Monday, December 31, 2012


We've been getting snow and some very cold temperatures, paralleling or colder than Anchorage.  There's just something wrong with that scenario!

Friday morning there was frost clinging to every branch of every tree and it was a sparkly winter wonderland.  Unfortunately I was able to only snap a quick photo of this frosty rose bush.  It looks a bit forlorn but it will spring to life when the warmer temperatures return.  And meanwhile it's proof of our very wintery weather.

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Card Set, Card 5

Circles are always fun.  Consider balloons and soap bubbles; you can't be sad while seeing them.  I punched circles in a variety of sizes using patterned and plain paper.  Some of the circles were adhered with foam tape so they pop forward.  The text was stamped and I added some dots using dimensional paint.  The border was punched and the design was finished with ribbon.

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Card Set, Card 4

It appears that for this card I adhered strips of flowery paper to dotted paper before using a die cut to create a window.  That was mounted on the card front with foam tape.  I used the same die set to cut the label for the text and inked the edges to make it stand out a bit.  The butterfly and flowers were punched.  I added some faux jewels and ribbon loops for  the final touches.

Friday, December 28, 2012

Card Set, Card 3

I used a folder to emboss the background and then cut it apart with deco scissors and mounted it on the card with foam tape for dimension.  I die cut patterned paper for the butterfly and created the body and feelers with some fiber.  The leaves are die cut and the tiny flowers are punched.  The text was stamped on the card front before the embossed cardstock was adhered.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Card Set, Card 2

This is the second card in this set.  This time I used a circular piece of the patterned paper which was mounted on a punched border.  The flowers are stamped and die cut and I finished with punched leaves and ribbon.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Card Set 1

I made a few card sets to give as Christmas gifts.  Generally I pick a pack of coordinated patterned paper  for each set and go from there.  And I tend to make them common themes like birthday as I figure everyone uses those.  They are a bit different from each other although I may use the same basic design for a couple of sets.

For the first card in this set I matted the patterned paper with gold.  The embossed oval is SU and then I punched out the center and matted it on gold.  A ribbon, some nail heads and a die cut butterfly complete the design.

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Merry Christmas 2012!

I'm taking the liberty of using a neighbor's snow family to wish you a very merry Christmas.  I hope you are as happy as they appear to be.

Monday, December 24, 2012

Christmas Eve

I imagine there's a great amount of excitement in homes all over the world today.

This is the final Christmas card and it started with strips of paper adhered to a metallic circle.  I hand cut the top of the ornament and suspended it with gold cord which was tied into a ribbon at the top.  The holly is punched. I adhered thin die cut chevrons to white cardstock, cutting at the bottom of the chevron.  I adhered the two pieces with some metallic paper which shows through between the strips.  I added two thin strips of solid green cardstock and on the outside edge of those I added some dimension with a crease by my bone folder.

Here's hoping Santa brings what you wished for!

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Lots of Circles

This card started with the cut file of all the overlapping circles.  It's a file I created myself based on another one that I saw.  I cut circles from patterned paper to layer behind some of the circles.  The ornament was stamped and cut out and the text was stamped directly on one circle and gold embossed.  I added the frame to patterned paper with a musical motif and then adhered it to the card front.  I embellished with a bit of glitter pen, a gold bow and faux jewels.

Notice how many of this year's Christmas cards used kraft paper?  It coordinated nicely with a pack of patterned paper that I found at Hobby Lobby.  Nice to have a starting point.

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Cat Tracks

There are a couple of cats that pass through our yard.  I suspect these tiny prints were left by the calico.  The photo is much darker and more blue than the original but at least those tiny, cute tracks are nicely visible.

Friday, December 21, 2012

Vintage Greeting

The window for this card was cut by my electronic cutter.    Then I cut again using the same file to create the frame.  I stamped the holly on the card front and adhered the patterned, matted paper with foam tape so it popped up.  The banner was cut with a die cut and stamped.  I added a bit of color to the holly leaves and used Glaze pen for the berries.  I thought overall it had a vintage look.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

On Thin Ice

I took a walk early one morning last week after we had a freeze.  It had snowed so the ground was waiting to pull me down and I was keeping my eyes close to my feet.  The reward for that was seeing many puddles that had frozen over, leaving a thin sheet of ice.  When I was a child I took great delight in stepping on that ice just to hear the sound it made.  I still do.  It's so pretty that it seems a shame to ruin the design but I can't seem to stop myself.  The ice is going to melt and the water will flow back into the earth anyway so what's the harm?  There's still a bit of child left in me.  Okay, maybe more than a little bit.  But I did think to take a quick photo before my stomp.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012


I used diffusers with an embossing folder to created the white background.  It doesn't show in the photos, but I ran a stylus around the flat shape left in the center of the embossing.  The flower was cut with my electronic cutter and the leaves and center were punched.  I added red satin ribbon for a bit of a border and some dimension.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012


This design started with a rubber stamp and matching die.  I gold emobssed the stamping.  The white border is punched and has gold foil behind.  The dark green is folder embossed and I added patterned paper at the top. The ornament was finished off with a ribbon bow and a little gold star in the center.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Holiday Hexagons

Got out my hexagon die cuts for this design and cut the hexs from a variety of patterned paper in various sizes.  I added some sticker glitzy dots and a punched snowflake.  The text was gold embossed.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Festive Lampost

Were you part of stamping a few years back when stamping on labels was popular?  I decided to revisit that idea for this card.  The image was stamped and color added to the wreath and some of the text.  I added a ribbon bow and matted the labels with red and green before putting it on white cardstock.  The snowflake was die cut.

Saturday, December 15, 2012


My electronic cutter made this an easy card to make.  I cut the letters from white cardstock and because I saved the letters, another card can be designed to use them.  I adhered the white cardstock with foam tape for dimension and matted it on dotted and then solid paper.  Embellishments are punched holly leaves and snowflake and a ribbon bow.  For a festive touch I added glitter to the snowflake.

Friday, December 14, 2012

High Tea


I had a definite idea in mind when I sat down to create this invitation to high tea, but the end result was very little like my vision.  That was okay with me as I was pleased with how it turned out and at least I had a starting point.

Some of the flower layers were cut with my electronic cutter and others were punched.  I added dimension to the petals using a stylus.  The white background is folder embossed and the holly leaves are a die cut.  The final touches were the faux jewels.

Invitations were accepted and now I'm looking forward to high tea in January with a couple of my good friends.  An experience can make a lovely gift, don't you think?!

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Pear Tree

I admit this atc is a bit on the unusual side, especially for a Christmas theme.  It started with what I call a "mess sheet," a sheet of paper I put under an art project that I'm painting, inking, stamping, etc. to catch stuff that goes outside the project area.  The paint pretty much created all of the background color and the tree trunk and I just added a bunch of punched leaves.  I painted some plastic canvas for the grid pattern and flopped it onto the corners.  The partridge is a stamped image.  I couldn't duplicate this atc if I wanted to but I'm not even tempted to try.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Rye Bread

It's hard to find good dark rye bread so I occasionally make it.  This time I halved the recipe which was still enough for two loaves.  My all-time favorite recipe is from an old  Fleischmann's bread book.  It's a paperback and the cover is torn and folded but within those pages are some of the best bread recipes ever.  I see a reuben sandwich in my immediate future.  Yum, yum!

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Peace On Earth

The white background has embossing which is a bit difficult to see in the photo.  The border, circles and holly were punched.  The red paper is a decorative paper and I added a strip of thin metallic ribbon and a faux jewel.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Can't Have Too Many Reindeer

The flip it dies make this card very easy and it can be used for all occasions so I had to come up with a Christmas design.  In addition to cutting the card I also cut the flipping portion in red as I did the small label for the inside.  The design was completed with a reindeer die cut, ribbon and punched borders and punched snowflakes.

Sunday, December 9, 2012


This is a Christmas-themed artist trading card.  The green strip is commercial patterned paper.  I gold embossed the deer and matted it with a scalloped circle.  The two smaller snowflakes and text are gold embossed and the larger snowflake is die cut.

What would it be like to have total peace all over the world for just one day?

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Snowy Medallion

This beautiful medallion is both a die cut and an embossing folder - a great combination.  I put a white hexagon behind it and added a punched snowflake.  The dark blue element was cut using my electronic cutter.  Simple but elegant.

Friday, December 7, 2012

In Sympathy

There's no season for sympathy cards and I used this one recently.  The border is a commercial paper and the white trim is a punch.  The foliage is stamped and the white flowers are little Primas.  The butterflies were a die cut.  Finishing touched are the little half pearls in the center of the flowers and the ribbon and bow.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Flowers in November

I know we are in December now but this pretty little flower was still blooming in mid-November thanks to the warm fall we've experienced.  I thought the coloring was so unique and pretty and I'm wondering how to get that look in a punched flower.  Colored pencils - that's  my best thought so far.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012


This trading card has a background paper that's slightly textured.  The music paper is from a 6 x 6" Christmas collection.  Santa is stamped and mounted on a scalloped metallic circle.  The text was stamped on a flag and I added just a few faux jewels.  The holly is punched.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

It's All About The Kids


More than 100 come together in December.  They are varied - some in leathers and some not; female and male; young and old.  There’s the burley, tough-looking group and the clean-
cut professional-looking crowd.  Many are wearing Santa hats.  Some ride alone.  Some have a passenger.  They are laughing and 
having a good time together.  And they are supporting a great cause - Toys For Tots.

The bikes are piled with stuffed animals, dolls and other toys.
Some have other festive touches like garland or miniature wreaths.
The chrome shines and the engines emit that typical motorcycle
roar.  Their presence is known and they are welcomed.

They pass through town as a group, two or three bikes abreast. 
There’s a police escort and intersections are cleared.  It’s well
organized and the riders are cheered.  They wave to the crowd.

Motorcyclists don’t always have a good reputation but in this case
they are revealing their tender, caring side and are making a 
totally awesome contribution!

Monday, December 3, 2012


It's time to bake cookies, one of my favorite activities of the holiday season.  I'll have at least twelve different kinds before Christmas arrives.  Freezers are a wonderful invention!

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Ashcroft Size Large

This was the largest building in Ashcroft, at least among those that are remaining.  It had great detail at the roof and on top of the upper windows.  And it seemed to be in pretty good shape, too.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Ashcroft Again

A sign indicated that this was a private cabin and it appeared that someone actually stayed in it on occasion.  It seemed a little strange to find that in a ghost town but it was a beautiful setting and if I owned the cabin, I think you'd find me visiting it for overnight stays.

I painted it - in Photoshop Elements

Friday, November 30, 2012

Chevron Trading Card

The background for this atc was stamped.  The chevron pieces were created with a die cut and the flower and putterflies were punched.  I put the flowers through an embossing fold to give the petals some dimension and added a big jute bow behind the flower.  The butterfly trails were added with a pen and they have little black pearls for their bodies.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Circular Windows

It's fun to sometimes add a little interest to the front
of the card with windows.  The foundation for the
windows was embossed cardstock.  To give it a little
more dimension I adhered that to the card front with
some foam tape.  I put patterned paper behind it and embellished with some things I punched out.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Pretty Pink

The background on this card was folder embossed and the scallop edge was punched.  The flowers were stamped and cut with a matching die - gotta love that combination!  The leaves were punched and the label is a die cut.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Historic Ashcroft Part 3

Of course a wagon has four wheels and I thought they all deserved some attention.  The photo above was as I photographed it.  The photo below was adjusted using Topaz filters in Photoshop Elements. It is a sketch effect and I saturdated the color a bit.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Historic Ashcroft Part 2

While the old buildings were interesting and had charm, I found this broken wagon to have much more fodder for photography.  It has really seen better days but is still clinging to life.

The photo on the right is interesting and pretty much as I took it. The bottom photo was converted to black and white using Photoshop Elements.  I like that version, too.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Historic Ashcroft

We traveled to the Aspen area and took a little detour to the historic town of Ashcroft which was established in 1880.  There were 864 lots sold and at its height 2000 people lived here, brought by the silver mining in the area.  But other areas proved to be much better for mining and by 1895 the population was reduced to 100.  Many simply moved their cabins to Aspen.

This is the biggest collection of buildings, although a few more are scattered about.  There is some attempt at maintaining them while still retaining their character so hopefully visitors can enjoy them for many years to come.

It's a pretty setting, surrounded by mountains.  The bare trees in the background are aspen and it would be beautiful in the fall when the forest is ablaze with the brilliant yellow leaves.  I think another trip is called for in October.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Going Back In Time

I made this background many years ago.  It started with carpet tape (sticky on both sides) adhered to a piece of plum cardstock.  I sprinkled on some Beedz and then brushed on  Pearl Ex  for a beautiful shimmer that coordinated nicely with the shiny Beedz.  I mounted that onto a black atc.  The flourish and medallion are commercial.  It's nice to use something from our stash now and then.

Friday, November 23, 2012

The Last of the Tubes

This is the last of the tubing.  Again I put the tubes on a photo that I processed in Photoshop Elements.  Looks like I gave it a "poster edge," one of my favorite effects.  The butterflies were punched.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Eat Your Turkey

I hope you get your fill of turkey and all the fixin's today.  This is an atc I made using inchies.  Gotta pull out those clever images now and then.  I simply colored them with colored pencil, mounted them on a strip of cardstock and adhered them to background paper.  The background was made with some sponging and stamping and has some gold highlights that aren't visible in the photo.  I added a strip of burlap (which always reminds me of harvest time) and tied some jute into a bow.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving, visitors!  I used this design for my Thanksgiving cards.  The front of the card folds back at the center so if you were to look at it from the side, it would look like a pointed "h" sort of.  The background is patterned paper and beneath that I stamped "thankful" in a hand-written script.  The flower are adhered to the folded section and they were stamped and cut out.  The leaves were also stamped and I added a think satin ribbon tied in a bow.  The center of the flowers is a faux jewel.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

More Tubing

Here's another atc that I made with the addition of tubes rolled from magazine pages.  The background is part of an older photo of a waterfall that I just knew would be good for something at som epoint.  I added a punched butterfly and three brads.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Autumn Leaves

I tried a new background technique where I spread white Distress Stain over clear embossed stamping which acted as a resist.  The stain didn't go on evenly but I thought the irregularity added a nice touch.  The leaves were stamped on the pages of an old dictionary, punched out and colored with Distress Ink.  The embellishment is a soft ribbon in coordinating hues.

Leaves in our area are mostly on the ground now and will no doubt soon be covered with more snow.  Might as well enjoy the changing of seasons as each one is special in its own way.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Them's Berries

Does seeing blueberries remind you of a dog?  We had Taffy, a Springer Spaniel, when we lived in Alaska.  Blueberries were plentiful in the area and since they were big, delicious and easy to pick, we tried to collect them when we could.  But because the black bear in the area also loved them, we took our dog with us as a guard as we picked.  A lot of good that did us though.  She was so busy picking berries from the bottom of the bushes that guard duties were the last thing on her mind.  We suspected that if she got a whiff of a bear that overpowered the taste of the succulent berries, she'd make a run for the car without issuing any warning.  She was quite a sight with blue-stained lips and teeth but she went home happy, never realizing she had a serious duty to perform.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

This I Know

Here's another bit of writing I did for my online class.  We have been encouraged to share what we write, otherwise you probably would never have seen this.