Friday, May 31, 2013

Look Over Here

Wow!  That has to be one of the most beautiful yucca blossoms I've ever seen!  And they don't normally nestle into the leaves like that one.  I think that with all those beautiful blossoms it was just too heavy for the plant to lift it into the air.  Very nice indeed.

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Hold Onto Your Hat

We are going to the cactus garden at the Extension Service in Grand Junction CO and it's very windy.  If you are wearing open-toed shoes, use exteme caution.  And behave yourself because they have video camera monitoring.  And I'll warn you in advance that I have no idea what most of these plants are.  I'm too busy with my camers to make notes from the little posted signs.

Oh, look at this pretty little beauty.  The cactus is all in a cluster and the thorns appear to be minimal but I'm not getting close enough to check it out.  I can easily admire that beautiful blossom from here.  It looks like the blossoms are each taking a turn to open so we can return in a week and see the others.

Let's move on.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Did You Sing This Song?

I may have mentioned that I'm spending a lot of time creating an album of "My Story."  I've searched through thousands of photos and scanned quite a number.  I'm taking a Digital Scrapbooking class to give me some guidelines and keep me focused and am making good progress.  Although this isn't typical of my pages, it's a sort of fun one so I thought I'd post it here.  I'm really amazed at how long it took me to realize that the lyrics were "real" words that actually made sense.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

This is another design inspired by a card I saw in a magazine.  I die cut the label but had to cut the matt by hand.  The leaves and butterfly pieces were also die cut.  I added flowers that weren't in the original design because I thought that butterfly should have something to eat.  I hand-cut a slit for the dark red flag and added a button on top.  I thought the butterfly was a little too plain so I added ink dots and lines.  The text is stamped and I rounded three corners.

Maybe it needed a smaller butterfly.  I couldn't decide.

Monday, May 27, 2013

Sun Drop

Happy Memorial Day - and thanks to all the military personnel who have sacrificed so much for our country.  Many in my extended family have served but fortunately have come home safely.  What a blessing.

This is another trip to my garden and, to be specific, the "native section.  Along with the dwarf broom comes this Sun Drop, a type of evening primrose if I'm not mistaken.  It grows along the perimeter of the raised bed while the primrose covers the top.  Rather a nice combination but I have to admit I really didn't plan it.  Sometimes Mother Nature knows best.

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Little Bunny

A ceramic bunny is the best kind to have in the yard because they don't eat anything.  I can always count on this dwarf broom to be covered with little yellow flowers this time of year and since it's in the "native" family, it doesn't take much care - my kind of gardening.  And see that rock in the lower left corner?  It's filled with fossilized snails.  That's pretty cool, too.

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Iris In Bloom

The iris are always outstanding at this time of year and I'm seeing them in all colors all over town.  I happened to snap this one in my own garden just after it rained.  Okay, I lied; it was just after the sprinklers were on.  I "enhanced" it a bit in Photoshop Elements to get the look I was after and this was pretty close.  They don't last a long time but they surely are pretty while they do.  I hope you're seeing some, too.

Friday, May 24, 2013


I electronically cut a number of diamonds for a card design and had some left over.  Rather than just toss them, I challenged myself to try to come up with a quick design to use them.  This was the result.  I adhered them to the strip of dark brown cardstock and put grosgrain ribbon on top.  That was adhered to the lighter green cardstock and buttons were added for dimension.  I used a piercing tool for a bit of border on the top and bottom of the diamonds and adhered everything to olive cardstock.  Not too shabby for leftovers I guess.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

That Rooster

I don't know if this will come out large enough to be readable but it's another page from My Story.  The page is a result of an assignment for an online class I'm taking and I struggled with the text frame for quite a long while on Sunday.  I made my own plaid paper background which is unusual but it was just what I thought the photo needed.  That's little me on the right and I'm sure those are the diapers I wore hanging on the line.  The text covers a number of areas from that time and it was "interesting" getting it into the unusual format, but fun to ponder and put in context with my current life - well, just a bit.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013


On one of my recent trips to St. Kathryn's Winery we went in the north door where this contraption stands.  I thought it was rather interesting and since I'm a fan of most things antique, I thought it was worthy of a photo.  I'm guessing (mostly from the location) that is is a grape press.  What happened to stomping?

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Magazine Inspired

I suppose we all look for ideas wherever we can find them.  Recently a kind friend sent me two issues of "Cricut Cards" that she thought I would make better use of than she would.  In return I'll send her one of each of the cards that are inspired by the magazines.  And I may not even use my Cricut - but don't tell anyone.

I added a punched border to the striped paper before it went on the front of the card.  There's also patterned paper on top that barely shows.  I added washi tape, a paper tape (kinda different) and a narrow black strip of cardstock.  The flower was electronically cut from patterned paper in different sizes for each layer.  The leaves were die cut and I added a pearl for the flower center.  The text is stamped.

It's a bit different than what I usually do and somewhat different than the inspiration card but it worked for me.

Monday, May 20, 2013

Graduation Time

I procrastinated a bit on this one but there was also the question of parking near the university.  I had decided to give the high school graduate a gift card from the bookstore so she could select what she wanted rather than me deciding for her.  She was coming for registration anyway.  So I arranged by phone for the gift card (the online service didn't work for some reason) and they said the cashier's would know it was purchased.  I needed some sort of presentation and came up with the idea of this origami box.  It started with an 8.5 inch square of paper which turned out to be just right for the little explanation I typed, rolled and secured with ribbon.  I added washi tape as ribbon, thinking it would make opening the box simpler.  The flower was cut electronically as was the leaf but I added a bit of dimension using a stylus.  I stamped the text but, shucks, had to cut that by hand.  I tucked it under the flower and added a few little pearls to match the pearl in the center of the flower.

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Local Landmark

This is a local landmark, Mt. Garfield.  It's north and east of Grand Junction and sort of starts (or ends - depending which direction you are going) the Bookcliffs which is a range of mesas that run east and west clear into Utah.  It's elevation is 6,756 feet and it is quite majestic as it overlooks the valley.  I'd like to describe the view from the top but I've never been there.  It's quite a strenuous hike, at least at the beginning.

Saturday, May 18, 2013

First Iris

This was the first iris to appear in the garden this year.  More are joining it each day.  They don't last long but they are magnificent while they last.

Friday, May 17, 2013

Poppies Are Popping

 With the continuing warm weather and rain showers that we've had the garden is coming alive.  It's amazing to see the difference a day can make and here's an example.

The first photo was day 1, on day two the poppy started opening and was the only one to do so and on the third day it was completely open.

And a week later . . . .

. . . the flower bed was full of beautiful, bright, blooming poppies.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Garden Nursery

We were at one of the local nurseries last weekend and I decided to find the most beautiful flower in the greenhouses without really going out of my way.  I selected this one.  I think it may be a type of peony but I'm really not sure.  I thought the color was great and especially with the darker veins showing and the multiple layers of petals.  Truly remarkable.  I didn't buy it so the chances of it having a long and happy summer improved as I passed by.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

My Day In Photos

I have an app that will take photos from one day and make them into a collage. The end result  didn't impress me so I didn't do anything with it but it gave me the idea to create my own collage.  This is what I came up with.  It was my day last Saturday - cinnamon roll for breakfast, some gardening, cooling off with some Arizona green tea, a trip to the nursery to buy some herb plants and a trip to Palisade and the Slice of Life Bakery and St. Katherine's Winery.  I also enjoyed a McDonalds Frappe and visited my mother who is in nursing care.  This was more eventful than most of my days and an easy one to document with fun photos.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

A Bit of Heat Embossing

Those of you who have stamped for many years can probably remember back when there was a lot of heat embossing going on.  I still have dozens of colors of powders but they don't see daylight very often.  I decided to use some embossing on the edge of the banner of this card and that started the entire design.  1) tone on tone background image on card front; 2) cut and folder emboss circle and adhere to card front; 3) heat emboss edges of banner, then heat emboss the text; 4) die cut leaf and adhere; punch flower and adhere; 5) add faux gems here and there.

Monday, May 13, 2013

More Fruit

While checking out the yard I also noticed that pears survived the late freezes.  This little guy will eventually turn down from the weight of the fruit and, of course, get plump and turn yellow.  The birds don't seem to care for pears which is nice but we put a net over the tree to be 100% safe.  Pears are also self-pruning and some of them fall off the tree on their own.  No need to think them out.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Happy Mother's Day

Happy Mother's Day to all the mothers who are followers.  I hope you have a special day .

Saturday, May 11, 2013


 While browsing in the yard yesterday, it was good to see that we'll have some cherries this year.  Good to know that the late freezes didn't totally discourage them.  They will need at least another month of growth to get fat, juicy and red and then they will be delicious!

Friday, May 10, 2013

Fire With LIghts

Here's another photo taken of fire at night.  This time some colored lights were added to the mix.  Nice!

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Flourish & Flowers

I made this card using the stamp set that I purchased at Lisa's Scrapbook Boutique in Palisade last week.  I stamped the image on red and cut two sides at an angle.  I added small white punched flowers and matted it on black.  The stripes at the bottom are washi tape and I added the flower centers and other dots using a Viva Pearl Pen.  It was pretty quick and easy.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

More From Palisade

We had planned to have breakfast in Palisade at the Packing Shed but upon arrival learned that it was closed permanently.  We found The Slice of Life on West Third and they had delicious quiche and sweet rolls.  The prices are very reasonable and the staff was friendly.  I think it will have to be a "must do" on future trips to Palisade.  I regret that I didn't think to take a photo there.

After our light breakfast we browsed through the Blue Pig Gallery where the art is always highest quality and from a variety of venues.  We couldn't decide on just one piece to buy so didn't buy any.

Through the gallery back door and down the hall is another small bakery and a point of interest is the old elevator shaft shown here.  You can even sit in it to much on your bakery goodies.  Will have to try that in a future visit to Palisade.

Lastly we discovered Lisa's Scrapbook Boutique, a new business as of February.  We didn't even know it was there.  We found some small stamp sets and multiple colors of washi tape to buy and had a nice chat with the owner who has lots of plans for future events.  We hope she does well!  And I failed to get a photo there, too.

So that's a quick summary of the spring-time visit to Palisade.  I'm already looking forward to my next visit.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Sprigs & Sprouts in Palisade CO

 Last week Judy, Alison and I had a morning excursion to nearby Palisade.  It's a lovely little town filled with old Victorian-style homes and surrounded by all sorts of agricultural endeavors - most notably vineyards and fruit orchards.

There's a newly developing enterprise just west of town called Sprigs & Sprouts.  They have some veggies plots but they also have acres of lavender plants.  And they have a lovely little gift shop.  Judy was in the market for some special balsamic vinegar but before we even got to her purchase, the owners, Ruth and Linda, decided we needed to try dipping bread into a variety of specialty olive oils mixed with different flavored balsamic vinegars.  I gotta say they were all delicious and I had no trouble convincing myself to make a purchase.

These ladies are so friendly and helpful and have a genuine zest and enthusiasm for what they are doing.  They provided samples of some of their other products such as jams and lotions and everything was high quality and unique.

They have their grand re-opening on Mother's Day and I'm looking forward to going back to try their ice creams and specialty cheeses.  And I'm sure they still have other treasures tucked away that I haven't yet discovered.

If you can't get to Palisade, explore your community and visit a business where you haven't been before.  You might be very pleasantly surprised at what you find.

Monday, May 6, 2013

Creative Photography

This is another of the night photos I took and I thought the light opening provided an opportunity for some creativity.  That couple wasn't really there but I thought they should be walking together to an unknown future.  I added a few other elements digitally, too.  Won't begin to explain that.

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Mt. Garfield & Fire

Yes, Becky, that's your son in the middle of the flame.  For an explanation of how this look is created, please see my posting from May 3.  This time we are in a big parking lot so the sparks can fly quite a distance.  It was the last shot of the night and was a great ending to our night shooting experience.  Thanks again, Jeff!

Saturday, May 4, 2013

April Showers

The theme for our stamp club card exchange for May was "April Showers Bring May Flowers."  This is one of the cards I made, front and inside.  I cut the umbrellas, sun  and clouds with my Cameo.  I inked the cloud edges and did some black pen lines around the sections of the umbrella.  "April" is stamped and I added a bit of glitter to the raindrops.    "May" is die cut in two colors using a Hero Arts alphabet and the flowers and leaves were all punched.  The eyes and mouth of the sun were drawn by hand.  Don't you love a pop-up?!

Friday, May 3, 2013

Night Photography

Our night photography session worked out this week and although I went thinking I might not have much success, I actually got some unique photos.  This one was taken inside a cement culvert under the interstate.  Fine steel wool is placed in a wire kitchen whisk which is attached to a string.  The steel wool is lighted? lit? and then the whisk is rotated by swinging the string.  Some bits of the steel wool fly off to create the frame.  Jeff actually had a more complicated system than that but I'll keep the explanation simple.   Our hero is Jeff who did the bulk of the spinning and Dawn who organized the great outing.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

His Portion of His & Hers

For the feminine version of this card design, see yesterday's post.

The card is flat and text is exposed by lifting the brown and gray flags.  I added an embossed piece of kraft cardstock to the card front and I embellished with wire screening and a silver washer that I colored with alcohol inks.  I added some dimensional black paint to the center of the washer and made three dots at the edge of the screen.

The masculine version is much more simple and has neutral colors and geometric shapes.  I thought the metal embellishments would be more pleasing to a guy, too.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

His & Hers - Female Verson

I chose a sketch and created it in both a male and female version.  Come back tomorrow for the male version.

The female version is pastel colors and has quite a bit going on.  The purple banner lifts up to reveal the message.  The flowers were die cut (Tim Holtz's Tattered Flowers) as were the leaves (source forgotten).  I inked the edges of the flowers before layering and I also inked the leaves.  I added ribbon and gemstones for embellishment.

The patterned paper was adhered to a flat piece of white cardstock before the flags were added.