Thursday, July 28, 2011

Crying Geisha Girl

I finally had some time to put together a simple Stampscapes scene.  The crying geisha girl stamp is from Non Sequitur.

The images were stamped on glossy paper in StazOn Black then I tore a post-it note and sponged in the grass area with Distressed Forest Moss.  Next, I punched from another post-it note a 1" circle mask for the moon.

The background was sponged in Adirondack Cloudy Blue, Adirondack Sailboat Blue, Adirondack Denim and SU Night of Navy.  Her kimono was sponged in Adirondack Pink Sherbet, Adirondack Raspberry, Adirondack Wild Plum, Adirondack Purple Twilight and Adirondack Eggplant.  Stampin' Up Pixie Pink was used for the flower in her hair.

To make the tree trunks look more life-like I sponged them with Chocolate Chip and Early Espresso.  Sponging around the moon was done very lightly with ColorBox Frost White.

I finished the card with a Spellbinders Border Trimming Die in Night of Navy with a Kaiser Rhinestone in Dark Purple.  Star Dust Stickles were added to the flower in her hair.

Card Recipe:
Stamps:  Crying Geisha by Non Sequitur (F4008NS), Stampscapes Tree Trunk Trio  
Paper:  Grape Jelly, Night of Navy, Glossy White
Ink:  Trees & Geisha - StazOn Black; Sky - Adirondack Cloudy Blue, Sailboat Blue, Denim, SU Night of Navy; Kimono - Adirondack Pink Sherbet, Raspberry, Wild Plum, Purple Twilight, Eggplant; Flower - SU Pixie Pink with Blender Pen; Grass - Distressed Forest Moss; Trees - Chocolate Chip & Early Espresso; ColorBox Frost White around Moon
Accessories:  Star Dust Stickles, Kaiser Rhinestone in Dark Purple, 1" Circle Punch, Spellbinders Border Trimmings Die, Post-It Notes
Techniques:  Sponging

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

I've Been Published!

Hi everyone!

I am just ecstatic and can finally tell you about my wonderful news!  I am featured in the Fall 2011 issue of RubberStampMadness Magazine in their Card Shoppe section on page 20.

I have known about this for quite a while, but when I actually received the magazine in the mail it was like a dream come true!  I never thought when I first started stamping my cards would be published.  Many of you know me as “Ocicat” on Splitcoaststampers.  Thanks so much to all of you for your support and sweet comments throughout this journey.  I’m glad to be able to share a bit of joy with you today.

I would like to thank Roberta Sperling, editor of RSM, as well as staff writer Barbara Blanks, for the time they spent with me putting together this article.

Here is a peek at The Card Shoppe section which talks about my stamping and features three of my scenic cards.  I’m sure you recognize them from my blog.

May your day be filled with sunshine!

Swan Song

Night Wolf

Autumn Days Pheasant

A Gardener's Journey ...

When I first embarked on my gardening journey approx. 12 years ago, I don't think at the time I had any idea what I was getting into.  As a little girl growing up on a small farm we had a greenhouse.  My parents would sow seeds every year, both annuals and perennials.  Of course, the timing had to be right so we could sell the plants in the spring to the community.  I remember spending the summers either watering, weeding or deadheading the plants.  Back then I didn't realize just how much my parents were teaching me about gardening.  We even had our own beehive for which honey would be extracted and sold.

When my husband and I moved into our home the newly acquired property did not have any gardens.  Shortly thereafter we discovered our soil to be that of shale and rock.  I can't even tell you how many truck loads of topsoil were brought in to create what we have today.  I jumped in with both feet and thought to myself "Whatever I have learned will come back to me."

Each year my husband and I added another garden.  Whether it was a large flower bed or a simple circle around a bird feeder it was another place to experiment with plants.  As the design and layout of the gardens evolved so did my knowledge of new hybrid plants.

Unfortunately, both my parents passed away years ago and I still think to myself if only they could see what I have done.  I think they would be proud, especially my mother who loved to admire the blooms.

Several years ago I went with a friend to the local nursery and as we strolled by the tables of perennials he said to me "What kind of plant is this?"  I would take one look at the leaf form or the bloom and rattle off the plant name.  He would check the plastic tag in the pot to see if I was right.  After playing this game for a few minutes he finally said to me "I guess you know your plants."  I replied "Thank you, my parents taught me well."

As I write this today is the anniversary of my mother's passing.  If only I had more time with her ... to show her the flower gardens ... if only I had a chance to say goodbye.  I truly believe she is looking down upon me enjoying the gardens.  Maybe she would even sit and have a cup of tea with me!

A pink rose from my garden for her.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Telescoping Card

Today I would like to share with you a "telescoping" card.  Once you see how the mechanism works, these cards are really fun and easy to create.

For this project you will need colored and neutral cardstock, brads, a hole punch, ribbon, stamps and ink to decorate, and several Big Shot dies or the Circle Scissor Plus.

I have used my SU Garden Silhouettes set for the largest circle and stamped the image in StazOn Black.  The sentiment from Quietfire Design was used for the middle circle.  The stamp was inked first by loading it with VersaMark then Adirondack Purple Twilight and embossed with clear embossing powder and a heat gun.  For the smallest circle I used the Memory Box Flower Bundle stamp.  The stems were stamped in StazOn Black and the flowers in Adirondack Purple Twilight.  The butterfly was stamped in Ballet Blue and is from SU's Essence of Love set.

All the edges of the whisper white circles were sponged in Adirondack Cool Peri.  Kaiser rhinestones in dark purple were added to the flowers.  The piece of purple ribbon is from Ellen Hutson's store.

For a tutorial on how to make telescoping cards, please visit Barb at Craft Chaos.  Here is a link to her great You Tube video.

Happy telescoping!

The middle of the card.

Here it is fully open.

Card Recipe:
Stamps:  Memory Box Flower Bundle, Garden Silhouettes, Essence of Love, Sentiment by Quietfire Design 
Paper:  Basic Black, Whisper White
Ink:  StazOn Black; Flowers - Adirondack Purple Twilight; Butterfly - Ballet Blue; Sponging - Adirondack Cool Peri; Sentiment - Adirondack Purple Twilight
Accessories:  Vintage Brads, Kaiser Rhinestones in Dark Purple, Ellen Hutson Purple Ribbon, Nesties Lacey Circles #5, Nesties Small & Large Classic Circles
Techniques:  Embossing, Sponging

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Monogrammed Paper Holder

I am so excited today to show you what I created with my Notebook Pocket die.  See, I never seem to have any paper when I need to jot something down (like a card recipe perhaps) so this notebook is for me.  Oh, I will be making more for family and friends ... but see the initials on this one?  This took no time at all to create and the possibilities are endless!

I used my Big Shot and a black piece of mat board to create the notebook pocket.  If you have never used mat board before it is wonderful!  The pocket will hold 3” x 5” paper or index cards.

Now I will let you in on a little secret ... in this world of technology you would think I would have a Blackberry or PDA, but I don’t.  Actually, I had a PDA when they first came out; however, it didn’t seem to work for me.  I would throw it in my pocketbook and leave it there for a week and whenever I needed to retrieve any information from it the battery would be dead.  Yup, I would never remember to put it on the charger so that little piece of technology went to goodwill.

I make lists all the time and never have an issue with pen and paper ... lol.  I don’t know about you, but it makes me feel good to cross things off.  So, I hope this will inspire you to create something wonderful even if it is for yourself!

Paper Holder Recipe:
Stamps:  Monogram Sweet
Paper:  Black Mat Board, Deja Views Sweet Romance Black Damask Flocked Paper, Basic Black, Shimmery White
Ink:  Basic Black with Clear EP
Accessories:  1/4" Grosgrain Ribbon in Basic Black, Recollections Rose Brad, Nesties Labels Four, Sizzix Notebook Die
Techniques:  Embossing

Friday, July 15, 2011

Royal Albert "Goldfinch"

Hi everyone,

I am joining Bernideen today for Tea in the Garden on Saturday.  I have set up a little space here near the pond for us.  I hope you will sit and stay for a while.

(click photos to enlarge)
Orange Meadowbrite ‘Art’s Pride’and ‘Tiki Torch’ Echinaceas are in full bloom.  I love the cheerful colored flowers with tangerine-orange blooms.  They have a delicious scent of sweet, orange-spiced tea.

A close up of the 'Tiki Torch'.

A Calamagrostis ‘Overdam’ is the backdrop for our pretty coreopsis.  This variegated grass with beautiful creamy-white vertical stripes has attractive ivory colored flowering spikes.

Here is another picture of the pond garden from a different angle.

A little frog with toadstool sits next to a Carex elata 'Aurea'.

This brightly hued Royal Albert Goldfinch cup & saucer is perfect for our outdoor setting.  Imagine sipping your favorite tea from this lovely china which has a montrose shaped cup with gold trim.

A peek at the bottom of the saucer.

In keeping with our bird theme I have a bird figurine to share with you.

The yellow napkin is from The Pottery Barn and a Lenox sculpted napkin ring provides a perch for the sculpted bird.

I hope you will visit the other participants joining Tea in the Garden.  I am also linking with the following ladies: 

Tea Time Tuesday @ Rose Chintz Cottage
Table Top Tuesday @ A Stroll Thru Life
Tea Cup Tuesday @ Martha's Favorites
Tea Cup Tuesday @ Artful Affirmations
Tuesday Tea for Two @ The Plumed Pen 
Tuesday Garden Party @ An Oregon Cottage
Outdoor Wednesday @ A Southern Daydreamer
Cottage Flora Thursday @ Fishtail Cottage

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

She Said by Unity

This card is a little different for me and I debated whether or not I should post it.  The stamp set is She Said by Unity and it was a gift.  I had no idea at the time there was so much controversy surrounding Donna Downey’s designs.

I hope this card will inspire you to mix things up a bit and try another style.  The image and sentiment were stamped in StazOn Black.  I colored her hair with Prismacolor pencils and Gamsol.  Her lipstick was done with a lavender spica pen and I love the way it shimmers like lipgloss.  I sponged around the image with Perfect Plum then added a pretty faux necklace using dark purple rhinestones.

Since I donate cards to charity I would like to make a few more of these to send off to Little Life Preservers.

A close up of her necklace.

Card Recipe:
Stamps:  She Said by Unity
Paper:  Pixie Pink, Elegant Eggplant, Whisper White
Ink:  Image – StazOn Black colored with Prismacolor Pencils and Gamsol; Sponging – Perfect Plum
Accessories:  Lavender Spica Pen for lipstick, Kaiser Rhinestones in Dark Purple
Techniques:  Sponging, Prismacolor Pencils

Monday, July 11, 2011

"Wild Violets" Sheltonian

It’s time once again for Tea Time Tuesday.  Today I would like to share with you one of my favorite teacups and fresh flowers from the garden.

This pretty pattern is called “Wild Violets”.  Isn’t it just gorgeous?  The delicate clusters of purple violets gives this cup a spring feel.  This set was made in Staffordshire England by Sheltonian.  I love the comfortable loop handle of this English bone china and the 24K gold trim.

A look at the pretty saucer.

I have picked some fresh double-flowered stocks (Matthiola incana) and baby’s breath. Their scent pervades an entire room.

“Every flower is a soul blossoming in nature.” ~ Gerard De Nerval

So please join me today for a soothing cup of Chamomile tea.  This golden herb is a favorite to relieve anxiety and will bring a smile to your face with its fragrant blossoms and sweet flavor.  This herbal infusion is delicious served with honey.  May I pour you a cup?

This white handkerchief with a rolled edge has a beautiful embroidered lavender flower in the corner.

The antique silver mercury glass votive holder has a great vintage feel with its soft scalloped edges.

Thank you for stopping to visit.  I always enjoy having tea with you!  I am linking with the following wonderful ladies:

Tea Time Tuesday @ Rose Chintz Cottage
Table Top Tuesday @ A Stroll Thru Life
Tea Cup Tuesday @ Martha's Favorites
Tea Cup Tuesday @ Artful Affirmations
Tuesday Tea for Two @ The Plumed Pen
Bloomin' Tuesday @ Ms.Green Thumb Jean
Cottage Flora Thursday @ Fishtail Cottage

Teacup & Saucer:  Sheltonian “Wild Violets”
Handkerchief:  Embroidered Lavender
Flowers:  Stocks & Baby’s Breath from the garden
Antique Silver Votive Holder:  Creative Co-op and sold at Elizabeth’s Embellishments

Sunday, July 10, 2011

House Finch Nest

This Buckthorn (Rhamnus Frangula Fine Line) is in the garden next to my back door and has airy, fern-like foliage.  The other day while gardening, I just happened to see a tiny bird come flying out of the tree so you know I had to take a peek!

To my surprise, their was a little nest just waiting for some eggs …

A few days later there was one egg …

Then three more bluish-green eggs with black spots …

It appears we have a House Finch (Carpodacus mexicanus) living with us.  She is gray-brown, whitish below with dark streaks.  Her song is a rapid, cheery warble.  She will incubate the 4 eggs for 13 to 14 days while the male brings her food.  The female broods the young for the first few days after they hatch, and the male continues to bring food. The female then joins the male in bringing food to the young. The young leave the nest after 12 to 15 days.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Crafty Leaf Tendrils

Today I have another card using a Crafty Individuals stamp.  I wanted the main focus to be on the center image so I kept the background simple.

The scenery stamp was inked with StazOn Black and stamped onto Shimmery White paper.  I then sponged ColorBox Frost White, Sage Shadow, VersaMagic Pretty Petunia & Purely Pomegranate.

I thought the Leaf Tendrils stamp by Memory Box would compliment the main image and look nice as a border so I stamped it several times in Sage Shadow.  After assembling the card I realized perhaps I should have added some accents with my color spritzer tool, but it was too late.  I guess I will have to make another card ... lol.

Have a great weekend!

Card Recipe:
Stamps:  Crafty Individuals C1-288, Memory Box Leaf Tendrils
Paper:  Solar White Linen, Sage Shadow, Shimmery White
Ink:  StazOn Black, ColorBox Frost White, Sage Shadow, VersaMagic Pretty Petunia, Purely Pomegranate
Techniques:  Sponging

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Arbor Garden

A Sweet Escape

I have some updated pictures of the Arbor Garden, which looks spectacular year-round starting in the spring with barrenwort, veronica, lamium and fritillaria.  In late spring the pea bush begins to bloom as well as the columbine.  The back of the garden is encircled by roses of sharon for summer beauty.  Two very large 'Blue Angel' hostas fill each corner.

As you enter through the arched arbor on stepping stones you are greeted by a stone bench surrounded by Japanese painted ferns - a pleasant respite from the hot summer sun.  The arbor swathed with clematis in early summer invites a promising fragrant journey.  This is a garden of peace and tranquility.  I also like to refer to this garden as a woodland garden since it is defined by filtered shade from tall Norway Spruce trees.

The enchanting fairy-like toadstools bring magic into the garden, as they tinkle in the breeze.

So please join me for a stroll through the garden …

These Columbine 'Origami' (Aquilegia) pink and white blooms face upward to show off their beauty and are irresistible to butterflies.

The Black Pea (Lathyrus niger) wildflower bears in early summer flowered stems which are purple then fade to blue.

Gold Cone Junipers (Juniperus communis) meet you at the entrance of the cedar arbor.  These slow growing conifers bear awl-shaped new growth which emerges bright gold in the spring.  The color gradually fades to a bluish-green in winter.

Clematis 'Elsa Spath' bears a profusion of single purple-blue flowers with white filaments and red anthers.  I believe this heirloom clematis was cultivated in Germany in 1891.

A large-flowered variety of clematis 'Dr. Ruppel' has pale orchid purple, ruffled petals with a wide carmine central bar and golden stamens.

Barrenwort, also known as (Epimedium) edges the path to the garden gate.  The clusters of small, star shaped flowers are pink in the early spring.

Simple, four-petaled Creeping Speedwell 'Big Blue' (Veronica repens) flowers are bright true blue with white centers.  They are showy in late May and June.  During the fall, the deep green foliage has copper-bronze highlights.

Deadnettle 'Purple Dragon' (Lamium maculatum) has snapdragon-like purple flowers.  The variegated silver-white foliage with dark green edges radiates color to create a glowing effect - especially in the evening.

A stunning Japanese Painted Fern (Athyrium niponicum var. pictum) bears lush, finely-cut foliage of rich green with fronds marked with a central stem of bright crimson and silver markings.  This fern is a miniature treasure for the garden.

Snake's Head Fritillary (Fritillaria meleagris) is a fun plant with nodding, bell-shaped checkered flowers.  They pop up in late spring just before the lily-of-the-valley blooms.

Hosta 'Blue Angel' has gigantic, heart-shaped leaves with a blue-green hue.  Leaf petioles stand upright holding the leaves horizontally, then cascade downward.

Thank you for strolling through my garden with me.  I enjoyed the slight breeze and a chance to chat with you.  I am linking with the following ladies this week:

Bloomin' Tuesday @ Ms.Green Thumb Jean
Tuesday Garden Party @ An Oregon Cottage
This Week In My Garden @ The Little Round Table
Outdoor Wednesday @ A Southern Daydreamer
Cottage Flora Thursday @ Fishtail Cottage

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