Wednesday, August 31, 2011


I finally inked up my hostess Because I Care set!  This hydrangea image is so pretty.  I started with Memento Tuxedo Black and used my Copics.  The flower was colored in BV00, BV02, BV04 & BV13.  For the leaves I used G40, G82 & G85.  I added a little Lavender Stickles to the center of the flowers and sponged around the image with Distressed Milled Lavender.

I love my new Spellbinders dies.  The one I used for today’s card is the Fleur De Lis Rectangles.  I do recommend with these intricate dies not using any cardstock over 65 lbs. as they won’t cut well going through the Big Shot.

A closer look at the hydrangea.

Card Recipe:
Stamps:  Because I Care 
Paper:  Solar White Linen, Orchid Opulence, Ballet Blue, Whisper White 
Ink:  Image - Memento Tuxedo Black; Flower - BV00, BV02, BV04, BV13; Leaves - G40, G82, G-85; Sponging - Distressed Milled Lavender  
Accessories:  Kaiser Pearls in Lavender, Lavender Stickles, Tsukineko Sheer Frost Shimmerz Spritz, Nesties Large Classic Rectangles #5, Fleur De Lis Rectangles #4  
Techniques:  Copic Markers

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Thoughts on Hurricane Irene

Well, "mean" Irene has come and gone, but upstate New York and New England are still suffering from devastating floods after rivers burst their banks and torrential rains fell on ground already saturated.

Today I drove by an area where a mudslide knocked down two apartment houses and a garage.  You just never know what is going to happen!

In 2008, my husband and I took a scenic train ride through Vermont.  It was a gorgeous day with beautiful foliage.  The Green Mountain Flyer took us along the Connecticut and Williams Rivers.  One of the landmarks I remember is the historical Bartonsville Covered Bridge.  Built in 1870, the bridge has a lattice truss style with a 151 foot span across the Williams River.  Here are two pictures I took of the bridge that October day.  Doesn't it just look peaceful?

Here is a link to the covered bridge during Hurricane Irene.  This 141 year old bridge, which was listed on the National Register of Historic Places was destroyed by Hurricane Irene on August 28, 2011.  I feel so fortunate now to have seen this beautiful structure.

Thank you everyone for your prayers.  I will be back tomorrow with a card for you.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Royal Albert "Lavinia"

Hi everyone,

I thought I would take advantage of this beautiful day and have tea on the bench in my arbor garden.  Please come and join me!  I have opened the gate for you ...

(click photos to enlarge)

"Come and share a pot of tea, my home is warm and my friendship's free." ~ Emilie Barnes

This Royal Albert cup and saucer is part of the Sheraton Series, with this one being Lavinia.  It is very pretty with a subtle wreath of purple roses around the edges of each piece.  The Montrose shape cup is trimmed in gold.

A peek at the bottom of the saucer.

Would you like a sweet cinnamon scone?  Please let me get you one.  They are perfect with afternoon tea!

A potted clematis plant brings color to our setting.

We can sit and enjoy the Roses of Sharon.  This particular variety is 'Ardens', which has showy double purple-blue blooms.  When I planted them they were only five feet high.

Thank you for joining me for tea.  I am linking with Bernideen for Tea in the Garden on Saturday and with Sandi from Rose Chintz Cottage for Tea Time Tuesday.

We are preparing now for hurricane Irene.  Please say a prayer for everyone on the East Coast as we are not use to this type of weather.

Have a wonderful weekend!

Teacup & Saucer:  Royal Albert "Lavinia"
Dessert Plate:  Lenox "Eternal" pattern 
Basket:  Longaberger Collectors Club Tea Tray Set
Napkin:  Antique Lace

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Strength & Hope

I recently purchased my Strength & Hope set and want to thank those of you who purchased it knowing that part of the proceeds will go to The Breast Cancer Research Foundation.

If you have been following my blog you know this is a cause I am passionate about.  Don't forget to mark your calendars as I will be offering some blog candy in October for this cause.

A peek at the inside.

Card Recipe:
Stamps:  Strengh & Hope, Stampabilities Hope-Believe-Trust (ER1130) 
Paper:  Memory Box Petal, Close to Cocoa, Very Vanilla, Blushing Bride, Mellow Moss 
Ink:  Close to Cocoa; Butterfly - Distressed Victorian Velvet; Sponging - Brilliance Pearlescent Beige 
Accessories:  Sizzix Flowers, Branches & Leaves Set, Spellbinders Parisian Accents 
Techniques:  Sponging 

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Bishop's Delight Garden

Last year I created a new garden which is our last and final garden.  I held a garden contest to name it and you can view the original post here.  Paula came up with the creative name "Bishop's Delight".  This is a picture of the garden this year.  The "New Hampshire Purple" geraniums have really filled out and the "Jackmanii" clematis vines have grown to the top of the trellis.  This garden sits in front of a birdhouse so the birds have something to enjoy!

Thank you for visiting and for all your lovely comments.

Beautiful blooms ...

Gorgeous geraniums ...

I am linking this week with the following ladies:

Bloomin' Tuesday @ Ms.Green Thumb Jean
Garden Tuesday @ Sidewalk Shoes
Outdoor Wednesday @ A Southern Daydreamer
Cottage Flora Thursday @ Fishtail Cottage

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Mare & Colt

I love horses so when I came across this sentiment by PSX I had to snatch it up.  The Mare & Colt were stamped on Whisper White paper in StazOn Black then colored with Creamy Caramel and Close to Cocoa Markers.  The grass was colored with Old Olive and Always Artichoke using a Blender Pen.

The sentiment was inked with VersaMark then Early Espresso and embossed with clear embossing powder and a heat gun.

The pretty brown suede ribbon is from American Crafts and the antique brads are from Stampin’ Up.

A close up of the horses.

Card Recipe:
Stamps:  PSX Mare & Colt (G-1876), PSX Sentiment (E-1877)
Paper:  Natural White Linen, Blushing Bride, Memory Box Sprout Designer Paper, River Rock, Whisper White
Ink:  Horses – StazOn Black colored with Creamy Caramel & Close to Cocoa Markers; Grass – Old Olive & Always Artichoke; Sky – Bashful Blue; Sentiment – Early Espresso with Clear EP
Accessories:  American Crafts Brown Suede Ribbon, Antique Brads, Nesties Labels Three #5, Nesties Labels Three #6, Nesties Labels Fourteen #3
Techniques:  Embossing, Sponging, Blender Pen

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Weekend Cat Blogging #323

Can't you see I am busy looking out the window!

I am joining Weekend Cat Blogging hosted by Samantha, Clementine & Maverick at From A Cat's Perspective.

Friday, August 12, 2011

At the Beach

My card today has me dreaming of the beach and was inspired by the very talented Michelle Zindorf.

On a piece of glossy white cardstock I sponged Crumb Cake, Soft Suede, Tempting Turquoise and Not Quite Navy.  To create the sea foam I added ColorBox Frost White to the middle.

For the illusion of sand, I stamped my unmounted Texture Wheel on the Crumb Cake corner first in Soft Suede then again with Early Espresso.  I applied Diamond Stickles to the sand to create some sparkle then glued to the paper miniature sea shells.

The inside sentiment was stamped in StazOn Black and then sponged with Crumb Cake, Soft Suede & Tempting Turquoise.

I hope you get a chance to relax by the beach this summer!

A close up of the sea shells.

A peek at the inside.

Card Recipe:
Stamps:  PSX Near the Sea (G-1481), SU Texture Wheel Stamp   
Paper:  Metallic White, Desert Storm, Glossy White, Bashful Blue
Ink:  Background - Crumb Cake, Soft Suede, Tempting Turquoise, Not Quite Navy, ColorBox Frost White, Early Espresso; Inside Sentiment - StazOn Black 
Accessories:  Miniature Sea Shells, Diamond Stickles 
Techniques:  Sponging

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Alfresco Dining

Today I am joining Susan at Between Naps on the Porch for Tablescape Thursday and Marty from A Stroll Thru Life for Table Top Tuesday.  Thank you to our wonderful hostesses.

On this gorgeous summer day my favorite spot for tablescaping and dining is outside on the patio.  There's just something special about alfresco dining in the open air, be it during the day with the sun warming your back or at night with the moon and stars overhead.

I have set a casual dinner for my husband and I.  Can you hear the Classical music playing in the background? 

This “Corrine” dinnerware is from Neiman Marcus and is made in Portugal.  It has a delightful damask pattern in light blue and taupe.  The simple beading of these oil-rubbed bronze napkin rings adds an elegance to our alfresco dining.

Taupe colored chargers compliment this pattern with soft scalloped edges.

Flatware is Lenox in the “Venetian Lace” pattern with a subtle scroll motif.

Later we will have dessert served on our cake plate.

These Smithsonian Collection Brighton Candlesticks with glass votives can be used as either a candlestick or votive.  The oil-rubbed bronze pieces are modeled after 19th century originals.  Unfortunately, all of these pieces have been retired by Baldwin. 

I decided at the last minute to add this pretty topiary.  Did you know topiary is an old art form that first surfaced in ancient Egypt and classical Rome?

So what is for dinner this evening?  Well, I have surprised my husband with a delicious Italian dinner.

A fresh garden salad with a balsamic vinaigrette dressing to start.

Eggplant Rollatini (sauteed eggplant, rolled and filled with ricotta and Italian cheeses).

Angel hair pasta to compliment.  We both love angel hair!

As the sun goes down, I bring out a piece of cheesecake with strawberries for my husband.  It is so warm today the whip topping is melting!

Enjoying the evening by candlelight and listening to music.

Thank you for viewing my outdoor patio tablescape.  I would love to invite you, but this is a romantic dinner for two!

Dinnerware:  “Corrine” from Neiman Marcus
Stemware:  Gorham “Rose Serenade” Goblets
Flatware:  Lenox “Venetian Lace” pattern
Table Linens:  JCPenney
Napkin Rings:  Bed, Bath & Beyond
Candlesticks:  Baldwin Brass Brighton in oil-rubbed bronze
Topiary:  Fleurtacious Designs

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Nature Silhouettes Get Well

While I had this set still on my project table I created a get well card for a co-worker.  I can't decide which color I like better.  What do you think? 

I used the same technique as my previous card using my Linen background stamp.  I stamped the Old Olive paper numerous times with Always Artichoke to give it texture.

Next, I cut a Spellbinders Classic Circle from Shimmery White and stamped the Nature Silhouettes in StazOn Black.  I sponged the sky in So Saffron, Pumpkin Pie & Really Rust.  The grass was sponged in Old Olive.  I layered this circle onto a Basic Black circle.

The sentiment by JustRite was stamped in Distressed Black Soot.  Before assembling the card I distressed the edges of the Barely Banana paper and added black brads.

I hope you are having a great week!

Card Recipe:
Stamps:  Nature Silhouettes, Linen, JustRite Sympathy Nested Sentiments, Thoughts & Prayers, Petal Prints
Paper:  Black Linen, Old Olive, Basic Black, Shimmery White, Barely Banana, Very Vanilla
Ink:  Image - StazOn Black; Sponging - So Saffron, Pumpkin Pie, Really Rust, Old Olive; Linen - Always Artichoke; Sentiment - Distressed Black Soot
Accessories:  Black Brads, Nesties Large Classic Circles #5, Small Classic Circles #6, JustRite Custom Die, Nesties Large Long Rectangles #2, Spellbinders Labels Seventeen, Edge Distresser
Techniques:  Embossing, Sponging

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Nature Silhouettes Birthday

This card was created for a co-worker who had a birthday a while back.  My original thought was to use some type of patterned paper, but I didn’t want to take away from the focal image so I pulled out my Linen background stamp.  I stamped the Ballet Blue paper numerous times with Night of Navy to give it texture.

I then cut a Spellbinders Classic Circle from Shimmery White and stamped the Nature Silhouettes in StazOn Black.  After creating a mask for the moon I sponged the sky with Bashful Blue, Ballet Blue & Night of Navy.  The grass was sponged in Old Olive.  I layered this circle onto two more circles (Bashful Blue & Basic Black).

The sentiment by Stampendous was stamped in Night of Navy and embossed with clear embossing powder and a heat gun.  Before assembling the card I distressed the edges of the Bashful Blue paper and added black brads.

A perfect masculine card for birthdays or thinking of you.

Card Recipe:
Stamps:  Nature Silhouettes, Linen, It's Your Birthday, Petal Prints, Stampendous Everyday Messages
Paper:  Black Linen, Bashful Blue, Ballet Blue, Basic Black, Shimmery White, Whisper White
Ink:  Image - StazOn Black; Sponging - Bashful Blue, Ballet Blue, Night of Navy, Old Olive; Linen and Sentiment - Night of Navy
Accessories:  Black Brads, Nesties Large Classic Circles #6, Large Classic Circles #5, Small Classic Circles #6, Small Classic Circles #1 for Moon, JustRite Custom Die, Nesties Large Long Rectangles #2, Spellbinders Labels Seventeen, Edge Distresser 
Techniques:  Embossing, Sponging

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Weekend Cat Blogging #322

For those of you who may be new followers to my blog I would like to introduce you to Cheops.  He is a chocolate-silver Ocicat and my baby.  Cheops just celebrated his birthday in June and this is how he wanted to spend the day ... lol.

Shhhhhh ... just let me sleep a little longer.

Look they got me a cake!

If you are not familiar with Ocicats they are very interactive cats - always involved in the activities around them.  He has learned to open my French doors with the swipe of a paw (not something I encourage).  One day I caught him peeking inside the medicine cabinet so now the bathroom door remains closed when we are not home.  Cheops has two spontaneous play times - morning and evening and, of course, whenever anyone produces an enticing toy.

Cheops has the spirit of a dog in a cat's body and is very sociable.  He is of show quality and meets the competition standards; however, I do not show him as he is a house pet.  The Ocicat is an agouti spotted cat originating from interbreeding of Abyssinian, Siamese and American Shorthair.  It is the only spotted domestic breed selectively bred to emulate the cats of the wild.  They come in 12 different colors.

He is named after the Pharaoh Khufu also known as Cheops who ruled in the 4th Dynasty (2551 - 2528 B.C.).  Cheops' most known undertaking was the Great Pyramid of Egypt.

Well, now that you have met Cheops what do you think?  If you would like to see more pictures I have a link on my right sidebar.

"If we treated everyone we meet with the same affection we bestow upon our favorite cat, they, too, would purr." ~ Martin Buxbaum

Thank you for stopping to visit Cheops and I.  I am joining Weekend Cat Blogging hosted by Amar and Luna at CatSynth.  May you have a purrfect day!

Herb Expressions

In the language of flowers, lavender represents devotion.  Its botanical name, Lavandula, comes from the Latin word for "to wash".  Lavender is fresh, sweet and truly aromatic!  If only my card today smelled like lavender :-)

I started by cutting both a piece of Elegant Eggplant and Whisper White cardstock using the Spellbinders Labels Eighteen Dies.  The lavender image was stamped in StazOn Black on the Whisper White piece and colored with an Almost Amethyst marker highlighting it in Adirondack Purple Twilight.  The leaves were colored with a Mellow Moss marking adding hints of Sage Shadow.  The sponging around the image is also in Sage Shadow.

The coordinated expression was stamped in Elegant Eggplant on a double ended ribbon banner die and sponged with Sage Shadow.  I thought this piece of Kaisercraft Lilac Avenue paper coordinated nicely.  Spellbinders Fleur De Lis Accents were painted with Periwinkle Shimmerz Paint then applied to the corners.

I added some Kaiser Pearls in lavender and adhered everything to a piece of Elegant Eggplant cardstock and then to an Aquamarine metallic card.

Thank you for taking a few minutes out of your busy day to visit me.  Happy stamping!

Card Recipe:
Stamps:  Herb Expressions 
Paper:  Aquamarine, Elegant Eggplant, Kaisercraft Lilac Avenue Collection Designer Paper, Shimmery White 
Ink:  Image – StazOn Black; Lavender – Almost Amethyst Marker & Purple Twilight with Blender Pen; Leaves – Mellow Moss Marker & Sage Shadow Marker; Sponging – Sage Shadow; Sentiment - Elegant Eggplant  
Accessories:  Periwinkle Shimmerz Paint, Kaiser Pearls in Lavender, Nesties Labels Eighteen #3 & #4, Fleur De Lis Accents, Papertrey Double Ended Ribbon Banner Die   
Techniques:  Sponging, Blender Pen

Friday, August 5, 2011

Royal Albert "Moonlight Rose"

Please join me in welcoming summertime's beautiful weather with tea on the patio.  We can enjoy each other's company here in our glider rocker.  I am linking with Bernideen for Tea in the Garden on Saturday and Sandi from Rose Chintz Cottage for Tea Time Tuesday.

(click photos to enlarge)

I have brought out one of Royal Albert's traditional floral patterns "Moonlight Rose".  This timeless beauty has soft hues of blues and lavender, trimmed in 22k gold with a Montrose shaped handle.

The basket is by Longaberger and I love the oval shape with solid wood bottom - perfect for transporting tea outside.

Our tea today is Blueberry Green Tea.  This tea has a wonderful sweet character with a pleasing astringency.  Can you smell the delightful aroma?  I have paired this tea with some fresh and juicy succulent blueberries.

A peek at the bottom of the cup.

The flax fabric and napkin are embellished with Majolica Garden Crewel embroidery in lovely shades of soft cream and caramel.

A potted dwarf Alberta Spruce with some trailing ivy.

Thank you for joining me for tea in the garden.  I appreciate you stopping by and for your wonderful comments.    

Teacup & Saucer:  Royal Albert "Moonlight Rose"
Basket:  Longaberger Collectors Club Tea Tray Set
Fabric & Napkin:  Longaberger Flax
Glider Rocker:  Hanamint Sonoma in Desert Bronze
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