~*~ My sweet blogger friends ~*~

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Merry Christmas from Arizona

My dear friend Wendy, "Mrs. B" and her hubby visited us in November and she used her photography skills to take this family photo, which became our Christmas card photo.  It's not the entire family, just the Arizona clan.  We are so blessed to have my daughters, April and Allison and grandchildren, Lily and Rowan living nearby.  All of Steve's family is in Texas so opportunities for visits are limited.  We hope all of you enjoyed the holidays and are looking forward to a productive, crafty New Year!

Hugs & best wishes,
Kathy & Family

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Reflections on a spring without cherry blossoms ...

For almost as long as I can remember, the stairs of our childhood home were shaded by a lanky flowering cherry tree, planted by my Grandma just to the right of the staircase.  Every spring, without fail, its branches would burst forth, unasked into a symphony of silken, ivory-pink blossoms which would cover the tree for a few weeks and then fall to blanket the lawn and stairs.  My folks were definitely not gardeners of any sort, but they did love this tree...especially Mom.  Dad simply refused to prune it....it grew wild , unfertilized and free but continued to grace us with its gorgeous spring display (prettiest on our entire block) year after year anyway.  As we kids grew up, we became fairly oblivious to its annual offering, but in time grandkids in their childish delight reminded us of how its pretty spring blossoms resembled popcorn. 

Now that both the folks are gone and the house will eventually be home to a new family, I hadn't thought of that old tree for a long time until this week when I received the monthly bill from the gardener who tends the lawns and gardens there until the house is sold.  He writes that the tree has died.  He has removed a few branches already, but wants me to know that he needs to take it down before winter storms come. 

I have been melancholy all week reminiscing about home and all the love and lessons learned there.  I sometimes took for granted the scraggly cherry tree that each spring transformed a rather simple home with such beauty, and how bare and lonely the house will look with it gone.  I couldn't help but think it's almost as if the tree realized we weren't coming home and its job was done.  Another passing. 

My mom on the front porch in 2002, flowering cherry on the right. 

Family, please feel free to leave a comment with your memories of the cherry tree or home in general.  I think it might be therapeutic. 

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Test Run

Moppet, my Maltese, has been an only child now for a long time and our next door neighbor, a groomer, showed up with this sweet little Yorkie girl who is homeless as a result of a divorce.  We're going to see how she does here.  Isn't she adorable?!  Her name is Bella.....for now anyway.  Just had to share.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

My exciting news!

If you're like me, maybe you've always had a desire to help out the less fortunate or improve the world in some way beyond the reaches of your family and friends, but weren't exactly sure how.  Here is an awesome program just right for us papercrafters and scrapbookers that gets to the heart of why we love what we do.

There is a non-profit organization here in Phoenix called  Arizonans for Children (AFC).   They exist to improve the fragile lives of the abused, abandoned, and neglected children in foster care.  Among the numerous ways they help is through the Lifebook Program.  A volunteer prepares a beautiful scrapbook for a child in long term foster care.  The book documents and emphasizes the positives and gently explain the circumstances that brought the child to their current homes.  Many children sign up for the program, but must wait several years for a volunteer to be assigned to them.  

This is what I am doing and I am loving it!  Usually, volunteers are assigned one child at a time, however I am doing two books for a little girl and her brother who are in foster care together.   May I suggest you check to see if such a program exists in your community.  From time to time I'll share more information and some photos.  If you're interested in learning more about AFC, check out this link:  http://www.arizonansforchildren.org/page.php?link=life_book

Saturday, June 30, 2012

You're getting up there...

My baby brother's birthday is Monday.  He's been a space junkie all his life and has taken flying lessons, to the point of solo'ing.  I think he just needs to log more hours to get his license, and it's rather pricey so it's going to take awhile.  Anyway, isn't Mo Manning's adorable little aviator just perfect?  I colored him with Prismacolors and Copics and used Teresa Collins World Traveler 6x6 pad paper.  Very simple card, but I think  it will tickle Don.

Have a terrific weekend, my dear friends.


The Kraft Journal - Anything Goes
Wags 'n Whiskers - Use Craft
Moving Along with the Times - Birthday
PaperPlay Challenges - Flags/Pennants/Banners
Simon Says Stamp - Sporty
The Sisterhood of Crafters - Stars
Make it Monday - Challenge #95
Mo's Challenge Blog - Straight from the Heart

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Spread your wings

Sweet niece Hillary just graduated from high school and in a few months she'll be headed off to university.  She's been very anxious to spread her wings and now it's going to happen, so a special card was in order.

Here it is folded for mailing.

I went looking for inspiration.  Have you noticed just when you think you've seen absolutely every possible folding card technique, up pops a new one?  I'm always up for learning new fun stuff so when I stumbled upon this one at Marriannes papirverden blog I couldn't wait to give it a go...plus I had just received this SB floral oval die set which she uses on her card.  She names her tutorial simply "folding card" but that could certainly get confusing in my tutorial favorites folder, so I'm calling it a winged oval folding card.
Here it is with its wings spread. 

Pretty unique.  I like. 

Bazzill cs; MME Miss Caroline Dolled Up dp; SB Floral Oval and Classic large oval die, Recollection Pearls, MS butterfly punch, Paper Smooches sentiment stampler stamps, Sharpie white poster paint marker, Stickles, foam dots, ColorBox chalks.


Thursday, May 17, 2012

Let's celebrate the day...

you gave up on finding anyone better than me.
Happy Anniversary Steve!

Quick post today...my sweet mom-in-law and niece are here for a weeks visit from Texas and we're having a blast gossiping and snacking and relaxing and just enjoying each others company.  I had to make a quickie anniversary card for my sweetie though and when I saw this sentiment somewhere on line, I knew I had to use it.  Paper is BasicGrey Two Scoops, vintage bathing beauty image from the internet, EK scallop punch, SB label die, some black ribbon and rhinestones from my stash with a bit of Timmy Holtz tattered rose distress ink finished it off.  I popped the scalloped edging for a bit of a beachy umbrella-y effect. 

 Hope everyone is well and happily anticipating the weekend!  xoxoxxo Kathy

Make it Monday - Anything goes
Divas by Design - Tickled Pink (lots of pink)
Bunny Zoe's Crafts - Anything Goes
Fashionista Challenge - Wedding Anniversary or Wedding Shower
Lexi's Creations - Black and White and one other color
Lollypop Crafts - Just for Him
Basic Grey - Challenge #68 Anything Goes (must use Basic Grey)

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Bunnies and Motherhood

Beatrix Potter (1866-1943)
 I confess an abiding adoration of all things Beatrix.  She wove whimsical stories with rich, witty, understated prose and beautifully rendered illustrations reflecting her great love of the English countryside and nature.   Beatrix was never blessed with children of her own but her books have delighted generations of little boys and girls.

Meet Benjamin and Flopsy, two of her most recognized and well-dressed bunny characters. These two obviously have a very attentive mother who makes certain they are properly dressed and admonished prior to an outing.
My daughters had sweet bunnies as pets growing up.   Bunnies there...bunnies here...inspiration enough for me to snag a lovely Beatrix Potter illustration from the internet to adorn this card made for my grandchildren to give their Mom for Mother's Day.   Happy Mother's Day!

Bazzill CS; MME Indie Chic Safron, Kaisercraft Pearls, SB circles and lacey circles dies, MS Fence edge punch, Colorbox chalk ink, Studio G Clear Stamps. silk ribbon from stash.

Stamp Scrap and Doodle Saturdays - Challenge 1 Mother's Day
Craft your Days Away - All Creatures Great and Small
Stampin Sisters in Christ - Any type of animal, bird or bug
Raise the Bar - Mother's Day
Joyful Stamper - Inspire Me Friday
4 Crafty Chicks - Sentiment stamping only
Crafts and Me - Challenge #83 Punches & Diecuts
Crafty Creations Challenges - #169 Frame it!
Tuesday Throwdown - Challenge #97 Motherly Love

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

New MME's "Indie Chic Citron" Mother's Day

Excellent timing in that I received my order of scrumptious My Mind's Eye new "Indie Chic" line of 6x6 pads on the very last day that I could finish up a Mother's Day greeting for my dear Mom-in-law and get it mailed off to Texas in time.  I used the "Citron" pad and one of A Day for Daisy's sweet bird digistamps, which I colored, embossed, pieced and popped.  I like how it turned out, probably mostly because I LOVE this paper line and that sweet bird.   Wish I were more skilled at photograpy to pick up dimension.   Maybe when my sweet very talented friend Wendy (Mrs. B) and her hubby come for a visit next month she can teach me some tricksies to use the expensive camera Steve bought me.  Anyway, off to the mailbox with fingers crossed it arrives on time.

Bazzill CS, MME dp, MS doily punch;  Dies: SB Labels 2, Circles, Lacey Circles, Fancy tags, CB corner, Copics and Prismacolor pencils; Foam dots, Recollections pearls, Colorbox creamy brown ink; can’t remember where I got the sentiment stamp, ribbon from stash (used the bow easy for my bow).
Hope you each are having a terrific week...it's hump day for all you workaday folks so cheer up, the weekend is in sight (oh how well I remember)!


I'd like to enter this card into the following challenges:
Creative Mondays - Challenge #7 Anything Goes
Crafts and me - Challenge #83 Punches & Diecuts
Crafty Creations - Frame it
More than Favors Wacky Wednesday - Mother's Day
Penny's Paper-Crafty Challenge - #79 Mom
Anything Goes Challenge - Things with Wings
Celebrate the Occasion - Mother's Day
Going Grey with Scrap Creations - Happy Mother's Day
Tuesday Throwdown - Challenge #97 Motherly Love
The Outlawz Monday Greeting Card Challenge--anything goes plus sentiment on front

Make it Monday - always anything goes

Monday, April 23, 2012


Life's accomplishments, great and small, deserve celebration. Earning a university degree definitely falls in the "major celebration" category. My sweet niece just received her BS from BYU, and the family is all exceedingly proud of her. This card is flying to carry our love and congratulations up to Noelle in Provo.

Congratulations Noelle!

Using this week's Dawny P's sketch at Simon Says Stamp Challenge and Teresa Collins lovely Carolina Breeze paper line.  Happy Monday everyone!  Hugs, Kathy

Bazzill CS; TC dp; MS punch around the page, Memory Box Perched Bird die, Sizzix embossing folder, Kaisercraft yellow pearls, computer generated sentiment.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Couldn't help it

With all their faults and shortcomings, we do love our masculine counterparts especially when they overlook OUR faults and shortcomings, tell me I'm wrong.  But allow me another snivel about greeting cards for men.  Okay, I'm done.  Here's my latest.  Looking at it  now it seems a bit too vertical, but it's done and sealed with a kiss.  

Do you think he'll forgive me this one flower on his guy card?  How bout if I explain that it IS a flower created with genuine Tim Holtz tissue tape, would that atone for it a bit?  I'll let y'all know.

Hope you're all having a terrific weekend.  Shout out to some great California friends who are enjoying a weekend long crop at our favorite B&B in lovely old Folsom.  Sure wish I was there with you. 


Michael's kraft cs; MME Lost & Found, SB fleur de lis rectangles, small labels, TH vintage photo distress ink and Nostalgic tissue tape, Lasting Impressions mini brads, machine stitching, twine and button from stash, Heidi Swapp pink edge distressing tool

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Mo's Photo Inspiration Challenge

The very talented Dorcas is hostessing Mo Manning's challenge this week and is offering up this lovely inspiration photo.   I don't really need a wedding card at the moment, and to me the colors are the perfect embodiment of spring so that's the direction I took.
This cute little sweetie hugging her huge bunch of spring flowers is a favorite Mo Manning image but so far I had only used it for birthday cards. Silly me...it makes a most lovely Easter or spring card.  My photo is a bit overexposed but the pinks and yellows are quite lovely in person. 

CS:  Bazzill; dp BG  6" Two Scoops pad; digi image: Mo Manning's Bunches; Prismas and Copics, Embossing/cutting folder by Marianne Designables; Nesties circles and scalloped circles, SB classic bracket edgeability, flower and sentiment stamp from Michael's $1 bin; Kaisercraft pearls, pop dots.

Mo Manning - Challenge #128 Photo Inspiration
Anything Goes Challenge Blog – Challenge #64 Anything Goes
Creative Card Crew - Challenge #7 Spring
Papers and such on line – Challenge Spring or Easter card
Paper TakeWeekly – Anything Goes
Sassy Cheryl's - Challenge #109 Soft Pastels
Tuesday Throwdown – Challenge 92 Pastels
Make it Monday - Anything Goes
Crafty Cardmakers - Challenge #65 Easter
Creative Stamp Friends - Easter Package
CCEE Stampers - #CCEE1214 Use an Embossing Folder

Hugs, Kathy

Thursday, March 29, 2012

CAS Thanks

Wow, look at this...no flourishes, no bling, no coloring.  I must be sick or else recovering from a wisdom tooth extraction.  Yep, the latter.  Not much ambition today, but just playing around with paper suddenly I've become addicted to making medallions.  They're SO easy with the Scor-Pal!  A strip of pretty paper 12" by 1 1/2" scored every 1/4" fanfolded and collapsed onto a circle of strong glue creates all that creased loveliness.  Today just for fun, I lined up my edge punches and tried different ones on the strips before scoring.  I rather like the results.  Here's a simple thank you card featuring one of my experiments.  What do you think?

CS: Bazzill; dp and button are ancient from stash; Stamp from Michael's dollar bin; Ink: Color Box White Frost pigment; Baker's Twine is MME; Scor-Pal for creasing medallion and scoring card base and MS Loop punch.

Entering into these challenges:
Simon Says - Anything Goes
Celebrate the Occasion - Challenge #56 Thank You
Divas by Design - Challenge - Stamp Something
My Mum's Craft Shop - Challenge #50 Stamp it
Make it Monday - Anything goes

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Easter Hugs

Had to go buy one of Mo Manning's adorable new Easter images.  Meet Easter Carly all dressed up and on an egg hunt.  Mo's ability to capture personalities and attitudes with a few simple lines always amazes me.   I used some new purchases, the most striking is that Spellbinders Borderabilities Grand 12" On the Vine border die.  I only have a Cuttlebug but you can cut/emboss these long dies with 2 passes on each end.  I only used a few inches of it and popped it over the popped image panel.  I also used a new MS punch...the picket fence which Michael's had on sale.   I'm not very good at using sketches but Debby4000 inspired me with her adorable card here, so this is my take on EAC's challenge.

CS: Bazzill; DP: MME Happier; Mo Manning Easter Carly digistamp; Sentiment is computer generated; Copics & Prismacolor pencils; Foam dots; Nestie ovals, labels and Vine Borderability, MME Baker's Twine, American Craft ribbon, MS fence and eyelet border punch, a bit of stickles on the eggs; a tiny button and flowers from my stash.

EAC Challenge - Challenge #186 Sketch
Make it Monday – Anything goes 
Anything goes challenge - Challenge #63 Get Ready for Easter
Clear it out challenge blog – Pastel papers theme: Easter
Craft Sentiments – Theme Easter 
Creative Card Crew - Spring
Flourishes Timeless Tuesday - Challenge #162 - Easter ends April 2
Oldie but a goodie challenge - Easter Wishes   that teeny button is probably 8 years old!
Paper and such design blog  - Spring or easter card
Ribbon Carousel  - Challenge #46 - Anything goes  I used twine as spooled item
Sassy Cheryl’s Challenge Blogspot - Easter Parade – Bunnies and/or Bonnets
Try it on Tuesdays - Easter
The Cheerful Stamp Pad - Challenge #39 Anything goes
Crafty Boots - Easter
Daisy Doodles Creative Challenges - Challenge #56 Spring Colors
Lollipop Crafts - Challenge #73 Anything Goes 
My GraficoChallenge -  Easter and spring

Monday, March 26, 2012

$100 Give-a-way

Kristen is giving away one $100.00 Gift Certificate to Scrapbook.com Superstore to one lucky winner!!

Have something on your wish list that you are dying to purchase? Want some of the new CHA items? Look no further! You could be the winner of her HUGE $100.00  Give~A~Way!!  Just click HERE for deets.

Good luck!

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Lady Madonna

So I was playing around with my fairly new EK Success Deep Scroll Edge punch trying for a punch around the page effect, which kinda works, and it left a long narrow center panel.  I had just been looking over my a Day for Daisies stamps thinking I might enter a card in their latest challenge and remembered this precious Mother and child image which would be perfect for that narrow spot.  Wooohooo...I call that serendipity.  Then I was thinking I ought to play up the stars and added all the bling.  So, are you asleep yet?  I used my Prismacolors and OMS and added the seam binding bow with a bit of flower and snuck in a new Memory Box die that came in this week.  I think it makes a pretty nifty Mother's Day card.  
Hope you're all having a terrific weekend.  It's in the high 70's-low 80's here in the high desert of Arizona...beautiful weather.


Digistamp:  A Day for Daisies; CS Bazzill; DP unknown ancient from my stash; punch EK Success; seam binding, flowers from Michaels, Memory Box Ivy tendril die, rhinestones from stash Me and My Big Ideas.

A Day for Daisies - Challenge #39 Shades of Blue
Stamping for the Weekend - Challenge 6 Anything Goes
Polka Doodles - Week 12 Mother's Day
Guylous Inimitability Monochromatic Challenge
Fun with shapes and more - something punched or cut
Sweet Stampin' Challenge - Anything Goes

Wednesday, March 21, 2012


This card was inspired by the double matting technique using Nesties shown by the very talented Miss KittyKraft and uses four of my current favorite things:  B&W damask, roses, songbirds and those sweet Marianne Doohickey flourishes.    I wish my photography skills were better...the entire front panel on this card is popped to show the double matting around the recessed oval center.   Yesterday Mr. Postman brought three new dies, including this super sweet little Memory Box bird die (LOVE her).   Anyway, to all you ornithologists out there shaking their heads, I know there probably aren't really any black songbirds, so I'm claiming artistic license! 

By the way, have you seen the embossing technique called Belleek (for the gorgeous Irish porcelain).  It is SO beautiful!   My fingers and cuttlebug folders are all inky.  I'll share when I have something worth showing.

Paper is Teresa Collins CS Bazzill, roses are from a Michael's bin, flourish is Marianne and pearls are Kaiser Craft.  I also used these cool black foam mounts
Thanks for looking.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Went a little wild

Splitcoast Stampers technique challenges are always fun.  I'm a bit late for this cascading card challenge from January but I saw so many possibilities for this fancy fold card I had to give it a try.  Here's my first...a birthday card for my beautiful daughter April. Photo doesn't really show the cascading effect very well, but it's such a cool look.  It folds flat for mailing but accordians out about 4 inches to show off the layers.  I backed  my card so as to create a pocket for a tag with a gift card for a local nursery (to buy and plant a tree) thus the theme of my card.

I'm definitely going to make more of these...they're deceptively simple, and you get a lot of bang for your buck.  Thanks for looking and Happy Birthday to my dear April who made me a mother 38 years ago and has blessed my life in too many ways to count since then!


DP: Jillibean Apple Cheddar Soup, Cosmo Cricket Odds & Ends, MME Happier; Sentiments:  SRM sticker, computer generated; punches:  MS butterfly and edge punch, pine bough; Die cuts:  Nestie scalloped circle, assorted foliage dies (some sent by BFF Wendy B).  Little Hampton Art owl rubber stamp I've had forever stamped and embossed.  I free cut the tree branches.

Sweet Stampin Challenge - Use lots of green (my owls are stamped & embossed)

Monday, February 20, 2012

Dude in a little black dress...

Well, actually it's a card for a dude (who wouldn't be caught dead in a dress by the way...even a cute little black one).   I know I'm not the only cardmaker who struggles with cards for guys.  I mean if you're lucky, they golf or fish or love old trucks or cars and you at least have some kind of theme going on besides lace and flowers and pretty bling.  Anyway, here's my guy card starring Basic Grey's Little Black Dress.

base is kraft, the paper is Basic Grey Little Black Dress, the stripey grosgrain ribbon was perfect, MS punches, Nestie ovals, sentiment stamp is Stampin' Up.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Birthday Girl

Lily's 6th birthday card, thanks to inspiration of my sweet friend Wendy (Mrs. B)--a gatefold card with a Sassy Cheryl digistamp (sooo cute) perfect for a birthday party girl.  Colored with Prismacolors and embossed with Cbug.  DP BG Indie Bloom, SRM sticker, Magnolia die, some ric rac.    We took everyone miniature golfing on Saturday for her birthday treat.  Happy Birthday dear Lily!