May 30, 2010

Ziggy Is Here

Ziggy is staying with me for a few days while his humans are out and about enjoying camping and canoeing.  He likes to eat, sleep, bark, and generally likes to take walks with me.  Finding trees is his favorite past time when walking although he occasionally confuses a metal post for a tree!  Squirrels get him excited.  And despite many disappointments, he remains optimistic that someday he will get to play with the ducks and the geese in the neighborhood pond!

He joined me for awhile outside this morning while I worked in the flower beds.  Of course, I grabbed the camera before I got too hot and sweaty!

Isn't he irresistible?

Now you may ask what does Ziggy have to do with creativity?  After all, this blog is supposed to be "a gathering place for all things creative!"  Well, I do have the answer for that!  Ziggy was the inspiration for a card I made.  It was the first card I ever sent to a card magazine for publication - I was absolutely thrilled to see it published (June/July 2006 edition of Simply Sentiments).  Since I sent in a self-addressed stamped envelope when I mailed it in, I did get the card back.  I framed it and it is now proudly displayed in my home.

Aptly enough, the greeting on the card is "I Pug You."  Did you notice that the "u" in pug has a heart background?  The pug stamp is from The Angel Company, although it is now retired.  I embossed the image in black and then used water color crayons for the coloring.  The words are from a Sizzix alphabet.  Notice the corner punches and the skinny black lines that intersect at each corner punch.  Well, those skinny black lines are one of my favorite embellishments - scrappers floss!

Have you created something with a dog theme - a card, a scrapbook page, a pendant, a dog collar, a purse or tote, a photo, or whatever?  If you would like to share and if you would like to be featured on my blog, just leave a comment below along with a link to your blog or ETSY (or other online) store to your item.  I will post a blog with all submissions, create a poll, and whoever gets the most votes will be featured here!  Not only will I blog about the winner's handmade passions, but I will also post your avatar and/or your winning entry right where my avatar is today (the upper right hand corner of the blog!) for a week!  Please leave your links below by the end of the day on Wednesday June 2.

Can't wait to see your dog-themed handmade creations!

Thanks for stopping by...


Today's Quote
I love a dog. He does nothing for political reasons.
Will Rogers

May 29, 2010

Life Starts Today

The phrase "Life Starts Today" keeps me grounded in the present, rather than the past.  I can't go back and change things that are already done or take words back that have already been said.  Stewing over them doesn't help and wishing I had done things differently is of no avail too.  I do try to learn from the past, however - hopefully, I don't repeat too many mistakes!  However, today really is the first day of the rest of my life!

Because "Life Starts Today" has always been a favorite phrase of mine, when Carla Ekman of Cobweb Corner, started making brass, stamped bracelets I had her design one for me using this phrase!  The bracelets are all natural brass.  They contain no lead or nickel.  And the large, easy on/off large hook clasp keeps it securely on your wrist yet allows you to put it on and take it off easily.

And this is the oh so very awesome bracelet that is now mine!

Carla has been creating unique handcrafted jewelry since 2002. She operates an online store, has her designs in local shops, and participates in shows throughout the year.  Carla hails from Iowa.  To find out more about Carla check out her ETSY shop, browse through her blog and/or  follow her on Twitter.

Thanks for stopping by today - have a great Memorial Day Weekend!


Today's Abundance
-A beautiful, sunny day to start a long weekend
-More flowers planted in the garden
-A nice walk
-Fresh peas from the farmers market
-Pumpkin Walnut Muffin - oh so yummy

May 26, 2010

The First Peony of the Year

One of Mother Nature's most beautiful creations is the peony!  Did you know "Peony or paeony is a name for plants in the genus Paeonia, the only genus in the flowering plant family  Paeoniaceae.   They are native to Asia, southern Europe and western North America."  I didn't know that, but Wikipedia does!

I have pink peonies, red peonies, a white peony!

Right now my flower gardens are full of Mother Nature's creativity!  My peonies, glads, marigolds, violas, and geraniums all have beautiful flowers on them.  And my daisies are almost in bloom!  The hostas and other border plants are also beautiful.  Thanks Mother Nature!

Thanks for stopping by ...


Today's Abundance
-Peonies and Glads
-Morning cup of coffee
-A clear sunny day (that promises to be less hot/humid than the last two)
-Last night's lightening show
-Technology (when it's working the way you want it to)

May 24, 2010

The Evolution of My Blogs

Hello all!

I have been dreadful at keeping my blogs - and uptodate for many reasons.  One key reason for this failure is that I found keeping 2 blogs, one dedicated to cards and other creations made from Angel Company products and one focusing on one of my ETSY stores, was just too time consuming.  As a result I posted very little to both.

Over the past few weeks I have been exploring options and setting a direction for myself.  After much noodling, I  decided to have a single blog devoted to all things creative!  Then the fun started!!

I started looking at the different blog services.  Should I stay with Blogspot or should I convert to a different one.  Three of my key requirements were:  1)  I wanted to be able to import my posts from my existing blogs, 2) I wanted good choices for my blog templates, and 3) I wanted an admin interface that was easy to understand and use with supporting documentation if I needed to dig into the details.

I first tried Typepad.  I was able to somewhat import my existing blogs.  I was able to import part, but not all, of my posts.  And I was never successful in importing my comments.  Typepad has a wide variety of templates within their product to use and there are a lot of free templates on the internet  that have been developed for Typepad too.  I did run into some challenges too when setting up the overall look and feel of my new blog.

I then went back to Blogspot, set up a new blog, and successfully imported both existing blogs - all posts and all comments.  Having worked with Blogspot for a few years, I was able to quickly set up the new blog.  I couldn't though find a template that I was really happy with although I did find a couple that would be OK, just not great!

My final stop, obviously, is WordPress.  WordPress has a free service known as and a fee based service known as  Right now I am using the free service and am finding that it is meeting my needs just fine.  It is meeting all 3 of my requirements.  1) I was able to quickly and successfully import both of my existing blogs.  Posts, comments, photos, and tags all came over very nicely.  2)  There is a wealth of templates with many different features within WordPress itself.  You can even select templates that meet certain criteria such as the number of columns, colors, sidebars, and more.  3) Other than the natural learning curve of working with a new product, I was able to navigate the admin setup tasks just fine.  I did have a couple of "challenges" in wanting to figure out how to do certain things.  I found that the supporting documentation that WordPress has compiled is excellent.  It answered all my questions.

So, welcome to my new blog - Rita's Creative Nest.  And stay tuned for frequent updates!

One last parting thought:  The above is a summary of my experiences based on my requirements.  If you are converting a blog or even starting up a blog, start first by defining what you want from your blog.  All 3 of the services that I mentioned have pros and cons and all 3 are used extensively in the blogging world.  Based on your needs and requirements, select the service that is best for you!

Thanks for stopping by...


Today's Abundance
-A new blog
-A new domain
-Renewed enthusiasm for blogging
-Blooming pink peonies
-Blooming yellow glads

May 16, 2010

Masculine Blog Hop

The topic for this month's Paperwings Blog Hop is Masculine.  Heiroglyphic Horses is the perfect set for a guy's card!  Here I paired it with TAC's Hip Hop paper collection.  The Happy Birthday greeting is from Trendy Greetings.

Be sure to check out all of the other Masculine cards - here is the list of all the participants!  All blogs should be updated by 8:00 pm on Sunday May 16!


-Rita W

Thanks for stopping by...


Today's Abundance
-Beautiful weather
-A lawn that has been mowed and trimmed
-Newly planted spring annuals
-Homemade rhubarb crisp
-A productive weekend


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