Sunday, May 24, 2009

Jacob Cooks Dinner!

Tonight Jacob decided he wanted to cook dinner for us. Who am I to argue? I will never argue about that as I hate to cook. This was something his old girlfriend, Michelle taught him to make. Here are a few pics of him cooking and the final result...

May I have a drum roll, please...

The end result....Chicken Parmesian, spaghetti and a salad. Yummmm!

Blue Ridge Skyline Drive

Jacob is home for the weekend and wanted to take a drive up to the mountains, so yesterday we did. We usually go in the fall to see the change of colors, so it was nice to see everything lush and green for a change. We always get on at Thornton Gap and go South to Big Meadows. One of these days we need to head north. It was a beautiful day!
Jacob & Megan
Stoney Man ( Can you see him - looks like he is laying down looking up at the sky)

We saw lots of deer out grazing by the road.

Just before you get to Big Meadow, there is a hiking trail up to Dark Hollow Falls. We dropped Jacob and Meghan off for them to take it. Here are some pictures and a video they took of it. Harold and Jacob hiked up there last year (too far and steep for me), but there was hardly any water that time, so with all the rain lately it was nicer this time.

Harold and I went on to Big Meadows (just around the corner from where we dropped them off) to wait and we went on a more level trail for a short distance. This is a deer we saw while on it.

Big Meadows is where the Visitor Center and a restaurant and store are located. We sat under a tree after our hike that looked out over Big Meadows. Here are a few shots of it. We asked a Ranger why the Meadows were not overtaken by trees. It is a huge area. They divided it into thirds and 1/3 they burn, 1/3 they mow and 1/3 they leave alone and they rotate that each year. You could see the difference in each area in person.
Big Meadows
On the way back we saw more deer and a wild turkey. The turkey was right next to the road, so I was able to get a good picture of it.

These deer walked right up to a car coming from the other direction that stopped.

Below are some shots I was able to snap on the way back as well.
Looking east.
Looking west.
Meghan and Jacob

Cindy & Harold

We went out to dinner at our favorite restaurant, Carlos O'Kelly's, afterwards...MMMmmmm Good!

My Craft Room

Well, it is now painfully obvious to me that I have waaaaayyyy to much stuff. I have gotten my craft room as organized as it is going to get for a little while and have run out of room to stash everything. So after I finish some stamping projects (1st one on list is my nephew Cole's Memory Can and one for Patrick) I am going to start finding things to either donate to the Sr. Ctr., give to friends or sell. That is always hard for me as I hate to get rid of craft things that I might find a use for in the near future. I'm sure I will be able to find new homes for at least a few things.
This is BEFORE I cleaned and rearranged. Current stamp sets are on the short bookcase and discontinued sets are on the tall bookcase. My craft table is lost in all the clutter on it.
This is AFTER - All stamps sets are now on the tall bookcase.
I can now work at my craft table.
The pile between the bookcase and table is not as bad as it looks,
most of the pile is the stuff I take to the Sr. Ctr. with me, so I keep it accessable.
My computer and where I spend the majority of my time.

All my punches are in the shoe rack on the back of the door.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Friends 24-7 Card

This card was created by my friend and fellow demo, Catherine Ray. I had dropped by to leave something for her and she was home and stamping and invited me in and let me stamp a card that she had pre-cuts left over for from her last class. Thought I'd share it with you. For some reason the scanner insisted on only doing it in black and white, despite multiple trys and attempts to correct the problem (did ones afterwards okay). Anyway it is primarily Going Gray and Basic Gray, but there is a layer of Pretty in Pink between the 2 grays and the ribbon is pink. The set used is "Friends 24-7".

Cards Received in a Swap

I meant to post these a few months ago. Tracy Latino got a group of local SU demos and some of her customers together to do a local swap. (Mine was the "Inspired by Nature" card posted in March). Here are the ones I received in trade and some of the ones we made at her house when we went to swap them. First the ones I received. Unfortunately, I don't know who made each of these except one and I put her name under her card.
By Gabby Davoy
Next are the cards and a calendar in an acrylic frame that we each made while there. We also made a cute little Easter basket with the Petal Card die for the Big Shot.
This isn't a very good picture of the little basket, but you get the general idea...it ends up being heart-shaped and the little card goes into the pocket on the front (you can kinda see it)

Some Non-SU Card Samples

A few weeks ago, Margarethe and I made another trek to our favorite stamp store - The Handcraft House in Madison, VA (about an hr. and 15 min. away). Once a month they have a Super stamping Saturday and this time it was combined with teaching you how to use the Copic markers. I have heard so much about them, I was waiting for this day to try them. Of course, I did buy a few following the class. Here are a couple of the cards I made using the markers and one iris fold card. I love it. Wish the scan had come out better...it is on a white card, but you can't see the white around the patterned paper. So keep that in mind when looking a it.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Baby Shower Thank Yous

Sorry for the delay in posting this sample I've been promising you of a Thank You card I made for Ilene's baby shower. I finally remembered to take a picture of one and then it took me awhile to remember to post it. We didn't put anything on the inside as she prefered to write each person a note. The stamp sets used were "She's All That" and "Elegant Greetings". Both sets are retired. We also used the Stampin' Up! Note Cards with envelope, which are just a bit smaller than the standard size card.
This one is embossed using Ballet Blue Craft ink and clear embossing powder. However, since she decided she needed 100 of them, after the first 40 or so, I decided to stop embossing and just stamp the images. I still used the Ballet Blue Craft ink as it just came out a little darker and brighter looking that the classic ink did. I only have 20 more to go and I will finally be done with them. She has not been getting a lot of them written lately, so that only added to my procrastinating nature, plus after awhile I really got tired of looking at them and just couldn't get back in the mood to make more. But I plan to finish them tomorrow or Monday and get the last of them delivered to her. I enjoyed the experience of it, but will never agree to make that many again unless I have help (at least not embossed - too time consuming). Plus, I made these as a gift, so it is not like I was getting paid to make them. I use to babysit Irene when she was about 11-12 yrs. old...well not babysit, but provide afterschool care for her. It was like having one of my baby's having a baby. She is just a few years older than George.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Jacob's Rose Bushes

I decided that since I was posting pictures of everyone else's garden I should do the same for mine, unfortunately, nothing of mine is blooming yet except one of Jacob's rose bushes. So here is a picture of my little garden area in back, which is in need of some attention and his roses, which are in the opposite corner.

I have got to get some springtime flowering plants in this garden to add some color. My daffodils have not bloomed yet and the others won't until into the summer. I think my Black-eyed Susans are coming back. I also plan to remove the rocks around my garden and replace with the same ones Jacob and I used for the front of the house. I have some left, but need to buy more. Maybe I can get him to do it for me when he is home over Memorial weekend.

His pink tea rose bush is loaded with buds and should be bursting with blooms soon, so I will post pictures of it when it does and when everything starts to bloom in my garden I will post some pictures of it. My Day Lillies in front should be blooming anytime now. My Purple cone flowers came back nice and full, so I can't wait to see them bloom, a few others did not come back or are not growing as quickly, but did come back. So only time will tell on those. I think even one of my Gerber daisies is growing again.

MY MOTHER'S DAY OUTING

Well, I was all set to have a depressing Mother's Day without the boys home for the first time, then I decided to make the best of it and do something. My RHSS friend, Betty, had told me about an Iris Garden tour that was open on Mother's Day and asked if I wanted to go with her. Well, I told Harold about it, since he had to miss the Garden Tour, we decided to go to this, I called Betty and told her we were going and she was getting ready to go, so we picked her up for it. My RHSS friend, Bobbie, had called me that morning to wish me a "Happy Mother's Day!" and she had sounded a little depressed herself as her son was busy with his family and she would not be seeing him for MD, so I called her back and she joined us as well. The tour was being put on by the Fredericksburg Iris Society and there were 4 Gardens on the tour, we only had time to visit two and the first one belonged to another RHSS friend, Sue, in Stafford County. Below are the pictures taken of her garden and some beautiful Irises. The Indian Chief ones are from her father's garden originally and she donated quite a few to Virginia Tech to be planted at the Memorial for those killed in the shooting a few years ago, since they are the school colors, they were perfect.

While at Sue's house, both boys called us on our cell phone to talk and wish me a "Happy Mother's Day, so that made everything perfect, since I was not sure if they would be given phone privledges or not, as they are both entering crutial stages of the training they are in.

Indian Chief (donated to VA Tech)These Irises smelled like grapes.

I realize the rest of the pictures are not Irises, but they were too pretty to not include. Her entire yard was beautiful.
I couldn't resist taking a picture of this ladybug and just as I did, this little ant ran onto the top of the bud (Peony). He was dashing all over the bud, while the ladybug just sat there resting.

The 2nd garden we visited belonged to Jack & Rosalie Loving, Edgehill Gardens, in King George County. He will have his garden open for viewing thru this coming weekend. So go by and have a look if you can, it is beautiful and you can place an order of the ones you like. They will be available for pick-up in late July (you must prepay). You can contact them at 540-775-4043.

This is what the flyer had to say about their garden: An impressive collection (1000+) of bearded irises, with some Japanese, Siberian, and Spuria. This is a beautifully landscaped garden. It is a real treat that shouldn’t be missed. One of four gardens in the Fredericksburg area included on the garden tour of the 2003 AIS National Convention. Directions: From Fredericksburg go east on Rt. 3 through King George Court House area to Rt. 205. Left on Rt. 205 to US 301 (approx. 1 ½ miles). Cross US 301 and turn right into 3rd driveway (Edgehill Lane). Go down lane to stone house on left.

Now here are a few pictures of some of my favorites at his place. Thanks to a hint from Mr. Loving, I took a picture of the tag after each, so I have the names of his irises. FYI: The first is the name of the flower, then the name of the hybrider and then the year of introduction, placed below each picture.

Taco Belle
N. Sexton 1978
MaMie
Cayeuz 1906

Different World

R. Ernst 1991 Snowed In

J. Ghio 1999

In Town
B. Blythe 1988
Melted Butter
Chun Fan 1994Southwest Sunset
H. Rush 2003World Premier
Schreiner's 1998
Welch's Reward
W. Welch 1988 (MTB)
Goodnight Kiss
Schreiner's 2003

Twilight Passage

T. Aitken 1998 (BB)

This one they received the Blue Ribbon for "Best of Show".

The following picture is not an Iris, but an Azalea bush. I thought the flower was so pretty it deserved a spot.

Martha Hitchcock