Tuesday, December 31, 2019

Happy New Year

Twenty-nineteen has been a wild one...full of grief and blessings.

Looking back, my greatest joy came from teaching; working with students, helping them learn to write, knowing how much a difference that skill will make in their college careers and lives...there is so much satisfaction that comes from teaching!

One of my regrets, however, was how little time I had to stamp and blog. The new year starts with news that my teaching load will be lighter due to low enrollment, and while I'm sorry to have fewer classes, I'm thrilled that I'll be able to spend a bit more time in my craft room!

While my stamping time has been limited, I've spent some time surfing Pinterest for inspiration. My Inspiring Cards board is filling up with lots of cards from European stampers who have this clean-and-simple thing nailed. You'll see the influence of those stampers in the cards I will post over the next few weeks.

For today, here's a card made with a stamp given to me by a lady at church. It's not my usual style, but I was inspired by Mia's blog post to use some softly colored vellum with it. I'm giving this to friends who are hosting our annual New Year's Eve celebration tonight.

Thanks for sticking with me through this lean year of posting. This will be my 29th post of the year. Last year, I posted 162 times, and in 2017, 242 times. May 2020 move the count back up to triple digits!

I wish you all blessings this coming year...peace, health, joy, and inky goodness.


Sunday, December 8, 2019

A Knotty Christmas

Longtime readers of Simplicity know that every year, my Stephen Ministry group makes ornaments to hand out, reminding people that not everyone is jolly during the holidays. This year's ornaments  feature a gorgeous Celtic cross stamp. 

Below are a picture of the ornament and the presentation read aloud in services last night and today. I hope you find it useful and inspiring. And if you are one of those whose knots have gotten so tangled you feel sad and far from hope, please email me. I can put you in touch with a Stephen Ministry group in your area. Stephen Ministries is all over the place!

A Knotty Christmas

It’s easy in the holiday season for us to tie ourselves in knots. The to-do lists get so long! Sometimes, we get so knotted up in the doing we forget about the meaning.

The meaning is this: God loves us so much that he sent us Jesus, God with us, a baby in a manger, peace on earth, good will toward all.

As you go about the hustle and bustle of the holidays, please remember that some people in our church and community are struggling and need some extra love. Their knots aren’t caused by being too busy but by not enough money, or too much grief, or some sort of illness, or broken relationships. When the knots get too bad, people can easily forget God’s promise in Isaiah:

“Don’t be afraid, for I am with you. Don’t be discouraged, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you.”

You can be that promised strength and help from God by paying attention, reaching out, and listening to someone who’s hurting this Christmas season. You might also tell them about Stephen Ministry. We are here for those knotty situations. Talk to any of us with blue name tags.

This year’s Stephen Ministry ornaments remind us of God’s promise and that we are called to serve others in love and in His name. 

The ornaments were made in memory of our dear friend and fellow Stephen Minister Keith Wylie. His legacy of faith lives on in our Celtic themed ornaments, with knotty crosses on them.
Keith loved Celtic knotwork, with its intricate and beautiful designs, and these crosses show that no matter how knotty our lives may become, all things are made beautiful in the birth, life, death, and resurrection of our Savior Jesus.

God with us.
A baby in a manger.
Peace on earth.
Good will toward all.
Merry Christmas and thank you.

Thursday, December 5, 2019

Veering from Inspiration

Today's card was inspired by THIS PIN shared by fraubluetenstempel on Instagram. My card deviates rather dramatically from the inspiration card, but I couldn't have made it without the lovely example to riff off of.

First of all, I don't use designer paper, but I loved the text behind the printed leafy branches and the white die cut branches. The whole effect is simply beautiful. So I improvised.

My text stamps are all small print, which completely changed the balance of the design, so I went vertical rather than horizontal. I stamped Text Style from Papertrey after masking off a vertical strip. Then I stamped the wildflower from Life (also Papertrey) in Memento Pear Tart, and die cut some wildflowers (Tim Holtz, I think) in white. Following the inspiration piece, I stamped some spots around to soften everything.

The bold black sentiment of the inspiration piece works equally well with my rather different design, though!

So my card may not bear too much resemblance to the inspiration piece, but it's very satisfying anyway. At least to me! And I hope to you.

Hope, love, joy, and peace,

Sunday, December 1, 2019

Birthday Inspiration

This incredibly gorgeous PIN by Karin Hogger inspired today's card. The color scheme, bling, and layers are extremely similar. But because my background of words turned out so much busier than Karin's version, I felt the branch die cuts would be visual noise.

On the whole, I'm happy with the card, and it will go to my nature-loving son for his birthday next year.

But it's a bit busy for me. And I like Karin's version better.

Oh, and it was Karin's card that inspired me to buy Gina K's layered eucalyptus set. Can't wait to play with that and perhaps try a more literal interpretation of Karin's gorgeous card!

Hope, love, joy, and peace,

Saturday, November 30, 2019

Thank You, Liz!

Okay, so I made a Thanksgiving card that turned out GREAT but photographed terribly, so I won't post it. I have my pride, and it would be pricked if you saw a photo that was so color-unbalanced coming from me. That's what happens when I use something other than white cardstock. *sigh*

By the way, if you have Apple Music, their 2015 Smooth Jazz Christmas playlist is festive!

So, my friend Liz, who's an OUTSTANDING graphic design artist and lovely human who drinks a lot of tea, gave me a gift card to Simon Says Stamp for my birthday. I bought two sets with it--one book-themed set from Three Room Studio and Gina K's layered eucalyptus because, why not?

Anyway, when I told Liz what I bought, she asked for a bookmark made with the book-themed set. The stamps arrived yesterday, and here's what I made for Liz to say thank you. Eeeep!!!!

Obviously, this is a GIANT cup of tea on VERY small books, but who cares about scale? Not me! Because this turned out even better than it was in my head, which almost never happens to me but must happen to Liz quite often because she's such a pro.

A few tips if you want to do something similar. Staples tend to rust (which would be sacrilege in a bookmark!), and I didn't have small ones anyway. So I sewed instead of stapled and pre-punched holes using a Stampin'Up mat pack and a fancy bookbinding awl. To reduce bulk caused by the fold, I used 80lb Neenah Solar White instead of my usual 110lb Papertrey.

The tea bag is made from a 2" x 5.5" strip scored at 2.5", 2.75", and 3". After stamping, coloring (with assorted Copics), and folding, I punched the corners with a Stampin'Up corner punch. After positioning the two holes using the mat pack template and awl, I sewed the paper-strip ends together and knotted the thread in the back, trimming one tail of the thread really short.

The tea tag is 5/8" x 1 3/4" strip scored at 7/8". Read is stamped on both sides, with the R at the fold end. I poked a hole in the middle, sewed the end of the long tail through to the inside of the fold, added a drop of glue, and stuck the end of the thread down.

And there you have it...my most favorite thing I've made in a long time. Thanks, Liz! I hope you love it like I love you, my friend!

Sunday, November 24, 2019

Birthday Snowflake: When Inspiration Takes a Weird Turn

So today's card was totally inspired by THIS PIN by Kate Wilson. I love it so much...the red square, the white snowflake, the little gemstones, the subtle sentiment...basically, I love everything about it. Kate is a genius!

But here's the card I made. Hmmm.

Where, you might ask (with complete justification), are the red square, subtle sentiment, and tiny little rhinestones?

Well, I realized something as I kept cutting down a square of red cardstock to get the perfect balance behind my snowflake. My snowflake punch punches a chubby snowflake. Whatever punch or die Kate used is delicate, curvy, and beautiful.

Her snowflake is also not a natural snowflake shape as snowflakes have six arms, not eight, but really, artistically, should we be sticklers on this point? I'm not going to hold wrong numbers of arms against snowflake stamps anymore because it makes me feel OCD and obnoxious. Feel free to condemn inaccurate snowflakes yourself, of course. I'm not going to tell you what to think because in addition to being irritated by inaccurate snowflake stamps, I used to hate turning odd numbered years of age, which, honestly, is borderline pathological weirdness, so who am I to judge?

By the way, I just turned 53, which is both odd and a prime, and I'm just fine with it. I considered the alternative. I also credit the meditation I've been doing lately with overcoming at least a bit of my OCD. Yay, me!

Anyway, my snowflake is not delicate. In fact, its chubbiness was not flattered at all by a high-contrast background that merely emphasized its thickness. So I ditched the red square. Now, my snowflake feels better about itself.

Without some contrast, however, the card looked rather blah, so I decided the sentiment needed to be bolder, and instead of clear rhinestones, an iridescent red sequin layered over a snowflake sequin would add sufficient interest.

It's interesting how the sequin flashes turquoise in some light. That's real, not some weird photography trick.

I've used the word weird a lot in this post. Perhaps it's time to go to bed.

Anyway, I hope to have lots of time to stamp over this Thanksgiving week, and I hope in between stuffing turkeys and baking pies, you do, too.

Mercy, grace, peace, love, and gratitude,

Friday, November 1, 2019

Birthday Mission


I'm a crafter on a mission.

I sat down at my craft desk today to start making birthday cards for next year. Christmas is pretty much a lost cause at this point (Barnes & Noble has some lovely cards anyway), so I shall forge ahead with a mission to make all the birthday cards I need next year.

That's about forty cards. Which is about twenty more cards than I've made this year. But maybe, just maybe, I can do this.

Today's card is a promising start, completely indebted to THIS GORGEOUS CARD.

You'll note the obvious changes and similarities. First, I increased the white space around the focal point with a horizontal card (6.25" x 3.5") because, you know, why not? The color scheme isn't very different, but I used hearts instead of flowers with a watercolor effect. Instead of a single strand of string, I used two to bring together the colors of the hearts and add a little interest...my hearts are much more basic than Kleine-stempe's gorgeous flowers. And orange and hot pink look so fun and fresh together, don't they? I kept the black sentiment on a banner. 

For the mechanics, I used circle punches (1.5" and 1.75"), and to ever-so-slightly pop the top circle, I punched a 1 3/8" cardstock circle to glue under it. The Memento markers blend so nicely with a single spritz of water. What a simple, beautiful technique!

The Birthday Mission is definitely off to a satisfying start. Yay!

Mercy, grace, peace, and love,

Wednesday, October 23, 2019

A Lot of Cards...One Even by Me!

I made a little time to stamp last weekend, and came up with this card, which is a little busy for me, but I like it anyway.

The sentiment is an old Stampa Rosa wood-mounted rubber stamp that's closing in on 20 years old. The holly comes from a Hero Arts clear set. The burgundy and shadow gray are such a dramatic, contrasting pair!

And now, a huge thank you to Lisa, Eddie, Kelle, and Jackie who all donated beautiful cards to Karen's Card Shop in the past couple of months. Special thanks to Kelle who included Christmas cards in her package because she knew I hadn't made enough of my own this year. What a treat to have some of her beautiful cards to send to my friends and family who are used to getting handmade "specials"!

Here the card shop donations are...all bagged, sorted, and ready to take to church. I'll be putting some of them out in the shop tomorrow.

And here are cards that people have sent to me in the past six months or so. Today, my cork board got updated. It felt so good, and I can't thank those of you who have sent cards enough. 

Stampers are awesome people!

Mercy, grace, peace, and love,

Saturday, October 12, 2019

So Much Gratitude

People are good.

I know. Some aren't. Of course. But in the past two weeks, I've encountered a lot of good people. Kathy's family has encountered a lot of good people.

Kathy's funeral service was astounding. Her church, her friends, her family turned out for standing room only in a very large church. The receiving line for the visitation lasted three hours. The eulogies were given by her pastors and one pastor's wife. The choir, which must have had 70 people in it, sang some of her favorite songs. There was laughter. There were tears. She will be missed. So very much.

Because Kathy's youngest daughter had a third of her head shaved (a consequence of surgery to relieve pressure on her brain the day after the accident), her older sister asked everyone to wear hats to the funeral. In memory of Kathy, in honor of my uncle, and for one day only, this Duke University graduate wore one of George's caps.

I am grateful that Kathy's daughter is recovering so well from her pelvic fractures and brain bleed.

And now, the long adjustment. Kathy and I were very close--physically and emotionally--growing up, but in our adult lives, we've seen each other only occasionally.

Front: Aunt Linda, Kathy, Jenny (her sister)
Back: My mom (hiding), Grandma, me, my crazy fabulous sister

Her parents, her husband, and her daughters, however, now have to adjust to life as amputees. A big, vital part of their lives disappeared in an instant. They keep looking down, expecting to see her. They could use your prayers, good wishes, positive energy...whatever goodness you can send out into the universe.

I'm grateful for my department and their support as I went to NC for the funeral and had to cancel a class. I'm grateful for my students, who took the change in schedule in stride. I've never cancelled a class for personal reasons in all my years as an adjunct.

I'm so grateful for the cards I've received.

I'm grateful to the baristas at Starbucks. I walked up to the counter at 7:00 a.m. Tuesday morning after sitting in my car texting Kathy's husband and crying. I looked like hell. The first barista didn't even say hello. She just said, in the kindest, most sincere voice imaginable, "What's wrong?" "I just got back in town last night from a funeral," I blurted. "I'm so sorry." And then they called my name when my drink was ready. I walked up to this cup and started crying again.

I think I might spend a little too much time at Starbucks.

I'm grateful for all the kind comments and emails on my last post. Stampers are the best sort of people.

I'm grateful for some time today to stamp. I'm not exactly in form since my stamping time has been cut so dramatically, and it's a good thing I have a stash of store-bought Christmas cards. But it was fun to get inky and make a few cards and some pretty trash.

On the school front...my teaching is so very satisfying! I was asked to participate in a study this semester, and it's going very well. Also, the English Department is promoting me to Lecturer II status. It's taken over a year, but I do feel like I'm getting my feet under me again. It's wonderful.

My thanks to those of you who are holding on to my blog and most especially those who continue to send cards to Karen's Card Shop. You're keeping it going! (Two of the cards I received were purchased there!) I miss stamping so much, I miss being able to sit down and produce something blog-worthy in a half-hour or so. I miss being able to play.

There's a time to every purpose under heaven. Now's the time for grieving, working, and seeking balance. But as Paul says, in all things give thanks. Thank you, Lord, for all things, but most especially so many good people.

If you feel like sharing, I'd love to hear what you're grateful for. There's so much goodness in the world, and we should celebrate it. Kathy would appreciate that!

Mercy, grace, peace, and love,

Thursday, October 3, 2019


Well, life is in many ways great. Five of you have sent cards to Karen's Card Shop, for which I am so very grateful. Thank you. School is going extremely well, for which I am so very grateful. I had time to stamp about a month ago and am now am making time to post one of the pictures, for which I am grateful.

Stamps by Hero Arts

The full-card picture looks rather washed out because the colors are so light and my photo skills are limited, but in real life, those pearls are pearly and the colors are soft and frosty looking, as in the close-up. Oh, how I long for cooler temperatures in this unseasonably warm autumn!

I'm grateful for so many things but also feel rather washed out and grieving. My cousin Kathy died last weekend as a result of a car accident. Her younger daughter was in the car with her and just got out of the hospital today. She will, thankfully, recover, but because she had surgery to relieve some pressure from a brain bleed, she'll be wearing a hat at the funeral. Her older sister has asked everyone to wear hats to the funeral so her little sister won't feel weird.

Kathy, her sister Jenny, my sister Lisa, and I grew up together. Kathy was funny, bright, and crafty. She taught elementary school, loved Jesus and babies, volunteered in her church, went on mission trips, led youth groups, played the guitar, loved horses, took amazing photographs, and was a huge University of North Carolina Tar Heels fan, just like her daddy. I've never held that against them, though they did rib me about going to Duke.

One memory of Kathy from our childhood keeps playing in my mind. I walked into Grandma and Papa's house and found the living room door closed, which was unusual. (Papa eventually removed that door because it was mostly just in the way.) So I knocked on the door and heard a muffled "come in." Grandma and Kathy were sitting on the sofa with their arms around each other. Both were sobbing. "What's wrong?" I exclaimed. Neither could speak through the sobs, but they both pointed to the television. It was the episode of Little House on the Prairie when Laura's dog died. I sat down and cried with them. We three were weepers. I still am. Grandma and Kathy aren't weeping anymore, and it's a small comfort to think of them together again, giggling.

Her husband, two daughters, mom, dad, sister, and so many extended family and friends are devastated right now. A bright light as gone from our lives, and we miss her so much.

Sunday, I'm wearing a Tar Heels baseball cap to the funeral. It'll make her dad smile. But y'all, my heart is breaking.

Sunday, July 14, 2019

Healing Wishes

Here's the last card I have in my computer from Before the Flood, or as I have taken to calling it, BF. As we've been purging and reboxing stuff in the basement, I've been labeling the new boxes "PF" for post-flood.

Which means I should be labeling stuff before the flood "AF" for anteflood, sort of like antebellum but with a flood instead of a war. But why label boxes that are going in the recycling bin? That's just silly.

I want my craft space back! It's hard to believe the flood happened on Father's Day. Almost a month ago. And this downtime has happened when I actually have had more time to stamp. It's not fair!

Since Father's Day. That's a lot of Whining Time. Or WT, if you will.

Instead of more WT, however, let's look at a pretty card using an old staple, Dot Spot from Papertrey.

The large Dot Spot was inked with Memento pinks, spritzed with Tattered Angels sparkly stuff, which doesn't show up on the pictures, but oh well. The center was inked with Memento Dandelion and spritzed. The paper is a Hero Arts handmade watercolor paper, which is delightfully textured.

And hopefully by the end of next week, I'll be able to make something new.

Thanks for your patience!

Mercy, grace, peace, and love,

Saturday, July 13, 2019

An End in Sight

Whew. The insurance company finally came through, and the restoration company should be putting everything back to order starting at the end of next week. They call it "put-back," which isn't a very creative name, but boy howdy, do I want it.

The chaotic aftermath of the flood isn't over yet, but hopefully, it will be in a week or two. In the meantime, George and I are going through the mess trying to purge as much junk as possible. There may be some grab-boxes of crafty things for sale soon!

I still have a few cards from before the flood to share. Today's card makes fantastically minimalist use of some of the MANY bottles of Stickles littering my embellishment drawers.

My original plan was to add a raised sentiment over the stems, but there wasn't quite enough room so this card remains sentiment-less.

I think it's fine just as it is.

Because glitter. Glitter is good.

This style...mostly black with touches of bright color...truly satisfies the minimalist in me. It's a go-to design that always works.

What are your go-to designs? I can't stamp right now, but I can live vicariously through you!

Mercy, grace, peace, love, and put-backs,

Wednesday, July 3, 2019

Well, That Was Unexpected

Happy Treason Independence Day to all my American readers. If you haven't already read it, Signing Their Lives Away by Denise Kiernan (a friend of my sister) is a must-read for the holiday. It's entertaining, funny, and informative, and it celebrates the real humans who committed treason in the name of freedom 243 years ago tomorrow.

Now, for a couple of cards after such a long break. These were made over a month ago. I was playing with color layering stamps from Hero Arts. So much has happened since I made these two cards. 

This card was totally inspired by this photo on Pinterest, but June. June happened. I can't remember exactly the thought process that led to this super different version. Still, you can see the connection, I hope. And my signature white-on-white layering. These layers were made with 80lb Neenah Solar White, while the card base is 110lb of the same.

Note that I embossed AND die cut for this card. So out of my usual, but so possible because of Eva's gift of a Cuttlebug. Still so grateful for that! Thanks, Eva!

And then, this card evolved while I had the stamp set out.  The color combo came from a pin as well. Aqua and yellow. What a fresh and fabulous combo.

Okay, so June was a weird month.

First, while in Lakeside, OH, waiting for the start of the commissioning of a friend as a provisional elder in the United Methodist Church*, which was delayed by a tornado warning, I received a text from my hubby saying he was quitting his job. Wow.

That was weird. And wonderful, as George's skill set is in high demand in the Dayton area, so he landed a new job with little effort, no relocation required. He's currently goofing off between jobs, making homemade pierogies and roasted chicken and other yummy things.

Flashback to Father's Day when I woke up and found the carpet squishy underfoot. Basement flood. First, insurance said they wouldn't pay. Then, after a second flood, the restoration company figured out the problem was the sump pump. We have a sump pump rider on our homeowner's policy, so yay! It won't cover everything, but still, yay!

The second flood happened three hours after the restoration team of three big, strong men spent 8 hours ripping out wet carpet pad and floating the carpet with 16 blowers.

The second floating. Magic carpets make me sad, now. This
whole area is empty, awaiting new padding and carpet/baseboard reinstall. 
I completely lost it when I saw the water squirting up between my foundation and the wall of the basement. Squirting! Gushing! It poured through the cleaned out area, with nothing to impede its progress to completely dry parts of the basement. The second flood was worse, completely saturating the entire basement, ruining baseboards and drywall that had been unaffected by the first flood.

Hormones. I'm blaming the hormones for my sobbing phone call to the restoration company to tell them that all their equipment was running in a new flood and ohmygoshweareallgoingtobeelectrocuted!!!!!!

Perimenopausal hot flashes and vacillating between homicidal rage and thumb-sucking fetal  depression rendered me a (literal and figurative) hot mess in the face of the mayhem in my basement. 

Everything is dry now, but we can't move any of the piles of stuff until the restoration company does its repairs, which await insurance company approval, which is delayed by the higher priority of tornado damage in north Dayton from the Memorial Day tornados that did WAY worse damage to already impoverished areas of Ohio.

My craft area. So sad.

One great pile. I've started to go through this and throw away
damaged stuff or old stuff we should have thrown away years ago.

See, Eva. The Cuttlebug is fine.

A small bedroom stuffed with stuff.

The larger basement bedroom, also stuffed full.
What a mess.

Two unfinished areas are similarly chaotic. Our beautiful new sump pump is working away, keeping everything dry.

I'm just grateful we can get this all fixed up.

Mercy, grace, peace, love, and dry basements,

*The UMC has made national news since its February, 2019, Special General Conference made some unfortunate decisions regarding policies related to LGBTQIA+ inclusion in ordained ministry and same-sex marriage. I'll be weighing in on my religious blog, Transforming Common Days (which hasn't had a new post since 2017), once I can type without either crying or raging...neither of which is very helpful. Or Christ-like. But crying and raging are most definitely hormonal. Ain't perimenopause grand?

Whine over.

Sunday, June 2, 2019

Max Bling

Have you, too, hoarded embellishments? Have you, too, saved "the good stuff" for . . . what? The future? When you're a better stamper? When you have more confidence?

Seriously. I'm guilty.

But not anymore.

Thirty-seven little embellishments picked up on a whim at Marco's one day at least a year ago...used on one card. There are still some left but not enough to make a duplicate of this. This has to be a record for use of bling on a card.

And it was totally worth it!

Release your hoard! Use the bling!

After all, there's more where it came from. ;-)

The die is from Sizzix, the stamp is from Papertrey, and the bling is from Queen and Company.

Mercy, grace, peace, and love,

Saturday, June 1, 2019

Flower Fun

I have a confession to make.

I burned out on flowers.

There. I said it.

It's been a while since any flower stamps made me happy, but flowers often sell well in Karen's Card Shop. My flower stamps felt old and stale to me. On a whim, I bought a couple of floral sets from Simon Says and am feeling flower fun again.

This set (Favorite Flowers from SSS) is incredibly easy to work with because the loose design is very forgiving on the two-step stamping. There's lots of movement in the lines, too, so the images have lots of energy. Fun. Easy. Flowers!

The color combo here came from Pinterest and looks so spring-y and fun.

Random-stamped designs seem to be very popular right now, and I'm happy to see that. If you're stuck figuring them out, take a look at my old post on random stamping here: Tutorial on Random Stamping. It's not a terribly sophisticated tutorial, but there are some good tips!

Happy June to you! I hope you're enjoying the season. We've had storms pass through Monday night just 20 miles north of us. Tornados destroyed homes and businesses, and the clean-up will take a long time. Other areas of the U.S. have been hard-hit by floods and storms as well. My thoughts and prayers for all who have been affected.

Stay safe, listen to the weather service and police, and comply with take-shelter orders.

Mercy, grace, peace, love, and safety,

Sunday, May 19, 2019

Sending Happy Thoughts

Before we get started on today's post, let me thank Carol, Lisa, and Patti for their donations of cards to Karen's Card Shop! I've already restocked the shop with some of Lisa and Patti's cards (which arrived first), and Carol's will go in next week. Such lovely cards...and lovely hearts to share them with First United Methodist Church of Springboro!

Thanks in advance to all who said they were sending cards, too!

Now for today's card, which uses two new set from Simon Says Stamp: Sending Happy Thoughts and Artsy Flower Parts.

Breaking the stem over the sentiment made me so very happy! It enhances the unity of the card nicely.

And isn't that Archival black ink so very, very black?!?!?! Loving a well-inked, high-quality inkpad.

Now, let's talk about memory and stamps.

When one doesn't spend at least an hour a day in one's craft room, one forgets what one has...and it's much harder to stamp. I spent about two hours today making nothing, and what I learned from my frustration is that I need to go through all my stamps again to remember what I've got.

First-world problems. Definitely.

Mercy, grace, peace, and love,

Monday, May 13, 2019

Revisiting an Old Set

Since Karen's Card Shop is particularly low on get-well cards, I decided to make a few using an old favorite from Papertrey: Modern Basics. 

Hadn't noticed that I photographed them in increasing order of simplicity, but there you go.

The first card contains sequins...and I actually like how it turned out! What a surprise. Sequins and I don't usually get along, but these from Hero Arts are kind of cooperative. So yay!

The second card takes advantage of opposites on the color wheel; blue and orange create such high energy.

And finally, a little green leaf with three tiny bling. Sweet!

The cardstock used for these cards is Neenah Solar White in 80lb and 110lb weights. The base is, obviously, the heavier weight. I have a huge stash of Papertrey Stampers Select and love it, but have experimented with shifting to Neenah simply for the two weights to lighten up my white-on-white layered cards. I'm not sure this shift will be permanent, but the Neenah sure works great!

Karen's Card Shop is in need of cards if you are interested in donating. Our best sellers are Get Well, Thank You, Thinking of You, Love and Friendship, and Birthday. All proceeds from the shop go to our church's general fund and Stephen Ministry program. Shoot me an email at susanraihala at roadrunner dot com if you would like my address!

Blessings to you all for sticking with me despite my sparse posting since I've gone back to teaching. Words can't express how satisfying and joyful it is to be working with students again. After a successful second semester, I've been offered one class over the summer and am waiting to hear about the fall. Nevertheless, I'm happy to have a lighter summer which will allow for more stamping, and the short summer semester doesn't start until June 11. Yay! Thanks so much for all the good wishes and encouragement you've offered up. My heart is full. Mwah!

Mercy, grace, peace, and love,

Thursday, April 18, 2019

Happy Stamping

Turns out my optimism that teaching wouldn't interfere with stamping too much was hopelessly silly. It's rare I can sit down and stamp during a semester (much less blog about it), but I have made a few cards and want to share them with you in a quick post.

The first card up is much prettier in real life. The front is cut away with polka dots stamped on the inside of the card. It's a lovely effect!

The wreath is loosely colored (basically, I didn't even try to stay in the lines) and the effect is soft and pretty. I used three different shades of yellow green Copics.

For this card, my Copic coloring is quite amateurish, but I love the violet and green color scheme.

The envelope couldn't handle Copics, so I stamped a gradient on the side in a straight line, on the theory that curves love lines. The effect works...for me. You might have a different opinion.

This uses a new-to-me stamp set from Papertrey.

I used a fun gold and purple color scheme for this birthday card.

The gold dots were made with a gold pen.

Finally, this wedding shower card was designed to match a store-bought gift bag (on left). It was shockingly hard to find inks that would match. But it turned out pretty nifty, especially since some sequins made it onto the card and the card did NOT end up in the trash as a result. Sequins don't like me, for some reason. But they cooperated here, and I thank them for it.

And that's that. Until next time, which will probably come after I turn in final grades on May 8, I hope you are stamping happily--and more than I am!