Saturday, March 30, 2013

Happy Easter

Hello, everyone! I'm enjoying a few fun-filled days visiting my mother and sister and brother-in-law and niece, and nephews. The only bad things are that we're here too short a time and without my dear husband and Furry Golden Sunshine. My husband had his last day on one job Friday and starts a new job on Monday. Daisy stayed to keep him company and because she would have driven us all crazy in a house that also contains my nephew Grady. People, Grady is a force of nature. Force. Of. Nature.

Pictures of our trip will be forthcoming on my other blog in the coming week, including a fab account of Jack saying, "Bubbles are my destiny! I am Bubble-Man!"

In addition, there will also be a brief story of my five minutes in a Paper Source store, a warning of what to avoid on the menu at P.F. Chang's, a confession of all the other sinful things I have eaten in the past two days, and advice on convincing a reluctant three-year-old boy to give you a hug.

I hope you are enjoying the holiday weekend with family as much as I am. God's grace and joy be yours this Easter!

stamps: Hero Arts
ink: Memento
paper: Papertrey
accessories: rhinestones, dimensionals

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

One-Layer Wednesday 133: Shapes Galore

Note: My posting will be sporadic for the next week. No worries! Just taking a little break.

This week's One-Layer Wednesday challenge is to use a shape repeatedly on a card. The shape can be any geometric shape: circle, square, triangle, oval, hexagon, diamond, etc.

Here's my card!

It uses a square from Square Prints repeatedly to form a Christmas tree or a stack of gifts...take your pick. But the tree works better because the square bling serves as ornaments. Yippy!!!!

Isn't that the tidiest tree you've ever seen?

OLW133 Rules

1. A one-layer card is defined as a single piece of card stock folded in half. No other layers allowed!!!

2. Use a geometric shape at least twice. Remember to keep embellishments to a minimum.

3. Post your card somewhere online and link to it using the InLinkz box on the sidebar of Simplicity. If you link to your blog, please make sure it's to the individual post and not your home page.

4. The most important rule of all: HAVE FUN!!!!!

stamps: Papertrey Square Prints, the Poinsettia set (can't remember the name)
ink: Memento
paper: Papertrey
accessories: square rhinestones

Monday, March 25, 2013

What a Mess! How Cool!

Tonight, I decided to get inspired by Anna Scarpino's spread in the latest issue of Take Ten. The color combination of brown and teal is sooooo pretty, and Anna's cards, though relatively clean and simple, have a shabby chic style that knocks my socks off...but that I can't pull off to save my life.

I'm shabby-chic challenged. There. I said it.

Woe is me!

Anyway, this was the mess I made trying to make something post-worthy.

This is what happens when I don't clean up one project before starting another. What a mess! For those of you who work like this all the time, how do you do it? I thought I'd go nuts, but I was so determined to make something before it got too late, I didn't clean up.

I am conflicted. Or crazy. Take your pick. And it's late. Oh so late.

Anyway, here's a closer shot of one of Anna's pages. Pretty, isn't it?  Anna really rocks buttons and lace.

And here's one of the two cards I made...the one I'm proudest of because that inchie was made when I still lived in my old house, with a long-ago care package from my friend Audrie that included a handful of blank mat-board inchies, and I loved it but could not figure out what to do with it at all. I found it tonight in the same drawer as the journaling strip I bought about a century ago at a now-closed scrapbook store. The gold (which looks brown) and teal were absolutely totally perfect.

I wish I could remember how I made that inchie, people, but I can't. I stared at it for a long time, trying to remember. In fact, I wouldn't be surprised if Audrie sent me an angry email claiming she made it and sent it to me. That's how little I remember the process of making it. But there it is, and I'm pretty sure the inchie Audrie made is on the card she sent me with the package...a card that still resides on my inspiration board.

So I probably made this one. Let's go with that. The shimmery color on the inchie is probably Twinkling H2Os...I think I have those colors.

And now I need to go to bed before I get even sillier and start rattling on about dogs and hobbits and water filters and iPhone apps.

So long, and thanks for all the fish.

stamps: leaves ( of the silhouette sets), wish (Papertrey Mega Mixed Messages)
ink: Ancient Page Neptune and who-knows-what on the inchie
paper: PTI white
accessories: inchie made of mat board, gold metallic marker or gold ink (not sure), Twinkling H2Os (probably), an old, old, old journaling strip (Ali Edwards, maybe), and isn't this the most useless list of supplies ever? 

Sunday, March 24, 2013

It's Palm Sunday let me post an Easter card I made months ago.

size 4.25" square

This Hero Arts dogwood stamp is beyond gorgeous and is a nice variation for an actual cross. The dogwood has long symbolized the cross because its four petals have indentations or holes on the end and hints of pink or red, symbolizing the holes and blood from the nails that held Jesus on the cross. The center of the bloom looks spiky, like the crown of thorns.

The crucifixion in a flower. Pretty cool. And pretty.

I stamped the flowers in pale pink after masking off the top third of the card with a post-it. Then I drew a line with a silver metallic marker and metal ruler. The sentiment came next, but the card lacked something, so I added the three silver half-beads as an accent.

Love it!

Happy Palm Sunday to you all!

stamps: Hero Arts
ink: Memento
Paper: PTI white
accessories: silver marker, half-beads, ruler, post-it to mask

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Blingity Bling Blang Blung

First of all, thank you for all your comments on my post about inspiration challenges and Heather's OLW132. I sincerely hope those of you who are intimidated by inspiration challenges will overcome that worry because, seriously, they are the most. fun. ever.

Second, we all need more bling in our lives.

I tried this as a two-layer white-on-white, but it looked odd. So I tried a hot pink mat, but I didn't have a good shade to match this one, which is purple-y pink. So then I thought, why not get wild and crazy and use THREE layers of white.

That walk on the wild side caused me to throw all caution to the wind and get blingity, so I blinged (or blang) to my heart's content.

Hmmm. Methinks someone took a cliche pill today.

My thesis advisor would be having a cow.

Bless his little heart. *giggle*

Stamp happy this weekend!

stamps: Papertrey Turning a New Leaf, Green Thumb (?), Signature Greetings
ink: Memento
paper: Papertrey white
accessories: bling...and lots of it

Wednesday, March 20, 2013


You know, there are a lot of things I love about stamping.

I love stamps. I love hoarding owning lots of stamps. I love color. I love ink. I love white space. I love paper. Especially white paper. I love gadgets like punches and craft knives and metal rulers and awls and corner rounders and scissors and trimmers and embossing guns. I love design and the rules thereof. I love stamps. Oh, wait. I already said that. I love organizing stamps. I love people who love stamping. I love stamping things for the people I love and for perfect strangers whom I love because the Bible tells me to love my neighbor and everyone's my neighbor.

Basically, there's a lot to love about stamping.

But Heather's OLW132 challenge reminds me of one of my most favoritest things to do with inspired by the stuff around me.

Her challenge is to be inspired by packaging.

Now, I know a lot of you don't love inspiration challenges. I get emails occasionally from people who say they are too hard. These stampers are intimidated by inspiration challenges because they don't know how closely their card should resemble the inspiration piece. They don't know what they can change to make the inspiration piece work with their supplies. They worry about breaking the rules.

These people worry entirely too much.

If you're worried about doing Heather's challenge, STOP RIGHT NOW. Don't worry. Be happy. Play with your stamps. See what happens.

You can turn this:

into this:

Or this:

into this:

For when I run out of time this December and
need 50 more cards quick!

You might even take the ugliest packaging you can find (a compressed air canister!) and make something pretty from it.

Card trimmed to cut off a mistake...because
mistakes are just opportunities
to do something cool!

You just never know what will happen when you let yourself go and play with inspiration.

Give it a try.

Go on.

You can do it.

Yes, you can.

stamps: Papertrey Square Prints, Signature Greetings, Holly Jolly, Text Style, Botanical Silhouettes
ink: Memento
paper: Papertrey
accessories: rhinestones, silver embossing powder, embossing ink, heat gun

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Square Prints Birthday

Let's revisit Square Prints.

Oh how I love this card. It's so...tidy.

Yes, tidy should be a design goal.

For those of us who are mildly obsessive.

The end.

stamps: Papertrey Square Prints, Birthday Basics
ink: Memento
paper: Papertrey white
accessories: 3/4" square punch, dimensionals

Monday, March 18, 2013

Thanks, kegbo!

Kind blog reader (and very talented stamper!) kegbo sent me a gorgeous card (which I haven't photographed yet) and with it, a set from Papertrey (Fillable Frames #10) and die cuts to match!

Of course I had to ink it up, and here's the first card I made with it.

I combined it with a sentiment from the very first Papertrey set ever, called Paper Tray. This is not the thank you card I sent to kegbo, but it's her public thank you for being so sweet.

My second card actually uses ribbon, which I don't think I've used on a card in, well, in a very long time.

Black, white, and hot pink. Fabulous!

And so is this set. Thanks, kegbo!

stamps: Papertrey
ink: Memento
paper: Papertrey
accessories: flower punches, rhinestones, dimensionals, glue pen

Sunday, March 17, 2013

OLW131--Green, Orange, and White

Happy St. Patrick's Day, everyone!

Ardyth's OLW this week draws its colors from the Irish flag, and I'm happy to play around with green and orange anytime! Of course, I took liberties with the shades of green, but I doubt Ardyth will beat me with a wet haggis.

Oh, wait. Haggis is Scottish. And really nasty, by the way. I tried it. Once.

Well, I doubt Ardyth will drown me in a vat of Irish stew just for using the wrong shade of green. Pear Tart is, after all, such a delicious color.

4.25" square card

The first card proves that sometimes, all you need is ink. I just love this little $5 set from Papertrey called Wonderful Words: Hello. And the card is pretty self-explanatory.

Allow me to pause for a moment to express my feelings about these $5 sets PTI is churning out. I. LOVE. THEM. At first I was all skeptical, thinking more is better. But I'm falling madly in love with these small sets as they are simply perfect for CAS stamping. Of course, you don't get points toward PTI's free sets when you buy them, but hey, that's okay. I didn't like the last free set anyway. Too busy. But that's just me.

See how I used a single stamp from the $5 set Sew Simple Borders and a sentiment from Quilter's Sampler. Fun! Clean and simple! Yay!

Thanks for the great challenge, Ardyth!

stamps: Papertrey Wonderful Words: Hello, Sew Simple Borders, Quilter's Sampler
ink: Memento
paper: PTI white
accessories: none

Friday, March 15, 2013

Love You and OLW131

First of all, thank you for your comments on my two-wine post. Today was much better. It always is...after the storm, a calm.

Yay, calm!

Anyway, thanks.

Second, the One-Layer Wednesday for this week is on Ardyth's blog! I'm so looking forward to trying it tomorrow. It's a color challenge, so check it out!

Third, today's card uses the squares from Square Prints as a background for a focal point sentiment.

Oh, yeah. A card for my honey.

Note that there are only two hearts. Three seemed kinky, you know.

stamps: Papertrey Square Prints, Heart Prints
ink: Memento
paper: Papertrey white
accessories: dimensionals

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Square Prints Again

Oh, yes, you'll be seeing this set for a few days.

Sadly, I just fact-checked the movie quote from my last post, and I got it wrong. It should have been: "It's almost like we have one brain we share between us." Wow, I was off, and yet I was stone-cold sober. The movie, by the way, was A Mighty Wind. It's blowin' you and me.

And yes, I've had two glasses of wine tonight, or I would have found a different line from the movie to end the previous paragraph. But motherhood drove me to drink. Some days are like that, and it's so nice being a cheap drunk.

Fewer empty calories that way.

You see, I spent two hours this afternoon at Kohl's with a teenager--who couldn't find a single shirt in the boys' or men's departments that made him happy--and his younger brother--who spent that two hours whining repeatedly, "Can we go home now?" Then, we came home to bickering and arguing that forced me to send the younger child to his room.

Finally, the dog, who was professionally groomed yesterday, went out and rolled in the mud and grass (and probably poop, but I'm not going to think about that), and then tracked dirty paw prints all over my wood floors.

I didn't run away or kill anyone. I just drank two glasses of wine, and I want full credit for that.

But now, the children are alive and in bed, the dog is alive and sniffing for popcorn crumbs in the carpet at my feet, and I'm sharing a card with Square Prints that's perfectly sober and straight.

All those straight lines and right angles required a sentiment that had some curves, and I just love the sentiments from Papertrey's Botanical Silhouettes. Unfortunately, it's an anniversary set and not available for sale on PTI's website, but you might pick it up used online. It's really fab!

And now, I'm going to drink a very large glass of water and go to bed. While I'm away, I'd appreciate it if you'd share your day in the comments, especially if it involved something really fun and good that didn't require two glasses of Cline Cashmere sipped slowly before, during, and after a pathetic meal of Velveeta Shells and Cheese and microwave popcorn.

Please let me know that someone had a nice, normal Thursday night.

Thanks in advance.

stamps: Papertrey Square Prints, Botanical Silhouettes
ink: Memento
paper: Papertrey
accessories: not a blessed one

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

New Goodness and Lots of Weirdness

I placed a huge order of stamps about two weeks ago and have barely had time to play with them. Something tells me I need to work on my time management so I have more stamping time, or perhaps I just a time-turner.

Darn that JK Rowling for giving me ideas. Life just isn't complete without owl post and time turners, you know.

This new goodness arrived last week, not magically or surprisingly, but quite fabulously nonetheless.

I started with Square Prints, designed for me personally by my stalking victim best friend Maile Belles. She keeps designing for my style so beautifully, it's like we're sharing a brain (name that movie) but she got all the talent. Isn't she the best to share it with us? Even if she did get that restraining order....

My first card with the set reminded me of my best friend in high school. Her parents' kitchen was decorated with a lattice-pattern wallpaper in bright green and white, and I always thought that was the prettiest kitchen I ever saw.

Do you ever make a card and find that it reminds you of the past? Perhaps the fabric of a dress you wore in fourth grade, or your grandmother's gnome collection, or the lining of your grandfather's coffin?

That last may be too morbid for some of you, but I'm going to a funeral today for the mother of a friend from church, so please don't take it weirdly.

And speaking of funerals, have you read The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency books by Alexander McCall Smith? I love how his characters describe the deceased as late. "That lady who is late..." It's never a simple adjective, as in "the late Abraham Lincoln." It's always that person who is late, as if they are just running late to a meeting and will be there eventually. They aren't gone, just late.

That thought makes me happy today. J's mom is now late, but he'll see her again eventually.

Anyway, back to my question. Do you ever make a card and find that it unexpectedly reminds you of the past?

stamps: Papertrey Square Prints, Mega Mixed Messages
ink: Memento
paper: Papertrey
accessories: dimensionals, flower punch

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

More Honor Flight Cards

Here are the rest of my Honor Flight cards. I wish I could make more, but realistically, five is the limit of my time right now. My family will sit down Wednesday evening and write personal messages to the veterans and sign them. Then, I'll package them up for Sue.

This one was going to be a one-layer card, but it was boring and I couldn't figure out where to put bling that wouldn't look busy. All the words on the star are enough busyness! Popping a second, cut-out star added dimension and interest without clutter, and the "thanks" stripes are so fun!

This didn't work as a white-on-white card...the red brave got lost. The red mat brings the word into focus. The stars are stamped separately from the sentiment and embellished with rhinestone stars. The word brave is colored in with a Prisma Pencil. I tried coloring with a marker but the outlines of the font are too fine and I made a hash of it. The sharp pencil gave me a little better control.

This is my favorite of all five cards. That banner is just so much fun! I did have to trim the card a bit because I didn't quite center the pennants properly, and the imbalance bugged me no end. The bling is not only helps hide small gaps between the pennants.

stamps: Dare 2 B Artzy, Hero Arts (first thank you), Clear and Simple Stamps (thank you on pennant card)
ink: Memento
paper: PTI white, SU real red
accessories: dimensionals, rhinestones

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Honor Flight Cards

When my friend Sue asked me to make cards for an Honor Flight that her husband is going to be on, I said YES.

Honor Flights take World War II veterans free of charge to see the WWII Memorial in Washington, DC. On the flight, volunteers give each veteran thank-you cards from their family, friends, and strangers. Of course I want to thank the veterans, and the cards I make will go to those veterans on the flight whose families and friends may not have sent cards.

The Memorial in DC is amazing. I took Nick and my nephew Mac to see it last year. The whole time I was there, I wished my grandfather were with me. The memorial really gives an idea of the scope of that war, its global impact, and the sheer number of people directly affected by it. Plus, it's gorgeous, with white marble, the wonderful sound of water fountains, and meaningful quotations engraved all around. What a wonderful opportunity to thank the Greatest Generation for its service to freedom.

I wanted to order a new patriotic set to make these cards, and I found Dare 2 B Artzy's set via Operation Write Home's emails. The set is fabulous, stamps beautifully, and is made of high-quality photopolymer. I got it two days after ordering. (No one paid me in any way to share my opinion. I paid full price for this set and received no compensation whatsoever from the company or OWH. Just sayin' for the record.)



My first card (above) includes a thanks stamp from Hero Arts (discontinued), and glitter on the star. I love the super-CAS feel of it!

The second card uses some fun bling star shapes I bought at Michael's, and a thank you sentiment from Papertrey (not sure which set...things got a little crazy as I was searching for thank you stamps!). I really like how the italic "you" draws your eye subtly...hopefully the recipient will pick up on that.

I'll post a few more of these cards tomorrow.

My family will write a personal message in the cards and send them off to Sue shortly. May these cards and the sentiments we write inside convey at least a small part of the overwhelming feeling of gratitude and respect our family has for those who served our country so selflessly so many years ago.

stamps: Dare 2 B Artzy, Hero Arts, PTI
ink: Memento
paper: PTI white
accessories: glue pen, white glitter, star rhinestones

Friday, March 8, 2013

Christmas and a Question

Today's card is the first Christmas card I've made this year. I love everything about it except for one little thing. Can you guess what that one little thing is? If you need to, click on the picture to see it larger.

Yep. The border punch needs sharpening and probably lubing.  Look how raggedy that scallop edge is in contrast to the smooth scallop circle! I'm going to try to sharpen it by repeatedly punching pieces of folded aluminum foil and lube it by punching layers of wax paper, but I wonder if anyone has had luck with that. Have you ever tried it? Did it work?

And please don't tell me to punch a cut-open aluminum can. I cut myself enough with paper! Last week, I cut myself opening a cardboard box...with the cardboard, not the scissors. Bled like a you-know-what. I'm perfectly safe with scissors and's what I'm cutting that poses a threat to my safety. I'd need stitches if I tried cutting an aluminum can. So I'll pitch the punch before doing that.

Thanks in advance for any non-Al-can experience you can share in this matter, and have a lovely weekend!

stamps: Papertrey Winterberry
ink: Memento
paper: PTI white
accessories: circle punch, scallop circle punch, Martha Stewart border punch, dimensionals, rhinestones, Memento marker

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

One-Layer Wednesday 130: Centered Sentiment

This week's OLW challenge is to use a sentiment or saying centered on the card...and make that the star of the show, surrounded by white space. This is a challenge that lets you use some of those larger sentiments or saying that may be neglected in your stash!

While I stuck with just words on my two cards and used color for interest, you may use small (and I mean small!) images, bling, or other embellishments to accent your sentiment, and/or a sponged or stamped background to frame it. But please keep additions minimal...the focal point needs to be the centered sentiment! And yes, you may rotate the card for vertically-designed sentiments. That would be cool!

OLW130 Rules

1. A one-layer card is defined as a single piece of card stock folded in half. No other layers allowed.

2. Center a sentiment or saying on your card, adding minimal embellishment or background as needed. The focal point must be the sentiment!

3. Upload your creation somewhere online, and link to it using the InLinkz button on the sidebar of Simplicity. Please make sure if you link to your blog that it's to the individual post, not your homepage.

4. The most important rule of all...HAVE FUN!!!!

stamps: Papertrey A Day at the Beach, First Fruits
ink: Memento
paper; Papertrey white
accessories: post-its to mask different colors

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

OLW Will Be Late This Week

because I dropped the ball. Or stamp. Or card. Oh, whatever. I'm sorry. It will be up by 5:00 Wednesday afternoon, Eastern Time. Scroll down to see what I posted instead because I forgot. Not one layer, but I had some stuff to say, anyway.

Be You

In her first book on happiness, Gretchen Rubin has a whole chapter promoting the idea that we lose out on happiness because we try to be who we think we ought to be rather than who we are. That's why I kept my copy of Ulysses on my bookshelf years after graduate school...because I ought to be the person who rereads James Joyce's incredible novel--the greatest novel ever written--every year.

But in truth, I'm a person who rereads Pride and Prejudice and The Lord of the Rings every year. I'm deep, but in an "Eliza Bennett meets pointy-eared elvish lords who ride horses named Asfaloth" kind of way, not a "sad man avoids home for the day because his wife is having an affair" way.

When we moved, I carted Ulysses to Salvation Army because Gretchen Rubin told me I would be happier if I would just Be Susan. And since my bookshelves are no longer double-stacked and look so much tidier, I actually am happier.

Thank you, Gretchen.

What, you might be pondering, does this have to do with stamping? While I've seriously purged my stamp hoard in the past three years, I've clung tenaciously to stamps that I think I ought to love, including an alarming number of office-supply-themed stamps. Some work for me, but most don't. I try to use them and am rarely truly happy with the results.

I decided to pull out my old SU sets Stamp of Authenticity and Office Accoutrements one last time, expecting to once again disappoint myself and finally let go of them (except for the library card stamp...which I want to be buried with, for obvious reasons). I made this.

Dang it. I like it. It looks like I made it. But I think I'll still have the strength to say goodbye to the stamps anyway.

What stamps are you holding on to because you feel like you ought to love them? Do you, really? What's the worst thing that will happen if you let them go? How can you be happier stamping by being you?

stamps: SU Stamp of Authenticity, Office Accoutrements; Papertrey Papertray
ink: VersaColor
paper: Papertrey
accessories: file label punch, dimensional

Monday, March 4, 2013

Punch Happy

Quick post today. So much going on, but I want to share this card because I love it.

The punch is an EK Success label punch, and I turned the label on edge. This would work with any small sentiment, image, and bow. Change it up, experiment with dies or punches you have lying around, have fun!

stamps: Papertrey Turning a New Leaf, Mega Mixed Messages
ink: Memento
paper: Papertrey
accessories: EK Success label punch, PTI twine, dimensionals, glue dot

Friday, March 1, 2013

Sympathy Extravaganza

I must confess.

I don't like making sympathy cards.


I don't think so.

No one likes making these cards. Sending a card is the one thing we can do during times of tragedy, so we do it. But cards feel so...inadequate. Yet I also know from personal experience, they are a blessing to those who receive them. A true blessing.

But, dang, they are hard to make when you need them!

So why not make it easier--right now when (hopefully) you don't need them--by finding some stamps and making a bunch at one time? Pick a stamp set, a technique, some colors, and go for it.

I used Turning a New Leaf (Papertrey), various sentiments, Glimmer Mist, and pearls on every one-layer card in a single quick stamping session. These came together easily. The slight shimmer on the dark shades of ink is subtle and pretty, and the pearls (which, among other things, symbolize tears) pick up on the luster.

My favorite is the last one. The dark blue just works so well, and all that white space seems so empty. Did you know purple was a color of mourning for the Victorians? Well, lavender was; I learned that reading Anne Perry's Charlotte and Thomas Pitt mysteries. I just went a little darker purple. Green is good for sympathy cards because of the natural associations and its symbolism of hope. Teal's dignified.

The corner rounding on the first two seemed sensible. The first card looked too "pointy" and needed some curves to balance it. The second card was a little too heavy on the left, so a single curve on the right gives you something to look at over there (the bottom left curve cut off an ugly blotch). The last two didn't need more curves.

It amazed me how quickly these cards came together. The hard part, of course, will be writing something meaningful and not trite inside when the time comes.

Blessings to you all for a wonderful weekend.

stamps: Papertrey
ink: Memento
paper: Papertrey
accessories: pearls, corner rounder, Glimmer Mist