Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Kumihimo With A Donut

I found this ceramic bead at Michaels and thought it would be an interesting focal point for a braid.  I added a couple large hole beads and then added cord to string some beads at the bottom.  Now that's different!

Monday, October 6, 2014


This must be the first cousin to the dandelion.  Any flower petals are long gone but the pretty little ball of fluff remains.

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Nearly Done

It's way past prime time for wildflowers in the Colorado mountains but there are still some little beauties hanging on.  

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Most Unusual

We've been over Kebler Pass a number of times but this year we found lots of tan-colored ferns at the base of some of the aspen trees.  Conditions for the ferns must have been different this year and it created some interesting contrast.  This spot was especially nice for photography because of the light streaming in and the contrast with the big aspen trunks.

Friday, October 3, 2014

Black and White

I could post more photos of fall color on Kebler Pass but decided to show some of the other subjects we encounter on our little jaunts (like the sheep posted yesterday).  Today its an aspen tree that no longer thrives.  It has many dead branches and was completely stripped of any foliage but I thought it would be interesting to try in black and white.  This is the lovely result.  Now if a red bird had just perched on one of the branches just before I shot . . . .

Thursday, October 2, 2014


Although it isn't common, occasionally one encounters a herd of sheep on the highway in Colorado.  They are either coming from or going to high country where they pasture for several months.  On a recent trip over Kebler Pass we came around a curve and there they were! by the hundreds.  There's no choice but to stop or run over them so we waited until the herders could clear them away and took advantage of the photo op.  The furry creatures were polite and moved right along.  Of course the sheep dogs nipping at their heels and barking created a good incentive.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Things To Be Happy About

bright fall foliage colors
cross country highways
ice for frosty cold drinks
Krispie Kreme donuts
comfortable shoes
a cup of hot tea
mocha frappe

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Pink Kumihimo

I finished this Kumihimo necklace prior to working on some that incorporated beads but didn't want to post it until I had given it to my aunt.  I used DMC cotton perle and embellished it with silver large-hole beads plus a bail with a pink bauble.  Pink was perfect.

Monday, September 29, 2014

Be Negative

This is another example of using the "leftovers" from die cutting.  I used the green label on yesterday's card and the remaining cardstock became a layer on this card.  I inked behind the window for more definition and added a contrasting, smaller label.  I hand cut the apple from embossed cardstock and die cut the leaf.  You probably already noticed the addition of my traditional narrow silk ribbon--the obvious choice since it's what's still unpacked.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

An Apple A Day

This month's theme for our stamp club card exchange was "apple."  I couldn't attend the meeting but made a couple of cards anyway.  For this one I used the SplitCoastStampers.com tutorial for making flip it cards using a label die.  I folder embossed the red piece (hard to see the detail) and cut it into corner sections.  The apple and stem are hand cut but I had a die for the leaf.

It's definitely time for fresh, fall apples.  Can you believe all the varieties available these days?

Saturday, September 27, 2014


We put in a limited garden this year because we thought we were moving.  It's always nice to reap the benefits of the planting, weeding and watering.  This is the harvest from one of the red potato plants.  We're still have more potatoes, beets, carrots and onions to harvest.  Growing season is winding down.

Friday, September 26, 2014

Now We're Cookin'

Now I've done plain braiding and beaded braiding in the same piece.  This is an 18" necklace with a l" wide heart focal bead.  The braiding was done with 1mm satin rattail so it has some sheen.  More projects are in progress.  I think I'm liking this.

Thursday, September 25, 2014


Maybe it was all that texture; maybe it was the bright yellow against the darker background; maybe it was the unusual occurrence--I just thought this was a photo worth taking and sharing.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Colorful Trees

By far the most dominant color of the fall foliage in the aspen trees is the brilliant yellow.  Occasionally there is a patch or orange or a patch of red.  But to see all of the colors together is just a treat.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

It Pops

This is a red that pops.  The plant grows quite low to the ground and most of the summer the leaves are green.  But come the cooler weather of fall with the decrease in daylight and it mutates into this brilliant red.  They are pretty easy to spot in the forest.

Monday, September 22, 2014

A Bird On The Rock

This little bird was kind enough to pose on a rock at the edge of a lake on Grand Mesa.  I liked how the bird and big rock contrasted with the water and I thought the squiggly reflection lines added nice interest.  Enough is enough; he flew away soon after I snapped the photo.  Never mind that I was hoping to take another shot.  But I'm happy with this one.

Sunday, September 21, 2014


Remember my saying that unusual things sometimes catch my photographer's eye?  This is another example.  It's looking down on some foxtail grass that has gone to seed--but not all of the seeds have been carried away.  Those fine little threads carry the tiny seeds and probably give them better mobility.  They are very good at sticking in socks and other clothing.  But I stayed back from the plant and am sticking with my story that it's an interesting pattern.

Saturday, September 20, 2014


I saw these bright aspen leaves with trunks as a background.  You may be thinking that I manipulated the photo to put the background in black and white but I didn't do anything to it.  Sometimes the photographer is just lucky.  

Friday, September 19, 2014

Jumbo Lake In Color

Jumbo Lake seems to maintain a pretty constant water level so it always looks good.  But add that fall color and some daisies at the side of the lake and it's a sight to behold.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Beauty In The Wood

I think the aspen trunks have a beauty all their own.  The starkness of the nearly white bark is striking and there are always black blemishes where branches have died off.  It's not usual to see so many skinny ones in an area but it did make an interesting photo.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Reflection on Grand Mesa

Grand Mesa is known for its many lakes and, of course, it's especially beautiful when the colored leaves and lake water come together for a photo with a reflection.  Some of the lakes have sadly emptied of water quite a lot but this reservoir was still full.  The sun cooperated and there was just a bit of wind so it all came together nicely.  But you should see it in person.  There's no good substitute for that.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Nature's Color

The color of the aspen leaves is just beginning to change on nearby Grand Mesa but there are already some beautiful spots of color.  This photo shows the variations of color that can result although, by far, the most predominant fall color of the aspen leaves is a bright golden yellow.  In a couple of weeks whole panoramas of the color will be visible but I was quite content with small, closeup areas for now.

Monday, September 15, 2014


Using two colors of 8/0 seed beads and some C lon cord, I was able to make this bracelet.  I think the beads are a "rich" addition and I plan to experiment more with beads and Kumihimo.  Woo hoo!

Sunday, September 14, 2014


Sometimes the strangest things catch my eye.  I try to walk every morning and a few days ago after some heavy rain I noticed water drops hanging out on a fence.  I thought it made an interesting texture, I liked the color and it's not every day that one can photograph rain.  It makes my day when I can take a photo of something unusual on my walk.  And the chance to listen to music on my iPhone is pretty great, too.

Saturday, September 13, 2014

More Kumihimo

And Kumihimo project number 2 is complete.  This one is two shades of blue with silver.

Finally received my bobbins so can start incorporating some beads.  My fingers are crossed that all will go well but that will make the Kumihimo a little difficult to do.

Friday, September 12, 2014

Multiple Vision

Yes, more sunflowers.  This time I cropped close and then applied three different filters to change the lighting.  Then it was a matter of adding various brushes for the background elements.

Summer is definitely waning and the days are growing cooler.  We hear that the trees in the mountains are just beginning to change color.  We're still getting a lot of moisture and wondering what winter will bring.

Gotta love four definite seasons.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

A New Realm

While at Michaels a couple weeks ago a book on Kumihimo caught my eye.  I looked through the book but didn't buy it.  Instead I came home and did a bit of online research to check out the possibilities.  Then I went back to Michaels to buy the book and since it included the necessary disk, about all I needed to add was some thread.  The needlework department had a good supply and I was off and running (though not literally).  Although this isn't the first braid I completed, it is the first completed project and was done in shades of blue cotton perle.  I've done several braids and am ready to branch out and incorporate some beads into the braiding.  That's what really caught my eye in the first place.  But it's a little more advanced and I had to work my way up to it.  Stay tuned--hopefully more braids are on their way.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

More Photography Fun

I took this photo at the Denver Botanical Gardens and used a "stained glass" technique to change it up a bit.  It's a different and I thought it fit this particular photo quite well.  But it's not something I'd like with every photo.  It was nice that I had a fun photo to start with.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014


These cute little flowers are outside the door at one of our local Village Inns.  The color is bright and the veining is unique so they always catch my eye.  And lucky for me they bloom for quite a long while.  I hadn't done any blending in a while so used this photo to try my hand at it again.  The background is script on vintage paper and I added Photoshop brushes for the butterfly and white pattern.  I added a thin green frame to put more focus on the blossoms.  Guess I haven't totally lost my touch!

Monday, September 8, 2014


It's nice to see a lot of sunflowers in bloom around our area.  They always seem so bright and cheerful that your spirits just have to be lifted a notch or two.  I turned a photograph of a sunflower into a "watercolor" and made it into a page for my album.  I also learned how to make the gingham print.  I think I'm going to use it quite a lot in a variety of colors.  Makes me think of the "good ol' days."

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Center Step

Seeing them online again got me in the mode to make more "center step" cards.  I'm using autumn colors again and die cuts.  The striped panels are folder embossed and I added thin satin ribbon, one of my all-time favorites. 

Saturday, September 6, 2014


I got a new set of border dies and thought this one was especially pretty.  I put a yellow panel to the back to better show the design and add more color.  Flowers and leaves are punched and I added half pearls for a little dimension.  This could be made in different color schemes and would be good for lots of different occasions.

Friday, September 5, 2014

And Speaking of Owls . . .

. . . . here's my little owl's first cousin.  The stamp set includes different eyes and tummies so it can be easily changed.  The owl is on a folder embossed panel and layered with a flag and portion of a circle.  Playing with fall colors is a nice change and before we know it we will be thinking of wintery, Christmas colors.

Thursday, September 4, 2014

It's Owl Good

The cooler and shorter days are already making me think of autumn and so did this cute owl image.  He's stamped and die cut and placed on the card with foam tape.  I stamped the text on the banner which is also popped up.  Branch is die cut and leaves and butterflies are punched.  The colorful background is Dy-lusions spray on white cardstock and the stripes are from a Darice embossing folder.  Whooo, whoooo.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

I could show you photos of more fall foliage from our trip over Kebler Passs but I decided you might prefer to see some of the other things we see on our little jaunts (like yesterday's sheep).  This tree was past it's prime with dead branches and zero foliage but it's part of nature's process and I thought it would make an interesting black and white photo.  I don't do black and white very often but liked this result.  Now if a red bird had flown onto one of the branches just before I took my shot. . . . .

Monday, September 1, 2014

Things To Be Happy About

National Parks
Palisade peaches
vine-ripened tomatoes
fresh basil
the internet

Sunday, August 31, 2014


We played with some stencils in stamp club last month and I completed this card.  I like stencils and for this design we simply inked through the stencil.  I added two cardstock panels and some die cuts.  Pretty simple.

Saturday, August 30, 2014


This card started with a piece left over from the flip it card I posted yesterday.  The patterned paper is popped up and I used the same label in a smaller size for the focal piece.  The flower and leaf are die cut.  I added washi tape and satin ribbon and did some pen work around the edge of the labels for definition.  Sometimes leftovers are just too good to toss.

Friday, August 29, 2014

Flip It

I have a flip it die--packed away somewhere in a box.  But I saw a Split Coast Stampers tutorial for using a label die to make a flip it so I had to try it.  It worked well and wasn't hard to do.  For this one I used patterned paper for the background and embellished with die cuts.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Color and Pattern

I can't end my Yellowstone travelog without another photo of some of the amazing color and patterns formed by the mineral ladened water that comes from somewhere within the earth.  It's truly earthy.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014


At the North end of Yellowstone is the Mammoth area and it has always been one of my favorite areas of the park.  You can park at the lower end and walk the boardwalk around to the top area or vice versa.  If you go to the upper parking, there's more formations to be seen.  The flow overtook several trees which were unable to survive but the dark branches create nice contrast and a unique element.  It's just all pretty amazing.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Yellowstone Falls

The Lower Falls in Yellowstone National Park are magnificent.  I have no idea how many gallons of water come tumbling over but it's a lot.  And there's lots of viewpoints to see it from different areas.  All I can say is "Wow!"

Monday, August 25, 2014

"Normal" Yellowstone

Yellowstone National Park covers a huge area and is actually a very wide caldera.  I've been showing some of the very unique areas but there is lots of the park that is much like other mountainous areas in the west.  I thought the river gently flowing through this meadow with the pines in the background was quite pretty.   There was one very strange thing about this visit to Yellowstone -- there were almost no animals.  In the past we've seen herds of bison and lots of bear and elk, or an occasional moose, lion or fox.  You hardly had to search to find them.  But this time I searched everywhere and all we saw was one deer and one sheep.  Where have all the animals gone?  (Rangers were rather scarce, too.)

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Jumping Mud

When you climb up the hill in the Painter's Paint Pot area you find pools of mud that bubble, plop and jump.  This photo shows where three little eruptions occur and I was able to capture some mud mid-air just to the right of the ridge.  Those little craters are about 4" across so by no means are we talking "big."  But they are fun and steady.  Guess the Yellowstone Painters like neutral shades of paint.

Saturday, August 23, 2014


As I view some areas in Yellowstone National Park I think "mysterious, eerie, moody, weird."  The colors, the steamy ground, the moving elements all add to the feeling.  This was in the area of the Painter's Paint Pots.  Like Old Faithful the water had to build to an eruption but this eruption wasn't anywhere near the size of Old Faithful.  It does, however, erupt more frequently.  That's worth as much as the big tower of water in my book.

Friday, August 22, 2014

Thermal Features

The minerals and water create some amazing colors and patterns.  This is some of the mud in the geyser basin area next to Yellowstone Lake's south end.  Boardwalks allow a closeup view of a number of pools.  But it's very hot and there are lots of warnings to stay on the path.  I didn't need much convincing.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Visitor Center

There's also a new Visitor Center in the area of Old Failthful and it's quite a contrast to Old Faithful Inn.  While the Inn is very rustic and traditional, the visitor center is sleek and modern.  I like both but would have preferred something that more closely matched the Inn.  They didn't ask my opinion while it was in the design stage so we'll go with what we got.  There's something to be said for a representation of different time periods.  I'm mostly grateful that the park is set aside for the enjoyment of all.  

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Old Faithful Inn

Right next to Old Faithful geyser is Old Faithful Inn.  We stayed in the historic inn on our honeymoon so it's special to us.  It underwent a renovation a few years back to put it in back in fine form but it still has its very rustic, unique interior with a huge stone fireplace as the lobby's focal point.  I think it has real character.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Yellowstone National Park

From Teton National Park one can just drive almost directly north into Yellowstone National Park which is just what we did.  I figured I might as well start with my photo of Old Faithful who is quite playful.  She blows about every 90 minutes now and the schedule is posted for plus or minus 10 minutes with a time based on the previous eruption.  It was late for us but we didn't mind as it was a spectacular show.  There's always steam coming from the vent and then occasionally there's a small eruption to make you think it's the "real thing."  And then it's back to steam.  But when the time is right the water whooshes into the air at an amazing height and volume.  Despite having seen it several times over the years, I'm still amazed.  It's an incredible sight.