Sunday, June 29, 2014

Thank You...Freshly Made Sketches #142

Hello! I hope everyone had a most fabulous weekend, filled with summery fun.  Summer is taking a long, slow saunter to arrive here, with clouds and rain spits yesterday; clouds, gusty winds (seriously, enough. with. the. wind!), and rain today.  Complaining, however, should not be on my agenda, because last year we were in the midst of flood-devastation.  The forecast is for sunny and (I'll just whisper the next word) h.o.t. later in the week.  Fingers crossed!

Yesterday was a crafting day (husband out riding...neither rain, nor snow, nor sleet keeps my guy off his bike...well, blizzards, cold winds, torrential downpours the exceptions), but not a whole lot to show for it. I was 'practicing' stuff; some worked, a bunch did not.  Grrr...watercolouring. Grrr...splotchy sponging...

Today, we made a trip to the 'big city' where I had my 'fix' of shopping errands: a much needed top-up-the-basics at Costco (almonds, chocolate chips, blueberries, plus an assortment of other things...yummm), a stroll through Michaels (adhesive tape proud of myself!), a walk through a mall - in pursuit of a pair of black flats, which proved fruitless - and then home, in the pouring rain!  My husband travels to the city once or twice weekly, as part of his job, while I get there maybe once a month (or less, depending if we're off to see my family in the 'other' -  but 'better' big city *grin*).  The 'desire' to go usually winds up more fulfilling than the actual going. Traffic, crowds...eeek!! Then again, our small town  has quadrupled in size this weekend, with all the tourists coming for the Canada Day long weekend, so home or away, 'congestion' was a given!

Anyway, enough prattling!! My card this evening is for Freshly Made Sketches #142
and was especially inspired by Cindy L's card with the dragon fly.  I went simple: some patterned 12 x 12 paper with butterflies on one side, the swirls on the other; my pierced butterfly, inlaid (not sure if your can see the stitched outlines; and a thank you banner.  Construction time about 15minutes; figuring it out time 2 hours!! Yeesh....Oh well, the journey is just as, if not more, important than the destination...sometimes...

Thanks so much for dropping by; your visit and comments make my day!!

Friday, June 27, 2014

Warm Thoughts, Follow Your Heart...AAA Cards #8: Inspire, Addicted to Cas #41: Sun, Addicted to Stamps and More #101: Anything Goes, STAMPlorations Sketch Challenge #13, Simon Monday Challenge

Happy Friday; happy start to summer holidays!! *Fist pump* I still have some odds and sods to clean up next week, but my time isn't run by a clock. Whew...this has been quite a year.  Hopefully, my coherence will return...

I'm beginning with a disclaimer regarding my card  for this post, as well as the next two:  they are all the talented, super sweet Vicki's fault. All hers...totally and completely!  I'd just about reconciled myself to the reality that water-colouring and I were far from a perfect match, and that my distress markers and new inks (seriously...two sets of the mini cubes...what was I thinking!)  were destined to be stored away for indeterminate 'down the road' use.  Operative phrase: just about...until...

During a stroll through blogland, what should my wandering eye spy, but this stunning card

(of the many to be seen at her site - as I've been following her for a while), crafted by Vicki, at AAA Cards Game 8: Inspire.  Smitten...full on, full blown smitten. That pop of red...sighhhh.  I gazed and admired, but went away shaking my head, figuring it wasn't in my capability realm, because I thought the blue&green panel was water-coloured.  Several times, I came back, went away, came back and finally (d-uh) visited her site, to discover no watercolouring was involved! Sponging: that was her technique. Happy dancing step #1!   Happy dancing step #2: she used distress inks.  My new investments weren't heading to storage land quite so soon.

Still, like any one who is utterly clueless about an adventure to be embarked on, I conducted some research on 'best inks for sponging.' (I do stuff like that....). Research showed that water-based dye inks were #1, followed by distress inks.  Guess what my new SU inks are? Uh huh - water based!  And guess who also happened to buy one of those Tim Holtz round blending thingies? Uh huh...yours truly.  Of course, I wasn't about to make anything "big" given my novice-ness with all this, card again!

My card doesn't have a green/blue panel, but it does have a pop of red and a little trio of embellishments, and two colours that meld together, and it's cas.  Everything, aside from the sentiment, I sponged with three of my SU stamps.  My sponge-blending needs some work (I was a tad too heavy-handed...all the excitement of realizing I 'could' sponge, after all), but over all, I'm tickled pink with my little number.

Here it is: my inspired-by-Vicki case...

Sunset colours, warm thoughts: I think it 'fits' the theme at Addicted to CAS #41: Sun (if not, let me know)

I'm also heading to Addicted to Stamps and More #101: Anything Goes challenge.

Of course, one sponged card lead to another, this time using distress inks and my ever-so-amazing STAMPlorations stamps. We're heading to  STAMPlorations Sketch Challenge #14.

Hopefully, you can see the pink butterfly just above the sentiment.

I'm sharing this at Addicted to Stamps and More, as well Simon Says Monday: Anything Goes.

Vicki, thanks so much for the inspiration!  You've given me something new to explore;  my inks and TH blending tool thank you, too!!

Thanks so much for dropping by; your visit and comments make my day!

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Floral Border Heart...STAMPlorations June Challenge: Stamps and Borders, Clean and Simple #296, Just Us Girls #246: Colour Challenge

Ahhh...after another data-driven work day (I already miss having the students around; they're far more entertaining than plugging marks into spreadsheets), coming home to craft is perfect therapy.  My post will be cas, because, as I mentioned earlier, composing coherent thoughts is a short commodity around here.  Quizzical looks from my husband are becoming far more frequent than usual (it's usually the other way around *grin*).  That, my friends, also explains why I'm woefully - as in woe-ful-ly - behind in commenting! Gazing and admiring are happening...stay tuned for the comments soon!!

My card today was inspired by the STAMPlorations June Challenge: Stamps and Borders for my 'images' selection, , the Just Us Girls #246: Colour Challenge, obviously for colours

and the Clean and Simple #296 layout.

My 'border' is the scallop heart die (inlaid), and the stamps are from STAMPlorations. One of the floral grunge was the background for the heart layerss, and the sentiments come from Artful Flutters.  The *b* in  'believe' is a bit wonky, because I stamped it too close to the heart scallop...d-uh me!  Still, in real life, it's not really that noticeable.  It's all about the viewing angle (that's my story and I'm sticking with it).By the way, have I mentioned how much I love these stamps? 

Oh, the bit of green you see...the leaf from my plant is peeking coyly from the edge.  The card wasn't posing properly, so I propped it over the plant tendril.  Adapt and innovate...

Thanks so much for dropping by; your visit and comments make my day. And yes, I will be visiting all of you, my special people, SOON!!

You are Wonderful...Fusion (teaming up wiht CAS(E) this Sketch), NBUS Challenge #1: Celebration

Wednesday already, and I am so counting down the *hours* until I am done with entering data about student grades!  Staring non-stop at the computer screen is taking its toll on my eyeballs (and mind!) with this task.  Staring non-stop at the computer screen gazing and admiring the stunning, gorgeous, innovative and inspiring cards made by all of you amazing designers does NOT take a toll on either my mind or eyes, however *grin*.  Wide-eyed wonder, paired with 'pings' ignited  is much better for my well-being, indeed!

Before I head off to work, I have two cards to share. Recently, one of the most incredible Education Assistants I've ever had the honour of working with, announced her retirement.  While I'm over-joyed that she's decided to spend time doing 'as she pleases,' I'm sad, too.  Marion is a ray of sunshine at our school; she's gentle, soft-spoken, thoughtful and all-around compassionate.  She touches lives in the most positive of ways.  I will miss her warm  morning "Hello Carol" greetings; our conversations about her grand-daughter who she loves with all her heart; her attentive listening to my stories about Ms T and Mr. C.  As for the students she works with: oh my, they will feel her absence next year, as will the entire staff.  Marion has made her impression on all our hearts.  We love her.

Fusion, teaming up with CAS(E) this Sketch #81, provided precisely the inspiration I needed to create a card - or rather two - for Marion.

As I also used several new purchases on both cards, which include new butterfly dies (surprise!!), and new stencil, I'm heading to the fabulous Darnell's NBUS Challenge #1: Celebration

Card #1, heading to the Fusion/CAS(E) this Sketch duo, resembles this one from my Inkspirational Challenge post. (Whoa...I cased myself!!)  I used a script stamp for the background, striped stamp for the top tag, a new butterfly, and a sentiment "opening" from Neat and Tangled.  Inside, if I decide to give her this particular card,  my message will be: you are incredible.  The card, while pretty, does seem a smidge 'blah' - some black little sparkles would elevate its impact, however, having none in my stash of the proper size, it will have to go without.  Maybe, between now and Friday, I'll find something, though...

Card #2 (Fusion only) features my first 'public' showing of my stenciling attempts, along with two more new butterflies...

NOTE:  Honoured and delighted that Katie selected this card to receive a Fusion Honourable Mention! THANK YOU soooo much!!

Here they are, together.

I'm thinking I'll give her both cards; one for her, the other as a 'gift'.  I hope she likes them; I hope she knows the depth of how remarkable I think she is...

Off to work shortly the data is waiting my attention....

Thanks so much for dropping by; your visit and comments make my day!

Monday, June 23, 2014

Wavy Circle Anchor...The Card Concept: Nautical Theme

Monday morning came coming all too quickly, but I'm fine because this is the last 'official' week before "schooool's out for summer"!!  Students are still writing exams, and will be until Thursday; I still have a plethora of things to get done, but come Friday...woo hoooo!!  Then again, I am helping with the start up of summer school next week, so I should temper my happy dancing a little bit. Hmmm....maybe not, because the summer school gig is rather more free-flowing than my regular gig. Back to thunderously happy dancing..

We did go for a bike ride yesterday; the hills were 'okay'; I remembered how to ride (though I confess to walking some gravel parts).  Fun had!! I'm ready to go again...maybe Tuesday...

Anyway, before the challenge closes, I'm here to play with The Card Concept: Nautical Theme

The 'older brother' of the card I'm entering made its first appearance here, on the Inkspirational Challenges site, where blue with cream or white is the theme (please join us...I know you have that colour combination in your stashes, my friends).  I'm not sure why I didn't enter it when I initially posted; I suspect I was so caught up in making sure my 'other' card was done, that it just skipped my memory.  Oh well...

Here's the 'little' brother (it's 'sitting' somewhat askew for its photo, but opens 'straight'), sporting a clean and layered look.  Of course, when I ordered the anchor set (still a few dies yet to use...yayyy), it didn't dawn on me to order the accompanying sentiment set.  Guess I'll just have to shop again *grin*  I'm giving this one to a colleague, who's wrestling with some decisions. Inside, a simple "be strong' message.  Can I just say I'm tickled pink with the wavy circle die and the companion series of circles.  The stitching adds that little extra; makes me smile to use them.

NOTE: Incredibly honoured and delighted that Tracy selected my card as her Card Concept favourite. THANK YOU!!

Thanks so much for dropping by; your visit and comments make my day!

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Hello, Friend...ColourQ #246, Clean and Simple #295

Whoosh...I'm back!

Just over a week ago, I received my first ever Stampin' Up order...some inks, some cardstock...some happy!!  (Dough-head confession though: I had to watch a video to figure out how to open the ink pads. Pathetic me....then again the fact that such videos exist must mean I'm in good company!).

A few days later, some new speech bubble dies arrived.
New cardstock + new speech bubbles = a card for two challenges:

ColourQ #246


My new SU cardstock is really x really close to the ColourQ palette, so while I perhaps should have opened up the inks (now that I know how *grin*), and played with them, those speech bubbles were insistent for a debut...

I just heard the "Are you ready?" from my husband...guess I"m going for a bike ride after all.  Yikes - haven't been in my bike in ages...As long as we don't do hills, I might be okay. Might.

NOTE: Happy dancing with delight and honour for being selected as a ColourQ Courtier. THANK YOU!!

Thanks so much for dropping by; your visit and comments make my day!

Typewriters x 2...Addicted to Stamps and More #100:Photo Inspiration, CASology Week 100: Celebrate, Seize the Sketch #22

Happy Sunday!

I  had one of *those* days yesterday...sunny, blue sky, reasonably warm temperatures...a perfect day to spend outdoors.  But not for me; call me a wimp (yes, I wear that title well), but the wind was gusting and the fluffy air-borne things were everywhere!  I don't have seasonal allergies - as far as I know - however, of late, the dry air, the wind and the fluffers are a combination that set me to sniffles. Best prescription: I opened the patio doors for some fresh air, and crafted away.  I'm really not that outdoorsy, given a choice *grin* Of course, the lure of the sun and wind appealed to my husband's enthusiasm for heading out for a long - and I mean long - 182 km (113.2 mile) bike ride - which I had no hope in heck of tagging along with anyway. Win-win all around, although in the realm of exercise, well - epic fail for me!

The results though - a few cards, a few dabbles at stenciling and water-colouring (yeesh, practice needed), house-cleaning, laundry, a chat with the little ones (highlight!!)...a Saturday spent well.

This post, I have two type writer themed cards to share, because I finally got the matching die that accompanies my typewriter stamp. Yayyy!  The first is heading to Seize the Sketch #22, with the sweet layout by Lori T:

Fortunately, I remembered the typewriter paper from my Valentine collection. SCORE!

NOTE:  Honoured and delighted that Vicki selected my card as her choice for a Seize the Sketch Runner Up.  THANK YOU!!

My second card is a little number to celebrate the *100 Challenges* milestones at two fabulous sites:
CASology #100, where the cue word is 'Celebrate',

 and Addicted to Stamps and More #100, where Birthday #2 is also figures into the festivities.  A pretty rainbow photo is part of the inspiration invitation:

Despite my efforts, my water-colouring and stenciling did not achieve the results I was hoping (epic disasters round 2...), so I opted for the 'default mode' that works best for me: die cuts and stamping! 
Some rainbow coloured paper, another typewrite, and I even found a 'celebrate' stamp in my stash..

It's another sunny-ish, warm-ish day, and my husband is working on *my* bike...I think that's a hint...

Thanks so much for dropping by; your visit and comments make my day!!

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Thinking of You...Inspirational Challenge #59: Blue with White or Cream

Happy Saturday and especially Happy Summer Solstice!  How did it get to be the longest day/shortest night SO quickly??

Today, I'm delighted to share - and join in - with a colour challenge invitation at Inkspirational Challenge #59: Blue, with White or Cream

I admit that plenty of  hemming and hawing, puzzling and figuring, reckoning and pondering went on before I finally decided what to did a whole lot of cheering and applauding when some long awaited new goodies made a most timely appearance.

Before I share my card - well, actually two - I'll pour myself a cup of coffee and peanut-butter a slice of toast while you go for a stroll over at Inkspirational.  At your destination, you'll see a fabulous card (swoon-inducing for me) by our oh-so-talented, super sweet guest designer,

Laura, hostess of LE Designs

along with the rest of the team's amazing creations using this lovely colour combination:

(who is currently tanning and relaxing on the beaches of a 
well-deserved holiday in Cyprus.

I see you've returned, wearing mega-watt smiles at the delights and dazzles that awaited you.
Now, for my card. Before you go, though, here's a surprise: NO butterfly. I know...hard to believe, but a new winged bug has been welcomed to my flutter of butterflies (and it came with a flutter all of its own...more butterflies for me and, by extension, you!!  Hope you don't mind; they're unique and so pretty)...

Thinking of you...featuring my first time used Reverse Confetti Tag Me tags, along with my new background 'script' stamp and...the star of the show...

Dragonfly!!! It's hard to see the outline stitching - but it's there, as is some 
Wink of Stella glitter. Guess I'll have to use it again to show you more clearly...

Actually, this was my second card. The first - which I have still to send to my dad *hanging head* (I am the worst when it comes to mailing cards! I like 'personal delivery!!) - was this one.  Everything here is (ahem...) also new (shhh....I haven't shown my husband yet...)

Your turn!  Get your 'blues, creams, whites' out, create a card (or two) and join us at Inkspirational Challenges.  I'm excited to see the creativity and inspiration you'll share!

Thanks so much for dropping by; your visit and comments make my day!!

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Hello...The Cutting Edge Challenge, NBUS Challenge #1: Anything Goes Friendship Theme

Scooching in really quickly because, as usual, I'm 'this close' to a challenge closing...and THIS challenge is ultra special because it's a 'new kid on the block.'  Just yesterday - yes, yesterday!! - I discovered, wandering through the blogs of some of my favourite people - about The Cutting Edge Challenge, created by the most amazing and talented Jackie Rockwell (so awesome to see her back in the land o'challenges!!) and a DT of exponential talent.  I'll wait while you go check it out...

See, what did I tell you: inspiration galore, or what??

This first challenge invited us to case one of the cards from this scrumptious array of eye-candy

The stripes, sun, clouds and "hello' card on the lower right caught my eye, so I had to give those 'colours' a whirl with some of the new goodies that arrived earlier this week.  Let's just say that  my intention to 'not' shop until July went whooshing out the window...and that's okay (see, I have a 'justification' for everything) because finally I have stitched circle dies!!   A couple of them are making their debut here, and since they qualify as NBUS, I'm also heading to the 'celebrating 500 followers' (we know she has at least 500 x 500 followers, really!!)  challenge over at Darnell's blog

Darnell...happy sighhhhh.  The mere thought of her has planted a mega-watt smile on my face. Her posts, as many of us know, are highlights of our day. Need a good ab workout - just head over there, and you'll find yourself laughing to the point of conniptions.  Need your spirits boosted - just head over and she'll delight you with a heaping helping of 'sparkle'. Need some card inspiration - just head over, and you'll be dazzled, delighted and amazing by her creativity and talent.  Darnell's blog is a place you want to visit...often!!  Thank you, Darnell, for being so "Darn - ell-uminating" in every way!!! 

Here's my little number...

I just took a glance at the NBUS sitting in my crafting zone (aka kitchen counter), and if Darnell will have me, I'll be delighted to play again (and maybe again....)

Thanks so much for dropping by; your visit and comments make my day!!

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Enjoy the Ride...FUSION, Addicted to CAS: Challenge #40 - Transport, TIME OUT Challenge #7: Summer, Addicted to Stamps and More #99: CAS

Good Morning,

I'm still on a high from one of the most amazing weekends EVER!  Nearly two full days with my niece and nephew was nothing short of spectacular.  We went to the bike races, where my niece raced with gusto, coming in 8th in the under 5 category.  My nephew, who was all gung ho earlier in the day, entered into the "I should be napping" pouts just minutes before the race started.  No amount of encouraging would change his mind.  Maybe next year. After some strolling through candy stores and wandering about Banff, I headed off to my officiating duties. I performed my lap counting well, even though in the last race - which is the highest category of racers, and the ones who should have the most expertise -  I was 'nearly' taken out when they came far, far tooooo close to me in my little zone, clearly marked by pylons. My lap counter went flying! Not impressed even for a second but we managed to restore the situation, gathering my strewn number pages before they came around again. I should have added an extra 10 laps to the 50 they had to race for riding in such a sketchy fashion!  At that point, however, the rain had started to pour down, so finishing was the only thing on everyone's mind.

Back at our place, we spent the evening and all day Sunday playing, and simply spending time together. Memories to treasure!  Highlights galore - and I'll share some in the next short while.  For now, because I'm running close to challenges closing (gee, what a parachuting in last minute!!), and need to get to work early (supervising a Grade 12 Diploma exam - today and tomorrow morning, from 8 - 12), I'm sharing a card I created yesterday.

My colour and sketch inspiration come from FUSION: Home-made Flowers, Bright Colours and an Array of Possibilities,

The key image I chose fits into Addicted to CAS Challenge #40:  Transport,

Evidently, the bike races over the weekend had a direct influence on my card....

Thanks so much for dropping by; your visit and comments make my day!

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Thinking of You...Little Tangles Challenge #38, Keep it Simple #42: Splatters

This was my Saturday post that I didn't get a chance to load until this morning.  Oh well...sticking with it for today..

Good Morning and what an awesome morning it is. They arrived....THEY ARRIVVVED!! My niece and nephew (along with their daddy, my brother, and mommy, my awesome, amazing sister-in-law) are here. In. my. house!   i haven't had a chance to see them yet (taking every ounce of 'restraint' not to go wake them  up!), because they didn't get to our place until close to midnight. Because we had a 5:30am alarm set (my husband had to be at the bike races for 7:00am, so I needed to get up early to make him coffee...and no, that's not because I'm a 'good' wife...though I's just easier for me to do it, because my husband and early mornings don't mesh well.  I think he arrives on planet earth around 10:00am *grin*), we were pretty much sound asleep. Didn't hear much of anything and just as well we didn't get up, because I think the little ones were mighty tired after their long day at day care and late night drive.  I'm  hearing some movement from upstairs, so it won't be long before cuddles and hugs and giggles and frolicks begin...

Before all that unfolds, I'll share my card I made this morning (for some reason Mr. Mojo was awake!) for the current Little Tangles Challenge #38 inspiration photo challenge

Some Neat and Tangled Ink Splashes, and a border made with an On the Border set...and ta early morning 'done' card.  

Today, we're off to the bike races in Banff, where I'm hoping the little ones will race in the kids' event, schedule before the 'big guys' race.  After that, I become an official (along with my husband and a few others) for the afternoon/evening criterium race. Crit races are timed events, where the riders race laps around a circuit (about 3/4 of a mile, give or take).  My job: lap counter. Each time they come around, I'll flip the lap counter so they know how many more laps they have left.  When they're on the last lap, I ring a bell. Vigorously!  It's an important job, 

Friday, June 13, 2014

Blue Butterfly Birthday...STAMPlorations Bi-Weekly Sketch Challenge #13

Super fast post this evening...

My card today is for STAMPlorations Bi-Weekly Sketch Challenge #13

I had visions of other ideas fluttering about, but the hectic week has taken a toll on my time and creativity. The 'concept' I like but with more time, I'd have jazzed up the colours, changed the orientation, done some embossing... you know, a total makeover.  Oh well, sometimes that happens. Even so, a new stamp - the one used for the 'panel' made its debut, and as I'm making one card, ideas are pinging for others...

Lighting is *meh*...the rains are a-coming down and the clouds are hanging low.. Hope the skies clear before the two bike races scheduled for tomorrow...

Thanks so much for dropping by; your visit and comments make my day!

Happy Anniversary...Retrosketches #118, CASology #99: Anniversary, The Paper Players #199: Colour Challenge

Happy Friday...
It's pouring out; not particular cooperative weather for the bike race my husband will be officiating today.  Glad I'll be indoors, even if my work day will see me trapped sitting in a classroom, learning a new data system. After than, I'll be skipping my way home to clean and organize our wee home for our guests, who I super hope won't change plans given the weekend's rain forecast (understandable if it does).  They won't arrive until 9:00pm or maybe later, depending on traffic, but that's fine...all the more time to get even more excited!!

My early morning post will be quick for my card inspired by the layout at Retrosketches #118 (a second one...I know...)

and the colour combination at The Paper Players #199: Colour Challenge

My 'potty peeps' haven't been out to play in a long time, so here they are with a real read, night of navy, whisper white anniversary card....

Thanks so much for dropping by; your visit and comments make my day!!

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Flower Power Fabulous...Uniko Studio Challenge #10, Retrosketches #118

First:  this has been a crazy, hectic week - and I am light years behind in commenting!! Please bear with me, wonderful friends!  I will do my best to catch up asap!!

Speaking of hectic: I've just returned (9:00 pm - nearly my bedtime!)  from the first stage (prologue) of a four day bike racing event in Banff. For the past two hours I repeated "5 - 4- 3- 2- 1 GO" - at 30 second intervals - for about 240 riders.  It's amazing, actually, the amount of conversation that can be had between sending one rider off and the other settling into his/her position before the countdown begins. Let's just say I caught up on a whole bunch of "my" riders' lives in snapshot time frames.  I'm not part of tomorrow's race, as it's a work day for me, but my husband - Mr. Chief Commissaire - will be off bright and early to officiate a road race. As for me - a day of learning a new data system. I. am. so. excited. (yes, yes, that is sarcasm you detected).

Best part: my brother, sister-in-law and the kiddos are coming for the weekend!! Woo hooooooooo!!! I. AM. SOOO. EXCITED!! I still have a couple bike races to officiate at on Saturday, but having the little ones around will be awesome!  A  kids 'race' is scheduled for Saturday afternoon, so I'm hoping to convince them to race - my nephew on his run bike and my niece on her two wheeler with training wheels.  Too much fun!!

Since the next few days will be early mornings and late evenings, I'd best post a couple cards while 'coherent' (sort of) is still in my repertoire.

This post features my card for Uniko Studio Challenge #10, where we're invited to use all, or selections, from this lovely palette

As is oft the case, I needed a sketch to follow and Retrosketches #118 caught my eye...

Here's my Flower Power Fabulous...

After I made that one, I 'had' to try some water-colour...small I made a couple of mini notecards. I do not like "my" water-colouring, but the 'act' of trying is quite engaging. I certainly see why this trend is popular. I  embossed the flowers in white and coloured them with distress marker water-colour. The backgrounds are a soft blue, which doesn't show well in the photo.  Little "tuck in" cards...

My trio...

My husband, who had to stay behind at the race to ensure results were correct, just called and is on his way home. A glass of wine is ready to greet him...

Thanks so much for dropping by; your visit and comments make my day!

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Butterfly Birthday...CASE Study #194, Seize the Birthday


Today, because a few people have asked, a brief explanation of why I needed to pack some bear spray with me to a recent bike race. Actually, as far as racing goes, bringing spray was a first for me; we have carried it on hikes, however, because that's the 'nature' of where we live, just outside Banff National Park.  At any given time, we "know" we share our space with critters; seeing elk herds along the highway, or even in town, taking up residence on green-ways (and leaving evidence of their presence, if you know what I mean), is common. Deer springing from the trees is also a regular sight, but because they're so skittish, we're treated to quick glimpses before they vanish into the trees.  Deer are harmless; the elk are temperamental.  When I've seen them along my walks up Silvertip, which is a windy road to a swanky golf course (I'm not a golfer; the route is just part of my occasional 'work outs'), I give them wide berth. They're big, with antlers...I do not want to be stomped or butted by an elk.  Graceful, elegant, and not to be trusted.

Of course, along with the herbivores, we also have the companionship of bears and cougars, both of which I respect and consider stunning creatures. They also scare the bejeebers out of me.  At this time of year, the bears spend time in the lower parts of the valley, searching for berries and whatever else they feel a need to snack on.  They don't often come into town, although on occasion, a brazen bruin may decide to do a cruise through, to see what kinds of tummy treats are available to nibble on.  Often, at first sighting, the park rangers are called, and Mr. or Mrs. Bear is removed from the premises and released into the wild.  Habituated bears are a danger: to themselves and to us. Sadly, a few over the past couple of years have fallen victim to train and car accidents.

Anyway, the mountain bike race we attended - I don't race, but am an official, or rather, a commissaire - took place in a provincial park, filled with forest trails.  A couple of bears have been sited in the area; one a grizzly, the other a black bear. Even though they're truly not interested in us, no one wants to take a chance of surprising them when they're ambling on, being all bear-like. They can run fast...and I don't think teddy-bear picnics are something we'd like to be invited to. So, to ensure our 'safety,' the Park implemented rules mandating that any 'organized' event requires everyone involved to carry bear spray; aka 'pepper' spray, which looks like this:

Based on the ruckus we were causing, I suspect the bears were well hidden from the commotion, however, at a couple points, one of the volunteers was bringing lunch up to other volunteers who were stationed along the course route.  The aroma of barbecued sausages, I'm sure, was a temptation... Fortunately, the bike races this week - a four day event - my husband is the Chief Commissaire (he won't be racing this event) and I'm a commisssaire at just a couple of the races - takes place fully in town. Bear spray not required. Whew!

Anyway, there it is...I live in a wild life corridor.  I do not trek trails on my own.  Crafting indoors is a very good thing!!

Okay, on to my card, inspired by the oh-so-cool and classy card created by the talented Pamela Ho, and showecased over at Case Study #194

Seize the Birthday is also a destination: 

Oh look what I did...another butterfly...*grin*.  My panel is popped up, but I couldn't get a proper angle shot to show you that, or its sparkle.  The black with the colour is quite pretty...

Thanks so much for dropping by; your visit and comments make my day!