The Bridge at Valentine

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Hi Friends! I won't keep you but a minute. A couple of weeks ago I told you about a book I had read that a friend of mine wrote--The Plume Hunter, by Renee Thompson. Great book, and I encourage you to read it.

Well, last night I finished her other book, The Bridge at Valentine. Oh my gosh, you have got to read this book, too! If you like historical novels set in the American west, such as Larry McMurtry's Lonesome Dove, The Bridge at Valentine is the book for you. Mr. McMurtry, himself, even gave this book high praise!

It's a retelling of Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet with a western setting. There's love and romance, turf war, sheep and cattle, life and death struggles, and the characters are completely believable and so interesting, that I hope Renee will eventually write a sequel about them.

I said I'd keep this short, and I really need to get back in the kitchen and get my Christmas casseroles and desserts made, so I have to run. If you have time, there is a great book review of The Bridge at Valentine here.

I hope you'll read The Bridge at Valentine, and also The Plume Hunter. If you do, come back and comment and let me know what you think. And, I know Renee would love to hear from you, too! In the meantime, she's working hard on her third book. I'll keep you posted when it comes out.

Thanks for stopping by and Merry Christmas!

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Beauty of Dreams

Friday, December 16, 2011

Hi Friends! If you saw this post an hour ago, you saw a raw, super quick shot of my card, using an on-camera flash instead of a light box and there was very little photo editing. I apologize for that. I was seriously under the wire on the Flourishes Feminine Flair Challenge, and I didn't have time for all that editing then. Here's a much better photo:

That gorgeous paper by Pink Paislee did most of the work on this card. I just layered a wide piece of lace over it, stamped the sentiment onto a white oval, sponged Spun Sugar Distress Ink inside the die and pierced the inside edge, then adhered an Ironwork Motif die cut to the back of the sentiment. The gold pearls on the Ironwork diecut are Pearl Pen pearls, and the little rose is resin. A few pink pearls in the upper corners and this card was done.

For the inside, I sponged Spun Sugar and Victorian Velvet inks on the edges of a white panel, adhered the Ironworks Accent strip along the top, and stamped the sentiment and rose in Stormy Sky, stamping on scrap paper first, to get a lighter blue on the card. I didn't stamp off for the rose well enough, and left some dark spots, but hey, it's handmade, right? :)

I seriously, didn't think I'd be making cards and posting again until after Christmas. I guess I'm just the tiniest bit obsessed. :)

Have a wonderful weekend!

Stamps: Tag Lines, Sweet Nature (Flourishes)
Paper: Sweetness (Pink Paislee)
Ink: Tim Holtz Distress Ink
Dies: Ironwork Motifs, Ironwork Accents, Classic Ovals Lg (Spellbinders)
Accessories: Lace (Fancy Pants Designs; pearls; sewing thread; Pearl Pen; paper piercer; floral embellishment (Recollections)
Size: A2 (4.25" x 5.5")
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Forest of Trees Gift Tag & Card

Hello Blog Friends! This will be a quick post, even though I have both a card and a tag to share with you. I made these for the Flourishes Timeless Tuesday Opposites Attract Challenge #148, which is to use the same image and make two cards/projects with two totally different looks, styles, themes or colors. I made a Christmas tag and a masculine thank you card.

I used a Pearl Pen on the gift tag for the large gold "pearls," and a snow marker for the snow on the tree. For the trees on the thank you card, I inked my stamp up with several different colored inks, then stamped one tree. I stamped off onto scrap paper before stamping the second tree so it wouldn't be too dark.

Here's a photo of the gift card tied onto a bag, and also the inside of the card.

And, that'll do it for me. Thanks for visiting today. Hope you have a great weekend! 
Stamps: Forest of Trees, Tag Lines, Holiday Greetings (Flourishes)
Paper: Best of K&Co; Double Fudge Cherry (digital - Memory Mixer)
Ink: Tim Holtz Distress Ink; Memento
Dies: Labels Thirteen, Curved Rectangles Lg (Spellbinders)
Accessories: Waxed Linen Thread; buttons; sewing thread; Glitter marker (Martha Stewart); ribbon (Michaels); eyelets; Pearl Pen; Stickles; Snow Marker
Size: Card-A2 (4.25" x 5.5")
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Snow Business

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Hello again! I'm back with yet another Christmas card! Next year, I'm definitely going to make Christmas cards all year long. I don't like being caught short at the end of the year.

I used four different challenges to come up with this card:


For the inside, I used a postage stamp edge punch on the top and bottom of the center panel and sponged Aged Mahogany Distress Ink on all the edges. 

That's it for this card, but I'll be back again soon with one last Christmas card. Until then...

Stamps: Christmas Characters (Inkadinkadoo); inside sentiment (Recollections set 182607)
Paper: Basics White (Basic Grey); Susan Winget Glad Tidings (K&Co); Simply Delightful (My Mind's Eye)
Ink: Copic Markers; Memento; Tim Holtz Distress Ink
Dies: Classic Scalloped Circles Lg, Std Circles Lg (Spellbinders)
Accessories: Postage Stamp edge punch; Martha Steward Scoreboard; eyelets; twine (The Twinery); Stickles; Snow Marker (Marvy); gold metallic pen
Size: A2 (4.25" x 5.5")
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Sparkle & Cheer

Hello Friends! I hope you're having a great week! Tomorrow is the last day of school until January, and I am so looking forward to the break--sleeping late and no homework! I think I said in an earlier post that I had made my last Christmas card. Well, if I did, I was wrong! I got all my cards in the mail this week and found that I was a few short, so I made several duplicate cards.

I normally don't like making more than one of each card, but this one was fun to make--probably because of all the Stickles and the Pearl Pen. I think those little bottles of shiny fun are my favorite craft items. :) This Taylored Expressions Christmas tree stamp is perfect for decorating with glittery dots of joy, don't you think? And, it fits in nicely for the Heart Song Inspirations Challenge #28 to use snowflakes or doilies.

For the inside, I outlined the interior of the die with a green fine-point Sharpie. It turned out okay, but I definitely need some practice with that.

Thanks for stopping by and enjoy your Friday!

Stamps: Sparkle & Cheer (Taylored Expressions)
Ink: Copic Markers; Tim Holtz Distress Ink; Memento; Colorbox
Dies: Ironwork Motifs, Foliage, Std Circles Lg, Labels Four (Spellbinders)
Accessories: Dots, Circles & Stars embossing folder (Sizzix); Stickles; Pearl Pen; Shimmer Spritz (Tsukineko)
Size: A2 (4.25" x 5.5")
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PPRS December 2011 Sketch Challenge: Merry Christmas Poinsettia

Hi Blog Friends! It's the 15th, and that means it's time for another Prickley Pear Rubber Stamps Sketch Challenge. Here's December's sketch. I love the two sections of three stripes. There are so many ways you can go with that.

With Christmas only ten days away, I wanted to make at least one more Christmas card.
Now's your turn! Here are the rules:

**Make a card based on this month's sketch and link it up using the linking tool on the PPRS blog, no later than December 31, 2011.

**We'd love to see you use your PPRS stamps, but there are NO product restrictions--the challenge is open to everyone!

**The prize is a $15 gift certificate to the PPRS web shop! You can use it for Clear Stamps, dies, and best of all Red Rubber Stamps! Anything in the PPRS shop!

**One winner will be chosen by for a $15 gift certificate to the Prickley Pear web shop!

How easy is that? For lots of creative inspiration from the rest of the design team, check out the Prickley Pear Rubber Stamp blog, then create your own interpretation of this sketch. Who knows, you may be starting off the New Year with a $15 gift certificate for PPRS goodies!

Thanks for stopping by today! I hope you get to do something crafty and fun this week!!!

Stamps: Poinsettia Bunch, Merry Christmas 2 (Prickley Pear Rubber Stamps)
Paper: Susan Winget Glad Tidings (K&Co)
Ink: Copic Markers; Tim Holtz Distress Ink; Memento
Dies: Big Scalloped Ovals Sm, Classic Ric Rac Edgeabilities, Holly Accents (Spellbinders)
Accessories: Polka Dots embossing folder (Cuttlebug); Zing embossing powder; Pearl Pen; Stickles; Distress Stickles; Enamel Accents; foam dots
Size: A2 (4.25" x 5.5")
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The Plume Hunter

Sunday, December 11, 2011
Hi Friends! That's interesting headgear in the photo at the top of this post, isn't it? It's from the early 1900's and that is a real, albeit dead, Bird of Paradise perched on top of that hat.

How about this one?

Honestly, I don't understand why anyone would have every thought of these hats as fashionable. Of course, neither do I get the current fashion statement of wearing your pants hanging below your backside, so maybe I'm just fashion-challenged. Nevertheless, wearing dead birds on one's head just seems a bit bizarre to me. To me these hats are nothing less than hideous.

But, Isn't that a gorgeous photo on the cover of this book! Those beautiful feathers look so much better on a bird than a hat, I think.

Until this week, when I read the facinating new novel, The Plume Hunter, by my friend, Renee Thompson, I had no idea that millions of birds were killed in the late 19th and early 20th centuries by plume hunters for the sake of this fashion trend, and that the trend was the impetus for the Audubon Society.  

Here's the official book description: 

The Plume Hunter is a moving story of conflict, friendship, and love, which follows the life of Fin McFaddin, a late-nineteenth century Oregon outdoorsman who takes to plume hunting – killing birds to collect feathers for women’s hats – to support his widowed mother. In 1885, more than five million birds were killed in the United States for the millinery industry, prompting the formation of the Audubon Society. The novel brings to life an era of our country’s natural history seldom explored in fiction, and follows Fin’s relationships with his lifelong friends as they struggle to adapt to society’s changing mores.

Sound interesting? Well, it is! I don't want to say too much about the book, because it would spoil it for you, but it's one of those books that are hard to put down. One thing, might want to keep a tissue nearby when you get toward the end. ;)

I've known Renee for about 10 years, when she, another friend, and I formed a small writer's group. Renee and I lost touch for awhile when she moved to California, but have since reconnected. She writes beautifully, and her stories are interesting and so, so compelling. I highly recommend The Plume Hunter--not just because Renee is my friend, but because the book is fantastic! And, I'm so excited to be able to introduce her work to you!

This is actually Renee's second novel. I'm reading her first novel, The Bridge at Valentine, right now. I don't know much about it yet, except that it has a riveting beginning, but Larry McMurtry had this to say about it: “The Bridge at Valentine is very original and very appealing. RenĂ©e Thompson has an angle of attack that is all her own.” – Larry McMurtry, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Lonesome Dove.

If you're a reader, or have any readers on your Christmas list, I hope you'll give these books a try. You'll be so glad you did. And, you can contact Renee here. I know she'd love to hear your thoughts. Be sure to tell her I sent you! :) Oh, and take the time to read through her blog, if you can. It's worth it, if just for the story of the scorpion that fell onto her head! LOL!!!

Hope you have a splendid week and get all your holiday preparations finished with time to spare!

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Get Well Bear

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Hi Friends! First of all, thank you for all your recent comments on my blog. I promise I will be visiting your blogs soon to see all your creative goodness, too. I've been scarce this week because my DH had knee replacement surgery earlier this week. It was scheduled for Friday, but there was a cancellation and his surgery was moved up a few days, messing with our plans a little bit around here, which seriously cut into my crafting time. I did take a few minutes to make a little get well card for the hubby, though.
I didn't have any "injury" stamps, but happened upon this one Thursday, while out with my mother, who was staying with us to help take care of my DD. This is the cutest stamp, and perfect for the occasion. :)

You may not see me here for a few more days, until I get everything ready for Christmas. Hopefully, it won't take me too long.

Thanks for stopping by and have a spectacular weekend!

Stamps: Boo Boo Bear (Whipper Snapper Designs); Everyday Sayings (Hero Arts)
Paper: Life's Journey (K&Co) 
Ink: Tim Holtz Distress Ink; Copic markers
Accessories: Pearl Pen; ribbon (Michaels)
Size: A2 (4.25" x 5.5")
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Prickley Pear Rubber Stamps Monday: Winter Post

Monday, December 5, 2011

Hi Friends! Did you have a nice weekend? We got our Christmas tree up and decorated here at home, so now I've just got to get my shopping done and the gifts wrapped. Oh, and let's not forget sending out Christmas cards. :)

Speaking of Christmas cards, it's Prickley Pear Rubber Stamps Monday and I'm excited to share my card with you today. As you might expect, it's a Christmas card.

I used the red rubber Winter's Glow Postage Stamp for the front of my card. I colored it with Copics, used a teeny bit of Stickles on the candle flame, and used Glossy Accents on the lantern glass. It's mounted on an Ironwork Accents die cut that is cut from gold colored duct tape. I cut the die cut in half so I could spread it out long enough to fit the stamped image.

On the inside, I used the Small Snowflake 2 red rubber stamp as a background image, and the Christmas Season red rubber sentiment stamp is layered on top of an embossed red circle and another Ironwork Accents die cut. I used Stickles and Enamel Accents for a bit of glitz on the Ironwork Accent layer.

Be sure to stop by the Prickley Pear Rubber Stamps blog and check out the other DT member's creations for this week. You're sure to be inspired by all the awesomeness going on there.

Thanks for stopping by, and have a fantastic week!

Stamps: Winter's Glow Postage Stamp, Small Snowflake 2, Christmas Season (Prickley Pear Rubber Stamps)
Paper: Blitzen Collection (Bo Bunny)
Ink: Copic Markers, Memento, Tim Holtz Distress Ink
Dies: Ironwork Accents, Std Circles Lg (Spellbinders)
Accessories: Damask embossing folder (Sizzix); ribbon (Michael's); Snow Marker (Marvy); duct tape; snowflake brad (K&Co); twine; rhinestones; Enamel Accents (Inkssentials); Stickles
Size: A2 (4.25" x 5.5")
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A Savior is Born

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Hi Friends! I have a really quick post here for the Tuesday Morning Sketch Challenge #122.
Here's the inside:

Yesterday's luncheon and ornament exchange with my friends was great--maybe the best ever! Even after all the stealing (and there was a lot this time), we were all still smiling--still friends. :)

Hope you have a fab week! Thanks for stopping by.
Stamps: Christmas Blassings (Taylored Expressions)
Paper: Susan Winget Glad Tidings (K&Co)
Ink: Tim Holtz Distress Ink; Memento; Copic Markers
Dies: Ironwork Motifs, Ironwork Accents (Spellbinders)
Accessories: Silk ribbon (Bucilla); pearls, sewing thread
Size: A2 (4.25" x 5.5)
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White Elephant Ornament and Gift Box

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Happy Thursday! Do you have any annual Christmas traditions that you enjoy? I have a few, and a favorite is the annual Christmas luncheon I go to with a group of friends I've known since grammar school. We call ourselves the Pink Panthers because our school mascot was a panther and "pink" is because we aren't old enough for the Red Hat Club...yet. 8~D  I'll be seeing this fabulous group of ladies this coming Saturday, and as part of our tradition, we will be having a white elephant ornament exchange. If you've never participated in a white elephant exchange, you should get some friends or family together and try it. Who knew stealing from your friends could be so much fun!!!

I usually buy an ornament for the exchange, and it's always fun searching for just the right ornament, but this year I decided to make one. The Outlines Monday Challenge 28--"Hang It Up" is to make an ornament, so the timing is perfect. As an added bonus, I made a matching gift box, too.

I used the Jewel Topper stamp from Outlines Rubber Stamp Co, stamping the design once on olive cs and once on burgundy cs. I cut the designs out, cutting more from the green cs, since I layered it on top of the burgundy cs. Using various colors of Stickles I gave it LOTS of holiday sparkle, and I added six rhinestones to the top layer. I used clear rhinestones and colored them with Copic markers to get the exact color I wanted. If you go to the Outlines website, they have a great tutorial on how to make this topper. I didn't follow it exactly, but it was still a big help.

The matching gift box is another Secret Box (I absolutely LOVE making these boxes!), but I only put the bottom tray in it this time. It's the perfect size for an ornament. I just have to tilt the ornament a little sideways and tuck the cardstock topper points in carefully. I decorated all four sides and the top with the same Jewel Topper stamp design. I trimmed the design after embossing it so that it would fit on the box panels. The dark yellow circular layer is a Classic Scalloped Circle die cut that I embossed with a Sizzix Damask embossing folder. Then, I sponged the edges with Walnut Stain Distress Ink, and coated with a Mod Podge/glitter mixture. 

Since I only had one tray in the bottom of this box, I had to put the magnet there to hold the box closed. You can see it in the photo on the left, below. I was afraid it wouldn't work right if it wasn't in the center of the box, but it holds fine there.

This ornament was fun to make and it turned out so pretty. I have plenty of ornaments for my tree, but I have a feeling I'm going to end up having to make a few more of these to add to my collection. I'd also like to make a few of these sets to keep on hand for gifts. Whew! I'm going to need more hours in my days! 
Thanks for stopping by, and have a fantastic day!

Stamps: Jewel Topper (Outlines Rubber Stamp Co.)
Paper: Kraft, Burgundy, Olive Green, & Dark Yellow cardstock
Ink: Tim Holtz Distress Ink; clear embossing ink (Inkssentials); Copic markers (E29, RV69)
Dies: Classic Scalloped Circles Sm (Spellbinders)
Accessories: Ornament; gold embossing powder (Zing); Mod Podge; Glitter (Martha Stewart); rhinestones; Damask embossing folder (Sizzix); gems (Studio 112); Stickles (gold, diamond, lime green, burgundy, cinnamon, copper); foam dots
Size: Box--3" cube
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