Dec 11, 2011

A New Addition to our Family!

NO - I am NOT having a baby!! LOL.  Been there, done that, many years ago!

I am talking about a stunning parakeet we brought home 2 days ago.  She is not named just yet, but I'm settling in on a couple of considerations.

In the carrier during the ride home.
She comes from a great breeder, good stock, and is soooo pretty!  My pictures do not do her justice.  Her body is a shimmery aqua and her face is fluffy and snow white with vivid markings of blue and black.

Bijou has not met her yet.  She's been cleared by our avian vet, but some quarantine is safe practice.  She's about 6 months old and likes to snuggle up on our shoulders and under my hair on the back of my neck.  It's a lot of change for her these past two days, so we're just taking it slow for her and letting her become comfortable in her new surroundings.

Later today I hope to get inky!  If I am successful, I can post some pictures.  Thanks for stopping by!

Dec 1, 2011

Asian Cards for Paola's Swap

I've been meaning to post this for a while now.  Life keeps getting in my way!

My friend, Paola (Sama on Split Coast) is hosting an Asian card swap and these are the cards I made for the swap.

The stamps are an older, retired set from Stampin Up, not sure of the name of the set, but I just love them.  

Here's a close up of the card front.  I used a Stampin Up embossing plate for the card base, stamped the image with Memento Tuxedo Black onto white Mullberry paper, and fringed the edges.  The ribbon is a pretty lace that I bought from a local craft store (WalMart, AC Moore or Mike's).  The sanji character was cut out using my Cricut.

I colored the image with chalks, and then painted over it with Crystal Effects. 

I hope that Sweet P likes these.  If you want to see some drop dead pretty creations, stop by her blog and look at her handiwork!

Thanks for stopping by!

Nov 15, 2011

Dueling Darling: What Not to Wear!

It's the 15th and time for another round of the Dueling Darlings!
See the lists of Divas & Dazzlers on the right of my page? Those are links to the two teams of Dueling Darlings from Split Coast.  This month's challenge kit came from Jeanette and Kelly and the theme is based on the TV show "What Not to Wear". 

Here is Jeanette's kit for the Dazzlers.  That's right! 
The most uncoordinated collection of papers, embellishments
and a fun image!  What to do...what to do???

Here's a close-up
of the fun image:


Well, after stewing on this for a few days I decided to just go for it.  The challenge was to use these items that Jeanette herself described as "atrocious" together!  So, I threw out any notion of coordinating these disparate styles & colors and challenged myself to use everything from the kit!

I started with coloring the image, going for a loud, raucous friend in a designer dress and her somewhat amazed & more conservative companion.   I added some background of flowers continuing the 60's feel of two of the DPs.  
I gave her a fluorescent yellow and pink dress, red hair and a purple, pink and yellow hat!  Yikes!

Then I decided to make a double gate fold card so that I would have more panels for each of the DPs.  From there it just sort of flowed together.  I kept saying to myself, "Hey, just go with it!" Know what? It started to feel like when you were a kid and just wanted to use it all, not worrying about whether you should use everything! Ha ha, know what I mean?

Here's the finished card,
folded & tied shut. 
Here's a look at the front with the bottom
"Listen Up" & top image rotated
out of the way so you can
see the papers underneath.

That's right.  The buttons
are not lined up straight.
Definitely a fashion
No No.

Bijou eying the buttons from my shoulder.
He just LOVES to play with bright buttons. 
(Doesn't my boy look scraggly with the missing feathers?)


Here's the card opened up so that you can see the inside panels.  For the center I used two different DPs and a sticker.  

Hmmm.  By now I was really in the grade-school mode of "let's use it all"!  So I added two more stickers to the center back panel:

Here's Bijou, supervising from his tree in my unfinished stamping room.  

Well Jeanette & fellow Darlings - I'm sure that you managed to work these various elements together into a coordinated project!  And I can't wait to visit your blogs and see your handiwork.  Me?  I was just happy that I used some of everything with just two exceptions: some ribbon and a key.  But maybe I should go back and find somewhere to add those...after all, more is...MORE! LOL

The other part of the challenge was to post any pictures of ourselves in an outrageous outfit from "back in the day".  I don't happen to have any photos from my youth, but I do remember this black & white knit hat, that came to a point above my head.  It had little black pom poms down the center back, starting from the tall point.  It was as ghastly as my card is today and I would take it off as soon as I was out of my mother's eyesight.  Often forgetting to put it back on before coming back home from school. Oh my, that hat was really bad and I HATED wearing it!  I figure that my parents' payback was when I was older and mini skirts and boots were in style!  Ahhh, youth.

Be sure to visit the blogs of my fellow Darlings! Links are listed to the right. 
Hope that you got a chuckle out of this creation today!

OK, it's not from my childhood, but from the late 80's - and it's Christmas morning, so I don't have my contacts in, just me BIG glasses on! LOL, just look at those window panes I'm wearing!  (I went back & dug up something funny to post)

Nov 12, 2011

D. Morgan Stamps

One of my new blogging pals, Paige, is also a D. Morgan stamp fan. I thought that maybe I should share some of the D. Morgan creations I have done with her. I'm trying to encourage her to try coloring them.  I'm CERTAIN that she is up to the challenge and her creation will turn out beautifully.  (Just visit her blog and you'll see why I'm certain - her work is sooo pretty!)

To be sure, the D. Morgan artwork is a bit daunting for me.  Sometimes I have to practice quite a while before I feel comfortable enough to actually make a card for someone!  But artistic talent is not my strong suit, it doesn't come naturally to me.

Paige, this post is for you so that you can see my attempts and know that you can master a D. Morgan stamp!  Go ahead, give it a go!!!  Hugs.

This last is the back of the stamp (wood mount).  I tried coloring 7 images of this one for Lauren's swap on SCS.  (get a napkin before visiting her blog - you're gonna drool!)  No luck. Just couldn't get the colors right.  But one day I will!

I have many more D. Morgan stamps in my collection, most have never seen ink since I just know that they are beyond my coloring skills at this time.  But that's ok.  Gives me something to work toward!

Don't be timid - Paige!  We are our own worst critics, aren't we?!

Nov 8, 2011

Cards for Barb's Santa Swap

Now don't faint from surprise, but I am finally coming back here to update Bijou's Blog. Bijou has been feeling a bit sad since coming home from Joanne's spa.  So we have bought some daylight lamps, a new taller cage and made some other adjustments to his life so that he gets lots more direct sunlight, more fresh cooked food, etc. and we'll report back on his health & condition.  But, fingers crossed, so far, so good!

Meanwhile, I got busy on my friend Barb's Swap: "Big Guy in the Red Suit".  I have a few Santa stamps, some elegant & some cute.  But those that know me know that I am a complete D. Morgan fan, and own many of her stamps.  Sooooo, I decided to take a chance and use one that I particularly like for Barb's swap.  It may be a bit different, but hopefully she and others in the swap will like what I made.

Here's the front of the card.  It may have been better to make it an A& size, but I kept with the traditional swap size so it would fit in the participant's return envelope.  Her writing is hard to read in the picture, so here is what it says:
"Dear Santa,
Are you the same dear man
I knew so long ago?
Does Mrs. Claus still mend your suit
And pack your bag to go?
I knew the bells on reindeer hoof
And felt the snow crunch on my roof
I ran to peek in at the tree
(That breathless little child was me)
How marvelously jolly round
You stilled my heart without a sound
How quiet you were beside the tree
You drank the cocoa there from me
Now with values rearranged
Please don't tell me you have changed
Does Mrs. Claus still mend your suit
And pack your bag to go?
Are you still the same dear man
I knew so long ago?"

Here is a close up of the card top
 The image border has been sponged with chalk then a thin coat of Crystal Effects has been painted over it.  The moon has been accented with some diamond Stickles.

The entire image was stamped in Elegant Eggplant and embossed with detail clear EP.

Here is a close up of the bottom of the card.  I colored lightly with chalks, then highlighted with Crystal Effects and painted on diamond Stickles for a snowy appearance. 

You can tell that I need some practice taking pictures, since the cards look better IRL.  I hope that they will be enjoyed!

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?

Sep 25, 2011

My First Post! it is.  At last.  My first blog post!  My female human took so long to get back to this project that I had almost given up hope.  Humans are exasperating but rewarding pets. Life would certainly be dull without them.

Here are some pictures of the star of this blog - ME!  I am a 3 year old Lovebird named Bijou, which is French for jewel or gem.  I think it's appropriate, given my blue, white and violet coloring.
I have to warn you though.  I suspect that my female pet will be hijacking my blog on occasion.  She can be troublesome but I love her anyway.

Hmmm, what's going on over there?  (I have to keep a
close eye on my humans.  They can get into trouble so easily.)

One of my favorite places is the long poster tube on top of my cage. 
This "Foxy" character seemed to want it also,
but I successfully defended my territory.

Sheesh!  Can't I get a little privacy after a bath? 
I just wanted a little snuggle with my rubber duckie.