Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Merry Christmas

I'm looking forward to spending Christmas and New Year's with my sons, daughter-in-law and granddaughters in South Carolina. To all who drop by here, I wish you joy now and throughout the New Year.

This is one of the cards I sent to friends and family. The stamp is by Inkadinkado, the ink is SU Night of Navy, cs is SU Night of Navy and Whisper White. Image outlined with silver pen.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Hope in the midst of sorrow

"An Expressive and Innovative Mixed Media Ezine for Paper Crafters, Collage and Assemblage Artists". This is part of the masthead for the first issue of the new e-zine, Art With No Boundaries, which was a blog until Chris Stern, its creator, decided to expand its possibilities. Follow the link to see the creative digital and other art on the site, created by Chris and guest designers.

I know many of you, as am I, are still shaken and saddened by the massacre at the Newtown, Connecticut elementary school last Friday. Prayer can soothe and give hope to our hearts, and so can beautiful, cheerful art. I hope a visit to Art With No Boundaries will give a lift to your heart.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Loss of Innocents

I have heard about the tragedy in Connecticut yesterday, watched the reports this morning, and find it difficult to express my feelings.  Tragedies like this leave us numb.  In thinking of the parents who've lost little ones, I remember that my grandmother and grandfather never got over the loss of my mother, who died of cancer at the age of 35. I still feel her loss, too.

I also remember friends whose first child was a son the same age as my younger son. They lived in a high rise near Ottawa, Ontario, on the 11th floor, and lost their son, barely a year old, when a badly installed floor-to-ceiling screen detached while he was looking down at the traffic. I still feel horror and sorrow at the thought of his mom racing down to his broken little body. The couple visited us when Marc was 15, and by the way they talked to him, questioned him about his life, I could tell they were thinking, "Our son would be doing similar things..."

In an interview, the priest of the Catholic Church in New Town said that some parents had told him they were comforted just by his being with them. From my personal experience, I know that the mere presence of loving friends and family can be more comforting than words.

In such times, it also comforts me to know that God always brings good out of evil, and never allows us to endure more than we can bear, even though at the time it might not seem like it. One good thing I can think of now is that thousands, probably millions, of people all over the world are praying for the families, which will benefit not only the families, but those who pray as well.

This tragedy, coming at Christmas time, also makes me think of the Holy Innocents, who died in place of Christ, when Herod sent soldiers to seek and kill him. I heard several people on TV express regret at the possibilities never to be fulfilled by those 20 little ones. This is a thought I always have when thinking of the victims of abortion, especially survivors of abortion, often then left alone until they die, without sustenance or comfort.

I also thought this morning of my high school-aged granddaughters, and of my son  who teaches in a Montréal CEGEP--roughly equivalent to a US Junior College. We've had tragic shootings in schools in Québec, and this morning, I realized that he, too, is vulnerable.

My prayers and thoughts are with all those who will find joy difficult this Christmas season.

Friday, October 26, 2012


The top card was made for the October challenge on Art With No Boundaries
The images were made with the digital stamp "Haunting Apparition I, Psychosis" by CS Designs. The ghost bats are PSX, the sentiment from Inkadinkadoo. "Psychosis" was printed on coloured paper. I hope she likes the three different looks this gives her, I don't want to think of her reaction if she's not pleased!
The second card was entered in a challenge from a new Paper Craft Planet group, Graphic 45. The challenge is to make something using--surprise--paper from Graphic 45. The background uses double-sided card stock from Halloween in Wonderland. The witch and sentiment are from Inkadinkadoo, the houses are from SU Home is Where the Haunt is. The bats were made with the SU Itty Bitty Bat punch. I CASED Michelle Zindorf's wonderful tutorial #125, A Witchy Night. I used a house instead of trees. 

Sunday, October 07, 2012

Fall and other delights

I haven't blogged in awhile, but I have been stamping.  I find Autumn an inspiring time, with its joyful colors, it's mix of cold mornings and evenings and summer in between the two. It's a season to celebrate--but then, every season is worth celebrating.

The first card was inspired by a Gina K tutorial

I didn't have the stamp, ink--except the Versamark used on the background--or the sentiment Gina K used on her card, but I enjoyed the challenge of finding substitutes. The flower stamp is a freebie from the British magazine, Craft Stamper, the sentiment is from the SU set, Wonderful Words. I've done Versamark backgrounds, but learned something new in Gina's tutorial; pigment ink can erase the Versamark! I used chalk, since the ink I was going to use, SU Creamy Caramel, is the Craft (pigment) version.

I used my House Mouse stamps for the next four cards. I just love these mischievous little mice!
The background on the Trick or Treat card is patterned paper, and I used SU Watercolor Wonder crayons with my SU Aqua Painter. The sentiment is from the Inkadinkado "All Hallow's Eve" set. The bats were made with the SU Itty Bitty Bat punch.

The leaves on the Flying by card were cut from a vellum page, the geese are PSX, the mice are HM, and I Cuttlebugged the strip of cs on the left of the card.

The third HM card was done for a layout challenge--stamps are HM, SU and PSX.

I used SU Fresh Fruit and House Mouse stamps on the last card. I hope Monica doesn't mind that I substituted a lime slice for her perfume atomizer. I'm sure she'll find something to do with the slice.

Friday, August 17, 2012


 I run to the beach at dawn
To discover what prize
The sea’s given up.
Just beyond reach of galloping waves
Lies a slim, white, riffled case,
It’s mariner gone.
Waves tease my toes,
A breeze fingers my hair,
I think of my own
Brave Argonauts.

       Kathleen Chabot

 I was thinking of my two sons when I wrote this poem. The older one was married later that year, and I'm happy to report that he, his wife and two daughters are thriving. Son #2 is also doing well. Both sons are doing work they love.

I got so carried away with making waves on this card that I didn't notice I had the lady writing in the water. I suspect she's the type who will hope even if the waves wash her writing away. The clouds are bigger than I wanted them, and my photograph of the card is not very good, but then, life is often less than perfect. That's why we need hope.

Details of the card:

Card stock;  SU Brilliant Blue, Shimmery White,
Ink; SU Basic Black, Blue Spectrum pad, Color Box Cocoa
Stamps; SU Seaside Sketches, Wonderful Words II, Itty BittyBackgrounds
Image watercolored with Watercolor Wonder Crayons and was masked while I sponged the ocean waves, stamped and sponged the sand, and put clouds in the sky.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Tales from the Sea

Seashell, seashell, whisper to me,
What lies beneath
The tight-lipped sea?

Seashell, seashell, sing to me,
What kingdoms hide
In the depths below?

             Kathleen Chabot
             23 Nov. 1956

My entry in the Art With No Boundaries challenge, Rhythm of the Sea, has got me in the mood for sea themed cards. Not that I need much encouragement.

Follow the link in my previous post to see what the AWNB team and other artists have done with this challenge; it might inspire you, too. The challenge ends 17 August, so don't wait to check it out.

As the poem above indicates, my fascination with the sea is not recent.  The sea is challenging, mysterious fiercely beautiful, and hardly explored. The shadows and colours of the sea are mine.
Details of the card:
Cardstock, SU (Stampin' Up)
Sentiment, SU Seaside Sketches (retired)
Little crabs, SU On the Beach (retired)
Focal image, Stamps Happen, #50031 Collecting Sea Shells
Background uses two Cuttlebug embossing folders; Tiny Bubbles and D'vine Swirls
Used SU Framelits Labels Collection, 3rd largest
I know, I know, the crabs should be red. My crabs were bored with red, so I let them be blue.

Saturday, August 11, 2012


 What a difference it makes to have an organized craft room! Marc, my son who worked hard to make it happen, thought of so many details that would never have occurred to me. To each his own area of expertise!
The two cards at right were made for challenges; Take a bite is for the House Mouse & Friends group on Papercraft Planet,, and Just us chickens is for the Anything Goes Challenge on Art With No Boundaries,

The background for Mudpie and his apple was made by masking and sponging.

All of the elements on the chickens card except the sentiment are digital stamps from the Cock-a-Doodles set by CS Designs. The central element is a teabag fold. I love this set, but haven't worked with it for awhile.

Monday, August 06, 2012

In Case You Were Wondering...

...where I've been,  my younger son was creating a fantastic crafting space for me which is now finished.  I also just replaced my worn out printer/scanner. It's such a joy to have a place for everything and plenty of space to create!

The first two cards are Newborn Congratulations, the third uses Loreley Sands and Shells, a digital stamp by CS Designs, as is the sentiment, and the fourth is a birthday card for the creator of my crafting space.

The Peter Rabbit background was done with masking and sponging. The frames are SU Framelits Labels, popped up on SU Dimensionals. Peter is also attached with Dimensionals.

This is the first time I've used the babies from the SU set, Baby Firsts, but I've got to find an excuse for using them again--I love them! More babies were stamped on the background, using Versamark ink.
The background of the Loreley card was stamped with a PSX sailboat image and Versamark. The sea turtle is also PSX. My first stamps were from that company, which made such quality images. I treasure those I have!
Loreley will be entered in the Art With No Boundaries Bonus challenge, Rhythm of the Sea.

The sun in the birthday card background was made by sponging ink over a circle punched mask. The grass and sentiment are SU Inspired by Nature. I cased this card from Cat Spicer;

Saturday, May 19, 2012


Have you ever felt like walking through the door of home or work and closing it on the responsibilities and people depending on you? I think we all feel like that at least once in our lives. We usually don’t give into those feelings. It’s not the feelings that count; it’s what we do about them.

I’ve learned to take a break, to talk to someone, to pray, when I feel overwhelmed. None of these actions are magic solutions, but they help me keep things in perspective. Despair comes when we keep our worries wrapped up inside of us. There, they grow out of proportion. Despair induces a kind of perverse pride, making one think that one’s problems are beyond solution. There’s no problem without a solution, however difficult the solution.

The young girl possibly thinking of running into the deep, dark , beckoning woods, is  Paperbag Studios Windsong. The “Escape” stamp is from Heidi Swapp. The background stamp is Cornish Farms. The cardstock is SU Rich Razzleberry and Shimmer White, the ink is SU Rich Razzleberry. I stamped Windsong twice, cut out the girl from one image and pop dotted her on the first image with SU Dimensionals.

I used a stamp from one of my favourite SU sets, Haute Couture, for the ATCs, I’m not sure what the English title of the set is. The sentiment translates as “Just my style.” The cs is all scraps, so I'm not sure of their identity. The background on the second ATC was stamped with an SU small background stamp.

Hope you have a great weekend.     

Thursday, May 17, 2012

House Mouse and Memories

The House Mouse mice never cease to delight me. I especially like the single images, because they have so many possibilities. The two used here are Contented Mudpie and Mice-tro, Monica wielding the baton. The whimsical music notes are from the Mardi Gras Frogs collection by Third Coast.
Techniques used: stamping, embossing with ep, watercoloring, masking. For the “dream” clouds, I cut a shape from a sticky note and sponged around it.
The little mice remind me of one of my favourite childhood comic books, Mary Jane and Sniffles. Sniffles was a mouse, and to become his size, Mary Jane would say, “Magic words of poof, poof piffles, make me just as small as Sniffles,” She would shrink to Sniffles’ size and off they’d go on adventures.
These stories and others fed my imagination, and with dolls, small plastic horses, and stuffed animals, I created a world of adventures. The Raggedy Ann and Andy stories, in which dolls and other toys come to life at night, were another favourite.  One night, I placed some of my dolls next to my bed and whispered to them that I knew their secret would never tell, and then begged them to wake me at midnight. Of course, they never did, but I still believed, telling myself that they just didn’t trust me enough. I’d hate to tell you how old I was when I stopped believing in the Easter Bunny and Santa Claus.
As I grew older, these beliefs and fantasies were undone by reality, but a sense of wonder and a penchant for weaving tales has never left me.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Lost Penguins

If you grew up with Bugs Bunny and friends, you'll recognize the head penguin's excuse for leading his friends astray as Bugs' laconic line whenever he popped up from a hole to discover himself in the wrong place.
I miss Bugs and his pals, Yosemite Sam, the Tasmanian Devil, the Roadrunner and Wile E. Coyote--I always rooted for him--and all those other Looney Toons characters who gave me, and eventually, my sons, such wonderful moments of joyful laughter.
My sons and I still know dialogs from our favourite Bugs cartoons by heart. If that says something about us, I hope it's positive.
 Apparently, a lot of people learned to like classical music through episodes such as, "What's Opera, Doc?", and the masterful imitation of a Wagner opera, in which Elmer Fudd sings "Kill the Wabbit." The cartoons which now haunt the Saturday morning TV channels are, for me, sad substitutes for Looney Tunes.
This ATC will be entered in the "Anything Goes" part of the two challenges on Art With No Boundaries. Here's how I put the penguins in the desert:
Penguins stamped with SU Basic Black and masked (unfortunately, there's no identity on this unmounted stamp),
Sand (All Night Media) stamped with SU Creamy Caramel, then sponged with SU Marigold Morning,
Sky sponged with SU Marigold Morning,
¾" circle punched (SU) from sticky note for sun, then
Sky sponged again with SU Tangerine Tango.
I hope you don't make any wrong turns today, but if you do, just stop and ask for directions.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Hit It, Froggies!

These cool amphibians jamming on these ATCs are from Third Coast Stamps. The little dancing notes are also TC. The background on the first ATC is hand-dyed and comes from my late husband's printing/book binding shop. All coloring was done with SU Watercolor Wonder crayons.Which one is your favorite?

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Happy Mother's Day!

The small universe of my life revolved around my mother. To me, she was perfect. I don’t remember her being angry with me, or using harsh words. She was the most beautiful of women. When she died of cancer at the age of 35, the foundations of my 5-year-old world were profoundly shaken. My grandmother was there, though, with my grandfather, to keep my world from falling to pieces. At 60 and 59, they assumed without question the responsibility of raising me.

I was 19 when my grandfather died, leaving my grandmother to see me through college, and on to graduate studies in Québec. She died ten days before my wedding to Jean Chabot, but had met him and he had won her heart. I’ve always felt that Gram had held on until she felt I was well launched in life, and her job was done. What a job it had been; from the birth of my mother in 1909 to her death in 1963, she was never without a child.

I believe firmly in a God Who never allows anything to happen to us that doesn’t contain a good in it, however difficult it may be to perceive that good. I lost my mother, but had a treasure in my Gram. When I came to Québec, I lived with Mme Royer, a widow with two daughters, a teenager, and one my age. All three treated me like a third daughter and sister. I was under the loving care of Mme Royer until my marriage, and gained my husband’s mother.

Maman was always there for me, encouraging, giving advice when asked. It took 2½ days for my first son to be born, and when Jean couldn’t be there, maman was. After Jean’s death in 1994, maman and I were a great comfort to each other. She left us in 1997.

The work of mothering is certainly not the easiest or most appreciated job in the world, but it is one of the two most necessary ones, the other being the work of fathering. Together, they form the foundation of any society. I salute and pray for those mothers who, due to circumstances beyond their control, must raise their children without the loving support of a husband. God gives the grace to do it, but it’s impossible to completely replace the role of a father. A child needs the different gifts of mother and father.
To all mothers and grandmothers, I wish a happy day, and may you find strength in the loving example of the mother of Jesus Christ.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Fit to Be Tied!

The above title refers to the latest challenges on Art With No Boundaries--"Anything Goes/Fit to Be Tied". The card at left will be entered in the "Fit to Be Tied" challenge. The card base is SU Shimmery White, the background stamp is SU Classic Stripes sponged with chalks and SU inks. The sentiment (Hang in There!) is also SU.
The focal pieces are digital stamps by Chris Stern at CS Designs. I'm not sure if they're still available, since they're from her 2005 Florets set. I used SU Stampin' Write markers and Twinkling H20's to color them, and made an attempt at Spirelli technique with sewing thread. I can't tell you how many times I unwound the thread on the large Floret before finally deciding that this was my attempt and I'm standing by it. Some things in life were intended to remain a mystery, and for me, Spirelli is one of them!
Do click on the Art With No Boundaries link above to see what beautiful things Chris Stern and other artists have done for this challenge.

Wednesday, May 09, 2012

More Recycling

I previously posted my entries for the first challenge of the site, Recycle, Re-purpose and Re-invent; I used parts of a tissue box on a couple of cards for the "Anything Goes" theme. The challenge included a question one could choose to answer or not, "What’s the strangest thing you have been hoarding for the purpose of using it in your 
art and how do you plan to use it?" My strangest thing was birch bark (see entry for April 5 2012).
Birch bark was used on the card. The poem is original, and recalls memories of trips to our cabin in the woods made with my two sons and my husband, who died in  1994. There's a reference to our marriage in October 1993.
The background is stamped with Stampin' Up Woodgrain, and the geese are PSX. Card base is Stampin' Up Chocolate Chip. It's my entry for "Anything Goes," one of the two new challenges at Recycle, Re-Purpose and Re-invent,  

The ATC is the product of memories of a trip to France in 2006, and is my entry for the second Recycle, Re-purpose, and Re-invent challenge, "A Plastic Existence." The plastic is the Mon Chéri candy wrapper which contained a long-gone delicious chocolate. The foil 50 centimes (pre-Euro?) wrapper also contained a chocolate. The Moët & Chandon stamp was made in France, too, but the mini Tour Eiffel is Stampin' Up, from the set, Paris in the Spring. The background was done with sponged ink.
I hope you take a look at the imaginative creations done with plastic and other "who knew" materials. Just click on any of the links above. The RRR site is proving the saying that one man's junk is another man's treasure!
It's a rainy day here, but the leaves are finally, if timidly, unfurling, so Spring can't be far away, can it? I hope you're having a lovely Spring, or, if you're in the southern hemisphere a magnificent Autumn.

Friday, April 27, 2012

Signs of Spring

 The buds on the tree at my balcony promise the arrival of Spring and warm weather. I check them out every day, eager to see the first tender leaves unfurl. Green grass, bless it, arrives early,  when the first thaw begins. Grass greening up at the very edge of a melting snowbank never ceases to amaze and delight me.

The second picture shows another harbinger of warm weather, which some call Street Repair Season. Soon, the city's potholed arteries will be almost as easy to navigate as a mine field. Translation of the sign for the French-challenged; "Road Work/Saint Foy Road/May." I hope the calender's month of May and the city's have the same number of days. I shall try to think of street repairs as adventures; they make us discover streets I never knew existed.

In spite of street repairs and rainy, windy days, I love Spring, for the same reason I love mornings; they both speak to me of hope. They whisper to me that discouragement should have no place in my heart, because road repairs mean improvement, rainy days promise new blooms, and I've learned from Winter that out of death comes new and brighter life.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Over the Rooftops and Into Tomorrow

 The wind has finally run out of breath and left. The weatherman promises the weekend will be sunny, but that's a few days away, and I need some sun now. I dug out this card I made a few years ago, because it makes me feel like summer inside.

When I was a child, my backyard swing was a magic carpet. I could touch the clouds or treetops with my toes or fly over the house. Some years ago, watching my granddaughters on their swings, memories of magical swinging were brought vividly back to me, and inspired the poem on this card.
The stamps  are all from the same company, but as they are unmounted with no name attached, I can't recall whose they are. If anyone recognizes the images, please let me know.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Who Has Seen the Wind?

No one, of course, can see the wind, only it's effects, which are all too visible outside my window. It began boldly blowing during the night, and is supposed to continue through tomorrow. I can't remember ever experiencing a wind like this.
It keeps attacking the lids of the dumpsters in the apartment parking lot, howling around the building like a banshee, and is trying to tear off the branches of the trees just outside my windows. It's accompanied by rain that's trying to melt the snow from the past two days, but not succeeding too well.
The cats, wisely, barely stuck their noses out the patio door this morning; when the wind goes up their ears, they turn tail and head for comfy, warm corners. I hope the weather is kinder where you are.
The cards are the answer to a challenge on the Inkstainers Facebook page, "Use Your Newest Stamp." The tag is my answer to Inkstainers' "Make a Tag" challenge. The stamps are from the Fresh Vintage set by Stampin' Up;  the little owl was made with the Stampin' Up Two-Step Owl punch.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Anything Goes...

...Almost! I missed out on participating in the Art With No Boundaries challenge, "The Eyes Have It," but this fortnight's challenge, "Anything Goes," allows me to make up for that. The central image is from Third Coast, the Palm frond is Stampington, the two masked ladies and the sentiment are digital stamps from CS Designs. The ink is SU Wild Wasabi. For some reason, Blogger has cropped this card; it actually has a green border on all four sides.
Using so much green helped brighten up the day. Would you believe that I awoke yesterday morning to a snow fall? It was still on the ground this morning, so the only green visible is this card! Living in Québec City means that one can't let the weather influence one's moods. A joyful life has to be built on something more solid.

Saturday, April 07, 2012

Happy Easter!

My Easter joy will have to come entirely from the meaning of the Day, because the weather is not joyful! No problem!
To all my friends and family dropping by, I wish you joy at Easter and always.

Thursday, April 05, 2012

Recycle, Re-purpose, Re-invent!

The title of this post is also the name of a CS Designs blog, sister to their Art with No Boundaries blog. The brand new Recycle, Re-purpose and Re-invent site  challenges us to dig into our stashes and recycling bins to come up with fresh ideas for our art. Check the right side of this blog for a link.
To answer RRR's first challenge, Anything Goes, I'm using cards I made for a CST (Canadian Stamp Talk), card mingle. Last year, CST challenged us to use tissue boxes as material for our mingle cards. I hopped on board, because I've got a drawerful of flattened tissue boxes I've been meaning to use, but needed a push to get me going.
I saved the box used on these cards because the colors, flowers and design elements appealed to me and are similar to  some of Stampin' Up's colors and one of their stamps.
SU's Build-a-Bird punch was used on the first two cards, along with stamps from the SU set, Warm Words. The background is not printed cardstock, but part of the tissue box. SU Baroque Motifs was used on the third card, beneath the tissue box strips. The card base and other cardstock used on the cards are SU.
For the Bonus Round of RRR's April challenge, one must answer the two-part question, "What’s the strangest thing you have been hoarding for the
purpose of using it in your art and how do you plan to use it?

I had a hard time with this, because one artist's weird is another's normal, no? I finally decided on a piece of the birch bark I've been saving for years. I intend to use it on a card.
The bark comes from birch trees used for the wood-burning stove at the Chabot family cabin, which is on a lake three to four hours driving distance from Québec City, plus a hike up a hill. Since my deceased husband and I spent part of our honeymoon at this cabin, the bark has a particular meaning for me.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Mudpie finds a 4-leaf clover

I just got the SU Framelets Labels collection and thought that Mudpie was the perfect choice for my first time using such dies. He is recessed beneath the frames, which is perhaps why the scanner didn't produce a clear image of him. It also didn't pick up the Sakura Clear Star shine on his clover. You'll have to use your imagination!
The House Mouse stamp is O Lucky Day, and the Shamrocks are an old PSX stamp. I  Cuttlebugged the green frame with Swiss Dot. Mudpie and clovers are colored with SU Watercolor Wonder crayons and SU Stampin' Write.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Lulu's back!

Lulu just had to have a St. Patrick's Day outfit to wear on this ATC. She even dyed her hair red and grew freckles. I didn't tell her that the four-leaf clover she found is not a true Shamrock, which has only three leaves. St. Patrick used the Shamrock to explain the Holy Trinity; three Persons in one God. Happy St. Patrick's Day to you!
The other card celebrates Spring, and was used for an Inkstainers challenge to "make something on wheels". I think it pretty well expresses my longing for snowbanks gone, long, sunny days, and taking the garbage out without putting on boots and coat. My needs are simple--sometimes.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

What Sewing Stash???

Here's fashion-conscious Lulu, a digital stamp from CSDesigns. She's my answer to the current challenge on Art with No Boundaries in Paper Craft Planet. Check it out
The challenge is "Fashionista", and asks that one use something from one's sewing stash, which in my case is non-existent. I did find a bit of rick-rack, so I qualify!
I must apologize to Chris Stern, creator of Lulu, and of the digital sentiment stamp I meant to use. The printer refused to cooperate, so I stamped the text and punched it out.
The scanner doesn't like white, which makes for a poor image. The background behind Lulu is Stampin' Up Fine Lace . Below the rick-rack, the cs is cuttlebugged with the Swiss Dot folder. Lulu has been watercolored with Twinkling H2O's; Egyptian Gold and Rose Petal.