October 2008


World Cardmaking Day was October 4. I am only posting about it now because I want to show you what I did. At the time, I did not have time to post. We had guests in town. It was a special event weekend at church. It was Balloon Fiesta. There was too much going on.

For this annual event (this is the second year I have been aware of it), I have a Pajama Party. I invite all my customers to come to my house in their pajamas from 8 p.m. to midnight where they will find piles of supplies and tools to make cards. I try to have 8-10 different cards. This year I had 10, and I found a few leftovers from a workshop I had done earlier, so I put the stuff out for that.

The rules are they can make as many as they want of any card (there is enough stuff in each pile for 10-20 cards, depending on my supplies and whims) for $1/card, until supplies for that card run out. If one person wants to use up everything for one card and there is nothing left for anyone else, that is fine. No one has done that, but those are the rules. Some people come and make 4 or 5 cards. Some people make 20. Some people make one of everything. Some people only make the ones they really love or know they need.

So what about the giveaway? Well, I have wanted to do a giveaway for a long time because I LOVE giving things away.  I love giving away the produce from my garden, things I bake, things I make, just about anything. I have been hesitant to do so here because I do not want it to seem like I am just trying to get extra traffic or comments or whatever. (Not that I think that is what is going on with every blog giveaway, but I know it can be perceived that way, so I have avoided it.)

But then The Farmer’s Wife gave me an idea by not having people “sign up” through comments, but through an e-mail. So that is what I decided to do. Below I will show you all the cards that my customers made at the World Cardmaking Day Pajama Party (none of which were my original ideas, but I do not think any of them were EXACTLY like the ones I used as inspiration), and if you would like to win one of each card, you can e-mail me (louisestamps at aol dot com)… but there is a catch! To be eligible to win, you have to guess which one was my favorite! (Hint. If I were guessing, and I know ME quite well, I probably would guess incorrectly.) I will choose a winner from the people who guess my favorite correctly.

BUT, since I am not sure how many people will even want these cards enough to guess, and how many of those will guess correctly, you must guess also which was the most popular with the customers. (It is a different one than my favorite.)

If no one guesses either of those correctly, then I will just draw a name from everyone who entered.

Before I show you the cards, let me say that I am not discouraging comments, but in order to enter this contest, you must send an e-mail. I will not take entries from the comments. Back to commenting, I always love your comments, so please do not hesitate to do so if you wish, and if you think I this is cheap way to try to get traffic or comments (though I am trying for it NOT to be), you can let me know that as well. (But please be polite. I am a big girl and can take criticism, but prefer if it is done politely.) I have in mind some other giveaways I would like to do periodically (more cards and also other stuff), but will refrain if it seems to be a negative thing.

So here are the cards!

1 - Die-Cut Pumpkin

1 - Die-Cut Pumpkin

2 -  Fresh Cuts

2 - Fresh Cuts

3 - Harvest Home

3 - Harvest Home

 

4 - Owl Together Now

4 - Owl Together Now

5 - Pretty Amazing

5 - Pretty Amazing

6 - Simply Sent Holiday

6 - Simply Sent Holiday

7 - Stitched Exotics

7 - Stitched Exotics

8 - It's a Sign

8 - It's a Sign

9 - With Gratitude (Leaves)

9 - With Gratitude (Leaves)

10 - Snowburst

10 - Snowburst

11 - Die-Cut Frankenstein

11 - Die-Cut Frankenstein

 

If you would like a set of these (one of each), e-mail me at: louisestamps at aol dot com with:

1) Which one you think is my favorite.

2) Which one you think was the most popular with my customers.

And, it is OK if you want to enter but do not live in the U.S. This will not be terribly heavy so should not cost a fortune to send, but do not expect me to send it the fastest method if you should win!

Since I have a completely insane 7 days ahead of me, I will leave this open through Monday, October 27.

Edited: If you would like to leave a comment, please tell me YOUR favorite. I always like to know what things other people like.

click photo to enlarge

click photo to enlarge

Just back from Missouri. It was a quick, but fun trip. Although southwest Missouri skies are not always as spectacular as New Mexico skies (probably a lot to do with humidity and trees that hide the skies from view), October is a terrific month for the sky there. These are not the most remarkable pictures in my sky files, but they are not bad, and it was what I saw this week.

click on photo to enlarge

click on photo to enlarge

The first photo was taken five minutes before the second photo. I could not believe this myself and had to look at the information on the photos to be sure. The first was from my dad’s driveway. He lives on a hill and has a pretty decent view of the sunrise as well as the sunset. The second was taken while I was driving, and I cannot 100% determine the direction. The road in it makes me think it is toward the southwest, but I think there should be more color in it if that were the case. I am just not sure.

If you are a regular reader and have not seen the last post, you might enjoy it. Prince Charming wrote it and reveals some of my finer “qualities.”

I am gradually catching up on visiting all of you, but Sky Watch will make the progress a little slower. It will happen, eventually. I have been immensely enjoying immersing myself in your photography and writing as I catch up!

Have a lovely weekend! My skies now are deep, deep blue and clear.

To see LOTS more terrific sky pictures,  head to the SkyWatch blog hosted by Tom, Sandy , Imac , Ivar, Wren, Fishing Guy and Klaus.

Edited:  I finally figured out which road was in the second picture. The direction it was taken is northwest–with a little more slant toward the west. That explains the lighter color a little better!

Louise is in another state right now, with the girls, doing some business and visiting family.  I thought I might take this opportunity to put up a post of my own, a “guest post,” as it were.  Not too surprising, I get to read most of Louise’s posts before they get published, and if any typos sneak through, those are obviously my fault (duh).  So this is MY chance…

But this post is about something other than stamping, or food, or bicycling, or SkyWatch, or any of that stuff.  This is about Louise herself — and how she attempts to control certain aspects of her life.  Like most of us, Louise likes to be comfortable (and Louise would insist on me ensuring that we pronounce all four syllables: com-for-ta-ble.  No sloppy speech allowed.)  Anyway, as I said, Louise likes to be com-for-ta-ble.  Unfortunately, the celestial forces that have to align for this to happen are the stuff that Nostradamus might try to write about (not that I buy his scribblings — I do not).  I am just trying to point out how remote, and somewhat cloudy, the exact requirements are for Louise to indeed get comfortable. 

Let’s start with the temperature — in the car, in the house, wherever.  Sure, we all want to be not too hot, not too cold.  Like Goldilocks, we like it “just right.”  And so most of us have a temperature range within which we can be comfortable (say it with me…).  This is true of Louise, but in my experience, the cooler limit is actually above the warmer limit.  In other words, while some of us have a temperature range this wide:

Others have a range like this:

Louise is more like this:

And whether she is hot or cold, air (hopefully of the opposite temperature) CANNOT be blowing on her.  Room fans, in general, are for other people.  Now, this might not be too bad, but I am almost always warm.  I prefer a cooler temperature and sort of like cool air blowing — if nothing else just to move the air around in the house.  Needless to say, this is diametrically opposed to conflicts slightly with Louise’s desires for her immediate environment.  To further complicate this situation and despite her aversion to blowing air, Louise likes to have windows open for fresh air (which I do not mind, if it’s not hot outside).  To be fair, though, Louise is adamant about keeping a freezing South-pole-like fairly cool house — in the winter.  She is “cheap” in this area.   It saves money on heating.

You all know Louise likes to cook and eat.  I am truly blessed to enjoy healthy, delicious food on a daily basis (just check out my waistline).  However, Mexican food is one of Louise’s favorites.  But it can’t be too hot.  Wait, let me rephrase that, it is probably already too hot.  No matter how “not hot” you might think that salsa is, it’s too hot for Louise.  Her palate is hyper-sensitive.  I often have to try some food item, and always the salsa, to determine the level of discomfort it might bring to Louise’s delicate mouth.  Honestly, I can try something in which I can detect no heat at all (none; zilch; zip; nada), and she practicaly has to spit it out because it burns her mouth so badly.  And she loves Mexican food — really, she does.  I’m just not sure how.

And we live in the Southwest now, so you’d think she’d be in gastronomic heaven — somewhere, someone must have mild food, right?  But we live in New Mexico, which has its own style of food, where everything is almost always smothered in red or green chile sauce.  And is too hot.  All of it — trust me, we’ve tried them.  Still, she finds ways to accommodate, and she does OK.  But, whenever she leaves the state, a “real” Mexican restaurant is likely on the list of places to stop.

And Louise also likes to travel.  She’s always up for an adventure — the more off the beaten path, the better.  On top of this, Louise is always going to new addresses in our home town as she shares her passion for stamping with others.  And as much as she likes to go to new places, locally or around the world, Louise does NOT ask for directions.  Ever.  That’s my job.  [N.B.: I think this is one of the reasons she married me.  I’ll give the complete list of reasons in my next guest post.]  She does not like to plan routes (again, my job), check weather/traffic (me, too), or make hotel arrangements (even if she is traveling alone).  It sometimes gets to nearly absurd extremes.  If she’s out headed for a stamping event, running out of time, Louise will call ME to look on some online map service to find her destination and route, rather than stopping to ask directions.  It’s a little kooky, but it does allow me to “come to the rescue” on occasion.  So I don’t mind so much.

And I think most of you are aware of how friendly and genuinely compassionate Louise is.  You’d think she would thrive on interactions with people.  Think again.  (Yes, that would be my job.)  Whether it is having to call anyone for anything, or perhaps having to go in to some establishment (store, office, pharmacy, etc.) to actually talk to a person, Louise will exert every effort to find another way to resolve the situation. This means online ordering and paying, self-checkout (one or her favorite inventions) or sending ME to take care of it.  And the simple explanation for my involvement in this?  Because I am the designated “people person.”  You see, in real life (not blog life) Louise is abysmally quiet and shy quite reserved and very much an introvert.  I, on the other hand, am a fully functional human being, able to move comfortably (com-for-ta-bly) among and through society.  People are generally a source of great amusement for me, and so they do not weigh me down much at all.  As a result, the cost is much lower for me to interact with the rest of the idiots in the world humanity, and so (most of the time) I am forced to glad to step in and remove this burden from my spouse.

So, you see, Louise is in many ways a walking contradiction.  She loves people, but deplores interacting with them in real life.  She always wants the temperature to be comfortable (you can pronounce it properly now), but it never seems quite right and no matter what, no air can be blowing on her.  Louise is one of the most adventurous people I know, yet the actual mechanics of figuring out where one is and how to get to the next destination seems to be beneath her.  (Don’t get me wrong. She has a marvelous sense of direction and can read a map quite well. Which she has been known to purchase rather than asking directions, but…) And Mexican food is her favorite; she just can’t eat most of it. 

But despite these potential areas of friction between us, I love how we complement each other (that’s complement with an “e” — we do say nice things to each other, but that’s not what I’m getting at).  Living with Louise is never dull.  I can’t imagine anyone better. 

Unless she looked more like Angelina Jolie.  And were rich.  And really liked football. 

But that’s another post.

by Prince Charming

You might remember a while back I mentioned I was doing this swap. Well, I did it, and the time has come to talk about it!

First, let me tell you about my Swap Partner! The poor girl lives in Ohio and was RIGHT in the path of Hurricane Ike which was RIGHT before we were supposed to send out these swaps. She was out of power for an entire week. (As many others were.) And after that, she was just so swamped with getting back to life as normal that the Halloween Swap sort of went on the back burner. If you ask me, that is more than a little understandable. The point here is that I do not have it yet, so I cannot rave as I properly should. It will probably arrive tomorrow when this post goes up, but I will be half-way to Missouri by then and not able to see it for a week.

But she sent me pictures, and I think I can adequately rave from those, though I know it will be better when they arrive.

These are the packages she sent to me. OOOOOOOO, it makes me want to tear right in and rip them open! I love tissue paper tied with ribbon! (I must also say that I did not send my package so cutely wrapped. I will show you what I sent later, but there is no picture of wrapping because I was more than a little, uh, not impressed with how I did it!)

This is the whole pile of stuff. You must know that I LOVE Halloween. It might be my favorite holiday. I love the weather at Halloween. I love the moon at this time of year. I love the festivity. I have never thought of it as evil or scary, just festive and fun. So this pile of stuff makes me giddy!

Here are some close-ups. The first is a box of wrapped Hersheys Nuggets. I LOVE it that Angela is a stamper like me because just knowing what this is, I know it is SO cool. Her style and taste are much different than mine, and she is more artistic. From the picture I can tell these are beautiful. Unfortunately, they probably will not last very long under my care, but at least there is a picture by which to remember them! And they are in a very cute tin, which makes it even better.

This one is a paper bag Halloween Journal. Do you love it? I do! I LOVE black cats. That really has nothing to do with Halloween, but I currently have two black cats and had another before these. This is just TOO cute! Maybe I can fill it with pictures of my black cats? Or maybe my children? I do not know. I will probably just use it as a decoration for a while. It is definitely worthy of doing that.

I think this one might be my favorite. It is a collage just for the sake of art. I. LOVE. IT! And the girl on it has red hair which is icing.

The last one is something she said EVERYONE needs… a pooping cat. Is that hilarious?! I think so. I have never seen such a thing. (But I never shop which could possibly be part of that problem.) It being a black cat and all is good enough, but there appears to be candy (poop–I just will not think about that) attached, so it is even better!

Here is what I made for her.

This cookie jar was SOOOOO easy; it took about 5 minutes which put me into a mood of guilt over it. I used a Decor Elements piece from St*mpin’ Up! to do it. When I sent it to her, I put a ribbons on the lid. I apologize that I did not send hers with cookies, but I was using it as a display for an Open House when I made it about a month before I shipped it. Unfortunately I ate all the cookies before then. Yes, I think I ate every single one. No, a few customers ate some, but they were polite. I am not so polite when it comes to cookies. You MUST go to Angela’s blog to see how she is using this cookie jar. (She also has a better picture there than I do of the other item I sent.) I love what she did! I would have never thought of it on my own.

The other thing I made was this “Spooky” banner. These are wonderful. I used a special pennant die for the St*mpin’ Up!/Sizzix Big Shot machine to cut the pennants. This was so. much. fun to make! It took quite a lot more than five minutes to make, so my guilt was significantly eased. (I could not get the “Y” to show up, so I just left it out. I am too tired and have to drive all day tomorrow to try to figure out what the problem is.)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Heidi at Foxgloves, Fabric and Folly!! is hosting another swap for Christmas. Go check it out. I am sure it will be just as much fun!

This post is in response to a prompt from Kelly at *Weekly Anamnesis.*  I like Kelly’s word prompts to help me think of something to write.  She is not picky about when someone uses a word.  It can be a word from previous weeks, which I have done before.  But today I am using “Immediately” which is last week’s word. (But this week’s is not yet up!) Anyone is welcome to use her prompts.  Just go there and follow the instructions. I love to see what different people write about the same word prompt.

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Actually, this post is to tell you that I do not have time to post! Or visit. Or even really keep up with my comments, but I am putting a little effort into that when I can. We have had guests since Thursday, and I have had two stamping events in that time period. The guests leave tomorrow, but Chic has an all-day field trip tomorrow, so time is elusive.

In my last post I mentioned Balloon Fiesta and told you to not get your hopes up because the weather is notoriously bad when I am in town for it. It did not fail me. It was canceled yesterday morning when we planned to go to the mass ascension (approximately 600 balloons heading into the sky over about an hour). The lucky thing for me was that Prince Charming got up at 3:50 and determined it would be canceled, so we did not all get up, drag ourselves at 4:30 a.m. in the rain, only to find out it was canceled after arriving at the launch site. (As we have done before.)

We decided to go to the “Glow-deo” last night and hope for better weather. It was not canceled, so that was good. Below is one picture. Click to enlarge. We had a lot of fun, ate a lot of expensive “food” and did  not freeze, so all was good. I have a whole post on this waiting, but I am afraid I might not be able to post anything until I get back from my trip, for which I leave in two days and return a week later. I hope to have a little time and internet access while away to at least catch up on visiting the rest of you!

click photo to enlarge

click photo to enlarge

click to enlarge

click to enlarge

I did an extra post this week (with a couple of really good sky pictures as well as other scenery–go take a peek!), and it is a busy week, so just a quick picture I took yesterday, yes, while driving (traffic was bad, and I was going slow). Our mountain is not the most glamorous mountain around, but it has its own majestic quality, and does some terrific things to the clouds.

We have guests arriving today for our annual International Balloon Fiesta. (Do not expect any good pictures from that becuase if I go, it will be ugly weather and likely get canceled. If I do not go, the weather will be sparkling and beautiful, but I will not be there to get pictures. This is a rule.) The guests leave next Tuesday, then the girls and I leave Wednesday for Missouri. Posting and visiting may be sporadic for a couple of weeks.

Happy SkyWatch Weekend!

To see LOTS more terrific sky pictures,  head to the SkyWatch blog hosted by Tom, Sandy , Imac and Klaus.

This post is a meme hosted by  Sonia at Leaves of Grass. This is not the first time she has hosted Ecological Day (I have been aware of it at least twice before), but it’s my first time. Pop on over and see what everyone else is posting this month! I think it will be fun. Most pictures in this post will enlarge when clicked (and likely worth it.)

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Our mountain on the way to school

Our mountain on the way to school

Last year when Chic started school, I hated whined about complained incessantly about did not like the drive to school. She goes to a private church school, so it means driving. It is less than 7 miles to get there, but we have horrible traffic. Between the traffic and unloading everyone and walking her in and talking to this teacher or that (since I am involved in many school activities) and getting home, the minimum round trip time was 45 minutes. Often it would be an hour or more. I had to do that twice a day, except Wednesdays when I taught art, then I was there all day and it was only one trip. This was/is a serious time drain on my life. 1.5-2 hours a day DRIVING. I cannot get anything accomplished then. (Not even phone calls because a large portion of the trip is in a “dead zone.”) And not being the type to be running around town all of the time, the gas used for these trips to school really bothered me. It wasn’t over $3/gallon yet, but just USING that much gas bothered me. I tried all year to find someone with whom to carpool. Several lived in my area, but none wanted to do it. It was frustrating.

Our mountain on the way to school with moon

Our mountain on the way to school with moon

I wanted to ride my bike–I had a bike trailer–but there were two obstacles. One was that there was not a bike path the entire route, and the part without would be VERY dangerous for a biker, especially hauling a bike trailer. The other obstacle was a giant hill. GIANT. Cars with smaller motors have trouble getting up that hill. How would I ever make it on a bike, hauling a bike trailer? Biking just was not an option.

Summer over, the whole school grind started again, and I was no closer to a carpool, and still had the same obstacles preventing my biking. Until… a rocket scientist (because apparently it takes one to come up with a different idea) had the idea of driving to an area, then biking from there to his work. I started thinking about where I could drive and then bike. Driving part-way is not as good as not driving, but biking part-way is better than not biking at all. So each day after dropping off Chic, I would scope the route. There was a library at which to park, but there was the block in front of it without a bike path, and I was not sure how to safely get to a bike path from there. There was NO parking where the bike path started. Finally I found a sand road between the library and the bike path. Not optimal, but it would work.

Chic & Chicklet in bike trailer

Chic & Chicklet in bike trailer

So a month ago I began driving about 2-1/2 miles to the library and biking the rest of the way to school three mornings a week. I make nine trips to school a week, and am now biking 3 of them. Considering the amount I drive, my guess is that I am using 25% less gas every week. Would I like to do more? Yes. Is more realistic? No. 25% is better than nothing.

My shadow while riding

My shadow while riding to school

Biking is somewhat of an inconvenience, but I have decided that to be friendly to the planet, we have to be willing to be inconvenienced. My phrase for this is “conveniently inconvenienced.” The time factor is fine. I spend only a small amount more time biking to school than I did before with the combination of drive and exercise. The incovenience for us is that we are leaving our house 40 minutes earlier than before, meaning our children get 40 minutes less sleep. I allow that they rest a little in the bike trailer. Also, I have to drive Prince Charming’s truck (mid-size) on those days because I do not have a bike rack on my car. (And am not yet willing to spend the money to get one.) I am not a fan of the truck, but most days I do not have other errands. Another factor is that I have to eat breakfast earlier than before, at 5:45 a.m., in order to allow about an hour before exercising. (My body needs that.) And I cannot get dinner made most of the time before I leave for school (which used to be my goal). There are many inconveniences, but it is worth it. If we wait until being ecologically friendly is convenient, it will never happen.

Edited: After many of the comments, I feel like I should edit this to say that this was not meant to be “preaching” about ecology, the environment, or anything else. Not everyone can do this. My point was that for a whole year I wanted to do it but could not figure out how. Someone else gave me an idea to make it possible. But although not everyone can ride a bike or something similar, we can all do something, but it might require thinking beyond our regular ideas and routines. (Or allowing someone else to put the idea in our heads.)

The mesa with golden morning sun.

The mesa with golden morning sun.

These are a few of the things I have seen on my bike trip. I would be seeing the outdoors if biking around my neighborhood, but some of this would not be seen in my neighborhood.

I love how the petal tips curl on these floweres. (Click to enlarge.)

I love how the petal tips curl on these floweres. (Click to enlarge.)

"Russian Olive" with copper fruit. I've never seen that before.

Russian olive with copper fruit. (I've never seen these in copper before.)

Chicklet loves rabbits. This one posed for us.

Chicklet loves rabbits. This one posed for us.

It got tired of us, but left slowly. (Cute tail!)

It got tired of us, but left slowly. (Cute tail!)

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