Saturday, January 28, 2023

Warm Wishes on a Cold Day

First off, I want to thank Cheryl and Eddie for their lovely donations to Karen's Card Shop. Y'all are awesome!

Second, today's card uses one of my favorite techniques for solid image stamps: color with markers, spritz with water, and stamp. I cut the focal point using a die set gifted to me by my friend Eva, and the frond behind the stitched rectangle is from Penny Black. The flower stamp is Hero Arts and the sentiment is from Simon Says.

This card may have been inspired by a card on Pinterest, but I made it so long ago, I can't remember. 

And third, my radiation treatments are finished. My boob is still very angry about what was done to it, red and painful, but generally, my mood is improved. I vacillate between feeling quite justified in her punishment for trying to kill me and guilt over victim blaming. The poor girl didn't ask for cancer, did she? 

Next step in treatment is starting at the end of next week...leprozole to suppress estrogen and progesterone. I'll take that for five to seven years, as well as a drug to keep my bones strong since leprozole leaches calcium from bones. Yee-ha. 

My hair is growing back but still not quite a pixie. I can see quite clearly what my hairdresser means when she says my hair growth pattern is "irregular." Swirls, cowlicks, and weirdness abound. 

Fatigue is the main problem now. For example, I just today got all my Christmas decorations put away. And I wanted to take a nap. I puttered around my craft space instead, and that was useful. And fun.

Mercy, grace, peace, and love,


Monday, January 16, 2023

A Birthday Card and Dog Pictures

Today's card uses an old StampinUp set colored with Copics, a festive embossed panel, and a random sentiment. It made me happy...and best of all, its recipient was happy, too!

And here are some dog pictures from the last few months. 

Lily likes her chewy toy.

They do cuddle sometimes, 
but it never lasts long.

Lily loves all of us, but she has a special
fondness for Nick.

The snarling was quite festive.

Mercy, grace, peace, and love,


Sunday, January 15, 2023

Very Old and Somewhat New

Today's card features a stamp from one of the first stamp sets I ever bought...back in the early 2000s. The copyright date on the wood-mounted stamp from Hero Arts is 2000. 

The stamp paired perfectly with a falling snow embossing folder (new-ish), deckled square and rectangle dies (also new-ish), sequins (new) and a Cathy Zielski sentiment set (not new, but not used enough).

Does anyone else crave peace? I do. There's been precious little of it in my circumstances of the past six months, and I have to remind myself that peace doesn't come from our circumstances but from our relationship with the divine: the peace that passes all understanding. I don't know about you, but I'm pretty good at leaving my burdens at the foot of the cross...and then going back and picking them up again. 

I am working on this. 

A friend gave me a weekly planner for Christmas. I already had a planner, so I keep the new one by my bed. Each night, I write down at least three things I'm grateful for and at least three "Woo-Hoo" accomplishments for the day, though some days the accomplishments are quite small, such as a shower, a card, and a few chapters in my latest book. The planner has a place for monthly prayers and suggests praying to cultivate kindness in January. 

What a beautiful planner!

What do you do to cultivate peace? Do you have a daily ritual? Do you journal? Curious minds, and all that jazz....

Mercy, grace, peace, and love,


Saturday, January 7, 2023

The Winner Is...

 Cheryl L! Cheryl won the three Simon Says inks. Cheryl's comment was on the blog and said:

"No crafty gift, but got gift cards to my 2 favorite places...Starbucks and Aldi!!"

Now, I'm all for Starbucks, but must admit I'm not a fan of Aldi, simply because the landlord of our Barnes & Noble wouldn't renew its lease in favor of Aldi and now we have to drive a half hour to get to the Beavercreek Barnes & Noble. My husband and I fake spit every time we pass the old, more convenient location. Stupid Aldi. As Erasmus said, "When I have a little money, I buy books. If any is left, I buy food and clothes."

But I don't hold the landlord's decision against Cheryl, who's a long-time and loyal reader of Simplicity, and am so happy to send her the ink! Cheryl, please send me your snail mail address at susanraihala at roadrunner dot com, and I'll get the inks out to you early this week!

This week's cards were both inspired by THIS PIN by Helga Hopen. Her card design is so perfect that my versions are pretty much copies with different images and colors.

To make the colors coordinate, I used an old Hero Arts red rubber shadow stamp to make a green square that was the same color as the branch (also Hero, but from a clear set). The embossing folder is new, but the sentiment is old, old, least 15 years ago from Papertrey. 

Now, I really liked the above card for a masculine birthday, but decided I wanted to try for more color and pop in the design. So I added the cardinal from the same Hero Arts clear set, colored and masked it, and stamped the branch behind it. I stippled on a bit of lighter green ink to complete the focal point and used a newer Papertrey sentiment to complete the effect.

I can see myself playing around more with this gorgeous layout! Thanks, Helga, for the inspiration!

Mercy, grace, peace, and love, 


Thursday, January 5, 2023

When Old and New Play Together Perfectly

My spending spree over the last few months included several (ahem) embossing folders such as the one used on today's card. I pulled out the old A Wreath for All Seasons set from Papertrey, and this is the result.

The embossing folder has an empty circle surrounded by a snow burst. The wreath fits perfectly!

This 4.25" square card is part of my birthday planning for 2023. I've made cards for everyone on my list who has birthdays through April. May is a big month in my family/friend group, so that will take a while!

It's been a bit of a rough week, and I'm looking forward to choosing a winner Saturday morning for the give-away! Don't forget to comment on THIS POST for a chance to win.

And for today, I have a crafty question. Do you usually stick with new product for your stamping, or do you mix and match old and new? Do you get tired of old stuff, or get excited about finding new ways to use the old stuff to make it "new" again? I guess that's two questions, but I'm curious.

Mercy, grace, peace, and love,


Sunday, January 1, 2023

One Set, Two Cards, and a Giveaway

So, one of my bigger purchases in the past few months has been Simon Says Stamp Pawsitively Saturated Inks. I bought three colors back in July to test them and posted about them here and here. I adore monochrome cards, as you know, and these inks will make that easier. 

Today's cards combine the graduated colors with SSS Jubilee Sentiments set. These graduated flowers were made to work with the inks...and work they do...beautifully.

The pink card was inspired by various layouts from Pinterest, and the orange card is a very ordinary, old-fashioned layout (one of my favorites!). It uses some fun giant sequins, also from SSS.

And now for the giveaway. When I first ordered the inks, I didn't think I would need all the colors. Once I had my chosen ones, I figured that while I might not need them, I wanted them. Unfortunately, I mistakenly ordered three pads that I already had. 

So I'm going to give the new-in-wrapper pads away to one random person who comments by sharing one gift you received for Christmas on this blog post or on the Facebook post before midnight EST on Friday, Jan. 6, 2023. 

The giveaway is open to anyone with a U.S. mailing address. If you want to comment but want to be EXCLUDED from the give away...some of you may want to share but not be in the U.S. or may already have the inks...or perhaps more inks than you can handle. Sort of like I do, now. Please share one of your gifts anyway!

I'll go first. My husband, who knows me so well after 36 years of marriage, got me a pilgrim cross pendant that dates from between 7th-10th centuries. This period of history is one of my favorites, and to have an actual pilgrim cross (refurbished) that may have gone to the Holy Land or Rome from someplace in Europe over a thousand years ago just thrills me no end. 

So tell me what you got!

Mercy, grace, peace, and love,