Monday, September 24, 2018

Thank you card~

Hi and good day to you!  Autumn greetings from chilly-beautiful Montana USA : )
Our temperatures have been in the  high 50's-mid/high 60's (degrees  Fahrenheit ) during the daytime~  (I'm bracing myself for what's to come : ) LOL)
 Today we have a beautiful blue sky and bright sunshine; so it makes me feel happy. <3

I have the blessing of some wonderful siblings~  And my 'baby sis' is such a dear friend to me.
She is a 'kindred spirit' and I love her so much <3
This card is for her~

I was recently sitting amongst  (Google says that is not a word!)  - OK then, well, hmmm, I was sitting at my craft desk surrounded by some beautiful things- and hoping for inspiration to make this card.  Some of the fabrics and laces below came from a wonderful shop on Etsy that belongs to Suzi~ She is an amazing artist and her blog is a place I can always find encouragement and inspiration.  Here is her blog;   it will also lead you to her ETSY shoppe~

I was able to put together a simple Thank You card for my sweet sister~
Though the 'baby' of the family (she is 7 years my junior) she has that wonderful natural ability
to communicate loving care and attention to all of us : )   She recently sent some flowers; so I want to acknowledge her with a small homemade card.

Aren't the laces and Sari (I think) ribbon lovely!? They came from Suzi's Etsy; as well as the image.

I had a left over handmade flower from a previous project - and it found a nice home here : )
I adorned the woman's hair with a few small pearl beads.  There's a little 'thank you' tag peeking out from the ribbon.

I TRULY appreciate your visit today!!  and blessings to you in this week ahead~

Monday, September 10, 2018

simple; thankful

Hello and welcome <3 
 I  just have a simple card to share with you today~  But I am most grateful for even this! as my mojo is not returning my calls, and I was in great need of a wedding card!

 The paper is from Kaisercraft; their "Romantique" collection.  I made the flowers (my preferred flower is handmade from the project paper whenever I can) and then I simply added the silk ribbon and embellished sentiment tag~

The front of the card says "a door opened" and inside the card it says "and love walked in"

"Below is a pic of the inside of the card - the top section, just above the fold.  I fussy-cut a tree with birds and tucked a sewing card inside.  That will house some $$ or a gift card~

I may be 'teetering' a little bit, again, ; ) but I'm still going to try and enter my card in Wendy's monthly "Simply Neutrals Tuesday" party!  Our monthly link up party
 Since the front of the card is mainly neutral colors I think I'll be fine : ) Oh I wish you would take a moment to stop over there and see the lovely entries she is sharing with us. There is something for everyone~

  Our weather is cooooling way down here in N/W Montana.  High's in the daytime only mid 60's and nights low 40's and high 30's forecast for this week.  Autumn has taken hold.  This "warm weather lover" must brace herself for colder winds and change . . .
May you have a blessed week ahead! With love and hugs <3

Monday, August 27, 2018

sometimes . . .

Hi friends~
How has your 'nearing the end of Summer' been going?  I hope you have been blessed~
I've been visiting around Blogland (not always leaving comments, but just enjoying your spaces and artwork,)  And all the while - hoping, waiting . . .(tic-tic-tic . . .) wondering if my 'creativity' will come back and re-friend me :)    Even  just for a little bit.

And then a few days ago I really needed a birthday card and small gift bag~  Hmmm what would I do?
I just couldn't come up with anything new or clever or different.  And I said to myself;
 "now, myself!!  You need a card and your mojo just isn't stirring.  Forget new and clever and different!
And go back to your roots  & just make a card"

Sometimes I need to go back to what I first fell in love with (when it comes to paper crafting)
and visit those simple idea's, those 'roots' from long ago.  Those places when it was all new to me and held such
lovely possibilities : )
                                            ~ Simple Shabby-chic~
So I put together this paper bag card with a few pretty papers, ribbon, bits of lace and tags.
The 'stitching' is stamped on (I know - - -)
The 'spool' shape tag was traced from some old Melissa Francis packaging; used as a template.
  I used some older Bo Bunny & My Minds Eye papers 

 I just attached my layers to the front of a small Kraft paper bag - & added the small gift and tissue~

Let me share with you two of the websites I used to frequent  when I was first learning to scrapbook and make cards~    I used to spend hours visiting around blogs and what-not, just looking . . . but these old friends truly caught my eye and inspired in me a lasting love of papercrafting!

 Beatriz Jennings (@ iralamija)  taught me how to tie a bow many years ago (don't laugh! I couldn't do it right, and she has a great little video that helped me discover the trick to it) and she made me swoon over her beautiful shabby-chic style; to whom I still mimic~
And though over time I grew toward a love of grungier/vintage shabby;  She still influences me today.  She has a wonderful shop on Etsy where she sells her creations and also many papers and tags to print out~

Gabrielle Pollacco was so kind to be a friend to me and encouraged me greatly in my early scrapbook years.  Her style is absolutely
and unforgettably gorgeous.  I found her blog (I don't even know how) and was hooked on watching her Youtube videos and reading her blog  tutorials on "how to" create~  Some of us need lots of help!  LOL
She was always there~
Gabrielle's blog is here -->  Such A Pretty Mess blog
 Gabrielle has spent the last few years more involved in designing  her own templates, stamps and stencils, but she does manage to blog every now & then <3 and I'm always so happy to see anything she creates~

 Sometimes I just need to go back to the beginning; (for me that was around 2009-2010,) and use it as a jumping off point.  Not sure where it may take me, but I hope it's someplace happy : )

Thanking God for all of you and the loving support and inspiration I find in each of you!

Monday, August 6, 2018

To Every Thing . . .

To everything, there is a season
And a time to every purpose under Heaven . . .
 Ecclesiastes ch 4

Dear friends and visitors,
My mother has died  : (   and I am once again dealing with grief; while also learning some important life lessons in this mean time.
 It was in April that I decided I better get myself to Colorado and be with mom & dad.
I spent the entire month of May with them and I'm so so glad I had that opportunity.  We celebrated her birthday (3 different party's! : ) and also spent Memorial Day together.  I was able to 'work from home' at their place so I had lots of time with them.  We created some wonderful memories which I will cherish always~
In May, Mom seemed to be rebounding and doing pretty well - -so what a shock/surprise it was to us to lose her suddenly in mid-July. (insert broken-heart here)
I of course went back to Colorado for her funeral services and have since returned home to Montana.

I often fail in the "thank you" department dear friends - but PLEASE know I really truly appreciate your love and support~

Sometimes we learn to 'grow; under the load'  - that is to say, we learn from difficulty and actually grow in grace and character because of it.  Even while 'in' it.
I hope that will be me~
I also hope my love and passion for crafting and creating will return again and the ideas and excitement for it will once again flow : )

I'm including a card I created a few months back, for a very dear friend; using a beautiful image from Suzi @ Etsy's:

I will be offering this photo @ Wen's blog
for submission in her monthly Link Up  "Simply Neutral Tuesday"
I'm snitching a bit of color into this 'mostly neutral'  party; but I'm hoping that's ok : ) <3
PLEASE take a moment to view her beautiful blog and all lthe lovely 'Neutral' entries~

This card includes washi tape, white corrugated board, layers of distressed paper, and a bit of ribbon.
 The image was trimmed with antique-edged scissors and white paint.
Here is another view with white background~

I'm beginning to feel like the "downer blog" !!??  Sigh* With much in the way of sad news.
  It seems as though I start to get 'back on my feet' and something else happens to bring pain and heartache.
But I'm still determined God WILL see me through and I will have much happy things to report as time goes on! <3   One happy thing for me is that Summer is still very much here in MT; and I'm enjoying flip-flop weather!  Lot's of sunshine and even hot days.
And if my creativity will find it's way home, I will welcome it with open arms : )

Wishing you much love and hopes for continued beautiful weather!

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Generations  Wedding  Album 

 Hello, and Thank you for stopping in today!  I'm so glad you've joined me. 

 I wish I knew what the future will hold 🎔  -but for now, it looks like I will be away on an (extended) visit to see my parents and family - my mother is quite ill . . . so,
 I will not have a craft room for the weeks to come~ But here is something I wanted to share again:
  I hope to post a few of these photo's (below) to Wen's SIMPLY NEUTRALS TUESDAY Party!
Please take a moment if you can to browse the beautiful entries there ~

  ***This is adapted from my post - September 2015~
Several years ago I made an album for . . . myself! It doesn't happen real often ; ), but I had acquired some great family generational photo's and wanted to make a keepsake~ so I  created an album of wedding pictures from some of my late husbands family; and mine as well~

It is my most cherished creation ❤ because of the precious photo's it contains, and the love I poured into it.   - one of the pic's dates back to my Great-great Grandparents on my fathers side~

There is something about vintage B&W pictures that... makes me want to create!
To see them displayed with beautiful papers, laces and bits of ephemera.
I am often inspired and filled with idea's when old photo's are in my hand.

This is the cover (about 6"X6")
Made with white corrugated board & some vintage sheet  music (a gift from my father!)
 Most of the chipboard in this album (like the lovely mannequin) is from > Blue Fern Studio's.
Most of the papers used in this album are from Prima > ( their Almanac and Printery collections)

This page above is my mother's parents~ Juliette and Michael (Rene' was his middle name & I remember  Grama often called him Ray)  They were French Canadian.
The fussy-cut bird and nest was G45" Little Darlings" paper. The chipboard vines are Blue Fern Studio's and the bird cage is a die cut.

My husbands grandparents (mothers side);  Kate (Catherine) and Chuck -  but we all called him "Poppy"~  He was a gardener by trade and had several green houses where he made his living. Grandma Kate was a kindergarten school teacher for many years.
The cute hanger ppr clip is from Tim Holtz.

Here are my parents.  I shared this photo a few weeks ago and posted it to Wen's Simply Neutral Tuesday Party!!   
Aren't they a lovely young couple! ; )
I used lots of home made flowers (Prima papers) and the chipboard butterfly is Blue Fern.

This is my fathers grandparents~ I've heard some stories about them!!! Can you see the twinkle in their eyes?  
  *All of the buttons used in this album are vintage - from grandma's jar.
This is my husbands parents on their wedding day of course~ With the Grooms parents (Grandma & Grandpa "O") on the left; and  the Bride's parents (Kate & Poppy) on the right. I used some lovely wedding Appliques, home made flowers, lace, blue seam binding and the beautiful bird paper is from the "My Minds Eye" Co.   The stick pin was made by a gallery friend @

What a fun page this was!
Alan's Great-Grandparents above (*this is their Anniversary party - there are no wedding photo's that I am aware of.)  I've always known them as 'Oma & Westy'  He was quite the old salty dog! &  Joined the army/navy? by lying about his age. He had stories for sure ;)  and claims that he helped chase Pancho-Villa through Mexico~

There are a few more pages in the album . . . but I think I will end with this page below.  My fathers parents~ And I think my favorite collage.
Again, a mix of chipboard, hand made flowers, corrugated board, lace, netting, and Prima papers~

I am blessed by your visit!    ~~Thank you again for joining me~~
Hugs and God bless,

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

This is a gift for my mom.  It is a photo of her own mother, and grand mother.
(so, this photo is my grandma & great : )
 Hello to you dear friends.  Your visits are so encouraging!  <3  Thnks for peeking in~

This mini collage is for my mom.  It is a photo of her mother (on the left) and her grandmother, (rgt)
Hence, 'mon mere et mon grand mere' = my mother and my grandmother~

Moms grandmother was born in Canada to French immigrants, and her mother was also born there-
but then the family migrated to the Detroit area.  (which is where I'm originally from.)
Mom grew up in a French speaking home, but with her 8 siblings all speaking English, the language
was not practiced and eventually lost : (  although moms mom and dad spoke French to each other
often; I remember that.)

I included one of the extraordinary butterflies that Jesse at
was so kind to gift us.  It is on her March 28th post.
As for the beautiful black rosette, that was a lovely purchase from SuziQu at Etsy  
I shared about this in my last post~~

I used older scrapbook paper and a spool pattern for the base.  layering a paris postcard, dif. snippets of lace, seam binding and 3 mop buttons.  
I 'fussy cut' the images from a photo and then traced it onto some black cardstock; & cut it out again for a backing.
I included lots of beads and glitter and glass; spilling out from the folds and tears - like in my grandmothers own life~ Like little treasure seeping from the richness of who she was, and out to all who knew her. Never complaining but always encouraging and positive~
I remember her well.  Mysterious and wonderful.  With her beautiful French accent!

My camera is still acting up and it may be a while now before I can take time to work on that, as I will be heading to be with my mom very soon; for and extended time.  She is very ill and on Hospice in their home . .  I can take my accounting job with me and have family to take care of my place here in MT.
I'm trying to prepare myself for this difficult journey ahead; as there has been  so. much. loss.  in our family in the past 6 years.  But God goes before me~

Would you look at those hats : )   FANTASTIQUE !!

I wish you a blessed weekend ahead!  I appreciate your visits so very much~
Hugs,  Karen

Friday, April 6, 2018

Dreaming in Vintage

Hi friends~
Recently I made a purchase from a wonderful shop at Etsy. "suziqu" (fabrics, textiles, journals, cards)
   The owner is Suzy Quaife, and it's an amazing place. Vintage is the key word  for me :)    here is the link>
I just had to show you what I recently received.

 So many lovely vintage patterns, fabrics and lace.
and ribbon! OMW it's a dream~

 Netting is gorgeous~    fabulous images and tags!
 And look at the black lace!
 Toile   ~love love~

I just had to post this!  I feel so blessed~   I am dreaming in vintage and hoping to do some creating soon; if time will allow.  Suzy, I'm inspired!  And I  hope the 'creativity' is there for me~  My heart says yes!

Thank you for peeking in to see my  ' vintagey ' purchases <3  I appreciate you and all the encouragement I receive from my blog friends~
Lots of love and hugs,   Karen

Wednesday, April 4, 2018

A 'Paper Bag' Thank You!

Hi friends,
I hope and trust you had a blessed Easter?  I was with family & friends, and it was a great week-end!

I am sharing with you today a paper bag that I've recycled : ) into a card.
The "crown" at the top is really just a vertical strip of paper that I decoratively punched.  It slips into the bag - to write your sentiment on~

My camera is still not giving me the pictures I want; and I can't seem to get a close-up! : (
I lightly edged the small bag with ivory paint,  & covered it with scrapbook paper (Bo Bunny)
The beautiful image was a gift from Marie @ Lost bird Studio's~

I've used some pale tissue paper behind the image, and bits of cheese cloth, buttons, sequins . . .
Thank you for taking a peek today!
I'm hoping to share this @ Wen's Simply Neutral Tuesdays party~ at
Please take a look at all the gorgeous neutrals you will find there!

Well, here is a closer shot - but where is the top?! LOL
OK, I surrender.  I'll need to take the camera (and the photographer!) in to the shop~  *sigh*

Wishing you a wonderful week ahead~
Blessings and hugs,  Karen O

Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Love love love

Hello dear friends~  I am so glad you chose to stop in today, and I truly thank you for taking time to visit my blog.

 There is something troubling me, and I really don't know how to approach this except just to say it;
My mother is very ill.
  She has been weak for quite some time and very inactive.  She has also battled cancer for years
and it is taking it's toll on her and my dad - her care giver~
Life has been so full of challenges for me; especially  these past 6 years. So much "trying of my faith" and so much testing of myself- my courage and strength . . .
And all with  'just enough  time'  in-between to keep me from truly falling under the weight.  Perhaps that is a bit dramatic; but maybe a little justified too.

And what of blogging?  I've been away so long, and lately wanting to follow my heart and get back into 'creating' and sharing things with all of you.  But serious and difficult things can re-align us!
and lead us "elsewhere"  once again.
Some of us blog to share art, some to share life lessons and stories, and many - to do both!  And my heart is here, but
my 'life' may not lend to it right now.  We shall see~
I may need to go back to Colorado soon (temporarily) and help any way I can.  I should know soon.

So for now,  I will share 'past' posts and creations, and that will have to be enough for me : )
Thank you for looking!

This is my mom, Emilie Juliette, and my dad, George Joseph - their High School graduation pics.
They met in 6th grade.  YES! And fell in love and never looked back <3
I made this collage as a small gift for her several years ago.  A layer of cardboard & heavy cardstock, layers of scrapbook papers, lace, linen stamping and distressing~

Here they are on wedding day of course.  Isn't she so beautiful!?
This is a page from a small album that I actually made for - - myself!  It holds wedding pics from both mine and my late husbands family.  Perhaps I can share more from the album another time~
 My page here is a mix of ribbon, layered paper, a painted chipboard butterfly, and all the flowers were hand made by me.  I really enjoyed creating this.~  <3

I'm hoping to enter this page into Wen's Simply Neutral Tuesday party~
I wish you would take a moment and stop in to see what she is sharing from other bloggers in the way of  "neutrals" just click on  -->   
Image result for appleapricot blog

Thank you so much for peeking in! I appreciate you : ) and hope you have a blessed and beautiful day~
Love and hugs,  Karen O

Wednesday, March 14, 2018


To my dear sweet friends and acquaintances~
     It has been quite a journey for me; since I last blogged well over a year ago~
When my younger daughter was killed in that auto accident (10/16) my life was changed forever.
And since then, I have felt a little bit like - -an onion (for lack of a better analogy).
Ever- - So- - Slowly,  the layers peeling away - and revealing what God is re-creating in me;
 as I yield my heart to the lessons that are opening up~

and so, my heart wants to go on and on - pondering and talking of all that I have learned through this 'crushing event';
but space and time will not allow me at the moment...  SO - let me address what is on my heart and mind concerning all of you - - my blog-world friends : ) <3
I'm not really one for 'picking a word'  ; )
 - but this is my word for you.  Support.  I have received so much from the blog community that
It left me speechless for a long time~  You have reached out to me with loving kindness and
sincere gestures of  sympathy and - - support.  Thru your comments, e-mails to check on me, and even  creative gifts sent right to my door - I have received love and uplifting, encouraging help.  You are women of a generous spirit - who take this art of blogging to an emotional level; by your outreach and care.

I realize we are friends 'from a distance' - since we come from 'all over the world' (literally) and many of us have never met each other.  But you bring more than just creativity, inspiration and ideas for the things we have in common (... <3 art ...) you also bring (the universal word) LOVE into the equation - and I cannot thank you enough for all the Love I have felt along this last year~~
Thank you so very very much.

In case a few may be wondering, I am now living in the north western part of Montana, USA. I am still working full-time from home as before (accounting) but I am now just minutes away from my elder daughter and her family; as well as my (widowed) Son-in-law and grandkids.  This is soo healing for me~
  It is a snowy and beautiful place to be!  And Spring arrives at a slower pace here - but with it comes the hope of warmth and Summer ahead.  So;  I'm waiting for April . . . <3

I want to share just a few of the things I received from the beautiful hearts out there~
Lets hope I can find the photo's and post them here!  I no longer have the type of computer I was used to for blogging -so I'll need time to learn a different route~ (you will notice the lighting and camera need work : )
 From dear wonderful Karen  @ Todolwen blog.
She sent me a beautiful gift at Christmas ~ this tiny box (maybe 3-4inches,) personally addressed
to me <3   My photography does Not do this lovely piece justice.
You really can't see all the gorgeous details here - but this is on her blog as well. I encourage you to stop by and see her amazing work~
She included some lovely sheet music snowflakes and wonderful card.

 I also received something from my dear friend Ivana, @ papergirl crafts
an assortment of the sweetest softest card-making supplies!  She has been so good to me over the years I've known her.  Taking interest in my hearts concerns; sharing with generosity, and keeping in touch.

Dear dear Marie at lost bird studio
sent me a gift a few weeks ago; and it has been the focus of my first 'creation' in over a year; albeit a simple one~
She sent gorgeous laces and ribbon, vintage paper-people : ) some metal, some vintage buttons., tags, & on and on!  And if the next image looks familiar - she had shared/started this collage on her blog in her Feb 13th post - and included it in my package~

It is a very cool vintage style gift bag with the butterfly girl,   and on her wings it said:
So, I did! : )
I made her some paintbrushes (toothpicks,) and I added some canvases for her to work on : ) using some of the things Marie included in my gift.

I am blessed more than words can say. 
And I wish you all so much love and Gods very best for the coming new year~
Hugs and blessings,