Tuesday, March 19, 2013


Summertime at Flying J&L Ranch is a slow time of year for us.  The Texas heat turns on and we spend the day hiding in AC from the heat.  It's the perfect time for me to scrap!

As a child I spent my days at the neighborhood pool.  Wake up at 6:00 am, eat a light breakfast and I would dive into the pool for an hour long swim practice.  At noon we were back at the pool to play for the afternoon.  Don't follow the rules of the pool and the lifeguard would pick up the phone and call your Mom.  So we all followed the rules because Mom's would come down to the pool and drag you home.

The best time though was getting to go to Papa Red's and Dee-Dee's or Papa and Nana's houses.  When we lived in Delaware in 1968 and 1969 my parents would drive the family down to Washington DC.  We would arrive for me to take a mid-morning flight to Papa Red's and Dee-Dee's.  I remember feeling so grown up to fly all by myself.  The stewardesses always put me in the front row.  I would get treated to go up to the cockpit and get to sit in the Navigator's seat for about 10 minutes.  What fun I had!  Then my parents and brother's would spend the rest of the day on the mall in DC.  A week later they would drive down spend another three or four days.

These photos were from my grandmother's collection.  This was summer 1969 and some of the fun they had at our grandparent's house.  They lived on the Intercoastal Waterway outside of  Wilmington, NC.  There was lots of room to roam and run and play.....

For this layout I chose to complete it for Nuts About Sketches #257.  This two page sketch is unlike any sketch I have seen.  I just loved it from the moment I received the sketch!  I had some pictures of Zuby to do a double page layout.  Sometimes owning two homes and always traveling with your scrapping supplies you forget something.  Well I forgot the photos this past weekend.  I had to rethink and these photos just spoke to me along with Echo Park's first line Summertime.  So a single page layout using the left side was perfect fun for the photos used!

I hope you will consider playing with this sketch and linking your creation over at Nuts About Sketches Blog!

Monday, March 18, 2013

Colorful Creations Pot of Gold Crop & Imaginisce Challenge

I'm had great time working on the couple of the challenges I was able to complete at Colorful Creations site.  The Pot of Gold Crop was amazing with the St. Patrick's Day Theme!  All Challenges are due on March 17th, St. Patrick's Day!  Unfortunately the work load at the ranch didn't leave me time to post them to the challenges.  Later today I'll get them in the Gallery at Colorful Creations.

I did two challenges for this Crop.  Challenge 11 - Luck of the Irish to use the image of the Leprechaun and the Pot of Gold for inspiration.  Also included in the image was flowers and of course the color of green.  Requirements were to use three different pattern papers, three different colored embellishments and use green and gold in your project.    I had three different patterned papers, and four embellishments of different colors. I just didn't have enough to make more then one layout with shamrocks in my stash so I decided to make a birthday card for a close friend of mine.  I'm the lucky one to have such a great friend!

I also used Unscripted Sketches #201 to create my card.

The second challenge I selected from the Pot of Gold Crop was the Challenge #8 - Lucky!  I have a very affectionate photo of James with our cat.  This will be the second time I scrap the photo.  The first was more masculine and went in the album I'm making for James.

The challenge called for using the word "Lucky" in a card, layout or mixed media project.  We adopted "Q" from Second Chance Pets just before Halloween in 2006.  She had been surrendered two weeks before and wouldn't be put up for adoption for three months because she was black and it was two weeks until Halloween.  Since my mother is a member and foster parent to animals for Second Chance Pets she let one of the ladies who fosters cats know I was looking for a house cat.  When Mom called me back and asked if I would take a long haired black cat because of her long wait for a new home I immediately said yes.  I have always wanted a black cat.  The condition of adoption is she would never be allowed outside.  It has been an easy condition to follow.  When I arrived to pick her up I was told she was friendly and vocal.  Vocal is the right word, she is the most vocal cat I have ever seen.  She adopted me as her first parent, but shortly after Hurricane Ike she adopted James as her person.  I'm now second person.  James and "Q" are inseparable.  I truly think they are kindred spirits.  This is the layout I created for the challenge and for this month's Imaginisce Challenge.  I used Imaginisce Childhood Memories and Good Dog lines.

Who said Childhood Memories cannot be used by Mom's with adult children.  I know when James finishes college and has his own place "Q" will move with him and I will deeply miss her.

Come find some fun over at Colorful Creations and take a peek at their great monthy challenges!

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Upcycling with Washi Tape

I just had to share a couple of ideas Brandy aka blbabe1234 shared on how to store Washi Tape on the ACOT message board and the other thread here.

The first is from her husband!  Oh, I just knew their were husband's out there who could come up with some ideas for storage solutions!!!  This is a perfect solution and then one could add to the second solution!!!

And of course here's how it looks afterwards!

Then Brandy found yet another idea on storage of Washi Tape!

Now to find out how to make these little jewels visit the post on Scrapbook and Cards Today Blog post!

My thought right after seeing the second idea was to combine the two!  I would cut the paper rolls down some more then adhere them to store the individual tape dispensers.  I also like the idea of using one's scraps to cover the paper towel rolls!  Or decorate the rolls some other way!  I could even think about making a base to house the rolls by upcycling my boxes by building a base to house the rolls.  The thoughts are just endless when you think about it a bit!

Tell me what you think?

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

February Winners

How many times have I written about the community of scrappers at A Cherry on Top?  Way to many times to count.  Such a great community!  I hope you'll decide to become a regular participant in the awesome challenges on the site!

I would like to congratulate the Winner of February Heritage Challenge created by sdwhru:

For the 4x4 Challenge the winner is blbabe1234!

Each winner received a $5 ACOT Gift Certificate from me!

All of us from our community to you wish you would join us in the friendliest scrapping community on the web along with many other great challenges sponsored by the community!

This month I have put the 4x4 Challenge on hold just so I can catch up on my design team requirements for the month.  The 4x4 challenge will be back next month!

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

The Perfect Cow - My Journey

Mother told me my second word was 'horse.'  I have often said I was born to be a horsewomen!  At the tender age of eight I started taking hunt seat lessons.  The only saddles I have not ridden were are racing and sidesaddle.  My favorite is dressage and I affectionately call it yoga on horseback.  As the horse market changed over the last two decades, I made the decision to always own an equine but I wouldn't participate in a market breeding horses due to changing perceptions of horses were now pets instead of livestock.

I started Lynn and James with rabbits in 4-H due to where we lived at the time.  What a wonderful journey that was teaching Lynn the principles I learned from so many knowledgeable horseman and horsewomen in the Arabian world.  I read and read and read some more on breeding the perfect Arabian.  I studied pedigrees memorizing them then went to look at pictures of the horses in those pedigrees at the tender age of eleven.  I studied the photos of their offspring.  What I learned is that one will never breed the perfect Arabian but one could come darn close.  When it came to the rabbits James went a different direction which was a Great Thing.  Lynn became determined to breed the perfect rabbit.  As rightly she learned you will never reach perfection but come darn close.  Her efforts result in many show wins and three National Championships.

From rabbits we moved to cattle.  And as I have written before Flying J&L Ranch was born in 2001 with Santa Gertrudis Cattle.  In 2006 we moved into Lowlines for numerous reasons I've written about.  Our first two animals had their registrations in the 5000's.  Our ranch registered the animal with the number 10,000.  We are now pushing 18,000 animals registered in the breed.  At the time I began to study Arabian pedigrees there were about that number registered in AHR, now known as AHA.  Once again I take the principles I learned with Arabians to the Lowlines

What is the perfect cow?  To me she must be pleasing to the eye, correct in conformation, efficient on pasture, longevity in producing a calf one year to the next, produce milk in abundance, have proper udder stucture, and excellent leg structure.  In my mind neither is more important then the other.  Yet I still find myself looking at legs first.  The adage a horse is only as good as his four legs can also apply to a cow.

As I did with Arabians I have studied pedigrees, studied pictures, and dream of breeding that perfect cow.  We were so fortunate as seed stock producers to have from 2007-2012 heifer years.  Three of those years we had a 3/1 ratio of heifers to bull calves as we built our Lowline herd and beef herd.  This year has been a huge flip.  We are at a 3/1 ratio of bull calves to heifers.  My husband somewhat dismayed by that ratio was gently reminded we were due for this to happen and how fortunate we were to have an abundance of steers to sell in 18 months as beef.  I am always reminded that with each year's calf crop there is always a rainbow in the result.  Last year I quietly didn't say anything about who the Fullblood Lowline cows were bred to.  About half of them I patiently wait for a heat and put them with the bull I wanted them to be bred to.  Last night he commented on what a great job I had done in my breeding choices.  'The calf crop looks great, how did you do that?  They are all nice calves even if they are mostly bulls.'  I smile as Lynn and I have picked out three bull calves so far to develop.  I have over the last six years explained to him the principles of breeding an animal.  Again last night I explained.  Next year I will be taking a few of the cows and heifers we have bred try something I learned from breeding Arabians, linebreeding.  This will be a true test with such a small gene pool in the Lowlines.  I don't believe we can do an inbreeding cross and come out ahead.  I think the closest we can come is linebreeding grandparent to grandchild.  If that cross works then I might try half sister to half brother.  Honestly, I also think the emphasis should be on the dam lines just as it is in the Straight Egyptian Arabians when I try linebreeding.  We put way to much emphasis on bulls as we do stallions in this country.  Your dam lines as I study the most  successful Lowlines become even more important factor in any breeding of offspring.

At this point I also want to thank Jeannette Stebbins of Ardrossan Stud in South Victoria, Australia for her wonderful insights into the Lowline Cattle.  She is now the only remaining charter member of ALCA, from when the Lowline Cattle were released from Trangie and Glen Innes herds.  She, too, like the founding Straight Egyptian breeders in our country place the emphasis on the dam lines.  Thank you, Jeannette and Peter for visiting last week after HLSR and affirming we are moving in the right direction.  We also appreciate all of your great advice!  We look forward to your next visit!

I end this with I dream of that cow I breed who will be the Perfect Cow who 'Performs in the pasture and dresses up for Sunday Shows.'  A cow were Form and Function Meet, as the motto we live by.

Thank you to Alice Womble-Heitmann owner of Horse Gate Ranch Brahman Cattle for the quote in the above paragraph!  My dream will be very close to reality in the future as I will never reach perfection but I will become darn close! 

Monday, March 11, 2013


As I scrap the photos my son gave me for an album(s) that will be his, I am reminded often I scrap them through a mother's eyes and not necessarily through his eyes as he sees the photos.  Prima's line Craftsman so fits the men in my family, Larry and James.  I've left space for him to journal about the photos if he wishes.    Yet this layout Mom did the journaling through the word stickers as she knew about the incident portrayed in the photos later that day.  When James saw the layout he smiled and said, 'That's great Mom!'  One of those comments Mom's just love when they also see the expression on their child's face.

Andrew and James have been good friends for years.  James had just purchased the bike in the photo and Andrew wanted to try it out.  The neighborhood we live in is very different then most Houston area neighborhoods.  The lots are a minimum of one acre.  There are few privacy fences so there is a feeling of a large spaces.  After driving up and down our street in the neighborhood he ventured through the rest of the neighborhood.  On one curve Andrew didn't take the curve well and slid the bike into the ditch.  Fortunately no injury's to him or the bike.  Of course Jame's took the photos.  James' friends have followed suit and they all have bikes now and spend one or two weekends riding together each month.  Andrew's entire family now has bike's and they ride as a family.

The inspiration for this layout came from Nuts About Sketches #256.  It's a wonderful sketch where you can easily make it as intricate one wants or a very quick simple layout!

I loved the detail of the sketch.  I started by not wanting to add the frame with the sketch.  When I purchased the Craftsman line from A Cherry on Top, I was in the state of, 'Washi Tape, WHY?  The Prima Craftsman Washi Tape came in my October Paper Bakery Scrapbooking Kit!

 I had this sudden realization this little jewel with the light bulbs was perfect for the layout.  A couple of minutes later I had the broken frame representing a light bulb moment and the mishap Andrew had about riding a bike.  I was stunned at the ease of use the ability to re-position the tape and now was hooked on Washi Tape.  Promptly my Wishlist at A Cherry on Top became one third full of Washi Tape!  Most of  the Washi Tape is represented by Prima in my Wishlist.

By the way if you have not discovered Paper Bakery Kit Club you need to take a peek at the fabulous Scrapbooking Kits, Project Kits, and Mixed Media Kits.  Sarah puts together the best kits ever!  An added plus is the fabulous design team Sarah has put together.  Check their projects out on Paper Bakery Kit Blog!  Next week, March 18-22 Paper Bakery Kit Club Blog will be teaming up with Elle's Studio blog for some fantastic fun and inspiration with a give-a-way or two during the week!  I'll be there and I can not wait to get this month's kit!

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Pot of Gold Crop

Rainy days as a child left always left me in a state of boredom as I spent as much time as possible outside.  As a rule that love of being outside hasn't changed much as an adult.  I now find rainy days to be best spent scrapping.  Today is cloudy and dreary looking with rain promised tomorrow.  Yuck!

What better way to past this weekend then at an online crop since I missed my monthly crop with friends last weekend due to the HLSR.  Andrea, one of the Message Board Members at ACOT, posted about Colorful Creations Pot of Gold Crop.

I thought this would be a perfect way to spend the weekend and so far have enjoyed this last night and this morning.  First item on the agenda for me is to work Challenge # 5 - Over the Rainbow!

Come join the wonderful Design Team and Ladies of this community for some scrapping goodness this weekend!  I hope to find some inspiration for doing a heritage layout today or tomorrow!

Friday, March 8, 2013

2013 HLSR International Lowline Show is in the History Books!


I have been recovering all week after spending five days from early morning to night at the show and another four days spending a partial day at the show to keep the electronics up and running for American Lowline Registry Booth in the International Room.  How I wish I had the energy of my daughter's age again.  I've spent the last three days in recovery mode!

International Lowline Angus Sale was a huge success with just over $173,000 dollars worth of cattle sold.  The high selliing lot was MRG Rusty to a syndicate for $27,500.  Rusty is the 2012 Candian National Champion Bull, 2013 National Senior Division Champion Bull at the National Western and 2013 International Grand Champion Bull at HLSR.  We were absolutely thrilled!  In 2012 Flying J&L Ranch and Rocking B Farms purchased a semen interest in the bull and when Rusty sold we are a part of the syndicate.

We would like to thank BF Farms and 7C Lowline Cattle for the purchase of  our Lot # 24 Embryos,  4 Exportable Embryos Elandra Park Zoom x Sunset Vicky 913W.  This lot of embryos sold for $4800 tying the high selling price of $1200/embryo.  As promised Zoom HAS BECOME THE NEWEST HOTTEST IMPORT BULL!  Vicky's bloodline has become even more valuable with her maternal brother's MRG Rusty's International Champion win and syndication!  Vicky is open and ready to flush should you be interested to any of our bulls except Zoom.  We have other superior heifers and cows ready to flush.  Please remember we protect our customers with only flushing to our bulls one time to maintain value of the offspring to their owners.  We guarantee one live calf from each flush, too.

The International Show was extremely competitive and we are so excited to announce the wins in the Senior Heifer Calf Division of Miss FJL Tinker Bell 15/28Y as International Senior Heifer Calf Champion and Miss FJL Mathilda 13 was named International Senior Heifer Calf Reserve Champion.  Both of these beautiful heifers are sired by LTL Peyton, our Foundation Bull shown above.  Peyton is noted for siring pretty and consistently producing look alike offspring.  We will be purchasing their photos next week and I'll post a whole page dedicated to their wins.

Trends seem to be very evident this year in the overall improvement of the cattle being shown in the ring.  There is a distinct increase in size to the upper limit of the Breed Standard as it should be in my opinion on Fullbloods.  There is also a distinct increase in width and depth of the cattle as should be in my opinion of the Fullbloods.  The Percentage Cattle classes are showing a more distinct pretty picture with pedigrees showing an increase use of Club Calf  influence.  For the show ring this is a great thing.  On the farm producing meat not such a good thing in my opinion.  I do think in my opinion the influence of Club Calf  Sires allows for a distinct advantage for show steers and heifers with Lowline influence to compete in the show ring for kids who wish to show.  This is terrific addition to marketability for percentage Lowlines.

Overall the International Show was a huge success for the Lowlines.  The International Sale can now claim to be one of the top two Lowline Sales in the nation, the other the National Sale held at the National Western Livestock Show.  The International Sale led the way on averages in all categories between the two sales.  Congratulations to Jeff Canterbury Sale Manager and Auctioneer along with Larry, my husband, who is Sale Committee Chair for Southwest Lowline Angus Breeders Assoc. on a terrific sale.  I'm sure breeders will continue to consign their very best to this sale!  Be there in 2014 for the excitement this sale offers!