Thursday, December 27, 2007

#24 No Christmas cards, but a few gifts

Despite the fact that I continue to buy wonderful Christmas stamps, I don't make my Christmas cards. I'm not sure why, other than the fact that there are so many exquisite cards for purchase at holiday time, I've never felt I could do better.

I did make a few small gifts this year, more by chance than design. Louise at KardKrazy ( had a wonderful idea to make a personalized stocking stuffer with a Post-It note pad she found for $1.00. I agreed that they were pretty neat and shuffled off to buy some, myself.

I decided that it was about time I did something creative with the stack of coasters I've been hoarding and ended up making little notepads for my sister, Deb and my daughter, Beth. (Please note, however that Beth's pad says "Liz." Her real name is Elizabeth Clare, and our family calls her Beth. Somewhere in middle school she was nicknamed Liz and it stuck. It gets a bit confusing at times...)

Anyway, I covered the coaster with patterned paper, measured the width of the pad and the height in order to score it. I then attached a back coaster to extend beyond the pad and attached a golf pencil with one of those great pen/pencil holders that Sue Nelson so kindly ordered for us a few months ago.

I liked how the pad holders went together; Deb and Beth/Liz like the way they look. I know I'm driving myself crazy being anal, but I think I put the "Z" in Liz upside down! (I used the Sizzix Lollipop Alphabet to cut out the vinyl adhesive letters for the names and it's sometimes hard to tell.)

Friday, December 14, 2007

#23: Cover-Up

Back in July (Sunday, July 8th-- post #11 to be exact), I was lamenting the fact that I am brayer-challenged. I absolutely adore the wonderful effects so many talented stampers accomplish with a brayer... but I am not one of them!

I had some lovely comments and e-mails from fellow Gingerwoodies, who either commiserated, empathized or offered suggestions. All made me smile, and I stuffed my ugly card in the bottom of a drawer and decided not to let it bother me. Until now!

I really do hate to "waste" a card-- even an ugly one. So here's my fix: To tone down the garish colors, I added an overlay of blush pink vellum and a small oval transparency. It still isn't going to win me any prizes, but at least it isn't embarrassing me any more!



Thursday, December 13, 2007

#22: I'm so busy at other people's blogs, I ignore my own

Especially at this time of year, there is just so much wonderful sharing going on that I seem to spend all my blog time oogling the talent of others. Also, my stamping desk is covered with wrapping paper, ribbon and cats-- which makes it difficult to create!

Since I don't make my own Christmas cards (gasp! I know, I know-- I should be ashamed), I'll share with you a recent trifold creation, made for a friend who became a grandma for the first time. It's a combination of Versamark background stamping, heat embossing, Sizzix die cuts and my first attempt at making do-it-yourself rub-ons with an inkjet printer and transparencies.


Bunny Stamp: 79¢ no-name purchased in 2001 at Big Lots
It's A Boy Stamp: unknown
Sizziz Original Bunny Die
Plaid Printed Paper: Spring Gingham by Remember When™
Sentiment: Computer generated


Saturday, November 3, 2007

#21: Kleenex Kards

I wish the people who design Kleenex boxes would come out with a line of cardstock!
Here's another card I made using the side of one of their boxes. My uncle passed away a few months ago, and I've tried to send a "Thinking of You" card to my aunt every few weeks, just to stay in touch. I think this floral design, matted on black, is so pretty without being too cheerful, if you know what I mean.
"Just a note" Stamp from PSX (E-510)

Friday, October 26, 2007

#20: " The Kitchen Sink" Style Card

Birthday card for a dear co-worker that incorporates a lot of stuff I really liked and wanted to use. Somehow, I pulled it together!

The pretty background "paper" is from the side of a Kleenex tissue box, outlined with a turquoise Glaze pen. Hatpin is from Making Memories scrapbooking supplies. The sentiment ("Eat cake") was stamped with one of those multi-image stamps that looks like a date stamp. This one is from Leisure Arts.

Luckily, I could hand-deliver this one. I can't imagine there's any way I could mail it and have it survive!

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

#19: The card that wouldn't upload Monday

I have no idea why my photo wouldn't upload on Monday, but will today.

"Make A Wish" stamp by Gina K. Designs (purchase of the set benefits the Make-A-Wish Foundation, too!)
"Princess Chick" by Stampendous
Embossed background done with Cuttlebug's D'Vine Swirls folder

Monday, October 1, 2007

#18: "Life is what happens while you're making other plans..."

I find that this wonderful quote sums things up very nicely, right now. If there is anyone, at all, still following my blog, all I can say is "Bless your heart!"

At the end of August, I had some knee surgery and despite the time off work, found my days didn't allow much computer time. Now, my family has just been told that my Mom has lung cancer.

Since my blog is more about the creative side of me, rather than a personal dialogue, it's been difficult to balance what to say vs. just not saying anything at all. However, I know an oft-repeated pet peeve of bloggers and blog surfers is how frustrating it is when something just seems to dribble off. I certainly fit that definition!

But, life goes on and I find I have missed my blogging very much. I'll need to get myself re-organized and grab the pleasures in life where I may, even if they're just for me.

Thanks for listening and may each of you enjoy all the little things in life, not the least of which is good health.

PS: I'm trying to upload a recent card, but either the site is grumpy or it's been so long I've forgotten how! I'll try again later.

Sunday, August 5, 2007

#17 If you save it long enough.....

Whew. It's been a tough couple of weeks and today I promised myself a little "me" time. Long stories, but the bottom line is that it is very, very difficult to reach the stage of your life where you and your parents reverse roles. We are blessed to still have both of my parents and Mike's Mom, but illness and dementia take their toll on everyone-- those who suffer and those who must watch them suffer.

I need to make about a hundred cards-- I'm way behind: thank you, sympathy, congratulations, birthday, get well.... you name it, I need one or a bunch! So today I'll share one I made a few weeks ago for our nephew's high school graduation. His school colors were tough: blue and orange. (Anyone else thinking 1950's and Howard Johnson's?) Luckily, it was more of a royal blue than turquoise blue.

Now, about 8 years ago, I bought some orange paper-covered wire on sale after Halloween. I've looked at that wire at least once a week for years and have repeated often "What could I have possibly been thinking???" It just goes to prove that if you save anything long enough, inspiration will probably strike!

Thursday, July 26, 2007

#16 Flowers

I never quite got on the Prima bandwagon, although I was tempted. However, for many years my Mom created gorgeous silk flower arrangements-- for our home, as gifts, and occasionally "on commission" for someone who admired her talent. When my parents moved from their big home to a much smaller one, I inherited a lot of Mom's craft items, especially huge boxes of silk flowers and and ribbons.

I finally dug through the attic and found some of the flowers I loved and have been using them for my cards. The fluffiness of the silk flowers (as opposed to the flat Primas) makes the cards more difficult to mail, but since I hand-deliver many to co-workers I still can indulge.

This card was inspired by one I had drooled over at the Paper Crafts magazine "Gallery Idol Challenge," created by Daniela D.

I, too, made my card long and narrow, to fit in a #10 business envelope.... but not just any business envelope! Lucky me-- I found about six boxes of 50 each vellum business envelopes at the Dollar Store a while back. Hand-delivering a silk flower card in a translucent envelope really is eye-catching.
Happy Birthday Stamp by Co-Motion Rubber Stamps
(long gone and greatly missed)

Monday, July 23, 2007

#15 Great Gift for a Baby Boomer!

No card today but something I just had to share! I'll be turning 50 this week, and my husband and daughter bought me the most wonderful gift for a baby boomer: a turntable that plugs directly into the USB port of your computer, so you can turn all your vinyl into CDs.

I don't know anyone who has actually given up their albums. Like me, they've been stored someplace simply because it was too heart-wrenching to think of tossing them. We haven't had a turntable in the house for probably 20 years (got too hard to find the needles), but the albums have been lovingly maintained, although I wasn't sure for what.... Now I know!

First albums that got transferred?

  • Elton John: Madman Across the Water (approx. 1971)

  • Boz Scaggs: Silk Degrees (approx. 1975)

  • Rupert Holmes: Partners in Crime (about 1980-- remember "Escape/The PiƱa Colada Song"?)

  • Art Garfunkel: Breakaway (his solo album, 1975)

  • Four albums down and about 215 to go!

Thank you-thank you-thank you, Mike and Beth for an absolutely wonderful gift! I don't know how you can say I'm hard to buy for...!

Friday, July 20, 2007

#14 Little things make a difference

I have been snatching up every single $1.00 clear stamp set from Michael's that I can find-- well, not every one, but most of them. Since I've previously purchased wood-mounted exclusively, there are a lot of gaps in my stamp library. It seemed that those little flourishes cost almost as much as a big, yummy stamp, so I had a tendency to avoid the sentiments and the decorative stamps. These little, inexpensive clear stamp sets have opened a new door for me and I'm inching my way through!
Both the "Hello!" and those rows of tiny little stars come from various Studio G sets. The scalloped square was stippled in the same turquoise ink and is from a punch (it's a Marvy punch that provides a 2" square punch-out-- not sure what hyperbole of a size that makes it), and the delicate yellow lacy thing is a die cut from a Cuttlebug 4 piece "Victorian" die set.
The sunflower is from a pad of Mary Engelbreit page markers-- tiny little post-it notes to mark your spot... or make a focal spot on your card!

Thursday, July 12, 2007

#13 Simple isn't necessarily bad, I guess

I have had a couple of very busy months, and although I've made a lot of cards, they have been very simple ones out of sheer necessity. Maybe that's not all bad.

Initially, I didn't really care for this Thinking of You/Get Well card I made for my mother-in-law, but she loved it. I guess it's growing on me, although without a lot of layers, embellishments and stamping, it still feels a little naked to me-- and as if I've somehow cheated.
By the way, Louise over at Kard Krazy had the most wonderful tip today-- a real "smack-up-side-the-head-why-didn't-I-think-of-that???" idea. She separated out all of her little clear stamp sets into categories (e.g., all the flowers, all the sentiments, etc.) rather than leave them in the pre-packaged sets. As soon as I have a few minutes to call my own, I'm going to follow her lead:
Stamps: Studio G Clear Stamp Set from Michael's
Background: Anna Griffin

Monday, July 9, 2007

#12 Oinking of You!

A co-worker was in the hospital and has now been recuperating at home for quite some time, so I'm trying to send out a card as often as I can. "Get Well" isn't quite the right sentiment for the situation and plain old "Hi!" and "Thinking of You" are getting a little worn. I love this little piggy stamp from Gina K. Designs, so I computer generated the sentiment to go with it. The stamping is done on a paint chip that was being considered for a bathroom repainting project, but the color was hastily vetoed by the hubby....

By the way-- is anyone else having problems uploading titles into their posts? I haven't been able to do so for the past few days.


Gina K. Pig (Gina K. Designs) from All That Scraps
~Christine at All That Scraps offers free S&H on orders over $10.00-- and it sure is easy to spend that in her store!


Sunday, July 8, 2007

#11 Brayer Challenged

Although I love the many beautiful effects other stampers create with the use of a brayer, I'm not one of the lucky ones. I can count on one hand (and prior to this card, one finger!) the number of cards I've managed not to toss after using any sort of a brayer technique.

I'm not even sure what I'll do with this card... I thought maybe a Sympathy card (have had to make waaaaay too many of those lately), but decided it's just too garish. I guess it could become a birthday or "just because" card without offending anyone.

Does anyone have any suggestions for brayer tutorials or other references? If so, I'd love to hear about them!

~Stamp: from All Night Media 's "Ornamental" Set, embossed in detail gold EP

~Ribbon is actually Lion Brand Ribbon Yarn in the "Carnival" color

~The purple background card is a cut up legal-size file folder-- I found a box of 100 of them at the Dollar Store a couple of years ago. Love the color and weight of the cardstock, and I'll be using them forever!

Monday, July 2, 2007

#10 Can't tell I'm a stamper by my cards, can you?

I absolutely adore rubber stamping and have been at it for more than 15 years (and untold hundreds-- thousands?-- of dollars later). But lately, I seem to be using a lot of other techniques in my card making, instead.

Some of that may be due to several recent massive purchases of Sizzix items that are going for pennies on the dollar, as they unload "old logo" inventory. However, I think the real reason is because I recently completely cleaned and reorganized my stamp room. Good heavens! I found stuff by the truckload that I had forgotten about... It was like Christmas, only it was all stuff I wanted!

Anyway, this card is for a co-worker who just celebrated the arrival of a new grandson. Jodi's husband is a minister, so I searched for a sentiment they would appreciate, although it's computer generated. It says "Babies are bits of stardust blown from the hand of God." Inside, I wrote "From God's hand to your grandparents' hearts. Welcome, Noah!"

The star is a Sizzix diecut, covered with pigment ink and glittered while still wet (Art Institute Transparent Glittering System-- not sure of color names, but a pretty royal blue on the edges and white in the center.)

The very center of the star has a small resin charm in the shape of a baby bib

Friday, June 29, 2007

#9 I'm officially addicted

In just a few short days, I've become officially addicted to these wonderful little Square Pocket Cards! (See post from 6/23/07)

I needed a quick Get Well/Thinking of You card for an older gentleman who could use a bit of cheering. Once again, I used a sticker on the front, but had to alter it a little to fit the occasion. It's one of those delightful Mary Engelbreit dimensional stickers, but the rectangular background portion had a repeating sentiment of "Happy Birthday." I just trimmed the background off.

The patterned paper is actually wallpaper. I found the roll at the Dollar Store and I have enough to probably use forever. The sentiment is from one of the newer Studio G Clear Stamp Sets (also $1.00!) from Michael's.

I'm not sure whether it's my scanner or me, but I just can't seem to get my cards straight. Sorry about that.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

#8 Binding treasures

A dear friend will be retiring from the Health Center at the end of the summer session-- Wendy is a physician who's been with us for many years and will certainly leave a gaping hole to be filled. She's originally from England, has the most charming accent, a melt-your-heart smile, and is a superb physician.

To celebrate her time with us, I put together a memory book with contributions from many staff members. It's one of the best uses of my Bind It All that I can imagine! However, even by using the 1-1/4" O-Wire, the largest available, the book was a little overstuffed... so many memories!

Monday, June 25, 2007

#7 Embossing and Chalking and Eyelets and Ribbon and Border Punches and.....

This card is one of those everything-but-the-kitchen-sink types, and I'm pretty sure that because of that, it doesn't want to scan or photograph very well.
The embossed and chalked rose is enclosed in a Sizzix diecut (one from the red die of the Rivet Frame Combo). I stippled the entire frame, but the color at the corners is really falsely accentuated-- maybe because of the pink eyelets???

Ah, who knows? I like what it looks like in real life and I guess that's what counts.

And, since I LOVE the look of embossing, I' m thrilled to pieces with the wonderful tutorial that Nancy Ward has posted on her blog, Paper Friendly. She's done all of the hard work of figuring out beautiful embossing results using our old red clunker Sizzix machines-- you've got to see it! It's a keeper-- as is her entire blog!

Sunday, June 24, 2007

#6 Save the Boynton stamps!

There was a recent post on Gingerwood asking which rubber stamps you'd have the fireman save, once the baby and the dog were safe (tee-hee-hee!). Well, pretty much hands down, I'd ask to have my Sandra Boynton stamps rescued. They're getting hard to come by and her characters never fail to make me smile!
By the way, Gingerwood never fails to make me smile, either. Susan (AKA Gingerstamp) selflessly maintains the world's most wonderful rubber stamping bulletin board, visited by some of the most astonishingly kind, friendly, generous and talented crafters you will ever find. No day is complete for me without about 10 check-ins.
Stamp: "Heart Balloon" Sandra Boynton for Kidstamps
Colorstrip is a paintchip sample

Saturday, June 23, 2007

#5 Too darned cute!

I came across the tutorial for this fun little card on a blog called "Amusing Musings & Things"
-- it's found at her Thursday, March 29, 2007 post. She calls it a Small Pocket Card, but I just call it too darned cute!
Not a bit of stamping on my version yet (the front is a sticker), but I can see this as a quick thank-you or a thinking-of-you card, with the sentiment stamped on the little card inside the pocket.
I found Dawn's blog and tutorial via Colleen Shaan's blog, Distinctive Touches
one of the few sites--other than Gingerwood!-- that I visit daily.
Printed Paper: Lucy Riggs for Frances Meyer, Inc.
Veggie Stickers: Barbara Wilson for Frances Meyer, Inc.

Monday, June 18, 2007

#4 Purple

Although you can't tell it from my blog, I seem to have a tendency to reach for purple when I'm trying to pull together a card that's a spur-of-the-moment creation. It's such a rich, happy color!

Friday, June 15, 2007

#3 Father's Day 2007

My darling husband, Mike, is a true outdoorsman and wildlife lover. When I found this stamp at Serendipity Stamps, I knew I had to have it for him.

Buck #116L

Sentiment is computer-generated (Font: Olive Oil)

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

#2 Now that I have it, I need to use it!

I was full of enthusiasm when I signed up and started with my blog idea, so after a month I guess it's time to get going, hmmm?

For me, the months of April and May are packed with occasions begging for cards (no less than 13 birthdays, with Mother's Day and a couple of anniversaries thrown in). I like the elegance and simplicity of this one for my Mom.

Monday, May 14, 2007

My Hands and My Heart

On the back of every card I create, I place a custom-made sticker that explains:

"When it's made with my hands,

it comes from my heart."

This blog, too, will come from my hands and from my heart.

Thanks for stopping by!
Best Wishes,
Mary O.K.