Aug 1, 2022

Happy August!

 

Really wanted the entire new Essentials by Ellen release that came out last week, but I restrained myself and only bought the Shells set and die. And I had so much fun making these. The sentiments are from Pinkfresh Studio Modern Script Sentiments Hot Foil plate (also comes in a stamp version). 

I can't resist putting anything in a grid.

Splattered some cheap gold paint on the shells and added a little gold cord. 

MOOD WHEN DONE: Heavenly! It's a cloudy day here in North Texas this morning and that is a very good thing. Maybe, just maybe, the temps will stay below 100 here today! Hope your week is off to a good start. I've got nothing major on the agenda so should have time for crafting. 

Jul 28, 2022

Mega Dreams

 


The first time my Mom almost won the lottery was in the late 70s. Coming that close was enough to reel her in - she played for the rest of her life, certain that she would hit it big. 

She was still living in Connecticut in the late 70s and the way the lottery worked back then in that state was that each ticket was either red, blue, or green. If you didn't win the lottery that week, you signed the back of your losing ticket and put your phone number on it and threw the ticket in big red, blue, or green collection barrels that were all over the State. 

One week my Mom's losing ticket was blue so she put it in a blue barrel. At the end of the week, the lottery folks chose a color. That week it was blue. So they picked 5 tickets from all the blue barrels full of losing blue tickets all over the State (really), and one of the tickets they chose was my Mom's. 

That meant that she got to drive up to Hartford and be on a televised game show called Double Play (really) to compete for the big consolation prize, which was $200K. She got my uncle to take her, since she wouldn't drive on a highway. Each contestant had a 20% chance of winning $200K, but was guaranteed at least $2K. She played the game, where the results were by chance, and came in last. But the fact that she got that far convinced her that she would eventually win millions of dollars. 

The second time she almost won was when we were living in Northern Virginia. At some point, she couldn't buy a Power Ball ticket in Virginia, but could buy a ticket in suburban Maryland, about a 25 minute drive on the Beltway. So, since she wouldn't drive, every week, she would get dressed up and take the bus to the Pentagon, switch to the subway, and then take a couple of subway rides up to Bethesda, Maryland to buy her tickets. There was a Hot Shoppes Restaurant (long gone, since that is now an incredibly expensive piece of real estate) next to the store that sold the lottery tickets. My mom bought her tickets, then went to the Hot Shoppes, ate her Chicken Croquettes or Hot Roast Turkey Sandwich, and took the trip home. The trip took about 6 hours. 

Then she would wait for the numbers to be picked. The newspaper would come on Saturday morning and she'd grab it and check the numbers. One day I thought I heard her choking and ran downstairs. She wasn't choking. She was half screeching/half crying as she read each number and realized that she was about to be a millionaire. Until she realized that she wasn't. 

It turned out that she got all 5 numbers of the Power Ball, but not the last number - the Power Ball itself. All that, and she only won $500. But it was another "sign" that she was destined to win. So she bought tickets the rest of her life, but never won anything more than a dollar or two. 

There is no doubt that, had she won, she would have given most of the money to my brothers, who were addicted to drugs and excelled at getting money from her. This was hard to watch and impossible to stop. 

Eventually, Mike and I supported my Mom. She couldn't take the trip to Bethesda anymore. By then she was pretty frail and sick. I would think about all the tickets, all the bingo games, all the drug money, and would grow crazy at the money she had thrown away. I even started to resent the Chicken Croquettes. Saint Mike would just tell me we were doing the right thing and "let it go." LET IT GO?   

It's been over 9 years since my Mom died and I've had plenty of time to look back. Of course, giving money to my brothers was a spectacularly bad move. But the other stuff? She was buying a dream - she needed a respite from the pain of having 2 sons with severe addictions. So she bought her lottery tickets and dreamt of something magical. I'm not sure what that was, but maybe that somehow the money would buy them a cure? Would it buy her peace? 

The passage of time has made it easier for me to let it go. It's a waste to spend time resenting a mother's desperate choices. I'm lucky I haven't been in her place.

Today, after hearing about how the Mega Millions had reached a billion dollar payout, I thought about my Mom and realized that she would have been beside herself with excitement at the thought of such a big prize. So, I decided to do something out of character for me. I wasted $6 buying a ticket. I'm not a fan of lotteries - we know they prey on the dreams of people who have the least. And, honestly, until the news started talking about the big payout, I forgot there even was a lottery. 

I have no plan for my fictional winnings. I spent more time walking to the shop to buy the ticket than I have dreaming about what I would do if I won. I don't need that dream. Yes, I've had my share of life's tough times, but, I also have a husband who told me to let it go. I'll take that win to the bank. 


MOOD WHEN DONE: Solid. It was scary seeing Mike get so sick. I think I'm still processing!! 

Jul 27, 2022

A Merry Slimline Card

 


I think I like this mini slimline size - 3.5" x 6". It's a nice change of pace. 

Used several Spellbinders products here - Holiday Blooms, More Holiday Decorations, Mix & Match Holiday Greetings, and the Geo Screen Embossing Folder. That Brushed Gold cardstock is fun to use, because unlike mirror gold, it doesn't show my fingerprints or stray bits of glue.  I love those die cut strings of light and hope to make a few, simpler cards with them, later this year.

Feels good to get another Christmas card made! 

MOOD WHEN DONE: Great. I'm avoiding going outside because of the summer long intense heat, but yesterday Mike had a follow up appointment with his doctor so out we went in the middle of the day. Roasty! So grateful for air conditioning!!! 

He's doing better, but after spending his entire life being careful with what he eats, he's having a hard time gaining the weight he lost. I keep telling him -  I'm an expert on weight gain. Just eat what I eat and those pounds will come roaring back! 

Jul 19, 2022

On Spellbinders Blog: Celebrate the Season

I'm on the Spellbinders' blog sharing 3 colorful cards I made with various products from their Celebrate the Season collection. I very much hope you will check it out!! 



MOOD WHEN DONE: Very happy!! I was pretty nervous taking on an assignment like this, but I enjoyed it so much. I was pretty nervous driving my husband in the dark to a hospital far from where we are living, but I did it. I was pretty nervous trying to stop eating so many carbs, but I failed. HA. I am trying so hard to just fight through anxieties, big and small. It's a good feeling to at least try! 

Jul 18, 2022

Parcel and Post Heart Decorations

There's a little add on set for the Spellbinders Mailbox dies called Parcel and Post Heart Decorations. It turns the mailbox into a Valentines or love card. As soon as I saw this small set of dies, I fell in love with the trio of hearts. I love the folksy shape. 

Used the Hypnotic Background Glimmer Hot Foil plate (coming in August) as an embossing plate - it provided the perfect grid for these hearts.


Normally, I'd go for a white background, but decided to go crazy.

MOOD WHEN DONE: Delighted

Jul 17, 2022

Cards and an Update


Did something I never do - bought patterned paper. I saw this Christmas Traditions collection, complete with foiled sheets, at Spellbinders and bought it (and then it went on sale!). 

Trimmed a sheet by hand to form a tree and, after masking off sections with post it tape, ink blended the colors. Added a foiled sentiment from Spellbinders Glitter Wishes Hot Foil sentiments and another Christmas card for 2022 is done.


fun card made with the envelope die from Spellbinders Parcel & Post Mailbox die collection. Heart is from Parcel & Post Heart Decorations. Sentiment from a Glimmer Hot Foil sentiment set that I think is no longer available.

MOOD WHEN DONE: Happy!

Husband's second surgery was a success. He went in very weak. I was unable to leave him home alone. After he got home from the surgery and came out of the anesthesia, he was a changed man. Completely back to himself. Yes, he is still underweight and doesn't have a lot of stamina, but he is walking unaided, up most of the day, and really just back to being himself. He should recover just fine - after eating some of my Brownie Cheesecake and enchiladas! 

Got a few questions on what was wrong. He had infected kidney stones, one of which was huge and had embedded itself into the side of his kidney and near a cyst. The infection had spread to his blood stream, which is dangerous. Lots of explanations from the doctor, most of which I didn't understand, but it appears to be resolved. I cannot express how relieved I am. Thanks for your comments here and on IG. They mattered.

Jul 14, 2022

Spellbinders Parcel and Post Mailbox (and some chat)


Spellbinders released a ton of beautiful and clever Christmas products today and I was fortunate enough to get my hands on some of them. 

One of my favorites is the Mailbox die and the accompanying sentiments (in hot foil and stamp versions), part of the Parcel and Post collection. I love when products provide an obvious place for the sentiment, as I always struggle with that issue. 

Used the Christmas Mailbox Greetings hot foil plate for the greeting on this card. The Mailbox dies come with a rectangle to cut out the sentiment, so it was easy to use. Also used the Dazzling Dots embossing folder. 

I timed how long this card took - from start to finish 90 minutes, which is blazing fast for me. 

By the way, I decided to try out some Spellbinders cardstock. I wasn't sure what to expect. I am always trying out new cardstock as I can never find the perfect colors, quality, service, and price all in one company! The Spellbinders cardstock is 100 lb, feels quite sturdy, and very smooth. I would definitely use it as a base. In fact, I really like it so of course I bought some other colors. And - just to be clear - I paid for all of them. I used Alabaster for part of the mailbox and the embossed panel and Brushed Gold (no fingerprints!) for some of the accents. 

MOOD WHEN DONE: Well, very happy with the card, but...

Mike is not well. He got an infection in his blood and was hospitalized. He was so sick and looked so awful that the nurse asked me if he uses a walker at home! I told her he runs 5 miles every other day and rows on the other days. She couldn't believe it!

He had surgery last Friday to address the source of the infection and it was only partially successful. He goes back tomorrow for more surgery. In the meantime, Mike is very weak and not himself. He's lost almost 10 pounds and trust me, this man has no weight to lose. I've talked him into eating bites of ice cream to try and get those pounds back. If only I could give him some of mine!! 

I hope to be back reporting improvement in Mike's health soon. Seeing him so frail has been one of the scariest things I've experienced in a very long time. 

In any event, this is why my crafting has slowed to a crawl, although I've managed to fit it in here and there - it is my drug of choice. And I really do love the products Spellbinders sent me. And some other items waiting to be used. ...

Jun 28, 2022

Choose Happy

 Hope you are able to choose some happy.


Used dies from Spellbinders Simply Perfect Layered Blooms & Mini 3D Vignette Floral Mason Jar (large flower) and a CZ Design sentiment strip to make a folk art design. 

My favorite red cardstock is Concord & 9th Poppy, which is a very warm bright red. It seems to need other colors to tone it down, so I used blue, black, and a cream base. (I've tried pairing it with a bright green and it looks almost neon.) 

MOOD WHEN DONE: Choosing happy today.

Jun 19, 2022

Stitched Hi

 


Decided to use up some of my purple cardstock. It's not my favorite color, but I do like the way this came out. Uses the Stitched Hi die. That die, and the other dies and the embossing folder, are all from Spellbinders (paid for by yours truly).

MOOD WHEN DONE: No complaints here! 

Jun 16, 2022

Ellen Hutson Appreciation


More about this card, featuring products exclusive to Ellen Hutson, later in the post.

(Note: this post is unsponsored. I paid for the products used in my card, am not an affiliate, and am writing this on my own.)

From the beginning (August 2006), Ellen has been about education and customer service at good prices. And, starting a few years ago, Ellen Huston has its own line of awesome products. It's the total package! Not sure what motivated me to write this today, but I've been thinking about how much I appreciate the industry and thought I'd write about one of my favorites. 

Education

Ellen Hutson has always been about education. However, recently, she's put education on the front burner.The Ellen Hutson blog and you tube channel are full of design advice lately, and I am loving every single post. 

Stampers are inundated with products and beautiful samples from dozens of fabulous companies and vendors. However, few explain how they achieved such a great look. The EH design ambassadors are doing so and with great skill. 

If you are looking to improve your design skills, I strongly encourage you to check out this series, which has covered everything from layout composition to using a color palette. They are full of so much information I am rewatching and rereading. 

Customer Service

 I buy craft stuff from a variety of vendors, and if I have a problem with a vendor more than once, I stop buying from that company. Honestly, problems are rare and there are many fabulous vendors out there. But, Ellen's customer service is without flaws. Examples:

- My order was missing an item. I called the customer service number (rare to have one). No questions asked (it's hard to prove a negative), they shipped it out to me that day.

- I was a guest designer a few years ago and, as such, received the release. Shortly thereafter, I got an email asking me to check whether a particular product was defective. Turns out a few of them were, but most were fine. Ellen Hutson pulled the product from the release until it could ensure that each item was fine. 

- Shipping times are amazing. It's like there is a box with my name on it waiting for my order! I ordered the products used in the card above last Friday and had them in my hot hands on Monday. 

Prices

I'm a comparison shopper. I never buy an item without checking out prices. Ellen's prices are often a little cheaper or the same. Are they always the cheapest? Can you find a better deal elsewhere? Possibly on any given item. If I find it cheaper (on sale) elsewhere, I'll go elsewhere. 

However, on a regular basis, Ellen's prices are great. Example: I wanted a high price set of alphabet dies. They were $20 cheaper at Ellen's compared to another vendor - $30 versus $50! I waited for one of Ellen's sales, and bingo snagged them at an amazing price. 

And don't forget to the check out the Clearance Section (currently on sale until June 17th with prices even lower). I don't care how old a product is. If I love it I love it. It's the first place I check.

Finally, if you buy in one month, you get a coupon for 10% off the following month. I use that wisely (bundling higher priced items together). 

Essentials by Ellen Line

This line of products is unique - sassy sentiments, adorable designs, classics, etc. If you love Julie Ebersole's style, you will love these products. She's not the only product designer, but her items dominate and just slay me. There is also a line of basics under this name - for example, I love the vellum. 

And, the dies and stamps come in labeled packages. No need to organize them, and the dies are precut - my fingers are happy. Plus, the prices on this line are fantastic. 

Speaking of Essentials by Ellen...


I used the stamps and dies from the new One in a Buzz-illion set by Julie Ebersole to make this fun and colorful card.

Stamped the hive with Versafine Onyx, kept it in my Misti, ink blended over the hive and then put it back in the Misti. Re-stamping over ink blending helps bring the black back to life. Colored the bee with Arteza alcohol markers. I only have 12 pastels as I don't color much any more. They come in handy though and because the ink on the bee had set for a while, the ink didn't blur.

After watching a video by Julie on composition, I intentionally placed the items on this card in a gentle upper left to lower right pattern. I didn't follow a specific rule so much, but I remembered her lessons on movement and following where the eye goes. 

Why did I choose a rainbow? No clue, but it made me happy and the mood of the card is happy. Added the embellishments thinking that the card needed more color. But now I'm second guessing that decision. I'm also second guessing putting such a large bee on a small hive (there is a larger hive die that I did not buy). I've decided a giant bee is fine!!  

Hope this makes sense and I hope it worked! 

MOOD WHEN DONE: Grateful for the crafting community.



Jun 14, 2022

Happy Birthday Spellbinders

Spellbinders is celebrating 20 years in business. That's 200 years in craft store years! Congratulations to a company that always produces such innovative designs.

To celebrate, Spellbinders is releasing a Birthday Collection and I've got my hands on the Balloon Party Animal die (thank you Spellbinders.)

First up, a pinkalicious card. 


Struggled with placing this balloon on a card until I saw a card by Carissa Wiley. Carissa placed strings from the bottom of a different ballon shape and a great big light bulb duh went off. 

Created a panel by blending pink ink around some post it tape. Added a few flowers from the Simply Perfect Layered Blooms dies to the balloon and adhered with foam tape. Hot foiled a sentiment using Mini Everyday Sentiments and Glimmer Bright Pink hot foil

My second card goes in a more masculine direction. I added "highlights" on the Party Animal Balloon die with a die that hasn't been released yet. Breaking all the rules!! Sentiments from Birthday Unboxing Sentiments.


MOOD WHEN DONE:  I was thinking about what I was doing 20 years ago and I can barely remember! But I did a little research. In 2002:

George W. Bush was President. 

Tom Daschle was the Majority Leader in the Senate. 

No Child Left Behind became law. 

A Beautiful Mind won Best Picture Oscar. 

Kelly Clarkson won the first American Idol (I swear everytime I turn on my TV, she is on). 

The Washington DC Beltway Sniper attacks began (unbelievably scary). 

Congress authorized the Iraq War. 

One of my favorite authors, Chaim Potok, died. 

I spent 7 million dollars on craft supplies....


Jun 10, 2022

Modern Quilt Design

 Got this idea from the cover of the book, Modern Quilts

Used one of the dies from Geometric Builder Squares by Simon Says Stamp. I put off buying those dies because I didn't want to spend the money, but I am so glad I bought them (and the companion circle dies). I've used them so many times. 

Hard to see, but some of the triangles have stacked die cuts - 3 or 4 - for more dimension. I had to do it because the bottom row of light pink triangles were originally teal and that didn't work. So, I covered them up!

MOOD WHEN DONE: Good!

Jun 5, 2022

Ukraine


In case you missed it, Yana Smakula wrote a personal and heartbreaking appeal on what is happening in Ukraine. As our own closer-to-home news takes precedence, it is good to remember that others continue to need us. 

There are so many organizations helping with refugees and other issues in Ukraine, but Yana and her husband and others are providing direct relief to the soldiers on the ground. It is a privilege to help.  There is also a card drive and an Amazon wish list to send items that will be sent directly to soldiers. So many ways to help. 

Check out Yana's post linked above and Free Ukraine 2022.

Thanks!

MOOD WHEN DONE: Pensive

May 31, 2022

Peace


It's all about the sentiment and the color here - got the colors from googling sunset. Used Spellbinders Colorblock Die and Clear Stamp of the Month (June 2021).  Disclosure: Spellbinders sent me these products last year. Googled "sunset colors" to come up with this color palette. 

MOOD WHEN DONE: Good! 

May 29, 2022

Bear in the Basket (and a life update)


Love this cutie!

All supplies from Essentials by Ellen from Ellen Hutson. 
- Berry Basket Die (planning on using this for Christmas....)
- Painted Flowers
- Strawberry Fields
- Casual Taglines
- Bear Ware Grand Tour

MOOD WHEN DONE: Good! Disclosure: above supplies given to me by Ellen Hutson.

Life Update 

As you may remember, almost 4 years ago we moved from Northern Virginia to Dallas to live near our son. Living near our son has been terrific and the best decision we've made in a long time. Living in Dallas has not been terrific. I think, for us, the move came too late in life. We bought a house in Dallas in September 2018 - a lovely home in a gorgeous neighborhood. Nice people, nice house, nice neighborhood, but it never felt like home. I suspect most people our age who moved from Dallas to Northern VA would miss Dallas. It's what we get used to. 

During the worst of Covid, our son moved into the apartment above our garage, which was perfect. It was the first time in years since we saw each other every day and we got to know each other as adults. Such a wonderful time (except for living through the Covid years, which was awful in so many ways.)

Last summer, as we emerged from our Covid isolation funk, our son moved back to his place and we realized that we needed a change. So we sold our house last fall and moved to Plano, in about 20 miles north of Dallas. We are in a fantastic high rise apartment and love it. We feel more comfortable here. We still don't understand why but the reason doesn't really matter. Do we still miss Northern VA? Yes. Our friends are there and we will always be east coast people. It's a different culture here, but this is a good life. 

The place where our son works changed ownership last year, and we wondered if he would be transferred. When it became clear a couple of months ago that he would be staying in this area, we decided to look for a house. Our apartment is on the 13th floor with killer light and views and we don't want to leave it. But it is ridiculously expensive and we anticipate a sharp increase in rent when our lease ends. 

So, after looking at a LOT of houses, we signed a contract to buy a new home - it's under construction and should be ready just when our lease ends at the end of the year. It's 5 minutes from where we are now and the best part is that it is a block walk to a neighborhood with a lot of shops and restaurants. The downside is that the house has 2 floors. We were pretty determined to avoid stairs, but the only homes in that neighborhood are in this one development and they all have stairs. Otherwise, we love the place. At least we think we do - we bought it off of a floor plan! We've been in several of the homes in the development and like them, so we are confident this will work. 

Speaking of work...

At the beginning of 2022 I decided to work on a phobia I was developing - driving. It started during Covid and got worse when we moved up here because all the roads were new to me. So I got to work desensitizing my fears - driving farther on familiar roads and trying new ones a bit at a time.

I'm still anxious driving on new to me streets and go out of my way to stay on roads on which I feel comfortable, but I am so much better. I don't have to go to the grocery store at 7 am on Sunday mornings to avoid traffic. It's a work in progress, but it's better. No more panic attacks!

Speaking of panic...
 
Covid, Ukraine, Abortion, Guns, let's face it - it's a hot mess out there and the divisions make it so much more difficult. Like many of you, stamping is my escape. I try and stay engaged on social media (just Instagram) because the people are super nice and kind and the inspiration is outstanding. I also feel obliged to stay a bit informed with the news. Striking a balance between staying connected and protecting myself is a challenge. Would love to hear how you do it.

Thank you for reading this far! I hope to get back to writing again. We shall see.

May 26, 2022

Pinkfresh Studio May 2022 Stamp, Die, Stencil, and Hot Foil Release

 Delighted to be joining Pinkfresh Studio today for its May release blog hop! 

Read on because there are prizes (and because I want you to see pretty things...). 


My first card uses the beautiful Painted Daisies floral image (it's one big photopolymer image) - stamped, stenciled and die cut, and a sentiment from Modern Script Sentiments. The latter is a large group of sentiments in either a regular stamp or hot foil stamp format, and a coordinating die. I used Pinkfresh Studio inks for both cards - I bought the complete set of ink cubes last year and they are my go to inks most of the time. 

Stamped the Painted Daisies image, and when I was done coloring it with the stencils, and die cutting the image, I trimmed it, thinking that using just part of it on a card would be nice. Honestly, I mistakenly put the image in my paper trimmer upside down so I didn't get the result I had planned, but I still liked it. Adhered both pieces of the image with dimensional foam and added the sentiment and a few Pinkfresh Essentials Jewels

TIP: I am all in on hot foiling. However, it's nice that you can get these products as stamps. If you are hot foiling, try using this Hammermill cardstock. It's a game changer. I was using Gina K cardstock to foil and was pretty happy, but then saw a lot of recommendations for Hammermill.  There is a difference. I get perfect results 99% of the time and it's pretty cheap. 



Had a lot of fun hot foiling the Stained Glass hot foil plate onto bright pink cardstock and then ink blending using the Stained Glass stencils with yellow and orange Pinkfresh Studio inks. Love a geometric design so I was all in on this one. 

Fussy cut the image and then turned it on its side, using only part of it because that much color needed some breathing room. Foiled another sentiment from Modern Script Sentiments and added a few gems. The sentiment is on white cardstock, but the card base is cream - again, looking to soften the brightness. 




Prize Info


Pinkfresh is giving away the full release on the Pinkfresh blog and YouTube channel.  (I won the full February release by commenting. Honestly, I don't comment to win, but I just liked what I saw!)

Pinkfresh is also giving away a total of 10 $25 gift cards along the blog hop - the winners will be picked from the comments. (I won these twice in the last 6 months! Again, Pinkfresh has some serious design talent!) Pinkfresh will post the names of the winners on June 3, 2022 on its GIVEAWAY PAGE. Please check that page and claim your prize within 2 weeks.



Blog Hop Info

You are going to LOVE hopping along this blog hop! Click on the link below for easy access to every stop on the hop:

BLOG HOP LINK LIST

If you are hopping along, you should have come from Jenn Shurkus' blog (amazing) and the next stop is Papier-Liebelei  (oh so gorgeous). 

All you have to do is hop along to each stop & leave a comment along the way to be entered to win! Winners will be posted on the GIVEAWAY PAGE by business end on June 3rd. You must check this page & claim your prize within 2 weeks.

MOOD WHEN DONE: I'm no fancy designer but this was fun. Thanks for visiting and good luck winning a prize.

May 24, 2022

Bless Your Heart Alcohol Marker Coloring

 


I only have 12 Arteza alcohol markers. (Gave away my Copics because I'm so not a colorer and I couldn't remove the tops from the markers (?????).) I do have a set of pastel Arteza markers and decided to go old school and stamp a pattern and color these cupcakes from Cake by Ellen Hutson. And the sentiment? Love this one - from Celebrate Everything by My Favorite Things. 

I call it Bless Your Heart coloring because it's like the stuff our kids make that we put on the refrigerator to make them feel good! 

MOOD WHEN DONE: Good. We bought a house. It will be finished in December and we'll move again. 5 minutes from where we are, but another move!!! More details later!


May 20, 2022

More Stitched Alphabets from Spellbinders

 Two more cards to share. I only have the Y, O, and U letters from the Spellbinders Stitched Alphabet collection, and am determined to make the most of them!

This is a card for Yana Smakula and her husband Oles! 



Totally inspired by some amazing cards Yana made with this collection.



MOOD WHEN DONE: Busy here. Looking forward to playing board games this weekend. Right now we are obsessed with Brass Birmingham. It's fun. Hope you are all doing well. 

May 16, 2022

Personalized Baby Card

 


Babies are the perfect occasion for a personalized card. Actually, they are just a perfect occasion period! My friends have a new granddaughter. Isn't the name Coco just darling?

Pinkfresh Studio cover plate die combined with Honey Bee Stamps number and alphabet dies. Sentiment strip from CZ Design and available at Simon Says Stamp. The name and birth date are stacked up for some dimension. Makes a huge difference. 

MOOD WHEN DONE: Good. And bonus points for actually mailing this!

May 14, 2022

Introducing Spellbinders Stitched Alphabet


Got an email a few weeks ago from Spellbinders asking me to help introduce a new collection - Stitched Alphabet - that hits their store today, May 14th. I was so surprised as it came out of nowhere.

Design work makes me very anxious. I second guess everything I make, and honestly, the cards I make "on demand" tend to not be ones I like. But, I've decided to try and tackle that anxiety. So - here's a card using "U"  from the Stitched Alphabet collection. 


I chose not to stitch the letters, but I'll be sharing another card in a few days with some stitching. I added some die cut flowers and greenery from Spellbinders Simply Perfect Layered Blooms Etched Dies and a sentiment that Spellbinders donated to a Crop & Create virtual event that I attended a few months ago. 

NOTE: Spellbinders provided me with a few letters from the Stitched Alphabet set. I provided everything else!

MOOD WHEN DONE: I did it! It's a good feeling. 

May 8, 2022

Catching Up

 Here are a few cards that I've made over the past few weeks. 

1. Using Simon Says Stamp Beautiful Waves background and their Geometric Builder Square dies. 


2. Uses a set from Colorado Craft Company, the proceeds of which are going to Yana Smakula's efforts to help supply the Ukrainian army with non weapon supplies. For more information on this amazing work, check out Free Ukraine 2022.



3. Those cute lemon slices are from InkBlot Shop



4.  Paired a Spellbinders embossing folder with a sentiment from InkBlot Shop and a pretty image from Pinkfresh Studio. 



That's it!

MOOD WHEN DONE: Good and I hope you are doing well. 

Apr 11, 2022

Mixing Metals

I seem to recall that, along with wearing white between Labor Day and Memorial Day, mixing gold with silver is a design crime. Now I see it in kitchen and bath design and decided to give it a try.

This card mixes silver foiling on the background with gold foiling on the birds and branches as well as the sentiment. 


The bird and branches were left over from the last card I posted and use Pinkfresh Studio Songbirds on Branches hot foil plate, die, and stencils. The background is also from PFS and is called Geo Tiles Hot Foil plate. 

MOOD WHEN DONE: Honestly, part of me is struggling to post cards, as I -- like any decent person -- am heartbroken over the evil happening in Ukraine. 

Every time I see an older woman from Ukraine on the news, she reminds me of my grandmother and her sisters, all of whom came to the US from the Western part of Ukraine or Poland. We never knew for sure, as they didn't talk about the past much. My mom grew up speaking Ukrainian at home but thought of herself as Polish-American. Who knows? That area has been a battleground for a very long time, thanks to an aggressive Russia.

Or I think of my girlfriend's parents, who are now in their 90s, who walked out of Ukraine after WWII to the coast of Europe to get on a ship to the US as refugees. They are the most delightful, strong people I know -- they never learned to drive and continued to walk everywhere (in Minneapolis)! They got through so much, including the worst of the Covid years, only to watch this happen in Ukraine. Again. 

And then I think of Yana Smakula, the most talented and strong stamper I know (the way we "know" each other online), crafting from Ukraine. She makes the evil real and personal and not just a news story. I think of her all the time. 

So I guess If Yana can continue to post cards, we all can take refuge in the hobby and continue to share it. 

Apr 9, 2022

Songbird


Was super lucky and won the entire February release from Pinkfresh Studios. 

Made this with the suite of products called Songbird on Branches -- hot foil plate, die, and stencils.  Sentiment uses a sentiment hot foil plate from Spellbinders.

Now I have a huge pile of unused products. No complaints here!

MOOD WHEN DONE: Grateful!

Mar 29, 2022

Happy Birthday With Things I Don't Do

 


A fun birthday card inspired by a card Yana Smakula made. It contains things I usually don't do:

1. Color images (I pretty much gave that up a couple of years ago.)

2. Use cool colors. Give me red, pink, yellow, etc. and I am so much happier.

3. Put a sentiment on the bottom directly on the paper. I'm liking this more and more and will do it again. 

4. Using a balloon design. I love balloons but they don't like me. Many a piece of cardstock died in my battle with balloons. 

Little images from Lawn Fawn. Sentiment from My Favorite Things. 

MOOD WHEN DONE: Happy! 

Mar 27, 2022

Organic Fruits

 


I think my favorite product from 2021 is Organic Fruits by Simon Says Stamp (no longer available!!). I have the die, stencil, and stamp, and use them frequently. This time I only used the stamp and die and colored by applying ink pads directly to cardstock and then stamping and die cutting. Fun.  I colored the card base the same way, be sure to leave some white. As much as I love color, too much can strangle a design. 

And since I had the set out, I decided to make a card using the pear design. This one also uses some patterned paper by Honey Bee stamps. Sentiment and heart from The Stamp Market.


MOOD WHEN DONE: Enjoyed making these cards. Hope you are well!

Mar 7, 2022

Inspired by Marimekko

 You remember Marimekko? It was ALL THE RAGE in the 60s and 60s. I'm on the Ellen Hutson blog talking about Marimekko-inspired cards. I hope you check it out. 

Here's a snippet of one of the cards featured. 


MOOD WHEN DONE: Good!

Mar 4, 2022

Ellen Hutson Spring Release

 I'm back with a couple of cards, and some links to share. Everything is available at Ellen Hutson. I don't do affiliate linking myself, but I try and support fellow crafters by using their links. All of these products were designed by Julie Ebersole, so I invite you to consider using her affiliate links. And, wow, her blog post today is packed with inspiration. 

Abstract Flower

Using just one stamp from the new Abstract Nature set, I created my own version of an abstract flower. I purposely did not line it up or even use the MISTI (what??). I wanted the wonky uneven look that I got. I lined up some post it tape to make space for a "stem" and inked the opening. 



Xanax Card


Crafting has been a great way to cope with the sadness and fury of the past few weeks. This particular card says it all! The Casual Taglines set has this great Xanax sentiment. It. Just. Works. Paired it with the fun new Classic Block Numbers & Symbols and the little bottles from Bear Ware Dress Up 1

As I said before, I hope to be blogging more regularly. I have a few things I'm itching to share! 

MOOD WHEN DONE: Grateful

Mar 3, 2022

Ellen Hutson Spring Release Cards!

Well, lucky me, I am guest designing for Ellen Hutson for their spring release -- all available Friday, March 4th. 

A "Groovy" Card


Uses the Casual Greetings stamp and a sentiment from Casual Taglines. Love the psychedelic look from the 60s! 

A 6th Birthday Bear


Uses the older Bear Wear Grand Tour with a Hot Foil Stamp version of Casual Greetings and the new Classic Block Numbers & Symbols. 


Still The One



Our 32nd anniversary is coming up next week and I had fun putting this together with the previously released Class Block Alphabet paired with the new Numbers & Symbols.

More tomorrow! Thanks for dropping by. 


MOOD WHEN DONE: Personally, doing great. Like all decent people, though, I am heartbroken by the scenes from Ukraine. 

Jan 7, 2022

Stencils: Cheap and Easy!!

 


Made this with a popsicle stencil! 



Love how relatively inexpensive stencils are. They are versatile and easy to store. Now that I'm stamping in a corner of my living room, space is a huge consideration. 

BTW: If you want to make a geometric style card, I strongly recommend using grid paper. That way you can count the squares and move the stencil the exact distance repeatedly. Kind of like using a MISTI to stamp. 

Stencil is Anything's Popsicle by Taylored Expressions

Sentiment is from Rainbow of Happiness by The Stamp Market.


MOOD WHEN DONE: delighted by your comments on my earlier post. Who knows, maybe I will blog regularly again. I've missed you! 

Jan 5, 2022

Hello 2022!

It's already a crazy year and we are on day 5. Yikes. 

In any event, I hope 2022 treats you well. 

Life Update! 

Moved Again

It's been a little more than 3 years since we moved to Dallas. This summer, after we woke up from what I call our covid stupor (sitting in the house for over a year), we looked around and decided it was time for a change. So we sold our house. It was a blur of cleaning, packing, etc. -- 6 days from selecting a realtor to a contract!

In October we moved into an apartment about 20 miles north of Dallas in Plano. It's starting to feel right. I never have a good answer when folks ask why we moved. I think we were restless and wanted a smaller place, at least for now. 

It's a 2 bedroom apartment up on the 13th floor. I craft in a small section of our living area. It is surrounded by tall windows and bathed in light. It's a lot different from what I'm used to, but I think it is going to work. If nothing else, I'm forced to put everything away every day. 

School

I started an online graduate public health program in August - it's 5 courses. I wanted to get my masters degree in public health, but the cost - $75K - put an end to that plan. I've taken the first 2 courses and so far it's interesting, but I have to admit that I hate assignments. I guess I'm not cut out for higher education anymore.  

Other

I got an email asking me if I planned on finishing Stamping Destroyed My Life. Right now, the answer is no. I tried updating it a few months ago, but the passion was gone. It was work instead of fun, so for now it is a masterpiece unfinished (HA).

And here are a few cards.






If you want to see more of my cardmaking, please check out my Instagram account. Thanks!

MOOD WHEN DONE: Good! I hope to blog again soon.