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Sunday, May 15, 2016

Bashful Dream

Hello again my friends. Happy Sunday. I hope you are doing okay. I can't believe that it's the middle of May already. We're in another rainy pattern. I thought it was April showers bring May flowers!  We're having May showers which you know will bring the hot and humid Summer!

Well, on the the post at hand. This fortnight our them over at One Stitch At A Time is Anything Goes With Hot Colors!  Here is my card for a little bit of inspiration.
Materials Used:
  • Image - Bashful - Stitchy Stamps
  • Sentiment - Tim Holtz Idea-Ology, Small Talk collection
  • Cardstock - XPress It Blending Card; Stampin Up Calypso Coral and Concord Crush
  • Designer Paper - Prima - Rose Violet collection
  • Accessories - Purple rick rack from my stash; Wild Orchid Crafts - Flowers; Martha Stewart Leaf Punch
  • Copic Markers - B0000; E07, E09; E50, E51, E53; BV01, BV13, BV25; RV02, RV13, RV14; RV55;YR07, YR14, YR16
I hope you'll join in on the fun this time. Hop on over to the OSAAT Challenge Blog and see what the rest of the Design Team have for your inspiration. You could be chosen as one of the Top 3 or you could be our random drawn winner of a $10 Gift Card from Stitchy Stamps.
I am submitting this card for the following challenges:
Card and Scrap - Flowers
Card Mania - Flowers
Classic Design Team Open Challenge - Anything Goes
Crafty Enjoyments - Lots of Flowers
Creatalicous Challenge - Anything Goes
World Wide Open design Team Challenge - Anything Goes
The Crazy Challenge - 3 Layers or More

Monday, May 9, 2016

The Life Cycle of a Monarch Butterfly

Hi my friends and Happy Mother's Day to all the mothers out there, whether they be your own children, your nieces, nephews, fur babies or adopted children that you nuture and care for in any which way. I have something a little different for you today. Besides my stamping therapy, I have started another hobby in which I also nuture some of God's most wonderful creatures - the Monarch butterfly. Monarchs are endangered so there is a wide-spread movement to save them and help them to replenish their species. I just started this project last Spring, but it sure has taken off and they do take a good chunk of my free time every day (which isn't that much to begin with since I also have a full time job).

Some friends have asked me about raising these butterflies and what all it entails, so I thought I would do this blog post to show you what Monarchs are and what to do to help them save the species.

First of all to get Monarchs or any kind of butterfly you need to attract them to your yard. You need to have the kind of flowering plants that they like where they can get the nectar to sustain their own life. Then you need to have a place where they can lay their eggs and something for food for their offspring - baby caterpillars.

 Here is part of my garden where I have flowering plants. I also have a rose garden and other shrubs and plants around the yard that will attract the butterflies.

This is the first step, next you need to have plenty of Milkweed plants for the butterflies to lay their eggs on. These are called Host Plants. They lay their eggs and then when the caterpillars hatch, they eat the leaves (devour is more like it) and grow to be big enough to turn into a chrysalis. This is my milkweed garden area which has about 1/2 dozen milkweed plants planted where the butterflies can come and lay their eggs.

I also have to keep some in pots to put in the butterfly hutch where they are transferred in order to keep them safe from predators and be able to have a safe place to become a chrysalis.

This is the butterfly hutch that I had built.  It will hold 6, 1 gallon pots of Milkweed. 
 Here is a little caterpillar that probably hatched a few days ago. I take this and put it in one of the pots in the hutch so it will have more food to grow on.
They continue to eat and grow until they get to be about this big.  Then they are ready for their next step - becoming a chrysalis.

When they get ready to change, they climb to the top of the hutch which is screen but they don't need a hutch to attach, it can be anywhere outside like a windowsill, door jamb, even one of the milkweed plants, and they attach themselves. Here's a look inside the upper part of the hutch where you can see tons of chrysalises hanging down. I always thought that they spun a web around the caterpillar in order to make the chrysalis, but they actually shed their outer skin and the chrysalis is formed inside.
These are all fairly new ones. You can see some that are clear which are ones that butterflies have already hatched from.
Before they hatch, the chrysalis gets dark as the butterfly forms inside. You can see the colors through the skin. Here is a more recent photo showing many empty shells and a few dark ones that are getting close to hatching. I have a couple boards across the top to keep rain from pouring down on top of them.
My great desire is to see these transformations happen.  Would love to see one shedding it's skin and also see one coming out of the chrysalis.  That hasn't happened yet. There is no clear way to tell when either event will happen without sitting out there all day and night waiting for it to happen. I haven't gotten that desperate yet.  ;) Here are some butterflies that have recently hatched. It takes some time for their wings to dry and for them to be able to fly. If it's warm I keep them in the hutch during the day and will release them in the evening before it gets dark.
Since I got started this year, I've been able to release over 40 butterflies. These days I don't keep track anymore.  I'm putting more in the hutch and releasing more butterflies every day.  Every day now at least one butterfly comes back and flies all around my yard and will visit the blooming flowers for some nectar. I like to think that they are coming home from where they started.
Well, that's about it. I hope you enjoy this little walk through showing how a Monarch butterfly becomes a butterfly.  If you want to know more, there are many websites where you can find answers to your questions.

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Saucy Fairy - OSAAT #260

Hi my friends and Happy Sunday.  It's a little gloomy here with the rainy weather, but I'm not complaining. We always need the rain for the grass, flowers, and trees. My lawn guy put some sod down a week ago, so I'm still wanting it to rain on it so it will give it a good start. I did some repotting today, so those pots could use a little rain on them too.  I've been waiting until I'm actually finished with the yard and flower beds so I can do a blog post about my garden and butterflies. That will come. Just to let you know also that my arm is healing up nicely so the doctor tells me. It's still pretty sore when I try to do somethings, so I try not to do those things. It also wears me out! I'm so tired by the end of the day that I just fall into bed.

Anyway, for now I get to showcase my card that I did for One Stitch at a Time.  Anything Goes with Wings!
Materials Used:
  • Image - IkesArt - Saucy Fairy
  • Sentiment - Lili of the Valley - Everyday Grungy Sentiments
  • Cardstock - Stampin Up, Mint Macaroon; Xpress It Blending Card
  • Designer Paper - Basic Gray - J'Adore collection
  • Ink - Tuxedo Memento Black
  • Accessories - Lace and Flowers - Wild Orchid Crafts; Martha Stewart Fir Branch Punch; Stickles - Crystal; Recollections - Doily; Spellbinders Die - Radiant Rectangles
  • Copic Markers -  BG0000; BG000; BG01; BG10; BG11; E00, E21, E29, E34, E37; R01, R21
 That's about it for this time.  I hope you'll join us and play along Anything With Wings!  You could be the winner of a $10 coupon from Stitchy Bears Stamps
Or, you could be picked as one of the Top 3!  See you on the flip side.

I am submitting this to the following challenges:

Come and Get it - Things With Wings
Lil Patch of Crafty Friends - Anything Goes
The Corrosive Challenge - Girs, Ladies, Women
Crafty Calendar - Anything Goes
Hiding in my Craft Room - Lots of Layers
Little Claire's Designs - Spring Colors
Scrappers Delight - Anything Goes
A beautiful mess - Anything Goes
artbymiran Challenge - Anything Goes
Brown Sugar - Anything Goes
Crafting with Friends - Anything Goes
Creative Fingers - Anything Goes
Cut It up = Use a Die with Flowers
Dragons Lair Designs - anything Goes
Really Reasonable Ribbon - Things With Wings with Ribbon or Trim
Simply Papercraft - Anything Goes
The Stamping Boutique - Flowers

Sunday, April 10, 2016

Balloon Girl - Monthly Challenge for March

Hi Friends and Happy Sunday!  I sure hope you are having a great weekend. I'm still limited in what I can do around the house and been having some insomnia issues the last several nights.  Even if I can't be very productive, my wonderful Monarch caterpillars are going after it.  This past week I was able to release 11 butterflies. I finally searched out and found out how to tell if they are males or females. The last 2 I released were one of each. I still have tons of chrysallis' that I'm waiting on to hatch and a ton more caterpillars chomping down on all that Milkweed that I've had to be buying. They are fun to watch though and I love it when I can open the hutch door and encourage them to fly away.

Today I have a card to share. It's for a group that I belong to called Girls of the Baker's Dozen. In May we start a new round and the name will change since we don't have 13 members anymore. This card kit was sent to us by Sue and she sent us all the ingredients except an image or sentiment. She decided to leave that up to us.

I've had this image colored up on my desk for some months now and just never got around to making a card to use it on. I think it goes very well on this one.

The DP, ribbon, and flowers are from Sue's kit.  The bling on the flowers is from my stash. The Copic Markers I used: B21, B32, B34; E00, E04, E11, E21, E25, E27, E31, E34; R20, R21; YR04, Y409, YR18

That's it.  I have 2 more cards from the April kit that I'll get posted later this week.  Have a great week.

I am submitting this card for the following challenges:

Lil Patch of Crafty Friends - Anything Goes
Scrapbook Blessings - FB Challenge - Birthdays
The Ribbon Girls - Anything Goes with Ribbon
A Gem of a Challenge - Don't Be a Square
Scrappers Delight - Anything Goes
A Beautiful Mess - Anything Goes
artbymiran Challege - Anything Goes
Brown Sugar - Anything Goes
Crafting With Friends - Anything Goes
Creative Fingers - Anything Goes
Dragons Lair Designs - Anything Goes
Jo's Scrap Shack - Anything Goes
Simply Papercraft - Anything Goes
The Stamping Boutique - Flowers

Sunday, April 3, 2016

29 Again! OSAAT #259

Good morning friends.  I hope you are having a wonderful weekend. Mine - quiet, but that's good. I'm just about over whatever it is I had last week. Still dealing with the arm. I don't know if you have this in your area, but last year I joined Instacart. They work with a few different retail stores such as HEB, Whole Foods, Costco, Petco, and some others where you can shop online and someone will do your shopping and then deliver the items to your home. Yes, it does cost, but in the time that I've been a member, I've had enough occasions to use their services and it's more than paid for itself. I've had about 99% good luck with the service. I don't use it all the time, but for times like these with the broken arm, days you don't feel well, the weather's bad, it's great not to have to go to the store.

Anyway, I'm just a little late getting my card posted.  I was dealing with a noisy neighbor who was having a wild party in their back yard. They were finally told about 9:30 to turn the noise level down which they did. So, here's my card for this fortnight's challenge over at One Stitch at a Time where the theme is Anything Goes With Distressing!

Materials Used:
  • Image - Stitchy Stamps - Birthday Girl
  • Sentiment - Stampin Up 
  • Cardstock - Stampin Up Summer Starfruit; Xpress It Blending Card
  • Ink - Tuxedo Memento Black; Tim Holtz - Distress Ink, Wild Honey
  • Designer Paper - Stitchy Stamps - Grungy Girl from Panda Bear Designs
  • Accessories - Bling and Violet Flower - Recollections; Yellow flowers - Wild Orchid Crafts; Spellbinders - Classic Oval Die and Lacy Oval Die; Distressing Tool
  • Copic Markers - E23, E25, E27; E50, E51, E53; V01, V04, V06; Y06, Y15, Y18, Y28
Now, it's your turn.  I hope you'll come join in the fun. Our sponsor as usual is Stitchy Stamps and they are providing a $10 Gift Certificate for one lucky winner.  You could also be named as one of the Top 3, so I hope I see you over there.
I am submitting this card for the following challenges:

Glitter N Sparkle - Use a Punch or Die
Lil Patch of Crafty Friends - Anything Goes
Catch the Bug Challenge - Anything Goes
Crafty Friends Challenge - Anything Goes
Di's Digital Designs - For the Girls
Scrapper's Delights - Anything Goes
Sweet Stampin - Use a Number
A Beautiful Mess - Anything Goes
artbymiran Challenge - Anything Goes
Brown Sugar - Anything Goes
Crafting With Friends - Anything Goes
Creative Fingers - Anything Goes
Dragon's Lair Designs - Anything Goes
Simply Papercraft - Anything Goes

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Bringing in the Tree

Well, yes I am starting to work on my Christmas cards. This one I've had done for awhile but hadn't put it on my blog yet. It's been quite a week for me. I was at a church activity last Thursday evening and as I was walking to my car after the activity was over, I stubbed my right foot into a buckled sidewalk and went down, hitting both knees, my left arm, right hand, and upper lip.  Ended up at the ER with a fractured left arm, abrasions on the other extremities. They put it in a soft cast at the ER, but the orthopedist told me on Monday that I didn't need the cast, just a sling. He wants me to use the arm, but not to overdo it with anything strenuous and go back in 2 weeks to have another x-ray taken. I think I'll have him check out my right knee. It got banged up pretty bad too and is sore. Just want to make sure it's not any worse than that. Then yesterday I started getting a scratchy throat and runny nose. This morning I had some congestion!  This is certainly NOT my year.

So, enough about all that, here is my card.
Materials Used:
  • Image - Willow Designs. I couldn't find it online since Willow Designs is no longer in business.
  • Sentiment - Sticker 
  • Cardstock - Stampin Up, Real Red; XPress It Blending Card
  • Designer Paper - Carte Bella - Have a Merry Christmas
  • Accessories - Poinsettia flowers; Spellbinders Die; white liquid applique; crystal effects
  • Copic Markers: B0000; E15, E18, E27, E31, E34; R24, R27, R46, R56; G46, G82, G94
I am submitting this card for the following challenges:

ABC Christmas Challenge - G is for Green or Gold
Christmas at Sweet Stampin - Cute Christmas
Crafting for All Seasons - Dies or Punches
Fab n Funky - Christmas
Crafting from the Heart - Anything Goes
Craft Your Passion - Anything Goes
Our Crafty Corner - Anything Goes
The Paper Nest Dolls - Anything Goes
Christmas Card Challenge - Christmas or Optional Color Challenge

Sunday, March 20, 2016

Flower Girl - OSAAT #258

Good morning my friends. I hope you are having a good weekend and the weather is not being too bad to you. It's a little on the chilly side here, but at least we have sunshine. I've hired a new lawn service and they have been busy this week cleaning out all my flower beds, trimming the lawn and fertilizing it. Went to the nursery today to pick out some flowers for the beds and to buy a ton of Milkweed to feed my hungry Monarch caterpillars. It's going to be a great season for them. So far I have 9 that have already made their chrysalis and there are more than 2 do
zen caterpillars crawling around the little milkweed plants I bought today. I'm sure by tomorrow or Monday, they will have devoured all the leaves.

Meantime, it's time for another challenge over at One Stitch At a Time.  This fortnight the theme is Anything Goes With Embossing.  You can use any kind of embossing you like. I decided to use an embossing folder. I have a ton of them and haven't used one in a really long time.

Materials Used:
  • Image - Stitchy Stamps - Flower Girl
  • Sentiment - Stampin Up - Small Sayings
  • Cardstock - Papertrey Ink - Lavendar Moon; Stampin Up - Whisper White; Xpress It Blending Card
  • Ink - Tuxedo Memento Black
  • Accessories - Heart Doily; Bling from my stash; lace from my stash; Flowers - Wild Orchid Crafts; Sizzix Tulip frame embossing folder.
  • Copic Markers - E50, E51, E53; E34; R81, R83, R85; V000, V01, V12; Y11, Y18, Y23; YG11, YG61, YG03
That's it.  I hope you'll pop on over to OSAAT and join in the fun this challenge. You could be the winner of a $10 gift certificate to use in the store.
Or, you could be picked as one of the Top 3.  See you there.

Also, our wonderful Stitchy has told us on the Design Team that you can buy anything in the store at a 25% discount until March 23. She told us that we could pass this on to you, so take advantage of this deal and head on over there.

I am submitting this card for the following challenges:
Glitter N Sparkle - Anything Goes
Lil Patch of Crafty Friends - Anything Goes
Robyn's Fetish - Square or Rectangle Cards
Crafty Friends Challenge - Anything Goes
Scrapper's Delight - Anything Goes
artbymiran challenge - Anything Goes
Crafting With Friends - Anything Goes
Creative Fingers - Anything Goes
QKR Stampede - Add a Sentiment
Simply Papercraft - Anything Goes
As You Like It - Favorite Embossing & Why?  Dry embossing, it's quick easy, and can really set off your image.
Craft Rocket Challenge - Anything Goes
Crafting With an Attitude - Anything Goes
Crafty Girls Creations - Anything Goes