Aug 31, 2016

Treat Boxes

Made a bunch of these the other day for some little kids.

The clear tiny treat boxes (2 x 2) are from Stampin Up and a snap to put together (no adhesive needed -- just fold). Made a tag with a square die and stamped some fun items from Clear and Simple Stamps. The sentiment is part of a mini incentive (free) stamp with purchase for August.  The candy image is from a set that I do not think is still available.

These would make cute party favors. Or fill with Halloween candy for a party.  Or, grown up candies! The boxes are small, but would fit a delicious truffle sitting on some shredded paper. I'm stopping now because this is making me hungry.

MOOD WHEN DONE = Proud I didn't eat a single jelly bean!

Aug 30, 2016

My Extra Arm

Not stamping related! If you are looking for some awesome stamping, check here, here, or here.


Lately I've found myself in a dizzying amount of medical offices -- all related to essentially nothing, just the usual "wear and tear" stuff for anyone in her 60s. It's like all of a sudden my body said "Hey she's retired. She has time to go to the doctor. Let's throw random pain and swelling all around." (Note - Good health is precious. I am very grateful to have it.)

Of course, every ailment comes with a scan or some other test. So the medical visits have multiplied. And each medical visit includes filling out forms. I've written my name and address, and checked boxes guaranteeing payment and acknowledging the receipt of some privacy stuff (that I've never actually received and do not want) so many times, that I started to wonder. Does anyone read these forms once they are completed?  In particular, does anyone read the medical history part?  Why am I reporting my medications and surgery and the fact that I've never smoked if no one reads this stuff?

So a few weeks ago, I got amused and wrote under "reason for visit," "I have an extra arm." I handed the forms to the receptionist and sat back to wait to be seen. The longer I waited, the more nervous I got. Would they throw me out?  Write down some psych diagnosis? Order an x-ray of the extra arm?

No, because no one read the paperwork. I left the doctor feeling pretty smug. Not once did he ask about my extra arm! I knew it! I had won my little game in my pathetic little life. 

When I was checking out, the receptionist gave me a code to set up an online medical records account. I declined, not wanting my medical records online - I don't want Russia hacking my account and telling everyone how much I weigh. She explained "Your records are already online. This is how you see your test results and how the doctor will communicate with you." So  I set up the account and got access to my records. Awesome!!!! A neurotic's dream. Stamping would have to wait. I was too busy reading my creatine, BUN, potassium and calcium levels and spending all day with Dr. Google figuring out how many years I have left. 

But then I saw that there is a section in my online medical records that includes my "medical history." Apparently, someone somehow got the idea that I have an extra arm and entered "extra arm" in my online medical records. Unfortunately, this is a real medical condition.  Is there some stamping technique I could pull off with this extra arm?  Wash the dishes and read a book at the same time?

The nuns in elementary school warned us that if we lied, God would pay us back in kind. (This is why, in 38 years of lawyering, I never called in sick unless I was really sick.) Would another arm sprout overnight? Then I got really nervous. Our local hospital is part of that medical record system. What if I was in an accident and they started looking for my extra arm? I imagined all sorts of scans while I lay unconscious. And what if they started asking Mike about my extra arm?? (Do you do this? Do you play out in your head all the crazy stuff that could happen in your life? Glad to know I'm not alone.)

Luckily, there was a way I could edit some of the information, so I edited the extra arm reference. But there was no way to remove the reference entirely. It looked like I had an extra arm, but got it removed.

UGH. So I swallowed my pride and called up the doctor's office and asked them to remove the reference. They did not appear to have a sense of humor, but I checked and my records are now correct.

I think I need to find another doctor....

Aug 22, 2016

Hero Arts 2016 Winter Catalog Blog Hop

Can you handle some winter inspiration? Hey, it's 124 days until Christmas! 3 months until the blazing hot sun and humidity that is the curse of my days turns to snow and ice that is the curse of my days.... have to love the seasons!

Lots of very talented designers, and one average joe, are sharing projects today made with products from the new Hero Arts Winter Catalog. Hero Arts will be giving away three $25 gift certificates selected from comments made on the blog hop (more on the hop below).

I'm sharing two cards -- one featuring the new Hero Arts Origami Happy Holidays stamp set and one featuring the coordinating dies, Origami Holiday Frame Cuts.  They are also available as a bundle. Chose to work with these products because they are fun and versatile. The card below could easily be a birthday card by changing the sentiment. Love that. Expect to see more projects on this blog with these items.

For the first card, I stamped the crystal (or ornament) repeatedly on watercolor paper, painted them with Tombow markers and water, and cut out each crystal. Didn't use the die because I did not want the frame around each image. Added Wink of Sella glitter. Adhered the layer to a Hero Arts Floral Mix Folded Card. (The inside of these cards are white and, therefore, look so professional.) Thought about adding sequins but decided that the chances of ruining this were close to 100%!

See?  Super cute images.

Here's a close up, with 4 of the crystals popped up.

For the next card, I imagined some airy, pretty thing. Not sure I got the look I was going for, but I still like it.

Used the reindeer die to make a shiny green foil deer because stampers can make shiny green deer, or polka dot deer, or anything we want, right?

Hard to capture green foil.

Love polka dots! Used Essentials by Ellen Bokeh Dots to make the background, but the back of any round stamps will also work.

Hero Arts is giving away three $25 gift certificates, drawn from comments left across all blogs in the hop.  For your chance, leave a comment below by 11:59PT on 8/28/16. The winner's name will be randomly selected by Hero Arts and posted on the Hero Arts blog. Good luck!

So, who else is in this big stamparella? Some major talent, that's who!

The Hero Arts Blog 
Jennifer McGuire
Kathy Racoosin
Wanda Guess
Lydia Fiedler
Alice Wertz
Amy Tan
Cheiron Brandon
Debbie Olson
Laura Bassen
Debby Hughes
Heather Ruwe
Ilina Crouse
Isha Gupta
Jenn Shurkus
Jessica Frost-Ballas
Joan Bardee
Karin Akesdotter
Yana Smakula
Kelly Rasmussen
Amy Tsuruta
Clare Prezzia
Mariana Grigsby
May Sukyong Park
Libby Hickson

 There is some serious eye candy in this hop.

MOOD WHEN DONE = Love these products!

Aug 17, 2016

10 Steps to an Organized Craft Room

A Dear Paperlicious Exclusive ***

Every once in a while Dear Paperlicious gets such a fantastic idea that 
it must be shared at no cost to her readers, although $$ happily accepted.  

Today is that day!!!

Is this your craft room after you've cleaned it up?

Out of storage space for your supplies? 
Using a hodgepodge of second hand furniture and cheap wobbly tables? 
Need more electrical outlets and counter space? 
Tired of separating yourself from the family while crafting? (Um, why?) 

Turn Your Kitchen Into Your Craft Room in Ten Easy Steps
  1. Empty the kitchen of everything and sell or donate to charity, or put on your neighbor's front lawn. You won't be cooking anymore. Out goes the fine china, the everyday china, the mismatched mugs, pots and pans, glasses, bread maker, blender, food processor, mixer, kids' report cards, toaster, silverware, slotted spoons, cake pans, strainers, measuring cups and spoons, spatulas, baking sheets, the food, the drinks, etc. In other words, everything. (Amy, keep the coffee maker. Susan, keep a wine glass.)
  2. Donate dishwasher and stove to charity. You won't be needing these overpriced, useless appliances. Feel your mood lift.
  3. Fill space left by dishwasher and stove with additional cabinets or drawers and counter space.
  4. Take a cleansing breath, and make a list of lunch and dinner delivery options. Purchase paper plates, hot and cold cups, napkins, cutlery, and plastic trash bags. Store somewhere handy. (You and the fam can skip breakfast, or put Dunkin Donuts in your freezer. Use as needed.) 
  5. Purchase Sharpies in your favorite colors.
  6. Store all supplies (except those covered in #8) in your now freed-up kitchen cabinets.
  7. Mark each cabinet and drawer with the contents using a nice big bold Sharpie right on the front. Cheap and easy! Plus, this is going to UP the value of your home when it is time to sell.
  8. Store electric craft supplies, such as your heat gun, waffle maker, Big Shot Express, Minc, Fuse, lamps, camera battery, smartphone, etc. on your now empty kitchen craft room counters, near electrical outlets. Here's an example of what you can expect once you are done:

Such an improvement, no?

    9. Do you have one of those fancy islands in your kitchen?  Well, Gilligan, this is the perfect spot for stamping -- nice and stable and waterproof! If you don't have an island, get one.
   10. Since you no longer are grocery shopping, cooking, cleaning the kitchen, or planning meals, you have HOURS free for crafting! Enjoy!

*** As always, if you are taking this seriously, you are in the wrong place!

But, speaking of serious, I am a huge fan of Jennifer McGuire. I love her videos and card creations. They are easy to follow, and she makes beautiful and clever cards. But I especially LOVE her organizational videos. If you really want to get organized, follow her tips!

And, Jennifer has a new instagram feed, entiteld myworkinghome, devoted to chronicling the design of her new craft space. It's so fun watching the room design from the beginning. (It's like watching Fixer Upper -- even if you aren't going to design a room that lovely, you can pick up a ton of good ideas).

Hope your week is going well!

Aug 11, 2016

Bouquet Die

Don't know about you, but I hate to use a stamp set or die only a few times, only to be tossed aside by the latest and greatest. Just don't have the space or $$ for a constant stream of new stuff. Now, don't get me wrong, I very much enjoy purchasing a few new things every once in a while. still buy too much, but I'm working on that. So, I've had this die for months and decided it was time to use it again. And I'm glad I did!

Love products that are versatile, and this Concord & 9th's Bouquet Die* fits that bill. Sympathy, wedding, birthday, love you, whatever -- this die works.

  • Adhered half of card front with patterned paper (a friend gave it to me and I do not know the manufacturer, but isn't it fun? Love how the circles have a little pattern on them).  
  • Die cut the card front and set aside the die cut.
  • Made a tag with Concord & 9th's Bags & Tags die.
  • Stamped "YOU" from Essentials by Ellen Totally Awesome* and a heart from Concord & 9th's Beautiful Words*.
  • Tied the tag around the die with twine and adhered onto the card.

Note: items with an * means that I did not pay for the item. (Decided that I need to be more clear on what was provided to me at no cost.)

MOOD WHEN DONE = Delighted

Aug 8, 2016

Affiliate Marketing in the Papercrafting World

Over the past few months I've received affiliate marketing offers from some of my favorite online vendors. While I was thrilled to get the offers, I turned them all down. I wasn't sure why I turned them down, but I think I've figured it out. Thought I'd discuss the issue and would love to know your thoughts on the topic in general.

What is affiliate marketing in the papercrafting world?  

The offers I received went like this. I link to a product at a specific vendor site, and if you click on my link, and then make a purchase of that product within the terms of the affiliate agreement, I get a percentage of the sale. The terms include things like how long it took you to purchase the product. For example, if I link to a stamp set on August 1st, I could get a commission if you purchase it from that vendor within 10, 20, 30, 45 days, etc.  You pay the same amount to the vendor regardless of whether you purchase through an affiliate link.

Can you make money participating in affiliate marketing?

I think so. I base this on a conversation with one crafter who told me she is making a serious amount of money through affiliate marketing. I didn't have the nerve to ask what "serious" meant! Plus, a lot of bloggers are doing it, and it does take a bit of time, so they must be doing it for a reason.


Yes!!!  This is an awesome development for crafty bloggers. Companies pay bloggers directly in a variety of ways -- cash, product, discounts, or some combination. Affiliate marketing is yet another way companies can reward bloggers for their hard work.

I think of affiliate marketing as profit sharing by the vendor.  It rewards bloggers for their hard work and their talent. And it provides vendors a way to bring more customers to their shop. I like that too. It's a win win.

But I Said No Anyway....

It has taken me a few months to sort this out. Here's how it would work if I did I affiliate marketing:

  • endless internal debates on which products to use and to link 
  • internal pressure to post more
  • paralysis over whether my stuff is "good enough"
  • constant checking to see if I was making any money
  • worry if lack of money meant my work was horrible
  • spending more to get more clicks 
  • not keeping good tax records (see Stamping Destroyed My Life!!!)
I think you see where my mind is....

So good luck to crafty bloggers. You work hard and I'm delighted if you are earning some money along the way. And thank you to crafty vendors for this development. You also work hard.

Now, back to crafting!

Aug 5, 2016

Gina K Designs: Fine Feathers Designed by Claire Brennan

This card is going to an amazing woman who has been suffering from Stage 4 breast cancer for over four years.  The cancer spread before her initial diagnosis. Yet, she continues to dream and hope and find joy in life.

The feathers are from a beautiful Gina K Designs set called Fine Feathers, designed by Claire Brennan. The sentiment is from a no longer available Waltzingmouse set called Funky Feathers.  Inks by Altenew.

Used this Jennifer McGuire technique to make sure all the feathers were lined up perfectly.  That woman is a genius...  Adhered the top panel to an A2 card.


Aug 4, 2016

Let's Have Coffee!

Love this adorable set designed by Claire Brennan for Gina K Designs. It's called Petite Patissierie. I have a lot of ideas for this set as my husband loves to go to a bakery shop in our neighborhood, and we learned recently that a new one is popping up 1/2 block from our home. This could be trouble!

Patterned paper is from last year's Stampin Up catalog. 

MOOD WHEN DONE = I went through 7 versions of this card, making errors all along the way. This was the only one that emerged from the disaster that is now my craft room. When this happens I contemplate selling off all my supplies. Do you go through this?  In any event, I'm almost happy with the card! 

Aug 1, 2016

Combining Pencils, Copics, and Water Based Markers

It's the kitchen sink approach for those of us with less than stellar coloring skills.

You can (carefully) use Copics without bleeding through cardstock like 80# Neenah Solar White! Love one layer cards.

  • Stamp images (masking where needed) with a Copic friendly ink. I used Hero Arts Intense. Memento Tuxedo and a few others will work.
  • Color with colored pencils first. I used Prismacolor.
  • Blend with Copic markers. Copics will melt the colored pencils and blend them. Easier than gamsol or baby oil.
  • The wax of the pencils will prevent the Copics from bleeding through to the back side of the cardstock if you use the Copics lightly.  
  • If you are concerned that this technique will ruin your Copics, test it out first. I've done this before and they are fine. I just wipe off the marker on paper. 
  • Add highlights (yellow is perfect for plants, but I also used the others pictured) with a water based marker (I used Tombow). In fact I used more pencils than are pictured. I was experimenting and just having fun.

LOVE this Sweet Succulents set from My Favorite Things. It's a keeper!

Would love to know if you try this and what you think of your results.