Sunday, July 14, 2019

Healing Wishes

Here's the last card I have in my computer from Before the Flood, or as I have taken to calling it, BF. As we've been purging and reboxing stuff in the basement, I've been labeling the new boxes "PF" for post-flood.

Which means I should be labeling stuff before the flood "AF" for anteflood, sort of like antebellum but with a flood instead of a war. But why label boxes that are going in the recycling bin? That's just silly.

I want my craft space back! It's hard to believe the flood happened on Father's Day. Almost a month ago. And this downtime has happened when I actually have had more time to stamp. It's not fair!

Since Father's Day. That's a lot of Whining Time. Or WT, if you will.

Instead of more WT, however, let's look at a pretty card using an old staple, Dot Spot from Papertrey.


The large Dot Spot was inked with Memento pinks, spritzed with Tattered Angels sparkly stuff, which doesn't show up on the pictures, but oh well. The center was inked with Memento Dandelion and spritzed. The paper is a Hero Arts handmade watercolor paper, which is delightfully textured.



And hopefully by the end of next week, I'll be able to make something new.

Thanks for your patience!

Mercy, grace, peace, and love,
Susan




Saturday, July 13, 2019

An End in Sight

Whew. The insurance company finally came through, and the restoration company should be putting everything back to order starting at the end of next week. They call it "put-back," which isn't a very creative name, but boy howdy, do I want it.

The chaotic aftermath of the flood isn't over yet, but hopefully, it will be in a week or two. In the meantime, George and I are going through the mess trying to purge as much junk as possible. There may be some grab-boxes of crafty things for sale soon!

I still have a few cards from before the flood to share. Today's card makes fantastically minimalist use of some of the MANY bottles of Stickles littering my embellishment drawers.



My original plan was to add a raised sentiment over the stems, but there wasn't quite enough room so this card remains sentiment-less.

I think it's fine just as it is.

Because glitter. Glitter is good.



This style...mostly black with touches of bright color...truly satisfies the minimalist in me. It's a go-to design that always works.

What are your go-to designs? I can't stamp right now, but I can live vicariously through you!

Mercy, grace, peace, love, and put-backs,
Susan




Wednesday, July 3, 2019

Well, That Was Unexpected

Happy Treason Independence Day to all my American readers. If you haven't already read it, Signing Their Lives Away by Denise Kiernan (a friend of my sister) is a must-read for the holiday. It's entertaining, funny, and informative, and it celebrates the real humans who committed treason in the name of freedom 243 years ago tomorrow.

Now, for a couple of cards after such a long break. These were made over a month ago. I was playing with color layering stamps from Hero Arts. So much has happened since I made these two cards. 


This card was totally inspired by this photo on Pinterest, but June. June happened. I can't remember exactly the thought process that led to this super different version. Still, you can see the connection, I hope. And my signature white-on-white layering. These layers were made with 80lb Neenah Solar White, while the card base is 110lb of the same.



Note that I embossed AND die cut for this card. So out of my usual, but so possible because of Eva's gift of a Cuttlebug. Still so grateful for that! Thanks, Eva!

And then, this card evolved while I had the stamp set out.  The color combo came from a pin as well. Aqua and yellow. What a fresh and fabulous combo.






Okay, so June was a weird month.

First, while in Lakeside, OH, waiting for the start of the commissioning of a friend as a provisional elder in the United Methodist Church*, which was delayed by a tornado warning, I received a text from my hubby saying he was quitting his job. Wow.

That was weird. And wonderful, as George's skill set is in high demand in the Dayton area, so he landed a new job with little effort, no relocation required. He's currently goofing off between jobs, making homemade pierogies and roasted chicken and other yummy things.

Flashback to Father's Day when I woke up and found the carpet squishy underfoot. Basement flood. First, insurance said they wouldn't pay. Then, after a second flood, the restoration company figured out the problem was the sump pump. We have a sump pump rider on our homeowner's policy, so yay! It won't cover everything, but still, yay!

The second flood happened three hours after the restoration team of three big, strong men spent 8 hours ripping out wet carpet pad and floating the carpet with 16 blowers.

The second floating. Magic carpets make me sad, now. This
whole area is empty, awaiting new padding and carpet/baseboard reinstall. 
I completely lost it when I saw the water squirting up between my foundation and the wall of the basement. Squirting! Gushing! It poured through the cleaned out area, with nothing to impede its progress to completely dry parts of the basement. The second flood was worse, completely saturating the entire basement, ruining baseboards and drywall that had been unaffected by the first flood.

Hormones. I'm blaming the hormones for my sobbing phone call to the restoration company to tell them that all their equipment was running in a new flood and ohmygoshweareallgoingtobeelectrocuted!!!!!!

Perimenopausal hot flashes and vacillating between homicidal rage and thumb-sucking fetal  depression rendered me a (literal and figurative) hot mess in the face of the mayhem in my basement. 

Everything is dry now, but we can't move any of the piles of stuff until the restoration company does its repairs, which await insurance company approval, which is delayed by the higher priority of tornado damage in north Dayton from the Memorial Day tornados that did WAY worse damage to already impoverished areas of Ohio.

My craft area. So sad.

One great pile. I've started to go through this and throw away
damaged stuff or old stuff we should have thrown away years ago.

See, Eva. The Cuttlebug is fine.

A small bedroom stuffed with stuff.

The larger basement bedroom, also stuffed full.
What a mess.

Two unfinished areas are similarly chaotic. Our beautiful new sump pump is working away, keeping everything dry.

I'm just grateful we can get this all fixed up.

Mercy, grace, peace, love, and dry basements,
Susan

*The UMC has made national news since its February, 2019, Special General Conference made some unfortunate decisions regarding policies related to LGBTQIA+ inclusion in ordained ministry and same-sex marriage. I'll be weighing in on my religious blog, Transforming Common Days (which hasn't had a new post since 2017), once I can type without either crying or raging...neither of which is very helpful. Or Christ-like. But crying and raging are most definitely hormonal. Ain't perimenopause grand?

Whine over.



Sunday, June 2, 2019

Max Bling

Have you, too, hoarded embellishments? Have you, too, saved "the good stuff" for . . . what? The future? When you're a better stamper? When you have more confidence?

Seriously. I'm guilty.

But not anymore.



Thirty-seven little embellishments picked up on a whim at Marco's one day at least a year ago...used on one card. There are still some left but not enough to make a duplicate of this. This has to be a record for use of bling on a card.

And it was totally worth it!



Release your hoard! Use the bling!

After all, there's more where it came from. ;-)

The die is from Sizzix, the stamp is from Papertrey, and the bling is from Queen and Company.

Mercy, grace, peace, and love,
Susan





Saturday, June 1, 2019

Flower Fun

I have a confession to make.

I burned out on flowers.

There. I said it.

It's been a while since any flower stamps made me happy, but flowers often sell well in Karen's Card Shop. My flower stamps felt old and stale to me. On a whim, I bought a couple of floral sets from Simon Says and am feeling flower fun again.




This set (Favorite Flowers from SSS) is incredibly easy to work with because the loose design is very forgiving on the two-step stamping. There's lots of movement in the lines, too, so the images have lots of energy. Fun. Easy. Flowers!

The color combo here came from Pinterest and looks so spring-y and fun.

Random-stamped designs seem to be very popular right now, and I'm happy to see that. If you're stuck figuring them out, take a look at my old post on random stamping here: Tutorial on Random Stamping. It's not a terribly sophisticated tutorial, but there are some good tips!

Happy June to you! I hope you're enjoying the season. We've had storms pass through Monday night just 20 miles north of us. Tornados destroyed homes and businesses, and the clean-up will take a long time. Other areas of the U.S. have been hard-hit by floods and storms as well. My thoughts and prayers for all who have been affected.

Stay safe, listen to the weather service and police, and comply with take-shelter orders.

Mercy, grace, peace, love, and safety,
Susan

Sunday, May 19, 2019

Sending Happy Thoughts

Before we get started on today's post, let me thank Carol, Lisa, and Patti for their donations of cards to Karen's Card Shop! I've already restocked the shop with some of Lisa and Patti's cards (which arrived first), and Carol's will go in next week. Such lovely cards...and lovely hearts to share them with First United Methodist Church of Springboro!

Thanks in advance to all who said they were sending cards, too!

Now for today's card, which uses two new set from Simon Says Stamp: Sending Happy Thoughts and Artsy Flower Parts.




Breaking the stem over the sentiment made me so very happy! It enhances the unity of the card nicely.




And isn't that Archival black ink so very, very black?!?!?! Loving a well-inked, high-quality inkpad.

Now, let's talk about memory and stamps.

When one doesn't spend at least an hour a day in one's craft room, one forgets what one has...and it's much harder to stamp. I spent about two hours today making nothing, and what I learned from my frustration is that I need to go through all my stamps again to remember what I've got.

First-world problems. Definitely.

Mercy, grace, peace, and love,
Susan

Monday, May 13, 2019

Revisiting an Old Set

Since Karen's Card Shop is particularly low on get-well cards, I decided to make a few using an old favorite from Papertrey: Modern Basics. 

Hadn't noticed that I photographed them in increasing order of simplicity, but there you go.



The first card contains sequins...and I actually like how it turned out! What a surprise. Sequins and I don't usually get along, but these from Hero Arts are kind of cooperative. So yay!



The second card takes advantage of opposites on the color wheel; blue and orange create such high energy.



And finally, a little green leaf with three tiny bling. Sweet!

The cardstock used for these cards is Neenah Solar White in 80lb and 110lb weights. The base is, obviously, the heavier weight. I have a huge stash of Papertrey Stampers Select and love it, but have experimented with shifting to Neenah simply for the two weights to lighten up my white-on-white layered cards. I'm not sure this shift will be permanent, but the Neenah sure works great!

Karen's Card Shop is in need of cards if you are interested in donating. Our best sellers are Get Well, Thank You, Thinking of You, Love and Friendship, and Birthday. All proceeds from the shop go to our church's general fund and Stephen Ministry program. Shoot me an email at susanraihala at roadrunner dot com if you would like my address!

Blessings to you all for sticking with me despite my sparse posting since I've gone back to teaching. Words can't express how satisfying and joyful it is to be working with students again. After a successful second semester, I've been offered one class over the summer and am waiting to hear about the fall. Nevertheless, I'm happy to have a lighter summer which will allow for more stamping, and the short summer semester doesn't start until June 11. Yay! Thanks so much for all the good wishes and encouragement you've offered up. My heart is full. Mwah!

Mercy, grace, peace, and love,
Susan