Sunday, January 30, 2022

Life Stuff

Hello friends.  I'm sorry I've been absent again, but real life is getting in the way of my blogging these days and I've been hesitant to say much here at my happy place.  Maybe it's time we talked.

I mentioned before about Rich getting bad news from the doctor.  I did not tell you it was pulmonary fibrosis and a lung nodule.  At this time we don't know more about the nodule, but it's most likely not worrisome.  Doctor will recheck later.  However, pulmonary fibrosis is not good news and I won't say more at this time.  You can Google it if you care to know more.  Ultimately there will be many life changes to deal with and the optimist side of me hopes it will be later rather than sooner.

Additionally, we've had both dogs to the vet several times. Wally had surgery to remove a growth from his eyelid.  He came home with The Cone of Shame, but he's such a good boy we knew he would not have to wear it.  We told him a couple of times not to rub his eye and that was all it took.  He's had 4 surgeries (3 minor, 1 major) and never had to wear the cone.

LuLu was sick but we don't know why.  Lab work showed evidence of an infection.  A recheck after a course of antibiotics shows her all better.  The picture below was taken a few days ago and shows her looking like a sweet young thing with her mouth full of toys.  So adorable.

Wally and LuLu are 12 and 10 years old respectively.  Many of you remember them as puppies when we first brought them home.  I can hardly bear to see their signs of aging.  When they settle down for the evening they look so worn out, but the next day they're flipping around like puppies again.  Young at heart is a good thing.

And then there's me.  Long story short, I had an ultrasound that indicated I should be getting my affairs in order, if you know what I mean.  A follow up CT scan of chest, abdomen, and pelvis looked much better, but some of it is uncertain and will be further evaluated with an MRI on Tuesday, Feb 1.  I'm really hoping for good news.  Never thought "early fatty liver" would sound like good news, but considering the alternative... 

That's really all I can say right now.  We're going along with life, enjoying our days and our little family and home.  It's been mighty scary a time or two, no fooling about that, but there's nothing else to do but carry on.  There's a surprising lot of joy in our lives in spite of everything.

When and if everything is settled I'll push the reset button and hopefully get back to our new normal.  Please bear with me.  Thank you for your kind regards and your cards, phone calls, and emails.  Our online network and friendship is important to me.  Group (((hug)))!

Monday, January 24, 2022

Twinkling Hello

Hi there!  The sun is shining as I write this and I'm heading outside, but first a few minutes to share a card.  I rummaged through one of my "not yet used" baskets looking to choose something cheery.  Yes, I now have two baskets of not yet used stamps and another one for dies.  It's sometimes so much easier to shop than to create, but I will say for sure that creating is much more fun.  I need to remember that!

Today's card is made with a Stampendous set called Pop Bouquet.  I wanted to color, but had no plans for a particular card design, so I stamped a whole lot of images with Versafine Onyx Black on watercolor paper and then clear embossed.  I set to it with my Twinkling H2O's and when finished I cut everything out by hand.

It's hard to show the shimmer of the paints.  It can be subtle, and some colors shimmer more than others.  Also, more water means less shimmer, but the colors are always scrumptious.  I love my old timey Twinks!  The die cut sentiment is Cottage Cutz -- three layers of black and then brushed with Wink of Stella.

The frame and lattice piece are from my card parts drawer.  The frame had been embossed with an Anna Griffin folder (Cuttlebug) and then ink applied with a blending brush.  It wasn't a great look as a whole, but it made a nice frame and I thought the colors coordinated so...  put it all together on a soft gray card base... I kinda like it.  It is going to a local friend/former coworker as a birthday card.

I need to rush off for now.  Rich is washing my car after I spent three afternoons detailing the inside.  I had planned to wash it myself, but he's being a nice guy and sometimes you just have to let a person be a nice guy, you know?

Hugs and happiness to all!

Stamps:  Stampendous Pop Bouquet  Paper:  Fabriano Artistico Extra White 140 lb hot pressed watercolor, Neenah white, textured gray card base, black cardstock  Ink:  Versafine Onyx Black, misc SU inks brushed on embossed frame  Coloring:  Watercolor with Twinkling H2Os  Other:  Clear detail embossing powder, Wink of Stella, black pearl, Cuttlebug Anna Griffin Aviary embossing folder, Spellbinders Scored and Pierced Rectangles, Spellbinders Lattice Border, Cottage Cutz Hello Phrase

Monday, January 17, 2022

Pup and Mog

Hi there!  It took a while, but I finally made it back to the blog after finishing some cards.  I used a NBUS Woodware set called Pup and Mog.  Who can say what attracts any of us to a particular stamp set or to any of the crafty things we buy?  All I know is that these simple open line images made me smile at the time and they still do.

The frolicking Pup was stamped in Versafine black and clear embossed.  I colored with Tombow markers, no water and minimal use of the blender pen.  Pulled a stenciled background and a watercolored frame from my bag o' backgrounds and created the base.  Added Pup and some die cut flowers.  I think he's happy!

I saved the sentiment for the inside because it would crowd the front and I really wanted to say "happy dog day" to one of my doggy loving friends.  National and International Dog Day are both on August 26th.  Okay, so I'm a little ahead but might as well be ready.  Pictured below is the inside:

Mog, the cat, is relaxed and simply wishing a happy day.  It could be for anything, really.  I watercolored this one with SU inks and designed with some super old (2009) BasicGrey papers.  I inked up and stamped the cat's hearts a second time and colored, cut and glued over top to add just a tiny bit of texture.  One small gem for accent.

Editing to add my card to Darnell's NBUS Challenge #34 because my Pup and Mog stamps are fresh out of the package.

I apologize for not listing every detail, but it's probably not necessary.  I will mention that the fun stencil I used on the first card is from a large collection I found on Amazon.

I hope to pop in again soon.  I'm enjoying the time with Rich and Wally and LuLu, keeping options open as to how we spend our time.  I hope the new year is treating you well.  Hugs to all!

Saturday, January 1, 2022

Hydrangea And Rose

Happy new year everyone!  I made every effort to get here to send my very best wishes to all for a good 2022 -- health and happiness and all things positive.  December was a bit rough at the Miller house.  My husband got some distressing news from the doctor, and then his sister died.  I won't dwell on those things here, but do want you to know we're okay for the time being.  It was important for me to free up my time and make my attention available when and where it's needed so I stepped down from all design teams.  Crafting has been spotty, but immensely enjoyable when I can get to it.  We must have our therapy time, right?


I have two cards to share today.  The Pinkfresh Hydrangea and Rose stamp set and matching dies have been in my NBUS basket for a couple of months with multiples stamped and embossed and ready for color.  Finishing these two cards felt like time well spent.

Spare parts were utilized for both cards.  For this first one the whole card base was already done up with embossing and patterned paper border -- not sure why it was rejected originally -- and I simply added the frame, flowers, and sentiment banner.  The frame and banner were made with some of my original Spellbinders dies which I still use often.

For the second card I lightly stenciled a background, then added the cardstock strips (spare parts) with flowers, butterfly, and sentiment.  

There's a lot more to this stamp set which I'll get to later but my basket is spilling over with things I have yet to use.  Moving on...  Thank you so much for your patience and concern.  It's good to be back today.  Again, happy new year!

Stamps:  Pinkfresh Hydrangea and Rose  Paper:  Neenah Classic Crest Solar White 80 & 110 lb, scraps color cardstock, gold mirror CS, scrap patterned paper  Ink:  Versamark, Ranger Adirondack Sandal, SU Always Artichoke  Coloring:  Tombow markers and blender solution  Other:  Sequins, gems, gold self-adhesive trim, Ranger Princess Gold embossing powder, Cuttlebug Anna Griffin Wildflower Gate embossing folder, unnamed stencil, Spellbinders oval and tag dies, Impression Obsession Medium Butterflies