Mar 29, 2019

More Learning Through Inspiration and a Life Update

My latest Learning Through Inspiration, studying Jill Foster, is up on the Penny Black blog. You can find it on this post.  Would love if you checked it out!

Life Update

If you follow me on Instagram or Facebook you may know that I got a cardiac defibrillator* implanted this week. It's a long story as to why I decided to go down this route again, but ultimately my doctors convinced me that it could prolong my life.

I decided that I could live with the anxiety of my heart stopping, or live with the anxiety of the ICD going off by mistake (that's happened to me with a prior ICD and it is horrible) or causing a life threatening infection. We all face hard choices and this was a hard one, but I'm glad I did it.

I am enormously grateful for the gift of life. All of us have a limited amount of time and the opportunity to possibly prolong my time is worth the pain and risk of getting and having an ICD.

I have limited use of my left arm for the next few weeks (there's a wire from the ICD near my left collar bone into my heart and I can't risk dislodging it until it heals). Plus, pain! I'll be up on the Penny Black blog next Tuesday with a prewritten post, but other than that, I'm not sure how long a break I'll take from stamping. Hopefully, not too long!

* An internal cardioverter defibrillator, known as an ICD, is placed in your body surgically. In the event you go into a fatal heart rhythm, it will shock your heart and usually terminate the fatal heart rhythm.

Mar 20, 2019

Winners of the RBG Birthday Blog Hop!

The following people won prizes!

Kelly Purkey set: Cornelia 
Kelly Purkey set: Glennis 

Hero Arts set: SmilynStef 
Hero Arts set: Helen Kolb 

Congratulations and please email me your full names and addresses. My email is  If I do not hear from you in the next few days I will have to track you down and I will leave a trail of glitter on your doorstep...

Mar 19, 2019

Learning Through Inspiration: Jill Foster (Day One)

My Learning Through Inspiration series continues today on the Penny Black blog. You can find my post here. Would love if you checked it out. Here's a snippet of the card I made inspired by the card artist Jill Foster.

I  had recently purchased a bunch of Penny Black stamps in anticipation of doing a series on the amazing Jill Foster when Jill reached out to me on behalf of Penny Black to do a series on its blog. Thanks so much to Jill and Penny Black for providing me with additional new products from its Timeless series.

I'll be back on the Penny Black blog two more times, but I'll be sharing a lot more Penny Black here.

If you are new to my blog, welcome. You can find more about this series here.

A New Series: Learning Through Inspiration
Learning Through Inspiration: Yana Smakula (Day One)
Learning Through Inspiration: Yana Smakula (Day Two)
Learning Through Inspiration: Yana Smakula (Day Three)
Learning Through Inspiration: Laura Bassen (Day One)
Learning Through Inspiration: Laura Bassen (Day Two)
Learning Through Inspiration: Laura Bassen (Day Three)
Learning Through Inspiration: Natasha Valkovskaya (Day One)
Learning Through Inspiration: Natasha Valkovskaya (Day Two)
Learning Through Inspiration: Jill Foster (Day One) on Penny Black blog

MOOD WHEN DONE: EEEK. I'm pretty excited. I love writing and I love stamping and the opportunity to write in my own voice on a company blog has been a goal of mine. And for it to be Penny Black is a super dream come true! I hope you enjoy the series.

Mar 15, 2019

Happy Birthday Justice Ginsburg

Today is Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg's 86th birthday and, along with a few friends, we are celebrating with a little blog hop and giveaway!

My reasons for wanting to participate in this blog hop are below. But before the chat -- the card and the hop!

Isn't this fun? The PERFECT set.

Used Kelly Purkey's Wonderful Women set, which Kelly kindly sent to me. (Honestly, I wasn't super familiar with Kelly's stamp designs but once I saw them, I now have another wish list! I think my favorite is Littles.)

Made the background with a stamp from Flora & Fauna's Texture Two (I cut the stamp to get the size I wanted) and stamped with Wild Honey, Picked Raspberry and Wilted Violet Distress Oxide inks.

Blog Hop and Giveaway

Here's a list of the other wonderful women participating in this Happy Birthday hop.

Joan Bardee (me)
Michele Ferguson 

Kelly Purkey and Hero Arts each donated 2 stamps sets for us to give away. Hero Arts donated Dare to Dream and Kelly Purkey donated 2 copies of Wonderful Women (link above). Thank you!  

Winners will be chosen from all the comments on the hop made through March 19th, 11:59ET.  Winners will be announced on this blog and Coni Longley's blog a few days later. 

Why Celebrate Justice Ginsburg's Birthday?

Of course I've known who Justice Ginsburg is since she was sworn in on the Supreme Court, and perhaps a little before then.

But I really never gave her much thought, and I didn't know anything about her -- until I saw On The Basis of Sex. I was stunned to find myself crying through the whole movie. The movie has some sad and difficult moments, and it has a David v Goliath theme, but it isn't what I would call a tear jerker.  

So why cry through the whole movie?

The concept of "equality" is a bit of a fiction. We are all born into vastly different circumstances -- some die from a lack of medical care shortly after birth; others live as princes. And throughout our lives, things happen that result in an uneven playing field. A job applicant with no way to get to the interview, a kid who has to take care of her siblings because her parents are addicted to drugs, a foster child, a child who gets cancer, a victim of a crime -- a million things happen over which we have no control.

Life is unfair and makes for an uneven playing field.

But the one thing that shouldn't stand in the way of opportunity, of jobs, or access to school, or a place to live -- is our law. We may not be able to fix all, or even most, of life's problems, our laws shouldn't make life harder.

Ruth Ginsburg argued that a law that prevented a man who was taking care of his sick mother from using from a tax break only because he was male should be struck down as discrimination on the basis of gender.

She won and that was huge. She leveled the playing field for men who wanted to stay home and take care of a sick parent.

That case, shown in the movie, reminded me of the battles that have been fought over the years by Justice Ginsburg and others like her to make sure our laws don't make our lives harder than they already are.

I didn't cry during the movie because I've faced sex discrimination in my life (I have, but I dealt with it). Rather, it reminded me of other, more difficult battles, that I overcame, but only with help from others. The movie's portrayal of one woman overcoming her own personal battles and fighting for others reminded me of those battles and those victories. Thus, the happy and wistful tears.

Most of us just take care of our own business every day. But people like Justice Ginsburg fight for others. We need those people. They do the heavy lifting for the rest of us.

Thank you, Justice Ginsburg and I hope you are having a wonderful birthday.


Edited to add:  Kelly Purkey has a freebie related to RGB in her newsletter today. You can find it here

Mar 13, 2019

Thinking About Sentiments

I love this sentiment from Right at Home's Grateful Heart. I used it along with Mondo Magnolia, designed by Julie Ebersole for Ellen Hutson, to make this quick card.

I'm very picky about sentiments. I have to believe them to use them -- which is why you will rarely see me using a sentiment that says something along the lines of "everything will be all right" or "all you need is love" when it is clear we need a lot more than love. I understand the kind intent behind sentiments like this, but there are many times when everything is not all right or we really need an antibiotic or a reinker. Reality!

I almost feel this way about this sentiment. Gratitude doesn't change everything. It doesn't cure cancer or heart disease or famine or the problem with airplanes falling out of the sky. But gratitude sure helps (a lot) to cope with bad things. The older I get the more I hang on to gratitude.

So I'm voting yes for "gratitude changes everything" even though it doesn't really. And yes, this is how my brain works -- as my mom once said to me "you think way too much about stuff that doesn't matter." 


Mar 11, 2019

Christmas Layered Poinsettias

Love the look of layered stamps, but I still find it hard to line up most floral images. That's why I love the Penny Black series of brushstroke stamps. If you use them with a stamp positioner, like the MISTI or Tim Holtz one, layering is a breeze.

To make this card, I followed the suggestions that Jill Foster makes in her videos on using these stamps -- use small ink cubes or dye markers and a stamp positioner.  For each set of flowers I colored the image with a lighter Tombow marker followed by the darker one on some parts of the flowers. Because the stamp stays in the positioner, you can add the darker layer effortlessly. I did the same for the leaves with 2 green markers. Used a gold pen to add some color to the center of the flowers.

I did not add any water, but misting the stamp while inked, or painting with a slightly wet brush, will give a more watercolored look. Both styles are gorgeous.

Supplies:  Penny Black Le Fleur Rouge (I've held on to this beauty for a while and will not be getting rid of it!); Penny Black Yuletide Wishes; Tombow Markers 803, 856, 249, and 133; Arches hot press watercolor paper; Versafine Onyx ink; gold pen.

MOOD WHEN DONE: Very happy! My minor hand surgery went fine and I only missed a couple of days of stamping.

Plus, I love this card and now I have ONE Christmas card done for 2019. Thanks to my friend Leslie Miller for inspiring me to get started early on Christmas.

Mar 5, 2019

Winner of Giveaway

I had my husband pick a number and he chose #3! So, Ginger Na is the winner of my box of supplies.  Ginger, please email me at and I'll get the box out to you.

Thanks everyone for playing. Loved reading your crafty wish lists! 

Mar 4, 2019

Using Older Products

Every six months or so I go through all my craft supplies and decide what to keep. This is the only way I feel comfortable with the hobby. I don't like things that I cannot find or a big mess. I do the same thing with my clothes and kitchen stuff. Inevitably, I find things that I forgot I had -- it's like shopping with no cost!

This weekend I found 2 dies -- this ornate frame (manufacturer unknown) from Altenew's New Day Card Kit, and this beautiful flower and leaves die from Penny Black -- and decided it was time to use them or giveaway. Using them won. Thank you to several folks who identified the die! It's a keeper.

I originally die cut a gold glitter frame and wanted to make a few layers to adhere together. I used an Altenew Chocolate Brown alcohol marker to color a white frame to put behind the glitter one (I didn't want white peeking out). The colored frame looked a little like wood and I decided to use it this way (I made 2 layers.)

Die cut the flowers and leave from the backside of some hotpress watercolor paper disaster. Added color with Zig Clean Color pens and a waterbrush. Then added Wink of Stella clear glitter pen over the flowers. Love that shine!

The sentiment is from an older Altenew Set -- Label Love.

Everything's popped up with foam tape, which brings the design some life.

MOOD WHEN DONE: Great. I'm almost done going through my stash and it's such a good feeling to see empty boxes and plastic sleeves and more space.

Later this week I'm having a very minor procedure on one of my hands, so I may be out of commission for a couple of days (milking it to avoid cooking!).

Mar 2, 2019

Gratitude Giveaway

Very grateful for all my readers and commenters. Decided it's time (again) to clean out and want to share with one of my readers. In order to keep the postage down, I've got to limit this to US addresses.

EDITED: Looks like I'm also adding a few other items!

Mar 1, 2019

Springtime Card

I die cut the beautiful, beautiful, beautiful Pinkfresh Studio Folklore cover plate 3 times with white cardstock and, using spray adhesive, glued them together and then adhered them to a white card. I then die cut again with Gina K Passionate Pink and Paper Source Mint cardstocks. Then I took my sweet time gluing all those pink and green pieces. The sentiment is from Altenew.

There are easier ways to use this beautiful cover plate and I'll use them soon. But in the meantime, this was fun. For reasons I can't figure out, some of the pink or green pieces would slide right into their slots and others had to be pushed in with a pick -- that left some marks on a few of the pieces but I'm hoping the recipient doesn't notice (or care!).

MOOD WHEN DONE:  Longing for spring! It's cold and gray again today in Dallas. Guarantee that in about 3 months I'll be whining about it being too hot. What is it about the weather that affects us so much??