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I'll begin today's post with some news that I just found out. My photos source for all my blog posts (Image Box) just informed me when I signed in that it is "closing" as of June 30th. Even though I haven't been blogging much lately, I used to do so just about every day, so you can imagine the number of photos that I have stored there. What it will mean to you, my readers is that when you go to my older blogs, the images that use that address (all except Lumberjocks.com) will not have any photos. Needless to say, I am not really happy about it.
But it is what it is and I suppose that I have to move forward and adapt. From today's post on, I will be using my Google account to host the photos shown here, so hopefully, Google will have some longevity and not go anywhere soon. One never knows what the day will bring.
On a positive note, I had a wonderfully productive day yesterday. I got my mail sent out, put together some new patio furniture that arrived on Monday, cut my orders out that are shipping today, and I spent some time in the yard doing some much-needed work in our yard. Since we were in 'moving mode' last year at this time, I really didn't have time to do much on the outside of our home for the summer. I had wanted to do some basic landscaping that wouldn't require much maintenance, as my time is always so pressed. So I chose some 'lazy plants' as I call them to fill the outside area and add some color and cheer to our home.
I was fortunate to see on Facebook that a neighbor was giving away some pretty variegated hosta plants and I picked up 10 of them a couple of weeks ago. I thought they would fill the front of the house in nicely and I knew they required little to keep them full and growing. I had the 10 buckets sitting in the front of the house for the past couple of weeks and I was waiting for a lull in my schedule to make time to plant them into the ground. Yesterday seemed the perfect day, as I had just finished assembling the furniture for outside and finished up all of my orders. It was still early in the afternoon and the sun was shining and bright. Since we had a rainy week last week, the ground was nice and soft and things went quickly. I also ran to the nearby garden center to get some Impatients. These are some of my favorite flowers and I know they will fill in the small flower bed as time goes on. I had enough left not only to fill the flower bed and make a couple of additional planters but also to put some in between the hostas in front. Later on, it will add a nice splash of color. So here is the result of my efforts:
I also got a few hanging planters of flowers. I just couldn't resist these beautiful yellow begonias:
. . . or these exotic Impatients:
Our deck is now warm and inviting. This is only half the set that I acquired. It came with two of each of these pieces, which I thought was perfect for the wrap-around porch. The other half in under the eaves in the front so we have a choice of sun or shade for sitting:
I know I will be spending lots of time outside working this summer. It will be so nice after being in cooped up all winter long.
I then got some wonderful "Happy Mail" from a couple of my designer friends. I received a wonderful package from Sandy Warner McTier (http://www.sandymctierdesigns.com/)
Sandy just published her first book (#BeInspired) and also introduced some awesome new rubber stamps, stamp kits, and stencils. I had helped her do some of the technical graphics on her stamps and it thrills me to see her beautiful designs come to fruition. I love working with her and her energy and talent is endless! Congratulations on her to some really wonderful work!
But that wasn't all . . .
I also received a nice package from Amy Mogish, who is a friend and colleague that I also enjoy working with:
Amy had sent me a BEAUTIFUL winter glitter house (That is real glass glitter on it! You should see it sparkle!) this past winter as a Christmas gift. The house fits perfectly with my little skating pond scene and I loved adding it to the vignette. I had asked Amy if she would make me one in Turquoise, as it is one of my favorite colors, and she graciously did so. She even put a little kitty on the back, inside wall of it! :)
As you can see, she sent me a couple of 'blank' houses to play with on my own. I want to do a Halloween one and I couldn't find them here. Finally, she sent me a pattern of the beautiful chalkboard robin plant poke that I admired. She is so fun and talented, and I love all of her stuff. Amy and I are working on her Halloween Club that is kicking off now. The designs are completely hers and I am cutting the wood pieces for the members. It has been widely successful and we are both thrilled with the outcome. You can get more information on the club at her website here: https://classicamyjoanne.com/classic-halloween-ornie-painting-club/ It is never too late to join!
As for my other work, I am just about finished up with my "Maiden Voyage" Ark from the Lynne Andrews Inspirational Ark Series.
All I need to do is to finish the details on the little birds and add the hay under the front animals. Then I can move on the 'month-by-month' pieces. You can find the patterns for the Ark pieces at Lynne's site: www.lynneandrews.com and the wood pieces (including the display tree) on my own site Painting Surfaces page. I am pleased that Amy is also designing a fence and topper for the tree so those who are in both clubs can use the same display tree and only need to switch the fence and topper. I haven't seen what Amy has come up with, but I am sure it will be fabulous!
You can join our Facebook pages for both of these projects and paint along with us or just watch and cheer us on. The Classic Halloween Ornament Club page is here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/HalloweenClub2017/ and the Inspirational Ark page is here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/lynnesark/
Both groups are fun, helpful and inspiring!
Finally, I wanted to show you all a couple of new project designs from Keith. He created this Psalm 56:4 plaque that says "Choose Faith Over Fear" (SLDK726)
He also created a plaque to honor dispatchers (SLDK727 - Dispatch/Dispatcher - The Thin Gold Line) which include four versions of the plaque.
Either plaque would not only make a great Father's Day gift but a nice project for any time of the year.
So that is about it for today. I have several directions to head. My biggest problem is deciding what to do first. :) (That is a good problem to have!)
Happy Thursday to you all! The weekend in just around the corner!
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