Meet Bella

Pookie – Captain Stupidhead – was supposed to be The Last Cat.  If I said it once I said it a bajillion times. But somehow when my son was home for a few months last fall he persuaded us to visit the Maui Humane Society. I’m still wondering how it all happened, but the fact is, Bella is here to stay:

Maui Stamper Meet Bella

It is really, REALLY hard to get a decent photograph of a black cat, especially one that is almost never still.  And when she is still, she is plotting something –  pouncing on your foot, planning an attack, stealing something off the stamp desk, drowning a catnip mousie in her water bowl. She can be an absolute pain in the…neck.

Maui Stamper Meet Bella

But she’s also a very social cat, and she likes to hang around even if you’re doing something really boring. Move from one room to the next, and she’ll soon come around the corner. Forget to feed her, or fail to notice that she’s decided she’s hungry, and she’ll be relentless with her complaints and little snagging paws.

Maui Stamper Meet Bella

Bella is still a kitten, and she does some pretty dopey kitten things. This is a little nook in the kitchen where we stash old newspapers before recycling, and she decided it was a good spot for a nap. She’s asleep in there. Seriously. Look at those legs.

Maui Stamper Meet Bella

Speaking of legs, she’s also a bit of a kluge, and regularly falls off things. Maybe it’s poor balance, maybe it’s just not knowing where her body is, but there’s a lot of thumping and crashing in the Bella Universe.  She sounds (and from the rear, looks) like a bowling ball when she goes down the stairs. (By the way, this is MY chair.)

Maui Stamper Meet Bella

Her favorite toy is something called Da Bird, a gift from Sara. It requires a willing fool with an opposable thumb to keep it moving. She will play FOREVER with it and is never still long enough to be more than a blur in a photo. However, watching the lizards on the lanai – through the door –  is a close second. I’m pretty sure she’s going to give herself an NFL-sized concussion one of these days trying to get through that glass door.

Maui Stamper Meet Bella

What she really loves is to be in the way. Trying to get something done? She’ll hop up behind you in the chair and weasel around to your lap. Walking from one room to the next? Bella will scoot in front of your feet and get them all tangled up, leaving you shouting and stumbling to keep from falling on your face. Putting on shoes? Forget tying those laces – they’re her personal playthings.

And don’t get me started on Bella and ink. She wants to be in the middle of everything, including ink pads. She would be Bella of the Technicolor Coat if she were anything but a black kitten.

Maui Stamper Meet Bella

Did you want to sit here?

Maui Stampere Meet Bella

Things will never be the same.

I think we’ll adjust.

By the way, the Maui Humane Society does WONDERFUL work, including their innovative Wings of Aloha program. Please consider supporting them – we do!

 

 

 

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Sharing a few new shades of green

Stampin’ Up! has beautiful shades of green, but I’ve just returned from a trip that took my appreciation of the color to new levels.

Maui Stamper Greens of Ireland

Mr. Maui Stamper and I traveled through Ireland for 2 weeks with our family.  It was GLORIOUS.  The wildflowers were in bloom everywhere, and many days we even got a bit of blue sky.

Maui Stamper Greens of Ireland

There are swans on this estuary where we stayed, and we loved watching them float gracefully on the water.  We learned to appreciate those moments of sunshine!

Maui Stamper Greens of Ireland

Even on a grey day, the greens still dominated.  One of the images I couldn’t seem to capture was the expanse of green pasture, divided by long stone walls and dotted with cattle, sheep or horses.  This was as close as I got – my son was convinced this was simply a way of keeping people out of the field, but it worked for me!

Maui Stamper Greens of Ireland

Water – streams, lakes, estuaries, oceans, and rain – is a constant presence, and it feeds all that beautiful green.  We were amazed at how plants large and small could gain a purchase in what seemed to be solid stone.

Maui Stamper Greens of Ireland

There’s a meadow growing on the top of this structure!  Buildings, walls, stone – it seemed something could always find a way to root.

Maui Stamper Greens of Ireland

We passed this fellow looking for a meal as we walked to Charles Fort outside of Kinsale.  On our return, the tide had completely withdrawn and there was nothing but mud.

Since I was away from home nearly the entire month of May, I chose not to place a pre-order from the new catalog.  My first order from the 2016-2017 Annual Catalog has shipped and I can’t wait to get my hands on new things to share with you!

I’m sure I’ll be crafting in green.

Happy Girls Day!

In Hawaii, we celebrate Hinamatsuri, or Girls Day.  How adorable are these little “paper dolls” made with the Curvy Keepsake box?

Maui Stamper Curvy Keepsake Hinamatsuri

I didn’t make these – this is in the hands of the lovely creator, Yvette.  Yesterday I walked into my tax appointment and she was sitting at her desk with a big smile.  You need to know how much I dread doing taxes – I tell the CPA “I make things, I don’t count things.”  Knowing that Yvette is there always makes it a little easier.  And when she reached behind her to show me the tray of these little gems, it made things a lot easier.

Maui Stamper Curvy Keepsake Hinamatsuri

I don’t have all the details, but she did say that she cut two Curvy Keepsake pieces in black and then just the front piece in white and glued it on.  She also said she had a teeny craft-meltdown making the faces, but Loretta came to her rescue (that’s what friends are for!)  And finally, the “chopsticks” in her “hair” are white sticks for lollipops rolled in the ink pad – she wore gloves!

Twenty-something little kindergarteners are going to receive an adorable Girls Day gift!  Thanks for sharing, Yvette!

Quick and easy tags – and a Reunion Story

Last weekend I made a whirlwind trip to attend my high school reunion.  I took goodie bags for the people who made it happen – and they worked very hard!  Before I left, I made up some simple tags for the bags:

Maui Stamper Simple Thank You Tag

  • Stamps:  Wild About Flowers, Gorgeous Grunge, Tin of Cards
  • Color Palette:  Whisper White, Soft Suede, Basic Black, Real Red, Blushing Bride, Daffodil Delight
  • Accessories:  Scalloped Tag Topper Punch, Stamp n’ Write Marker, corner rounder punch

A hand-made tag is a lovely personal touch and I made 10 of these in about 15 minutes – you can’t get much quicker than that!  I cut our new heavy-weight Whisper White card stock into 2″ x 8 1/2″ strips and punched the each end with the Tag Topper, then cut them in half and rounded the opposite corners.  Stamp, stamp, stamp and done!

Maui Stamper Simple Thank You TagLast week I shared THESE tags, and they were quick too.

My trip, while insanely fast, was well worthwhile.  I got to spend time with my parents, which is always special.  My sister and her family joined us on Friday night for drinks (my niece has just turned 21) and then dinner.  I got to spend time with a dear friend from high school.  And I reconnected with people I knew, and built new relationships with people I barely knew.

Maui Stamper with Sally at reunionSally and I were friends in high school, college frosh roomies, and then went our separate ways for about 35 years.  A year or so ago, she tracked me down and we picked up where we left off.  If she hadn’t messaged me to say that she was coming to reunion and I should too, I wouldn’t have attended.  Lesson one:  reach out to old friends.

Lesson two:  EVERYONE feels nervous about attending reunion.  I talked to a lot of different classmates, and it seemed we all felt the same apprehension as we approached the event.  And yet, as we shared our stories, we laughed and agreed that we were so happy we’d made the effort.

I talked to people with whom I’d had classes or been in clubs together or shared a summer job.  And I also talked to people that I’m pretty sure were never on my radar in high school.  But I enjoyed renewing old relationships and especially developing new ones, and that made the trip worthwhile.  Lesson three:  The people you most enjoy speaking with may not be the people you thought you were coming to see.

Sally is escorting her youngest to college this weekend – it will be a bittersweet time for them both.  I’m home, slightly reeling from traveling over 5,000 miles in a weekend.  And we are both the better for the adventure.  And still crazy after all these years.

The Maui Stamper with Sally at our high school reunion

 

 

Memories, old and new

I’m spending a few days with my parents in Santa Barbara before heading over to Salt Lake City for Inspire.Create.Share, the 2014 Stampin’ Up! convention.  It’s been a great visit, starting with lunch at the Figueroa Mountain Brewing Company with my dad:

Maui Stamper with Dad I had the Danish Red along with a Farro & Arugula salad and both were delicious – but not as delicious as the time we spent together!

Day Two the first order of business was Girl Time:

Maui Stamper Girl Time PedicuresMy mom, my sister and I went to Magic Nail for wonderful pedis.  I almost got the same color they chose, but at the last minute Ampara convinced me to go with the blue.  I thought it would be too light on my toes but she (as always) knew what she was talking about!

That afternoon we headed down towards East Beach for the Maritime Museum annual Cardboard Canoe races.  My parents told me they never miss them because the entertainment is so hilarious.  No kidding.  The teams get two sheets of cardboard, a yardstick, a box cutter and some duct tape, plus an hour or so of design/build time.  The first two rounds were the kids’ divisions, and the last round was “grownups”.  Seriously, you have to put that word in quotes in this case.  They line up on the beach:

Maui Stamper Cardboard Canoe Races East Beach Santa BarbaraHere we have your basic box lined up next to a Viking Dragon boat.  You get the idea.  I wish I would have take a video of the race to the water, as that box in the foreground got hung up in the yellow starting line rope and the 1912 Box ‘o Bolts got their paddle kicked away by a bystander.  The distance to the buoy isn’t far, and what you need are mad paddling skills to get out and back before you sink.  Trust me, my parents were right – it was hilarious!

On Sunday I met up with one of my besties from 6th grade.  We have a lot of shared stories and memories between us!  I think there might have been a few ghosts of Puppy-Love-Past following us around, too.   (wink!)   Needless to say, we had a wonderful couple of hours together:

Maui Stamper and 6th Grade BestieAmazing how the time has flown by.  This was a sweet visit, and tomorrow I’ll be on the early bus to LAX.  I’ll be in Salt Lake just after lunchtime with Cheryl and it will be full steam ahead from there on out!  I’ll do my best to share what I can, but the best place to find up-to-the-minute posts is on my Maui Stamper Facebook page – click Like to see updates, but remember that Facebook has a “use it or lose it” kind of algorithm – if you don’t interact with the page from time to time by commenting or liking, you’ll stop seeing the updates.

See you all in Salt Lake!

Friends across the miles

One of my absolute FAVORITE things about blogging is the sweet serendipity of making new friends.  My post on May first inspired a Maui Stamper reader to share a photo with me, and one thing led to another…

Maui Stamper May Day 1947 KeokeaCheryl Hasson gave her permission for me to share this photo.  Here’s what she said:

I was born in 1947 in Wailuku and this pic was taken on Lei Day in Keokea at an Hawaiian school where my mother was teaching (now the site of an Episcopal church.) I woke up this morning wishing I was in Maui on Lei Day.

I love the sweetness that this photo represents.  Someone lovingly made all those flower petal skirs complete with greenery sashes.  The circle on the grass is almost surely flour, and the teacher (Kumu) is watching carefully in the background.  May Day is Lei Day in Hawaii (are you hearing the melody?) and there are still celebrations in schools across the islands on or around the first of May.

After we corresponded a bit, Cheryl sent me one more photo of a May Day celebration:

Maui Stamper May Day 1947 KeokeaI’ll have to dig back into the Stamper Family archives…I have a few May Day program photos that are a little more recent 🙂

Thank you, Cheryl, for sharing your beautiful photos!  Aloha…

 

Happy Congratulations

The name of this stamp set cracks me up – it makes me think of one of those “close but not quite” translations.  You know the ones.  In any event, I used a sketch from the Paper Players to get started:

Maui Stamper PP180 Happy Congratulations

  • Stamps:  Happy Congratulations and Petal Parade (SAB)
  • Color Palette:  Crisp Cantaloupe, Pistachio Pudding, Pool Party, Whisper White and Black Staz-on
  • Accessories:  Sweet Sorbet DSP, Big Shot and Decorative Dots TIEF, Pool Party Seam Binding, Oval punch, Scalloped Tag Topper Punch, Rhinestone Jewels, Stampin’ Dimensionals

It’s a fun sketch because it includes a pull-out tag:

Maui Stamper PP180 Happy CongratulationsThe little paper lanterns are very easy to (Two Step) stamp – I just gave ’em the Maui Stamper eyeball – and that panel is lifted on Dimensionals.  I think EVERY card should use Dimensionals.

Here’s the sketch.  You can see I took a little creative license with it, but that’s all in the game:

Paper Players Challenge 180Speaking of games, congrats to all you Seahawk 12th Men out there – but what a horrible game.  The Super Bowl is supposed to be competitive.  I feel for all of you Denver fans. Go read Alexander and Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day by Judith Viorst.  You’ll feel better.  Bad days happen.  (I’m a 49er fan – we already had our Terrible Horrible No Good Very Bad Day.)

All righty then!  A quick little detour and we are adding things to the book list!  (Not that I’m above adding to my book list – please feel free to share.)  But let’s have one more look at  Happy Congratulations (which would be a fine name for a Chinese Restaurant, if you ask me):

Maui Stamper PP180 Happy CongratulationsEnjoy!