Friday, February 9

Something simple

I was thinking today about how often I tend to overcomplicate things and miss opportunities to create something simple and fun. You know, I always want to be an "artiste." Most of my cards and little books that I've posted on my blog have not been so much artistic--more clean and simple. But when I give them as gifts, no one seems to mind that so much. The more artistic things that I've recently posted here have been from years past, and I admit, it's fun to take the stamped elements and create a real work of art when I have the luxury of time (ha.) But it's also fun just to make a simple, thoughtful handcrafted gift, without agonizing so much about the art of it all. That's the beauty of stamping. Here's something I made a while back that is in the "clean and simple" category, and makes a really sweet gift. It's a little brag book (or journal, or whatever.) All it is, really, is a bunch of 8 1/2 x 11 pieces of white cardstock that I cut in half to make 8 1/2 x 5 1/2 pages. I made a little corrugated edge for this one, but you don't have to really. I just stamped a cover in bright ink colors (I heat embossed the red car in the center. Love the glossy raised look to heat embossing. I try to do it in a well ventilated area though, now that I'm more savvy to the toxic aspects of it.) I hand lettered the name (but if you don't know calligraphy, just stamp it with some little alphabet stamps), or use a marker and some cute hand lettering.) Punch a couple of holes in the sides of the cover pieces, add some pages (stamp or decorate those however you like.) Then tie it up with some twine, ribbon, or binder rings. Moms and grandmas love them. Cute baby shower gift too.

Thursday, July 9


I'm still mourning our return from the beach (would have stayed there forever if I could.) Here's one of my favorite shots from the week. It was taken with my little point and shoot (as were many photos of the trip), so the quality is not so great, but the light was so beautiful, and this photo makes me happy just to look at it. Hope you enjoy it too.

Monday, July 6

I'm sorry...

I've been away for a few days. I've been here...

That's the view from our balcony during our vacation last week on the gulf coast of Alabama (Orange Beach/Gulf Shores.) Not too hard to take at all! It was absolutely wonderful. My question is, with places as beautiful as this, why do I live so far away from them??? Anyway, I haven't worked on any projects (other than relaxing!), so I thought I would show you a picture of another project that I did several years ago--a collage card. I chalked a background and stamped on it, then tore it and inked the edges. The pressed flower is a real one, and the photo (copy of the photo actually) is a really old one of my grandmother (who passed away in 1985 at the age of 92. She attended the 1904 World's Fair in St. Louis, and I wish I had asked her more about that when I had the chance.) I have a bunch of stamps, little charms, doilies, etc. in drawers for this type of project, so I am going to make some more of these collage cards. In my earlier stamping days, I would always make my own backgrounds (instead of relying on printed papers. Lately I've been getting back to that old school stamping style and enjoying it. Plus, I have all of these products sitting idle in my "studio" basement that are begging to be used.) This card actually won a contest (sponsored by Buffalo Stampede, a stamp company that I think no longer exists.) They had some gorgeous unmounted stamps. (Yes, back then I had time for things like entering contests.)

Finally, here's a fun photo from vacation that cracks me up---my two comedians. Hope it makes you smile. (And are you all remembering my challenge to stop and smell the flowers? That's kind of what I was doing last week (although instead of flowers, it was sea air!)

Tuesday, June 23

Wishing you...

Here's a card that can have just about any greeting inside. Today, the inside of this card would read, "Wishing you a day inside with air conditioning." It's 99 degrees here today. (And, I am INSIDE.) You can put just about any greeting inside though. It's a simple card--I just dry embossed the background with an embossing folder and chalked over the design (I used a Q-tip!) I punched a scalloped oval, stamped the Wishing you... on it, and attached it with a foam dot so it sits up a bit. (I inked the little scallops a little first.) Added a few little blingy gems and adhered it all to a pink card. Really simple, but nice I think. (This isn't the best photo, but you can still click it to see the detail if you like.)

Now, here's a shot of my little niece, taken at her "dance party" birthday last Saturday. Isn't she precious? (I officially have the most adorable nieces of all time--several of them.) She even had her own outdoor dance floor, with balloons galore. Her name for the day was "DJ Cozy." Thanks for the great day Cozy!

Friday, June 19

A Challenge--Make a photo card

Well, a couple of challenges actually. See this sweet, adorable cat? (I'm just a tiny bit biased--she's mine.) She's taking time to smell the flowers. LET'S ALL DO THAT MORE OFTEN. Now, another challenge to myself this week is to create a card using this photo. I have been wanting to incorporate photos into my papercrafts for some time, apart from the obvious scrapbook layouts and mini books. Maybe stamp a border around the edges of the photo. (I hear Stazon ink works for this.) Or stamp the greeting directly onto it. Or maybe just layer it with some pretty papers. For this particular card, I will find some cardstock in my stash that coordinates with the colors in the photo (just as I would do for a scrapbook layout) and try to get inspired. My challenge to you is to find (or take) a photo that you love and create a card with it. Then send it to someone to bless you both!

Monday, December 22

Merry Christmas!

I hope you are all enjoying the season and staying peaceful and calm throughout all of the 

hustle and bustle! I spent yesterday evening making some gifts and cards, but don't have photos of them to post YET. I'm going to get some photos of them today to show you. Here, though, are some photos to make you smile. My niece and nephew--I had so much fun photographing them under their tree last Saturday. (Note the candy bribes in their hands!) Aren't they sweet? 
Enjoy the "little things" this Christmas season! I am! And I'm soaking up the biggest gift of all--God's amazing love for me and all of us. Wow, do I LOVE Christmas!

Friday, August 22

What a week....

Phew, that's all I can say. What a week last week was. Both kids starting new schools---one high school freshman, one homeschooling high school senior/dually enrolled college student. Talk about stress. But you know what--- I'm so proud of my two teens. They are such wonderful people. I've been doing a lot of reflecting this week, especially today. Looking back, my childhood and school years were pretty smooth overall. Healthy, good student, had good friends. Life was easier then, I know (I am OLD, and things were simpler then--although it may not have felt that way at the time! Teen years are never really EASY.) But, relatively speaking, I never realized until recently, how pretty smooth things actually went for me. Maybe that wasn't such a good thing... "WHAT???" you say! I'll explain. Both of my kids have had serious, life altering illnesses within the past few years. They've started schools, left schools, homeschooled. They've not had the stamina to do the things most kids find pretty routine. All the while, they were looking fairly healthy, so that not even their friends or our extended family could truly understand what they were going through. There have been many other changes that have affected their lives over the last few years. But all of these trials and events have worked in their lives to impact their thoughts about faith, friendships, and life in general. They both realize the treasure of friendship, much more than I did at their ages. They appreciate the days they feel healthy and strong much more than I ever did. They realize how special people are---way more special than things could ever be. They are seeing how having experienced these trials in their life may help them help someone else in the future. And they have verbalized these thoughts to me. Their character and wisdom are way beyond what mine were at their ages. I'm NOT saying I'm glad they have suffered (naturally, I wish they had not had such a bumpy path!) While I have gotten teary more than once today at the difficult adjustments in their lives and at what a blur the last few years have been, I'm also embracing the changes, and thanking God for these two beautiful blessings He gave me to love and who have taught me so much. So on a much lighter note (!) here is another page addition to my Christmas scrapbook--my two teens at Christmas 14 years ago. I'm plugging away at this little book. I want to put it out on the coffee table at holiday time. (You can click the photo to make it bigger. Sorry it's not the greatest photo!)