Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Lines and Curves Inspired by Rosemary Dennis

There's an old saying in design that goes something like "lines love curves," or maybe "curves love lines." Either way, it means that the contrast of straight lines and curves can be appealing to the eye.

That was the first thing I thought when I saw this card by Rosemary Dennis in the fall issue of Take Ten.

Note how the lines and angles of the chevron lines point toward a circle, which contains straight lines arranged in, you guessed it, a circle! How totally fun this design is...and also that the arrow-shaped paper clip attached to the circle completes it perfectly.

Rosemary's card is already clean and simple...not much to strip away to fit my style, is there? So I made a fairly literal version of it using Candy Cane Christmas from Papertrey.

You wouldn't believe the inner debate that happened regarding the direction of the stamped border here. Keep them going the same? Set them in opposite angles? Then I realized I'd need an entirely different stamp--a mirror image of the one that comes with the set--to make the lines line up.  Rosemary didn't have to worry about that with her chevrons. She just needed them pointing at her focal point. My tilted lines wouldn't obligingly point at my circle, but the strong color and curves of the peppermint circle draw the eye enough, I think, to compensate.

I also ran my borders off the top and right edges of the card on purpose. This gives the impression that the card only shows part of the picture, that there's something more. The effect is actually quite different from Rosemary's card, which leaves an edge and gives you the feel of a complete design. Straight, slanted lines lack the bold authority of Rosemary's chevrons, and if I'd stopped my lines to leave a white border, it would, I think, have looked odd.

I hope that makes sense.

My sentiment had to be on a separate strip of card stock since the peppermint swirl doesn't provide space, so I rounded the ends of the strip in the same circle punch used to punch out the candy circle. A little red bling, and Merry Christmas it is!

I'm hoping I get into my craft room tomorrow. It's been a long time, with all our house guests coming back to back over the past month. We've so appreciated every guest and love to spend time with our family and friends, but it does get in the way of crafting. Priorities are priorities, though, as I'm sure you understand. Thursday, we're welcoming my in-laws for a visit, so I'll try to make tomorrow productive!

Blessings to you all, and especially to Rosemary Dennis, without whose fabulous card I couldn't have made mine!

stamps: Papertrey
ink: Real Red (SU), Tuxedo Black (Memento)
paper: Papertrey
accessories: circle punch, rhinestones, dimensionals

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Sometimes It Takes a While to See

It should come as no surprise that the Take Ten design challenges are, in fact, really challenging for me. The artistic style of most cards published in Take Ten is sort of the opposite of my style...very layered, embellished, lots of patterned paper, vintage/collage/shabby chic.

So when the latest issue came out, I looked at the entries for the design challenge and thought, "I'm not sure I can do this."

Until I saw Sherry Pakulski's bee card.

For some reason, Sherry's card inspired me as none of the others had. I love how she uses repetition of three smaller bee images and then a large bee for the focal point. I finally saw the layout in a way that made sense to me, that made me feel like I could, indeed, make it my own.

So I made this snowflake card as a result.

Using such a static design with snowflakes is counter-intuitive, but the obsessive-compulsive neat freak in me loves how lined up everything on this card is.

And the bling. Oh, how I love the bling.

Many thanks to Sherry for helping me see the bee and flake out! I couldn't have done it without her.

stamps: SU Endless Wishes
ink: Hero Arts, Memento
paper: Papertrey
accessories: rhinestones, corner rounder

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Inspired by a Magazine Color Combo

The latest issue of Holiday Crafts (Better Homes and Gardens Special Interest Publication) has the following article title:

White, soft blue, and chocolate brown...three perfect colors for a winter card.

The stamp, from Papertrey's A Wreath for All Seasons, is one of my favorites. It's clean and simple by its very design, and there are so many options for the berries. Here, pearls complete the color combo perfectly. The sentiment, from Papertrey's Winterberry, has a lovely combination of fonts, and I used it here because it fit better than the sentiments that come with the wreath set.

Have a lovely weekend, everyone!

stamps: Papertrey
ink: VersaColor Atlantic, VersaMagic Jumbo Java
paper: Papertrey
accessories: half pearls, corner rounder

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Inspired by Eve Watters

Another inspiring card from Take Ten, Fall 2014 is this delightful collage by Eve Watters:

I love how Eve left such a large border around the delightfully detailed collage, with its strip of washi tape and layered die cuts.

Adapting Eve's card to my style proved interesting. I started off making a one-layer card, but the proportions of my masked-stamped-sponged area were off just enough to drive me bat-crap crazy.  I stared at the one-layer version for a while, feeling irked, and finally decided I needed to cut it out, and layer it on white. That fixed the proportion problem nicely, I think!

Note that from Eve's card, I kept the placement of the sentiment, the layered embellishment, and the strip of washi. My washi was too wide for this, so I adhered it to a piece of wax paper, cut it with a quilting ruler and exacto knife, and there you go! I used a set from the holiday StampinUp catalog called Endless Wishes. It's my first photopolymer SU set, and it is a delight!

The stamped background was made with a mask. I stamped the three snowflakes in cornflower blue (Hero Arts) first and then used the lighter Hero Arts blue (soft sky?) for the rest to add interest and depth. Then, I sponged the soft sky around the edges for increased depth and definition.

I just love the red, white, and blue for a Christmas card. What a fun, fun, different, fun, fun combo! And I love the graphic washi with candy-cane stripes combined with the curvy snowflakes...very similar to Eve's use of the washi, only on my card the washi becomes much more the focus because of the color contrast.

In fact, I think the coolest part of this inspiration is how strongly my color choices create a totally different vibe from Eve's softer, warmer, organic, collage-style card, even though my layout (extra white layer aside) is virtually identical.

Never, never, never underestimate the power of color.

Thanks, Eve, for your beautiful card!

stamps: SU Endless Wishes
ink: Hero Arts, SU real red
paper: Papertrey white
accessories: washi tape, flower punch, rhinestone, dimensionals, post-it notes, sponge

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

OLS#9 Hip to Be Square

Ardyth's One-Layer Simplicity Challenge was perfect for me, and it's so sad that September has been a crazy month for me so that I'm just now getting to play along, here on the last day! There are a lot of cards posted to that challenge, and they are fabulous, so click on over and see what others have done with squares on their cards!

My entry uses a stamp from my new set Ombre Builders (Papertrey). I'm working my way through all the stamps in that set, and oh how I love them! I'm particularly enjoying using my many Kaleidacolor pads with them, and for today's card, I combined the OLS#9 and my Thanksgiving Crusade Challenge to make this simple card:

This card is 3.5" x 6.5", which fits into an envelope I bought at Marco's Paper, which has a brick-and-mortar store 15 minutes from my house.

In retrospect, I wish I'd oriented the colors to start with green and move toward orange. That would make more sense. Alas, sometimes such nuances of design pop into my head too late. But still, it's a fun use of the Kaleidacolor pad called Autumn Leaves, don't you think?

stamps: Papertrey Keep It Simple Thanksgiving, Ombre Builders
ink: Kaleidacolor
paper: Papertrey
accessories: not a blessed one

Monday, September 22, 2014

Bitsy Strikes Again

After I made my first card inspired by Bitsy Bullock's card (see yesterday's post HERE), I had to make another card, one that didn't have an extension on the bottom to protect a delicate border-punched edge. Here's what I came up with:

The scalloped-edge punch provided three wonderful curves in which to fit large circles from Papertrey's Candy Cane Christmas. While I do think adding a strip of red card stock to the bottom might give some lovely contrast, I really like the variation here without the backing, and those scallops aren't delicate at all.

stamps: Papertrey Candy Cane Christmas
ink: SU real red, Memento black
paper: Papertrey white
accessories: scalloped border punch (Martha Stewart), rhinestones

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Inspired by Bitsy Bullock

Thumbing through the new issue of Take Ten has been delightful...and inspirational. This card by Bitsy Bullock sent me into spasms of joy:

From Take Ten, Fall 2014
Bitsy's card uses designer paper, lace, and a lacy border punch for a nicely unified and very simple card. I, of course, rarely if ever use designer paper, so my version is card stock...lots of white card stock.

The border punch (Martha Stewart) is love perfect for a winter/Christmas card, but its delicacy meant that I had to back it with something. White didn't provide enough contrast (I tried), so I went with a surprising shade of lime green. The pop of unexpected lime really livens up this very simple card. I incorporated the green into the sentiment, but contrasted the larger word in bright red for more drama and pop!

The white twill adds a soft, natural texture. I tried twine first, but it looked weird with the narrow fronds...too busy or something. The white-on-white of the twill distracts less from the color and other details, while giving a nice sense of movement between the sentiment, knot, and pine boughs of the border.

Oh, this card makes me sooooo happy!!! And I've got Bitsy to thank for it!

stamps: Hero Arts
ink: Hero Arts lime, SU real red
paper: Papertrey white, MFP lime
accessories: white twill, Martha Stewart border punch

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Thanksgiving Crusade Link-Up Is Live!

Start loading your Thanksgiving Crusade cards on the InLinkz button HERE. There may or may not be some random prizes awarded this year (*wink*), so get hopping!

Making Lemonade out of Ink

Some of you might remember that I complained about the new colors of Memento ink when they were released in 2012. I found the new colors gave me blotchy, spotty images, while the old colors gave nice, crisp, smooth images. (Not to mention that the darker new colors are so dark as to be almost black...yes, northern pine and elderberry, I'm talking about you!)

I contacted Tsukineko at the time and received a response asking for more information and pictures, which I supplied. Since then, nothing.

It's also weird that on Tsukineko's website, there is no mention of the new colors at all. I wonder if I've missed something and they've been discontinued, although you can still buy them online and in stores.

Whatever the current situation at Tsukineko, one thing is certain...dye inks vary in the quality of images they produce depending on the formula, the pad texture and saturation, the type of paper used, the type of stamp used (fine detail, block, outline, rubber, photopolymer, silicone), the stamping surface, and the amount of pressure used on the stamp.

That's a shocking number of variables for stamping a good image. And it explains why we an*l-retentive, obsessive-compulsive neat freaks get so frustrated when images turn out blotchy.

You shabby-chic, vintage, artsy distressers out there might not understand this frustration, but trust me, vulgar words get dropped repeatedly and stamps may or may not get thrown across the room. Not by me, mind you, but I can picture the scene very clearly in my mind. Oh, yes, I can.

A frustrated search for "the perfect ink" is common among stampers of the obsessive kind, and it justifies our owning giant hoards of ink of all kinds. For the record, pigment inks will give fewer problems, but even they can be pains in the you-know-what for rather different reasons.

Anyway, today's card shows one way of dealing with imperfect dye ink...play up the imperfections.

This card displays Memento Pistachio ink (one of the 2012 colors) and Hero Arts Orange Soda. As you can see, the images are not crisp and clean. The Pistachio is blotchy and the Orange Soda is blurry, with loss of detail on the tiny pumpkins. The close-up shows exactly what the problems are:

From my point of view (the obsessive--and correct--point of view!), these images are unsatisfactory. The best fix would be to toss this card front in the recycle bin and start over using VersaColor or some other fast-drying pigment ink.


My original plan had been to use a bunch of tiny little rhinestones on this card. I have about a thousand brown ones from a bling-buying binge a few years back. Looking at the pre-blinged card, however, I realized that crisp, shiny bling would look out of place with these blotchy, blurry images and would only heighten the fail status of this card to my obsessive mind.

That's when I thought about Stickles.

There is no way to make perfect dots with Stickles. The nature of glitter glue gives uneven edges, and dispensing the exact same amount for each berry would be impossible. The uneven edges and natural variation of the glitter dots works with the flaws of the card, rather than against them.

And so I reluctantly show this card on my blog. I love the organic curves of the vines and the color combination and the curly cursive font. If I hold it at arm's length and squint, it looks perfect.

But you can bet I'll be making this same card in pigment ink. Oh, yes, I will.

stamps: Papertrey Autumn Adornment, Keep It Simple Thanksgiving (sentiment)
paper: Papertrey white
ink: Memento, Hero Arts
accessories: Stickles, corner rounder 

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Doing What It Takes

Here's another series of cards on getting the positioning right.

Centering this asymmetrical design doesn't look right to my eyes.
It's not terrible, but it isn't great either.

So I went to the sweet spot in the bottom right, but put the sentiment
too close to the right edge, and when I added the bling, that side
looked way too crowded.

So I tried one more time. I STILL didn't get it right...the sentiment was too
high this time, so I trimmed a bit off the bottom of the card.
No one will ever know. Unless they read this blog.

If it takes three tries to get it right, I'll take three tries. These sorts of cards...with a fun sentiment and a little bling...make me happy and are worth the effort.


stamps: Papertrey
ink: Hero Arts soft lilac, Memento black
paper: Papertrey
accessories: rhinestones, Bic/Sharpie markers

Monday, September 15, 2014


Whew. What a weekend and what a Monday. By the end of Monday, my basement smelled so much better thanks to the professional cleaning services of experts in the field of fighting sewage.


My water system is completely functional and back to its proper "closed system" state.


I'm contemplating putting a tip jar on this here blog to cover the cost of plumbers and cleaning people with great big fans.

Just kidding.

Sort of.

And thank you to those who sent me emails on perspective to cheer me up. Y'all are so sweet! I bet you even smell good, too.

Anyway, today's card signals a FRESH start to my life, one free of funky smells and sick dogs.

I just love it when stamp designers know what size of epoxy stickers I have and make stamps to fit them. So very thoughtful.

Hello and thank you!

stamps: Papertrey Filled with Joy, Paper Tray
ink: Hero Arts
paper: Papertrey white
accessories: epoxy sticker, corner rounder

Sunday, September 14, 2014

If It's Not One Thing, It's Ten

You know those days when ten things go wrong, and every time you turn around, the universe ups the ante on disaster?

Yeah. That.

Oy vey.

First, the dog gets "garbage gut"...a medical adventure about which I'll spare you the bloody details and which resulted in a hefty emergency vet bill. Yay.


Then, I walked into an unfinished area of our basement, innocently looking for a storage bin to gather all my Christmas craft supplies into.

Yes, I'm ending a sentence with a preposition. It's been one of those days.

Anyway, I walked into the storage area, only to find a flood. Thank you, Jesus, it hadn't gotten to the finished part of the basement and was largely absorbed by three big carpet remnants as it went on its way to the drain by the furnace and water heater.

And of course this area of the basement is full of boxes and bins and stuff. And wet carpet rolls are heavy, heavy, heavy. And wet.

So now I'm waiting for a plumber on weekend rates to fix this leaking pipe.

I guess this is just two things, rather than ten. But it feels like ten. If I get out of this weekend for under $1,000, I'm going to be relieved.

No new stamps for me any time soon.

So let's turn my frown upside down with a card from my recent splurge with a forward-looking card.

Red velvet ribbon. Bling. Christmas. Oh, joy! Christmas will come. Celebrations galore! Decking the halls! And, "God willing and the creek don't rise," working plumbing and a healthy pup!

At least it's something to look forward to.

Another sentence ending in a preposition...it's that sort of weekend.

Farewell while I deal with the plumber.

stamps: Papertrey, Clearly Besotted (sentiment)
ink: SU real red
paper: Papertrey white
accessories: red velvet ribbon, ScorTape, rhinestones

Friday, September 12, 2014

Autumn Adornments, with Bling

I recently commented that it is possible to put too much bling on a card.

This is not such a card.

This wonderful dotty stamp from Papertrey's Autumn Adornments is perfect for a border embellished with bling.

Lots of little, tiny bling.

Oh, the joy of bling!!!

Remember that THANKSGIVING IS A THING. And my Thanksgiving Crusade, formerly known as the Gratitude Campaign, is about to be posted on the special tab labeled, conveniently enough, "Thanksgiving Crusade."

Are you setting a goal this year to send out a certain number of Thanksgiving cards? Or are you, like me, winging it? Do you already know to whom you will send cards? Or are you, like me, awaiting inspiration?

Have you thought about it at all?

Just wondering.

stamps: Papertrey
ink: Hero Arts rust and butter bar, Memento cocoa
paper: Papertrey
accessories: bling (of course)

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Design Choices

For those of us who make CAS cards, placement is HUGELY important.

I mean, Titanic huge.

If you get one tiny little bit of your design placed incorrectly, it sinks the whole design.

Today's cards illustrate the impact of placement on design choices...where an eighth inch can affect balance so much you have to make adjustments to salvage the card.

Our first card is a sweet and simple card made with Autumn Adornments from Papertrey.

The branch of leaves and berries is perfectly curved to drape one corner of the card while the linear sentiment provides a nice contrast. Lines love curves. Also, the balance is good...especially because the berries are embellished with a Smooch that almost exactly matches the Hero Arts rust ink of the sentiment.

But what I want you to notice is that the branch ends midway down the sentiment. In other words, the blessings portion of the sentiment is below the end of the branch. If it were even with the branch, it would look very odd indeed. That eighth-inch drop in the sentiment on the above card makes an enormous difference to the success of the design.

When I made another card with the branch placed in the corner, I wasn't paying close attention to placement. The sentiment and the end of the branch stopped at the same imaginary horizontal line on the card...and it was ugly! Unfortunately, I didn't shoot a picture before I fixed the problem, but if you look at the fixed card below and imagine the bottom branch not there, you might see what I mean.

If you have a really good imagination, that is.

The fix in this case was rather simple...completing the border on the side of the card broke up the imaginary horizontal line and gave the whole card a more appropriate and organic feel. Instead of Smooch, I used paprika Stickles, which gives a nice bit of glittery sparkle to the card, and the single acorn accenting the sentiment unifies the two halves of the design.

And that's all I have to say about that.

stamps: Papertrey Autumn Adornments, Clearly Besotted (Happy sentiment set)
ink: Hero Arts butter bar, rust, pumpkin pie; Memento cocoa
paper: Papertrey
accessories: Smooch, Stickles

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

I'm Back

Wow. That was a great--and long--weekend. We had a fabulous time in Madison, and if you want to see lots of pictures and some video of the experience, please visit THIS POST on my other blog.

Today's card uses the Ombre Builders set from Papertrey. This set works great for its intended use (building a color gradient), but it is also extremely versatile and makes it fun to play with all sorts of color combinations as well. 

This card uses a supply I've not used in a long time: 1/8" satin ribbon. I last used it (I think) to create loops for Christmas ornaments. Here, it creates a dividing line between the polka-dot background and the sentiment. Without the line of ribbon, the sentiment kind of floated in the design.

It's not often that "floaty" designs are good designs.

Now I'm off to my craft space to create. May your week be creative as well!

stamps: Papertrey
ink: VersaMagic ocean depth, tea leaves, jumbo java
paper: Papertrey white
accessories: satin ribbon, dimensionals

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Blingity Bling Bling Bling

Y'all will understand. As much fun as I'm having in Madison, I'm feeling sad that I'm not playing with all the goodness I ordered recently from Papertrey. It's just sitting at home, waiting for me on my desk.

Someone should write a country song about craft supplies missin' their lovers crazies owners.

Anyway, here's yet another card with Ombre Builders from Papertrey. It uses the same stamp as my last card but not wonkily. I love how the same stamp can create a very different look and feel depending on how you use it and what colors you use.

It's blinged out the ying-yang, but I love it so very much. The cool colors and softness of it make me happy.

A word or 20 about the sentiment.... When I first received the PTI Keep It Simple: Thinking of You set, I thought, "I'll never use this one. The font's all light and airy-fairy." Yet here I am, using it.

Don't be prejudiced against certain fonts. You just never know how perfect the weird ones will be when used in just the right setting.

Except Comic Sans, of course.


Does it bother anyone else that "8 year old" isn't hyphenated? It bothers me...even more than the fragment, which stylistically can be excused as informal. The hyphens, though, need to be there.

This picture always makes me laugh because I just love irony and sarcasm.

I'm really not a typography snob, but I do understand the antipathy for Comic Sans.

And now I'm off to eat some more food. I feel like that's pretty much all I've done since arriving in Madison...eat.

Don't you feel sorry for me?

stamps: Papertrey
ink: Hero Arts
paper: Papertrey
accessories: dimensionals, rhinestones

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Birthday Wonkiness

Note: If you're at all interested, I'm blogging about the Ironman Wisconsin (a.k.a. IM Moo) on my other blog, Questioning my Intelligence. The first post, IM Moo Begins, is up. We have arrived safely in Madison, George is checked in, and we're about to head to dinner. Yay!

Today's card is a bit, well, wonky for me, but I love it anyway. It's so much fun, and that color combo really works for me. Besides, this whole weekend of Ironman craziness has me a little wonky myself. It just fits.

But I do want to add bling to this. Somewhere. Not sure where. If I do, I'll shoot another photo, and we can see if it works or not. If I don't, well, I will have chickened out.

I do that from time to time, especially if I have recently over-blinged a card, which I did last week. Oh, the tragedy of a good card ruined with too much bling.

Yes, too much bling is possible. Sad, but true.

stamps: Papertrey, Clearly Besotted
ink: Hero Arts
paper: Papertrey
accessories: dimensionals

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Happy Stuff

Papertrey's Ombre Builder and a sentiment from Clearly Besotted just needed a strip of copper metallic marker to be happy.

Next stop for me...Madison, Wisconsin. Yep. I'm happy.

stamps: Papertrey, Clearly Besotted
ink: Hero Arts, Memento
paper: Papertrey
accessories: copper metallic marker, ruler, corner rounder

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

A Wrong Made Right

Once upon a time, there was a stamper who loved making pretty things with paper. She made lots and lots of cards to give to her family, her friends, her church, and the warriors who served her country. She was very happy to make paper pretties and give them away.

One day, the stamper was reading a book--one of her favorite pastimes--when she reached mindlessly for her bookmark. Something caught her attention. On the cheap piece of index card, she read a list:

laundry detergent
dishwasher detergent

"No, no, no!" she exclaimed. "This will not do at all. Not at all!"

So she went to her craft table and made a bookmark for her very own use.

It was simple, as was her style, and when she finished making it, she sighed a happy sigh.

"This is a suitable bookmark for a really good book," she said, and she tucked it into her book, in just the right place.

The End.

stamps: Hero Arts (alphabet), Papertrey Ombre Builders (alphabet border)
ink: Memento, Hero Arts
paper: Papertrey white
accessories: SU slot punch, twill tape

Monday, September 1, 2014

On Creative Funk, Retail Therapy, and Assorted Craziness

Many thanks to those of you who commented on this post about creative funk. Some of you were extremely helpful, with practical suggestions of other places to donate and sell cards now that OWH is downsizing. I'll still send some cards to them and watch for changes in their supply/demand chain...Sandy does a great job keeping her suppliers informed, and you just never know what will happen with our troops.

You've given me some great ideas to move forward with my creative energy. Thank you!

And now...onto a possible solution for creative funk that, if abused, can become a problem in itself.

I'm talking about retail therapy.

Retail therapy can be extremely helpful when you're in a funk, but only if you're buying stuff to use rather than buying stuff to hoard. When Papertrey offered a pretty free set on orders over $100 for their Stamp-a-Faire thingie (never been sure what that was, actually), I jumped all over it. What a great excuse to inject new enthusiasm into my craft room!

It worked, too.

I not only bought six packs of Papertrey's white card stock (my favorite, although Neenah Solar White is a close second), I purchased a bunch of new stamps.

The three small sets are all from the  Keep It Simple series: Thanksgiving, Thank You, and Thinking of You. The larger sets are Autumn Adornments, Ombre Builders, Embellished Elegance, and the free set Filled with Joy.

I've also placed an order for a Christmas set from StampinUp's holiday catalog...and six packs of dimensionals. SU's dimensionals really are my favorites, and I'm down to one package.

With my birthday and Christmas coming up, you can bet there will be even more goodness arriving in brown boxes and bubble envelopes in the months to come. (And please note...neither Papertrey nor StampinUp compensate me in any way whatsoever. I'm a happy paying customer, not a paid spokesperson!)

I'll have more to say about shopping, hoarding, and productivity later this week. In the meantime, here's my first card with Ombre Builders.

Love this! I used a Kaleidacolor pad, twine, and punched leaf, and some bling. You wouldn't believe how long this took to make because of the leaf. At first, I thought I'd stamp a scrap and punch out the leaf from the same border image. I loved the softness of the stamp and the way it reminded me of leaves that are holey with age. But even with darker colors, I couldn't get enough contrast over the gold and burnt orange of the border...the leaves just blended in and disappeared.

So I finally flexed to SU chocolate chip card stock, and the solid block of brown worked so much better.

And now for assorted craziness. My mother is visiting so she can watch the boys while George and I go to Madison for Ironman Wisconsin later this week. We'll join George's sister and brother-in-law, as well as one of George's coworkers and his family. This is George's seventh attempt at IM Moo, and hopefully will be his fifth finish there. I'd love to hear the official Ironman announcer Mike Reilly butcher our last name again as George crosses the finish line.

You can catch the Raihala Ironman action on my Questioning my Intelligence blog.

George is already registered for Ironman Mont-Tremblant in Canada in August 2015. Yay! I'm so glad he's crazy enough to do these long-distance, three-in-one races. (For those who don't know, Ironman Triathlon consists of a 2.4-mile swim, a 112-mile bike ride, and a 26.2-mile marathon, for a total of 140.6 miles.)

It really is fun being a spectator...crazy people can be very entertaining!

If things get quiet here on Simplicity, now you'll understand why.

stamps: Papertrey Ombre Builder, Keep It Simple Thanksgiving
ink: Kaleidacolor, Memento cocoa
paper: Papertrey white
accessories: twine, rhinestones, dimensionals, leaf punch