Jul 27, 2013

Dear Mom: Catching Up

Dear Mom,

Kate had a boy.  You should have seen the clothes she wore while pregnant.  You would have loved them.  Reminded me a bit of Jackie.  And perfect timing. I finally got around to changing the address on your People and Sports Illustrated mags.  Bingo.  Got the royal baby issue yesterday.  I pretty much don't know who anyone else in the People is (ever hear of Amanda Bynes?  Me either, except apparently she has issues.)  And someone named Corey died of an overdose.  Not sure who he was but it made a big splash.  Yeah, we are both a bit too old for these magazines. 

I'm starting to understand what getting older does.  I don't know most of the folks at work.  I was talking to one of the new lawyers the other day about an issue and went to pull out the statute to show her something, and said "Let's go to the video."  She looked at me like I was crazy.  Imagine, never hearing that phrase. 

But I'm not getting old.  I'm just entering a new phase.  I'm losing weight. Slowly and in ups and downs.  I'm getting out more.  Signing up for a watercolor class and an aquatics class (that's what they call water exercise now). 

I miss you mom.  Andy misses you too.  He's doing great.  I wish so much you could see him going to work every day.  Last night he cooked chicken.  Made a mess but the food was good. 

More later!  Joan

Jul 24, 2013

CASology Week 54: Gold (Birds???)

Came across the CASology challenge blog.  This week's challenge was to use gold.  I can do that!  So I did.

Here's another photo for those of you who prefer the traditional stand up view:

Stamped the sentiment and a few hearts in Versamark and embossed in gold.  Filled in other hearts in red and pink.  Filled in the red outlined hearts with a Pitt gold pen.

Stamps:  Avery Elle Handwritten Notes and Simon Says Stamp Best Mom Ever
Ink:  Versamagic Red Rocket, Versamark, Memento Angel Pink

MOOD WHEN DONE = Laughing   I gave this card to Mike.  He made no comment on the card other than to thank me.  So I nagged him and he said, "Oh, I like the birds on this card."  Good thing he is otherwise a sweetie!

Dear Not Fat Person

Maybe you're not fat because you exercise self control and/or your body.  Maybe your genes are helping you.  Maybe you find food boring.  Maybe you prefer broccoli to potato chips.  Maybe you were born that way and wish you had a few more curves.  Maybe you are not fat today but you were fat yesterday.  Maybe you are sick and would love to put on a few pounds.  Whatever the reason, I'm not holding it against you.

I know, I know, most serial killers are not fat. 
Most members of Congress are not fat. 
Most dictators are not fat. 
Most drug addicts are not fat. 
Most criminals are not fat. 

But I'm not going to assume that you are evil or skanky or a bad person or scary just because your BMI is normal. It wouldn't be fair to make those assumptions about you ....

No need to thank me....

Jul 23, 2013

More Anemones

Love the hand drawn spiky (??) look of these flowers.

Inspired by Julie's card here, I made this --

I loved the corner of bright flowers, the hand drawn lines, the sentiment popped up, and the use of a black card base in Julie's card.  Stamped the top of the bunch of flowers and added a few flowers using the single stem in the set.  Didn't bother to mask. 

Using Copics, colored 3 flowers in purple to form a triangle and then colored the remainder in shades of pink and red.  Added Stickles in the center of the flowers because why not?

TIP ON WORKING WITH DUPLEX CARD STOCK: To achieve the dark outside/white inside of this card stock, the manufacturer sprays black ink onto white card stock. Scoring and creasing the card can cause tiny cracks in the black.  Score and fold gently, and if you see any cracks, use a black Copic or Sharpie to touch up.

MOOD WHEN DONE = Yawning.  Started this at 1 am and finished at 3 am

Stamps:  Flourishes Anemone and Tea Rose (sentiment)
Paper:  Flourishes white and A Muse Studio Onyx
Ink:  MementoTuxedo
Other: Copics, Stickles, dimensionals, Micron Pigment pen

Jul 22, 2013

Just Because . . .

I'm home!

No, I haven't returned from a trip, just using stamp sets that are my style.  When it comes to stamping, I've learned that I'm not good with most trends.  Just give me some beautiful flowers and I'm happy.

So I checked out Flourishes recently and scooped up a few sets, including the new Anemones set.  Here's my first effort with that set paired with Inside Out Just Because (a sentiment set).  The inside says "you needed a little cheering up."  I know the perfect person for this card.

I found some pretty A Muse Studio cardstock in my left over stash and stamped it with Hero Arts Unicorn (white) ink. Added a few black dots in the centers and a spray of silver thread from my Mom's sewing stash.  Thread adhered with a mini staple.


Jul 21, 2013


The box, the bow, the anticipation.  Love a gift.  And love giving a gift. 

One Mother's Day, when our son was 3, I got nothing.  No card, no gift.  The look on my face sent Mike scurrying to the store.  He came home with a bag of red licorice.  Not even a big bag.

One Christmas he asked if we could just skip giving each other gifts. Going to the mall was stressful.  His Mom took him aside and told Mike that if she and my father in law could give gifts to each other, even through some very lean years, Mike was going out and getting me a Christmas present.

Since then there have been appropriate boxes and cards for all the usual occasions. But Mike's heart isn't in it and he pretty much begs me to tell him what to buy.  Some of my friends get jewelry or flowers or clothes or other lovely things.  And for years I compared my gift situation and came up wanting. 

But then I grew up and noticed that Mike helped take care of my Mom.  He always empties the dishwasher, encourages me to buy stamp stuff, takes out the garbage cans and brings them in, and rides the subway and walks a mile home so I get the air conditioned car.  He encourages me to retire when work weighs me down even though money would be very tight, and keeps me company when I'm watching stupid Housewives TV shows "because it is better sitting with you than sitting alone."

I don't have a lot of boxes to unwrap.  No ribbon to toss.  No anticipation of what's in the box.  I'm not surprised anymore by Mike's love.  It doesn't come in a box.  But I'm still thrilled when I hear his key in the lock at the end of the day.  The surprise is that he still shows up, smiling and happy to see me, despite my whining.  Putting up with me -- the best gift of all.

Jul 18, 2013

Faux Washi

Here's a quick one layer that uses stamps that look like washi tape and ink, rather than real washi tape.   Why faux? 

I answer questions all day.  This is a hobby.  No need to explain....


Stamps:  Stampin Up, Close to My Heart (flower) and I just cannot remember where the sentiment is from cause I'm tired and thinking about life and all that....

Jul 17, 2013

Spring Birthday

Sprayed the card with Dylusions ink before I stamped.  First time I've used a spray ink. First spray out of the bottle and I really love this stuff.  Drew the border by hand.

MOOD WHEN DONE = Very happy

Stamps:  Hero Art Watercolor Petals and PTI's Quilled Elegance (sentiment)
Other:  White cardstock, Dylusions Pure Sunshine Ink Spray, SU markers and a Pigma Micron 03 ink pen. 

Jul 15, 2013

Fall Birthday

This card was inspired by Maile Belles' card here.  I loved those strips of cardstock adhered by the tiny staples.

MOOD WHEN DONE =  ???? (I see a before and after of this card coming up!)

Stamps:  Hero Arts Watercolor Petals and PTI's Emboidered Blooms (sentiment)

Jul 14, 2013

Berries and Gingham

So happy to have some Waltzingmouse Stamps back in my house.  This one is Big Berries:  Strawberries.  It's a small set but the two step strawberry is a snap to use.

To get full ink coverage on such a large stamp, it is best to use a pigment or chalk ink, rather than dye ink.  However, if you prefer dye ink , stamping on a piece of foam or even a few paper towels under your cardstock will provide even coverage. 

Love how this one came out.   The square checks work well with the round polka dots.

Hard to see but this is a two layer card.  I adhered the ribbon with my new favorite tool -- one of those little staplers.  Staple, tie, trim. 


Stamps:  Waltzingmouse Big Berries: Strawberry
Ink:  Brilliance Red Rocket, VersaMagic Key Lime and Ranger Archival Ink, Jet Black

Jul 10, 2013


A fabulous co worker retired last month.  She's a little slip of a woman, smart, nice, savvy.  I miss her already.  Before she left, I went to the fancy chocolatier near our home and bought her this cute box of 9 chocolates.  (I see card inspiration here.)

About a week later I went to a meeting in her office and the box was still on her desk with the pretty satin ribbon and bow. 

After a week.

Let's repeat.  She had a box of chocolates on her desk for over a week.  Reminds me of another friend who had a bag of Mint Milanos in her apartment for 6 months.  Or a husband who eats exactly 2 Hershey nuggets every night.  Not three.  Two.

Who are these people? 

Guess what, this isn't a rhetorical question. I have the answer. 


I've made a major discovery. Thin people eat differently than fat people.  Oh sure, there are a few exceptions on both sides of the pendulum.  But in general every thin person I know doesn't eat that much.  Thin people don't finish one meal and start thinking about the next meal.  Food is fine.  But not that big of a deal.  Thin people eat enough to feel full.  And then stop.  And they move around.  Sometimes a lot.

I'm doomed.

Jul 8, 2013

Funky One Layer

Love the new Funky Feathers set from Waltzingmouse. Now that WMS ships from the US, shipping is lightening fast.

This is a very quick one layer lovely.

Stamped the feather in Hero Arts Cantaloupe and the heart in Hero Arts Tomato.  A little bling just to make it more interesting.

As Claire would say, hope it tickles...


Dear Mom: The List

Dear Mom,

It's been 5 months since you died.  I used to think about the time when my life would not be wrapped up in taking care of you.  I had plans.  Those plans got me through some rough moments.  I made lists in my head waiting in the icy cold ER for whatever test results were taking so long.  Lots of lists.  Fun lists that I could not tackle because I was so very busy making you Ensure milkshakes and counting out your pills.

So now I'm not making those milkshakes anymore, but I still have the lists.  I have not traveled, signed up for aquatic exercise, taken that watercolor class, opened an Etsy shop, read books, or gone out for dinner after work.  (Ok, I read one book.)

I come home and crash and think about everything I want to do but don't because it is too expensive and then there will be no money to retire or maybe the parking lot is too far from the class and it will be dark when it lets out and then maybe it is dangerous.  No matter that it is summer and light until 9 and a perfectly lit parking lot in a safe area or that I've been saving for retirement for a very long time.  Nope, nothing is safe.  It is all just one big scary risky thing.  Better to watch Housewives and think about the list.

I did manage to find the time to check online about why my finger nails have these ridges now and saw that it is a "sign of aging."  I have a lot of those signs.  You were right. Getting old isn't pretty.  But it is what is left.  Watching my nails develop ridges while I click on the remote isn't working out. 

And there are no Ensure milkshakes to blame anymore.  Just the inside the head junk that found too much room to grow.  I'm working on getting rid of the junk and doing things.  Yes, I know your first thought will be negative -- yes, I know I might fail.  Let's just stop thinking that way and take a chance.  Because it didn't take that much time to make those milkshakes.  There was time then and there is time now. 

I'll let you know how it's going.

Love, Joan

Jul 7, 2013


Yes, I see the irony in posting a card with these sweet macarons given my last post on how toxic sugar is to my well being.  But I intend to pair the card with a gift of yummy pastel macarons (courtesy of our local bakery) and give the card and the cookies away. 

Sampling may be involved.

Stamped the sentiment first and then repeatedly stamped the outline image in pink, purple and orange.  Colored with a combo of colored pencils and Copic markers.

And since the stamps were sitting there oh so cute, I used the solid stamp and made a masculine version, which will also accompany some macarons.   Naturellement....

Used the die to cut out a few macarons.  Twine attached with a tiny stapler. 

Stamps:  Bonjour from Avery Elle and Mini Blooms from PTI