Monday, July 8, 2024

Soft Christmas

It’s rare that I make a card I actually like with a colored card base. I love lots of cards with colored card bases made by other people, but the cards almost never look like I made them when I do it. There’s some sort of cognitive dissonance that afflicts me almost every time. 

But not this time. 



This card feels completely mine. The soft, grayish, greenish blue (or bluish green) makes me so very happy. *squeal* Stamps by Papertrey. 

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It feels good to speak your truth. I finally sent the email I composed in May to the lawyer for dad’s estate. She’d sent me a form, as per South Carolina law, but let me know in no uncertain terms that I was excluded from his will. Big surprise, that. 

Not really. He disowned me when I was 19. For a while, my sister was the sole beneficiary of his will, on the condition that she gave me not a penny. Narcissists like to sow discord and division, and I’m proud to say that he never succeeded at that with me and Lisa. Then, Lisa did something to piss him off, so we were both cut out. 

Anyway, I considered not responding at all to the lawyer’s letter, but this morning, I realized that this poor lawyer was doing her job. I assured her that his beneficiary deserved his estate given how kind he was to them in life, and they to him. Those of us treated unkindly by him don’t want a thing from him. He didn’t give us the one thing we valued, which was honest love.  

THAT would have meant something. 

It felt good, but so sad. How can one human create so much chaos, conflict, and harm in his life? As my sister said, it ends with us. 

Mercy, grace, peace, and honest love, 

Susan

Sunday, July 7, 2024

Angles and Curves

One maxim of design I learned from Cathy Zielski was that angles love curves. When a card has too many curves, throw in some angles. When it has too many angles, throw in curves. 

Today’s card uses lots of both. Curves come in the flower forms, the leaf fronds, and the wood-grain embossing of the background panel. The angles come in the rectangles and squares. This card makes me so happy! Especially the white on white, the Stickles on the flowers, and that embossing folder. 


I’m currently writing through some of my feelings about my dad now that he’s dead. It’s hard, and sad, and painful, but I know it’s necessary and very much worth it. One pattern keeps popping up in the writing: all the good people who helped me through his narcissistic abuse. 

Over and over, good people stepped into the breach. And that news is amazing. Because good people still do! Right now, the United States are not very united, or so it seems if you pay attention to the media. I think there are far more good people than bad, and far more people who want unity over division, peace over conflict, love over hate. Nobody is perfect, but there are more good people than bad. Kindness isn’t loud, nor is unity. But the impulse for both is all around us, if we take the time to look…and to be.

Mercy, grace, peace, and love,
Susan

Friday, July 5, 2024

The Soft and the Bold

Today, we’re looking at two cards made with the same Waltzingmouse Fine Feather stamp. The first is soft, monochromatic, and, well, feathery. It takes advantage of quick-dry pigment inks in three shades of pink. 

The card is serene, symmetrical, and appropriate for the sentiment. 


Our bold cards is, well, bold, with a Kaleidacolor spectrum ink pad as the star of the show. Since the feather has white dots, it made sense to go darker to enhance the contrast, but then, how to create a background? 

Speedball brayer to the rescue! The colors got so rich and beautiful! I cut two strips from the brayered panel, flipped one so they fade in different directions, and added the gold speckles, gold thread, and sentiment. The boldness, beauty, and touches of gold fit the birthday sentiment perfectly!



I hope my American readers had a lovely Independence Day celebration. We attended a concert by the Centerville Community Band and Chorus. Our younger son plays trumpet in the band. 




Last night I slept with Cooper because he’s so scared of the fireworks. [I sleep in the guest room as George snores like a chainsaw, and Cooper usually sleeps with George.] He settled down once the trazadone kicked in.

As long-time readers know, our dog Lily is a bit of a demon. More like Puck than Beelzebub, but still, a demon. Here’s some photographic proof.

The two of them sounded vicious…and of course, 
Neither one meant it. Because they are goldens.

I snapped this picture two minutes after the first.
Such pretty and patriotic pups!

Mercy, grace, peace, love, stars, and stripes,

Susan

Monday, July 1, 2024

Waltzingmouse Revisited and Revived!

Claire Brennan’s Waltzingmouse Stamps were AMAZING, but world events (Brexit) crushed her small business exporting from Ireland. She’s stayed busy in the meantime (lots of beautiful fabric designs posted to her Facebook feed!), but for those of us in stamping who’ve missed her brilliance…she’s working on a comeback. 

It’s going to be slow, she assured me, but she’s coming BACK! Yippee!

To celebrate, I’m playing around with one of her old sets, Fine Feather. Today’s card uses Impress Fresh pigment inks, which give such a lovely, opaque finish. My pigment inks have been sadly neglected lately, but it certainly was fun pulling them out. 




And below, there’s a photo of the packaged cards for Karen’s Card Shop from Kathryn, Pat, and Eddie!  Took them to church today and restocked the shop. For the first time in a few months, get well cards were fully stocked!


Finally, here’s a bonus picture of my son Nick (he of “it’s just water over beans”) and our Best Boy Cooper, just for fun. 


Mercy, grace, peace, and love,

Susan

Sunday, June 30, 2024

It’s Just Water over Beans

My firstborn Nick is a self-confessed coffee snob and works at “the best” coffee shop in Cincinnati. He sometimes he has to consciously remind himself that “it’s just water over beans.” 

In getting back to basics and this blog’s mantra “doing simple things well,” today’s cards fit into the “it’s just ink on paper” category.




Both cards use stamps from Simon Says for the shapes. These very basic sets have solid and outline circles and hearts in a wide range of sizes. Inks are all Simon Says pawsitively saturated ink, except the black, which is Ranger Archival. 

I challenge you to share a card that’s just ink on paper. Have fun making it! Then share it in a comment on the blog or on Simplicity’s Facebook page. 

Mercy, grace, peace, and love,

Susan


Saturday, June 29, 2024

Simple Card Set

 A lovely stamp set from Gina K features in today’s three cards. I wanted to make some very basic—but very pretty—cards. I’ve been messing around with dies and BetterPress plates and watercolors (making pretty trash, mostly) and wanted to get back to my roots as a clean-and-simple stamper.

So satisfying!





Lavender, aqua, and lime…a lovely combination for a set of monochromatic cards. I was so surprised I had coordinating colored card stock to mat each stamped panel. The tags were punched from an old StampinUp punch, and of course a bit of craft thread makes up the bows. A final little touch…I used a very old and still working Sakura stardust pen to accent the centers of the little flowers.

It’s so easy to be seduced by all the products and gadgets and techniques, but we used to make cards with paper, stamps, ink, markers and pens, and an occasional punch. I love that we have so many options today, but sometimes, back to basics is enormously satisfying!


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Quick prayer request for a friend. Mary has stage 4 colon cancer, a recurrence of the disease from about 13 years ago. She has two surgeries in July and begins a new chemo treatment. 

Mercy, grace, peace, and love,

Susan




Monday, June 24, 2024

Hello in Gold and a Nightmare in Springboro, OH

A big thank you goes out to Kathryn and Pat whose boxes of cards for Karen's Card Shop arrived today!

For today's card, I needed something quick and remembered several cards I'd seen on Pinterest that had letters half-inked or half-embossed. Thought I'd give it a try!



While I did heat emboss the gold on the sentiment, the gold added to the stem was done with a Sakura stardust gold pen...much quicker and easier than embossing. I'm surprised how much the three different golds match in real life. The photo above distorts the colors somewhat on my screen.



This 6.25" x 3.5" card also has a mat of gold shimmer paper from Sizzix. The sentiment die is from Poppy Stamps, and the stem is from Alexandra Renke. 

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Now for the nightmare!!! Beware!!! You cannot unsee the picture at the end of this post!!!




Now, you have to see it, right? And it will haunt your dreams as it does mine. 




So a few weeks ago, I was leaving church and glanced up at a building beside the parking lot. After a double-take, I saw a terrifying sight:





The cinder blocks and vines and wiring--not to mention the moss and iron bars--combine to make this SUPER creepy! 

She overlooks the church parking lot (who knows for how long!), and I want to save her. 

But I'm scared. So very scared!

Mercy, grace, peace, and love for sure.

Susan