Monday, December 30, 2013


Winter Wonderland

I'm living in a winter wonderland--the ice storm last weekend left everything coated in almost an inch of ice. When the sun is out, it is absolutely spectacular! The downside of all of this: tens of thousands of power outages experienced here in Maine last week. We lost our power first for six hours on Sunday. It went off again Monday at 1 PM and didn't come back on until Thursday morning (the temperature in my apartment was in the 30s by then). My cat Olive and I moved into the main house with my parents on Tuesday morning for winter camping, hauling wood from the shed and water from the brook, and keeping a fire going in the tiny wood cookstove. I'm writing this on Sunday morning in anticipation of losing power again--so much ice already on the trees and power lines and we're expecting a Nor'easter tonight which is forecast to dump 7-11 inches of snow on us.
So what to do when the weather outside is frightful? Create some cards celebrating the beauty of all that ice and snow!  
Materials used on all of the cards
  • Memory Box white notecards
  • Hero Arts Shadow Ink Mid-Tone Cup O' Joe
  • Frosted Lace Stickles for the ice and snow
  • Memory Box stamp B1960/CS1960B  walking in a winter wonderland
Ice 5

Memory Box stamp E1326 Tree Frame (oriented so the branches are bending down from the weight of the ice)
Ice 6
Memory Box stamp E1419  Snowy Branches

Ice 7
Prismacolor pencil Dark Brown to color the tree
Memory Box stamps
  • F1890  Berry Tree
  • D1962/CS1962D  Deer Family
 These cards really glisten from the Stickles on the top of each branch!
Happy New Year!  Happy Crafting!

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

This week's post on Outside the Box: Quilt Appliques

Quilt Appliques using Dies

After playing with paper for a number of years, I recently began to experiment with fabric.  This fall I joined the Tacoma Lakes Quilters, a local chapter of the Maine Pine Tree Quilters Guild.  The first week in December the group held a cutting party.  Four women brought their Accuquilt Go-Cutters and dies and I brought my Big Kick with a bunch of Memory Box and Poppy Stamps dies.  What a blast we had!  We spent several hours cutting out numerous shapes from a variety of fabrics and felt for TLQ members to use for appliques on their quilt projects.  Unfortunately I was sooo busy that I didn't take one picture!  And the women took most of the pieces home, so I have only a few samples left to show which were cut from felt.
Felt 1
These are some of the dies we used from MEMORY BOX:
  • 98394  Lady Dancing
  • 98525  Thread Spools
  • 98344  Marshmallow Clouds
  • 98172  Puffy Clouds
  • 98689  Mini Clouds
  • 98296  Petite Umbrella
  • 98427  Secret Squirrel
  • 98491  Honey Bee Skep
  • 98392  Classic Pear
  • 98160  Perched Reed Bird
  • 98340  Forest Bird
  • 98339  Meadow Bird
  • 98166  Deer Trio
  • 98425  Flying Goose
  • 98594  Village House
  • 98313  Tender Leaves
  • 98406  Fresh Leaves
  • 98511  Fabulous Phlox
  • 98149  Primula Blooms
  • 98510  Lovely Aster
  • 98254  Grand Heart
  • 98281  Cupid Heart
  • 98668  Frosted Christmas Tree
  • 98664  Toasty Mitten
  • 98416  Eyelet Stocking
  • 98211  Classic Ornament
Felt 2
These are some of the dies we used from Poppystamps:
  • 815  Grand Madison Window
  • 816  Small Madison Window
  • 861  Blooming Poinsettia
  • 841  Serene Bird
  • 879  Labrador
  • 860  Sitting Cat
  • 872  Curious Cat
  • 859  Walking Cat
  • 874  Large Curious Cat
  • 871  Large Sitting Cat
  • 876  Pouncing Cat
  • 875  Large Pouncing Cat
  • 873  Large Walking Cat
I couldn't believe how beautifully these dies cut felt and fabric!  I did use a metal adapter plate with my regular "sandwich" which produced really crisp cuts.  Some of the women had pre-treated their fabrics with Heat and Bond or some other fusible material for a stiffer fabric which they could then iron on to their projects.  The most popular dies?  98166 Deer Trio; 98668 Frosted Christmas Tree; 98664 Toasty Mitten; and all of the Memory Box and Poppystamp birds.  Some of these are going to end up on fabric Christmas cards.  Some are going into this year's challenge quilts.  For others, I'll just have to wait and see where they pop up.  I can't wait to see the finished projects!!!
Happy Crafting!

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Cards for the Winter Solstice

These were the cards I posted on Outside the Box Monday.  I think the top one is my favorite.  I'm making a lot more clean and simple cards lately--fewer layers and embellishments.  This Snowy Pine Landscape stamp from Memory Box is one of my newest favorites.

Double Irish Chain Quilt

This is the center of the Double Irish Chain Quilt I made.  The center squares are fussy cut images of birds with sunflowers.  The center of the quilt is hand-tied.  The side panels are machine quilted using a wavy stencil pattern.  It fits a queen-size bed.  I shared this quilt at the Tacoma Lakes Quilters meeting on Wednesday.  I'm pretty pleased how it came out for my first bed-sized quilt.

Monday, November 25, 2013

No More Port in the Storm

The storm is over.  My oncologist okayed my request to have my port removed, so I had my port removed today!  That is a very good sign.  And I now have two of them.  Bracelets?  Earrings?--they're kinda heavy.  Pendants?  Christmas tree ornaments?  I'll have to make something creative out of them.  They kind of look like bugs to me--there's a tube (antennae?) at the top by two indentations where eyes could go and the big blue bump in the middle could be replaced by a gemstone, too.  I'll post pix once I get them converted into something wearable on the outside of my body!!!

Friday, November 15, 2013

My Last "SPA DAY", November 15, 2013!!!

This is the last time (I hope) that I'll post this image!  Thanks to all of you who have supported me throughout my lengthy cancer journey through surgery, chemo, radiation, the double mastectomy surgery, and more chemo.  It has been a long hard-fought battle since my first diagnosis in 2010 and my recurrence in 2012.  I couldn't have done this with as much grace and humor without all of you!  Thank you from the bottom of my heart.

Follow-up?  I'll meet with my breast surgeon in December and then every six months for a clinical breast exam.  I'll meet with my oncologist every six months starting in April.  I'll get my port taken out soon--then I'll have two of them.  I guess if they match I might have to have earrings made from them!

I'm meeting with a counselor next week to set up a post-treatment plan which will include some physical therapy to heal the scar area, regular massage, and monthly acupuncture.  I'm hoping that periodic real spa days will replace the not-so-real-ones at the oncology center.

I'm also setting creative time aside--time to paint, collage, sew and quilt.  I have so many ideas buzzing around in my brain!  As the days get shorter and colder, I look forward to time in my workroom.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Monday's Cards

This is the card I taught the Monday morning stamping group at Your Maine Stamper.  I used an old Cuttlebug embossing folder to create the background.  "Wallpaper" (3 X 3 1/2) and a "carpet" (1 X 3) were cut to fit the larger rectangle.  The PoppyStamps Large Chair was stamped in Hero Arts Cup O' Joe ink on Memory Box dot paper.  I cut it out and colored the pillow with a marker.  I added a Small Sitting Cat, a PoppyStamps die cut from black sticky-back paper, and pop-dotted the finished chair on the paper background.  I also rounded all four corners of the finished card to echo the corners in the embossed paper.  The sentiment is a stamp from DRS.  Each person in the group made a similar but different card using other papers and chairs that were stamped and cut from either yellow, pink, or blue distressed dots papers.  Cute!

This is the card I posted Monday morning on the Outside the Box blog for Memory Box.  Details for how to make this card can be found on the blog at  Just scroll down until you come to "Spooky Halloween at the Manor House".

Happy Crafting!

Monday, September 9, 2013

Lots of Blue Ribbons!

Dad's Scarecrow took First Place in the Senior Division!  He also won blue ribbons for the Dahlias, green peppers, butternut squash, birdhouses, license plate dustpans, bird whirlygig, and more.  Total premiums paid:  $99.95.

I also won a lot of blue ribbons for my handmade books and scrapbooks and for my pickles.  Total premiums paid:  $74.60.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Prepping for Litchfield Fair

Dad and I spent most of yesterday and today getting our entries ready for the Litchfield Fair.  The fair runs Friday through Sunday at the fairgrounds just up the road from us.  Last year we didn't enter anything in the fair because I'd just had surgery and started chemo.  We more than made up for it this year with 48 entries!

From the gardens:

  • green peppers
  • red tomatoes
  • yellow tomatoes
  • kale
  • pole beans
  • butternut squash
  • sunflower head
  • pumpkin
  • glads
  • dahlias
  • mixed flowers bouquet
  • a potted Christmas tree
From Dad's workshop:
  • birdhouses
  • carved fish
  • weather sticks
  • tin can frog
  • lightbulb bugs
  • flowers made from old metal faucet handles
  • a bird whirlygig
  • a collection of vintage license plates
  • license plate dustpans
  • a Witch Scarecrow
From my workroom:
  • collages
  • handmade books
  • scrapbooks
  • mixed media books including the three different mermaid books I made this summer
  • poster and notecard from my Adopt a Shelter Dog winning design
  • greeting cards
  • calendars for 2013
From my sewing "room":
  • woodchuck/chipmunk pillows
  • vintage crazy quilt pillow
  • Double Irish Chain quilt
And I'm sure there's more!

I started at the Exhibition Hall this morning at 9 when I delivered the 5' tall scarecrow and picked up all of the entry forms and tags I needed.  Dad and I then spent an hour or so filling out tags and tying them to items and then recording everything on the appropriate entry forms--Flowers, Vegetables, Fruits; Arts and Crafts; Fancy Work; Canned and Baked Goods; Scarecrow Contest; etc.

After lunch this afternoon we raided the gardens, cleaned the produce, plated and tagged everything, cut and arranged flowers, etc.  Around 4:30 Dad and I went to the fairgrounds with most everything in boxes and placed the entries in various designated spots in the Exhibition Hall.  I know there are things that Dad and I intended to enter that just didn't make it this year.

There are no entry fees and the premiums paid are pretty good.  Dad usually gets more than enough to pay for the next year's garden seeds and seedlings.  And I hope to pick up some extra money for the California/my-son's-wedding trip.  

All of the judging happens on Thursday and we won't know how we did until we actually go to the fair this weekend and check out the ribbons.  Even then we won't know how much the premiums paid out are until we get our checks on Sunday night when I have to go back and collect everything between 6 and 8 PM.  The lines get pretty long when there are lots of exhibitors.  So I usually go up around 4 PM with a good book and claim a spot in line to wait.  And I take my little red wagon ( the one I actually had as a child) and fill it up!  I think it's going to take three or four trips to the car this year to collect everything!

So, if you happen to go to the Litchfield Fair this weekend, check out the Exhibition Hall and look for tags for Gene Thompson (his all have a blue circle with 90 on each one) and Anne Thompson.

And don't forget French Fries, Fried Dough, the Pig Scramble and the Horse Show!

Thursday, August 29, 2013

#12 Green Challenge for Altered Pages

Here's my entry for the Altered Pages Blog Challenge #12.  Because the theme this month is GREEN, here is a mermaid book that I created. 

Materials used:
  • watercolor paper
  • my own outline drawing of a mermaid template
  • rubber stamps for the faces, hair, tails, sand dollar hairpiece
  • stencils for more layers on the tails
  • paper scraps from my green bin for the bras
  • lots of bling--white and yellow pearls in several sizes, silver disks, gemstones in a variety of colors
  • pencil for body details
  • Micron pen for writing on the mermaid poem, "Mermaid Fair" (found on-line)
  • ink for rosy cheeks applied with a rag and Gathered Twigs Distress Ink to ink the edges of each page
  • hole punch, tiny; iredescent ribbon threaded through to tie the pages together

Monday, August 26, 2013

Along came a spider...

This is the card I made for today's post on the Outside the Box blog.  We'll be making this card in the Monday stamping group that meets today at Your Maine Stamper.

Monday, July 22, 2013

And I'm the WINNER!!! Dreamy Nights Challenge #11 @ Altered Pages

This is my entry for the Dreamy Nights Challenge #11 at  It is an homage to the MOON.  The base is a blank black board book purchased from and enhanced with Tarot cards, stamped images, washi tape, an image cut from a calendar, a round metal-framed stamped tag, die cut clouds, stickers, and jewels.  The writing is in my hand using a Signo Uniball White pen.  Since my camera is not working, I scanned all of the images into my computer which is why some of them are a bit fuzzy--my scanner does not like dimensionals.

left:  the back cover;  right:  the front cover
left:  Page One;  right:  Page Two

left:  Page Three;  right:  Page Four

left:  Page Five;  right:  Page Six

left:  Page Seven;  right:  Page Eight

left:  Page Nine;  right:  Page Ten

left:  Page Eleven;  right:  Page Twelve

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Newest Memory Box cards!!!

Christmas in July
Card for Monday group July 1
This one and the variations below posted on the Outside the Box blog on July 1

Manor House Happy Halloween Card
posted on Outside the Box blog July 5

Card for class on Monday, July 8

Sunday, June 30, 2013

AND I"M THE WINNER of This CHALLENGE!!! Challenge #10 Baby Dolls: Baby Dolls Keepsake Box

Here is my entry for the month of June for the Baby Dolls Challenge at

This is a Baby Dolls Keepsake Box.  I started with a plain papier mache box with a lid.  The photo is a scan of the top of the box.  Inside, nestled in gold tissue paper, I have stashed pictures of the three of us sisters with our baby dolls on many different Christmas mornings.  I've also tucked in some of my dolls' clothes.

Materials Used:

  • Altered Pages Collage Sheet of Baby Dolls
  • a magazine picture of doll heads in a cupboard that I cut into two pieces
  • black on white and white on black dot papers
  • brown card stock
  • photocopy of the three of us with our dolls (left to right:  Gail, Barbie, Anne)
  • cream grosgrain ribbon is secured around the edge of the cover and tied in a bow at the front center
  • The base of the box is covered with brown card stock and then wrapped around the center with a brown stripe fabric tape. The bottom edge of the box is trimmed with vintage cream lace.
This was a great project and provides a way to organize some of my family memories.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

New Card @

Monday's card for Outside the Box blog:   Wild Sunflower Hello

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Dance, dance, dance the night away...

Jitterbug with Paul, my favorite and best dance partner ever, at the American Legion hall, Augusta.  What fun!!!

Monday, June 3, 2013

This week's cards on Outside the Box blog

Today's cards feature the Memory Box die 98631 Delicate Branch Frame. Delicate branch frame
I used an adhesive-backed paper to cut out the die image on the left, and then I thought I could use the rest of what was left inside the frame to make the second coordinating card shown on the right.  
One cut=two cards!
Materials used
  • Memory Box dies:  98631 Delicate Branch Frame; 98160 Perched Reed Bird (with his legs snipped off); 98312 Fancy Blossoms; and 98313 Tender Leaves
  • PoppyStamps dies:  874 Large Curious Cat; 879 Labrador
  • Brown adhesive-backed paper for the frame, its inside piece, and the cat
  • Memory Box Distressed Dots in licorice for the dog, bluebird for the bird which is pop-dotted above the negative branch, and key lime for the leaves
  • Memory Box Dot paper in currant for the flowers
  • adhesive-backed white pearls in three sizes for the flower centers
  • kraft notecards and envelopes (I wrote Meow on one and Woof on the other next to where the address will go when I'm ready to send them off.)

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

My card for this week on Outside the Box blog

  • Memory Box Summer Lemonade die 98608
  • Memory Box Fringe Circle die 98268
  • Memory Box Marshmallow Clouds die 98344
  • Memory Box Squash, Bluebird and Key Lime Distressed Dots patterned cardstocks
  • Memory Box notecard in Key Lime
  • leftover paper scrap lemonade stand and sentiment stickers from Little Yellow Bicycle Sweet Summertime collection from 2010
I made eight of these during my oncology treatment and gave them away to other people also receiving various treatments that day.  Love this card!!!

Friday, May 10, 2013

Here's the T-shirt!

This is the t-shirt that will be for sale for $15 at the Mutt Strut/Paws in the Park event.  The poster looks the same.  Cool!!!

While I was at my oncology treatment today, I made up 36 notecards using this image and another similar one I designed.  These cards will be for sale at the event, too, for $2 each.