Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Night Wanderers (finally! a new poem!)

Night Wanderers

We sleep, for the most part, together
In our queen. Sometimes in a pair,
Sometimes one before, sometimes
After, each other. We set alarms
Check monitors. We lock every door
Except the one to our room.

Dimly blue, bodiless guide-lights hover
Near our children’s room, ours.
No privacy worries, no barrier
Mounted between their dreaming
Bodies and our ‘sacred’ sleep.
We tell ourselves ‘Just in case.”

Just in case nightmares shatter a dream.
Some sickness or light disturbance
Stealing rest, could invade their sleep
And drive them, determined, our
Way. A door, loose robe,
Could trip us during rescue.

We say, “they won’t need us forever”
And, “they’re only young for so long”,
But, honestly… we fool ourselves
On the nature of our fear. 

Not that they might need us,
But fear they will leave us.

by shari emerson

.....any of you other parents realize this yet? ;-)
have a great day!


Monday, January 23, 2012

Snow Day...

Good Morning!

The kids have a day off from school, and Winter has cooperated hugely - snowflakes all over the place.

We haven't had This much snow in a month and a half.

The downside is there is a sheet of ice beneath it, so everyone else who has to be on the roads is cursing this stuff. Sure looks pretty when you stay at home, though.

The daily routine will be pretty straightforward. Re-load dishwasher, wake son, fire up some pancakes and sausages, start dough for either cookies or pumpkin bread, round up buddies, and play in the snow. Eat lunch, cookies or pumpkin bread. Consider dinner, then do something about it. Play in the snow some more. Put little one down for her nap, drink another cup of coffee, do a bit of housework. Maybe score some writing time. Tire my son out with reading and violin practice. Take a snow walk with him tonight....

That's my plan.

The universe will probably do something about 'this planning business'.  That's okay. I am giving the universe a little more slack here, as I am doing some major praying and requesting. My sister - you know, the cutesy pugilist with the unstoppable mouth - she's actually on her bottom, in the hospital. With Pneumonia.

Both lungs.

So all this planning and activity is a ploy - to stop myself from hopping on a plane and rushing down there to make minestrone, and lemon-chicken soup, and anything else with more than 6 vitamins in it, and pretending I know how to take care of her. Happily, she has a dr. who refuses to let her go home until her oxygen levels are reasonable. Which, apparently, they aren't. Not even close.

If you pray, pray for sick people today. And their doctors.

And then do one extra thing today to take care of yourself today.

A walk in the snow, an extra glass of water, a really nice salad with dinner, a good conversation with a friend, or a heart-healthy (though liver dubious) glass of red wine (less liver-dubious if you are a coffee drinker, like, ahem, me!) after, or with, dinner. Please do this.

You are more important than you think.



Saturday, January 21, 2012

....when life hands you lemons, rosemary, and thyme....

Make Dinner!

Well, make dinner, but see if we can toss in some art, too.

I had a poor excuse for a good night's sleep, so quality-control may not be on the clock yet, we'll see if she shows up.

Two days ago, I was wanting to make something and was both too busy and too unsettled to do anything about it. I also realized that at least three other people in this house count on someone putting together a bit of food at least once per day. So, I grabbed the camera, gave the counters a quick wipe, and proceeded to pound and smash my way to dinner. Thankfully, as I also am the homework buddy, my son is a math whiz and was occupied with little trouble while I worked.

Chicken thighs were merrily bathing in the sink...

so I began their garlic bath. In french, this is what is called aioli.

If you are good at it. 

I am not. 

So, I call it pounded garlic, sea salt, and olive oil sauce.

This is what it looks like before you start abusing it.

After slowly adding any additional olive oil, and grinding and pounding away, it gets saucy and emulsified. When you don't see much olive oil hanging around obvious chunks of garlic, and you think you have enough for two packs of chicken thighs it is done. Note, these taste better and look nicer and stay moister if you do them with skin and bones included. (If you make yourself a big salad to go with, you won't feel as guilty about the skin...)

There are no photos of me rubbing the garlic sauce on the chicken, the thighs were not 'feelin' it' and anyway, I didn't want to give the camera a vinegar bath to sterilize it - the camera looked highly annoyed at that idea. So, trust me when I tell you I loaded all the thighs in a bowl, smeared them over and under the skin with the sauce, and popped 'em back in the fridge. (They'd like 2 hours of fridge time at least, but in this house, you get what you get.;-)

I love lemons. I've done this recipe with onions, by the way - they give a sweet, rather than lemony flavor, obviously. But lemons in the winter really are the ticket.

Rosemary, thyme, and sage are the other herbs I use. I've been able to keep my rosemary alive - and it keeps sending up these crazy shoots, so I prune those first for cooking. Snip, wash, put in water. Wash my thyme.....

Thyme is not something I can grow in this northern light over winter, so I have to buy that fresh. I buy it in the 'dirt' plugs sold in the super market, so that gets a bath too, while I finish scrubbing the lemons.

By the way, yes, I Have heard the theory of 'washing your produce the second it gets in the house'. Now that I am roping the kids into kitchen work, I May be able to interest them in that job. And this photo-entry would be shorter!
On the other hand...I'd miss the excuse to shoot pictures of thyme, which I find very beautiful.

There, bathtime is over for the lemons. And the rosemary. 10-12 sprigs if the rosemary is leggy, same number for the thyme, and slice the lemons into roughly 1/4" slices. I'd have taken a pic, but by this time, my son needed me to check his homework, my daughter had to be gotten out of bed, and my husband was on the phone. So, no pretty pics of lemon slices draped with rosemary and thyme.

I don't have pretty pics of me rubbing sage between my palms and sprinkling it on the lemon slices first, either.

But that's exactly what I did. Then I salt and peppered the thighs (both sides) topped the lemon-and-herb-stacks with the chicken, baked them at 425 for an hour, while making wild rice pilaf and a mixed spring-herb pack salad with the last of the goat cheese and dried cranberries - thereby obviating the stress about that crispy, olive-oiled, salt-and-peppered skin.

So, there. I made dinner. I made pictures, and I am sharing them with you.

And after reading it, even I wonder how I get anything done around here!

Make yourself a good healthy dinner tonight.

Tell me how it goes...... ;-)


Thursday, January 19, 2012

Hello, -25 - where have you been?

Twenty-five freaking degrees below zero at the Orchid house....

that kind of says it all, doesn't it.

Minnesota has just relocated to Siberia. Expect late appointments, as most people will take longer than usual to warm up their cars - be kind, they are just trying to get the inside to a balmy four degrees below zero.

Carry on.


Wednesday, January 18, 2012

About That Sister of Mine

Last year, I posted more than a few "Denny" stories, in honor of his passing.

I don't really talk about my sister.

I'm not slighting her, there's a Lot of people I don't talk about. Furthermore, my family is pretty special to me, so blabbing all over a blog about them isn't something that feels very natural. For protective reasons - mainly of your gag reflex - I intentionally don't blog much about my kids except indirectly. Today I feel like talking about her, though.

She isn't much younger than me, so our teen years had some of the expected tension between sisters, and with only two notable exceptions that come to mind, we got on together pretty well once we finally had our own rooms. Despite the fact that at the time, she struck me as an 'act first, think later, there isn't a lot of time here anyway and I usually have a pretty good story handy...', she had some mind-blowingly smarter-than-me-moments. I had the book-thing, she had the people-thing. You may judge for yourself which smarts better serve your average teenaged girl!

My little sister is graced with knowing exactly who she is, and what she wants, and what she doesn't want. I should add that it's a good thing she is only half an inch or so taller than me. Many girls, and quite a few guys, have avoided being sent to the hospital because of this. She is tiny, has beautiful blue eyes, and a stunning smile. Even cuter - she has freckles.

And, she has no compunction about hitting people.

There are a few incidents that come to mind, but this is the one I will retell -  and if I get any details wrong, that girl will send corrections. (At least, I hope so - almost all her criticism to people she cares about - even a little - begins with '....not to be mean or anything...' and is routinely hilarious!)

We didn't see the dentist when we were kids, so as young adults, we all had to figure out questions like 'what is insurance thing?' We thought we were fine, but both she and I started nurturing a secret terror of dentists. You can just Imagine how healthy our teeth were. I got away scot-free until 21 or so, when bad insurance and a cavity or two drove me to Dr. "Evil" Christianson (yes, he was evil. Who else scolds the patient for her shaking, bouncing knees, with a drill in her mouth? Dentist Evil, That's Who.) My sister found a pretty good dentist, because after her pregnancy and delivery, she'd run out of luck in her young twenties and had a tooth problem or two.

One of those problems involved dry sockets - the sound of which makes my skin crawl, by the way. At this point, I think she was 23 or 24, and already needed a heart monitor when she went in for any dental care. She is the consummate fight-or-flight kind of gal -you already have an idea which way she goes. Since dentists don't get jobs by being utterly stupid (just evil), her dr. was in the habit of keeping his assistant behind her for this type of office visit. To keep my little sister from trying to punch him.


My little sister is compassionate, mouthy, full of conviction, bossy as hell, generous as the day is long, and utterly devoted to family. She is beautiful, smart in All the right ways, and more precious to me than gold. Both Denny and I always told each other we wanted to be her when we grew up. We don't talk as much as I would like, and she lives half a country away from me. Facebook and email help - she is the one I call first when I'm worried about my kids. She is also the one that thinks she is 'purtier' than I am, and will tell me so at the drop of a hat.

There. That is my sister. She is the stronger, funnier, smarter part of me, and each time we do talk, I secretly pray that part of her wit and strength will rub off on me, just a little bit more.

Thanks for being in my life, my sister.

Don't punch anyone today.


Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Pay attention, please....

That's what today is for.

My parenting-chops took a rude smack last night, as I idiotically let my son play vids on the new 3ds - for bloody EVER - while we visited my mother. My hubby and I agreed beforehand that we'd leave by 7:30. One extra glass of wine and poor judgement later, we left at 8:15. Contributing 45 extra minutes to his stimulation overkill.

He didn't fall asleep until around midnight.

Even a brand-new parent knows that 8 hours of sleep won't cut it for a 7 year old. Waking him at 8:30, jamming him in his clothes, and shoving breakfast into him while tossing him on the bus will probably not improve his day, either. Let alone what that will do to everyone Else's day, including his teacher's!!

I think I'll see if he's twitching around 8:15, if not, this is probably the day I let him sleep in until 9, drive him to school, and pray for the best. My quandary this morning is proof bloody positive, that if you decide your child's real, physical needs are not as important as your mental ones, you deserve the fallout. Not your kid.
And no amount of art time or writing time is going to help you feel better about it.

Time to send an email to his teacher. I love sucking up my pride, being accountable, and looking like an idiot in front of people I respect.

People I am pretty sure never do dumbass things like this.

I sincerely pray your day takes off better than mine does.


Thursday, January 12, 2012

Today, I am Sharing With You

good afternoon!

(lower case, as i am contemplating humility today. or is that receiving humility and staring it down? ah, well.)

yesterday was one of them days i have no business whining about, but do. mainly, because i don't put myself out there much, so if a car part falls off, on the same day that my children don't get a nap, or just have a bad day too, well, i am at a loss, people. i become 'she who does nothing right, and cannot take it like a grown-up!'

this state explains a lot about my personal challenges, outright failures, and near-misses. Again....this ain't whining - or even, vent-worthy -material. I grew up in houses that had, by turns, mice, holes in walls or floors, broken furnaces with Bonus missing insulation, and as a young adult, some of the deadliest street addresses in town. Now, i live in a reasonably affluent suburb, in a newer home, with basically healthy kids, a husband I couldn't have even dreamed up (he's that good!) and stability. All that right there should keep the panic-fairy at bay, right?

pa-leeeze. i am living proof that one can allow themselves to get seriously worked up about anything and everything, at the drop of a hat, because there is one thing i am trying to imbue my life with, and that one thing is serenity. which i know for a fact one cannot buy on eBay (yes, I googled it!). And lately, Every Damned Time (woops, here come the caps!) i try to order my life, and make a little more time for moments to practice self-care, so i can face adversity with that elusive S-word, i end up on an Olympian, hurdle-intensive obstacle course (to my poor, self-pitying mind, that is.) Last week, i decided my daughter's preschool time (on Friday) was best spent stretching, doing breathing exercises, and a wee bit of yoga. I even cut back the coffee that day and filled a big bottle of water.

Full disclosure: i friggin' HATE exercise.

i leaned forward in myblack and hot-pink trimmed yoga pants, stretching toward the carpet. Back straight, i lowered my head parallel to the rug, thinking something like 'this isn't So bad'. And then i - unmistakenly - smelled cat pee. Not before me. Not behind me. Under me. On the seat of the yoga pants, in fact.

Should have mentioned i was in the middle of our cheap@$$ oriental-look rug.

Half a bottle of vinegar, one visit with the cat dr., and $100 later, i gave up on the whole bloody 'serenity' idea. Got a major workout scrubbing the floor, though.

so, yesterday, i attempted to get all my grocery shopping done while dear daughter was at pre-school. we hadn't done any mega grocery maintenance since before Christmas. i decided that even though i didn't have as many coupons as i needed, and only had about half the list down, it would still be better spent time to go in the morning.  Halfway there, part of my car fell off.

Serenity was Not how i met that particular moment either.

worse, i was at the point of 'you know, right now i would pay good money for someone to Style me as a hopeful-though-flabby, yet serene-looking yoga model. And then take a picture of it so i would have something to aspire to.' taking the ridiculousness yet further, i used so much 'calming' scented body lotion after my shower, i even acquired a few decidedly Non-serene-looking little red bumps on my arms.


Clearly, i am looking at this All. Wrong.

so, i am going back to the basics.

drinking water, taking vitamins, looking back at my past, and seeing how ridiculous these concerns look (a Wonderful reason to blog them, come to that!). And starting the day with a prayer. nothing fancy, just thanking Him for the troubles i have. For the husband i have, and the melt-down prone, exhausting, brilliant, inquisitive, and tirelessly amazing children we are graced with. Because my troubles are not even small potatoes. They are barely Tater Tots.

time for perspective, methinks.

And on that note (the note of Gratitude, that is), i want to share some marvelous finds with you - for crafters, artists, bloggers, parents, etc. (i.e. everybody.....or is that e.g.?....)

(no one is paying me for mentioning this stuff. heck, they are not even asking! it's just links I am loving right now :-)

FABULOUS art findings, vintagy-stuff, papers, stuff, oddments - Manto Fev - all collage/scapbookers be warned - i could blow my entire retirement here without thinking, because she is So Reasonably priced....

Smart and Crafty blogging from a mom who is doing lotsa things i wish i was doing. doing them better, too... - be present, be here

Glennon at momastery  - an in-touch, hysterically funny, honest mama indeed! mighty fine essays about life. mighty fine writing in general!

my Kitchen Witch story here - ok, not My story. i submitted a character sketch (Merry, the kitchen witch) to the Talented, naughty, funny as hell Stephanie Beck for a Facebook contest, and won! she wrote a story  "Coffee, Tea, or Freaks" based on Merry, the Kitchen Witch, as part of her Freak Sorority series. short, action-packed fun, and you don't even need to read the prior stories to follow this one :-)

today's list of yet-to-do's is short, simple, and reassuring. to me, that deserves all the gratitude i've got.

i have a sneaky feeling that way might tread a little closer to serenity.....


Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Fleeting Moments, Betwixt Changes

Good Afternoon!

Only a few stolen moments here in the Orchid House....shockingly Still bereft of snow, and the weirdness is beginning to weigh. Shadows low this time of day are usually sketched across drifts of white, not expanses of tired (and frankly, confused looking!) dry grass. Practically speaking, this mild and flat-out unseasonable warmth has played hell with skating rinks, and, aesthetically, I need snow the way a toothache needs advil!

Today is a long day, my husband has a work-dinner and the kids and I are on our own. Humming around, knowing there are Rather many things to do, taking on some and letting others slip....the art muse showed up, so I've spent a bit too much time snapping photo's in the odd North light (click images for slideshow....). If we had snow, by the way, these might have been even sharper, a January day in Minnesota is typically, Painfully, bright!

Here, an early start on Forget-me-nots....

These were planted seven days ago, we are intrigued to see how far they get before the cats find them. They just whet the appetite for more green shots, just before lunch. Hello, Rosemary....

Certainly time to catch the vibe of today from a reliable witness -

Yup, moving in circles. Slowly too, without our usual doses of mania. Goodness, doesn't anyone dress this child?

More green musings, because, well, I can't abide all the brown outside....ivy and a bit of sunshine, too....

More than most would think, I truly appreciate the 'the stay at home' job. I get insights and experiences that can't be explained second hand - you just have to be in that moment. Not minute. Moment. Moments where there is no doubt of the miracle in front of you....

I am never going to stop hoping that my faith will grow.
I will likely never stop looking for the mystical in
the every-day. Some people will (quite reasonably)
remind you that the every-day is quite enough. Ordinary
reality has no need of spiritual meaning to be
special - our act of breathing is astonishing in and
of itself. But there are others who feel there is so
much more, just barely hanging beyond our everyday
sight and everyday reach. It compels us to step
forward, even when our feet are dog-tired. Today,
these pictures are my way of looking, I guess.

And, as quickly as these moments are found, savored, and touched,
the ordinary returns.

It can still be other. It can still evoke warmth and peace, maybe even a lingering grace. Maybe it will support more of those moments of wonder, before the second leaves unfurl.  Before the snow melts, before the child naps and wakes, significant hours older. 

I treasure the ordinary grace too. Some days, transcendence is the unlooked for healing. Some days, the unexpected gift. But the grace of the ordinary can be dropped into small hands, scented and warm, sustaining and sweet.

Come on. Doesn't that just scream 'pumpkin bread' to you?

Time to go, my friends. The rest of my quietly busy day awaits.

Yours, too.

Leave a comment, leave your voice

Share a link that warms you too.

I'll just hope the world will treat you well, today. That way, you have a little grace left over to share.

As always, thank you for coming by :-)


Thursday, January 5, 2012

2012 Begins....Snapshot?

Today it's about scramming.

I've had an odd start to the week (well, of course I did - it's an entirely brand spankin' new year!) and am barely playing catch up now.

The Heritage Writers group happened on Tuesday, one new member and a good productive session. Fired me up to keep hacking at the story, but momentum got stolen by time and circumstance. Even so, it's not out of reach. Just behind a few pressing tasks, I guess.

I have scraped ahead a bit on the Artistic Mother program - very poor progress, but I am pressuring myself to finish the steps I am on This Week. Yes, there will be pictures!! (do forgive the lateness, there are 11 pieces to this one!)

I've gotten interested in exercise again (vaguely) and am paying attention to water-drinking and sleep habits. That could pay off at some point - I will keep you posted.

Music and thought are getting more 'me time' too. Without sounding like even more of a pompous ass than usual, i will only comment here that when I don't sit down and attempt to think, life gets pretty stressful. And if I put on music and think, I actually come out of the moment with a better attitude and, usually, a plan.

Today is about calendar maintenance and getting things done. Writing is one of those things that helps my brain keep up. If you had a real snapshot of my brain earlier this week, you'd be blind not to note that the on switch wasn't.  Fixed that, I think.

All I really want to get out of 2012?


More attentive. More intentional. Much of my life feels like accidental humanity in process. I'd like it to be a little more guided. Especially toward doing for others - which is a wonder at warding off pity parties. 2011 treated me well. I wish to treat everyone else better in 2012. That would make me feel my time was being well spent.

There we are. Time to go, and take care of business for my family - certainly the first group of people I am wanting to treat better! However, I will not go without leaving something nice for you. Please see the below link from 'The Yummy Life". I do not know this blogger, but she is inspiring me to get my cooking ON!! (She takes pretty pictures, too!!)  Check out this lovely, lovely meal: individual Beef Pot Pies.

There, now make yourself an equally inspiring meal. You deserve it :-)



Monday, January 2, 2012

As Promised, the Birthday Card "How-To" Post

Hello there!

As it turns out, I did another mostly-good card for my mom's birthday, so for those of you asking 'How does she do it?' (er, for those of you saying 'why does she bother?' I hate to say it, but your questions will not be answered tonight!) you have a peek at the how. Tags, and everything!

All right, let's get to it.

Step one: Consider subject.
Subject is my mother.

I have a strong, complex, and thoroughly enjoyable relationship with my mother. That's my take, anyway - she may have a different one - feel free to ask her sometime. :-) I know her better than I used to, and still idolize her constantly - flaws and all, she is the woman who showed me what motherhood is - and I spend a lot of time trying to measure up. So, if I'm going to make a birthday card for her, there is All Sorts of Pressure I put on myself. I mean, this is for my Mommie!

What you need to know: she is All About Bling, she should have been a Gibson Girl - she loves the 'bustles, hats, and corsets' look. Her xmas tree is decorated in gold and white, and at 66 she makes retirement look Really stunning - there are women in their 50's who don't look so good! So, below is a sample of my ideas for her birthday card:
See? White, gold. Bling. I knew she liked the b/w touches from the ballet-instructor card. Wish I'd had time to grab pics of that one too!

 Step two: With an Elmer's glue stick, I glued a beautiful b/w tissue to my card stock, front only. (Side note, I determine card dimensions by which envelopes I have on hand, and how complex the card is going to be. This card used up yet another sample from my 7 yr. old wedding stash. If I didn't mention it earlier, the chief reason I make cards is to use up as much of my paper stash and art supplies as humanly possible!) Oh, the other side of the tissue paper was a more saturated black, but that was too distracting, so I used the more greyed-out reverse.

Step three: note (above) the cheesecloth somewhat smooth/draped. I love cheesecloth for softening edges and unifying elements. Mainly, it's serving to soften the b/w contrast, so the topmost elements don't get lost in the rigid structure. I adhered the cheesecloth to the tissue with a thin layer of:

GOLDEN matte medium. No, they aren't paying me. I just friggin' love their products for collage and you should too. Spendy, yes, well, you can do anything with them so spendy is ok. Plus, a little goes forever. I cannot scream enough about how well I love this medium - use it w/ink, watercolor, bones, ANYTHING!. Er, anyway, after I let the medium dry a bit on the cheesecloth (want the adhesive nice 'n stable before further glueing), time to start choosing my elements.
Will you just Look at the stuff I leave all over the dining room table?

Ok, Her name starts with 'M', so I have a copper coin (memory? hm, can't think of the brand name. Micheal's carries the brand, it's just escaping me now. Black label, if that helps. I'll figure it out when I finish using up the stash and have to buy new ones!) I've narrowed down the other options, canvas strip w/alphabet section, fleur-de-lis satin ribbon, torn gold tissue paper, Tim Holz acrylic crystal pendant (flat And lightweight - yay!) paper doily, cute flower brad, optical lens, scrap of packaging from cute brad (the dressmakers form image, lower left) ledger scrap, and some postal-themed paper stock. Time to start deciding...

Step four: arranging and initial gluing.
it actually came together pretty quickly. I use the coin in the corner, since the cardstock is almost never as heavy as I like. I so wanted to use the scrap of corrugated kraft paper (top pic), but ultimately it was too busy against the verticals - too much texture and this was getting full. Mom loves yellow roses - that brad immediately became the 'head' of the dressmakers form. Trapped snowflakes behind vellum or rice paper is a favorite visual for me this time of year - those doily scraps balanced out the big ol' crystal opposite. I loved the random shape of the the ledger paper...too bad I didn't know what to scrawl on it!! If you look closely, there's a short strand of pearls around half the M. Those are from a spray on a Godiva sample box, back from my wedding (again. what a pack rat.) M got the glue gun, the peals got Golden!

Step 5: what order do they go down again?

They are too small to see easily, but I do, in fact, have to use pencil marks to outline my layers on the background. Unless I want to dither between a digital shot on the camera and the actual card..... After I had my brief shining moment of fun with the glue gun, I grabbed Elmer again for the thin (look for the purple) layer of rice paper and the paper doily (lower left corner) and the paper snowflake (a bit above the 'M') I think you can still see the medium pooling around the pearls. I trimmed down the cardboard scrap closer to the 'form' image, and glue-sticked that to the rice paper. I also found another strip of vellum to soften the edge of the cardboard, as that was too harsh against the rice paper. Almost done!! (I think I sipped something-or-other at this point....)

Step 6: and.....the writer's block shows up next.
Okay. I wanted to tie the nature of the card to my mother's personality. And her beauty. She is more exotic looking than classic, her skin is gorgeous, her hair is still naturally curly, and her eyes are green. She inherited her dad's 'angular' features and still can turn heads. Between that and her unique fashion taste, I wanted to pay tribute. The muse giggled and offered up something about 'the least likely elements create the rarest beauty' so I had to go with that. (This picture is TERRIBLE. Sorry!!) I was seriously doubting some choices, here, but the crystal was so large and shiny that I Really had to add some material that was un-precious - humble and hokey, even.

Step seven: fire up that glue gun and nail it all down!
It really was necessary to capture that sentiment (rushed muse and all) because I decided that scrap Needed to be tucked under the flower-brad. Once I did that, the shinyness of the cardboard bothered me, so I used a leftover scrap of vellum (recycling!) to line up with the left side of the flower and soften the scrap. I traced the faint imagery beneath with a brown fine-tipped marker (a relief to not have to dig out the dip-pens!) I stamped a compass (light sepia ink) onto another vellum scrap and set that beneath the position of the crystal. That played off against the light-refraction patterns of the crystal, and I penciled in the '66' to be Quite Visible (anyone making it this far needs to flaunt it!) under the pendant. The whole design was still looking 'unfinished' so I added my gorgeous satin fleur-de-lis ribbon on the left. Damn. Too stark, so - hey, vellum! - and my usual gig of outlining the pattern beneath on the vellum with a metallic pen, (to echo the shine of the ribbon.) That ribbon barely worked, as the glue gun was drying fast that night! I grabbed my cheap gold tissue paper scrap and threaded it through the pendant, glued the pendant first in strategically 'invisible' places for strength, and then positioned and glued the gold paper.

I didn't have the time I wanted to glitz up the envelope, but, well, that will be for next year.

There you have it. That's how I work through making birthday cards. There are undoubtedly smarter, more efficient ways to get through the process, but given All the Stuff i am trying to use up, so far, my method seems to be working.

Beddy by time for me now. You too.Can't start day two of two-twelve with bags under the eyes, right?

Thanks for stopping by, please feel free to comment about this, by the way.( It lacks brevity, I know.
However, it can be accurately said that is the Only thing it's lacking. Look hard, the kitchen sink is in there...)


I just know it......