Thursday, September 23, 2010


My backyard is about 1/3rd of an acre with about 10 mature oak trees (60-80 ft tall) A few are red oaks but they are mostly white oaks which are resistant to oak wilt disease. We used to have lots of elm of various sizes but now most of those have been cleared because of Dutch elm disease. And we had to remove a couple of oak trees in the 23 years here. We have a bit of the woods cleared with a cement curb edging around to separate the grass from the wooded parts. I have planted some hostas, shrubs, and a few Colorado blue spruce to give us a variety of trees , bushes and flowers. My neighbor says it looks like a park in my backyard.

This week was unusual as we had two sitings of birds not typically found in my backyard. For the last two weeks we have seen a large pilleated woodpecker on the suet feeder and in the tree. Now this bird is about 15" tall and has a red head. It is very wary of any movement and the picture, although not clear, at least will show you what he looks like. Bill snapped the photo from inside the family room and about 10 ft away from the window. We hope to get a better photo at some point. He has been here three times, so is hungry. I plan to leave the suet feeder full when we go over to WI soon, so there will be suet for all the woodpeckers and other birds who like it.

The next unusual bird I saw, is an eagle! YEP! and I've got the picture to prove it! I was up early that morning this last week, and as I sat in my recliner looking out the window, I thought I saw a stump or something large up in the tree about 100 ft from the house. It had been raining and all the trees were wet. Then this thing moved and I quickly grabbed my camera and snapped this one photo. I ran to get the binoculars and as I tried to get closer to the window, it must have seen me. Just those few seconds and it was gone. Bill enlarged and enhanced both of these photos so you too could share in the unusual birds from my back yard. Thanks for stopping by. M

Wednesday, September 22, 2010


Our son and his family were able to come over for the long Labor Day weekend and it was such a blessing to have them here. Here is a photo of them at the airport. They all are so precious to us!

The airplane was pretty empty on the 40 min flight and each girl was able to sit by the window and look out side! Emma commented they even flew through a cloud! They also commented how small houses and trees look from the air. We all need to see the world through the wonderment and eyes of a child and hang onto those feelings.

They were able to make a couple of trips to the Mall of America where I rode the Log Ride with Matti and Emma rode with her daddy. That is their favorite. There was hardly anyone at the mall which made it lines! We also visited a Park Reserve that has some fun climbing towers. The girls spent a couple of hours playing there and we all had dinner at the Cheesecake Factory (Jodi's fave!) after wards.

Thanks for coming over! You made the weekend wonderful for us! Love you to pieces!


Give a girl a computer at any age and STAND BACK! They will learn at such a rate as to make your head spin! These two love their Mamaw's little pink computer aka. PINK. They have a few games on it that they really seem to enjoy (Winnie the Pooh Pre School game where they can paint pictures, and learn numbers, and counting and adding and subtracting and looking for pictures that are alike for Owls picture album, and more!) They also enjoy their moms iPad and Matti (on the right), has been sending me pictures she colors on her mom's iPad using a free app for drawing and coloring. I think we have another Jackson Pollock here. Matti seems to love color and applying it to where ever is available. They both love drawing on the driveway. Emma is in Kindergarten now all day, and Matti in the 4K program at the daycare where teachers from the school district come out and teach the 4 yr olds half a day. It is mandatory by state law and some children who are not in daycare get bussed to school for half a day. Should give them all the preparation for being successful students the rest of their school careers. GO EMMA! GO MATTI! We are so proud of you both!


Here in MN the temperatures are dropping at night, the leaves are beginning to turn and a few have landed on the grass! CRASH! Autumn is here! The peak color season will be here in a few weeks time and by the middle/end of Oct, most of the leaves will have fallen and blown around the yard and collect in particular spots and flower beds.

I have spent some of this month in MN cleaning out pantry cabinets and getting rid of items that are from the prehistoric age! LOL! And that is the kind of job that makes a mess first because you have to take everything out of both cabinets, and then move the canned goods over nearer the one by the stove/refrigerator. I have thrown away all the pasta, dry goods, and old items to make room for some of my craft items. YIPPEE! I love having a space for my stuff. I still have a couple of shelves above to clean out and need to wash down all the shelves and run the Tupperware through the dishwasher. I only use part of it and maybe need to get rid of some of it.

I did make a nice 6x6 Friendship card. I have included 3 photos here. I used a white card base, Basic Grey Indian Summer background., two panels of a rose pink shimmer CS, turquoise Bazzill "tropical", and a pretty piece of My Mind's Eye Bohemia "Bliss" "darling daughter" (this is a long name but has the rose, white and turquoise colors in the chrysanthemums on it). I just love this top CS. I stamped a 1994 Stampendous "Friendship blooms in loving hearts" in Baroque Burgundy from SU , cut it out with the Spellbinders Deckled rectangle die on my CB. I matted with the tropical turquoise and the rose shimmer. I added a piece of SU grosgrain in Baroque Burgundy ribbon down the middle and tied a small bow I made with my Bow-Easy. I added pink rhinestones in each outer corner. The third picture I took at an angle to show the two side panels popped up as is the saying panel. I'm liking it a lot!

I also have been coloring on some sunny fromPSX (their botanical), a fall wreath also from PSX, and a THANKS with a row of sunflowers under it. These will be posted when I figure out how to use them for some Autumnal cards. Enjoy Autumn!

Thanks for stopping by. M

Tuesday, September 14, 2010


I promised a reveal of Miss Luci under the comforter...and HERE she is!

Here in MN we don't have as many windows on the world for the cats to look out and dream. They all sit on top of the love seat in the family room at one time or another to watch the bird feeders. Jack makes a "cak, cak, cak" sound when he watches them. Here they all three are looking out the front storm door. Two cats from next door come over for breakfast occasionally and I give them a little and they will sit on the outside and look in longingly as our three look out longingly. Not sure what they would do if they were together. Mine do not have their front claws so not sure who would be aggressive and who would run and be passive. I'm thinking it would be three against one! LOL!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010


We are back after traveling the 5+ hours in our van with the three cats to get here. The cats do pretty well and usually settle down after the first hour or two. We bring along bins of my stamping stuff and I throw a big comforter over it all and they each find a place to sleep a little. We usually stop twice to stretch our legs and get a bite. We listen to audio mystery stories on the way and for us, the time passes quickly.

I have several pictures of the cats doing various things, and thought I could combine them in a posting since they are our "children". Here is our Mari cat in the vertical blinds on the window ledge at the condo in Oshkosh (I love those verticals for the cats because they can not damage them getting up on the ledge!). Our blinds hang free and the cats can get up there and get some rays even when they are closed. The ledge is about 6 inches so plenty of room.

Yes there is a cat under the comforter on the couch...can you guess which one? For some reason, Jack mainly but Luci sometimes likes to hide under there. Jack will sleep a while. Luci is usually just playing a little at Hide and Seek or her other favorite You Can't See Me! This is Luci. See the next posting for the reveal!

This is Jack on the girls daybed with their stuffed animals and soft pillows. He likes to be in that room with me as I am doing my crafting. The three of them provide us with such joy everyday. Even the work required to care for them is minimal compared to the joy we gain. They are just plain FUN! And make us laugh!

Thanks for stopping by...M

Thursday, September 2, 2010


Isn't GOD'S creation marvelous. Besides all the flowers in His garden for us to enjoy, he uses birds as planters. We have a sunflower feeder off the edge of our decking in Oshkosh. The birds must fly over to the edge of the deck and while trying to crack the seeds, drop a few. We have four beautiful sunflowers growing there. Makes me want to make a few cards with sunflower images. I just received about 5 different stamps with sunflowers, so will work on it. Here are a few of the pictures I took. They are taller than our grand daughter Matti who is 4 1/2 yrs. She liked the bee on the one the best. Look around you at the wonders He has made for us to know HE IS!


I was reading another persons blog about "square" cards. They require special envelopes and usually extra postage but can be soo pretty. I was wanting something white on white or near white and came up with this one as a wedding card.

My card base is white, the next layer is a wedding swirl print in echrue and I rounded the corners with my Creative Memories punch. The next layer is "punch around the block" with Martha Stewarts Deco Shell set. They tell you what size to make your pieces so as to match up the corner and border. The third layer is a solid echrue colored CS run through with my Cuttlebug Swiss Dots folder and edged with a scallop. The center is an image of the word LOVE in block letters. I stamped it in Versa Mark on cream. I heat embossed it with white EP. I distressed the edges of the LOVE square with Tim Holtz "Pumice Stone" distress ink and then matted it with a thin layer of white CS. Love thatPumice Stone color! The larger flower is made by first paper flower. Woohoo! I punched 5 flowers from the echrue CS using a 5 petal punch, spritzed them lightly with water and scrunched each layer up tightly into a spit ball. I let them dry over night, flattened them out a little, and punched a little hole in each. I layered them on top of each other and stuck a beige brad through the center. I then scrunched the center petals tightly and as I went down the stack, each lower one was a little more open. It was really easy and next time I will try it with a scalloped circle. The other flowers were just small flower punches. I tried some greenery but decided I liked the little blue flowers instead. I may add leaves also later. I added the little white ribbon because that corner looked bare. Thanks for stopping by.


Emma had her adenoids removed and tubes put in just before school. We took care of Matti while Emma was having the surgery and while she was recovering in the afternoon. All went perfectly.

Matti and I decided Emma needed a "get well" card and spent most of the morning making it. When I do cards with the girls, I make it important to include them in every phase of it that I can. I collected some stamps for the front image and Matti chose the ice cream sundae and the two ice cream cones. I also picked out some appropriate sayings, and Matti asked me what each one said and she picked "Hope You Feel better soon" for the inside. She picked the colors to color the image and did that and she also chose the colors for the matting. She wanted to punch too (she loves punching) and decided on the pop-up butterflies and every other one is punched out. She added them to the inside. She did all the pop dotting and Stickles to give it some bling. She wrote her name inside and I helped guide her hand to do the front writing ("Have a treat"). We did not have the right stamp for it so just wrote it. Matti did all the adhesive runner and

wanted the ribbon and put it down with double stick tape. There was one little booboo with the Stickles, so I just added all the dots of Stickles to confuse the eye. Was I successful? I think for a four year old with some guidance, she did a marvelous job.


Jodi and Bill had their 8th wedding anniversary Aug 9 and this is the card I made for them. They took their girls and had a family vacation at the Wisconsin Dells for a few days. I made a bag of Chex snack mix with lots of pecans for them to take along.

My card uses some pink razzleberry card stock for the solid with some light pink with loopy flowers. I used a spellbinder Nestie to cut out the white and the mat of the razzleberry. The "Celebrating 8" stamped in Versa Mark was embossed in hot pink. Also on the inside I added "wonderful years" and stamped in hot pink. The daisies with pink centers are from a roll from the fabric dept at Wal-Mart and the leaves are a Martha Stewart punch. The bottom punched border on the front is also a Martha Stewart punch called "Quilted" and is a very pretty edge. I also used the corner punch of this set on the corners of the pink daisy paper but they might be a little hard to see. I needed more light to showcase this card.

Thanks for stopping by and letting me share.


I recently bought the cutest Penny Black stamp on Ebay titled "With this Ring". It has the cute boy groom in a tux and top hat holding a sparkling ring behind his back and he is facing the girl bride whose hair is up with roses and a short lace veil, and her dress is old fashioned with swags and roses and eyelet peeking from beneath the skirt. She holds her bouquet behind her and is wearing her Mary Janes.

I decided to make this into a non-traditional wedding card, using my favorite Stampin Up color of Brilliant Blue. His tux is colored with Copic gray and I used the SU Brilliant blue as accents on his tux and the vest, I colored the ring and added Stickles to sparkle it up some.

She is a vision in her white dress with rose colored roses, green leaves, and a pink swag above the blue ruffle, along her skirt with more roses. I used my SU Designer Paper in Brilliant Blue for the background, but used the small print side. I added Stickles randomly to the dots in the back ground, added a Martha Stewart eyelet lace border and matted in the solid Brilliant Blue. I added a small simple ribbon tied in a knot. Next time I do this image, I want to use pastels and off white for a different look. Makes me want to renew my vows and have a pretty wedding dress again. Thanks for stopping by.


No one likes to have to buy (or make in my case) a sympathy card because it means someone has passed from this life and there is loss and sadness for those left behind.

Recently we received a call from our friend Betty Martin. We used to park our RV next to them and across the street from her brother in Green Gate retirement park down in Mission TX every winter. Well, Betty's SIL, brother John's wife died unexpectedly. So I began my process of making a card for him.

I have several oval stamps of light houses and I thought the image would work. I also had a new Fiskars punch and it looks like scrolly waves and I wanted to use that. I decided on several blue papers and card stocks. I also wanted the card to be masculine looking. My style tends to be more to the feminine side. So below are my two first attempts but they were too feminine to me. The third card was much more simple and I think hit the mark better. Unfortunately, I forgot to take a picture of the card I sent (duh!) but will describe it. So you will need to put on your imagination caps and try to visualize it. I used the same papers and card stock in all three so I think you will get the idea.

Sympathy card #1...Stampendous light house stamp. Stampin Up Brilliant Blue solid card stock, and DSP (designer paper prints in paisley and the small print down the left side.) The white/blue background looks like graph paper but a brighter blue. I used the Spellbinder classic oval and scalloped oval Nestie for the image which is popped up. The horizontal punch was the Fiskars "swirl" which I just love and the vertical punch on the edge is the SU scalloped border. The image did not quite fill the oval but I used my artistic drawing abilities and filled in the edges and colored with SU markers. You can see the faint line but it isn't too bad for my first attempt at doing that. Lastly I added red brads to each of the corners. The sentiment is from a clear set I have and was stamped in Stampin Up Brilliant Blue ink

Sympathy card #2...Stampendous light house image cut out using the classic oval Nestie from Spellbinder, and matted with the scalloped oval Nestie. I turned this one sideways and matted the whole with SU Brilliant Blue solid CS, and did faux stitching around the white check. The rest is pretty much the same although the lighthouse is a different image and colored with SU markers as was the other one. The red sheer ribbon was added for softness.

Sympathy card #3...Was a vertical card, matted in SU Brilliant Blue, with the whole front being a piece of the blue graph paper. I had two 1/2 strips of the small print from the Brilliant Blue DSP and I criss crossed them like a "cross" shape on the front. I popped the same image from the second card onto a scalloped mat and colored this light house with colored pencils. It gave a much softer look to the whole card. I did not add ribbon, or brads or punched edges and kept it plain and I put the sentiment inside in Brilliant Blue. I received a nice THANK YOU from John so know he appreciated. my efforts. I may at some point make another like it just to add a picture here. "A picture is worth a thousand words" Right? Thanks for stopping by.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010


Matti, Emma and I met grandma Susan at Archivers at 10am on Aug 7th. We began the first project with Susan helping me to help Emma and Matti do the projects. The girls stood on the metal shopping baskets which gave them a boost since the counters are tall. As I said in another posting, this was Grandma Susan's first time in Archivers and first time to make cards, etc. It was a lot of fun for me to share this activity with her and the girls.

The first project was a card made out of a scalloped bi-fold card in white. The demonstrator had cut the card in half to make the base and then circles out in orange with a special cutter and we punched a flower shape out (Isn't that the cutest flower with the circles all around it!), stamped THANK YOU in Versa Mark and embossed in black. We adhered the half orange circle onto the half card and added a rhinestone in the center of the flower. Inside we added a strip of a flower print paper and tied a length of twine around the card. The girls did the stamping, adhesive, rhinestone, and we did any cutting and the heating of the embossing powder. After the girls made their project, Susan and I made one for ourselves and the girls were very patient watching and waiting and seemed to enjoy us making our own just as much. They also wanted to "help" us since they had already made one, LOL! Soo cute they are and amazing!

The second project was a 3x3 card with hot pink as a base, black matting, and topped with white run through a texture folder. We also used the Big Chomper to cut the corners of the white square. We stamped a lamp image in black, and then on a separate piece of card stock stamped it again with Versa Mark and embossed the lamp shade only with hot pink powder. The THANK YOU is embossed in black and mine is crooked. Makes it unique I am told. LOL! It has a rhinestone jewel at the top of the shade which is popped up. Cute mini card and fun. I will need to make a bunch of these using my smaller stamps.

Lastly we made an (ATC ) Artist Trading Card which are about the size of credit cards. First we put white paint on the flourishes and used both ends for a different look. All the stamps are Tim Holtz Urban Chic clear set. I used a coupon to get mine as they are pricey. Then we used two colors of Tim Holtz Distress inks in Broken glass (a turquoise color) and pumice stone (a grey/tan color). We learned a new technique for using the pads to make circles with the ink off the white CS and then slowly roll onto it. The had a silicon mat to work on and the ink and paints and glue and adhesives just don't stick. It is really great. Anyway, with this technique, you don't get straight lines of ink doing it this way. It looks more like smoke or whips of color and they are blended better. The white paint flourishes resisted the ink some and we were able to wipe off extra from them to make them show through the mist of the ink. We stamped the sentiment in black, butterflies in turquoise and Stickled them. We tied thin twine around twice and tied a bow. It was really pretty when done and I bought the Tim Holtz stamp set, inks, and such to recreate it on a card sometime soon. I really like this sentiment and this set has another and 11 stamps in all.

Our lunch at Perkins was really pancakes for the girls and I had a senior omelet and Susan had a sandwich. Here is the picture of Grandma Susan and the girls. We had a really great time together and plan to do it again. (More cards to come of my own designs in the postings after this. ) Thanks for stopping in to let me share this activity with you. I believe it is important to teach the next generation about these life skills. Everyone is an artist and needs to be nurtured at a young age to feel comfortable about expressing themselves artistically. GOD is the creator and we are created in GOD's image. We need to make something...make dinner, make pictures and cards, make clothing, make a garden and grow food, etc. From this our hearts can sing a song of joy.


WOW, it has been almost two months since I posted! No, I was not on an extended vacation in the Amazon Jungle with no internet service! No, I have not been institutionalized although there may be those who might like for me to be! I have just been busy living each day, one at a time.

For a quick recap...
My week with Mom for her birthday was special. She is such a wonderful person. I took my iPad along and was able to do emails and Ebay using the ATT service we bought for a month just for that purpose. I also took our Disney movie "The Princess and the Frog" and she enjoyed that. I had transportation to and from the air port via a friend and one of Mom's neighbor's. Saved me $180 total and I am very appreciative.

Our son and family had been here for the 4th of July. Our daughter Beth could not come and visit, but she sent the girls chef aprons and hats and so I have included a couple of pictures of them dressed for "cookin" "! They are so much fun. Emma lost her first baby tooth and the tooth fairy brought her some money She is saving for her own iPad. Matti is holding her dad's soda as they are preparing to leave after the holiday.

We headed back to Oshkosh about July 20th. When we are there, it is less structured and we are more retired. We shared several meals with our son's family, sometimes at their home, and sometimes at the condo. August 7th I met with Jodi's step mother at Archivers with Matti and Emma, and we made three projects free. The girls spent an hour waiting in line and doing each project at the free Make and Take. They did so wonderfully and were so patient. Susan had never done card making and helped so much. After wards, we took the girls to lunch at Perkins and I took a picture of Susan and the girls and put it with the posting of the projects. We were out for about 5 hours and the girls were just super the whole time. Matti fell asleep in the car on the way home. I will post their projects in the next posting.

The next day was the condo associational annual meeting and cook out. We met on the double driveway 2 doors over from us, and although it was hot, Bill and I sat in the shade of the garage and ate our brats and burgers. Lots of good food there and two hours of conversation and meeting our neighbors.

We headed back to MN about the 25th. and have been taking care of a couple of doctors appointments. Bill picked up another mobility scooter with a ramp for the back of the van. He plans to sell the one he got this summer as this one is newer and better. He used one for riding around EAA airshow in Oshkosh. He doesn't have the stamina for walking around for hours anymore. He loves having conveniences and gadgets.

I have made some cards the past few months and will show them in postings after this. Thanks for stopping by.