Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Masculine Fall Birthday

Hi Friends,
Today's post is a birthday card I made for my brother in law.   I wanted something with some fall themes and lots of texture so I did some of my die cuts in cork and embossed my cream layer behind the tree.

Did you all have a nice Halloween?  I had Mr. Appliance come by around 4:30 to fix my washer.  I am so glad to have a washer back.  Then I made loaded baked potato's for dinner and greeted a bunch of trick or treaters.  I hope you all had a safe and fun Halloween.

Thanks for visiting my blog today.  Have a great day.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Some Winter themed cards and 'what's new in the {empty} nest update

Hi friends,  It’s been a little while since I gave you an update on our life.  

But first two winter themed cards to share with you.

The first card is for PTI's make it monday.  The technique is to create floating die cut images on a window card.  This was super fun. I love this technique and hope to do it again.  I love the unique effect.  This card uses 'on my couch' combined with a sentiment from 'on ice.'

The second card is for Your Next Stamps sketch challenge.  I had fun coloring in this tobaggen girl and cutter her out.  The snow is made with stickles.

So what’s new in the nest? 

Well, we survived ‘Frankenstorm.’  That is the nick name of the combo storm that started with hurricane Sandy coming up the southern coast and meeting an artic storm heading down from the north. Thankfully, for us, it didn’t have a big impact.  We never lost power, we didn’t have any trees down in the yard and I got out of work at 1:30 Monday afternoon.  I hit a few road closures on my commute to work Tuesday, but traffic was light so it wasn’t a big deal at all.

I am     s l o w l y     downsizing stuff in anticipation of putting the house on the market in early 2013.   I went into my craft closet a few weeks ago and realized I must get rid of a lot of my under-utilized stamping supplies.  I have my 'most frequently used' supplies at my desk, in the baskets in the desk or on the wall in my printer drawer turned shelf.  And then I have all the other stuff in the closet.  I am using a number of selling outlets including Papertrey Inks forum and ebay to unload anything in the closet.  I had a few moments of nostalgia as I photographed my Stampin Up sets.  Some of the sets I put up for auction were my first ever sets and it brought back fond memories of my initial projects and excitement with stamping.  I refused to allow myself to hold on to any of the sets though, just because of the fond memories.  I am not using these sets now so they served their purpose and it’s time for them to get new homes and be loved by someone else.

I was happy to make $120.00 in ebay sales for 10 stamp sets.  I have another 10 up for sale now and I've hit my e-bay selling limit for October so I'll wait and list 20 more in November.  I'm pleased with my sales.  That’s an average of $12.00 per set and while I’m certainly not making any money (I’m sure they cost me @ 25.00 a set plus shipping), I’m happy to get some money back for them.  Guess which stamp sold for $63.00?  Can you believe that SU Branch Out had a bidding war?  I guess it’s discontinued now and hard to get.  Someone really wanted that set.  I hope they love it. It is a fun set, but I’m not using it anymore.
Next up to get auctioned off?  Books.  I realized there is a market for used books and we have a ton of them.  I’m going to post them on Amazon next month and clear them out.  I don’t think there is much money in them, but I’d just love to see them go to someone who wants them.

It is time consuming.  I have to get the stamps - ensure they are complete and clean, then photograph them and list them.  Once the auction ends I have to quickly generate a paypal invoice and then once payment is received head to the US post office and mail them within a day.  I schedule my auctions to end around days I know I can get to the post office.  10 at a time isn't a burden and for $120.00 it's worth it to me.
Next month I will start going through the closets and purging.  I’m not looking forward to that – especially my bathroom closets.  I’m sure there are many toiletry items and medications way past their expiration dates that will need to be tossed.  I hate tossing things away that I paid good money for.  Sigh.  It makes me want to re-consider my purchasing patterns.  It reminds me that my life style still has a lot of waste in it.

So what else is happening?  Well tomorrow is halloween.  We usually get a ton of trick or treaters.  We have the perfect neighborhood for it and kids always come in carloads or in groups.  I figure it's just about a mile to hit the whole development and I'm guessing there are 50 houses so kids that don't mind walking can really rake in the candy.  I have two big baskets of candy.   I think I have 75 pieces of fun size treats.  I hope I get rid of almost all of it, but don't run out.  Usually Eric and his friends help get rid of it, but it's just Bob and I this year and while I could easily eat all of it, that would not be good.

Speaking of candy, I continue to be 2-4 pounds away from my goal weight.  I have not been able to get back on track this month but really want to focus and get it off before Thanksgiving.

Well, that's about it.  Thanks so much for visiting my blog today.  I hope you have an awesome day.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Joy for Christmas

Hi friends,
We started to get rain today as the 'Frankenstorm' begins to descend upon New England so I headed down to my craft room and inked up this Christmas set.  This is another card using the Taylored Expression sketch challenge.  I'll put this in the mail for cards for soldiers.  The deadline for christmas cards is this week.

So, have you heard about our giant storm?  As hurricane Sandy comes up the east coast it will merge with an arctic front from Canada and hit the jet stream from the mid-west.  The end result is a very big storm that will impact most of the east coast all week long.

We are pretty much expecting to lose power for some amount of time, the question is how long.

I hope you will be safe and dry as the storm comes.  Thanks for visiting my blog today.  Have a great day.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Taylored Expression Christmas Card

Hi friends,

Today I have a Christmas Card.  This isn't my first Christmas card of the 2012 season but it is certainly one of the first.  I mentioned in previous posts that I made a commitment to myself to only buy one Christmas stamp set this year.  Why?  Well, because I already have a lot of sets, they are very well marketed and if left undisciplined I'd buy too many and I only make Christmas cards for 2 months of the year.

So, I deliberatly waited till October to choose my set because I wanted to wait and see most of the offerings.  I didn't want to wait till November because I didn't want to put off starting my cards till then.

So the stamp set I settled on this year is a cute set from Taylored Expression.  I kind of cheated and got two - I got the Joy stamp and the cool gang set.  The cool gang is really a winter card but it works well for christmas cards.  The joy stamp is just one stamp - not a set - but is only really a Christmas image.

I used the Taylored Expressions sketch for this card and will enter it in the Stamp and Set Challenge.  I missed the deadline for the sketch challenge but since I'll upload this to their site before Wednesday I can still be eligible for the grand prize.

Below is the sketch.  This sketch is really nice, but I had a hard time finding so many different patterned papers that go together.  I bought my stamp, but haven't gotten any new papers this year and my stock is running low.

My DH and I are off to dinner at one of the other elders home.  They want us there at 4:30.  That seems early but my DH is giving me the hairy eye ball to go, so time to run.  Thanks so much for visiting my blog today.  Have a great day.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Papertrey Ink Blog Hop 2nd post

Hi friends,

Here is my second post for today for my second PTI Blog Hop project.

I used the same color scheme (cause I like it) and did something similar but a little different.

Thanks for visiting my blog today.  Have a great day.

Papertrey Ink Blog Hop - unusual christmas colors

Hi friends,

Today I have two posts to share with you for PTI's October Blog Hop.

The challenge this month is to use non-traditional Christmas Colors.

So for this post, I have this fun Christmas Card using the above color scheme.
Another post is coming shortly.  Thanks for visiting my blog today.  Have a great day.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Stamp and send 2

Hi friends,

Today's post is another card for Taylored Expressions 'stamp and send' challenge.  This time we were challenged to use an inspiration photo to make an encouragement card.

Here is my card...

next to the inspiration photo...

Below is the link to the TE site with the details of this challenge.

did you have a good weekend?  Both my DH and I were sick all week so we took it easy (well kinda sorta) and tried to fully recover from that nasty upper respitory infection that has been going around.

Sunday we went to the Patriots-Jets game.  What a nail biter that one was.  Phew!  It was a great game and we were pleasantly surprised we got the final win in overtime.  Sadly, my Patriots have been really blowing it in the 4th quarter and yesterdays game was no exception.  They played pretty well through the end of the 3rd quarter and then  the wheels came off both offensive and defensive.  Thankfully the Jet's only scored a field goal to tie the game which brought us into overtime.  Then we started playing well again.

I am a big Tim Tebow fan so I was glad to see him play a few minutes Sunday.  I was glad we got the victory over Sanchez and coach 'sexy Rexy.'  I hadn't heard of his foot fetish and scandal from years back.  My DH explained it all to me on the ride home.  Too funny.  Note to self, if I become famous don't post photos or videos on public sites that will embarrass me or my family.  You'd think these guys would know better.

Well, thanks for visiting my blog today.  Have a great day.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Quebec City

Hi friends,

Last week we celebrated my husband's birthday in Quebec City with family.  It was  really nice time.

Below is a nice photo of my Dad (Richard) and his wife Marylu.  They live in Arizona so they were quite cold but managed to stay warm enough.  Marylu bought that nice warm hat while there.

 The leaves were very pretty, and while it was cloudy the rain didn't come.

 Below is a nice shot of Bob's parents Joan and Bob at the restaurant.

 Here is my Mom (Donna) and her husband Peter.

 This is all of us...

 Bob and I....  People all over comment that Bob looks a little like Anderson Cooper - the news broadcaster.  I think it's the full head of gray hair and blue eyes that causes the resemblance.

 Bob with his sparkler for his birthday dessert.
Here I'm getting ready for an early morning run in the cold.  I had not packed for cold weather but managed to bundle up and get out there.

 I was rewarded with some beautiful views on my morning run.  Below is a shot of the colored leaves and the entrance to the old city.
 Here I took a break from running to snap this photo.  This is the fields of Abraham where a famous battle took place.  The city is hilly with views of the river all around.

Here is Bob's parents and my Mom as we toured around the city.

 The famous hotel in Quebec City.
 Our restaurant in old city where we had Bob's birthday dinner.
 Peter, My Mom and Bob's Mom taking a rest from shopping.
 Peter and my mother danced to the violin playing of a street performer.
 They love music so much and the crowd was really appreciating their dancing.
Fall is a beautiful time to visit Quebec, but it was cold.  how pretty are all the decorations on the shops and restaurants.

 Thanks for visiting my blog today.  Have a great day.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Stamp and Send

Hi friends,

Today's post is for the Taylored Expression Make and Mail challenge.  Do you ever make cards and then forget to actually send them?  Guilty - way more than I care to admit.
I guess the folks at TE know a little bit about us crafters so in order to be eligible for the challenge prize we have to actually mail the card.   I put this in the mail for Cards for Soldiers along with a bunch of other cards I have accumulated.  They send the blank cards to the servicemen and women serving overseas.  We were to use the below color scheme to make a card that thanks someone.

You can click the link below to get details on this challenge.
Stamp and Send Color Challenge

Thanks for visiting my blog today.  Have a great day.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Bob's Birthday Celebration cruising through New England and Canada

Hi friends,

Today's post is all about our recent cruise to Canada to celebrate Bob's 50th Birthday.  We cruised on NCL's Dawn up the New England coast line to the St. Laurence River and then down through Quebec.  It was beautiful and we had a really fun time.

A few things to tell you about the cruise.   It was fun and super relaxing.  For us it was the perfect blend of things to do and down time to relax.  Probably the best thing about a cruise is that you really don't have to make any decisions or plan anything.  It was especially easy since we just took a limo service from our house to the Boston Cruise Terminal and within 1 hour of home were enjoying a cocktail and relaxing on the ship.

Our cruise attracted mostly retired people.  We were one of the youngest people on the ship (which is kind of funny since Bob is about to turn 50!)  We enjoyed it though.  The retired people on our ship were energetic, friendly and fun, but it wasn't a party all night kind of environment.  That was actually fine with me.  Below are a few photos from the ship itself.  The Dawn was recently renovated and holds @2,200 passengers and another 1,000 crew.

We really enjoyed the entertainment on the ship.  They had all kinds of various musicians on-board and every night there were options of watching 3 or 4 different types of music (celtic, rock, folk, classical) and also a main show in the theater.  There was a fabulous comedian, an illusionist, and a vocal impressionist that we enjoyed in the theater.  It was very nice to sit down enjoy a glass of wine or cocktail, chit chat with some new friends and enjoy the live music.  The food was good, but not memorable, although I'm sure I managed to gain a pound or two simply from eating so much of it!  If you go on NCL, budget some money to dine at the specialty restaurants.  For us, it was worth the slight extra surcharge for the nice atmosphere in the smaller diner areas and the variety of foods offered there.

We enjoyed the stops in the US and Canada.   We started in Boston MA, then stopped in Portland ME, Halifax NS, Charlottetown PEI, Gaspe Quebec, La Baie Quebec and then got off the ship in Quebec City (I'll have another post on Quebec City later this week.)

My favorite stop was  Halifax Nova Scotia.  We rented bikes and rode all around the beautiful city.  There was some fun shopping in the downtown area (I got a new top and running skirt at Lululemon) and we had a nice lunch of sushi in town.  It was cold, but not bitter.  The city had a beautiful city center park and the flowers were all still in bloom.  Halifax had a lot of Titanic memorial things.  I guess many of the people who died in the Titanic were buried in Halifax.  Can you see the little Titanic ship in the pond in the photos below?

They also had a darling tug boat from a children's book.  It was so sweet cruising around the harbor with the big ships.

On most days we would get off the boat in the morning (around 9) and sight see around the area for the day, get some lunch and then before boarding the boat find a local pub and enjoy a beer.  Bob's favorite pub was in Portland Maine at a place called Gritty's.  If you are a beer lover (like my DH) you should try the Halloween ale.  He said it was fabulous.

Some of the ports we stopped at were very small towns, but oh so friendly.  They really went out of their way to make us feel welcome.  Each of the port towns we visited had a welcome center right at the cruise terminal.  Some had samples of local food, all had musicians and dancers and all had free wi-fi.  Bob and I got in the habit of getting off the ship sitting in the welcome center, enjoying the music and catching up on our e-mails, blogs and facebook friends.  Then we'd talk to the visitor center people, get a map of town and head out to explore the town.

All the welcome people were retired.   Isn't this handsome Canadian mountie a riot!
In the small town of La Baie, there were costumed dancers waving to us on our balcony's and urging us to join them in their town.

We also rented bikes on Prince Edward Island.  We biked all over that island and probably clocked over 20 kilometers that day.  The map showed some 'scenic overlooks' but we found that it was pretty industrial and farm land.  We enjoyed the ride, but the best scenery was by the coast with the red clay dirt and lighthouses.

We also stopped at a small town off the St. Laurence river called Gaspe.  Every stop we made further north got colder and colder.  Gaspe started to get quite chilly and they were saying a chance of snow while we were there.  It was a pretty town, but once the rain came we headed back to the welcome center early.

In Gaspe I tried a dish famous in Quebec called Putine.  It was french fries with gravy and cheese curds on it.  It was very tasty but very filling.  I only had about 1/3 of this plate below.  I wonder how many weight watcher points were in that bowl???

To help counter the effects of beer, rich food and desserts I tried to go to the fitness center on the boat every day.  One day I did a yoga class.  Another day I took a cycling/spin class.  The Australian guy who did the class was pretty brutal.  I thought I was going to die a few times and don't tell, but when he said to turn your resistance up 2 or 3 turns I only turned it once.  It was my first class and all!!  Bob took his class another time and realized how out of shape he was!

My dad and his wife Marylu joined us on the cruise.  We really enjoyed having them with us.  Marylu isn't a night owl so she often would head to her cabin after dinner.  My Dad enjoyed the entertainment so he would join us for the show or the musicians.  We would often eat one or two meals a day with them, but then go on our own for part of the day too.  That's what's nice about a cruise.  Everyone can do their own thing but you can all still be together too.  They cruise often but had never cruised with NCL.  They liked the entertainment.  I had to laugh when my dad said that the other cruise lines they go with often have older passengers than we had on our ship!  One of the ships entertainers was talking to Bob one day and said the clientelle of the ships varies a lot by the itinerary.  The Caribbean and Bermuda tours attract a young party crowd.  The Canada route is much more retired people.  I bet it's nice for them to have the variety.  Each group probably has it's own challenges but at least if you do different tours you get some change of pace.

So before I end today's post let me leave you with a cruise director joke.   The cruise director was walking along the top deck of the ship on a windy day.  A senior citizen woman was also out on the top deck.  She was grasping a very fancy hat on her head with both hands because it was windy.  A gust of wind whipped her skirt up in the air exposing her entire lower half.  The cruise director approached her and said 'do you not know that your dress is flying in the wind and all your lower half is showing?'  She said 'sure I know, but Mr., everything down there is 86 years old.  This hat is brand new.'   Yup, we all laughed at that one and several others like it just as bad.

Thanks for visiting my blog today.  Have a great day.