08 December 2017

Feline Friday

This year, Bailey decided to get a small Christmas tree for her apartment. It looks so festive!

Of course, our immediate concern was that Rory would destroy the new tree. She's quite the climber so it seemed only logical that she would scale the tree in no time, like this:
  
 A few of you may remember the years when the Christmas trees at our house were tethered to stationary objects with fishing line because Lily literally DIVE-BOMBED them. Even then, she still upset the trees. One year I had to take down a tree before Christmas! So naturally, I expected that Rory would do the same.

As Bailey put up the tree, I waited for updates about Rory's behavior. As usual, she was very interested in the box! 

 As Bailey decorated the tree, Rory watched quietly from the couch. You can see the tree's reflection in her eyes! Rory's first Christmas tree...awwww!
 

But other than curiously bat at a few ornaments, Rory has been a MODEL KITTY! She has not bothered a thing!

She loves to sleep photogenically under the tree.

What a sweet girl!

Rory is on her best behavior for Santa! :)




















04 December 2017

Card Swap

 This year, the staff at the store where I teach decided to do a card swap. We each made 19 cards to exchange with one another -- any theme, any design. 

I'm always making cards but they're usually for a class or a kit, or just one or two at a time to send out for myself. Rarely (if ever) do I make lots of a single design. But I had an idea in my head that I'd been meaning to try for a class, so I decided to test it out for the card swap.

My idea was to create an all-white or all-cream card using die cuts and various textures (rather than colors) to create visual interest. Initially I thought I'd make a wedding or sympathy card, but as I played around with die cuts, I decided to make a Christmas card instead.

I made a quick prototype then once I settled on my design, I started creating the die cuts. I cut everything at once so the card could be assembled in steps.

I formatted a text panel for the front and inside of the card using MS Word. While I enjoy stamping, Word can't be beat for creating exactly the text you need...in exactly the right spot!

I also decided to line my envelopes (something I've vowed to remember to do more often!). I cut some matching paper down to fit inside them....

...then ran a scoring blade across the top part. Adhesive goes behind the portion above the fold, and the rest tucks into the envelope.

It's so easy, I don't know why I usually forget to line my envelopes!

After making the die cuts, I layered the flowers. The top layer was cut from a shiny cardstock, which contrasts nicely against the flat bottom layer. Finally, I added tiny dots of Nuvo Drops to the centers of the flowers and set aside the tray to dry overnight.

They kind of looked like cookies!

 Once dry, I flipped the flowers over and put foam tape slivers on the back. This was a good task to do while I was waiting in the "virtual waiting room" to buy Hamilton tickets!

 Next, I brushed the evergreen sprigs with white glue, sprinkled them with chunky glitter, and let them dry overnight. They kind of curled a bit as they dried, which was OK with me!


I colored over the "merries" with a clear Wink of Stella brush which leaves a quick-drying sparkle. So pretty when the light hits it!

Finally it was time to assemble! I cut, scored, and folded the card bases, then I added the "Christmas" panel to the front. An embossed square filled up the top part of the panel, with "merry" adhered across the bottom.

Then it was just a matter of adding the poinsettia, the leaf, and the glittered evergreen sprig.

Although there were a lot of steps to this card, once everything was prepped the assembly went quickly.

The jury is still out on whether I'll tackle a class like this. Although I love the visual simplicity of an all-white card, it's a LOT of die cutting! I'll give it a few weeks and think about it! 😉

jp




















01 December 2017

Feline Friday

 I recently posted about how Lily is not terribly impressed with the cat tree. Well, she must have read the post and decided to prove me wrong, because just a few days later I came downstairs to THIS!

SHOCK OF SHOCKS! Not only did Lily climb up on the tree OF HER OWN VOLITION, but she also was relaxed enough to take an extended nap!

Seriously, she was ZONKED OUT on the top level of the cat tree -- where she previously would not even sit for one minute! I had to run and find my phone to photo-document this most unusual sighting!

Space on the top level is tight, as confirmed by this overhead shot, but still comfy enough for an afternoon nap!
  It's only taken MONTHS, but finally it looks like Lily is going to enjoy our "not-so-new-now" cat tree!
YAY!
jp



24 November 2017

Feline Friday: Phone Wars!

We're in serious trouble around here! If I'm using my phone while Lily is on my lap, she PULLS THE PHONE TOWARD HER. I am not kidding. She constantly wants to watch her bird and squirrel videos on my phone! 

I have now given up and let Lily have my phone anytime she wants it. Truthfully, I need to be spending LESS time looking at it...

...but should Lily really be getting MORE screen time?

 Of course, she thinks the answer is YES, MEOWMY! 😻
jp

22 November 2017

Trick or Treat!



 Trick or Treat night was SO COLD this year -- in the 30's and quite windy -- that it seriously limited the number of kids who stopped by our house. 

  Around here, we ask the kids to tell a joke (the "trick") before they receive a treat. Spouse does not care for this custom, but I always enjoy greeting the kids and passing out candy. This year, I spent most of the time sitting on the dining room floor waiting for the little goblins to come by.

Unfortunately, the cold evening resulted in too few goblins and TOO MUCH EXTRA CANDY! This year, we bought candy that we didn't think we'd eat...
...but we seemed to eat the leftovers anyway!




21 November 2017

Halloween/Fall Decorating

I kept my Halloween/fall decorating to a minimum this year, mainly taking out pieces that could stay up through all of the fall, not just at Halloween. As I was looking through my boxes, I noticed how many items I have that either came from my mom or were purchased on the cheap at a thrift store, Target Dollar Spot, or even the Dollar Tree store. If you're selective, you can find really nice seasonal items!

One of the few Halloween decorations I did put up was this "EEK" sign. I found it at Target a few years back and it's still one of my favorites!

I found this adorable little acorn candle holder at Goodwill over the summer for 99 cents. It looks like a fairy house! So cute with a tea light.



A couple of my fall pumpkins belonged to my mom and the others cost next to nothing! The white pumpkin and the little stand are thrift store finds. I got the fake wood "round" at the Target Dollar Spot last year.

I also found this cute spiderweb candle holder at the Target Dollar Spot this fall. Can't beat the price! Whenever I'm at Target, it's always worth a stop in that area -- although it can be dangerous! 😊

 I put a few more fall items on the little bookcase that belonged to my parents. I really like having a space like this in the entry way that can be changed with the seasons. The "Fall" canvas was a class I taught for Memory Bound last year, and the little pumpkin came from the Dollar Tree!

 Spouse and I also carved the pumpkins we picked out and put them out on Trick-or-Treat night. 

 His pumpkin had a really cute face with curved lines. Mr. Pumpkin obviously has his eye on that green striped one next to him!

 I opted for straight lines -- quick and easy...

  ...although when I finished carving it, I realized my pumpkin was looking at the sky! But he still looked cute when lit with a candle.

This year, I also got out this old seed picture which I brought home from my parents' house at the time of their estate sale. Believe it or not, my second grade class made it (along with a Pilgrim man) for Thanksgiving that year. After displaying it in our classroom, we drew names for who got to take them home, and I won the Pilgrim woman. My parents kept it for me ALL THOSE YEARS and now she has a place of honor for Thanksgiving!

 Of course, Lily had to thoroughly check out the Pilgrim seed woman. Inspection: Passed!



It's hard to believe, but -- ready or not! -- it will soon be time to take down the fall decor and put up Christmas decorations!

 jp








19 November 2017

Fall Pumpkin Picking

 
 I'm a little behind with this post, but the pictures are too pretty not to share!

For the past few years, I've been visiting a "pop-up" pumpkin shop. The pumpkins and gourds are actually grown on a farm near the town where I grew up, and I think they're the most beautiful -- and varied -- I've ever seen.

I especially love the white and light-colored pumpkins. So pretty!

  I also love the bumpy/ridged ones!

And the gourds with curved necks!

And the green ones! Some are "birdhouse gourds" and some look like apples.

 And of course, if you need a regular orange pumpkin, they have plenty to choose from!

Stems are really important to me, and most of their pumpkins have beautiful stems.
 

I mean LOOk at those twisty, long stems!

I really do love them all! If you're in central Iowa, I highly recommend Pumpkin World for all of your pumpkin needs!
jp