Hugs Your Heart

Fido & Fluffy's Heart

I spent yesterday making heart & love theme cards and this was a quick and simple one. I would have like to add a different pattern of designer paper to the background but I couldn’t find any other that I had to coordinate with this Basic Grey and I really wanted to use this up. Whenever I purchase designer paper I pick out 3 to 5 backgrounds that are in the same collection, but for some reason I couldn’t seem to find the other backgrounds, oh well I’m sure I’ll find them around Halloween!

Thanks for visiting ~ Jovi

Stamps: Fido & Fluffy’s Heart (Inky Antics), Hugs Your Heart (Inky Antics) ~ Ink: Tuxedo Black (Memento) ~ Paper: White (Paper Trey Ink), Blush (Close to My Heart), Cranberry (Close to My Heart), Crush/Blush (Basic Grey) ~ Other: Copic Sketch Markers, Cranberry Grosgrain (Close to My Heart), Holiday Red Sparkles (Close to My Heart), Eyelet Border (inside – Stampin Up), Clear Glaze Pen (Sakura), White Gelly Pen (Sakura), Pop Dots ~ Card Size 4.25 x 5.5

Roseflower Creek by Jackie Lee Miles

Roseflower Creek
by Jackie Lee Miles
(Kindle, Literature; Fiction)

Thus begins the story of ten-year-old Lori Jean, whose short life and early death are woven into this affecting novel set in the 1950s rural South. Abandoned by her father when she was just five years old, Lori Jean's world consists of a weak-willed mother and an alcoholic stepfather who can't keep a steady job. Yet Lori Jean is filled with the curiosity and hope common to all children. When Lori Jean uncovers her stepfather's secret, everything spins out of control and she pays the ultimate price for what she knows. But through this heart-wrenching story comes surprising tribute to the human heart's ability to heal and love- despite the most difficult circumstances.

This is the most touching and heartbreaking novel I have ever read. From the moment Lori Jean begins her story, with "The morning I died it rained. Poured down so hard it washed the blood off my face”, I was emotionally attached and couldn’t stop reading. The story is told from the point of view of a recently deceased 10 year old girl who had been beaten to death by her alcoholic step father. Lori Jean takes you on a journey of her life, her love, her losses and ultimately her sad untimely death. You’ll feel sorry for her and her family, but you also feel her happiness and share in her excitement about things. I will remember Lori Jean for a long time and her outlook on life and forgiveness. This was a fabulous book that I would recommend.

First Ride of 2011

Yesterday, along my sister I went on my first ride of the New Year. It was a mild 62 degrees in Colorado Springs, we stayed local and were out and about for a few hours. It was a beautiful day to ride through Garden of the Gods, apparently many other bikes thought the same because we saw plenty while there.

I started keeping track of my riding mileage in 2007 when I received my motorcycle endorsement and it’s time for me to add up my mileage from 2010.

From January 10 – December 10 I rode 2,677 miles and I’m sure Bryan put at least 100 of those it when he borrowed my motorcycle after his accident. This year I really need to get out and ride more, I’m getting antsy to take an out of state road trip.

Starting mileage: 16,777
Ending mileage: 19,454


My Sister

Thanks for visiting ~ Jovi

My Perfect Wedding by Sibel Hodge

My Perfect Wedding
by Sibel Hodge
(Kindle, Romantic Comedy)

Helen Grey is finally getting everything she wants. She's about to have the perfect dream wedding and begin an exciting new life abroad on the sunny Mediterranean island of Cyprus. But living the dream isn't all it's cracked up to be.

After a mix-up at the airport, Helen finds herself drawn into the midst of an elaborate plot to steal an ancient statue and assassinate a local businessman. And as if that wasn't bad enough, her wedding dress is AWOL, the statue seems to be cursed, and Helen is wanted by the police.

With the big day rapidly approaching, a roller-coaster of mishaps, misunderstandings, and disasters threatens to turn the newlyweds into nearlyweds.

Can Helen prevent an assassination, save the statue, and have the perfect wedding? Or will the day to remember turn into one she'd rather forget?

I don't read rom-com novels, but every now and then I like to read something different.  My Perfect Wedding was entertaining and funny.  The dialogue is sharp and witty, which had me laughing out loud at times. I did enjoy the unusual cultural twist of Kalem’s family and I had no idea that condoms are stocked in mini bars!  If you enjoy chick lit, this book is for you.  

Primal Wound by Ruth Francisco

Primal Wound
By Ruth Francisco
(Kindle, Mystery/Thriller)

A young woman sets out to find her birth-mother and uncovers a family saga of deceit, insanity, and murder.

When Cicely Scott volunteers to be a kidney donor for her father, she is shocked to discover she was adopted. Suddenly she has lost herself, her history, her identity, her family. But she gains something else. She is free to become whomever she wants to be, informed neither by genetics nor family, but by her own set of ethics.

Cicely leaves her privileged life in San Francisco to find her birth-mother, a frumpy beautician, who lives with her family in rural New Hampshire. Cicely spies on them, insinuates herself into their lives, and befriends her half sister. But her birth-mother is terrified when Cicely reveals herself.

Meanwhile, in San Francisco, Homicide Inspector Val Picard tries to track down the murderer of a young preschool teacher who worked with Cicely. Soon Cicely becomes a suspect.  Lies and betrayal lead to the ultimate crime—murder.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book; it is a gripping and disturbingly good tale.  The book leads you through both stories of the police investigation and Cicely’s search to find her birth-mother, slowly revealing details until everything fits into place.  The only I disliked, I would have liked to see Cicely give her cheating boyfriend what he deserved.

Party Hoppers

Party Hoppers

My sister recently celebrated her birthday and this is the card I made for her. The image Party Hoppers was an unexpected find in my collection of stamps, it was hiding under another bunny stamp. You can only imagine my excitement when I found it. I should probably go through my other stacks and see what else find.

Thanks for visiting ~ Jovi

Stamps: Party Hoppers (Happy Hoppers/ Stampabilities, Happy Birthday (CTMH), Sentiments (inside – TAC) ~ Ink: Tuxedo Black (Memento) ~ Paper: White (Paper Trey Ink), Chocolate (CTMH), Breeze (CTMH), Arizona (Bazzill), Blush/Fancy (Basic Grey) ~ Other: Prismacolor Pencils, Autumn Terracotta Spiral Clip (CTMH), White Grosgrain (SU), Gemstones (Hero Arts), Diamond Stickles (Ranger), White Fun Flock (Stampendous), Edge Distresser, Pop Dots ~ Card size: 5.5 x 5.5

Rotary Trimmers

I mentioned to Bryan on Saturday that I was going to purchase a new paper trimmer… he asked “How many paper cutters do you need”?

These are the trimmers that I have. My first paper trimmer that I purchased was a Fiskars Rotary Trimmer (dark gray), it worked wonderfully and I still use at times for scoring my cards. I quit using it sometime ago for cutting because I could no longer find the replacement thingy that the blade cuts into. I purchased my second Fiskars trimmer (light gray) and after a few months of use it would no longer cut a straight cut. I contacted Fiskars to ask if I could purchase a new bar for my cutter, Fiskars sent me a free replacement trimmer (the black one), great customer service. Riley and Austin were using the light gray trimmer for their projects (which wasn't very often) and I’ve been using the black one for a few years now, but it was time for change.

I wanted something more compact that would take up less of my work area. A few weeks ago while at Hobby Lobby I came across the Making Memories Precision Paper Trimmer, it folded out to 12x12 which I liked. Purchased it, brought it home and unboxed it, made my first cut and hated it. When I pushed the blade across the bar, it was like fingernails on a chalkboard, Jake and Toby ran out my stamp room when they heard the noise. I did some research online about it, apparently you have to adjust the blade when this happens (which seems to happen quite often) and some even have to oil the trimmer bar. I returned it.

I went back to Fiskars. I purchased a Fiskars LED SureCut Folding Rotary Paper Trimmer
(with a Michaels 40% coupon). I love it! It takes up less work space when fully open, it also folds in half, the cuts are fantastic and it has a LED light to show where your cut line is.

Now I only need one paper trimmer and all the others will be given away, the one that was replaced will be trashed.

Hopefully I'll have a card to post tomorrow.
Thanks for stopping by ~ Jovi

Matched (Matched #1) by Ally Condie

Matched (Matched #1)
By Ally Condie
(Hardcover, 366 pages, Young Adult)

For Cassia, nothing is left to chance--not what she will eat, the job she will have, or the man she will marry. In Matched, the Society Officials have determined optimal outcomes for all aspects of daily life, thereby removing the "burden" of choice. When Cassia's best friend is identified as her ideal marriage Match it confirms her belief that Society knows best, until she plugs in her Match microchip and a different boy’s face flashes on the screen. This improbable mistake sets Cassia on a dangerous path to the unthinkable--rebelling against the predetermined life Society has in store for her.

I really wanted to like this novel.  The book starts out well, Cassia is going to her Match Banquet and her world seems full of happy possibilities. During this evening she is matched to her childhood friend, Xander, which is unusual since it's rare that matches know each other. In some type of computer glitch the next day, another boy's face flashes on her screen and it's someone else she knows, a boy named Ky.  Cassia decides she's in love with Ky at a point that doesn't make sense and too much of Cassia's story was centered around obsessing over Ky.  There came a point early on where I stopped caring about her.   I finished the book not really caring about the sequel, Crossed, due to come out November 2011. I may read the squeal, but I won't eagerly be anticipating it I was Matched.

Time to Relax

Every four months my piano instructor hosts a piano party. It’s an opportunity for her adult students that don’t participate in recitals to get comfortable playing for others. I stress the entire week before my performance and this week was no different. I played my piece (Moonlight Sonata (Op. 27, No. 2) by Ludwig van Beethoven) first; by playing first I was able to enjoy the others and not spend the entire time worrying about my performance. Once I started playing I was able to relax and focus, and I actually played better than I thought I would... now that I have that over with I can relax again.

After my scheduled lessons in February, I’ve decided to take a break from piano lessons for awhile. I’m going to continue to play and practice at home, I want to spend more time developing my sight reading… which I still struggle with. My piano instructor has been wonderful and has provided me with plenty of sight-reading exercises and I will eventually return to her for further instruction.

16th Street Mall Piano
While in Denver last month we came across this piano, there is actually nine pianos that sit every block or so along the 16th Street Mall. Each is painted with bright, playful colors and natural motifs by local artists, the pianos invite anyone to sit and play, which Riley did. If the temperature wasn’t dropping that day I probably would have taken photos of each one that I was able to find… maybe in the spring I’ll take a motorcycle ride to Denver for piano pictures.

~ Thanks for visiting, Jovi

Tall Tales

My stamp room is almost to the point where I can start stamping once again. Hopefully tomorrow while out and about, I’ll find some kind of ribbon storage. After viewing many photos and videos of other creative spaces, I have some ideas of what I would like.

This is a card that I made a few weeks ago for one of my favorite new authors, Vicki Tyley. I absolutely enjoyed the books that Vicki has previously written, and was thrilled when Vicki sent me advanced copies of her latest books. If you like mystery and suspense I would recommend that you read her books; Thin Blood, Sleight Malice and Brittle Shadows… you wouldn’t be disappointed.

Tall Tales

For this card I used the image Tall Tales, I thought the little bunnies reading would be an ideal for Vicki. The image is colored using Prismacolor Pencils with no blending mediums, which as of lately is becoming a preferred method of coloring. I still need more practice with blending colors, but I’m getting there.

Thanks for visiting ~ Jovi

Stamps: Tall Tales (Happy Hoppers/Stampabilities), For Every Occasion (inside/CTMH) ~ Ink: Tuxedo Black (Memento), Burnt Umber (inside/Palette) ~ Paper: White (Paper Trey Ink), Petunia (Bazzill), Lemonade (Bazzill), Background (Making Memories) ~ Other: Prismacolor Pencils, Apricot Grosgrain (SU), Pearls (Mark Richards), Pop Dots ~ Card size 5.25x5.25

Stamp Room

After seven years of having my stamp area in our unfinished basement, this past weekend I made the move upstairs to our spare bedroom which we used as our home office. In the basement I was able to expand my area or move to any location that I liked and in the past years I did move quite frequently, which was great. But, I felt isolated from the family being down there alone and it didn’t help that I don’t particularly like basements.

Initially I planned to make the move over the summer. Last Thursday, Bryan suggested going to Home Depot to pick what supplies I would need to make my move over the weekend, I was so excited and surprised. Bryan is so good to me, I wouldn’t have been able to get finished all that I did without his help and I felt so bad because at times he was in such pain (problems with his hip since his motorcycle accident). While Bryan was resting, Riley and Austin practically moved all my supplies up to the second floor, if it wasn’t for them I’m sure I would still be carrying rubber stamps up the stairs.

What my basement stamping area looked like before my move. Bryan installed a fake wall sometime ago so that I could hang an ink pad holder and ribbon storage.

This is the large storage cabinet from Lowe's that I used to store my wood mounted stamps, 12x12 & 8 1/2 x 11 cardstock/designer paper, clear stamps, punches and misc, I just recently added more shelving to the unit (the unit will remain in the basement). I use two cubes (8 drawers) to store my unmounted from The Angel Company and Stampin Up.

This is my new stamp room, before painting. I had already taped off the ceiling and filled the holes before I decided to take pictures. I’m keeping the large desk; it’s huge, heavy and a pain to move.

Here it is all painted with everything moved from the basement, now I just have to organize it.

I removed the closet sliding doors and shelving, Bryan is going to install wire Closet Maid shelves for me this weekend.

I will post more photos once I get everything placed where I like it… I’ll have to be creative considering the area will still be used as a partial home office and I’m sure I’ll move things around a few times before it’s workable.

If anyone has any great storage solutions for ribbon, please pass it along (links to pictures would be fabulous), I’m leaning towards not using the ribbon holder that I was previously using.

Thanks for visiting ~ Jovi

100 Books in a Year ~ Reading Challenge

My reading goal for this year is to read 100 books. Last year I read 55, hopefully I can do better this year! I will be joining in with the Book Chick City’s reading challenge for fun! The rules are simple:

• Read 100 books by 31st December 2011
• Only print books & ebooks count – (no audiobooks)
• Any genre counts!
• Twitter tag: #100booksinayear
• You can join along anytime

I will continue to post my monthly reads along with reviews, if you like, you can follow my updated reading list by visiting this page, 2011 Reads.

If you want to participate in this challenge as well just click the link above or the button in the sidebar. Thanks for visiting & happy reading ~ Jovi

Chicks On Bikes by Christina Shook

Chicks On Bikes
By Christina Shook
(Hardcover, 155 pages)

This collection of images and stories is a fascinating and intimate dive into the lifestyle of women motorcyclists. The young, the old, the beautiful and the ugly, the tough and the delicate, the wild the sensible, brave and gentle, the factory worker and the corporate leader - united in the spirit of motorcycling. In these pages you'll find insight into how these women face risk and how they thrill to speed. They find beauty amidst grease and wind. They form sister hoods of like-minded women from outlaw style clubs to Christian riders. Here you'll hear tales of adventure and journey. You're invited for an up close stare at the amazing women who ride. They are both ordinary and extraordinary.

I would have enjoyed this more if the stories of the ladies featured were a bit longer than a paragraph or two.