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Wednesday, February 22, 2017

A Little Taste of Spring

Well, I was chopping wood today and I realized that more of my time and energy was spent trying to pull the maul out of the wood than in actually swinging and chopping!!!  Don't you hate it when it gets stuck in the log like that?!!  Still, I was wearing nothing more than jeans and a long sleeve t-shirt and the fresh air felt really good.  Hard to believe just a couple of weeks ago the temps had been sub zero for weeks on end.  As I breathlessly tugged  and torqued on the maul handle, even trying to leverage it out of the dense wood it was buried in - yet again - it occurred to me that I would soon be feeling sore in places I forgot I had!  Oh well, the chance to be outside was just too enticing & I love to hear my hubby whistle in appreciation at the amount of wood I get done.  I'll think about consequences later, when I'm trying to turn over in bed tomorrow morning!!!

Like the rest of the USA, weather here in the Pacific NW is a little crazy!! 

We went from This

~We call this the lamb shed or chick house ~
Winter babies with no mommies grow up here
To this within about 48 hours!!!
I think I could be playing the fool, because it's mid February and it feels like Spring!

I also took some time to look around at all of the wind damage.  Ugg!  The barn door is shredded, along with a few other things.  Even the glass blew out of my patio table (but hooray! It didn't break :)  The lawn is covered with limbs and branches . . . . .wreath ideas start going through my head . . .

Are those buds?? !!!!

Then my son comes  strolling by with our 2 bummer lambs  bouncing along behind him. Oh my gosh!  His rubber goulashes, shorts, his funny smile ~ my heart is bursting with gratitude, love & the hope of Spring! Normally another 3 months away. 
Airborne! I should have videoed it. They are so spunky and cute, still shots
just don't convey the joy like watching them play & chase Jacob
Pussy Willow buds just peeking out. By
Easter they're usually 3/4 inches of furriness

  I am hoping that this little glimpse of new life puts a smile in your heart and helps to remind you that in the depths of Winter. . . this too shall pass. 

 I actually started this post a couple of days ago.  Not surprisingly all of the wood that I split is under a fresh blanket of snow!!  But the lambs don't care, they're up and dashing around until their tummies are full of milk and they snuggle down in sweet smelling hay under their heat lamp, utterly content. 

PS Yes, I am incredibly sore!! It's worth it though and as soon as the air is warm again (that's about 40/50 degrees) I'll be out there in my t-shirt reawakening my sleepy muscles!!

Friday, February 10, 2017

Day 5 Growing in Unity ~ Time's Up!

Good Morning All!!  Welcome to my fifth & final post of this Growing in Unity Week!  Thanks for dropping by to see what's on my craft table for today! Remember to leave a comment on each of the 5 GIU posts this week to be eligible to win $25 in random stamps from UNITY STAMP CO!!  Feel free to cut and paste the address link & share with all your crafty friends!
 ~ I will share names and links of the products used at the end of this blog ~


Since time is flying this week ;) I thought clocks would be a great subject.  I keep my eyes open for clocks at yard sales and discount stores for interesting frames.  The clock works can always be replaced if they don't work or simply left out if you love the look of round frames like I do. 

Carefully pry or unscrew the parts keeping the face of the clock protected & remove them.  I often use the original clock face in my project either by using it as the background or photo copying the numbers etc on it.  It is also the perfect guide to sizing the new clock face.

I like big images to put inside.  Today I chose Gypsy Warrior by Susi Blu

Oh my!  I love this versatile stamp!  I tried her several ways and decided on a brightly colored fussy cut version.  I have also in the past, layered in 3D fussy cut images. My advise is to always make sure that the raised images do not interfere with the movement of the clock's hands ~ if you're going to use them.

My first step is to photo copy the clock face onto inexpensive copier paper to experiment. Now I can stamp and manipulate without fear !!

I also use the MISTI so that I can preview what the stamp placement looks like before I stamp. 

Another reason I copy several clock faces is so that I can cut out the circle containing the second hand marks only and another with the #s too in case I want to copy them onto my actual card stock.

The water colored image is a great
example of photo copying the second
hand marks onto the water color paper.

You can tell that I like to do a lot of experimenting!! The size of the clock was too wide for my BIG SHOT machine (a great argument to get the super size one!!).  To use the embossing folder with the script to emboss the background I put my silicone embossing cushion over the folder and gently wacked it with a hammer.  The results were not consistent, but I liked the effect.  Another way I decided to add script to the background was to repeat stamping Unity's "You Are More Beautiful". I did this over the top of cardstock that I purchased already embossed, and it still worked beautifully!!  I Love the sentiment "Start Something New" from Unity also but I decided it was too big for the look I wanted.
experimenting with pearls
vs. numbers

Here are some more photos tracking my thought process just for fun and maybe some inspiration.  Once I get started it is hard to stop.  I now feel the need to run out and find some more clocks to revamp!!
Love this Gypsy stamp so much! Almost
went with her like this. So Zen I think!!

I finally decided to use this face with
beige pearls for numbers & seconds.
(I need to purchase more pearls!)
I heat embossed the images with brown

and then rubbed in pastel Gelato with
my finger tip on the flowers


Thank you for joining me all week! 
Don't forget to leave a comment on each day for your chance to win.  TWO WINNERS will be chosen and posted HERE and the FB Growing in Unity & Unity Show & Tell pages.  Sign up for e-mails to hear from this blog a couple of times each month ;)  Have a Great weekend

Thursday, February 9, 2017

Day 4 Growing in Unity ~ Share the Love!

Welcome to our 4th day of Growing in Unity here at "HI!" Notes.  Nothing gets a day or month off to a good start like sharing LOVE !!

Since February is National Friendship Month it got me thinking of all the different kinds of love we can celebrate on St. Valentine's Day, February 14th!!! 

I started by selecting several different stamps whose sentiments & images went together in some way, either conventional, humorous or unexpected.

Today's post will be light.  Just a fun pictorial of several cards with great St. Valentine's Day potential!  I'll add comments here & there, but if you have any questions, please post them in your comments & I'll try to get right back to you :)

Backgrounds: choose a stamp to repeat in the background. Using a pale ink, I staggered it row by row so that there'd be no vertical columns, masking off the main image (stamped first).  For the string of hearts I didn't mask, I just stamped & colored them right over the background words.

Because so many layers makes the card front heavy, I like to counter balance it with an extra layer inside.  Not only is it pretty but it feels so balanced when you open or display it.  Leave a little extra paper on the back of the card to punch an edge.



A close up of my custom trim job!  I do this so there
is no worry about getting ink from large areas of
blank rubber on projects. Always be sure to leave
plenty of cushion under the stamp-able areas
to get a closer look just click on the photos!!

I think of these images and sentiments being great for a child to baby sitter, or child to daddy, or maybe a big sis to the child, a big brother. . . I just love the possibilities concerning different relationships
 Here are direct links for most of the stamps used in this post:

First Love, First Hero ~ Dad w/ little girl on shoulders

first love ~ Background Sentiment

Stella Girl ~ Girl with Baby

Otter Nonsense ~ Otter, Hearts & Sentiment

Loads of Love ~ Laundry Basket & Sentiment

Fact of Love ~ What Love Looks like sentiment

Heart Strings ~ Hanging hearts & sentiments

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Day 3 Growing in Unity ~ Explore

Welcome back for day 3 of Growing in Unity! 
For anyone new to Growing in Unity or this blog ~ for a chance to win one of 2 $25 goody bags from Unity Stamp Company, leave a comment on each day of our GIU week here on the "Hi!" Notes blog.

Today I am excited to share with you another nautical creation!  This one is inside a frame for a table top, shelf or wall hanging. 

I live in the mountains, but these stamps of the surf and sand just tug at my heart!  You'll find a complete listing of the stamps used for this project at the end of the post. 

I started this project water coloring the heat embossed surfer image because I knew I wanted to use the "wander" sentiment with it.  This sentiment stamp has 2 parts, the words and a pretty semi-circle accent.  I separated them into 2 stamps that I can now easily use together or apart!

After a little experimenting I layered on different stamped images of travel or nautical related Unity stamps.  I even had a piece of a pocket map that I distressed and added to the upper right corner. 

Also, I used 2 embossing powders to create the effect on the compass & airplanes. I shared this technique in another post, "Using Multiple Embossing Powders.

If you have any questions of how I stamped, colored or embossed any of the images please put that in your comments and I'll get right back to you!!  I think it's all pretty straight forward. 
I also wanted to take a moment to say "THANK YOU!" to Unity Stamp Company.  They are a small, home town family owned business with a lot of heartUnity Stamp Company Stamps are not only of great quality, they are empowering.  Their designers are just "girl friends" that were encouraged to submit art, & their themes range from fantastically funny or heart warming to, how shall I say it, sister-hood encouragement!! 

Unity Stamp Co gives EVERYONE a chance to be heard and seen in their stamping world! With contests and sharing opportunities that make us all feel like family <3

AND as you've likely already noticed, they are GENEROUS!! Giving away over $400 in stamps each and every month in prizes alone!  If you've not done so already I strongly encourage you to enjoy looking around their FaceBook page or store. Even if you don't craft you may find that elusive gift for the crafter in your life, and since you're here, I know you'll enjoy surfing through all of the amazing cards & projects posted there daily!
Here are direct links to each of the stamps I've used for quick & easy reference:
 . .the Unknown Path - Surfer Girl
Other Side of Fear - Wale / Sailboat
Love brings You Home - world map on craft
All About the Journey - compass
Delightful Little Things - Sentiment
Adventure {smak 1/14} - line of jets

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Day 2 Growing in Unity ~ Encouragment


 Welcome Friends! Whether you're ready to craft or just here to  explore, I hope today finds you feeling great and full of invincible spirit! 
Wouldn't you agree though, that sometimes we all need encouragement, especially when we find ourselves in the eye of the storm.  If that is you then even just making this next project may remind you to persevere,  and this too shall pass. . .  If you know someone going through a difficult time don't underestimate how much difference a note card of encouragement can make.

If any of you have teen agers at home you know how full of storms their lives can be. This little reminder is for my teen to display on an easel in her book shelf. (She loves ocean motifs)  I loved this design so much I decided to make a card to go along with the shelf sitter.  Both are made with the same techniques but different sentiments of hope and encouragement.

My idea was to use the cascading stars as the night sky mirrored by the deep, deep, dark ocean.  Unity has SO MANY great sentiments I would love to use with this design.  Like "A Certain Darkness is needed to see the stars" or John 14:27, or "the only time you should ever look back is to see how far you've come" ~ oh, and so many more!!
For Georgia I decided on "What Lies Within Us"  Great for a teen I think!  The card quotes Aslan from the Narnia Chronicles  "Courage Dear Heart."

I started with white cardstock proportionately deeper than the ship stamp.  I embossed the stars with white ink, a sprinkle of prismatic glitter and clear embossing powder.  I then rubbed them with the various inks pictured.  I wanted the depths to be very dark! 


The sky is star embossed navy cardstock & the addition of a tiny bit of gold glitter for added twinkle!  The horizon is shaded with  black ink.  I then decided that the giant swirl stamp from Unity's kit "Art & Soul" would make a great looking storm.  Samped in Stampin' Up!'s Illuminate Craft Ink (a glimmer watermark), It adds a clear silvery iridescence.  I stamped it pretty heavily.

Another note about coloring: I began by brightly coloring the ship's sails. Then I realized this was a night scene, so I added shadows to them with Zig watercolor oatmeal pen.  The difference is shown at right

Don't forget to leave your comment. 2 winners will be chosen from those who've  left comments on all 5 GIU posts on this blog!!!

A favorite song of hope ~ In The Eye of the Storm by Ryan Stevenson.  You can hear it here:  along with a  beautiful pictorial of all the words. 



What Lies Within Us {kom 11/14}
Courage, Dear Heart
Midnight Kisses {kom 11/16}
Storm Swirl - Art & Soul