Mixed Media Fall Birthday

Good afternoon and welcome. We've had several days of overcast & dreary, with some much needed rain. Had to be out of the house on these days, and the temperature felt a lot more chilly than it has been todate, so I guess Fall is officially here in our area. Still have "things" going on, but more the normal day-to-day stuff - thankful to get back to that kind of day.

Neighbor has a birthday coming soon. A few afternoons I did a little experimenting play with some Ken Oliver Mineral Burst  product, Silk acrylic paint, Distress Oxide Ink and colorburst. Used some of these backgrounds for this card.

- Background for the leaves (Pretty Pink Posh Stitched Foliage) was made first. Spread Copper Mineral Burst on watercolor paper (think it was #140 weight). Added some Silk acrylic paint in a gold color (sorry don't remember specific color, but the link will show the texture of this product). While the paper was still quite wet, sprinkled on some yellow & leaf green shades of colorburst, sprayed a little water and let it spread. This piece was quite wet, so placed another w/c on top of it to absorb some of the wetness, and got a two-fer. Let this dry overnight, and then die cut the leaves.

The card background was done using DOX inks -  (just got some fall-ish colors and played with sponging). Used a mister to spray droplets, and then sprinkled some leaf green color burst over the surface. Sprayed again to get the crystals to spread. Once dried, used a Darice Fall EF to dry emboss. Picked this particular one because it had the maple and oak leaf patterns in it. Since the embossed Fall is part of the design, decided to just do the birthday bit on the inside. A S/Binder label die cut a cream snippet of C/S for the interior sentiment, and added one of the oak leaves as well. Thought this turned out ok, and I think she will like it. Used Nuvo Crystal Copper to add the pearls.

There's a new Halloween card added to the Cards by Friends page and also added the DOX definition to the Blog-a-nition page. Saw that used on a blog and don't remember where so as to give credit. Seems easier than typing out Distress Oxide Ink every time it is used!

Here's a couple pics of our Halloween night. We had about 15 kids; some were tiny & adorable. Some were too old to be out after candy. One delightful toddler was fascinated with the lighted ceramic pumpkins and wanted to stay to talk with them. Her parents had to coax her to come collect her candy from where we were sitting in the swing. As she left the porch, she said "Bye Bye punkins, thank you for the candy". She was about 15-18 months old and was the star of the evening.  We had made the pumpkins long, long ago when our daughter was very small. We both worked, so she wasn't able to stay after school for a ceramic class. She was so disappointed that we decided we would go as a family to a ceramic shop to take classes, and that's when we made 3 pumpkins. The owner's husband was DH's friend, so they let us come at night when the day's kiln firing was being done. That's another expensive hobby we got into, buying a kiln, all the supplies. Years later, donated to another person who was getting involved in the hobby.   After it got dark, these pumpkins really showed up quite spookily.

My own little pumpkin sitting in the swing ready to hand out candy. We moved the mums off the steps to avoid any stumbles. It got dark right after I took these pics..came down quite rapidly and was a bit chilly too.

Thanks for popping in to visit. Wanted to catch up on all my previous post's commenting before I did another post. Ya'll have a great afternoon and come back when you have time, heah?

Big hugs, God Bless.




Welcome and a Spooky Halloween to you! Thanks for checking in and I hope you're planning a special day. Do you hand out candy tonight? We normally buy a couple bags with the items individually wrapped or sealed. The past few years, we've varied from having lots of kids to just a few, with candy left. Surrounding areas frequently bring kids in cars to our neighborhood as well. We don't need to eat the leftovers; it's hard to find places to donate it to (safety reasons, even if the places know who we are & the bags are still sealed); the neighbors all have their own leftovers to push on their grandkids. One year the ladies in our doctor's office told us "We can't give it to the kids, but WE can eat it". So this year, we just got one big bag of candy bars, and when it is all gone (if it is!) - we'll turn out the porch light and hope we get no tricksters.  We both enjoy seeing the little kids, but sometimes we get ones old enough they should be buying their own candy. Most of them seldom even say "Thank you" either. Still, we do it for the littles.
OK...another card that didn't get an insert made, so guess it will go in the stash. Hope I remember this next year and mail some out in time. Also hope next year will not be so stressful as this year has been.
The Gina K die cuts the stitched scallop piece, with a separate frame. Colored that green, inlaid the scallop back into the rectangle. Adhered that to a kraft card base, which I then covered up with angled strips of different Halloween themed dp.  I was chuckling as I colored the image, at that kitty's goofy look. (I'm very allergic to cats, so I seldom do cat images! Once in a while though.)
Big hugs, and thanks for visiting. Hope you don't get any tricksters tonight.


Happy Halloween Punkin Pair

Good morning and welcome to a scheduled post. Trying to get some things caught up. I made a few Halloween cards - alas, never got time to do the inserts in time for timely mailing. I have become the Excuse Lady, sorry! Last week we spent a couple days helping #1 brother clean out a utility room. (Mostly his help was when we showed him the stuff, he'd say "pitch it" and some of the stuff he thought neighbors might want. )  We still have some of that to finish, in addition to an outbuilding that contained SIL's gardening equipment. It really brought home all the 'stuff' we collect, know we should weed out-- but don't want to face the chore. Perhaps doing these things has contributed to my cleaning mood of late!

Anyway, I thought these lil' punkins were cute, they were fun to color. Don't remember the stamp company. Stripe paper from a 6x6 pack - who knows when it came to live here. S/B label die. The orange cardbase is a bit smaller than the usual, but it was on the desk. MS punches from black c/s and some WoS applied. Think the die cut sentiment is a M.Box, 2 layers of black c/s, then 2 layers of a snippet of yellow d/p that had a pattern. Thought it would work as a shadow outline, and it did!

Hope ya'll had a nice weekend. Ours was quiet, overcast, rainy at times, and we both took a long afternoon nap each day, as we were tuckered out :-).

Added some cards to the Cards by Friends which I hope you have time to check out. And here are the pictures of the front porch and some of our pretty fall trees. Some are turning into the autumn colors, but a lot are still fairly green. In one picture the azaleas off the side of the front porch still have blossoms. Normally they would be in their fall state by now...ditto on the crepe myrtles in the front flower bed. Those have lost the pretty magenta color blossoms we enjoyed all summer, but leaves are not the fall/winter brown as yet. Those leaves will brown up, wither and blanket the mulch under those trees.

Hope you enjoyed seeing our part of the world. Thanks for popping by and come again when you  can. Blessings and Hugs.


Halloween Cat

Good evening and welcome. Hope all of you had a pleasant weekend - we did. Great weather. Thought for sure we'd get some rain yesterday afternoon, but it was a no show. Did we ever get some today, though! We had to go out for an appointment, and it was raining then. When we finished the appointment and left that building, it really was storming, got quite nasty. I was thankful I had a good driver at the wheel.

Been trying to work on some Halloween cards. Got some images ready, but only one made into a card so far. Here it is. I believe this is a Stampendous cling image, corners are Martha Stewart corner punch*, and the bat is also MS punch. Used a gelly roll on the punkin eyes after going over the black with a black WoS pen for some glitter. Not sure if I like the gelly coloring, but it's done now. The camera really picked up on that.

We've got some of the Fall stuff out on the front porch, and will try to share some of those pictures in the next post. Cleaning gig is still going on, but progress is being made, which makes me feel good. Other family things interrupt my chore schedule, but the cleaning takes a back seat to family every time.

Ya'll have a good evening, be safe if you're in the 'weather path', and come back when you can. Big hugs, and God Bless.

*This punch is actually for decorating the corners of paper - not cutting out pieces. Used scissors & trimmer to cut them into outcuts that I could apply to this card design.


Blue Vase of Sunflowers

Happy Monday evening. I hope none of my UK pals are going to have any problems with the storms that I've read are going to affect your shores. We had a textbook beautiful fall day to start the week. Overcast this morning, cool, but then the sun came out. Our temp hovered around 70F for most of the day. Had Bro #2 down the street for some leftover rotessarie chicken. After finishing the last baseboard cleaning yesterday, got presentable to visit the store. Too tired to cook so a lovely cooked chicken from our local Sam's Wholesale fit the bill for us. This is a good value for the money, as we usually get a couple meals from the chicken, and it's under $5.00 for one. Our local groceries have one about 3/4 the size Sam's or Costco sells, and for nearly $7.00. Got a couple of frozen side dishes to heat, and that was dinner. One of his grandkids had come by, so they handled the meal for him last evening. Kitchen now cleaned, comments caught up, so here goes a post.

A friend is having a bit of "Life" strike just at the moment, so thought this card I had done while MIA might cheer up a bit.

The image is an oldie, wooden block, but it's always fun to color. The vase has some glossy accents on it, and of course, the usual WoS for some sparkle. Couple layers on the die cut sentiment. Butterfly was handy to add a little trim. This looked cheerful to me...

When moving 'stuff' in the pc room so that I could even get to the baseboards, I found a box of very old cards done when I first started trying to learn how to watercolor. I have to say, don't think I've had much improvement in the intervening years. But hey, I'll share anyway! These are not cards that will ever get mailed (unless I get desperate!)-- I've got a pretty good stash of most occasion cards, except for sympathy ones. Should do some of that type when not needed specifically, as it's pretty hard to do when you actually need one to send.

Now for the oldie water colors. I think just the old pancake type of color was used for these cards. These were done when we still had a local stamp store, and I think are circa 2005 perhaps.

2nd one has extra petals added over layer 1 for a bit of dimension. I think this was a Penny Black shop stamp -

Used some versa mark stamping, gold embossing on this one, then water coloring.

Probably versa mark again, with a black embossing, then water coloring. The edging around the image was done with a ruler and water coloring as I recall. Anyway, you can laugh if you want. I did when I opened the box and found these. Didn't know I still had them.

Today was a real good rest day. Read a book, had a nap...and leftovers to heat up for supper, so an easy day. Before I get back into my lazy bad habits, I've made a list of some other chores that I've needed to tackle for a cleaning out bookcases, and tossing away a lot of junk...dust collectors. It's a good feeling when you get finished, even if you are tired!!

Ya'll have a good evening, and come back when you can. Big hugs, and thanks for looking in! I missed you guys while I was gone! God Bless.



Birthday Birdhouse

Good evening, and welcome. We're just back from celebrating an 89th birthday with a big family dinner. Actual birthday is tomorrow, and my family must have some strong, long-lived genes. My parents were 85(Mom) and 89(Dad) who was 20 days away from 90; got a couple aunts who lived past 100, uncles in the 90-s. So it looks like the 2 oldest brothers got these genes. The remaining brother is 81, is in very good health, active, good eyesight...which we feel is a blessing, since our family seems to have the Macular Degeneration curse. My brother's 4 daughters came to celebrate with their Dad for this special birthday, some of his grandkids, and 4 gr-grands. Brother #2 (87) went with us. It was noisy! A bit emotional for the birthday fella too, when they brought out the cake and sang Happy Birthday. I was wishing they hadn't done this, as I felt he was embarrassed to have gotten a bit teary. I think he was pleased however.

Here's the card he got from me. Someone had to tell him what it looks like as his vision is poor.

Die is a Gina K scallop frame--cuts out the scalloped center piece along with the stitched frame. Oxide Ink distressing around the edges, inlaid the center; added a bit of WoS, some bits of DP for trim. Found a set of bird motif brads - sort of a darkish pewter, decided to add one.

Cut the sentiment at a slant, since the font is a little on the wonky side. Did 3 efforts thinking it was OE, finally decided the stamp is meant to look like this. A bit of distress ink edging again. Tucked it under the bird brad. Added some Walnut Nuvo pearls, one of which is on top of the brad, but don't think the photo shows it well.

Been working on the baseboard cleaning gig & nearly done. Started in the office, which is a smaller room than the living room, so thought that room would go quickly. Moving a bunch of 'stuff' out to get at the baseboard took most of the day to get the task done. While doing so, decluttered some: think small packs of hardened rubber bands, dried out glue sticks, rusty paper clips, old pictorial calendars I had saved for 'some reason', bags that were to be decorated, memorabilia from by-gone trips. Just office supplies past their Use By Date and all dust collectors. So living room (or it's not at all formal) will finish up this effort.It also has a chair rail trim which will need to be wiped down  as well as the baseboards. Already found what is to be the next task before all my motivation is gone: Emptying 2 bookcase of every single item, and wiping down. Usually I just dust the edges where you can see the dust. May do some cleanout there too.

Ya'll have a wonderful Sunday, and thanks for your visit this evening. God Bless and Big Hugs


A Halloween Skeleton (from DH)

Good afternoon on an absolutely beautiful Thursday. Finished up the window washing chores (except for 3 - one in garage, 2 in attic...but at least the ones we look through every day are cleaner!)  DH helped some, but we have different ideas as to what clean is. His help was appreciated though.

He was sending a package to his ole navy buddy in Oklahoma, and wanted to make a card for the fella. DH used to make Halloween cards, but he got tired of it. So when he asked if I'd help him (which means find the supplies), I said of course. That night he set to work. He'd previously pulled out some design papers, which I'd found. Just thought I'd been rummaging and forgot to put these back in the stack, so of course I did just that. Then he couldn't find them. Picked out his stamp, told me his idea. Since he had chosen dp, not c/s, I wasn't sure the heat embossing of a very detailed image would be effective. See what you think.

- Stampendous Cemetary wooden block stamp, one I'm certain he picked out to buy. Not my style choice as to subject. It's extremely detailed as well. He inked generously with WOW embossing ink (seems to work better for me with these very detailed stamps - more so than Versamark), then sprinkled WOW white opaque embossing powder. It was his idea to put on the red 'pearl' eyes. He used the stamp press he'd bought for me, as this block stamp is pretty large, and needed a good deal of pressure to stamp as well as it did. With the embossing, it was not easy to see if it had stamped nicely, until it was heat embossed. I think he got a very crisp image...It looks much better IRL than the photo shows. (that's the photographer's problem, not his!)

Image glued to orange glitter mat & then to  black top fold card base, which is not showing up against the background of the DIY photo booth. It is a black card base though. This turned out better than I thought it would, with that blue crackled DP. DH likes Halloween.

Now that windows are (for the most part) cleaned, the baseboards need to be cleaned, so that's my chore this afternoon. Goal is 2 rooms at a session, so my back doesn't get too mad at me! I'm trying to go with the flow on this burst of cleaning energy. Can't explain why or where such came from, except looking at the dust & grime for so long, really was getting on my nerves, -- making me feel like a worse housekeeper than I know I am :-) It won't last long, I expect!

 Sure hope that you are having a lovely afternoon with pretty weather. It was coffee on the front porch this morning. Grass still wet with dew, and the neighborhood was quiet, except for the occasional noise of a far-away lawn mower. Very peaceful and pleasant.

Thanks for joining me - I'm trying to return all comment visits before posting something new here.
Ya'll come back, heah? God Bless and Hugs.


Birthday Hummingbird

Hello and welcome. Hope that everyone had a pleasant weekend. It was rather quiet here, did a few house chores, made some phone calls, ran some errands. Yesterday we finally got some much needed rain, but then late afternoon, we had tornado warnings for our area. Nothing dreadful happened right around this community, but in the next county, a small twister blew down some trees. We might get  more rain today, which will be ok. I can work on cleaning the windows that face on the front porch, as I will be under roof if I should step outside to wash instead of tilting those windows inward.

Today's share is another bits & pieces cards, that was sent to the son-in-law for his birthday which is later this month. The hummingbird is a pretty Northwoods image (wooden block) which I couldn't resist when I saw it. NWoods has the prettiest flower and birds images of any company I've seen; always stamp out crisply aside from Operator Error. Sometimes with the large blocks, the stamp press works terrifically to  help with OE.

The background is Very Old Stuff  with a large pattern but I liked the shade of green with the colored image. Tried to cut it to take advantage of the pretty floral, but at least managed to get the insect intact. It looks like the very bottom edge 'bubbled', but didn't see that until in the photo. The die cuts a large rectangle, the oval, including the skinny oval frame. Cut the DP along with some dark green c/s, and used the dark green to create the inlay framing look. The golden frame is part of the image, and colored with a pentel gold metallic pen. Wink of Stella was also used on the frame. Also noticed that when editing, I forgot to add the signature hallmark :-) Ah me.

Am enjoying the visits from my old friends....I'm so grateful you all stayed with me while I was MIA so long. I'm doing my best to return visits as comments are made, and hope to get back to visiting  lots of other followers who haven't re-found me lately. We're still trying to provide support to the 2 widowed brothers, while getting back to the routine of our own lives.

Thanks for taking time to visit today. How do you like the blog's Fall look? (actually it was last year's Fall look, but had to remember how to upload the template - hope I've got it right).Thanks Loll!

Anybody watching The Outlander new series? I've enjoyed it so far. Also loving the Doc Martin Series 8! We're waiting to see some of the stuff we saw filmed, and also looking at the scenes and saying "Did we see that bit?" or "Do you remember that?" Adds such added fun to the viewing.

Hugs & God Bless.


Birthday Flowers

Good afternoon, and thanks for  coming by today. Whew, I finally got the porch cleaning task finished. Hubs found some of the blue liquid turtle wax that he's used for years on the cars, and it really speeded up the process. It's what I've used in years past, but I couldn't find it in Walmart when I was searching. He remembered he had some in the garage, so found it. Poured some in a bucket with water, and was able to wipe off grunge and wax (sort of!) at the same time. It did have to be hosed off, so I  hope it didn't wash off the wax. It protects a car finish, so hope it will the porch railing vinyl. It's a good feeling to get that task finished. (He came out and said "You know you're just wasting your time. It will get all dirty again". I told him, Yep, I did know that, but at least we can start the winter out with it clean! Men. They sure don't think like women!) Next week hope to start on cleaning the windows before our cold sets in.

Sharing a card today that was for DD's Big 5-0. I was ashamed I didn't make a truly "Special" card for her. Too much stuff going on. I did start one with a Tim Holtz Crazy Dog, a couple weeks ahead, but just couldn't wrap my brain around how to use the dog.... Even after looking at Pinterest samples of that stamp set, still couldn't design a card. Found another image that had been colored some time back- made it into a card, and still, last minute to mail it. She did get it in time. We had planned to go to Florida, but Mr. had a doctor's appointment that it was important to keep. We'd have only had 2 days with her, and that's a long way to drive for just 2 days. We hope the check enclosed helped out if she was disappointed! (I put her husband's card in the same envelope. His birthday is right after hers).

This is a beautifully detailed Northwoods wooden stamp. I borrowed the stamp from someone when we had the group going, but don't remember if I ever bought one for myself. I've used this image for other cards, and it's always a lot of fun to color. I can spend an entire evening working on it, putting aside, coming back to check my shadows and highlights. This one was 'inlaid' -sort of - into a skinny blue frame, then into the stitched yellow frame, and then placed over a top fold card base.(think this is a Waffle Flower rectangle die-- can't remember!)  Used some clear Nuvo Jewel drops on some of the flowers (I think!). This image stamped out very well, as do all the Northwoods stamps I've ever used.
Hope your weekend has been off to a good start. Thought we might get some rain, as we could certainly use a little moisture. Another hurricane is in the news, and hurricane season ends in November, thank goodness. I was watching the dark roiling clouds while working on the porch, expecting to finish in the rain. Guess it blew on by us.
If I missed sharing a card from anyone, and you know you sent it, please advise, so I can go through them again. We kept these on the mantle, and I would try to photo when each arrived. So I'm hoping I didn't miss anyone. Until next time, God Bless, and Big Hugs.


La Collinette Hotel

Good afternoon. Just finished catching up some comments and dog sitting my brother's toy schnauzer...who is very attached to him now, and gets anxiety attacks when she is left. So even though I'm allergic to her, she has to be held and cuddled. So we did that, while I did some catchup visiting with some sweet blog visitors. Now I wanted to do another post, while it's quiet-- (should be out finishing cleaning up the front porch railings, but I've convinced myself it's too late in the day to start it! I've become a champion procrastinator).

We've got another absolutely lovely day. More like summer again, than Fall, although it was cool this morning.  I promised to share some gorgeous cards picked up while we stayed at the La Collinette Hotel in the Isle of Guernsey. One of the managers (Veronica) is a card maker, and had some of her cards displayed in the lobby. Just had to buy a few. I think European cards are quite a bit larger than those most of us Americans make. These cards measure 7x7 - so lots of scope for design elements. Hate to think of the postage though :-).

Here's the hotel where we stayed for the 3 days we were in Guernsey.

Everyone was so pleasant to us, and it's such a lovely place. We had great weather. Our room had a balcony deck, that overlooked the pool. We took a nap with the doors and windows open each afternoon after a busy morning - cooling air wafting in, and a lightweight throw felt quite cozy over my legs. It's not a real 'fancy' hotel, but was clean, airy; the room and bathroom were roomy and well appointed. I'll tell you about the place we stayed first in London later on.

Here's the cards we purchased from Veronica. It was a tough choice, as I wanted them all!

Aren't these just so beautiful and well made? I especially loved the way Veronica used the design paper, since I'm challenged to use large designs in so many of the papers I've bought. Thought the border detail on #3 was very appealing as well.

Hope you will enjoy them. Also hope that Veronica might pay a visit to the blog, and see that I've shared her cards here. I had given her the link, and said that I would feature these on a post. I was away so long, that even if she had time to look in, she may have given up on me!

Sending wishes to all of you for a super great weekend, with happiness in whatever it is you might be doing. Thanks for visiting, and I'll get back to commenting as fast as time allows. God Bless, Hugs too.


Birthday with Oxide Background Stenciling

Good evening. Thanks for such a wonderful response to my post yesterday. It was such fun seeing old friends again. I'm still trying to get back in the groove, and will share some of the pictures of our trip soon. This post is a card from August, for my #2 Brother's 87th birthday. It was a tough day, and all his kids and grandkids, some neighbors & ourselves showed up for a cookout. The hard part is that SIL's birthday was 2 days after his, and usually his daughter had a party for the both of them. But we got through it; by and large - it was nice. I think it was just a bit much for him though, although he hid it well. We didn't tell him so many folks would be there, just that a couple of us would be at the cookout. (Not my idea to surprise him...I didn't think it a good idea not to be straightforward about it).

The background was made using some DI oxide inks through 2 different stencils (which I don't remember what they were, but will check if someone is interested).
The leaves were cut from a die set (thought it was Lawn Fawn**, again I'll look it up if need be). Cut from white c/s, then used versamark, copper, gold and silver embossing powders.
The sentiment was also cut from white c/s, then heat embossed with the same gold as on the leaves.
Mounted the leaves on a stitched die cut rectangle, called it done. It was one of the cards made from bits and pieces that had been done earlier. I thought it had a bit of a rustic feel to it. Planned to add a twine bow to it, but that looked too much so I didn't.**
Added some cards sent by lovely people on the Cards by Friends page...hope you have time to look at those.
Until next time, God Bless and many hugs. And thanks for looking in.
**Edit: Enlarged the picture to check it and realized I'd used a Paper Trey Cover plate, with a feather quilt design to emboss this background.

**It's Concord & 9th.. Thanks Anita for sending me the info so I didn't have to hunt through dies :-)


Distress Oxide Ink Thank You

Good evening. I expect all of you think I've disappeared forever. Sadly, our family has just had a lot of illness and bereavement in the last 6 months. In April SIL#2 passed away, and right after the funeral, her husband developed a very bad eye infection in his 'good eye'. He has macular degeneration, has been getting the shots for about 7 years, and shortly after getting one, got a really bad infection which basically blinded him for about 6-8 wks. Just added to his depression after losing his wife. Someone had to be with him 24/7 and do pretty much everything for him. We're down the street, so we were staying there all the time for about a month.  His kids and other relatives came into the breach so that we could take our planned trip to the UK in early June.

The afternoon prior to our departure I spent at the emergency room with SIL#1, who had brain cancer last August, underwent surgery and treatment, seemed to have been doing very well. Then she started having some bad symptoms. It was another lesion on the opposite side from before, and was deemed inoperable. So after an encouraging phone call from that SIL the night prior to leaving, we set off. What she said was: 'You can't do anything to help me here but pray, and you can do that traveling just as well. I know you've wanted to go, so go and enjoy yourself.' I tried real hard to do that...but.....

We visited Pt Isaac, where I got to shake hands with "Doc" and "Louisa". I must say that Caroline Catz is much more beautiful IRL than she is on the program...and she's gorgeous in the film! Had a couple photos with John Marquez, saw the other major actors in my favorite tv show. Just didn't have a long enough time to explore Cornwall, but what we saw was so very beautiful. Then on to the Isle of Guernsey, also very lovely with friendly people. Then back to London, for a flight to Edinburgh. Again, great time, and thoroughly enjoyed all the sights. However I got one of my breathing attacks there, after exiting a pub into a gaggle of smokers. Still managed to take our booked bus tour up into the Highlands for a day...awesome scenery there. Back to London, where thankfully we had a hotel with air conditioning, as that was the time of the heat wave. We had a couple tours booked there, but I had to stay put, as I was coughing badly, having trouble breathing, and just generally miserable. Tours were non-refundable, so I persuaded DH and our friend to go ahead. Talk about feeling sorry for myself.

Anyway, when we returned  home, the SIL news was grim. So from June until early September it was a watch, wait and pray. She was so brave & courageous, but left us on September 13, with her 4 daughters and my brother by her side. We all know she went to the Lord, and was content to do so. And by then, everyone was relieved & thankful she was now out of pain and at peace.

With all of that, not been in the mood to craft, blog or do much else. Additionally many relatives have come and we hosted some of these.

However, I did manage to do a couple cards, which I photo'd but just not had the frame of mind to share as yet. Also received SO many comforting emails, that seemed to arrive just on the right day to lift my spirits. Ditto for wonderfully lovely cards, which I will share soon (well I hope I can get back into the swing of blogging, visiting, and seeing my friends' work).

Please forgive me for being so long MIA, but I hope you understand. It's part of Life and living to have to say goodbye to those we love, but oh, it's so hard. And in the span of 10 months, our family lost 3 sisters-in-law, 2 of them we were so close to. They lived nearby, and had been in the family for most of my life -- really more like sisters than inlaws. None of us can actually believe they have left us.

I wanted to say a heartfelt thank you to so many of you who kept me smiling & feeling grateful for emails & cards in the times when all I really wanted to do was crawl in bed, and just cry. Thank you!

While in Guernsey, we met a young lady at the hotel where we stayed there, who (gasp!) is a card maker. She had some of her wonderful cards displayed in the lobby, so I'll be sharing those too.

For tonight, here's the 2 cards I've found on the computer. Realized I still have some in the camera that I didn't download

My first experiment using black gesso, crackle embossing paste with a stencil (which didn't turn out the greatest, but I had fun). Had gotten the first set of Distress Oxides, so used those over the embossing. It's a technique I hope to revisit, and get better results. I was inspired by one of the cards my friend Loll had done. Hope you'll take time to see Loll's pretty card, if you've missed it.
The 2nd card was done for a neighbor who lost her Mom. The background was made with sponging Distress oxide on c/stock, then die cutting the sentiment. The inlaid sentiment on this card was cut from the same color of oxide sponged over a stencil which had been placed over white card stock. Switched the sentiments with the backgrounds, and have another background ready to make into a card. Seems like we're having to do more of this kind of card lately.
I will be sharing some of my wonderful blog friends' cards, but I knew I had to get this post done tonight, else tomorrow I'd find another reason to put it off. We're trying to get the house winter ready, as we had our first really cool day on Sunday. Porches being cleaned, and then need to clean some windows. Still are having relatives come in to visit with the brothers, so we are yet a bit busy with that part of our life as well. I miss you all, and hope to get back to visiting your blogs and commenting real soon! In the meantime, God Bless, and thanks again for your friendship and kindness! My next post will be a happier one, I promise, but I did want to share this update with you.



Thank you #2

Hi, welcome and I'm back with another Thank you card for a neighbor who so kindly provided a delicious meal catered for the family. That's a Southern 'thing' for those of you who are unfamiliar with this tradition. Here in our area ...the neighbors bring food to family when there is a death or sickness. We have a good sized subdivision, and one neighbor coordinated who was bringing 'what' and on what day. I grew up with this tradition, but after living in Florida for so long, where nobody did this kind of thing, even I was amazed at seeing this outpouring of support. My next door neighbor waited a couple days after the main 'giving meals'  and then she had a delicious meal catered and delivered to my brother's house. Just makes you feel so humbled to know how your family is regarded. Both my SIL & brother are very well loved in here, knew everyone, and everybody knows them. It was nearly as big a shock to the neighbors as to the immediate family. If you have time check out this humorous video by Jeanne Robertson that details in a cute way this Southern tradition.

I also wanted to say a huge Thank You to all of you who sent me such lovely supportive emails. Meant to say that in the last post, and forgot! It meant so much to me, to sit down and read something kind, as we were going through the journey of letting go. As I've said previously, the wonderful people I've met blogging, have been By Far The Best Part of this unexpected endeavor I took 5 yrs ago! God Bless you all who cared!

- background was created using sprays and brusho-s. The flowers were previously colored piece using Tombow Watercolor markers - Direct to Rubber & spritzing, so was trying to get something complementary to the flower colors for the background. First time I think I've tried the purple Brusho, and there is no pink Brusho- only Rose Red. (Have the 25 color set, bought back before the price got so expensive!)  So lots of experimenting to get a pink shade :-). There's some white Brusho and white pearl spray in this piece too.

- a postage shape die cut the image, and a brusho snippet previously done was used for the mat. Needed some green to separate the image from all that pinky purple.

- embossed the background, added a lovely flourish that had been a RAK from sweet Jennie . Used copics to change the white flourish to a color that worked with the background. Used some Nuvo crystal drops to add centers to the flowers.

Simple sentiment, just trimmed, edged with color, and Voila! Got it mailed yesterday - finally!

Thanks for popping in, and God Bless. Hugs too.


Thank You .....

Good afternoon, and thanks for dropping by to visit. I'm sorry I've been MIA for a while, and equally sorry to say it's apt to continue for a time yet. I did want to post a thank you card for kindness by neighbors & friends...and after the card share a bit about what's going on in our lives. I expect you have been aware that my SIL's illness resulted in gentle passing shortly after she was moved to the teaching hospital in our city. Thankfully, all her children arrived in time - although she was in a coma, and we don't know if she was aware of anything. The service was heartfelt and lovely, with a wonderful eulogy given by her grandson-in-law. (well, if any service of this kind can be considered lovely!) What an outpouring of support my brother & his family have had from our really boggles the mind. People have been so very kind to all of us.

Still lots of things to be done & we're trying as best we can to help him adjust, do the things that follow this kind of situation. One daughter is local, but she also works. So we try to help with whatever he feels he needs/wants done. He's solo'd in the day a couple times, but said he is not ready to be alone just yet at night. We've stayed with him some nights - he wants to stay in their home, and a few nights, 2 of his granddaughters - very young adults - have come over to stay with their "Pawpaw". I've told him, he'll know when he is ready to be there alone at night.. I understand how he feels the loss more at night.

- a snippet from a box of long-ago colored flowers....a Stacy Stamp. Just die cut with a S/B Deckled rectangle, edged with DI mustard seed. Found some 6x6 papers, cut rectangles from the plain S/B rectangle set.

- background was stamped on DP in Memento Bamboo Shoot green with the same flower used in the focal image. Then embossed (and ended up with the wrong side of the EF, so this one got debossed!)

- Scalloped rectangle punch for the sentiment, and the card was done. Even with all the elements to hand, still took a while to get it together, get it photo'd, before mailing :-)

On a much happier note: We have been planning a big trip for a couple of months. The unforeseen events made me feel I couldn't go away just now. However, we've arranged (hopefully) for my older brother & SIL to come stay at our house while we're away, and at night, go stay with #2 brother. It's good to have somebody in the house anyway, and they live a some miles away from our subdivision. Don't drive at night (well, he doesn't drive as he has Macular Degeneration too - as #2 brother is dealing with as well). So that's the plan.

We are driving to Boston, then after a rest from the drive, fly from Boston to London with our best friend (the Yankee! Who happens to be in Spain just now with our DD & SIL. They flew from Fla, he left from Boston, and they met up in Spain). Boy, do we sound like world travelers. Really not!
From London, the plan is to take the train down towards Pt. Isaac, rent a car, and drive. I hope with 3 of us in the car, we can insure we stay on the proper side of the road. This has been a dream of mine for so long, and I figured it was just that - a dream. Nearly dropped my jaw when I heard DH on the phone back in February, "ask your travel person about setting up this trip". And he did, got all the flights, reservations planned. Then when we had the family emergency, I said I didn't feel able to leave. As long as my brother has somebody to look in as he needs it, then I can go. I'd love to meet up with lots of my UK pals. However, with 2 men, I'm not sure that would work. Both would be great about it, but -- this is a sightseeing trip for the 3 of us. We have so many things each of us wants to see, so I thought it best to not try to plan on meetups that might be tricky to schedule. We'll be in the UK for about 3 wks, then fly back to Boston. Be there for a couple days to rest, then drive back to South Carolina. I've been so excited about this for a couple of weeks...

I'm taking a little hiatus from the Christmas Card Club - just can't seem to manage what is going on at the moment with our family, & making cards, keeping up with our obligations, and trying to assist in another scenario. So I do hope you will all understand if I don't visit for a while. And I hope you won't forget me! I'll be back - God Willing. Just need some time.

Please do look on the Cards by Friends page. We have received some of the most beautiful cards from some of you. I can't describe how comforting we both found them, and how kind of those friends who had us in their prayers. Will share with the rest of the family in time; just now, they have enough doing the things that are part of a death, and try to just get through each day. We will--we are a close family, God fearing, and strong together.

I wish all the Mothers a wonderful & most happy day, that you can be with your children.
God Bless and thanks for being my friends. I'll have another scheduled post in a few days...and perhaps even finish up some tidbits...who knows!