Tuesday, December 31, 2019

Christmas Thank Yous

I got my Christmas thank you cards made.  I used gift wrap used on one of Mom & Dad's gifts.  Beautiful green background with white boughs and vanilla pine cones. I chose vanilla cards.

I cut the gift wrap paper to 4.00 x 5.25 inches and taped it to the front of the card.

I then cut a ribbon slider with Spellbinder slider set.  I printed thank you greetings and punched them with the 2 inch oval punch.  I adhered them to the front of the green sliders.

I added red cotton ribbon and trimmed the ends.  I taped them to the back of the slider so they would not move.  I added 3D foam tape to the slide and adhered it to the card front. 
On the wide ones I put plaid ribbon instead.

I am very blessed and it was good to have company instead of gifts in some cases.  I just need to spread out it a little more.  

Monday, December 30, 2019

Recent Photos

I finished this book over the holidays.   I was disappointed in some of the themes in the 25 short stories.   This is the first book she published so interesting that is one of the last I read.  Her books got much better.

Millions of people travel on London's tube every day, yet we usually only give our fellow passengers a cursory glance. Maeve Binchy infuses the nameless people with stories to provide a cross-section of London life.

One of the last books I can read from this author as I have checked most of them off the list.

There are couple I still have not read.

Sister Caravaggio (2014) - stand alone novel
A Few of the Girls - short stories

Suggestions for other authors I may enjoy.

This is the gift I received from my sister and her husband.  This is a large spool holder for my sewing.  I have invested in some neutral colored spools - white, grey and black in recent months as buying specific colors is expensive.

Most of the girls at quilting all have one of these.  My sister had let me know what I needed and how to DIY one for myself.  Our plans to share wire fell through so I just did not get it done.

I see my brother-in-law's work in the beautiful wood base.  The loop replaces the loop on the machine.  The tall stick is for the large spool and the little one may be for a bobbin based on my research on line.

I am ready to get back to sewing but I have been taking a few days of down time as I have had a lot of company in and days out since December 13th.  I need some recharge time.

With a no caffeine tea regime I had put Bengal Spice and Licorice Spice on my list.  We had some at Mom's on Christmas Day and she requested a box on Boxing Day.  More of us on avoiding caffeine when possible.

I decided I needed a shorter string of lights now that I sent the 4 foot tree, the large ornaments, and other decorations to the second hand store.  I have decided to use my small ceramic tree with a shelving unit which will hold the few glass ornaments I have kept.  I added some narrow garland to the rungs of the shelf and hung the ornaments from there.  The old string was much too long and heavy.  I found these Retro lights by Noma.  They are irridescent, sparkly and a wonderful shape.  Love them.


The warm plastic lights are on the dark green ceramic tree and the white but still somewhat warm tear drops are the new ones.  I kept my iridescent bead garland.

The plan has not completely come together this year but next year will be better.

I kept all the small glass ornaments, the coordinating bead garlands, and the colored  ornaments which meant something to me.  Love the crystal tear drops from chandeliers. I could not resist the mercury glass tea pot on for 50% this year.

I placed the burgundy gift boxes at the base of the tree.

I bought this book at the library sale for .25 cents.  It was excellent.  It is set in France but more in the country which I enjoyed more.  The main character is English on a vacation and discovers a mystery about Isabelle and a stash of diamonds.  I will check other titles by this author.

Sharing with Angie at Letting Go of the Bay Leaf who hosts Mosaic Monday #60.

Wednesday, December 25, 2019

Merry Christmas


Wishing everyone a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year as we enter 2020.   It is amazing where the time goes.

Merry Christmas

Tuesday, December 24, 2019

All Occasion Card Gift

I gift a friend a stash of cards for her Christmas gift each year. 

These are DSP Split design with designer paper made by Fiskars - Cloud 9 Design - Blue Shore Flowers.  I chose a warm green card base.

I cut the paper into 4.00 x 5.25 inches then cut again at 3.5 inches and taped the pieces back together after flipping one of the pieces. 

I have placed a length of the white grosgrain ribbon across the join and taped the ends to the back.  

I placed a blue bird post it on top with a couple of branches created with the SU Bird Builder Punch. 

I added the beak lines with a gel  marker and a white mini brad for the eye.  The wing was cut with the Cricut. 

This is a basic DSP Split based on the instruction above.

I chose a dark green card base.

I added a greeting printed and punched with the SU Decorative Label punch.  It was adhered over the ribbon with 3D foam tape.








I chose a white card base for this card and chose to keep the solid blue side.

I added a greeting done with the same punch and adhered with 3D foam tape.

I added hexagonal diecuts cut with Spellbinder Nestabilities thinlit dies.

I chose to repeat the blue and add a punch of red. 

I added a thread tied to the grosgrain ribbon to repeat the accent color.

I have added several more cards from my stash and packaged them along with her Caramel Popcorn.  Always a favorite.

Advent Wreath - 5th Candle - Purity

Today on Christmas Eve we light the 5th candle in the center of the wreath which is the Purity or Christ candle.  The time we have been preparing for is here!  Rejoice and celebrate.

From Ann Voskamp's Advent Book - The Greatest Gift.

The time came...  He has arrived!

God always wants to be with you.  God comes as a babe because grace is weightless.

God with us - Emmanuel.

All of conquered heaven and grateful earth echo tonight with the heart cry of the God Child - I did it for Love.

Merry Christmas!

Up Cycled Cards

A friend asked me to up cycle some commercial cards she received and meant something to her.

This is a sisters' Happy Birthday card.  It was a shaped card so I trimmed the folded edge then trimmed the blue to match the rest of the edges.

I chose a pink card in the half sheet size (5.5 x 8.5 inches) and added a strip of purple textured card stock.  I ripped both sides of the 2 inch strip.  It was adhered to the card front aligned to the left of center.

I then adhered the sisters layer with 3D foam tape aligned along the bottom of the card.

A custom insert was included with purple lettering.


This card is one of my designs which I turned into a wedding card.

I added a light blue card base leaving a small border of color.

I printed a custom insert in light blue lettering to match the card base.

The hearts are Stampin Up Sweet Heart punchies cut from non shed silver glitter. Mounted on a vellum circle.

I added a silver thread across the bottom tied around the embossed layer.





This card is a Christmas card for sending wishes across the miles.  She has received it from family in the Maritimes but next year she will no doubt be mailing back to Alberta with Christmas wishes. 

She is moving to be close to her son in Nova Scotia.

I love the little rabbit reaching to post his card in the mail box.

I trimmed the original card a bit and adhered it to the front of a red card to coordinate with the letters.

I added a custom insert in this card to go with the sentiment started on the front of the card.





This card spoke to me of the Maritimes.  It was in my stash so I up cycled it for my friend.

The gulls are waiting for lunch as the fishermen arrive from the sea with the boats loaded with fish.  Bound to be some tasty bits for them.

I chose a blue layer to place behind the trimmed card.

I chose a kraft colored card and added a narrow grosgrain ribbon across the top.  I then adhered the boat layer to the card front with double sided tape. 

Sunday, December 22, 2019

Advent Wreath - 4th Candle - Peace

Today we light the fourth which is the Peace candle. 

Let us remember the Prince of Peace.

From Ann Voskamp's Advent book - The Greatest Gift.

There is no need to produce or perform or perfect - simply become a place for God.  That is all.

The being with is always the gift,  not merely the doing for.  Spending time is more important than stuff.

I have just put up my small ceramic tree, the nativity and a few ornaments and lights.  Just don't need the stuff anymore.

I have focused on people this season rather than gifts and producing stuff.

Friday, December 20, 2019

Hosting Family and Friends


With my place in order I have hosted 5 sets of folks in the last week.   The table was set with the red tablecloth, a white linen square on the diagonal and plaid Christmas place mats. White plates and large mugs was the order of the day.  Large white porcelain tea pot.

My friend to celebrate her birthday on December 13th with our favorite - pecan crusted cheesecake. My niece on Dec 16 where we had steak, baked potatoes and coleslaw and we had a great visit.
My sister and brother in law on Tuesday where we had a great lunch of chicken, rice, brocolli and a pineapple squares for dessert. Lots of tea. 
Another friend came on Thursday for morning tea to celebrate her birthday with Earl Grey Decaf and sweets.
Tonight my neighbor came and we munched on cheese, veggies and a few sweets with Jasmine Green Tea.

This Christmas season is more about people and less about stuff.

Card Exchange Cards

I started with a Pea Green card base. I placed a piece of organza ribbon across a strip of designer paper, taped the ends to the back then attached it to the front of the card.

I used a coordinating desinger paper which I cut square, adhered to a pink paper from the same set cut just a bit bigger.  These were adhered together then I added 2 iridescent snowflakes with pink brads.  This was adhered to the card front with 3D foam tape.

I added a Stampin Up Word Window greeting on the left with 3D foam tape.

I started with a olive green card base.

I assembled my trees by cutting the black strips and adding one to each tree with a tiny brad. The trees are adhered to the card front with double sided tape.

I used a Zot to adhere the silver stars above the tree to the card front.

Ripped a white card stock to create a snowbank.  Adhere to card front then trim it to the card edge if necessary.

Layer the white circle greeting onto the black larger circle. Add the 3D foam tape to the back and adhere to card front as shown.  

These are headed to my card exchange friends today.

Sunday, December 15, 2019

Advent Candle - 3rd Candle - Joy

The third candle in the Advent Wreath is Joy.   It is also sometimes called the Shepherd's candle as they were the ones to come, see the Child and went about telling the news of great joy.

From Ann Voskamp's Advent book The Greatest Gift for today.  We are made to worship.  We bowed to something.

We create idols to worship in our lives that do not give life but rob us of life.

Take time this season to slow, to be still and wait Advent will whisper - There is one God.  Let us leave the wrapping, decking and the performing  and come in awe of God.

O Come Let Us Adore Him.  Let the Joy of the Christmas enter our spirits and help us to express our joy.  Sing hymns, dance in the living room, look at nature, or find a way to be joyful just for the sake that the Child is coming.

Saturday, December 14, 2019

Photo Coaster to Gallery

I made a few more sets of photo coasters.

This set is called Beautiful Butterflies. 

I love the shadow captured on the fist one. 



I made a set of 4 of the same image of this magnificent Bison at Elk Island.








I called this set Majestic. 

It features Sunlit Mountains in Canmore, the Hoodoos in Drumheller, Niagara Falls and the large Oak Tree.
















This set is called Winged Ones 2. 

The beautiful rust colored in the top left, gorgeous large Blue Morph, a lovely Red Lady Bug on a green/silver leaf and Bumble Bee on purple globe flower.

Thursday, December 12, 2019

Photo Calendars to Gallery

I bought 3 more calendars to the Gallery this afternoon after getting a message that the ones I brought Saturday had sold.

I brought 2 nature ones and 1 Dewy Petals one.

That means that my sales will be at least as good as last year and maybe a bit better.

I only have one set of coasters left so I am working on more of those to drop off on Saturday!

Tuesday, December 10, 2019

Sympathy Cards

My uncle Dave passed away early last week and the funeral was today.  He was a farmer and a real family man.  He was married to my aunt and she passed in 1997.  He did remarry so I prepared a card for his 3 kids and his wife.  I spent time with these cousins when we were kids.  I see some of them at reunions.

I added greetings to my photo cards because the cards were ready and they needed to fit the occasion.  

These are sunlit maple tree seeds.  Love the pale green color against the dark background.

I added a Old Olive Modern Label punchie with a color coordinated greeting punched with the Word Window.

The greeting was mounted with 3D foam tape.

This is for one son and his family.
 This is the bridge in the Japanese Garden at the University of Alberta Botanic Garden.  It is a serene place and I felt appropriate for a sympathy card.

I chose a much brighter green for the label punchie on this one.  It is Garden Green and the coordinated word window.  Mounted with 3D foam tape.

This was for the daughter.
I chose this Japanese Barberry leaf photo with a mossy green Modern Label with a coordinating Word Window greeting.  Mounted with 3D foam tape.

This was for the other son and his family.


This card I made for his wife who was unwell and could not attend the funeral today.  Sunlit Rose with pink greeting.













Monday, December 9, 2019

Recent Photos

I went to see Mom & Dad this week to celebrate Dad's 90th birthday. 

There was 7 of us for lunch then we headed to their place of chocolate cake.  My sister made the cake which was healthy with zuchinni and bran.  We had fresh fruit and some whipped cream to top off the cake. 

It was great to see them and Dad will have had 3 celebrations before the week is done.

Champagne was had with their friends on Friday. 




The large nativity is up with the new to me Avon Nativity figures my sister found at a thrift shop.  I connected with her at Dad's birthday. 

I got the stable last year when my niece spotted at a thrift shop.  It needed a lot of cleaning but it looks great.

I added some gold fabric to represent straw, put stars in the sky, the fused glass star I bought at the Art Gallery Christmas Store last year.  Perfect size.  Mercury glass trees in the background.

I think I could use a couple of the animals (donkey and or oxen) from the Avon set.  I will keep my eye out during the year. 

The round Silent Night ornament was purchased at the craft sale I was part of 2 weeks ago.  Works well here!

I cleared the telephone table from the clutter and it is sitting where I can see if often.

I bought a soapstone card holder at the reception at the Art Gallery on Saturday night.  I like support other artist as I would like their support for my products.

I love the cool green outside against the warm colors on the inside of the stone.

I plan on using it in my photography to add words easily.

Love the quote from Wayne Dyer that was included with the holder.

Sharing with Angie at Letting Go the Bay Leaf who hosts Mosaic Monday #57

Sunday, December 8, 2019

Reception at the Gallery

It was the reception for the Abstraction Show and the Christmas Store last night. The set up for the store is much better this year with enough room for each vendor. The variety of products available includes jewelry, fused glass, wood slice ornaments, watercolors, crocheted items, wood burnt charcuterie boards, scented candles and so much more.

I delivered a couple more sets of photo coasters and some 4x6 calendars.




















This set is called Nature Fire with sunlit Foxtail weed in the fall on the left and a Sunset shot on Jesse Lake with the cattail reeds in the front.


I did up a set of 4 of this Red Poppy!  It is gorgeous and would be perfect for a gardener or flower lover.


This is my latest presentation for my 4x6 calendars in hopes of giving customers the information they need to make their decision to buy one for someone's desk.

I placed the calendar in the black metal frame and then taped the index sheet to the base so the images will be readily seen.  We shall see if it works.  I brought 2 Nature and one Dewy Petals.

Attendance was less than expected but being a Saturday night there were conflicts with other activities including Christmas parties.  Hopefully they will drop by the gallery over the next couple of weeks.

I am working on more photo coasters as I have sold a couple already.

Advent Wreath - 2nd Candle - Love

The second Sunday of Advent

The 2nd candle is for Love.

Let us remember the birth of a babe in the manger - Love come down.

Advent devotion from Ann Voskamp - The Greatest Gift

It is Advent: Stairway of God

He came to be the way back to God.  Love came down to help us in our helplessness.


Hurry empties the soul ... slow down. You can have the gift of rest. 

The only thing you need to prepare for Christmas is your heart.  The rest is stuff.

Friday, December 6, 2019

90th Birthday Card

I made this card for my Dad as he turns 90 years old. I was with him on his day but the card sat on the scanner at my house.  Sorry! I made as soon as I could when I got home.

I chose a dark Espresso card and some double sided designer paper with brown in thin aqua lines on the one side and aqua on the other.  I cut a piece 5.25x 4.00 inches then cut again at 3.5 inches. I flipped the small piece over and taped the pieces back together.  I added a piece of red cotton ribbon across the join and taped the ends to the back.

I cut a piece of brown card stock with one of the Stampin Up Window Frame framelits and added a color printed square greeting.  The layer was added to the card over the red ribbon with 3D foam tape.

The square greeting is a goose from the SU Wetlands set.

Monday, December 2, 2019

Abstraction Show at the Gallery

I dropped off my pieces for the Abstraction Show to the Gallery this morning.

This is a 10x10 frame photograph. The image is of the edge of peeling paint on the piece of fencing I found on my walk this summer.  It has great texture and is a very close macro.  The rust below provides great contrast to the yellow paint.


Mounted in a beech wood frame with a black mat.

The photo was printed at 6x6 inches.

This is titled - The Golden Edge.





This one of my oil on water experiments.   The background is placed on the bottom layer, the water container is placed on a glass shelf above the table.  The container is filled with water and a bit of oil is added to the surface.  I move the around with a bamboo skewer. Different oils will give you different colors. It is shot from directly above the water with the lens at a 90 degree angle.  The background is located below the water container with enough distance that it becomes blurred.  The fact that it is seperate allows quick changes in the background as you shoot.

Framed 10x10 inches in a white wood frame.

A double matted with a black to pick up the lines and a blue to highlight the background.

Photo printed at 6x6 inches.

I loved how the bubbles had 2 equal sized ones and a baby one so I titled it The 3 of Us!  SOLD!

This is my third entry.  It is lights at the top of a tall standard.

I applied a filter to accent the edges which produced this kind of googly eyes image.

It is frame at 11x14 in a black matte metal frame.

It is matted with a double black mat.

The image is printed at 8x10 inches.

The title of this one is Kermit in Blue.

Photo Coasters - A couple more sets

I delivered my stuff to the Gallery this morning for the Christmas Store.  I managed a couple more photo coaster sets.

My single coasters are there too.

I also have my photo magnets and my Red Poppy 11x17 Poster Calendars in the store.





This Wild Ones set features wild animals - Tiger, Bison, Panda, and Zebra.
























Another set of Pink Flowers featuring Rose, Peony, Ninebark, and Lilies.

Sunday, December 1, 2019

Photo Blogging Challenge - Whatcha eatin’?

Breakfast generally has bananas and some sort of cereal. 

Here I have rolled oats, wheat bran, yogurt, cranberry syrup for a bit of vitamin C.

I have added a bit of soy milk and a cup of tea.











I made mushroom sauce for my green fettuccine noodles.  Basically a white sauce with fresh mushrooms, garlic and onions.

I have added some KimChi and some chutney as condiments.  

A big cup of tea rounds out the meal.



I made some of these for guys who worked on the renovation at my house.  Of course, there was a bit of the puffed wheat left so I have to make half a batch for myself.

It was so good!

I can't have these in the house regularly but sure was a great treat!

Of course a wonderful cup of tea.  I am adjusting to caffeine free tea so that is a slow adjustment.




A hearty meal with lots of protein.  Cheese melted on the one half of the multi grain bagel.

A fried slice of ham and a sunny side up egg for the other half.  The yolk just the right consistency to drip out and cover the rest as I cut it into 4 pieces.   Yummy!












This is frozen mushroom pizza.  I generally add fresh tomatoes but there were none available this day so I check the fridge and there was broccoli. 

Broccoli it was which added some great color to the pizza.

I am sharing with PJ who hosts the Photo Blogging Challenge.  The November prompt was Whatcha eatin’?

Looking forward to some yummy shots.