Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Signs of Spring

Mr. Deere - Last Summer, At his 'finest'!
(I'm driving this baby into the ground)

We had a gorgeous day yesterday.. It actually got above 70 degrees! At one point in the day it was 74. But, alas, today it is 43 degrees... and rainy, and the wood stove is going (again)...

Yet.. I do know spring is knocking at our door... Here at the signs:
  • The red winged blackbirds are hanging out in the yard, stealing the little bird's food that I put into the feeders
  • The magpies are here, stealing dog and/or cat food!
  • Flies. When the sun came out yesterday so did a bazillion flies! Killed about 6 fat ones today.
  • The robins are back!
  • The worm castings are here and there in the yard
  • The grass is growing!!!
  • The grass is turning green!
  • The days are getting longer and longer and longer!!!! (I love my morning light)
  • There will be about 20 MENFOLK here Thursday night for an irrigation ditch meeting (spare me - that means mud or manure on my carpet, and talkers who won't take the hint that it is time to leave after the meeting is adjourned! Oh, and why do I feel the need to clean my house for this motley bunch???)..
And, the grand 'Signs of Spring' finale....

Mr. Deere is working again! Yippee! I am so excited, really and truly. On Sunday, my sweet husband fixed Mr. Deere... He gave him a tune-up, sharpened the blades and finally fixed the whole electrical problem that had me charging (and cursing) the battery each night last summer!!

So, the next clear day, guess who is mowing the lawn! Yep.. Your's truly! I'm sure there will be stories to be told... Especially since there is no sun in sight in the 10 day forecast, which means the grass is going to grow, and grow, and grow...

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Lovin' My Sunday! And Going Primitive!

Ahhh... still in my jammies...

Yesterday was the big community garage sale day in Haines, Oregon. Haines is the nearest town, 7 miles from Casa Sexton, aka Sexton Ranches. The town where my kids attend school, with a total school population of less than 80 K-6 kidlets. Can I tell you how much I love our little school house? Safe, nurturing, and sweet. That sums it up. Plus the fact that OUR kids have the best academic scores in the entire school district! Yep. Proud mama...

So, about two months ago, an old school bell was discovered on top of our historic school. One of the moms decided we needed to have a bake sale at the community garage sale, to raise money to get the bell off the roof, and have it properly displayed in front of the school. The big day arrived yesterday!

So, I was up at 4:30 am yesterday to make my goodies: Chocolate dipped strawberries and chocolate cupcakes. You would think I would have completed my 'baking' on Friday. But, Friday was my day to load up all our garage sale goodies from our home. Why? Because another ranch mom (my wonderful partner in crime and BFF!) decided we needed to have our own garage sale in town as well.. Good thinking.. bring our stuff to town.. But heck! What a chore! That 'going through the house' finding stuff, organizing stuff, boxing stuff, and getting into your car stuff' is work! (Note: The left overs are still in my car!)

So, after my last minute organizing, I left here at 6:15 am.

Got to 'town'. We were in the park.

It was 18 degrees. Brr.. But, after last week's Boise market, I was so prepared for cold! Snow packs, once again.

Setup our area. Scraped frost/ice off the supplied tables.

At least we had sunshine! Yahoo!!!

Mr. Sexton and our darling daughter the face painter, brought their goodies about 10am. Oh, are you wondering about our darling son? Sick! Home with a stinking cold! Poor guy. Of course, the face painter abandoned her site to play with her friends, aka, the twins, which are my friends kids.

I sold lots of goodies... lots of scrapbook stuff that I have 'grown out of'. Along with the stray egg slicer, candles, books, etc.

Made $300! Just from my stuff. And it's burning a hole in my pocket.

On my shopping list: A new Janome sewing machine... my BFF is a quilter. She took me into our ever so gorgeous quilting shop in Baker City, OR. earlier this week (which I have been avoiding because I LOVE fabric!). Now, I am in love with two quilts! Both have a primitive look.. (I am toast - no doubt about it). One of the quilts has some funky roses, and the fabric is allowed to fray around the roses after it is washed. The other has crows in the corners, lots of vines around the border, and urns in the corners... and very itty bitty squares! This one will take me at least 10 years to finish!

The store also has lots of 'sew till you drop' nights. I'm saving those for the fall months!

Speaking of primitive designs, on my morning blog surfing, I saw a darling card! It was the icing on the cake that I have been wanting to 'eat' since Thanksgiving (in the form of Kim Hughes designs at Cornish Heritage Farms, and the primitives)...
Here, I'll share the card with you:

Super Cute Primitive CHF Card

After seeing that baby, I did some ranch related shopping ... You know, some sheep stuff, cooking stuff, and Fathers' Day related stuff...

Still have money for my new sewing machine!

But gonna need another sale to afford the fabrics!

Have a great Sunday...

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Got Chicks?

So, last time we chatted, I was going to do my experiment with the pups locked up, and the chickens out... Have I left you in suspense for too long??

I did let the chickens roam free for about an hour... the following are my reasons for chickening out on my original experiment (I was talking about leaving for about 5 hours!).

Within 15 minutes Patchie wound his chain around the swing set leg to the point of 'no neck' and I figured he would either 1.) break the leash and go on a chicken killing rampage or 2.) choke...

Then, the little puppies looked like prisoners in the kennel... and we all know prisoners like to break free...and become repeat offenders...

So, basically, I am a 'worse case' scenario worry wort.. I put the chickens back in their yard, and the puppies were set loose again. And I left for Boise, confident that no troubles would occur. And I was right!

Now, for our latest news..
Yesterday, I picked up our new chicks... All 21 of them! The kids are excited. The intent is for the kids to sell eggs at the Farmers Mark. Now, I know, and perhaps some of you know, that these babies aren't gonna be laying until August! So, a short egg season it shall be. Which means lots of chickens to 'over winter' until the big egg season of 2009. Oh well.

This week has also been my heavy lifting week, and I am now officially worn out and wanting a massage! Too many boxes of meat to move from here to there... I asked the processor to pack our boxes in 40 pounders so I can lift them.. but noooo, they gotta test me with 46 to 56 pounders. I don't think they understand that this is a one woman gig. And that after they are loaded in the back of my car, I have to unload them, and re arrange them, and take them to various other places as well. The boxes don't get handled just once. They get handled probably 4 or 5 times!

So, that's the latest. Other than the Big Garage Sale happening Saturday. I'll tell you about that later. I have lots of sorting, packing, and organizing to do!

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Conducting a Test - Chickens vs Puppies

OK.. So at chores time I locked up the puppies (the 3 youngest ones) with two of the female dogs in one of the kennels...

Then, I tied up Patchie.

Then, I let the chickens free! Free to roam the yard and peck for goodies... Poor things... they've been in their own yard for so darn long they have no grass... They needed some new space...

So... I am driving to Boise today... will be gone for six hours... When I return I hope everything is as I left it....

I'll check in later!

Sunday, April 20, 2008

JJ Grande Finale With Buttons!

Forgot buttons for one of the challenges... Made another modification (new trim)...
That is a wrap!

JJ Earth Day Challenges - Grand Finale!

I am calling it a night! It's way past my bedtime, and I am finding ways to cut corners, which is never a good thing!

So this last card is my Grand Finale... It encorporates several challenges:

1. A Brown Bag (Melissa's Challenge) - It's the Natural Foods bag top at the bottom of the card
2. An Egg Carton - The 'It's all about family' is cut from the inside of a Humane Harvest Egg carton
3. Green - My artichoke stamped flower heads, and the flower stems, and part of the bag
4. Something Plastic - Behind the egg carton piece is a little onion logo that I punched from the tag on our onion bag
5. Make Flowers - There's my Artichoke Flowers!

Time for bed!!!
Happy Earth Day...

JJ Challenge - Organic Stamping!

I actually 'prepared' for this challenge two days ago! I had read about the Organic challenge on Mandy's Blog earlier, so when we had artichokes for dinner Thursday night, I saved one of the stems for my stamp. I always love checking out the cross section of vegies when I cut them and 'think' of ways to use them in a photo or craft project!

So, it wasn't until after tonight's dinner that I got cracking on my card!

Glimmer Mist
Alcohol Inks
Artichoke Stem stamped in Stazon
SU Marker (Always Artichoke!)
SU sentiment
Ribbon/trim from my stash...


JJ Challenge - Wrap it Up!

This challenge is being hosted by Emily, aka waterpixie... We are to reuse wrapping paper on a scraps on a card. My papers are scraps from my Christmas. I had purchased this fun Stamping Up wrapping paper and had a blast with it! So, here it is, two different patterns...

Wrapping Paper: Stamping Up
Ribbon: Stamping Up
Stamps: Just Johanna (Al); Stamping Up(dots, sentiment)
Ink: Stazon & SU craft white

JJ Challenge - The Power of the Wind

Godelieve is hosting The Power of Sun, Wind & Water for the Just Johanna Earth Day challenges.

Here is my entry. My attempt is to show wind clouds powering a kite.. An Earth Kite.

Stamps: Just Johanna Al on Earth (Al is down in the corner); SU Cloud
White Embossing Powder, Versamark, SU Bordering Blue ink. Ribbon. SU card stock.
Bazzil textured Card stock. Smooth Card Stock by SU.

The clouds were stamped with Versmark onto the smooth card stock. Then white embossing powder was heat embossed. Then rubbed the blue ink over page, and wiped off clouds to show white!

I do believe I am 'finished' for the day... Time to make dinner!

JJ Challenge - Kid Art Recycled!

Special Background Paper Made by Jake - Just for Me!

Jake created this design for me around Christmas. It's his own background paper.

Card Using Jake's Background Art
I scanned Jake's Art into my computer 'ages' ago for future projects. So, today, I printed his art out on 4x6 photo paper. Then, created the above card.

Supplies Used:
Jake's Background Paper
Patterned Paper from one of the Self-Addressed kits
Rubbon letters from doodlebug designs
'Green' cut out from TAZO Green Tea box
Stamps: Just Johanna Al on Earth stamp & SU stamp.
SU ribbon.

Kerry, of The Stamping Bug is hosting a challenge to recycle some of your kid Art! She must have my number... I have a special area where I put all the kids creations, for a major project later in life! I love kid art... I have saved stuff from each year of their sweet young lives.

Jake made me some very special paper just for my crafting pleasure and I used it for this challenge!


JJ Challenge - Recycled Stuff - Shop Girl's Challenge

Shop Girl has posted a couple of JJ challenges on her blog. Her first one was to use something from nature, so I doubled up on my feather card... Her second, is to recycle something that you would have thrown in the trash.

I rescued the TAZO Green Tea box. It has a cute little frame, and I cut it out to frame Al!

Supplies Used:
Stamps: JJ: Flying Al on Earth, Thorny Heart; Paper Arsty sentiment (I cut words to use); Purple Onion Designs frame.
Inks: SU Craft White; Stazon Timber Brown; Versamark.
Fiber: SU.
Cardstock: SU.

Thanks for looking (again!)..

JJ Challenge - Photo Scene

Here were the guidelines for this challenge:

For Paper Squares challenge you will need a photograph of nature - flowers, trees, anything you wish. Use stamps to create a scene on that photograph. Add stamped birds to the sky, add a butterfly around some flowers, maybe some owls having a picnic underneath a tree...

I started with a scene of our backyard in winter.. Then added Al on to the top of one of my overturned planters... Then thought, hey, we need someone sitting in the bench... Things went downhill from there.... I'm guessing I was supposed to keep the scene 'natural'...

Let's just say, a gal needs some cold air every now and then, especially on a HOT FLASH day! Save me from this para-menopausal stuff, will you?

Come to think of it, it is Natural! No Hormone Therapy here!

Stamps: Bella Image; Michael's 'You go Girl'; Just Johanna Al (from Al on Earth).
Photograph: Of our backyard - first snow!
Button & fiber: SU
Around the Block pink tape thingamagig... (If you know what this tool is - tell me!)

JJ Earth Day Challenges - Catherine's Embrace Nature

For Catherine's Embrace Nature challenge (over at the Just Johanna Forum - see previous post) we are to use something from nature on our card.

I am using a feather that my sweet little boy Jake found for me. I think it belongs to a Flicker (woodpecker).. Every now and then the woodpeckers bang on our house... Or tap. Our home is covered in wood!

My kids both love to collect goodies for me. I have a special plate in the kitchen window for all my special nature treasures. They know their mama is an Earth girl....

Supplies Used:
Paper Artsy Stamps (Tree, and Nature's Spirit Sentiment)
Just Johanna Limited Edition Al on Earth Stamp (Won last year!)
SU card stock
Provo Craft patterned paper

JJ Earth Day Challenges - Philippa's Eat Fresh

I am playing at the Just Johanna Earth Day Challenges... To celebrate Earth Day, all of the designers are posting various 'earth related' challenges on their blogs, and at the Just Johanna Earth Day Forum.

This card is for Philippa's Eat Fresh Challenge.. I actually 'used up' two images I rec'd from a pea friend Susan! I've had these for about a year and finally found the perfect project for them! Yeah!

Supplies: Images (rak'd); SU Really Rust ink & card stock; Bazzil cardstock; Copic Markers; SU brads, and SU twill tape...

Off to do more challenges!

Friday, April 18, 2008

Beep Beep! We're the Sheep!

And REAL Sheep with Jessie
(Grass is just starting to grow - we have had a LONG winter!)

So... I've been invited to a double baby shower.. Not a baby shower for one mama expecting twins, but a shower for two mamas both expecting one baby one week apart from each other. These gals are moms from our school PTCO group.. Now, the gal in charge requested we each do a quilt square, one per mom, of something that is somewhat about our lives... So, I chose sheep. Unfortunately, my sewing machine is kapoot so I only got one square hand blanket stitched in time for the April 15th deadline... The party is May 10th... The gal in charge is going to put all our squares together so each mom has a quilt. Rumor has it there are about 40 of us! That's quite a huge quilt for a baby!

Whatcha think of my sheep squares? This is my idea of quilting..simple. I'm more the appliqué type of girl. Just 2 squares.. That's my limit. Sami on the other hand had to get in on the action...(so I got to assist - iron her goodies, etc.). She has about 4 squares done... She just cracks me up. That girl is an inspiration to her old momma...

The other day, driving home from the school, the kids and I stopped to take photos of some of our sheep and Jessie and Betty the goat. Unfortunately, you can't see Betty.. She's a sly gal. The funny thing was she was butting sheep, and playing in the ditch... Wish you could see her!

Isn't Jessie just a sweet faced doggie? Rumor has it he was 'busted' playing with a coyote.. Keep in mind, he's supposed to be a guard dog, protecting sheep from coyotes, as in chasing them, fighting with them and getting them out of here.. Not frolicking with them! This report came from our hired hand... one guard dog and one coyote... playing together..

Well, perhaps his approach is 'get them with honey'. I knew he had a good heart!

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Uh, What Do You Mean the Mouse is Gone???

OK.. remember the other day I came home to a new house guest... as in a mouse in the house?

The mouse was a field mouse, caught outside and brought into the house.... go figure...

NOT my idea of the perfect guest... I have had cats brought into the house deliberately to catch such beasts!

So, this morning, before my adventure to Pendleton, I decided to take a peak at Despereaux...

Well, well, well....

There he was, hanging by his front paws with his twitchy nose sticking out of the container, just moments from his big escape.... I am so darn certain of it.

So, I enabled him to the great outdoors...

Free! He's free! Back to the big world of fresh air and wide open spaces and snacks at his whisker tips (and cats, and dogs)...

Unfortunately, my daughter is not on the same page as me on this one... She doesn't believe he was on his way to his big escape. And, she does not agree that she and her brother were neglecting him - as I pointed out (as in, 'you can't just stick him in a box and not feed him! He'll starve to death!)...

So right now I am not the Favorite Best Mom on the planet...

I am the Mean Nasty Mom... This is a fact. I saw my daughter writing in her diary, which is for very big emotional occasions...

Hey, I freed the poor little guy! I think I should be a hero!


Just another day in mommy's hood.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Bo Bunny Travel Book - Part II

More Photos from The Travel Book
(see previous post for more info!)

Altered Bo Bunny Travel Board Book - Part 1

Note: Click on each photo for a large version!!!

Here is one of the projects I made on my Scrap Retreat!

While I was running errands the day before my big escape, the owner of the main store that I shop for my scrappy supplies (and copy, and fax, etc.) said she had a proposition for me... She showed me a selection of the Bo Bunny Board Books and said 'If I gave you all the supplies would you make one of these for the store for display?' I got to pick out all the papers and embellishments I wanted to use, plus I get to keep the project after it is displayed, and I 'got' an additional store credit to shop in the future. Now, keep in mind I live in a rural area. By no means am I a 'stand out' artist in the hood. I am just a frequent customer!

I took her up on it. One of my projects was to get our Seattle Trip photos done, so I picked out the 'Travel' Book.. It is packaged as bare naked brown chipboard, just the letters.

This took me about 12 hours to make.. I mod podged the papers to the chipboard, then sanded the edges. Most of the pp and embellies are from the K & Co's Ancestry Line (which I love - and I already have a huge stash for my Walsh Family Album!). Buttons are Basic Grey; ribbon from SU. I also used the SU scallop flower punch. Sorry about the camera flash...

I can only load 5 photos at a time, so this project will be in 2 parts.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

I'm Back - And the Bad News Report!

Hmm.. Notice a little something here? We have two burn barrels - one that is retired and waiting to go to the dump and the other, behind the first, which is used for burning. It's meant for burning things INSIDE the barrel, not outside, as in NOT the lawn.

So, after a couple days of pure scrap booking Nirvana (aka, nonstop nose to the grindstone scrap booking!) along with daily doses of Java (which I only drink when I travel - wink!) I arrived home to quite the drama scene...

Here's how it all played out.

  1. The girl's 'van' pulls up to the house to deliver me safe and sound to my family.
  2. Darling Son is right there.. He pulled a stealth attack. As in he snuck up right behind me and surprised me with a big cheesy grin followed by a big cheesy hug.
  3. Darling Son has an interesting look on his face. Soon Darling Daughter is at his side.
  4. They both offer to bring in my 1,000 pound luggage pieces (actually 5 lbs for my clothing bag, 500 each for 2 scrap book bags).
  5. I get suspicious. Think to myself 'OH, they love me and missed me so!', but then my mommy instincts kick in and whisper 'something happened while you were gone'.
  6. Then, they announce their news... "We have some bad news and some good news"
  7. First the 'so called' good news: "We have a knight!". Translation: They caught a field mouse and it is now residing in my lovely house.. ACK. Their father allowed this. Oh.. the mouse is a Knight because we read Despereaux together... A cute book... So the mouse is now called Despereaux.
  8. Now for the bad news: "We had a fire."
I'm sorry, did you say fire???

OK.. So let's discuss #8 shall we? The actual details are that my ever so handsome and sometimes not very 'on the ball' husband (translation: clueless!) let our son play with matches without adult supervision (this usually occurs when he doesn't listen to his father instincts - and trust me, father instincts are a whole different dimension than mommy instincts - I could write a book just on my own experiences. The main gist is that fathers believe that if at the end of the day, if the kids are still alive, then everything is just fine! No grey areas).

Well, maybe 'playing with matches' is a stretch. He actually let Jake go out and burn the paper trash on his own.. without checking to see if everything was up to code... so the result my friends, is the beautiful torched area you see in the photos above... My BOYS are so darn lucky the fence didn't catch on fire (which goes around the entire yard and ties into fences along the property which borders 2 1/2 miles of the highway!), or that the buildings didn't catch fire, or that we still have a home, livestock, a ranch and friendly neighbors! Gads... Men folk...

I researched the entire operation.. turns out the top of the trash was 'above' the burn barrel, as in gee, it falls out when it burns. Men. Sigh. See? No supervision. If my husband had looked at the trash first, then given the AOK then perhaps this would not have happened... Or say, if he would have just watched my son light the fire, then say, stayed outside to keep an eye on the burning of my yard, then perhaps the patch would only be say, 1 foot square, rather than 1/4 of an acre...

So. I'm not sure what is worse. Having a wild mouse living in the house, a torched yard, or the third offense... that the kids never bathed while I was gone! Disgusting!!!!

Things definitely are run differently when I am not here to keep on eye on everyone.

But heck.. I was scrap booking! What do I care!

I'll share photos of my latest creations later...

Thursday, April 10, 2008

She's Outa Here!

Just a quick note.. I am going out of town until Saturday evening... on a scrap booking getaway.. yes, a fun tryst at a beautiful resort near Joseph, Oregon.. as in Wallowa Lake.. where winter is worse there than here! Dang...

I'm supposed to leave at 12:30pm, and right now it's close to 9 am...

I am no where ready... here's the naked truth:

  1. I am not packed! Clothes or scrap goodies. I could easily spend the next three hours getting my scrap act together. HA
  2. I have no idea what projects I am going to work on - a vague one.. a Walsh Girls 'when we were young' album, but none of my sisters sent me any of their favorite photos! Curses!
  3. I am missing the kid's Art Show & Auction tonight, but 'get to' drop off an auction item (scrapbook basket, of course!), and appetizer before I leave. Me and my big mouth..
  4. I am now printing tons of photos (2 inches, just for 'what goes here) for #2
  5. Supposed to get to town and take care of a few things.. NOT likely to happen.
  6. Need to mail off Cards for Heroes!
Gads I am stressed... Drives me crazy! One would think that it would be easier to stay home and scrap, but to be honest, I would only get 1 hour a day in due to all 'that other stuff', like, cooking and cleaning and being available for everyone's whims...chores, and work! So out of here I will try to get.. wish I could just pack up my craft room, it would be so much easier than picking and choosing papers, stamps, inks, tools, glues, photos.
I know it will be 'just fine' when we get on the road.
Oh well.
Catch you all later!

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Welcome Spring! (yeah right!)

I'm still complaining over here...

We got 2 inches of snow last night.. It was a beautiful storm, I must say.. Big ol' fat flakes.. My husband was in Hermiston and had to drive over two passes with a trailer full of cattle... GADS.

But he got home safe and sound. Thank goodness for answered prayers.

A neighbor who has lived here all her life called... I thought she was calling to give sympathy to the poor Californians... and give a tease or two (we are the Californians, who have been here 9 years).. BUT she was complaining too! She called to see what was on our Christmas List, since Spring/Summer/Fall have decided to leave... We had a good laugh.. Unreal. Even the natives have had enough...

The sun is out now, and it's 26 degrees.. The 10 day forecast shows higher temps in our future.

Fingers crossed!

Jake's Great Day


In pure 'Mommy of the Year' fashion I neglected Jake's toothache. It's been going on for about 4 weeks now... On and off..it seemed to rear it's ugly head in Seattle, then go away..
Cold things hurt him, so, I suggested a straw... let's see what happens... I forgot about it.

Until yesterday morning.. He had tears in his eyes when I went to wake him.. He didn't sleep well. His tooth hurt..

So, I sent him to school with the promise to call the Dentist.

Dentist's office said, 'we can see him on April 17th'. I did explain this was a boy with a bad toothache. We had to wait for a cancellation.. They happen apparently. Got a call at 12:30pm that they had an opening at 2pm... quick action time..

So off to the school to pull both kids out. Off to the Dentist. Couple of X-rays later, a big ol cavity was rearing it's nasty head... Something about the pulp cavity, too. Then it was worked on and fixed! FAST action! All under 1 hour! Amazing..

Sami & I were in the room.. witnesses.. Thank goodness I had 2 scrappy mags to keep me from tossing my cookies.... poor little guy! (I had the dentist check out Sami's hanging teeth.. She refuses to pull them.. She has about three just waiting for a big wind gust to blow them out.. But, I'm getting sidetracked here..)

Back to Jake. HE was a sport! No complaints. He took everything well. GREAT patient! And he was so darn happy afterward... numb face and all.

No more toothache.

He told me so. 'Mom! My tooth doesn't hurt!', in a happy boy voice.

He is a new man. Boy child. Boy.

My heart goes out to him..

Wish I did this sooner...

It only took 45 minutes.


Sunday, April 6, 2008

Gone To The Dogs... Meet Hunter, Flash & Poncho

Puppies? Where are you??? Oh ! There you are! Come on over here!
I went looking for these three and found them in the back field exploring.

Meeting the other dogs in the hood. Nose to nose. They stuck to me like glue.
As in, right at my feet, attached to me. Just in case those other dogs were mean.

Here we go! Three 'generations' of McNab dogs..
OK. I'm not going to explain in too much detail the breeding program over here at Casa Sexton. I try to keep my City Chick opinions out of it. We have three female dogs, who are all related, and three dad sized dogs, who are also related. Let's just say, the little guy on the left, is actually the uncle to the guy in the middle (Patchie) and brother to the guy on the right (Lefty)!

Patchie was born in November, and the three little guys were born in January. They moved to outdoor digs just recently, and these photos are from their first day of 'getting to know the hood'.

So far they have managed to:
  1. Claim the Deck as their new digs. Instead of the nice area picked out my Sami, and setup with a kennel and dog bowls.They kicked the three cats out (it was the cat territory!).
  2. Bark at Lefty each time he comes slinking around the corner and curse him loudly. Lefty stole one of their tasty dog bones yesterday. He is now on their list of 'neighbors' to harass.
  3. Explore my flower bed. Gonna need some heavy equipment to keep them out (aka fence)
  4. And, they are adding to my 'spring cleaning' list... in various quantities.
So there you have it! It's 45 degrees, and slightly raining and snowing...

Saturday, April 5, 2008

HELLO!! Spring? Where Art Thou?

Spring my big foot! There is frost on the deck, a light dusting of more snow, and it is 25 degrees here! I'm getting concerned about this funky weather pattern... It's April 5th!

Come on Spring... I promise to be a good girl... here are my promises to you this garden year (if you show up, that is):
  1. I promise to mow my lawn before it's a foot tall
  2. I promise to water the grass and not let it get too stressed
  3. I will lovingly tend to all potted annuals, instead of letting them die a slow horrid death
  4. I will trim all the nasty grass/weeds that grow along the fence lines instead of allowing them to get 2 feet tall (note: this is a big promise...)
  5. I promise to rake and/or pickup the million and one pine cones BEFORE I break out Mr. Deere, instead of my 'usual' pretending I don't see them and thus, mowing over them and praying they don't break a window or knock out one of my kids after I send them flying from under the mower deck...
  6. I promise not to hit the fences with the front or rear of Mr. Deere, or the dog houses, or flower beds, or the trampoline, or the swing set, or the all the other bazillion objects that ARE IN MY WAY! Including the tree trunks... (hmm, must be why most of them lean - but I will blame it on the North prevailing winds)..
OK.. I think that's a very good list of promises... So come on Spring.. Lift this cloud cover and snow fluries... Bring on the sunshine.. Spread some love here for crying out loud!

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Playing With Copics - With Bellas for CFH

See My New Pens? These are 'The Bomb' for Coloring Images
These babies arrived in yesterday's/last night's mail.. After getting 'our' homework and chores done, Sami & I played while dinner was cooking. We got in a good hour! Let me tell you, Sami was just as excited as I was. She and I both got to play with Sandy's Copic pens and WE were hooked! What you see in this photo are some sparkley Spica pens, and a custom set of various Copic Sketch markers. After our playtime Sami let me know which colors we are lacking.. I am keeping a list... She's my color consultant, and at times, image consultant!

First Sample: Bella Girls!
So, last night I colored a couple images. I'm not the world's best coloring champ, but I will share my favorite Kindergarten technique.. remember when we were little color crayon artists and we outlined our coloring book pictures with our crayons - with a heavy hand, and then filled in the colors with a lighter touch? This technique still works - just a bit tweaked.. as in outline the image with one color, fill with another.. I'm not a big blender chick yet, but will work toward that as I get more into the whole image coloring thang... (An image being the picture you get when you stamp onto paper).
I used my new Copics to color in the Bella image. This card will go with my Cards for Heros for the teenage girl's set..
Supply Credits: The patterned paper & card stock are from SU; ribbon is Maya Road; bling is Hero Arts; flower chipboard from Cherry Art; and Girlfriends stamp from Michaels.

Sample #2: PJ Bella
Another sample using my new copics!

Supply Credits: Friend stamp from Michaels; all other products mentioned above.

So, that was my big share for today! It's my lunch hour, and I better get back to 'real work', as in the following:
  1. Finish loading the recycling into the back of my car (I spent an hour in the garage breaking down boxes) - note to self: Don't work in the garage when you have on your favorite clean jeans! Dang.
  2. Drive to town to do the recycling - which includes tons of scrappy magazines! Sniff.
  3. Grocery shop - 2 stores - the 'regular' store and the food co-op
  4. Send off the cut & wrap instructions for 15 lambs
  5. Wash my filthy car (it's 31 degrees right now, car wash will be enclosed so no icicles form)
  6. Fill a meat order or 2... one for a store, the other a restaurant - which includes an order for 12 boneless leg of lamb roasts for a Titanic reenactment Dinner! Too darn cool. The dinner that is...
Have a great day! Fa la la la la