Garden Club visits Chattanooga Food Bank

First, I wondered why the garden club would want to go see a bunch of cans. I had no idea that our food bank was growing fresh produce or that they took donations of fresh produce! I’m becoming increasingly informed about the exceptionalism of my hometown.

Anyway, on with my day with Mom. I pick her up at 10, we both had the time wrong and arrived An hour early. As is our way, we decided everyone else was late. On the way to our meet up location I did notice Mom fighting off the urge to give helpful driving tips. It’s great to be so like my mom; our attitude, logic, ability to reason and rationalize, our propensity to “find  the humor” (as my dear friend Darla would advise), and in our non-judgemental yet highly critical thinking. We’re not bossy, we just know what you should be doing and we usually say what’s on our mind. We just can’t understand how people get through their day without our guidance.

While we are waiting for the rest of our group we have some time to continue our discussion on how to “fix” friends and family. In the end we decided to just leave it alone; we can’t see it, hear it, and in one case smell it from our homes so…

The group arrives! We divide between 3 vehicles and get on our merry way. Mom chose to move to the backseat so Belinda could sit up truck help navigate… I had the GPS going and Belinda said she wasn’t sure of the location so I wondered why the seat change was necessary, but as usual, Mom was right and was extremely pleased to learn that Belinda can yell “Stop!” just as urgently jarring as she can. I guessed the heavy set woman who cut me off in the parking lot was in a hurry to get home to her pork and beans. My ladies giggeled… I loved it! The GPS nailed it as usual but according to Mom that newfangled technology is not to be trusted… She still has a flip phone but I’m wearing her down. Here’s a truly funny fight with technology… She told the cable guy not to give her all those channels; she only watched the news, Jeopardy, the Braves and the Lady Mocs.

Murray Hills Garden Club 

I don’t know where all this deal came from. I’m starting to agree with Mom about newfangled technology!!!!




While touring the gardens mom spotted a shrub that had put on seed pods, true to her nature, she helped herself to a handful for me to plant next spring because why would I want a decent sized shrub in my new landscaping when I can pop 5 pods in the dirt and wait for years! But, because I am a good daughter I’ll plant those little pods and watch them sprout between my 3 gallon otto luyken laurels then make a big production of moving them to the park where everyone can enjoy them.

Changing with the times.

I’ve decided to make some big changes here and move in a new direction. Prior to February 2019 I lived my boring life in my craft room. I enjoyed my time making cards and mailing them to family and friends. I couldn’t seem to find my niche in California outside my craft room, so I contented myself with creativity. When I found out that we were finally going to move back home, I had no idea that my life would change so drastically. Meaning that I actually have a life now.

Since Dad died I have wanted to spend as much time as possible with Mom. I missed so many events and activities with Mom over the last 25 years… But now I’m so very blessed to have her all to myself and I am the breathing definition of Mama’s girl. Even my sister has moved out of state so I’m like a greedy little brat in having mom all to myself.

I’ve been home now for 8 months and Mom and I have had a blast. I’ve inserted myself into her life by joining the Murray Hills garden club, I make my 10 week hair appointments for the same day and time Mom will be at the salon getting her weekly doo. She still has her volunteer work with hospice and her church functions without me and I have Bunco, grandkids, and in-laws on my own so we aren’t weirdly attached at the hip or anything, but we try to as much as possible together. I never imagined I’d enjoy a garden club of mainly senior aged women, but these ladies are priceless!

With that said, I’m changing my blog to be more of a diary accounting my exploits with Mom. I don’t want to ever forget one moment of our time. I don’t care if anyone reads my stories, I don’t care if they are boring or if some lone reader some where in the world is offened. I don’t care if my spelling or grammar is off, or if events are posted out of order. All of that is going to happen. 

Now I just need to figure out where to start!

More to come.

2018 was a pretty good year in the craft room

Looking back on the cards throughout the year I can see changes in many areas. I see the introduction of new techniques with existing mediums and the discovery of new products. I can see the use of each new Hero Arts monthly kit and the addition of other stamps and dies from various companies. It has been a creatively fun year.

Happy accident

While making card sets for Christmas gifts, I wanted to make a few by pulling an ink soaked string between two panels and create stylized flowers. I didn’t like the way a few turned out so I put them aside for scrap paper.

Later, I googled Aurora Borealis to make a background for some super cute polar bears. The messed up flower panels contained the colors and swirls so I just added a night sky on top. I’m really liking this effect.

Now I’m trying to do a few on purpose. it’s gonna take some practice.

Bears are from Stampendous, Happy Lady is from Stampin Up, and little girls is from Hero Arts.

Christmas will be here next week… or so it seems.

I love this time of year, being a grandmother, it’s my little ones that make it all so special. First the Halloween costumes, then the pilgrim plays at school, followed by the big finale…

Last year I waited too late to start my Christmas cards. I didn’t make nearly enough gift sets and I’m not a fan of mass producing the same card. I’ll make maybe 4 that are similar, but that’s where I stop. So by the time Christmas arrived, I was kinda burned out on the card crafting process. That’s not a good place for me to be as I need to be in my craft room else the limits of my Zoloft are tested.

This year, just call me Brilliant, I started in July making at least one Christmas card a week. Here are a few of my favorites.

Christmas in July

I try to get in on the Housemouse challenge every month because Stampendous always offers some great prizes for the random drawing winners. Of course, I haven’t won anything yet but I am forever hopeful.

As yet, I don’t have any Christmas themed mice so I gave Amanda (at least I think it’s Amanda because she seems to be the artistic genius in the group) a Santa hat and added some white fur trim to her tutu.

The greeting is from the set with the polar bears and the die cut Merry Christmas is from my stash.

Dance your heart out Amanda! Let’s try to win some goodies.

Stamp layering nightmare

I watched a video tutorial by Jennifer McGuire yesterday morning where she showed how to make beautiful see through cards. She used a lot of stamp layering sets, then die cut the flower and leaf images. She placed the images so that they overlapped but left some empty spaces, then covered everything with PressNseal to keep it all in place. She glued the overlapping pieces together then trimmed the pieced panel to size for a card front. A little involved, but doable. So off I go to my craft room to create my masterpiece.

My aunt loves purple hydrangeas, as do I, so I decided to use the Altenew layering set called Garden Hydrangea. There are 4 images to layer for the flower and 3 for the leaf, the result is highly detailed and beautiful. Or it should be.

I knew I’d need to used my stamping platforms as I wanted several of each image and I’d never try to do any layering without a platform. My first 6 attempts to get all the little lines and details placed perfectly failed miserably. So I stopped, got on YouTube and found a video from Altenew that showed how to layer the set correctly. I need to add here that the lady in the video was just using an acrylic block! She did the darkest outline image first then used the solid lightest image, that was the only change I needed to make. Easy peezie. Off I go again. The first 2 images are no problem, I’ve got them placed in my Misti perfectly. The third image? Major fail! At this point I started stamping on copy paper to save my cardstock and after about 10 tries I had it “close enough”. On to the fourth and thankfully last image for the flower.

After several tries with the last image looking like a rabid raccoon on crack with an astigmatism and dirty bifocals stamped it, I stopped to phone a friend, share my frustration and calm down.

Finally, after spending most of the day on just the setup I was able to make one card. The technique Jennifer showed in her video went smoothly. I like the style of the card just don’t look too closely at the stamping.

Watercolor with Monica the Mouse by Tammy

The Housemouse stamps from Stampendous remain a favorite for practicing any type of coloring. The images are so detailed that the design illustrator has already done most of the shading, or at least given guidelines as to where to add darker tones.

For my cards today, I stamped Monica and Friend / Bird Feeder with versafine onyx black then embossed the image with clear embossing powder. The embossing forms a bit of a barrier to keep color from bleeding out where I don’t want it. I used Zig clean color Real Brush markers and a very small waterbrush to blend out the color.