Oct 7, 2017

Winnie and Walter World Cardmaking Day Hop

Winnie & Walter is celebrating World Cardmaking Day with a bang. There's a sale, challenges, and this blog hop. All details can be found here.

More than delighted to be part of the Winnie & Walter World Cardmaking Blog Hop. There's some super serious talent here (some of my favorite crafters) and I cannot wait to see what they are sharing. You should have come from the mega talented Nina Marie Trapani's blog.

Plus prizes!! 5 random winners in total will be drawn from all the comments left on the different stops along the hop. Deadline is October 13th. Each winner will receive a $25 gift certificate to the Winnie & Walter shop.

I've got two cards to share. First up is one of my favorite color combinations -- gold, white, and black.

The sentiments and dies are from Winnie & Walter's In Bloom: Frenchy's Festive Florals with Angelica Suarez. And I LOVE this sentiment.

The "tree" triangle is cut out of Modern Graphic paper from Essentials by Ellen. It is black and white paper, but I put it through the Minc to add gold foil on top of the black dots.  The Joy die is stamped and layered 5 times to get a nice thick focal point.

The next card was a snap to make. Fell in love with this simple Noel cutaway die. Used a very bright red cardstock (Holly Berry from Memory Box) to go with the bold typography.

The next fantastic cardmaker on the Winnie & Walter blog hop is Vanessa Menhorn.

Hope you are able to carve out some time to stamp today!

MOOD WHEN DONE = What the heck am I doing as part of this lineup of stampers?? Thanks to Taheerah with Winnie & Walter for inviting me. Haven't done design work in over a year and this was fun.

Oct 6, 2017

Courage for Everyone

There are some moments -- the really big ones -- where folks face a life threatening now or never moment -- the amazingly courageous fire men and women who run into a burning building, the person who jumps down onto the subway tracks to pull a fallen passenger to safety, or the neighbor who picks up the phone and calls child protective services when they witness a parent abusing a child. Those are the moments where courage does roar.

However, this card is for those other moments -- the ones we all face -- the moments of our daily lives that seem overwhelming, but are numbingly common.  It's for the parents of an addict, the wife of a man dying from cancer, the single mom who never has enough time or money to take care of her kids, the homeless man who stands on the median of a busy street near my house collecting money, the woman entering a nursing home, the lonely teenager with autism, the woman whose afraid to leave the house, the worker whose supervisor is a bully, the woman overwhelmed by depression, etc. 

In other words, this card is for everyone, because we all need courage at times.  It uses a sentiment from a fantastic Essentials by Ellen stamp and die set called, fittingly, Courage. It was designed to raise funds for breast cancer research as well as bring awareness to the disease. But the sentiments also work for all the other moments in life where need to stand up a little taller and face things that we don't want to face, and still put dinner on the table and make the bed (and sometimes go upstairs and make a card).

I hope you have courage to face whatever is going on in your life. If you were paralyzed by fear or anxiety yesterday, I hope that today you are standing a little taller.

MOOD WHEN DONE = I'm good! I like the card, the sun is shining, and now it is time to clean up the mess I made creating it and the cards I'll show you tomorrow....

Sep 28, 2017

Life Update

I've gotten tons (ok, 2) questions about my health. Here are answers to some questions no one has asked.

1. What's going on?

If all goes as planned, in a few weeks, some guy (or maybe a bunch of folks in training -- please don't let me be your first patient!) is going to knock me out, cut open my chest, separate my rib cage, turn off my heart (no clue and have not googled), connect me to a heart lung machine, cut through my aorta (I think), remove a piece of my heart, and reverse each of those actions.  If it goes well, I will then wake up and be miserable. If it doesn't go well, see question #6.

It is also possible that, after a new round of tests, these geniuses will tell me that surgery is not needed. We shall see.

2. What is the point of the surgery?

The purpose of the surgery is to improve "quality of life."

A piece of my heart is too thick and is blocking some blood from going to my lungs. Not enough blood = not enough oxygen = getting short of breath and fatigue = impaired card making skills = even poorer photography skills. The latter two are unacceptable and I am willing to risk death to finally master where to put the sentiment on a card.

3. Will you live longer if you have this surgery?

The standard advice is that this surgery doesn't improve life expectancy. However, I get an email every time a medical journal posts an article on the topic. Really, I've gone that far down the rabbit hole.

Like most US voters, I tend to only read and remember stuff that I like, so yes, it improves life expectancy.

4. I thought you had this surgery in August. What happened?

I was supposed to have this surgery in August, but I cancelled the surgery. I wasn't confident that the medical team would take proper care of me after surgery (folks I spoke with who had this operation there recently were very unhappy with their post surgical care).

I also wasn't satisfied with the evaluation I got. It wasn't personal. For example, before I let anyone decide that I need an operation on my heart, I want someone, preferably Dr. Doug Ross, in a long white coat, to LISTEN to my heart and lungs with a stethoscope. And, if you do not listen to my heart and lungs, please do not describe the sound of them in my medical records. Also, the super smart specialist who wrote the book on my heart condition told Mike and me that "there isn't a single good cardiologist in the Washington DC area."

Big egos worry me. I mean, just the act of randomness would put a good cardiologist in DC on any given day.

So, as hard as it has been for both Mike and me to wait for the surgery, I am glad I did. Whether I'm right or wrong about cancelling, you shouldn't go into a major medical thing without confidence in your team.

5. Do you have confidence in your current team?



Not really. I trust no one.

I'm in the freak out stage. Mike just suggested I find something good on Netflix and spend all day binge watching it. Apparently he has no idea what I do all day.

6. Have you made a will?

No, you may not have my Distress Oxide inks. I told Mike to keep them for wife #2.

7. Your joking is a pathetic attention-seeking attempt to quell your nerves. How are you really doing?

I'm pretty much a pathetic, attention-seeking, nervous mess. Otherwise, terrific.

MOOD WHEN DONE = I'm excited and a bit nervous. It's an adventure I'd rather not be on, but I'm beyond grateful for the opportunity to feel better and live longer. I've got an excellent medical team and good health insurance. I have Mike and my son and family and friends. If the surgery goes forward, I should feel better and live longer. If it doesn't go forward, I will spin around and celebrate and place a really big stamp order.

It's a win-win.

Sep 27, 2017

Inspired by Lisa Spangler

Last year, Lisa Spangler (whose work I adore) posted this Christmas card on her blog. LOVE. Decided to make my own version with supplies I already had, and this is what I came up with.

Painted the branches from Essentials by Ellen (designed by Julie Ebersole) Christmas Scribbles set (retiring and out of stock!! What?) with white gouache paint, and stamped on a Memory Box Licorice card.

White gouache or acrylic paints provide the only real solid white coverage against dark cardstock that I've ever been able to achieve without embossing. I did not add any water so the card did not warp. Squirted some gouache on a palette and used a small brush to paint onto the stamp. Make sure to wash the stamp and brush right away!

Added Nuvo Crystal Holly Red drops and a green foil Joy die cut (also designed by Julie but does not appear available anymore).

MOOD WHEN DONE = Of all the Christmas cards I've made this year I think I like this one the best (so far!).

Sep 25, 2017

Trio of Autumn Cards

Vintage Leaves dies from Stampin Up. Just fooling around trying to make something different.

MOOD WHEN DONE = No time for moods!! Running around crossing things off my pre-surgery list of things to do. EEEEK.

Sep 15, 2017

Holly Red Bear

Look familiar?  This is the same card as this one, except the card base is a Memory Box Holly Berry card, and I used a Technique Tuesday sentiment (from a really old set).  Cozy Cuddles Penguin set from Flora and Fauna. White gouache paint accents.

I made these red ones first but Mike was "meh," so I made the different version in white. Not sure which I prefer....but I think it is the white.

MOOD WHEN DONE = Made a whole bunch of these, so feeling accomplished.

Sep 13, 2017

Simple Warm Winter Wishes

So easy to make and, since I loved this so much, I had to make a few more.

Flora and Fauna Cozy Cuddles Penguin. One layer, just stamps, ink, and paper -- a style I like more and more. If you like this, check around your stash as you can easily substitute other stamps.