Oct 22, 2019

Before and After: 2 Cards with The Ton's Poinsettia Wreath


Stamped The Ton's Poinsettia Wreath around the sides of an aqua card base, colored with Copics, and then restamped in Versamark and embossed in white. This technique is time consuming, as you have to work on one image at a time, but I love the results. Learned this technique from watching Yana Smakula's videos. HERE is a video where you can see how she stamps and image, colors it, then restamps it in sticky ink and embosses. 

But the sentiment is hard to see -- stamping it first and using a different color would have helped. Speaking of which....


Similar technique, although this time I stamped the sentiment first, used gold, and of course, a pink and red color scheme. Much easier to see the sentiment.


As you may have heard there was a serious tornado in Dallas over the weekend. We were out of town so missed the sirens. Luckily for us, the tornado missed our neighborhood by a few miles. It also missed my son's place by a couple of miles. Mike's family also was spared.

Oct 18, 2019

Gathered Together

This Colorado Craft Company Thanksgiving set called Lovely Legs - Give Thanks is very different from anything I own. I love the suggestion of a family gathered around the table celebrating the holiday. It's got a Normal Rockwell feel that I find very comforting.

Colored the image with Copics in fall colors and popped up on plaid paper.

Thanks very much to The Colorado Craft Company for sending this set to me. I LOVE that company's sets -- all different than usual. They asked if they could send a set and I wasn't sure what set it would be until I opened the package. A mini Christmas!! Very kind of them.

MOOD WHEN DONE: Well, grateful! No matter how stressed out I get, my one day a week gig at the International Rescue Committee reminds me of how much I have.

Oct 15, 2019

Modern Graphic NOEL

Took me several tries to figure out what to do with these fun bright NOEL letters made with Altenew's Bold Alphabet Die. Since the "L" is out of proportion with the other letters, it made more sense to use them horizontally, but I wanted this layout.

First, I tried a plain white background. Snooze.
Then I tried pattern paper. Meh.
Finally, I bumbled across this cross stitch die from Paper Smooches. Provides just enough detail without being distracting.

Added a sentiment from Penny Black's Christmas sentiments and decided to stop.

MOOD WHEN DONE: Great! Recently "celebrated" the 2 year anniversary of heart surgery. Lots happened since then and it was a good time to look back. Then I decided looking back and pondering life was taking time away from crafting, so I put an end to that pretty quick!

Hope you are having a good week!

Oct 9, 2019

Christmas Sweaters

Love the set 'Tis The Season by Julie Ebersole. It's retired, but so are most of my holiday sets. (Have you seen the deluge of new holiday sets? Wow, so much talent out there!)

Made a fun background by repeatedly stamping the sweater on pale gray cardstock. Colored them with Copics in an ombre design of sorts. These sweaters are hand knit so that's my explanation as to why they aren't identical (ha).

The stamp includes a black star on the top of the tree, but I added some clear glue and fine white glitter over each star as the sweaters needed more white to pop off the gray background. Colored the collars with a white gel pen for the same reason.

And that's one more card for the stash!

MOOD WHEN DONE: Good. I've haven't stamped much lately and briefly thought about packing it all up and putting it away, but Mike just stared at me when I suggested that. I guess that would be the end of life as we know it, so I'm glad I came to my senses...

Oct 8, 2019

The Blandos

The small TV in the kitchen is on. From my seat in the living room, I can't hear what show is keeping him company, just the background sound. I bet it's an HGTV rerun.

I hear him drying the dishes. It bothers him to have pots and pans and my plastic drinking cup, with its hard plastic straw, drying on the counter. Even when he was working, drying the dishes was a priority. He'd get up from his desk in DC and walk to the subway, hop on, transfer trains, all the while carrying his heavy black backpack full of office work that he'd look at after dinner. Then, once in Virginia, he'd walk to the shuttle bus, wait, and board the bus for the 10 minute ride home. He'd hop off, walk home, and climb the stairs to the kitchen. After kissing me hello, he'd park the backpack by the stairs, and still in his suit, pick up a dishcloth and dry the dishes I had placed there to air dry while I was cooking.

It is important to him to have clean counters, to have everything in its place, to have our lists of things to be done checked off one by one. Once -- once!! -- he left his shoes in the living room and I immediately knew something was wrong. I wondered if he had died. (He just forgot them.) The world, he, must be fine, as the counter is empty, the bills paid, the credit reports reviewed, the trash taken out, the furnace filter changed -- all on schedule. It's taken me awhile, but I'm on board. Routine is our joy. Sometimes I dry the dishes too.

Someone once called us The Blandos. It wasn't meant as a joke; rather as an insult. But I knew, even at the time that the words were spit out, that they came from jealousy. The person dismissing our life  had a life in chaos. I understood.

But it got to me. Bland. Tasteless. Boring.

I used to worry that we were missing out on life. We haven't been on a safari or a cruise to Alaska. We don't eat out much and we stick close to home. Staying up past 9 is a distant memory. But I don't worry about that anymore. Sometimes nothing is more sweet than listening to the same sounds every day, eating the same meals, watching the same TV shows, all with someone you love.

Perhaps that's why the past few years have pushed us off kilter. Living in Belgium for a few months, hospital stuff, surgeries, the move to Dallas -- this isn't the life of The Blandos. But here we are, back to a routine. It's a new routine. We miss our old one. We miss our friends and our neighborhood and the DC skyline. There's a lot to miss. But, one year later, and there is a lot to embrace, particularly our son. It was the right move.

Now I hear him turn off the kitchen lights and turn on the back porch light and the alarm system. He's walking to the living room, carrying his tiny white bowl of wavy potato chips, a beer, and two (not one, not three) Hershey nuggets. I'm in my seat on the sofa near the lamp and in a few seconds he'll join me on the sofa in his seat, on the opposite corner. We turn on Lester Holt and the NBC Nightly News.

Life, gratefully, is bland again.

Oct 1, 2019

Poinsettia Wreath (The Ton) #1

The title of this post says it all -- I'm making a bunch of Christmas cards with the beautiful set, Poinsettia Wreath, by The Ton.

I colored this one with Copics. It took a long time, especially when I got distracted, left the caps off some green Copics overnight, and had to start again with different shades of green. Since I got distracted by having to cook dinner, it seems to me that cooking should be crossed off my to do list until after Christmas ... right?

This is a very large wreath, and the entire wreath will not fit on an A2 card, so you have to select which parts to feature or make a larger card. I started using this set by borrowing a layout from the amazing Vera Yates.  Look at this gorgeous card she made using this set.

When a stamp has a lot of detail, I have a hard time distinguishing between leaves, flowers, and the spaces between them, particularly when I'm leaning over to color the image. To avoid coloring a flower petal green, I colored all the leaves at once, and then did the flowers. (Translation -- I screwed up the first time I colored this image.)

MOOD WHEN DONE: Happy to add to my Christmas 2020 stash. So far, I think I have 5 cards. Better get moving!