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.

Monday, August 18, 2014

Teton With Water

Here's a shot of one of the peaks with Jenny Lake in the foreground.  We've seen it when the water was still and there was a beautiful reflection but that wasn't the case this time.  But you go with what you get and it's still incredibly beautiful.   We saw no wildlife and didn't even encounter a ranger--which is not to insinuate that I consider the rangers to be wild.  It was just an observation.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Teton National Park

I have to admit that I have a history of failed navigation in actually getting into Teton National Park.  Over the years we've managed to not get into the park when I've been navigating.  But I'm confident those days are over since I've actually gotten us into the park on my last two attempts.  It's a magnificent mountain range and the park has a number of pullouts for photography.  There are a couple of spots where you can get water in the foreground.  Bet you're dieing to see that!

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Creative Cloning

I joined Digital Scrapper's "Premium Club" -- which has a techniques tutorial each week plus a digital scrapbooking kit that's free each month.  I like to at least try each technique when it is presented and I've learned a lot.  This technique was called "creative cloning" and I really like the result, although a different image might have worked better.  I added simple text, a simple frame and some digital brushes.  If you have any interest in digital scrapbooking, they also occasionally have free tutorials.  Check 'em out.  I'm not affiliated at all--just think they do a great job.

Friday, August 15, 2014

Summer Garden Bench

I previously posted a garden bench in a spring theme.  This is my summer version.  The base is a die cut--very clever in my opinion--and I cut the back a second time in black for some contrast.  The branch was die cut and I added punched leaves and die cut birds.  There are also some die cut bunnies hiding here and there in plain sight.  The flower pot, flowers and leaves are punched.  I printed the mini newspaper, folded it and placed it on the bench.  Currently working on an autumn version.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Stars Before My Eyes

This was my second card for the club exchange.  I had a new Darice embossing folder in a striped design so that and washi tape made for some easy stripes.  I cut the stars by hand but found a border die that created a bunch of tiny stars so those were easily accomplished.  Some had some glitzy pen added for a bit of sparkle.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Stars and Stripes

The theme for our stamp club card exchange was "Stars and Stripes" but it didn't have to be red, white and blue.  I had a handicap since my star die cuts are packed but I stepped up to the plate and cut some by hand--not too difficult since it's all straight lines.  The stripes for this design are patterned paper (part of a freebie pack) and the hello is a die cut.  I added some glitz at the edge of the star and adhered some faux jewels.  Not your traditional stars and stripes but it was a challenge to try something unusual.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Things To Be Happy About - August

Did you miss my "Things to Be Happy About" on August 1?  Have to admit I forgot it completely.  Wanted you to know I'm still happy so here it is today.

fluffy clouds
vintage cars
the color yellow
green meadows
a glass of iced tea
a comfortable home
roadside sunflowers
fresh corn on the cob

Monday, August 11, 2014

Canyon Wildlife

This little creature was so cooperative that I felt I had to include him in my travelog.  S/he was quite busy gathering nuts from the pine cones and by stuffing his cheeks s/he could carry quite a lot back home in one trip.  But s/he was also nibbling to get his breakfast.  The cute little thing didn't seem much bothered by our presence nor cameras.

Sunday, August 10, 2014

The Canyon Cleared

By morning The Grand Canyon was clear of most of the smoke and the view was better.  You could even say incredible.  We used the free shuttle buses to go further west on the canyon rim and also had an easy little hike from one viewpoint to another.  Although we've seen the canyon several times, the beauty and size never cease to amaze me.

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Sunset On The Canyon

There wasn't as much smoke in the west end of the canyon where many of the visitor facilities are located and we were able to get some pretty decent sunset photos.  The lower light brings out different colors and shadows.  A female elk (is that an elkette?) walked boldly through tourists (who didn't hesitate to make way for her) to get a drink of water from a water station, leaving her baby behind in the cedars.  And I thought that water was meant for two-legged animals!  I wouldn't have argued with a lady on a mission.

Friday, August 8, 2014

The Exceptional Grand Canyon

One really should not visit Arizona without visiting The Grand Canyon.  It's massive and deep and colorful.  And on the day we got there it was filled with smoke from a wildfire that was burning in the area.  One can feel disappointed that the view is obstructed or one can feel fortunate to see it in a way that not too many do.  And you can even think about those who haven't been able to see it at all.  So I tried to embrace (not literally) the smoke.  The Canyon still made me feel very, very small.

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Highway Art

I was fascinated and impressed by the art that accompanied the freeway overpasses.  There were many areas where the art was made to look like the regional sandpaintings which are so intricate. It was hard to get a decent photo as we went speeding by and other traffic thought they had a right to be on the road so use your imagination to make this look a little bit better.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

The Giants of Cactus

I'm not convinced that I'm in Arizona until I see the giant saguaro cactus.  They seem to appear suddenly on hillsides about 40 miles north of Tucson and I call it the Arizona forest.  They are huge, towering above the other cactus and sometimes loaded with "arms".  Guess they can drink in a lot of water during the monsoons and store it in their trunks.  Of course, dangerous pointed spines keep everything away from them so they are free to thrive.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Eight States In Eight Days...

... and we are talking big western states.  Colorado, Utah, Arizona, Wyoming, Idaho, Montana, Washington and Oregon to be exact.  First it was south to Arizona, crazy time of year to travel to that sweltering country, but necessary in order to make an important delivery to each of my two brothers who live there.  We made stops in both Phoenix and Tucson.

This is a fairly typical scene from the northern part of Arizona where cattle (and sometimes goats) roam free over big expanses of dry land.  And small houses and smaller outbuildings are often seen in the distance where "the middle of nowhere" comes to mind.

Did I mention the sweltering heat?

Monday, August 4, 2014

Not For The Faint of Heart

As the road progresses to the west side it narrows substantially.  Cars both directions have to slow to a crawl (you hope) and move over as far as possible to make passing possible.  The narrowness doesn't last very long which is good.  And the scenery is incredible -- if you can take your eyes off the road to enjoy it.  There are also bicycles to content with.  They are hard to pass with such curvy roads and limited visibility.  The road has been paved for several years but don't plan to traverse Independence Pass in the winter months. Due to high snowfall the road isn't open several months of the year.

Sunday, August 3, 2014

The River Runneth

 As we climbed the pass we encountered this river flowing at one of the curves of the road.  With the amount of snow left to melt on the mountain peak it looks like the river will run a long time.

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Down the West Side

Now we've traversed down the west side of Independence Pass.  There's no snow at the lower elevation but the vegetation is lush from the moisture former snow provided.  It was a little early for wildflowers--never mind that they were blooming in more harsh conditions at the top of the pass.

And this is my 1000th post on this site!  I'm impressed--but you don't have to be.

Friday, August 1, 2014

Snowy Blossoms

Despite the snow and harsh weather, there were a variety of flowers in bloom.  They rise only a few inches but provide a lot of bright color.  I figure they have to be pretty determined to survive at all and quite happy to be able to bloom.  Amazing.