falling snow

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Embrace Happiness!

Penny Black is hosting a color combo challenge on their blog through tomorrow, September 26. There are five different combinations and the designers have put together some amazing creations using these colors. The challenge for Day One begins here. I am also entering my card in the Casology challenge for Autumn and the CAS-ual Fridays challenge to use a fall color palette and at least one leaf. Again, the designers on each of these challenge sites have some wonderful creations - be sure to take a look!

I was immediately drawn to the Penny Black color combo from day two for a fall card that is all about having fun and being happy. These beautiful rich colors are so perfect for this time of the year, and I'm looking forward to trying this combo for a Christmas design, too. Just look at the teal and plum - oh, how they make my heart sing!

Miss Kitty (from the Penny Black set, Christmas Critters), has traded in her holly garland for some brightly colored fall leaves. The sparkle on her garland is from a Wink of Stella brush - oh, how Abbey and I love the sparkle without the real glitter challenge we experience here in the attic! 

The leaves were punched with a Recollection small Maple Leaf punch from watercolor paper inked with markers or distress ink and then spritzed with Perfect Pearls and water to add a bit more glisten. The back of the paper was also inked so the leaves would be colored on both sides when they were curled. The blue strip of paper on the edge is actually the same teal as the leaves - no idea why it is photographing blue instead of teal.

This card has lots of dimension so it's one I'll definitely be hand delivering or mailing in a box. Ms. Kitty just loves her new extra long tail extension that lends itself to lots of flopping and a bit of tail chasing in the leaf pile.

Here's a peak at the finished inside - the Penny Black Eloquence stamp set is one I reach for often, and this is my favorite sentiment.

I like to think Abbey, aka Helper Cat, was admiring this new kitty card, but I have a feeling she was just warming herself under the photo lamp since it was a cloudy, cool day when we were taking photos. She loves being part of the action! Amazing how many photos I found with just a few whiskers peeking in at the edge! Thank goodness for digital photos...

Embrace happiness! And everyday, your heart will sing!


Materials: Cardstock: Archivers Watercolor Paper, Kraft; Patterned Paper: MME Stella Rose-Mabel; Doodlebug Happy Harvest; Stamps: Penny Black Christmas Critters 30-006; Friendship 30-160; Eloquence 30-162; Tree-mendous 30-165; Ink: Hero Hues Black Dye; Hero Arts Raspberry Jam Mid-Tone; Distress Inks Tea Dye, Spiced Marmalade; Distress Markers Tea Dye, Spiced Marmalade, Spun Sugar; Markers: Marvy Crimson Lake, Tombow Teal; Other: Recollections Maple Leaf Punch; Zing Clear Embossing Powder; Perfect Pearls; Wink of Stella Brush Clear

Friday, September 6, 2013

Indian Summer

Penny Black is joining the Less Is More challenge blog this week to use a rubber stamp, and I knew I wanted to play along! It's been quite a while since I've participated in a challenge and I had fun creating some inked backgrounds. Based on my inky discard stack, it looks like I'll be die cutting quite a few fall leaves in the coming days! Practice, practice, practice... I used my new Delicata Gold ink pad on both of these cards and I love the shine it gives - I only wish the camera would have captured all its glisten!

I made this card earlier in the week, but am barely squeaking in ahead of the deadline, so will keep this post short - unusual for me! Hope you're enjoying some beautiful days wherever you are and this coming weekend finds you doing whatever brings contentment to your little corner!


Materials: Cardstock: Neenah Solar White; Stamps: Penny Black Petal Party, Fancy Flowers, and Dahlias; Ink: Distress Inks Rusty Hinge, Mustard Seed and Barn Door; Delicata Golden Glitz; Gem: Mark Richards

Thursday, September 5, 2013

One Year Ago Today

September 5, 2012. A year ago today, our predictable (as predictable as life ever is) daily routine changed. We began a journey of uncertainty, facing the unknowns. Along the way we found hope and discovered depths of celebration and gratitude we hadn't felt before. Dear friends and new friends have companioned us on our journey; we've shared stories filled with laughter over the antics of furry ones; and we've shed tears from fears and losses.

Often times this day seems only yesterday and other times, many years ago. The day's memory is still so fresh in my mind as we have lived its consequences this last year. I hear Dr. S's words and feel the heaviness of heart they brought. We now had a reason why TC was hungry all the time, eating so much, and yet losing more weight upon each veterinary visit. Blood tests confirmed it and we had a name for it.  Liver failure. Those words screamed the invevitable in my mind, but Dr. S. had a calm presence and reassuring words. He had a plan and we acted quickly. Nights were spent researching liver function, liver disease and courses of treatment; learning as much as possible to give our girl a life of quality.

Today I am pleased to report TC is doing well. She has had a long Summer struggle since June with a viral infection that refused to let go. Several antibiotic shots and rounds of daily subcutaneous fluids some weeks have helped her through the rough days. She was diagnosed with 25% or less kidney function in August as well as anemia. She is now receiving four supplements to help her liver and kidneys and to calm her stomach from the residual toxins. This new regime is keeping her strong and her appetite good. Just last night she climbed to the back of the recliner (a feat performed in younger days) with me beside her, and last week when I returned from errands I found her proudly planted on the dining room chair! I am hoping now with Indian Summer days approaching, the stability she has enjoyed the last three weeks will continue. We will be outside more and Autumn's sights, smells, and sounds will keep her stimulated before the Winter cold forces us inside once again.

It has been a year filled with emotional highs and lows; days of rocking and nights sleeping on the floor beside her; days of activity catching up on the must-do's when she is feeling well and nights spent just enjoying her presence. It has been one of the most celebratory journeys as we have gained even more appreciation for the blessed ordinary in our everyday and found gratitude for small blessings always in our midst. 

July marked eighteen years since she chose us for her family; she, a wild, tiny three to four month old black kitten stuck high up in our cedar tree, chose us. July through October that Summer found me on the patio every evening, talking, coaxing, gaining her trust until one day she walked across my lap. "The kitten," we called her. By October, dh (darling husband) said we needed to find her a home since it would be cold soon. "Uh-huh," I replied. "I'll make up fliers and take them to the vet's offices." Dh is always ready for a computer project! "OK," I replied. My lack of enthusiasm for his great idea and motivation was quite clear. What I was thinking, but didn't say was, "Ok. Knock yourself out. I have been outside every night this Summer with the kitten. That cat has a home. She's coming inside when it gets cold!" Not so surprising, no one called in response to the fliers. TC was named for the tree climbing, squirrel's nest dwelling cat she was. Yes, she spent her nights in an abandoned squirrel's nest high up in the front yard pin oak tree. Late October that year found her quickly adjusting to indoor life with Chelsea and Benji, the canines, and the rest of the story is 18 years filled with the unconditional love, antics, and joy her furry companionship has brought to her chosen family! I hope she has been pleased with her choice. I hope in her own way she knows how very loved she is. I hope she knows how grateful we are she chose us. . . 

TC Today