Wednesday, January 27, 2021

Big Love

 I rarely go big and bold, but today's valentine does just that...and I love it BIG!

Oh, dear. Was that last sentence salacious? Maybe I should say, "I like big hearts, and I cannot lie." Is that better?

This big heart was made by cutting a stencil with a big heart die from Hero Arts Infinity Heart Dies set and sponging Distress picked raspberry onto a panel. The alphabet stamps are from Art Warehouse. I like how they appear to quiver. 

Oh, dear, again. Quivering love. I might have watched too much Bridgerton

Mercy, grace, peace, and non-quivering love, 


Saturday, January 23, 2021

My Purple Valentine

Today's card was so much fun to make, but once I finished it, I wondered why I stamped the colors and then die cut instead of just using colored cardstock. It's a mystery.

Oh, wait. I made this card at 1:00 a.m. after waking up and being unable to fall back asleep. My brain gets wonky at 1:00 a.m.

What crafty gifts did you receive (or buy for yourself) for Christmas? I have a little Christmas money burning a hole in my pocket and would appreciate some ideas!

And several people have asked for pictures of Cooper since I posted pictures of Daisy. I threw in a Daisy pic as well. Poor Daisy had surgery on Thursday. She's fine, but weird places are shaved, and she looks like she has a black eye (cyst removed from eyelid). These pics are from last weekend (pre-surgery, obviously) when we had a little snow. 


"Play with me, Daisy!"

Alert Dog

Zen Cooper

Mercy, grace, peace, love, civil discourse, and kindness,


Saturday, January 16, 2021

Clean and Simple

Yesterday's free-form card gives way today to a tidy design that warms my clean-and-simple lovin' heart. 

Or perhaps it satisfies my inner an*l-retentive, obsessive-compulsive neat freak. Whatever.

The row of circles comes from the same set I used yesterday. These heart bling fits perfectly, and I used 7 circles of the stamp on purpose because I only had three of the dark pink hearts. The odd number looks great and anchors the sentiment. 

And speaking of love, our Daisy girl is having surgery next week to remove a couple of growths (benign but bothersome) and to have her teeth cleaned (no known problems other than a fair bit of tartar). Tonight, we are getting snow, and she made a nest on our big chair. 

One night last week, we ate while watching A Big Year. You might think Daisy was enjoying the film, but in fact she's begging Nick to share his food. Daisy "The Mooch" Raihala. 

Goldens are awesome. And the movie is really good, too. 

Mercy, grace, peace, love, and kindness,


Thursday, January 14, 2021


My son, niece, nephew, cousin, and young friend who attend college will get care packages for Valentines again this year. And of course they will each get a card. I do enjoy making valentines and have some excellent stamp sets for them. My birthday order from Simon Says Stamp included their Mix and Match Circles set, which is proving to be loads of fun, not to mention useful for valentines! 

Each stamp got its own shade of red or pink (although I did use the Archival pink peony twice). Golly, I have a lot of pink and red inks...didn't even use half of them!

Can one ever have too many ink colors? 

No. One can never have too many ink colors. What a silly question.

On an unrelated subject, I recently watched Bridgerton on Netflix. A smile involuntarily stayed on my face through the whole thing, even parts where smiling was likely deeply inappropriate. I do love a good Regency-era love story. And the duke...he is easy on the eye, is he not? The series is frivolous and oh-so-fun escapist pablum, which is just what we need right now as the pandemic stretches on and on and on. 

What escapism are you pursuing now? Inquiring minds want to know.

Mercy, grace, peace, love, and kindness,


Wednesday, January 13, 2021

Week 1 in the Books...and Thoughts on Self-Talk

My first two days of class went very well. Yay! For the next week, I'll be doing more lesson planning for units 3-5, and I adore lesson planning! My Mon/Wed schedule means no class until next Wednesday because of the Martin Luther King, Jr. Day holiday. 

Wow, do we need that holiday to remind us who we are, how far we have come, and--dear Lord help us--how far we have to go. 

After my second class today, I went for a walk in the brisk Ohio air (fresh air is good for the soul!) and hit my craft desk to play with a new set from Hero Arts called Winter Tree and Animals. 

So much paper ended up in the trash!!!! The frustration was palpable, and I felt my grip on patience slipping. "Should you just go read? Sheesh. This is too hard. Dang it! Ugh. You will never stamp anything pretty again. Arrrggghhh!!!!!!"

Y'all, catastrophizing is not normally my thing, but this afternoon, I went there. Thankfully, mindfulness kicked in, and self-talk shifted: "Susan, you are catastrophizing. This is only paper. Remember that you do this for fun, honey, and you can let the frustration go."

And I did. Just like that, the frustration evaporated. 

This is one reason I meditate and practice mindfulness daily. Mind your self-talk because when it goes negative, it gets in the way of creativity, of fun, of mental health. Acknowledge it, and let it go before it sinks you.

Then, this happened.

Yeah, the circles are back. But this works for me. Scenes, alas, rarely work out for me. The circles were die cut from a failed scene. These stamps are fairly large, so the scene was large. There wasn't a strong sense of perspective for depth with only white space, and no way was I going to sponge or paint or watercolor some background to make it work. Circles, however, gave me an idea. I realized they make me happy (in part) because they remind me of bubbles, and bubbles are so much fun!

And let me point out this is a PERFECT guy birthday card which I made without even intending to. So I've got that going for me. 

If you're a fan of Dear Paperlicious and missed Joan's most recent post about her lawyer days in legal aid, go read it. There is compassion on about fifty levels in her essay, and that warmed my heart. 

Mercy, grace, peace, love, and kindness,


Saturday, January 9, 2021

Happy Flowers

 After I spent multiple 10-hour days sitting at my computer putting my spring semester classes together, a professor friend of mine posted this perfect meme:

Look how happy the Good Dog is! That's been me as I take lessons learned teaching virtually last semester and apply them to this semester's English Composition II courses. The world might be burning down around us, but many teachers, instructors, and professors are doing their best to pull. something. together! Yay, us!

And that's all I'm going to say about the chaos. Let's escape it into a creative bubble, shall we?

After spending about six hours today putting final touches on my first two units, I sat down at my craft desk and made this card, inspired by this pin by Kim. Chartreuse and purple again, in one layer with bling. Oh, my!

I'm in birthday-card-making mode. Got to get 2021 organized. The rest of my day will be spent taking down Christmas decorations (very late for us, but I'm apathetic about it this year). The family also plans a thank-you-note writing session either tonight or tomorrow. Old-fashioned and important, especially in these uncivil times.

Be the civility you want to see in the world. 

Mercy, grace, peace, love, and kindness,


Tuesday, January 5, 2021

More Circles...This Time with Bling

 So this beautiful pin by Katrin totally inspired my post on New Year's Eve, and I forgot to credit it. And it also inspired today's card with a pretty little floral stem from Papertrey. As much as I loved the NYE card, this one is closer to my heart and style. White on white, some texture, some bling, a butterfly. 

And once again, I'm loving the subtle textile embossing folder from StampinUp. It's just perfect for adding that little bit of interest to white-on-white.

Wednesday, I have a Zoom meeting with the English department to make my virtual course comply with online teaching standards. My brain felt completely overwhelmed today after watching some tutorials for the faculty boot camp. Then, I reminded myself that it's all good, we'll be fine, and my classes will be good enough because, well, I'm good enough. That horrible monster of perfectionism can go back to its cave.

So I played Bananagrams to relax and distract myself, and made some pretty cool words...balm for my word-nerdy soul. Quaff, diode, whey, banns, fun! And I promise no doobies were involved, although the same cannot be said of wine. 

What do you do when you start overwhelmed? For me, playing with words, reading, or going for a walk are go-to moves. Prayer helps, too. 

Mercy, grace, peace, love, and kindness,

Sunday, January 3, 2021

Fun with Type

I am a sucker for a pretty font, and Papertrey's Botanical Lowercase struck me as extremely clean and useful. 

It is.

For these two cards, I used full 4.25" x 5.5" panels and started stamping with the a, slightly overlapping each successive letter. One panel ended up being spot-on middle, and the other was off slightly. I just trimmed so the sentiment was advantage to starting with a larger panel.

Obviously, these color combinations are outside my normal one- or two-color schemes. I started with color combos from Pinterest and adapted to inks I had. There was a third combination that I didn't like, so it went in the recycling. 

Remember. It's only paper. 

And now I'm off to write thank you notes for Christmas presents. What was your favorite Christmas present you received? 

For me, it's a tie between the Nook replacement George got me (an Android cellular tablet!) and the knitted wrap my sister made me. George knew my Nook (the original Nook Tablet from over a decade ago) was on its last electrons. The horror!!! After a bit of research, he learned that Barnes and Noble is doing a lousy job with their Nooks, so he went to the AT&T store (only place with tablets left in stock), discovered that we qualified for a military discount on our cellular bill, and so saved us a BUNCH of money on our monthly bill while getting me the perfect gift at the same time. Love that man!

I've worn the wrap nearly every day since Christmas. It's like getting a nice, long hug from my sissy. Love that woman!

Your turn. 

Mercy, grace, peace, love, and kindness,


Saturday, January 2, 2021

More Paper and Ink

This return to paper and ink is making me very happy.

Today's card riffs off the idea that angles love curves. The card looked rather boring with just the circle, and I kept trying to add more circles (as with the card card on my last post). I also fiddled around unsuccessfully with a sentiment strip. 

Nothing quite worked until I took a rectangular scrap of embossed paper and threw it down behind the circle. It anchors the design very subtly and keeps the focus on the flower. And then I found an old sentiment from a Technique Tuesday set that fit perfectly on the circle. The angles of the sentiment work pretty well, and I love how it looks like the flower frond is "presenting" the sentiment...voila!

And let's pause just a minute to appreciate the color combo of violet and chartreuse. It crackles with energy and somehow radiates harmony at the same time, at least to my eye. So happy!

Thank you all for sticking with me through the years. If there's one thing that's remained steady and true through all the chaos and mess, it's that stampy people are awesome and cement my faith in humanity! Thank you from the bottom of my heart.

Mercy, grace, peace, love, and kindness,