Free Shipping & other exciting news!

Lots of excitement around the Stampin’ Up watercolor watercooler today!

Free Shipping Flyer-001

Savings from this:

  April 6-8th

(that’s this weekend folks!)

Free-Shipping

(that’s the same as getting a 10% discount not to mention possible sales tax savings too)

 

May lead to this:

catribbon - you got me ribbons - OMG

(doesn’t everyone deserve new SU toys when shipping is free!)

 

And could heal the pain from this:

Watercolor Pencils and Crayons Discontinued

Brights Crayons are gone now…the Subtles, Regals and Neutrals are going fast!

(yep…I’m still crying over that one…though if you order this weekend you can get free shipping and possibly some of the still remaining Watercolor Wonder Crayons still available)

 

SO….

What will be in your box this weekend…when you order…and get….

free shipping carton

Don’t forget to shop HERE…this weekend…for Free Shipping!  Of course you can also call or email me your order.   Wouldn’t this be a fabulous weekend for an online Catalog party…so you as the hostess can get even more cool FREE stuff!  And your guests will all get free shipping on their order mailed direct to them!!!  

Contact me today for your Hostess Code to make that happen.

The llamas are hopping again! Fall-i-days Halloween Blog Hop

Hi All,

The llamas are hopping again…or should I say creepy crawling?   This Fall we are having a fun peek at what you can do with your Stampin’ Up stuff to add to the fun of the Fall Holidays.   We’re focusing especially on the new product from the Holiday Catalog.  If you haven’t seen that yet check with your demonstrator or click on the digital version available in the side bar of most of our blogs.

Okay…First up…Halloween!    We considered Labor Day…but really…did you want video’s of us laboring?   Nope…so here we are with fun, fall, creepy and downright weird entries for your enjoyment.

If you get lost somewhere along the way (Haunted Houses have that effect you know!) click on the Banner or Home button on any page to find your way back to the Hop’s home page and there you will find all the blog links you need to get you back on track.

With luck you’ve arrived from the talented Miss Jackie’s blog post that has you shivering with delight and ready to curl up with a couple of cats for company!

My first project set is a dual one – the card was designed and shared with me by my friend, neighbor and fellow demo Linda Miller.    Using our new Frightening Feline single stamp from the Holiday Catalog.   I just knew I had to include this in the hop.  After all…you know me and cats right?   And who can resist a little feline with googlie eyes and nicknamed Boo!   The little Box next to it is my own  Boo Bat Box that’s perfect for a collection of treats, cookies or a collection of small cards like the little one in the second project set.  

I love the holiday coverage of the new hostess set Mixed Medly.  There is something there for every season and occasion of the year.

This first card will have you shimmering with feline fear…well…fear only if you are out of treats for your little boo!   Dedicated to my once and still loved all black cat Taz (short for Tasmanian Devil) from decades ago.  She had a wicked sense of humor, a love of treats and crazy, of all things, for playing in and with water.   She played in sprinkers as well as joining me in the shower!   And along with all my other cats loved to lick up spiders and spider webs as a tasty treat.  Her version of cotton candy!   So what could be more perfect than combining a black cat with a web waiting to be eaten!

Here’s a close up of each item and the supply list for each as well:

Quick note…if you too have an all black (or even mostly black) cat….keep them indoors for Halloween including a day or two on either side.    It’s for their own safety…and will make them easier to find in a well lit house to boot!

Project: Frightening Feline Web Card

Stamp Sets: Mixed Medley (Holiday Catalog hostess set), Frightening Feline (128105 W), Delightful Dozen (122652 C).

Cardstock:  Basic Black, Whisper White, Rich Razzleberry

Ink: Basic Black, Rich Razzleberry

Accessories:  3” and 3 ½” Circle Dies, Punches: ¾” 1 3/8” Circles, 1 ¼” Scallop Circle, Decorative label.  Spider Web Embossing folder, Stampin’ Dimensionals, Ghooglie Eyes, Big Shot, Frost White Shimmer paint, Sponge Daubers, Adhesives, Simply Scored, Mini glue Dots, Acrylic Blocks

For an alternate look you can substitute the new Illuminate Glimmer Ink in place of the  Frost White Shimmer Paint.  And if your fingers aren’t nimble enough for paper shred bows you can substitute narrow taffeta ribbon.

 Boo Bat Box

Stamp Sets: Mixed Medley (Holiday Catalog hostess set), Tiny Tags (Boo!)

Cardstock:  Basic Black, Whisper White, Rich Razzleberry

Ink: Basic Black, Rich Razzleberry, Illuminate Glimmer Ink ( Boo! and bat edging)

Accessories:  Fancy Favor Die, Punches: ¾”  Circle, 1 ¼” Scallop Circle, Bat (available on the Clearance Rack in the online store).  Spider Web Embossing folder, Stampin’ Dimensionals,  Big Shot, Sponge Daubers, Adhesives,  Mini glue Dots, Sticky Strip

I left this box plain without shimmering the spider web just for simplicity sake.   It took 4 passes through the big shot to get the box entirely covered with the webs on all sides.  Emboss the die cut box before assembling with Sticky Strip.

If you would like the full set of directions for the Frightening Feline Card drop me a note or leave a comment with your email and I’ll pop one along to you as your very own treat with no trick. 😀

****

Next up is a project  that’s been floating around in my head for years and is dedicated to Sandycat.   My  beloved feral feline who along with Wicketcat is now treading the rainbow bridge with all my others.  This 3″x3″ card is from Sandy’s perspective for when she got locked in the garage and desparately wanted back in to the well lit house!     She could be one frightening feral feline who was frightened herself of the dark!   The rest of the time she was a “pussycat” in every sense of the word!   If you wanted her out of the garage (or any other room for that matter) all you had to do was turn out the lights and she’d scoot right out.   For years the house was filled with night lites to keep her happy.    So here’s Sandy sitting in the dark and obviously not very happy about it!    You could make a set and place them in the Razzleberry Boo Bat Box up above.

To make her feel better I paired her card with a Scallop Square “Treats for Boo” Box.  Like all my cats Sandy loved webs like kids love cotton candy!   And Boo just happened to be her pet nickname (well really…all my cats got called Boo at one time or another but Sandy was the one who proclaimed it her own and would let me know it wasn’t to be shared with Wicket or any other cat in the vicinity).    I had fun once more with the Googlie eyes and the new Holiday Catalog featured Illuminate Glimmer Ink.

And if you are looking through the catalog for that little black cat image…you won’t find it!  I know that’s the trick part of this trick or treat hop!   Seriously though…check with your demonstrator and ask her about the new Fall Incentive Stamps.   Stampin’ Up offers special sets of single stamps for demonstrators to use as rewards, incentives, gifts, etc.   And this little kitty is one of them. 

Here’s the details and closeups for the “Sandy” projects:

Inside View of Boo in Garage

Boo in Garage Card (Sandycat in the dark)

Stamp Sets: Fall Occasion Incentive Stamps (only available through your demonstrator),  Tiny Tags (Boo! & hello), Wacky Wishes (Hostess Set – Happy Halloween sentiment)

Cardstock:  Basic Black, Naturals White, Rich Razzleberry

Ink Rich Razzleberry, Illuminate Glimmer Ink ( Boo! , hello and cat)

Accessories: 1/4″  Rich Razzleberry Stitched Grosgrain Ribbon, Googlie Eyes (Holiday Catalog), adhesives

Punches: Itty Bitty Shapes Punch Pack, 3/16″ corner rounder

“Treats for Boo” Box

Side Top View

“Treats for Boo” Box

Stamp Sets: Mixed Medley (Holiday Catalog hostess set)

Cardstock:  Basic Black, Whisper White, Rich Razzleberry

Ink Rich Razzleberry, Illuminate Glimmer Ink

Accessories:  Fancy Favor Die, Scallop Square Die, Big Shot,   Spider Web Embossing folder, Stampin’ Dimensionals,  Sponge Daubers, Adhesives,   Sticky Strip

Punches: ¾”  Circle, 1″ Circle, 1 ¼” Scallop Circle

Box is made with a Fancy Favor Box sandwiched between two Scallop Square Die cuts.  Scallop Squares are run through the Spider Web Embossing Folder and daubed with the Illuminate Glimmer Ink.

Thanks for sharing my quick projects for  those treats for neighbors, coworkers or for special goblins and gouls that come to call.   Next stop on our Falliday Hop is Miss Stephanie’s wonderful blog.   Click the  link or the Next button down below.

Hugs and Halloween Howls and Meows ( a wee bit early)

Make your selection carefully…one never knows what ghostly riders might join you!  

                                        

Relax…there’s still 4 more days of the Online Extravaganza

Has the start to the holiday rush got you flat on your back?

 

Or are you still looking for a few good deals?

 

Either way…you are in luck. 

 

 

Stampin’ Up’s Online Extravaganza has 4 more days to go!

So relax, kick back and let your paws walk the mouse through Stampin’ Up’s Online Extravaganza.   And while you’re there don’t forget to check out the clearance rack for more outrageous deals (up to 60% in fact).  

Here’s the listing of what’s on sale – Online Extravaganza flyer

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And in the meantime…here’s a sneak peak of what I’m working on for another post.   Wouldn’t this be cute done up with the fabric now on sale?

Okay…back to the cute cats:

Hugs and blessings – Jean

Silent night…Holy night….and then the cat started in.

Merry Christmas Aftermath my friends!

I hope your Christmas was filled with family, friends and fun…lots of fun.    Because now its the day after Christmas and the aftermath must be faced…will you leave the tree up until New Years or maybe Valentines?  All depends on your family traditions and grasp on the finer points of procrastination….LOL!     Will you join the shopping crazies in search of more and better deals….either for themselves or to get a jump on next years Christmas…yup I used to be one of those.  No sooner were the gifts unwrapped than I started planning for next year!  Crazy huh?    Are there dishes waiting for you?   Ornaments to clean up?    Wrapping paper to decide…add to the stash for crafting or toss or “shudder” burn (really bad for you, your chimney flue and the environment unless it’s all Stampin’ Up brown wrapping paper).   As I said the Aftermath….hmm…almost sounds like a nuclear attack doesn’t it?   If you have kids chances are there are degrees of similarity.

In case you’re wondering where cats enter into this…let me just say…while its possible that animals really do bow down and worship…I know that they definitely talk on Christmas Eve.   I haven’t heard any English mind you but what a cat can’t express with words they make up for in sounds, tail swishes and most of all yowls…especially of the Niaow…variety that sounds suspiciously like NOW, NOW, NOW!!  😀

I’m grinning now as I type this but let me tell you Christmas Eve at my house was anything but silent!  Not too sure about holy either as my nerves frayed and my language…well…it slipped…lets leave it at that.    Sigh…something else to remember next time I go to confession!  I wonder if I can take Wicket with me so the priest will understand the provocation.  

Little Miss decided she wanted something….Santa  or God and the angels alone only know what.    A quiet evening of listening to carols, surfing the net, chatting with friends on the phone with pauses for petting the cat became….Mommy….I want something…..every few minutes Miss Wicket would announce her presence with yowls of longing and emphatic posturing…nope not the call of nature…nope…not wanting toys and playtime….nope petting didn’t help…couldn’t actually get near her without twisting like a pretzel (those of you with cats and chairs will know what I mean by this)…getting up from said chair ready to obey whatever game was in progress only resulted in a cat diving under the bed.   Pause for me to sit down and the game would begin again….followed by another dive under the bed.   Predictably Momma soon lost it and added to the lack of silence and holiness.   Never did figure out what it was all about though Wicket did eventually get a time out outside in the wider world….which as it turns out…led to more Cats starting in…this time the neighbors…………

Also on the subject of Aftermath…

This year there were missing faces at our families Christmas tables that reflected this year as a year of loss in many ways.  Apart from the separations that come the way of many families, the face missing most was that of my Mother in law who died last January.  She was responsible for so many years in making our family Christmas and in keeping us all in touch with one another as we are now more scattered than ever before.   At my own hearth the missing face (besides my extended family who are mostly in California these days)  was my beloved Sandycat of the mechanical paw and loving heart.  Her ability to share love while maintaining her wild nature was amazing.  Add to that a torn rotator cuff and a small stroke of mine and as I said aftermath seems to have been a theme.   On the other hand the year has had its flashes of joy, periods of inspiration and creativity and additions to my kitchen table and cyber table of friends and fellow crafting comrades from here and  my various online communities.    Friendships that began over blog post comments more than a year ago have blossomed into phone calls, shared packages and letters and plans to meet at SU convention or on vacations that cross paths so we can get to know each other even more.    Grown into lots more hours on the computer too but that is yet again an aftermath…and one I’m happy to live with…though I’m betting it’s going to lead to even more Wicket fits that lead to fewer silent nights…and so the cycle will probably continue.    Loss, pain, joy, growth as the circle continues.    Check back next year to see if Silent and Holy made it back on the agenda…okay?

All of this brought to mind a quote about grace and holiness and growth from a favorite mystery book that I came across as I was hunting through my archives on my drive for something else.   Also put me in mind of a Christmas miracle from the past I shared on a friends blog last year that also, as so much of my life does, involved a cat.

See what you think….

On the subject of Grace:

No one is ever far from grace.  What we’re too often far from is willingness to open our self to grace.  From willingness to let grace come to us.  We keep our minds between it and our hearts.

As for our becoming holy…… I don’t think we have to become “holy” to succeed in our life here.  I’m not even certain what “holy” would be for us.  Dame Johane in response – “Dame Thomasine…” Dame Frevisse responds – Yes , but it seems more a gift given to her than something she became.  I haven’t been given it.  I know that.  My hope isn’t for holiness, only that I grow enough–can set my roots of faith and belief and love deep enough–that like a deep rooted plant growing taller than a shallow rooted one, I finally come as near God in my mind and soul and heart as I can, no matter how much in the world my body has to be. 

Dame Frevisse speaking to Dame Johane in Margaret Frazer’s “The Apostate’s Tale” pg 124-125  A medieval mystery tale in a Nun’s Convent at the time of Chaucer.

*****

My Christmas Miracle shared with Elaine

The first of many…I live my life by miracles or so it often seems.  Some large and indisputably Miraculous… when your husband is dying and you live in a small town wouldn’t you love to end up at the one hospital where the surgeon on duty just returned from a conference with the worlds leading specialists on that specific problem and can make a few phone calls that end up saving your DH’s life!  Add to that all the right techs being in the hospital on a weekend so all tests can be completed in 45 minutes or less (talk about a Golden Hour)!  And that’s the basic story of a big one.  Then again, some days finding a parking spot right in front of where you are going counts as a miracle in my book.

But…you asked for a Christmas Miracle…and those should be special and mysterious and perfect just like the first Christmas itself!

On the first Christmas Eve after my husband Steve and I were married in 1981… we were sad that our Abigail (Abbycat) cat had disappeared and not returned home for quite some time so no little kitty paws to go pitty pat through the house, looking for that stirring creature – a mouse.  Still, we looked forward to Midnight Mass and leading our parish community in worship and song (gotta love that hour of Carols in a darkened Church), so we tuned our guitars and crossed the street (yes we were lucky enough to rent a cottage across the street from our parish – another of those miracles – lol)…and sang out our Christmas Joy at Christ’s birth with our brothers and sisters. 

Halfway through the service I glanced out the open Church door and saw a sweet little cat swaying to the music but looking just a bit unsure of a welcome. She followed the whole service from that doorway hiding only when people started to leave.  As we left the Church, I stopped to pet the sweet little thing (who had popped out of hiding thinking everyone had gone) and wished her a Merry Christmas.  As we started for home, we heard the patter of little paws following us from a distance.  And, every time we stopped to listen the paws stopped too!  Once home, we discovered that we had a friend…so thinking perhaps she was a stray looking for room at the Inn we welcomed her with food and a bed (though she had to be coaxed and convinced it was safe).  So once again, God provided not only our needs but our wants as well and we had a Christmas kitty for life! 

As we found out later she needed us just as much as we needed her…She’d been abandoned on the steps of the rectory some time earlier and crept out to eat leavings from the Scout’s at the Church’s Christmas tree lot until the lot was struck Christmas Eve – with no home left God provided her need and our want.

We also found out later that she had suffered neurological damage (a bit like mine) from early trauma so had a few funny quirks (she couldn’t climb or walk a straight line for years).  She was ever after a Church cat.  We were the unofficial sextons for the Church and would lock up after every event and make sure that all was in order.  We always made that part of an evening walk before bed and our little cat, Juano, followed us everywhere as if she was a dog, even if we went for a mile or more around the block!  She loved to escape into the Church and play hide and seek in the pews kneelers.  We would come back from turning off the lights and find her gazing and swaying (praying?) in the candle light before the side altar or, sitting up straight and tall in the Presider’s chair for all the world as if she was about to begin a prayer service! She also spent every afternoon at the Church’s School during recess and in the library after school until closing.  So many lovely memories and even more miracles but that’s a story for another time.

God loves us enough to give us not only what we need but often what we want –  wrapped up with all the trimmings if we only take the time to look for the miracle.

Whether it’s for years or just for a minute…

May you always have, paw prints on your heart and soul (After all little one’s adore Him too!), and miracles every day of your life!

Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night – Jean

                             *****

Aftermath has so many meanings and consequences doesn’t it?
 Ah well maybe next year Silent Night will return to its traditional meaning and have a chance to become Holy! 

Do you think there were cats in Bethlehem on that first Christmas?  At least the Shepherds only had to deal with sheep and angels….just saying…….

One last thing I wanted to share that I came across in my surfing…a modern day’s take on that first Christmas if social networking had meant then what it does now.   Enjoy!

May your Sunday be blessed and your aftermath one of joy and growth with a little silence and holiness thrown in.

Hugs and blessings – Jean

Stampin’ Up! Sunday Bits and Blog Hopping

Sunday Blessings to you all.

Did you enjoy your extra hour of blog surfing or sleep or whatever you did with the time change.  Are you enjoying the Royal Blog Tour (see the post pinned to the top for details)?    Time change seems to have confused Mother Nature here in my corner of Oregon.  One minute the wind is blowing like crazy, the next its balmy and barely a breeze.  One minute clouds cover everything and dampness reigns (not to mention mini downpours) the next the sun is out and shining.  Who knew time changes could have such a changeable effect. 
*
I know we don’t really get an extra hour in the usual 24 but it sure seems like it so I’ve decided to enjoy it and spend the time surfing the Royal Blog Tour being amazed by the inspiring projects and angling for blog candy.  Seemed like a good time to get a jump on all the piled up laundry too.  After all why waste that extra hour when the machine could be chugging away – LoL! 
*
Makes me feel so virtuous getting chores done while surfing the net!  I’m so thankful for Washing Machines that work while unattended – too bad they won’t load and set themselves too!  While there is a river nearby I’d surely hate to have to lug the clothes there and find a rock to wash them!   Don’t imagine the fish would appreciate breathing the soap either!   The things the pioneers did…amazing that some of them found time to craft or do other fun things.  No blogs either!  Lots and lots of letterwriting going on though.
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DCP01047_edited
Okay Mom…enough surfing….when’s DINNER!!!
(note this is not even close to dinner time with or without the time change)
 
Wicket of course is finding the time change problematic.    She’s time ruled by her stomach and it will be a few weeks or months before she accepts the new clock settings as gospel.  So cruel to make her wait that extra hour for dinner isn’t it – hee,hee,hee.  I’ll make it up to her by giving her a bite of steak and some cheese.  Amazing the things I find in the bottom of my freezer!
Since you’re here and all I thought I’d also share a quick project Cheryl and I put together the other day.  Winter treat holder from Holiday Mini Halloween paper (talk about a trick when someone opens it and sees the inside of the paper)!!  Something about this little darling seems to me to have a very Edwardian feel to it.   Probably the deep red of the Riding Hood Red paired with the Black and Gray herringbone patterned paper with white accents – not to mention the vintage style stamp that was used.   Discovered  after it scanned that the Designer Paper scanned more gray than black.  And the Rhinestones aren’t showing the sparkle they have when sitting on my desk.    This is a somewhat simplified of CASE of a video project I found on Kimberly Van Diepen’s blog here.

Supplies List:

Stamps: Bells & Boughs (Holiday Mini)

Paper: Night Owl Designer Series Paper (Holiday Mini), Riding Hood Red & Whisper White Cardstock

Ink: Versamark

Other: Big Shot, Table Setting Die, Northern Frost Decorative Strip Die (Holiday Mini), Basic Jewels Rhinestones, Whisper White Taffeta Ribbon, Stapler (to fix the DSP to the die cut and hold it closed….and of course Chocolate!

I’m so impressed that Stampin’ Up gives us options with our Designer series paper.   Even though this is technically Halloween paper only one side of each design has a specifically Halloween image.  The other side as you see here can be used for other occasions throughout the year.   So much more versatile don’t you think!  And of course it coordinates perfectly with SU’s color groupings and embellishments  too!  Appeals to my frugality in a big way!

All right…now that the scan is made I can eat the Chocolate and really celebrate the time change!!

*****

DCP01048_edited

Still Patiently waiting….and looking cute too don’t you think?
*****
Guess I better go fill the food bowl!   Then back to the Royal Blog Tour for more inspiration.
Hugs and Blessings – Jean
 

Post Halloween Fun for the Fur Faces! Cool Video!

Hi All,

While you wait for me to get my latest projects and cards in the mail scanned I thought I’d share this very cool post Halloween video.   Turns out that cats of any size are really kittens at heart!

Enjoy!

Hm…I guess I better keep my eye out for cougars and other wild cats that like to visit while I have pumpkins on the porch!

Hugs and blessings to you all – Jean

Trying to get back in the groove…..scattered Sunday thoughts on Hope and Life and Genesis and of course…Cats!

 

Hi All,

I hope you are having a blessed Sunday.   Southern Oregon…or at least my little corner of it is once again experiencing rain!  Rain, rain and more rain.   Don’t get me wrong I’m not complaining a bit.  It’s mostly a soft and warm(ish) soaking rain – the best kind even if the gutters don’t quite agree!   The trees and garden are in great need of the water.  So many local wells have been going dry that I’ve cut back even more than usual on my watering just in case.  Luckily my wells are deep and there are two of them but just in case….

And who knows, having the ground softened up, just might spur me on to getting some long neglected weeding done.  Uh huh…R.I.G.H.T…..the deer don’t seem too concerned by that prospect.

Started to share this a week or two back and then lost where I put it.   Found it again finally (hiding in plain sight or should that be site since it was sitting in my blog’s drafts file :D).

Trying to get back in the blogging groove but it’s harder than I thought it would be.   After a small stroke a short while ago many things are strange.   I’m pretty much recovered thanks to God’s grace and the prayers of many friends but just a few things are still a bit skewed.  Word skills and energy, and taste sensations being a few of them.  Everything takes so much longer as I try to remember the steps needed to accomplish a task and remembering words, names and so on is tricky at best.  Sat for half an hour today trying to remember my nieces name.  Funny thing is I can remember her phone number just not her name most of the time.   It’s making learning all the new color names and stamp sets and paper names a lot harder than in the past.   Luckily most of the SU things I learned before the stroke are still with me for the most part.  Though Cajun Craze has become Crazy Cajun sometimes.   LOL!  My Louisiana friends might say that was more accurate but I’m not sure a non Southerner can get away with saying that :D! 

 Emotions are a bit off as well.  I realized the other day that I was actually afraid of my blog!   Probably just the work it represents or the fear of getting words wrong, or the backlog of entries waiting to be made or some such thing but as I’m not generally a fearful person it’s just plain weird.   Wicket is the scaredy cat in our house!  No real rhyme or reason….afraid of my refrigerator too!   Though that’s probably just because it really needs cleaning and the task seems daunting! – LOL!   Anybody out there want to get up close and personal with my experiments to find a new strain of mold for medical science? 

From day to day things taste different too.   Sometimes very salty even when there is no salt added to something – like water for instance!  Other times bitter or like cardboard.  Makes cooking interesting let me tell you.   Though some friends seem to think its an improvement since I’ve been adding more spice and heat to my cooking lately.   Have I mentioned that in the past when making chilli I very firmly latched the top of the chilli powder closed then waved it over the pot!   Not anymore.  I’m even using salsa and diced chilli’s these days and lots and lots of pepper.  I just finished off  half a jar of peppercorns that had been in the cupboard for 5 years – that half jar only took 3 weeks!   Still no Cilantro as that still tastes like dirty gym socks smell!  I’ve discovered over the years that Cilantro is one of those love it or hate it spices with little in between.   And most who hate it say the same thing about gym socks.  Funny how that is an archetypal smell.  Started a bit of a debate on the subject at the last Stamp Camp.  I’m afraid we nay sayers were outvoted this time.

Decided this week to take some action on the fear factor and cleared out 1/2 the bad stuff in the frig.  Next week I’ll get to the other half and I’ve been trying to post at least every other day this week to get back in the groove.  They may not all be original work but its a good discipline and hopefully still worth reading.  That was something a friend suggested to me to get me over the hump.   Still there may be weeks ahead with fewer posts.  I hope you know I’ll still be thinking of you.. just might be in need of a rest.

So what does all that have to do with the statement at the top of the post?    Living in hope and fighting the fear seems to be a good thing.   I can live with the tears that come at odd times for no apparent reason but living without hope just isn’t an option.   I do truly believe that hope (and faith) anchors the soul.   Without that I come adrift and lose my bearings.    Though I will add that even when I am without hope I still seem to talk to God…and as any good therapist will tell you talking is always good…when we cease to communicate we lose a grip on life itself.   And thankfully God is always there to listen.

With hope all things seem, if not doable, at least  possible and that as Martha Stewart would say is a very good thing.   Side note:  I’ve always wondered if she picked that up from Genesis…after each act of creation the passage closes with…And God saw that it was good.   Hm…maybe not… since that would seem to put her in the role of God?    Anyway…. possibilities have at their very core the essence of life; and happiness though not guaranteed, seems at least attainable when all the possibilities are there to be explored.    As a pastor friend would say…Thus endeth the lesson….

Under the heading…Charity that doesn’t cost you more than a click…can also find you some fun!

I was clicking to feed shelter cats (and dogs too) at one of  my favorite online charities (www.freekibblecat.com) and came across this very fun video.  IKEA as many Stampers know is the Mecca of Organizing (and oh yeah they sell furniture too) – to set up a Stamp Room at frugalista prices (well with add ins from the $ store and thrift shops too – lol) there is no better place.   Recently an IKEA in England teamed up with a 100 cats to see what furniture a true hedonistic Sybarite would pick.  In the process of filming what was to become the commercial a great deal of hilarity, exploration and of course a bit of testosterone induced territorialism ensued (okay maybe I’m slamming the guys overly much since I suppose estrogen – or its lack – can make a person cranky too :D) .

I loved the comments about the difference between the kittens and the adult cats.   Could it be that kittens souls being more newly minted are more deeply anchored by hope?   Note:  I hope I’m not offending anyone out there by assuming cats have souls…after living with a cat who obviously prayed when in church its hard to argue.  A story for another time…..

May your day and week and year and oh heck your whole life be filled and bounded by joy and of course hope.

Hugs and Sunday Blessings – Jean

Tightwad Tuesday is Raining Cats and Dogs

Hi All,

Well it did seem to be raining Cats and Dogs and everything else but the kitchen sink right up until the Sun came out over the weekend.  Then again who knows by the time this actually posts on Tuesday it may be doing so again.  I do live in Oregon after all and even though it’s May old man Winter is having a hard time letting go.  One day we’re in the 70’s and the next the 40’s!   I keep reminding myself that last year we had snow in June so I’m keeping a weather eye out (or is that an eye on the weather?) for falling objects of any kind.

And lest it sounds like I’m complaining I should say that part of why I moved to Oregon was for the weather.  After years in Southern/Central Coastal California it’s invigorating to experience real seasonal weather….have to say I don’t miss the earthquakes either.  The only time I waver in that enjoyment is when I open my heating bills!  Though again I have to admit I prefer the lower end of the temperature scale to the higher.

So with that in mind….. welcome to another installment of Tightwad Tuesday where the bargains and the inspiration (hopefully) also fall thick and fast.  For a complete list of other stamps and wheels under $20 check out the downloadable list in my right hand sidebar.  And now that the Summer Mini is live I’ve added a new document to my Scribd files that outline the mini’s stamps and wheels also under $20.

Okay my friends….I’m guessing you’re asking yourself what took this crazy animal loving cat lady so long to get around to these two sets.  Well…hmmm…I guess I have no real good answer to that one but now that we’re here and featuring the stamp versions of my fur friends I’m feeling just as frisky and crazy as they are.   I guess procrastination builds up the energy supply.   So get out your goldfish crackers and a glass (bowl?) of milk and prepare to get cute, cuddly and possibly furry.

*****

Projects from the Stampin’ Up Store

 *****

  W = wood    CL  = Clear Mount   IBC = Idea Book & Catalog (main catalog)

C is for Cat – #115764, $15.95, pg. 61  IBC

You can just bet I jumped on this set when it was offered for free during Sale -a-Bration.  Not sure why I waited so long but now I have it I can’t stop coming up with ideas for it.  Perfect for any cat lover in your life or to document your own cat’s antics in scrap pages or cards. 

Given my own Wicket cat’s sharp claws I’m planning on using these stamps with some Craft ink to create my very own custom pincushion for my sewing table.  Seems appropriate somehow given all the holes Wicket has put in yours truly over the years (or even just this week!).

Here’s what SU has to say about this set:

Cat lovers will purr with delight when they see this adorable set. With images and greetings for all sorts of different occasions, you’ll find the perfect accent for your next cat-centered project!

Set Quantity: 6

Links:

SCS Gallery: http://www.splitcoaststampers.com/gallery/showgallery.php?cat=17436

Stampin’ Addicts Gallery: http://www.stampinaddicts.com/gallery/showgallery.php?cat=3130

**

http://www.stampinchic.com/2010/02/kissable-kat-for-ppa.html

http://alystamps.com/tag/c-is-for-cat-stamp-set

https://jlfstudio.wordpress.com/2010/05/03/cards-in-the-mail-sympathy-for-sandycat-from-dear-friends/

http://rubberredneck.typepad.com/rubber-redneck/2010/04/scrapbook-page-using-c-is-for-cat.html

http://stampwithkriss.com/touch-and-feel-birthday-card

http://www.sunnysideofcrafting.com/2009/07/10/c-is-for-cat/

http://sarahsinkspot.com/blog/2010/01/c-is-for-cat.html

http://cy-gb.facebook.com/note.php?note_id=132398564724

http://www.jaydeestamping.com/weblog/c-is-for-cat/

http://sharondavis.wordpress.com/2010/01/23/vet-thank-you/

http://www.diypapercreations.com/2010/02/c-is-for-cat-ppa28.html

http://www.thestampinglady.com/the_stamping_lady/2010/01/c-is-for-cat.html

http://www.stampinaddicts.com/gallery/showphoto.php?photo=3645&title=c-is-for-catmiss-bailey&cat=1496

http://addinkandstamp.blogspot.com/2009/10/happy-birthday-to-my-kitty.html

http://addinkandstamp.blogspot.com/2009/10/i-have-new-grand-kitty.html

http://addinkandstamp.blogspot.com/2009/12/branchin-out-again.html

http://runningwscissorsstamper.blogspot.com/2010/03/redneck-regionals.html

http://www.stampinaddicts.com/gallery/showphoto.php?photo=4451&title=lyssahumane-society&cat=3130

http://unfrogettablestamping.typepad.com/my_weblog/2009/10/sympathy-card-for-pet-loss.html

http://createdbyu.blogspot.com/2010/04/sunday-morning-blog-candy.html

http://zindorf.blogs.splitcoaststampers.com/2009/08/04/black-cat-with-flowers-tutorial-244/

http://zindorf.blogs.splitcoaststampers.com/2010/01/21/cat-story-time-tutorial-298/

http://www.splitcoaststampers.com/gallery/photo/1517017?&cat=17436

http://yaphamason.com/blog/2009/10/11/happy-birthday-abby/

http://yaphamason.com/blog/2009/10/10/c-is-for-cat-birthday/

http://www.jaydeestamping.com/weblog/2010/05/c-is-for.html – C is for Cat

*****

D is for Dog – #115784, $15.95, pg. 61 IBC

I love the freewheeling look of this dog as he/she trots along ( I could wish they had also included a moving image like this on the Cat set too but then most cats tend to sit or lay down more than they trot :D).

The quote from Martin B. is also terrific and so totally true. A few talented stampers have even managed to make this dogs tail wag for real in their cards.   Looking at all the images here it’s hard not to picture Scrap pages, background papers, cards and more flowing from this one set of stamps.  Add some Acrylic Paints to the mix and you could have fun doggying up bowls and other doggy paraphanelia.  Add Craft inks and a heat tool for tee shirts, quilt blocks and other fun items. 

Can’t you just picture a card for your favorite fella with the caption…You dog!  If you have My Digital Studio you can make it happen then stamp the dog images from this set to make it a hybrid project.  You can also use this set with the mini milk carton die to create a doghouse with dog at the entrance!

Here’s what Stampin Up has to say about the set:

A dog may be a man’s best friend, but this stamp set is a woman’s best creative buddy! With images and greetings for everything from cards and gifts to pages and decorations, this set offers unlimited opportunity for the dog lover in all of us!

Set Quantity: 6

Links:

SCS Gallery: http://www.splitcoaststampers.com/gallery/showgallery.php?cat=17443

Stampin’ Addicts Gallery: http://www.stampinaddicts.com/gallery/showgallery.php?cat=3138

**

http://tinkerin-in-ink.blogspot.com/2010/03/pet-sympathy-card.html

http://stampingnut.blogspot.com/2010/03/i-m-mutt-nut.html

http://www.stampinaddicts.com/gallery/showphoto.php?photo=14501&title=friends&cat=3138

http://addinkandstamp.blogspot.com/2009/09/happy-birthday-to-my-brother.html

http://www.stampinchic.com/search/label/D%20is%20for%20Dog

http://www.splitcoaststampers.com/gallery/photo/1443570?&cat=17443

http://thefortunatestamper.blogspot.com/2010/01/d-is-for-dog.html

http://www.stampandscrapwithkim.com/2009/11/d-is-for-dog-c-is-for-cat.html

http://yaphamason.com/blog/2010/01/16/sab-blog-hop/

http://www.angelasargeant.com/blog/stampin-up/sympathy-card-for-loss-of-a-pet/

http://www.splitcoaststampers.com/gallery/photo/1595927

*****

Coordinating Wheel:

P is for Paw – Standard Wheel – #115620, $6.50 pg. 61 & 205

While it was tricky finding links to share for this wheel.  I have no trouble at all envisioning its use.   I love the mix of small and large – possible cat and dog paws.  Or Kitten and cat, puppy and full dog paws.  Kind of like a free for all game of Twister by the fur face set.  Hmmm….kind of looks like my entryway floor during the Winter months too!

Links:

SCS Gallery: none

Stampin’ Addicts Gallery: none

**

http://www.staceystamps.com/stacey_stamps/2010/01/d-is-for-dog-easel-card.html

http://artisticavenger.wordpress.com/2010/04/17/for-our-trainer – also uses D is for Dog

http://artisticavenger.wordpress.com/2010/01/26/fun-with-cats-and-dogs-and-horses/

http://yaphastamps.wordpress.com/2009/09/06/great-danes/

*****

Tailgating – Standard Wheel – #105519, $6.50, pg. 58 & 205

While considered a coordinating wheel for the Loads of Love stamp set I tend to think of it as a doggy wheel.   Perfect if you love to color with pencils or markers Tailgating is not one of those wheels that will change your life, but it’ll sure make you smile. Use it with the Loads of Love stamp set or send the image to any dog lover; you’ll love what you come up with every time

Links:

SCS Gallery: http://www.splitcoaststampers.com/gallery/showgallery.php?cat=4703

Stampin’ Addicts Gallery: none

**

http://trudee.blogs.splitcoaststampers.com/2007/05/24/trudee-treats-winner/

http://www.splitcoaststampers.com/gallery/photo/1120113?&cat=4703

http://www.splitcoaststampers.com/gallery/photo/468638?&cat=4703

*****

For other fun dog and cat images check out the following slightly higher priced stamp sets:

Pun Fun on pg.60 of the Idea Book and Catalog. 

A Kind Word on pg. 53 in the IBC also has some cute kitties as well.

Peace Within pg. 103 has another cute cat.

Teacher’s Pet pg. 89  is another one with a cat and dog

*****

I hope, my fellow Frugalistas that  you’ve enjoyed this companion animal addition of Tightwad Tuesday.  Check back later in the week as I race to get the rest of the Under $20 sets not yet featured up and going before the new catalog is issued in July and the Last Chance list (that might contain a few of these already featured sets) for retiring stamps that debuts in June.

Hugs and Blessings – Jean

Isn’t it lovely when two species try to work together…….

Of course this is more my life and what I have to deal with……..Or as Wicket would say why give humans the can openers and pop tops and give us just a tongue!  As always with cats…its a control issue!

Cards in the mail: Sympathy for Sandycat from dear friends

Hi All, 

Thought I would share a couple of handmade cards I received in the mail recently.  Good friends have been a wonderful comfort since my dear furface Sandycat was taken ill and died.  I’ve tried to guess on the supplies list or added a link when they were posted elsewhere. 

Click on the images for a closer look. 

This first card was sent to me by my friend and fellow demo Barb Story.  Barb is the same lady who shared this wonderful Stampin’ Addict Poem creation I highlighted here in an earlier post. I love our current set of In Colors and though I’m going to miss Dusty Durango I’m thrilled that Soft Suede has now been added to our new Color Renovation Neutrals Collection.   Barb’s card makes use of simple matted layering and the sponging and use of ribbon distributes the color in all the right places.  Simple but elegant describes not only the stamp set used but the card itself.   Thanks so much for sharing the love Barb! 

Barb Story's Kind and Caring Card

Probable Supplies: 

Stamps: Kind and Caring Thoughts, Teeny Tiny Wishes 

Paper: Dusty Durango, Soft Suede, Very Vanilla 

Inks: Dusty Durango 

Other: Dusty Durango In Color Ribbon, Modern Label Punch 

Barb’s tip for mailing:  “I fold my cards inside out to help cushion the embellishments when they go through the postage meter.” 

Great tip Barb! 

*** 

This second beautiful card was sent by Sharon Field, another friend and blogging SU Demo.  You can check out Sharon’s always inspiring blog here.  And her post about this and other cat cards here. I love the stark but elegant black,  white and gray  theme.  It also uses my favorite Night and Day DSP Paper that sadly retired with the Holiday mini from earlier this year.  On the up side though the paper is still available as a My Digital Studio Download and can be purchased in the Online Store for use with MDS or other graphics based software programs.  Though hard to see in this scan, in real life the layering and matting is amazing – some popped up with dimensionals for a wonderful textured card that isn’t too bulky to mail. 

Note: the kraft looking background is not part of the card.  To get my scanner to show the black and white reasonably well I had to use a darker backing piece. 

Sharon Field's C is for Cat Card

Probable Supplies:

Stamps: C is for Cat 

Paper: Whisper White, Basic Black, Day and Night DSP (retired) 

Inks, Basic Black 

Other: Black Grosgrain Ribbon, Silver metallic cord (retired) 

*** 

Lastly here’s a thank you card I made for Wicket to send to a dear friend (so technically that makes this a Card in the mail too!).  Since tomorrows Tightwad Tuesday is featuring this stamp set I thought I would give you a preview in advance with mine and Sharon’s card. 

 

Stamps:  C is for Cat, Fifth Avenue Floral 

Paper:  Bermuda Bay, Naturals White, Ruby Red Cardstock 

Ink: Bermuda Bay, Ruby Red, Black Journaling Pen 

Other:  Black Gingham Ribbon, 5 Petal Punch, 3/4″ circle punch, 1-3/8″ Circle Punch, Ticket Corner Punch, Big Shot, Finial Press Impressions folder 

Fairly self explanatory though perhaps I should add that the “starburst” under the C is for Cat image was created by layering two 5 Petal Punch pieces together just slightly offset from one another then popped up on a dimensional. The fish image from the stamp set was used on the interior of the card to outline a Whisper White layer for writing Wicket’s message (good thing I can transcribe cat!).

***

My thanks to Barb and Sharon for sharing their heartfelt sympathies and prayers.  Wicket and I really appreciated the time and care put into these lovely creations.  Hope you enjoyed them too.

Until tomorrow….

Hugs and Blessings – Jean

Sunday sadness leavened with joyful memories

Hi and Sabbath Blessings to you all,

After a week of distracting myself with lots of exciting SU announcements (posts about that are in the offing) I realized I hadn’t filled you in on the latest about Sandycat and Wicket

So many of you have written or left comments or sent lovely cards to keep my spirits up I thought I should let you know….
 
After a struggle of several weeks Sandycat finally was in such bad shape I had to take her into the vets to begin the long sleep just over a week ago.  Hard as that decision was I couldn’t let her continue to suffer and slowly starve to death as her liver shut down.  I brought her home after and buried her in the back pasture between two pine tree’s and plan to plant a bush of some kind there to mark the spot (If any of you Pacific Northwesterners or those familiar with our climate and soil  have ideas as to what I should plant I’d love some ideas).  Sandy’s beloved horses were there in the neighboring pasture watching and sharing the sad time.  Can’t remember when or if I last shared Sandy’s horse story….
 
For several years Sandy and the horses next door have been friends.  When we first moved here Sandy was fascinated with the large animals that lived right next door – though she had seen horses at a distance where we used to live (Our housing tract was across the way from several horse farms in the Santa Ynez Valley in California) this was her first chance to get up close and personal with the species.  She would sit on our side of the fence and the horses would hang their heads over the fence and they would have quite animated conversations.  With the kitchen window open I could hear neighs and meows and purrs going back and forth (well horses don’t really purr now do they though they do wicker – lol! ).  Sandy was never fazed by the horses large heads nodding up and down just a few scant inches over her head though she did sometimes back up for a better overall view.  And on some days when she didn’t go out she would sit in the kitchen window and seemed to communicate with them from there.  The horses always seemed to check the window for her when they saw movement in the kitchen.  If only I’d had a video camera I could probably have won some serious money or at least enough to keep the fur girls in catnip and canned food anyway 😀
 
I’m so grateful to my friend Cheryl who went with me to the vet and when my strength gave out came and finished digging Sandy’s grave for me.  The back pasture had a lot more clay than I expected and digging mostly one handed was a major chore so the help was truly needed and appreciated.  Good Friends are truly a blessing.  I’ve been so grateful for all your caring notes and cards and emails.  Grateful too for the quiet time the last couple of weeks spent cuddling with Sandy.  I was so surprised at the trust she showed.  Most cats when they are very ill or hurt will crawl away and hide and she never did, she just wanted me to hang out in bed with her and keep her company.  Turn about seemed only fair given the number of hours she and Wicket have spent with me as I recover from seizures, etc.  In true Sandycat fashion though she did manage to waft her way through seemingly closed doors and windows.  The number of times I found her outside or on the other side of a door with no memory of letting her out was amazing.  Somehow she managed it though! Rather like ants and their seeming “transporter” technology.  Another odd occurrence was the night before the last scheduled vet visit. I was dreading the following morning and not expecting to get much sleep…. I had just gone to bed though not yet asleep and was laying there with my eyes closed waiting for sleep when I suddenly started “seeing” all kinds of cats.  Lions, tigers, pumas and various kinds of wild cats as well as a few domestics.  Very intense like they were some kind of spirit cats – seeming more than just real, but see through, and then one appeared that I just knew was Sandy though larger, more lynx looking but with her color markings.  This cat slowly turned to look at me and I had a sense that this was Sandy’s true nature and that she wanted me to know that she would be fine.  An amazing experience and I only wish I was enough of an artist to reproduce the gathering of cats.  Though different in some respects it made me think of some Sci Fi or Fantasy stories I’ve read in the past.   My Navajo sister in law would say it was a spirit walk for both myself and Sandy and in fact from what I’ve read about such things or experienced in the past that’s very much what it felt like. I wonder what Fr. Liam will have to say about that one if I ever get up the nerve to tell him!
 
So now Wicket is an only cat and we are both adjusting.  I had hoped she would end up settling down as the undisputed queen cat of the roost but it’s looking like she is more in need of feline companionship than I expected.  Will have to think about that one.  It takes a bit of doing to integrate a new companion animal into a household and I’m not sure I’m up for the work.   
 
 She spent the first few days screaming and scolding.  She’d become the ubiquitous fishwife instead of the cuddle cat I expected would appear (her usual reaction when Sandy was boarded) – and had me wondering if she has some Siamese DNA in the mix after all. Maybe she liked being picked on by Sandy?   She’d spend hours sitting by my knee and patting me with her claws out and crying but I couldn’t figure out what she wanted.   Thankfully she’s now slowly calming down and we are figuring out our new roles.   Two crotchety old ladies is what we seem like as we redefine our territories and pecking order.    Slowly she’s getting the idea that if she shows me what she wants we’ll both get on better and I’m learning to spend a bit more time than usual petting and playing.   Funny that she seems to sleep so much less now.   Wicket turns 15 in another couple of weeks and that in itself is amazing.  Most of my cats haven’t lived past 6 or 8.  She’s had some close calls but is amazingly healthy.  In fact some days she won’t stop running up and down the hallway in a mad steeplechase of one!  She’s also taken over Sandy’s appetite or so it seems.  The running is building up her muscles and the eating has put a few needed pounds on an always too thin frame.  Time will tell and as always with cats…it should be interesting!   
 
That’s it for this weeks Sunday share and hopefully I’ll be finding out new and more fun facts to share with you all about all the new SU announcements in the coming week.  Hope all of you are enjoying Spring and finding joy in your lives to counterbalance any of the not so fun stuff that seems to find its way into every life this side of Heaven.
 
Hug the ones you love my friend and save a few for those most in need of them – after all hugs never expire right – lol!
 
Hugs and blessings – Jean
Sandycat look alikes or embodiement of spirit
And the REAL thing……
There may be a few look alikes and Sandycat imitators out there but she was a one of a kind cat who was convinced she was as much human as cat.  A mechanical marvel who was always learning and experimenting with a purpose and a communicator without peer.   I hope God has a lot of catnip stored up…he’s going to need it to keep her happy(wouldn’t hurt if Heaven has a few dead bolts and light switches, phones and TV’s either to keep her occupied)! 
Sweet Dreams my darling fur girl……
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