Saturday, December 1, 2012


I know that we've been in the Fall season since September, however, in all the years I've been in this country (yesterday made it 33 years) I've never experienced a true Fall Season. See, I live in sunny California, and unless I go up north, I wouldn't get to see the changing colors of the leaves.

As I stated in my last post, I was in New York back in October and was stranded there for a few weeks due to Hurricane Sandy.  Before Sandy arrived, though, I was walking through Prospect Park with my sister when I saw this beauty!  Of course, I had to take a picture because I'd never seen anything like this, at least not personally.

Below is a card I made that reminds me of the colors of Fall.  I made this using a technique I saw posted in the November/December issue of Papercrafts Magazine and altered to make my own design.  All the papers and embellishments were used from my stash.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

My Hurricane Sandy Experience

Hello blog friends.  I know you must have been wondering where I was. Have I got a story to tell you!

I went to New York on Saturday, October 20th to attend the home going services of a friend's husband. It had been a little over a year that I'd been there to visit my family and friends, so even though the occasion was sad, I was looking forward to spending time with them.  What was supposed to be a 10-day stay extended to 16 days due to Hurricane Sandy.

It wasn't until Saturday, October 27th that I paid any attention to information on the weather; and that was because it was all over the news. Almost everyone said at that time that I'd be gone before it hit New York, or that it would be over by the time I was ready to leave. I don't think anyone thought Sandy would wreak such havoc.  We watched the news to hear and see what the city and boroughs were doing to prepare. We stocked up on essentials we would need in case of emergencies. At 7:00 pm on Sunday, all transportation ceased (it was weird not hearing the subway as it passed behind us); in all the years my sister's lived in that apartment, this was the first time i wouldn't hear the train.

On Monday morning, my youngest sister took me out (the worst of the storm had not yet hit the city) to walk around the block so I would experience the wind and rain (I live in Los Angeles, CA and I've experienced earthquakes, but never been in the midst of a hurricane.)  One thing I forgot to mention-- my sister lives across the street from Prospect Park in Brooklyn. The trees were swaying to and fro; the wind was howling, and raindrops were falling, but not enough to soak us (we didn't walk with our umbrellas for this reason.)  We went back upstairs and continued to watch the news for more developments on the storm. By that evening, rain started pouring down and our lights started flickering. Though we never lost power, our satellite dish lost it's signal, so we were not able to watch the news. We left the apartment once more, walked half a block and saw that a tree had fallen in the middle of the intersection.  Here is a photo of that fallen tree.  We went back upstairs and braced ourselves to withstand what was to come. 

When we woke up the following morning, we got on the Internet for news. What we heard and saw was nothing compared to what transpired days after the storm had passed. We called family and friends; we found out that our brother had lost power from 4:00 pm the previous afternoon. Another friend heard water running and ran back in time to see that the canal near her home had overflowed and the water had flooded into her basement, knocking out her power; she was able to call us via her cell to give us updates; we lost contact with an Ecuadorian friend who was with us on Sunday, went home to New Jersey that afternoon, and lost power and all contact with the outside world. It would be 2-3 days before we heard from her again. Thank God she was safe. The area she lived in had been flooded. Her company put her and her family up in a hotel until it was safe for her to return home.  One other friend and her husband had gone on a cruise to Aruba on Saturday the 27th. They left their daughter at their home. When my sister called to find out how things were with her, she was told they'd lost everything in their basement (it was set up as a separate furnished apartment; their washer and dryer had washed away.) My sister, a city employee, could not go to work; Lower Manhattan had been flooded and all power was out; not to mention, there was no way to get across the bridge.  Prior to the storm hitting the East Coast, the airlines sent me a notification they were cancelling my flight out of New York due to the storm. On the day I was scheduled to depart (October 30th, the morning after the storm) 

On Wednesday, my sisters needed to go into Downtown Brooklyn, so we dressed (I was told to layer up, something I don't do when I'm home) and we left to go get a bus into the city. The buses were running and would be free for the next few days, however, because there were so many trying to get on them, we decided to walk (yes, we walked for an hour and a-half into Downtown Brooklyn.)  We passed people walking, jogging, and those standing up waiting to get on a bus. We saw some of the damage done by the storm.  The photo on the left is of a tree that fell over onto the railing at the Brooklyn Zoo.  

As the days passed the situation became much worse. Now New Yorkers had to deal with not having transportation (subway) to work (for those who could return to their places of employment.) Certain subway stations reopened and buses were assigned to take folk to the stations that were open and would get them close to or near enough to walk to work. The problem with this was there were so many people, they had to form lines to board the buses. I took photos of the line of buses, but nothing compares to being there and seeing it first hand.

Then came the next major crisis - gas shortage. Stations were running out of gas and in some cases, had gas but couldn't pump it because they had no electricity. People and cars were standing in line for hours. The folk standing in line with their red containers were fueling up to have enough gas for their cars in the days to come or for their generators if they had no electricity.  Tempers were short some folk tried jumping in front of the line. Here's a photo I took at one of the gas stations.

As the weeks have passed some areas have gone back to normal, but according to my sisters, many areas are still affected due to lack of electricity and yes, there is still the issue of gas shortage! Let's continue to pray for New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, and all areas affected by Hurricane Sandy.  

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Breast Cancer Awareness

I made this using MTC.  
A few days ago I posted a swing card I made using an MTC cut file. For my first attempt at making a card using that technique, I used elements celebrating Breast Cancer.

This weekend marks the celebration of Breast Cancer Awareness.  I know a few women who have survived this disease and, though there have been trials and studies geared towards eradication of this deadly disease, there are still women dying from it.

In honor of this occasion, and in support for the cause, I made a few cards to showcase cutting files, chevron patterns, and a new technique I saw in Papercrafts Magazine. 

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Swing Card

 Yesterday I saw this tutorial, downloaded the file and couldn't wait to use MTC to create this card. I made this one in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness, which is this coming weekend. It was easy peasy! Thanks to Susan for the MTC cut file.


Saturday, October 13, 2012

Space Shuttle US Endeavour

Oh my, I'm so excited! I couldn't resist seeing the US Endeavour space shuttle making its way to the California Science Center. It was making its way in my neighborhood on the streets of Los Angeles and was too much for me to miss! My sister came to pick up my mom and me, and camera in hand, we drove to a friend's house (not too far from my place) and parked the car in her driveway. We only walked about half a block and I was able to take some awesome photos of the space shuttle Endeavour as it was making its way on Crenshaw Boulevard towards MLK Boulevard. Once it made it to that intersection, someone sang the National Anthem (I don't know who because it was too crowded in that area) then the Endeavour proceeded to turn from Crenshaw onto MLK Boulevard.  I took some photos for you to see this amazing sight.  I'm glad I was able to see history being made. Enjoy!
You can see the tail!
Here you see the nose

Getting ready to turn!

Further out


Here it comes!

Oh my!!!

It's turning!

Front view

This is the other end of the Endeavour as it makes its way to its final mission!

Full Circle

Good morning all (or good afternoon depending on your location)! What a glorious Saturday we're enjoying here in the South land. Today is a special day in my neck of the woods because the space shuttle Endeavour is making its way to the California Science Center where it will be part of a special exhibit. I've had a very busy morning. First, trying to get to praise and worship this morning ended up being my exercise for the day. I had to do some walking due to street closures. I'm not complaining, because like I said I did my workout for the day. Anyway, folks are lining up at the intersection of Martin Luther King, Jr. Boulevard and Crenshaw Boulevard to see this marvelous site.  Above is a photo of Endeavor as it flew over the Los Angeles skyline a few weeks back. This photo was taken by a friend of a friend over at the Warner Bros. Studios in Burbank, CA.

Anyway, getting back to my writing, today I've come full circle with my card making. What do I mean? Well, last Saturday was World Card Making Day and I had every intention of creating as many cards as I could that day. I signed up at a few sites to take part in their blog hops and challenges. But things didn't go exactly as I planned.  We have a saying in Spanish that goes like this "El hombre propone y Dios dispone." Translated: "Man proposes and God disposes." Well, that's what happened to me. I won't even go into details for the phrase says it all. Suffice is to say that I was only able to make one (1) card all day!  I did the challenge here The tutorial is very easy to follow, so I came up with this card. The one good thing that came from that day was that I was inspired to jump start my holiday card making. Hopefully, you'll be inspired to do the same.

Friday, October 5, 2012

Color Pop

I've often admired card crafters who make these awesome white cards, then place one colored embellishment or colored stamp to make the card pop.  Well, I've finally made one of my own!  I was reading Mama Dini's blog the other day and she was showcasing the Flourishes Beauty of Imitation challenge.  Dina was showcasing a card that became the inspiration for her card.  I was so impressed with it, I decided then and there to make one.

For this card I used the Retro Circles by Tim Holtz and embossed the front of the card. I then cut out the dies with the Beaded Circles by Spellbinders .  I stamped the flower that would be the "pop" in my card twice (once on the smaller circle and again on a scrap of white cardstock) from stamps in my stash, then used Copic Markers to color them. Afterwards, I paper pierced the extra flower and glued it over the stamped image on the circle.  Using glue dots, I assembled the circles on the card and finished by making a bow using Becca's Peg Bow Maker to further embellish the card.  I hope you like it!

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Fall Colors

This week's newsletter from Paper Crafter's Library had a challenge for a Fall Thank You card.  Every Monday they send out a challenge, but this is the first time I was inspired (or had the time) to try my hand at making one of their card layouts.  I love the colors of the card, but it was the simplicity that inspired me to make it. Using scraps of paper I have in my stash, I followed the directions given by Tracy in the video and made the following:

Friday, September 28, 2012

Another Friday Afternoon

Well, I've made it to another Friday afternoon not knowing where to begin or what to do. I'm torn between being creative or just sitting back and relaxing before my weekend begins.  I don't know about you, but on Fridays I find it hard to do anything but catching up on some me time.  I find that when one is creative, ones mind tends to wander from project to project (mentally.) When that happens to me, I get this feeling of being overwhelmed and cannot make up my mind about what it is I want to do!

This afternoon was no exception. I started out with some Praise and Worship and Bible Study. This is the easy part because it requires no thought on my part -- being in God's presence has a way of setting the atmosphere and clearing the clutter from my mind. I then prepared dinner for my mom and settled down to watch a show on TV.  It was during this period of rest that I started wondering where to begin and what to do creatively.  I checked my email, saw a few emails I subscribed to with different techniques to try, but frankly, I was still not motivated.  This brought me to writing this post. I think I made up my mind to just let myself relax today and start off tomorrow fresh and with a clear mind.

I won't leave you without something to view, though.  I made the following card on Wednesday, September 26th.  It was my older sister's birthday and I decided (last minute) to bake her cake (we meet for Bible Study on Wednesday evenings at church).  Needless to say, I was stumped for a layout for the card.  I then remembered an email I received from Bird's Cards with a card she'd made.  I loved the simplicity of the card, but more than that, I loved how elegant it looked, so I tried making my own version of this card.  I made this card the old fashioned way -- cutting and pasting.  There was no e-cutter involved, just my paper cutter, scissors, a paper punch, the Cuttlebug, bling, ribbon, and a stamped sentiment. See? Simplicity and elegance.  Enjoy!

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Digital Images

Hi there!

Today I decided to showcase one of the many techniques I've been using in making my cards.  One of my favorite things to do is work with graphics.  There is so much you can do with them!  I'm constantly browsing the web in search of artwork/graphics I can use in my business (I think I mentioned before that I'm a VA by profession -- a creative one at that!) as well as for my card making hobby. Anyway, there are so many sites that offer digital stamps for purchase.  One  such site is Mo's Digital Pencil Shop.  I purchased the digi file, Gloria at the Pool, which I used for this card. I used Copic Markers to paint the image, then cut out the image with Spellbinders die and attached the image to the card base. I embellished the card with some bling and Stickles glitter glue.  Gloria seems to be having some fun. I may need to follow suit!

I also purchased this cute wedding file, Wedding Couple.  Copic Markers brought to life the image, and I highlighted it with Stickles glitter glue. I used my Cuttlebug to add dimension to the background layer of the card base, and embellished it with tiny pearls. They make an awesome pair!

I've had this cutie for a while now and finally found the time to use her for a card. I think I purchased the file from Mo's, but can't locate any information on her.  I used Copic Markers to color and Stickles glitter glue to add some dimension to her dress and the bows in her hair.  Using my Cuttlebug, I embossed the background layer to add dimension.

Isn't she adorable?

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Busy as a Bee

Phew! I just came off one of the busiest weekends ever! Saturday was busy with Praise and Worship, preparing the seasoning for my meat (in the West Indian/Caribbean culture, we love to season (marinate) our meat/poultry a day in advance of cooking.) I did this by using the food processor to chop up onions, garlic, cilantro, bell peppers, scallions, etc. It saves time in that I just have to spoon the stuff on the meat instead of cutting it all up each time.  I also had some Scotch Bonnet peppers, so I made some pepper sauce! I was sneezing and coughing my way through pepper on Saturday!

Since I seem to be harping on being in the kitchen, here's a card I made for someone who recently graduated from culinary school as a Pastry Chef. I purchased the background digital paper from, specifically Chef's Delight Elements, Chef's Delight Papers, and Chef's Delight Alphas.  I paper pierced most of the elements, but for the alphas I used MTC to print the sentiment, printed it on the paper and cut it out.  Because the theme in my kitchen has always been red, I made a second card just to see how it would look.  Here's that:

Who knows, this might inspire me to go to culinary school and perfect the art of baking, which I love to do.  Just to whet your appetite, here is a scrumptious creation I made a while back, and which my family is always asking me to bake:

Friday, September 14, 2012


It's Friday, you'll! I don't know about you, but I get excited about the weekend.  First off, I get to relax on Fridays after work.  I try not to schedule anything for that day because it's the only free time I have in my weekend.  Why? Well, because I'm usually so busy on Saturdays and Sundays, I don't have time to relax.

My Saturdays start with early morning praise and worship at my church (7:00 am), then it escalates from there (meetings, errands, events, lol.) By the time I get home on Saturday evening, I'm so tired, I just get ready for Sunday and go to bed.  In all of this I have to factor in taking care of my elderly mom, administering medications, etc. No easy feat, mind you!

On Sundays, depending on what week it is, I'm at church from 7:00 am - 1:00 pm. This Sunday is my hectic day -- I sing in the Gospel choir, dance with the liturgical praise dancers, so I'm doing double duty. By the time Sunday evening rolls around, I'm ready to just sit back and relax, literally!

Anyway, here's a card I made a few weeks ago. Thinking of the words from 1 Corinthians 13, I reflect on what it takes to care for an elderly parent: patience, tolerance, and LOTS OF LOVE!!! Without the latter, it becomes very hard to do.   If you're in the same situation I'm facing,I hope it encourages you!

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

True to My Word

As promised, I'm back today with a new set of photos. Even when I'm not creating, I keep busy just checking out different sites and blogs I follow.  This allows me to keep up with the new trends and techniques making the rounds in the scrapping world.

One of my favorite things is bold and loud color. Anything that is vivid and bright attracts my eyes. Above are the files I cut using Cricut's Walk In My Garden cartridge (the tiny bugs with the three dots).  I cut the ladybugs with the antennas using a Make-The-Cut cut file a member shared with me in the MTC forum.

Anyway, for these cards, I used scraps of paper left over from a the above baby shower project I was helping a friend put together.  One of the cards was a birthday card I made for a friend's foster daughter. Her name is Unique, so I thought I'd make a pun out of the sentiment on the card. I cut this using MTC also. 

This other was for a 70th anniversary card. The inspiration for this  came from here; the third card was for one of my church members who celebrated her centenary on August 27th. The square layers were cut using Spellbinders' Fleur-de-Lis Squares. The sentiment was cut from a file provided to me by Bird's Cards, a site to which I'm subscribed. She has the most interesting cut files and they help when one's in a rush and needs something quick, lol!

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Getting Back in the Swing of Things

Believe it or not, even though I haven't posted anything to this blog in ages, I have been busy creating. My life has taken a different path since I took over caring for my mother in October 2010. It doesn't leave me with much time to write, and sometimes, I'm too tired to even try. Over the next few weeks, I will try to update my blog with some of the work I have done in the past 2 years, so be patient with me please! Here are a few cards that I've made and didn't have the time to post. Enjoy!
I found the jpeg image for this shoe online and I used MTC (Make-the-Cut) to resize and layer the image. I used the texturize tool in MTC and selected a background of a Cheetah print I had in my clipart library (I think I purchased it from For this card, I used the Father's Fancy Footworks cut file from LetteringDelights. the military background paper I found through a stock photo company (I can't remember where, lol!) This card was created using a digi file I purchased a while back (again, I don't remember where :-)) and scraps of paper I had accumulated for a while.