Thursday, April 30, 2009

Hittting the road again

This month has gone by so fast! Many things on my 101 life list were done this month as well as many life changes. This weekend I will be attending my very first art retreat up near Yosemite - #73 "to attend an art retreat". More on my list that got crossed off. #1 "Hike five miles every week"- I hike ten to twenty miles a week. #86 "do a ten mile hike once a month", again I do this hike weekly. #73 "have my own stamp line", it's a stretch but I count the A Place to Bark and Meow fundraiser stamps as meeting this goal. #48 "lose 25 pounds".
I've got my bags packed and meals (still working on losing 15 more pounds) all set to go. Purrcy is pacing and circling the room. He hates it when my clothes go into the suitcase. Will post pictures and my review of the retreat when I get back on Monday. Have a great weekend!

Monday, April 27, 2009

Bun in the Oven - Baby Shower Favor

I was asked to come up with some baby shower favor ideas. I saw this pattern on Splitcoaststampers but when I saw the directions were 32 pages long I knew there had to be a faster way to make the oven. I used the Cricut "tags and boxes" cartridge to make the box which I think took care of 25 pages of directions. :) You can open the oven door to add a mini cupcake or treat, which makes this perfect for the hostess of the baby shower. She's a really good cook and loves to bake.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Order you stamps today at

Happy dance time. Memories Live On in Cupertino has kindly donated their time and online store to sell the cat stamps for our A Place to Bark & Meow fundraiser. Here's the link to the site where you can order the stamps.
Remember 100% of the profits will go to Bernie Berlin's no kill animal shelter "A Place to Bark & Meow. The first $5,000 raised will go to finish off the cat house then anything after that will go to the dogs. Bernie has a lot of wonderful projects lined up to help raise the funds needed to finish off the shelter's outdoor building along with paying for food and medical treatment each animal needs. More guest artists stamps will be added as we go along, so help us spread the word.

The Cat's Meow ATC Swap

This coming weekend I will be attending the Cat's Meow art retreat near Yosemite. These are the ATC cards I made for the swap. I went will a very simple and clean line ATC, not your usual bat wings and crowns alter look. Computer generated the font, sponged on the background (it's on a separate piece of card stock) and use a Cricut cat that I colored with Copic makers. I made a total of 60 (orange, gray and black cats) since the store said not everyone trades. I wanted to put a little butterfly on the cat's nose but I can't find a punch small enough.

Used Stamp Sale

Yesterday I spent all day volunteering at a used rubber stamp sale at Cranberry Hill. The ladies (and a few guys) had a great time loading up their baskets (and I mean XL baskets) with stamps. This was a great crowd, no pushing or grabbing stamps out of other people's hands like some other used stamp sales I've been too. If you are a rubber stamp junkie then this is the mother of all sales for you. Good quality stamps as low as a quarter and Stampin Up sets going for $3.00. I wasn't planning on buying any stamps but in the short time I had to look, I couldn't pass up some of the great deals. My whole batch of stamps (17 in total) came to $19.67 including tax! You can see I went with cat and bee themed stamps. The large honey bear stamp (for $1.75) I got just to be able to open it and read the instructions to see why it came with that plastic circle. Because of the success of the sale, Cranberry will continue the sale until the end of the month. I do have to tell you the really great deals are gone but there are tons of stamps left and you should find a few you can't live without.

Friday, April 24, 2009

The Wedge

One of the things on my 101 goals list is to make a meal menu and shopping list for the coming week. Adding to that list, trying one new dish. Several years ago in Minnesota (when I was there on a business trip) I had my first "wedge salad". Coming from California (the mother land of salad) I just cracked up at seeing a head of iceberg lettuce half on my plate with some blue cheese sprinkled on top. That was it, just a half of head of lettuce. It was one of those moments (like when you are being served artichokes for the first time) how you are suppose to eat it. Luckily I was traveling with someone who had a great sense a humor and he found a knife and chopped it up. Now that tomatoes are coming into season this will be a regular feature on our weekly menu.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009


The stamp for the "A Place to Bark and Meow" fundraiser are finally here!!!! Happy dance time! Claudine Hellmuth (white cat), Suzi Blu (girl with cat) and Lydia Fielder (black cat) donated their art work to the project. I'm working on the last of the details on how you can order the stamps on online, if you don't live in the area. Remember 100% of the profits will go to Bernie's charity. I've asked that the first $5,000 raised go to the finishing the cat house, then the rest can go to the dogs. I will post more information as soon as I have confirmed the online store contact.
You can now order the stamps online at:
The girl and black cat stamp will be $10.00 and the white cat $7.00.

Copic Markers Workshop

Yesterday was a action packed day for me. I attended a condensed Copic Certification workshop for retailers. It was a three hour workshop and my back was really sore. Can't imagine how people can sit through the six hour certification class! I was very surprise on how good the workshop was. I've heard from many sources (both in person and on the Internet) that it's wasn't all that great. Maybe because it was geared toward store owners that made the difference. I sat as a table with two ladies who flew in from Taiwan just to take the Copic classes.
I'm now only half certified :) to use the copics but I know enough about the nuts and bolts of the product not to lead too many people a stray. There was talk among the store owners to set up another certification class in the Bay Area for their staff and costumers. I will update my blog when I find out more about that.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Bees and Weeds

This weekend at the crack of dawn, I went out to your backyard to do some weeding around the bee hives. We let all the dandelions got unchecked since the bees like the flowers. Now that everything else is in bloom, I decided to do some major weeding. Of course you can't do that when the "girls" are busy coming and going during the day, especially with the weeds right at their front door. To date hubby has gotten 7 seven swarms and many near misses. One guild member has gotten 17 swarms, which is a lot of bees! We still have people knocking wild hives down and killing the bees. :( With the weather turning hot here in California there will be even more swarms so spread the word about "Bee guild's relocation program". Hubby filled two foster hives for another bee keeper and they happily went to their new home last night. I was happy to see them leave since they were right next to my raised bed garden that I have water everyday. They seem to like my hand lotion, which must have contained some bee hormone by product. I now make sure I don't have any on when I'm out in the garden or on the trails. Even hiking I noticed more bee activity around me when I have this lotion on.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Robot Invitation Rough Draft Sample

Every year I design a set of invitations for a lawyer's office. They always want something creative and fun. They usually come up with a theme (not always the most creative themes) and have me come up with some samples. This time they asked that I just come up with something on my own - guess my whining about not picking very creative ideas to work with paid off. :)
I've been listening to the book "How to think like Leonardo da Vinci" this week. I came up with several ideas but nothing thrilling. So Purrcy and I went and laid out on the bed to "relax" my mind. The image of robot with ribbon coming out of it's mouth popped into my head. I got up and went looking for some toy robots but had no luck finding any. In "da Vinci" style you have to look at the problem three ways. Since I couldn't find the robot, I would have to make. I had robot stamps (Paper Source) and I saw that there is some type of Japanese paper doll folding kits you can buy that look like robot. I decide to make my version of that kit using the Circut "Boxes and Tags" cartridge. The paper strip coming out of the mouth is wound so tight on the stick that it winds it's self back into the head just like a tape measure - which is too cool. I was so thrilled on how it turned out I just had to share even in the rough draft stage.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Purrcy's Basket

A few month's ago a Circle Journal buddy had a cropping fundraiser for the Heart Association. There were raffle baskets and we won a basket full of Starbucks coffee beans. The coffee were for some friends (we don't drink coffee) and they returned the basket thinking I would make better use of it. Purrcy of course can't pass up a box, bag or basket especially if it has tissue paper in it. Purrcy is listed as a lavender Siamese Persian at the vet's office. The lavender bows on the basket will be the closes I will ever come to getting Purrcy to wear a bow. He is very much a metro cat, loves being groomed and having a bath but he draws the line at bows or kitty clothes.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

A Place to Bark and Meow

If you've been wondering why I have a fundraiser thermometer on my blog and why it's still at zero, the answer is that the fundraiser hasn't started yet. I was so thrilled that I figure out how to add the gadget to my blog, I didn't want to remove it. :)
I had three artists donate their time and talents to draw up some images and then had turned those images into rubber stamps. The stamps will be arriving on Friday and we will start shipping them out as soon as we can. All the profits will go directly to " A Place to Bark and Meow" to help finish off the cat house. The added bonus is that any funds donate between now and June 1, will be matched by the Zoline foundation. My goal is to donated $10,000 (the maximum the foundation will match) through the sale of the rubber stamps. It would be so cool for Bernie to add $20,000 to her kitty fund!

Monday, April 13, 2009

Teapot and Daffodils

Hubby brought home some daffodils from me this week. The daffodils have really short stems so as I as walking around my house looking for a small vase, I remembered that I had saved this old tea pot (with no lid) from one of my auction lots. I always thought it would make a great vase and without it's lid, no one would buy it in my booth. It was too pretty to throw out. It was just the right size for the flowers. Decided to take a picture of them with the natural light coming in from the patio door this morning. Didn't need to use my flash or any over head lights.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Flower Pot Card Sample

This flower pot card is the free make n take I will be doing next month at Memories. It makes a fun "Spring" card or invitation. The flowers will be made with a different paper (will wait and see what comes in) but the design will stay the same. I made my sample bigger than what you will find online. I think people were trying to use the least amount of paper they could and it made a really small card.

Home Security

Some photos of our home security systems. On one side of our house is my hubby's bee hives so only a really fool would want to tangle with the "girls" in their home turf. The very large weed in front of the hive was left growing because the bees like that type of flower. The whole fence was lined with them last month before everything else started to bloom. My raised garden beds, until the plants have grown to fill in the space, are in "lock down" from my fur babies or any other visiting cats. In a few months all the metal will be removed. Bees do need a source of water so we have a pail out for them. They don't swim too well and need their own little floaties (wine corks) as they get drink. Yesterday hubby went out to work on a new swarm he put into a foster hive (this hive will be going to a new home as soon as we are sure there is a queen inside) and decided not to wear any protective gear. The girls got mad and tagged team him three times in the face. Very close to his eyes, so now this morning he looks like an alien lizard or a poster boy for why it's important to wear your bee hat and veil. Can't get a picture of him - he doesn't want any proof he doesn't practice safe bee keeping. ;)

Friday, April 10, 2009

Ten Second Studio & Tim Holtz Mega Workshop

I signed up today for the Ten Second Studio certification class and the mega Tim Holtz workshop that will be held at the TS Studios in Richland Hills TX. I like working with metal and being able to follow your own creative path during workshops was a big plus. Since I'm flying out there anyways, I decided to also sign up for the Tim Holtz workshop also happening at the TS Studio that weekend. Here's the link if you want more information.

My Front Yard

Living in California we don't have "seasons" so I designed my front yard like I would a rotating art canvas. Every three months or so, it's changes color. The yellow daffodils, pink tulips and dark purple irises have finished blooming and the second round of irises are now in full swing. The best part of having this type of landscaping is once planted, it doesn't take much maintenance. We did have a hard frost last year so my green hedges will take a bit longer in growing back. I added some French lavender (not to be confused with Spanish lavender) last summer and I only lost one to the frost. French lavender keeps it's flower longer, so it's a better choice for bee keepers. I do have to go in and give it a good weeding and add some ground cover plants (so it doesn't turn into a litter box) but other than that it's good to go.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Lotus Flower Card

On Thursday I do a once a month card class at the Yu Ai Kai Senior center. I do four cards in any hour (which is pretty fast) so they have to be on the easy side. I was looking through the Cricut cartridge "Graphically Speaking" and trying to come up with two more cards. I saw there was a flower and thought I would do a simple white daisy on some background paper. After the flower was cut out, I then I decided to chalk it but instead of doing yellow, I used magenta. That lead to me thinking it needed more layers and curl up the ends. It started looking like a water lily or lotus blossom so I dug through my huge stash of paper and found this vintage paper (well over 8 years old) that looks like water. It's hard to see the chalking or the Star Dust pen work I did in the center. I know the ladies will ask me how to mail it without crushing the petals. Have to admit they keep me on my toes. :)

Monday, April 6, 2009

Just BEE-cause

Today on my long hike I was thinking on how I could turn the bunny butt treat tag into something someone could use for the start of Spring. While on the trail today there were bees (of some type) everywhere and they seem to like something I was wearing. I'm going to have to figure that out because it does start to bug you after awhile. Back to my Just BEE-cause idea. Tonight is our monthly Bee Guild meeting and two of my friends are presenting on how to RX bee stings. I thought, well why don't I make it look like a bee? When you are on the trail for 4 hours you have lots of time to think about things like this. :) I think it turned out pretty cute. This will be a thank you gift to my buddy doing the presentation tonight. I think it will then turn into a make n take at the store next month.

Monday Morning Hike

Since I was only able to hike one day last week (hubby shared his cold with me) I decided to do my 4 hour hike today. The trail wasn't busy so I pushed on when I reached the half way mark. My new trekking poles are working out well, especially when going down hill. Saw a HUGE male turkey with his little harem out in the fields. He was strutting and flashing his feathers which was quite a sight to see.
On Sunday we stopped by to check on some bee hives we have at a friend's house. They have what I think would be a bee's version of Disneyland. Lots of open space and a big variety of things in bloom. I came home with a big bag of lemons and limes (three different varieties) a black tomato seedling (which is getting planted today in my garden) and some beautiful lilac branches.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Wine Glass Table Lights

In my auction hunts, many lots come with tons of wine glasses. Really, for someone that doesn't drink wine what should I do with all of them? When I saw this pattern for mini lampshades that fit over a wine glass, I just had to give it a try. To night I'm going to give it a fire test and see if the scrapbook paper I used will catch one fire. :) Cool way to customize your table. Here's the link to the pattern:

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Bunny Butt

When I saw this on SCS ( I just had to CASE (copy) the sample made by "mothermark" who is on the SCS design team called the Dirty Dozen. I don't have the "Justrite" stamps for the wording so I use my computer. It only took me about 30 minutes to figure everything out. The hard part was finding the candy since I don't have any of that in my house. Went into Memories Live On (they always seem to have a large stash of chocolate there) to finish up the project. It turned out so cute that as a extra treat, for anyone who spends over $100.00 will get a bunny butt to take home. It may also turn into a make n take if I can find room on my calendar.
I used all Nesties for the circles and scallop and SU oval punches for the ears.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Garden Envy

I've been working out in our vegetable garden today. First I had to repair several of the frames which for some reason when my hubby put them together for me last year, used screws that were too short. I weeded and cleaned up all the beds a few weeks ago and added compost and cow manure. Had to give the manure time to settle in before planting. I finished two beds today - pear tomato, green beans, eggplant and marigolds. I started turning my two compost bins (after moving the wood pile hubby stacked against the bins) but half way through one of the girls (bees) decided I should stop. She kept buzzing around me, so I came in for lunch. Going back out to finish up the compost turning, I hope.
The photo above is not my garden but I wish it was. I call this garden envy. Maybe this year I will work on giving my raised bed garden a little more architecture interest. I've been working on putting down square pavers between the beds which I was going to finish today but too many black widow spiders nesting in the stacks, so I'm waiting for them to move on.