Friday, August 27, 2010

Eight Legs & Eight Eyes!

"The Writing Spider"

Ms. Writing Spider spent five days and five nights in the yucca plant near my parents' garage. I captured her photo after pulling weeds and nearly overlooked her! She was just beginning her zigs and her zags. What artwork! What an intricate, mi-nute, itsy bitsy piece of God's creation.

Do you think that Mr. Writing Spider is hiding in the foliage in his man cave while she weaves and designs and watches over their world? My guess is he's watching argiope espn.

So I Googled and found ...

"Female Argiope with web stabilimenta, the heavy white zigzag portions ...

Stabilimenta are conspicuous lines or spirals of silk, included by many diurnal spiders at the center of their otherwise cryptic webs. It has been shown spider webs using stabilimenta catch, on average, 34% fewer insects than those without. However, webs with the easily-visible markings are damaged far less frequently by birds flying through the web. It is an evolutionary trade off the spider can influence every time it builds a new web. The inclusion of stabilimenta is influenced by many factors, including prey density and web location."

Thankfully, this is a common garden spider ... but I had never seen one before & am totally fascinated! As long as it stays OUTside. BTW, if it were a snake I wouldn't be sharing 'cause I just wouldn't get close enough to even get a photo. I'd be standing on top of a picnic table.

See more interesting photos & info about this creature here.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

It's Your Day!

Art Therapy Time Together

Dad is gaining strength each day after his recent surgery & hospitalization. Thanks to all for your prayers!

We declared art therapy time together. Dad enjoyed making 12 of the "It's Your Day" greeting cards from one of the Close To My Heart kits I brought along to Ohio. He said, "Now that was fun!" He did a great job surprising Mom with his creations when she returned from her dental appointment. And it did make the time go by -- so enjoyable together!

Thank you, CTMH, for providing such fun, easy, and creative card kits. My Dad is a new FAN! Tomorrow we may try Hello Birdie. And then we may start on some Christmas cards while we play Christmas carol CDs!

Some of the "It's Your Day" cards made by Dad
Photo by Mom

Friday, August 13, 2010

Prayers, Please

Just a quick note to let you know I won't be posting for a while ... though I did bring a few scrapping supplies with me!

Dad was hospitalized on Tuesday and Don, Bethany, and I drove to Ohio to be with him and Mom.

Thankfully, he's doing better each day, but isn't quite strong enough yet to return home.

If you'd pray for them both, we'd all appreciate it so much! Thanks, and God bless!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

2-4-6-8 Who Do We Appreciate? Y-O-U!

I'm a cheer leader for Close To My Heart--an awesome company with GREAT designs and products! AND GREAT specials for customers!

Two Days Are Left -- Shop for Yourself OR for Christmas Gifts!

Skip over to and click on the middle 2-4-6-8 graphic to see all the special sale items you can find for 50% off today and tomorrow!

Order online and have your box delivered to YOUR door!

This graphic shows the gorgeous Bella paper packets
that are 50% off right NOW!

Monday, August 9, 2010

Merry Christmas in August!

It's "Jingle All the Way" as the Christmas music plays here.
Today I got to play with the '09 CTMH Christmas papers called "Jingle" and I finished two 2-page layouts using our 2009 family Christmas photos.

It made me feel at least 10 degrees cooler.

I used:
CTMH Jingle Paper Levels 1 & 2
and Stickease
Juniper Grosgrain Ribbon
Dimensional Element Stars & Snowflakes
Prisma Glitter
Liquid Glass
Sheer Ribbon
Sparkles and Itty Bitty Sparkles
(aqua jewels not CTMH)
Flip Flaps (not pictured,
but I layered a few on each Memory Protector Page)

Layout 2, Page 1 needs something across the bottom--
I may journal on vellum here.
If you have a good idea for me, please chime in!

This is my second post today,
so please scroll down for "Olivia."
Thanks for looking & leaving some love.

Playing with Olivia Papers

"In everything, give thanks..."

That's so true!
It's another hot day in the Lou, and I'm spending it
in my Stu-di-o!

The Olivia papers are new in Close To My Heart's
Fall/Winter catalog -- what rich colors!
(This design and three more new designs
will be available to customers on September 1.)

They went well with the photos I used of Beatrice and me.
One of her many nicknames is Beaz Louise.
It's special that we share middle names.

I used:
CTMH Olivia Paper Packets Level 1 (background)
Level 2 for additional patterned paper pieces
Level 1 Stickease for title
Metal Foundry Flourishes (bronze flowers)
Colonial White buttons & ribbon
Sorbet Ric Rac
Pretty Pin
Computer journaling with Typewriter font

(Flip Flaps have since been added to the Memory Protector.
I can't live without 'em.)

Thanks for visiting and leaving some love!

Saturday, August 7, 2010

LCHS Class of 1965

Last Saturday, while visiting in NW Ohio,
DH and I got all cleaned up
and rode down the river road
to Ron & Vicki's
where they graciously hosted the
LCHS Class of '65 Tiger Reunion.

We had a great attendance, beautiful weather,
a catered meal under a big white tent,
lots of catching up and visiting time ...

and nobody looks a day over 39.
Well, okay, 49.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Change Is Inevitable

County Road 8 Ends

More than 30 years ago, when Dad was at hard work farming,
ODOT was paying the engineers to create blueprints for a new and bigger
State Highway 24 through NW Ohio.

Dad and Mom raised our family on the quiet country county road
in a four-generation family farmhouse,
where we all enjoyed the blessings of rural living--
true organic gardening and animal-raising,
fields of wheat, corn, and soybeans, and sometimes tomatoes,
and a huge yard for ball playing in the summer and ice skating in the winter.

Dad retired from farming and Mom retired from nursing. Then they moved a few miles into a small town subdivision where they can still mow grass and plant flowers and pumpkins and spit watermelon seeds.

Then after a long battle waged by the hundreds of farmers against the state highway department, change became inevitable.

A year ago the big earthmoving machines rolled in and began their grunting and groaning as the fields were wiped out and reconfigured. The rich soil was dug and moved to make road beds. Huge ponds have begun to fill with water along each square mile.

The process continues. It's hard to watch. The family farm has been divided into two triangular sections, one not even accessible from the other. Other farmers fared better, some fared even worse. The county road is now a dead-end road. A cloverleaf interchange is going in half a mile down the way. It's all been hard on those who made their living farming the fields and providing food for America's families.

Some say it's progress. The truckers will be happy to have more lanes and a straighter course to their destinations. The speed limit will most likely go up.

We'll miss riding our bicycles along the quiet county road, waving to old neighbors, and picking Queen Anne's Lace and cattails along the way.

Change is inevitable. But we don't have to like it. Sometimes less is more.

Memories Part 3

My great-grandfather built the family farmhouse in the 1800s.
It was moved 1/2 mile across a soybean field to face the county road
 before my grandparents were married and raised their family in it.
Then the once-small house grew with additional rooms
for each new generation.

When my parents raised their family here,
the porch was screened
and we had a comfy porch swing and
lots of geraniums and ivy in planters.
The siding was a dark gray then.
We tromped through the big yard pretending to be on a cattle drive,
twirled our batons and marched to music,
and tossed corn cob airplanes having chicken feathers
for wings and tails.
We mowed the acres of grassy lawn with a
John Deere riding tractor.
It was one of the "keepers" that moved to town with Mom and Dad.

Now the farmhouse is home to a new family,
friends of ours from high school,
and they have a daughter named Abbie (my grandma's name)
and some boys to climb the trees and race around the yard.

A mile away is the scenic Maumee River,
where many boaters gather in the summer.
It's an historic area--in the late 1700s,
General Anthony Wayne and his troops followed the river
and set up forts, hence the name
The General Anthony Wayne Trail for State Highway 24.

In the winter, we ice skated and made bonfires here,
and some brave people ice fished on the Maumee River.

My great-grandfather and grandfather
helped make ice blocks on the river in the winter time,
and hauled them home on horse-drawn wagons
to help keep food preserved in their cellars.

Little farmhouse on the NW Ohio plains ...
I could write a book about it.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Memories Part 2

We were married 40 years ago in St. Paul Lutheran Church in NW Ohio.

We had to have help to get our car out of the creek bed
behind the church's parking lot
after some well-meaning family members and friends
thought they would hide it for us to prevent tricksters
from doing their wedding night fun stuff.
Last Sunday when we arrived in Ohio, we drove into the parking lot
to say our "I do's" again, 
and our laughs about the past just continue.

After retrieving our car 40 years ago,
we left Ohio for a two-night stay near Detroit,
where DH had to take his final exams at the Michigan State U satellite campus.
His prof told him he would give him an A in his classes
just for showing up.
Then we headed East.

I'll let you use your imagination when I tell you that we
honeymooned in Pennsylvania's beautiful Pocono Mountains
in a pup tent.
What were we thinking?
It rained every night.
Each morning we packed up our gear and moved to a higher location.
By the end of the week, we had developed a very organized camp site,
we dried out,
and we had eaten a 10-lb family pack of hamburgers--
grilled--and 101 other ways to eat ground beef.
(What an awakening to go grocery shopping with a groom for the first time!
He still buys family packs of everything.
Even now when there are only two of us at home.)
Great memories. Beautiful mountains and lakes.
Our Polaroid pictures are slowly fading.
But the memories are fresh in our minds.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Happy Birthday, Trena!

DD Emily's friend Trena has a July birthday and this is the gift I made for Emily to give to her this year. (I waited to post this after Trena received it.)

Trena and Frank's second baby girl is due in a month--Gianna Rose. This is a dimensional pregnancy album to document their thoughts and prayers for baby G.

The chipboard album, papers, and ribbons are from my stash.

Close To My Heart products I used in this project are the stamps and inks, buttons, bright Sparkles and pretty pearls, Stardust glitter glue, and the "My Pages Talk" recorder.

Hope you had a happy birthday, Trena!

Paper Art from StudioJane

Samples of my created paper art ...

Clear Acrylic Cards

Greeting Cards

Mix 'n' Mingle Album

Gift Albums

Memory Keeper Boxes

Art Keeper Boxes

Thank You Note Cards

Custom Gifts

Christmas Greeting Cards

Pregnancy Journals--Display Albums

For Baby

Floral Photo Note Cards