Thursday, April 29, 2010

CONGRATULATIONS SHELLY!

I just have to take the time tonite to give a huge congratulations to Shelly - my youngest daughter - who is doing so marvelously at goals she has set for herself! I admire Shelly so much; she's always been my 'go getter' - gets the job done whenever needed type person.

A special wedding coming up in August has challenged Shelly to do some wonderful personal evaluation and changing of the guard!

YOU GO GIRL!!!!!! CONGRATULATIONS!

I have 2 of the loveliest daughters that a mother could ever expect to raise in her lifetime! Becky spends her work days with handicapped children, loving every minute of it. When she comes home, she knows her 2 grandchildren will be knocking at her door and prepares herself for a nite of activities. Busy lady - to say the least! She's wonderful!!!

Hugs,
Mom

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

WHAT IS IT?



What is it? Found it in our woods today.........well, really I know what it is. But I thought I'd generate a bit of guessing by posting this wonderful photo of one of our spring harbengers.

Name it (right or wrong) and your name will be thrown into a random number generator on Saturday, National Scrapbooking Day, for a nice surprise from me!

To be truthful, I fell over our dog today and hurt my arm and there isn't much crafting going on here tonite. :( So had to do something fun for you!

Enjoy Spring - it's happening!




Monday, April 26, 2010

Coloring in Groups of 16!




A quiet Sunday evening - rented a movie thru PPV on Dish - watching 2012. So I dragged out my copic stash and 16 of the cutest cat/mouse images piffed to me by my friend Barb in Florida and began coloring. In no time, my assembly line was complete and I had to put aside the completion work til today. But being Monday, laundry and house cleaning and garden weeding got in the way, as well as hauling wood for my hubbie's brother who was in a logging accident. To get to my hubbie's brother's house we decided to bike the entire 6 1/3 miles (one way). I also walked my usual 3 miles this morning, so after biking over 12 miles this afternoon, tonite I indeed feel like making cards instead! So tonite I'm finally completing my cards.

It's really fun doing things assembly line style - I get along better at that than just doing one card at a time. Much too much work for my little brain! Who would've known?!

Enjoy April - it soon will be May!

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Happy Anything Day!


Are you a cardmaker? I love to make cards - I refuse to buy one of those overpriced pieces of non-thinking cardboard. My friend Barb in Florida sent me a whole bunch of bumbled bunny images and I chose to color them all with my copics and create a Happy Anything Day for that special moment I need that perfect card! In fact, I think I'll send a completed card back to Barb now as a thank you! My friend Mary in Minnesota sent me the Happy Anything Day inserts! They are so perfect and can be cut any size and mounted or just attached with a fancy clip! Thank you Mary and Barb for helping me create more of a card stash!

Friday, April 23, 2010

Building from Card Kits


Our wonderful group (Scrapbook Place) has a board called the Ruby Board and at the moment we are offering and snagging various card kits. I snagged the most wonderful birthday images and coordinating paper from my friend Pat and finished up the kit with 4 lovely birthday cards for upcoming events. What a fun way to get cards made up fast!

This bring me to within my goal of 52 cards for the year of 2010. Just K.I.S.S.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

K.I.S.S.



I do believe we all too often (in any craft or activity) tend to take life too seriously and rather than keeping it simple, we just plain make it tough for ourselves. Perhaps a leftover bit of pressure from childhood to always perform better or just the inner ego telling us it's not good enough - try harder. In an effort to NOT try harder, I am keeping it simple in my cards.

My friend Michelle G. sent me a handmade card kit she put together with 4 different hedgies in it. I fell in love with this hedgie and drifted away from the paper she sent to me and added some of my own. This card will go to a queen of the month in our group.

Keep It Simple Scrapbooker!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

The Violet

I took a break from weeding today, grabbed the camera to document the various colors of violets we have here. There are ever so many more than these. Such a treat. Our many wrens started arriving today also - the music of their warbles is unbelievable. I did try to get a photo of one of them, but it will happen. I also witnessed a brown thrasher building her nest not too far from my garden. It was a good day.








THE VIOLET

Down in a green and shady bed,
A modest violet grew;
Its stalk was bent, it hung its head
As if to hide from view.
And yet it was a lovely flower,
Its colour bright and fair;
It might have graced a rosy bower,
Instead of hiding there.

Yet thus it was content to bloom,
In modest tints arrayed;
And there diffused a sweet perfume,
Within the silent shade.

Then let me to the valley go
This pretty flower to see;
That I may also learn to grow
In sweet humility.
...Jane Taylor

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

HAPPY BIRTHDAY DANTE!


One of our darling little grandson's has a birthday tomorrow, the 21st! So I had this gorgeous rubon I've been dying to use, and tried to turn what at first appeared to be girlish colors into a boyish card. Did I succeed? He'll love the bling anyway...along with the cash inside!

Monday, April 19, 2010

A WALK IN SPRING...

In 1915 or 1920, Robert Frost wrote a poem that has been my favorite ever since my lit instructor presented it to me. At the end of this post, you will find the entire contents of THE ROAD NOT TAKEN, but basically it says - of 2 roads given me the choice, I will always take the one less travelled in my life. Please take time to read the actual poem. So now, please come take a walk with me thru the edge of the woods and along our walking trail...
Last year I had a desperate search of nurseries for old fashioned perennials. One of the plants I sought was bee balm and managed to find a small pot at a nursery not too far away. So today I can feel very happy I purchased that small plant as the plant has tripled in size since its planting! My butterflies and hummers are going to be super happy this year. The walking onions are crowding a bit but a good thinning will help.
Further down the trail and intermixed with my hostas I have several iris beds. I found this lovely everlasting iris many years ago and have set it in several of the beds. It typically blooms in May and Sept - but alas someone did not tell it we're still in April.

And then as we walk along the path, here is a mere sampling of the hundreds of hostas I have growing everywhere. We have over 50 varieties - beyond that I quit counting - but the beauty of hostas year round is something special to a gardener.

Ferns have begun to grow along our walking path - deep in the dark of the woods with just a drip of occasional sunshine.

Mr. Jack (Jack-In-The-Pulpit) sticks his head above the garlic mustard towards the sun. Last year we counted over 50 jacks and we've planted even more seeds last fall, so hopefully we'll see hundreds throughout the woods this year.

The very first wild geranium is blooming today - very very early. But let it happen. Wild geraniums are truly the rose of the forest.

And last but not least a thick carpet of May Apples now cover the floor. Have you ever tasted a May Apple?

THE ROAD NOT TAKEN
Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth.

Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same.

And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I--
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.
...Robert Frost 1915

Sunday, April 18, 2010

LIFE GONE TO THE BIRDS



Some people say their lives have gone elsewhere, but in our retirement we have continued our efforts in preserving the 5 acres we own as a bird sanctuary. The wonderful songs and flashes of color we receive back from them each day all year long and all seasons make it all worthwhile. To spot a bird we have never seen here or to see one return year after year is just a treasure to us each day.

In years past we have seen some severe winters and resultant deep snowfalls. With those snowfalls we increased our feeder capacities to help maintain the winter birds that were here. One particular year the chickadees were so hungry they would lite on our hands, on my camera, in the feed bucket, wherever they could even before we paused at the feeders.

This year, in the photo above, we have a pair of returning chickadees that had to abandon their nesting area from last year due to rotting bark on the old limb. They chose a stump this time about 4 feet high and if you look carefully you can see either the male or female watching guard and then going into the nest. I paused and took many photos so I'm certain they are both male and female and that they are feeding - which means we have a new batch of babes in our woods.

In the 3rd photo my daughter had given us a couple gourds she raised, and we have a pair of chickadees nesting in this one, altho they were too quick for my camera lens this time. But I'll get a photo yet and at the same time I'll get a photo of that Rusty Towhee that teases me with his songs.

That's what life is all about - going to the birds!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

METEOR OVERHEAD

Last evening approx. 10:10 here in southwestern Wisconsin, we suddenly saw the front lawn, shop, living room and everything around the area light up as if it were the strongest lightning bolt we ever would see. Within minutes bulletins came across our tv stations about others seeing this phenomenon.

We immediately went outside but couldn't see it any longer - however, we did experience a lot of rumbling in the distance. Others reported the earth shaking.

While it's still being confirmed, it appeared to be a large meteor breaking up very close to the Portage WI area which is a couple hours from us. The alleged meteor apparently was seen by onlookers from Ohio to Iowa.

More to read here: http://tinyurl.com/y44qax2

UPDATE: A Dodgeville resident about 35 miles from us found a piece of this 'meteor' on his house roof. He loaned it to the UW for confirmation. It's been determined it truly was a meteor entering the atmosphere from the meteorite shower happening that evening.

HUMMING ONWARD!




Last evening a dear friend of ours in Missouri told us his first scout came to the feeders. By scout I mean hummingbird scout! It won't be long and he'll have hundreds at his feeders everyday. They feed two 72 oz. feeders a day at the peak of the season for those gorgeous little hummers. But they are so rewarding! We usually only get a couple pair here in Wisconsin, but here are some awesome pictures of what happens when they do arrive! The first photo turned out beautiful - the hummer looks so stoic. He's real for sure! That's my hubby up close and personal with them in the 2nd photo...note the hummer on the left side of the feeder. And yes, that's an oriole feeder - it seems these particular hummers didn't care if it was red or orange!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

SHOES, SHOPPING & QUEEN OF THE MONTH


One must be a queen of our scrapbook group at least once during their membership.....just to experience the wonderful comraderie, the extra images that magically appear on your doorstep each day, all the lovely raks and kudos - every girl must be a queen - any age! Our Queens this month are Lelia and Evelyn and the above card is being sent out tomorrow! The background paper is simply woven pattern paper and stitched on my sewing machine. The images are colored with copics, then matted and popped from the background. The crown is cut on a cricut and then glittered~! Add an embellishment and wallah! Hope you enjoy!

This card actually brings me within 62 cards of my goal of 365 for the year! Woo hoo!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Cards for the Troops


I have been amiss from blogging because of the heavy lawn and garden work right now. I also became the recipient of 2 free Larson storm doors which we needed to add to our home today. So as well as incorporating the completion of 130 cards for our Troop Shipment from Scrapbook Place members, I am very happy I finally am shipping out tomorrow. I needed to ask for hubbie's help in making envelopes! But we are done; we are happy; and hope the troops find all of the cards useful!


Meanwhile, Raggs says "Ahhhhhhhh it's spring!"

Friday, April 9, 2010

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TILDA


We are having a card swap on Scrapbook Place and this card is going to Pat. I colored it with Copics. The candied frame image is probably Hero Arts retired altho I no longer have the proof. I've converted it to cling type. The frame is lots of different candies probably from back in the 60s and 70s as I remember a lot of those! That's Tilda sitting in there with the appropriate tag for this card. Everything is triple mounted and then double pop dotted for depth. Hope you like the card.

On another note, I had the pleasure of holding a juvenile male Hairy Woodpecker this afternoon. Poor sweetie had taken a dive bomb into our picture windows when he was frightened off the suet as someone emerged from the shop. I routinely feed the suet this time of year just for the juveniles. They love it. So I quickly picked him up and oriented him. He was fine. It did take a bit of time to want to leave my fingers tho - kept his feet tightly clenched around. But when I showed him a pan of sunflower seeds, he was all for moving on. What a treasure tho.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

SNOW?


We awoke this morning to radio reports of as much as 2 to 6 inches of 'fluffy' on lawns within 50 miles of us. Looking outside, I felt relieved to see just the beautiful green grass, albeit 31 degrees tho! But the weather warmed, the sun shone thru and we put our seedlings in the cold frame. A quick peak at the rhubarb and we were ecstatic to see our rhubarb reappear for another wonderful summer of pies and cakes!

My grape hyacinths are blooming, as also the beautiful tender violets under the honeylocust. The tulips are almost ready to burst with beauty - just another day or so is all they ask! They have not been snowed on this year yet! WOO HOO!

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

MORE Dad's Day Cards

More troops' cards ....... today I took woven paper backgrounds made from my stash and incorporated them into many card fronts. Then I found an example in a magazine with a tag and an initial and went from there. The paper used here is Bazzill and Close To My Heart. I enjoy stitching on all my cards and it really helped with the edges of the woven paper. One usually needs to reglue or in this case stitching made it ultra easy. Hope you like - and hope you will think about making a few cards for the troops. Just contact me for instructions.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

OUR TROOPS LOVE CARDS

Our group Scrapbook Place is dedicated to sending cards to our troops - although we yearn for the day everyone is home again, we know we need to continue our efforts to them. From the emails we get in return, they really REALLY love receiving cards to use to remember those back home and assure them they are all right. If you have time, why not make some cards and get them to the troops. Email me for instructions if you wish.

Tonite I'm making 24 Dad's day cards - most will be a variety - here are two for a sample. It's a rich red and vibrant gold double matted on metallic cardstock - altho the scanner refused to show it.

And you need to know that it is really very easy and sure helps use up stash. Tomorrow I hope to complete 24 Graduation cards for them.

Monday, April 5, 2010

DRAGON WITH FORKED TONGUE!


Straight out of Hollywood? No........straight from Discovery's launch - a friend of mine sent photos he took this morning from lift off. What beautiful images!

He writes:
"Hi, Thought I'd share the incredible images of Discovery's launch and vapor trail as the Orbiter climbed into the morning sunlight over the horizon. The vapor trail formed into some very interesting shapes...a Dragon, Cupid's Heart, maybe even a Witch. The sound was especially loud this morning due to the still air, and we were even treated to the sonic boom as Discovery blew past the sound barrier.

Feel free to share the pics with anyone you like. I hope you enjoy them as much as I had experiencing the last night launch of the STS Program.

http://picasaweb.google.com/jchovernut/SpaceShuttleDiscoverySTS131?feat=directlink

http://www.youtube.com/user/jchovernut#p/a/u/0/RgoxCEgeWE4

Cheers, John

Sunday, April 4, 2010

HAPPY EASTER!


These are my great grandchildren along with their favorite Great Aunt - we all love them so much. They are really the soul of Easter - children of God embedded in their faith. And those are probably Jelly Bellys embedded in the cheek of my great grandson!


At our Easter gathering, the kiddos and their very favorite grandmother handed out a beautiful plaque "HE IS RISEN"......what a treasure! Happy Easter loved ones!

"Christ is risen!"
"He is risen indeed!"

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Trying to catch up.....


I was hurrying about trying to clean the house and suddenly felt discouraged I couldn't spend more time in my craft room. Alas, maybe I just need a break......so why not read email! A wonderful friend had sent me just what I needed!

Hope you are having a lovely sunny Saturday!

Friday, April 2, 2010

GOOD FRIDAY

We returned from Good Friday services this afternoon and quickly noticed how much our Pussy Willow tree had decided to bloom in one short afternoon! This tree resides south of my kitchen window so I can watch the birds come and play continually. Hummingbirds and orioles will sit in it and remind me they are back and waiting for succulent nectar! This tree, now approximately 18 yo, originated as a branch in a lovely bouquet of flowers from my husband. The branch had rooted in the bouquet so I thought I'd plant it - and alas, we have a 20 foot tree!

"Into thine hands, O Lord, I commend my spirit." In manus tuas, Domine, commendo spiritum meum. Lk. 23

(one hymn very close to my heart:)
Jesus, Keep Me Near the Cross
Text: Fanny J. Crosby, 1820-1915
Music: William H. Doane, 1832-1915
Tune: NEAR THE CROSS, Meter: 76.76 with Refrain

1. Jesus, keep me near the cross;
there a precious fountain,
free to all, a healing stream,
flows from Calvary's mountain.
Refrain:
In the cross, in the cross,
be my glory ever,
till my raptured soul shall find
rest beyond the river.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

SPRING - April Fools'??

"The first day of spring is one thing, and the first spring day is another. The difference between them is sometimes as great as a month."
Henry Van Dyke (1852–1933)
Fisherman's Luck (1899)

Robin stalking worm in flower garden already!

We never know what the weather will be five minutes from now - but today was just a beautiful continuation of yesterday. We actually basked in 83.9 degrees of sunshine today.
My husband I hung all the Jenny Wren homes today - I do believe there were 13. It's always precarious finding just the perfect branch for the sweethearts but their melodic thank yous are the most perfect song all day long while they reside here.

My oldest daughter raises the neatest gourds and I use them for bird houses. We have many varieties, but here resides a photo of a smaller gourd perfect for a wren! The other style is the typical wren house we build here on the ranch.

I hope you are having a lovely spring day on this most solemn Holy Thursday.