Jan 31, 2014

Swiping the Stripes

Made by embossing a sentiment in gold and then drawing Gelatos over the card and swiping the stripes with a baby wipe.  Easy, fast, interesting.

This was an experiment.  Why not?

MOOD WHEN DONE = It's Friday!!!!!  Say no more

And welcome back to so many long time readers who found me again. That's nice!

Jan 26, 2014

Two Step Stamping with Waltzingmouse

Waltzingmouse Two Step Floral Sprig is a great little set -- very easy to use.  Did not realize that there is a downloadable Silhouette cut file for this set.  May need to get that some time.

Stamped the flowers on vellum with Versamagic Thatched Straw and Archival Black.   Embossed with Ranger clear embossing powder, and hand cut. Adhered just the center of the flowers to yellow cardstock.  Leaves with Versamagic Tea Leaves.  Sentiment from Hero Arts Everyday Sayings.


Jan 23, 2014

Card for Jonah and a Big Thank You

What do you send to a 4 year old boy with kidney cancer, particularly one you do not know?  Frankly, it doesn't really matter as long as it is age appropriate and gets put in the mail, rather then tossed in a box.... .   I went with a cute image and a simple statement that I thought this little boy would understand.

Susan Raihala wrote about Jonah several times on her blog.  She is collecting and delivering cards for him.  That is very sweet and kind of her to do.

Stamps:  WPlus9 Bitty Valentines and gingham background by Impression Obsession
Ink:  Versamagic Aegean Blue and Red Rocket, and Ranger Archival Black
Other:  Ranger Glossy Accents, WPlus9 dies that coordinate with the set, dimensional, $$ to pay for all this stuff


And now some big and sincere thanks.  First to Susan, again, for mentioning my last post on her blog. Very kind. 

And thank so very much to each of you who took the time to read and to comment on that post.  I even received a few emails from readers with more to share.  I guess rejection, failure, or feeling like a failure, is a universal experience.  Your comments made me feel so much better about something that happened recently to me that had been bothering me.  

And, finally, I am so glad and grateful that some former readers found me again, and I am very happy to welcome new readers.  I do not post as often as I would like to because my job takes up most of my day, and sometimes my evenings as well.  Hopefully that will change!

Jan 21, 2014

Card Making and SAT scores

A stamper wrote that she enters a lot of challenges and never wins.  Her attempts to get on design teams have failed.  She buys a lot from a couple of companies hoping to get the companies' attention.  They have ignored her efforts.  She is crushed and angry and clueless as to why this is happening.

I read this and winced.

We all wince when we recognize that feeling -- failure is hard.  It is even harder when you have no idea why you are being rejected.  No one posts a comment that says "no focal point" "messy layers" "too many colors".  We are nice to each other in internet land, and that is as it should be.  So it is hard to learn unless we are willing to ask.  By the way, I'm not asking!

However, once I did ask.

It was the practice in my high school to go to the principal and share your SAT scores with her.  I knocked on Sr. Ellen's door and walked in.  My scores were mediocre, and I was unhappy, particularly since I was a strong student in an academically rigorous high school.  I wanted to know why my scores weren't higher.  Not skipping a beat, Sr. Ellen looked me in the eye and told me that I wasn't very smart -- that my good grades were the result of my hard work, not my native intelligence. She did not say this with admiration -- almost pity.   I left her office stunned.  I remember thinking  "I thought I was smart but I'm not."

So here's my message to the stamper who feels the stun of rejection or failure.  Maybe you are like I am.   I've never been the best in the room at anything I've ever tried.  I'm not the star anything, except perhaps when making brownie cheesecake.  But even with my limitations, my humanity, I've succeeded when it really mattered -- in my heart I know that I have loved and am loved.  The rest, including card making and SAT scores and blunt principals, is gravy.

So, if you can find it in yourself to enjoy stamping without winning, pick up that ink pad and stamp. And relax and enjoy it.  Smile. And smile again and again, knowing that you are doing something you enjoy.  Sometimes mixing a hobby with competition just doesn't work.  Not everyone gets on a design team or gets an 800 in card making.  But everyone can get get an 800 in sending a card to a friend or a stranger, knowing that it will bring a smile to that person.

You be the judge on who the winner is in that competition.  

Card and Muslin Bag -- My Heart

Used Waltzingmouse My Heart for a card and coordinating bag (filled with chocolates, of course).  Took a very simple approach -- one layer card and one layer bag.  I put a piece of cardstock inside the bag before I stamped it so that the ink would not transfer to the back of the bag.

For something like this bag (Paper Source), which I do not intend to wash, most inks will work just fine.  I used Versamagic and just let it air dry a bit.

The heart on the card has some gold stickles, which brightens it up.  Love this set, which has a rustic feel that is trendy (why use two words "on trend" to say "trendy"???) and pretty.


Jan 4, 2014

Getting Rid of Stuff (Stamps, Cars, Styrofoam, Ornaments, Your Kid's 5th Grade Masterpiece)

You can get rid of anything.  All it takes is courage, determination, and a husband who hates clutter.

Kathy asked me below if I had advice on how to get rid of stamps.  Why yes I do.  If I have become the master of anything, it is how to get rid of stuff.

But first a story.

My husband hates clutter.  He saves nothing (except my cards).  He buys nothing.  He eyes my trail of crap like a tiger after a bunny.  He is too busy running and eating non fat plain yogurt to shop online.  If I wasn't so lazy I would have divorced him years ago.

His penchant for throwing out things butted up against my Mom's anxiety about holding on to her stuff all the time.  The coup de grace was when my Mom left her "bridge" (that's a piece of false teeth) walled up in a kleenex on the kitchen counter.   And, yes he tossed it in the trash.  Score one for the son-in-law who owned that kitchen counter.  Score one for my mom, who found it and then spent years not so gently hinting that he was responsible for tossing everything she could not find.  (Yes, Mom we did toss the 7 BAGS of YARN and fabric scraps that were in the basement for 17 years.  We lied about that.  In fact, we lied about a lot of stuff.  If you have the power in heaven to get back at us, go for it.)

But enough about that.

Ten Steps to Get Rid of Stuff:

1.  Develop the desire to get rid of the stamps, the whatever.  This is the hard part.  You want to get to the point where you feel like the tiger eyeing the bunny....

2.  Let go of the concept that "it is a waste of money to get rid of stuff."  It is a waste of money, time, space, and karma to keep stuff you don't want.  Period.

3.  Decide if you want to make money off the stuff.  If you want to sell stamps, it is work, so factor that in.  There's ebay, your blog, Splitcoast or other forum, or yard sale.  You can also pair up with another stamper and trade.  "I'll take one Valentine's clear set, a birthday background and give you my vintage Owl and Cupcake sets."  Then do it.    If you sell to strangers over the internet, get the money up front through paypal, be honest about the condition, don't be greedy, mail it right away, and hope you aren't dealing with a nut case.  If it gets lost in the mail, who bears the risk?  I DO NOT KNOW.  You are supposed to negotiate that at the beginning.  The post office actually does an amazing job so I'd just hope for the best.

4.  Or, if you are willing to donate the stuff, do it.  Look around.  There are stampers out of work, suffering through cancer, or just plain nice.  Give the stuff to them.  That's what I did.  But first I sold a block of stuff (several bins) to one stamper who lived nearby.  She picked up the stuff and gave me $200.  Win win.  I then gave away about 7 large plastic tubs of stuff (I'm crying as I type) to a wonderful stamper who also came by and picked up the stuff.  Turns out she then gave away a ton of it to a bunch of other stampers (there was a LOT of stuff) and all those folks got together and gave me several hundred dollars worth of gift certificates to stores near our new house.  It was a wonderful moment of connectedness.

5.  Or you can find a nursing home, day care center, women's shelter, etc who might like the stuff.  Google.

6.  Throw out the crap.  It isn't worth the time or money to give away little pieces of paper, the 3 orange brads you found at the bottom of a box, or the pound of ribbons and twine, each of which is no longer than 3 inches.  Re read #2 and LET IT GO.

7.  If you made cards and never sent them (shocker), take a hard look at them. I deconstructed about 200 cards that I hated, salvaged the embellishments and the card stock and tossed the rest.  I had fun making them.   It's a hobby.  Good bye.

8.  Look at the empty space you've created.  The space in your house and your brain.  Freedom!  Resist the urge (and it will be there) to fill up the space with MORE crap.  Take your time.  Rearrange the space.  Feel superior to hoarders.  Enjoy and be proud.

9.  Don't look back.  Sure, I gave away some stuff that I regretted giving away.  But I didn't have to pay to store it or move it (twice).  And that was then.  Regret over this stuff is a sin.

10.  Don't gloat.  The desire for more stuff will slowly creep back and you may find yourself needing to start over.

Jan 2, 2014

Miss You (But Not the Stuff)

Welcome to another year.  Hope yours is a good one.

A large lonely heart....cut with the Silhouette to make a stencil.  Placed the stencil on a white card, angled so that a piece of the heart is missing.  Sponged Ranger Distress Inks ( a lot) on the card and used a black pen to outline the heart.  Stamped the sentiment and I was done.

MOOD WHEN DONE = Pretty good

I'm enjoying starting a new year with less stuff.  It's tricky.  Too few supplies and I'm looking to buy. Too much and it stifles creativity, costs too much, and takes up space I need for other things.  Always looking for that balance!