Monday, March 16, 2009

Ok, people in the north and midwest, the photo above shows a wonderful natural phenom known as the sun. Yeah, yeah, I know we don't see it much up here, not in recent seasons anyway, but this shot proves the sun is still there. In this picture it's setting on the Gulf of Mexico. Tomorrow may it rise on the frigid northlands and light up our grey skies.

Yes, it's yet another dreary early-spring day in Ohio. . . Folks around here are comparing their sinus probs and wishing for bright warm days! I just had to counteract our mid-March gloom by posting another cheery Florida photo from our recent sojourn down south.
Daughter Stephanie and I have been cooking up plans for Easter Sunday. It will be at her home.

Our holiday celebration will include four generations. Of those people, between our side of the family and Stephanie's husband's side, we have a grand total of 4 family members in the
85-and-over demographic. On the other end of the spectrum our grandchildren are 15 to 22 yrs old. With Stephanie and hubby on the brink of middle-age, that leaves Grandpa and me, plus our co-grandparents (our son-in-law's parents) as the "younger" oldies, all of us in our 60s now.

Our family members, therefore, have been born all the way from 1919 until 1993. Our birthdays scatter across more than 7 decades of American history, and it looks like we will have representatives in this society for many decades to come. Have you ever tallied your own families' investments in time and place? Imagine all the good things our ancestors and even ourselves have contributed toward life in these United States!
It's so good to have traditions, and the very best one of them is. . . family!

Sunday, March 15, 2009

OK, I'm sitting here gnashing my teeth. For unknown reasons, even though I have paragraph breaks in my post text, some do not make the trip after I click "Publish Post". Having tried about 20 times to fix this I give up for now. I'll have to ask you to use your mental auto-editor to discern where the paragraph breaks fall! So sorry.

It's a gorgeous early-spring day here in mid-Ohio. This year March came in like a lamb and has continued like a lamb! I cannot remember a March without at least one significant snowfall, but this may be the year.

It's still too chilly to be outside for long, so I've had some fun today checking out interesting paper crafts designs on various websites such as It's mind-boggling how many different card designs can be created! One area I visited concerned simple designs, and that was kind of a fun challenge to me as well. All too often we think a card has to be complex and impressive to have any kind of wow factor at all. That just isn't true. Even very simple and low-key designs can be interesting.

I decided to experiment with some basic and easy cards. The first images are easier than they look. The pelikan stamped motif is mounted on a scrap of cardstack layered on a background paper adhered to a card. A ribbon trim dresses it up and a small tag adds a sentiment.
Next to the pelican card is another small card with a scarecrow image. The image is stamped on a piece of torn and ink-edged paper glued to a strip of patterned paper adhered to cardstock, all layered on a card. Again a vividly colored grosgrain ribbon sets off the other elements and a small tag clipped to the lower end of the image adds a final touch.
The pelikan and scarecrow stamps are from october pumpkin.
The final image just seems to scream "man card" with its strong lines and neutral tones. The palm tree image is one I drew and painted that may later become available readymade via october pumpkin. I stamped a Stampin' Up sentiment and then round-punched it out and affixed it to the image unit with a pop dot. Though it says Thinking of You, any sentiment could be used.
There's something about these cute little round messages that remind me of postmarks - do you get that impression too?

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Here is another non-card papercraft project, a stick fan. How many of you remember those old time fans used in churches before AC became universal? They were usually provided by the local funeral home with advertising on one side and a religious scene on the other. They helped ladies avoid swooning during long sermons on hot Sundays!

I bought some Perfect Pearls pigments which happened to have a long silver tongue-depressor type stick enclosed for stirring. Right away I knew I had to make a stick fan, using this thing for the handle! I made a template for the body of the fan and cut out two for front and back. Then I stamped some seashells along the lower part and freehanded swirly flourishes around the outer border of the fan. I punched out three white cardstock scalloped ovals, stamped a dolphin in each, and chalked a kind of apricotty sunset shade around the dolphins. Colored in the dolphins with pencils, then affixed the ovals to the fan imperfectly (I tend to eyeball rather than measure
. . .but doesn't that just make the project look more endearingly handmade? Let's hope so!).

After gluing the front & back of the fan sides together with the stick handle adhered inside, I finished off by tying a wide blue grosgrain ribbon on front. Voila! A nautical Victorian stick fan!

The shell and dolphin stamps are from october pumpkin.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Have been trying to learn the nuances of operating a blog, but stuck all morning on how to place photos. I am not a mechanical or techological person at all - I live on the other side of my brain. The photos ended up at the top, between the header and my first post, even though they were supposed to land below the first post. Looks like I'll have to keep slogging away at things like this, learning as I go. But isn't that what we do with our whole lives?

For my next project (hope it's more successful than the photo placement) I hope to create a link between Pelikan Beach, Stephanie's blog, and our etsy shop, because there are tons more samples of cards 'n stuff there that you might enjoy seeing.
For now, right this minute, I want to throw on a picture of a journal I made with a plain black-and-white-speckled composition book like we all used in school, some 3-D elements, and also cut-outs of my set of three beach houses designed for october pumpkin.
In fact, I have two shots of this journal taken in different lighting. My husband liked the dark background but I might like the other better. I'll show you both.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Greetings to all readers who come this way. . .I offer you a warm welcome to an old lady's new adventure! Now in my mid-60s, I was born before ballpoint pens were invented. It's so fun to think how far communication has come since then. Instead of clicking a pen to write on paper, I'll click on post and launch my words world-wide!

My blog will include alot of cardmaking and scrapbooking conversation. My big big big hobby is creating papercrafts. Many of you share that interest and I have enjoyed your blogs, your ideas, and your clever talents. I hope you will like some of my projects as well.

My daughter Stephanie has a blog as well, and hers is rather new too. For a long time the two of us talked about starting a rubber stamp business, producing our unique line of stamp designs.

Stephanie has all the biz sense, plus she is an extremely gifted product designer. I have been a professional artist for the past 40 years, so I am able to design stamps.

We started our line, october pumpkin, several months ago. It has been very successful so far. Stephanie operates an etsy shop and our stamps have also been picked up by a major online retailer, Addicted to Rubber Stamps. But we still wanted to have blogs, in order to
share some of our paper arts projects and to interact with other papercrafting folks whose work we had already seen and admired on blogspot.

Stephanie loves fall, especially "pumpkin time". She came up with the name october pumpkin for our biz. We both live in the midwest where fall is a major, major event every year.

We both love the seacoast too! Stephanie is too busy with home life and kids to get away as often as she'd like, but one of the great pleasures of being old is the freedom to go where you want, when you want, so my husband and I go to the NW coast of Florida each winter.

We like the quiet winter beaches along a stretch of road that doesn't get alot of traffic and where the coast is not overdeveloped.

Outside our condo building (one of only 2 hi-rise buildings in that area) there is an expanse of immaculate white sand edging the famous emerald sea of the Gulf of Mexico. While temps back home in Ohio range from 0 to something-awful-below-0, and snows pile up two of three feet high, my husband and I can breakfast on our 8th floor balcony, watching brown pelicans fly past at eye level. They are funny old birds (I'm sure they think the same of us!) with a kind of wild pterydactyl look to them. They cruise past in slow motion, unconcerned about anything beyond their next fish. As many as eight or nine may travel together in a precise formation.

Although we only rent our space, I think of the beach as mine when I'm there. I gave it a name the permanent residents don't even know, and why should they? It's just a way that I make that special place my own. In the header above this post you will see a photo of Pelikan Beach
from eye level, and when I finish writing I will add a shot of PB from our balcony. I'm sorry there are no pelicans in the pix, but they keep failing to notify us of when they will be coming by!

I'm sure that you have a special place of your own that you love. Maybe you will share some thoughts about that place with the rest of us by and by!

I hope you'll come back to visit often. Tomorrow I hope to put up some pix of cards I've made, hoping they will be interesting to you.