Monthly Archives: December 2017

Wine with Friends

My entire family came down with a nasty bug (probably a type of flu bug, since my husband is the only one who got the flu shot and didn’t get sick!). My son got sick first, then my youngest daughter followed two days later, then my middle child a couple days after that.  They were all sick for one whole week each! I kept thinking I was going to go unscathed, but I guess sleeping beside my youngest child through her week of fever and dry cough, I was bound to get it eventually. I only had a fever one day (the kids had it off and on for the whole week!), but after being stuck at home taking care of my kids for 2 weeks, I was laid up for a week as well! That’s a long time to be bound to my house!! When I finally wasn’t glued to the couch, spending most of my time sleeping, I had to force myself out into the real world to catch up on Christmas shopping, decorating and food prep for turkey dinner. As a result, my body has yet to fully recover. It’s been two weeks since I got sick and it’s still lingering. I have that “sexy” raspy voice and I still cough like a smoker in the morning, lol! But I’m grateful that my energy seems to be back to about 90% and I can enjoy some outdoor activities again.

All that to say that I’m happy to get back to my craft room. Even when my kids were sick, I wasn’t able to get away to my room in the basement and stamp. I got a few other things done, like carpet clean my daughter’s new room, while the kids were resting. That felt pretty good. I accomplished something, but was still within ear shot if they needed me.

Now my daughter is fully moved out of the room she shared with her younger sister and is in her new room with the clean carpet! It felt so good to finally do that for her. Having grandma help with the room clean up and purge (the shared room was a junk heap!!), made it a huge success. Next task in the new year is for the girls to pick out their paint colours, so we can make the rooms their own! It’s all very exciting!!

This is a lot of writing already, but let me just add how grateful I am that I was able to quit my job last May and be a stay-at-home-mom first and a Stampin’ Up Demonstrator second. Being at home has made life feel much more under control and less stressful, not to mention more fulfilling. The kids have access to me whenever they’re home and I have been able to begin the process of getting a handle on my home environment. While being sick and while having company visit over the holidays, I have been free to take care of my home and family without having to worry about scheduling around my job or dealing with the stress of finding someone to replace me. Quitting my part-time job to be at home is the best decision I’ve made for me and my family since saying “yes” to getting married to my husband.

My first assignment in my stamping room after the holidays is, of course, an As You See It Challenge card design! I thought about using something new from my Occasions or Sale-a-bration pre-order, but in the end, I decided I should get a bit more mileage on one of my favourite Holiday stamp sets. After all, you CAN still purchase this set until the end of the year – so after reading this, go to my SHOP link on my website and get this stamp set while you still can!I love this Half Full stamp set. It has a few playful sentiments, but I love wine, so, sentiments aside, this set makes me happy!

The card base is Smoky Slate card stock that I ran through the Big Shot with the Brick embossing folder and then lightly sponged Smoky Slate ink around the edges to make that embossed pattern pop.

The next layer is Pool Party cardstock. I added sparkle to it by colouring it with my Wink of Stella Glitter Brush. So pretty and sparkly!! I added a thin Basic Black cardstock mat under a layer of Silver Foil paper and attached it over the winky Pool Party layer.

The silver Foil Snowflake (just half of one) was adhered to the Silver Foil layer before attaching the Whisper White die cut on top with Stampin’ Dimensionals. I used a die from the Celebration Thinlits (what a cute set of thinlits, that is!). The wine glasses were stamped on the Whisper White die cut with Tuxedo Black Momento ink, then coloured using Cherry Cobbler, Daffodil Delight, and Smoky Slate Blends Markers.

The final touch on the card front is the ribbon swag – Mini Silver Sequin, Basic Black Solid Baker’s Twine, and a little peep of the Bermuda Bay ribbon from the upcoming Sale-a-bration Shimmer Ribbon pack (so so shimmery!).I didn’t have room for a sentiment on the front, so I chose “the best wines are the ones we drink with friends” (from the Half Full Stamp Set) for the inside of the card. Behind it, I stamped the large wine glass from the same wonderful stamp set in Pool Party ink (stamped off once to reduce the intensity of colour).

I can give this card at any time to ANY of my wine-lovin’ friends. Wine IS best when it’s shared. So who wants to come over for a glass of wine this week!?

(I’m very grateful to finally have my taste buds returning to normal – wine and coffee just aren’t the same when you can’t taste them!!)

Floral Retirement

It’s time for ….

AN UBER CARD!!

Every now and then my husband asks me to design a card for staff at the university who are moving on to bigger and better things – like retirement! This is when I get to design what I call a book card; that is a larger card (usually 5″x7″, like the one today) with multiple pages inside for a large group of people to sign. I like to do the accordion binding, but sometimes I do different bindings with stitching, o-rings, or flip designs. The card I have to show you today has an accordion binding with three pages.

I chose to use the As You See It Challenge colour combination as a starting point for the design as my husband didn’t have much to give me to go on. I like to customize the card to the person, if possible.

I really struggle with blue and pink colour combos, but I think it worked out with the Whisper White and Sahara Sand neutrals that I chose to add to the mix on my Uber Card.

It is a 5″x7″ card with a 1/4″ depth (basically, it has a 1/4″ spine, like a book). The card base is created with Stampin’ Up’s Thick Whisper White Cardstock. I used Pacific Point cardstock as a very thin mat layer under the layer of Whisper White Floral Thinlit die cut. Peeking out from under the die cut, you can see the sponging of the three challenge colours, Pacific Point, Pool Party, and Flirty Flamingo that I did on Stampin’ Up’s beautiful Glossy White cardstock! I love how well the colour blends on this glossy paper!

The Flirty Flamingo scalloped circle and the Whisper White circle are cut using the Layering Circle Framelit Dies. The images from the Wild About Flowers stamp set were stamped on the Whisper White circle using Sahara Sand and Flirty Flamingo ink. The circles were attached together with Tombo Multipurpose Liquid Glue and adhered over the 5/8″ Burlap Ribbon and the Foil Frenzy Specialty Designer Paper banner with Stampin’ Up Dimensionals. Behind the circles, you can also see the Silver Metallic Thread in swooshy loops (such a pretty addition to almost any card).

The Happy Retirement sentiment is from the Teeny Tiny Wishes stamp set and was stamped on the Sahara Sand banner with Tuxedo Black Momento Ink. The ends of both paper banners were perfectly cut using the Triple Banner Punch (Thank you, Stampin’ Up!). Whisper White Baker’s Twine was just the right touch to wrap and tie on the Sahara Sand banner before attaching it to the circle with Stampin’ Dimensionals.

The sweet little Silver Foil bee was die cut with the Detailed Dragonfly Thinlit Dies and also attached with Stampin’ Dimensionals.

The inside of this Uber Card, is created with an accordion fold binding technique. This is done by scoring the cardstock of choice at half inch intervals, then gluing them together with your pages caught between every second fold. I keep meaning to do a tutorial video of this technique! If you bug me with comments on this, I just might get around to it more quickly (just sayin’, lol!)

For a secure binding, I left a section of the accordion folded cardstock free of scoring so it could be used as a full back page. The little bee from the Dragonfly Dreams stamp set was stamped in Sahara Sand ink with the You’ll be Missed sentiment from the Wild about Flowers over it with black ink.

I really struggled with mucking up my paper with ink repeatedly! So frustrating!! The pretty little Detailed Floral die above the bee is covering up one of those smudges. I also added extra stamped bees on my inside pages to cover up annoying smudges. Even the front of the card ended up with a blasted smudge of Sahara Sand ink on the Whisper White cardstock!!! All I could do there was dab it with my White Chalk Marker, letting it dry, then repeating until the smudge was mostly hidden unless the light caught it just so. I have had to use that Chalk Marker technique a few times for small smudge repairs. It’s definitely better than redoing the entire card and most people won’t notice the tiny flaw that remains. If they do, they chalk it up (pun intended, lol!) as a unique flaw in a hand made product.

If you’re interested in a video tutorial on how to make an accordion fold binding like I used in this card, write it in the comments on this blog post.

Also, if you have any tips on hiding ink smudges (or avoiding them), please add it to the comments on this post as well. I would love to hear any wisdom that you have to share!