Creative Bliss

Friday, August 4, 2017

Hummingbird Counted Cross Stitch and Some Cards!

Hello There!

I felt it was high time I came back and thanked all of your for your kindness and comforting thoughts with regard to my previous post. They meant so much to me. 

I also thought you might like to see something a little happier. 

My mother in law is having a milestone birthday very soon. She is turning 80! She still knits daily and is pretty feisty. Guess I know what I am in for with my husband as time goes by. ;) 

Anyway, she loves hummingbirds. Last Friday I got the bright idea to find a counted cross stitch pattern of a hummingbird and came across a gorgeous one desgined by Sasha Turisheheva that I purchased from her Animal Cross Stitch shop on Etsy. I fell in love with the colors. I downloaded the pattern, printed it, taped it together and pulled my colors. I started on a piece of Aida and worked all that evening. The next morning I went to start working and looked closer at the pattern. I determined that the design wouldn't fit on the size cloth I had. Darn! I had to run and get a new piece and start over. Then I stitched like a maniac every spare minute I had this past week. 

I am SO happy with the final result. My girls and I found this frame at Michaels and I ended up going outside to take a picture. I'm sad to say even this photo, with editing doesn't truly capture just how vibrant and pretty the colors are. The frame has more green in the color than shows up and really picks up the blues and greens in the stitching. Feel free to click on the photo to get a better look. Cross stitch pieces under glass are extremely hard to photograph, but I did my best. Anyway, I think she will be happy with her gift.

And for those of you who stop by to see cards, I've got a few to share today. 

My brother Jeff has done a wonderful job handling all the details that come with someone passing and I made him this card, along with a batch of his favorite cookies. We've always called them Ranger cookies. They have oatmeal and coconut in them. We usually took some on a backbacking trip when I was growing up. Anyway, he loved the surprise. 

The thanks is inlaid and I used a stencil on the background. 


This card is a case from Nichol Spohr. I made this one for my brother who had lived with my dad. He moved in with some friends and I wanted to send him some happy mail at his new place. I think those pineapples are so fun. I followed Nichol's YouTube video to make the stripes, too. 


Finally, I couldn't resist this birthday bus after I saw a card on the internet using it. I colored it with my Zig Clean Color Real Brush markers. Looking at it now, I realize I should have put the sentiment on the other side of the card to help balance it. Oh well. It was fun to make. 

I'm doing okay over all. Keeping busy as you can see has helped. Back to school time is fast approaching. Only a couple of weeks of "freedom" left. Maybe I can squeeze in a few more cardmaking sessions before my time becomes more limited. 

Thanks so much for stopping by! 
I so appreciate your visit.
Hugs,
Jeanne

Saturday, July 1, 2017

My Dad and Buster

It's been a while since I posted I know. I don't remember if I've said much here on the blog, but my dad got sick right after Christmas with both the flu and pneumonia and it really took a toll on his health. I took a couple of trips to California to help him and my brother out since then. I found out in February that my dad's health was much more compromised than he had let on to any of us in my family. He was put into hospice care at the end of February, mostly to help him avoid having to go to different doctor's appointments. The care came to him. He did well under that care, but he really was housebound due to his health challenges.

I'm writing today to share that my dad passed away on May 20, 2017. He was 86 years old. I am so glad he isn't suffering anymore, but I miss him dearly. I flew back to California the day he passed and stayed for 3 1/2 weeks to work with my brothers to lay him to rest and then to clean out his house and put it on the market. It was a marathon of work, but we got it done and Dad's house sold the first weekend it was on the market.

The service for my dad was pretty neat. My friend, Kelly, and I along with Jessica worked together to put together picture boards filled with pictures we found of my dad and his family throughout his life. My brothers and I found Dad's Boy Scout shirt that he wore when he was a scout that we put out on display. We also found his Eagle card. We found his basic training cap from when he was in the Marines and photos of him when he worked in Alaska in the late 40s. We found copies of the magazine he founded and tried to get going for a couple of years. During the service he received military honors.  We chose two songs to play. Not religious songs, but two that we felt were completely Dad. One was El Paso by Marty Robbins and the other wasn't even a song at all, but a recording of a P38 flying overhead at an airshow. He would play that recording whenever someone new came to the house and they would go outside to see the plane that was flying so low. He got such a kick out of that. He got Steve a few times with that recording.

After the service we took his ashes and my mom's ashes that he kept all these years (she passed in 1994) to the Riverside National Cemetery where they were interred together. It's a beautiful cemetery and I know they will both rest comfortably there.

I've been home a few weeks now and trying to adjust to my new normal. Every day I think, I've gotta call Dad and share what's going on. Gah.

We had Amy's 16th birthday party last weekend. A low key affair, but she had a great time spending time with her friends and playing a few games. She made an angel food cake and loved every bite of it.

Then on Tuesday of this past week our sweet dog, Buster, had some sort of seizure or stroke and we had to put him to sleep. He was 13.  Boy do we miss him, too! The girls say he is playing with Grandpa now.

This is Buster a few months after we brought him home from the shelter. He was such a sweet boy.

So life has been challenging so far this year. I'm doing okay. I've been working on cleaning up and purging a bit. My dad was a pretty good packrat and the lesson was not lost on me to pare down. I've been working on some cross stitch and working on some cards when I can and feel like some card therapy. I hope as time goes on, I will be able to do a bit more in the crafty department.

Thanks for stopping by. I appreciate the visit. I hope this helps you understand partly why I've not been posting much at all this year. 

Hugs,
Jeanne

Saturday, April 29, 2017

A Few More Butterfly Cards

Hello!
I'm back with the final card from the Kaleidoscope of butterfly cards I shared in my last post. My camera batteries died and I couldn't get a photo of it.
Ink Blended with Wilted Violet ink. Die Cut Stamplorations Flutter Zen1 Butterfly dies, Gina Marie embossing folder(discontinued), sentiment from Lawn Fawn Gingham  Backdops stamp set, MFT Wonky Stitched Rectangle, Spectrum Noir Glitter pen

I didn't share in that post that I almost gave up on these dies as I couldn't get a clean cut for the life of me. I have an original Cuttlebug from around 2006. I'd had another fairly intricate die I'd tried to cut and couldn't get a clean cut for that one either. So I started thinking maybe it was my machine getting too tired to work well. Carol suggested I contact Shery, from Stamplorations. She was able to give me the correct sandwich and I got a great cut! I dug out that other die and tried the same sandwich and that die worked, too! Instead of having the die cut down, you turn it the other way, face up, and add a bit of a shim (the cardstock that comes with the packaging) and voila! Success!

MFT Peekaboo Window Die, Memory Box  Butterfly Die (discontinued?), Lawn Fawn Perfectly Plaid pattern paper, Lawn Fawn stitched rectangle die, Spectrum Noir glitter pen

I guess this will be my final, butterfly final card(for now)! 😊This one I made today. I shamelessly copied this from Carol as well. You can see her beautiful card here. Okay, I changed the butterfly. This is the other intricate die I couldn't get to cut. I had actually thrown the die into the trash, convinced it was defective. I bought it a year or so ago and couldn't return it, so if it didn't cut right, what good was it to me?Thankfully, I hadn't emptied the trash bin yet. 😌

Thanks so much for stopping by!
I hope you are having a wonderful weekend.
It's been snowing here today.  April in Colorado, gotta love it.
After going on a very successful stampy shopping trip, I spent a good part of the afternoon creating cards!
Yippee!

Hugs!
Jeanne

Sunday, April 23, 2017

A 'Kaleidoscope' of Butterflies for You

Hello!

Oh goodness, it's been a while, hasn't it? I'll give you the short version. I've been a bit busy. Too short? Because aren't we all busy?! Okay, a little bit longer version. 

A few days after my last post, I got a call from my brother that my dad was going to have a stent put in. Right after Christmas my dad got the flu and pneumonia (he had received both vaccines well before the seasons hit). Anyway, throughout the month after he initially got sick(January), he'd been in and out of the hospital because he couldn't shake the pneumonia and was having trouble breathing. During that time it was determined that he had 3 blocked arteries and needed stents. So I went out to CA for a few days to help him after the procedure. Well, there was a delay and the procedure (they only did the worst of the three) took place later in my stay. Dad came through it fine, thank goodness. I left on Sunday and on Tuesday morning, my brother called to say that Dad was having trouble breathing and he was back in the hospital. It was pretty serious. I flew back that day and stayed for over 2 weeks. Dad was in the hospital one week and a rehab facility the second and I stayed part of a third week to be sure he was not going to end up back in the hospital. Thankfully, this time he seemed to get better. He has been home ever since. Whew! So, that is part of the reason I've been gone so long. I'm just hoping he doesn't get another cold or heaven forbid, pneumonia again for a good long while!

My girls have kept me hopping. Amy's Winterguard season was busy and they ended up qualifying for the state competition. After a very long day and two performances, her group came in 4th out of 18 teams! Pretty exciting! Amy's also been on a long weekend trip to Orlando, Florida for band. Plus various bingo sessions, practices and what not. Jessica joined a few new to us clubs and a couple of them held competitions. One was a Math Counts competition(3-4 of them actually) and the other a Battle of the Books. Her BOB team came in 1st for her school and 3rd in the district! Oh my! She just got back from a weekend trip to Grand Junction with her band. They've also had a few concerts in there, too. I cannot complain about them, other than when they are in teen mode. That's not so fun. But they are totally normal. 

Work has kept me busy, too. My co worker has had a family emergency and has been gone several days. I've picked up a few extra hours. Nice for the wallet, but my body is resisting! LOL 

The end of school is coming up already and that means clubs are starting to wind down. Which means a little less driving for me. Which theoretically means more crafty time. This weekend I was able to play and I have several butterfly cards to share with you! I looked up what a lot of butterflies together is called and Mr. Google said a kaleidoscope or a swarm or a rabble. I like the first choice the best. :)

I was completely inspired (enabled) to  buy these Stamploration stamps and dies (Flutter Zen 1, Flutter Zen 2 and Trendy Butterflies 2 because of Carol's cards (of Just me: c blog) here and here. Isn't her work glorious? Here are my cards. I also made one more, but my camera batteries died and I'm recharging them as I type. I'll share that one later.
Ink blended with Peacock Feathers and Cracked Pistachio ink. Adhered to a piece of bristol smooth cardstock by mistake. Also used Wonky Stiching die from MFT. Sending Hugs from Hero Arts Kindness stamp set

Ink blended with Spiced Marmalade and Worn Lipstick ink. Sending Hugs from Hero Arts Kindness stamp set


Colored with pencils and ink blended with Cracked Pistachio and Peacock Feathers ink


Ink blended with Spiced Marmalade and Worn Lipstick, background is Hero Arts cling stamp and Ranger Enhanced Gold Embossing Powder. Sentiment is embossed with CTMH Silver Pearl embossing powder


Ink blended with Cracked Pistachio and Peacock Feathers ink, senitment heat embossed in Ranger Liquid Platinum ep. I added a strip of washi from Michaels Recollections brand. The background is an old Hero Arts stamp heat embossed in CTMH Silver Pearl ep.


Whew! Still with me? Thank you if you made it this far! I so appreciate you stopping by! 
Hugs,
Jeanne

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

A Card and An Afghan!

 Hi Friends!

I'm feeling pretty confident that the new batteries for my camera did the trick. I was able to take a bunch of pictures for this post and the camera didn't shut off. Whoo hooo!!!πŸ’ƒπŸ˜Š (Blogger now allows me to add emojis!)

When I was at Michaels a week ago, I came across a display that had several different stationery type items that one could color. I found card sets that included 6 cards of one design and envelopes. The kicker is the pack was $1.50! There were several designs, but the flower ones really drew my eye. There were also gift bags with designs, gift tags, gift boxes. I just got the cards. And I colored one of them this past Sunday while watching the football playoff games.
I really liked that the design continued to the back side of the card!
This was colored with my Prismacolor pencils. And I took my Clear Sparkle Spectrum Noir pen and filled in the background of the front of the card. I love the sparkle it adds. I also added a bit of glitter gel pen to the stamens on the flower. Very fun! 

As most of you know, the lighting in my house isn't really conducive to cardmaking at night, but I am always working on some sort of handwork project in the living room. I recently finished crocheting a granny square afghan from a book called A Granny Square Christmas. I got the book from Joann's and fell in love with the afghan on the cover. Had to make it! I started around Christmas and finished a couple of Sundays ago. I used all Red Heart Super Saver yarn. 

Amy wanted to photobomb and I told her to go ahead and sit on the afghan to give you some perspective as to the size of the squares. 

Then sitting  led to laying down. LOL She is about 5'3"

That's it from me for now. I hope you are having a good week!

Thanks so much for stopping by!
Hugs,
Jeanne



Saturday, January 14, 2017

You Are a Blessing...

Happy New Year! I haven't posted in forever because my regular camera isn't working right. It keeps shutting off, even if it has fresh batteries. I got it Christmas 2005, so it's had a long life. It's a Kodak Z740, which is no longer made. I don't know what camera to get to replace it. I take pictures with my phone, but getting them off the phone to edit is not as easy as one would hope. The numbering system is really convoluted (in my humble opinion) and I can only upload one at a time to my editing program. Because it's not very convenient to get them off the phone to edit them, I simply haven't done it.

Today, I thought I'd try my camera again to see if it was working better after a long rest. I managed to snap one photo before it shut off. One is better than none, right?! Btw, I mention my issue to my husband and he thinks the batteries are the issue. We use rechargables and they are most likely getting old. We'll try buying some new ones and see it that helps. (fingers crossed)

I didn't have to go to work yesterday and had high hopes that I could get a few cards made while it was quiet in the house. I sincerely tried, but I think I'm pretty rusty at cardmaking now. I attempted one card 4 different times and each one ended up in the trash. I smudged the stamping each time. Don't ask me how. It was a simple card idea, I promise, but it just wasn't working out for me. Jennifer McGuire makes it look SO easy! :) So, I scrapped that card idea and tried a different one.

Success!

I used some NBUS from My Favorite Things. Geometric Greenery, Geometric Grid background stamp and a stitched rectangle die. Here's how it turned out.

After the frustration with the first four attempts, I'm very happy with the end result of this one! I colored in the leaf with some Johanna Basford alchol markers I bought at Michaels a few months ago. I went over it with my Spectrum Noir Clear Sparkle marker. It's fussy cut out. 

Really simple, which is fine by me. My first card of 2017! Yay! Hopefully more to follow in the not too distant future. :)

Thanks so much for stopping by...if you are still meandering this way, that is.
Hugs,
Jeanne

Friday, October 14, 2016

Play Day!

Hello there!

I had a day off yesterday that I told no one about, just so I wouldn't get told...since you have the day off, can you...You know what I mean, right? I had such high hopes of getting all these cards made and wouldn't you know it, that didn't happen. but I did get one completed, so that's good. 

But first up...in my last post I mentioned that my daughter was working on a rollercoaster project and I was asked to share the completed project. Here you go! I did take video of the marble running through it, but there were some false starts and I don't know how to edit that out, so trust me when I say, the marble does go through the track with out jumping it...most of the time. Thankfully for the girls, it worked perfectly the first time the teacher tried it. Yay! :) They also shared a write up of what they learned about different kinds of energy (potential, kinetic and also friction). I think I said they were learning about Newton's Laws of Motion. Oops, I was wrong (not a surprise). That's the unit they have just started this week. I jumped the gun.
Anyway, the theme of their rollercoaster was Steampunk, which is why you see that fancy base. I think they did a great job on it. They had high hopes of making this even more intricate, but they realized it would take much more time than they had available to do that. They were very happy with the completed project. All the projects the class did looked amazing. I never did anything like this when I was in middle school (well, junior high is what it was called way back when...you know in the Stone Age).

I shared this on my Instagram account a bit ago, but never did get this up on the blog. I follow different colorists on You Tube and now on Instagram. As I think I've shared before, these colorists create tutorials or show what they are doing as they color. One colorist always attacts my eye because I just love the color combinations she uses. Her name is Julie and you can find her channel here. Recently she did a three part video series on the butterfly in Magical Jungle. It helps that she uses Prismacolor pencils. I absolutely fell in love with the colors she used on the butterfly and I simply felt compelled to color the butterfly. My hand is a little lighter than hers, but what really sets off the coloring is the use of the white pencil to fully blend the colors. I just bought another white pencil last week because I am using it so much. :)
I am so happy with how this looks!
Gosh, I wish I had more time to color.

And finally, here is the single card I was able to create yesterday. Oh my, I totally copied the one that inspired this. Karin, of Peppermint Patty's Papercraft, is mega talented. She creates and shares the most beautiful watercolors! And she makes fantastic cards, too. Oh, to have such talent to come up with these fantastic projects. You should check out her blog, if you have never been. Anyway, last month she shared this card and I was completely and utterly smitten. 
Here's my version of the card. 
Yep, a complete CASE, but colored with pencils and not Copics. I was also intrigued by the paper shaker bits. That die is also from Mama Elephant. I like the idea of picking the colors you want in cardstock.  Thank you so much for the inspiration, Karin! (if you ever stop by and read this) 

I have to say though, I didn't anticipate how long it would take to create the card when I sat down. There's inlaid die cutting. I colored a bunch of images thinking I'd make a couple of cards (snort) and then there's the frame. Oh, the frame about did me in. LOL I don't have frame die cuts so I was trying to finagle it with dies I do own and...well, it wasn't pretty. I was getting a bit frustrated. So, I ended up just cutting strips and using them. It worked. I should have added some interest to the strips, but at that point I wanted to be done. LOL If you could have heard me talking to myself throughout the making of the card, you'd be laughing your head off!

Okay, so my leaves are a bit different than hers. Well, I picked up some Spectrum Noir glitter pens at Hobby Lobby recently. (I went on a bit of a shopping spree with my first paycheck of the school year, if you can't tell). I thought the fall colors were so pretty. I tested them on some Lawn Fawn die cut leaves. I just had them laying out, so I added them to the card. They are pretty sparkly!  The sentiment is also from Lawn Fawn, as is the banner.  The cardstock is all Close To My Heart...Goldrush, Honey, Ocean and Cranberry. Some (or all) of them could be retired colors, but I don't keep track of that now. I saw on another card the use of a lighter teal with fall colors and I thought that was so neat. So that's why you see a bit of the dark teal color in with the others in the shaker bits. That's for you, Michele. (smile)

The girls and I have the day off today. Teacher inservice day. Yesterday was conferences, which are scheduled for all day in elementary, but after school only in middle and high school. If I can squeak in some crafty time you might see me back.
Promises, promises.

Thanks ever so much for stopping by! 
Hope you have an awesome weekend!
Hugs,
Jeanne