Tuesday, January 16, 2018


Now that we're cooped up in the house again because of the cold and nasty weather, it's another opportunity to declutter.  Here are some guidelines that may be a help:

JUST START!  ANYWHERE!    I've discovered over the years that one reason I procrastinate getting started is that I look at some rooms as overwhelming.  Instead, I now make my goals smaller with a list of small tasks such as one drawer or cabinet in one room.

Clearing off surfaces is a good starting challenge.  Make your rooms look bigger one countertop or tabletop at a time.  A cleared off coffee table, if you have one, can set the stage with one decorative item, a magazine or photo album, and some coasters.  End tables can hold a lamp, cell phone and a note pad and pen.  I limit myself to 3 items per surface for a balanced look, easy to remove when it's time to dust the top.  The more clean surfaces, the bigger the room looks.

STAY FOCUSED!  Don't get sidetracked.  Concentrate on one room until you're happy with the improvement, even if it takes a few days or more, a little at a time.  Vacuum and dust or wash AFTER you've decluttered, then take the time to enjoy the new look.  Move outdated papers or magazines to the trash.  Items to be donated can be stored in the trunk of your car until you drop them off at a Salvation Army bin or a second hand shop nearby. 

REWARD YOUR ACCOMPLISHMENTS!  Take pictures of your finished areas, have a glass of champagne or treat yourself to something special.  Then decide which area to tackle next!


The image on this card has some subtle coloring with a marker:
 light green in the grass,  pale grayish blue on the bird,
and a touch of tan on the beak.  The torn paper
gives it some texture and the simple twine embellishment
keeps it from looking feminine.

Masculine cards are always a challenge for me.
How 'bout you?

Monday, January 15, 2018


(Scroll down to previous post for Part 1.)

The 2008-2009 catalog featured a beautiful cover with a scalloped edge.  By then, punches featured a handle that made punching so much easier.  Rollagraph wheels were still available, both large and small.  Die cuts were available only in precut sheets, and rub-ons were offered for embellishments.  Sample cards featured less tearing and more punched shapes and scalloped edges.

A whole new world opened up in the 2009-10 catalog with the introduction of the Sizzix Big Shot and all the wonderful dies!  The card samples were even more amazing than ever, but we had no idea of what would be coming in the next catalog.  One big improvement was the streamlining of punches into a folded, stackable design which takes up a lot less room.  Page after page of beautiful cards used the new dies and embossing folders.

Oh, but the 2012/13 catalog brought us the choice of wood or clear stamps which saves even more space in our stamping areas.  The stamp cases went from an inch and a half thick to just a .6" inches--that's 20 sets per foot!  And with clear stamps, you could line up images for 2-step stampin' on more creative cards, as reflected in the card sample pages.

Here's my own example of 2-step stamping where the flowers are separate from the leaves and stems.  This enabled us to use two different colors for the same image.  For these flowers, I added some gold Wink of Stella to give the blossoms a bit more depth.  Newer 2- and 3-stamping would provide another stamp to use for the darker shade of yellow.

Just when you think they couldn't come up with anything new, they do!  I wonder what Stampin'Up will introduce next...

BACK IN TIME (Part 1 of 2)

While searching for my StampinUp catalog the other day, I came across a bunch of older ones and started browsing through them.  It was quite interesting as I noticed that some of the supplies we've become accustomed to were not invented yet...(talk about feeling old...)

Cards were made with tearing, fussy cutting, Rollagraphs and markers.  Remember brass stencils and light boxes?  How about Coluzzles for circle and oval cutting before dies came along? and punches with stiff knobs that had to be pressed down with both hands on a table?  My, how we have persevered all those hardships!

(More to come in my next post!)

Sunday, January 14, 2018


I still love to go back to some of these little stamp sets
 from the Greenhouse Society collection I have up here in the Tower.
  Their Technique Tuesday monthly sets each feature a botanical
image made available to those who've signed up 
for automatic delivery each month.  I stayed in for 14 months and
loved every set they issued.   This one is labeled 
"Berries" and was issued in 2013.

Saturday, January 13, 2018


When I saw this thinlit in the SU catalog, I
knew it would make a nice non-Halloween gate card.  
In fact, this first card is already in the mail!

Inside reads "May your day bloom with
wonderful surprises" and features flowers from my
peg stamp collection for a Springtime look.  

Spring won't be coming to New Jersey for a couple
of months yet.  Meanwhile, it's sunny and warm in my
stamping tower as we await the warmer weather.  Even our
two cats have cabin fever but shrink back from the
cold when we open the door.

Wednesday, January 10, 2018


I haven't made a shadow box card in quite awhile, so
 I decided to use this one for one of the classes in my card
making elective at Bible study this Spring.  (Great way to 
use up some of the pink papers in my stash...lol)

Although there are a lot of steps to this card,
it's fun to make, and their
recipients will love it! 


Tuesday, December 26, 2017


I hope you all had as wonderful a Christmas
as our family did!  We went to our daughter's house 
for the day and thoroughly enjoyed being with our kids
and four grandkids.  My husband got his wish
for a white Christmas, even though it was just a dusting--perfect!

I'm now concentrating on putting kits together for the card-making class
I'll be doing for our ladies Bible Study.  To help with the cost of the class, my good
friend, Evelyn, gave me a big container of precut and folded textured cards with 
envelopes.  This is one of them which they will use for sympathy cards.
Unfortunately, we all need them ready to go every now and then.  To give them
a nice finished look I cut the bottom (or right side, depending on the orientation)
with a Stitched Snow Drift die from MFT so that the cream-colored inside would show.

Since these ladies are beginners, they will make two variations of
the same card each week, using the kits I'm making
with everything pre-cut and stamped.  A lot
of work for me, but well worth the effort for those who've been 
asking for the class.  Themes will be a mix of birthday, Easter and all-purpose
designs, starting after our Winterim ends in mid-February.
Class size will be limited to eight, which helps keep it easier.