Tuesday, January 5, 2016

What Amazing Blog Readers I Have!

Here are the Christmas/holiday cards and ornaments I received in December. I want to publicly thank each and every one of you who thought of me and took the time to express holiday wishes to me. What a glorious stack of happy mail I have.

Lighthouse ornament made by Patti and her husband. Isn't it
grand how the grain of the wood acts as a sun in the scene?

It's George riding his bike! The blue
speckles and streaks remind me of the swim
of an Ironman race.

It's Daisy running through our yard, again in the sun!

A wonderful verse on the back of the lighthouse ornament.

On the back of the biking ornament.

A lovely card with a gorgeous sky made by Bev. I really
appreciate the low placement of the star right over
Bethlehem and how that creates such a tight focal point.
And the bling! I always appreciate bling.

Patti's pretty card that came with the ornaments. The pine
branches over the sentiment are darling, and the sweet
sheer ribbon draws the eye to the focal-point sentiment. 

Joann's fantastically textured card and the tea bag
that inspired it! A peace-themed card and herbal tea go so well
together, don't they?

Darla went one layer, with SUPER texture, happy colors,
and lots of fun holiday sparkle. A card to lift even
Scrooge's spirits and make him smile!

Rachel's patriotic card packs a bold
punch of color and excellent layering. Love
the texture and combination of patterns here!

Joan went super minimalist with
high-impact graphic style and color.
(I wish I'd made this card.)

Karen, from the OLS DT, layered up this simple stunner
with super touches of pearls, spatters, and a bold black sentiment.
Love, love, love the color here!

Ardyth, also from the DT, embossed and sponged this
delightfully simple and oh-so-elegant card. Note how balanced
the whole design is, and the excellent use of asymmetry!

Vicki shined up the holiday with fabulous embossing
on metallic papers for a beautifully designed,
seaside-themed Merry card. I love how the circles
hint at bubbly waves and enhance the movement
of the design!

More metallics, only with a silver-mirror shine, from Sue.
The silver embossing and perfectly placed bling are so
elegant and pretty. Sue's was the first card I received this season!

Note that the bling includes two different sizes of rhinestones plus
silver nail-heads. Sue mixed the two embellishments seamlessly with
an excellent eye for detail.

Petra also used mirror card stock (which I'll need to learn to photograph better
if I get many more cards with it! Sorry for the reflection, Petra!). She used
the same Martha Stewart punch I used on yesterday's card to make
a pine-y, lacy-looking edge which is perfect over the mirror, and the clear
bling on the snowflakes enhances the design's unity even more!
ETA Petra says it's 3M tape and not mirror card stock that makes her card
so lovely. MUST get some for myself!

My SU consultant Danielle sent this layered, textured,
beautifully designed card. Love that cherry cobbler strip and
how it draws out the word "Christmas".

Linda did an inlay of blue and cream on kraft, one of my
favorite color combinations. Wonderful use of die cuts! Compare the
rustic beauty and clean lines of Linda's card with Vicki's card above, and note
that the color scheme is so similar but the metallic versus matte finish
yields a completely different feel. Vicki's has high energy, and
Linda's is peaceful and serene.  

Linda also sent this metallic stunner with a beautiful coil of copper
thread under the sentiment. If I'd made this, it would look a mess, but
Linda brought all the elements together so beautifully, in perfect
balance and harmony. 

Marty sends me cute tags every year for Christmas, rather than
cards. And every year, I hang them all on my tree! Love the travel theme
on this one since this was the first Christmas we traveled
in at least ten years.

Tonilea used high-impact black and white for
a simple, lovely holy scene. I love how this
card evokes the true meaning of the season
with such minimalist clarity and focus.

Patti sent another card, this one using beautiful shapes and texture
to evoke the great joy of Emmanuel!

Heather, an OLS DT member, used metal images and sentiment
over a gorgeous watercolor backdrop. I love the contrast of
soft and hard in the design, and the theme of peace truly resonates
for me this year. 

I have no idea how Francie pulled together this incredibly
beautiful card (dies, embossing, watercolor, Stickles, perhaps?)
but it shows how paying attention to little details and arranging
them in harmony can create a deceptively simple-looking,
perfectly gorgeous card.
(I wish I'd made this one, too.)

I include Leslie's card, which is store-bought, to show that crafters who
can't make or don't want to make Christmas cards should stand proud. In this
day and age of emails, sending a card--handmade or not--is an act of kindness
and love, and I so appreciate it. Leslie chose a beautiful card with pretty
birdies hiding all over the place! How many can you count?

Thank you, all, for thinking of me and taking time to send me a card this season. My cup runneth over. Know that I will take time to pray over each card, as my friend Karen Wenzel used to do. It's a small but powerful way to show my gratitude and lift you up. And they will all be placed on my inspiration board in my craft space to give me joy in the year to come!

I appreciate all of you who support Simplicity with your comments, emails, and cards. I started this blog in March 2009, almost seven years ago, expecting about ten people to read it. Through the various avenues of subscription, there are nearly 2,500 subscribers now. Wow.

May 2016 be a beautiful year for each and every one of us!


  1. I'm happy to see you are stamping and posting again. Hope your creative energy will flow and flourish in 2016!

  2. Susan, These cards are wonderful as is your blog. I look to you as a role model in learning simplicity.
    A question. Is there any way to find out the source of the dies that Linda used in the cards she sent you. I would love to purchase the grateful die as I often use that word and the only way I can make a quilted card is with a die.
    Mary Jane

    1. Mary Jane, the dies on both cards came from Papertrey Ink. I've never posted links in a comment before, so I don't know if these will work.
      The word "Grateful" is actually part of the leaf; the name of the die set is "Enclosed: Leaf".
      The quilt die is "Quilted: Winter"; https://www.papertreyink.com/pti-dies/papertrey-ink-quilted-winter-die/

    2. I meant to add that the quilt die is a series, one for each season, so you might want to check the rest of them out while you're there! (And I notice that the links are not active, but a copy and paste will get you there.)

  3. So many gorgeous cards and styles represented. The colors for your Christmas card were definitely picked out with you in mind. You see, we DO pay attention! Here's to a peaceful 2016, but also a year filled with enthusiasm for things yet to come. (And thanks for your kind comments, Ma'am; I feel like I've been blessed by the Queen herself!)


Thank you so much for taking time to comment!