Sunday, January 22, 2012

My 2012 Calendar...

 I finished my calendar. I am so happy with the way it turned out.

I had learned some things as I create the calendar  for Alison; I wish I could do a few of her months over.
I had wanted each month to feature a holiday of that month or something that was pertinent to her. I didn't always have just the right small stamp/ embellie to do that. I also ran out of time because I had to get it mailed to her before Christmas.  I never got to go back and put some bling in the corners and tuck in a little lace, etc..

7 Gypsies- Artist Printer's Tray.
The project used up lots of bits and pieces.
When I do this over for 2013, I think I will make it all one theme. Maybe all flowers or all cats. I'll do a mock up before I actually stamp. I treat each month like a little vignette. I want the calendar to tell a story.

I'm taking this to work tomorrow to let the staff see what I've been up to recently.

Then my next problem is to find a spot for my masterpiece here in the house. I'm excited.

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The Calendar Project for 2012....

When we were in Connecticut in the Fall of 2011, I found a cute project in one of the stores. It was a calendar that had been stamped with Karen Lockhart Stamps- the itty bitty ones. It was relatively simple looking and I really thought the calendar had potential.

I bought 3 of the trays, anticipating Christmas gifts. Ha, what was wrong with me?
Of course, I couldn't go with the simple, had to do lots of cutting, stamping, undoing, redoing. I only had time to finish one before the Holiday and that is the one pictured here.

This is the one I created for Alison. I tried to incorporate things that were personal to her: school, books, vacation (August has fake sand under her beach chair), cupcake for her birthday in October.

This turned into a labor of love and I hope when Alison looks at it she will know that I think of her every day.
The sun was coated with UTEE to make it dementional.

I am now working on the one for me.

Thanks for stopping by, I'll be glad to name products and stamps if anyone has a question.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Roses for our Anniversary...

December 21, the longest night of the year, is our Anniversary. Most times we treat ourselves out for dinner, sometimes we have bought each other cards & gifts; last year, we went on a cruise and said part of it was to celebrate.

This year, we hadn't planned much and then Gary surprised me with a dozen roses at work. They were exquisite. Soft pink color, with a pretty filler that had tiny pink flowers and branches that were from birch trees with little brown "catkins" hanging off the tips.

Everybody at work enjoyed my surprise and the fragrance- so welcome in the cold of December. I left one bloom and some greens at work so I could enjoy the beauty and took the rest home for the holidays.

Gary hit the mark this time. I enjoyed every bloom. I am so glad I took photos, they will tide me over until our outside roses start to bloom.
Thanks for stopping by.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Taking down the tree...

Our 2011 tree.
I hate this part of the Season that is now over.

I dread removing the ornaments, turning off and unwrapping the lights from the tree. I get positively melancholy while I pack the ornaments away; a few are from Gary's childhood trees and mine, one very homely homemade bird of felt is from our first tree together, 47 years ago. I talk to the ornaments, tell them I will miss them, that it will only be 11 months and we will visit again.
(Photo 1, probably the biggest around tree we've ever had. Had it up nearly 4 weeks, very few needles fell. However, when we took it out of the house, it was as if it had been freeze dried. Hunks of branch broke off and there was no weight to the tree. Dessicated, I guess is a good description.)
It's hard denuding this tree.This year, Chris put up the lights for me, Heather decorated the tree, I had run out of energy. She talked about some of the decorations as she placed them on the branches, "Oh, I remember this" or "How many years have you had this?" This was a special year tree.

( Photo 2, New this year- Left: build your own snowman ornament from Alison. Right: 2 glittery pine cones from Heather's family. Tradition, Heather and I exchange an ornament each year and Alison and I also do it. So a little piece of you is there on the tree to share the holiday.)

When Pete was here, he saw a decoration- a chimney shaped music box on a shelf. He picked it up and said that when the time came he would like it. The music box represented Christmas from his past. I told him I had almost discarded the chimney several times, it was dilapidated  and had seen better days (haven't we all I, think now). I am so glad I didn't throw it away. It would have been a memory lost for him.
( Photo 3, many of the things I put on my tree are from a wonderful craft fair that is held in Buffalo each year called Christmas in the Country. I've only been to it twice, but, it is huge and the years I went they had all these little soft body angels with bells and lace and cinnamon sticks for legs and ribbons. Just so me. I also have quite a few cardinals. Alison and I think that Mom comes to visit us as a cardinal  [she loved them] and Gary and I have always appreciated them.)
...Well, it's done... the tree has been carried to the burn pile in the yard. I'll rearrange the furniture and then  box up the decorations while we watch the Giant's game this afternoon. Tomorrow I'll do the house decorations and put everything in the spare bedroom awaiting the move to the attic.
(Photo 4, Fiona sitting on a beautiful wall hanging that Alison sent. Gary had just taken it out of the box. Alison bought this at the Gotta Kiss Cancer Goodbye Christmas Boutique that her good friend Pam had run this year. Fiona knew it wouldn't belong to us unless it had a little cat fur on it.)

It is a new year and I am over my sadness. January holds promise- and a good house cleaning and decluttering will help. Sun is pouring in the window and I think I will go enjoy it.

Thanks for visiting.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Home with a cold...

When you get to be my age, "12", little things like a cold can wipe you out. Last time it took me several weeks and 2 Dr. visits to get better. This time I am not letting the sneezes and snizzles get ahead of me.

So besides napping, what do I do when I am home with a cold? Assemble 2 storage cubes that I got at the holidays for under my craft table, look at email, pet cats, read my next mystery book, pet cats. Nothing too exciting, but I am enjoying every minute.

Been listening to Clapton all day, mostly his blues. Seeing him in concert is on my Bucket List. I almost saw him about 12 years ago, but, an emergency operation and hospital stay for me kept my husband and I from going. We were to double date with Alison and her husband. Sigh. To make it less painful for me, Alison sent me a bouquet with a note from "Eric" telling me how sorry he was that I was missing his concert. I still have the note on my bulletin board.

Took advantage of lots of sales for little craft things for me before the holidays when the online stores had enticing sales. Got more Copics before the price rise at the beginning of the year. Right after I ordered, I heard that there will be a new release in February. I love Copics. My favorite coloring medium. Just found a sturdy box to hold them and I may have grown out of it already. I do have a few duplicates in there so we'll see what I can fit in. Copics are sort of like M&Ms' for me. One leads to another....

Think I'll go create a baby card and then it will be time for dinner. Having chicken soup from the Chinese restaurant in town. They make excellent Won-ton soup. Really helps with my cold. Gary gets a night off from cooking.

Thanks for visiting.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Makeover Monday Challenge #9: Inspired by Heather Nichols. Hosted by Paper Crafters' Library.

I made this tonight for the above challenge. Must be getting my MOJO back. I actually needed a card for Alison, my sister, so this worked perfectly.

I'm still here...

Ok, I've been away a long time, even for a casual blogger.

Cards, those wonderful creations that look like they will take nothing flat to whip up and then consume weeks of my time, took over my life. Fall, Thanksgiving, Christmas and Thank You ones. Although I love what I made, once the card is designed, rote mechanics takes over and the project becomes a race against time and time always wins. Now I'm free.
My New Year's resolution is to put card making aside for a few months and concentrate on my first love, scrapbooking. So many ideas, so little time.
On another note, my niece, Bridget, is committing herself to taking a photo a day and journaling about it. I think this is a great idea. I'm committing myself to take more everyday photos.
Hope all of you had lovely and memorable Holidays and I am wishing us a splendoriferous 2012. I always like even years best.
I promise it won't take 3 months for me to write again.