Monday, December 31, 2012

Thinking about the new year...

Happy New Year's Eve! Every year I spend a week or two in December mulling over ideas for things I have hopes for doing in the new year. One thing I'm trying to go for this year is posting here more regularly, if for no other reason than it makes me feel slightly less the suburban hermit, holed up in my climate controlled cave, with the wolves (er, dogs, cats and little animals) who raised me as their own. At least I'm putting something of myself out there on a regular basis. I don't know what kind of a start this is, but I've been crazy for the pictures lately, so I thought I'd close out 2012 by sharing some of my favorite December photos.
 My brothers, Nick and Mikey, sent me this photo from their west coast tour with Scars and Stripes. So nice that California welcomed them with a television interview. In 3D, no less. You guys are such nerds, and I feel I can take some of the credit for setting a good example in nerdliness.
Next: Here are Scott and I waiting for the Xmas parade to begin in the small mountain town of Bryson. (I almost claimed not to remember the name of the city. See if *you* can figure out how I miraculously figured it out.) Not shown: Darcy, my best friend, behind the camera.

 I love this picture of my sweet and tolerant Goosey, allowing me to dress him up in Revco's favorite snood, made by For Paws and Home, another fabulous Etsy shop I just can't stay away from. I ended up ordering two more of these in Halloween and Xmas colors. He's wearing the red and green one today since it doesn't interfere with his dislocated/relocated hip's recovery.We even sent a couple more, plus some of her cool snakey toys she makes (Rat Terriers love any toy they can shake the life out of) to his Secret Santa over at the People Honoring American Rat Terriers group.
And finally, here's a picture of my little troublemaker, Violet, doing her best to look angelic while being dreadfully naughty, having climbed to the top of the Xmas tree. We finally had to get out her nemesis, the compressed air container, to convince her to leave the tree alone--all it takes is the sound of the air escaping, possibly because it sounds like a gigantic invisible tiger hissing at her? Not sure.
I had to add one more picture at the last minute. You may recognize this little sweetheart from my avatar I use pretty much everywhere, my business cards for my etsy shop, etc. He's Vincey, and he passed on yesterday. He was about 3.5 years old, which is quite elderly for a rat. He had been slowing down and slowing more until finally, yesterday, his little body just gave up. I wish him an auspicious rebirth, somewhere safe, around others who will love and cherish him the way he deserves. He loved scritches behind his ears and a treat in his paws. He was a loving brother to Howard, who passed on about 6 months prior, who he clearly missed and greived. He bounced back to his happy, box destroying, nest embellishing self and lived quite happily to the end.

I want to thank Carolina Pet Rescue for entrusting these precious little lives to my care. Vincent and Howard brough so much love and fun to our home, I hope I can repay you somewhat by fostering others. Stay tuned to see who.

Monday, November 19, 2012

A Spine of Pure Evil

Yeah, my spine is in rare form lately. Nasty, desperate pain is really getting to me. At least there are a few things that keep me going. For example, check out these supercute kittycone images I found at a collage sheet shop. I then created these:

Then, there's my poetry, which is in the current issues of The Other Herald, The Whole Beast, plus you can see a couple of my poems at Vox Poetica.

And finally there are my sweet goofballs:

Scott, included. BTW, check out those tiny feet Revco's propped up in the crook of his arm. Those are Rev's *back* feet. His front are below that. Aww.
Off to lick my wounds. Ow.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Eat Your Pancakes

Revco and Violet are officially friends. I wouldn't have guessed that the two of them would hit it off, but they love to snuggle. It's very cute. She's so small, she nearly makes Mr. 12lbs look big. I think he secretly enjoys this. Forgive the long nails in the above photo. It's on my list of things to do today.

I'm taking the Kit-tastic class at Big Picture Scrapbooking. May Flaum is the instructor, and she has a great website you should check out. For this card, I used this months Simon Says Stamp kit, though as you might notice, I didn't use any stamps on this particular card, despite the fact that the kit came with some really nice floral stamps I intend to test drive later today. It's a very neutral kit, which is so not my style, so I added a little gold and a lot of black to make it more interesting. Check out the washi tape with the teensy paw prints on it. I thought it was super cute along with the Westie theme.

I used the sketch from the Paper Players Sketch Challenge, which you can see here.
More to come! Have a great week! P.S. Eat your pancakes!

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Simon Says Stamp Kit Club

Well, I was on the last few words of my post and for some reason the entire page deleted itself and I had to start over completely. Nooooooo! Not a good way to begin a much belated post, but what else can I do, when the "undo" refuses to "do" anything? Start again, I guess.
 This time I can't blame my absence on the wee kitty, as you can see we have found the perfect storage option for her. ;) It's just been a very long and painful summer that both seemed to drag on for eternity, yet also flew by in the way things do when you're incapacitated and watching yourself fall further and further behind on the many things that need doing. Luckily my pain level has improved greatly. I've been able to get out a couple times a week and have even been able to take the little kitty on walks in her cat stroller, which is fun despite the fact that (or perhaps because?) it makes the neighbors look at me as if I'm some sort of lunatic.

But, onto the Simon Says Kit Club, which I am enjoying immensely. I've been working on halloween cards...

This one was made for the Do You Stack Up challenge using Kraft and twine (dig that tri-color halloween string!) and the Really Reasonable Ribbon challenge (another kit club I belong to) to use fall colors, including--of course--ribbon.

I also made cards for National Pancake Day on Sept. 26. Since it falls on a Wednesday, it is the perfect excuse to make pancakes for dinner.

Hey, are those chevrons (below)? Why yes, they are! That's the requirement for the Simon Says Stamp challenge (or you could use neons (sorry, grody) or hexagons).

I also discovered that there is also a competing pancake day in February, but it appears to be a religious holiday, while this one is secular, so feel free to sin it up. Or, you could celebrate both, which sounds like a good plan, too.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Where have I been?

No, I don't have amnesia, I know where I've been, the problem is I haven't been telling *you* where I've been. Well, as you can see from the above photo, I've been working on donation items for Rat Terrier ResQ. And, as you can see from the next photo, I've also been working on some special orders...
And, if you hit this link:
(Tell them I sent you in the comments and I'll promise to be a better blogger here from now on. :))
You can see a treasury for the Etsy team that I've been busy helping with (I do their blog now, so check out this link, too: to see my other blogging venture.)

And don't miss this link:
(Again, please leave them a comment telling them I sent you so they'll keep giving my Etsy shop the luv. :))
And click on my shop because the other thing I've been doing is restocking the heck out of my Etsy shop during the slower summer months. I've added several new lines of products and lots of new items in general. This month the donations I collect from my sales (10% on my regular items, 100% on the designated EFA Charity items) go to Arctic Breed Rescue, so I've been working on adding items featuring these breeds to my shop:

One more photo:
Shows another little thing that's (or rather who's) been eating up my time. Usagi found her under our shed and has since rued the day she brought the little nose slapper to us. Sorry, Usagi! She's staying! (We'll try to work on teaching her that dogs don't like being scratched or gnawed on, though. :))

Friday, May 4, 2012

Recovering from the Jamboree

No, not the country bear one, the Rat Terrier Jamboree, held every year in Tennessee. That was the inspiration for my card for my team at For Fun Challenges this week. It's a little hard to tell in my photo, I know, but the perameters this week are to use Green, Beige, and Blue. I apologize that the color's a little off in the pic. I made the card in the motel room, and the only sufficient light in the room for photographing anything was in the bathroom, so here it is, on the counter near the sink.

Play along with our challenge this week and you can win 3 stamps of your choice from those on this page:

I *know* you'll want to see my pics from the Jamboree, and you can! I posted them on my Etsy shop Facebook site. Take a look!

Here's a little teaser to encourage you to click through. Just look how much fun Usagi's having!

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Rabbits (and not the Easter kind)

bles a
This week's For Fun Challenge is brought to you by the letter "K", or more precisely, K-N-K designs. The theme is non-Easter rabbits, so I chose to go with a "Get Well" rabbit instead. Here he is, reading to a sweet wire-haired Jack Russell Terrier (or possibly a Parson Russell terrier. It's hard to tell from a digistamp, especially when the dog is question is mostly hidden by a blanket. It's not like I need to know specifically or anything. He's certainly not going to be used to breed. He's neutered after all. How do I know? Because, no dog I'm in charge of would be allowed to keep his goolies. I've spent enough of my life trying to find homes for the litters of puppies *other* people's unaltered animals have caused.
 Come to think of it, this card is actually quite appropriate for the newly de-nutted dog, to wish him a quick recovery. I've never seen one of those at Hallmark. Anyway, I hope that you'll be inspired to join us this week in taking on the For Fun Challenge.

    Doggie Break! Doggie Break!

Sleeping Usagi didn't so much as stop snoring when Revco decided to use her as a chair. Zzzzz.

Have a great Wednesday!

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Hey! It's not a card!

 You may have been wondering if I ever make anything other than cards, and I do, I just forget to post them here all that often. This week, For Fun Challenges reminded me to post something different with their anything-but-a-card challenge. I made this little business card toting tin--actually two--one for me, one for Etsy, both with this painfully cute rat terrier digital stamp from a favorite of mine, Melonheadz! If you have not been a regular over at her site, you are missing out. For one thing, she generously shares a large number of her creations free of charge, fully addicting you to her distinctive style that's beyond adorable. I think it's the slightly off-kilter eyes that I can't resist. But then she can make a blender evoke cries of, "awwwwww!" so that can't explain it all.
 But wait, you haven't begun to hear how much I love this designer because...guess what! Oh heck, you'll never guess. I'll just tell you...she designed this stamp (and his other canine pals) for me! I freaked. Like, really I have no idea how to go about thanking her enough. I'm thinking of ways to try, though. :) As usual, everything takes me 3 times as long as anyone else to complete. Fun with chronic illness.
You can order your own Melonheadz images from Nikki's Etsy Shop if you want pre-colored ones, or if you're like me and you're mad for customizing them yourself, paypal her via the link on her blog and let her know which un-colored-in sets you want.
Anyway, take a minute to stop by For Fun Challlenges and check out my teammates' creations this week to see what *they* do when they aren't making cards. Then, show off your own project in the challenge linky dealie when you're done so I can some check out your blog.

 What? No kitty/doggie/rattie break? Nope. Today we have freaky invasion photos. I'm not sure what we did to make all kinds of crazy things happen to our house this week, but after the coffee maker broke in a second way (you already had to put a can of coffee on top of it or it wouldn't run) and the refrigerator dumped water all under the wooden floor slats, and Scott found out that the ants coming out of the outlet my electric toothbrush plugs into were actually part of an enormous colony living in our attic (sorry the pic is sideways. You can't see the enormity of the ant hill growing there in a still photo really, but if it gives you any idea, those white blobs in the weird cheapo so-called insulation the previous owners used are ant EGGS! Grody!)
Saturday, Scott discovered this giant cone hanging over our driveway from the crepe myrtle/rose bush (the two have wound themselves together). It was like 2 feet long and made up entirely of BEES! Seriously, bees! I tried to get a clear photo, but to be honest, I only wanted to get so close. Still if you look, you can see that it's just hundreds of thousands of bees. No hive in the middle, just bees. Why? I have no idea, but they had moved on by the next morning.
 What the heck? Anyone know why that kind of thing would happen? I'll seriously send a little prize to the first person who can tell me (or who can lie about it in a really convincing fashion, since I really have no idea what the answer is.) Freaky!

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Tags and TPS

So, I hope everyone enjoyed a nice relaxing Buddha's Birthday, Ostara, Easter, and/or Passover. It was a busy weekend, holiday-wise. As per my usual pain-related slowness, the Buddha's birthday is taking most of a week for me to cram in all the things I hoped to do to celebrate. Sunday, Scott made fabulous food, starting with "Egg" Mc Vegans and pineapple/mango/strawberry fruit salad for breakfast and some homemade vegan "crab" cakes, corn on the cob, and roasted red potatoes for dinner, so that was all pretty festive. Yesterday I went on a long meditative walk to continue the celebration, though it was a bit too long. I'm really sore and tired today. Tomorrow, I plan to do even more cleaning (oh I guess I forgot to mention that part) including the formal tea baths for my Buddha statues. I'd love to hear what kind of celebrating you did, for whichever holiday--or just because--you did.

Now, let's talk challenges and prizes. Whoo!
This week's challenge is to use a tag in some form in your project. You can use a tag as an embellishment on a card, like I did. Your project can be a tag. You can make a tag then use it as a component of another project. It's up to you.
Our sponsor this week is The Paper Shelter. I chose this super cute Cavalier King Charles Spaniel stamp, but you can use any one you like, or even one by another company, though it's always appreciated when you choose to use one by the sponsor. Our little hearts flutter at the sight!
And, what can you win when you play along with us at For Fun Challenges this week? Dig this--a $20 gift certificate to The Paper Shelter. What more incentive could you possibly need? Get to work!

                                  Could it be? Yes! It is! Kitty Break Kitty Break Kitty Break!

This week, Toulouse decided that it was about time he tried eating some dark green veggies. He's never even noticed the food on my plate before, but the other day he had to inspect my broccoli:

                                                                 First, the sniffing.

Then, just a lick.


Friday, April 6, 2012

Feeling Icky

I haven't been feeling well the last few days, so I even missed posting on World Rat Day! I think my rats, Howard and Vince may have been plotting against me because of it, but a one time treat of tiny bits of Girl Scout cookie seems to have smoothed over any resentment.

Now if I could just get some cookie crumbs together for For Fun Challenges, maybe the rest of the design team will forgive my late posting. :) Easter cards are the theme this week, so stop by and show us yours!

You know how they say animals can tell when you're sick and are extra sympathetic? Well, today I'm pretty sure my little devils are doing their best to make me run screaming (if I could run, and if screaming wouldn't make me pass out from this headache) from the house. Usagi kicked me in the spine *hard* twice today and whacked me with her paws, repeatedly. Rev took the opportunity to come back inside and poop on the floor to test exactly how sick to my stomach I am today. Both have been barking their heads off far more than usual today. I think this is some kind of test to see if I could ever be an animal abuser. They're lucky, it's not in me, but they may find me hiding in the closet with a puke bucket before this day is over.

Friday, March 30, 2012

Baby Chickens: Cute as a....

Did you guess the challenge at For Fun this week? Yep, buttons! That is, indeed plural, so come up with a design and pile them on. I've been dying to use the buttons, above. I love those vibrant, tropical/retro colors and if you look closely, you can see that there's glitter inside the buttons, too, and glitter makes me immensely happy. Add to that the ribbon I got in this month's Really Reasonable Ribbon kit and the papers from Club Scrap and I'm in happy Howard Johnson's land*.
The stamp is from a chicken set made by this week's sponsor, Clear Dollar Stamps. You don't have to use one of their digis, but it's always nice if you do. :) At any rate, check out their store. Lots of yummy stamps! Plus, if you play along with this week's For Fun challenge and win, you'll get a big, fat $15 credit for use on digi stamps in their store!

 *For those who aren't aware, Howard Johnson's was a motel chain famous for their orange rooves and turquoise blue everything else. Their other claim to fame was their ice cream. My mom would take me there sometimes for coconut ice cream (hmm...I must look for a vegan version) and occasionally we'd stay at a HJ when travelling with my dad. It was pretty rockin', but unfortunately I haven't seen them around in a while, and the restaurants died out even longer ago. Incidentally, I'm always on the lookout for old hotel postcards and stuff, so if you've got some (esp. Howard Johnson's, but I'm not averse to Holiday Inn, etc.) by all means, pleeeeease let me know. We can work out a swap or something. :) I even adore hotel stationery, though it seems to be fading away, too.

Kitty Break Kitty Break Kitty Break!

This time, Toulouse is actually taking a Kitty Break of his own after wearing himself out trying to figure out my phone. I kept getting texts, and when it buzzed, it would move a little. He swatted at it, chewed on it, sat on it, sniffed it, looked at it up really really super close before giving up and napping. Notice how he's still claimed the phone as his. Don't try to take it. That paw will shoot out and smack you!

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

For Fun Challenge Goes West

I'm hardly about cowboys and ranching, and I don't have any stamps depicting the gold rush (Why doesn't someone make a Deadwood series of stamps? Come on Stampin' Up, how about a thyphoid fever commemorative set, with a little Calamaty Jane forcing medicine down the throat of a sick prospector? I'd be all over that.) So, when For Fun Challenges announced that the theme this week was a Western one, I wasn't sure where to go with it.

Then, it occurred to me--the beautiful wild mustangs that live in the Western U.S. and instantly, this playful, happy horse came to mind. The stamp is from the Charlie Horse collection at Clear Dollar Stamps.

Oddly enough, what originally drew me to this stamp was his cute little "foot cups" much like those seen on illustrations of ficticious robots. Cute, am I right?

And, of course, since we *are* talking wild mustangs, I can't possibly end this post without encouraging you, kind reader, to follow this link and learn more about what easy things you can do to help prevent the torment and/or slaughter of these magnificent, truly American natives:

So, check it out, send an easy letter to protect these important animals, then pat yourself on the back and make a Western themed card for this week's For Fun Challenge.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Happy Post-Pi Day! It's not too late to celebrate...

Did you miss Pi day? (aka Einstein's birthday, aka National Potato Chip Day!) My mom, a math maven, would never let me forget, but in case you didn't get a text from your mom, you can still celebrate with For Fun Challenges Circle Challenge this week! Here's mine:

Check out the brand new, massively cute digistamp from Digi My World! I loooove Min Pins (miniature pinschers for those who don't approve of abbreviations) so it took all of .5 seconds for me to have this one in my basket. There's also the cutest little Jack Russell Terrier (or perhaps a Parson Russell? Hard to tell in cartoon form.) and if you squint at it right, and you're me, you can almost convince yourself it's a rat terrier. You can see it at Digi My World, or you can wait to see it here when I post the cards I'm making with it. In the mean time, here's an actual rat terrier:
Aww. Now, come play at For Fun Challenges or you'll make this poor little dog sad. You don't want to do that, do you?

Friday, March 9, 2012

Come and Play, Everything's A-okay!

I decided to go for a Sesame flavored title today after recently watching Being Elmo, a documentary that you should definitely see, whether or not you're an Elmo fan. I like Elmo, though I have to admit I've been a little miffed at him ever since he took over 15 full minutes of the show. Not only is that a little diva-esque of Elmo, it also breaks with the successful Sesame Street educational model of cutting lessons into commercial-sized bites, then repeating them often. If you have any doubt that it works a) you must have grown up either without a t.v. in your house or b) before 1971, when the show premiered. Think about many commercial jingles do you know by heart? Probably a lot more than you think you do. (I'm a big fan of the J.G. Wentworth Eight Seven Seven Cash Now song, myself. Preferably the version sung on the bus instead of the one the new parents sing in the hospital, but I'll take either in a pinch.) The magic comes from keeping what you want someone to remember within their very brief attention span, then showing it to them again and again. Before you know it, I am Stuck on Bandaid, Cause Band Aid's Stuck on Me. (That was written by Barry Manilow, by the way. Along with a lot of other ones you probably know, including You Deserve a Break Today.)

But back to my original reason for posting. It's that time again...time to come play with us at For Fun Challenges. What's the theme? Dogs and cats! The toughest part is deciding which. As you can see, I went with a cute kitty by Motivet Stamps. So get out your favorite dog or cat stamp or digi stamp

In an effort to balance the delicate dog/cat ratio here, I'll finish off this post with a puppy break. I love the feet to snout agility dogs can somehow attain while nonetheless in a state of total relaxation. I mean, can you use your own feet as a pillow? Maybe the trick is in sticking your tongue out the teeniest, tiniest bit.

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Louvre Cats

My poem, Louvre Cats, is featured at Vox Poetica today (if you see this later than the 29th, you'll have to look up the title in the archives. Don't be scared. It's easy!)

Please take a look:

Let me now what you think. Let them know what you think. I'd love to hear your thoughts on it.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Finally, Snow!

Hooray! We finally got snow!
Unfortunately, it's fake and pasted to a card, but I'll take what I can get.

This week's For Fun Challenge is snow, so I pulled out one of my favorite Phindy's stamps.

Awwww! Puppies!
Now it's your us what you've got. Give us some snow. I don't think the sky is going to.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012


Another fabulous For Fun Challenge sponsored by the ultra-talented Meljen's Digital Stamps. The theme? Love! Love! Love! or maybe just one of those three. Pick your favorite. :)
I'm not feeling well today, and somehow my post just deleted itself so I'm having to redo it, so please forgive me for making this a brief one. It in no way reflects ill feelings toward For Fun Challenges, MelJen's Designs, Really Reasonable Ribbons (whose challenge I am entering this card into), or dogs, all of whom I have nothing but the warmest, fuzziest feelings toward.
And, how could I end this post without a pic of one of my heartdogs?
Here she is, just as she greeted Scott the other day when he returned home from work, wagging her tail furiously, "Me? Play in the recycling? Of course not! What would ever make you think I would do such a thing?"

Friday, February 3, 2012

Shh! Don't Tell.

It just so happens that Scott's birthday is coming up on the 25th (yep, he's 1 yr and two days younger than me. It makes for convenient co-celebrating. :)). It also just so happens that this week's theme at For Fun Challenges is...Birthday Cards for Men! Well, yo ho ho...that's a rather handy coincidence.
 Our sponsor this week is new to me, a digi stamp company called Digi Garden. It's where I got this little girl in a mousie costume (which I did my best to color to resemble myself.) Play along with us this week and YOU could be the winner of 6 digi stamps from their collection.

BTW, take a moment to check out this week's winner's blog. Her turtle calendar project is unbelievably cool. What a great gift idea!

 It's also birthday card week at Digi My World, so I decided to use this cute iguana eating ice cream (must be Tofutti ;)) from the alphabet collection. I just removed the giant letter I and added a Happy Birthday. I love the sprinkle paper I cut hearts out of for both cards, and this one is mounted on a paper that's printed with a close up of pink ice cream to match the liquid pearls I used to add some dimension to the lizard's little ice cream cone.
 Here's a close up of the iguana so you can see how I pop dotted him to make him stand out among the flowers.
I'm entering this card in the Digi My World challenge this week. Also, check out the link on the right about this week's Digi My World blog candy. Neato!
 Here's one I made for this week's PricillaStyles Midight Madness Sketch Challenge, which is now a monthly challenge. I didn't intend for the little hero dog (A Day for Daisies) to look like he's in prison. Note: He's standing in front of the lines. :) I started this card with the intention of having him standing in front of horizontal lines, but in the end I liked the sketch facing this way, he is.

Kitty Break Kitty Break Kitty Break Kitty Break
And before I sign off for tonight, here's a beautiful kitty I saw last week lounging in the afternoon sun in Martinique. Not a bad place to be a kitty, huh?