Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Boy Birthday and the Joy of Random Mess

Kid cards are not my specialty. My own inner child was, sadly, murdered in my teens, and while my forties have yielded some happily regressive behavior, I can't say I connect with the juvenile set. But Clear and Simple Stamps has a set called Oh, Boy with an adorable flock of paper airplanes that is just right for a boy.

This color scheme happened accidentally when I noticed random markers together in the mess on my table and thought, "What the heck? Why not?"

I rather like it!

And yes, I want credit for using four colors plus black on a CAS card. Go, me!

stamps: Clear and Simple Stamps, Hero Arts
ink: Memento
paper: Papertrey White
accessories: assorted markers

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Color Pop

Sometimes, a happy punch of color is all a layout needs to stand out!

This card uses stamps from the Beautiful Blooms II set from Papertrey, but any trio of differently-sized flowers would work. Placing the biggest bloom at the top left helps balance the sentiment on the bottom right. Different sizes of bling, arranged in a visual triangle and scaled to each flower, add interest and balance as well as movement to the design.

stamps: Papertrey Birthday Bash Sentiments, Beautiful Blooms II
ink: VersaColor scarlet and black
paper: Papertrey white
accessories: black rhinestones, dimensionals

Monday, January 27, 2014

Updated Color Block Card

Yesterday's post on trends provoked many interesting comments. If you haven't read them, you might enjoy them! It seems many of my readers (at least those who are willing to comment) enjoy trend watching but are slow to jump on bandwagons...a very healthy approach, I think, although not the only healthy approach.

Today's card, as promised, updates the idea of color blocking a bit by creating a bit of free-form movement among the blocks rather than the static arrangement of yesterday's cards. They are different heights, different linear designs, different sizes, and different colors...all arranged somewhat randomly.

But of course it took me ten minutes of moving little squares around and changing out large for small, etc., to get this random look. I rather love it!


Given the red-white-and-blue color scheme, this card is obviously destined for Operation Write Home. I added a sentiment to the inside...not something I normally do, but this design with the FYI... on the front simply begged for it.

This set is my first--and definitely not my last--from Lily Bee.

stamps: Hero Arts inside sentiment, Lily Bee Memorandum
ink: Hero Arts
paper: Papertrey Ink
accessories: square punches, dimensionals

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Color-blocking Retrospective and Musings on Trends

As I flipped through several older special issues from Paper Crafts Magazine, I realized how dated some of the cards in those magazines looked to my eyes. I was also reminded of color-blocking and how much I love, love, love it.

Now, tomorrow's post will show an updated, fresher-looking card than today's retrospective cards. These two cards follow a layout I used repeatedly years ago, so it looks and feels dated to me...and probably to any of you who've been stamping a while.

Quiet Color Scheme

Bold Color Scheme

Of course I had to make two different color schemes, just to see what the difference would be. I like the bolder one better, but the softer one is pretty, too. The softer card would definitely feel more unified with a "Thinking of You" sentiment rather than "Happy Birthday," though.

These two cards got me thinking about trends, and how they come and go, get make-overs and are transformed into something ever-so-slightly different, and revived. We obsessive dedicated paper crafters know and follow trends (or consciously choose to ignore them) in ways that non-paper-crafting people (otherwise known as "normal" people) do not.

Most people who receive our cards have not a clue that the stamp or designer paper or deco scissors or eyelet we used on their card is passé. They don't care--never cared--about such things. We, however, can get sucked into caring very, very much.

Don't get me wrong. There is nothing in the world wrong with enjoying and following trends. They keep our hobby fresh and fun and growing. They are responsible for all the amazing products we have now that weren't available five or ten or two years ago.

But our attitude toward those trends can become skewed and unhealthy. We might spend too much money on the latest and greatest, we might judge ourselves or others harshly, we might get snarky on internet forums, we might feel like we have to keep up with Frieda Famous Flocker and Simone Superstar Spritzer.

I had a wonderful lunch on Friday with Leslie Hanna, also known as the Crooked Stamper. She and I lamented the fact that some magazines require cards to have "currently available" product. What's wrong with using old stamps? Creatively, we don't want to be bound by such restrictions. Neither of us bothers with submitting work to magazines, except my angry submission to Take Ten when I thought their design challenges were ridiculously complicated.

Incidentally, the stamps I used on those published cards were all discontinued. Stampington and Company doesn't restrict product as some other publications do.

But all this got me thinking. I love watching trends, and they make a pleasant whooshing sound as they fly by me. Occasionally, I invite one to roost in my craft space a while. If it's happy there, it stays, and if not, it flies away without regret on my part. It's all good.

But what about you? Do you get sucked in or do you ignore trends? Are you somewhere in between? Do you resent trends or celebrate them? Do you even think about this subject at all or do you have better things to do, like iron socks?

Please share your thoughts!

stamps: Hero Arts (discontinued), Papertrey Birthday Basics
ink: assorted Hero Arts, VersaColor/Magic
paper: Papertrey white
accessories: glue, rhinestones and pearls

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Valentine Circle and an Announcement

Quick note to Kathyb: I've not received an email from you with your snail mail address! If you want your prize, please send it to me at susanraihala at roadrunner dot com ASAP. Thanks!

Today's card was inspired by several different sketches and cards I noticed as I flipped through random special issues of Paper Crafts magazines. I rather like how it turned out!

Please note there are technically four layers of card stock on this card, which is intended for my beloved George, so the fact that those hearts are popped up so much has no effect on delivery.

The black-and-white color scheme with just a tiny splash of red really gives this Valentine a masculine feel that I suspect George will appreciate, although its shocking lack of airplane images might turn him off. Remember the birthday card George made for me...the one with three B-1 bombers on it? Yeah. That's what a girl gets from her steely-eyed Air Force aviator. So romantic.

Anyway, the design is crisp and clean, despite four layers, and the simple color scheme reinforces that simplicity. I think it proves that layers can still be CAS...sometimes. *wink*

And now for our fun announcement! Click over to the One-Layer Simplicity Blog and get your OLS blog badge! Our extremely talented Ardyth created this badge--which is absolutely clean and simple and oh so fabulous. Thanks so much, Ardyth, for putting this together!

stamps: Papertrey Text Style, Hero Arts sentiment
ink: Memento
paper: Papertrey white
accessories: dimensionals, heart punches (Papertrey), heart-shaped rhinestone, extra-large circle punch

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Happy Birthday with Bling, and an Answer to a Question--ETA

Still using up my bling. Love this fun, handwritten birthday greeting from Papertrey's Birthday Bash Sentiments!

ETA--Thanks to Virginia, I know who inspired this card: Cristina Kowalczyk. You can see a pic of her card and my first CASE of it on this post.

I'm borrowing it again because it's both fun and brilliant.

And now for the question, which was posed by curious reader Diana in yesterday's comments. She asked,

"Besides the cards you post, are all of your cards CAS?"

The short answer is yes. All the cards I make are CAS, at least for the past five or six years. If you go wayyyyy back on my SCS gallery, you might find some layered/embellished cards and even cards with *gasp* designer paper. Shocking, I know.

But I do make the occasional less-CAS cards that don't get posted here for several reasons. Either I'm just not happy with them (generally the case), or I've deliberately made them in another style to please a particular recipient.

The cards that make me happiest--and that I want to share here--are the ones that answer the following question with a yes: Do you, my dear, handmade card, contain just the minimum needed to convey your message interestingly?

Minimalism is my bag, baby.

Having said that, however, I want to make absolutely clear that my minimalist fanaticism is not--and should not be--for everyone. I am passionate about making minimalist cards, but it should be obvious by now I get inspiration from all sorts of styles. My purpose in celebrating my style is to inspire others to find their own style and wallow joyfully in it...whatever it might be. There's also nothing at all wrong with having no style whatsoever. Some people don't want to limit themselves to one sort of look and play around with all kinds of styles. I think this is wonderful!

Whatever makes you happy in this hobby, do it. That's what I do.

And if you'd like to read something else about stamping that I agree with completely, click over to Joan B's blog I Make I Talk and read what she has to say about competition in stamping. Dang, I love that woman.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

New Stuff and a Super-CAS Card and WINNERS!

Hee, hee! I got two large-for-me orders last week, one from Joann's and one from Ellen Hutson. Great service from both, I'm happy to report.

My hubs was excited about the map stamp!

Trying a couple new-to-me stamp companies, along
with my reliable old Hero Arts.

I've already been playing with all this goodness and wow! It's fun having a bunch of new stuff (especially considering my recent PTI order). I'm working my way through it all so I can put it away and integrate it into The Collection.

After yesterday's busier card, I decided to post a super-CAS card today. I just love these stamps from Papertrey's Birthday Bash Sentiments set.

The combination of bright color and black, plus the right justification of the two lines, has just the right amount of interest so the card needs nothing else at all.

*happy sigh*

Many thanks to all who contributed organizational ideas to THIS POST. I encourage any of you who haven't read the comments there to click on over...awesome suggestions! Y'all really are the best blog readers a gal could ever have!

And now for our three lucky winners:


Sheila H


Please send me your snail-mail address at susanraihala at roadrunner dot com, and I'll send your little bling give-away prize to you ASAP!

Monday, January 20, 2014

Bling and Washi

Two quick reminders...

1. The One-Layer Simplicity Challenge closes at midnight on January 24th.

2. The Little Give-Away of Bling closes at midnight tonight (the 20th), and I will announce three random winners on Tuesday, January 21st.

And now for today's card, which is a bit different for me. There's more going on than usual for me, but I kinda like it!

This card is really about color and bling. Hot pink and bright teal really sing together, which is just perfect for a birthday card, don't you think?

Just look at all that bling I used up! I'm really having lots of fun using my bling. Have you decided to use up some of your stash? How is it going for you?

stamps: Papertrey Ink Birthday Bash Sentiments
ink: Memento black
paper: Papertrey Ink white
accessories: rhinestones, washi tape, dimensionals

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Using the Bling

If you missed my little give-away post, go HERE.  For a few days, this blog is all about ACTUALLY USING lots of bling as an intervention for hoarding the stuff.  So here's another card, layered for your viewing pleasure, that uses a lot of bling in blues and greens.

What do you think? Check your hoard stash of stamps and see if you have a sort of funky sentiment you can use for a similar card. Easy, fun, and consumptive of bling!

I hope you all had a lovely weekend and, for those in the United States, please take time to honor the memory of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., on Monday. Let's start with this gem of a quotation from him:

"I refuse to accept the view that mankind is so tragically bound to the starless midnight of racism and war that the bright daybreak of peace and brotherhood can never become a reality.... I believe that unarmed truth and unconditional love will have the final word."

Unarmed truth and unconditional love. We will get there, people. We will.

stamps: Papertrey Birthday Bash Sentiments
ink: Memento
paper: Papertrey white
accessories: rhinestones, dimensionals

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Christmas Cards We Received and Jonah News

First, the Jonah news. Tests came back positive for RSV. As Jonah is four and has asthma, this was scary, but the doctors appear to have it all under control, and Jonah is recovering, though still in the hospital. Please continue prayers as he's not fully recovered yet and this has delayed chemo. But here's his smiling face!

And now for Christmas cards. Many of you sent me hand-made Christmas cards, and I want to share your lovely work with the world to say thank you for taking the time--and making the effort--to brighten my family's Christmas. Some people sent store-bought cards, which we were equally grateful to receive! Overall, we saw a significant decrease in cards we received this year from family and friends, which makes the efforts made by people who don't even know us in real life even more appreciated.

The beautiful cards we received this year...

Patti J.




Karen D.






Sue C.




Janet...the outside

Janet...the gorgeous inside!




Don't you just love the variety of styles and colors and techniques? There is amazing inspiration in this collection! Thank you all for sharing your talent with me and my family.

And here's a final gift I received from Audrie that is just pretty as can be.

set of 4 cards and envelopes, all tied up with a bow

accompanying card

Audrie is so generous. It seems like several times a year she sends me little things...and sometimes, not-so-little things! Whatever she sends is either gorgeous or useful or both. Thank you, Audrie, for being such a bright spot on the internet and in my life.

And thank you, each and every one, for reading my blogs, for encouraging me, for putting up with my occasional absences or delays in posting. I appreciate you more than you can know.

Friday, January 17, 2014

Jonah Update-ETA

This is my second post for Friday. If you are reading this in email, please scroll down for the first post.

Molly, Jonah's mom, updated his Facebook Group last night with a prayer request. Jonah was admitted to the hospital Thursday night with a fever and worrying blood work. He has an infection of some sort and is in a lot of pain (the doctors put him on morphine). The whole family is exhausted because Jonah hasn't been sleeping well for a while, and they need our prayers.

Thanks in advance for lifting Jonah, his family, and their medical caregivers up to God.

ETA: Here's a picture Molly posted on FB of Jonah. Let's surround this little guy in love and prayer!

First-World Problems, Balance, and a Little Give-Away

Conspicuous consumption creates all sorts of problems. How many of you have craft spaces so over-flowing with stuff that you don't even know what you have? How many of you have stamp sets you've never opened and used? How many of you have enough card stock to last about five lifetimes?

Well, welcome to the club. I used to have so much stuff I didn't know what I had, unused stamps just "waiting" for the perfect project, and a dozen Cropper Hopper paper holders full of card stock. Strict discipline over a period of years led me to my current state of relative sanity.

It's a process, people. A never-ending process.

Now, many of you don't have problems wallowing in plenty. In fact, you may even enjoy it, so yay for you! I, however, did not enjoy the chaos and started overcoming it by severely restricting my stamp buying and actually using every single image I bought. This went extremely well, and I now won't put away new stamps in my highly organized storage until I've used them all. This new habit is fully integrated into my stamping life, so yay me!

My card stock collection was pared down in two ways. First, I sold or gave away a LOT of my 8.5"x11" colored card stock...from six containers to two. I bought most of it just before realizing that one-layer white cards were my favorite format. *sigh* Second, I moved most of my 12"x12" card stock to an out-of-the-way closet so I didn't have to look at it. One day, I'll either get back to scrapbooking or decide to sell it all, but in the meantime, that card stock is out of sight, out of mind.

As for embellishments, several years of ruthless purging and completely obsessive organizing got me to a happy place. All my embellishments are stored in Sterilite drawers, organized by color. (If you haven't implemented this scheme, do so immediately. It. Will. Change. Your. Life. Seriously.)

Part of my never-ending process includes sifting through every single item in my craft space once every three to four months to remind myself what I have, purge items that still haven't been used and aren't likely to be used ever, and tidy what's left for easy finding. At first, this sifting would take days; now, it takes a few hours. Yay for me! Anyway, during my last sift session, I realized that I have been hoarding colored rhinestones.

Now, why in the world would I do that? It's easy as pie to color rhinestones to match ink using Copics and Sharpies. (Bics, I have found, don't dry as quickly as the other two do). You can even blend colors on rhinestones fairly easily to get just the right shade to match your ink. So why do I have five unopened packs of pink bling and a bunch of purple bling that doesn't match any ink I own? What a colorful jumble my rhinestone collection has become!

So I committed to using up as much of my colored bling as possible. Here's the first two of a number of birthday cards using up an abundance of bling.

4.25" Square

5.5" x 4.25"

To make these cards, I stamped a random-sized dot border from Hero Arts (discontinued years ago), stamped the sentiment, and covered each dot on the border with bling. These are fun and sparkly cards...and very easy! You could create your own random border without the stamp, or search your stash for border stamps you could adapt to this technique.

You could even use multiple lines, or frame shapes like circles, squares, ovals, etc. I've been experimenting. Bling can go almost anywhere, really, and more is better!

I have no idea why I moved the sentiment on the rectangular card, or why I put it where I did on the square card. But I like them both.

To celebrate my transition from hoarder to user of bling, I'm going to give away three packs of bling to three randomly selected readers who share their favorite organizational tip/product/plan in the comments. Comments will close for the give-away on January 20, 2014, at midnight.

Remember, if you don't include a tip, your comment will not be in the running for the give-away. Let's help each other discover new and better ways to overcome our first-world problems of conspicuous consumption!

While you're at it, you might want to think about my Use-Your-Stamps Challenge. It will help you figure out what sorts of stamps you really do love and want to work with...and the ones that are cool but not necessarily for you.

Happy Stamping!

stamps: Hero Arts border, Papertrey Birthday Basics
ink: Memento
paper: Papertrey white
accessories: rhinestones, corner rounders

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

And...She Uses Two Layers

I've been making so many one-layer cards lately that it felt weird to make this two-layer card, as if I were doing something radically counter-cultural, which is weird, don't you think?

Anyway, I have a drawer full of scraps of white card stock that need to be used, and white-on-white cards make me almost as happy as one-layer white cards!

This card uses some of my new Papertrey stamps...Birthday Bash Sentiments and Beautiful Blooms II. I wanted a very minimalist flower (cutting it off like that is pretty minimalist) that was still interesting. The triangle of flower, sentiment, and rhinestones keeps your eye moving and creates a nice balance.

I colored red rhinestones with a dark red Bic marker to get more of a burgundy shade to match the burgundy VersaColor ink of the flower. Love that little trick.

And now I'm going to share a story from my 14-year-old son. As he was getting ready for bed tonight, he said, "Mom, remember how you used to tell me I had Jesus in my heart? Well, I didn't know you were speaking metaphorically, so I thought a little Jesus really was in my heart, pedaling a bike in my internal organs." I'm just pleased as punch the kid now knows how to use "metaphorically" correctly, and ohmygosh, Jesus riding a bike in our hearts!!!! Kids are awesome.

And on that happy note, I'll say goodnight.

stamps: Papertrey Beautiful Blooms II, Birthday Bash Sentiments
ink: Versacolor
paper: Papertrey
accessories: dimensionals, rhinestones, Bic marker

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Shimmery Ink Is Cool; Chalk Ink Is Also Cool

Just an FYI...y'all are going to see a LOT of birthday cards in the next few weeks, simply because the OLS challenge to Stock Your Shelves didn't come out of thin air. I need a lot of birthday cards for 2014, and I want to send more birthday cards to Operation Write Home this year. I'm stocking up and hope you don't get bored.

Today's card demonstrates why every single CAS stamper in the whole wide world needs to have a nice selection of shimmery ink. It can carry a card all by its lonesome!

This totally flat card has lots of pop. I love that the photo shows how shimmery the platinum ink is, but the copper ink is also shimmery. Both are from the Brilliance line of inks. I love the dew drop easy to work with!

Now, a lot of the time, when using shimmery metallics, I think I have to stick with more formal stamps. This was an experiment to see if casual stamps would work...and I think they do!

Also, this layout is one of my favorites for sheer fun and energy. I made another card, with a different stamp set, using chalk ink from VersaMagic.

Note how things get rearranged slightly to accommodate a larger, wider sentiment. Also, I just HAD to put some bling on this card because as much as I like chalk ink for its great coverage and thickness, this card needed just a little something more.

GACK! I just checked the time. I'm running out of time right now--busy evening coming up--so I'll come back tomorrow and edit the post to include stamp set names. Sorry for the delay!

In the meantime, discuss whether you prefer shimmery inks or chalk inks...or do you have to have them both? Nosy Inquiring minds want to know.

Monday, January 13, 2014

More Washi and a Punch

Today's card combines some of my new washi tape and an old punch.

I noticed several cards in old magazines (and maybe a new one, but I don't remember) that used die cut labels hanging off the card like this, and I wanted to give it a try. Since I don't have a die cut machines, I checked out my punches. The curviest label punch is pretty small, so that allowed me to leave lots of white space. Yay!

Speaking of magazines, I cancelled my subscription for Paper Crafts magazine today. The devastating news that they were no longer printing the magazine made me sad, and after I spent about 45 minutes trying to access the new online issue without success (and sent an email to customer service without response), I gave up.

My hope is that the rest of you have had more success than I had. I have enjoyed that magazine for such a long time, and now, it's gone, except for special issues. Change stinks.

On the other hand, two more cards came in for Jonah today, and that made me very happy!!!

stamps: Papertrey Mega Mixed Messages
ink: Memento
paper: Papertrey Ink white
accessories: washi tape, EK Success label punch, rhinestone, dimensionals

Sunday, January 12, 2014

A Hello That Works, and Jonah

Today's card says howdy in patriotic colors, so I'm sending it to Operation Write Home. It's always fun to use a large sentiment so very simply and still have it be punchy with color and a bit of heart-shaped bling!

The use of red horizontally on the bottom right and diagonally on the top left creates a nice balance, doesn't it? I did that on purpose. And it worked!

I'm always surprised when it does work, you know. Because sometimes, it doesn't.

Several people have asked about Jonah. He's doing okay as of last report, and has switched from weekly chemo to once every three weeks. He still has considerable belly pain at times, and they're working on getting his meds straightened out to help with that, as well as play therapy to help with the inevitable emotional issues from dealing with so much at such a young and vulnerable age. I cannot even imagine what he's going through...or his family.

I will continue to deliver cards to Jonah and his family as long as you send them. It's no trouble for me at all, and he's such a sweetie I'm happy to do whatever I can to help cheer him and his family through this difficult time. It might be fun for him to receive some Valentine's Day cards....

Just a thought!

stamps: Papertrey Ink
ink: VersaColor
paper: Papertrey Ink white
accessories: heart rhinestones

Friday, January 10, 2014

Pretty Flourish-y Birthday for OLS1

Here's another card with a flourish, but this one doesn't look flatulent at all. *wink*

That fabulous big sentiment is from Think Big Favorites #12, one of Papertrey's $5 sets. Love it! The flourish is from Clearly Besotted's With a Flourish. Love it, too! The soft pool ink from Hero Arts looks so pretty under the very solid black sentiment stamped with VersaColor black ink.

The bling matches better in real life, and I like how it sort of anchors the flourish on the left and lets it flow to the right...just as you read.

I'm going to enter this in the One-Layer Simplicity #1 Challenge! If you haven't had a chance to play along yet, click over and check out the details. For those who missed the announcement, the One-Layer Wednesday Challenge has now been replaced with One-Layer Simplicity...a monthly challenge where you can enter cards from the 1st through the 24th of the month.

I'm so excited to see 66 entries already for our first challenge! Can't wait to spend some time catching up on all the entries and commenting on those I haven't gotten to yet. So much beauty over there!!!

Have a wonderful, inky weekend, everyone.

stamps: Papertrey Ink Think Big Favorites #12, Clearly Besotted With a Flourish
ink: Hero Arts, VersaColor
paper: Papertrey Ink white
accessories: rhinestones

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Sentiment Collage...the CAS Way (ETA)

I like words.

You probably suspected that little personal factoid, given how many words I've shared on my four blogs...because one blog just isn't enough.

Anyway, I played around with various Thinking of You sentiments, most of them from the Thinking of You limited edition set from Clear and Simple Stamps. If you take time to read the words, you'll see "today" and "always" included for a little added effect.

ETA: Inspired by Hazel

And bling. Because it's always a good thing. Especially when it moves your eye around a card.

These types of collages are great when your stamp collection has grown big enough that you have so many sentiments you don't know what to do with them all.

Which doesn't at all explain why I still have times when I don't have the perfect sentiment...but that's such a first-world problem, don't you think? I'm not complaining. Just commenting.

I like the calm peacefulness of this word collage. The sentiments are all fairly smallish, and they balance out nicely. You can also play with combining a larger range of sizes in your word collage, turn words sideways, mix things up more. Don't be afraid to make mistakes (you will)...just play around until it comes out right.

And yes, this is my second attempt at a Thinking of You word collage. The first fell completely flat (so to speak) when I stamped a huge sentiment that unbalanced the whole card. I recommend you start with the largest word or sentiment first, and then fill in around it.

Thanks for sharing your wishes and favorites with me and the world in the last post's comments. Must check out a few new companies!

stamps: various, mostly Clear and Simple Stamps
ink: VersaColor and VersaMagic
paper: Papertrey Ink white
accessories: gridded acrylic block, rhinestones

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

New Stuff and Some Questions

I'm excited to share a picture of some of my Christmas bounty! Here's my first order of new stamps in the new year...

It's quite a diverse selection of goodness, including Ruby Reprise, apparently a freebee offered by Papertrey in December that I wasn't expecting. It's an adorable set.

I also have an order coming from Waltzingmouse that appears to have been taken hostage by the USPS or perhaps customs. Not sure which.

It's been a long and trying week, so instead of talking about stamping, I'd like to ask you a couple of questions.

What happy stampy goodness did you receive this holiday season?

What happy stampy goodness do you want in the new year?

Because I still have money burning a hole in my pocket and am waffling in indecision over what to order next.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

On Butterfly Farts and Snow Days

Before I tackle the subjects of the title of tonight's post, allow me to thank all of you who have sent cards and packages to Jonah! To date, 94 people have sent items, and I will be delivering 17 pieces of mail tomorrow. Thank you, thank you, thank you!!!!

And now for butterfly farts.

The stamper's dilemma is showing movement on a two-dimensional surface. How do you indicate that a creature, let's say a butterfly, is flitting about? One way is to have a trail of dots or a flourish coming out of its butt to show where it has been.

But this looks for all the world like a butterfly fart.

Perhaps it's simply better for the butterfly to sit on a branch or something. I'm really not sure I can send these cards to anyone except as a joke. As one of my husband's flight instructors said, "It was a good idea that shouldn't have seen the light of day."

And now for snow days.

Our children had yesterday and today off school for dangerously low temperatures. Our icy roads were bad enough (especially yesterday), but having children wait outside for a bus in the dark at -8 degrees F with a wind chill of -30 and wind gusts to 35 miles per hour is, well, not entirely safe. Tomorrow morning's forecast is 7 degrees above zero, so we fully expected them to be back at school.

Turns out frigid temperatures caused pipes in the sprinkler systems in two of our district buildings to burst. Damage in the high school appears to be minimal, but Jack's elementary school, which is attended by about 1,200 students, had more extensive damage and will be closed tomorrow.

This means Nick, who attends the junior high, will have school, but Jack will have yet another day off.

I give you one guess as to Nick's feelings on this subject.

Alas, life is not fair.

But what a blessing that we can all laugh about butterfly farts.

stamps: Papertrey Ink Beautiful Butterflies, Clearly Besotted With a Flourish
ink: Memento
paper: Papertrey Ink white
accessories: Corner Chomper

Monday, January 6, 2014

Winter Thank You

We're freezing here in Ohio. The low tonight is supposed to be -8. It's -6 right now.


And here's a question for you. Why does it feel colder in my house when the thermostat setting hasn't changed? My hubs keeps it at 64 degrees Fahrenheit all winter long, but right now my feet are much more frozen than usual and I want a hot beverage STAT.

All my Canadian friends are laughing at me right now, just like I laughed at my North Carolinian cousin who called to complain that their wind chill will be zero tonight.


Anyway, here's a card that can give you a chill in a good way.

Stay warm, my friends. Stay warm.

stamps: Papertrey Ink Snowflake Serenade, Clear and Simple Stamps Thank You limited edition set
ink: Memento
paper: Papertrey Ink white
accessories: blue Stickles