Aug 30, 2013

Waltzingmouse Pajama Party!: Funky Feathers Note Set

It's a pajama party over at Waltzingmouse.  And, since I'm up during most nights stamping in my pjs, I had to play along!

I chose the color challenge.

Decided to use the fabulous Waltzingmouse Funky Feathers to make a flat note card - perfect when you want to say something, but not too much. 

Great for a guy, whom I'm sure would love the envelope (if he noticed!).

But, wait, there's more! Neon, neon feathers. Who doesn't like neon feathers?

And then, I just kept going ...

And now I have a great set to give as a gift!  Or hoard.


Stamps:  Waltzingmouse Funky Feathers
Ink:  Assorted
Cardstock:  Neenah Solar White and A Muse Studio Black
Other:  Paper trimmer, adhesive, typing paper, Paper Source envelopes, Clear and Simple A2 envelope liner die

Aug 29, 2013

Experiment -- Light on Dark

Just a little something for the husband --

This was an experiment -- to see if a light sentiment would work over a darker background.  Perhaps this wold work better with the colors reversed, but I kind of like the unexpected neon pink over gray.  And, it works anyway because I "really" love the husband!

How I Made This Card:

1.  Tore 2 sheets of typing paper to make a mask -- two because the Hero Arts granite ink bleeds through one sheet.
2.  Placed the Screen stamp face up on my table and inked.   Put the torn paper on the top third of the stamp and pressed a card onto the stamp.
3.  Stamped the sentiment.
4.  Done and done.
5.  Oh, stamped the envelope liner and die cut.

MOOD WHEN DONE = Accomplished


Stamps:  Impression Obsession Screen Cover a Card and Avery Elle Handwritten Sentiments
Paper:  Neenah Solar White
Ink: Hero Arts Soft Granite and Neon Pink
Other:  paper trimmer, typing paper -- that's it!

Aug 28, 2013

Not Dancing, But

A few years ago, at the height of the drama of taking care of my Mom, when we were in and out of the ER all the time and I was bone weary, I received an email from a woman who had taken care of her mother for 10 years.  She spoke of dancing around the room the day her Mom died -- finally free from the burden of care and cut loose from a woman she had grown to hate.  The email promised me that the day would come when I would be set free and have my own dance. 

I did not respond to the email.  Frankly, I was appalled.  But, it also touched a place I recognized and I was appalled at that too.  So I hit delete, and did what all caregivers do -- put one foot in front of the other and kept on caring.

The day or two before my mom died, they told me she was wasn't going to survive.  I did not realize that they meant she would die in a day or two.  I thought it would take months, so I went to work the day before she died, thinking that I would be in and out of the nursing home every day for months and so I needed to ration my time.  Add that stunningly poor decision to the list of life's regrets.

But the next day I was there, sitting by her bed watching her breathe.  I sat there thinking about the past, wondering about her life's decisions and mine, and wondering how long she would live.  The hospice nurse told me that I should speak to my mom, tell her goodbye.  I shook my head and asked to speak outside the room.  Would this be weeks, months?  I wanted to plan, to take care of the business that needed taking care of.  There would be paperwork and things to do.  I needed to make a list.  Maybe I could work from home, which was near the nursing home.  I could be there all the time and still work.  Did the home have wi-fi I mused so I could keep up with the business of life and be there for my mom?

I wanted my mom to go back to being 75 and come out to the mall with me.  I wanted her to die and end all of this.  I wanted her to recover so we could talk one more time.  I wanted her to see my son graduate from college.  I wanted her to be happy.  I wanted her to walk up a flight of stairs to our new kitchen and have dinner with us. I wanted a lot of things.

Finally, the nurse snapped me out of this reverie by saying your mom is dying now. You should say goodbye.  I went back in and sat there silent.  I didn't say goodbye.  I thought I had said everything I needed to say already.  And then she stopped breathing.  The nurse looked at the doctor, who had just arrived, and shook her head.  They told me she was gone.  I looked at her and could see death. 

I walked away, sat in the hallway.   I kept thinking "so this is how this happens."  "So this is over."  I had so much more I wanted to say to her.  I wanted so many things.

Since that day, I thought about that email.  I'm not a saint. I understood the relief that woman felt.  Taking care of someone is hard work and it is a burden.  A burden I took on that I do not regret. But it took a toll and I get that. The guilt that comes with feeling that someone you love has become a burden is in itself another burden.

So now I'm "free."  I haven't danced, and I haven't want to dance, since my mom died.   But I have grown to understand that email writer a bit more.  I wish I had her email address.  I would tell her that I want her to be happy.  I want her to walk out of her home every day and not want to dance in anger and relief, but dance because she is living a worthwhile life.  I hope she is.

Aug 27, 2013

Making Peace with an Expensive Hobby

Downsizing and planning for retirement forced me to rethink my relationship with this expensive hobby.  I love the latest products as much as the next person, but gee, there has to be a way to keep this manageable.

I've definitely bought more than a few things this year as I got back into stamping, but so far it is under control.  I had to change.  Here are a few thoughts I've had as I worked on that change --

1.  Being on a Design Team Can Cost Money.  Depending on how the stamper approaches it, and of course depending on the company, being on a design team can be a money drain.  Yes, team members get free product, but it is often limited to stamps.  Sometimes, stores provide a certain amount of free product including papers, inks, etc, but that is the exception.  And being on a team may push a  stamper to want all the latest gadgets and embellishments and product.  Hey you have to stay trendy to compete.  And you have to have all the [fill in the blank] In all the colors. When that happens, watch out.  It can get expensive.  It can be a good gig if handled carefully and a win win for everyone involved.  Otherwise, it can cost more to be on a team than to be a customer.

2.  Sales Cost Money.  Companies offer sales to increase their profits.  We are the source of their profits.  Think about that....Sales + Me = Too much money.   Even a generous 25% off can lure me into spending more than I originally planned because it's a SALE!!  So I ignore the pitches because my bottom line has to be the total amount I spend, not the cost per item.

3.  Free Shipping with a Minimum Purchase Costs Money.  See #2.  This is probably the single biggest potential budget buster.  Walked away from that years ago and immediately my overall spending dropped.

4.  "If I had that, I could make that" Syndrome Costs Money.  In other words, enabling.  They want us to think that we have to have that one thing, and that if we had that one thing (add $50 or so to that one thing for free shipping....) we would make things just a beautiful as the Design Team made.  Eh, sometimes true, most of the time probably not.  We can all name "that one thing" that we had to have and it sits unused.  Multiply that by a lot and it's not a pretty picture.

5. There's No End.  There is NO END TO NEW PRODUCT.  Repeat that 2 more times! There will always be something I want that I cannot have.  Even if I had the money, I wouldn't have the space to store it or the time to use it.  So yes I love that. Yes, I want it.  No, I'm not buying it.

6. I'm not a collector of stamps or supplies.  I'm a stamper.  I buy things to use them.  I'm not decorating my craft space with every color of ribbon in pretty jars.  Does that look nice?  Gorgeous!  Would I love to do that?  Absolutely.  But that takes jars and the space to display them.  Jars cost money.  Space costs money.  And I rarely use ribbon anyway. 

7.  You are not paying my bills and therefore, I cannot pay yours.   I love your new line.  I love your product.  But you aren't paying my bills.  I am.  So it isn't personal.  I just can't buy everything you are trying to sell me. 

8.  Buying a few things here and there avoids the big spend.  It's like food -- if I don't eat any sweets ever, some day I'll eat way too much of that dessert.  Better to make peace with the desire to have a few new things, and avoid the buying binge. 

So those are my thoughts.  Would love to hear yours!

Aug 25, 2013

A Bouquet of Thanks

Blog break is over!  I won't be posting every day, but should be able to post at least weekly.  At least I hope so.

Love this bouquet of flowers from Impression Obsession. 

How I Made This Card:

1.  Stamped image in waterproof black ink and water colored with Ranger Distress Inks.

2.  Selected a sentiment with a delicate font that coordinated with the hand drawn image.

3.  Measured sentiment and cut banner with Silhouette to fit the sentiment.

4.  Cut a mask of the bouquet and flicked ink with a wet paint brush over the card -- this added some interest and some dimension.

5.  Adhered dimensional strip to back of sentiment and water colored the banner with a quick swipe of the brush; adhered to card.

6.  Stamped the Screen pattern with black ink on typing paper and die cut for the envelope liner.  



1.  With watercolors, less is always better.  Let the first swirl of inky paint sit for a few minutes and then go back with one more layer.

2.  I only have one red/pink Distress ink pad (Barn Door).  The first layer on the flower looks pink because I used more water -- rubbed the ink pad on a craft sheet and spritzed with a water bottle.  For the second, smaller layer, used more ink and less water and got a deeper red.  Why buy 2 - 17 shades of red distress ink when one will do?

3.  Leaves almost always look better with a bit of yellow.

And since I loved the card and need a bunch (wink) of thank you cards, I made a few more (assembly line fashion):


Stamps:  Impression Obsession Sunny Flower Bouquet and Screen Cover a Card (used on the envelope), and My Favorite Things Pretty Poppies (sentiment)
Ink:  Ranger Archival Jet Black and Ranger Distress Inks:  Peeled Paint, Barn Door and Mustard Seed 
Cardstock:  Smooth Bristol
Other:  Claudine Hellmuth paint brush, water, paper towel, paper trimmer, Silhouette, dimensionals, Clear and Simple A2 envelope liner die, Paper Source envelope, double sided tape (for the envelope liner), typing paper (for the envelope liner); $$; time; mojo

Aug 14, 2013

Dear Mom: Catching Up

Dear Mom: I thought of you last night. I got home from work to an empty house and turned on the TV and saw that The Little Couple was on. Reruns. So I watched 3 episodes to catch up. They adopted the cutest 3 year old boy from China. I remember how much you loved that show and wanted you to know. They are happy. Yes, I know that when kids are small they have small problems and when they get big they have big problems. How could I forget? – it was one of your frequent flyers.

Oh, and the Giants aren’t looking too good this preseason. Yes, I know it is only preseason and no, I’m not turning into a fair weather fan. I’ll be a fan for life and I’ll keep you posted.

Andy is still in training and won’t learn where he’ll be placed until the fall. We are hoping he stays with us but he has to go wherever the job takes him. See first paragraph for reference!

Ugh. I cannot find your sewing box. And no, we did not throw it out. I needed a needle and thread for a card I was making but poof we cannot find it. Yes, I remember when Mike threw out your partial false teeth bridge, but you left it wrapped in a Kleenex on the kitchen counter and I absolutely did not throw out the sewing box. Meh, maybe Mike did but he is denying it. I’ll keep looking. By the way, I saved the row of sequins that were left over from when you made my wedding dress. I thought about putting them on cards, but decided to just let them be. Gorgeous. The dress and your making it. Thanks.

Oops. Got to go! Love, Joan

Aug 10, 2013

Card Kit Club -- August

Dropping in from my blog siesta (during which I am redesigning this blog so that is why it looks like it is under construction...).

Sharing a card and envelope I made with materials sent to me by Jennifer Carter.  (I still haven't touched June's kit -- I'm so behind...).  Love these bright fun colors and flowers.

And here's another picture with the coordinating envelope:

You can find Jen's blog here.  And some of the club's members may be posting as well:  Leigh Penner's To the Full.  And Melissa Ladd at Melissa's Paperie.  Cannot wait to see their creations.  Thanks Jen for a great kit.  Lots of fun stuff still to be used.

MOOD WHEN DONE = Accomplished, Coordinated, and Colorful

>>>>> I am stamping much more since I am not taking the time to photograph and blog.  Saving up my creations to begin blogging on a regular basis.  Be back in a few weeks!

Aug 4, 2013

Working on the Blog

An earlier version of this post went up before I had time to edit.  Sorry if you saw that earlier version by mistake.  I apparently hit "publish" mid thought!  All I was trying to say is that I'm having fun stamping and will be back with a bunch of posts later this summer. 

Expect a lot of Before and After posts and Christmas items!

Aug 1, 2013

Border Cards

Two one layer cards, with hand drawn borders. Meant to look freehand.  Green card uses Waltzingmouse Funky Feathers and pink card uses a Hero Arts sentiment set with some little doodad flowers tucked in between the sentiments.

MOOD WHEN DONE:  80 million things on my mind...................

Oh and thanks for the comments lately.  I check my email to see the comments and did not realize that they were all in a separate folder!  Add "improve computer skills" to the list.