Jun 29, 2014

Surf and Sun Thanks

I Make I Talk Joan Bardee

Needed a thank you card for some friends who hosted us at their Cape Cod home.  Heavenly.

How I Made the Card:

1.  Wrote out Thanks on the Silhoutte/Cameo.   Before I separated the word from the mat, colored with Copics.

2.  Removed word from mat and then trimmed by hand.  Rarely get a perfectly clean cut, so a bit of sharp scissor surgery is necessary.  (One reason why dies are nicer -- but cost a bundle.)

3.  Adhered to a Kraft A2 card.

4.  Colored copy paper with Copics for an envelope liner.  Remembered that I did not have Kraft envelope.  (I think I do, but not sure where!)

5.  Remembered that I have the W R Memory Keepers Envelope Maker and took it out of the package and made the Kraft envelope.  The result is ok but needed to trim the card a bit to fit.  I've read that making these envelopes requires a few adjustments as you learn. 


Settled on a new blog design, which I did myself courtesy of the free Pic Monkey program.  There are a lot of tutorials on line on how to make a blog header with this program.  Fun and beats paying someone else. 

Jun 28, 2014

Working on the Blog Design

I'm working on the blog design this weekend.  Pardon the mess! 

Jun 27, 2014

Downsizing -- Expectations vs. Reality

So it’s been about 20 months since we ditched the big house on the cul de sac, got rid of half of everything we owned, including almost all my craft supplies, and moved to a smaller home. 

We had a lot of expectations.  Here are how some of them worked out.

1.        We wouldn't have enough space.  Wrong.

The rooms themselves are small, but we have two bedrooms that are essentially unused.  Need to convert one of them to something else.  We could use more closets and I miss not having enough space to have a big party.  Otherwise, a perfect fit. 

2.  I could craft with one or two boxes of supplies.  BWAHHH. 

But my stash is about 10% of its former warehouse proportions.

3. We’d spend less.  Absolutely. 

I wondered if we’d spend more in the long run because we do not stock up when something is on sale or buy in bulk, but apparently buying for an inventory is costly.  Our utility bills are much less.  We have only have one car.  My craft spending is dramatically lower.

4.  The paper in our house would be under control.  No.

Come home from work too tired to keep it under control.  A work in progress.  

5.  We’d dine like sophisticated folks.  No way. 

With just 2 of us, and no picky kid or mom,  I imagined beautiful little plates of interesting olives, cheese and fresh bread topped with unsalted butter.  Add a gently tossed salad with a splash of olive oil and fresh lemon, paper thin shaved Parmesan cheese from the hills of Italy, and topped with a sprig of some organic herb.  Jazz in the background.  Chilled white wine. 

Same old boring food.  Sometimes jazz is in the background, but neither of us drinks wine, so why was that ever part of the fantasy? 

6. We’d see more people.  YES YES YES. 

Just looking out our window is fun.  Construction and a ton of folks just walking by.  We stroll over to the neighborhood frequently  – watched one of the US soccer matches outdoors with hundreds of like minded fans last week and had a blast.  We see people, a fascinating diversity of people from all over the world, all the time.      

7.  We wouldn't drive as much.  Yes. 

Most weekends our car sits in the garage except for an occasional errand and to put in gas.  We spend about $20 a week on gas.  Sweet. 

8.  We’d have more free time because of no lawn or snow responsibilities.  Yes, Mike does....

9.  We’d go to the movies more often because the theater is a 3 minute walk.  Yes

Saw more movies last year than in the prior 5 put together.    

10.  We would be happier.  YES

Jun 23, 2014

I Talk: The Unspoken

"Do you have anything you want to say to your mother? She can hear you."

Really hospice lady?  You told me that the hearing is the last to go. My mom was pretty deaf.   Could she still hear me?  And did she really want to hear what I was thinking? 

Is that the way to end? With questions that were unanswerable when she was alive, never mind at her last breath. So I shook my head. No, I said. I said everything I needed to say before.

A lie.

In some ways, watching my mom die with a lie on my lips made sense. All families dance a dance of lies. Some truths are hard and necessary to tell. Others are hard and best unsaid.

Among the unspoken truths was I could not believe my Mom was dying.  I kept asking how long it would take, thinking it was months away. It was minutes away. You are never prepared for your mother's death regardless of the circumstances. 

I did her life good.  I was there in a way that most aren't, and it took a toll.   Maybe that is why I was terrible at death. I wanted her to die. She was miserable. I was miserable. We were both worn out from it all.  I worried that she would wake up and we'd go back to being miserable. 

I dreaded her death and yearned for more time.  Go back and sew another curtain please. I want to hear the hum of the Necchi long into the night.  Knit another sweater with red angora hearts.  Wallpaper another wall.  Hit another bingo number.  Watch another football game. 

It's been about a year and half since my Mom died.  Hey, this is easy.  I tamped down the guilt at feeling relieved.  Slowly, though, she's crept back into my head.  I dream of her.  I remember her.  I miss her.  I grieve in short bursts of pain.  It feels like a normal thing to do and is a relief to have the words mom and normal in the same sentence, because it is pretty much the first time that's ever happened... .  

Maybe I did say everything I needed to say before she died. I said it when we renovated the house for her. When I sat in the ER with her, handling it, over forty times (a number I find myself saying with satisfaction, as if I earned the Caretaker Girl Scout Badge).  I said it when I spent hours arranging for emergency oxygen during a power outage.  I said it every day, sometimes shouting, crying and pleading.  Until the last day, when I finally shut up. 

I like to think my mom didn't hear the exchange with the hospice lady and if she did, understood what I meant when I said I had said it all before.  I'll never know for sure, but I think she heard my unspoken words.   

Jun 19, 2014

Just for You, Imperfectly

I Make I Talk Joan Bardee

No apologies for rarely posting.  Insert the usual reasons....

Here's a close up of the sentiment.

Love this fun little card.  And so simple to make.  Not. for. me.

1.  Patterned paper.  Easy.  Cut and adhere to card. 
2.  Stamp the sentiment and trim.  Pain to trim.  Too small to cut with a trimmer and hand cutting not   perfect.
3. Adhere to center of card.  Missed.
4.  Trim card to make the sentiment in the center.
5.  Search for little heart die.  Oh yeah.  Don't have one.
6.  Stamp heart and hand trim.  Not perfect either.
7.  Adhere heart and add glossy accents to it.  Pop the bubble.  Yes, I do not shake the bottle.

MOOD WHEN DONE = Love the card and loved making it, imperfections and all. 

Jun 7, 2014

Is 12 Years Enough?

Need an anniversary card, not for the husband but for friends.  I need it tonight.  As in an hour.

So I spent all day watercoloring, embossing, stamping, cutting and making a lovely card.  And, as is often the case, I ruined it when I tried to add a sentiment.  Husband observed the carnage and kindly suggested a walk to Paper Source to buy a card.

So I did.

As I was shelling out $6.50 (!) for the card, I noted to the cashier that I was frustrated because I spent 6 hours working on a hand stamped card and ruined it.

To which she observed "It takes a while to get the hang of stamping."

To which I replied, "Is 12 Years Enough?"

MOOD WHEN DONE = frustrated but looking forward to a lovely evening

Jun 6, 2014

Watercoloring on D-Day

Watercolored for a friend who needs good thoughts.

As I post this I am listening to the D-Day ceremony in Normandy.  I remain overwhelmed with gratitude, admiration, and pride at the numbers of men who literally put one foot in front of the other, saving the world from madness.

And on that note...


Jun 4, 2014

Stampin Up -- Top 10 Faves

Catalog arrived yesterday.   I remember when I would carry it around like a kid's security blanket, examining every page for hidden gems.  I miss those days.  I miss hanging around Splitcoast all the time and knowing folks.  I hate change! 

Enough with the memory lane.  Here are my top ten fave products from the 2014 - 2015 catty:

10.  Little Buddy Birthday -- the cuteness speaks to my inner child. 

9.  Handcarved Background -- imagining it embossed and watercolored.  I have a million ideas on how to use this.

8.  Tag A Bag Gift Boxes -- comes with a clear acetate slip off cover, for my imaginary gifts of cookies that I may make someday.  It could happen!

7.  Polka Dot Impressions Folder -- love the large dots. Inking the inside of the folder would work.

6.  Forever Florals --  I'm a sucker for flowers and the sentiment is "normal" (you know what I mean!)

5.  Kind Koala -- one stamp.  cute, no issues with lining up and the sentiment is perfect.  And I can color it.  Or not.  Paper piece.  Etc. 

4.  White Vellum Cardstock -- the best I've found. Thick enough to emboss.

3.  Clear Mount Blocks -- (I have one and it is sooo comfortable)

2.  Cardstock -- still my favorite.  easy to hand cut, die cut, fold, crease, stamp, and cut with the silhouette

1. And my favorite product in the catalog is:

Draw The Line

It's is photopolymer!  It's photopolymer!  Make plaids, backgrounds, color, emboss, etc.  Love this set.


Jun 3, 2014

Gingham Bonjour

Good Tuesday morning!  Returned from a weekend in Cape Cod.  Fabulous blue skies.  Fabulous everything. 

Experimented with stamping on top of a background.  In this case, I paired some Avery Elle flowers with a classic gingham from Impression Obsession.  Still love gingham.

Kept it soft by adding a vellum strip embossed with the sentiment, also from Avery Elle.