Sunday, August 30, 2009

Happy Day!

I love this image from Stamping Bella's "Ketto" line; isn't it cheery? I decided to use it as the main image on my card for Tracy's Sketch Challenge this week. The bright patterned paper by Little Yellow Bicycle is a great match, too!
How was your weekend? Yesterday I ended up getting some glasses to use for reading and for when I'm working on the computer. The frames are a lot like the ones on my sunglasses so it's not too much of a change :) Today I stayed home and stamped a few cards to post throughout the week. Back to school tomorrow! Have a super week!

Saturday, August 29, 2009


here's another card made with the "I {Heart} Books" set from My Favorite Things. This is a pretty simple one; it probably took me longer to color the image than it did for me to assemble the card :)
This morning I'm heading out to pick up a few bits and pieces for my classroom. Throughout the week I met up with all the teachers I'll be working with (2nd, 4th and 5th grade) and we got ourselves organized with materials for this coming week. I figured out I'll be seeing over 150 kids each day! I wonder how long it will take me to remember all their names...
And this afternoon I'm going to get my eyes tested. We'll see how that goes; my vision hasn't been the same since I had that allergic reaction to some eye drops earlier this year. Have a great Saturday, whatever you're up to :)

Friday, August 28, 2009

Featured Blogger Friday!

Hi all! This week's Featured Blogger is a great blogging friend of mine - her name is Janet Petersma and her blog is called "Of Cats and Cardstock". I found Janet's blog not long after I began blogging. It's a favorite stop of mine because of Janet's entertaining writing style and variety of posts (cats, cardstock and everything in between). Janet writes a weekly "Feline Friday" post about the antics of Lily and Tinsel, and I know she has a loyal following of bloggers. Be sure to stop by and say hello after reading more about Janet:

Tell us a little about you: I was born and raised in central Iowa and have lived here most of my adult life. My husband and I have one wonderful daughter (now a senior in high school), and my daughter and I have two wonderful kitties (notice I didn't include my husband in that last part - he's not a cat person!). In college, I majored in French and International Business and following graduation, I worked for a French bank in Chicago. After my husband and I moved back to Iowa, I continued my career in Human Resources and Learning & Development. A few years back, I left my work to do something completely different that offered more flexibility and the opportunity to use the creative side of my brain again - developing and teaching scrapbooking/cardmaking classes for a local scrapbook store. I love creating and teaching, so this line of work is perfect for me right now. I also do some freelance design and writing on the side.

How long have you been blogging? I have been blogging for over 3 years now.

Why do you blog? Before I started blogging, I thought about my goals and listed them on one of my first posts. And they're still true today! Here are a few:
* To discuss various attributes of cats and cardstock. If you know me personally or have been reading my blog for a while, you know that cats and cardstock are two of my very favorite things. Most of my posts have to do with cats or cardstock in one form or another!
* To write more, especially stuff that could be used for my scrapbooks. I frequently use blog posts as the basis for layouts.
* To learn how to add cool features to my blog, thus improving my technical skills. Through blogging, I've learned just enough technical skills to be dangerous, but enough to be conversant with teenagers :) It was a pretty exciting day when I figured out how to import my blog on to my Facebook page!

What's your favorite topic to blog about? I love posting about our kitties, Tinsel and Lily. Most weeks, they provide ample material for multiple posts. I carry my camera around with me so that I can catch cute cat moments as they happen. I also enjoy sharing completed layouts and craft projects. At any given moment, I have multiple projects in the works, so posting them when finished gives me a sense of accomplishment and a record of what I've completed! As opportunities arise, I also like to post about do-it-myself projects. I particularly enjoy posting "before" and "after" photos of decorating or gardening adventures. In fact, we're having our house painted right now, and I can't wait to share the story!

Have you learned anything special from blogging? This may sound a little cheesy, but I've learned that the world really is getting smaller. Blogging weaves us together as a community, no matter where we live. Through blogging, I've deepened friendships with local friends and connected with many wonderful people in places far and wide. Although I may never meet some of my online friends in person, I can feel their warmth and know that we're kindred souls. For this reason (and many others) blogging has enriched my life.

What do you hope that people get out of reading your blog? I hope my blog is a warm and happy place, like your neighborhood Starbucks, where people leave feeling a bit better than when they came.

Can you give us links to 3 of your favorite blogs? This is a tough question, because I spend a lot of time reading different kinds of blogs which are inspirational to me in many ways. Here are three I visit every day:
Cathy Zielske (Bits & Pieces) - Cathy Zielske is my all-time favorite scrapbooker. I love her simple, graphic style and her quirky sense of humor. Cathy's blog never fails to make me smile.
Heather B. Armstrong (Dooce) - This is the blog of Heather B. Armstrong, a former web designer with a great conversational writing style. Heather has an incredible way with words, as evidenced by her recent story of labor and delivery which will leave you laughing and crying.
Daisy (Daisy the Curly Cat) - Daisy is a very special kitty who has her very own blog. I love Daisy's movies and her Fashion Fridays, especially when she dresses up in her denim outfits. Through Daisy's blog, I've found many other blogs written by cats! :)

I hope you've enjoyed reading all about Janet (and Lily and Tinsel!). If you'd like to nominate a blog for Featured Blogger Friday, drop me a line at - I'd love to hear from you!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Halfway there...

It's already Wednesday and the week is going well for the 3 of us back at school. Nattie is excited to be doing some creative writing in her Language Arts class, and Jamie is happy to be back with all his school buddies again :) My classroom looks really good, and today I met with the 4th grade teachers to start on our schedule for next week. Everyone is being extremely supportive - I love working there!
Today's card is made with another stamp that reminded me of Nattie when I spotted it - so I think I'll put this card away for her birthday in October :)

Monday, August 24, 2009

TCP Tuesday - Color Challenge

So, it's that time of the week again - TCP Tuesday :) This week Leigh is hosting a color challenge featuring these super colors! I hope you can play along - if so, be sure to link your creation to Leigh's blog post right here - and then your work will be included on Alma's "Holey Moley Monday" slideshow! For my card I used TCP's "You Say It's Your Birthday" clear set and a layout from The Sweet Stop.
Thank you for all the good wishes for heading back to school! All 3 of us had a super day. My colleague and I spent a few hours getting our room organized before we start the literacy blocks next week - we were given a nice big room to work in, and we managed to get some posters and artwork for the walls from teachers who had extras to share :) I read stories to several groups of 2nd graders throughout the day; it was tons of fun! Have a happy Tuesday!

Back to School

It's back to school for the kids today; they each went in for a half day at the end of last week, but today is the first official day when all students are attending. Nattie is starting 7th grade and Jamie is starting 2nd grade. Yikes!
I'm also returning to work, but this year I'll have a different role in the school. I'll be working 9am - 3pm in the classrooms every day with the 2nd, 4th and 5th grade kiddos. Our main focus will be reading :) It has always been one of my favorite things to do with Nattie and Jamie, and now I get to spend my day helping other kids to improve their reading too. I'm very lucky :)
Keeping with the "Back to School" theme, here's a card I made with a sketch from Unscripted Sketches and a stamp set from My Favorite Things called "I {Heart} Books". The little girl on this image reminds me of Nattie with her dark hair, her glasses, and with lots of concentration on that book...have a great Monday!

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Christmas in August

I made this card for the last challenge over at Our Creative Corner - to come up with any holiday card. It was pretty easy since I had just received this sweet set of stamps by Whipper Snapper Designs - it's called "Cozy Critters" :) The layout is from Card Positioning Systems' sketch, and the patterned paper is by Die Cuts With A View.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Meet Sandy

With everything going on at home right now, I haven't yet posted about our latest addition :) This is Sandy!
An email came from one of the parents at school about 10 days ago; this family had been looking after her brother's cat, but what was supposed to be a short-term arrangement was turning into a long-term one and she didn't feel that she had the room in her house for another cat to stay permanently, so the family decided to look for a new home for Sandy. Once Nattie saw the photos of her, she really wanted us to help her - how could I say no? So we went over to visit her, and as you can see, she's a beautiful cat. I agreed that we'd bring her here and try things out for a few days - it's unpredictable when we already have 4 cats and Tasha, so everyone would need to be somewhat flexible.
Sandy has done really well, though! She's very, very shy and prefers to stay wherever Nattie is. Nattie is very protective over her and was determined to make the situation work by making Sandy feel welcome and helping the other pets adjust. So far, so good...

Friday, August 21, 2009

Featured Blogger Friday

Thanks for stopping by for another installment of Featured Blogger Friday :) This week I wanted to introduce you to my good friend Lisa Itatani and her blog "Flatfish Paper Arts". I met Lisa several years ago through a cirle journal group that we were both involved in, and that group of women has become a very special part of my life. We were even able to get together and meet in California last summer! Lisa is a creative, strong woman whose blog is filled with variety (family, cardmaking, bees, cats) and talent! Please stop by and say hello! In the meantime, here's the scoop on Lisa...
Tell us a little about you? I was born and raised in San Jose (better known as Silicon Valley) in California, which is a great place to live. I've been married to a Michigan transplant for 28 years and we have 2 grown children and 2 very spoiled furbabies. I got to see the valley change from orchards and farmland to become one of the high-tech capitals of the world. I've been teaching scrapbooking and rubber stamping classes for over 15 years. Although I love the altered art look but can't live with a lot of it, I teach the clean and simple style. I believe that once someone has the basics down, they can develop their own style or at least CASE things they like.
How long have you been blogging? Since August 2007, so I'm a newbie in the blogging world.
Why do you blog? My customers kept asking me if I had a website so that they could find out about my upcoming classes. I didn't want to go through the whole process to find out how to set myself up with a website, but when blogging became commonplace, I jumped on it. It's so easy and fast to learn. Having a blog is also a great way for my friends and family to keep track of what I'm up to.
What are your favorite topics to blog about? Cardmaking, rubber stamping, my furbabies (Honey Bunny and Purrcy), bee keeping, gardening, reviews of craft products, and travel.
Have you learned anything special from blogging? I'm a little more techy - or, as my IT guy says - just techy enough to get into trouble. I also love all the craft tutorials you can find. I learned how to knit and make a star book, two things I've been trying to learn how to do for years. I've also learned how to better stage my cards and what photos will work well on my blog. I've been known to take thousands of photos only to use one or two images.
What do you hope that people get out of reading your blog? That being creative can be learned, or at least copied well :) I hope I provide creative inspiration, that I am a bright spot in the reader's day (that's one reason why I don't rant on my blog), that my information is helpful, and that I can encourage readers to follow their creative path.
Can you give us links to some of your favorite blogs?
Understand Blue - Lydia has a wickedly funny sense of humor, great tutorials, and two great cats.
Hooked on Houses - I'm an architectural junkie.
Small Studio - I love Ginny's blog roll.
Martha Stewart - Have to love the big Martha.
I hope you've enjoyed this peek into Lisa's blog - now hop over there and check it out (including pics of her new kitten!).

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Boo Cat :)

Hi all, I'm back posting cards for you :) There's lots going on at home, but I think creating will help right now, as long as my mojo is still hanging around...
Today's card is one I made with a cat stamp from - they're selling 3 different cat stamps to benefit a fundraising project for cats and dogs called "A Place To Bark". The "boo" stamp is by Odd Bird Planet, and I think it's a great match for the cat image. The patterned paper is a new stack from Die Cuts With A View - I can't remember the name, but I'll find it out and add it later :)

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Taking a few days off...

Hi everyone, I have some stuff going on at home right now that I need to sort out, so I won't be blogging for a few days. I hope to be back at the beginning or middle of next week with more cards for you :) Thanks, as always, for stopping by.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Happy TCP Tuesday :)

Hi all! It's TCP Tuesday again, and this week Carole is hosting a sketch challenge :) Jump over to Carole's blog for all the details on how to play along with us this week. For my card

I used TCP's clear stamps called "You Sick Thing" and Basic Grey's "Marrakesh" paper collection - I love that turquoise, orange and gray together :) Have a great day!

Sunday, August 09, 2009

Better Get Better

I hope you had a great weekend :) On Saturday we had our neighbors round for a get-together; we lit a fire in the back yard - we've been here for nearly 3 years and hadn't tried out the large fire pit that was here when we moved in, so it got started for the first time last night. Iain was very proud of himself! Everyone had fun, the kids all got along well (playing hide and seek in the dark!), and the weather was great (we stayed outside for the whole evening!). There were about 25 of us all together. Today Iain and Helen played a last game of golf before Helen heads back to Scotland tomorrow evening, and I took Nattie to get a second set of ear piercings - she was very excited about that!
Today's card is one that I made for the sketch challenge at Card Positioning Systems. The patterned paper (Bo Bunny) reminds me of Halloween, but I think it works well for a "get well" wish too :)

Friday, August 07, 2009

Featured Blogger Friday - Week 2

Welcome to Week 2 of Featured Blogger Friday! This week the featured blog belongs to the super-talented Jenny Gropp. Jenny's blog is called "One Krafty Kat" :) I came across Jenny's blog in the past year; she and I are slowly but surely getting to know each other. What I know so far is that she is friendly, supportive, enthusiastic, and amazingly creative - I hope you enjoy reading more about Jenny and that you'll pop over to her blog to say hello and to see more of her beautiful work. She has generously created this card for me to show you - isn't it beautiful? The cake stamp is one I recognize from TCP - it's called "Cake No Plate" and you can see it here. Here's some more information all about Jenny...

  • Tell us a little about you? I am 36, married to a wonderful guy, no kids, one very cool cat, I work and I stamp! I don't like answering questions like this because I always feel like I sound really corny. Seriously, I love crafting. I have a local stamp group of 6 ladies that meet once a month; we have a BLAST together. I have met so many blogging friends, wonderful ladies! I just love sharing the craft, seeing the ideas that people come up with...the creativity is endless and totally inspiring.

  • How long have you been blogging? OK - I just looked - my first blog post was February 14, 2008. And BOY my picture skills have come a long way since then!! When I first started blogging, I was scanning my cards. Now I have a semi-fancy little camera and a light tent...the light tent makes such a difference in my pics, allowing the true colors to come thru. My scanner always did really funky things with pastel colors. Some scanned cards I could not even post or people would have thought I was color blind!!

  • Why do you blog? I like being able to create something and immediately share it with all my crafting friends. I also like the immediate feedback and seeing what people like and dislike. I have been stamping for about seven years...through the years I have been involved with several different craft/stamp groups, people all over the world - which is so cool, various stamp companies...blogging allows us to stay in touch and keep tabs on everyone and their art, even though we have moved on from specific stamping groups.

  • What's your favorite topic to blog about? Well, all I really blog about is cards that I make and stamping. I try not to blabber on too much about me and my issues. For the most part I TRY to keep it to the details of the project. I probably talk about my cat too much. But he is the best cat in the entire world, so how could I not??? Sometimes my posts can go on and on - I have found that I blog just like I talk. I like pictures. Good pictures are important to me - for my blog and others that I read. That is the draw for me when looking at a blog - I want to see the project/art - then after the picture catches my interest, I'll read.

  • Have you learned anything special from blogging? It has been a first, blogging was ALL fun - it was new and exciting. I really enjoyed it...last December I hit a little slump where it began to feel like work. It took me a few months - but I finally said to myself - this should be enjoyable and FUN. I released myself from feeling like I had to post constantly. If I post every day of the week, wonderful! If I only post a few days of the week - that's fine too. I'm enjoying the blogging experience and plan to continue. I do think you have to keep current with products and techniques and blog pretty regularly to maintain regular readers. I do try to post a minimum of three times a week. Feedback from my friends/readers, whenever they send an email or leave a comment is HUGE in keeping me motivated. Playing in challenges regularly is a good thing to help me stay current and keep up with what's going on in Blogville.

  • What do you hope that people get out of reading your blog? Well, I know a lot of people don't read it, they are picture lookers. That's OK by me. The info is there for those who want it. I tend to be similar when browsing the blogs, so I don't take offense to that. With so many blogs to choose from, I hope folks that read my blog find inspiration and ideas that motivate them to go grab a stamp and create!

  • Can you give links to some of your favorite blogs? Oh - geeez! Just three??? I can't do it!! I can't! There are too many. I have a list of blogs that I do regularly visit on my page - but I can't pick favorites - I love 'em all!!

So, there you have it - some of the scoop on Jenny!! I think you'll agree with me that her work is stunning. Her blog is definitely a regular stop for me!

If you would like to nominate a blog for Featured Blogger Friday, send me a quick email at - I'd love to hear from you!

Thursday, August 06, 2009

I love you to the moon and back...

I don't have too many stamps by A Muse, but I do really like this one. The rocket ship and the sentiment are perfect together! The layout is from Jen's "Sketch For You To Try" (she posts a new one each weekend), and the patterned paper is from a new pack by Die Cuts With a View - the "Retro Stack" :)
Tomorrow I'll be featuring another blogger - I hope you'll stop by to find out who it will be...

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Whatever floats your boat...

I really love the way this card turned out. I made it to play along with the Card Patterns sketch last week :) The stamps are from TCP's "By the Sea" set, and the patterned paper is the "Girl Friday" collection by Cosmo Cricket.
Yesterday Iain and his sister headed out to San Francisco for 2 days. Helen is turning 60 later this month and will be retiring from her job as an elementary school assistant principal, so this is our birthday/retirement gift to her. They're planning to play several rounds of golf out there, so I'm sure they'll both have a great time. The kids and I stayed at home all day in our jammies, crafting and just hanging out. The three of us love our "jammie days". I got several cards made and Nattie made some progress on the 2,000-piece jigsaw puzzle she's been working on :) Today I think we're going to go to the movies, although we haven't decided what to see yet - the choice is "G-Force" or "Ice Age 3"...I'll let you know!

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

It's TCP Tuesday!

Here's my card for TCP Tuesday - Susan is hosting the stamp challenge! We can use any TCP stamp that includes CAKE :) For my card I used the "Birthday Cupcake" stamp. Inside I stamped "You Take The Cake". You'll see that TCP has many stamps that feature cake in different forms - have fun with this one!

I also used patterned paper by Bo Bunny, and a layout from a sketch challenge for this card. It's from the "Unscripted Sketches" blog - check it out here.


Hi! I hope you're having a terrific Tuesday :) I'll be back later today with my card for this week's TCP Tuesday challenge, but here's another card for now. I made it for last week's challenge over at The Sweet Shop. This sketch was a fun one to play around with. I decided to use one of my favorite quote stamps from Hampton Art, and I combined it with patterned paper from Cosmo Cricket (the "Ever After" collection). The circle dies are Nestabilities.

Monday, August 03, 2009

Our Creative Corner Challenge

Here's the card I made for last week's challenge on the "Our Creative Corner Challenge" blog. Jenny posted a sketch for us to work from.
For my card I pulled out my "Fluffles" stamp (by Stampendous!) - isn't he sweet sitting in the flower pot? I cut out the image with my Nestabilities dies and added a sentiment from an old "Stampin' Up!" set. The patterned paper is the "June Bug" collection by Basic Grey - one of my new favorites.
How was your weekend? It was gorgeous here in Conifer; we were in the high 70s all weekend long - and it didn't rain! That was a big change from last week :) Yesterday we took Iain's sister to the Flying J Ranch Park, which is just 15 minutes from our house. Today the two of them played golf at the Evergreen Golf Course. The kids and I ran some errands in the afternoon and met them at the Colorado Mills mall, and we had dinner at California Pizza Kitchen. When we got home we watched the second "Pirates of the Caribbean" movie: "Dead Man's Chest" - tons of fun! Have a great week :)

Saturday, August 01, 2009

Better Get Better

Here's Poochie again - this time he's hobbling around on his crutches :) This is a card I made for the Card Positioning Systems sketch a couple of weeks ago. I really like this size of card (3.5" x 7"). The stamps I used are from the "You Sick Thing" set by TCP.
I'm not quite sure yet what our weekend plans are. Iain's sister, Helen, arrived this evening after her long flight from Scotland, so we'll see how she's doing in the morning - jetlag and getting used to the altitude here are sometimes not a great combo...
Thank you for the kind words about Featured Blogger Friday - there will be another one next Friday :)