Friday, January 18, 2019

And the Winner Is...

Catherine Bowers!

Catherine, please email me your snail-mail address, and I'll get this package of goodies out to you early next week.

Thanks to all of you who commented on my before post. There are so many good ideas and resolutions there! I'm working on the after post (which will probably be several posts).

Looks like this weekend's weather will be deja vu all over again. Time to blog and stamp!

Monday, January 14, 2019

A Resolute Give-Away

On Saturday, we were snowed in because of this:

Unknown source, but brilliant and true.


Seriously. We had highs in the 60s days before this storm hit, and we got 7"-8" of heavy snow. As the snow fell, I felt an inescapable urge to purge my craft space and craft storage in the unfinished part of our basement. Here are the before pictures.







Yikes! What a mess!


After four hours, the spaces looked quite different. After pictures will be forthcoming.

In the meantime, please share either 1) your favorite crafty organization or storage tip or 2) your crafty new year's resolution in the comments. One comment will be chosen at random to receive a box of purged stuff from my craft hoard, including stamps, ink, punches, dies, and other stuff. The box is a medium USPS flat-rate box. Mailing address of the winner must be in the United States. (Sorry to my international readers...feel free to comment anyway!)

Mercy, grace, peace, love, and resolution,
Susan

P.S. Deadline to comment for the give-away is midnight, EST, Wednesday, January 16.

Friday, January 11, 2019

It's Not Failure If You Learn Something

Every now and then, stamps free-fall in your lap, and you get a chance to experiment and play around  once again with styles you tried years ago and failed to make work for you. A stamper friend at church gave me three boxes of wood-mounted stamps to choose from and pass along. Most were not my style and have already been passed to another stamper at church, but I pulled some out to play with, including these two large Greek architecture stamps.



These two stamps appeal to the historian in me, but they present challenges to my style. First, they are LARGE, which makes it hard to leave much white space around them. Second, they have a Victorian schoolbook vibe that is at odds with my crisp, modern, stylized sensibilities. Third, they beg for coloring and/or mixed media treatment. While I might own most of the coloring options open to we stampers these days, you'd never call me an expert in any one of them. And we've already seen what a mess I make of mixed media.

I decided to try to crop the images, do a little tearing and inking. I truly DISLIKE the results.




The coffee ink was a nod to the vintage feel and the blue was reminiscent of the Greek sky and architectural blueprints. But they just don't work, do they? Perhaps if I'd switched them...but no. Just no. It looks messy and lazy and weird to my eye...a big swing and miss.

So why share them on the blog? Well, my hope is that you'll see that failure isn't fatal. It's always an option, though, and happens pretty often in my crafty room. I'll play around with these stamps some more, but it's highly likely they will join the other rejects and end up in another stamper's collection where they might be more valuable and constructive.

The important thing is to keep trying to grow and stretch yourself as a crafter or artist. Push, play, fail, succeed, grow. It's only paper, and it's all good.

Even if it ends up in the circular file.

Mercy, grace, peace, and love,
Susan

Sunday, January 6, 2019

Simple Impressions Inspired

Classes start tomorrow, and I'm ready!

Today's card comes from a fun source of inspiration by Lizzie Jones. Lizzie's card is much more lively and more colorful than my version, but I couldn't have made mine without seeing hers first.



The stitched rectangle die was a gift from my lovely friend Eva, who took time to meet me for coffee last week! The stitches echo Lizzie's card, as do the colorful, overlapping banners. The white-on-white, empty space, and bling are, of course, mine.




As 2019 begins to settle in, I hope the peace, love, and hope of the Advent season carry through for you. They certainly are staying with me.

Mercy, grace, peace, and love,
Susan


Wednesday, January 2, 2019

Happy New Year!

We had a delightful black-tie and champagne New Year's celebration with friends this year, and I hope you rang in the new year in the way that made you most happy...whether black tie and late night, or jammies and early bedtime, or something in-between those two extremes.

A whole new year of stamping! Are you making any New Year's Crafting Resolutions? I'm going to think about it but would really appreciate your suggestions. What are you resolving to accomplish craft-wise this year? What resolutions would you like me to make on my blog (other than more regular posting, perhaps)? Any ideas?

Let's celebrate the new year on the blog with balloons and another birthday card...because I need lots of birthday cards this year.




PTI's Balloons and Banners is such a versatile little set! And I forsee getting lots of use out of that teeny tiny little star stamp. So cute!

To add a little interest to the die-cut balloons, I glued the bottom and popped the top of each balloon with the Thin 3D Foam Squares. The effect is subtle but fun.

Mercy, grace, peace, and love,
Susan

Sunday, December 30, 2018

Colorful Birthday

Papertrey's Balloon Banner set with the dies is a fabulous little set! This card used up some small colored cardstock scraps, so yay!



The dimensionals are very thin and perfect for mailing. They are Thin 3D Foam Squares. If you don't have some, get some!




These colors pack a punch!

Mercy, grace, peace, and love,
Susan




Wednesday, December 26, 2018

Post Christmas Fugue

I hope your Christmas was peace-filled, calm, and bright...full of love and hope and joy and good gifts to help you create in the New Year!

Well, I tried to stamp today and came up blank, wanting nothing more than to flee my craft desk for a cup of coffee and a good book by the fire.

Hope springs eternal, however, and maybe tomorrow will be better. But fortunately, I have some birthday cards to share until the post-Christmas fugue has played itself out.

This fun little card in blues and greens takes advantage of the Hero Arts Infinity Dies I bought courtesy of a gift card from my friend Liz. LOVE faux postage, and this little die will make that so much easier. I paired it with PTI's Balloons and Banners, Simple Alphabet, and Keep It Simple Happy Birthday.


These $1 stamps aren't as improbable as I thought (couldn't find a cent symbol in my stamp stash). USPS is raising rates next year. Go buy a bunch of forever stamps before the price increase!

I like how the spiky font of the sentiment echoes the spiky edges of the faux postage. Sometimes, very rarely, but sometimes, we have just the right sentiment in just the right font. How splendid that is!



The book I'm reading right now is Shadow of Night by Deborah Harkness. It's the second in a trilogy about vampires and witches, and it's delightful. I spent most of last semester reading work-related texts, and it's been so much fun to dive into fantasy fiction and escape into a work with a magical book at its center. Because books are magical. Truly.

Mercy, grace, peace, and love,
Susan