Saturday, July 30, 2011

The Midsummer Garden: Daylilies, Phlox, and Purple Coneflower

Hello! As most of my regular readers already know, I have been posting pictures of my garden as it changes through the gardening season. I have already posted pictures and stories of my Early Spring Garden, Mid-Spring Garden, Late Spring Garden, and Early Summer Garden. Today I am posting pictures of what my garden looks like in the Middle of the Summer when it is in Full Peak and probably the most beautiful of all. Here's a view of what my yard looks like from the road above. That is my garden shed below.

This is a Hydrangea Bush. I couldn't believe how huge the blossoms were! I wish I could have had some one's hand or head in the picture to show you the scale; but I was alone at the time of photographing. The angel statue is quite large, if that helps give you some perspective on how big those blooms are.

A close up of my garden shed. The Black Eye'd Susans are just beginning to bloom, they last for about a month.

Here's a side view of that same garden.

This is my favorite Hosta Bed.

And this is my favorite Hosta. I love the Chartreuse color of the leaves.

The Purple Coneflower is in full bloom now.

A close up of the Purple Liatrus.

These are common orange daylilies grown in mass on my septic mound.

Daylilies are one of my favorite perennials. They are so low maintenance, they multiply beautifully, and the range of color is amazing. I have so many different varieties in my yard, it would be impossible to show them all to you, but here are some close ups of my favorites:

I hope you enjoyed seeing pictures of my Mid-Summer Garden. It's sad to think were at the peak of the garden season now, and soon everything will be coming to an end. Our summers in Wisconsin are way too short.

Have a great day! Amy

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

DTC: "Gardens with Things with Wings"

Hello and welcome to another Digital Tuesday Challenge. This week's challenge is 'Gardens with Things with Wings'. Simply make a card or projects that is garden themed and has something with wings on it (like butterflies, birds, etc.). Be sure to include at least digital element as well! Our sponsor this week is Glitterbabe Digis and they are giving away 2 digis to one lucky randomly chosen winner.

To make my card, I used a Heather Ellis Digital image and a sketch by MFT (MFTWSC29). My paper is by My Mind's Eye.

The daisy and leaves are just pre-cut felt shapes I found in the Dollar Bins at JoAnn's Fabrics and Crafts. I put Stickles on the Butterfly, and added a button and brads for embellishment. The main image panel and the polka dotted panel are mounted up on dimensionals.

If you'd like to play along with us this week, simply click on the Digital Tuesday Challenge Blinkie in my sidebar and it will take you directly to the Challenge Site with further instructions.

Have a great day! Amy

Monday, July 25, 2011

Happy Birthday, Cowboy!

Hello! Today I have a Paper Fashions card to show you that uses images from the set "Feeling Like a Cowboy Stamps" and sentiments from "Feeling Like a Cowboy Sentiments". They are available for purchase separately, or as a bundle. To make my card I used a sketch from the Clean and Simple Blog and some unknown vintage cowboy paper. I sponged the Chocolate Chip paper to give it more interest. The cowboy boots are up on dimensionals. And here is the inside of the card with another image from the set, the cowboy hat.

It's finally cooled down here in Wisconsin a bit. So life is more enjoyable again! I heard our heat wave is now out East. Sorry guys!

Have a great day! Amy

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Christmas in July

'We're having a heat wave, a tropical heat wave': are you all tired of singing that song yet? I know most of us are in the middle of a heat wave here in the U.S. I live in a house that's over 100 years old and without air conditioning so I have never been happier to have to go to work everyday as I am now. Sunday and Monday were my days off this week. On Sunday I felt fine, but on Monday I didn't feel 'hot', I just felt very sick and lethargic. All I wanted to do was lay down and sleep. Then I got frustrated with myself because I always have so much I want to do on my days off, and all my body wanted was to do sleep. It was not cooperating! Heat doesn't usually bother me, I'm usually freezing, even on warm days I'm cold, but I think the duration of the heat wave is starting to bother me. Yesterday my shift ended at 3:00 and I usually 'rush home to get things done', instead I decided to go to the mall where it was 'cool' and do some much needed shopping. I recently lost 30lbs and I am in desperate need of new clothes. All my old clothes are just falling off me (or as my husband teases 'I now wear clown pants') but I didn't want to take the time to go shopping so I've just been pinning them with safety pins. I look ridiculous I know, but I'm not a clothes person and consider them such a waste of money. Anyway, I wasn't even sure what size I was and even though I'm smaller now I still feel large so I kept grabbing larger sizes like a size 8 since I knew I wore size 10 before I lost weight. I had to keep going back on to the sales floor to grab smaller and smaller sizes and finally ended up with a size 4 in pants/skirt and a size small for a top. Wow! No wonder my old clothes didn't fit. But I also think sizes have gotten bigger. I use to be a size 8 in high school and no one I knew was a double 00. That size didn't even exist. I think a size 8 is now the new size 4 and a double 00 is probably a size 4. LOL! Gosh, what merchants have to do to make us overweight consumers feel better about ourselves so that we buy more clothes!

Anyway, enough rambling, I said all that just to set you up for some Christmas Cards because I think we could all use some cooling off right now and thinking of Christmas will surely help. As most of you already know, I play the Christmas Card Challenge on Splitcoaststampers. I make four Christmas Cards a month, so that by the end of the year I'll have about 48 Christmas Cards and I won't have to drive myself crazy trying to get them done in November/December.

Here is my first card. My image is a digital image from Heather Ellis. My sketch is from Penny Black, and my papers are Basic Grey 'Eskimo Kisses'. I put Liquid Applique on her hat and boots and Stickles on the tree lights. My next card uses a digital image from Dustin Pike. It's an old one, so I don't think it's available anymore. I put Liquid Applique on the cat's hat and the stocking. The paper is from Papertrey Ink, and the sketch is unknown.

Here's a close up of this sweet little kitty for you:

This card uses an digital image from Blackleaf Studios called 'Traditional Christmas Stamps'. The paper is from Papertrey Ink and the sketch is by MFT (MFTWSC9). The ornament is popped up on dimensionals and there is a crystal in the center.

And finally, for my last card I used a sketch by Verve and paper from DCWV 'The Winter MatStack'. The snowflake was cut with a Sizzix die and covered with glitter. The image is from the Dollar Bins at JoAnn's Fabrics and Crafts.

Stay cool and Have a Great Day! Amy

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Digital Tuesday Challenge 'A Sketch Challenge'

Hello and welcome to another Digital Tuesday Challenge. This week's challenge is a Sketch Challenge. Simply make a card or scrapbook page using the sketch pictured below and be sure to include at least one digital element. Our sponsor this week is Spesch Designer Stamps and they are giving away 3 digis to one lucky randomly chosen winner.

To make my card I used the image 'Moon Baby' from Spesch Designer Stamps, designed by Sylvia. I printed the image 3 times and mounted the moon up once on dimensionals, and the girl three times. My paper is 'Sweet Fairy' by Prima. I cut my stars with a Cuttlebug Die and covered them with glitter. Three of the stars in the image are also popped up on dimensionals and covered in glitter. The brads are glitter brads also.

Here is a close up so you can see all the dimension.

If you'd like to play along with us this week, simply click on the Digital Tuesday Challenge Blinkie in my sidebar and it will take you directly to the Challenge Site with further instruction.

Have a great day! Amy

Monday, July 18, 2011

When you're too old to BBQ....

I have a simple, but fun masculine card to share with you today. My images and sentiments are from Paper Fashions "BBQ Digital Stamps' and 'BBQ Sentiments'. These images and sentiments are available for purchase separately or as a bundle. I used paper from DCWV 'The Guy Stack'. I had a hard time to photographing this card. The color is much richer in real life. The male figure is cut out and popped up on dimensionals. Here is the inside of the card. I'm sure any guy I send it too will get a chuckle over it. I think these images are perfect for any guy who isn't into hunting or sports (yes, there are guys like that!); after all, every guy eats! LOL!

Have a great day! Amy

Friday, July 15, 2011

Best Wishes

I have some church friends with an anniversary coming up, so I finally had the chance to use a stamp set that I purchased but never used: Crafty Secrets 'A Couple of Cuties'. I love this set, but one of the unfortunate things about being a design team member for other companies is that I'm so busy making things for my 'commitments' that I don't have time to make things I actually want to or really need; so, my beloved set sat neglected for quite some time.

The sketch is by Mojo Monday and the paper is also by Crafty Secrets. I FINALLY got a hold of some seam binding. It's been all the rage on the Internet for months now, but no one ever said where they got it until Becca from 'Amazing Grace' said she used 'Hug Snug' which she purchased at Amazon. Thank you Becca! I couldn't believe how cheap this stuff was. 100 yards for about $7.00. That's amazing. I just bought one spool of white and one of cream. I died the seam binding myself with Melon Mambo re-inker from Stampin Up!. I don't think I was too successful with that, but not bad for my first attempt. I tell you though, just buying white seam binding and dieing it the color you need is a lot more cost effective than buying tons of different colors and spools of ribbon. I don't think I have the knack of tying the stuff the way I've seen other designers do; but then I'm not sure I like the trendy look of a big, wrinkled bow anyway. I like to keep things simple. Have a great day! Amy

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Coco Loco

Hello! Today I have a fun image by Studio 313 called 'Coco Loco' It is sold at McMahon Five Designs. I kept my layout really simple; I thought the clean, pure colors were more 'beachy'. My layout is by Splitcoaststampers (SC340). The cover sentiment comes with the image, but the inside sentiment are stamps from my stash.

Here is the inside of the card. I just cut the image out and adhered it to the inside of the card.

Be sure to check out the McMahon Five Designs Blog to see the rest of this week's new releases, and while your at it, visit my fellow design teams members blogs as well. They are listed in my sidebar.

Have a great day! Amy

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Penny Black 'Flower Power'

Hello! Today I have a card for the July Penny Black Allsorts Challenge 'Flower Power'. It was a really simple challenge this month. All you have to do is make a card with flowers on it and be sure to use at least one Penny Black image.

I chose an image from 'Garden Friends'. My sketch is by Verve. I stamped the image twice and popped just the flowers up on dimensionals so the little hedgehog really looks like he is popping his head out of a bed of flowers. I used an MFT Rolled Flower Die to make my own flower. The paper is by My Minds Eye Stella Rose 'Gertie'. I put Stickles on all the flowers and the bee in the image, and a pearl in the inside of the handmade flower. I also decorated the inside of the card by using up some scraps and stamping a second image from the set.

Have a great day! Amy

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Digital Tuesday Challenge 'Spellbound!'

Hello and welcome to another Digital Tuesday Challenge. This week's challenge is 'Spellbound!'. Simply make a card or project that uses one or more dies and includes at least one digital element. Our sponsor this week is Bonibleaux Designs and they are giving away a $10.00 gift certificate to one lucky randomly chosen winner.

To make my card I used a digital image by Heather Ellis. My sketch is from My Favorite Things (MFTWSC26). The sentiment is computer generated. I used three different dies to create my card: they are all Nestabilities from Spellbinders. The main image circle, the scalloped circle, and the sentiment tag were all cut with dies. The paper is My Minds Eye Stella Rose 'Gertie'.

If you'd like to play along with us this week, simply click on the Digital Tuesday Challenge Blinkie in my sidebar and it will take you directly to the Challenge Site with further instructions.

Have a great day! Amy

Monday, July 11, 2011

Paper Fashions 'Gone Fishin'

Hello! Do you have any fishermen in your life? Well, living in Northwestern Wisconsin I certainly do! So today I have a masculine birthday card to show you that uses the Paper Fashions Digital Set 'Gone Fishin'. Paper Fashions also has a great sentiment set that you can buy separately or as a bundle with the fishing images.

To make my card, I used some outdoorsy paper that I bought at JoAnn's Fabrics and Crafts. I added a panel of embossed chocolate paper using the Cuttlebug Branches Folder. The 'mesh' you see is actually twill tape unraveled. I picked that tip up from Laurie Schmidlin's Blog. As I was making my card I thought "I wish I had something that looked like a fishing net to use as an embellishment'; and then I remembered Debbie had accidentally discovered that if you pull on a thread of twill tape, the whole thing unravels (yet miraculously stays together) to look like this:

Isn't that amazing? The log house embellie is actually a button from JoAn's. And here is the inside of the card using one of Paper Fashions 'Gone Fishin Sentiments':

Have a great day!


Saturday, July 9, 2011

The Early-Summer Garden: Lilies and Bee Balm

Hello! As promised, I am posting photographs as my garden changes through the seasons. I've posted the Early Spring Garden, the Mid-Spring Garden, and the Late Spring Garden. Today I'm showing you pictures of what my garden looks like in Early Summer.

First of all the lilies are in bloom now. I love lilies and they multiple like crazy in my yard; I'm constantly digging them up and dividing them. I already missed taking pictures of some early-blooming lilies, but here is white beauty for you to admire: This is a far away shot of those same white lilies above:

This is a yellow primrose. I love this plant because it grows like a weed, yet is not invasive. It will grow in full sun or in full shade. This is full shade pictured below. And it has beautiful red fall foliage.

This is a wheel barrow full of annuals that my husband made for me. This is my main garden looking west. I just bought and planted that pink hydrangea bush, that's why it's so small. In a couple of years it will probably be 5 feet tall and wide. Things grow big and fast in my yard!

This is a clematis that grows over a trellis in my main garden. You can see the trellis pictured in the back ground in the picture above.

I have the best version of Bee Balm I know. It grows so strong and tall and is mildew resistant. Sorry, but I can't remember the name of it anymore. I use to know every name of every single plant in my yard, but as the years go on, the less names I remember. LOL! That blue spruce pine tree was probably only 12 inches tall when I planted it just a few years ago. Now its about 5 or 6 feet tall. I just love the color!

A far away picture of my yard with my garden shed in the background and yellow and orange lilies in the fore ground.

This is the first day lily to bloom every year. It's a beautiful pale yellow.

I'm not a fan of rose bushes because they are too high maintenance. I love the flowers; just not the thorns or the work associated with their upkeep. However, I do have about 5 hardy shrub roses on my property. I love them because they require no maintenance whatsoever; I don't even have to cover them in the winter! This is a light pink shrub rose.

In previous posts, I've showed you many views of my garden from the viewpoint of my front porch; well here is the opposite viewpoint: what it looks like as you walk the path to my front porch. When I first bought the house, I always bought annuals that were red, yellow, purple, or white cause I thought those colors went best with my brick house. But when my daughter Ashley got married last year, she wanted all the annuals to be pink or coral (the colors of her wedding) and I ended up really liking those colors against the colors of my house, so I planted them again this year. I don't have any annuals in my big perennial garden beds in my yard. That would be way too expensive. I only plant annuals in the walk way up to the house and in pots and baskets so that I have color all summer long where visitors see the most. I still spend an average of $1000 in annual flowers a year. It cost that much to fill all that space plus my 4 porches and 14 hanging baskets.

Here is a close up of my yellow lilies.

And here is a close up of the orange lilies. These are the most prolific lilies in my garden.

A purple Campula.

The Hollyhock are just beginning to bloom. They will peak in Mid-summer and will continue blooming through late summer.

I hope you enjoyed the Early Summer Tour of My Garden. I will have more pictures in Mid-Summer to show you!

Have a great day! Amy

Friday, July 8, 2011

Doodle Pantry 'Plush Panda'

Hello! Due to the Holiday, I had an extra day off this week so I had some time to play in my craft room 'just for fun'. I decided to play the Doodle Pantry Digital Challenge. All you have to do is use a Doodle Pantry Image and link up your card to the site and you get a free "Peacock Birdie' digital image just for playing! And, there is still one winner chosen from all the participants who will receive a $15.00 Doodle Pantry Gift Coupon. Sounds like too good of deal for me to pass up? How about you?

I chose the Doodle Pantry Image and Digital Papers 'Plush Panda' for my card. I colored the image myself with Copic Markers, although he is available pre-colored too. My sketch is 'I Love Sketches'. Isn't he just the cutest thing? Just love this set!

Have a great day! Amy