Tuesday, March 31, 2020

Crazy Unsettling Times

If you had told me two months ago that we would be where we are now, I would have thought you were joking.  Back before everyone knew what the terms "social distancing" and "stay-at-home order" meant, we were just crafty gals stampin' and having workshops.  And now effective (yesterday,) Monday, March 30 through April 29, our state of NC is under a mandatory stay-at-home order meaning non-essential businesses must close to the public.  But what is considered an essential business has me stumped.  Yesterday, I drove to Mooresville (first time in 2 weeks) to pick up some groceries at Aldi's and tape refills for my tape gun at Hobby Lobby.  I was assuming that Hobby Lobby, Michael's and Jo Ann's would be closed when the stay-at-home order went into effect but no, they are considered essential!??  I'm sorry, I don't understand!  There was a note on the door that they are considered essential because they sell material (to make masks with) and also office supplies??!!  Our Hobby Lobby is right beside Lowe's Hardware.  There was hardly a parking spot left at Lowe's!  I'm sure there were more than 50 or 10 people (whatever the number is supposed to be) in that store and not keeping the 6 foot distance.  When I was at Aldi's there were a lot of people who were not being socially distancing.  I felt like I was in the minority there and had to keep going to another aisle while the aisle I wanted cleared out!   Ashley told me she went to the Dollar Store yesterday and had to ask the man standing behind her in line to move back.  She said he didn't seem to understand even though there were tape lines on the floor 6 feet apart.  What is it going to take for people to understand how serious this is!

I feel sorry for all the small "mom and pop" restaurants that are suffering from this.  After I left the grocery, I stopped at a small mom and pop hoagie shop and took my sandwich home to eat.  I urge you to support your local small businesses now.  They have bills to pay and little to no cash flow makes that very difficult.  The big corporations will receive bail outs because they are deemed "too big to fail," but that is not true of the little guys.  Did you know that local small businesses make up about 49% of the economy?

It's human nature to feel stressed at this time, especially when our day-to-day lives don't look the same as they used to.  When things are more out of our control than usual, it's helpful to remember and focus on the things we do have control over.  By reducing or preventing stress, we're not only taking care of ourselves, we're able to be better caretakers for others.  Paying attention to and managing stress can help us stay on track with our overall health and wellness, develop new routines, and remember what's important to us.

We will get there even if we fail to develop a vaccine, discover new drugs, or eliminate the virus through public health action, though any of these are welcome because they would hasten the end of the crisis.  By staying home when we are sick, minimizing mass gatherings and reducing physical contact, we can dampen the epidemic, reducing the number of cases and the speed at which they occur.  We can get through this if we work together and remember there is SUNSHINE on the other end of this tunnel.

Check out the sentiment on this card - great for these crazy times.

Today is the last day to get Sale-a-Bration items!
I used some Sale-a-Bration items on this card - the vellum, the Lily Impressions DSP, and the Lovely Lily Pad stamp set.  I stamped the lily onto watercolor paper and heat embossed it with white embossing powder.  Then I used my Aqua Pen and a little Blackberry Bliss re-inker to color the lily.  Oops - just noticed I am missing a sequin!  I had 3 on the card so just imagine the third one right above the lily!

Sunday, March 29, 2020

NC Demo's March Blog Hop - saying good bye to In Colors

Welcome to the NC Demo's March Blog Hop.  This month we were to use one of the out-going In Colors (Pineapple Punch, Call Me Clover, Blueberry Bushel, Lovely Lipstick, Grapefruit Grove.)  The card can ONLY use one of the retiring In Colors.  We can use Whisper White or Vanilla cardstock and black ink but all other ink and cardstock has to be the single retiring In Color.   I had to really put on my thinking cap for this one!  But then I remembered I still had my daughter's Sale-a-Bration stamp set, Rise and Shine!  The In Color I picked is actually one I hardly used - Call Me Clover.  I think I have only used it at Christmas time.  It was just a little too green for me!  But I like how it turned out on my tea mugs.  My favorite In Color in this set is actually Grapefruit Grove - I'm really going to miss that color!  

This stamp set is a Reversibles set, so some of the stamps are two-sided with an image on each side of the stamp for more creative options.  It can also be used for the tea drinker (me!) and the coffee drinker.  It's not too late for you to earn this Sale-a-Bration stamp set but you need to hurry.  Sale-a-Bration ends on March 31!!

I stamped the mugs in the background on Whisper White cardstock, stamping off on each of them so I would get a lighter color from the mug on the front.  I mounted that layer onto Call Me Clover which then was mounted onto Thick White Cardstock.  Next I layered a piece of vellum on top.  With black ink, I stamped the steam and the sentiment.  (I won't tell you how many times I had to stamp the vellum because I kept smearing the ink!  That happens with vellum.  So, on my third try, I decided to heat emboss the sentiment with clear powder!)  On scrap paper, I stamped the mug with the stars and heat embossed it with Clear Embossing Powder.  Next I fussy cut it out.  There are dies to match this stamp set but I don't have them.  It's not a big deal to cut the images out.  I made a tea bag tag and attached white twine from the bag to the cup.

How are you surviving the Coronavirus pandemic?  My daughter is an Infections Disease doctor so I was a little worried about her.  But she also works at the military medical school in Bethesda.  She is deemed to be an essential member of the university so will not be on the front line taking care of patients.  Instead she is having to find placements for around 400 students who were in other places around the globe and US doing field work or residencies.  Not to mention, the president of the university announced last week that they are going to graduate the 4th year students as of April 1.  Now what they will do with these graduates is another problem since they are not technically a doctor yet!   

During this pandemic, I have been busy in my craft room.  I have made a lot of cards in the past couple of weeks and predict that I will be making many more.  Luckily my Paper Pumpkin arrived about the time everything went crazy so I have made a lot of cards with the kit and put them in neighbors mailbox or paper tube to cheer them up. It was one of the best Paper Pumpkin kits we have had to date.  I've also been using Evernote to organize my stamps and dies.  It makes a searchable catalog and I can search my stamps and dies by using keywords. 

I hope you stay safe and healthy during this pandemic.  There will be a time after the pandemic when life returns to normal.    We can get through this if we work together and remember there is sunshine on the other end of this tunnel.

OK - enough depressing talk!!  I hope you will visit the rest of the demos and see what they came up with for the monochromatic masterpiece!

Amy Austin-KInler 
Jo Anne Hewins   
Tina Lesson
Ariel Matera
Tracy Marie Lewis
Libby Foreman 
Toni Campana
Frances Wagner
Tracie Evans Langley
Laurie Meier
Sue Root
Tamra Davis
Sharon Maranich - YOU ARE HERE
Sue Stapp
Nedine Depree

Stay safe!!

Friday, March 27, 2020

No Matter the Weather

I'm feeling pretty productive.  Yesterday I was able to put all my Paper Pumpkin stamp images into Evernote.  It was actually fun to remember a lot of the past kits.  I still need to go back and enter key words on each one but I think I'll have lots of time to do that!

I actually took a walk today.  Every day this week I've told myself to get off my butt and go walk.  Well, Monday and Tuesday were out because it was raining.  Wednesday and Thursday it was too cold.  Today I didn't allow myself to find an excuse since it was almost 80 degrees.  So, I bundled up a few cards from the March kit and popped them in friends mailboxes along the way.  The March PP Kit is really a good one for what's going on in our country.  One of the sentiments is "No matter the weather we're in this together."  Fitting don't you think?  Most of these cards are alternates that I made up myself or CASE'd them from other sources.

I used watercolor paper for this one and fussy cut all the boots.  I used Blueberry Bushel, Lovely Lipstick, Call Me Clover and Crushed Curry.

I love this little bunny!

This is one of the original cards from the kit and a favorite of mine.

These are some ferocious storm clouds!!  I used Basic Gray which came with the kit but next time I'll use Smoky Slate I believe.

I cut out one of the umbrellas from the Pleased As Punch DSP.

The background paper is the Golden Honey DSP that is available with Sale-a-Bration.  I used the SU Blends to color the flowers in the background.  The white piece is die cut with the Sweetly Stitched dies.

The background paper for this card is from Tropical Oasis DSP.

Enjoy these spring pictures from my walk today.

Thursday, March 26, 2020

Lovely Day Paper Pumpkin

Are you enjoying your "stay at home" vacation?  So far, it hasn't bothered me too much .... except I'm cooking more than usual.  Yesterday I was really wanting a pizza from Jet's Pizza.  I was determined that when Sonny came home from golfing, we were going to turn around and drive to Mooresville and get that pizza!  Luckily, he called me on the way home to see if I needed anything so I ordered that pizza online and he picked it up.  It tasted soooo good!!  I used my week's worth of WW points for it but it was worth it!

Several have asked me about my daughter, Ashley.  She is an Infectious Disease Pediatrician so this coronavirus is right up her alley.  Luckily, she is now working at the military medical school - USUHS (United Services University of Health Sciences) as an Assistant Dean of Clinical Sciences and is deemed essential to the university so she will not be treating patients.  Yay!  If you don't know what her job is, I didn't either!  Here is her bio.  She has her plate pretty full during this time.  The military issued a travel ban for all a couple of weeks ago.  Ashley and her crew had to scramble around to get over 400 students back to DC who were doing residency or other training away from the medical school and find them something to do.  Then yesterday, the President of the school announced that the seniors will graduate  early on April 1.  With the travel ban still in effect, now they have to figure out what to do with these students who really aren't doctors yet!!

Today's card feature the Paper Pumpkin kit from February.  The kit was all about birthdays.  The included stamps has a large flower, smaller flower and a ton of birthday sentiments with a "congratulations" thrown in.  It makes 9 cards, 3 each of 3 designs.  Of course, I didn't stay on script and made quite a few more by adding in some additional supplies.

Many of the sentiments in the kit were backed on dimensional so it was so easy to adhere them to the card.

I die cut  the birthday sentiment after adhering it to the cardstock with  adhesive sheets.  I heat embossed (in gold) the flower on the Blueberry Bushel cardstock

Another heat embossed card - this time on Merry Merlot and layered onto gold paper.

Have a lovely day .... which happens to be the name of the February Paper Pumpkin kit!

Wednesday, March 25, 2020

Baby cards

I have had a few people ask me about Evernote since I mentioned it in yesterday's post.   Evernote is a site where you can store things and get your things organized - like dies, stamps, recipes, etc.   It is a great place to organize your stamps, tag them with key words, sort them into categories (like Current Stamps, Retired Stamps, Sale-a-Bration, etc.) and include a picture of the stamps in the set.  I use the Basic Plan which is free.  The free version limits how many notes you can add each month but it works for me.  I finished inputting my current stamps today.  I'm going to start on my Paper Pumpkin stamps next! 

Ok - enough business!  Here are a few cards I've made during the lock down!!

My nephew and his wife are expecting a little girl in early May.  I went to a baby shower for her a couple of weeks ago.  These are the cards I made to go with my gift and one to go on Ashley's gift since she was unable to attend.

This card is one of the reasons I've started using Evernote again.  I searched and searched for a stamp to use for a baby and was coming up empty.  Finally I found this cute kangaroo among my Paper Pumpkin stamps!   The hearts are from Stitched Be Mine dies - one of my favorites!!

I don't know what this fold is called - maybe just a fancy fold!

In searching for baby stamps, I remembered  the Owl Punch!  These little dresses are punched from it.  Then I added little straps to hang them on the pink twine!  If you own this punch, don't ever give it away!!  There are so many things you can make with it - it's a shame it is retired.


Tuesday, March 24, 2020

Another Day, Another Card!

I hope you are surviving this Coronavirus scare.  We live in a scary world, don't we?  I have only been out of the house a couple of times in over a week.  It doesn't bother me as much as it does Sonny.  He is going stir crazy although he shouldn't since he went golfing almost every day last week.  The rain yesterday and today have stopped him this week, but I'm guessing he'll be back on the course tomorrow.  He is using the hand sanitizer and driving his own golf cart as well as getting some fresh air and being out of my hair!!  I've been watching movies and I've made a ton of cards!  I've also been trying to get my stamp sets organized in Evernote.  Evernote is a great (free) program that you can list your stamps and key words so it is easy to do a search.  For instance, if I wanted a birthday stamp, I would just search and all the birthday stamps would come up.  I used this program several years ago and really like it but I've been lazy since then and not entered my new stamps in Evernote.  So, I'm trying to do 10-12 each day.  I've also been going through my Paper Pumpkin kits that I didn't finish and try to use up the extra bits and pieces.

Here are a few cards I've made recently:

This is a Sale-A-Bration set that is double sided called Rise and Shine.  I did not buy this set but Ashley did so I have been using it until I see her again.  What I like is that is has sentiments to use for tea drinkers and not just coffee drinkers!  I am a tea drinker!!

This card is similar to the smaller square card I posted yesterday using the Pleased As Punch DSP.

I made this card when I was at Ashley's last month.  It is really easy to duplicate!  The stamp set is Music from the Heart and is on page 57 of the Mini Catalog.  It is designed by on of Stampin' Up's million dollar achievers, Dawn Olchefske.

Another card using Music from the Heart - this one was made by Ashley!

Another Ashley original!  Don't you love the retro look??

Enjoy your day and stay safe!!

Monday, March 23, 2020

I'm back!! Stamp Class Cards for March

OK, OK, OK!!  I know it's been almost a month since posting and you're looking for some new ideas.  Let's see what I can do to help you out.  My stamp class was last week and as you imagine, I only had 2 brave souls who came to play.  I had hand sanitizer on the table along with anti-bacterial wipes and plenty of toilet paper in the bathroom!!  But we had a good visit and made some pretty cards.  Let's see if you agree.

I just love this pink and green combo!  I used Granny Apple Green and (retired) Powder Pink.  The sentiment is heat embossed with white powder.  I fussy cut the Meercats and used dimensionals to adhere them to the Stitched Shapes Circle.  I used the Stitched Rectangles for the pink, green and white cardstock.  Use the Blends to color the background items.

This beautiful paper is a Sale-A-Bration item - Golden Honey.  The flower is from Painted Poppies and I fussy cut it.  I have fallen in love with these dies - Stitched So Sweetly.  You can find them in the mini catalog on page 20.  Don't miss them like I did! 

Another Sale-a-Bration item is the So Very Vellum on this card.  The package comes in three colors - Purple Posy, Pool Party, and Soft Sea Foam.  The picture looks like it's green but it's not - I used Pool Party.  I'm loving those Stitched So Sweetly Dies again on this card.

This Easter card uses everything retired (except the Granny Apple Green base card and the Blends. 

This was a fun card to make.  It measures 4 1/4" square.  All the squares of DSP are from and the umbrella, heart, tulip and small flowers are all from the DSP too!  I used a retired Heart Die set to punch out the heart but the current Heart punch pack works good too.  The umbrellas are punched with the Umbrella Builder Punch and the tulip is  punched with the Tulip Builder Punch.  The small flowers can be punched with the Small Bloom punch but since I didn't have that punch, I found that my retired Petite Petals Punch worked fine.  I also don't have the tulip punch so I fussy cut it and the leaf.

I love this paper!  It does a lot of the work for you and it is so spring-y!!  If you are interested, (since it is not in any of the catalogs), the item # is 153558 and it costs $11.50 for 12 sheets of 12"x12" paper.