So Many Scraps, So Little Time

I look forward to Kate’s monthly crafting challenge. Kate encourages the art of creating something beautiful or useful or both, made entirely out of scraps.

My volunteer work has kept me busy this month, so in addition to challenging myself to craft with scraps, I also challenged myself to find windows of time for creativity. I made a simple to-do list to go along with the lengthy one. The simple list says: Blog, garden, craft, repeat. It’s a reminder to take time for myself doing some of the things I love.

My favorite scrap-happy project this month is a thank-you card. I made the card for the recipient using the envelope from one of her cards. The colors are a calming blue and green, with a splash of orange.

Here’s the envelope with the flaps opened flat.

I cut a piece from the front that incorporated several of the colors, above.

I embossed the section with a flower pattern, then trimmed it to a clean rectangle.

Of course, having my name in the center of the card wouldn’t do. So, I took another piece of the envelope, embossed a scrap, and used it to hide my name.

I embossed a few more scraps to bring color and texture to other parts of the card.

I used a scrap of white card-stock to cut the word “thanks” and another scrap to make a white folding card.

Here is the finished card, above. I used the remaining scraps to create a label for the front of the mailing envelope and for a seal for the back. I wanted to include credit for the envelope art, so I put her name on the back of my card.

The scraps were too small to make a label, so I pieced them together, then cut with one of my dies.

Ironically, my next scrappy project is an envelope. Elizabeth loves horses, and spends her spare time on a ranch. She buys bags of carrots before she goes. I traced an envelope template onto carrot-patterned paper, leftover from an Easter pack. I cut a scrap of green card stock, used brown ink around the edges for a distressed look, then wrapped it with a scrap of leather from a pair of old bootlaces. I secured the edges of the leather with waxed thread that has been rolling around my sewing box since 1980!

My last and quirkiest entry this month is my nautical jewelry. I tied a piece of jute string around the neck of this tiny bottle. The bottle held a single-serving of hot sauce either at a restaurant or on a flight. I don’t remember. I rescued it from its likely destination (the trash) and used it once for a costume. It recently resurfaced, and I’ve pressed it into use as a necklace. I wrapped the bottle with nautical-themed Washi tape, and scrapped my way to an original piece of jewelry.

The necklace also doubles as a cat toy.

That’s a scrap (wrap)!

Do you have scraps laying around the place waiting for a new life? Come join us for future scrap-happy posts.

Thanks for hosting, Kate.

Be sure to check out the blogs listed below for other scrap-happy posts.

Kate, our hostGun, EvaSue, Lynn, Lynda,
Birthe, Turid, Susan, Cathy,  Tracy, Jill,
Claire, JanMoira, SandraChrisAlys,
KerryClaireJeanJon, HayleyDawn,
Gwen, Bekki, Sue L, Sunny, Kjerstin,
Vera, NanetteAnn, Dawn 2, Noreen,
Bear, Carol, PreetiEdith, Debbierose

House Finch Happenings

The House Finch pair are back. I’m so excited.

Not the best photo, but here they are together on the curtain rail

The female of the pair started a nest on our deck last month. You can catch up here. Mama finch had been building the nest for a while before we noticed. Once we noticed, she disappeared. I’ve since learned that house finches build several nests before deciding where to lay their eggs.

Friday morning, I looked out the kitchen window, and there she was. She had a mouthful of tree twig, which she deposited on the nest before immediately taking flight. Her red-breasted mate remained close. Together they flew to our Magnolia, then back to the neighbor’s tree for more twigs.

Mated pair of house finches in the Magnolia

I captured a few photos from a safe distance, not wanting to disturb the process. Eventually, I had to head downtown.

They’re singing to each other in the afternoons, so I’m hopeful this is a good sign that they’ll stay. If not, it has still been a pleasure watching this simple act play out.

Male House Finch, the object of her affection
A well-protected nest on top of the stacked curtains
Closeup shows how cleverly she’s hidden her nest

In other potential nesting news, I finally saw a bit of stuffing pulled from my squirrel offering cushion. I somewhat belatedly realized that a bird might also dip down for some fluff so I’ve moved the nesting material to the nearby orange tree instead.

I nervously watched a hummingbird either teasing Tessa or warning her off. Tessa likes lounging under the patio table A hummingbird flew from a nearby shrub, dipped toward her, and then flew away. I held my breath through that transaction.

Tessa lounging under the table

Life in the back garden is a balancing act. Squirrels and birds visit by day. At night we see opossums and the occasional raccoon. The kitties come in at dusk and stay inside until 8 or 9 in the morning. At 18, Lindy spends most of her time at rest. Mouse, the cat, is overweight, despite our best efforts, so he’s not much of a threat. I worry about Tessa, though. I want to keep all the garden visitors safe.

Two-Faced Tessa in the Garden

Tessa came to live with us in the most round-about way. She stowed her wee self into the battery compartment of Mike’s Tessla. We’ll never know how she got there, and it was a production getting her out, but after that ordeal, she was here to stay. We were not in the market for a third cat and certainly not a kitten, but as John Lennon said: “Life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans.”

Tessa's portal

Tessa lounging in her kitty portal

Tessa turns three this May.  She’s affectionate when it suits her in the most endearing way. Our sweet tortie climbs on your chest and looks into your eyes, before tucking in her chin and producing a raspy, satisfied purr. We adore her!

Tessa near the rocks

Tessa near the rock wall

Tessa spends her time prowling the compost bin for rats, chasing squirrels and play-fighting with Mouse the Cat, aka, Bubba. He’s more than twice her age and close to double her weight, but they go at it like a pair of kittens.

Tessa in the garden

We call this “the look”

When Tessa first arrived, a steady stream of friends stopped by, intrigued by her unusual markings. Eventually, I created a Two-Faced Tessa The Cat Facebook Page and my son set up an account for her on Instagram as twofacedtessa.  My son attends university several hundred miles away so the updates naturally dwindled, but the pics he posted in the early years are delightful.

Tessa in the fruit tree

Tessa in the fruit tree

I hope her sweet face cheers you as you go about your day.

Tessa in the sun rear view

Tessa on her own terms

Here is a gallery of some of our favorite pics: