WHOO’s Having a Birthday?

Probably lots of folks. However, I did not make this card for lots of folks. I made it for a little someone who will be having an October birthday. Apropos, don’t you think?


I think we all need to let Stampin’ Up! know that we want them to introduce an Oxide ink. I recently heard about the Ranger Distress Oxide inks and thought I would try them to see if they really are as good as advertised. I think they are. They blend beautifully and never go to ‘mud’. So, I used them for the background for this card. The card base is Basic Black, making a nice frame for the sponged background, which looks and feels chalky, but doesn’t rub off.

I then stamped in Basic Gray an image from The Open Sea stamp set on the left, and a texture stamp from Touches of Texture on the upper right corner.

The black branch is die cut with one of the thinlits from Seasonal Layers. The owl is punched with the retired Owl punch in Early Espresso. His breast is punched from Tangerine Tango, the eye rings from Daffodil Delight and the eyes in Early Espresso. Initially I punched the tiny eye pupils from black, but decided in the end to use the Metallic Enamel Dots for his eye centers. I think he is so cute!

owl detail

Black pumpkins behind the colorful ones set them off nicely and make a sort of shadow effect. The vines are black just because I like it. The squash and pumpkin on the left are die cut from the scrap of sponging and stamped in Basic Gray with images from the Pick a Pumpkin stamp set. All are cut with the Patterned Pumpkins framelits. The Jack-O-Lantern on the right is cut from Pumpkin Pie and sponged lightly with Basic Gray to tone it down. All others are cut from Tangerine Tango and stamped in Pumpkin Pie.

pumpkin detail

The sentiment is from the Birthday Delivery stamp set and is stamped in Basic Black. using my Stampin’ Write Basic Black marker I made a question mark.

The inside sentiment panel is cut from Pumpkin Pie and glued to a Tangerine Tango mat. YOU is stamped in Basic Black just using that part of Thank you from the One Big Meaning stamp set. I hand drew the exclamation mark with my Basic Black Stampin’ Write marker. The Happy Birthday is from Birthday Blast and is also stamped in Basic Black.


The pumpkins at the bottom are stamped in Pumpkin Pie and he squash in Basic Gray

I didn’t want a white envelope, so dug through my stash for a lightweight paper in some shade of orange and made one using the Envelope Punch Board. Two pumpkins are stamped in Basic Gray on the front. I did nothing further as the dots are enough.


I hope you like this card. It was so much fun making it.

Card Cuts: Basic Black: card base 7″ x 10″ scored at 5″, branch, pumpkins 4″ x 5″; Whisper White: sentiment art panel 5″ x 8-1/4″, trimmed to 4-3/4″ x 6-3/4″ after sponging; Tangerine Tango: inside mat 4-3/4″ x 6-3/4″; pumpkins, owl breast 2-1/2″ x 4″; Pumpkin Pie: inside sentiment panel 4-1/4″ x 6-1/4″, pumpkin 2″ x 2″‘; Early Espresso: Owl and eyes  2″ x 2″; Daffodil Delight: eye rings small scrap, 1/2″ x 1″

Non Stampin’ Up! products used: Ranger Distress Oxide Ink pads for sponging the front.

Host Code good through September 15 – EAJGJ9ND

Use this Host Code when you order and you’ll get a free gift from me. If your order is over $150, please don’t apply the hostess code (you’ll miss out on your own Stampin’ Rewards/Hostess $$ if you use it), but you’ll still get the free gift. The free gift is your choice of any item valued up to $10.00 from the 2017-2018 Annual Catalog! And – you can even select one of the Host-exclusive sets! See my Rewards page for more details.

Another way to get FREE goodies is by becoming a member of the Wild Bird Club and earning Bird Eggs.

Bird Egg Rewards

When you have earned 16 Bird Eggs you will get a FREE product order valued up to $40.00, your choice and mailed directly to you! See details on my Rewards page.

September Card Class Tutorials


With a $50 order placed through my online store in September, you get my Painted Harvest Class Tutorials. You also earn Bird Egg Reward Points  and if you apply the Host Code or have an order of over $150, you get the free thank you gift too!!

To order from my online store, just click on the “Shop with me Online” button at right.

Thought for the day: “Delicious Autumn!” My very soul is wedded to it, and if I were a bird, I would fly about the earth seeking successive autumns.” George Eliot

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Creative, yes. Card, no.

For you card making folks out there, this is not a card post. Who has time to make a card?? I like to sleep, thank you very much! As stated in the tagline above, it is about creative endeavors, whatever form they take.

This is my absotively, posolutely, no-doubt-about-it busiest time of year. The main thrust of most of my volunteerism comes about now, Christmas is creeping up, company is coming, the garden still needs picking and canning, and, and, and……..!


Above, the home-made vegetable juice cocktail (much like V8) canned this morning, and one jar of the veggie soup I canned yesterday.

So, no card today. I promise you a really good one for tomorrow. Instead, here is the quilt block I finished last night during my volunteer 8 hour shift. Well, sort of finished. You see all those threads? The block is completely sewn together, but the basting threads are holding the bits of paper in place until the block is sewn to the border. Let me explain:


For today, I used my so-called creativity in a different way. About a year ago I was visiting my daughter in Minnesota during the Minnesota Quilt Shop Hop. I had quilted in the past, and done patchwork, but not for quite some time. The shop hop happened at a good ( or bad, depending on your perspective) time in that I had no major projects staring me in the face. I purchased enough fabric to..well, we won’t go there! I also discovered that one of the shops, Sewing Seeds in New Ulm, was offering an opportunity to learn English Paper Piecing, something I always thought I might like to try.

They had these beautiful, finished, quilt blocks on display with a notice that said, “Join us for the Breakfast Club”. Well, I bit. Those who signed up for the classes meet once a month at the store to learn and share. I don’t go every month, in fact, I think I have actually been there three times.The instructor, Darlene, is very patient and a good teacher as well as a quilter.

The blocks are of the style in the book by Linda Franz, “Lucy Boston, Patchwork of the Crosses. Lucy Boston was an English woman of seemingly limitless energy and talent, who pieced this quilt in the 1950’s. This photo is from the back cover of the above-mentioned book. Boston’s daughter-in-law, Diana, wrote about the artist. You can find more about her books and Lucy Boston here.lucy boston

There are 56 cross blocks in this quilt and the monthly breakfast club does a couple of them a month. I use the word “does” lightly. The store mails my fabric and a photo of the block each month. Usually there are two, sometimes three, blocks in the package I receive. Included is a photo of the finished block and fabric to cut for said block. I have not said that I have completed all the blocks. I think I have 10 finished and 3 more cut and ready to sew together. This is what comes with the fabric.

block patterns

That’s it.

There are 24 pieces to each block, in an elongated hexagon shape, as you can see from the two blocks at center and right. The one on the left is not quite as obvious, nor is the cutting quite as obvious. It was a tricky one. I have a clear acrylic pattern I trace around for each piece. This allows me to see where the pattern of the fabric is for each piece. The next step involves sewing these pieces to paper, hence, ‘paper piecing’.

quilt pieces

The photo above shows a cut piece of fabric with the paper piece lying on the back side of it. This is basted to the paper, then the individual pieces are hand sewn together.

I am LOVING this process. It is very relaxing and portable, once the pieces are cut. I plan to make all the blocks as they are sent to me, though It will probably take me considerably more time than it will take some of the others in the group.

This shows a different way to look at the block. Either way, the cross is evident. If you can wield a needle and thread and know how to use scissors (you should have learned this in kindergarten, along with the admonishment, “DON’T RUN WITH SCISSORS!”), you, too, can do this. If you don’t want to tackle 56 blocks, then make just one for a hot pad or something.cross

Give your creativity a try in a different way that what you usually do. You might enjoy it immensely! If I live long enough, I will post the finished 56 block quilt!

Thought for today: “I am always doing that which I cannot do, in order that I may learn how to do it.” Pablo Picasso




Leaves and More Leaves

Good Sunday to every one of you. I hope you are having a good holiday weekend. And please, do not forget our neighbors struggling in Texas and Louisiana.

Today’s card started out to be simple and quick. HA! I think I changed my mind at least 4 times, so now have bits and pieces for at least 2 more cards if I can figure out how to put them together. Since Autumn is my favorite season, and since I love trees and leaves, you will no doubt be seeing a lot of these in the coming days. Weeks. Then it will be mostly Christmas cards as we have few birthdays in our family until January, and no weddings or anniversaries either.

I started by choosing this lovely leafy paper. It is not a Stampin’ Up! paper. Then I used some Vintage Leaves stamps and the matching Leaflets framelits. Somehow I just couldn’t get them to work with this paper. Ultimately, I decided to just do some fussy cutting of the leaves in the paper.



So! The pretty paper is liquid glued to a Pumpkin Pie mat and adhered to the Chocolate Chip card base. The fussy cut leaves are liquid glued to Chocolate Chip card stock, cut with the square Stitched Shapes framelits. The mat for these is a piece of Wood Textures DSP Stack, which I dry embossed with the new Pinewood Planks 3D Dynamic Textured Impressions Embossing folder. I really like this look. These were cut using the Layering Squares framelits. I think you can see the embossing in this photo, though it is hard to tell what is embossing and what is woodgrain. The piece I chose from the stack does not have any ‘plank’ or ‘paneling’ look to it, it is just like a piece of smooth wood. The paneling look is from the embossing.

wood grain detail

I like asymmetry, so the squares are staggered over the leafy paper, leaving space between them for the sentiment. These are all adhered with Stampin’ Dimensionals. The Hello sentiment, from the retired Hello You thinlits, is cut 3 times from Chocolate chip and layered together to give some dimension. I didn’t think that was enough, so I cut a fourth one, this time from some brown fun foam. This is probably the thickness of at least 2 pieces of card stock, perhaps 3. This turned out to be just the right amount to suit me and I liquid glued the stack to the card front.


On the inside, I layered the leafy paper to a Pumpkin Pie mat. Over this I added a couple of fussy cut leaves to a Very Vanilla panel for the sentiment. The sentiment is from the All Things Thanks stamp set and stamped in Chocolate Chip. This completes the card.


The Kraft envelope has another fussy cut leaf on the front and the Pinewood Planks embossing on the flap.

envelope frontflap

Though it is nothing at all like I first envisioned this card, I am pleased with how it ended. Perhaps I can use those rejected bits for another fall card tomorrow?!

Thought for the day: This is the day the Lord has made. Let us REJOICE and be glad in it. Psalm 118: 24

If you don’t have a demonstrator I would be pleased to help you. Please leave comments below. If you click on the shop online button at right, shopping for Stampin’ Up! products is easy.

Card Cuts: Chocolate Chip: card base 7″ x 10″, scored at 5″, stitched squares 4″ X 5″, hello sentiment, 3-1/2″ x 5″; Wood Textures: square mats 6″ x6″, Pumpkin Pie: front mat and inside mat 4-3/4″ x 6-3/4″; Very Vanilla: 4-1/8″ x 6-1/8″; printed paper: front and inside 4-1/2″ x 6-1/2″, fussy cut leaves scraps or enough to cut the leaves you want.

Non Stampin’ Up products used: leafy paper 12″ x 12″, brown fun foam 5″ x 7″

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Busy Times! So, just a recipe.

Good Saturday morning folks! Whew! Sometimes I feel like a dog chasing its tail!

How in the world do we get so busy anyway? I have been told I don’t have the proper vocabulary, which I guess is supposed to include the word “NO!”

Or maybe I am just too nice? Not. At any rate, whatever the reason, I sometimes find myself busier than I would really like to be.

At the moment I have tomatoes at my house waiting to be canned, my niece is visiting from out of state, I am working 3-8 hour shifts out of 4 evenings as a volunteer for our local Kiwanis club, I am having company and 2 meetings next week, my house is dirty, the garage needs cleaning, and my card making space is a cluttered mess.

So what? you may say. And rightfully so, as I know you all are busy too. I just tell you that so that you might not be too upset when you expected to see a new card, or a new technique and it isn’t here. There are days that there just isn’t time to make a card, photograph it, then write about how I put it all together. On those days, I promise to try to at least do a written blog. Today is one of those days. I hope you will bear with me.

I mentioned the tomatoes that need canning. My daughter has the garden these days, but when the children were small and I was a stay-at-home-farm wife/mom, I had a huge garden. I spent the summer canning and freezing our winter’s supply of food.

This time of year brings back memories of going to my basement room where I stored the crates of potatoes and sweet potatoes, the onions were hanging and the jars of produce already canned were resting on the shelves.

The garden was nearly finished except for tomatoes still on the vine, a few carrots not yet dug, and perhaps a late head of cabbage, or two, and maybe some green beans that had not been picked while they were green beans and are now ready for shelling.

This produce, along with some of the potatoes and onions, became my “End of the Garden Soup”. It is a little different now, but I still call it that, and try to can some of it for the grown-up children and grandchildren. It is SO handy to have for drop-in company, or just when you want a quick meal. It is good on its own as a vegetable soup, or with your choice of meat added. I have made it with hamburger, leftover roast, stew meat, venison, chicken and sausage. It is good any way you fix it.

The tomatoes waiting to be canned will go into the soup. This year we did not plant potatoes, so I had to purchase them and the carrots. Here is how I do it.

Sterilize and keep 7 jars (all that my pressure canner will hold) jars hot. Also, the rings and flats need to be sterilized and kept hot. Fill one jar at a time, wipe the rim to be sure it is clean, add the flat and ring and tighten. Place filled jar in about 3 inches of water in the canner, which has been heating. When canner is full, place the lid and tighten. When steam begins to shoot at a good force from the vent, add the weight.

Then you need to wait for the ‘jiggler’, the moveable vent, to shoot enough steam to pop up and stay. That is when you need to start watching the pressure. For the soup mix, I can under 10# pressure for 45 minutes. Watch carefully and adjust heat to maintain pressure.

After the allotted time, turn off heat. When pressure is at 0, begin releasing the steam by removing the weight. ONLY after all steam is released is it safe to remove the lid.

What goes in the jars:

  • 1 teaspoon canning salt
  • 1-3 tomatoes depending on size
  • 2 carrots, cut into bite sized pieces
  • 1-2 potatoes, depending on size
  • a couple of chunks of cabbage small enough to get in the jar, or shredded
  • 1/2 large onion or 1 small, cut in half
  • Celery if you like. I never had celery in my garden, but it is good in soup
  • any other veggie you like in your soup

I put tomatoes in first and add the rest, packing down after each addition. If there is not enough juice coming out of the tomatoes to fill the jar to the neck, add some boiling water. Usually this is not necessary, but if it is, ok.

Proceed as above, clean the rim, add the lids and process.

I have made a card with veggies stamped on it and attached to a jar of this soup to give as a gift. (I guess that is today’s card idea)

I hope you are not disappointed that there is no card, and that you find some use for the recipe. Please leave comments below, and if you try this, I would be happy to hear your results. Even if you don’t try it until January, I would still be interested in hearing your results.

Thought for the day: A man should never plant a garden larger than his wife can take care of. T.H. Everett





It’s beginning to look a lot like….

FALL! Actually, this morning it FEELS more like fall, or autumn if you prefer, than it looks. Although, I noticed when mowing the lawn for about the third time this year (well, it was a bit more than that, but not by much. So dry here.) that I noticed the leaves are changing and falling. Whether that is because of the seasonal change or because of the dry weather, I cannot say.

I LOVE making autumn themed cards, just with leaves, or trees, or with a Thanksgiving theme and pumpkins, or even Halloween, I really enjoy thinking up ways to use the new stamp sets and new ways to use the older, favorite ones. Today I am using my FAVorite set, Vintage Leaves.


I began the card by cutting the card stock. Next up is stamping the front mat of Crumb Cake in Crumb Cake ink with the Touches of Texture dots. I also did this on a smaller piece that I would use for my sentiment.

I took a piece of Very Vanilla card stock and sponged Peekaboo Peach, Daffodil Yellow, Old Olive, Cajun Craze and Soft Suede  with Stampin’ Sponges (I cut these in quarters), sponged randomly all over it. Using the Embossing Buddy, I went over the entire sheet to prevent the embossing powder from sticking where I didn’t want it. Then, with Versamark ink and my Vintage Leaves stamps, I stamped as many leaves as I could fit on the paper.

After heat embossing with Copper Stampin’ Emboss powder, I cut them with the matching Leaflets dies. The Magnetic Platform is a big help here. I also cut an oak leaf in Copper Foil Sheets. On this one I used the stylus that comes with the Simply Scored Board to mark veins. I chose one oak and one maple leaf to put with the copper one and Glue Dotted them together at the stems, then tied a piece of Linen Thread around them.

Using another favorite in my arsenal of tools, the Woodland Textured Impressions Embossing Folder, and a sheet of the Wood Textures Designer Paper Series stack, I dry embossed the paper. A sponge dauber and a light touch with Basic Black ink hightlighted the trees just a tiny bit. Then, with my Basic Black Stampin’ Write marker (the pen end) I filled in all the little marks in the tree bark. I really, really love this look. I hope we always have the Wood Textures DSP! And that embossing folder! (Even if SU retires them I will ALWAYS use that embossing folder)


This panel is layered over a Copper Foil Sheets mat with Tear & Tape (with the center of the panel cut out of course!). I cut a piece of burlap into a banner and used Tear & Tape to adhere it to the textured piece. The bunch of leaves is adhered with Stampin’ Dimensionals.

The sentiment piece is stamped in Versamark with the sentiment from Paisleys and Posies and heat embossed in Copper Stampin’ Emboss powder. This is liquid glued to the slightly larger Copper Foil piece and adhered to the card front with Stampin’ Dimensionals.

For the inside I stamped a couple of leaves from the Vintage Leaves set in Crumb Cake on Crumb Cake card stock. I debated with myself about doing the same around the edges as I did on the front mat of the card, then decided against it. I like the clean look on the inside. This panel is left blank for writing whatever you choose, then Tear & Taped to another Copper Foil Sheets (center cut out), and liquid glued into the card base.


The Kraft envelope (did I mention that this is a 5″ x 7″ card?) got embossed woodland on the flap and a multicolored maple leaf on the front. I used the marker-to-stamp method of inking the stamp using Daffodil Yellow, Old Olive and Cajun Craze. I also used the Sponge Dauber and Basic Black ink to just highlight the embossed trees on the flap.

I hope you like this card. I do, but then it incorporates most of my favorites, copper, leaves and embossed trees.

If we don’t connect tomorrow, please have a safe end-of-summer holiday weekend and remember in prayer those suffering from the damage left behind by Harvey.

I am working with my sister and others to figure out the best way to help. She has been in touch with one of the churches there and has a list of things they need. We just need to figure out a way to get it there, even if I have to drive my SUV down as full as I can pack it with these items. Getting things back to any semblance of “normal” will take weeks, scratch that, MONTHS! Trying to get stuff there now would probably be pointless until the waters recede.

Money donated to Salvation Army or a small church there would be the best bet for getting it where it NEEDS to go.

Thought for today: Love your neighbor as yourself. Folks, those in Texas and Louisiana are our neighbors.

Card Cuts: Early Espresso: 7″ x 10″ scored at 5″; Crumb Cake: front mat 4-3/4″ x 6-3/4″, inside sentiment panel 4-1/4″ x 6-1/4″, front sentiment 1-1/8″ x 2-3/4″; Copper Foil Sheets: front panel 4-1/4″ x 6-1/4″, inside mat 4-3/4″ x 6-3/4″, front sentiment mat 1-1/4″ x 2-7/8″ leaf 2-1/4″ x 4-1/4″; Wood Textures DSP: embossed panel 4″ x 6″; Very Vanilla: to sponge for leaves 5″ x 8-1/4″

Non-Stampin’ Up! products used: a piece of 3″ burlap ribbon cut to size, 1-3/4″ x 5-1/2″

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