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Saturday, December 31, 2016

Penguin Friends

Hello my friends and Happy New Year's Eve!  I can't believe it's the end of 2016. The year has really flown by, but I'm not sad to see if pass. It's been quite a year. I'm ending the year with an adorable kitten that I am trying to find a home for. Her mom is one of my outside cats that I have not been able to trap yet in order to have her spayed. I will be attempting that again this weekend.

It's time now to get on with the business at hand with a new post for Creatalicious. Our theme for this challenge is Anything Goes with the Optional New Year's/Wishes.

Materials Used:
  • Image - The Paper Shelter - Penguin Friends
  • Sentiment - Computer Generated
  • Cardstock - Stampin Up - Bashful Blue; Xpress It Blending Card
  • Designer Paper - Basic Gray - Juniper Berry Collection
  • Accessories - 1 3/8" round punch; 1 1/2" round punch; lace and rick rack from my stash
  • Copic Markers: B0000, B000, B00, B14, B60; E42, E44, E47; E50, E51, E53; C2, C3, C7; R01, R35, R45, R59; Y17, Y19, Y38, Y26
 I found this saying in a Vellum stack that I've been hoarding.  It's from the DCWV Summer collection which I'm sure is not available anymore, but I thought the saying was very appropriate for this card and a good thought to start off 2017.

I hope you'll hop on over to the Creatalicious Challenge and join in the fun. The theme is optional so it's always Anything Goes. The twist is up to you whether you want to use it or not.  You could be the winner of this awesome prize from our sponsor or chosen as one of the Top 3.  Good luck!

Prize - $15 Gift Certificate

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Creatalicious #104 - Merry and Bright

Hello my friends.  Has November been as busy for you as it has been for me? I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday. I've done some traveling this month. First I went out to Tempe Arizona for a 4-day Boot Camp with Jennifer Dove.  What a fabulous time. I'll have to post some pictures of what we did and some of the people that I met. It was very intense - 4 days of coloring and learning new techniques and brushing up on the old ones. I was home for a week and then fly out to California to spend Thanksgiving with my oldest daughter and most of her family. The trip was nice and uneventful with lots and lots of food.

Luckily I did find time to work on my card for this month's Creatalicious Challenge.  Our theme for this challenge is Anything Goes with Optional Traditional Christmas Colors. Easy, peasy. I hope you play along with us.  Here is the card that I created.
Materials Used:
  • Image - Elfie Elizabeth by Art by Miran
  • Sentiment - Stampin Up, Lots of Joy
  • Cardstock - Xpress It Blending Card; Stampin Up Gold Metallic and Mossy Meadow
  • Designer Paper - Carta Bella - Have a Merry Christmas collection.
  • Ink - Tuxedo Memento Black
  • Accessories - Flower by Prima; brad and ribbon from my stash, doily die; circle punch; Stampin Up scallop punch; Liquid Pearls white; Stickles yellow
  • Copic Markers - B000; E000, E01, E04; E11, E25, E27, E35; G21, G24, G94; R22, R24, R35, R46; Y08, Y15, Y18, Y19.
 Our generous sponsor for this challenge is

Shop  -  Blog  -  FB
I hope that you'll come and join in the fun and get working on those Christmas cards. You could be the winner of a fabulous prize from our sponsor or you could be chosen as one of the Top 3!  Good luck to all.

Monday, October 31, 2016

Creatalicious #102 - Wintertime Wishes

Hello my friends,  Wow! It's been a month since I last posted. I wanted to get something done in the middle of the month, but then it was the 21st and my birthday!  Happy birthday to me - I got sick - food poisoning or a really hateful stomach bug. Had me laid up pretty well until Thursday. I don't ever want to go through that again. I got severely dehydrated and found it hard to be out of bed for very long at one time. I was finally able to get back to work on Thursday, but even today I'm still feeling the fatigue from it all.

Our theme for this challenge is Anything Goes - With the Optional Twist - Anything But a Card. Unfortunately, since I was sick, I neglected to check out the twist and just made my regular card.
Materials Used:
  • Image - Polkadoodles Crafting - Frosty Penguins
  • Sentiment - Power Poppy - Cozy Cupfuls
  • Cardstock - Xpress It Blending Card; Stampin Up Mossy Meadow
  • Designer Paper - My Mind's Eye - Cozy Christmas
  • Accessories - Flowers - Petaloo and Wild Orchid Crafts; Martha Stewart Leaf Punch; ribbon from my stash; white Liquid Applique
  • Copic Markers - B0000; E21, E23, E37; E50, E51, E53; G21, G94, G99; R24, R37, R56; W5, W7, W8; YR15

 Our wonderful sponsor for this challenge is


 Prize  -  £6.75 / US $10 digi voucher

I hope you'll hop on over to Creatalicious Challenge and join in the fun. You could be the random winner or picked as one of the Top 3.  Good luck.

Friday, September 30, 2016

Creatalicious Challenge #100 - BLOG HOP!

Hi my friends. Gosh it's been a long time since my last post. I really need to get crackin' and get more done. It has been a bit crazy at my house.  The caterpillar population has exploded once again and I've got them all over the place. I even grew 2 of them in a butterfly cage in my house. One just hatched out of its chrysalis today and I'll be putting it outside in the morning to hopefully fly away and find its mate. I think I'm about done for the season after these 50+ have all made their chrysalis and on to the next stage.

Well, to get at the business at hand. It is time to celebrate as this is our 100th challenge @ Creatalicious. Therefore we would like to celebrate with some prizes and a blog hop...Our theme for this anniversary challenge is "Anything Goes + optional let's celebrate". You're welcome to join us with the optional as the DT did, but as it is an optional, you can also chose not to do it  -  it's totally up to you. We just want you to have fun with us @ Creatalicious Challenges. We would like you to join us for our blog hop  -  through all the blogs of the designers.  Every one will leave a number or  letter for you, so pick them up, stick them together and leave us a comment with the right sentence in the comments on the Creatalicious Challenge blog.. Along the way, you should also leave a little love (comment) at each designers blog. You will find the hopping-list below. Make sure you check out all the fabulous prizes from our sponsors listed over on the Creatalicious Challenge Blog.

Materials used:
  • Image - Dr. Digi - Felix the Elf
  • Sentiment - Power Poppy - Bottlebrush Holiday
  • Cardstock - Xpress It Blending Card; Stampin Up, Mossy Meadow; Papertrey Ink - Power Poppy
  • Designer Paper - My Mind's Eye - Cozy Christmas
  • Accessories - Stampin Up Flower Punch; bling brads from my stash; Round punches; ribbons from my stash; holly leaves - Wild Orchid Crafts
  • Copic Markers: E23, E25, E27; E50, E51, E53; G24, G85, G94; R24, R35, R59; W7, W8; Y35
            This is the hopping list  - You should have come from Leslie's blog and from here you go to Stefi's blog.
Elizabeth H.
Rachel Taylor
Anna Rita  -  is taking a break  -  her letter is "C"

Maggie - You are here!  Letter "A"

Have a great time and good luck!
I'm entering this card into the following challenges:

artbymiran challenge - Anything Goes
Brown Sugar - Anything Goes
Colour Crazy Craft Challenge - Anything Goes
Crafting With Friends - Anything Goes
Creative Fingers - Anything Goes
Simply Papercraft - Anything Goes
Aud Sentiments - Anything Goes with a Sentiment
Crafting With an Attitude - Anything Goes
Crafty Girls Creations - Anything Goes
The Outlawz Thursday Twist - Anything Goes

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Monthly Challenge - Creative Card Chicks - July

Okay,ack here I am back again today with the second and last card to catch up on the Creative Card Chicks Monthly Challenge kits. This one we received from Barb and was such fun to work with. So many of my friends have long past seen their 29th birthday so this card will be perfect for any one of them.
Everything I usedla was from the kit except for the cardstock and dies.  The stamp is from Art Impressions - 29 Again set stamped with Memento Tuxedo black on Recollections 110# cardstock. The dp is from SU Birthday Bouquet collection. I also used the SU Pool Party blue ribbon.  I used SU Bayou Breeze cardstock for the base and mat. The doily is from Recollections Color Splash and the die is Spellbinders Radiant Rectangles.

Copic Markers - BG10, BG11, BG72; E21, E34, E42, E47, E49, E50, E71; R30, R43, R81, R83, R85

I also followed Mojo Monday Sketch MOJO314 (October 2013).

Monthly Challenge - Creative Card Chicks - June

Yes, I am well behind in getting my cards posted on my blog. Lots of things have been getting in the way which I won't go into now. I will say that my latest project is raising a monarch caterpillar in my home and not in my hutch. All the ones in my hutch have made their chrysalis, so I'm waiting for them to hatch. I hadn't seen anymore in my garden all week until I found this one kind of big one all by itself. I don't think it will take too long for it to grow enough to make it's chrysalis too. I have a butterfly cage, so decided to try raising it indoors. This is only the 2nd day, so we'll see how hit goes. It does have a healthy appetite which means I have to keep cutting the tops of plants off to make little plants stuck in the top of a plastic food container for it to climb on and feed.  I'll let you know how that turns out.

For now I'm going to get eto the card kit that the Creative Card Chicks on SCS received in June from littledeb. Let me say that I lover Gerbera daisies so I was thrilled to receive this kit from Deb.
I'm not used to coloring on kraft paper, but I love how this one turned out.  Sorry I don't know what I did with the instructions that she sent that said what everything was and where it came from.

I did use my Copic markers to color. B0000; E23, E25; G43; Y35, Y38; YG06.  I also used some Chrystal Effects on the jar and some white liquid pearls for the white spray. Deb made is so easy. I also didn't put a sentiment on it yet. I'll do that when I choose to send it to someone.

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Love You Forever - Creatalicious #98

Hello my friends and happy end of August.  Are your kids all back in school by now?  I hope that means you have a little more time for YOU!  I've had some ups and downs with my caterpillars, but right now all is good. I have about 30 hungry, voracious eaters in my hutch and hopefully that will transfer into 30 beautiful Monarch butterflies in about 2-3 weeks.

Now on to the business at hand and that is the current challenge for Creatalicious Challenges! I almost didn't get this posted. I had to get a new U-Verse Gateway for my TV/Internet and after I got it hooked up, I had lost my Internet connection. I didn't realize I had a new password for it. Duh!

Our theme is "Anything Goes + optional anniversary". You're welcome to join us with the optional as most of the DT did,but as it is an optional, you can also chose not to do it  -  it's totally up to you.  Here is my card.
And a close up of the image so you can see better the sparkle on his skin. He is a vampire, after all!

Materials Used:
  • Image - Sassy Studio - Immortal Live
  • Sentiment - Lili of the Valley - Sweet & Simple Sentiment Set
  • Cardstock - Stampin Up - Island Indigo; Stampin Up Shimmery White; Xpress It Blending Card
  • Designer Paper - Authentique - Latest and Greatest Collection
  • Accessories - Wild Orchid Crafts and Petaloo; Martha Stewart Fir Branch punch; Cricut Cartridge Elegant Edges; Spellbinders Nestabilities Basic Oval; Label Pin; Wink of Stella Clear
  • Copic Markers - B0000; B21, B23, B24; E0000, E000, E01; E21, E23, E25; E50, E51, E53; RV10, RV1l, RV52; Y0000, Y00, Y06; YG11, YG13, YG23, YG45
Our generous sponsor for this challenge is

Prize  -  $15 gift cert.
I hope you'll come on over and see what the rest of the DT has to show you for your inspiration and that you'll join us with your lovely Anniversary creations!

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Sexy Edith - Monthly Challenge - August

Hi my friends.  I was hoping to get on here to do a blog post earlier this month, but last weekend I was out in Salt Lake City visiting my grands and attending a performance of Beauty and the Beast at the Hale Theater that my grand daughter was performing in. She did a fabulous job with her part and we all really enjoyed the whole show. Lucky I was able to visit with my daughter, son-in-law, other grand daughter, and grands son-in-law!  SLC and Provo are so beautiful even without the snow on the mountains. We went up to Sundance on Saturday night to see a performance of The Music Man. It sure felt cold enough to snow up there. We like to froze sitting in the bleachers outside watching the show. It was really good and worth it all too. Came back to rain showers every day and continuing into this coming week.  Hope they stop soon.

It is time again for another Creative Card Chicks post. This is a group on SCS that have a monthly card kit sent out by one of the Chicks to all the other members who then each prepare at least one card to show off to the others.  This month was Paula's (wannabe on SC) turn to be the hostess.
Paula sent us this cute image of Edith from an old set of hers from the Craft Lounge as well as the sentiment that I punched out with a label punch from SU and then I stuck it on a starfish die from Impression Obsession. I popped the cloud die cuts (Memory Box) up on stampin' Dimensionals for some texture and added 2 blue glass dots for fun.  The cardstock I used is SU Baja Breeze and the dp is from Hobby Lobby.

I colored the image with my Copic Markers - B0000; E21, E23, E25 E29, E31, E33,E35; G46; Y13, Y15, Y17.

I have a few more that I need to catch up on, but glad that I was able to get this one in on time.

 I am submitting this card for the following challenges:
613 Avenue Create - Anything Goes
Lacy Sunshine - Anything Goes
Come and Get It - Summertime
Dragonfly Journeys - The Sky's the Limit
Great Impressions - Anything Goes
Lil Patch of Crafty Friends - Anything Goes
Corrosive Challenge - Hot Hot Summer

Sunday, July 31, 2016

Summer Lazy Days - Creatalicious #96

Hi my friends.  Guess I've been slacking off somewhat lately. It's been busy and a zoo at my house.  Kitties and butterflies. They have me coming and going. I have a new white kitty outside. She decided to make my back yard her home about 4-5 weeks ago. She was in the family way at the time. She actually has come here to eat a few times before when she was pregnant, but would just come and eat and go home. This time she came and stayed.  Unfortunately, none of her 4 kittens survived. Now I'm having a devil of a time trying to get her in a carrier to take her to have her spayed.  Epic failure the first time. I think I'm going to have to dig out the trap and see if I can get her in there.  Gotta find something that she really likes to entice her though.  So far she has turned her nose up at canned chicken and canned tuna. Any ideas?

I sure hope to get some more cards posted soon. I actually have 3 in the wings just waiting to make their debut.

Getting down to the business at hand. It is time for a new challenge again today @ Creatalicious Challenges and our theme is "Anything Goes + Optional at the Sea / Beach."  You're welcome to join us with the optional as most of the DT did, but as it is an optional, you can also chose not to do it  -  it's totally up to you. We were each given a great image to work with. Here is my card.

Materials Used:
  • Image - Lacy Sunshine  - Summer Boo Beach Girl
  • Sentiment - Paper House Stickers
  • Card Stock - Stampin Up Cool Caribbean; Xpress It Blending Card
  • Designer Paper - Paper House - Color Ways
  • Accessories - Paper House Beach Stickers; Magic Scrap - Turquoise Net; Ivory Liquid Pearls
  • Copic Markers - B0000, B14, B41, E00, E01, E11, E21, E30, E31, E33, E35, E37, E40, E41, E95; R81, R83, R85; YG09, YG23, YG45
Our generous sponsor for this challenge is

Store  -  Blog
Prize  -  3 digis of winner's choice
I hope you'll pop on over to the Creatalicious Challenge Blog and see what the rest of the DT has to show you.   While you're there, pop on your own card and take part in the challenge. You could be the winner or one of the Top 3!

I am submitting this card for the following challenges:

arbymiran challenge - Anything Goes
Brown Sugar Challenge - Anything Goes
Colour Crazy Craft Challenge - Anything Goes
Crafting With Friends - Anything Goes
Creative Fingers  - Anything Goes
Jo's Scrap Shack - Anything Goes
Pattie's Creations Design - Make a Splash
Simply Papercraft - Anything Goes
Crafting with Dragonflies - Anything Goes
Crazy 4 Challenges - Place that brings you peace and joy
The Outlawz Paper ala Mode - Anything Goes
Scrapper's Delights - Anything Goes
613 Avenue Create - Anything Goes - Create Your Own Challenge - Summer
Lacy Sunshine - Anything Goes
Crafting When we Can - Squares
Dragonfly Dreams - Anything Goes
Eclectic Ellapu - Life's a Beach
Lil Patch of Crafty Friends - Anything Goes

Thursday, June 30, 2016

Zoe's Party Girl

Hi my friends and happy Thursday!  Has this week been dragging for you?  It sure has for me. I can't believe it isn't Friday yet!  It will get here eventually. I guess I'm just anxious for the 3-day weekend coming up.

Well, I told you the other day that I have some big news to share.  This week is my first post for the new Design Team that I am on - Creatalicous Challenges!  I'm super excited that I was chosen by Melanie to be on the Design Team. There are two teams and I'm on Team B, so our posts will always be the last of the month. Good for me, it gives me all month to work on my projects.  The theme for this challenge is Anything Goes + optional CAS.  I really, really have problems with CAS cards.  I have all that space and want to fill it up with flowers and doilies and bling, and etc.  You get the picture.  Well this time it's CAS, so very simple.

Materials Used:
  •  Image - Make It Crafty - Zoe's Party Girl
  • Sentiment - Stampin Up - Party Pants
  • Cardstock - Xpress It Blending Card; Stampin Up - Pumpkin Pie
  • Stamp - Inkadinkadoo - Dot Flourish
  • Ink - Memento - Tuxedo Black
  • Accessories - Bling from my stash; Nestabilities Scallop Circle and Classic Circle Dies;  Stampin Up Scallop Circle Punch; Circle Punch; yellow Stickles
  • Copic Markers - B0000; B12, BG10, BG11, E00, E01, E1, E000, E21, E23, E25; Y32, Y35; YR000, YR14, YR16, YR23.
If you haven't guessed, our wonderful sponsor for this challenge is Make It Crafty!

Prize - $10 gift cert.

I hope that you'll come join in the fun. Remember the "optional" twist is optional so you don't have to make your card CAS, just come have fun if CAS is hard for you. I can understand that.

Monday, June 27, 2016

Happy Birthday Dolly

Hi my friends and happy Monday!  I wanted to get this card posted last week, but other things got in the way and it never got done. Today I've been digging in the dirt and my fingernails are awful looking. I needed to repot some of my 4" size milkweed plants. I took 2 small ones and put them in a one-gallon pot. It was so hot and humid out that I could only stay outside for 1/2 hour and the mosquitoes were relentless.  Still have more to do, but they'll have to wait a few days. I have other things scheduled for the next couple of days.

Anyway, I wanted to get this other card on my blog.  It's the second image that I used from Jeanette's kit from Girls of the Baker's Dozen n/k/a Creative Card Chicks.  I had such fun with this image - I love her Whimsy hair. It was funny because I picked this designer paper because it had the dark purple color in it that I used for her coat, and then I went and covered it up with the image. LOL!  I still love it. It's been so long since I finished this and I didn't write down all the different things that I used, so I'll have to fill in some of it later.

Materials Used:
  •  Image - Whimsy Stamps - Dolly
  • Sentiment - Whiff of Joy
  • Cardstock - Stampin Up; Xpress It Blending Card
  • Designer Paper - Stampin Up
  • Ink - Tuxedo Memento Black
  • Accessories - Ribbon, Stampin Up; Flowers by Petaloo; Edge punch, Stampin Up 
  • Copic Markers - C1, C3, C5; BV01, BV08, BV13; E04, E50, E51, E53, E55, E57, E95; R22, Y13, Y15, Y28; YG91, YG93, YR61
That's it.  I'll be back on Thursday with something new and some fun news.  Stay tuned.

I'm submtting this card for the following challenges:
Craft-Dee-BowZ - Anything Goes with a Handmade Bow
Crafting From the Heart - Anything Goes
Craft Your Passion - Anything Goes
Love to Scrap - Anything Goes
The Outlawz Monday Challenge - Anything Goes with a Greeting
The Paper Nest Dolls - Anything Goes
Dragonfly Dreams - Say it With Flowers

Lil Patch of Crafty Friends - Anything Goes
The Corrosive Challenge - Lots of Layers
The Ribbon Girls - Any Image

Monday, June 20, 2016

Happy Birthday - Creative Card Chicks

Hi my friends.  I'm playing catch up with my Monthly Challenge posts from Creative Card Chicks f/k/a Girls of the Bakers Dozen. I've been making the cards, just haven't blogged them. In case you haven't heard of us yet, each month one of the members of the groups sends a kit to the other members and we each make up a card or two or three. It's always fun to see what the others come up with. First up is one of two cards that I made with Jeanette's kit.
Materials Used:
  • Image - Unity Stamps - Eyes Closed - See Clearly
  • Sentiment - Stampin Up
  • Cardstock - Stampin Up
  • Ink - Tuxedo - Memento Black
  • Designer Paper
  • Accessories - Stampin Up label punch and ticket punch; brads from my stash; Prismacolor pencils; blender pen
That's it for now. I need to go look up a few things in my materials list. 
I'll be back in a day or so to post up the 2nd card I made with Jeanette's kit.

I am submitting this card for the following challenges:
Crafting from the Heart - Anything Goes
Craft Your Passion -  Anything Goes
Love to Scrap - Anything Goes
The Paper Nest Dolls - Anything Goes
Glitter N Sparkle - Anything Goes
Lil Patch of Crafty Friends - Anything Goes
The Corrosive Challenge - Lots of Layers
Broken Fairy Challenge- Anything Goes with Celebration
Scrapper's Delights - Anything Goes

Saturday, June 11, 2016

Clowning Around - OSAAT #264

Hello my friends.  Happy Sunday! I hope you are having a good weekend with no weather disasters.  It's been a crazy time down here in H Town - lots of rain and flooding in places it has never flooded before. Thankfully, I live in an area that does not flood which is also good for my caterpillars and butterflies. They do not like all the rain we've been having.

I want to bring you the card that I made for this challenge for One Stitch at a Time. The theme this time is Anything Goes With Layer It Up! So use lots of layers on your project.
 Materials Used:
  • Image - Clowning Around from BB Cakes
  • Sentiment - Stampin Up - That's the Ticket
  • Cardstock - Stampin Up - Summer Sun, Ruby Red, Xpress It Blending Card
  • Designer Paper - Stampin Up 
  • Ink - Stampin Up
  • Accessories - Martha Stewart Fir Branch Punch; Stampin Up Balloon Punch; twine from my stash; flowers from Wild Orchid Crafts; Stampin Up Ticket Punch
  • Copic Markers - BG0000; B000; B12; E00, E11, E21, E25, E27, E35; R22, R24, R27; Y13, Y18, Y19
Our sponsor for this challenge is our own Stitchy Bear and one lucky winner will receive a $10 Gift Certificate to Stitchy Bear Stamps.  Good luck to all of you who enter. I hope you will take the time to play along.

Before I go, I want to let you all know that this is my last post for One Stitch at a Time. I am stepping down as part of the Design Team, but wanted to let Stitchy, Jane, and all the Design Team members that I've worked with over the last few years how much I enjoyed working with them and seeing their projects for every challenge. It's been a blast, but time to move on to new things.

I am submitting this card for the following challenges:

Addicted to Stamps - Flowers
Lacy Sunshine - Anything Goes
Lil Patch of Crafty Friends - Anything Goes
Corrosive Challenge - Lots of Layers
Scrapper's Delight- Anything Goes
Sweet Stampin - 3 or more Layers
A Beautiful Mess - Anything Goes
artbymiran - Anything Goes
Crafting With Friends - Anything Goes
Creative Fingers - Anything Goes
Morgan's Art World - Happy Birthday

Sunday, May 29, 2016

Orchid Beauty - OSAAT #263

Hi my friends and Happy Sunday and Happy Memorial Day weekend. I hope you are enjoying your weekend and time off on Monday if you have it. While you are enjoying yourselves, don't forget to give some thought  to those who gave their lives for our freedom that we enjoy.

I have a very simple card to share with you today.  It's called Orchid Beauty. This was a package deal - I got the digital papers along with the image and just love the colors. They are from Coosty Creations.
I used a sentiment from an old Hero Arts set that I've had for a long time, but I love all the different sentiments, so I hang on to it. I used Crisp Cantalope cardstock from Stampin Up. It was just perfect with the digital papers.  The bling and lace trim are from my statsh.

The theme from One Stitch at a Time is Anything Goes with Stitching ( real or faux).  Mine is faux stitching.  The Copic Markers I used were YG61, YG63, YG67; YR000, YR14, YR61, YR62.

Our sponsor for this challenge is our own Stitchy Bear Stamps and one lucky winner will receive a $10 gift card to use at the store.
I hope you'll come play along with us. Don't forget to hop on over to the Challenge Blog to see what the rest of the Design Team have to share with you.

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.