Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Clear and Simple Apothecary Sweets and...

Clear and Simple Stamps ran a contest and I won Apothecary Sweets, which was on my wishlist.  Seriously, my dream wish list for CSS runs to about $500.   Hmm...not going to happen. 

Clear and Simple makes the perfect stamps and dies to coordinate with gifts and food -- two of my favorite things, and items that go well with papercrafting.

I made these two cards with the set and then thought long and hard about the hobby, a hobby I still love.

First the cards --


The sentiments are from Technique Tuesday and WPlus9.  
MOOD WHEN DONE =  Decisive

I'm tired of only making greeting cards.


I'll be back ...

Redesigned Blog
Redesigned Use of Stamps and Dies and Ink

Monday, January 12, 2015

Thanks and Tax News (both from Waltzingmouse)

Love Waltzingmouse Big Berries:  Strawberry.  Just a peek of it looks so fresh.

How to get the shaded strawberry?  I used the MISTI.  I stamped first with a pale pink ink, and then inked up the edge of the strawberry with a darker red and restamped.  Did the same with the green stem.  If you have the $$ and are able to get the MISTI, do so!

Claire indicated that she will be having a sale soon, in part due to the mess that has been created by changes in overseas (to me) tax laws.  If you haven't already read it, her blog post here is worth a read. So many changes in the craft industry....

HUSBAND'S COMMENT = "It's a happy card. I like it." 

Tuesday, January 6, 2015


Starting off the New Year (hope 2015 is happy and healthy for all of us) with a soft thank you card.  Love the stripes combined with a swirly sentiment.

How I Made This Card:

1.  Stamped striped background with pale gray ink (MFT's Grout Gray ink is fabulous) onto white    cardstock.
2.  Stamped small flower in Versamagic Pink Grapefruit ink.
3.  Stamped sentiment in black, making sure that the twirl of the "t" ended on the center of the flower.
4.  Rubbed the Grapefruit ink on a piece of white cardstock, trimmed.
5.  Adhered Grapefruit strip to striped panel.
6.  Adhered tiny pearl.
7.  Adhered panel to white card, trimmed to 5.25" x 4" (slightly less than an A2 card).

MOOD WHEN DONE = pleased
HUSBAND'S COMMENT = "Ooh, like that little dot thing." [we call them pearls, dear....]

Stamps:  Impression Obsession Diagonal Stripes and Impress Rubber (set appears to be retired)
Cardstock:  Neenah White Solar
Ink:  Versamagic Pink Grapefruit (I use the dew drop size), My Favorite Things Grout Gray, and Ranger Archival Black
Other:  MISTI, paper trimmer, pearl, adhesive

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Inspiration v. Theft

I'm tired of worrying about the difference between inspiration and theft.  I've censored my crafting, concerned that if it wasn't "original" it wasn't worth making and/or that I'd be labeled a thief. 

Google "inspiration v. stealing ideas" and you'll find lots of other people have been talking about this same thing for like forever.  In fact, even the quote "Good Artists Copy, Great Artists Steal," widely attributed to Picasso, was probably stolen from someone else.

So, I'm inviting you to join me in setting yourself free from the fear of stealing.

Image from

I am inspired.  A tie, a card, a book cover, a tray of fancy chocolates, those gingham curtains next to a floral print that I just noticed on an episode of Law and Order called Acid?  It's all out there.  Embrace it -- it is human, it's a good thing to be inspired.  We need it.

Copying every element of a design is boring and not attributing a copy to someone else is unethical and sometimes illegal (I'm still startled when I see this and I see it all the time).  It's the execution, or the little extra something that makes it our own that makes it fun (not necessarily better, because we can be inspired and still make something awful).  But taking an element and running with it is not stealing.  It's being inspired.  Sometimes I don't know the difference, but I try and respect others and that is the best I can do.

So put gingham and florals together.  The set designer on Law and Order wasn't the first, or the last, person to do so and didn't feel the need to let us know. 

Friday, December 26, 2014

Your Holiday Mileage May Vary

If you are reading blogs (and you are), or are on Facebook, instagram, etc. you've seen innumerable pictures of Walton-style families (loved that show!) gathered over the holidays.  Some traveled to amazing locations, others have Martha Stewart-worthy trees and decorations.  Lots of pictures of smiling families, cute kids, adorable dogs and cats (lots of cates).  (Ok, I'm not a fan of cats.  Feel free to hate me). 

No lingering resentments, recovering or not recovering addicts, step-family woes, challenged children, college drop outs, debts, lost jobs, depression, sibling rivalries, divorces, etc.  I mention this because I read a post on Facebook that softly suggested that it appeared that everyone had enjoyed an amazing Christmas.  The underlying message seemed to be "Glad you did, but I didn't."

I did enjoy a lovely Christmas.  We spent it with our son and much of my husband's family.  This is a family that knows how to get along.  There were lots of laughs, board games, and food.  Not a cross word.  Yes, I had moments of high anxiety, worry, etc. but they were just moments.   I loved being with them.

It wasn't always this way -- almost every holiday in my past was dominated by the cause and existence and aftermath of addictions.  My brothers' problems became my problems, because that is how addictions work.  But now they are all gone, and I am introducing myself to the holidays in a new way.  It is hard to shake the past, but I'm shaking it as fast as I can. 

Yet -- even with a good drama-free Christmas, my life is no different than most.  Lift up the social media of happiness, and there are some issues.  I post this just to remind us, particularly in the world of public sharing on social media, that I've yet to meet a perfect family.  We all struggle with a few (if we are lucky) not-so-happy things.  Online is not real.

One blogger I know, who is a riotous pleasure online, has serious, movie-worthy, sad family problems.  Her blog is full of witty commentary, but her life behind the blog is anything but witty.  I think of her every day, knowing her struggles.  Another posts gorgeous creations, while she has shared with me that her husband resents every dime and minute she spends on paper crafting.  Her life is complicated....  A facebook friend has an amazing life, except that one of her children is paralyzed by depression. I'm sure you could add more examples. 

So if you are wondering how every other family manages to pull off the big glorious holiday and life, the answer is that they don't, although the reality is that some folks are suffering more than others.  In any event I suspect that everyone is displaying just a slice of their lives.  And that can be a good thing, because happy slices uplift the soul.  However, the downside is that we may forget that we are only seeing a slice.

Whatever holiday you and your family celebrate, and particularly if you are struggling to celebrate anything, I hope that the social media frenzy of perfection doesn't add to your struggles and make you feel more alone.   You are not.