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:
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
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:

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.

Thursday, May 08, 2008

8 May 2008 Back in the Groove

I haven't knit since 3 March, the day of my first cataract surgery. Didn't make many cards, either. I definitely wanted to do everything I could to have the best results possible, which meant staying inside for a week, no bending over, and knitting and card-making definitely call for bending the head!
The doctor's efforts, as well as mine and my family's, seem to have paid off. I go back 6 June for the final exam and prescription for glasses. It seems I won't need more than reading glasses--hooray! At least, I hope that's what the Doc will say.
At any rate, it's good to be able to go out in the sun which has been with us the past few days. I've taken up my knitting needles again, and am continuing my Aran Afghan squares. Back to stamping, too. Here are two cards, one in response to a sketch and Dahlia Fold challenge on Ink Stainers, the other a Mother's Day card which gave me a chance to make more Dahlias.

Unfortunately, rain is predicted for the weekend, which might put a crimp on some Mother's Day celebrations. Since neither of my children or my two grandchildren live nearby, rain or sun won't make a difference to my weekend. Thanks to phones and e-mail, we can still stay in touch on The Day.

Monday, May 05, 2008

5 May 2008 Spring Has Finally Sprung!

Temperature in the 60s, snow almost gone, leaves budding--I do believe it's safe to say that spring has settled in. It's about time, too! The pictures are of the tree below my balcony, and of a little patch of snow that's reluctant to give up. You don't have to scroll down too far to see the tree smothered in snow.

The following are some cards I've made lately. The "Merci" one is for the challenge on Ink Stainers to use only neutrals on a card.