Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Bits and Pieces

Bit #1

My crafty energies have gone into making a bunch of ornaments/bookmarks for our church.

A fraction of the 160 ornaments we made. I had help for rounding corners,
punching holes, cutting and tying string, and affixing labels. Thanks,
Stephen Ministers! Stamps by Paper Smooches.

The finished ornament.
A sticker label on the back
has John 15:9 printed on it.
We will present these on the weekend of Dec. 12-13 at all three services, along with a little speech reminding everyone that for some people suffering loss and illness and pain, Jesus' love can feel pretty far away, so we need to pay attention to others' needs this season and be that face and hands of Jesus for someone.

Bit #2

I read an interesting article in the most recent issue of Scientific American Mind magazine about gift giving. The relevant crafty part has to do with gift wrap. "Don't overdo the gift wrap," the article says. "Pretty wrapping paper raises expectations for a gift and increases the risk of the receiver being disappointed if the gift doesn't live up to them." Food for thought, I suppose, although I'm still processing the fact that actual scientific research has taken place to explore these issues.


Thank you for your patience with my adulting. It's been hard going and got worse over the weekend. I lost a very dear friend unexpectedly on Saturday. Our whole church has been supporting her through three months of chemo for leukemia. She was supposed to have a biopsy Friday to verify that the bone marrow transplant scheduled for Monday was a go (things were looking good), but she developed pneumonia instead. With no immune system left, she declined quickly, despite the heroic efforts of the doctors and a whole community's prayers for a miracle. My heart is in pieces.

This Thanksgiving, please express your gratitude for those you love...your friends and family and those who influence your life in positive ways. I am comforted in knowing that Karen's final months were positively showered with love and care...for which she constantly expressed her gratitude.

Have a wonderful, gratitude-filled Thanksgiving. Abide in love.

Saturday, November 14, 2015

I Made a Guy Card!

Let us rejoice, for guy cards are hard.

The color combo was originally inspired by a pin on Pinterest, but since even with my vast ink collection I don't have enough colors, I had to improvise wildly.

This design lends itself to masculine cards. There's busyness in the random stamping on roughly two-thirds of the card, and crisp clean simplicity in the top third. The contrast is delightful and easy on the eye. The copper line dividing the two parts of the card says "guy," as does the no-nonsense, sans serif font of the greeting.

The first family birthday in 2016 is George's nephew, who is a diesel-engine mechanic and definitely the outdoorsy type. One birthday card down, about 30 more to go!

Many thanks for all the supportive comments and emails. We are so lucky to have this wonderful hobby in our lives, connecting us strangers to each other in positive ways, and I so appreciate your kindness. Things will get better...eventually. ;-)

stamps: Hero Arts, Papertrey
ink: various pigment inks
paper: Papertrey white
accessories: copper metallic pen, ruler

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

This and That

First, this.

I wish the "happy" were slightly to the right, but otherwise, I like it. Two shades of teal, a black rhinestone in the flower, asymmetry centered on the card...good CAS stuff. Feels like me.

Now for that.

This has been an incredibly stressful and weird few months. There's not much I can share on the interwebs, except that, to my knowledge, no one is dying (Praise God!), but it's stressful nonetheless. Have you ever had the melodramatic sensation that practically everyone in your world is in distress except you, and you need to be the grown-up who acts all mature and responsible and calm?



I hate being a grown up.

Pretending to be a functioning adult is so exhausting. And impossible at times.:

The point behind my sharing this with you is that stamping is taking a back seat right now to other more pressing things. I'll get to my craft room when I can, but don't be concerned if posts are less frequent for the next few months. I'm fine. I'm just pretending to be a functioning adult.

Thanks for understanding.

stamps: Papertrey
ink: various pigment and chalk inks
paper: Papertrey white
accessories: small black rhinestone

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Tools: Some of You Might Find This Strange

You may or may not know that I came to cardmaking via bookbinding. If you've ever gotten serious about bookbinding yourself, you understand completely why Omnigrid quilting rulers (in various sizes), a craft knife, and cutting mats (in various sizes) are essential tools in my paper crafting studio.

If you've never gotten into bookbinding, however, these tools might seem a little strange, especially when you learn that I've never made a quilt--or even a quilted table runner--in my life.

Bookbinders need to cut paper and book board at precise right angles and precise measures. They often work with giant sheets of paper that won't fit into a standard 12" rotary or guillotine paper trimmer. Omnigrids are incredibly useful for these circumstances, especially when combined with long metal rulers and box cutters for heavier jobs.

These days, my six-inch Omnigrid square works perfectly for most cardmaking needs. Any time I need a mat (for those rare layered cards) or to cut a piece for white-on-white layering (much more common), I reach for the knife and Omnigrid. The cutting mat (a large one, though not my largest!) lives permanently on my desk. The see-through design of the Omnigrid is perfect when I need to cut a strip with a sentiment and want even borders surrounding it, for instance.

A word of warning: knives cut paper, but they also cut fingers. In 13 or so years of using these, I've only nicked my finger nails a few times, but as long as you keep your fingers away from the edge, you should be okay. Also, after 13 years, you don't want to start to feel over-confident, brag on line that you've never cut yourself, and then find yourself at the ER getting stitches. How embarrassing!

Thankfully, this hasn't happened yet, although I don't want to get cocky. Pride goeth before a fall...and I don't want to get stitches.

Anywho, these are useful tools I work with all the time. It's easy to take such unglamorous items for granted, but seriously, they make my crafting so much easier.

Just remember to keep your fingers safe.

Oh, and if the knife rolls off your desk, don't reach to catch it. Let that puppy hit the floor. 'Cause you know you'll get stabbed and might get blood on your card stock, which will ruin it.

It would, after all, be weird to try to make background paper with real blood stains. Right?

Monday, November 9, 2015

Minimalist Wishes

This birthday card just came to me the other day. Creativity sometimes works that way. It comes...just pops right up and says howdy.

Best not to question it too closely. You might spook it.

Also, my SIL is the best ever...sent me a gift certificate for Papertrey for my birthday! Love her! Can't wait to spend the gift on photopolymer goodness.

stamps: StampinUp
ink: Memento Luxe
paper: Papertrey white
accessories: heart rhinestone

Sunday, November 8, 2015

It's Glittery to Be Square

A simple, no-sentiment Christmas card for a simple Monday morning...

Size: 4.25" square

The central embellishment is a half-sphere covered in gold glitter...which is very festive and goes nicely with the Delicata gold ink. Found it at Hobby Lobby years ago and decided to--GASP!--actually use one of them.

So yay, me!

And now let's go off topic to another absorbing obsession hobby of mine. A friend from church invited me to be part of a book club over two years ago, and we've now got the best book club ever. November is my month to host, so I chose one of my favorite epistolary novels: The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society. It's utterly charming, has a cast of fascinating and quirky characters, and describes a part of World War II history about which I was completely ignorant...the Nazi occupation of Guernsey. I can't wait for Thursday when we our club will discuss it.

If you like reading novels and haven't read this one yet, I highly recommend it.

And that's all I have to say about that. For now.

Happy Monday!

stamps: Papertrey Silent Night
ink: Delicata gold
paper: Papertrey white
accessories: gold glitter half-bead

Thursday, November 5, 2015

When Mass Makes Beautiful Sense

How many times have I told you that I don't like mass production? Lots, for sure. Anyway, when the cards are simple enough, it's tolerable to make 4 or 8 of them. Today's card was easy enough for 8.

Card Size 4 7/8" x 3 3/8"

This bit of monochromatic simplicity employs Memento Luxe teal zeal (sentiment) and Brilliance pearlescent ice blue (star) and a single small bling for maximum impact! These will be perfect for the people in the Bible study I attend.

Eight down. One hundred more to go.

Not really.

Just feels like it.

Barnes and Noble has some nice boxed cards....

stamps: Papertrey Silent Night
ink: Memento Luxe, Brilliance
paper: Papertrey white
accessories: rhinestones