Friday, July 31, 2009

Featured Blogger Friday - Week 1

As promised, this week I'm starting "Featured Blogger Friday". I am hoping that each Friday I can introduce you to a person whose blog you will get something positive from, whether that is some new stamping techniques, scrapbook layouts, some fantastic recipes, unique shopping sites, or simply some excellent writing that will make you smile. And that's where my first Featured Blogger fits in :)

I discovered Maureen's writing a couple of years ago. Her blog is called "I'd Rather Be Blogging", and her writing style is just fantastic. Maureen has a way of making everyday life happenings sound like fun. I think her style appeals to me because there's occasionally that sarcastic tone (yep, we Brits like that) and the entries are very easy to read. It's the kind of blog that you can read and relate to in some form or another. Maureen very kindly took the time to answer some questions from me. Here are her responses, written in fantastic Maureen style::)

Tell us a little about you: Okay, let's a nutshell I am a 48 year old Canuck; a wife of 29 years, mother of 18 years and hospital computer geek for the past 30 years. I am also a Star Wars collector, Johnny Depp obsesser, animal lover and wannabe artister, er, artist.
How long have you been blogging? Over three years now...gad, that can't be right...hold on. Yep, I just checked; it's correct alright. I've been on the interwebs for even longer. Since the my-ears-are-bleeding-from-the-screeching-modem days, believe it or not. I've been building websites since 1997 for me, my daughter, family members and even for work. Which isn't as much fun, but it's the bestest part of my workday. I mean, who wouldn't love to get paid to surf the web!
When I began blogging in 2006, I started with not one, not two, but three (of course - leave it to moi to go overboard from the get go):
- a general blog ("Stale Coffee")
- a blog about my Pirates obsession ("Pillage and Plunder")
- and one for my artwork and hobbies ("Creative Chaos")
In 2007, I morphed "Stale Coffee" into my current humor blog, "I'd Rather Be Blogging". Most recently, I've re-vamped and resumed my "Creative Chaos" blog so that I can post my paintings, cards and drawings online.
Why do you blog? Hmmm...I keep asking myself that same question; especially when writer's block smacks me upside the head.
I guess I simply wanted to find out IF I could do it, for you see, I sucked (no I really, REALLY did) at writing when I was in school. I couldn't tell the difference between an adverb and an adjective. Erm, I probably STILL can't, but I have honed my skills by reading gobs of grammar and writing books. Which you can probably tell, particularly when I used refined words like "gobs". Then when I started blogging and getting some positive feedback on my posts, I enjoyed writing more and more. Now, as in my typical OCD fashion, I am obsessed with it.
What's your favorite topic to blog about? I started out doing a general topic blog, simply writing about whatever mundane thing happened that day. *Yawn*. But when I wrote about plunging myself into yet another stupid, er, humorous situation, I was surprised at the positive response. So now I focus on humor. Disconcerting though it may be, these situations seem to occur all too often around here, so I have blog fodder to last quite awhile it seems.
Have you learned anything special from blogging? I've realized how very small the Internet has made the world. I have 'met' so many talented bloggers from all across the globe who I love to visit on nearly a daily basis. I've also learned a lot about coding by finding templates I like and customizing them ad nauseum. 99% of my computer skills are self-taught, so I get a real Geeky Thrill™ when something I do actually works! (I think "Geeky Thrill" SHOULD be trademarked. Just imagine the gobs of money I'd make at Comic Con)
What do you hope that people get out of reading your blog? I hope they get a laugh, giggle, snort or even a smirk...unless it's on my art blog. Then...not so much.
Can you give links to 3 of your favorite blogs, and tell a little about why you like to visit them? Well, since I could never limit my choices to only 3 of my bloggy friends, I'll choose a couple of pretty well-known larger sites that tickle my funny bone:
Cute Overload - because who can resist kittens and puppies that make you go "Awwww......"?
I Can Has Cheeseburger - because who can resist kittens and puppies that make you go LOL, LMFAO, ROTFL or even LOLZ?
Cake Wrecks - because who can resist laughing at other people's horrendous mistakes - especially when it's in icing?:)

Soooo...there you have it! My first Featured Blogger Friday :) Be sure to hop over to Maureen's blog for a laugh and to say hi! Tell her I sent you :)
If you have some nominations for FBF, drop me an email at - and remember, any blog goes! Crafty, non-crafty - just anything that you want to share with the rest of us!

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Pesky ground squirrels :)

For several days Pickle has been keeping a close eye on the ground squirrels that hang out around our house. If our garage door is open, the ground squirrels will run inside and retrieve little pieces of cardboard. Pickle can see this happening and it drives him crazy; he sits and watches them through the front door, and then if they go around the side of the house he'll follow them around, switching windows for different viewpoints.
The other day, Bailey decided to see what all the fuss was about, so here are the two of them watching the ground squirrels :)

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Birthday Penguins :)

Here are those snorkeling penguins again - this time I used them to make a birthday card :) I added some Paper Glaze to the dots on the inner tubes to make them shiny, and two of the penguins are popped off the page to add some dimension. The stamps I used are "By the Sea" and "Happy Birthday II".
Yesterday I went to school to help put together the registration packets for this year - between 2 of us we got just over 300 packets done in 4 hours - phew! It's just 3 weeks until school starts. On Monday we went shopping for sneakers and jeans for Nattie, along with some pillows and lamps for the guest room. Iain's sister arrives from Scotland on Friday for 10 days.
It was COLD here yesterday! We only got up to the mid-50s! It felt more like Fall than Summer :)

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

TCP Tuesday - Color Challenge

As promised, here's my TCP Tuesday card for this week's Color Challenge, hosted by Jen :) Aren't the colors perfect for summer? I also used Jen's sketch from her "Sketch For You To Try" that she posts every Saturday - thanks, Jen! I challenged myself to use no patterned paper on this one - and it was very difficult for me!

I used TCP's "Fun in the Sun" set and also the new glitter and buttons from TCP. Poochie is definitely "Hot Stuff" on his surfboard :)

Hula Sprinkle :)

Here's Sprinkle having a great time in her hula skirt! I love this summer image and the fact that it is bold enough to stand alone on the front of the card :) Go Sprinkle! The clear set is called "Fun in the Sun" and the patterned paper is by Cosmo Cricket ("Snorkel" collection). I'll be back later today with my TCP Tuesday card for this week. Jen is hosting a Color Challenge!

Sunday, July 26, 2009


These are some flowers I saw in the hotel grounds.

Haleakala National Park, Maui

We took the drive up through the clouds in Maui to Haleakala National Park. The summit is just over 10,000 feet above sea level. There is so little growing up there, it's like a different world, even though elevation-wise we were only slightly higher than our home here in Conifer, CO. It really was beautiful (and very breezy)!

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Chicken soup :)

Here's a get well card made with the "You Sick Thing" set from TCP. I had fun with the acrylic stamps and was able to bend the sentiment so that I could stamp it around the circle of cardstock. The layout for this card is from Tracy's sketch challenge for this week - thanks, Tracy! The patterned paper is from Cosmo Cricket's "Li'l Man" collection.
What are you up to this weekend? I am almost caught up with the vacation laundry (always fun!), and am hoping to get some stamping time too. I start another school class on Monday, so I'd better make the most of the weekend! Have a great one, whatever you're doing!

Friday, July 24, 2009

Relaxing Sprinkle

Happy Friday! Here's a card made with the new "Fun in the Sun" set from The Cat's Pajamas. I also used the matching "Candy Sprinkles" buttons and ribbon that Alma released this month. The patterned paper is from the "Snorkel" collection by Cosmo Cricket.

Iain's sister is arriving in town a week from today; she'll be here for 10 days. And after that it'll just be a couple of weeks until school starts!

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, July 23, 2009

The kids' pool!

We spent most of our time hanging out here - and as you'll see, it was perfect for Nattie and Jamie! There were 5 pools altogether!

Views from the hotel...

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

I'm baaaaack!'s been a long day! We left Maui around 9pm on Tuesday, had to change flights in Seattle and Salt Lake City, and finally got back to Conifer early afternoon today. Tasha was thrilled to see us :) and the cats are all purring contentedly now that we are all home together again.

The vacation was great. We stayed at the Marriott on Wailea Beach - the location was stunning, the weather was perfect (high 80s with a breeze), and we all enjoyed every day there. When Iain and I went to Maui in 2005, we stayed further north in the town of Lahaina, but Wailea Beach was much quieter, and we liked that better. Tomorrow I'll download my photos and post some here.

On a side note, I was happy to read that my blogging friend Sarah (2 Paws Designs) had a healthy baby boy this weekend! Congratulations to Sarah and Trent on the safe arrival of baby Dylan!

Beach Bum :)

I thought this card would be an appropriate card to post today - I'm on my way back from being a beach bum for a week :) Poochie sunbathing is another image from the new sets released this week by The Cat's Pajamas. He's got everything he needs right there!
I'll be back on Thursday or Friday to check in! Take care!

Monday, July 20, 2009

TCP Tuesday - Blog Surf!

Hi all!! We're very excited about TCP Tuesday this week - not only do we have our usual Inspiration Challenge (Leigh is hosting for me this week), but the whole team is participating in a "Blog Surf" (surfing since it's summer!) to show off the new stamp sets being released by The Cat's Pajamas tomorrow, July 22nd. The sets are called "Fun in the Sun", "By the Sea" and "You Sick Thing".

You should be joining me from Leigh's blog - that's where the Surfing starts (and where you'll find the details for the Inspiration Challenge) :)
For my card I used the "By the Sea" set with some patterned paper by "Cosmo Cricket". The embellishments are also new from TCP: matching ribbon and buttons!

I hope you like what you've seen so far - now surf on over to Jen's blog for more inspiration! And don't forget to follow the surf all the way to the end (and post a comment on each blog) for the chance to WIN some TCP goodies! Enjoy :)

Sunday, July 19, 2009


Here's Poochie all ready to take a dip in the ocean! This stamp is another one from the new release coming from The Cat's Pajamas on the 22nd :) The glitter is also from TCP - isn't it a great color?
I used my Cuttlebug embossing template on plain white cardstock and then added more "bubbles" in the form of clear dew drop beads. I hope you're enjoying the latest creations from the TCP Cat Pack this week!

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Birthday Best

Here's a tin with a simple decoration using a stamp from the Artful INKables "Birthday Best" set. I can't believe how my time with Kristin and the other INK girls has flown by - our term is up on August 15th. It has been a blast working with and getting to know these ladies!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Summer Sale at The Cat's Pajamas!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Artful INKables "Flashback" Blog Hop

Hi! Today the Artful INKables team is participating in a "Flashback" blog hop - we all chose previously-released sets. You should be joining me from Kristin's blog - hers was the first stop :) Make sure you go through the entire hop so that you can be entered to win some Artful INKables loot!

The set I chose is called "Chrysanthemum". I was drawn to it because it's one of those sets that can be used for so many occasions: birthday, thank you, sympathy, or even just to say hello. I paper-pieced the flower and leaves with Basic Grey's new "Lemonade" collection.

Have a super day! Your next stop is Joanne's blog :)

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

The penguins are back :)

Here's the card I made for this week's TCP Tuesday sketch :) I used stamps from one of the upcoming new TCP sets - it's called "You Sick Thing" and will be available on July 22nd!

The patterned paper is by American Crafts, and the buttons are also by TCP.

I'm heading off to do some packing now - we leave early in the morning for a week in Maui! Yeah! We're all ready for a break and a change of scenery. Wishing everyone a terrific week ahead!

TCP Tuesday - Sketch

Hi! This week's TCP Tuesday challenge is being hosted by the super-talented Carole, who came up with this sketch for us to work from. You can get all the details on Carole's blog - I hope you can play along! I'll be posting my card later today :)
Also, thank you for the emails received so far about Featured Blogger Friday - keep them coming!

Monday, July 13, 2009

Can you help?

I'm hoping to start up a weekly post on my blog - it'll be called "Featured Blogger Friday", and I'm planning to showcase one blog each week. The blog can be crafty or non-crafty, related to a specific topic or just someone's everyday writing; whatever you think is a great blog to share with the rest of us!

If you'd like to have your own blog showcased, or if you'd like to recommend a blog (or three!), send me an email to with a link to the blog and why you think it should be featured, and I'll get this thing started in the next couple of weeks!! I know you all have some great sites bookmarked out there...I look forward to hearing from you!

Happy Monday!

Here's a bright and cheery card for a Monday. We had a great weekend; everyone got haircuts (no more grey for me, at least for a couple of weeks!) and I got some stamping done so that I'm caught up on my assignments before our trip. While I'm away, there will be an Artful INKables Blog Hop (July 15th) and a TCP Blog Surf (July 21st - combined with TCP Tuesday), so I will set posts up in advance for those :) A little cat also told me that there might be a sale going on at the end of this week, so stay tuned for that too...
Today's card is one I made last week. I used a stamp from Hero Arts and some red, yellow and green paper scraps. The tag shapes at the bottom of the card are Nestabilities dies. As always, thanks for stopping by!

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Stormy Evening

These photos are from a storm that passed over us last night. The clouds were really dramatic!

We have a winner!!

Using, here's our winner:

Random Integer Generator
Here are your random numbers:11
Timestamp: 2009-07-11 14:21:22 UTC

Which means that the winner is MAUREEN!!! Congratulations, Maureen! Send me an email at with your snail mail info and I'll get those goodies sent out to you!

Thank you to everyone else for playing along :) Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Happy Camper

Here's my card for Susan's TCP Tuesday Stamp Challenge :) Susan is challenging us to pull out our "Happy Camper" set once again! I found some sweet patterned paper (the "Little Sprout" collection by Crate Paper) and combined it with some kraft cardstock and some ribbon from TCP.

Would you like the chance to win the "Happy Camper" set - plus some other TCP goodies? Okey dokey! Just leave a comment to this post - and tell me your 3 favorite things about summer! I'll draw a winner on Saturday morning - all comments before 11pm MST on Friday will be entered :) Good luck!!

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

TCP Tuesday - Stamp Challenge

Hi! Susan is hosting TCP Tuesday this week, and she's challenging us to use our "Happy Camper" stamps. Hop over to Susan's blog for all the details on how to play along with us :) I'll be adding my card tomorrow (Wednesday), so be sure to stop by to see what I came up with AND for a chance to win some blog candy!

Monday, July 06, 2009

Nice and simple

Here's an easy and simple card :) I like the tall, skinny layout - it makes a nice change from the usual 4.25" x 5.5" card size. I believe this one is 7" x 3.5". The paper is by October Afternoon and the stamp is by Hero Arts.
Jamie had a follow-up appointment with the pediatrician on Monday afternoon, and his ear is looking all clear. He was relieved, because he knew if it was still infected he'd probably need a third round of shots. I have to get some drops to help prevent swimmer's ear while we're away on vacation next week; the doctor just wants his ear to get a nice long time to heal after this tough couple of weeks.
It's just 8 days until we leave for Maui. Nattie especially is counting the days - she loves to play on the beach and in the water! Jamie is so much more confident in the water now, so we will all be able to relax a bit more by the pool this year. Have a great Tuesday!

Happy Monday :)

Well, the sun has finally come out here in Conifer after a weekend of rain! The forecast says we'll be in the high 70s this week :)
Today is the last day of my current school class - I have a 3,000-word paper to finish by tonight, though! My next class doesn't start until the end of the month, though - so I can really relax when we head to Maui next week.
Talking of relaxing, this Stamping Bella image has that theme too! The stamp is called "Bubblebella", and the layout is from a sketch challenge at "Our Creative Corner" a couple of weeks ago.
Thank you for all the well wishes for Jamie. After the shots on Thursday, he had to have 2 more on Friday. He was so brave! We need to go back in today just to have his ear checked, but he hasn't talked about any more pain, so I think it should be OK - the doctor said that 2 days of shots clears up the infection in about 95% of cases. Fingers crossed...

Sunday, July 05, 2009

Fun in the Sun (or in the rain!)

Happy Sunday! I hope you enjoyed your 4th of July holiday :) Today I have a cheery, Summery card for you, made with stamps from "The Cat's Pajamas" ("Sprinkle Annette" and "Fun in the Sun"), and patterned paper by We R Memory Keepers.
We had fun at our neighbors' party yesterday, even though it rained for most of the afternoon and evening! They had planned ahead and had several covered areas set up, so we were able to keep dry for the most part while we enjoyed the company, music and food. At the end of the night we were all sitting around the fire, listening to the rain coming down :)

Thursday, July 02, 2009

Happy 4th!

Hi all :) Here's the card I made for Tracy's Sketch Challenge this week. Isn't Sprinkle cute in her stars and stripes hat? These TCP stamps are called "Patriotic Sprinkle" and "Bold Fourth". The ovals and stars are cut out with Nestabilities dies. This card also goes well with the challenge from Our Creative Corner - to use the colors red, white and blue :) I've also heard that participants in this week's challenge will be eligible to win some stamps from The Cat's Pajamas :)
What are your Fourth of July plans? The park that we usually go to down in Littleton to see fireworks has canceled the show for this year for budget reasons, so we're going to stay here in Conifer and go to our neighbors' house for a cookout instead :)

Birthday Best

Here's a card I made with Artful INKables' "Birthday Best" set. It's another image that's lots of fun to color. The cardstock is all Bazzill Bling, so it has a nice shimmer to it.
Jamie had a rough day yesterday. The ear infection he had a couple of weeks ago returned, so on Friday we got another round of antibiotics. He's allergic to penicillin, so the medication options are a bit more limited. We finished the medication on Tuesday, and on Wednesday morning it was hurting again. I took him back to the pediatrician and he had to get a shot of antibiotics in each leg. Ouch! We also have to go back again this afternoon for another round. Poor litle guy :( Hopefully this will get rid of it once and for all! The nurse said they've had 4 other kids come in this week with resistant ear infections.

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Happy Wednesday :)

Hi all! Today's card is one of several that I made for my circle journal group challenge for June: we were challenged to make as many cards or scrapbook layouts as we could using 3 sheets of patterned paper plus some cardstock. I chose some paper by October Afternoon, and for this card I used MFT's "Reading Flopsey" stamp.
Jamie had a friend over to play yesterday. It was the first time these two had played together outside school, and they got along really well :) They split their time between playing with Legos in Jamie's bedroom and playing on the Wii.
I'm in Week 5 of my latest school class (Criminal Justice Policy Development). I have to say, I think this is the least interesting of all the classes I've taken so far. Just 3 classes to go after this, though - and my next one doesn't start until after our Maui trip (we leave in 2 weeks!).
For all you stampers out there, I wanted to let you know that Kristin (the owner of Artful INKables) is looking for new Design Team members for the next term! The current team's time ends in the middle of August. This has been a terrific group of ladies to work with! If you're interested in joining Kristin and the new team, you can find all the details here.