Monday, November 30, 2009

The Cute Factor

Mommy cat Sunny and Boris are working on their "cuteness" factor so when they go to the pet fairs, someone will want to take them home. I'm working on trying to find homes for them before they have to be herded into cages and groped by strangers.
Little Miss Daisy is doing 100% better and is gaining weight. She's always the first one to the food dish. We are fighting a eye infection now but it's not slowing her down. She's an ankle biter when playing with her much bigger siblings. She's not tall enough to get them in a head lock or pull them down with a ear pull.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Christmas Stocking Gift Card Holder

After seeing the pattern for a Christmas stocking gift card holder on Splitcoast Stampers, I decided there had to be a faster (if not easier way) to whip one up. Cutting it free hand or as it's called in the paper crafting world "fussy cutting" takes way too much time. I used my Cricut machine and the Christmas Cheer cartridge set on black out at 9". Martha Stewart holly leaf punch with some red rhinestone.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Christmas CAS Card

Another Christmas CAS (clean and simple) card. Super fast to make and the little bird is one of the Martha Stewart punch. Magenta cling stamp.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Friday Detox Day

I'm not a drinker but I did binge on carbs. I'm on a no carb diet so the holidays are the only times I indulge. To help my body detox from all the carbs from my trip to Nepal and Thanksgiving I made a trip to my local produce store. I picked up some fresh ginger (for ginger tea) and fruit. I'll be good until Christmas eve then all bets are off. :)

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Little Miss Daisy

I was finally was able to get a photo of our little Miss Daisy (the runt of the litter) with her big sister Hazel. You can see how small (less than a 12oz.) she really is. Mommy cat is so over nursing her kittens. Since all the other kittens are now eating moist food, Sunny doesn't have to nurse as often. She's also sleeping on the highest counter in the bathroom. She can keep an eye on her babies but they can't get to her. Miss Daisy is now eating a little on her own (she has been dewormed and getting antibiotics twice a day) but because of her size, needs a warm body to snuggle up to. We still have our fingers crossed that she will make. There still is a lot of bathroom clean up and litter box cleaning every two hours but the major blow outs are getting better.

Mayflower Story

When my daughter was in second grade, the class had a pot luck where each child was asked bring in a dish from their family heritage. My daughter decided to bring something from her father's side for the family. My husband is a mix of many European countries, so we narrowed it down to something German or English. Since my knowledge of German or English cooking is very limited, we sent a letter off to Grandma Smith. She sent some recipes and a photo of the Sheldon family (her maiden name) homestead which turns out to be the oldest surviving building from a Mayflower passenger. I asked my husband why he never told us he (and now his children) were descendants from "THE Mayflower"? He said there are thousands of descendants, so what's the big deal?
Hope you have a great Thanksgiving Day!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

CAS - Make a Stack - Part three

The third card (there are four total) for my "make a stack" card class at Memories Live On. I wanted to mix up the colors a little and go with something non traditional. I used square punches to make the frame and heat embossed the silver part of the image. I was used the Studio G clear stamps.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Little shrine in Nepal

On Halloween we made a hike up to a small shrine behind the lodge we were staying at. Once we got to the shrine ( it was an all up hill hike with no trail path) it was about two flights of stone stairs straight up with no guard rail. Wasn't so bad going up but you sure had to watch your step coming down.(top photo) There was a big bell right at the top step you could ring and say a prayer. Maybe a prayer so you don't break your neck going down. Once at the top there was a little alter building and (in the picture on the left) a place to make a live sacrifice. In this case, it was a goat and yes that is blood. Some big festival or religious event happened right before we arrived in Nepal and goats are the live sacrifice of choice. One of our guides said this is what they call non vegetarian Hindus. There is a goat barbecue after the sacrifice. We did notice that we didn't see a whole lot of adult goats (only babies) in any of villages we passed.
Update: Here's a link about the sacrifice festival.

Family Photo

This is a family photo of all the kittens and their mom Sunny. You can see that Daisy (in the side photo) is very tiny, about half the size of her litter mates. She is the only one not interested in eating moist food. We are now getting ready to bottle feed her to help her gain some weight. They should be ready for their forever home in about 5 weeks. If your interested let me know. The adoption will go through the Safe Haven program.
Left to right: Hazel, Boris, Daisy, Rosie and Sunny

Next Cat Adventure

After the sudden lost of both Lucy and Honey Bunny Scooter, we weren't really sure if we wanted to get another kitten. Mr. Purrcy, I know would like a buddy but he is very happy not having to be the live chew toy for a kitten. As I was checking out Criag's list, I came across a request to be a foster family to four kittens and their mom. What most people don't know is when a nursing mother with kittens are dumped at the animal shelter, they are killed right away. The shelters don't have the space or time to keep everyone together. The only thing that saved this family was a rescue volunteer happened to be there. She begged to keep them a few days longer and she would find a foster family to take them in. Fostering kittens is the best solution for us. We can raise them and see if any have that feisty but cuddly personality my hubby wants in "his" little fur baby. Kittens are about 5 weeks old and mommy cat is very young too.
We've named the mommy kitty - Sunday or Sunny for short
Boris (the only male) looks just like mom and eats like a horse.
Hazel (already a talker and cuddlier) and Rosie are the gray stripes.
Daisy (not pictured) is the runt and very weak right now. She was curled up with Sunday, so I didn't want to move her to get photo. I'm not 100% sure she will make it.
Next week we will have open kitten time, if you would like to come by and socialize with the gang. In order to get them ready for the pet adoption, they have to have lots of social interaction with people.

CAS - Make a Stack - part two

Another one of the cards for the "make a stack" card class at Memories Live On. Nice way to use up your scraps too!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Hiking in Nepal

Some of my trekking buddies are emailing the photos they took on our trip to Nepal.
De (she's a professional photographer from Washington DC) had a top notch camera with a huge lens.
Northern Nepal is all mountains so you are either going up or going down, there isn't any flat land. I was one of the few that always covered up against the sun. I guess living in California I try to avoid direct contact with the sun's rays.
The top photo we are crossing a creek/waterfall during one of our day hikes.

CAS - Make a Stack Card Class

I was asked to do a Christmas "make a stack" card class. This is a class where you make four sets of each design. The cards have to be simple so you can get everything done in a reasonable amount of time. The style is called "clean and simple" or CAS. The card is super simple and fast to make but still fun.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Himalaya Lodge - Early Morning in Nepal

All of us woke up at the crack of dawn (they bring out coffee and tea to get us going) so we could see the sun coming over the mountains. Those with the better cameras took some great shots. My old camera just wasn't able to capture the moment. Yes, I was very tired and it was chilly until the sun is high in the sky. I think we were at 7,000 feet.

Things you meet on the roads in Nepal

We ran into a lot of water buffalo on the trails and most of the time the farmers would give a fair warning to get off the trail or what I called "in coming".
The rino in the road (that's how I got the name for my travel blog of helpful hints and tips) was taking his sweet time walking along the road in Chitwan. This was the area some of us also picked a few leeches. If I wasn't so shocked to see a leech on me, I would have taken a picture but all I could think of was to pull it off and kill it. :)

Origami Christmas Tree

I've had this origami card in my design file for ages. I finally got around to make a sample for my upcoming Christmas card class. It's doesn't use as much paper as you would think and very simple to make. Great way to use up your scrap washi paper.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Honey Bunny Scooter - Sad Day

Our little Honey Bunny Scooter was killed yesterday. We are not sure how but I found she in our front yard early Thursday morning. It's been very hard on my hubby as Honey Bunny was he's little baby. Full of personality and energy but always had the time to cuddle and snuggle. Honey Bunny also had her own set of groupies (kids walking home from school) who came by everyday to play with her. She loved everyone which may have been her downfall. Very sad day at our house.

Christmas Triangle Box Class

I've been having a hard time getting my creative flow going. I think I'm undergoing a creative shift. I finally had to sit down and force myself to get the design ideas I have down on paper and turn them into samples. People have been asking me about doing another class with my triangle box. This class is scheduled for (tentatively) December 3 at Cranberry Hill. It's very hard to write the directions for this box without making your brain bleed, it's a very hands on type of project. When I learn to do a YouTube video, this will be one of the first project I film.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Holiday card

One of the cards I will be doing today at the Yu Ai-Kai Japanese Senior center in downtown San Jose. I volunteer once a month and teach a free card making class. The cards are always on the simple side so we can get done in an hour.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

More Nepal Photos

Some people thought I was crazy going to Nepal (long fights, unstable government, water issues) but being able to hike and see views like this made it all worth it. I was also very lucky to travel with a group of some amazing women. The photo above was taken right as we started up the trail we called "StairMaster on steroids" after 7 hours of hiking.
The fields are rice and millet. It was harvest time while we were there.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Getting ready for the holidays

One of my "happy" sounds is my hubby cooking in the kitchen. Yes, it's after midnight and my hubby has just finished his first batch of handmade squash rolls. This batch came out much better than last year's. He used only honey and finally got off the whole wheat bandwagon. The rolls are nice and fluffy with just a little sweetness. He makes a few batches for the big family holidays to make sure he hasn't lost his touch. Sure wish you could smell and taste how good these rolls are.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Bhaktapur Nepal - Mandala

I'm not one to buy a lot of stuff during my travels. I pack as light as I can and usually don't have room in my carry on bags to bring anything back. While we toured the old city of Bhaktapur, our guide took us into one of the shops to see the art school in action. This is one of the smaller mandala (14x14) and the detailed work is amazing. Since it was rolled up nice and tight, it fit into my suitcase. I was also super lucky when I got home to find the perfect frame and matting at TJMax when I had to do a return. Only took a few minutes to put is all together and get it up on the wall in my studio.
While we were getting ready to board our bus just outside of the city market place a gun shot went off. It was close enough for the bird's feather or whatever they were shooting at to fall on us. This is a packed city street corner so I'm not talking about being out in the country with lots of open space. Good thing we were getting on our bus ready to leave.

Food in Nepal

Since all everything not made or grown in the area of the trekking lodges has to packed muled in or carried by porters, the food served was simple local meals. Rice, lentils, garlic (in soup) cauliflower, corn, carrots, radishes, mustard greens, eggs, chicken and potatoes. There was a lot of carb loading at every meal which helped with all the hiking we had to do. Once we got back in Kathmandu, eating all those carbs and meals on the plane ride home, I packed on 10 pounds! I've managed to drop 8 with the help of having a head cold and going back to my no carb eating habits.
The photo (taken at sunrise) is the garden at one of the lodges we stayed at. Almost every dwelling we passed had some type of garden growing near the main house. The marigolds around the garden are at least 3 feet high and are also grown in every village.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Domestic Diva Sunday

I finally feel well enough to do some house cleaning. I left the house a mess when I went to Nepal so no surprise that it was that way when I got home. I finally made it out to my backyard (after almost of month) and garden to see what survived my hubby's neglect. He's not one to remember to water other living things so only the hardiest plants can survive in our gardens. All my mums have bloomed and the last of the tomatoes. Thought I would share some of the photos I took this morning. After I finish up the the inside of the house I will start the clean up of my garden. I like to "rest and fortify" my raised beds for a few months. It's on my to-do list to re-landscape our backyard but I haven't been inspired to do a make over.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Auction House Surprise

I spent most of the day at the auction house. This is the second batch of copper printing plates I've gotten. Most of the plates were wrapped up in paper so I only saw a few of them before the bidding started. Tonight when I unwrapped them, I was surprised to find my family "mon" (Japanese family crest, women take their mother's mon) which was the only mon design in the whole box! How lucky is it that a family member with this mon would be the winner bidder? From how the plates were wrapped and marked, I'm guess the images were used for a book. These plates where all marked volume IV.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Bees in Nepal

One of the things that surprised me while we were hiking up the other side of the valley was to walk though what the locals call the "bee village". Being a urban bee keeper I just had to stop and take some picture. The bee keeper went up and whacked at his hive. I can only guessing so the bees would be a little more active for me. They harvest the honey twice a year once in October (I had just missed it) and again in January. They get about 2 liters of honey. I'm not sure if they use the beeswax since that part of the translation wasn't understood by the guide that was with me.

Adventure Women Nepal 2009

I just got back from Nepal this morning and to keep myself from going to bed too early, decided to start posting some photos from my trekking trip to Nepal. It was an amazing trip with a wonderful group of women. This is a view from one of the lodges we hiked 7.5 hours to get to. The hike was nothing compared to the 50+ hours of travel time to get into Kathmandu. The trip home wasn't as bad since I had a longer layover (12 hours) in Singapore, so I checked into one of the transit hotels inside the airport. I was able to clean up and take a nap before the long flight back to California.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Get Well Card

This is an old Stampin Up stamp that I've used in my free card classes at the Senior Center. Blue isn't a color I use a lot of (sorry Lydia) but I do have tons in my paper stash. This is a very quick card to make using Copic markers.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Quick Baby Card

I've had this background paper for years and finally got around to using it. The silhouette is from the Cricut die cutting machine which makes it a fast card.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Tri Fold Card

Another CAS tri-fold card using the Penny Black stamp "Bee Happy!" and Copic markers. Penny Black has a nice line of rubber stamps with bees. Great way to use up some of my scrap paper.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Rock & Roll Marathon in San Jose 2009

Photo of my daughter Evan and two of her co-workers Katy and Kelly who came down to San Jose last month to run in the Rock & Roll marathon. Evan has always participated in sports that required a lot of running around, basketball, soccer and cross country. During Evan's freshman year, her XC coach Hank Lawson told the parents this was one sport that our children will be able to do for the rest of their lives. Here's proof of Hank's prediction.

Monday, November 2, 2009

She's Mine Now by Lydia

Lydia of "Understand Blue" fame is one creative lady, very talented in many area. She can now add published author to her list. Lydia has written a story about her fur babies with a online publisher. She will donate $1.00 from each book sale to "A Place to Bark and Meow". A charity we both support. Here's the link to the book site.
The photo is one that found a few months ago and thought it was too funny.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

One of my favorite stamps

I really like this stamp from Memory Box when I have to make a card in a hurry. I left the bottom section blank so I can add whatever sentiment I need when I have to use.
Great way to use up my washi paper scrap too.
We all have those scraps we just can't throw away. :)