May 29, 2015

Tell Me: Social Media Questions

Preview of an Easy and Fun Technique

I'll be sharing this technique on Monday.  So cool!

In the meantime, I would so appreciate your thoughts on how and when you use social media.**

A lot of folks hear social media and run!  Or just think of Facebook.  But there is way more!  Social media includes forums, blogs, facebook, twitter, instagram and pinterest -- just to start! 

Where are you on social media, and when do you drop by (meaning time of day and time of the week)?  Thanks!

**  I'm learning all sorts of new things in retirement, and one of them is how to use social media more effectively. 

May 28, 2015

Essentials by Ellen Pin-Sights May Challenge -- Wedding Gift

 There's a vellum overlay on this tag (the sentiment is stamped on the vellum).

It's a crying shame I don't get paid to stamp; if so I'd be in Barcelona with something sweet and cold sitting in a glass next to my very large beach umbrella.

I made 7 -- yes 7 -- tags for this challenge before settling on this one -- the lush flowers needed a non flowery tag.  Really.  

And we won't count the number of photos.  

Here's the pinterest challenge photo and a link to the challenge

The challenge requires that we use Essentials by Ellen product.  In this case I used Bokeh Dots, Bohemian Garden, and 12 Days Companion Greetings.  Made the striped tag underneath by swiping a Hero Arts Field Green ink cube on some paper.  Burlap ribbon is from Paper Source. Tag by Waltzingmouse.


May 24, 2015

Muse Guest Designer

Pumped to report that I am the Muse Guest Designer this week!  You can check out the challenge (to post a card inspired by mine) here.  I cannot wait to see what folks make!

And here is my card:

Come on, it's cake people!!  So many ways to go here for the challenge -- colors, embossing in gold, cake, watercolors, candles, vellum, hearts!

Supplies Needed (easy to substitute with whatever you have):
  • Watercolor paper
  • Water
  • Paper towels
  • Tombow marker
  • Paint brush
  • Stamps Essential by Ellen Wish Big and sentiment from Papertrey Ink's Birthday Inside Out
  • Versamark
  • Gold Embossing Powder
  • Post it notes (to mask the cake)
  • Embossing Buddy
  • Vellum paper with gold hearts from Stampin Up
  • Cream A2 card
  • Adhesive
Steps to Make:

1.  Cut watercolor paper.
2.  Rub embossing buddy over paper, stamp candles with Versamark and emboss in gold.
3.  Stamp candles on post it note or masking paper and cut.
4.  Mask candles, stamp cake in Versmark and emboss in gold.
5.  Make small line with Tombow marker on bottom of each layer and on the top, and paint a bit of water to lift up color.  Not too much water!
6.  Stamp sentiment in Versamark and emboss in gold and hope it is centered and straight.
7. Trim vellum paper.
8.  Adhere center of papers to each other, leaving a 1 inch perimeter without adhesive.  This gives a softer, looser, look.
9.  Sit back and be happy.  Clean up the mess, address the card, and mail it!


May 23, 2015

Muse Challenge #118

The Muse Challenge this week is this lovely card by the so talented Marion Vagg:

I love how peaceful it is.  So how did I go from 3 dogs to 2 flowers?

Well, I was inspired by the inlaid die cuts on a centered panel with a neutral background.  I realize it is a stretch, but challenges are always a stretch for me.  I see someone else's card, or a mood board, and freeze.  But I'm trying to participate in more of them, as I'm convinced it is a good way to develop.

Supplies Needed:

  • Dies -- I used Penny Black Glamerous (sic) and Sizzix tag die
  • Die cut machine
  • Watercolor paper
  • Tombow Markers or other way to color the die cuts
  • Water
  • Paper towel
  • Paint brush
  • Wood grain paper
  • White card stock, cut into a top fold A2 card and a separate piece to adhere to the watercolor paper
  • Washi tape or patterned paper for a bottom edge
  • Twine
  • Adhesive and dimensionals
  • Stamp for sentiment.  I used Simon Says Stamp Sending Happy Thoughts
  • Black ink (Ranger Archival Black)
  • Twine
  • Die cut watercolor paper (this will flatten the paper)
  • Color the flowers and let dry.  I used Tombow markers.
  • Color stems and leaves.   Let dry.  Cookie time!  
  • Trim watercolor paper and die cut.  Save the pieces that go between the stems.
  • Adhere watercolor paper to a piece of white cardstock and trim if needed.
  • Adhere flowers to open spaces in watercolor paper.
  • Add washi tape or patterned paper to bottom of panel.
  • Watercolor paper for tag.  Let dry.
  • Stamp sentiment and die cut tag.
  • Adhere tag by wrapping twine around panel.  
  • Trim wood grain cardstock to A2 size and adhere to white A2 card.
  • Adhere panel with dimensionals to card.
  • You are not done.  Before you leave, clean up the mess you just made. 


May 22, 2015

How to Get Rich Stamping: What the Industry Doesn't Want You to Know!


Let's get real.  You want to know the secret.  How am I getting rich stamping while you, well . . .  are not?  Am I smarter, more talented, luckier?  Yes.  But that isn't how I am getting rich stamping. 

You have the talent.  Lord knows you have the materials and supplies.  But what you don't have is the inside scoop.  Quit trying to understand twitter, ###ing yourself to death, buying planners and tossing them under the bed, and embossing your sofa.   

Dear Paperlicious has learned, through extensive interviews, trial and error, and just plain hard work, exactly what it takes to go from pressing "Buy" to saying "Bye Bye" to purchasing craft supplies.  I've stopped spending on crafting and now receive thousands of dollars in free craft supplies, and have a six figure CASH income earned by stamping. 

For a limited time only, I am ready to share What the Industry Doesn't Want You to Know.  But not for long, as I expect this to sell out within a day or two.

For the next 10 days only, a select few can purchase my exclusive e-book "How To Get Rich Stamping: What the Industry Doesn't Want You to Know" for

not $99.99,
not $89.99,
not even $49.99.  

For just two easy payments of $29.99 each -- just the cost of a stamp set or two, a coordinating die, and an ink pad in a green that would make Monet cry -- you can discover the 5 secrets that the industry is desperately trying to keep under wraps. 

How To Buy:  Please leave your contact info in the comments here and I will send you the link to my paypal!  It will be the best $39.99 you've ever spent!

May 21, 2015

Watercolored Fun

Had lots of fun watercoloring these butterflies with Tombow markers.

Susan Rahaila at Simplicity has been making cards with butterflies recently, so I am entering my card in the latest Simplicity one-layer challenge, which is Blossom.  Susan's online name is LateBlossom so the challenge permits you to make a card based on one of hers. 
Supplies Needed:

  • outline stamp (these are from Clear and Simple Stamps Butterfly Garden 1). 
  • watercolor paper cut and scored to make an A2 card
  • Tombow markers (or dye markers, although I prefer Tombow for this technique as the ink flows nicely)
  • water
  • brush
  • paper towels
  • sentiment (this is from Essentials by Ellen Mondo Magnolia)
  • black inks for sentiment and splatters
  • masking paper or post it notes
  • scissors to cut masks
  • optional:  black marker
  • optional:  die cutting machine (no dies are cut though!)

1.  Color outline stamp with marker and stamp.
2.  Add darker color with marker near corners of image and in center.
3.  Blend colors by wetting the part of the image with NO color first and moving the water into the markers.   Wet the edges carefully so that they do not bleed out.
4.  Repeat for each butterfly (or your image).
5.  Add more ink with markers to deepen color.  Blend where needed.  Added feelers and dots with black marker.
6.  LET DRY.  Go eat a cookie, watch a show, clean up your space. You can dry with heat gun but that will warp the paper a bit.  I hate warp.
7.  Cut masks and then spatter with black ink.  Have paper towel ready if splatters too large.  Yikes, almost ruined the card!
8.   Stamp sentiment.
9.  Run folded card through Big Shot or other die cutting machine in order to flatten.  This will remove any warp and leave a smooth finish.  Love this look.
10.  Sit back and enjoy your creation.  Mail it!!

MOOD WHEN DONE = delighted

May 18, 2015


Masked the citrus fruit from Simon Says Stamp You're So Sweet and stamped on white linen card stock.  Hand cut and popped up on a card adhered with a strip of Little B Black and White Strip washi tape.  It is so narrow and comes on a cute roll with a built in container.  

And then popped it in the mail!  Same day I made it.  That's a record.

MOOD WHEN DONE = Accomplished

May 15, 2015

Waltzingmouse May PJ Challenge

The WMS May monthly challenge includes the opportunity to use an older set.  So I pulled out Two Step Sprig, which I believe is retired.  However, this card could easily be duplicated using other flower sets.

Kept it very simple and let the color do the talking.   Used a Dymo label maker to make the sentiment, which I popped up with foam tape. 


May 14, 2015

A BeYoutiful Pendant

As I mentioned earlier this year, I am trying to focus on making things other than cards.  It's a learning process and almost none of my efforts have made it to the blog, but this one turned out exactly how I imagined it.

First, the presentation.  

The Gift Presentation Using Essentials by Ellen Diagonal Window Die

Love this diagonal window die and the Pink Paislee Bella Rouge patterned paper was perfect for this gift.  Not much to describe.  Die cut patterned paper; adhere to a base and tie with cord. 

Second, the pendant.  Open it up and voila!

JoanBardee EssentialsbyEllen

I pulled the chain through slits cut about 1/2 inch from the outer edge of the black paper.  Die cut another piece of patterned paper and adhered it to the back of the entire project so that the chain is not visible from the back. 

 The Be-You-Tiful Pendant

Supplies Needed:
  • Material for the pendant -- card stock, patterned paper, watercolor paper, wood paper, cork -- use your imagination.  I kept it simple and used watercolor paper.
  • Die.  I used  Essentials by Ellen by Julie Be-You-Tiful die.  Any die that creates something with a space big enough to put the jump ring will work.
  • Coloring medium.  I spritzed the watercolor paper with water and then added drops of Adirondack Dye reinkers (orange and raspberry). 
  • Mod Podge Dimensional Magic.  I prefer this to other glazes and explain later.  The purpose of this product is to fill a shape with a raised border (like a bottle cap), but I am using it in a different way.
  • craft sheet or wax paper
  • Adhesive
  • Jewelry pieces -- jump ring and chain  (Michaels has these as do many other places).  If the jump ring is not flexible enough to move apart with your fingers, you will need a couple of pliers.  The ones I purchased from Michaels (copper coated with gold) were flexible enough to move with my hands, although I squeezed them together with pliers.
  • Optional -- tweezers to help align the die cuts on top of one another


1. Mist a piece of watercolor paper (about 6 x 8) with water and dropped Adironack Dye Reinkers (orange and raspberry) to make a loose colorful design.

2.  Get a manicure while the watercolor paper dries.

3.  Pour  Mod Podge Dimensional Magic on the watercolor paper and spread it with scrap cardstock so that you have a thin layer.  Set it aside.   Patience little one.  You want this to dry for at least 3 hours.  I let it sit overnight.  The result is a piece of paper with a thin shiny finish that is flexible. 

Dimensional Magic is liquid -- not quite as thin as water, but it will run all over your project, so use wax paper or a craft sheet underneath your paper. Anything on the craft sheet will lift off easily once dried. Dimensional Magic is much easier to work with than Glossy Accents.  Because it is thinner, it flows right out of the bottle.  It wouldn't work to add shine to a small piece that is already on a card because it would run all over the card, but it is perfect to add shine and stability to a die cut.

You could die cut the pieces and add the Dimensional Magic after the pendant is put together. 

4. Die cut 3 pieces from the front of the design, and then die cut once on the back of the design.  Why the back?  So that the back of the pendant is finished.  If you want the edges of the die to be one color, color the edges with a Copic or other non water based marker.    If your die cuts do not have a place for the jump ring, punch a small hole in each die cut in the exact same space.  This die was perfect because the "e" had the space already in the design.

5.  Adhere the 4 pieces together with your favorite adhesive.  Put an acrylic block or other heavy item on the pieces for a few minutes to dry. 

6.  Add jump ring and chain. 

7.  If you give this to a non crafty friend, do not tell them how you made it.  It is part of the crafty bond that we just smile and keep them guessing. However, because this is made of paper, it is sturdy but easily damaged.  It shouldn't get wet.  Just treat it like it is special!

MOOD WHEN DONE:  Delighted

May 12, 2015

Beautiful in So Many Ways

The latest Ellen Hutson Mix it Up Challenge requires the participants to use one Essentials by Ellen product and one Avery Elle product.  I used the Be-You-Tiful die designed by Julie Ebersole for the Essentials by Ellen Spring release, and a tiny butterfly from Avery Elle's Storybook set.  Not sure if it is kosher to just use that tiny butterfly but it works!

Colored the paper with Ranger Adirondack Dye reinkers and water.  Coated the watercolored paper with Mod Podge Dimensional Magic, let dry overnight, and then die cut.  Here's a close up of the flat, shiny, die cut sitting on a bed of two layers of some ancient mulberry paper.  Spritzed the card with a mix of water and the raspberry reinker.

I kept die cutting and later this week, you'll see how I used this die cut in a different way.

MOOD WHEN DONE =  Grateful for so many things.  Thanks for visiting the blog and being part of the online crafting community.  

May 11, 2015

Hey, Girl

Joan Bardee

Made this card for someone who deserves it!  Just ink, paper, stamps.  Easy to make and easy to mail.   Made a few of these, using a variety of colors and sentiments, but this is the one that worked best.  Love that green!

This card also fits the criteria of the One-Layer Simplicity Challenge, Blossom.

Speaking of challenges, I am trying to participate but often the deadline passes before I can do so.  Not sure how folks make and post cards daily!  In the meantime, I am focusing on some non card paper crafting that I hope to share soon. 


Paper:  Essentials by Ellen, White Linen
Ink:  Fresh Ink, Grass; Ranger Archival Black
Stamps:  Essentials by Ellen Bohemian Garden and Hello Gorgeous

MOOD WHEN DONE = Appreciative

May 7, 2015

A Different Mother's Day Post -- 5 Practical Tips for Caretakers

NOTE:  Not stamping related! 

Some of you are daughters taking care of your mom.  Or maybe your dad or husband or sister. (The tips refer to moms, but substitute as needed.)   Or maybe you are thinking about doing so.  If so, this post is for you.

As Mother's Day approaches, I have mom on the brain.  If you've read my previous blogs, you know that my mom lived with us for 19 years.  For the last 5 of those years, she needed serious care taking.  After that, she spent a year and a half in a nursing home before she died.  I can now look back on those years and thought I'd share a little of what I learned.

1.  To the maximum extent possible, let your mom make her own decisions and feel important. 

Losing control is scary and often does not bring out the best in people.  The more my mom lost control of her life, the more she made ridiculous demands requests, like wanting fried green pepper sandwiches every day for months at a time only to be followed by THE YEAR OF MACARONI AND CHEESE.

It helps to ensure that they make as many decisions as possible.  Mom can't blame you when things don't turn out, and folks have the right to decide their own medical care, what they wear, where they live, when they take their pills, etc. -- as much as possible.  I disagreed with many of my mom's decisions, but they were hers to make and in the long run, it made my life easier. 

My mom, like a lot of frail elderly, felt useless.  But she blossomed when I asked her advice about anything -- making meatballs, something about my kid, etc.  It made her feel useful and needed.  (Hint:  she doesn't need to know that you didn't follow all of her advice....).

2.  If your mom has frequent medical emergencies, keep an "ER" bag packed.

My mom went to the emergency room over 40 times over a 5 year period, so I became a pro.

Include in the ER bag:
  • three copies of a list of her medications, including dosage and frequency and a summary of her medical issues.  You don't need a novel -- a paragraph is fine.  
  • three copies of your mom's basic info (social security number, birth date, address, and name and phone number of her treating physician);
  • three copies of any advance directives/living wills;
  • three copies of YOUR contact info;
  • Keep in mind that most doctors no longer treat their patients when hospitalized, so you will be responsible for the continuity of her care.  Give one copy of the above papers to the paramedics after they arrive, one copy to the nurse at the ER, and if your mom is admitted,  one copy to the nurse on the floor.  If you leave the ER before your mom is transferred to her room, tape a copy to her bed;
  • a photocopy of the front and back of her medicare and insurance cards for the hospital billing office;
  • a blanket for your mom and a sweater for you (it's ice cold in there); 
  • a paper cup (so you don't have to wait for a very busy nurse to give her something to drink;
  • an extra cell phone cord for your phone; and
  • some food for you and your mom.  
Depending on the nature of the emergency, you may not need some of these but they are good to have.

In addition, on the way out the door, I would grab some of my mom's pill bottles and would TELL the ER doctor or nurses that I was giving my mom her regularly scheduled pills (this is why bringing a plastic cup is useful).  ER docs don't order blood pressure, routine pain pills, or meds like that unless needed to cope with the reason for the emergency.  For example, my mom had gout and if she didn't take a particular pill every day,  it would flare up.  I learned the hard way how important it was that she stay on her regular pills.

The docs never objected and often told me that I was smart for bringing them.  Just make sure you tell them in advance!

3.  Make peace with your sibling issues.  

It is not uncommon for one child to be the caretaker and watch siblings scatter to the wind.  Your brothers and sisters may refuse to help pay, may not have the money to help out, and/or may rarely visit or call.  Expect it.  If the opposite happens, rejoice. 

It is also not uncommon for the parent to idealize the non-helping kids.  It can be a source of tremendous resentment.  I kept my mouth shut about my siblings in front of my mom, although there came a time when I had to intervene so that what was left of her money stayed out of my brothers' hands.  But most of the time, I let it go.  You have enough going on without adding that to the mix.

4.  Speaking of money.  If you are taking care of your mom's finances, be prepared for someone to question where all the money went. 

It can be your mom, your siblings, or the government (if your mom needs Medicaid or other assistance).  Eventually, some one is going to want to know where the money went and he or she will be looking at you.  There is plenty to spend it on.  But, keep good records, particularly if she sells her house or car.

5. Don't feel guilty over sometimes wondering when your mom will die. 
Yup.  It happens.  You aren't a murderer; you are a daughter.  A very tired daughter.

When a friend told me she googled her own mother's life expectancy because she couldn't imagine caring for her much longer, I realized that I wasn't the only one who sometimes wondered when my mom would die.  It helped to know I wasn't a bad person for thinking like this.

Don't waste your time feeling guilty for these feelings.  When my mom died, I was both devastated and relieved.  I was relieved that she was no longer so miserable.  But a part of me was also relieved that I was no longer consumed with her care.

Now that my mom is gone, parts of my life are much better, but I still miss her so much, much more than I thought I would when I was in the middle of it all.  We love our moms, but we are human and complicated. 

There will come a time when the care taking ends and all that will have mattered is how you acted, not how you felt. And you will miss those days (well, some of them) and your mom.  A lot. 

May 6, 2015

Winner of Essentials by Ellen Blog Hop Contest

The winner of the Amazing Women set is Martha Miller, who wrote "My fav is the packaging. "  I agree, it was my fav too!

Martha, please email me at with your name, email and address.  Congrats and thanks to all the amazing women who commented!

May 4, 2015

Remember Mulberry Paper? Remember Mules?

Sometimes one thing leads to another.

Found an unopened package of  Stampin Up mulberry paper.  Why I saved this when I did my huge purge a few years ago puzzles me, but I'm glad I did as I love the transparent paper with fibers. 

The mulberry paper reminded me of feathers, which reminded me of these "mules"


that women used to wear, which reminded me of the cute shoes Julie designed as part of her Twelve Days Christmas set (oh, it is not just a Christmas set) .

Maybe all of you are wearing these mules with your negligee as you whip up a bacon and egg breakfast for the family every morning, but I'm wearing my LL Bean "Wicked Good Slippers"

with my snuggly bathrobe, and eating non fat Fage yogurt and a banana with honey. 

So, back to Mother's Day. 

(Sorry I don't have a photo of the entire card and I already mailed the card to my awesome MIL.  As you can see, it wasn't a good photo day).  Stamped the shoes on white linen paper and colored with Copics. 

The cute sentiment on the front of the card (and the inside, which says "Happy Mother's Day") are from the 12 Days Companion Greetings sentiment set.

That peek of golden paper under the stamped layer is from Pink Paislee's Bella Rouge 12 x 12 collection. 

MOOD WHEN DONE =  A Little Retro