Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Gone too soon

It is with inconsolable grief that I write this post. Today my beloved ‘Bella passed away. Complications of her medical problems have eaten away at her poor bones to the point that she was no longer able to walk, to eat, to play or have any quality of life.

The breed standard for the Newfoundland dog states: “Sweetness of temperament is the hallmark of the Newfoundland; this is the most important single characteristic of the breed.” My Bella fit that hallmark trait in every way.

As painful, heart breaking and heart wrenching of a decision it was to make, we know it was time for our big, beautiful Bella to go and wait for us at the Rainbow Bridge.

My ‘Bella-boo, I will never forget you. I will meet you at the rainbow bridge when my turn comes to join you in heaven.

Godspeed, dear girl. I love you.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Hey Diddle, diddle the cat and the fiddle....

Hey diddle diddle the cat and the fiddle
The cow jumped over the moon.
The little dog laughed to see such a sport
and the dish ran away with the spoon.

This stamp set was such a great find, I thought. I bought it from a woman on an internet stamp site who was selling it, so I grabbed it right up. But do you ever do this? Do you buy stamps that you don't really have a need for, but the images are just so stinkin' cute that you just have to have it? I bought this from the woman two years ago. As I was cleaning up my stamp room I rediscovered the set and just had to play with them. I think this set of cards might make either fun birthday cards for children, or grandparents cards to send to their grandkids just cuz, or maybe baby thank you cards or invitations or....just whatever.

Anyway, this stamp set is a retired set from Close to my Heart. They are wood mounted. Does CTMH even make wood mounted anymore?

I stamped on watercolor paper and watercolored the images with Tombow markers.

This week's challenge on OUR CREATIVE CORNER is to dry emboss. I think these cards fit the challenge as I've used my cuttlebug swiss dots embossing folder for the backgrounds and each of the mats has been embossed with the scallop and rectangle nestabilities.

Hope you enjoyed this little set of nursery rhyme cards. I'm going to have this rhyme going through my mind for the rest of the day.


Monday, July 21, 2008

It Doesn't Get Much Better

The title of this Thomas Kinkade stamp, made by Cornish Heritage Farms, is "It Doesn't Get Much Better" and I think the title is appropriate for this scene. Thomas Kinkade is known for his paintings centering around simple pleasures and inspirational messages as well as his use of light.

A year ago I purchased my first Thomas Kinkade rubber stamps from Cornish Heritage Farms. I have to say that at first I found them intimidating. Afterall, I'm not an artist like Mr. Kinkade and to try to imitate his detailed paintings I knew would be impossible. But I do love the coloring challenge these stamps offer and they really cause me to look at the whole picture for the subtle light variations, shadows and movement. One ends up using a rainbow of colors and his end product/piece comes alive with vivid color, even within shadows.

I used prismacolor pencils for this card. I do NOT use any blending solutions, such as odorless mineral spirits, or blending pens. I layer my pencil colors layer upon layer to create the color I want.

I hope the recipient of this card will enjoy it and reflect on days like the one in this scene where "it doesn't get much better" than this.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Oh, my! Come play!

Look! Look! Look!
Oh, my!
Come play!

I guess you can tell I'm having fun creating cards with my new Pink Persimmon clear stamps. As I mentioned in yesterday's post, the set comes with a variety of words as well as objects to play in the wagon.

When I stamped this card "Dick" looked sort of lot out there to the side and I didn't have anything in this set to put in his hand, but lo and behold, in my vast stamp collection I found this very old balloon stamp that worked out perfectly for him to carry to the party while "Jane" pulls the wagon with the birthday cake and gift.

I colored with prismacolor pencils and added stickles glitter to the ribbon on the gift, the flames of the candles and then some frosted lace stickles to "Jane's" collar and ruffles. Remember our little anklet socks with the fold down ruffles.

I covered the balloons and red wagon with clear dimensional glaze.

These stamps are so much fun to play with and also bring back fond memories. Hope you enjoy them too.

Now I MUST get some housework done! Stamping and card making can sometimes be so distracting! Hee hee hee.

Happy Saturday!

Friday, July 18, 2008

Look! Look! Bow wow!

My new PINK PERSIMMON stamps arrived yesterday. I love, love, love this set. It is called "Little Red Wagon" and it is so reminiscent of the Dick, Jane and Sally readers I read as a child. The set has lots and lots of fun stamps to mix and match. I couldn't wait to ink them up so I made this card in about 30 minutes start to finish just to play.

This card is very different for me because I stamped on the cardstock base, colored it with Prismacolor Pencils and it is very, very basic. OK...I admit it was almost painful not to add a bit of dimension, so I did put the red gingham bow with the little tag for dimension. But I think my next cards are going to be strictly stamping.

I have to mention the inspiration for this card as well. Paul and I are soon going to be fostering a puppy for the Canadian Guide Dogs for the Blind. If you are interested in what fostering the new puppy will entail, you can read about it HERE on 'Bella and Gabe's blog ('Bella and Gabe are my dogs and yes they have their own blog!).

I think that I'll probably be making a lot of these fun cards announcing the new pup's arrival with this fun stamp set.

OK...I'd better go sweep up dog hair.

Until later when I can make some more cards...

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Another "sweet" card

I painted a whole bunch of popcicles with this stamp using twinkling H2O's so I'm still playing a bit with the layout. As much as I enjoyed Julee's mojo Monday layout yesterday, I wanted to tweek it this time a bit and make it my own.

This popcicle stamp is from Snag 'em Stamps of Imaginisce. It is one of the "shore thing" collection. I couldn't tell you what the background paper is as it was just this small scrap in my scrap bin. The same is true with this ribbon. It was a little piece left over in my ribbon box just the right size for this card.

Isn't it fun when you have just little bits of this and that and they turn out to be just the perfect amount for something you are creating? Just a little bit a serendipity, I think.


Tuesday, July 15, 2008

You're sweet

It has been a while since I've been able to get my fingers inky. My husband and I had a really nice "vacation." While we didn't go anywhere away from home, we did get a lot of renovation work started on the upstairs of our little house. We took some motorcycle rides, went to a movie matinee, celebrated our 6th anniversary at a fancy/schmancy Italian Restaurant (it was yummy! Thanks Stephanie and Andrew!!) and I bought a few new stamps.

These popcicles look very sweet and refreshing so I decided to use Julee's Mojo Monday 46 sketch that she posted this week on her blog, POETIC ARTISTRY, for the layout. I painted the popcicles with twinkling H2O's and double mounted them with pop dots for dimension. feels good to be stamping and card making again. Vacations are nice but I really missed stamping and making cards. to ink up some more of my new stamps.

Until next time....

Thursday, July 10, 2008

"Betsy" and I take our first roadtrip

All of this week my husband Paul is taking a week off. Supposedly this week is our summer vacation. Like so many others, due to the high price of fuel, we decided to stay close to home and take in some of the local sights and scenery. Also, we are in the midst of a major house renovation project so we've kept very busy.

One of the major things Paul has insisted on is that I get a motorcycle ride in daily. Today he announced that it was time for me to leave the neighborhood streets and, as the song says, "Get your motor runnin'. Head out on the highway. Lookin' for adventure. And whatever rubber stamps may come your way!" (NOTE: like the way I embellished the lyrics? Not bad, eh? LOL )

We headed up highway 17 to Alfred, Ontario where I knew there was a scrapbooking store that I'd never been to before. YOWZA! Highway riding is a lot of physical work when there are strong headwinds. I don't have a windscreen for my bike yet and at speeds of 90 - 100 kilometers/hour I found it physically demanding keeping my girl, BETSY, standing up straight and moving ahead.

But, I did it and we safely arrived at the very nice little shop called "Scrap en masse".

Of course I didn't come out empty handed either. Look at the GREAT clear stamps I purchased. I don't know how well you can see this photo, but I think the Christmas set with Santa playing checkers with the polarbear is darling! I can hardly wait to ink each of these sets up! Take a look at my loot!:

As I said, the headwinds were very wicked and I admit that I had a hard time but did manage to stay in control. Control, that is, until Paul had to make a sudden stop in front of me. I couldn't stop in time behind him and as I swirved around him on the left, my brake lever smashed into his clutch lever and the tip of MY little finger SMASHED AND SHATTERED his left side mirror. I managed to keep control of Betsy and stop her safely. Fortunately my gloves protected my hand from the shattered glass. I think I may have fractured the tip of my pinky but there were no cuts and I'll be fine...fine, that is, except this took a bit of toll on my lack of confidence issue that I've been dealing with.

With great fear and trepidation, I managed to ride the whole trip home. Paul and I hadn't spoken about the whole incident yet. I felt awful for damaging his bike. You know what he said when I pulled in the driveway behind him? He said, "You did GREAT today. I'm so proud of you and how you maintained control and stopping even after hitting me." (He was stopped at the time of the incident.) He was so supportive! What a guy!!

So here is the damage to his bike (I type this while hangin' my head in shame...)

I'm going to keep on riding, though. But for now, I think I'll take some Tylenol for my pinkie and then ink up my new stamps.

Until next time....

and "BETSY" too!

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Harley Princess

Much to the horror of my daughter and I think to the amusement of my sons, I bought a Harley Davidson Sportster 1200L. I got my bike, which I've decided to name "BETSY", back in April. I've taken two sets of riding courses through the Ottawa Motorcycle Safety Council. My progress has been slow, sometimes frustrating, but overall quite a thrill and a lot of fun.

I took my third spill (or in motorcycle lingo, I dropped my bike for the third time) about a month ago. I haven't been on her since.

This morning my husband said, "Get your gear on! We are going for a ride." We were only gone about an hour. The first half hour was scarey for me but the second half hour was a blast!

I'm still learning. I'm not a speed demon. I do thoroughly enjoy being out riding. I'll continue to learn and build confidence. The confidence is what I've lacked and is my biggest drawback right now.

I have to thank my husband for his patience and teaching skills. Paul has a blog and needs to update it but you can find his motorcycle stories and rants about just about any topic on his blog IF WERE KING OF THE WORLD.

Also to Jovi for her support, tips and inspiration that a woman CAN ride a Harley and have a great time as well as create beautiful cards and art. Check out Jovi's blog called INKY IMPRESSIONS.

Oh...and the title of this post goes to my good friend as well as an inspiring woman, Lesa. When Lesa learned I bought a motorcycle she dubbed me a "Harley Princess" or H.P. for short. Lesa, it cracks me up everytime you say that! Check out Lesa's blog HERE.

Here are a couple of snaps Paul took after we returned this morning of his Harley Princess. motorcycle DOES make my butt look big!

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Happy Canada Day!

Happy Canada Day!

We've had a beautiful Canada day today. It is warm, sunny and everywhere you go you see the Canadian flags.

Since we live just outside of Ottawa, the National Capital of Canada, you can't get much more celebratory and festive than here in the capital. Paul and I went downtown this afternoon. Thousands upon thousands of tourists and residents filled the streets, shops, cafes and outdoor markets. The Parliment buildings were filled with people on the lawns and taking tours. We saw fighter jet fly overs, heard live jazz musicians as well as some really wonderful string quartet music. It was just a very fun and festive afternoon.

After we came home we decided to deck our two Newfoundland dogs, 'Bella and Gabriel, out in their Canada bandanas. I had a hard time getting them to pose. They were too interested in the camera....or they are such hams that they are always sticking their nose up close to me.

Even one of my cats wanted to dress in his Canada Day bandana...a mini version of 'Bella and Gabe's. This is Tango. He loves getting dressed up!

Hope you had a wonderful day and good celebration today if you are here in Canada. For our neighbors to the south, we wish you a happy Independence Day later this week.