Monday, November 19, 2018

Christmas Cocoa going fast!

Hello! I'm glad you stopped by so I could share with you not only two Christmas cards, but also the preparation for another celebration!  I was so proud of myself for using up the entire pack of Merry Moments and my pack of Christmas Cocoa was just daring me to try to do the same to it, so....

I am on a mission to finish up this pack of paper as well!  There were two full sheets and several medium and small size pieces as well.  I managed to get rid of one of the full sheets with today's cards.  I made several of the top card because I love how it shows off those pretty snowflakes.  I also went with Season's Greetings so it is a bit more versatile.

The bottom card has a thin strip of striped paper from the pack.  I just couldn't bear to toss this piece and because it was so long, I was able to get two cards with it!  I added a few wooden snowflake embellishments that have been in my stash for a while, and chose to leave off the sentiment.

I'm getting really close to filling my Christmas card box and I am pretty sure these will be ready to go by December 1!  Now I just need to do some brainstorming for the rest of those scraps and that one full sheet... Wish me luck!  Thanks so much for stopping by and have a wonderful day!

Thursday, November 15, 2018

Throwback Thursday with yet another fun fold...

Hello! I'm so glad you stopped by! I think I'm still on my paper high from Monday, but hey...gotta keep going, right?  As the title shares, today's card is another fun fold design only with a birthday theme.  I promise this will be the last of these for a while!

I used Tea Party DSP once again, and I'm thinking I might need to do a scrapbook session using this pack.  I've forgotten how much I loved the pretty floral designs and colors in this pack.

You can find the instructions for this card on last Monday's post (includes dimensions), but it's really a pretty easy card to put together.  The sentiment stamp is from A Country Welcome (no longer in business) and it's been in my stash since the early years of card making.  The rubber is getting a little wonky and doesn't want to stamp properly, which totally bums me out... I really like the font on this and it works well with so many different papers.  I have lots of other birthday stamps, but this one seems to be my 'go to'.  Any suggestions on fixing it, or am I going to have to pitch it eventually?

Well, I'm off to do some domestic stuff.  No matter how hard I try, I can't manage to get the laundry to wash, dry, and fold itself... and for some reason, my family thinks they need to eat on a daily basis...  Thanks so much for visiting and I hope you have a marvelous day!

Monday, November 12, 2018

Merry Moments-A Cause for Celebration!

WARNING: PHOTO HEAVY POST!  No really... LOTS of photos!!!

Hello! I am having a little party in my studio today because I just did the impossible!! Well...almost impossible (for me especially).  I have completely finished a pack of Christmas paper! An entire pack has been used up!! Shocked?! I can hardly believe it myself!

If this is your first time visiting, I would like to clarify that I'm not crazy (my mother had me tested) and I do have a very good reason to celebrate.  You see, I am a bit of a paper hoarder (don't laugh at the understating of this issue if you're a regular) and since we moved into our new home, I have been working diligently to use my incredibly large supply of patterned paper.  A few years ago I celebrated using all of Ski Slope (a veeerrry retired pack of SU paper) and now I get to celebrate again as I have once again used an entire pack of paper.  Merry Moments has always been one of my favorites because it has such a wonderful vintage feel to it, and I have used it a lot in scrapbooking and card making.  After a recent perusing of my Christmas stash, I realized I didn't have a full sheet of any of these papers and that was all the incentive I needed to get busy and finish it off.  I'm not going to lie, it took an entire day of planning and positioning to do this, and I did feel a little sad that it's all gone, but now there is one less package of Christmas paper on the shelf and I'm even closer to having my Christmas cards done on time.

I know you didn't really come here to read my ramblings, so here are the SEVEN different things I created using the last of Merry Moments.

I had 1/2 sheets of these patterns and managed to make 10 cards from them!

I even used the tiny bits to make a quilt card and a little embellishment for 
either a card or a scrapbook page!

Here I used the biggest piece of paper, as well as some tiny strips to make
my scrapbook page.  This will eventually hold two or three photos.

I would love to say that this means that I can go buy more paper, but there is still a lot more on that shelf, and unless the paper is truly crying my name, I won't be buying anything new yet!  I've actually been eyeing the pack of Christmas Cocoa that only has 2 full sheets left and lots of bits and pieces... Who knows? I may be celebrating again really soon!

I hope this has inspired you to dig into your older papers and use them up! Have a fabulous day and thanks so much for stopping by to celebrate with me!

Thursday, November 8, 2018

Throwback Thursday Playing around with Fun Folds!

Surprise! Yes, this is my second post of the week!  I did some cleaning over our fall break and I guess I found my mojo in the process!  I have a throwback project today, which means I'm digging into my older supplies and using them up!

Earlier this week, I shared some Christmas cards I made using a fun fold (you can get the instructions for these cards on that post!) and it inspired me to make a few more cards using this.  A quick peek in my card storage boxes showed me that while I have a lot of thinking of you and thank you cards, I didn't have but ONE anniversary card...can't have that!!  So today's cards are going into my stash boxes so I'm ready for those special days.

I had a hard time choosing patterned paper for these.  I have so much paper and I really need to use more!  I decided to pull out some of my older paper (many of the colors in these are now discontinued) and make some true throwback cards.  The cards on the left in both photos use Cottage Wall and the cards on the right use Tea Party.  I had to do some digging to find the almost amethyst cardstock and I don't have much of it left...  Hopefully it will get me through the Tea Party paper!  The sentiment on the top photo is from Stampabilities and the bottom sentiment is from Word Play.

Our family is hosting Thanksgiving again this year, and while everyone brings a dish or two to share, the majority of the cooking falls on DH and I.  I really need to take an inventory of my pantry and see what needs to be added to the grocery list.  I know if I don't do it while I'm thinking about it, I will forget until the very last second!  Please tell me I'm not alone in this!  Everyone thinks I'm organized, but it's really catastrophe prevention 99% of the time!  Thanks so much for visiting and have a fabulous day!

Monday, November 5, 2018

Mondays keep getting merrier!

Happy Monday and as you may have guessed from the title, I have another Christmas card post!!  My box is slowly filling with cards and I'm starting to think that I just might be able to mail these babies out at the beginning of December instead of the beginning of January!  

Today's cards are very quick and easy and it's a fun fold I haven't used in quite a while.  I'll share the measurements at the end of my post.

I have been making an effort to use up my hoarded Christmas papers and I can actually see the packs getting smaller finally!  The papers I used for today's cards are from Holiday Treasures, a very retired pack that I still love! The papers have a vintage feel that seems perfect for the holidays!  I also used the sentiment set Wacky Wishes, which hasn't seen ink in quite a while.  I think I heard it crying "pick me!" as I looked through my stamps, so I did! 

This fold is quite easy.  You start with a 12x12 sheet of cardstock and get two bases from it.  Cut the papers into 5 1/2 x 12 pieces.  There will be a strip of 1" paper left that you can either toss or save for another purpose.  Score the paper at 2",4", 8", and 10".  Then simply fold your card on the creases.  The 4 and 8 are folded in toward the center and the 2 and 10 are folded out.  This gives you two nice flaps to decorate. I cut my pattern paper into 1 3/4 x 5 1/4 pieces and glued them to the flaps.  Then I stamped the sentiment, mounted it onto cardstock and glued the left half to the left flap of the card base.  Make sure you don't glue the entire sentiment piece down or you won't be able to open the card.  I hope the instructions are easy enough to follow. If you have any questions, just ask!

Well, that's it for me today.  I hope you have a wonderful day and thanks so much for stopping by!

Friday, November 2, 2018

Sympathy, Hope, and Kindness

Hello! Today's post features two card designs I made recently and also a bit of philosophy, musing, and personal reflection.  You'll be happy to know that I'm sharing the cards first, so if you want to skip the rest it will be quite painless for you to do so!

I've recently had an increased need for sympathy cards.  I always have a supply of these on hand because I hate making these at the last minute, however, my supply has been steadily getting smaller and I needed to add some new replacements.  While I was picking out the paper for my cards, I was admiring the back of the gray pattern and thinking these would make great 'all occasion/thinking of you' cards.  I can always use those too!  I managed to make a total of six cards from one 12x12 sheet of paper and didn't have any scraps to set aside!

My flowers were stamped on whisper white using basic gray, then colored with pretty in pink and perfect plum pastels.  I used white for the flowers so the colors would be true and not muted by the vanilla background.  The hardest part of making these cards was deciding exactly how to place the flowers... other than that, they went together pretty quickly.

Now for the mental exploration of these cards...  Lately there has been a lot of thought been given to the finality of life and how best to use the time we are given.  This started several years ago when my brother almost died in a motorcycle accident followed by my dad suffering a major stroke.  At that time, I was questioning the reasons behind what was happening and looking for some brilliant insight to make me understand the grand scheme of things.  No such luck!  Helping my mom care for my dad on a daily basis and accepting the personality changes in my brother (major brain injury) left me feeling tired, empty, and completely broken.  A little less than two years ago, my dad was diagnosed with colon cancer.  He had surgery to remove the growth and was on schedule to begin chemotherapy when he fell and broke his hip.  So instead of chemo, he had another surgery... After his hip healed, he began receiving chemo which left him incredibly weak, sick, and quite grumpy (not that I blame him for that!).  He had just finished his sixth treatment when he decided he was done feeling terrible all the time.  He stopped chemo and slowly began to feel more like himself.  In the past month, we have found that he still has some cancerous growths, but they are growing at a much slower pace than normal for his type of cancer.  There is a good chance that he will end up dying from something other than cancer, which is both great and sad at the same time.  

All of this had me thinking about the quality of our lives versus the quantity and a good friend told me to read the book Tuesdays with Morrie.  If you have never read this book, you should.  It is a short story and very basic to read, so it's manageable even if you don't care much for reading.  The story was exactly what I was trying to sort out in my thoughts about death.  It is a beautiful story about two friends sharing the beauty of life while learning about preparing for death.  I can honestly say that it has given me great insight, and also shown me how I want to live my life from now on.  

During Fall Break, my sisters, my youngest DD, my parents and I went to a local historical museum.  There are sections dedicated to the German immigrants, local military, and origins of agriculture in our area.  We had a wonderful time letting my dad share his insights on all of the above and he took great pleasure in telling my daughter about using most of the farm equipment they had on display.  We played several rounds of "Do you know what that is?" and "What is that for?", without being able to use the information boards they had available.  Dad knew almost all of the tools and equipment, although my sisters and I did pretty good on the things we had seen Grandpa and Dad use on the farm.  It was such an amazing day and I was so happy to have another wonderful memory to add to my treasure chest.  This was also the reason I really wanted to use the Life is Beautiful side of the patterned paper.  Because when you stop to enjoy it, it really is! 

If you've read all the way to this point, I hope this has inspired you to take the time to enjoy some simple, happy times and share something with those you love.  Even the most ordinary things can become great gifts over time.  Have a wonderful day!

Monday, October 29, 2018

Sweet Birthday

Hello! I'm taking a break from Christmas to share a fun little card I made for a friend.  Both of my DDs work for a friend of mine at an ice cream and sandwich shop.  She and her husband are great people and wonderful employers.  They are incredibly patient with their staff (mostly high schoolers), but also teach them work skills they can use in the future.   The people who work there are always courteous and professional, and obviously love their jobs!  My friend recently celebrated her birthday on the last day of the season(closed during the winter months), and I knew her day was going to be busy so I wanted to make a fun little card to lighten the day.

Now what else could I possibly put on her card??  The pattern paper is left over from some graduation cards I made for their co-workers who graduated in May, but it worked just as well for this sweet birthday card!  I also inked up Honeycomb Happiness for the first time and pulled out the coordinating embellishments to make my cones three dimensional.  The girls loved the card and I'm happy to share that my friend loved it as well.  She thought the honeycomb scoops were too cool! Ha! See what I did there?! Ice cream-cool...anyway...

I hope you enjoyed my card and maybe you'll find the time to get some real ice cream!  It's pretty chilly right now, but my dad always says it's never too cold for ice cream!  Have a wonderful day!

Monday, October 22, 2018

Monday is Merry-Three in a row!

Hi!  I am back for the third week in a row with another Christmas card! AND it's FALL BREAK!!  I've scheduled this to post early this morning, so it's possible that while you're reading this I could still be asleep or at the very least drinking my morning coffee in my pjs!  But enough of my personal happy came here to see something creative and Christmasy (is that a word?!).

I'm sticking with the quick and simple style again and once again, I've pulled from the fall cards I made earlier this month for the layout.  I've used the beautiful Christmas Cocoa paper again.  I love that this paper has just a hint of shimmer to it, so you really don't need a lot of embellishing!  I also decided to go with a winter theme on this one instead of Christmas.  I thought this could be friends who don't celebrate Christmas or maybe someone who isn't that into celebrating this season.

I am really looking forward to getting a lot of things done this week!  I have some work to do in our garage, in our landscaping, and of course in my craft studio!  I'm hoping to do some reorganizing to make things a little easier to find and more likely to use!  Of course, there must be some time for creating too!  Wish me luck!

Thanks so much for visiting my blog today and have a wonderful week!

Card Recipe: Paper-Christmas Cocoa DSP, soft suede, whisper white, Ink-soft suede, Stamp Set-Seasonal Memories (hero arts)

Monday, October 15, 2018

Another Merry Monday!

Oh my goodness! Posting two weeks in a row with Christmas cards!! Slowly but surely, I'm going to get these cards completed by December!!  I played with a similar design to my card from Thursday and used Festive Four again!  I also pulled out some Christmas paper that I haven't used in a while!

I've decided that my cards are going to be pretty basic and easy until I have more in that box!  Then maybe I'll work on some fancier designs!

I love this cute lil' snowman and the striped paper seemed to be pretty enough without any ribbon!

Thanks so much for stopping by and I hope you have a great week!

Card Recipe: Paper-Christmas Cocoa DSP (ret), whisper white, Ink-soft suede, real red, tuxedo black, Stamp Set-Festive Four

Thursday, October 11, 2018

Throwback Thursday-Sending more 'Happy Mail'

Hello!  I've taken a little break from making Christmas cards to play with some pretty fall colors.  Unfortunately, it doesn't feel much like fall right now.  I think September was cooler than October!  I'm hoping we get a few weeks of chilly weather before we slide right into winter...

I think today's cards are throwbacks in every sense of the word.  Stamps, cardstock, pattern paper, and even the ribbon are all things that have been a part of my crafty stash for a very long time!  It felt good to put them to good use again!

I don't normally send a lot of fall/Halloween cards, but I'm making an effort to send more cards that aren't birthday or Christmas.  One of my classes were talking about letters this week and one of the students asked "Who even sends letters?"  It made me sad, but then I realized that I don't really send letters anymore either.  I did share with them that I send homemade cards with notes in them and they looked at me like they had never heard of such a thing! Lol! Guess I'm officially old now...  This conversation and a recent guest speaker from Rachel's Challenge inspired me to reach out to loved ones a little more often.  Soon these cards will be addressed to some family and friends who are very dear to me to let them know I'm thinking about them!

Fall is my favorite season and I have quite a few different sets of fall themed DSP.  I decided to use the long retired Orchard Harvest and blew the dust off of two of my favorite fall stamps.  I even dug in my retired cardstock drawer to find the more mustard paper!  I'm not sure how long ago I purchased the burlap ribbon, but I'm guessing it's been a while since I have no clue where it came from!  Both cards were pretty easy to put together and it was fun doing a bit of coloring again!  I hope you are inspired to make and send your own cards to let someone special know that you're thinking about them too!  Have a wonderful day!

Card Recipes: Paper-more mustard, naturals ivory, Orchard Harvest DSP (ret), Ink-tangelo twist, pear pizzazz, daffodil delight, early espresso, tuxedo black, Stamp Set-Festive Four, Seasonal Memories (hero arts), Accessories-burlap ribbon