Sunday, December 30, 2018

Colorful Birthday

Papertrey's Balloon Banner set with the dies is a fabulous little set! This card used up some small colored cardstock scraps, so yay!

The dimensionals are very thin and perfect for mailing. They are Thin 3D Foam Squares. If you don't have some, get some!

These colors pack a punch!

Mercy, grace, peace, and love,

Wednesday, December 26, 2018

Post Christmas Fugue

I hope your Christmas was peace-filled, calm, and bright...full of love and hope and joy and good gifts to help you create in the New Year!

Well, I tried to stamp today and came up blank, wanting nothing more than to flee my craft desk for a cup of coffee and a good book by the fire.

Hope springs eternal, however, and maybe tomorrow will be better. But fortunately, I have some birthday cards to share until the post-Christmas fugue has played itself out.

This fun little card in blues and greens takes advantage of the Hero Arts Infinity Dies I bought courtesy of a gift card from my friend Liz. LOVE faux postage, and this little die will make that so much easier. I paired it with PTI's Balloons and Banners, Simple Alphabet, and Keep It Simple Happy Birthday.

These $1 stamps aren't as improbable as I thought (couldn't find a cent symbol in my stamp stash). USPS is raising rates next year. Go buy a bunch of forever stamps before the price increase!

I like how the spiky font of the sentiment echoes the spiky edges of the faux postage. Sometimes, very rarely, but sometimes, we have just the right sentiment in just the right font. How splendid that is!

The book I'm reading right now is Shadow of Night by Deborah Harkness. It's the second in a trilogy about vampires and witches, and it's delightful. I spent most of last semester reading work-related texts, and it's been so much fun to dive into fantasy fiction and escape into a work with a magical book at its center. Because books are magical. Truly.

Mercy, grace, peace, and love,

Monday, December 24, 2018

Christmas Peace

For the last four weeks, Christians have waited in the growing light shone by candles...a new one each week. Hope. Peace. Joy. Love. More light each week as the daylight grows shorter.

Tonight is Christmas Eve, when we will eat fish and go to a candlelight service where over a hundred candles will shine in the dark. We will remember the Reason for the Season.

We need to remember.

Peace. Especially now, peace.

In times of conflict, chaos, government shutdowns at the hands of people who are proud to shut down the world to get their own these times, it's important to remember that the Greatest Power in creation came down to us in the form of a baby in a stable, born of a powerless girl and guarded by the nicest step-father ever. His first visitors were the lowest of the low...poor shepherds who heard the angel song of courage and love and hope. Wise men and women still seek this Light in the darkness, this King of Kings, this Prince of Peace.

Remember. Peace is not the absence of conflict. It's the presence of Hope and Love. Love came down and ignited a hope that we still feel today, no matter what happens. Love, hope, peace, and the joy that comes with them. Advent is fulfilled tonight.

Peace be with you. Tonight. Tomorrow. Next year. Always.

Christmas peace,

Monday, December 17, 2018

Three for One

After seeing a color combination on Pinterest of violets and grays, I made these three thank-you cards.

Which do you like best? I can't decide. But the colors are restful, aren't they? Perfect for Christmas thank-you notes.

I'm finding it hard to believe that Christmas Eve is a week away. Wow. If you're having a hard time this holiday, remember that you are so loved by your Creator that the number of hairs on your head is known to Him. And two millennia ago, He humbled Himself and took on human form to show you His love.

That's worth being thankful for, I think.

Mercy, grace, peace, love, and gratitude,

Sunday, December 16, 2018

Well, That's Weird

It's not often I take an inspiration piece and make it more complicated. But that's just what I did with this pin by the fabulous Maile Belles. Her wreath card is lovely, but I was more interested in the piece behind it. The individual lines of text popped up over a small image called to me, especially because of that one word stamped at the end of the raised text.

So I shopped my stash until I found stamps to make the idea work. The result has far less white space than Maile's beauty, but I like how it turned out anyway.

This card took FOREVER to make, and there was plenty of pretty trash fallout as well. In the end, it makes me happy.

But we never, ever have just the right word in just the right font, now, do we? It's almost enough to make a stamper resort to her computer to generate text.

No, no. That's crazy talk. My apologies. We are stampers, not graphic design artists. We adapt and overcome. Just like I did here.

So yay!

Mercy, grace, peace, and love,

stamps: various Papertrey sets
ink: Archival 
paper: Papertrey white
accessories: dimensionals 

Friday, December 14, 2018

Blue Birthday

Today's birthday card was inspired by THIS PIN, which uses negative space for the sentiment and for the darling little hearts die cut out of the colorful, raised panel. I didn't have the tiny heart dies but did have some starburst stamps from Papertrey that worked well when heat embossed with clear ink and embossing powder.

The rest of the card owes thanks to Tim Holtz inking tools and distress inks.

This is the time of year I start making birthday cards for my extended family for the next year. (The above card goes to my nephew Mac...who never reads this blog so he'll be surprised!) Don't you be surprised if you see lots of birthday cards in the next month or so. I even ordered some new birthday-themed stamp sets with gift cards given to me for my birthday last month.

How sad is it that I'm just now getting around to spending those gift cards? First-world problems.

And yes, I'll take a picture of the goods when they come in. One order has already shipped. So yay!

And I'd like to share my inspiration board. These cards have been sent to me over the last year. More resided on another board over my work desk (as opposed to my craft desk). After snapping this shot, I took all these down and moved the ones from around the corner to here, expecting to have plenty of room left over for incoming Christmas cards. But the board is mostly full again.

How lucky am I to receive so any beautiful cards from so many talented artists?

So much awesome! My heart is full.

Mercy, grace, peace, and love,

Thursday, December 13, 2018

Happy Beyond Words


I turned in final grades for students yesterday, and so ended my first semester teaching college English in 20 years.

I'm so sad it's over. Students hugged me and thanked me and wrote me notes that made me cry happy tears, and some even signed up for my Composition II class next semester. (Of course, there were also students who walked out the last day without making eye contact and an air of relief that it was over...but we won't dwell on them.)

And I'm so glad there are three new classes on my schedule for next semester.

Seriously. Happy beyond words. Teaching composition again feels right. And perhaps overdue.

So I celebrated yesterday and made some cards because now, well, I have time.

The color combination came from Pinterest. Blues and greens are my favorites. There's something so happy about these colors for me. The stamps used above are from Papertrey (Out on a Limb, Turning a New Leaf, and Life), with an Altenew leaf thrown in for good measure.

The second card also uses a Pinterest color combination, a Papertrey sentiment, and Concord & 9th's Just Because.

Since I felt a little rusty, I stuck to my dependable and much-used layouts, but as you will see tomorrow, I quickly got comfortable and went outside my comfort zone.

And on that note, I leave you with deep gratitude for your patience and for sticking with me as I make this transition back to working, teaching, obsessing on student performance and how to reach them, teach them, help them grow. Oh, my goodness. It's so satisfying.

But I've missed you, and I've missed making things.

Mercy, grace, peace, love, and gratitude,