Saturday, April 05, 2008


After reading my last post, I had to go back and make sure I actually have a college degree. My spelling is atrocious! I is a college gragiate. Please pronounce that word phonetically. See, that's my problem, I'm a victim of phonics. That's what happens when you're a '60's baby. That was the age of "experimentation" which evidently included the brains of small children trying to learn to read and spell. I still count on my fingers! I'm waiting for the 1-800-Sue-Meee lawyers to advertise for a class-action suit against school systems who taught phonics. I mean, really, when you are 8 years old and see the word "fatigue" AND you were taught to "sound it out" then it's no wonder we all gave up on books and started writing video games. Fah-ti-goo (that IS glue with no L). How were we supposed to know it was a French word? Last I checked I don't live in Canada! I think I was in college before I discovered it was pronounced Fa-teeg. OK, I'm going to disclaimer at this point. I am typing with a handicap (in addition to my mental issues) since I have the bird finger wrapped in Co-band (I REALLY don't know how that is spelled, but it's that stretchy stuff that sticks to itself, for those of us allergic to adhesive). Have you ever tried to wrap your finger with one hand? It's HARD! Evidently hitting the right keys is harder.

Now, I want you all to know that a miracle happened to me today. No, it doesn't take much to qualify as a miracle in my eyes... Today, my DH VOLUNTARILY walked into Hobby Lobby with me! Can you believe that? AND he actually wanted to buy something!!! I about passed out and died right in the middle of the garden statues. Sadly, if I had, no one would have known for a week or two. Cliff would have rolled me right onto the lowest shelf and whistled right out the door smiling at the thought of liquidating my craft room and selling all my hardware/software. I think the rest of the girls at HL about passed out too. They thought my DH was a myth, like Sasquatch (no smirking if I spelled that one wrong--spell check didn't know it either). I think ulterior motives were in play. This IS March Madness time, final four college basketball. He was sucking up to me so I wouldn't complain all the way through a full day of basketball.

I was the beneficiary of some really cool gifts for my birthday this year. My friend Candy made me the cutest mini lunch tin with note cards and a Sakura (don't even think about it) Stardust pen. PLUS, all my favorite candy and a handmade card. My life is complete! What could be better than that?! Well, I'm here to tell you that not only did I get ONE handmade card, I got TWO!! I'm on a roll! My friend Lori made me a cute card and gave me the Garden color set of Ciao Copic markers! OMGoodness, I had to run for the Depends! When you get over 40, jumping up and down is NOT a good idea unless you are on fire and need a quick way to put it out. [Smirk] Yeah, you ladies know EXACTLY what I mean. We go from diapers to Maxipads and then back to diapers with grown up names like Depends. Huggies just doesn't sound right if you're over 5. Add that zero after that number, and it's a whole new ballgame! Some ad exec made a killing when he suggested that someone re-brand diapers as "adult peace-of-mind" wearables. Probably the same idiot who suggested they put "Have a Happy Period" on feminine products. Dude! Give that beer back to the girl at the bar! You don't deserve it.

So, after I put my walker and defibrillator away when I got home from Hobby Lobby and changed my diaper, er, Adult Peace of Mind disposable, I promptly kept my appointment with the librarian, then worked feverishly on a logo spot to go on the SCS anniversary newsletter. After that was the loonngg walk into the living room to watch my cat watch basketball and my DH sleep through it. I don't think things are going well in his bracket. Normally, we would have at least three sets of broken TV remotes by now. The living room was a big snooze, so I came back here to the home office (aka, Master Bedroom) and took up surfing again. What an eventful day! Any more excitement like that and I am liable to have a heart attack. Or cough up a hairball, whichever comes first. For my parting nightime thought, sound out critique...

Friday, April 04, 2008


I can't figure out why it is so hard for me to post on a regular basis. I think it is a character flaw,or, more likely, a memory deficiency. I get so distracted by life in general, that I don't take the time to get up here like I should. So much has been going on, that when I think to get up here with a few words today, they won't matter tomorrow (which is probably the point...)

Lately I have been helping a close friend of mine who owns Clear Dollar Stamps, a clear photopolymer stamp company. This company puts out a variety of clear stamps, from whimsical to Alphabets, but with a special emphasis on Christian stamps. If you are looking for some really nice Christian stamps, CDS has them! She also sells the largest selection of rollograph stamps and we are now designing for that as well. She has never advertised, but you'll see a lot of her stamps in the gallery at SCS ( Look for our ads there in the next few months.

I do some stamp designing and all around moral and technical support for CDS. I don't know which of us leans on the other most, we're both married to accountants, let me tell you ladies, hiding the stash has reached an art form in my house! If I could get my cats to hide brads or glitter in their mouths, I would have my own mule system to get my embellies down and out of sight. I'm thinking of buying some fatigues to run my missions would only take me five minutes to look like another cat in the house, just go around and rub on everything and PRESTO, I've furred up another cat!

I am "the Geek Behind the Curtain" who is otherwise known as Cathouse on the SCS board. Designing stamps sets is new to me, although graphic arts are not, I've been doing that as long as I can remember, right before the Mac came out. That may even be farther back than I remember... That's why I am a true Macavist. I've dabbled in the dark side and it hurt my brain. I retreated to the ease of use, no virus worries of my Mac and only go to the PC when I teach Photoshop Elements classes. You can read about those on my Fix That Picture blog. I'm going to start offering some free seminars on Adobe Photoshop Elements 6 at the Hobby Lobby stores and off-site and talk about hybrid scrapbooking. If you're in to that, or would like to try it, or get advice on hardware, software, digital cameras, etc., we will have it (even for PC users!). Start looking for my flyers at the end of this month. I've also got some AWESOME classes coming up for Mother's Day, Graduation and Father's Day, so be watching for those! (Heavens, I should be posting this on my Conquest Keepsakes blog...sell, sell, sell!) There will be more information about those things, and the Children's Miracle Network crop, next week. We're going to be there!

If you want to read some more totally innane stuff about Macs, our cats, and us, you can check out my archives. Be prepared... to see lots of cat pictures and goof ball stories and my rants about why the Mac is a superlative platform compared to the PC. I can war on subjects better than Rome (sports reference there). The best pics and stories are the ones about me in the hospital for two weeks in June of 2006. Whacked out on morphine and blogging! I couldn't eat, but I played the air keyboard a lot, only to wake up mad that all that work I done was just a druggy dream. With pantomime. Much to my chagrin. I'm sure I was the patient entertainer of the month that year.

I need to take a new pic of my slightly dented MacBook Pro 17" that my cat dumped on the floor a couple of weeks ago. We almost had flapcats for breakfast instead of flapjacks. Two big old scratches on the top, it literally did a half pike, flipped over on its back and landed right on the feet of my table. I swear I saw three of my cats holding up signs, 9.1, 9.3 and 8.5 (I think the last judge was bribed to low-ball his vote). I think I instantly killed three flies, and retarded a fourth cat from oxygen deprivation with the large, sucking noise my throat made trying to breathe (the other three voters were already retarded). And it was ON when it happened (I'm SURE there were bonus points for that). All I could think of was ripping up the house to make it look like a tornado hit (it would fly I'm sure) and I could cry to the bean counter about what it did to my laptop and how lucky it was that almost all of us escaped (I think I would have flattened a cat just to make the story stick). Lucky for me, when I picked it up, I got mail! heh heh heh OK, maybe not, but it was still running and so far no hick-ups yet. I dodged a shovel (we don't have guns).

Well, I am getting back to my creative roots. Creating stamp sets for Clear Dollar Stamps has been an awesome experience and has resulted in tendinitis of my middle finger. I've been offending people left and right. My DH says I have "bird" finger. Anyway, I especially like working on the new line (that I can't say much more about) that is having it's first few sets introduced this month. Most of my designs focus on vintage or classic styling, or bolder Christian themes. I'm not a "whimsy" person. At least a cat set is in the works! And I am obligated to do a dog set. Sigh.

Our first set in the Clearly Christian Line, Set Apart, was released this month along with an Antique Seals set. Appropriately called "Set Apart" and "Antique Seals." The Set Apart set is going to be different than any other line of Christian stamps you have ever seen, and the guys are going to love some of these stamps (judging by all the tats I see on those March Madness basketball games). I even put a set of flames on there! You can view all of Lori's stamps by clicking the link on the right-hand side of this page, and view samples of all the stamps in her Idea Gallery.

We are working on a restructuring of her site, trying to tackle one thing at a time. She's a stay-at-home mom and runs her business out of her house. She's an amazing person and I feel privileged to work with her and her other design team members. They are some of the most talented people I have seen, and I've spent twenty years plus in the graphics industry. One of our card designers is Kristi VanDoren; who has had her articles and works published multiple times in Scrap-N-Stamp magazine, among others. The upcoming July issue will have an article from her talking about that fabulous Princess Mirah self-adhesive Batikit fabric paper and stamps from Clear Dollar Stamps and Prickly Pear. She is a 30-year veteran of stamping. Sorry about the "Veteran" word. You know I'm as old as you are, if not older. BIG sigh.

CDS also sells other stamping supplies, and if you don't have a Zutter Bind-It-All or Round-it-All, or, heaven forbid, you don't have a Cuttlebug, then you need to pick up that phone (or keyboard) NOW and get them! At the moment, we are the only company stocking them (BIA and RIAs) in southwest Missouri (that we know of) and CDS also ships internationally (yep, that means you Canadians). We're keeping them in stock, along with all the coils, covers and accessories. We've also started stocking the Copic markers all the stampers love and we are trying to get some Nestabilities so we can play some more! :-) Evidently, the whole crew aboard the slow ship from China is playing with them at the moment.

If there are any of these stamps sets that you would like to have, drop me an email and I'll arrange to get them out to you. I stock them so I can sell them at classes to make it convenient for all of our Hobby Lobby friends who want more clear stamps than they carry! So here they are (in order I hope...). I should preface this with some info on the first stamp collection. It is called, collectively, the Perpetual Planner set. This set is made specifically for use with 6 x 6 binders, whether you ring bind or coil bind with the Bind-It-all. It stamps beautifully and all the sets coordinate not only to it, but to my other vintage stamp lines. I will post samples of these sets tomorrow after I recover from this gargantuan post. You can start it at any month and put in as many or little as you want. A perfect gift for mom!

And the order is:
Vintage Flourish Perpetual Planner Collection (there is a discount if you buy whole set)
Vintage Flourish Script Alpha upper and lower $22.99 (108 stamps)
Vintage Flourish Months $7.99 (30 stamps)
Vintage Flourishes $14.99 (18 stamps)
Vintage Flourish Calendar (includes individual numbers and phases) $14.99 (37 stamps)
Gothic Alphabet Upper Case $29.99 (38 stamps, about 1 1/4" tall each)
Gothic Alphabet Lower Case to coordinate with the large letters $17.99 (43 stamps)
Cherish Valentine Set (works for weddings and anniversaries too!) $14.99 (28 stamps)
Antique Seals Set (great for stationery!) $14.99 (15 stamps)
Set Apart Set (first in our new Clearly Christian Line) $14.99 (19 stamps)
Family Heritage Set (great for scrapbooking family history) $14.99 (17 stamps)
Old Time Christmas $14.99 (20 stamps)

Keep in mind, these are just the ones I have worked on. There are tons of other really cute stamps that rival any other stamp companies' products or designs. We use high quality photopolymer, which makes for non-yellowing stamps. Buy some now! My cats have to eat...

Wednesday, February 20, 2008


A miracle! Sniffy walked into the house this morning, through a door I KNOW was closed! We had been leaving our outside door open a crack to our work/John Deere room, but not the door to the house. Cliff found that door open this morning about an hour after he got up for work. He said he felt cold air coming up from downstairs and went downstairs to check. The door was open and Sniffy ran right by him! He picked him up and went running through the house screaming and crying "Sniffy came home!" in his underwear and t-shirt! He was laughing and crying at the same time. For those of you who know my DH, that is NOT a personality trait common to him. It was totally amazing! Sniffy and I promptly curled up together and took a nap!

He wasn't matted at all, no injuries, didn't even look like he had been outside. All I found on him was sticktites, one small scratch behind his ear (probably from trying to get by Pekoe) and a small bit of paint between two toes on one hind leg. There is new construction behind us, but I had already gone through all the open houses several times. But I couldn't get in to any of the locked ones. Maybe he was in one of those that was just painted, and got shut in accidentally. I don't know, and the construction guys swore they hadn't seen him. I don't know what to think other than God's helping hand opening doors for Sniffy! We had so many people praying for him and God answered our prayers! I hope Sniffy has had enough of the outdoor world! Thank you to all of those who prayed and offered tips and resources on finding Sniffy. We are truly grateful and humbled.


If you haven't heard by now, our gray medium long haired goofy cat has disappeared. He ran out the door the day after the ice storm (2/13/08). We just had our old cat Coon put down and were grieving him and now Sniffy too. We've put up fliers, filed a lost cat report at the Humane Society, checked with Animal Control, listed him on PetFinder, and spread the word to the other shelters, vets and pet stores in town. I'm posting some additional and some older pictures of him. Of course his Christmas picture is below and there are some in last years' archives. He has had kidney stones so requires special food. He is semi-long haired, looks like a bit of a ruff, hair is long the back of his haunches (he looks like he has baggy pants) and his tail looks like he got the short shrift--not long or short, kind of a scraggly inbetween. He has a squeaky meow, when he chooses to talk, but he mostly trills and hums when he purrs when he wants something, an unusual sound and loves to bump his head on everything (got to spread that sexy scent of his I guess).His eyes are a greenish gold color, they can look either color depending on the light. We really miss him a lot, especially to loose him so soon after Coon passing. My DH is taking it pretty hard. Sniffy was everyone's buddy, the sweetest best lap cat ever (besides Coon). Maki and Pewter miss him, they know something is wrong.

We do have a new member of the family. We adopted one of my parent's barn kitties and her name is Pumpkin (Punky for short). It is a female tortie with lots of dark pumpkin color on her and black. She's just been spayed and had the unfortunate issue of having one of her ovaries separated and they had to do exploratory surgery to find it, so her incision was 3x the size it normally is. She had to wear an e-collar for 10 days. Didn't bother her a bit and she plays with everybody and everything. Especially strings. I've caught her several times dragging my sweats and tennis shoes by the strings. Nothing seems to be off limits to her, literally. She dumped my MacBook Pro laptop onto the floor this morning. All I could do was watch and scream "noooooo" in slow motion as it whacked the floor. It was running at the time no less. So far the computer is still functioning, with a couple of dents on the top but nothing broken. She just about became an embellishment.

We did get Coon back today in his little cedar box. I cried all the way home from the vet. I never though I would live long enough to see him pass on before me. Anyway, here are the pictures.

Monday, January 14, 2008


Well, the dreaded day is coming this Thursday. That is the day that my beloved cat, Coon, my 16 1/2 year old black and tan tabby, is going to meet his Maker. Coon has been sick for almost a year and we are lucky God allowed us to keep him as long as we have. Coon has been my "Bubba" since he was born in my hand back on July 24, 1991 in Virginia. He lived with me in Virginia, then Missouri, and did the cross country trip in a U-Haul to California. While we were in California, we added Cliff, Kahlua and Mocha to our family, and then lost Mocha before we moved back to Missouri. Since being back here, Coon has been the head dog in our cat family that includes Pewter, Mr. Sniffy, Maki and Kahlua, who is now almost 10 years old. Thursday she will be the oldest cat in the family.

Always my buddy, he would curl up at night and sleep next to me with his head on the pillow and his paws across my arm. For whatever reason, he thought nipping at your nose was affectionate. Or he could have been showing me he was the alpha cat. Coon is one of the smartest cats I've ever had. He understands "No", "Down", "Out", "Stop", "Come" and "Go" and always comes when you call him by name. With "down, out and go" Coon goes in whatever direction I am pointing. Truly a well-minded cat. He can open cabinet doors, sliding doors, and has begging down to a fine art. One time while we were in California, just after Cliff and I got married, I started shutting Coon out of the bedroom. He wasn't having that, so he started pawing at the door incessantly. After 15 minutes or so, we'd get up and shoo him away, only for him to come right back. So we started spraying water on him. That worked for about two weeks. Then, one night we heard a thumping noise downstairs. We didn't know if someone was trying to break in, so Cliff grabbed a tennis racket from our closet (all we had at the time) and we opened the bedroom door and slowly crept down the stairs. We could still hear the thumping noise coming from the kitchen. So we slowly inched our way into the kitchen and didn't see anything at first. Then, we heard another thump right above our heads, where Coon was sitting with his paw under the door, pulling it open and letting it thump closed. As soon as he saw us look at him, he chirped and was off the fridge in a flash, and by the time we got back up stairs, he was curled up on my pillow waiting me to come to bed. We gave up, and learned to sleep with our hands over our noses.

Still the alpha cat, all he has to do is "give the paw" to the other cats and they back down, even though they have their claws and fangs and Coon does not. He just raises his right front paw and give them "the look" and they either pull their heads back or physically step back. He's still the Alpha Cat for a day or two more. Thursday we will put him to rest and end his pain. He'll always be my Bubba Coon. Bye Coon, I'll see you on the other side.

Thursday, January 03, 2008


Sometimes I wish I knew more about web stuff. Like, how to get my paragraph text to line up with my images on the blog, and then make a break between elements.

I guess I need to re-educate myself. There's no excuse for ignorance. I have DreamWeaver CS3, just need to get busy and relearn a new version, it's been way too long since I did any web work!

Now just to find some of that spare time...

Sunday, December 16, 2007


These pictures are from a Christmas or two ago, but they haven't changed much and neither have we (except for Coon, but you wouldn't want to see how he looks now). If you compare me to the Christmas photo in the last post, you can tell I've lost weight, but not so much. So, I guess I will go from oldest to youngest. First is Coon, 16 year old male tabby, born in my hand (literally), so I'm the Momma. Well, really Cliff calls me the Cat Whisperer as usually at any one time most of the cats are sleeping or sitting around me when he comes home. That goes for their hair too. I haven't figured out how to create a static distortion field to deflect cat hair.

Next oldest is Kahlua, the vapor cat. We call her that because she pretty much has lived under a piece of furniture most of her ten years. She's a tortie shell Himalayan with the most beautiful blue eyes. She has finally come out of her shell when she is in our bedroom with Cliff and I and as long as Pewter or Mr. Sniffy aren't around. Pewter has a hate-on for her. Not sure why. Otherwise, when we're in there she cries to be petted! Go figure! At night she paws at the blankets, and if we put her out of the room and bring the troublemakers in, she beats on the door wanting back in the room. Will wonders never cease! She likes to sleep in the sink, and only plays when no one is watching. And she watches to see if anyone is watching. She's a very odd cat, but most torties are.

Third in line is a neck and neck tie between Pewter and Mr. Sniffy. Pewter was born in October 2001 and we got Mr. Sniffy at Christmas 2001 as a rescue so we don't know his exact birth date but he is about the same age. We'll do Pewter first. He's a Lilac Point Himilayan and a very beautiful cat with blue eyes, OK, they all have blue eyes. His are a steel blue and he always has this mad look because his brows are prominent. He did NOT appreciate the Santa hat one little bit. But he's like one of those movie stars. He KNOWS he is beautiful. He thinks it's all about him. If you don't pay attention to him when he wants it, he starts knocking things off of whatever he's sitting on (which is usually the coffee table, kitchen island, bathroom counter, or table). He'll look at you, look at the item in question, look at you again, then, while he is still looking at you, takes his paw and whacks the item right off the surface. Then he looks over the edge and looks back at you. At this point I pointedly ignore him. Doesn't matter. After about the fifth or sixth thing, and all that's left are candles, I get up. He also likes ice tea and ice water. He doesn't drink from a bowl, OHHH NOOO, it's the faucet or a cup of ice water for him. Snob.

Mr. Sniffy, the rescue. Also known as the Poodle because he has baggy pants on his back legs. He has an identity crisis, he doesn't know if he is long haired or short haired. When he purrs, he trills, kind of like a tribble (any Trekkie's?). And he has kitty nightmares. He growls in his sleep! He's the most affectionate cat, lap cat, head butts you until you either pet him or throw him across the room out of annoyance. He knocks over lamps, pushes just about anything around you just to wipe his sexy smell all over everything. He's too sexy for his tail. He thinks a LOT of his backside. If you have a cat, you know, it is all about the butt. No kiddin'! You have not bonded with your cat if you have not been given the tail once or twice. He's also Mr. Jumpy. VERY entertaining. The hat freaked him out. It kept touching him...

Then there's Maki (Macciato), she's our seal point Himalayan. She's as dumb as a box of rocks, and one very jealous little kitty. She thinks her name is Coon. Since he has been sick, every time I call for him, she comes. If he comes, she whacks him. But first she starts by grooming him, then she whacks him. Then she growls and hisses and spits and acts like she is evil incarnate. Coon just looks at like she's lost her marbles. He doesn't understand she never had her marbles to start with! tee he hee She hated the hat too. But she's so cute with her little tooth sticking out. She loves to be made over and petted. She's pretty social too. She's the door greeter! I had to do some extensive 'shopping on this picture. Let's say, don't believe everything you see in the Sports Illustrated Swim Suit issue.

And then that leaves the "squatter" cat, Pekoe (aka Pekoe Orange Tea). He showed up the winter of 2002 on our deck, he was probably about 5 months old, neutered, obviously someone's pet, but we couldn't find the owner. It was Thanksgiving and below zero outside, so I put a box with blankets and water and food and he hasn't left since. He's an orange marmalade tabby, weighs 13 lbs, and drools when you pet him. We did eventually take him to the vet and get shots, FeLuke tested, etc., and keep him on anti-flea stuff. That would make him about five now. He was so happy to be inside for a picture, he could have cared less about the hat and drooled all over my jeans the whole time. He'll lay on his back and drool while you clip his claws. The rest of the cats think we are cutting off their paws and it's like shoving bamboo slits up your fingernails to clip their claws. Maki gets eye infections and turns into Linda Blair, who knew a cat could turn their heads around like that? :-) But Pekoe lives outside. In the winter when it gets really cold or lots of snow or ice, he stays in the John Deere room, much to the consternation of Mr. Sniffy. He didn't get that name for nothing! (Note that double-negative, we're famous for those down here in tha steeks).

And that's the brood. Merry Christmas from all of us! One more week til the big day. I really NEED to start making my Cinnamon fudge before I start getting hate cards instead of Merry cards! Soooo much going on, for once, I have a ton of stuff to talk about, but not enough time!

Saturday, December 15, 2007


Well, the Carol Jones Christmas party at the Chateau on the Lake at Branson is over and what a good time it was! Of course I had to stretch the DH's nerve to the last inch by having my hair done at the last minute, so we barely got there in time to eat and missed the schmoozing hour. We had the priviledge of sitting with Cliff's boss Jim and his wife Chris at Carol's table and I found out that accountants are all truly alike. As long as you aren't talking about money, they are the funniest people at the party! Jim kindly loaned Cliff a Grinch tie which was so appropriate! I'll have to go find one for him, can't have him borrowing it for every Christmas party!

Of course the rest of the office clan was there, I'll have to post some more pictures of that, but I'll post a picture of Cliff and I that one of the other DH's took for us using my XTi. I sent the picture in an email (since I knew I wouldn't get a card out before Christmas) and forgot about my yellow eyes. Creepy. So then I 'shopped it and I've posted a non-yellowed version of it. Ho ho ho! And no snow either. So much for the 8" to 10" of snow that we were supposed to get last night that had everyone else flocking the supercenter for milk and bread!

MO pics later...