Oct 15, 2011

It's Dueling Time!

Hello Darlings!  It's the 15th and you know what that means!  Yes, it's time for the October Round of the Dueling Darlings.  We are a group of card makers who duel it out each month with a card kit, posting our creations on the 15th.

We all take turns creating the kit for our team, and this month is hosted by Tami and I.  We started planning this back in July (thankfully Tami wanted to get a real head start!)  I can hardly wait to be DAZZLED by their creations!
My October Card
The stamp we chose is from Stampin Up, it's been retired some time now.  The set was called "Sweet Seasons" and has long been a favorite of mine. This little guy pulling the wagon just brings back so many fun memories of the Fall: pumpkins and apples, making a Halloween costume, carving the enormous pumpkins we used to grow, and so on!

A  Close Up Showing the Image
The base card stock is a burnt orange, textured paper from DCWV.  The DPs are from their "All Seasons I & II and The Naturals" packs.  

I've painted SU's "Crystal Effects" onto his hair, the leaves and the pumpkins to make them pop a bit, but it doesn't photograph well. After cutting the image with a Nesties die, I outlined with a gold metallic marker to give it some emphasis.

Below you can see my initial attempt was going in a totally different direction, which I abandoned and opted for a Joy Fold instead.  I thought it gave more opportunity to showcase the image and DP's. 

Here's a view with the card partially open.  "Happiness" is stamped with Staz On Pumpkin onto an oval piece of Balsa wood.  I stained the wood by sponging brown Staz On and then rubbing the edges onto the stamp pad to make them darker.  When dry, I coated it with Crystal Effects to give it a glossy finish.  It is mounted with foam dots to provide a method of keeping the front flap closed-just tuck the corner under the balsa wood.  I added a little sparkle onto the leaves with some glitter glue.

The inside panels are shown here.  The left and most of the center are blank for a message, and the right panel is decorated with a glittery pumpkin and fall leaf.  I really thought the squirrel added another fun touch!

Well, that's it for my October Duel.  Thank you for looking!  Be sure to visit the other Dueling Darlings and admire their cards.  Links are posted in the right column of my blog.

We asked the Divas & Dazzlers to post a favorite Fall recipe.  I think my favorite memory of Fall are the pumpkin cookies that my Mom used to make, but she probably never wrote the recipe down, so my submission may seem plain to you, but I love it:
Acorn Squash!!
Yes, I love Acorn Squash, always have!  It's not a complicated recipe:

Halve the squash lengthwise, scoop out the seeds and rinse.  Place in a baking dish with about 1/4 inch of water in the bottom of the dish.  Prick the surface of the squash with a fork and place 1-2 pats of butter in the cavity.  Sprinkle on ground Nutmeg, Cinnamon and brown sugar.  Cover and bake at 350 degrees until squash is tender.

Hmmm...I think I'll have to make some this weekend!

Oct 14, 2011

Bijou's Big Vacation

Hello world - I'm back!

I felt the need to get away from the demands of my humans. So I booked a retreat with THE BEST Bird Human on the planet - Joanne.  Her spa is the greatest: movies in the recreation room, luxurious outdoor retreats, the food is to die for, and the clientele is VERY fun.  Yep, just what I needed for some R & R!
While there I became acquainted with several residents:
  • Two African Grays
  • A Cockatoo
  • A beautiful green parrot (not sure on the species)
  • Two small dogs
  • Justice (118 pound German Shepard)
  • Pygmy goats
  • And of course, my favorites: Murphy and Cisco.  
Murphy is a Lovebird and Cisco is the best parakeet I've ever met!  What a riot he is!!  Murphy was so excited to see me, just kept head bobbing at my female when I was being dropped off. (They had to chauffeur me.  Cabs were scarce that night).

Private Dining one evening. 

Murphy and I after breakfast one morning. He's such a handsome devil!

Cisco & I hanging in the Rec Room

Ahhh, nothing like an afternoon at the movies to relax a fella!

Much to my delight, my inter-species skills came in handy and Justice and I were soon having a ball.  Literally. I mean, after all, he's only a dog (but pretty darn smart for just being a dog).  He couldn't quite get how to play fetch with me but he did freely offer his toys, so you have to give him credit for that!  Justice likes to rile up the smaller dogs and regularly gets them going.  He's really gentle and we became good friends.  

Cisco showed me the ins and outs of the spa, sharing all of his favorite spots.  We would watch the world from a sunny window, or hang out in the outdoor retreat, or get a workout in the Rec room.  Friday night was movie night and that was great fun too.

After a good workout, the staff pampered us with a shower.
All in all, it was a very relaxing break from the ordinary chores of keeping my humans happy.  I mean, a bird does need to get spoiled every now and again - right?