Sunshine & Puppies …

It doesn’t get much better for this old gal!

Our Neo pups have moved on to their new homes, which is bittersweet.  My bulldog posse have opened their eyes and found their VOICES!  Here are a couple of group photos:

posse2wks

 Chloe&pups2wks 

And Clyde – profile and posing!

clyde2wkprofile   clyde2wks

I made a few cards, sent out some glass packages and played in the kitchen. 

awesome-card thanks-cards flowerbdaycard_thumb.jpg

My dinner photos weren’t very good, but we made Baked Chicken Spinach Provolone (my menfolk approved, thank you Sara!) and Bacon & provolone wrapped grilled shrimp kabobs (always a hit!) this week, in between plenty of salads!  [No recipe for the shrimp, but it is exactly as named.]

These Baked Spinach Provolone Chicken Breasts are Low Carb and so delicious. So simple to make, just butterfly the chicken breasts, add spinach, and provolone cheese. Then just wrap it and bake it! | Tastefulventure.com

DH and I had a couple of pool days (YAY!) and the DNA kits arrived for Chloe’s gang.  As they are rare colors, the DNA testing is a must.  Next up, 24 hours of ER nursing fun!

It’s Time to Make the Donuts …

time-to-make-the-donutscranky-chloeMotherhood isn’t always easy … But poor Chloe is doing great!  And her piglets are growing and thriving.  While the Cowbell loves her babies very much, she let me know with a look or two this week that it’s not all bonbons and roses.  My sweet thing!

The pups, who are 10 days old, are keeping all of us busy.  DH, our son and I are taking turns keeping a watchful eye on Momma and the litter.

 happy-clyde 1wk-chloe-pups bullys-1-wkchloe-pups1wk

I’ve kept the menfolk well fed this week, too.  With Spinach Artichoke Ravioli (thanks again, Farah!), Swedish meatballs, chicken cream cheese braid and lots of salads for warm summer days – they are happy.

chicken-braid-sandwich

I started a few cards and played with die cuts … I also managed to squeeze in a couple of custom glass orders (no photo).

polka-dot-cards   circle-die-cut-focal

And wrapped up the week with a pool day! (Yay!)   While Rotunda isn’t as interested in the water as her sister, she loved sunning on the deck.  And Chloe had her first 2018 float in the pool …

Ro-meets-pool 2018ChloePool

Ro does love to play with our 7 wk old Neapolitan Mastiff pup, Phoebe. phoebe7-wks

Off for a weekend of ER nursing fun.  Time for this momma to make the donuts … Winking smile

What a week!

Chloe had her babies!  On Wednesday, she started stage 1 labor, and when she ‘returned’ her food, we were off to the vet.  Six hours later, we came home with one groggy Momma and four beautiful bulldog babies!  Here she is loving on her ‘posse’:

chloe-loves-her-babies

Life-on-the-outside is settling in (day 1 was a bit rough, as we had to learn and master ‘lay down’ before I would give her the babies).  She loves her babies very much, and will grunt/whine (as only a bulldog can) when they are in the basket.  Here’s lil miss Polka-Dot at 2 days old.  (I love her merle markings and ‘mascara’ eyes!)

polka-dot-2-days-old

I’ve had some hit-&-miss card designs:  Water coloring is not an innate talent for me, but I feel like I’ve got the multi-layer die cutting down; Tonight’s butterfly card in progress;

watercolor-ranunculus more-diecut-background butterfly-card

More die cut backgrounds;  Copic coloring and die cut cards x2; I love those ranunculus, but not this stamping approach;

diecut-backgrounds  5-25-cardsfuture-cards  meh

And, finally – wreath cards and up next (pig) coloring …

better-and-up-next

I lost a dear friend and coworker this week.  I am reminded how quickly worlds can unravel.  While I pray for healing for her family (and myself), I find some comfort knowing she is at peace.  We will pick up the pieces at work, moving on without her …  Maybe not as smoothly for a bit, but blessed for having her in our lives for the time that we did.

I also discovered the secret to my Sizzix Eclips die cutting dilemma.  Turns out I still have not mastered ‘reading instructions’ … Doh!  So, I’ll be dabbling with that a bit more when Cowbell and her Posse let me.

print-to-cut

Tales from a card-maker wanna-be …

I had some ups and downs this week.  I’m having a drink right now to ease my latest nightmare adventure … [Cue drama …]

But first … I love me some fuchsias.  I can’t write the word without the aid of spell check (what is up with that crazy spelling, anyway); I can’t keep the plant alive for long (much to my grandpa’s disappointment); but I LUV those flowers.  And – turns out, I can stamp and color them!

  fuchsia-card

zoo-bday-cardFeeling all giddy about my progress with the big plotter (CE5000) for making masks galore(!), I made that fuchsia card and this ‘Zoo’ card … Showing off some mask evolution:

While I’m not thrilled with my distress ink blending skills or the coloring of the zoo-squad, I still consider this a success.big-cutter-masks masking-in-progress

I spit out a few more cute CAS cards.  And then got busy – ummm, too busy with the background, colors and embossing on the dogs birthday card … Meh – it’s a man’s card.  I like the birthday hyena though …

koals-bday bulldog-bday-cards dog-hyena-bday-cards

Next, some successful watercolor pencil coloring for these soon-to-be shaker cards …

shaker-images

beautiful-fuchsiasSo, feeling unstoppable – I colored another set of fuchsias and decided to have a rematch with my Sizzix Eclips to die cut my designs.  And that’s when the meltdown started.  I butchered those beautiful flowers.  I tried again with 3 more pages of stamped images.  My eclips and I did come to an understanding regarding cutting blade depth and speed, but we could not reach mutual agreement, or compromise(!) with registration marks!!!  So, we mutilated four sets of stamped fuchsias before I threw up the white flag and accepted defeat.  [No pictures of the poor flowers, it’s just too painful!]

fuchsia-with-shadowmasking-fuchsia

Now, I’m sitting back with a bit of liquid analgesia … I won’t think about attempting electronic die cuts for a while.  I will focus on my next card … This sums things up nicely, I think!  Winking smile

my-next-card

And, I’m counting down the time until Miss Chloe Cowbella has her babies – somewhere within the next 7-10 days!!!  The poor girl barely makes it through the doggy door these days …
chloe-cow-bell.jpg

Minimal Adulting here …

I did some coloring this week.  That led to organizing my available markers, deciding which colors/color-families I wanted to grow … A wee bit of online shopping … (Umm, Mother’s Day is coming …)  More coloring and new stamps to color (I’m not too sure about that clown, but the witch and Frankie are pretty cute!)

copic-bday-dogscolor-chartsummer-coloringnew-stamps-to-color

DH surprised me this week with a sturdy (quality) screen door for the studio, complete with a doggy-door for the girls..  They’re getting used to it, but being a bit stubborn about using it … Go figure!  Smile

doggy-door

My most recent project was working on inlaid die cuts.  I created some custom paper in yummy colors and a misting of glitter/sparkle.  Then I die cut those papers to create these hearts.  I may have gotten a bit carried away with the number of hearts I made, but … my die cutting, paper-manipulating and sticker-making skills have improved!

 

making-custom-paperinlaid-hearts

Then I made this CAS (Clean and Simple) card with quick shadow coloring and heavy layer embossing on the white frame.  And, I pulled together my Yorkie card.  Again a CAS design, which is what I lean to …

rose-CAS-cardYorkie-card

Leaving with cute pictures of Victor and Sheeba, playing with their girls … Awwwww!

daddy-daughter-playtimeMomma-luvs-her-girls

Next up, a weekend of ER nursing fun!

 

So, yeah … We’ll get to glass

But first … I made a few cards this week.

 May-cards bday-card Friday-cardmaking

And, I’ve got a few (hundred) more ideas rolling around.  I did feed DH – my version of Eggroll-In-A-Bowl.  He loves it.  And, we made a small stock-pot amount … Leftover’s for the boys! 

KP-eggroll-in-a-bowl

This week-end we’ll be making a giant crock of (my) BBQ meatballs to add to ‘trailer park’ Mac-N-Cheese.  My family loves it – ALMOST as much as the Gourmet Macaroni & Cheese* (but, the ‘trailer park version’ is easily $70 less, per serving to make).  Combining the BBQ-smoked soupy, saucy herb-filled, slow cooked meatballs with heart-stopping cheesy goodness … Carol Brady/Mel’s Diner never had it so yummy!  (Yes – it is totally my hormonal go-to meal … but Mother’s Day is coming up – RIGHT?!?) [*I can’t find the recipe now, but I know I have it stashed away … I remember searching for specialty cheeses and the grocery bill being ~$75 … I’ll find it and post it!]

My Sisters are doing great  Ro systematically runs around the studio, ‘FINDING’ any forgotten packaging, cardboard, etc. … and neatly shreds it for me.  Obviously for easier clean up!(??)  Chloe will be 5 wks into pregnancy – if she is pregnant.  SHE thinks she is – with tissue development, frequent napping, and a BULLY desire to hold-out for special treats.  Since I will be able to feel pups move within the next 7-10 days, and she’s eating/acting totally on schedule, we’re holding out for x-rays or ultrasounds … But – It’s Killing Me!

One of the last things I made Friday was a die-cut sticker.  Oh my goodness … I CAN MAKE STICKERS!!!  (I WILL be loading the kilns this weekend, in between ER nursing fun, playing with Bully Sisters, and maybe stamping a card or two …)  Smile

stickers

Next up – 24 hours of ER nursing fun!

Aha! Success …

the-experiementSort-of … Well – not really … But, CLOSE ENOUGH!
Today’s challenge was to bust out the Sizzix Eclips and figure out how to use it for electronically die cutting, for my next-level evolution as a stamping ‘card maker’.  Challenge accepted!  I hate the idea of paying $20-$30 for manual die cuts, and there are some super cute stamps without dies available (at least not that I could track down!).

Step one: Scan experimental stamped images.  Relearn and delve a bit deeper into the Sure-Cuts-A-Lot software and capabilities.  Create a shadow outline (and figure out how to remove all other cut lines from the image/file – sounds simple but it was touch and go there for a bit!) …

  shadow-outline  electronic-die-cutting

OK.  Now to load my not-so-sticky mat into the Sizzix (less than ideal).  Try for a long time to master registration marks.  Give up and figure out a work-around.  Successfully cut copy paper image (after a couple SEVERAL tries)!  Yay!!!  But will it work with thicker paper?

almost  copy-paper-success

Stamp and (qucikly) color the image onto  [HEAVY] watercolor paper (if you’re gonna push – push BIG!).  Fiddle forever with your lack of registration mark/work-around.  And, cut!  OH YES!  Of course the stamp ink I grabbed isn’t copic marker friendly, and I need to adjust the blade setting a bit … and make a more forgiving (larger) outline shadow.  But, for someone who does not enjoy fussy-cutting … I’ll take it!!!

electronic-die-cutting-succ

Sweet!  Leaving with a quick pic of the girls – who are Queens-of-the-Rock … and there aint nothing you can do about it!  Winking smileHuh

Next up: A bit of much-needed studio cleaning and some glass work!  Oh yeah ~ more card making, too!  And … I have agreed to make dinner tonight.  (Loosely based on this recipe)

Yeah, so …

I’m taking this “NOT ADULTING” to a WHOLE new level…

DH is cooking dinnerIF/WHEN he wants to eat;  I haven’t done laundry … in a REALLY long time;  I am stocking up on stamps and card making supplies – LIKE A BOSS(!!!);   I’m keeping the sisters fed and happy.  [Here’s Ro, soaking up the sunshine!];  I’m revisiting my embossing folders:

Rotunda-6-months  embossed-backgrounds

I’ played with some of my stamps … some not so cool, and some kind-of-OKAY!

card-backgrounds---mehhhnnn card-backgrounds---better

I finally got around to working with glass … FINALLY!  Here are a few nite-lites,  And, I have 16 new spoon rests in-the-works [not pictured – yet!] …

making-nitelites

So, all of this ‘non-adulting’ means DH and I have a DATE NIGHT for later today … This just might be working for me … Winking smile

date nite

Ahhh …

RELIEF!  Got through the annual tax date with our favorite accountant.  We really cut it down to the wire this year, finishing our sorting and tallying for the 3 businesses/4 jobs just 2 short hours before our appointment (with a 45 minute drive to make!)!  YIKES!

After that painful deadline, I am so not ‘adulting’ any more this week.  I’m playing with our pups, coloring pictures and stamping cards!  I will tinker with glass a bit, too, before I head in for my nursing tour this weekend.

Here are some of the panels I’ve colored, and what I’ll be working on next:

more-coloring next-up-coloring

And, a cute photo of the napping sisters close by my side … The girls always have an eye on me!  wlEmoticon-redheart.png

napping-sisters

Finally!

But – not what I’m supposed to be doing … Yeah, well – we’ll get to that.*

I made cards.  Bona fide, ready-for-giving greeting cards!

finally-some-cards

And, I’m playing with up-next designs.  I stumbled on some of my long-ago handmade paper (from 6 years ago!) – and decided it would be a great background for a hand-crafted card!  I definitely want to play again with paper-making.  Hmmm …handmade-paper  pug-card

I have a few new stamped images going: Bulldogs, another ‘Magda’ (in watercolors) and I had to stamp/color this Yorkie (alcohol inks) …

bully-stamp latest-coloring yorkie-alcohol-ink-coloring

I had to reorganize a bit of space, to squeeze in some much-needed storage.  So, here are ‘The Sisters’ supervising my new copper enameling shelving set-up.

more-shelving

*[What I should be doing is finishing our tax prep!  Gah … Our appointment is on Monday.  Ehhh, there’s still time! Winking smile ]