Jul 20, 2015

My Annual Blog Break and Clean Up on Aisle Three

I'll be back for sure to post as the Muse for the Muse Challenge Blog on August 3rd....and then for sure by Labor Day or sooner!  Until then, I thought I'd share how retirement is going.

Last Thursday, I was at Target checking out Dirt Devils v. Shark mini vacuum cleaners, because there is a lot of dirt that needs sucking up around here, when a young woman with two kids stops and starts talking to me.  She shares a story about her schedule, her kids, how hard it is to juggle her life. 

This woman is a stranger. 

I feel funny that her kids are hearing her say how hard it is to take care of them and work and have her husband have different days off, so I assure her that I remember those days of running from cooking to working to driving to homework to everything.   I told her that all of a sudden it will end, and she and her husband will be alone and I promise she will look back on those days and miss them because her kids were with her.  That they will grow up and leave and her days will be very quiet.

So I choke up and she chokes up.  Two of us are in the mini vacuum aisle with tears in our eyes.

(Do men approach total strangers and share their stresses and cry in Target?  No, they have heart attacks and drink too much beer.)

That conversation could not have happened even 6 months ago.  I would have been at the office on a Thursday, and I paid someone else to clean my house.  I was stressed out commuting and working and all that.  I was surrounded by things to do.  In fact, every day had a work and a home To Do List.  If that woman had approached me back then I would have joined her.

Almost 4 months into retirement, I am more restless than I anticipated.  I thought I would stamp and blog almost every day, that all the paperwork in this house would have been filed by now, and everything would be organized and clean and lovely.  I thought I would cook real meals rather than my usual mediocre meals.  I thought I a lot of things!

Apparently, I like having a list of things to do that doesn't just include organizing paperwork and cleaning and cooking and stamping and blogging and volunteering one afternoon a week.

Who knew?  A friend of mine warned me that retirement is a process.  I am so lucky to be part of this process as I do not miss going to the office.  In the meantime,  while I figure out a new To Do List, I am headed out of town this week without the husband.  I'm sure the lady in Target would enjoy the trip and I hope she gets to take it someday.  Until then, I hope she can enjoy the juggle, hard as it is.

ps.  I got the Dirt Devil and it does suck up a lot of stuff!

Jul 19, 2015

Muse Challenge #124

The fabulously talented Ardyth is the Muse this week and provided a gorgeous summery card full of white flowers and glittery yellow centers against a green and blue background.  You can find Ardyth's card here.  My card focused on the just the white flower with the glittery yellow center.



  • Simon Says Stamp Summer Garden stamp and dies
  • Papertrey Ink Mini Blooms stamp set (sentiment)
  • Leaf die (source unknown)
  • Memento Tuxedo Ink
  • Yellow and Green Copic Markers
  • Big Shot
  • Papertrey Ink Soft Stone cardstock and patterned paper
  • Green and white cardstocks
  • Dimensionals and adhesive
  • Paper trimmer
  • Scor Pal
  • Silver embellishments (source unknown)
  • A2 card 
  • Wink of Stella clear glitter pen

1.  Stamp and die cut flower and color center with yellow Copic markers.
2.  Die cut leaves using green cardstock and color with green and yellow Copic markers to add depth.
3.  Trim Soft Stone polka dot patterned paper to cover front of A2 card (I trim a bit larger).
4.  Run A2 card with the patterned paper adhered to it through the Big Shot to flatten and then trim patterned paper to match A2 card.
5.  Trim Soft Stone cardstock to 3.75 x 5.
6.  Place die cuts on Soft Stone cardstock.  Fiddle until you like it and stamp sentiment.
7.  Adhere leaves and flower as shown, popping up flower with dimensionals.
8.  Paint yellow centers with Wink of Stella glitter pen.
9.  Add silver dimensionals and hope you don't ruin card. 
10.  Smile, the hobby is great!


Jul 15, 2015

Inner Light

Joan Bardee Dear Paperlicious

This heart is shiny!

Want To Make This Card?

  • Heart Diamonds by The Ton
  • White Linen Cardstock (Ellen Hutson)
  • A2 White Card
  • Bella Rouge Patterned Paper by Pink Paisless
  • Encore Silver Pigment Ink 
  • Silver Embossing Powder
  • Mod Podge Dimensional Magic
  • Scissors
  • Paper Trimmer
  • Adhesive
  • Clear and Simple Stamps A2 Envelope Die
  • Tombow Pink Marker

1.  Stamp heart stamp in Versamark and emboss in silver.  Cut by hand. 
2.  Color heart with a pale pink marker in just a few places.
3.  Cover heart with Dimensional Magic and set aside to dry.
4.  Trim patterned paper.
5.  Make A2 card.
6.  Trim white linen panel and stamp sentiment on  panel with silver ink.
7.  Assemble all as shown.
8.  Die cut envelope liner from same paper pad.  Prefer to use paper other than the one on the card.  The coordinating contrast is more interesting than matchy matchy. 
9.  Contemplate whether you are letting your inner light show.
10.  Mail card to sweet someone who is embarking on a new stage in life.

MOOD WHEN DONE = Trying to remember what my inner light looks like

Jul 12, 2015

Muse: Christmas Visions Challenge and Waltzingmouse

Christmas?  Why yes, I think so.  I so love this ornament set (linked below) by Waltzingmouse.  It is one of my all time favorite sets and you'll be seeing way more of it this year.

Inspired by this card in the Muse: Christmas Visions challenge blog.  Isn't that a fun card?

Joan Bardee Dear Paperlicious

My card has a very different feel than the challenge card, but I used the green, blue, and red color combination -- something I wouldn't have thought of without the challenge.  So thank you Chriss Blagrave for the inspiration.

And because Christmas is the perfect time to go all gold and glittery, there is a healthy dose of clear Wink of Stella on the ornaments and a bunch of gold paint flecked on the background and painted on parts of the ornaments.  


  • Waltzingmouse 2011 Holiday Ornaments
  • Simon Says Stamp Peace on Earth (sentiment)
  • Ranger Distress Inks (Peeled Paint, Fired Brick, Faded Jeans, and Frayed Burlap)
  • Ranger Black Archival Ink
  • Watercolor paper, paint brush, water
  • Kuretake Gansai Tambi watercolor paints (black and gold)
  • Gold thread (pulled off the edge of this paper ribbon)
  • Ranger Multi Medium, Matte
  • Scissors
  • Paper Trimmer
  • Scor Pal
  • Big Shot (to flatten watercolor paper and the card)
  • Cream cardstock cut and scored to an A2 card 
  • Masking Paper 
  • Dimensionals

1.  Trim watercolor paper to 5.25" x 4".
2.  Run through Big Shot to flatten.
3.  Stamp ornament onto masking paper twice and cut out by hand. 
4.  Stamp ornament as shown onto watercolor paper with Peeled Paint.  Color with wet paint brush, adding more Peeled Paint and a bit of Frayed Burlap to darken the bottom.
5.  Let dry.  Seriously, walk away and find whatever is missing from your craft room. 
6.  Mask green ornament and stamp second ornament with Fired Brick.  Repeat #4 (using Fired Brick and Frayed Burlap) and #5.  There's probably a pile of stuff to put away.  It will only take a few minutes to dry.
7.  Mask both ornanments and stamp 3rd ornament with Faded Jeans. Repeat the paint/let dry/clean up routine. 
8.  Dab gold paint on the top of ornament and add a little to the bottom and sides of ornaments.
9.  Mask/cover ornaments and flick wet black paint and wet gold paint to create trendy speckled background.  Think you are a genius.
10.  Realize you are copying hundreds of geniuses and revert to feelings of inferiority.
11.  LET DRY.  Clean up that pile of scraps!
12.  Stamp sentiment and pray you don't mess up a couple of hours of work.
13. Sigh with relief.
14.  Strip gold from paper ribbon, cut, tie and adhere 3 bows.
15.  Make A2 card, score, and run through Big Shot folded to flatten.
16.  Adhere panel with dimensionals to A2 card. 
17.  Show to well trained husband, who obligingly approves.

 MOOD WHEN DONE = Peaceful

Jul 8, 2015

Encouraging Sparkle

dear paperlicious Joan Bardee

Love this sentiment -- perfect for encouraging someone, and I know someone who could use a little encouragment. 


  • Waltzingmouse Your Sparkle
  • PTI Soft Stone Cardstock
  • Hero Arts White Ink Dauber
  • Stencil with dots (??)
  • Pink Tombow marker
  • Impress Fresh Ink Fushia
  • Ranger Crystal Stickles
  • Paper Trimmer
  • Scor Pal 
  • Blue painter's masking tape

1.  Cut and score cardstock to make A2 card.
2.  Tape stencil onto front of card.
3.  Press white ink with dauber onto some of the dots in the lower right corner of the card.
4.  Let dry a bit and then rub over with pink marker.  Why?  It seemed artsy.
5.  Wipe off pink marker on scrap paper to remove white ink.
6.  Remove stencil and clean right away.  Just do it!!
7.  Stamp sentiment.
8.  Add stickles
9.  Now that was easy.

MOOD WHEN DONE =  Rethinking using Soft Stone on this card.  Maybe better in white? Why do we second guess every single stupid thing?  That's rhetorical -- no answers needed!

Jul 6, 2015

Muse Challenge #123: Sweet Thing

dear paperlicious joan bardee

I'm the "muse" on the Muse Challenge Blog this week. You are cordially invited to make a card inspired by mine and link it up over the next week on the Muse blog.

Lots of possibilities here -- the centered image, the black/white/red/green color combo, fruit, patterned paper as the back drop, scalloped die, whatever. 

And because Wink of Stella glitter pen + cherries --


  • Simon Says Stamp You're So Sweet and Best Mom Ever stamp sets
  • Waltzingmouse Scalloped Stitched Rectangle Die
  • Stampin Up Bitty Banners Framelits Die
  • Memento Tuxedo and Versamark Inks
  • Scor pal
  • White embossing powder
  • Embossing buddy
  • Big Shot
  • Pink Paislee Bella Rouge patterned paper 
  • White, green, and red cardstocks
  • Heat gun
  • Signo white pen 
  • Dimensionals
  • Scissors 
  • Mono multi adhesive
  • Wink of Stella clear glitter pen
  • Paper Source envelope
  • Clear and Simple Stamps A2 envelope die
  • Paper trimmer
  • This is a fairly simple card, but look at all the supplies!!

1. Die cut patterned paper with scalloped stitched rectangle die.
2. Stamp cherries with black ink on the patterned paper, and again on the back of a scrap of white cardstock.  Color stems on the patterned paper with dark green marker.
3. Color cherries and leaves on white cardstock with Copics.  Draw white curved thing on the cherries with white pen and demand to be called an artist.  Cut out cherries and leaves by hand.  
4.  Make A2 white card.
5.  Color cherries with glitter pen.
6.  Rub embossing powder on scrap of red cardstock.
7. Stamp sentiment on red cardstock with Versamark and emboss with white embossing crack powder.
8.  Die cut sentiment.
9.  Assemble and adhere as shown, popping up cherries and leaves with dimensional something.
10.  Stamp green cardstock with circle.
11.  Die cut green cardstock for envelope liner.
12.  Adhere liner to envelope.
13. Think about getting an ice cream but not get an ice cream.
14.  Feel superior to all ice cream eaters.

MOOD WHEN DONE = Missing Ice Cream

Jul 1, 2015

Stamping Destroyed My Life: Prologue.

Stamping Destroyed My Life


Date:  May 14, 2014
To:  M
From: Andrew Farther
Subject:  PSR

See the attached.  Call me.


Presentence Report

Pursuant to Rule 32 of the Criminal Rules of Procedure, the Office of Probation submits the following Presentence Report for M.

Conviction: M was convicted on April 3, 2014 of 3 counts of violating US Code 1000000.54(B)(j)(iii)(A).

Defendant’s Criminal History: None

Defendant’s Social History:  DOB:  12/24/[redacted].  M was born in New Haven, Connecticut, the oldest of 4 children.  Her father was an accountant and her mother a homemaker.  M graduated from Johnson High with high honors, and Valonia University with a degree in journalism. M moved to Washington DC, and then Fairfax, Virginia shortly after graduation. 

M is married to John [redacted] for 34 years and has two children, Emmaline (known as Buffy), age 24, and Garrett (known as Garrett), age 22.  

M reports that, up until 2001, she had a very happy marriage but that the “stamping industry”, particularly “release nights” and “design team issues” destroyed her marriage. 

Defendant’s Employment History:  M was employed as an Administrative Assistant prior to the birth of her first child.  Since that time M states that she has been unemployed.  However, given the nature of her conviction, this is clearly not the case. 

Likelihood of Rehabilitation:  Poor.  M has almost no grasp of the seriousness of her crime; indeed, even after conviction, she maintains her innocence.  In her interview, M continues to blame others for what she calls her “situation”.   She provided a somewhat garbled statement to this office, which was consistent with her testimony at trial.  In summary, M reports:

On a sunny Saturday in 2001, M walked into her local craft store looking for a 3-sided piece of poster board for her son's science fair project.  On her way to the poster board, M's eye caught a display of little jars of brightly colored powder nestled in a neat little row.  Curious about the powders, M approached a saleswoman who pointed out that they were embossing powders and used to make greeting cards with shiny raised print.  M bought 14 bottles of embossing powders, a “rubber stamp”, paper, a heat gun, and special sticky ink, as that is what the saleswoman advised. Although M did not know it at the time, her walk into a craft store that day was her first step towards a lifetime of heartache and sorrow, because that is the day that M became a stamper.

The Probation Office fails to see how embossing powders and a practice known as “stamping” are to blame for M’s felonious behavior.  Of particular note is her reference to the heat gun, which also figured prominently in the trial.  M continues to place blame on others for her own crime, and therefore this Office does not believe she is a good candidate for rehabilitation. 

Furthermore, we do not recommend that M be sentenced to probation or community service, as urged by her counsel.  M’s counsel indicated that M was willing to teach “stamping” to homeless women as a way for those women to earn a marketable skill and so that those women could “save money on greeting cards.” 

While this Office agrees that “stamping” apparently saves money on greeting cards, and is a way to earn a living, M is not a candidate for such community service as it would require her to purchase additional stamping supplies, and, given the history of this case, that would not be in the best interest of the community.   

Sentencing Recommendation:  3 to 5 years


Date:  May 14, 2014
To:  Andrew Farther
From: M
Subject:  re:  PSR

This is bullshit.  3 to 5 YEARS????  Expect you to handle.  No time to call. 

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