Monday, August 27, 2018

Karen's Card Shop and College Care Packages

First of all, I owe a huge thank you to readers Donna and Patti and to my pa stor's auntfor their recent donations to Karen's Card Shop. Donna donated almost 50 cards, and Patti donated over 100. Pastor's aunt donated eight. All of them are beautiful!

Patti's box, which included a bunch of white
and ivory envelopes. The ivory ones will come in
especially handy as I only stock white.

Pastor's aunt made a batch of these foiled cross cards
with lovely pressure embossing on the backgrounds. 

Donna included this absolutely gorgeous card for me
and four beautifully colored book plates.
These stunners will go in extra special books!

Many, many thanks to Donna and Patti for their generosity. Karen's Card Shop has now exceeded $1,600 in sales over two years. Money goes to our Stephen Ministry and to the church's general fund.

And now for college care packages. Nick, his girlfriend, my niece, and a darling young lady from church are on my list for care packages because they are all starting college. I remember how fun it was to get mail when I was in college. So of course I had to make cards to include in the packages.

I made these cards and then found out several of the recipients didn't have to buy a single book for classes this semester. What is wrong with the world?

Times they are a-changin', and books are apparently dead. Even my composition students don't have to buy a book...they use an open educational resource that is available for free online. A printed copy costs $15. I'm happy to see many of my students have sprung for the printed version.

But still.

Print can't be dead.

I love it too much.

Mercy, grace, peace, love, and printed books,

stamps: Papertrey All Booked Up, Simon Says Stamp Uplifting Thoughts
ink: Memento black
paper: Papertrey white
accessories: Copics in various colors

Sunday, August 26, 2018

A Peek at Process and Why Waxed Paper Is Your Friend

Eeeep! I'm loving being back in the classroom. It's so challenging and fun and engaging! But I miss stamping in all the busyness, and it felt good to get some stamping time in on Saturday.

Here's some of what kept me away from stamping and blogging about it this week.

College drop off for Mr. Scruffy Face
(I love his scruff!)

Sweet 16 for the Boy in Blue

Mr. Naughty acting out at all the changes.
"Who? Me?" He ate part of remote and peed in the house,
among other assorted badness.

And the teaching. Y'all, it's like coming home again after a VERY long vacation. The teaching part is like riding a all comes back quickly. But integrating computers into the teaching is a challenge. One of the adjunct coordinators is meeting with me tomorrow to help me learn the nuances of the system, and her offer to do that is just one example of how nice and thoughtful and kind the people at  Sinclair have been toward me.

Like I said. Feels like coming home. Yippeeeeeee!

And now, down to business.

Today's card is another Christmas card. If you've been reading Simplicity for a while, you know mass producing cards isn't for me. I get bored too quickly, and the process ceases to delight. So it's important for me to make a lot of one-off Christmas cards, which takes much longer than making 50 or 100 of the same design.

To aid me in the process of making so many individual, unique cards, I pull out my holiday stamps, embellishments, and more so they are out on my desk and easy to reach. Here are a few of the bins I've stocked for this season of Christmas-in-blazing-hot-and-humid-Ohio-summer.

The dies, embellishments, and multitude of stamps all pulled together is pretty festive! Having everything out on my workspace not only inspires me but makes creating lots of diverse cards so much easier. I can supplement this stash with other stamps or supplies in my craft room (background stamps, star stamps, glitter paper, etc.) as the whim strikes.

If you're like me and make a lot of different Christmas cards, what suggestions do YOU have to make the process easier? Inquiring minds, and all that. Please comment below so others may benefit from your genius!

For today's card, I used a small Hero Arts set (Stamp and Cut Holiday Ornaments) with coordinating dies.

While this is a fairly ordinary card (despite the non-traditional color scheme), tying the cord was tricky, and I'd like to share a tip with you.

First, I attached the ornament to the card with dimensionals and glued the end of a straight piece of silver cord directly on the hanging loop of the die cut. I then placed a piece of waxed paper over the card and put a clear acrylic block on top to hold the cord in place until it dried completely. This creates a very tight hold for the cord.

Then, I tied the bow and trimmed it. After adding a generous dot of glue where the cord ended, I placed the bow on the glue, covered the whole thing with waxed paper again, and added weight to hold it in place.

Using waxed  paper is essential here. If you don't, whatever weight you put on the cord will stick to the glue and create a mess. But glue doesn't stick to the waxed paper. So yay! Everything sticks down extremely well and looks amazing!

Now, generally speaking, most of my holiday cards are fairly traditional colors of red and green, gold and silver, or blue. But every year, I experiment with other colors...teal here, purple occasionally, some pink and green there. Because getting in a rut would be boring, don't you think?

And now I'm off to bed, because 5:15 comes early in the morning and my body's still not adjusted to working. Thanks to you all for your patience and support through this season of my life. Stampers really are the best!

Hugs, mercy, grace, peace, and love to you,

stamps: Hero Arts Holiday Ornaments, Papertrey Side-by-Side Sentiments
ink: can't remember the teal (maybe Archival paradise teal), Archival aquamarine (on envelope), Hero Arts soft granite
paper: Papertrey white
accessories: silver cord, liquid glue, waxed paper, dimensionals, craft foam, coordinating die

Thursday, August 16, 2018

A Colorless Card and Adjunct Explanation

First up, since this is a stamping blog, is a card I forgot to share last week in all the press of visiting family and meetings at the college. It's one of those that I love with my whole heart, but it's colorless...and often those don't play well on the blog. Color sells, after all. Maybe I should put a red nose on the deer. Or not.

This card plays on the white-on-white trend with accents of silver ink (Delicata) for subtle shimmer. The deer and peace die cuts (both Papertrey) are stacked in two layers for more definition. The swish keeps the deer from floating in space, and the star (which should float in space) adds a third element to the card that moves the eye around better. Small star, weightier deer, and even weightier sentiment (underlined for grounding) settles the eye like a snowflake dropping into a drift. I like that peaceful simile!

Next, let me tell you that planning my syllabus has been PURE JOY! I'm completely geeking out here. The biggest challenge is figuring out how to build the website for the class, but tomorrow I'll get mentoring on that. Everyone in the English Department at Sinclair Community College has been enormously helpful and kind.

Reader Marilyn asked for an explanation of adjunct instructor. Adjuncts are part-time instructors at colleges and universities. They receive no benefits, are paid poorly by the credit hour, rarely have offices or parking spots (I have neither at Sinclair), and have no job security as they are hired under contract on an as-needed basis. From one semester to the next, an adjunct has no idea how many (if any) or what courses might be available for them to teach.

Most academic departments require adjuncts to have at least a masters degree in their field, while professors almost always have doctorate degrees. Adjuncts often teach the bulk of introductory courses (the dreaded freshman composition classes in English, for instance) which full professors often find tedious or uninteresting as they pursue loftier intellectual interests. Professors often have additional duties to the college or university (committee work, publishing, grant-grubbing), while adjuncts generally just teach.

Basically, adjuncts are the lowest-ranking faculty at any college. As I hold a masters degree, the highest I could hope to go in the college-teaching hierarchy is full-time lecturer or instructor. For now, I am VERY content with adjunct status.

Adjuncts provide essential cost savings to schools. At places like Sinclair--a very large community college with LOTS of introductory classes and a commitment to affordable education--adjuncts are numerous, and good systems of support are in place for them. Even though I don't have an office, I have use of the Adjunct Faculty Support Office, which has mailboxes, copying services, cubicles for meetings, a kitchen with coffee pots, and message services. I've been very impressed by the training and inclusive meetings, continuing education, and support Sinclair provides for us part-timers.

So there you have it. I'm the lowest of the low, and happy as a bird with a French fry about it!

I predict by the end of next week, I will be back to stamping again. I miss it so much! But for now, all my creativity is being poured into lesson plans and assignment schedules and letting my elder son go off to college (which is both gloriously joyful and bittersweet). It's all good...just not enough hours in the day!

Thanks again for all your wonderful comments, emails, and encouragement. Y'all are the BEST!!!

Mercy, grace, peace, and love,

stamps: Papertrey (Silent Night, In the Meadow, Holiday Wet Paint, Faux Ribbon) and Hero Arts (discontinued swish)
ink: Delicata silver
paper: Papertrey white
accessories: coordinating Papertrey dies, glue, rhinestone

Monday, August 13, 2018

My New Obsession

No stamping today, but here's a little glimpse of what's been keeping me from my craft desk.

Today was college-prep intensive, with a new adjunct orientation (including an active shooter video from campus police); getting a faculty ID card, mailbox, and locker (since adjuncts don't get offices); and a visit to human resources. Oh, and a stop at Starbucks. Which is in the library.

Isn't that heavenly?

I also got the key to my classroom on the main campus.

This level of technology in the classroom is completely new for me. I do NOT like how the monitors divide up the class. As a vertically-challenged individual, I worry that students won't even be able to see me or hear me. Oh, well. We will make it work. Somehow. Maybe I can ask George to make a box for me to stand on.

Would the symbolism of getting my getting up on a soapbox be counter-productive?

One thing gave me confidence, however. I turned on the computer and projector, logged into my account, and synced the monitor and projector properly on the first try. Like. A. Boss.

Now, if only it works so well on the first day of class....

With classes starting next Monday, my next task is developing the syllabus for the two classes, which I can finally begin because my computer account is fully up-to-date.

Oh how joyous it is to plan a semester again!

Thanks for your understanding in this time of transition.

Mercy, grace, peace, and love,

Sunday, August 12, 2018

An Unexpectedly Long Break

Well, that was an unexpectedly long break from blogging. I missed y'all so much! Lots of good stuff going on in life to keep me from stamping and blogging about it, though. Not enough hours in the day to get all the good stuff done. What a blessing!

So finally, here's the last of my poinsettia die cards.

My favorite aspect of this card is the bling. Those pale yellow rhinestones brighten the red and provide a lovely contrast.

I also love how the curvy label with two points and the pointy poinsettias with curvy petals work together. It's a simple card, but there's lots going on.

And now I have something for you to think about.

Some people have already started complaining about a rumor that Starbucks is going to sell pumpkin spice lattes early this year. Other people don't like seeing Christmas cards in August. I don't like seeing Christmas decorations up before Thanksgiving. We all have peeves regarding timing of things, don't we?

Social media can be a horrible place. Don't let anyone harsh on your joy! It's fine to express our peeves, but how we do so matters. Making jokes...great! Acting like other people ought to bow to our peeves or using harsh invective...that's another matter.

I'm going to get a pumpkin spice latte on the first day Starbucks sells them, no matter how hot it is outside. Nobody's going to harsh on that joy.

Don't let anyone harsh on your joy either.

Mercy, grace, peace, and latte love,

stamps: Papertrey Ways to Say Merry Christmas
ink: StampinUp real red, cherry cobbler
paper: Papertrey white; StampinUp real red and cherry cobbler
accessories: EK success label punch, Poppy Stamps poinsettia die, dimensional tape, glue, rhinestones, Copic marker to color the rhinestones