May 31, 2022


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. 


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:


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.