her favorite meal (with apple pie or apple crisp for dessert.)  Enjoy and thanks for stopping by.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Facebook Challenge AP11PARIS

Good morning bloggers,




Today's card post is for a facebook challenge with AMuse Studios.  I've never done a challenge from facebook and am not really even sure if I'm posting it right, but here goes.  The challenge was to use an Amuse stamp on a card and use the below photo for inspiration.



So, how did I get from the inspiration photo to my card?  Well, I started with WHERE it is.  Of course this is Paris, so my card has french script on the two background papers we use.  Second, this image has lots of trees, so my card has a beautiful trio of topiaries.  Third, this image has a lot of vertical stuff going on.  Yup, my card has lots of vertical stuff going on.  I wasn't really able to capture the color scheme, but I hope I got close enough with my other elements to be considered 'following the inspiration.'  I mean, hey, it's an inspiration right - this is what I was inspired to do.




I also have some photos from my garden to share today.

I love that I have a 3 season garden.   Flowers start blooming in April and I intentionally plan for color right through October.  This is my late season garden.

First, the pretty mums in the front flower bed by the walkway...  I accent my perennial garden with annuals and these darling bright yellow mums were on the centerpieces of the tables for Sarah's party and are now happily in the ground offering a splash of fun color to the front.  I love .99 bargains at Home Depot!!!

 Next up is the interesting sedum.  This was part of the landscape design we had done this summer.   Our old garden was very overgrown so we had stuff pulled out and new stuff put in.  The sedum is really getting a nice color now that the days are shorter..
 Don't you love that little owl sitting amidst the flowers?  He was a birthday present from my kids.  Love seeing him as I walk around watering in the morning....  The cosmo's and roses behind him are still in full bloom too.  I love how they keep going and going, right up until the first frost.

In the backyard we have a small fenced in area for the doggies.  I planted some flowers there when we built it a few years ago and I love the color against the white fence.  These cleones came up from seed and we've had so many butterflies since they started blooming.  These guys have tons of seed pods on them.  I'll be sure to knock them down and help them root in so we get this kind of color next year too.




 The side garden (next to the driveway) is my 'wild child.'  We don't do much here, but I put some impatiens in the spring so I'll have the nice color in the late season.  Even these hydrangeas still look nice although they are well past their prime.




Sigh, do you see that leaf on the grass.  Yup, the leaves are just now starting to turn and will soon begin falling in great quantities.  I'm not sure I'm ready for that, but regardless of my opinion, fall is definitely on it's way.

Thanks for stopping by today.  I hope you have a wonderful day.

Monday, September 12, 2011

fall trees

Have you noticed that it is getting darker earlier in the evening?  Have you noticed that the sun isn't up until later in the morning?  This weekend it became much more noticeable to me.   Last night we finished dinner around 7:15 and I went to take the dogs out for their walk and it was pretty dark.   Ah, a sure sign of fall and I'm not liking it.  At least not the 'less light' part of it.  One thing I do love about fall is the beautiful color change on the trees.  I can already see a few leaves starting to turn.  So when I saw this challenge by Karen Giron for her Sweet Sunday sketch challenge and I saw my memory box tree stamp in my collection, I figured I would ink it up with some fall colors.  Here is the sketch:







I used my pencils on the tan paper and layered up some reds and browns.  This will go in my cards for soldiers packet for fall cards next week.  Hopefully this will bless someone with a note from a loved one tucked inside.

'For all of you who commented on my 9/11 post yesterday - thank you.  I loved reading your heartfelt stories and I know for many of you, it was hard to relive those memories.  Have a great day.....Thanks for stopping by.