Tuesday, February 16, 2016


Late start today.
Hope you'll join me with a cuppa.  :)
(How did I have this many pictures when I was sick?!)
My view from my chair all week.  
No better place to be sick than our new home.  :)
 Until Saturday evening I was just in my big brown chair hanging out with Karma, cold medicine, a box of Puffs, and my lap desk.  Karma was glad when I felt decent enough to be back at the kitchen table.  Here she is using the wooden arm of "her" chair as a pillow.  
We had dark days and blindingly bright days.  Freezing cold winds...but Karma and I were inside nice and warm. 
Amazon delivered five new little board books for Ian when he comes over.  (Ignore the mess on the table.)  Ian loves books!  (And Gramma loves to read them to him.)   
I did get card fronts cut for stamping with the MISTI on Craft Night with Leah on Sunday.  I had almost cancelled, but so glad I didn't because I finally did start to sound human by Saturday--knee is better, too.  (And we had a fun night--till 2:30am!) 
The Zig Clean Color brush marker set came, too.  I stuck them in one of the pretty pots Leah made me in pottery class. 
The red thermal mug is always by my side with hot coffee (especially in the winter--LOL!) so I have a few shots for the T-Stands For Tuesday group.  I am so boring with always drinking the same thing.  Well, that's not true.  I drink many different kinds of black coffees, but in the same favorite red mug.  
I worked and worked on letters all week.  Sent out 33 so far and have a dozen more lined up--plus I might get some more in the mail to answer before the end of February--whoohoo!  So I already finished the challenge of a letter a day in February for Month of Letters.  Felt good to send out several letters to people I haven't written to for some time.  Oh--and--if it weren't for the people who sent me books of stamps inside their Christmas cards (you know who you are) I wouldn't have been able to do this.  Thank you so much!!!  Really kept my mind off the snot brain and kept me very, very busy.  :)
 This was taken on Sunday but is exactly where Karma is again right this moment--in her chair by my side.  She thinks all is right with the world again.  (Even if she preferred all the extra comfy chair time, she does like our new routine here--LOL!) 
Where I usually spend my mornings (and most of the afternoons) next to Karma--LOL! 
We did get a little snow. 
Naturally, the wind rearranged it... 
...across the sidewalks. 
 I do find the snowbanks almost sculptural. 
They look quite ice-packed, don't they? 
One day while the wind howled and I was up stretching...I looked out the window and saw what looked like three boulders in the snow.  Was three jackrabbits hunkered down, ears flattened, faces into the wind, just waiting out the bad weather like statues, I guess.  I have never seen that before. 
Ever since that last big windstorm there have been panicky, restless, running, flying, chasing grouse.  I tried to snap a picture of this big one as he was chasing one my usual group of medium-sized grouse. 
I've seen two of these bigger grouse that look almost twice the size of "my" little family members and they chase them everywhere.  Meanwhile, there are also some new younger, smaller grouse that were trying to follow my usual group around--but then they were chasing those smaller ones away!  Haven't seen the smallest ones since.  It's been very stressful in the grouse world.
It says online that they are territorial--so maybe the high winds blew in bigger birds who want to take over here?  They aren't supposed to have their breeding season until spring--but I wondered about that being the cause, too?
My cell phone doesn't zoom well.  (Neither does my camera.)  After the big guy went chasing after one of my lone grouse...noticed a few of the family kind of hiding over by the garages across the way.  That was as close as I could get a shot.
There has been no calm grazing going on since the big bullies arrived like a week and a half ago.  I don't see the grouse every day like I used to.  And when I do they are racing or flying past.  Poor things.  Not a good time to be under high stress when there is so little to eat, you know?  But that's the latest from North Sky's Wild Kingdom.  ;)
Leah came over Sunday night for Craft night after Ian went to bed.  First we played a little with trying to cut out some snowflake dies we bought ages ago and hadn't tried.  The intricate dies would not cut paper no matter what "sandwich" of plates, shims, and even the metal plate that we tried.  Only one set of snowflake dies worked (white paper ones on the right).  We even tried foam.  The plain cheap foam worked (pink snowflakes at the bottom) but are such a pain to try to glue on to paper.
So we tried some sticky back foam (above-left) but it would only cut the foam and not much or any of the sticky back paper.  We picked out the waste materials--but wouldn't be able to use these for making 80-100 Christmas cards that's for sure.  :(  Not with the Cuttlebug, anyways.
We've been having troubles all along with the intricate dies using the Cuttlebug.  Even buying the metal plate hasn't helped.  We are going to have to investigate online to find out which die cut machine is the best for all these new skinny, skinny intricate dies.  Maybe down the line we will have to buy a new machine.  We may just have used the heck out of this one--LOL!  It seemed to cut better when it was new a decade or so ago.  ;)
It still cuts our old Spellbinder dies okay.  Leah was cutting circles for hours for her recyclable Christmas present tags.  She finished (and that is why we just kept going so late)--tada!  She's making them in red, green, and deep blue.  Next she will punch the snowflakes for the front circles.    
She did punch a couple to test the new snowflake punch.  They will be layered like this. 
I think they are so pretty!  And there's a white circle on the back so she can write the "to and froms".  
  I was working on stamping fronts for birthday cards--and I finished these 70 card fronts, too.  (LOVE the new MISTI!!)
You can see why I will need a good long time to color all of these--LOL!  I already have the 2016 birthday cards made up, so I have lots of time.  ;)  Feels good to be ahead of the game, though.  And I have a couple more to stamp up and color, too!  
I got this mandala coloring book from AliceKay for Christmas.  The page on the left was pre-colored to show you how it can be done.  That wasn't me!
But I did color the blank smaller one on the right hand side. 
Perfect for me to experiment on how to use these new Zig Clean Color brush markers. 
I have never had brush markers...  
...and they do take some getting used to. 
These have real bristles and not just harder foam.  
Whole new experience.  I need to practice--and the mandala coloring book is absolutely perfect for that.  (Thanks, AliceKay!)  I am slowly getting used to having a much lighter touch to get into the teeny tiny spaces.  :)
Let's see.  What else?
Oh, I didn't make it to the potluck meeting last Tuesday, of course, being croupy-sounding sick.  But I did call the lady whose number was on the flyer and suggest we get set up here with the library outreach program and gave her Pam's number.  And I did say she could put me down for the possible craft group that was mentioned if we are bringing our supplies down to the community room to chat together while we work on our various projects.  She said there is going to eventually be a calendar flyer put out every month to let us know what is when.  :)
I am having issues again with my email notifications for blog posts.  I think I am missing some altogether and some are being stacked up and sent all together later.  Sometimes MUCH later!  For example, I got 25 at once in one email from Fishducky!  So, if you haven't heard from me for a while, that could be the problem.  This has happened before.  Nothing I can do about it.  :(  Just wanted to let you know.  And--no--nobody is being sent to Spam this time--LOL!  That has happened, too, out of the blue.  Don't you love technology?  Then Google is also behaving like boys with secret clubhouse passwords.  Well, we just have to keep plugging along with what we have to work with, right?  I'd feel lost without it.  ;)
That's the last week from my little corner of the world.  :)  I hope to be writing letters, learning how to use my brush markers, working on cards...and staying well!!!!  :):)
"To us, our house was not unsentient matter -- it had a heart, and a soul, and eyes to see us with; and approvals and solicitudes and deep sympathies; it was of us, and we were in its confidence, and lived in its grace and in the peace of its benediction."
Mark Twain


Valerie-Jael said...

Looks like you and Karma had a busy and productive week. Glad you are on the mend. Love the photo with the Jackrabbits! Must be like cinema for Kara. Happy T Day, hugs, Valerie

Craftymoose Crafts said...

I had to enlarge the photo to see those adorable jackrabbits, but how cool that they were "posing" just outside your window! You have been busy with your crafts again and look at you....33 letters written and all your cards made for 2016! What a feat! Happy T Day!

DJan said...

I'm glad you and Karma are all snug and warm, especially when I saw those jackrabbits. Love your pretty cutouts and that quote from Twain is perfect! :-)

Bleubeard and Elizabeth said...

Goodness there is a lot going on in your world. Very impressed with the new watercolor pens. I've never seen anything like them.

Like you, my budget doesn't allow for stamps, so getting stamps in the mail for Christmas must have been a god send. At least you can mail letters and cards. I wanted to send some Valentines, but without stamps, it's just not possible.

Glad you are doing mandalas and I enjoyed Karma being Karma. Wish my cats would sit still for a photo op, but that isn't going to happen anytime soon.

Thanks for sharing your art, Ian's new books, your new pens, and your red mug with us for T this Tuesday.

Linda Kunsman said...

what a super productive time you've had!!! Love that sweet birthday stamp. And those brush markers look fab! I still have a drawer full of Marvy Le Plume brush markers (along with other brands of alcohol based markers) so I won't be looking to buy any as tempting as it is. I still have my old hand crank Spellbinders die cut machine and also have some trouble with teh more intricate dies. I just put it thru twice and that seems to do the trick. Happy T day Rita!

Anonymous said...

Keep on truckin'!!

Dianne said...

You've gotten a lot done despite illness! Love your line about "stressful in the grouse world." Struck me as funny, and yet there always seems to be a bully quick to take advantage. Glad you are feeling better... Love that red & white snowflake, and congratulations on all those letters!

Serena Lewis said...

You have been a busy girl! I love the snowflake cards and I actually like the mandala you coloured in better than their example. Enjoy your brush-markers. I have a couple of black ones that I love playing with in my sketches. I also have some ZIG Calligraphy markers that I love. You might want to double-check something though...on the side of my ZIG Calligraphy markers, it states that they must be kept horizontal. I assume it's to keep the ink evenly distributed so the tips don't dry out?

I feel sorry for the poor Jackrabbits huddled up in those conditions. I know they are probably equipped to deal with it but I can't help it. They look so cute!

Stay warm and snug inside.

Love and hugs xo

Janie Junebug said...

Twenty-five at once from fishducky? Her posts are long and funny. I bet your tummy hurt from laughing after you read them. Snow drifts are pretty when your car isn't stuck in them. When we had three feet of snow in Maryland, my son and his friend stood on the rail of our deck--which was fairly high off the ground--and fell backwards into the snow. They had so much fun. Penelope stays in my office with me. She doesn't get in a chair the way Karma does, but she's always to the left of my feet. If Franklin is inside, he's next to her or in front of her. He's been outside a lot yesterday and today because it's seventy degrees. What kind of animal is that on the birthday cards? It looks very cute. I couldn't be happier that you're in your new place, and perhaps you'll even have a craft group. You can socialize with people! It might feel funny after all those years in that awful place. When I moved into my house, I hadn't had neighbors for almost twenty years. During the first year, I felt shocked every time I looked out the front window and saw people. I got used to it. I still keep my drapes closed a lot though. I would like to get pleated shades for my living room so I could have them up a little bit for the dogs to look out and the light to come in, but I wouldn't be exposed for all the world to see.


Halle said...

Your world last week sounded much like mine.... At least you had some bright spots. I finally went to the dr today..got meds..hopefully they will knock this sickness away!
Take care!

Carol Samsel said...

WOW!You certainly have gotten a lot done and being sick to boot! Glad you are feeling better♡♡♡♡

Darla said...

A post full of information. I feel like we sat down and had a nice chat over our cups of coffee. You sure didn't let that spell of illness slow down your creativity. I enjoyed the look out your window but wouldn't want to go out there.

Ashley Shell said...

I might have to try those zig markers. Let me know how you like them. Glad to see you and karma doing well :)

johanna said...

i spy some eric carle books on your desk (the hungry caterpillar etc) - i so loved them reading to my Boys! their Pictures are so awesome...
These markers also look great (but i seem not to be a pen coloring Person, i had a lot of tombows and they all run dry over the years...).
take care of you and Karma and have a great week ahead!

froebelsternchen said...

Fabulous brush markers and you were so busy despite of illness! Always lovely to see Karma and the wonderful view out of your window!
Happy T-Day Rita!

Anonymous said...

I assume she didn't read them all at one time, Janie!!

pearshapedcrafting said...

What a treat of a post! Love the Karma photos as well as the jackrabbits and grouse! The Hungry Caterpillar is timeless isn't it - I'm sure Ian will love it and little fingers will be poking through those little holes!! The markers look interesting - would love to see how you get on with them. Sorry to be so late here, my outing yesterday made me tired! Chrisx

Sherry Ellis said...

Ian is going to love those books. Good choices!

GrandmaG said...

So happy to hear you're feeling better :) Thank you for the letter. I'd like to tell you a response is in the mail, but truth is that's probably not going to happen. At least not any time soon - LOL. I'm just too used to immediate responses now. I guess I need to get on the adult coloring book bandwagon. My daughter gave me two beautiful books for Christmas. But my perfectionism keeps me from touching them. However, I found a book at Dollar Tree yesterday, so I plan to start with it. If I can't get past messing up a $1 book, I guess I'm a lost cause - LOL! Always good to hear from you :)

Krisha said...

Hi Rita, here I am late as usual for T-day...LOL
I still have my youngest son's The Very Hungry Caterpillar book. It is just barely holding together after more than 30 years, but Megan still gets it out and wants it read to her. Ian is sure to love that one!

I'm interested in knowing how you like the new markers after you have used them a while. I like the idea of a "brush" tip instead of a pointed felt tip.....those tend to break down after a while......even with a light touch.

When I first saw the jackrabbits all hunkered down, I thought it was a runaway snowman.......LOL Monday, with the girls was a beautiful day, yesterday it cooled way off and rained off and on all day. Today is chilly ( for SOCAL) and looks like we will be getting even more rain. Such is our "spring" weather around here.....no wonder everybody is getting a second round of the flu! We are never sure just how to dress!

Thank you for visiting and for the lovely comment. Hope you and Karma stay warm. So very glad to hear you are feeling better.

Anonymous said...

So sorry to hear you are ill. Wishing you a speedy recovery!

JillGA said...

It is wonderful that you have so much going on outside of your windows. It must really break the monotony of cold and dreary weather. The jackrabbits are hysterical. Poor things! They must have been very cold indeed. So glad you are doing much better and I'm also glad that Karma seems to be enjoying herself as well. Congratulations on all of your accomplishments and your new pen set. I LOVE pens and pencils. My family says I'm obsessed. LOL Belated Happy T day!

Far Side of Fifty said...

Those new markers look like great fun! I have not had much time to play lately maybe Saturday or Sunday. I gets cranky when I don't get some me time...well sometimes I am cranky anyways:) Thank you for the Letter!! Nice to get mail! That new birthday card of yours will be fun to color! :) Hope you keep getting better! Hi to Karma:)

Friko said...

Same old busy Rita. I am glad that you have recovered from your ailments somewhat and are ready to launch yourself into your many projects. You are an inspiration to those of us who moan a lot. (not mentioning names)

Is that one jack-rabbit holding up a flag of surrender?

TammyV said...

Love all that wildlife! Esp those rabbits - I had to look a couple of times to see they were rabbits! I am jealous of all the lovely pens and markers you have. I buy one or two and then don't use them (which is why I don't buy more) but oh how I love the idea of them! Eric Carlyle makes the VERY BEST children's books - so lovely! Both my kiddos and grand kids had them (I think I still have the two you show in Mz Lady's library here).

Hope you are feeling better - been a rough winter for you! Heal well and fast!

Karla B said...

I always love visiting your blog.Thre are always lovely things to see and read.Miss Karma makes me smile.Love your new markers.Love the cards and quote and everything here!

Harvest Moon by Hand said...

Olivia has the nature mandala coloring book too! She's using Prismacolor pencils with hers. The brush-tips on the markers do look like they would take some getting used to. Beautiful colors, though!

Intense Guy said...

Goodness, I'm trying to catch up on my blog reading and here I encounter cats that like wood pillows and horny grouse out and about in the snow. Who said you have to "get out" in order to have some variety?