Thursday, January 30, 2020

For You

Hi everyone!  With Valentine's Day just two weeks away, there is enough time to quick, order a Stamp Simply stamp set and some paper and make a Valentine for your sweetie, although my card for today would actually work as a masculine "I love you" for any day of the year.

I chose some fabulous Workshop designer paper with wheels, gears, and circuits, and followed MojoSketch526 to create a clean and simple, no-nonsense manly card.  That's the kind my guy likes.  I love this traditional blueprint and kraft color combo.

The sentiment is stamped on a die-cut circle of printed paper with a wood accent and a knotted scrap of ribbon stapled bows, no flowers, no anything sparkly!  😂

Inside imitates the layout on the card front, with a tiny wooden heart to accent the sentiment.


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!