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.

Nov 10, 2019

Metallic Paint on Colored Cardstock: 5 Cards

Inspired by this card, made by the fabulous Kristina Werner. Isn't it gorgeous?

Kristina used Altenew metallic paints on black watercolor paper. However, I decided to u$e what I have -- black cardstock and Prima Marketing Metalic Accents-Basic watercolors and was happy with the results. 

Whenever I copy someone else's card, I try and stick to the original card as much as possible, and then branch out. I love how Kristina made her sentiment -- she painted the black paper with red metallic paint and then embossed the sentiment on it. So I did that for the first card, but then I got lazy and decided to stamp and emboss directly on the card. Making lots of cards will do that.

These cards use The Ton's Poinsettia Wreath set. The top card uses a sentiment from Penny Black,  but I substituted a sentiment from Concord & 9th for the rest of the cards because it fit perfectly inside the wreath.

As you can see, changing the color of the cardstock (the card above is navy), the embossing powder, and the shade of metallic paint makes a big difference.

MOOD WHEN DONE:  Great! This was fun. Metallic paints do not blend the way watercolors blend. The metallic pigment prevents that. However, the shine from the paint and the sequins is really fun, particularly for Christmas cards. I'm leaving on Tuesday for a road trip with my SIL to California. My first time seeing the West. I'll let you know how it goes.

Nov 1, 2019

Merry Santas

Been seeing a lot of colorful Christmas cards, particularly some really fun ones by Laura Bassen and I had to give it a try. Not your typical Christmas card, but I love all this fun color.

Chose a not-realistic (can there be such a thing???) Santa image from an old Hero Arts set, and blended a variety of Distress Oxide inks in an ombre pattern, embossed in white, and die cut. The sentiment is from an unlabeled set that Laura sent me and it works so well with these fun Santas. 

After I popped up each Santa, I waited until November 1 to go to Joann's and buy the white pom-poms. I spent ZERO $$ on papercrafting during October (and I'm still alive), but I was at Joann's right after it opened today! The pom-poms make the card, so I was glad I waited. I adhered them with mini glue dots, and I think they'll stay on through the mail if I wrap the card with tissue paper.

MOOD WHEN DONE: Merry! After a month of no spending, I'm looking forward to buying a few things, but gosh, there is so much to choose from.  Designers are continuing to produce some really fun products so it's hard to choose. I wish they would all take a month off!

Oct 22, 2019

Before and After: 2 Cards with The Ton's Poinsettia Wreath


Stamped The Ton's Poinsettia Wreath around the sides of an aqua card base, colored with Copics, and then restamped in Versamark and embossed in white. This technique is time consuming, as you have to work on one image at a time, but I love the results. Learned this technique from watching Yana Smakula's videos. HERE is a video where you can see how she stamps and image, colors it, then restamps it in sticky ink and embosses. 

But the sentiment is hard to see -- stamping it first and using a different color would have helped. Speaking of which....


Similar technique, although this time I stamped the sentiment first, used gold, and of course, a pink and red color scheme. Much easier to see the sentiment.


As you may have heard there was a serious tornado in Dallas over the weekend. We were out of town so missed the sirens. Luckily for us, the tornado missed our neighborhood by a few miles. It also missed my son's place by a couple of miles. Mike's family also was spared.

Oct 18, 2019

Gathered Together

This Colorado Craft Company Thanksgiving set called Lovely Legs - Give Thanks is very different from anything I own. I love the suggestion of a family gathered around the table celebrating the holiday. It's got a Normal Rockwell feel that I find very comforting.

Colored the image with Copics in fall colors and popped up on plaid paper.

Thanks very much to The Colorado Craft Company for sending this set to me. I LOVE that company's sets -- all different than usual. They asked if they could send a set and I wasn't sure what set it would be until I opened the package. A mini Christmas!! Very kind of them.

MOOD WHEN DONE: Well, grateful! No matter how stressed out I get, my one day a week gig at the International Rescue Committee reminds me of how much I have.

Oct 15, 2019

Modern Graphic NOEL

Took me several tries to figure out what to do with these fun bright NOEL letters made with Altenew's Bold Alphabet Die. Since the "L" is out of proportion with the other letters, it made more sense to use them horizontally, but I wanted this layout.

First, I tried a plain white background. Snooze.
Then I tried pattern paper. Meh.
Finally, I bumbled across this cross stitch die from Paper Smooches. Provides just enough detail without being distracting.

Added a sentiment from Penny Black's Christmas sentiments and decided to stop.

MOOD WHEN DONE: Great! Recently "celebrated" the 2 year anniversary of heart surgery. Lots happened since then and it was a good time to look back. Then I decided looking back and pondering life was taking time away from crafting, so I put an end to that pretty quick!

Hope you are having a good week!

Oct 9, 2019

Christmas Sweaters

Love the set 'Tis The Season by Julie Ebersole. It's retired, but so are most of my holiday sets. (Have you seen the deluge of new holiday sets? Wow, so much talent out there!)

Made a fun background by repeatedly stamping the sweater on pale gray cardstock. Colored them with Copics in an ombre design of sorts. These sweaters are hand knit so that's my explanation as to why they aren't identical (ha).

The stamp includes a black star on the top of the tree, but I added some clear glue and fine white glitter over each star as the sweaters needed more white to pop off the gray background. Colored the collars with a white gel pen for the same reason.

And that's one more card for the stash!

MOOD WHEN DONE: Good. I've haven't stamped much lately and briefly thought about packing it all up and putting it away, but Mike just stared at me when I suggested that. I guess that would be the end of life as we know it, so I'm glad I came to my senses...