Sunday, December 27, 2015

Leslie Hanna, a.k.a. Crooked Stamper

On Christmas Day, Leslie Hanna of the Crooked Stamper blog passed away. This is a huge loss for the stamping community. Leslie was active on so many challenges (she ran Shopping Our Stash and Crooked Stamper Sketch Challenge, and played along regularly with Sisterhood of Snarky Stampers, et al.) and attended numerous stamp gatherings. Lots of people knew her in real life, on Twitter, and online.

I will miss my friend. We met regularly for lunch at our favorite local place, and had conversations that lasted hours. She recently invited me to attend a zentangle class with her at a local stamp store. Her passing caught us all by surprise. She and I had already made plans to meet up after my boys were back in school next week.

I want to share the Christmas card she sent me this year, and what she wrote inside.

Card by Leslie Hanna

Such lovely details and use of color! That door nob is perfect.

Leslie was generous, funny, and talented. She would hate all the fuss and attention she's getting right now. But the last act of love we can give to someone is to grieve their passing. There's a whole lot of love going out right now, a lot of people whose lives Leslie touched. Our hearts go out to her brother and two sons whose loss is so much greater than mine.

Goodbye, my friend. We'll do lunch again one day, and have plenty to talk about.

Thursday, December 24, 2015

Merry Christmas to All

I'm sitting in the dining room at my sister-in-law's home in Omaha, Nebraska, looking out on a winter wonderland of beautiful snow and feeling so very grateful as we celebrate the coming of our Emmanuel, God with Us. Let the spirit of this season of love and hope be more powerful than the spirit of fear and hate, and let each one of us be a part of that good work to bring a kingdom of light and peace to the whole world.


Merry Christmas to All!

Sunday, December 13, 2015

Quilt Inspiration

The other day, I stole a little time from adulting to make a card inspired by this quilt I found on Pinterest. Of course.

As you can see, my stamping isn't quite as precise as you KNOW I want it to be, but the warm, fun effect of all these shades of red and orange makes me happy anyway. Stamping diamonds perfectly right turns out to be a lot harder than stamping squares.

Just sayin'.

Anyway, while we're on the subject of quilts, here's a picture of my mom's birthday gift to me last year, which is finally hanging on the wall where it belongs.

Please note that my mother does all quilting by hand. Every last stitch, from piecing to quilting to final binding is hand stitched with love. Because she's the boss. If you look at an enlarged version of the picture, you'll see where I get my love of precision from. You'll also note the holiday-themed book fabric of the border on the quilt, which she chose for me because she knows me so very well!

A wee update for any who are interested. My jury duty was cancelled for the second time in two months (YAY!), and I need a root canal in a molar (BOO!). I reacted badly to the painkiller the dentist prescribed (BOO!) but recovered quickly enough to serve as liturgist during worship this morning (YAY!). Hope to get an appointment with an endodontist this week but need someone to drive me there and back (BOO!), and George can take the day off whenever I need so he can take care of his honey-bunny (YAY!).

Life: it is what it is. Some parts are good, some parts are bad, and gratitude poured over it all makes it manageable.

Merry Christmas!

stamps: Clearly Besotted Geometric Patterns
ink: various dye inks
paper: Papertrey white
accessories: craft foam, glue, gridded acrylic block

Wednesday, December 9, 2015


Our Stephen Ministry group signed sympathy cards for the family of our dear friend Karen at last night's meeting. This is what I made for the group.

The basic design didn't come easily, although it is extremely simple and easy to duplicate. Sometimes, the simplest designs take forever to "discover"--and then you slap your forehead and exclaim, "Why was that so hard!?!?"

The silver pen outline of the raised panel really makes these pretty.

This sentiment, from Papertrey's Tucked In: Sympathy set, goes perfectly with the exterior sentiment from Beautiful Butterflies, doesn't it? Love that.

I'm trying to stamp the backs of my cards now and will initial under this pretty stamp from Papertrey's Birds of a Feather.

I hope you are all enjoying preparations for the holidays. The shopping side of things has me more excited this year than in previous years. I've become a very bad shopper over the years (this Scrooge gave mostly gift cards last year), but by letting go of a lot of uptight tendencies and habits of thought, and focusing on looking for cool gifts for people I love, it's a lot more fun. Christmas cards are coming along as well.

To my Jewish readers, Happy Hanukkah!

Blessings of the season to all.

stamps: Papertrey
ink: various
paper: Papertrey white
accessories: craft foam, glue, silver metallic marker

Tuesday, December 1, 2015




Yep. I'm all over this.

Every year, I try to make Christmas-themed, single-panel thank-you note cards for me and the boys. The first batch of them looks like this:

I added the little berry stamp to the envelope return-address corner just for fun.

What are you working on right now? Please share so I can live vicariously through you. Crafting time is still so limited right now!!!!

stamps: Papertrey
ink: Hero Arts
paper: Papertrey white
accessories: envelopes

Saturday, November 28, 2015

Thank you

Thank you for the kind comments on my last post, for the condolences and sympathy. The funeral for my friend Karen was this afternoon (Saturday), and it was sad and beautiful all at once.

I want to share with all of you some of the outpouring of cards I received for my birthday and for Thanksgiving. Many were store-bought and ever so wonderful, but since this is a stamping blog, I'll only share close-ups of the hand-made ones.

Not all of the cards I received, but most.

Janet E. sent this one, and included a lovely written
message inside that was kind and comforting.
"Keep care," her son used to say. I love that. I also
love the delicate white die cut over kraft. So very

Patti M. wished me "mucho blessings" with happy
pop of pink to draw the eye!

Sue C. included a fabulous picture of her family,
some of whom I've prayed for over the years.The card's
watercolor wash effect is simply gorgeous in those colors! 

Sue also sent a birthday card using some of my favorite
colors and glorious white space in a balanced CAS design.

Vicki sent me inspirational birthday wishes! Stunning
color and white embossing combine perfectly.

This butterfly beauty is from JoAnn F. Don't you love
the vellum butterfly as an accent?

This bold-on-black stunner is from Joan B, who can
successfully use sequins while I cannot. 

My friend Karen sent so many cards people cracked jokes about Hallmark stock going down now that she was gone. In the weeks before her death, I received two thank-you cards for various things (she wrote at least one of them them while getting chemo). I received my birthday card from her the day she died. (It's the yellow one with the pink flower, center row, far right in the top picture).

Isn't it wonderful how bits of paper hold so much love?

That's why I want to let you all know how much you mean to me. This has been hard, and grief isn't the only struggle in my life right now. But your kindness, your thoughts and prayers, your comments and emails, and your cards mean so much to me.

I have a wonderful real-life support group of family and friends helping me through with physical presence and hugs daily. Most of you reading this don't really know me from Adam's cat, nor I you. But your kindness has tipped the scale for me more than you could know and has kept me filled with hope and the certain knowledge that all these troubles will be gotten through, that I am not alone. I'm a person of faith, so I believe that you are each willing agents of a loving God.

So thank you. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Bits and Pieces

Bit #1

My crafty energies have gone into making a bunch of ornaments/bookmarks for our church.

A fraction of the 160 ornaments we made. I had help for rounding corners,
punching holes, cutting and tying string, and affixing labels. Thanks,
Stephen Ministers! Stamps by Paper Smooches.

The finished ornament.
A sticker label on the back
has John 15:9 printed on it.
We will present these on the weekend of Dec. 12-13 at all three services, along with a little speech reminding everyone that for some people suffering loss and illness and pain, Jesus' love can feel pretty far away, so we need to pay attention to others' needs this season and be that face and hands of Jesus for someone.

Bit #2

I read an interesting article in the most recent issue of Scientific American Mind magazine about gift giving. The relevant crafty part has to do with gift wrap. "Don't overdo the gift wrap," the article says. "Pretty wrapping paper raises expectations for a gift and increases the risk of the receiver being disappointed if the gift doesn't live up to them." Food for thought, I suppose, although I'm still processing the fact that actual scientific research has taken place to explore these issues.


Thank you for your patience with my adulting. It's been hard going and got worse over the weekend. I lost a very dear friend unexpectedly on Saturday. Our whole church has been supporting her through three months of chemo for leukemia. She was supposed to have a biopsy Friday to verify that the bone marrow transplant scheduled for Monday was a go (things were looking good), but she developed pneumonia instead. With no immune system left, she declined quickly, despite the heroic efforts of the doctors and a whole community's prayers for a miracle. My heart is in pieces.

This Thanksgiving, please express your gratitude for those you love...your friends and family and those who influence your life in positive ways. I am comforted in knowing that Karen's final months were positively showered with love and care...for which she constantly expressed her gratitude.

Have a wonderful, gratitude-filled Thanksgiving. Abide in love.

Saturday, November 14, 2015

I Made a Guy Card!

Let us rejoice, for guy cards are hard.

The color combo was originally inspired by a pin on Pinterest, but since even with my vast ink collection I don't have enough colors, I had to improvise wildly.

This design lends itself to masculine cards. There's busyness in the random stamping on roughly two-thirds of the card, and crisp clean simplicity in the top third. The contrast is delightful and easy on the eye. The copper line dividing the two parts of the card says "guy," as does the no-nonsense, sans serif font of the greeting.

The first family birthday in 2016 is George's nephew, who is a diesel-engine mechanic and definitely the outdoorsy type. One birthday card down, about 30 more to go!

Many thanks for all the supportive comments and emails. We are so lucky to have this wonderful hobby in our lives, connecting us strangers to each other in positive ways, and I so appreciate your kindness. Things will get better...eventually. ;-)

stamps: Hero Arts, Papertrey
ink: various pigment inks
paper: Papertrey white
accessories: copper metallic pen, ruler

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

This and That

First, this.

I wish the "happy" were slightly to the right, but otherwise, I like it. Two shades of teal, a black rhinestone in the flower, asymmetry centered on the card...good CAS stuff. Feels like me.

Now for that.

This has been an incredibly stressful and weird few months. There's not much I can share on the interwebs, except that, to my knowledge, no one is dying (Praise God!), but it's stressful nonetheless. Have you ever had the melodramatic sensation that practically everyone in your world is in distress except you, and you need to be the grown-up who acts all mature and responsible and calm?



I hate being a grown up.

Pretending to be a functioning adult is so exhausting. And impossible at times.:

The point behind my sharing this with you is that stamping is taking a back seat right now to other more pressing things. I'll get to my craft room when I can, but don't be concerned if posts are less frequent for the next few months. I'm fine. I'm just pretending to be a functioning adult.

Thanks for understanding.

stamps: Papertrey
ink: various pigment and chalk inks
paper: Papertrey white
accessories: small black rhinestone

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Tools: Some of You Might Find This Strange

You may or may not know that I came to cardmaking via bookbinding. If you've ever gotten serious about bookbinding yourself, you understand completely why Omnigrid quilting rulers (in various sizes), a craft knife, and cutting mats (in various sizes) are essential tools in my paper crafting studio.

If you've never gotten into bookbinding, however, these tools might seem a little strange, especially when you learn that I've never made a quilt--or even a quilted table runner--in my life.

Bookbinders need to cut paper and book board at precise right angles and precise measures. They often work with giant sheets of paper that won't fit into a standard 12" rotary or guillotine paper trimmer. Omnigrids are incredibly useful for these circumstances, especially when combined with long metal rulers and box cutters for heavier jobs.

These days, my six-inch Omnigrid square works perfectly for most cardmaking needs. Any time I need a mat (for those rare layered cards) or to cut a piece for white-on-white layering (much more common), I reach for the knife and Omnigrid. The cutting mat (a large one, though not my largest!) lives permanently on my desk. The see-through design of the Omnigrid is perfect when I need to cut a strip with a sentiment and want even borders surrounding it, for instance.

A word of warning: knives cut paper, but they also cut fingers. In 13 or so years of using these, I've only nicked my finger nails a few times, but as long as you keep your fingers away from the edge, you should be okay. Also, after 13 years, you don't want to start to feel over-confident, brag on line that you've never cut yourself, and then find yourself at the ER getting stitches. How embarrassing!

Thankfully, this hasn't happened yet, although I don't want to get cocky. Pride goeth before a fall...and I don't want to get stitches.

Anywho, these are useful tools I work with all the time. It's easy to take such unglamorous items for granted, but seriously, they make my crafting so much easier.

Just remember to keep your fingers safe.

Oh, and if the knife rolls off your desk, don't reach to catch it. Let that puppy hit the floor. 'Cause you know you'll get stabbed and might get blood on your card stock, which will ruin it.

It would, after all, be weird to try to make background paper with real blood stains. Right?

Monday, November 9, 2015

Minimalist Wishes

This birthday card just came to me the other day. Creativity sometimes works that way. It comes...just pops right up and says howdy.

Best not to question it too closely. You might spook it.

Also, my SIL is the best ever...sent me a gift certificate for Papertrey for my birthday! Love her! Can't wait to spend the gift on photopolymer goodness.

stamps: StampinUp
ink: Memento Luxe
paper: Papertrey white
accessories: heart rhinestone

Sunday, November 8, 2015

It's Glittery to Be Square

A simple, no-sentiment Christmas card for a simple Monday morning...

Size: 4.25" square

The central embellishment is a half-sphere covered in gold glitter...which is very festive and goes nicely with the Delicata gold ink. Found it at Hobby Lobby years ago and decided to--GASP!--actually use one of them.

So yay, me!

And now let's go off topic to another absorbing obsession hobby of mine. A friend from church invited me to be part of a book club over two years ago, and we've now got the best book club ever. November is my month to host, so I chose one of my favorite epistolary novels: The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society. It's utterly charming, has a cast of fascinating and quirky characters, and describes a part of World War II history about which I was completely ignorant...the Nazi occupation of Guernsey. I can't wait for Thursday when we our club will discuss it.

If you like reading novels and haven't read this one yet, I highly recommend it.

And that's all I have to say about that. For now.

Happy Monday!

stamps: Papertrey Silent Night
ink: Delicata gold
paper: Papertrey white
accessories: gold glitter half-bead

Thursday, November 5, 2015

When Mass Makes Beautiful Sense

How many times have I told you that I don't like mass production? Lots, for sure. Anyway, when the cards are simple enough, it's tolerable to make 4 or 8 of them. Today's card was easy enough for 8.

Card Size 4 7/8" x 3 3/8"

This bit of monochromatic simplicity employs Memento Luxe teal zeal (sentiment) and Brilliance pearlescent ice blue (star) and a single small bling for maximum impact! These will be perfect for the people in the Bible study I attend.

Eight down. One hundred more to go.

Not really.

Just feels like it.

Barnes and Noble has some nice boxed cards....

stamps: Papertrey Silent Night
ink: Memento Luxe, Brilliance
paper: Papertrey white
accessories: rhinestones

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Red, Pink, and Light Pink...Perfect for Christmas!

Reader Natalie shared last week that she'd made a Christmas card a few years ago that she loved. It was pink, red, and white. I'd just made this card and love the colors, too. Great minds think alike!

I'd reorganized my inks (because, you know, all the pretty colors!!!) and noticed that Memento Luxe rhubarb stalk, VersaMagic pink petunia, and Avery Elle pixie formed a lovely spectrum. Papertrey's Fair Isle Motifs set was out on my desk, so I started experimenting and came up with this cozy card, with just a hint of green for contrast.

Breaking down all kinds of color barriers with this one! Certainly many of you will find it un-Christmas-y, but I really love the softness and feminine feel to this card.

Design note: This card is completely, utterly flat, yet it doesn't need anything else. Partly, this is because of the color gradation combined with the tiny spots of contrasting green...adding a complementary color to a monochromatic scheme will add energy even in a static design like this and even in very small doses. Partly, it's because the Fair Isle Motifs stamps are made to look like stitching on a sweater...the texture is implied, even if it's not real. So it works without layers or bling or anything else.

Which is kinda cool, don't you think?

stamps: Papertrey, A Muse
ink: various pigment inks
paper: Papertrey white
accessories: none

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

You'd Never Guess This Started with a Simple Mistake

Have you ever tried inking up an acrylic block, spritzing it with Glimmer Mist or water, and stamping the block onto paper? It's a fun and easy way to create a background, but sometimes results are not what you expect.

For instance, ink colors can turn out MUCH lighter than intended. That happened to me the other day. I wanted a nice, medium green and ended up with a pale, blah shade that wasn't going to work for my original idea at all.

Hmm. What can I do with this?






That might work.

The holly punch?


My first stab at this used berries punched from paper stamped in the same fashion only with red ink. They looked anemic. The bright red, shiny rhinestones work much better because of the strong contrast with the soft, water-color effect of the punched holly sprigs. They add drama...the good kind of drama, not the bad kind generated by people who make you wonder what sort of diagnosis they might have.

Bad drama makes me sad, but blingy drama makes me happy!

The punched holly is glued straight onto the card's just too delicate to pop up. My first thought was to stamp the sentiment in dark gray or espresso truffle, but then, I thought, a darkish olive would be more festive...and it is.

Another holiday thank-you card made! And it's pretty! So YAY all over the place!

stamps: Hero Arts 
ink: various
paper: Papertrey white
accessories: Glimmer Mist, acrylic block, rhinestones, glue pen, tweezers (for placing the holly)

Monday, November 2, 2015

Nailed It!

Nailheads are a fabulous embellishment...when I can find them. They don't seem to be quite as available as bling, but they do add a little shiny something without adding as much thickness as a rhinestone.

These metallic red nailheads are perfect little ornaments for a Christmas tree, and as as you can see in the close-up, they aren't thick enough to interfere with postal equipment.

Pretty and practical!

stamps: Clearly Besotted Tiny Trees, Papertrey Keep It Simple Christmas
ink: Impress Ink mojito, Memento Luxe love letter
paper: Papertrey white
accessories: nailheads, corner rounder

Sunday, November 1, 2015

Another OLS#22 Challenge Card

I had so much fun making this card!!!!

Things that make me happy about this card:

1. Can you say, "White space"? Knew you could.

2. The colors sing to me of holidays: Hero Arts pine tree green, field greens, and red royal.

3. Silver metallic pen. On a curve.

4. I free-handed that curve with a craft knife. Oh, yeah.

5. The inside is straight and true.

6. The interaction between the SUPER simple front and the busy border on the inside.

I hope you'll join us at the One-Layer Simplicity Challenge #22: A Multitude of Gratitude, for November, 2015!

stamps: Hero Arts, Clearly Besotted
ink: Hero Arts
paper: Papertrey white
accessories: silver metallic marker, ruler, craft knife

Saturday, October 31, 2015

OLS22 A Multitude of Gratitude

Tonight's post helps kick off the last One-Layer Simplicity Challenge of 2015! We're so excited to be celebrating two years of this monthly challenge and hope you'll choose to play along with us.

After all, it's a very practical challenge.

For OLS22, we're focusing on thanks and gratitude...for anything. You may, of course, make standard thank-you cards (holiday images and thank-you sentiments might come in handy about two months from now), or you may put your thinking cap on and find outside-the-box expressions of thanks, such as my card currently on the OLS blog. Here's a little teaser for it!

You'll need to click over to the OLS22 post to see the full card in all its one-layered, blinged glory!

I hope you'll play along this month!

Friday, October 30, 2015

A Very Deer Christmas

Fair Isle Motifs from Papertrey is such a warm and wonderful set. Here's a deer card that is simple and festive in red, green, and gold.  Awww. Isn't the heart sweet?

If you're interested in some non-scary ghost stories, you might enjoy my current post on my other blog Questioning my Intelligence.

Have a happy Halloween!

stamps: Papertrey Fair Isle Motifs, Keep It Simple Christmas
ink: Memento Luxe
paper: Papertrey white
accessories: metal ruler, gold metallic pen (PrismaColor), craft foam, glue

Thursday, October 29, 2015

There Are No Mistakes

...only opportunities for embellishment.

While playing around with Fair Isle Motifs from Papertrey, I tried to use the two-step stamps in the set. There is a tiny, four-stitch stamp that fits (supposedly) into the center of the largest design. My idea was to add a spot of red to the center of the gray motif, but OF COURSE I lined it up crooked and it looked ugly.

Very ugly.

Two-step stamping and I have a history. A dysfunctional history. Too many mistakes like this one. Too many groans of frustration.

So then, I thought, "Hey, what about stamping a larger center for the design on a scrap, punching it out with a circle punch, and covering up embellishing the mistake?"

And a card was born.


stamps: Fair Isle Motifs (Papertrey), Everyday Wishes (StampinUp)
ink: Memento Luxe
paper: Papertrey white
accessories: circle punch, dimensionals

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

An Even More Unconventional Color Scheme and a Funny Story or Two

One of my aunts loves the color purple, and as I contemplated this fact for her Christmas card, my first thought was snowflakes. Then, I found the Fair Isle Motifs stamp set from Papertrey, and this card was born.

The ombre effect was achieved using two shades on a Kaleidacolor ink pad. The dark purple ink pad was on the bottom of the row of pads, the lighter shade the next pad up. I simply inked half the stamp by tamping it repeatedly on the pad, moving the stamp slightly up and down to get a good blend of the two shades. Then, I turned the stamp upside down and repeated the process. This gave the strip of dark purple across the middle of the design, fading to light purple top and bottom. It took three different impressions to make the border.

Isn't the effect pretty cool?!? I love this for my aunt and know she will completely appreciate it. I also love that the card is so interesting yet completely, absolutely flat. No problems mailing this whatsoever!

Now for the funny stories. Y'all know that my younger son, Jack, is on the autism spectrum, which means he has difficulty with metaphorical or figurative language...he tends to take people's words very literally. We were driving to Barnes & Noble (a common occurrence in our lives) after having stopped at McD's (not so common) to get Jack fries and a cookie. (Don't judge my parenting until you walk a mile in my shoes...people with autism often have food issues. Jack makes Mikey from the old Life cereal commercials look like a gourmand.)

Anyway, my husband George called Jack a cookie monster, and Jack was offended. We tried to explain that George wasn't insulting him. Anyone who really likes cookies can be called a cookie monster...we weren't trying to offend him, just making an observation. He shot back, "Do I look like I have blue fur to you?"

And that put us in our place.

Our older son is quite amusing as well. Nick did a lab report on an experiment with a soda-bottle biome, in which he had to grow various plants and keep a fish and cricket alive. In the Discussion section of the report, he wrote: "The carrot plant grew but then died. We suspect the cricket."

He's doing extremely well in biology. I think I'd really enjoy having coffee and conversation with his teacher!

stamps: Papertrey Fair Isle Motifs, Keep It Simple Christmas
paper: Papertrey white
ink: Kaleidacolor
accessories: none

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Let's Get Unconventional

A Blue Christmas need not be sad at all, especially when you tweak the shade of blue and dress it up with silver!

I love the contrast between the soft blue mistletoe and the dark teal berries. The teal--just a shade off from standard holiday/winter blue--really is a fresh surprise on this card. 

There's a lot of movement going on in the border, and the bold "Joy" balances the berries perfectly, making the sentiment the focal point of the card and unifying the two elements that don't touch each other at all. 

Joy to the world, indeed!

Thanks to all who shared their favorite holiday/winter images. I just love the variety in the answers and am so grateful we have such a selection to choose from in our hobby. 

Today's question: 
Do you enjoy playing with unconventional colors or do you stick to traditional green and red (or blue and silver) for your holiday cards? 

stamps: Papertrey, Altnew
ink: Impress Fresh Ink, Memento Luxe
paper: Papertrey
accessories: silver metallic pen, ruler

Monday, October 26, 2015

Jolly Holly and Mistletoe and a Random Question

Today's card has an in-and-out thing going on. The outside of the card is extremely clean and simple, with not an image in sight...just sentiment.

This sentiment is from the Holly and Mistletoe set from Papertrey, which is dominated by two very large of holly and the other mistletoe. Duh. Anyway, the big stamps are hard for me to work with, but I love the fonts of the sentiments.

For the inside of the card, I decorated the two lower corners with holly from Papertrey's Holly Jolly set, leaving plenty of space for a handwritten sentiment.

Here's today's random question: What are your favorite winter/holiday-themed images? Holly, mistletoe, nativity scenes, poinsettias, candy canes, snowflakes, snowmen, deer, palm trees, something else entirely? Inquiring minds, and all that jazz....

stamps: Papertrey
ink: Memento Luxe, Impress Fresh Ink
paper: Papertrey white
accessories: gridded acrylic block because lining up the three stamps in that sentiment so precisely can't be done without it

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Christmas Cards and Pears

My friend Francie M. posted on Facebook that she didn't feel inspired to make Christmas cards this year, despite having purchased new product to work with, so she'd be sending out store-bought cards.

I love this. 

We need to listen to ourselves and take care of ourselves at all times, but especially during the holidays. The insidious push to have a perfectly Pinterest Christmas is unkind to us. Do we hold others to such unrealistic expectations? No. Yet we expect we can "do it all"...and exhaust ourselves.

Last Christmas, I shifted some things around and had a mostly minimalist Christmas, although I gave in to my enthusiasm for decorating our house. It was delightful and balanced! This year, I'm actually excited about shopping for presents for the first time in years, and I've already started. Not sure where this enthusiasm is coming from, but it's there, so I'm taking advantage. The thought of decorating, however, seems less interesting, so the halls won't be nearly as decked this year as last.

It's all good. 

I knew months ago that I'd never have enough Christmas cards made for this year. Our list is very long (a consequence of my husband's military career), so today I bought my first box of cards at Barnes & Noble. No guilt. No stress.

The fact that people still send cards is wonderful. Who cares if they are handmade, store-bought, or unsigned photo cards? Someone thinks enough of me to spend time and postage. I'm so very grateful!!! I hope they are, too.

On an unrelated topic, my friend Joan posted recently about making cards for non-crafters, offering a refreshingly honest look at what we do and how some people just don't get it. Her words got me thinking and made me look at the Crane and Papyrus notecards...the "quality" brands people spend gobs of money on...for inspiration.

What I saw dovetailed nicely with a strategy I've used to produce more Christmas cards faster by coming up with an extremely simple design and making 6 or 8 of them. 

Today's card is one of a set of eight I made using a Papertrey set called Wet Paint Holidays. 

Card Size: 4 7/8" x 3 3/8"

The envelope has the earth map stamp from Masculine Motifs, also from Papertrey. 

Keeping it simple makes me so very, very happy. And hopefully, the thick card stock and crisp stamping give the impression of a nice Papyrus card. 

Now, onto the pears. Some of you may not know about my pear "issue." If you're curious, check out this post from 2009. Since that post, people have sent me LOTS of cards with pears on them, some pear stamps, links to particularly disturbing pears, and pear jokes. 

I can't eat a pear without laughing...or cutting it up into slices first. 

Anyway, my friend Leslie H. has her own popular blog and was stamping with friends when she made this card. Her friends, who also read Simplicity, told her to send it to me. She did. And it's now hanging next to this card on my inspiration board. 

Because life is short, and pears make me laugh!

Thanks, Leslie! 

stamps: Papertrey Wet Paint Holiday, Masculine Motifs
ink: Hero Arts cornflower, Memento Danube blue
paper: Papertrey White
accessories: none

Monday, October 19, 2015

Bloggus Interruptus


Due to circumstances beyond my control (ordinary life and low crafty mojo...nothing alarming), Simplicity will be taking a mini-hiatus. I'll return by Monday, October 26, at the latest.

In the meantime, please feel free to poke around my Pinterest boards, if you wish.

Mahalo. Grazie. Gracias. Merci. Obrigado. Thank you.

This post brought to you by a woman who is functionally illiterate in many, many languages. Because polylingual omniscience would be boring, of course. Cool. But boring.