Feb 6, 2020

Cat Lady

Happy Thursday! Nothing wrong with celebrating a regular day, especially when I'm surrounded by bright sun and no need to cook dinner tonight, right?

If you scroll through my entire history of cardmaking, you are not going to find a lot of animals, particularly cats. I'm afraid that they will scratch me. They sense my fear, so OF COURSE, they make a bee line for me and rub all over me, which causes me to tense up even more.

But, I still think they are cute, so I finally decided to buy a set with a few cute cats, which I paired with a clear embossed background. Colored the edges of the die cuts with a Copic that matched the teal cardstock, something Yana Smakula does. You can see an example here. Love how it makes that white outline disappear. She's one clever cookie.

Maybe I'll get into cute animal cards?

Hero Arts Hearts and Flowers Bold Print
Honey Bee Stamps Oh My Whiskers
My Favorite Things birthday sentiments (can't find it on line)


I went a little dark after I got the good health news -- because I can't just be happy and grateful. No, I had to dwell on the pain of thinking I needed a heart transplant when it turns out I do not. If only my brain just behaved! Luckily, I sulked and whined my way through a few days and came out the happy side.

Hope you are having a good week!

Jan 28, 2020


Had a right heart catheterization. (They stick a wire through your neck into your heart and measure a bunch of stuff.) I had one back in July and this was a much longer, more careful, test. 

The VERY GOOD NEWS is that I do not need a heart transplant. Repeating just for myself: I do not need a heart transplant.

The other good news is that they did find something wrong, which explains why they thought I needed a heart transplant and why I get short of breath. It can be addressed with medication and my doc will see me often in the next few months to make sure it gets addressed. My doctor told she was "wrong and happy to be wrong." She was just plain terrific and I feel good about working with her. 

It's hard to explain what the past month and a half has been like, but I hope to try and get my life back on track as soon as possible -- maybe I'll even stamp more! 

Thanks for listening. I learned a lot about myself and about heart transplants and now I hope to try and forget all of it.


Jan 19, 2020

Creating Birthday Balloons

Love cards with balloons, but unless someone designs a stamp that places all the balloons and all the strings in just the right place, I fumble and bumble and make a hot mess.

So, this time decided to experiment with a loved, but neglected, set by Essentials by Ellen called Wonky Backdrops. Used the "circles" to make balloons and added strings from Everyday Doodles. Sentiment is from Mama Elephant's Blogging Buddies.

I'm determined to use what I have (although that hasn't stopped me from adding to the pile!). Someone please stop me...


Thank you so very much for your very kind comments on my last post. I'll be sharing more!

Jan 15, 2020

All The Things

Let's start this party with a card.

This Always Here stamp set from Power Poppy is just a pretty, warm image. Plus, it comes with the sentiment built in, which I always appreciate. Used Copics and added a few details with Prismacolor Pencils. Hard to see in the photo, but I also added some clear jewels.

After I stamped the image with a Copic friendly ink (Memento), I kept it in the MISTI and, when I was done coloring, I restamped it with Versafine Onyx. While the Versafine is not Copic friendly, it works just fine if stamped after coloring. The image sort of came to life after I restamped it as the Versafine gives a much crisper image.

I find coloring small images much harder than large ones, but it was fun to make and this will make a perfect card to send to someone in need of a lift.

MOOD WHEN DONE: Happy to make a card!


A week before Christmas my cardiologist called to give me the results of a test. I need a heart transplant. Not immediately. Not tomorrow, but it's time to have a formal evaluation to get placed on The Waiting List. He referred me to an Advanced Heart Failure/Transplant cardiologist, Dr. X (not her real initial!).

Met with Dr. X. Really like her a lot. Managed to be both blunt and warm. I'm having another test, and she indicated that, after that test, we will either go forward right away with the formal evaluation (it takes several months) or defer it, but eventually I'm going to need a heart transplant. Given my age, it's better to get on the List ASAP.

Dr. X never said "die." Rather, "you'll live longer with a heart transplant than without." And I didn't ask about times or prognosis, because I have so many uninked stamps that it will take a very long time to use them all and why ask? 

Eventually, I'm going to talk about all the things -- the fears, the information, the tests, the details, the gratitude, the research, the risks, the health policy issues, the chance that I'll actually get a heart, all of it.

But for now, I'm just letting you know what's been going on. I'm hoping that I will educate and encourage folks to become organ donors. But the most important reason to blog about this is, selfishly, to give me an outlet to record all the things. I think it will help me process all of this. But I promise this blog is not going to turn into a medical blog. I've got cards to make and share, and most importantly, my life cannot be about this one thing,

In the meantime, I'm fine. If you spent any time with me, except for getting a little short of breath at times, you would have no idea that I had a heart condition. I'M FINE.

So, I'm on an adventure and you are welcome to come along for all the things. 

Jan 7, 2020

Mondo Great

Pulled out the Mondo Gerbera Daisy from Essentials by Ellen. Just love a big old flower, particularly if Julie Ebersole designed it.

Stamped the daisy with Versamark on Bristol Smooth paper and embossed in white. Watercolored with Zig Clear Color pens and cut out by hand. Added a purple stripe with one of the Zig markers and blended lightly with water. Used white gouache paint to speckle the cardstock.

Went with a sunny yellow daisy with a purplish center because I was in the mood for bold and bright and fun and complementary colors will give that pop, even if there are no gerbera daisies with this combination.

MOOD WHEN DONE: Great! A Mondo Great feeling to be back creating. Hobbies are wonderful things and I missed stamping. Hope to be back soon with more cards.

Dec 23, 2019

Merry Christmas and Happy Hannukah

Merry Christmas and Happy Hanukkah

Wishing all of you peace, love, and health.

And crafts supplies!

Woke up early a couple of weeks ago with a craving to color and this is what I came up with -- strawberry and pistachio ice cream cones. YUM!

I wanted to practice using my Copics and the Big & Bold Sweetest Birthday Cone is perfect for that. There's Nuvo Crystal Glaze on those cherries -- finally a product that does not clog. Thank you, Nuvo. 

While this is the only stamping I've done in a month or so, I remain engaged in the industry -- following all the developments and what you all are making. Don't think I'd be happy to totally walk away from stamping, so we'll see where it goes. 

MOOD WHEN DONE: It felt good to be in my craft room again. Hopefully, the mood will strike again soon. In the meantime, thanks so much for visiting my blog and/or my IG page. That connection is fun and meaningful.

The holidays can be very difficult for some. Traditionally, I dread them and can't wait for Christmas to be over (even though I'm enjoying it too. weird!). This year, I'm just enjoying it. Life's not perfect, but I'm seizing on all the moments. I hope you can too. 

Nov 24, 2019


I've had my eye on a hot foil system for a while. My friend got one and I saw her results and really loved them. So I've asked Santa for one.* At the same time, I've also been thinking -- a lot -- about packing up all my supplies and turning my craft room into a I have-no-idea-what room but not a stamping room.

Makes no sense, but I'm just not that into stamping anymore and not that into posting my stuff (made a bunch of Christmas cards that I haven't posted). It's not that I don't have any mojo, I've just lost interest. 

This is a serious problem.

But before we get to that, I got new eyeglasses. They are red. I love them. And I went on a road trip with my SIL and took this picture somewhere in the middle of the desert where we stopped for something. I love her.

1. The Crazy

Stamping takes up almost all the crazy in my head and calms it down. Turn on the TV or music, pick up a stamp, and I'm lost in a good way. Concentrating on the crooked layers or the messed up Copic coloring stops my brain from its non-stop worrying and obsessing about all the things. Studying the masters, like Julie Ebersole or Laura Bassen keeps me sane (but also a little frustrated but that's another story).

Truth: Mike is extraordinarily neat. As in he never ever leaves anything where it doesn't belong, for even a minute. (I know, it's sad.) So when he left his shoes in the living room, I googled brain tumor symptoms. Turns out brain tumors can cause unusual behaviors and I started looking up brain tumor doctors in Dallas. That took up 5 minutes of my life, and was promptly followed by worrying about something else. Stamping stops this. For a while.

2. My Life at Stake?

It's hard to eat and stamp. You can't eat a piece of cake or a fudgy brownie with an ink pad in your hand. Ok, I'm proud to say that if anyone can, I can, but it's not easy. Plus eating in my craft room could attract one of the 856 bugs that love Texas. So if I give up stamping, I'll eat more crap and die earlier surrounded by bugs. It's a life and death issue.

3. Can This Marriage Survive?

I'm retired. Except for Wednesdays, when I volunteer, I literally have nothing to do.***  Mike got alarmed when I told him I was thinking of giving up stamping. His exact words were:

"Unacceptable. You will stamp whether you like it or not."

Suspect he's afraid that if I give up stamping I'll have more time to try and get him to talk.***

So what to do? Do I invest in a hot foil $y$tem and all the crap that goes with it or walk away? 

* The chances that Santa will understand that I want the system that is compatible with my Gemini Jr and that I will also need hot foil plates and hot foil foil is nil. I'll find the link for Santa and email it to him. Not sure that this is how gift giving at Christmas should be but I've de-linked "Christmas" and "should."
** Don't hate on me. I put in my time working and taking care of everyone. I've earned this.
*** Truth. It's the holy grail of marriage. If he ever shares his true feelings, I'll really be googling brain tumor symptoms.****
**** Now, I'm worried that by joking about brain tumors (seriously a horrible disease) I'm bringing the wrath of karma on my house. PLEASE I'M JUST KIDDING.