Monday, December 31, 2007

Ringing in a New Year

What are your traditions for ringing in the New Year? My husband and I usually split up on New Years Day. His mom makes a New Years Day dinner with Ham, mashed potatoes, rolls, etc. I typically go to my mom's friend's house for traditional Japanese New Year food. My husband made his mandatory appearance there early in our marriage and has not been back since. LOL. He is not very adventurous when it comes to trying new foods and let's face it, some of that asian food looks weird. The kids usually go with my husband so they can play with their cousins. I don't mind at all because I can truly enjoy my yummy grub without interruption. I have known many of these people since I was in middle school. It's nice to catch up with them, even if they are my mom's friends.

I don't have any New Years cards to share but have some winter and Valentine classes coming up in the near future. I'll share one of those samples. If you check the right column of my blog, you will see my class schedule. I am especially excited to share my Valentine creations with you because I think they are so fun and cute! If you would like to attend a class, be sure to call the store(s) and sign up in advance.

I hope you all have a safe and happy New Year.
Card details:
A Muse Cardstock: black/white bold stripe notecard, Swiss Red notecard punch with Marvy Mega Scalloped Heart punch; Stamps: 2-6106D Bandit (punched out with Marvy Giga Scalloped Heart Punch), 8-8476B Stole My Heart, 3-5057B Micro Oval; 3-1075A Heart Trio (inked one and stamped onto Bandit's bag); Ribbon: May Arts; Ink: Memories Black Dye Inkpad; Versafine Satin Red; Colorbox Chalk Creamy Brown; Markers: Copic Barely Beige

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Introducing Ginger

This is my dog, Ginger. Actually, she belongs to my youngest son and me. We share a birthday and she was our birthday present in 2006. She's as dumb as a box of rocks but she's so cute and she's lots of fun. She thinks everyone is her friend. As cute as she is, she is also very gross. She likes to nibble on her own tirds! We have bought all kinds of pills and powders that are supposed to stop this behavior but nothing works. I suppose the only solution would be to put her on a leash every time she goes out to potty but this is the PNW, for pete's sake. It's always raining! I don't want to stand in the rain. Plus, she will poo-poo in the house if she really wants to or if no one paid attention to her to let her out. She didn't start this until she was a year and a half old. Just out of the blue! I'm so frustrated. Goodness, I'd have to be frustrated to post this on a blog! Any suggestions???? I've had many dogs in my lifetime but none have ever done this. I'm told by many people that it's a common problem. It must be if they sell medicine for it. I need help.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Did you survive the mayhem?

I hope you all had an enjoyable Christmas! We spent Christmas Eve with my husband's family at a SIL's house, then Christmas morning at our own house with my sister and mom arriving late morning. Mid-afternoon we went to my other SIL's house to eat dinner with my husband's family. We alternate Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners with each other's families so things stay fair. This Thanksgiving was my mom and sister's turn with us so Christmas dinner was his family's turn with us. My SIL's kids got Rock Band for the Xbox 360 and it was so funny watching my adult and teenage nephews banging away on drums, playing guitars, and singing totally off-key! Even the little kids got into it. My husband has a huge family so gatherings, which are a-plenty, can be really overwhelming but are usually fun, too. All his brothers and sisters and their respective families were together for Christmas Eve this year. It's been a while since we've had that. One of his brothers lives in CA, another in New Zealand. The rest of the siblings are in the local area.

We were sad to find out that my niece's little Pomeranian, Leo, had a seizure and died a few days ago. She is on her way to buy herself a new dog already this morning. I'm sure it'll be so cute. One of my SIL's is also dog shopping and has found herself a Shih-Poo that she wants so I won't be surprised if that shows up at her house soon.

I am sooo done with Christmas cards now and have been actively working on some Valentine cards. I'll leave you with this one:

Friday, December 21, 2007

Are you ready for Christmas?

I imagine you have all been as busy as I have preparing for Christmas. Have you finished your shopping and wrapping? My shopping is done and I only have a few things left to wrap. I don't know about you but I'm ready to move on beyond the Christmas cards and work my way toward Winter cards and Valentines.

One of my favorite A Muse winter images is this solitary polar bear. I just think this image is so sweet and serene. I imagined him just traipsing through the snow and ice with snow falling all around him in the Arctic tundra. White is a difficult color to scan. I had to darken the image for the Ice Blue snowflakes to show up. I colored his scarf with a red marker, then colored over that with the AtYou Spica Glitter Pen in red. It has amazing sparkle! I used a Sakura Glitter pen to draw a trail behind him and added some ultrafine clear glitter. The sentiment was stamped onto a Pretty Little Paper, then mounted onto a piece of Cabana blue notecard. I added a silver brad and some pretty red ribbon from American Crafts. It's a nice, deep red rather than a primary version. All this was mounted atop a French Roast notecard. This card really looks much better in person, I promise!

I hope you all have a wonderful, safe, and happy Christmas with your loved ones wherever you may be.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Connor needs some birthday cards!

I am getting really tired of the situation with my camera. I think I will have to break down and buy a new cable for it. When I connect the camera to my computer, it just doesn't detect that it's there at all. I've been limited in what I can share with you because anything I share has to be scanned. Pooh!

I am really wanting to share some A Muse and Elzybells cards with you but have had very limited stamping time with the holidays being so close. My friend Kimber also posted on SCS that her son Conner's birthday falls on Christmas Eve so she is asking for cards for him so his special day doesn't get lost in the hustle and bustle of Christmas. I couldn't let his day go by without a card from me! So, the little time I got went to Connor's card.

I happened to have this Whipper Snapper image already colored (with Copics, of course!) and ready to go so that became the focus of his card. What do you think of the color combo? I know it's a little different but I think it works. It's SU's Really Rust with Soft Sky and layers of black underneath. I didn't want ribbon because this is for a boy, after all. I added the MM snaps instead.

Card Deets: All cardstock by SU; Stamps: dog image by Whipper Snapper, HB sentiment by MSE; Decorative Dot background by SU; dog bone image from Bow Wow by SU; Punches: small flower and scalloped oval by Punch Bunch; Snaps by Making Memories
For those of you following the situation with my aunt, today is the 3rd day after her surgery and is supposed to be the most critical. It should be the peak of any swelling resulting from the surgery. If she can get past this, I hope it things will start to improve. We are taking it one day at a time and hoping for the best. I am so glad my cousin has her other aunties and mother-in-law to help her right now. Thank you for your good wishes and prayers. Keep 'em coming!

Tuesday, December 18, 2007


I just talked to my cousin and it sounds like my aunt is making some improvement. She is slowly being brought out of her coma and appears to be responding, although she has yet to open her eyes. Her eyelids are fluttering, though, so that's good. Thank you all for your well wishes and prayers. I think my family back East is feeling cautiously optimistic at this point, which provides great relief to me.

I hope to be able to concentrate on stamping again so I can share some more samples with you.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Ack! I've been tagged

I've been away from the computer most of the weekend, baking holiday goodies. I've been tagged twice during my blogging 'hiatus.' Both Geeta and Kimme thought they'd be funny and tag me.

• Link to the person that tagged you and post the rules on your blog.
• Share 7 random and/or weird facts about yourself on your blog, we all want to know them.
• Tag 7 random people at the end of your post and include links to their blogs.
• Let each person know that they have been tagged by leaving a comment on their blog.

So here are 7 random facts about myself:
  1. I am half-Japanese, half-Caucasian
  2. My favorite food is Japanese food.
  3. I love to bake, hate to cook.
  4. I love Coke...just plain old Coca Cola. No diet nuthin' for me!
  5. I like fruitcake. Not all fruitcakes, but I'm one of those rare folks who does like fruitcake.
  6. I have 16 nieces and nephews (all on my DH's side), 2 great-nieces/nephews (one of each) with 2 more on the way.
  7. I lived on Midway Island during my in where the Battle of Midway took place.

I'm supposed to tag 7 other people but right now, I don't feel like it. My dad just called me and one of my aunts has just been taken to the hospital. She had an aneurism in her brain and the prognosis does not appear to be good. I'm heartbroken. She's the sweetest thing ever and their family has been through so much over the last few years. If you pray, can you please say a prayer for her? Her name is Lynn.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

A Longhorns Christmas

I really wanted to post another A Muse Sneak Peek today but every time I scan the card I made, it scans blurry. I can't figure out how to fix it. I may resort to taking a picture with my cell phone and emailing it to myself. For now, though, I will share this Texas Longhorns Christmas card with you. My oldest son (11) is a big Longhorns fan. I don't know why. He just is. When we travelled to Mexico last November, we went through Dallas and he bought a Longhorns cap for himself. He ended up losing it somewhere but went to visit my dad this August (my dad lives in TX) and bought a new one, plus a jersey. Anyway, my friend Geeta is also a Texas Longhorns fan and she sent me this stamp. I was browsing the gallery on SCS last night and Mark at deadbeat designs, who manufactures this stamp, had uploaded a bunch of cards in his gallery (deadbeat). It inspired me to pull this out and create something with it. I grabbed my retired A Muse Santa Hat stamp and stamped, colored, cut, and mounted it to the Longhorns image. It just came together from there.

Card details: Notecard: Kona/ A Muse; Patterned Paper: Figgy Pudding 6x6/Basic Grey; Stamps: Longhorns/deadbeat designs, santa hat (retired)/A Muse, M monogram/Marah Johnson Cowboy Ransom Alphabet; 'erry' from sentiment in CTMH set Twas The Night Before Christmas

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Hoo Loves You?!

I think this card looks much better in person than in real life. It just didn't scan well. Anyway, today I share a sneak peek of the Owl Buddies and Hoo Loves you Sentiment. Although you can't see it in the scan, I used my Lemon At You Spica Glitter Pen around the eyes of the owl to the left. Images were colored with Prismacolor pencils. Hope you guys are all enjoying the sneak peeks being shared by the A Muse Design and Instructor teams. Hoo loves you? We do! When can I get these new images, you say? Well, on Friday all the new images will be posted on the A Muse website.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Luck and Good Fortune

My one and only sister called me the other day to say that she is getting a promotion. She still has to go through the motions to get it but it's pretty much a done deal. This also means she will get a pay raise but she has no idea how much yet. When I saw the new sentiment "wishing you luck and good fortune" I thought, "Finally! A great sentiment to go with my Chinese Take-Out box stamp!" So, here it is....wishing my little sis luck and good fortune in her new position.

Now you have had another sneak peek to a new sentiment in the Valentine's release! Stay tuned for another sneak peek tomorrow!

Monday, December 10, 2007

Sneak Peeks

Think the new A Muse Valentine release can only be used for Valentine's Day? Think again! There are so many awesome, cute images in this release that can be used for any reason! Gotta love that kind of versatility.... In today's sneak peek I'm sharing the new Octopus and Inkin of You sentiment. I added the Tiny Gift and a small punched flower from the Punch Bunch with an A Muse Twinkle Dot (micro) in the center of the flower. The octopus and presents were colored with Copics. The seaweed below is another A Muse favorite guessed it: seaweed! It was stamped in VersaMagic Sage. I added some Stardust Stickles for a little underwater sparkle. Despite the fact that I have a new scanner, it didn't pick up the color evenly. Hope you enjoyed today's sneak peek!

Sunday, December 9, 2007


I had the unfortunate opportunity to need to make a sympathy card for someone. It just breaks my heart whenever anyone I know loses a loved one but I think it's even worse when it's around the holiday season. We've been pretty lucky in our years....our Grandma's and Grandpa's are gone (lost my remaining Grandma earlier this year), one of Mike's uncles died about 2yrs ago, and our losses prior to that were in 2001-2002 where we lost 3 people in a 6 month span. Considering the size of Mike's family, I'd say we've been pretty lucky. It's so hard to face mortality, I think, even knowing there's a better place ahead. Just makes you realize time is so short and you never know when your time's gonna come. You really have to live one day at a time. I know for most people, life gets really crazy during the month of December. Not usually the case for us. I like it that way. Gives me time to reflect on the year.

I taught a Gift Tag class this weekend. I only had 2 students but we had lots of fun anyway. Since my camera is no longer speaking to my computer, I can't post a picture of the altered 3x3 book I put the tags into but I will scan some pics of the tags now that the class has been taught.

Card Details: the card is a little plain but I needed to keep it relatively flat for mailing purposes. Stamps: Along The Shore, Sanded, Itty Bitty Backgrounds/Stampin Up, Sympathy Sentiment/retired A Muse; Paper: Stampin Up Creamy Caramel, Chocolate Chip, Soft Sky; Ribbon: Stampin Up

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Counting My Blessings

Today, as with most days, I am counting my blessings. I have had a lot of friends share some pretty bad news with me lately. A former Stamp Club friend has been diagnosed with breast cancer. She is only 33yrs old and has 3 young children at home. My SU demo and good friend, Joanne, had her basement flood. A fellow A Muse Instructor had her basement flood. Linda posted about the store flooding. My husband saw his neurosurgeon yesterday who says there is new damage to his neck but it is minor and will not require surgery, just rehab. I am thankful. I am truly thankful and I am humbled that God continues to bestow his blessings upon me. Lowly me.

For those of you struggling today I share with you this message:

"Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your heart and your minds in Christ Jesus." Phillipians 4:6-7 NIV

Give thanks today. Count your blessings today.


Now for stamping, I recently purchased this Little Bits kit from All That Scraps cuz the puppy is so stinkin cute! They also just released another set, which I've already ordered. I'll leave you with two samples I made using this set.

Sunday, December 2, 2007


It's been a little crazy this past week. The kids are doing better, my husband is feeling a little better, we finally got a rental car from the other guy's insurance company, and things are progressing in that department. The initial damage estimate is already way big surprise. My husband has a follow-up with his neurosurgeon on Tuesday so hopefully he will confirm there is no new damage to his neck.

I finally got around to getting my Christmas decorations up. I know it's just the first part of December, but I usually have it all up in a day, right after Thanksgiving. Wish my camera was on speaking terms with my computer so I could post a picture. I guess you'll just have to take my word for it that the tree is looking lovely. I made the decision years ago to put cheap, colorful ornaments on the tree so that if the kids broke something while helping to decorate it, I wouldn't have to get all bent out of shape. My youngest is my helper. He pooped out on me before we were completey finished but that's okay. We had a great time working together!

I was playing around, making some cards this morning. Don't you just love those moments when a card comes together exactly how you pictured it? Of course the scan I took of it doesn't look exactly like it does in real life. LOL. Hope you enjoy it anyway.

Card details: All cardstock by A Muse; All images by A Muse (Gerber Daisy satmp, Polka Dot UC clear alpha set). Daisy colored with Copic markers, glue dot added to center and clear microbeads added. Surrounding dots have Liquid Pearls

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Things are going okay

Well, yesterday wasn't as bad as I thought it would be. I called the insurance company, called the auto body shop, called doctors and scheduled appointments, and called Chevrolet to report that the driver's airbag did not deploy as it should have. I was amazed at how smoothly calling the insurance company went. They opened my claim right away, the adjusters started calling shortly after, the tow truck came when it was supposed to. My oldest son, who we previously thought was uninjured, came home from school complaining that it hurt across his chest and on one side of his neck so I guess I'll have to take him to the doctor today so he can have an official diagnosis on record. I'm sure it's whiplash, too. DH is doing alright, considering the circumstances. I thought for sure he wouldn't be mobile, given his previous experiences, but he has actually been able to move around. Thanks, everyone, for all your well wishes and prayers. I know they have been helpful.

So late last night I realized I had neglected to get a birthday card out to my long time friend's daughter. I wanted to use up some cardstock I had laying around and knew just which image I wanted to use. I pulled out my Whipper Snapper stamps and inked this cute guy right up. Can you believe I've had him for months and have never inked him up? At least I don't think I have, except to maybe give images to someone else. Well, it's all about procuring, isn't it? Who says we're supposed to use the stuff?! LOL. Anyway, I'll leave you with this little guy. I hope she likes it. I have another one to make today for a college friend who now lives in the Portland area. I think I'll use the same guy.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Accidents do happen

Well, I had a great holiday weekend until yesterday. I had a Stampin Up party at my house which was just getting underway when my husband called to say he had been rear ended right in front of his mother's house. One of his sisters called a few minutes later and said I'd better get down there because the aid car was on the way and they think my youngest son was hurt. I left everyone at my house to continue the party without me and zipped down to my MIL's house. She lives right off a very busy main road so I'm not at all surprised that an accident like this happened. Basically, he was stopped and waiting to turn into her driveway. Several cars in the opposite direction had passed him when he got rear-ended. That pushed him into oncoming traffic and into an oncoming car. Luckily my husband drives a big truck because I'm sure it saved them from serious injury. He was carried out on a stretcher, strapped to a board with a neck brace on due to his previous issues with his neck (he had surgery 2yrs ago). Once they got the area under control and I talked with the police officers I took my youngest son to the hospital with me to be checked out and to check on my husband. After 2hrs of being strapped to the board, hanging out in the middle of the hallway, then Xrays and a CT scan, they have determined he has whiplash. I'm actually thankful for this because it could have been so much worse. My youngest is okay, too. Just a bit of whiplash for him but nothing too bad. He bumped the back of his head when his head flung back against the back window of the truck. We were also lucky that it happened right in front of his mom's house because they got to him quickly and were able to hang onto the kids and help calm them until I arrived. The youngest one won't admit to being scared but he did say "What if Dad dies?" I had to tell him that it looks much scarier than it really is because they just have to be careful of his neck since he had surgery before. Poor little guy....
Anyway, we were at the hospital for several hours due to the backup of people there. It was crazy! People laying on stretchers in the middle of the hallway for a long time. The picture is of the car that rear-ended my husband. I took it with my cell phone, standing in my MIL's driveway. Yikes! As far as I could tell, that driver was okay with just a bandaged hand. The driver of the car my husband got pushed into also appeared to be okay. Thank goodness! Now to deal with the insurance mess and to call Chevy since the driver's airbag did not deploy at all. Our truck is only about 3-4 mos old.
Wear your seatbelts, everyone, and keep your kids in their carseats!!

Saturday, November 24, 2007


I hope you all had a fabulous Thanksgiving holiday. My husband was going to be out of town but managed to get home in time to celebrate with us. We were invited to a friend/neighbor's who knew he would be gone but she just set out an extra plate for him. I brought my mom and sis, too. It was a lot of fun and something different from celebrating with his huge family or my small one. Do you all go shopping on Black Friday? I do it every year and love it. I managed to get most of my holiday shopping done, plus a few extras for me! Gotta love deals at the Gap Outlet store. Plus, my friend Joyce and I met up at Ben Franklin and picked up some rustic stars. We are going to make some projects with them. I told her we have to set a date to actually get these done or else they will just become another procurement to sit in the closet for 'someday.' haha

My camera is not talking to my computer right now. I'm not sure why. I finally decided to just scan in some cards I created over the past few days. The Dirty Girls over at Splitcoast were all challenged by Jami to create cards using the Elzybells image 'A Winter Song.' They could not use patterned paper, however, all their beautiful images (click here) inspired me to create with my stamps. Now I challenge you to create some cards using yours! These girls are just too cute to sit in a drawer and not be put to use!!! Get stamping! If you don't have any Elzybells images and want some, click here

Monday, November 19, 2007

We are the Champions!!!!!!

It has been crazy busy around our household this past week! We finished up soccer for my oldest son, then both my boys had their Flag Football playoffs on Saturday....ALL DAY!!! Both boys' teams were in first place in their divisions going in, but sadly, my youngest son's team lost in the first game so they were out right away. My oldest son's team, though, KICKED SOME SERIOUS BEHIND!!! They won all three playoff games, then won the 'Superbowl' by a 20 point margin. It was not an easy win as it had been raining hard off and on all day so the grass field was muddy and slippery. My son got injured in the latter portion of the first half and was out the rest of the game. Another boy was off getting sick in a corner somewhere..I think he has a stomach bug cuz it just kicked in at dinner, I guess. Both boys are integral parts of the 10-man team but it's a testament to the coach to be down two kids and still pull off a huge win. Every single boy on this team does an equal's a rare thing to find. I'm so proud of them all!

If you recall, I recently made an appearance at a local stamp store called Monkey Love Rubber Stamps. I did make-n-takes for 2 hrs for their Annual Holiday Open House. It was so much fun. Saw some familiar faces and lots of new ones. As promised, here are some more samples of what we made. I still have yet to take a picture of one of them. I hope to post some sneak peeks to my next class later today. I will have a class at Stampin In The Rain, at Bothell Country Village on Dec 8, doing gift tags.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Altered Items

This weekend we lost a not-so-beloved family member. It was our goldfish, Squishy. We actually got Squishy and Squirt at the same time, around the time Finding Nemo came out (hence their names), but Squirt died early on. We could tell Squishy was dying. He was hardly swimming and just gulping air. It was his time to go. RIP, Squishy. I'm sorry to say, you will probably not be missed.

Today I will leave you with two things. One is an altered CD holder that I made last year. As with most altered things I make, they go into a drawer or box, and never come out again. I thought it would be fun to give it a breath of fresh air by removing it from the box and taking its picture. Back into the box it will go, I'm sure. The base of the CD holder is from Pine Cone Press. I covered it with designer paper (Basic Grey) and some embellishments. I think the rub-ons were left over from some other project. The snowflake image is a stamp from CTMH.

The second thing I will leave you with is a card. I used a flat gold embossing powder for the sentiment but if I were to do it again, I would use a shinier gold. I couldn't take a very good picture so the colors of the buildings do not show up quite right but you get the general idea. I used Prismacolor pencils to color in the images. The actual colors I chose were from the original Elzybells UK site . I love anything nativity-ish.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Whopper Cake

On Tuesday I met some co-workers at Northlake Tavern in the U-District for some pizza to celebrate a birthday for one of them. There are only a few of us in our 'division' so I designated myself the cake provider whenever one of us has a birthday. For this one, I created what I call the 'Whopper Cake.' It's true name is 'Deep Chocolate Cake with Double-Malt Topping' and the recipe can be found in a Better Homes & Gardens Special Interest Publication called Simply Perfect Desserts 2001. I would post the recipe but it would be copyright infringement so the best I can do is tell you where it is published. This issue is full of absolutely fantastic desserts! You should try to get a copy....

Don't pay attention to the fact that the cake is lopsided. I was in a hurry as I hadn't realized the frosting needed to have chilled for 3 hours before it would be ready for use. I made it, threw it in the freezer for a quick chill, then had to slap it all together and run out the door. I was late to lunch but in time for the pizza to appear on the table. That's what counts, right?!

I also can't leave you without a card sample. Elena made a really cute card using a Mexican theme for Christmas. So, I dragged out my Mexican themed A Muse stamps, too, and here's the result. Hope you like it. At this time last year we were getting ready to leave for our trip to Puerto Vallerta, Mexico to celebrate my mother-in-law's 70th birthday. It was so sunny and warm there while everyone was flooding here at home. I'm so glad this November has been much drier so far. The little bobblehead thingies were purchased from a beach vendor. You can find these all over the place in P.V. and my kids collected many of them.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

I'll be at Monkey Love Rubber Stamps this Saturday from noon-2pm for their Annual Holiday Open House, doing some make-n-takes with Elzybells images. If you have a chance, come on by and check out the store, do some shopping, and go home with a cute card or two. The store will be celebrating their open house from noon to 5pm with Make-n-Takes, food, and a BIG sale!

Monkey Love Rubber Stamps is located in lower Queen Anne at
613 Queen Anne Ave. N., Seattle, WA 98109
Phone: (206)283-7897


I've had several people comment that I need to blog. I wasn't sure I needed to blog. I'm still not sure I need to blog. Here I am, though, blogging. I've known for some time what I'd call my blog but have had such a hard time just jumping into the blogging world. Don't get me wrong...I love to read blogs. I just am not sure I can handle the pressure of maintaining one. That, of course, assumes any of you have any interest at all in what I have to say. haha.

Thanks to my fellow AMuse buddy, Jenn Shurkus, for allowing me to use one of her photos for my blog banner. Thanks to my fellow SCS Buddy, Dorinda, for the fabulous name for my blog. So appropriate for my shopaholic tendencies.....