Sunday, May 19, 2024


Hi!  Just a little Sophie today. 

Earlier this week Sophie discovered the low spot in the woods that's perpetually muddy.  Actually, it's beyond muddy.  It's the yuckiest, mucky black mess imaginable.  It's just one small spot and you have to navigate a dense tangle of undergrowth and organic debris to get to it.  It's like Disneyland to Sophie.

My beautiful girl, sheesh.  A LOT of shampoo, hose water, and sweet talk followed by towels and treats made it all better.

Like it never happened.

I haven't taken her into the woods since then, but that can't last forever.

Have a happy day!

Saturday, May 18, 2024

More for Penny Black Saturday Challenge

Hello and happy Saturday!  I'm back with my second card as a guest designer for the Penny Black Saturday Challenge


It's always an "anything goes" challenge, but an optional prompt is offered as well.  This month the option is "pastels".  I may have gotten my flowers a little dark, but overall I think it has a pastel vibe.

I'm a little gushy about my Penny Black stamps, and this year's Scent of Spring release was particularly fabulous.  I indulged myself and I'm not sorry.  A stamper should have stamps they feel gushy about.  Today's card uses the Captivate set.  I stamped on watercolor paper and colored with Tombow markers and a little bit of blender.  I hand cut the image with paper snips.  The inner parts were done painstakingly with a craft knife which is very hard on my hands, but once I started I wanted to be thorough.

The hand cutting was necessary in order to overlap the flowers on the Note Edger die cut.  I nested the word and the edger dies and cut simultaneously to get the word within the outline.  The stamped words are from the Penny Black Note Builder set.  The butterflies with pewter pearls are Impression Obsession, and the pretty designer paper is 49 & Market.  More details are in the recipe below my signature.

The May PBSC is at the halfway mark and the team would love to see you in the gallery.  Visit the challenge blog for more details and inspiration.  It's all about the fun!  Remember, a random winner gets a $20 gift voucher from 1-2-3 Stitch.  That's where I get all my Penny Black stamps and many other stamps and dies.

I want to thank the Penny Black Saturday Challenge ladies for the privilege of guest designing with them, and many thanks to all of you for visiting.  It means a lot to me.  Have a happy week!

Stamps:  Penny Black Captivate and Note Builder  Paper:  Fabriano Artistico Extra White 140 lb hot press watercolor, Neenah white card base (not visible), 49 & Market Sweet Reflections designer paper  Ink:  Palette Noir for image outline, Memento Tuxedo Black for sentiment  Coloring:  Tombow markers and some blender  Other:  Penny Black Note Edger die,  PB Background Basics stencils, Impression Obsession Butterfly Set, pewter self-adhesive half pearls

Tuesday, May 14, 2024

Double D Challenge -- Polka Dots


Hello and welcome!  It's Double D Challenge time again, and Darlene is calling for polka dots!  I do love polka dots.  In my vintage preschool days I had a favorite book about a polka dot thief -- a sinister fellow who stole the polka dots off everything in the house.  Imagine!

Have a look at our very cute inspiration board:

And a prize for a random winner:

My card features plenty of polka dots and a pup with a cupcake.

He's another of my recently acquired Inky Antics critter sets by Jane Miller.  So much life and character... I've collected most of my favorites, but will probably go back for more.  Just gathering joy.  I did messy coloring with Tombow markers.  Added glitter to the cupcake frosting.  Everything on this card, other than the dog, has been in my stamp room for years.  The polka dot papers are oldies from Stampin' Up.


My pup looks like he should be for a guy, so I'll probably give him to my friend to use for one of her boys.  Every card finds a home.

We sure enjoyed all the beautiful florals in our previous challenge, and now I'm looking forward to seeing your polka dots.  Come to the Double D blog and check out all the polka dot cards the team is sharing.  This is going to be fun!  Have a great day!

Sunday, May 5, 2024

Life in the Slow Lane with Sophie and Friends

Rain, rain, go away.  Who cares that it makes the garden grow?  Sophie wants to go outside!

In fact, Sophie gets to go out to the backyard anytime she wants, but the side and front yards are not fenced so adult supervision is required.  She's learning.  Don't let that wistful expression fool you.  I take Sophie out for fun and exercise every day, rain or shine.

Pictured below is more of Sophie's view through the side patio door.  There is lots of fun to be had out there.  It's rainy, overcast, and dull on this early May day.  Very few days have been good for gardening this spring.

One recent evening it stopped raining long enough to go out for a neighborhood walk.  We ran into one of Wally and LuLu's best friends, Lilo.  She has a hurt leg needing surgery so she doesn't go for long walks, but her good people push her along in a sort of dog stroller.  It's hard work in a hilly neighborhood with a weighty Golden Retriever, but love makes it worth it.  We pulled LuLu in a garden cart when her leg was hurt.  That's me, by the way, introducing the dogs.  Sophie was a little scared at first by Lilo's big, friendly bark, but she got over it.  You can't help but love Lilo.

Lilo and her people came into the garden to stay awhile and let the dogs get better acquainted.  Lilo looks so much like LuLu it makes my heart hurt a little.

Sophie was so excited she had to go prancing on the lawn.  Sorry for the not-so-good phone pics.

Sophie's best friend is my best friend's teensy mini-Schnauzer, Tommy.  They're exactly the same age, but as different as night and day.  He's not much bigger than Sophie's head, but he's a scrapper.  It takes a long time for these two to wear each other out!

That's life in the slow lane, and it suits me just fine.  I'm glad you came to visit today.  Have a good week!

Saturday, May 4, 2024

Relaxing with Penny Black Saturday Challenge

Hello friends, and welcome!  In this merry month of May I have the privilege of being the guest designer for the Penny Black Saturday Challenge.  That's way fun for me because Penny Black stamps are my favorites!

As always the challenge is "anything goes", but the optional theme this month is "Pastels".  I did not go with the optional theme this time around.

I worry that some of my favorite PB critter characters will fade into the background as the newest releases seem to favor a different style, so I bought a few sets, including this guy:

I colored on watercolor paper with Tombow markers and have him relaxing on the beach after his birthday party.  The designer paper overhead suggests the waterline, and he's gathered a starfish and shell to take home as souvenirs.

He'll be sent to a guy friend who loves the beach.  I've stamped a Penny Black sentiment inside with more of that water lapping at the lower edge.

Many thanks to the PBSC crew for having me this month!  Do stop by the challenge blog to see the team samples.  They're always fun and inspiring.

Have a beautiful day!

Stamps:  Penny Black Relax and Birthday Love  Paper:  Fabriano Artistico Extra White 140 lb hot pressed watercolor, scrap designer paper  Ink:  Palette Noir  Coloring:  Tombow markers and a little bit of blender  Other:  Impression Obsession Mini-Shell Set

Tuesday, April 30, 2024

Double D Challenge: Pretty Florals for Mom

Hello everyone!  Diane has given us a floral challenge for Double D this time around.  Pretty Florals for Mom... or for any occasion.  You can't help but love the sweet inspiration board and the fabulous Spellbinders die set being offered as a prize for a random winner.  Have a look:


My Mom is gone, but never forgotten and so the sentiment on my card is for her.

(Penny Black Captivate and Thinking of you)

I used Memento London Fog to stamp my flower bunch twice up the side of the watercolor panel, then colored with Tombow markers.  I used pretty pink shades for the blooms with a hint of amethyst blue, the same blue that's on the butterfly.  After coloring I splattered with white acrylic paint and then stamped a few sprinkles in amethyst.  It's backed with matching cardstock, popped up on the textured white card base with thin foam tape.

While the prize winner is chosen by, the team also votes on creative winners.  I'm sure you've got plenty of pretty florals in your collection and we would love to see them in our gallery at Double D.  Come visit the team and feast your eyes on all the lovely samples.  I'll see you there!

Have a beautiful day!

Stamps:  Penny Black Captivate and Thinking of You, Stampin' Up retired Itty Bitty Backgrounds (splatter stamp)  Paper:  Fabriano Artistico Extra White 140 lb hot pressed watercolor, CTMH Spring Iris, textured white  Ink:  Memento London Fog, Memento Tuxedo Black, SU Lovely Lilac  Coloring:  Tombow markers with minimal use of the blender  Other:  White acrylic paint, thin foam mounting tape

Sunday, April 28, 2024

Bird Notes

Hello and welcome!  It feels like a long time since I posted and, in fact, it has been a week.  I've been paddling below the surface with the many things that keep a person busy.  Nothing of concern, but my hands seem to be more full than usual lately.  This week I happily have some cards to share, prompted by a challenge or two.

Today the focus is on designer paper.  The Vast Hoard never seems to shrink, even though it's been ages (okay... months) since I added to it.  A few days ago I saw that the Sisterhood of Crafters Challenge is calling for "Springtime Designer Paper".  Well, you know that prompt had my name written all over it.  So I made this card:

(Mintay Springtime designer paper, Elizabeth Craft Layered Birds, Sue Wilson Creative Expressions Stacked Happy Birthday, Impression Obsession Balloons, miscellaneous foliage dies and string bow)

I hope they don't mind that I took advantage of this challenge to play with some bird dies that have been sitting far too long in the never-been-used basket.  Now that I've used them I think they're an awfully lot of fun.  I cut all parts in white and colored with Copics.  The random foliage on the first card is rather a mess because you know how something doesn't look right so you keep adding things... yes, that happened.

Then I went on to make a second card because there are two birds in the die set.

(Mintay Birdsong designer paper, Elizabeth Craft Layered Birds, Memory Box Leaf Bunches, Impression Obsession Grass, Spellbinders Lattice Border, The Ton Easy Expressions with dies)

The next card was made in February.  I'd always intended to make more from its particular paper collection, but it didn't happen.  The paper was put away and the card pushed to the side, tsk tsk.  It has worth so I'll share it here.

(Studio Light Winter Garden designer paper, Sue Wilson Creative Expressions Duos Just a Note)

It's time to move along so I'll list the two inspiring challenges:

Sisterhood of Crafters -- Springtime Designer Paper
NBUS Challenge #61 -- My never before used schtuff is the bird dies and the Winter Garden designer paper.


Thank you all for visiting.  Have a happy day!

Monday, April 22, 2024

Friends and Good Vibes

It's true, life is better with friends and I can't imagine being without them.  Two friends enabled me to make today's cards.  Cat sent the sentiment and flowers I used on the first card.  She had stuck everything to a piece of yellow low-tack tape and I love the way it looked so I simply made an almost identical arrangement on yellow cardstock.  Then I adhered that to a pretty frame piece sent by Michele.

Michele sent the Spellbinders Scrolled Punch & Pierce Plate.  In the card above I popped up one of the smaller cuts, and in the card below I used a larger cut for a lacy cover that looks so pretty white on white.  She also sent the Pinkfresh Chrysanthemum washi cuts which I used on the second card.  The sentiment stamped in the open space is from my own Pinkfresh Folk Hummingbird set.

Just having some fun in between projects around the house and yard.  We've had a little sun now and then, but nothing to get too excited about.  I'm still waiting and wondering when spring will be here for real.  Maybe tomorrow.  Wishing you a beautiful day!