Friday, May 13, 2016


Good Morning, Ladies and Gentlemen!
Well, it's a nippier one today.  Dark and cloudy with freeze warnings tonight, but it's a sweet morning, nonetheless.  Been actually busy since we last spoke...yes!  Busy!!  ;)
My one big special purchase for May was the big set of Tombow markers!  (Caught it almost $30 cheaper than Dick Blick on Amazon--you know how Amazon's prices fluctuate.) 
So excited to see these! 
And to see the pair of grouse again a couple of times. 
I have noticed Karma sleeps more soundly now that she has finally picked a favorite spot here at the new place.  (The kitchen chair next to my spot at the table.)   
We've had days I can have the patio door open wide; days where it can only be cracked open; and days where it is too chilly to leave it open more than a few minutes (like today). 
Me?  I have been busy coloring.  With two brands of new markers now it was time to get crackin'.  I colored the trio of cupcakes birthday stamp...
...added some shimmer to the frostings with a clear Wink Of Stella pen and a bit of gold on the tops with a metallic marker. 
Then I started on the stamped birthday cake stack. 
I figure out how I want to color them and then go through all 70 of them one color at a time.  I started with the yellow candle flames.   
I have to take lots of breaks so for two days I puttered about cleaning off the studio tables little by little.  I forgot to get a before picture--but let's just say admit that you could no longer see the table tops--LOL!
The art table by the window is now ready to go! 
The black table is down to the supplies for current projects. 
I worked away while I watched Netflix on my laptop...(that's FBI Files.) 
...and Karma slept.
I finally finished the coloring of the birthday cake set, too! 
Still needs a little something, but I can add to it before I put the cards together.  These are all just pieces of card stock that will be cut down and glued or taped to the front of actual card bases.  Just coloring all the fronts first.  Have one more set that is stamped up and ready to color--that wild, crazy cat holding the flaming birthday cake--so that's next.
 Latest Wild Kingdom news:
So exciting!  Had a brand new visitor scooting across my patio on Mother's Day afternoon.  A thirteen striped ground squirrel!!  Was so hoping to see it again.  I tossed out some sunflower seeds on the cement patio, but had only seen birds come to eat them and the wind blow them away.
Finally saw our little friend dash past again a couple days ago, took a chance...tossed out some more sunflower seeds...and look who came to fill its pouches!! 
I was smiling--ear to ear... 
...snapping pictures... 
...trying not to move. 
But guess who was awake this time--LOL! 
Karma was stalking it...low to the a lioness on the new David Attenborough's series "Africa" that Ian and I are watching.  ;) 
Our new little neighbor was so busy filling those cheeks that it paid no notice of the predator...only a screen between them.  (Karma is just a poser...but our little buddy doesn't know that.)
When he turned his back, Karma scooted right up to the screen...mere mesh between her and her fantasies.  Little buddy turned around... 
...and poof! 
I plan to buy some raw sunflower seeds in June just for the critters.  I could get in trouble with management for putting out bird seed that might start growing odd plants around my patio--LOL!  But should a shelled sunflower seed ever grow it will be big enough for me to see and pull.  ;)  Sunflower seeds are small enough for the sparrows and other birds to eat, too.  Win-win.
Karma has never tried to "stalk" the jackrabbits.   
They're bigger than her! 
I caught one yesterday just resting for a long time by the sidewalk.  Remember when they did this last winter before they were all white and they looked like boulders in the snow?  
One of the reasons I was motivated to clean off the Studio tables was I had my first Federal Housing inspection here at the new place yesterday afternoon.  Bob has now retired.  I have had inspector Bob every year since I moved up here to go to college in 1999!  Just the sweetest man.  So this time I had a new guy--James--who was also very nice (and quite handsome).  He was telling me he had a 30 year reunion coming up, so he's just a pup and should be around for a while.  ;)
Then Leah came over last night for Crafts.  First we went over my ongoing McFamily list (weird computer issues and things like that I write down so I don't forget when she or Dagan comes over) and we got up my patio door brace!!  I've had it since last fall but there was no rush to get it installed once winter arrived.  But now that we have days where it's nice out... 
We put it right across where some of the window pane frames are so that you can hardly notice it. 
So now at night I can leave the door cracked open like this with the blinds closed and never worry anyone could try to come in.  If I ran to get mail or bring out garbage or went to an activity for a couple hours I could leave it cracked open and feel safe with the brace on, you know?   
I know--may seem silly to be so cautious, but right before I moved here there was a broad daylight home invasion a block or so away from here--when the husband, wife, and kids were at home!  So it does just make me feel a little safer, I guess.  And it looks better than the bright orange rough stick that was left here for me to use when I moved in that they wrote "don't throw away" on in sharpie marker--LOL!  I was afraid Ian would get slivers!
Anyways, even though it was way too chilly to leave the door cracked this morning, Karma has to have her morning sniff--LOL!  Probably looking for Little Buddy! 
Oh!  Turns out the roses I got on Friday before Mother's Day were apparently sent anonymously!??  So I have no clue who they were from.  The ones I got on Saturday were marked as coming from McFamily.  The ones on Friday were from "someone who cares"...  So--thank you, whoever you are!!  How sweet!!
But I have to confess that Leah has already contacted about the poor quality of the roses this year.  These roses were no different than the disappointing roses we have gotten from places in town.  They are drooping, falling over after just a couple days, edges are turning black, and many have never opened.  It is like they have come from a different company!  No lie!  The ones I got last year were absolutely gorgeous--remember?!!  Huge blooms, fat stalks, smelled wonderful, and lasted for weeks!!   
Not that these aren't nice flowers, mind you.  But they sure aren't lasting long, don't smell, thin stalks, and not all opening.  
And--yes--I trimmed the stems, used the powder, and have been faithfully changing the water...apparently, to no avail.   
What a shame.  That new company seemed to be so wonderful.  Mother's Day is absolutely the busiest time for florists, so we wondered if they subcontracted out or something?  Leah said she will try them once more on a random day--no holiday--and see what we get.  There is absolutely no comparison to the first flowers we got from them.  But they're still much appreciated gifts--from McFamily and someone who cares.  :) :)
Lastly--I had people asking me about the perpetual calendar stamp I bought that I just LOVE.  It's made by Waffle Stamps.  I found it in a few places online for a little cheaper than Amazon, but when you added shipping at the other places...was cheaper for me to get it with my Amazon order.  You can try the Amazon link here or search for Waffle Flower Crafts Clear Calendar Stamps.  And it looks like my well-used set:
There are seven different 31 day calendars for starting on each day of the week.  You can either have a Sunday-Saturday or a Monday-Sunday calendar--whichever you prefer.  They've even got the circle for circling days.  For the months shorter than 31 days, all you have to do is carefully wipe off the ink from any days you don't need that month before you stamp.  I haven't had any trouble doing that so far.  This is just so perfect for my Bullet journal that it's the best planner stamp I have ever purchased.  Was spendy, but I can use it forever!!  :)  So glad when I buy something online and it is exactly as (well, even better than) expected.
So, that's it from Fargo for this chat.  Karma's crying for some canned food and I have coloring to do.  Miss Karma and I will be keeping an eye out for Little Buddy!  Have a marvelous day!!  Chat again soon.  :) :)
"In all things of nature there is something of the marvelous."


  1. Now aren't you glad you're on the ground floor? I seem to remember it wasn't your first choice. But how much fun it's been so far! I was excited to see the new markers. I'm a bit addicted to colored pencils, pens, and markers. I don't use them nearly enough, but can't stop myself when I see a great deal. I truly have way too many! But I'll be using some soon. I've decided coloring will be a great activity for the long-haul flights during our upcoming trip. So I'm finally going to touch some of those adult coloring cards I've been hoarding. Have a great weekend!

  2. I love ground squirrels! They are so cute! So Leah was able to come for crafts? They haven't pushed her out? Thank goodness! And I think those jack rabbits are bigger than ME!


  3. love the ground squirrel visitor! and very cute cards.

  4. Roses can be pain, but usually if they are trimmed and can suck up some water they survive for quite some time. I would have complained too! Karma TV is getting exciting. You can get sunflower hearts and maybe make a little feed for that critter:)

  5. You have got some great projects going! I love those birthday cards you are making. Those new markers are great. So glad you feel safe where you live - that is important - even though there is bad stuff that happens just about everywhere it seems. Glad you had such a nice Mother's Day. Have a great weekend and as always, regards to Karma and McFamily!

  6. Wow! You sure get the wildlife right outside (and just inside) your patio door!!

    The birthday cards look wonderful! You got a lot of talent! And a lot of markers! :)

  7. All this wildlife is wonderful. I loved seeing Karma "stalking" the squirrel. And I'm glad you took a break from coloring to write this post. :-)

  8. Poor, sad roses. Karma is a lioness. Nothing wrong with caution. When the dogs and I aren't going in and out the backdoor frequently, I turn on the alarm. I have a camera for my backdoor, too.


  9. Bummer that the roses are such poor performers this year!!! Karma is in her glory now at the new place, with so much more entertainment for her. SO happy to see you posting more often again ♥

  10. So glad you seem to have gotten over whatever crud had attacked you--keep feeling good!!

  11. Hi yeah it's me visiting on a Sunday, I know I don't visit many people/blogs on the weekend but today I have no one coming for breakfast or lunch so I have to me to visit some blogs. It does suck when flowers don't last as long as we would like them to.

  12. You made me chuckle with the Karma pics. What a cute new critter to have around! Your roses were gorgeous last year....I remembered. Love your cards. The cupcake ones are my favorite but that`s because I have a soft spot for cupcakes!

  13. What amazing visitors you get now that you are in this new home. I was super impressed with the beauty right outside your doors. Karma seems to enjoy it, too.

    Loved the birthday image you colored. You put a lot into each of these cards. They are lovely already.

    Living alone, you can never be too cautious. Although I never lock my front door (shame on me), it never hurts to be careful.

    Hope you had a lovely and productive weekend. I've been busy helping Sally again.

  14. Shame about the roses! Your chipmunk friend is lovely as is Karma.

  15. Just a look out your window and you have so much wildlife! Love it. I love that perpetual calendar thing too. If I decide to make a bullet journal, I will need the calendar.

  16. Those are such cute cards!

    Karma looked adorable all curled up, napping. I like watching my cat nap, too. They look so sweet and harmless like that.

  17. so happy to be catching up with you again Rita! Looks like you are having the time of your life and that's all that counts. I sure could use a set of markers like that. Believe it or not, a friend got me a coloring book for my b'day and haven't touched it-until last eve. I gave it a go for fun-and then couldn't stop! Haven't bought markers in ages so some of mine are no longer very good. Good excuse for new ones I say.
    Love seeing Karma so content whether sleeping or stalking:)
    Too bad about the roses-they really should have lasted longer . And how nice to receive and anonymous bouquet-very mysterious and I would be dying to find out where they came from. Your cards are looking great-love the birthday cupcakes! I used to color mine in the same way-one color at a time with the whole stack. The calendar stamp set is the perfect invention for crafters/stampers. Have a great rest of the week!

  18. Where to begin ~ my favorite, Karma, of course ~ quite the 'poser' and all the critters you had visit ~ Love all your cupcake cards with the 'bling' ~ and what a busy time you have had all around ~ Love the Tombows and you are certainly being creative ~

    Happy Week to you, Karma and family ~ xox

  19. Good to hear from you Rita.Those tombow markers look so good. I am yet to try them. Sorry to hear about the roses.Thank you for sharing the stamp set link. Will have a look at it.
    Have a great week

  20. It sounds like you're having a fine time with crafts, family, and the visiting wildlife. "mere mesh between her and her fantasies" made me laugh out loud. Too funny. :)

  21. I have some catching up to do....

    The cards look fabulous and lucky you having a whole set of Tombow markers!

    OMG how awesome that you had a little squirrel come to visit! SO cute! Luckily, Karma doesn't try to break through the mesh screen...hehe

    The patio door brace is a great idea! I don't think you can ever be too careful security-wise.

    OH, how nice that someone other than McFamily sent you the second bunch of roses. What a lovely thing to do.

    Such a shame the roses wilted so quickly and I think Leah did the right thing in letting them know about it.

    Thanks for the link for the Perpetual Calendar. I will definitely look into it. :)

  22. Your cards are wonderful.
    Good idea to make a rash of them too.
    I'm afraid that Mother's Day is probably the worst time to order flowers. They are swamped and who knows what care they were given before they made their way to you.
    My roses didn't last all that long either... guess it's the thought that counts ♥
    Happy Beginning of the Weekend Rita and Karma

  23. Ground squirrels, grouse, and jack rabbits! Oh my gosh...what a great place you're in! What a change from your other place. You and Karma must be thrilled!


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