May 21, 2018

Two Hellos!

Fell in love with the Stamp Market's Chunky Alphabet Set and the accompanying Outline Chunky Alphabet set.  I bought them from Ellen Hutson when they were on sale over Mother's Day. I had been waiting for a sale as these alphas are pricey.

Made two quick cards and just changed up the colors. The first card I purposely offset the solid stamp and used bright Distress Oxide inks. The second one uses soft inks from Altenew. 

I set up the design on the MISTI, stamped it on copy paper to make sure it was straight, and then stamped on white cardstock.


I've been traveling a lot this spring and am off to San Diego tomorrow for some family time. There will be more silence on the blog. I'm leaving Mike behind and asked him to stamp and post for me, but for some reason he's declined.

Disclosure:  I worked hard to pay for all this stuff!! HA

May 15, 2018

Stamping Again!

Continuing to keep it very simple -- I always start with the sentiment. Then I stamped a flower and a center with Mermaid Lagoon and Lemonade Distress Oxide inks onto Ellen Hutson White Linen cardstock. Everything's from Altenew's Floral Garden.

And the same card, with Picked Raspberry and Twisted Citron Distress Oxide inks:

MOOD WHEN DONE: Super happy to be back home and I love these bright colors. Hope to stamp and write more soon!

May 5, 2018


Thought I'd explain the blog silence to come.

I'm away from home helping out with Mike's mom, so there won't be any posts here for a few days or more (not sure).  And my monthly column with Right at Home will be delayed. 
Life happens, doesn't it?

Before I left, I did a "deep clean" of my craft room. So satisfying. Found just a few things that I have no memory of buying, didn't not find my missing scissors (they must have landed in my wastepaper basket at one point), and found one missing clear stamp. To a non stamper this is crazy stuff, but for us, this is big! 

Set aside a large pile of things to give away, so stay tuned for that.

I'm missing Mike, whose home guarding my supplies. Otherwise, I'm good. Hope to be back with cards and talk soon!

Apr 29, 2018

Hello Gorgeous

All of a sudden I've noticed, and fallen in love with, a ton of stamps from The Ton (HA). The first set that caught my eye is an older one, Marvelous Perfumes. Now I have a wish list that's way too long.

Paired one of the perfume bottles in the set with a classic floral set from Altenew, Adore You. Gold embossed and watercolored on some hot press watercolor paper. Hand cut the flowers and leaves and popped up some of them.

Used Hero Arts Indigo liquid watercolor for this card. I need to spend more time figuring out this product.

MOOD WHEN DONE: Happy! While the flowers need work, I love the color combo. This card is already in the hands of its recipient.

Apr 27, 2018

Visible Image + MISTI Blog Hop

Welcome to the Visible Image + MISTI Blog Hop. These two great companies joined forces this month and I'm thrilled to be part of the fun. Plus, there are prizes (details below)!

I'm sure that many, if not all of you, are familiar with the must-have MISTI from My Sweet Petunia.  It really was a stamping game-changer. I use it with almost every card.

But Visible Image stamps and stencils may be new to you (they were to me). They work really well with mixed media projects. Well, guess who doesn't do mixed media? So I adapted Visible Image products to my way of stamping. Once I got started, I fell in love with these unique designs and couldn't stop making cards ...

1. Mom

Stamped one of the flowers from Imperfection is Beauty in Versamark and embossed in white.  Added a sentiment from Essentials by Ellen. Colored with Distress stains, adhered to a yellow card, and added crystal Nuvo jewel drops. Very easy and fast, particularly since the MISTI helped me tuck that sentiment into just the right spot.

2. Vivid Sunset

Isn't this sentiment fantastic? It's from Your Vivid Colors.

Dropped some Adirondack dye reinkers onto watercolor paper that I had spritzed with water. After the paper dried, I thinned some gold acrylic paint with water and painted onto the card to add some depth to the design. Stamped the sentiment after the card dried and then added Gold Jewel drops and adhered to an A2 card.

3. Fibers Stencil Love

Cut typing paper to 4.25 x 5.5. Die cut heart. Placed the typing paper over an A2 white card and then placed the fun Fibres Stencil horizontally over the mask and sponged some gold, pink, and orange inks. Popped up a sentiment from Altenew and added gold Jewel Drops.

4. Be the Reason

Love this sentiment from Reason to Smile! Used the MISTI to stamp 3 circles in the center of a white linen A2 card and then stamped the sentiment in just the right spot. Again, super fast and easy, thanks to the MISTI.

5. Butterflies and the Fibres Stencil

Stamped the gorgeous butterflies from Own Kind of Beautiful with Distress Oxide inks and added a little water. After it dried, I ran the panel through my Big Shot with an embossing pad and impressed the Fibres Stencil pattern onto the panel. Stamped the sentiment and added some sequins. Finally, popped up the panel on an A2 card.

I had so much fun using these products -- proving (I think!) that you can use these gorgeous images in a variety of ways. Can't wait to see how the other stampers used them.


Two lucky commenters from the hop will win one of two prizes: a $50 shopping spree at My Sweet Petunia and a $50 shopping spree at Visible Image. In order to be eligible, you must comment no later than Monday, April 30th, at 11:59 PM central time. Winners will be announced on Tuesday, May 1st, on the Visible Image and My Sweet Petunia blogs

The Blog Hop

Here are the links to all the talented participants in today's hop. 

Joan Bardee  --> me!
My Sweet Petunia

Disclosure: I bought my MISTI eons ago (although My Sweet Petunia kindly sent me a smaller version). Visible Image provided all the stamps and the stencil to me for use in this hop. Thank you to both companies!

MOOD WHEN DONE:  Delighted to be part of this hop. I fell in love with these products. On the other hand, my craft room is a disaster. All this "quick" and "clean and simple" stamping left a mess of epic proportions in my craft room! 

Apr 19, 2018

More Birthday Balloons and Falling Off the Wagon

Now you are probably thinking -- this is simple. Must have been fast to make.

Au contraire.

Watercolored the panel (watercolor paper) with a wash made with an blue Adirondack reinker. Let dry and stamped the sentiment. Hand drew the balloons and watercolored them purple.

Purple balloons?

Made a huge mess withe purple, and the balloons were too small, so I drew some balloons on some scrap watercolor paper that I had already painted yellow. They were still too small. So I did it again. Added an orange wash over the yellow balloons, cut them out, and adhered.

Then I decided that I should have drawn the balloons on unpainted watercolor paper so that white peeked out, not yellow, but by then I was like "I'm done; it is good enough." Sometimes you just have to stop ruining paper and let it go.

Wanted the tie around the strings to be orange, so I dabbed some water over it and lifted off the blue ink, and then colored it with the nib of an orange Tombow marker.

MOOD WHEN DONE:  I'm good! Hope you are too. Have a good weekend! My craft room is a complete disaster. I've kept it relatively clean for awhile now, but I fell off the wagon. 

Speaking of falling off the wagon, did you know that that phrase comes from a time in Merry Olde England when they were carting people off to the gallows on a wagon, and people would line the streets offering them liquor. The doomed would literally fall off the wagon to get a sip. 

And really, it is time to call it a day.

Apr 18, 2018

Watercolored Balloons

Started out watercoloring some circles, but they ended up as birthday balloons! Loosely watercolored with Distress Oxide inks.

Added "strings" with a pale gray Tombow marker.  Squint and you can see them! Sentiment from Altenew.

The watercolor paper is Canson Moulin Roy hot pressed. I bought it when we were living in Belgium and I've used up almost all of it. Hot pressed watercolor paper is super smooth and expensive. I'll be running an errand later today right next door to a real art supply store. I feel a splurge coming over me...

MOOD WHEN DONE:  Happy!! Learning that when it comes to watercoloring, goofing around is better than trying hard.

Apr 16, 2018

Monday Crafting Adventures and a Thank You

Crafty adventures on a Monday morning:

1. Knocked over a cup of water on my craft table. Twice.
2. Unknowingly dropped my Versafine Onyx ink pad on my Score Board. Found out after I ruined a card.
3. Misplaced the huge W R Memory Keepers glass mat that I used 10 minutes ago. Must be somewhere.
4. Due to 1 and 2 and a bunch of stupid stamping ideas, this is the 4th version of this card! Persistence.

So, about this card...

Fell in love with the new Right at Home set, Thanks a Bunch, as soon as I saw it. I love the font and the cute little sayings. So I bought it.** Those teeny stars are from a Hero Arts set called Color Layering Ice Cream.

Used Hero Arts Strawberry liquid watercolor to make this background. I was lucky and won the entire set of 8 liquid watercolors. Based on very little experience, so far I love these watercolors. They come in a bottle with a dropper.

I put one drop on my glass mat (which I now see leaning against a bookcase!) and sprayed a bit of water away from the drop. Mixed with a brush and applied to damp paper (Bristol Vellum). The color went on very easily and, after it dried, the color did not bleed when wet (see knocking over water cup above).

Do we NEED these liquid watercolors? No. Are they fun? Yes.

By the way, the Bristol Vellum paper buckled a lot. It is not a watercolor paper but it's white and can handle a decent amount of water. Adhered the layer to an A2 card and ran it all through my Big Shot and, voila, a flat card.

MOOD WHEN DONE:  This card makes me happy. My house is a mess, but my heart is happy.

Thank You:  Got so many wonderful comments on my first column on the Right at Home blog. I really appreciate every single one.

** Disclosure: Paid full price for the Right at Home set. Hero Arts sent me the ice cream set last year.

Apr 13, 2018

Some News and My Absence

Sorry I've gone radio silent for a week. I got a call last week that my MIL needed help dealing with some issues, so my SIL and I both dropped everything and within 2 hours were in the air. The unexpected week in southeastern Texas ended up being hard but good. I don't see my family as much as I want to and I was sad to leave.

But while I was away, a REALLY FUN thing happened!! Look:

My first post for my new monthly column with Right at Home Stamps (named right at home with joan) went live on April 10th. I am thrilled to see my writing someplace other than my own blog. A huge thank you to Nicole for agreeing to my idea.

I'll be writing about crafting and about myself --similar to what you see here, although every post will be craft related.

If you haven't already seen the column, it would mean a lot to me if you read the column and took the time to post a comment. And if you have any suggestions for topics please let me know!

Thanks so much!! 

Apr 4, 2018

HUGS and The Summer of 1969

Another card with just paper, ink, and stamps. Love the big bang of color! It goes well with the big font.

This has to go in the mail!

Uses White Linen cardstock (which is so white it is becoming my favorite), The Stamp Market's Double Take stamp set, Lemonade Distress Oxide ink, and Versafine Onyx ink.



This card took me back to 1969, a fantastic and troubling time.

The summer of 1969 was like no other summer. I was in high school, and earlier in the year a student travel group had come to our school to promote a trip to Europe that they were sponsoring in the summer. It was billed as an Art Study trip -- for six weeks, the students would travel from London and then down to Europe and visit the major cities, ending up in Paris.

When I came home from school that day, I told my mom about the trip. I was happy to get out of a math class for the lecture and had no expectation of going. We were not poor. We lived in a single family home and seemed just fine, but we had never gone on a family vacation or anything like that. Even the idea of driving to New York to get to the airport was beyond my imagination -- going to Europe was not in my vocabulary.

But, my mom picked up the phone right then and there and called my father. She asked him if they could use the money from a car accident to send me on the trip. Someone had smashed into our parked car and the insurance company had given them $500 to replace the car. The trip cost $840 and would cover all costs. I'm not sure where they got the remaining $340, but they sent me on the trip and just continued to drive around a smashed up car.

The trip was amazing. I went everywhere and ate food and saw art and talked to people that were so different from what I was used to. I saw the Alps and rode a gondola in Venice. I viewed the Sistine Chapel, the Pieta, the Mona Lisa and Big Ben. I ate pastry in Paris and pizza in Rome and schnitzel in Vienna. I watched the moon landing in a hotel lobby in Italy. I read headlines about Chappaquiddick and viewed the coverage of the US civil rights movement and the Viet Nam war from Europe.

But most of all, I escaped.

It had been a difficult year -- my father had voted for George Wallace, which crazed me; my mother was furious with me for opposing the war. At one point, she stopped speaking to me for 2 weeks. It wasn't just us. At the time it seemed like every family, and the entire country, was unravelling.

In any event, when I returned from Europe, I went to my room to unpack. When I l had left 6 weeks earlier, my bedroom had the Apple Blossom Pink paint my mom had used when I moved into that room 8 years earlier. When I came back, the walls were bright yellow -- just like Lemonade Distress Oxide ink. She had painted the room, and had sewed a black and white bedspread, dust ruffle, and curtains in what I now realize was a classic toile pattern. She (of course) had even covered the lamp shades with fabric. It looked fantastic, much more grown up than the pale pink.

It was only when I was older that I realized how hot it had been up there that summer. We didn't have air conditioning and my room was upstairs and got the afternoon sun. Painting up there in the heat couldn't have been fun. I suspect now that the trip to Europe and the room redo was a peace offering from my mother. This was her way of saying "I love you even though you 'support communism' and think blacks should be able to live in our neighborhood."**

Sometimes when I am banging my head against the wall watching the news, I think back to that summer and the years that followed -- the demonstrations, the riots, Watergate, etc. Our country got through some hard and deep and angry divisions and came out ok.

I like to think that if we could do it then, we can do it now.

** My mom would go on to vote for Jesse Jackson in a Presidential primary, and Barack Obama for President. We never lose our capacity for change.

Mar 31, 2018

The Little Things

Love this sentiment!

For most of us, regardless of what life gives us, there are many little things (and some big things) to enjoy and for which we can be grateful. Among the little things I'm enjoying at the moment is the sun shining into my craft room, and some strawberries and home made angel food cake waiting for me!

The sentiment (and the berries) are part of Altenew's Beautiful You set. The sentiment has had a border that I didn't like, so I trimmed off the border.

Stamped with Memento black ink and colored with Altenew alcohol markers.

MOOD WHEN DONE:  Happy! Hope your day is filled with lots of good things.

Mar 29, 2018

Quick Card

A quick card for a sweet friend.

Altenew Botanical Garden stamped in Memento and colored lightly with Altenew Alcohol markers. Stentiment from Technique Tuesday. Added some paint splatters and it was done.


Mar 28, 2018

3 Recommendations - Two Crafty, One Cookbook

I've got a different kind of post today. I'm recommending a class, instagram, and a cookbook.

1. Big Picture Class -- On Trend, by Taheerah Atchia.  I'm a huge fan of Taheerah's cards. If she makes it, I love it. When I see her cards, my first reaction is usually "why didn't I think of that?" Plus, I've had the pleasure of meeting Taheerah twice. Once when she visited DC, and once when I was in London. She's a fun and nice and takes cardmaking seriously!

So when I saw that Taheerah was teaching a class I jumped on it. Big Picture Classes charges $9.99 a month and there are a ton of classes you can take during the month. They offer a free try it option -- sign up, give your credit card, and you can cancel within 2 weeks and will not be charged.

I took the class over the past couple of days and loved it. Taheerah explains trends -- something I've always found mystifying -- and translates them beautifully into the papercrafting arena. All the classes, except for one, include a video. The videos are great and the cards included are stunning. Taheerah walks through her thought process and gives a ton of great tips. I could listen to, and watch, Taheerah all day.

The class has given me a few new ideas for spotting trends and translating them into cardmaking and a few other cardmaking and design tips. Two thumbs up!

2. Instagram!  I know a lot of my readers shy away from social media or understandably do not want to devote more time on the internet. But, instagram is a great place to see a ton of paper crafting. You have to get the app on your smart phone.  You can use a fake name for your account, and you don't ever have to post a thing. You can just look! There are a ton of giveaways and sneak peeks, and it's a great community of crafters.  It's also a much faster way to look at a ton of cards without reading blogs (except mine, of course...), and you can provide feedback much more quickly than posting a comment on a blog. If you decide to join, I'm there as "Dear Paperlicious".

3. Finally, I'm recommending an awesome cookbook -- Love and Lemons by Jeanine Donofrio. My son gave it to me for Christmas and it's a hit. There are lots of "healthy, seasonal, whole food" recipes with no meat that taste fantastic and aren't crazy complicated or difficult.

I used to like to cook, but for the past few years I've been in a cooking rut. Even Mike, who will eat anything I make, wondered if maybe we should put a few new dishes into the rotation. Plus, recently, I've started to need to limit sodium so I've been looking around for new ideas. (The cookbook is not low sodium -- I just adjust the recipes.)  A few weeks ago, I got out the cookbook, and started to chop and dice.

So far, I love everything I've made. In particular the Roasted Cauliflower Tacos with Chipolte Cream (greek yogurt) were fantastic. If you are looking to branch out and eat healthy, but don't want to buy the cookbook, or just want to test some of her ideas, the author has a blog that includes a ton of recipes. Let me know if you try any of them and what you think of them.

That's it! Hope you are having a good week. It's cold and gray here in DC. What happened to spring?

Mar 27, 2018

Grid Background: National Craft Month with Right at Home

I'm a big admirer of Right at Home and its owner, Nicole. She's an uber talented college student who also runs a fantastic stamp company. Not sure how Nicole does it all, but she does, and she does it very, very well. Even the banner (above) she designed for today's post is gorgeous!

So, I'm delighted to be collaborating today with Nicole as part of Right at Home's National Craft Month series of challenges (there are prizes!). You can get the details here. (Her card for today's challenge is fantastic.)

The challenge was to use a background stamp. I have one Right at Home background stamp, so my choice was easy!!  (I've got a few other RAH background stamps on my wish list. The Watercolor Background is at the top of that list.)

Stamped the Grid Background Stamp in Versamark ink onto white linen cardstock and embossed with white powder. Die cut with a Penny Black die. After masking, I blended Distress Oxide inks over the flowers and the leaves and adhered it to 3 more die cuts. I love how the grid design pops up and adds interest to the flowers and leaves.

Notice that black frame?  It is hard to see in the photo, but it has a great woodgrain pattern. It's from a cool set called Letterboard Love. The sentiment is from Tiny Sentiments.

And just for fun, here's a second card I made with the Grid Background. This also uses the popular Script Greetings set.

If you haven't checked out RAH and its products, I hope you do so. Nicole has a gallery set up with inspiration for each set and it's full of great ideas.

Disclosure:  RAH sent me the Tiny Sentiment set last year. I paid full price for all other products.

MOOD WHEN DONE:  It's National Craft Month. Everyone get in a good mood!

Mar 26, 2018

Rebel in 6th Grade

Bold can be a compliment.

"Oh, I love that rug. It's so bold and bright." It can also be an insult. "Look at that rug. It's so bold and bright. Ugh."

I suspect that folks looking at this card are going to fall into one those two camps.

However, Bold was always bad when hurled by your 6th grade nun/teacher.

The Beatles had arrived, and wearing long hair and bangs was IN. While I knew I would never be part of the cool kids clique, I, didn't want to be mocked for having short bangs, particularly since my mother cut my hair and did so with no skill, but utmost confidence.

So I took a risk and let my bangs grow out beyond the top of my eyebrows, which was the line we couldn't cross. The rest of the country was on fire protesting civil rights. I was protesting bangs. Sure enough, Mother St. Joseph** called me to the front of the class. "You are being bold. Go home and cut those bangs or don't come back."

From that moment on, I kept my bangs at exactly the line of demarcation even if they were crooked at times. I'd see Mother St. Joseph checking out my bangs and I would sit up a little straighter and almost dare her to challenge them.

I still love bold colors and design.

For this card, I used various images from Texture Two by Flora and Fauna and Distress Oxide inks to make a bold background. The Distress Oxide inks have great coverage, but dry chalky and matte. I may stamp this with a true dye ink and compare the results.

The original version of this card had a fair amount of white and it was distracting and hard to focus (kind of like when your bangs are to long...) on the sentiment. So I used a pale pink (Worn Lipstick) ink and filled in some of the white spaces after the die was already adhered, and that helped focus the eye on the sentiment. The thanks die is from Memory Box. 

MOOD WHEN DONE: I'm good! Hope you have a good week.

** Our nuns were called "Mother Saint .. " rather than "Sister .. ." 

Mar 21, 2018

Didn't See This Coming

Just when you think your life is on an even keel, life throws you a curveball.

You get through the finale of This is Us, survive heart surgery, endure a pulmonary embolism, accept that your retired husband is going to clear the kitchen counter 17 times a day (where's that spoon I just put down?), and then - BAM! - you learn the devastating news that Ranger discontinued its line of Distress Stains.** Of course, Ranger still sells Distress ink pads, paints, crayons, grit-paste (??), markers, glaze, sprays, sprayers, and cole slaw, etc., but no stains.

Do you know why they discontinued the stains?

Me either.

Despite this setback, I managed to use a tiny bit of my now to-be-hoarded Twisted Citron Distress Stain to make this card.

Embossed the beautiful image from Reverse Confetti's Something Wonderful onto white linen cardstock and then just ran that dauber over the image. No paintbrush, no water, no mess because of the STAIN THAT NO LONGER EXISTS.  5 seconds and done. But soon those days will be over.


Still in shock...

** The stains are still being sold in some places. Buy now or else.

Mar 20, 2018

Reverse Confetti & MISTI Hop

Welcome! If you are following this blog hop, you should have come from the talented Kelly Lunceford's blog here.  If you are new to my blog, I post easy-to-make cards and life stories. If you are not new, a thousand thanks for coming back!

I'm all Reverse Confetti lately, particularly since this post is part of a blog hop/collaboration between Reverse Confetti and MISTI and because Reverse Confetti keeps making stamps I love. 

I've made several cards using products from both companies, but I'm only posting 2 of them today. You can see the others here, here, here, and here


Two lucky commenters from the hop will win one of two prizes: a $60 shopping spree at My Sweet Petunia and a $60 shopping spree at Reverse Confetti. To be eligible, comment no later than Sunday, March 25, 11:59 pm central time. The winners will be announced on March 27th on the Reverse Confetti and My Sweet Petunia blogs.  (Hey, I just won a pretty big prize from a blogger, so go for it!) 

1. Stamping a Background

I'm terrible at putting together individual stamps to make a nice bouquet, so when I saw the gorgeous Banner in Bloom set I was all over it. 

Stamped a simple pattern with the cluster of flowers from Banner in Bloom** and colored with alcohol markers. And by "colored" I mean I stayed in the lines. (The beauty of small images is that that is pretty much all you have to do.) Using the MISTI meant that I could carefully place the image exactly where I wanted it and could restamp if the image didn't come out clean the first time.

When I was finished with the card, I sat back and said "I need more Reverse Confetti stamps," and promptly placed an order for the Tall Blooms stamp and die set** I used in the next card.

2. B&W With a Pop of Color

Painted watered down Mermaid Lagoon Distress Oxide ink onto a white linen card, using as little water as possible. 

Stamped the sentiment from Tall Blooms. Die cut and stamped this pretty sprig from that set using the MISTI. I die cut a few more and glued 4 dies cuts together, tied some twine around them, and adhered to the card. Fast, simple, easy to mail. 

Blog Hop

Cannot wait to see what this talented group has made.

Joan Bardee -->  me
Lydia Fiedler --> thank you for inviting me to the hop!

**Disclosure Reverse Confetti sent me the Banner in Bloom stamp and coordinating dies. I purchased at full price the Tall Blooms stamp and coordinating dies.

MOOD WHEN DONE: I stamped; therefore I am happy!!

Mar 19, 2018

Stencil Embossing

Put a Hero Arts Bold Floral stencil through my Big Shot with an embossing mat and dry embossed. Came out great, so -- of course -- now I want more $tencil$. 

Blended Distress Oxide inks onto the card (Wild Honey and Abandoned Coral). Using softer colors and a different sentiment and this could make a nice sympathy card.

Stamped a sweet sentiment from Reverse Confetti Posted Notes (which does not appear to be available any more), and added a few black Nuvo drops. Trimmed and popped up on a white card.

MOOD WHEN DONE: Been spending a lot of time crafting, which is always a good thing. My husband is running around organizing and decluttering our house but he's banned from my craft room so, so far, we remain married!

Mar 18, 2018

Used Math to Make This Card

People, I had to use MATH to make this card!! And if you know me, you'd know that is problematic! It's a miracle I got through learning long division without a calculator. Actually, in my last job I had to use math. I pretty much just had to multiply, add, divide, etc. using a calculator, and would still get it wrong. Darn decimal points. Good thing there were smart people around me.

Trimmed out the XOX from the Reverse Confetti Big Notes set. Yes, I cut a stamp. Then I cut 5 strips of cardstock to exactly 3.75" x just a tiny bit more than 1". Using the seriously incredible MISTI, stamped XOX 5 times in Versamark and embossed in white. I'm about 3 years late to the ombre trend, but I still like it.

Adhered to a piece of 3.75" x 5" cardstock and then popped up the panel on an A2 card.

And then I said to myself, "now who is worthy of this card?"

MOOD WHEN DONE: I'm stamping like a crazy woman and ignoring the piles of crap accumulating in my stamp room and the dirt in the rest of the house. In other words, things are great.

Mar 17, 2018

Green on Gray

I found a piece of pale gray textured paper in my stash (no memory of getting it!) and decided to pair it with dark green and white.

The Altenew Evergreen ink came out almost black when stamped on gray, but I love the look with the white Nuvo accents.  The leaf image and the sentiment are from The Stamp Market's Succulent stamp set. 

MOOD WHEN DONE:  Happy! I sent out a bunch of cards last Monday and over the course of the week I heard from the recipients. Such good feelings all around.

Mar 16, 2018

Totally Graphic

A friend of mine, a doctor, was explaining to me how hard doctoring is nowadays. She hates sitting in front of the her computer checking boxes and not looking at her patients. She hates arguing with insurance companies and hates being pressured to see more and more patients. She's tired.

She told me that she rarely gets a thank you card from a patient, but loves when she does.  So, I said to myself, hey cardmaker, how about making and sending a thank you card to your doc?

Whenever I'm sending a card to someone who isn't crafty, or doesn't already tolerate my crafty cards, I want something homemade, but not too crafty. I hope this makes sense.

So I did what I always do when I'm stuck, and stole an idea from someone else.

In this case, I stole this great card from Almost Makes Perfect.  I didn't want to just print it out, so I used Altenew's Invisible Alphabet Set to make my own. After I made the black and white one, I used various Distress Oxide inks to make a rainbow colored version.

If you want to create something like this, plan it out on a stamp positioner or block, and stamp a sample on scrap or copy paper to make sure you like where each letter is placed. Otherwise, super simple.

MOOD WHEN DONE:  Fantastic. Having a good week and looking forward to a simple weekend. Hope yours rocks.

Mar 14, 2018

Hello There, Friend (and an Update)

Haven't been blogging much, so I thought I'd share this card and a little of what's going on in life.

I love this typographic Reverse Confetti set, Big Notes. This is a one layer card that took about 10 minutes.

1. Stamped in Versamark and embossed in white (preheating the heat gun for a good 20 seconds really does help eliminate warping).
2. Masked off the lines of the sentiment (using 3M Post-it Adhesive tape) and blended Distress Oxide inks (as shown in pic) over each line.
3. Turns out that the embellishments included in an Altenew card kit matched the ink colors perfectly, so I added a few enamel dots.

MOOD WHEN DONE = Delighted!

The past few weeks have been a bit of an adventure. After Mike retired we spent a week in Florida, soaking up some lovely warm sunny weather and eating out all week. When we returned, I noticed my heart rate started slowly going down. Over a period of 3 weeks, it dropped 20 points. Google convinced me I needed a pacemaker. Then I started getting really short of breath going up the stairs, my ankle got a little swollen, and I gained 6 pounds. My clothes were so tight. I chalked up the weight gain to vacation.

Finally, Mike suggested I notify my doc and I was surprised to learn that I had retained so much fluid it was affecting my heart and lungs. Could I be a bigger dope?  My mom went through congestive heart failure episodes dozens of times, and if you read my blog back then, you know that I was there in the ER with her every time. I just didn't put the pieces together for myself.

Taking a diuretic for a few days did the trick and I felt so much better. My heart rate went back to normal, I lost the 6 pounds and I could walk up the stairs with no issues. Yeah!

But, I was upset. There's a blood test (BNP) for heart failure and I knew that my numbers got progressively worse over the past year.  So I had a meltdown over the weekend, convinced I was really sick and thinking about how soon Mike was going to need to find a new wife. Because, you know, google makes me crazy.

I had another BNP test yesterday and was thrilled to learn that my numbers had improved dramatically! Turns out that the surgery improved the heart failure, but the trip to Florida and the 7 days of eating out just added too much sodium to my diet (restaurant food is crazy high in salt). 

So the drama is over (hopefully for a long time) and I'm swearing off google. 

For now. 

Mar 11, 2018

Anniversary Card

Neat & Tangled  Anniversary Card  Floral Wreath

This gorgeous stamp and die is from Neat & Tangled's Floral Heart. It's worth the $$ to get the coordinating die. Would love to see a Christmas wreath version of this set.

Colored with Altenew Alcohol Markers and some Wink of Stella (on the flowers).

The floral wreath is popped up on 5 layers and sits on Ranger white woodgrain paper. Happy to see that I could get a clean image for the sentiment on paper with that much texture.

MOOD WHEN DONE:  This was my anniversary card for Mike. I lucked out on that unseasonably warm and sunny day in March so many years ago. We were married in St. Matthew's Cathedral in Washington DC -- a tiny wedding in a huge church, but so beautiful.

And now I'm off to get on the treadmill!

Mar 6, 2018


Someone I know could use a bit of happiness in the mailbox and these bright colors should help.

Masked off parts of some Neenah Solar White cardstock and blended in some Distress Oxide inks. They blend so easily! Ranger just came out with more colors and I am coveting them, but so far I am resisting. Stamped the sentiment from one of my favorite sets, Essentials by Ellen Up the Happy.  The card still needed something, so I added some pink and black dots. Trimmed the panel and popped up on an A2 card.

MOOD WHEN DONE: Well, happy!  Thanks so much for the comments on my last post. I tried to respond to each of them, but for some reason I wasn't able to respond to all of them. I'll try again later. 

Feb 28, 2018

Birthday Love

This card is for my husband. It was so hard to photograph that I took a closeup to try and show the gold. And embossing never gets old...

1. Drew a heart in pencil on watercolor paper. Thought about tracing a heart die but decided on a free form heart. Covered with an anti-static pouch.
2. Stamped a sentiment from the Stamp Market in Versafine Onyx.
3. Embossed with clear powder.
4. Painted the heart with water and let dry partially.
5. Painted with Warm Lipstick, Abandoned Coral, and Candy Apple Distress Oxide inks. I just rubbed the ink pads on an acrylic block and picked up with a damp brush.
6. Let dry and erased the penciled in heart.
7. Added Gold Acrylic paint from Target.
8. Added speckles from Nuvo Black Crystal drops, gold, and Warm Lipstick ink.
9. Felt like it needed something. Added washi tape, removed washi tape. Pondered and eventually left it alone.


As the years go by, I'm enjoying using fewer products on my cards. Pretty soon I'll be sending out just envelopes! I feel like I finally found my style. It may not be trendy, but I am enjoying trying out new things.

And on a personal note, my husband retired from the Federal government last week. Of course whenever anyone retires, people say nice things. The nicest thing I heard during his retirement party was that Mike is an honorable man, who always was fair and honest. So proud of him.

And on a more personal note, I learned a few weeks ago that my heart surgery was not 100% successful. Sigh. So in a burst of pity, I impulsively bought a Silhouette Cameo (I know that makes no sense!).

Since then, I've gone through anger and depression and have come out on the good side of gratitude. I'm still better than I was before surgery, and moving forward enjoying my life. I'm not letting this get me down. Now, I just have to learn to use the Cameo... .

Feb 23, 2018

Balloon Duo Stencil from Neat & Tangled

The Balloon Duo stencil from Neat & Tangled (paid full price/no affiliation) is a great little product. It's inexpensive ($6) and easy to use.
Miriam Pratner designed this set of stencils. She's got a great eye for design!

The trick to using these stencils is keep them straight (if you want your balloons to go in the same direction). Also, don't put the edge of the stencil, with a partial balloon, in the middle of a page (lesson learned...).

I stenciled the front of the card with Distress Oxide inks onto Neenah Solar White cardstock, stamped the greeting from a Mama Elephant Birthday Wishes set, and added some color coordinated sequins.