Tuesday, June 30, 2015

June Christmas Cards

 Whew!  I got my June Christmas Cards done just in the nick of time!  As most of you already know, I play the Splitcoaststampers Christmas Card Challenge where we make Christmas Cards all year long so that were not stressed out during the busy holiday season.  I make five cards a month so that I'll have about sixty cards at the end of the year.   I make a tall card 4 x 8 so that I can fit a photo collage and a Christmas letter inside.

Because I was pressed for time getting these cards done this month, I chose to use vintage images from Crafty Secrets so no stamping or coloring was involved other than the sentiment.  I did the same layout on all cards, and only changed the papers on some of them.

 The blue patterned paper is all from DCWV.  I used glitter paper for the panel behind the main image.  Ribbon and brads were added for embellishment.
 The sentiment is from retired Stampin' Up! "So Many Scallops".

 After I ran out of snowy Crafty Secrets scenes, I chose this vintage image.  Because the colors were different, I had to change the papers.  They are from PTI "Holiday Vintage Prints".

The gold trees are brads.

Have a great day!  Amy

Monday, June 29, 2015

Loving Kimonos

Opinions can change a lot in a year.  Remember THIS POST where I was just being introduced to Kimonos and I said I was on the fence about them?  Well, I've jumped off the fence and ran into the pasture!  Why?  They are just so comfortable and practical!  They are the perfect cover-up for summer when you want just a little bit of warmth on cool mornings or evenings, or you just need to cover your shoulders for modesty purposes.  I am loving kimonos!
 The kimono I am showing you today I actually bought when I saw I another fashion blogger wearing it.  It was the first time ever I bought something another blogger had on.  I just thought it was different than most of the other sheer, floral kimonos I see, and I had to have it.  Olia wore her kimono with short shorts and a crop top. I love how Olia styled her kimono, but since I am twice Olia's age, and I was going to church that morning, I styled mine with cropped jeans (old, Express), and a tank top.
 The kimono is a 100 % rayon gauze material and has embroidery on the shoulders and on the upper back.  And the really great news is that even though I bought this kimono early in spring, it is STILL AVAILABLE HERE and $5.00 cheaper than what I paid for it.
 I love to layer in summer as much as I love layering any other time of the year.  When I'm out in the hot sun, I can take the kimono off and wear just my tank, and when I enter an air-conditioned building, I just slip it back on.  Perfect.

The tank I have on is a simple navy blue with a lace top and spaghetti straps.
 Here's the back of the kimono.  Isn't the embroidery beautiful?  I love the crinkle of the gauze too.  I never have to worry about wrinkles with this kimono, because it's suppose to look wrinkled!  It's perfect for rolling up and stuffing in my purse, to use only when I need to!
 The length is really good too, it falls just past my hip line and is longer in back.
 The colors are neutral other than the pop of ruby red, so it goes with almost anything else in my closet.
 I wore metallic copper flip flops that I picked up on clearance for only $10.00 at Famous Footwear.
 For jewelry, I went Boho.  With the exception of the embroidery on the kimono, the outfit was very plain so I really wanted a pop of color with my accessories.  I chose this necklace by Tori Spelling (old), and a dramatic cuff (old).

So what about you?  Have you bought a kimono yet or are you still on the fence about them?  I'd love to hear from you!

Have a great day!  Amy

Linking Up with these fabulous blogs HERE!

Sunday, June 28, 2015

The Late June Garden

Whereas in the middle of June, the garden in mostly green, at the end of June the garden starts to spring to life again with late spring perennials such as Foxglove.

 This is a painted fern.  It is absolutely gorgeous, but very slow growing and finicky.  I love this plant for it's gorgeous color and fronds, but I don't consider it vigorous and I always worry it won't return next spring.
 The bumble bees love Foxglove.  They go deep inside it's blooms for it's nectar.  Do you see the bee I caught mid-air on my IPhone?
 Foxglove is mostly purple or white, some years their spires can grow quite tall, this year they are about mid-range.  They are biennials, meaning they bloom only every other year, so if you want blooms every year you must let the spires go to seed to reseed new plants.  It can be a messy look for awhile, and if your someone who has to have a tidy garden, it might not be the plant for you.  But they are so pretty when they are in bloom, a few weeks of messiness is fine with me!
 These daisies have overtaken one of my gardens, but I pretty much let them because for whatever reason, not much else seems to thrive in this garden.  Plus, the deer love to eat from this garden because it right on their path down to the waterfall/river.  The only problem is, when the daisies are done blooming, this garden looks bleh!  I could try filling it with annuals when they are done, but I know it's futile because the deer will just eat them up right away anyway!

 The astilbe is just starting to bloom.  I have it both in white and pink…I will show you the pink version next week when it is in full bloom.  Can you believe the same ground cover I showed you over a month ago is STILL in bloom?  What a long-blooming plant!
 And now for some garden critters.  The best part of gardening is all the wildlife it brings into your yard, even the unwanted ones like deer and rabbits.  Like the Field of Dreams…build it and they will come!  I love watching all the different birds, squirrels, and other baby animals in my garden.  I spotted this cutie the other day when taking fashion photos.  It's a baby oriole.  He didn't move one bit when I got close to him to take a picture.  Of course dad was up in the tree squawking away at me the entire time.  He eventually stopped when he realized I wasn't going to hurt his baby.
 Then there are the unwanted ones like this snake.  He was so camouflaged I never even saw him the first time.  He was crawling on a rock by my garden hose, and he looked so much like the rock, I practically touched him when I went to turn off the hose.  Yes, I screamed, but only because I was startled.  I've become so accustomed to seeing snakes in my yard, that I am no longer afraid of them.  But that doesn't mean I want to pick one up and play with one either!
 My husband was taking some fashion photos of me one day when this pretty moth landed on his shirt, so I took the camera from him and took HIS picture!

Have a great day!  Amy

Linking Up with Garden Tuesday!

Saturday, June 27, 2015

A Masculine Sympathy Card

I needed a card for a man at my church who lost a parent and this is what I came up.
 I chose to use the PTI stamp set 'Through the Trees' because I felt the images were perfect for a man.  The designer paper is from Bo Bunny 'Camp-a-Lot'.  The main image is stamped on River Rock paper after coloring directly on the stamp with SU! markers Chocolate Chip and Always Artichoke.  I cut some 'grass' out of the designer paper and stamped the sentiment directly on it.
The intricate panels were cut with Spellbinder's Nestabilities.  A button, hemp, and ribbon are the only embellishments.

Have a great day! Amy

Friday, June 26, 2015

Fashion Over Fifty: Wearing All White?

I wore an all-white outfit (well, it was all-white except for the shoes, and until I took my coat off) when I was in Boulder last month.  And I believe other than my wedding day, it was the first time in my life I wore all-white.  I'm not sure my husband liked it, because he kept asking me when I was going to take my coat off so he could get some color in the photographs.  I said, "When it warms up!", but eventually I just unzipped the coat, and un-tucked my shirt to appease him.  "See!  Here's the color!"

 The Colorado sun's intense rays kept me in my white hat from JCP all day.  The coat and cross-body bag are from Wilson's Leather, the skinny jeans are by a.n.a (JCP), and the navy blue shoes are from Payless.
 I was excited to see a Free People store on Pearl St.  I have only seen their clothes on their website and I subscribe to their blog, so it was fun to actually be able to see and touch their clothes in person.  Although I love their style, I didn't buy anything because they are a bit above my price range.  This is the type of company I get ideas from, then go look somewhere else for something similar:  like Francesca's, or Forever 21.
 Well now the temps have warmed up so you can see what is under my jacket.  Just a striped shirt by Stylus (JCP), and a lime tank.  For jewelry I wore a white broken shell necklace and a white beaded bracelet.
 I usually don't like pictures where blogger's look down at the sidewalk, so I thought it was funny to see this shot in my collection.  The sun was just so intense I couldn't look at the camera for long.  I just think it's an odd way to pose, I mean, what is so interesting about a sidewalk that one would be intensely looking at it?
So what about you?  Have you ever worn all-white before?

Have a great day!  Amy

Linking up with these fabulous blogs HERE:

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Here's to a Wonderful Life

 Last month I attended a beautiful garden wedding and wrote all about it in this post HERE.  Today's post is the card I made for the bride and groom.

This is one of those cards where the photo does not do it justice.  An an all-white card is always one of the trickiest to photograph, plus there is a lot of shimmer and metallics in this card that you just can't see in the picture.  So, you will have to use your imagination when I describe all the details.
 The white paper is a shimmery embossed specialty paper I picked up at a craft store.  The main image is from Flourishes 'Wedded Bliss'…both the sentiment and the image are stamped with Versamark, then embossed with silver embossing powder.

The intricate panel die cuts and sentiment panel were cut with Spellbinder's dies, then popped up on dimensionals.  The embossed paper panel was then adhered to a metallic silver card base from DCWV 'The Natural'.
Tiny adhesive crystals and ribbon were added for embellishment.

Have a great day!  Amy

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Our June Adventure: Perrot State Park in the Summer

I am going to skip this week's travel post  to share our June Adventure with you instead.  I will continue sharing our vacation to Colorado next week.

As most of my readers already know, my husband and I decided after the New Year to go and have a monthly 'Adventure', (if we weren't already on vacation that month or traveling for some other reason).  These adventures can be either day or weekend trips anywhere from as little as an hour from our house to a full day's drive.  For the month of June, we decided to re-visit Perrot State Park since we only saw it in the winter and we wondered what it would look like in the summer.  If you missed that post, you might want to check it out HERE before you read any further so that you can contrast the pictures and get information on the park.

Well, what a difference a season makes!  The first thing we noticed was how lush and green everything was due to all the rain Wisconsin has gotten this year.  We felt we were in the Amazon Forest!  Then, we noticed how views were obstructed due to all the foliage on the trees.  Hiking in winter might be a tad cold and slippery, but we had great views all the way up the bluff on our hike in the winter, whereas in the summer, we couldn't see anything until we got to the very top.

 We decided to take a different route up instead of just hiking the Brady Bluff trail, so that we would have a new view.  But we also knew the best views were at the top of Brady Bluff, so after looking at the map, we decided to start hiking the Perrot Ridge Trail and then connect to the Brady Bluff via a cross-country ski trail once we were on top.  The Perrot Ridge trail is about 1.5 miles and very steep.  You have to be in fairly good shape to hike this one as you will get a very good quad and glut work-out.  It's a very narrow trail in the summer, as the woods want to grow into it.  It takes you mostly through forest land and it is not as well-traveled as the Brady Bluff trail, so it is very peaceful.
 Once you make it to the top, the very first good clearing, you see this view.  It was a perfect spot to stop and take some pictures.  Below is Ashley and my son-in-law Jason.  They were home visiting for the week.  My son Jordan had to work in case your wondering why he is not in any of the pictures.

 After a brief respite, it was time to hit the trails again.
 The boys playing around with photograph perspectives as we hike down some steep stairs.
 A view of one of the wider forest paths.  I never took a picture of the narrow paths because I was too busy trying not to be whacked with a prickly branch.
 By now we reached the top of Brady's Bluff.  The views were stunning!  This time, the sun was out and there weren't any clouds so we were able to see farther into the distance than we did in the winter time and we could see the nearby city of Winona.
 I found this beautiful orange wildflower happily growing in the sun on top of the bluff.
 Just look at this view!  Gorgeous!
 As you descend the stairs down, there is a landing with information on the geology of the park.
 My husband and Jason checking out an interesting rock formation.
 To get down off the bluff, there are lots of interesting, winding stairs that remind me of a Japanese garden.  It's so pretty, and I always marvel at the skill and hard work it took to build these stairs into a bluff (you can see pictures of the stairs on my first Perrot State Park blog post).  This is one of the views I captured from the staircase.
 Once we were off the Brady Bluff trail (another .5 mile hike), we connected to the River View trail because we knew it would take us to the parking lot.  It is a flat trail along the water's edge.  This is a view of the railway bridge.
 We spotted this gorgeous butterfly just sitting on a moss covered rock waiting to have his picture taken.
 Remember the ice covered waterfall I showed you in my winter Perrot State Park post?  Well this is what it looks like in the summer:
 Nothing.  Just a constant drip.  It was very nice and cool inside the curve of the rock formation however, and I did enjoy the cool mist!  I also loved the amazing moss accumulations.  Gorgeous!
 Look how lush the path is leading to the waterfall.  Ashley looks like she is going to be swallowed up by foliage.
 Even though there are no real falls, the rock formations and moss are fascinating.

 Well, by now we reached our car, and we were hungry and tired.  We decided to go back to the same restaurant we visited the first time, only this time we would eat outside and enjoy the beautiful weather and views.  We all ordered Mushroom Swiss Burgers with fries, they were delicious, but I never took a picture!  You can always tell when I'm starving if I forget to take a picture of my food before I eat!
 There is a boat dock right off the back of the restaurant, and people drive up with their boats to stop and eat at this restaurant.  These are the views from the dock.

 I can't leave without sharing one more story.  Whenever Ashley and I go anywhere together we always ask each other what the other one is wearing so that one isn't more over-dressed than the other.  I told her I was wearing my hiking sandals with a black tank and olive green cargo pants, so she assumed I would be dressed very casually.  Of course, I had to accessorize because I felt naked without my jewelry!  Ashley thought it was so funny that I had to have a necklace and bracelets, and that my tank was 'sparkly' instead of plain.  What can I say?  Who says you can't wear jewelry and sparkly clothes hiking in the woods?
Have a great day!  Amy