Tuesday, September 09, 2008

9 September 2008 Memory's Season

Each season has its charm. For me, Winter is a time to do indoor things, like stamping, writing, reading, making cocoa or hot spiced cider. Spring brings a welcome relief from cold and snow, Summer fills me with a playful mood, and Autumn, ah, Autumn! The ochres, scarlets, bronzes, and fitful changes in weather of Autumn! The title of this entry comes from the following poem.

Chill winds are wailing and
The sky weeps rimey tears.
Another summer's passing,
Another winter's near.

My heart vibrates
With the approaching steps
Of a season haunted
By long-gone scents and sounds.

With memories pierced by
The cries of southbound geese
Of golden afternoons bitter
With the haze of bonfires.

Old flames smoldering
Under the ashes of memory
Are rekindled and blaze
Brightly in my heart.

The echoing call of the loon
On the lake
is answered
By her mate. Would that you
Could answer mine.

Kathleen Chabot, all rights reserved

The following card was made at a Sale/Make 'n Take held by my very talented SU demo. Look, ma, no stamps!

The two cards below were made for Inkstainers weekly challenges. The first; 1-2-3-4 Challenge, which meant, 1stamp, 2 flowers, 3 brads or eyelets, 4 cs layers or pieces (as in punched cs).

This challenge was to stamp mailing labels.

This ATC was for me--or trade. I used one page from Vogue magazine, in which a model was wearing a very elaborate, voluminous evening dress. I used her head (ouch) as the focal point, and cut-up pieces of the dress as background.

Thursday, September 04, 2008

4 September 2008 Oh, no!!!

This post was supposed to be about the trip I made to St-Joseph-de-la-rive last weekend with my younger son. However, said son inadvertantly (???) packed my digie cam in his luggage. It's now in Montréal, and won't be recovered until he comes to Québec, or I go to Montréal, which won't be tomorrow. Siiiiigh! Didn't realize how much I love that DC! All is not lost, however. I have pictures from the trip I took to the same place with a friend, in July.
The town cited above is small, on the St. Lawrence, and literally has its back to a very fragile mountain. One of the sites to visit there is a humungous crater, now grass-covered, dug out by a comet in ages past. Most heavenly visitors don't make it through our atmosphere intact. If they do, they're usually bits and pieces, some large enough to do damage, but planet-threatening sized ones very rarely make it through. These last, to survive burning up in our atmosphere, need to be truly unimageably huge on entering our atmosphere, to do the damage the one did that landed in Charlesvoix county--where my son and I were.
Up an impossibly steep hill--Marc was driving, and when he saw the hill, said, "Good grief! (language amended for Internet purposes), "What gear am I going to use to get up that hill!" We did make it up to the top, however, where the town of Les Éboulements hangs onto the edge of said hill. Great view! The name of this town means, Landslides. The underpinnings of the whole region has been made fragile by the comet's landing. The first settlers found this out when an earthquake brought a side of the mountain tumbling down about them. Huge boulders are still visible, torn from the earth and flung about as by a giant's hand, are still visible in the countryside.
Earthquakes still shake the region from time to time, but one forgets this history when looking out on the St. Lawrence, already much wider at this point than in Québec, sunshine dancing on its waves. The blue of the river is repeated by the mountains on the far side, which blend in with the blue of the sky. Look long, and it seems that the three are one. Close your eyes and listen to the rhythm of the waves as they sigh onto the shore. Your heartbeat slows, your muscles relax, and life rocks you in gentle arms. Take a deep breath and let the salt air clear your lungs. Listen to the cry of the gulls, whose voices are part of the song of the St. Lawrence.
Pictures, top to bottom: 1. Hôtel Beauséjour, St-Joseph-de-la-rive; 2. part of hotel's porch; 3. yours truly, relaxing; 4. Quai at St-Joseph, looking back toward village; 5. Quai and ferry crossing to l'Isle aux Coudres; 6. view of intimidating road up to Les Éboulements; 7. outdoor part of Maritime Museum, with ship being overhauled for eventual tours. Ships like this were kings of the St. Lawrence, carrying logs and other merchandise at a time when there were no roads or railroads; 8. mast of an old, abandoned ship at the museum.

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

2 September 2008 Slipping into Fall

The long days of summer are melting away. It's dark at 7:30 p.m. now, instead of 9:30 p.m. But autumn is a wonderful season here. It's as if Mother Nature regrets she gives us rainy summers almost every year, and makes up for it with autumn.
The hills blaze with color, the mornings are cool, middays warm or even hot, and the evenings bring a chill. That's a season to look forward to!
I've been following Michelle Zindorf's wonderful tutorials with pictures and step-by-step instructions. Following are some of the cards I made trying to follow the tutorials. Here's a link to them: http://zindorf.blogs.splitcoaststampers.com/tutorials-ive-written/

Below are "Halloween Moon", in which I tried to apply the Zindorf technique on my own, using Green Pepper Press stamps, and "Happy Thanksgiving", based on an idea in the 2008 issue of the magazine, "Stamp It" by Paper Crafts.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

12 August 2008 Catching up

I haven't "mused" in a long time, so this will be an update kind of entry. The celebration of the 400th anniversary of the founding of Québec City has been literally "à l'eau"--drowned out. We had over 400cm of snow this winter, and have now had over 400ml of rain--so far. Practically every day brings a violent weather warning, and Sunday evening, the lightening and deafening cracks of thunder even scared the cats. I just try to take each day as it comes, and what better time to curl up with cats and good book than a rainy day!The following are cards I made for Inkstainers challenges.

Following are a couple of ATCs I made for the ATC Artists monthly mingles. One month was on mermaids, and the next month was "thumbprints." In the latter two, the cat, mouse and cheese, as well as the flowers, sun and Ladybugs were all made with inky finger or thumbprints.

I recently joined an online group, "Technique Junkies", whose members like trying new techniques in stamping. Here are my first cards using techniques from the TJ newsletter. The first is Layered Collage, the second, Designer Tiles. For a peek at what Technique Junkies is all about, go to: http://www.techniquejunkies.com/

That gets this blog pretty much up to date. See you soon.

Friday, June 06, 2008

6 June 2008 Father's Day & a Special Visit

The Father's Day card is for my older son, the father of my two grandchildren. The stamps are from the Papertrey Ink set, Pond Life. The technique is a variation of Michelle Zindorf's Dappled Light Garden Tutorial. Her tutorials are available on her blog:

The pictures were taken at the Restaurant Au Parmésan in Old Québec. A celebration was in order, because Sharon, from Nova Scotia, on the right, was visiting her longtime friend, Jeanne, (photo below), which gave Sharon and me the chance to meet in person. We've known each other through online stamping groups for about six years.
The friendly fellows? Ask Sharon and Jeanne!

Monday, May 19, 2008

19 May 2008 Spring's Crackin', Pigs May Fly and a Challenge

The three lil' pigs are in trouble! I got this idea from the Paper Crafts magazine, Stamp It!. Didn't see an issue number, but it's hot off the newstand. The magazine used a Gina K stamp from the Down on the Farm set, which I don't have, so I improvised with punches. Forgot to give the piggies legs. That's why they're in trouble, or would be if they came down to earth! Don't worry, I'll ink in some legs. The clouds were made by dabbing on some white Color Box ink.

I'm not a designer, but one of those stampers whose cards are inspired by others' ideas. I particularly love this card, because it is an original idea. Okay, okay, you've seen other hatching chick cards. But the way I made this one came from my own head. It occurred to me that two of my oval punches would make wonderful egg shapes. I punched the chick's egg with the smaller of the two, then zig-zag cut it with regular scissors. The chick is made of two punches, and his beak was free-hand cut. Try picking up such eensy pieces! I tried using tweezers to pick them up, finally found that long nails--mine--worked best. Gluing the eensy beak pieces was another challenge, because they didn't want to leave my fingertips.
The background is the Cuttlebug Birds and Swirls.

The "A Winter's Night Dream" card is the answer to a challenge by Michelle of Ink Stainers. I wanted to make the title, "A Midwinter Night's Dream" as a replique to Shakespeare's "A Midsummer Night's Dream, but didn't have room for the "mid". Bravo, Michelle, for getting the images off to us in spite of moving and still settling in to a new place.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

15 May 2008 Something New...

...for me, at least. I have a pile of thin, round chipboard that I didn't quite know how to use. Then I found a tutorial by Michelle Giraud. Here's the link: http://twisted-chick.blogspot.com/2008/05/mod-baby-card.html
I'll send the Kitty to one of my granddaughters, will make another Kitty for the other one.

My cards are often inspired by someone else's art. The idea for this card came from http://acreativeneed.wordpress.com/
I didn't have the exact stamps or inks, so improvised with what I have. The bg stamp is SU Floral, the main image is Gerber Daisy by Rubber Stampede.

Monday, May 12, 2008

12 May 2008 SoloTea Party

There' s nothing--well, almost nothing--like a cuppa after a satisfying knitting session. Not that I knit these 2½ squares at one sitting! They are the beginning of an Afghan composed of 20 squares, all of which are challenging. It's not the difficulty of the stitches, but the attention required. Plus, the instructions in the partly finished square neglected to mention that the right or left twists on the right side of the pattern must become left or right twists on the left side, and also knit in the opposite direction. Are you lost? so was I for awhile. I'm sure most others would have figured this out right away, but...!
The issues of Knitter's Magazine in which the instructions were given begin with the Winter 2002 issue, and finally got around to starting the Afghan this winter. I stopped on 3 March, the date of my first cataract operation, and took up the third square again when the critical period after my second operation was up

This square is called "Bugs and Hugs", by designer Judy Sumner of Knoxville, TN. A spider is visible on the left, and one bug on the lower left (the lump in the middle of the lattice pattern). The hugs are on the left and right sides, in the form of more or less discernable x's.

The second square is composed of a "serpentine" cable and Aran Diamond & Cable patterns. The designer is Julie H. Levy of Stuart, FL.

The square under construction is designed by Marian Tabler of Cincinnati, OH. It'll go faster now that I've figured out about the differing left-side twists and direction.
In case you're wondering about the little jewels marking the stitch patterns, they're examples of some beautiful markers from Debra's Garden Web Store. Whether you're an avid knitter or not, it's worth checking out her site, just to see her lovely creations. The web address is: http://www.debrasgarden.com/index.html

Now, back to that cup of tea and tasty treats! Maybe you'll join me?

Sunday, May 11, 2008

11 May 2008 A walk on the semi-wild side

I took a walk on the path, maintained by the city, through a wooded area about two blocks from my apartment building. It was sunny, a little windy, a great time to check out the signs of winter's end and springs renewal.
Snow piled up by snow throwers takes longer to melt. Next to entrance to Boisé des Compagnons, (Compagnons Woods), named for the school just to the left of this snow bank.

Sign at entrance to boisé, with map of path.

Poems someone attached to the entrance sign. If you understand French, clicking on the picture will give you a readable enlargement.

Cars on the road just beyond the woods reveal that we're in the middle of a city.

Not dandelions, but some variety of woodland flower.

Entrance to Path.

Where once piled snow, now lies a temporary pond where tadpoles and, alas, mosquitoes grow.

More early woodland blooms.

What will emerge from this corolla?

A small connifer made it through the winter.

What a wind, to have ripped this tree up by the roots!

Baby connifers. In fifteen to twenty years, they'll be a mighty forest. That is, they would, but the city will probably clear some of them out, to maintain the path.

The ghost of a leaf.

More wind damage.

We're halfway through the path!

The woods renews itself.

The end of the trail; back to the beginning. I hope to be able to show you some animal life later. There are usually squirrels or chipmunks, and once, I saw a hawk.