Nov 24, 2019


I've had my eye on a hot foil system for a while. My friend got one and I saw her results and really loved them. So I've asked Santa for one.* At the same time, I've also been thinking -- a lot -- about packing up all my supplies and turning my craft room into a I have-no-idea-what room but not a stamping room.

Makes no sense, but I'm just not that into stamping anymore and not that into posting my stuff (made a bunch of Christmas cards that I haven't posted). It's not that I don't have any mojo, I've just lost interest. 

This is a serious problem.

But before we get to that, I got new eyeglasses. They are red. I love them. And I went on a road trip with my SIL and took this picture somewhere in the middle of the desert where we stopped for something. I love her.

1. The Crazy

Stamping takes up almost all the crazy in my head and calms it down. Turn on the TV or music, pick up a stamp, and I'm lost in a good way. Concentrating on the crooked layers or the messed up Copic coloring stops my brain from its non-stop worrying and obsessing about all the things. Studying the masters, like Julie Ebersole or Laura Bassen keeps me sane (but also a little frustrated but that's another story).

Truth: Mike is extraordinarily neat. As in he never ever leaves anything where it doesn't belong, for even a minute. (I know, it's sad.) So when he left his shoes in the living room, I googled brain tumor symptoms. Turns out brain tumors can cause unusual behaviors and I started looking up brain tumor doctors in Dallas. That took up 5 minutes of my life, and was promptly followed by worrying about something else. Stamping stops this. For a while.

2. My Life at Stake?

It's hard to eat and stamp. You can't eat a piece of cake or a fudgy brownie with an ink pad in your hand. Ok, I'm proud to say that if anyone can, I can, but it's not easy. Plus eating in my craft room could attract one of the 856 bugs that love Texas. So if I give up stamping, I'll eat more crap and die earlier surrounded by bugs. It's a life and death issue.

3. Can This Marriage Survive?

I'm retired. Except for Wednesdays, when I volunteer, I literally have nothing to do.***  Mike got alarmed when I told him I was thinking of giving up stamping. His exact words were:

"Unacceptable. You will stamp whether you like it or not."

Suspect he's afraid that if I give up stamping I'll have more time to try and get him to talk.***

So what to do? Do I invest in a hot foil $y$tem and all the crap that goes with it or walk away? 

* The chances that Santa will understand that I want the system that is compatible with my Gemini Jr and that I will also need hot foil plates and hot foil foil is nil. I'll find the link for Santa and email it to him. Not sure that this is how gift giving at Christmas should be but I've de-linked "Christmas" and "should."
** Don't hate on me. I put in my time working and taking care of everyone. I've earned this.
*** Truth. It's the holy grail of marriage. If he ever shares his true feelings, I'll really be googling brain tumor symptoms.****
**** Now, I'm worried that by joking about brain tumors (seriously a horrible disease) I'm bringing the wrath of karma on my house. PLEASE I'M JUST KIDDING.


IamDerby said...

I go through this quit or don’t quit all the time- for different reasons but still. I love your humorous posts! Whatever you do don’t stop writing

~amy~ said...

I love your writing..this made me chuckle.
I think if you are contemplating stepping away from crafting you'll know it when you're ready. My crafting habits have changed tremendously in the last couple of years. I've become such a slow crafter but I still enjoy the process.

MamacitaNicole said...

I love stamping but need inspiration to get my stamps out. So now I look for stamp kits that include some of the newer items that have come out and actually teach me how to use them. Of course the best name to give it all is paper crafting. That way you don’t always have to stamp; you can play with the other items that have come out.

Jackie said...

I've had similar thougths lately, too. Not beacuse I worry too much but because I dont' really have anyone other than my long suffering pen pals to send cards to. The occasional birthday and then Halloween and Christmas, but there's no reason for me to keep spending $$ on new stuff when I already have about 6 months worth of pen pal cards made. Add to that I can't seem to get my letter writing mojo going and I feel guilty every time I buy a new stamp set.

I have contemplated starting an etsy shop and selling cards, but that involves work I'm not sure I'm willing to do. Photographing, marketing, packaging, shipping, more marketing, and things I haven't even thought of yet.

But I enjoy seeing everyone else's creations so much, it would be hard to just give it up.

Karen said...

I wouldn't give up just yet. I think you need a reason to stamp. I make cards all year long for my local family homeless shelter. These people need encouragement cards and lots of thank you cards. The other thing I do is no blog, no insta pictures, I make the cards using whatever material calls to me. It isn't necessarily "in" but that is fine with me. Personally I would prefer you do insta because I love seeing yours cards. Stamp with a purpose for awhile and see what happens.

Francie said...

I’m sending store-bought Christmas cards this after after spending a big wad of cash on new stamps and dies.

Kathy D said...

Joan, I am having similar thoughts about giving up my stamping hobby. I do enjoy making a card. But, life circumstances (4 parents between the ages of 82 & 90 that need varying care) have really zapped my mojo. I have tried to get motivated by looking at my favorite crafty blogs, but then I get overwhelmed by all the new products that are showcased. Which leads me to think maybe I want to stop blogging my cards because I am no longer relevant. Hopefully, I will figure it out soon! Good luck with your decision - I know your creativity will bubble up somewhere in some form. said...

I love your post today! If I were you!! for now I would tidy up the craft room, get the foil system for Xmas
and play whenever I felt like it with no pressure to produce anything for anybody! Good luck!

I Card Everyone said...

Joan, is it enough to say 'I'd miss you!' Please don't go far! I think it's the time of year - the end of another one - and Winter. I'm so looking forward to a little break, myself! Just be happy, and well - 'kay?

Andrea Hastilow said...

Lol ! Why don't you do a pre spring clean, put all those stamps in order , inks away etc, clean the desk area & prepare for a fresh start. Then when you feel that you just want to create this card or colour that image you know where everything is & you can start a fresh year. My condition stops me from crafting so much during down times that I've often thought of jacking it all in but what about the times I do have a good & want to create ? It would kill my marriage to spend that money over again. See what 2020 brings & all the best x

Joan B said...

thanks. half my stamping stuff is already packed away. and the rest is pretty organized. the room is not a mess!! I hope you stick with it!!

Joan B said...

you may be right. not sure!!

Joan B said...

thanks. the room is pretty clean. pondering!

Joan B said...

you raise a familiar note. part of it is the enormous amount of new product that sort of paralyzes me? it kind of makes no sense but it's there.

Joan B said...

totally get that

Joan B said...

good point. having a reason to stamp is really helpful and the stress of social media posting kind of has me down.

Joan B said...

there is always folks who need cards so please don't give up!!

Joan B said...

kit can be wonderful ways to just do it!

Joan B said...

suspect you are right. i too am a very slow crafter now. interesting

Joan B said...

aww thanks

Vikki H said...

Your writing is what I follow and the delightful cards are a bonus! You would be missed. I've been real lazy this year but think it's due to contemplating a move from our home of 40 years to half the size. This would mean a reduction in paper crafting supplies for sure! 😄

vdoyle8 said...

I've had those thoughts in the past... until I make a couple of cards or some really cute gift. Then I realize I still enjoy the process. I hope you find some enjoyment in the hot foil system!

Karen Page said...

I think for sure you need a creative outlet, and to be OK with making something just for the enjoyment of creating. Don't even worry about making a completed project... maybe just backgrounds, or coloring images, or playing with the foil machine. If you like the pieces you make, you'll likely be able to pull a few together to make a card, but who cares if you don't as long as you are enjoying the process. I have a blog that I left unattended for 3 years and only recently started back up again. I can see how the work of posting a project can sap the joy right out of creating. There is a stack of 40+ cards next to me right now that need to be written up (and pictures taken, edited, uploaded). I submit my cards to challenges, and that is another taxing endeavor. Not sure how long I'll stick with it but I'm tempted to just load a picture and call it done. No words, no challenges, no Pinterest, Instagram, etc. But its sometimes the challenges, both online and self imposed, that spark my mojo. What if you tried something like Michelle Lupton's Challenge Me a Christmas card series? You don't have to post, but pick a crafty friend (or subscriber) to take turns picking an idea for a card (anything from using flowers, to ink blending, to foiling, to certain sentiments or occasions, or even just a color combo. Crafty friends make it more fun, for sure. My only IRL crafty friend stopped creating when she had to go back to work after being a stay at home mom for 18 years. ☹ Whatever you do, don't ever make a rash decision during the winter!!! See how you feel in the spring, but I agree with a comment above... please don't stop writing!!! My fav post might be about the banana in your cereal from both your view and Mike's because it could have happened identically in my house! Take care Joan! Hugs!!!

Anonymous said...

Marisela Delgado in San Antonio, Texas said: You cracked me up with your blog post. You are so funny. Okay, so as to the stamping, don't quit. Maybe take some time off, go on another trip, volunteer more, go for more walks,but don't quit. Girl, I suffered a serious injury that completely de-railed me and my life. I cut a varicose vein while shaving my legs and it went life-threatening on me. I used to run 5 miles ever day and in the blink of an eye, I couldn't stand muchless walk. Stamping, like with you, has always been a joy and a mind eraser. I endured over 6 years of BRUTAL pain (pain meds do NOT work on me) so I could not stamp. I could do nothing. I have slowly come back and I love it even more. Just take some time off and don't think about it. Just clear your agenda completely and try something new for a while, but don't stop. You make beautiful cards and we need more beauty in the world. Plus, Mike might start googling "brain tumor symptoms" for you. ha-ha Girl, you are so funny. your friend, Marisela (Mari) P.S. I am doing much better now. It has been a long road, but God is faithful. =)

Anonymous said...

Start another hobby, nothing wrong with that if you can afford the $$$, does there need to be another $? Enjoy living. Learn something new.
I make cards to donate. Rarely does one get mailed anymore from me but I enjoy making the cards and donating to the infusion bay at my little hospital. I don't think what I do matters, the nurses disagree with that thought. The "frequent flyers" as some of the people are called, look forward to when a new delivery is made (I aim for at least 50 cards each odd month of the year) and I'm told there are very few left when a delivery is made!
My cards are simple, ribbon, paper, rhinestones, sentiment and an occasional technique.
My other hobby is sewing. That has taken a backseat to card making for the last few years but I've restarted but am not spending money for fabric. I already have more than enough! Just need some current little girl dress patterns.
My husband assures me I will never spend a much money on my hobbies as he has on woodworking! I'll try to not compete.
I enjoy your posts and some day when my life retires I am going to catch up on previous posts and read your fiction chapters you started in 2015 which I have yet to read as my life was too much of a struggle for a few years. Here I am, healthier and enjoying card making to keep myself sane.
Thanks for sharing your creations!

Leslie Miller said...

Time of year, the bombardment of new product, the extreme talent that makes you feel inferior... all that and more. I don't want to quit crafting cards, but the computer time is daunting. Whenever I go outside or go on a trip or do anything else at all I feel like I just have to cut back commitments. In the past I even quit blogging for a while, but I missed the stamping community and now I realize I shouldn't burn any bridges. At least that's how I presently feel. Be careful about burning bridges. I'm like Michele - "Is it enough to say 'I'd miss you'?"

Marie said...

I would miss you too! Susan from Simplicity has cut back on blogging due to going back to work. I miss her! I come to both of your blogs for the cards; but also the dialogue about why a card works, or doesn't.

I also love reading about your lives. It always makes me feel better to know that we are all in the same boat, paddling like hell.

I know blogging is work. I've dipped my toes into that water. It is a real commitment and some days the words flow and some days they don't. I don't think a single one of us would mind if you occasionally just posted a huge group of card pictures without any explanation.

Cardmaking mojo can come from many things.

My Facebook feed has a group called Scrapbooking in Michigan. It's not just scrapbookers; it's all kinds of paper crafters. I've met some really nice ladies through it and a lot of them have ALL the stuff. We borrow and lend.

I've also started teaching an occasional card class through my community education. It forces me, err, helps me get my rear into the craft room. There are days I don't wanna; but usually once I'm there I am so into it.

I am also still working and we do a LOT of fundraising type stuff. I make "books" of cards to donate for raffles. They are very popular and give me a reason to make more!

Get that foil machine; if you don't like it in a year or two, you can always sell it. Some paper crafter out there would feel like she won the lottery!

Take a little break till Christmas Joan! Then see how you feel next year!!

jill said...

OMG that photo hahaha!
Exit, pursued by a bear.

"Unacceptable. You will stamp whether you like it or not."