Saturday, August 31, 2013

August Christmas Cards

Hello!  Today I have my August Christmas Cards to show you.  As most of you already know, I play the Christmas Card Challenge on Splitcoaststampers where we make Christmas Cards all year long so that were not stressed out during the busy Holiday Season.  I make  four Christmas Cards a month so that I'll have about fifty cards by Christmas Time.

I can't even begin to tell you how hard it was making Christmas Cards during this hot and sultry month.   I was actually suppose to start decorating my house for fall yesterday, and I couldn't even bring myself to do it because I was so hot and uncomfortable, and definitely NOT in the mood to decorate for Fall.  So I decided since the weather was not cooperating and was behaving very 'non-traditional',  that I would make some fun and colorful Christmas Cards using a really cute MFT image and non-traditional Christmas Colors.

I used the same paper and image for all four cards, and I also cut out, glittered, and popped up on dimensionals the light bulbs on each card.  The only thing that changes is the layout.

The first card uses a layout from The Deconstructed Sketch (DS108).  I cut a sentiment tag using a Spellbinders Nestability Christmas Ornament Die and added a small adhesive crystal to emphasize the meaning.

For my second card, I paper pieced the main image using some of the background designer paper, then I embellished the card using a button and twine, and some sparkly, silver ribbon.
 This card is also paper pieced and uses this week's MFT sketch 139.  I used an E.K. Success Border Punch for the red panel, and more sparkly ribbon, and another cute button for embellishment.

 And here is my final card.  It's loosely based on last week's MFT sketch, but I didn't want to add in the final panel over the main image panel, so I don't think it qualifies.  I added more sparkly ribbon (gotta love that stuff) and sequins for embellishment.
Have a great day! Amy

Friday, August 30, 2013

Fashion Over Fifty: Inspiration Photos

Hello!  Today's Fashion Over Fifty is all about inspiration.  As most of you already know, I started doing 'Fashion Over Fifty' posts because I was struggling with finding ANYTHING:  a blog, a website, a company, that had fashionable clothing for older women that didn't involve elastic waist bands, or a 'jacket' to cover the love handles.  Well, I really couldn't.  Don't believe me?  Try googling 'Fashion Over Fifty' and see what you come up with.  It's really sad;  the first thing that usually pops up is ads for Blair clothing. And what really cracks me up about Blair, is how all their models are women under thirty.  Really?  You make clothes geared for older women, yet you put pictures of women under the age of thirty in your ads.  Get real.  Anyway, while I was visiting one of my new fashion websites Go Chic or Go Home, I saw some pictures that another user had uploaded and I was star struck!  I have no idea who this lady is.  I emailed the original poster of the images, but I have yet to hear back from her.  She's probably some famous model or fashion designer, but I hope not.  I hope she is just a regular person, just like me.  This woman is over 70, and look how beautiful she is.  I mean, if I was walking in a shopping mall and I saw this woman, I would turn around for a second look.  She radiates pure beauty and style, and somehow, she is able to wear current trends with a 'normal body shape/weight', at her age, without looking silly or like she is 'trying too hard' to look young.  How does she do it?  If anyone recognizes this woman,  or perhaps she might see this post herself, I really would love to get in touch with her.  

In the first picture, I just love her trendy leopard print skirt and JEAN JACKET!  To think, I was afraid what people would think if I wore a jean jacket at age fifty!  She's definitely not afraid of what other people would think.  And, I've always been afraid of leopard prints, I don't know why.  Probably from seeing too many older ladies wearing bold animal prints all over their bodies and looking ridiculous.  The most I've ever had the courage to wear in an animal print is by wearing a pair of leopard flats, a belt, or carrying a clutch.  But I'm in love with this outfit.  By keeping the print in only one area:  the skirt (not wearing it from head to toe) and balancing the boldness of it with a white shirt and jean jacket, it is absolutely PERFECT.  I love how she added a belt to her waist line to accentuate her waist and that she is wearing comfortable, yet still stylish shoes.
 And here she is wearing a leather jacket.  Would you believe I was just in Express the other day trying on a leather jacket (which are all the rage this fall if you didn't already know) and even though I loved the jacket, I didn't buy it because I thought it just wasn't me and I was too old for it.  I kept picturing all the older Harley Davidson motorcycles chicks that ride through my country town and how silly I think they always look with their tats and leather jackets, and I didn't want to come across that way.  But with  her animal print scarf, her clutch, and fashionable jewelry and hair style, she looks beautiful in this jacket, and she has caused me to reconsider purchasing that jacket at Express.
 Here is a photo of her in another animal print shirt.  I love how she simplified the look by wearing a dark solid color on her bottom half, to keep the boldness of the top under control.  I also love the cut out out in the is a little sexy (wow!  we can still be considered sexy over 50!),  without being immodest or too revealing.  And don't you just love her make up?  I could really use some make up tips from this fashionista!
 I love the jacket and shoes in this picture.  And again, she is wearing animal print in the shirt, but she always keeps it in balance.
 And finally, a stylish outfit where she is wearing the much feared 'white pants'.  I personally love white pants because they are so versatile so I wear them quite often.  But I know most women are afraid of them because they carry most of their weight in their bottoms and think that white pants highlight that extra weight.  My extra weight has always been carried in my top half, and I've always been very small in my bottom half, so white pants always look good on me.  But this lady, is curvier and slightly larger in her bottom half than I am, and look how amazing she looks!  Again, I think she balances her outfit well with a black blazer which covers her bottom a bit, and yet still has a touch of white in the top to tie the entire outfit together.
So whoever you are, beautiful, stylish lady, THANK YOU for being an inspiration to me.  Thank you for not wearing 'grandma clothes' with elastic waistlines and over sized jackets.  Thank you for still taking the time to put on make up and jewelry and style your hair.  Thank you for not starving yourself to death to appear grossly thin, but have a normal, healthy body weight and beautiful curves, like normal women do.  And most of all,  thank you for wearing stylish shoes and clothes that are COMFORTABLE and PRACTICAL for everyday living.  Your photos have really inspired me and I hope I have inspired other women 'over fifty' by re- posting these photos.

Have a great day! Amy

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Wishing You Happiness

Hello!  I have another masculine card to share with you today starring my favorite K & Co stickers and papers.  This paper is from the 'Voyage' mat stack, and the clear epoxy stickers are from 'Travel Map'.    

Have a great day! Amy

Monday, August 26, 2013

Diana's Baths

Hello!  Today I have another post on our New Hampshire Vacation.  This is the third and final post of Day One.  In one day we drove to the top of Mount Washington, visited Glen Ellis Falls, and hiked to Diana's Baths.

Diana's Baths is described in New Hampshire's Summer Guide as 'One of the most romantic places in the world', and I couldn't agree more!  The half mile walk in to see the falls and water pools is very shaded and reminded me of a magical forest where I expected to see woodland fairies fly about at any moment.  You can get a glimpse of the forest trail in the picture of my son in law Jason leaning against one of the many trees.  The site is very aptly named 'Diana's Baths', because it isn't a huge waterfall, but a series of small falls and shallow pools and lots and lots of giant rocks.  It's the perfect place to cool off, especially for small children because you can wade with no fear of drowning.

 For those who love to rock jump/climb like my son in the picture below, Diana's Baths is the ideal place for that activity!
 There are a multitude of small waterfalls like this one everywhere in Diana's Baths.  Wouldn't you love to have this little fall in your backyard garden?
 My husband standing above one of the larger waterfalls.
 My son Jordan sitting on one of the many, many boulders above a waterfall.
 This waterfall was the perfect spot to take pictures.  That is me in the picture below.
 Just look at the mammoth size of this boulder!
 Son in law Jason and daughter Ashley posing in front of the same waterfall I was standing in front of in the picture above.
 This picture gives you some idea of the many series of waterfalls this area has.
 My husband and son in law exploring the water way and rocks.
 A beautiful couple's portrait of 'one of the most romantic places in the world'.
 Have a great day! Amy

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Romantic Card

Hello!  I made a romantic card for a friend's anniversary, but the romantic theme is so generic it could be used for any 'loving event'.  It's made with some beautiful, glitzy designer paper from DCWV called "The Linen Stack'. This paper is so luxurious in real life.  It has texture, embossing, and plenty of sparkle!   The sentiment is a  glittery dimensional sticker that coordinates with the designer paper.  I finished the design with a single strand of glitter ribbon.  

Have a great day! Amy

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Glen Ellis Falls, Mount Washington Valley New Hampshire

Hello!  Welcome to my second post on my New Hampshire/Vermont vacation.  My family loves waterfalls, so whenever we travel we always see if there are any waterfalls to see.  On this trip, we saw a ton of waterfalls;  seven total!   The first one we visited was Glen Ellis Falls located inside the White Mountain National Forest.  The water from the Ellis River plunges 64 feet to the basin below. 

 I put my husband in the photograph below so you could get an idea of the scale of this waterfall.
 Most of the hiking trails in the White Mountains were quite strenuous and difficult, but the trail to these falls only had a few steep steps, and it was a relatively easy 0.2 mile walk from the parking lot.  It was very peaceful and relaxing, and we got to see a lot of neat rock formations and white water like in the photo with my son below.
 A sweet mother/daughter shot next to the river.  There were many pretty rock formations to sit on and take nice pictures.  And, from a fashion standpoint, since the walk was so easy, we could wear normal clothes (except for the hiking shoes) instead of workout clothes.  Being the fashion conscious person I am, I like that!
 My beautiful daughter standing next to one of the smaller falls along the river.
 Sweet hubby posing on a bridge overlooking the Ellis River.
 Me standing on one of the overlooks to the main drop of the falls.
 Now for the sweet couples turn:  Son in law Jason and daughter Ashley.
 Jason overlooking the pretty Ellis River on the way to the Falls.
 My son Jordan loves to rock hop, so he really enjoyed these falls.
Have a great day! Amy

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Just Fluttering By....CAS Style!

Hello!  I have a really simple, yet oh so pretty and dramatic card to share with you.  The card only uses one sheet of designer paper, slap on a sentiment panel, and add a dimensional butterfly sticker from K & Co and some sequins and your done!   

Have a great day! Amy

Monday, August 19, 2013

Fashion Over Fifty: Pulling Out a Secondary Color

Hello!  It was a beautiful day here in Wisconsin so I could wear a sleeveless shirt today.  My shirt (similar) and skirt (similar) were purchased last year at Target, so I was happy that the colors are still trending  this season and I could get more use out of them.  The shirt is made of a very comfy knit and has a ruffled neckline.  Because of the busy print of the shirt, I paired it with a solid color coral pencil skirt.  I didn't want to look too 'coraly' so I pulled out a secondary color from the shirt (sea foam green) by wearing that color in my shoes and jewelry.  I balanced all the bold colors out by carrying a white purse and wearing a white jacket in case it got chilly.  

 Here is a close up of the jewelry.  I know the shades of green don't exactly match each other, but my wrist isn't up close to my neckline too often in real life. LOL!  I just did that pose to get them both in one picture.  The jewelry was purchased from a Forever 21 discount jewelry store at the Mall of America.  I really love the bold jade color combined with the triangular shape of the stone and mix of pearls and gold in the bracelet.  So lovely.   And I felt that simple, solid colors beads of a coordinating color were all that was necessary with the already busy shirt and neckline.  I love earrings, but I don't wear them too often because I usually wear my hair down and then you can't see the earrings anyway.
 And here is the white jacket (similar) that I took with me today in case I got cold.  I bought it at Express last year.  I think the only thing new about this outfit are my shoes (which are from Express) and my Lulu purse (similar) from J.C. Penny.
Have a great day! Amy

Saturday, August 17, 2013

For Me?

Hello!  Today I have another K & Co Birthday Card to share with you. Before I left on vacation last week,  I made about six cards in just a couple of hours one afternoon using K & Co Stickers.  I had a lot of birthdays that week, and needed some quick and easy cards!  I love K & Co Stickers because they have a lot of detail, dimension, and sparkle!  

My layout is from Splitcoaststampers (SC422).  I used designer paper from DCWV 'The Homespun Mat Stack', but decided on a plain, white, textured paper for the center panel so that the sentiment sticker will really stand out.  I only added a touch of ribbon and another sticker for embellishment.

Have a great day! Amy

Thursday, August 15, 2013

The White Mountains of New Hampshire: Mount Washington Auto Tour

Hello!  Today I have the first of many posts of my week's vacation in New Hampshire, Vermont, and New York State.  I know my blog is primarily visited by paper crafter's, so I will try to post paper crafting posts in between my travel posts for those not interested in vacation stories.

My daughter Ashley is an opera singer who participated in the young artists program 'Opera North' which is held in Lebanon, New Hampshire.  We wanted to see her perform the role of Beth in 'Little Women' so  we planned one of our vacations around her performance.  If it wasn't for Ashley,  we probably never would have been to New Hampshire in our lives, so we have a lot to thank her for because this was one beautiful state and we had a wonderful vacation!

New Hampshire is about a twenty four hour drive from our home in Wisconsin.  We broke up the trip into three days by driving first to Chicago Friday night after work and spending the night there, then the next day driving about nine hours to Buffalo, New York  and stopping overnight in that city, and finally on the third day, after another eight hour drive, arrived in New Hampshire on Sunday afternoon.  We drove through seven states total, before reaching our destination. It was quite the adventure.

After a brief dinner with our daughter who was in between rehearsals, we headed to our hotel room to unpack for the week, and relax from a long three days of travel.

Monday morning was a beautiful, sunny day.  I woke up with the sunrise beaming through my window because we forgot to shut the drapes the night before, not realizing that it's light out at 5:00 a.m. in New Hampshire but dark out in Wisconsin at 5:00 a.m. because of the different time zone.  So we woke up a little earlier than planned, had a delicious breakfast, and then loaded back up into our car for another two hour car drive to the The White Mountains.  We didn't mind this drive too much, because these were the kind of views we saw:  

 We kept seeing a lot of these moose warning signs everywhere we drove and found them quite silly. Does the highway department really think that anyone would NOT brake for a moose?  What do they think people right into them?  I live in a highly populated deer area, and I've had many cars damaged if not totaled from hitting a deer,  I can only imagine what hitting a moose would do! I guess I can see Moose Warning Signs, but 'Brake for Moose'?  That's kind of a goofy statement if you ask me.
 My husband read about The Mount Washington Auto Road and was really excited about driving up to the summit so that was the first thing we did when we entered the White Mountain National Forest.  The Auto Road takes you up to the Summit of Mount Washington which is the highest peak in New Hampshire of 6288 feet.  Below is a picture of a warning sign that greets you as you enter the gate to the road.  Although I took this warning seriously, I wish I would have heeded it's advice and stayed at the base of the mountain looking up.
Although the park is free (except for parking) it costs about $26.00 per car and $8.00 per occupant to drive the auto road since it's a private road.  Here is the ticket house where you pay and receive instructions on how to drive what is considered one of the most dangerous roads in the world.  They have the days temperature and the visibility listed on a sign before you spend money to drive up.  On the day that we were there, it was in the mid seventies at the base of the mountain, but only thirty eight degrees up at the summit, and only 70% visibility due to some cloud cover.
 As we began our eight mile drive up the mountain, we were able to pull over occasionally to take some scenic shots.  Below is a picture of my daughter Ashley with a mountain view behind her.
 The higher we ascended the more spectacular the views became.
 The scenic views were truly jaw dropping and so inspiring, yet, so terrifying at the same time.  Although I was awestruck by God's beautiful creation, the road was so narrow and winding, and many times we were only inches away from an end of a cliff and I was so scared that if my husband made one wrong move, we would end up plummeting 6000 feet to our deaths.  I was never so terrified in my life!
 Here are some examples of what the view looked like from inside our car and what the road conditions were like.  And I'm really only showing you the 'better' parts of the road, because during the real scary parts I was too petrified to take pictures.

 The closer we got to the Summit the more fog we encountered because we were literally IN the clouds.  It became harder to drive because visibility was so poor:  yet another reason to be terrified!
 When we finally reached the Summit I breathed a slight sigh of relief, but then I started to have anxiety about driving back down.  We stayed up there for a couple of hours and I tried to calm my nerves by looking inside all the buildings and reading about the history of the mountain,  but it seemed the longer we waited, the more nervous I became.  I really started to have a panic attack about driving back down and tried to think of every possible other alternative I could get down the mountain without driving back down, but there was none.  I finally determined that the only way down was the same way I came up, so I had to get back in that car.  But this time, I CLOSED MY EYES!  My husband told me when I could open my eyes....only the spots I felt safe....but when we reached a treacherous spot, I would quickly close my eyes again and pray.

Slightly below the summit, Ashley and her husband Jason got out of the car to take pictures.  The wind was so strong it was hard to even stand up.  And it was so bitter, bitter cold, it made the views difficult to enjoy except from inside the car.
 When we finally reached solid ground I thanked God and breathed a huge sigh of relief.  This is me at the base of the mountain road.  So happy to be alive.  Would I do it again?  Never.  Out of the five of us, my husband and daughter loved the experience, but my son, son-in-law, and myself were very uncomfortable and on edge the whole time.  Lesson learned....the sign is correct.  If you are afraid of heights, you WILL NOT enjoy this driving experience.  However, the views were SPECTACULAR!
Have a great day! Amy