Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Writing Exercises

I am one of those people--the ones who read nerdy books about waves, and tides, and the development of weather technology, watches Teaching Company videos describing the craft of sentence development, or who follows the exercises in books like Steering the Craft, not because I need to do it for school, but because it's fun.  Now that my soul is bare before you, here are today's writings based on the first exercise in the darn book.

I am surrounded by chaos.  Pets and generally-grown children bound me with a continuous cacophony of noise and entertainment, coming and going on their own schedules, oblivious and insensible to mine, not cruel but thoughtless; the benign insensitivity of youth. Usually one child stirs the pot—say in the form of liberating kitten from his crib, my bedroom, with savior’s satisfaction-- abandoning me to battle the ensuing pandemonium, the pattering gallop of kitten feet, attacking and withdrawing, tilting at kittenish windmills, finding foes amongst the dust bunnies, herding the feline household inhabitants into horrified retreat. 

The sun peeps, teasing and taunting, a tiny northwest glimpse groundwards, scattering back behind the clouds, surely to laugh at my longing.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

In Which I Become Mrs. Bennett

I have found myself channeling Mrs. Bennet lately, contemplating the impending marriage of my second daughter to a great guy..."oh Mr. Bennet, two daughters married....."

It really is a strange feeling to think that Miss Sarah will be going off w/ her Mr. Bingley in no time at all.  And yet, their engagement pictures show just how happy they are.  Complete series to be found on the incredible Lisa Lovely's Blog

This is the couple who got engaged on the Basin Quad chair at White Pass (all the while Mister and I innocently sat in the chair behind them wondering about all the giggling up ahead.)  Can you imagine if he had fumbled the ring?  But, he didn't, and she didn't, and the rest is history.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

A Knitting Frenzy

I've been knitting since I was 19, when I got roped into a knitting class by a friend who later dropped out.  It was one of those funky, chic yarn shops in San Francisco that has long since come and gone.  I hate to say how many years ago that was (or even think it!), but let's just say, I have quite a bit of knitting experience.

Knitting was my first passionate hobby, and while I've had some slack years, I've always been loyal.  Lately, I've had a bit of a knitting binge; I've already finished up two sweaters this summer, and I'm about to finish another (all for myself of course.  Knitting is the most fun for a truly grateful recipient.  And I am TRULY grateful!)  However, I am swatching to make this for Mister.  I made it many years ago for my dad's 60th birthday (he's in his mid-70's now), and despite its intricate look, it is actually a very easy Aran to knit.

For myself, I just had a weak moment and ordered yarn to make a sweater with the unusual name of Eala Bhan (wish I knew what that meant!  Need to research.)    It is a shaped Aran that I just love.  Only mine will be red....I love the orchid version shown here, but completed a similar sweater in a darker purple, and it would just be too much of a good thing.  I love red, though, and have never knit a red sweater before.  The yarn is manufactured by the gal who designed the sweater; she makes lovely yarn with lots of subtle color interplay--it's never just straight red or purple.  Really pretty close-up!  It is winging its way from Scotland as we speak, so I'll have to content myself w/ the scads and oodles of yarn I have right here in my own little house.  I have some lovely pinky/plum silk waiting to be a short-sleeved cardi, so that's in the queue, too!

I told you it was a frenzy!!!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

An Adorable Kitty Birthday Card by Sarah

Sarah created this adorable card for Mister using the Create a Critter Cricut Cartridge.  We have waaaay too many cats, as you already know, so this was a little inside joke ; )

Supplies were mostly non-CTMH except for the incredibly versatile stamp from Card Chatter--Birthday (the pic shows one of the stamps as "Hip Hip Horray", but no worries, the set, when you receive it, it says "Hip Hip Hooray"

Monday, August 22, 2011

Mister's Birthday Card

Made this card to celebrate Mister for his birthday on the 18th.  All supplies are from CTMH:
Typeset Level 2 Paperpacket
Art Philosophy Cricut Cartridge and Stamp Sets
Stars are from Milepost Shapes collection

Inks are Honey, Juniper, and Vineyard Berry.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Anniversary Card and Lots of CTMH Values

An anniversary card I made for Mister for our 26th (!!!) this past week.   Where does the time go?  The mirror tells me that the time indeed has past, but it feels like I've barely blinked.

The hearts are Irresistables from the now-retired Bliss Workshop on the Go.  The stamp is from one of my favorite sets:  Remarkable Wreath.  Sparkles are from the blue and red sparkles collections.  Inks used were Pacifica and Hollyhock. 

Inside I stamped "all you need is love" from the Pair-A-Phrase stamp set you can get FREE with a $75 purchaseAdditionally, you can also receive this month's stamp of the month for an additional $5.00 and besides that darling set, CTMH will throw in the Typeface bonus set absolutely free! 
That's a lot of free stuff!

I've been using Pair-A-Phrase a lot.  It is so versatile, and if you like to use markers to color in your images, it has some adorable stamps you could use to color.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Ann is the Best

I LOVE Ann's blog.  Her art always inspires and motivates me; she is definitely someone to CASE from.  She is also an absolute sweetheart!  She recently
(well, in July--see how I am), nominated me for this:
Isn't that yummy looking?  So, in order to accept, I must tell you seven things about me and nominate seven other bloggers.  SO, here we go:

  1. I love to write, but it also is a source of fear and anxiety for me ; )
  2. I totally have empty nest syndrome right now
  3. I have a secret-until-now fetish for cheesy disaster movies.
  4. I don't have TV--well, I have one, but nothing is beamed into it.  We rent or borrow movies.
  5. The tv station I love to watch when I go to hotels is....The Weather Channel.  Seriously.  It goes hand-in-hand with #3.
  6. I love to read, but hate bad writing.  
  7. I have no self control when it comes to red licorice ropes.
And my nominations for the Irresistibly Sweet award go to:
  1.  Mary--Miss Mary Scrapping 
  2. Debbie--Scrapping My Heart Out
  3. Jennifer--LiveTeachCreate
  4. Holley--Heart to Heart with Holly (not a craft blog--just soulful inspiration)
  5. Melody--Brave Girls Blog
  6. Becky--Inking Idaho
  7. Christine--Create with Christine

Friday, August 19, 2011

Card for K-zatie

Katie is practically my fourth daughter.  She left for college yesterday (on the other side of the state), so I made this card for her using the Roxie collection from the new CTMH catalog--really fun papers in that one!

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Some Sarah Creations

All of us like to create art of one kind or another around here.  It's great, because we often act as each other's muse, which is soooo helpful during a creative dry spell.

Miss Sarah has done a lot of creating lately.  Here are some of her offerings:

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Wow! An actual card!

A card for a dear friend; supplies are from the new CTMH catalog--which is fantastic, by the way ; )

Sonoma paper packet--
I also used the new Art Philosophy cricut cartridge, which is worth every penny and more!  I've already used it more than all of my other cartridges combined!
Love the Kraft die cut cards--10 to a pack for just 6.95.  I'm also using these for some mini albums, which I'll share in the future.

Monday, August 15, 2011


                Everywhere I look, there is cat.  Food bowls and towers, scratching mats and catnip mice, all trumped, of course by litter boxes. 
                “You need N+1 litter boxes,” states my vet authoritatively, when I bring in my neurotic tom, whose formerly sweet self has been replaced by a wall-spraying, fellow-cat-attacking fiend.  I look up and smile weakly.  N+1?  Who knew cat ownership was really just another exercise in algebra?  But, I comply, and soon six litterboxes grace my household, four lined up in the garage like some sort of mad cat comfort station , one for the kitten upstairs, and one in the downstairs bathroom for the sane cats to use while we wait for naughty Mr. Claudio’s Prozac to kick in.
                Wryly, I think to myself, N+1 would have been a good prescription during the crazy teenage years when my three daughters shared a single bathroom with a lone sink.  But, it is too late now.  They are grown and gone, and I am left with one dog ,five cats and a tolerant husband. 
                Lately, the kitten, El Diablo—okay, that’s not really his name—has taken to pacing the tub ledge during my nightly bath, with his curiously brown eyes, uncommon to cats, watching the tub fill.    No doubt he’s thinking how to get in and out without getting wet.  His face is totally black except for shockingly white whiskers and eyebrows, and a single white triangle starting on the left side of his kitten mouth and extending up to a point next to his nose. The asymmetry of it always makes me want to tilt my head while looking at him.  He is a “tuxedo” kitty , with broad triangles of white on his chest and belly, meeting in points in the center, white-dipped toes in the front, and rabbit-like all-white legs in the back. 
                At fourteen weeks, Diablo , aka Pippin, would like to spend most of his time tirelessly harassing the more mature cat inhabitants of the house, who by turns,  are shocked, horrified, and ticked. Undoubtedly, they concur that the wrong cat is getting Prozac.   Making friends doesn’t seem to be high on Pippin’ list of priorities, except with the dog, who, at forty pounds, gently plays with the kitten until her Rat Terrier heritage gets the better of her and she lies on top of her five-pound nemesis.  Pippin will run away when released—usually with human intervention—but returns mere seconds later for another round.   Persistence seems to be his gift.  Common sense, not so much.
                When Pip showed up two days before my forty-ninth birthday, with a huge purple bow around his kitten neck and a note apologizing for not being yellow, I was sure my family had lost its collective mind.  Usually the instigator of cat acquisition, I was stunned that Mr. Cat Lady had authorized this latest, but of course, one look at the sweet kitten face, and we were all undone.  Several weeks later, weeks filled with hijinx alternating with in-your-face cuddles, my future son-in-law’s insistence that Pip’s purring really indicated that he was recharging his Death Rays, seems apt.  We are undone, just not in the way we originally thought.  The formula for the Peter Principle of cat ownership does indeed seem to be N+1.