Chester Muffin

On Monday my nieces Netherlands Dwarf bunny, Chester Muffin tragically passed away. Chester Muffin was her faithful companion that followed her everywhere. He was only two years and in his short life he brought her great joy. He liked to run around her apartment and would kick up his back legs and twist in the air. Whenever she was watching TV he would always jumped onto the couch just to be with her, she misses him terribly.

I didn’t have a good picture of Chester Muffin, I was able to grab this one from my nieces Facebook album, it was cropped and then printed on to photo paper. The inside of the card reads:

When you are sorrowful look again in your heart,
and you shall see that in truth you are weeping for that which has been your delight.
-Kahlil Gibran

Chester Muffin
7 Dec. 2008 – 27 Dec. 2010

Chester Muffin

Jovi ~

Paper: Leapfrog (Bazzill), Saltillo (Bazzill), Red & Blue Daisy (Classic K Bailey –K&Company), Ivory Small Floral (Classic K Bailey –K&Company) ~ Other: Green Grosgrain (The Angel Company), Sheer Ribbon, Love Charm (Charm Me), Ivy Brads (Bazzill), Pop Dots ~ Card Size: 5.5 x 5.5

The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne

The Scarlet Letter
by Nathaniel Hawthorne

(Kindle Edition)

Novel by Nathaniel Hawthorne, published in 1850. It is considered a masterpiece of American literature and a classic moral study. The novel is set in a village in Puritan New England. The main character is Hester Prynne, a young woman who has borne an illegitimate child. Hester believes herself a widow, but her husband, Roger Chillingworth, returns to New England very much alive and conceals his identity. He finds his wife forced to wear the scarlet letter A on her dress as punishment for her adultery. Chillingworth becomes obsessed with finding the identity of his wife's former lover. When he learns that the father of Hester's child is Arthur Dimmesdale, a saintly young minister who is the leader of those exhorting her to name the child's father, Chillingworth proceeds to torment the guilt-stricken young man. In the end Chillingworth is morally degraded by his monomaniacal pursuit of revenge; Dimmesdale is broken by his own sense of guilt, and he publicly confesses his adultery before dying in Hester's arms. Only Hester can face the future bravely, as she plans to take her daughter Pearl to Europe to begin a new life.

The Scarlet Letter is definitely "heavy" reading, but worth reading. Take some advice: skip the introductory chapter "The Custom House" and just begin reading with "The Prison Door." Although I enjoyed this book, the descriptions were incessantly vivid and at times confusing but, it does add to the portrayal of society in the mid 1800's. This book forced me to look up many words that were used in Nathaniel Hawthorne's time, but are not used today. Once I was able to follow what Hawthorne was saying, I quickly got into the book.

This is a story you will long remember.

It's My Party

Today is my daughters 15th birthday; I still cherish those memories of holding her in my arms while she was sleeping. How time flies, I can’t believe that soon Riley will be eligible for drivers permit. Next week while Bryan is off we’re going to celebrate in Denver, dinner at Hard Rock Café, shopping at 16th Street Mall and then dessert at the Cheesecake Factory… all her favorite places to visit.

It's My Party

This is the card I made for Riley using the image It’s My Party. One of Riley’s favorite colors is black and it was a challenge to come up with a cute card, using black and keeping it girly at the same time. I typically add Liquid Appliqué to cake/cupcakes for a more “frosting” look, but when I cleared out my supplies, Liquid Appliqué was in the giveaway box… oops. Instead I used Frosted Lace Stickles for sparkle.

This is the first time I used Memento Ink and I love it. It stamps a clear and crisp image compared to other ink pads I’ve previously used. I also colored the image using only Prismacolor Pencils; I’ve been busy watching You Tube videos on how to color/blend with Primsacolor Pencils without using blending mediums. I’m pleasantly surprised that I was able to accomplish blending without the use of Gamsol.

Thanks for stopping by ~ Jovi

It’s My Party
Stamps ~ It’s My Party (Happy Hoppers/Stampabilities), For Every Occasion (inside – CTMH) ~ Ink: Tuxedo Black (Memento) ~ Paper: White (Paper Trey Ink), Black (Bazzill), Bamboo (CTMH), Silhouette Reflections (CTMH) ~ Other: Prismacolor Pencils, Sheer Black Ribbon (CTMH), Prima Flowers, Princess Brads (TAC), Yellow Stickles, Frosted Lace Stickles, Pop Dots, Scalloped Edge Punch (SU) ~ Card Size: 5.5 x 5.5

Not What She Seems by Victorine E. Lieske

Not What She Seems
by Victorine E. Lieske
(Kindle Edition)

Steven Ashton, a billionaire from New York, and Emily Grant, on the run from the law... and when they meet he can't help falling for her. What he doesn't know is that interfering in her life will put his own life in danger. Not What She Seems holds you in suspense from the moment you begin down the path of murder and romance.

When billionaire Steven Ashton couldn't stand his high society social life anymore, he left the stress of New York on a vacation for his soul. The need to meet real down to earth people lead him to a small Nebraska town he remembered visiting as a child. He didn't want to lie about who he was, but he couldn't exactly tell them the truth. Emily could have easily fallen in love with Steven, under different circumstances, but her past was catching up with her and she needed a new life. If the authorities found out about her, she could lose the one thing that meant everything, her four year old son. This book is a "sweet" romantic suspense, appropriate for all ages.

Not What She Seems grabbed my attention from the beginning until its conclusion.  The storyline was pretty fast moving the characters were very well developed and likeable.  The romance between Emily and Steven kept me reading past my bedtime, it was a romance that was based on their emotions rather than sexual encounters, which was refreshing.  The ending was very nicely done although I wish it would have been a bit longer… I want to read more about Emily and Steven.  This was a great debut novel from Victorine E. Lieske, who also designs rubber stamps, Victorine Originals.

Snoopy’s Chopper & His Sidekick

Snoopy's Chopper

A few days ago the Mountain Shadow Riders (MSR) held our annual Christmas party. Our Chapter has grown tremendously over the past year that we could no longer accommodate our large group in any member’s house. This year our party was held at South Side Johnny’s with over 80 members/family members in attendance. We all had a wonderful time chatting and exchanging gifts.

During the holiday celebration it is tradition to welcome the incoming officers and thank the outgoing officers. I received a beautiful engraved crystal with the MSR logo for serving as the Assistant Director along with Betty for the past year.

I made the cards for our outgoing Director, Carolee, and for our incoming Assistant Director, Paula. I wanted both cards to be motorcycle related and what could be better than Snoopy’s Chopper & Snoopy and His Sidekick for images. Carolee loves the color pink; it was fitting to make Snoopy’s chopper pink with a bit of purple. Both cards were embossed with Iridescent Ice Embossing Powder which adds plenty of sparkle and then colored using Tombow Markers & Close to My Heart markers, then blended using a Tombow Colorless Blender. While on a hunt for a blender (story below) I came across the fabulous little motorcycle charms in the jewelry isle at Hobby Lobby, they made a wonderful embellishment.

Snoopy & His Sidekick

About the Tombow Colorless Blender: In my last stamping post I mentioned that my old blender tip was ruined by using the heavy weight watercolor paper and I wanted to use a blender for these cards… I need one in a hurry. I checked the Tombow USA site to find where to buy locally.

The hunt started at 10 am, first stop was Jo-Ann’s, which is where I originally purchased them, no blenders, and no markers. Onto Archiver’s, I asked the sales clerk, she heard “markers” and “blend” and tried to sell me Copics! Off to two Michael’s stores…ugh! Finally at the third Hobby Lobby there was a small pack of markers but no blenders, it was getting late and I was frustrated. I purchased a few Marvy Le Plume blenders, which, I don’t particularly care for; I tried them at a friend’s house and let’s just say I prefer Tombow over anything else.

As I was driving home I passed by our local downtown art supply store, Meininger Art Supply. I made a quick u-turn. At 5:30 that evening I had Tombow Colorless Blenders in hand! Meininger’s should have been my first stop; I was just there two weeks ago purchasing Copic Sketch Markers. I have to go back there soon; they have a huge selection of Tombow Markers that can be purchased individually. Finding the huge selection made up for all the frustration!

Thanks for visiting ~ Jovi

Snoopy & His Sidekick
Stamps: Snoopy and His Sidekick (Stampabilities), For Every Occasion (inside – CTMH) ~ Ink: Black (Colorbox), Chocolate (inside – CTMH), Heavenly Blue (watercoloring –CTMH) ~ Paper: Watercolor (Canson 90lb), Chocolate (CTMH), Crystal Blue (CTMH), Caprice Reflection (CTMH) ~ Other: Iridescent Ice Embossing Powder (SU), Tombow Markers, Tombow Colorless Blender, Close to My Heart Markers, Twilight Brads (CTMH), Offray Ribbon, Gold Cord (SU), Waterbrush, Motorcycle Charm (Charm Me) ~ Card Size 6x6

Snoopy’s Chopper
Stamps: Snoopy’s Chopper (Stampabilites), For Every Occasion (inside – CTMH) ~ Ink: Black (Colorbox), Petal (inside – CTMH) ~ Paper: Watercolor (Canson 90lb), Wisteria (Bazzill), Baby Pink (inside – CTMH), Serenity (Karen Neuburger) ~ Other: Iridescent Ice EP (SU), Tombow Markers, Tombow Colorless Blender, Close to My Heart Markers, Oval/Scalloped Oval (Nestabilities), Gemstones (Hero Arts), Motorcycle Charm (Charm Me), Lily White Brads (Doodlebug), Spring Iris Grosgrain (CTMH), Silver Cord (SU), Pop Dots ~ Card Size 6x6

Books you can't live without: the top 100

Have you read any of these books? I’ve been working my way though this list over the past two years, all my reading prior to 2008 was true crime novels. I challenged myself to start reading other genres and this was a practical list to start my challenge with. I don’t plan on reading every book listed, just those that interest me. I’ve read eleven from the list.

Instructions: Copy the list, bold those books you've read in their entirety, italicize the ones you started but didn't finish or read an excerpt. After you post your list make sure to leave me a comment so I can visit your blog to see what books you’ve read.

1 Pride and Prejudice - Jane Austen
2 The Lord of the Rings - JRR Tolkien
3 Jane Eyre - Charlotte Bronte
4 Harry Potter series - JK Rowling
5 To Kill a Mockingbird - Harper Lee
6 The Bible
7 Wuthering Heights - Emily Bronte
8 Nineteen Eighty Four - George Orwell
9 His Dark Materials - Philip Pullman
10 Great Expectations - Charles Dickens
11 Little Women - Louisa M Alcott
12 Tess of the D’Urbervilles - Thomas Hardy
13 Catch 22 - Joseph Heller
14 Complete Works of Shakespeare
15 Rebecca - Daphne Du Maurier
16 The Hobbit - JRR Tolkien
17 Birdsong - Sebastian Faulk
18 Catcher in the Rye - JD Salinger
19 The Time Traveler’s Wife - Audrey Niffenegger
20 Middlemarch - George Eliot
21 Gone With The Wind - Margaret Mitchell
22 The Great Gatsby - F Scott Fitzgerald
24 War and Peace - Leo Tolstoy
25 The Hitch Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy - Douglas Adams
27 Crime and Punishment - Fyodor Dostoyevsky
28 Grapes of Wrath - John Steinbeck
29 Alice in Wonderland - Lewis Carroll
30 The Wind in the Willows - Kenneth Grahame
31 Anna Karenina - Leo Tolstoy
32 David Copperfield - Charles Dickens
33 Chronicles of Narnia - CS Lewis
34 Emma -Jane Austen
35 Persuasion - Jane Austen
36 The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe - CS Lewis
37 The Kite Runner - Khaled Hosseini
38 Captain Corelli’s Mandolin - Louis De Bernieres
39 Memoirs of a Geisha - Arthur Golden
40 Winnie the Pooh - A.A. Milne
41 Animal Farm - George Orwell
42 The Da Vinci Code - Dan Brown
43 One Hundred Years of Solitude - Gabriel Garcia Marquez
44 A Prayer for Owen Meaney - John Irving
45 The Woman in White - Wilkie Collins
46 Anne of Green Gables - LM Montgomery
47 Far From The Madding Crowd - Thomas Hardy
48 The Handmaid’s Tale - Margaret Atwood
49 Lord of the Flies - William Golding
50 Atonement - Ian McEwan
51 Life of Pi - Yann Martel
52 Dune - Frank Herbert
53 Cold Comfort Farm - Stella Gibbons
54 Sense and Sensibility - Jane Austen
55 A Suitable Boy - Vikram Seth
56 The Shadow of the Wind - Carlos Ruiz Zafon
57 A Tale Of Two Cities - Charles Dickens
58 Brave New World - Aldous Huxley
59 The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time - Mark Haddon
60 Love In The Time Of Cholera - Gabriel Garcia Marquez
61 Of Mice and Men - John Steinbeck
62 Lolita - Vladimir Nabokov
63 The Secret History - Donna Tartt
64 The Lovely Bones - Alice Sebold
65 Count of Monte Cristo - Alexandre Dumas
66 On The Road - Jack Kerouac
67 Jude the Obscure - Thomas Hardy
68 Bridget Jones’s Diary - Helen Fielding
69 Midnight’s Children - Salman Rushdie
70 Moby Dick - Herman Melville
71 Oliver Twist - Charles Dickens
72 Dracula - Bram Stoker
73 The Secret Garden - Frances Hodgson Burnett
74 Notes From A Small Island - Bill Bryson
75 Ulysses - James Joyce
76 The Inferno - Dante
77 Swallows and Amazons - Arthur Ransome
78 Germinal - Emile Zola
79 Vanity Fair - William Makepeace Thackeray
80 Possession - AS Byatt
81 A Christmas Carol - Charles Dickens
82 Cloud Atlas - David Mitchell
83 The Color Purple - Alice Walker
84 The Remains of the Day - Kazuo Ishiguro
85 Madame Bovary - Gustave Flaubert
86 A Fine Balance - Rohinton Mistry
87 Charlotte’s Web - E.B. White
88 The Five People You Meet In Heaven - Mitch Albom
89 Adventures of Sherlock Holmes - Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
90 The Faraway Tree Collection - Enid Blyton
91 Heart of Darkness - Joseph Conrad
92 The Little Prince - Antoine De Saint-Exupery
93 The Wasp Factory - Iain Banks
94 Watership Down - Richard Adams
95 A Confederacy of Dunces - John Kennedy Toole
96 A Town Like Alice - Nevil Shute
97 The Three Musketeers - Alexandre Dumas
98 Hamlet - William Shakespeare
99 Charlie and the Chocolate Factory - Roald Dahl
100 Les Miserables - Victor Hugo

Thanks for visiting ~ Jovi

Christmas Mice

Christmas Mice

Here it is… my first card of 2010. Before House Mouse, I had a weakness for the little mice from Great Impressions, Christmas Mice is one of my favorite Christmas images. After not stamping for over a year, it took me awhile to get everything situated. I couldn’t remember what inks to emboss with or even what size cardstock to cut. After many mistakes things came back… slowly.

For this card I stamped the image onto watercolor paper, it’s a heavier weight than what I previous purchased. The colors didn’t blend as smoothly as I would have liked, I also think the heavier weight may have ruined the brush tip on the Tombow Colorless Blender, the tip widened and flattened as I blended; it’s no longer useable for detailed images. Hopefully I can find the lighter weight cardstock that I used in the past. If anyone has any suggestions on brands and weight, please pass it along.

Thanks for visiting ~ Jovi

Stamps: Christmas Mice (Great Impressions), Festive Thoughts (inside/CTMH) ~ Ink: Black (Color Box, Cranberry (inside/CTMH) ~ Paper: Watercolor, Cranberry, Bamboo, New England Ivy (all CTMH), Everlasting (CTMH) ~ Other: Iridescent Ice Embossing Powder, Cranberry Grosgrain Ribbon (CTMH), New England Ivy Brads (CTMH), Tombow Markers, Close to My Heart Markers, Tombow Colorless Blender, Sandpaper, Sakura Metallic Gelly, Eyelet Border Punch (SU)

Stamping ~

(Warning: Long Post)

It all started for me in 1997, a good friend invited me to a Stampin’ Up party and at that time I had no idea what stamping was or what I was getting into. My collection slowly grew by visiting local stamp stores and attending stamp gatherings. Shortly after that we moved to California (military move), I remember searching for rubber stamp stores in Santa Maria and Santa Barbara and it was such a delight when I found one. While there making handmade cards was a great way to keep in touch with friends and family. A couple years later we made the move back to Colorado and my stamping came to a halt. I really didn’t have a need to make handmade cards since I was once again close to family and friends and I didn’t know about online stamp groups. I gave everything to my niece… stamps, inks, cardstock, papers, embossing powders… everything.

About two years later, in 2001 when we bought our house, I discovered that my next door neighbor was a Close to My Heart demonstrator. Shortly after that she started a stamp club with fellow neighbors as members, it was a wonderful opportunity for us ladies to gather and get to know each other while creating. In the beginning months of our club I kept my purchases to a minimum because I was undecided if stamping was something I wanted to commit to, plus Bryan wasn’t too thrilled that I joined a stamp club after giving away my first collection. Later, I also joined a monthly Stampin Up club alongside Close to My Heart… my commitment to stamping lasted until 2008, that was the last year that I attend any club.

Those of you that read my blog regularly know that by the end of 2008 I started losing interest in stamping; in 2009 I made a total of four cards… and that’s when I said “My Goodbye to Stamping”. I just didn’t have the ambition to make anything, but having this time away from stamping/stamping forums and some blogs, made me realize that I wasn’t having fun anymore because I was too busy trying to keep up with all the latest and greatest products, techniques and challenges. I didn’t think I had the ability to continue alongside other stampers.

Throughout this year I slowly began clearing out extra supplies, instructional videos, magazines, old catalogs, and in essence packed up my stamping area. A few weeks ago I was determined to downsize my collection even more, and eventually throughout this upcoming year I would have everything gone. That didn’t work out like I planned, once I started going through those cute little critters, I couldn’t do it. Instead I put those aside and began clearing out other sets from SU, CTMH & TAC, I’ve already sold a huge lot of SU cardstock and a few SU sets.

I felt relieved to have the excess gone, so relieved that this last week was spent moving furniture, cataloging, and organizing. Why? Because I’m going to start stamping again, and this time I’m going to do it for the fun of it!

This is my sell stack, the sets in jewel cases are unmounted Stampin Up and The Angel Company stamps. I also have a wood mount Close to My Heart and various single stamps. I have a great stamping friend who is selling all this for me.

This is my keep stack, most of these are sentiments from SU and TAC, it also includes sets that I won in demonstrator contests with The Angel Company.

My SU cardstock keep stack, the lot I sold was about the same in height. I did keep all my CTMH & Bazzill cardstock… love that stuff.

Toby was so exhausted watching me clean and organize that he took a nap on the loveseat I have in my area.

Thanks for visiting and thank you for sticking with me the last couple of years, hopefully I will have a card to share soon. ~ Jovi

Deceit: A Novel by Brandilyn Collins

Deceit: A Novel
by Brandilyn Collins

(Kindle Edition)

Sometimes the truth hides where no one expects to find it. Joanne Weeks knows Baxter Jackson killed Linda, his second wife and Joanne's best friend (six years ago). But Baxter, a church elder and beloved member of the town, walks the streets a free man. The police tell Joanne to leave well enough alone, but she is determined to bring him down. Using her skills as a professional skip tracer, she sets out to locate the only person who may be able to put Baxter behind bars.

Melissa Harkoff was a traumatized sixteen-year-old foster child in the Jackson household when Linda disappeared. At the time Melissa claimed to know nothing of Linda's whereabouts, but was she lying? What really happened in that household? In relentless style, Deceit careens between Joanne's pursuits of the truth which puts her own life in danger.

Deceit is two stories that are in different times that flow alongside each other. The current day story takes place in just a couple of days, but the back story takes place in the span of several months. The author writes in a way that it isn't confusing to switch back and forth between the two. It begins on a rainy night when a "hooded man" jumps in front of Linda’s car and tells her that he knows Baxter killed Linda and Melissa (the foster daughter) saw him do it, and Melissa knows where Baxter had buried the body. The story takes off from there with Joanne trying to find Melissa and finally getting the truth of what really happened to Linda. This was my first time reading this author, but it definitely won't be my last. This is a great book for people who enjoy a mystery, although religion was referenced throughout, it was written in such a way that anyone would enjoy this book.