Thursday, January 23, 2020

Sending Deepest Sympathy

Hello again!

Last week our local reenacting community lost an amazing, dear friend and mentor. I wanted to send her family a card to let them know that they are in my prayers, and since I went to see Little Women (set in "our" era, the 1860's) as a sort of tribute on the day of her passing, Graphic 45's Little Women designer paper series seemed the perfect choice.  

I happened upon a layout (Freshly Made Sketches #419) that I thought would work well with the little ATC cards that are included in this pad, and this is the way it turned out...not too obviously "Little Women" but if you're a fan and you look closely, you'll still see it. 

The sentiment on the front is stamped over top of a bit of the book text, accented with a pretty silk bow, flower, and "hat pin."  

The top left corner of the inside is stamped with a portion of our beautiful Summer Roses floral cluster, colored with Copic markers, and given a little sparkle with Wink of Stella glitter markers.  The stamen were colored with a gold gel pen.

Here's a's so hard to capture Wink of Stella's fine sparkle on camera!

Here are the supplies I used, all from Stamp Simply:

Dianne was our "resident expert" when it came to fitting bodices. She was a huge influence on all of us when it came to proper fit and historical accuracy in general.

Here we are (myself, Dianne, and Judy) with our friends aboard a steamboat for one of our "Golden Teacup" outings.

And this is one of my favorite photos of us together, taken at the Lightner Museum where she volunteered (and where we first met when my friend and I went to see the Downton Exhibit), in our later Victorian bustle era garb.  She helped in every aspect of the construction of my outfit, from the choice of fabrics, construction techniques, fitting...everything, as she did with every single one of my Victorian reenacting dresses.  I'm grateful for the influence she had over me as we enjoyed reenacting together, and for the impression she made upon my life overall.  She was somethin' really special, and she will be sorely missed!  ❤️  

Thursday, January 16, 2020

Love You!

Hello friends!  I hope this post finds you happy and healthy as we are two weeks into 2020!  The hustle and bustle of the holidays is behind us, but today's Stamp Simply project is actually inspired by this year's holiday fashion.  It's a "20's" card inspired by the drop-waist pleated skirts and dresses of the 1920's that I saw "history-bounding" into 2020 as the New Year began. I thought it might make a kinda cute girlie Valentine.

Did you notice lots of 1920's fashions reappearing for New Year's Eve?  If you've been around my blog for long you know that I enjoy "time-traveling" as a historic reenactor.  That involves dressing as "the original cast" did during a different era for a particular event (and usually with lots of others in similar attire), but there's a new trend called "history-bounding."  To history-bound, I would wear historic or vintage fashion simply because I like to, whenever and wherever I like. with or without company. Sound like fun?  I suppose it takes a certain amount of confidence, or maybe even courage, depending on the outfit and the occasion.   

Today's project is reminiscent of those long-waisted pleated "flapper" skirts and dresses that were so popular in the 1920's.  They made their reappearance for a short time in the 60's and I'm sure we'll be seeing more of them during the 2020's as well, especially if history-bounding becomes more popular.  

The designer prints I used for my card are so beautiful and they are double-sided, so the pleats you see here are actually the reverse side of this paisley mandala paper.  Every bit as beautiful as fashion fabric, don't you think?

The sentiment is stamped and die-cut from a scrap of designer paper in harmonizing colors.  So many beautiful colors to choose from, and the unexpected color combinations made this a lot of fun.

While the outside is visually complex, the inside is quite clean and simple.  

I hope you've enjoyed this foray into retro-fashion, paper-crafting style.

The other day I had a reenactors' outing for which I wore Colonial dress. On the way there my husband took me to iHop for breakfast...and boy, let me tell you, I got some strange looks.  😳   It is a pretty normal occurrence to see Colonial reenactors out-and-about in St. Augustine, but here in Fleming Island, not-so-much.  I felt quite self-conscious.  So history bounding?  I'm not so sure! Flapper dresses, Downton Abbey style? Maybe...maybe not!

Thursday, January 9, 2020

Rapid Recovery!

Hi everyone!  For today's Stamp Simply project, I've made a simple Get Well card with some beautiful paper and lots of restful white space.  

These colors were so relaxing, soft and peaceful that I wanted to keep the inks muted as well, so I used distress oxides in similar colors...I wasn't really sure how Copics would interact with them, but was pleasantly surprised to see that I didn't have any trouble. I deliberately kept the blending to a minimum because I didn't want to press my luck!

I love this designer paper.  It makes me think of lovely stained glass windows in ancient churches!  Plenty of prayers!  

This card will be going to my amazing friend and reenacting mentor who is currently hospitalized and hopefully soon headed for rehab.  We are all praying for her and wishing her well.  


Monday, January 6, 2020


Even though my blog is mostly about stamping and card-making, I've never really been a "monogamous crafter."  There are so many fun things to learn and experiment with, and in the last five or six years, I've really fallen hard for the fiber arts.

At the start of this year I stumbled upon a challenge on Instagram called #spin15aday12days.  It actually was a specialized version of the longer commitment to #spin15aday, created by The 1764 Shepherdess.  Of course, being from Louisiana, for me, the 12 days meant spinning something Mardi Gras themed and finishing it by 12th Night.  Can you say King Cake?!

To commit to spin 365 days straight, or even to a few months at a time, is a little daunting imho, but I really was not ready for the #spin15aday12days challenge to come to an end.  Another spinner and I decided to commit to daily spinning not just for the 12 days, but at least through Mardi Gras (February 25th this year).  Hopefully by then we will have established a habit and will be ready to commit to continuing to spinning 15 minutes daily til at least Easter, maybe longer.  

A while back I purchased a drum carder, so I was spinning the fiber I'd carded daily on my Kromski Interlude wheel for the 12 day challenge.  I was also working on a current spin-in-progress with my Turkish spindle, and I'm proud to say that I have made great progress!  It's really amazing what you can accomplish in 15 minute increments!

This is what my Mardi Gras carded batt looked like.

Then I stripped it by colors, spinning three colors together as a gradient and the other two as separate yarns.

For their journey from carded fluff to yarn

each one was spun as a singles on the wheel, 

chain-plied (that keeps the colors from barber-poling),

skeined onto the niddy noddy, then washed and hung to dry.

Spindle-spinning is much the same process, although the twist comes from the flick of the fingers rather than the treadles, bands, and whorls of the wheel.

The bonus of spindle-spinning is that it is portable! 

I really love spinning, how calming it is, and how it makes me feel connected with my ancestors.  

If you're a spinner, I really hope you'll join us on Instagram to #spin15adaytilMardiGras.  And spinner or not, enjoy some King Cake in this Mardi Gras season that extends from today, Epiphany, through Mardi Gras, which translates from French to "Fat Tuesday," the day before Ash Wednesday when Lent begins.  

Thursday, January 2, 2020

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year!  It is so exciting to "turn the page" not only to a new year but to an entirely different decade! I am excited for 2020!  

For most people, the new year is a time of reflection and personal introspection.  Maybe even some goal setting and changes in behavior.  That's certainly true for me.  I was doing really well with my health and fitness plan but I've gotten side-tracked lately and need to refocus.  

I have found that while I like having an electronic calendar with reminders, I really do better with personal accountability if I keep a handwritten journal.  I like being able to see at a glance which supplements I've missed, how often I've exercised, or look back to see what food it was that might be causing me symptoms since I struggle with food sensitivities.

I've decided to return to using a Traveler's Notebook on a daily basis.  Basic is fine, but being a paper crafter, I wanted to dress it up to make it fun to use, and to add some encouraging scriptures and quotes.  Stamp Simply's scriptural stamps make it easy to do that.  I chose these particular sets because thoughts of creating a clean heart and becoming a new creation fit right in with resolution-making for this time of year. 

I took my traveler's notebook insert and fancied up the cover with pretty papers, stencils, inks, embossing paste, and splatters of gold.  It's textural but still very low profile to keep it easy to write in.  The layout would work just as easily as a card front, with the bonus that it is flat for mailing.  Beautiful papers and textures, bright colors and lots of gold shimmer ensure that flat for mailing does not equal boring!

Inside, the first two-page spread of the New Year has some smashing, smearing, stenciling, splashing and stamping.  Quick, colorful, spontaneous and effortless is the name of the game here.  I also used a Fudenosuke` pen to calligraph January at the top of the pages, and will document and journal daily the important happenings, thoughts and emotions that are pertinent to record.  

I also plan to digitally print a month-at-a-glance checklist of the medications and supplements (B vitamins, C, D3, eye drops, etc) that I take for my Hashimoto's, including exercise and other habits I'd like to incorporate more consistently.  I've been awful about remembering this stuff, especially when I'm traveling, so that will help tremendously.  It will be a full sheet that will fold, tuck into and "travel"  along as the calendar progresses.   

So here's to feeding our bodies and minds all the good things they need to stay healthy and happy for the coming year!  Blessings to you and yours for 2020!

Thursday, December 19, 2019

Dreaming in Florida

Holiday greetings from sunny Florida!  We are actually having a relative cool snap with a low this morning of 39 and the high for today forecast to be 59 degrees.  Yay for sweater weather!  We might even get to have a fire in our fireplace!  

Last weekend our ukulele group got together to play/ring for the Salvation Army, so after singing all those songs about snow, snowmen and sleigh rides, I couldn't resist making a "dreaming of a white Christmas" card with pink flamingos for a little Florida humor.

I love these Consortium papers and the watercolor/grunge papers that coordinate with them.  I enjoy coloring but sometimes when time is short, it's nice to not have to!  Here, the only coloring necessary was to add a touch of pink and sparkle to the baubles on the already green Christmas tree.

More of that cute flamingo paper is on the inside, along with a matted sentiment from our Winter Poinsettia floral cluster set.

Supplies, all from Stamp Simply:

Thursday, December 12, 2019

Two-fer and/or His and Hers

Every once in a rare while, in that "twilight" between sleeping and waking, inspiration will strike!  That is what happened with today's Stamp Simply project!  I woke up with an idea forming in my mind and I'm excited that it turned out just as I had envisioned.  ☺️

From the outside it looks like any other top-folding standard-sized card...

...but once it is opened there's a surprise, and not just one but TWO!  It's a perfect two-fer for one person, or for his and hers gift cards.  Here's how it was made (much easier to do than it looks/sounds, so give it a try!). All you have to do is add the following to a standard sized card base.  

Score a 4 1/4 x 7 1/2 inch piece of card stock at 1/2, 2, 3 3/4, 4, 5 1/2, and 7 inches.  Fold and burnish the score lines.  The score lines near each end will be "valley" folds, and the wider sections will form the "mountain fold" pockets with two valley folds between them in the center.  

On the wrong side, carefully place a narrow line of glue along the sides of only the wider sections to seal the edges of the pockets.   

It should look like this when the glue is all set.

One pocket at a time, die-cut on the fold, centering the edge of the labels die to form the pocket opening.  You may need to run it through the machine twice to cut through the double thickness. You'll also need to snip through a small portion of the fold (not too close to the edge!) on each side with paper snips to widen the opening so that a gift card will fit inside.  

This is what the bottom of the pockets looks like.  This will be glued securely to the inside of the card with the fold of the lower pocket at approximately two inches from the bottom of the card.

I cut three pieces of designer paper to cover the mechanics of the pockets.   Here are those measurements:
  • 4 1/4 inches wide x a scant 2 inches 
  • 4 1/4 inches wide x a scant 1/2 inch
  • 4 1/4 inches wide x a scant 3 inches
Be sure to check that things open/close and lay flat before you adhere them, and if your paper is directional be sure to align everything correctly.  Isn't it kinda cool that it ends up looking so cleanly finished and almost like a single sheet again after it's glued in place?!  

Here are the supplies used for today's project:

And...I couldn't resist making an "everyday" version of this card, this time with a side fold just to see how that would work out.

The pears were stamped on a piece of Craft Consortium paper, so no coloring, just simple stamping, some clear Wink of Stella, and then fussy cutting.  Isn't the mottled color and that bit of blush just perfect?!  Serendipity.  

Again, I added designer paper to make the inside look more finished.  Here you can see the pockets without the gift cards inserted.  When cutting the decorative papers for the inside of this side-folding card, you will likely need to slightly reduce the width of the decorative paper as well, to accommodate the side fold.

If I were to do it again, I'd add another 1/4 inch to the width of the side-fold card and give it a "spine" like a book to accommodate the extra bulk.  That isn't as much an issue with top-folding as it is with the side-folding version.  

For my second card I used the same products as above, with these additions or substitutions:
I hope you'll try out a two-pocket gift card of your own!  You could easily even add more pockets if you wanted to!

Sunday, December 8, 2019


Hi y'all!  I'm back with an easy fun "Dutch Door" fold for another Yooper card.  My in-laws live in the {906} "Yooper" area code in the UP of Michigan so I'm having fun making cards with Stamp Simply's new UP stamp set.  

You can probably tell from the photos that the Dutch Door fold is simply a standard card with a portion of the front cut away so that the inside of the top half of the card is visible when the card is closed.

I die-cut a window through some snowy sky designer paper using the upper peninsula die, then aligned the stamp through the window to stamp the card base with Versamark ink.  White detail embossing powder keeps the road map bold, clear and clean against the dark green background.  

After stamping and embossing, I glued the designer paper to the card base, along with a coordinating plaid print along the bottom.   The little truck and quote is one of the many square and rectangular prints from this designer paper pad.  It was a perfect fit and definitely the perfect quote for The Yoop.  Easy peasy, fun, and CUTE!


Thursday, December 5, 2019

Farmhouse Christmas

Hi everyone!  Happy December!  I can't believe Christmas is so close already!  Have you gotten your decorations up?  I'm hoping to tackle that in the next day or two.  Usually they're up by the first weekend in December and stay up through Epiphany.  This weekend though, is an exceptionally busy weekend, so we shall see!

Here in Florida we can only "dream" of a White Christmas.  One year it did get very cold and even icy right before Christmas, but typically one is left wondering whether it will be shorts or sweaters. Today's Stamp Simply project is exactly what I envision when I'm dreaming of a White Christmas.  🎶 ❤️ 

I didn't bother measuring the three panels, just cut them randomly and matted them with harmonizing papers.  I love the way this button-trimmed bow turned out with the soft variegated silk, tulle streaked with Snow Tex,  an embossed tag, and splashes of gesso snow.  The soft pinks and beiges of the ribbon were just perfect for this snowy scene.

Inside there is another sentiment and an image from the same stamp set.  I used oxide inks and a baby wipe to carefully ink the tree stamp in two colors.  More gesso "snow" here too...and again, I wasn't too careful.  Just be aware that the gesso will smudge the water-based oxide inks, so if you care about that, you can put something over the sentiment to keep it from getting splashed and splattered.


Thursday, November 28, 2019

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving!  We are especially thankful to have our son home with us for the Thanksgiving holiday.  We (the three of us) are sharing a meal that would be nearly enough for an army...and there will be lots of leftovers for the rest of the week.  *grin*  We have SO much to be thankful for.  

I wanted today's Stamp Simply project to be one that would be appropriate for Thanksgiving Day, but still inspiring for the rest of the holiday season, or even for every-day, since not all of us are celebrating the holiday today, and also, every single day there is always something to be thankful for.  

This beautiful Prima paper has been one of my FAVORITES for Fall this year, and the colors made it an easy choice for today.  The partially visible wreath that is printed on the paper inspired the inclusion of the sage green colors and the foliage dies for a wreath/laurel layout that would work equally well for a Christmas card.  

Here is a peek at the inside...that flannel print makes me feel so warm and cozy!  Pumpkin spice, apple pie, and all that!