Thursday, October 18, 2018


I was flattered the other night when my mother said that our cousin had called to request that I make a special card for her to give to her Pastor.  I didn't know about Pastor Appreciation Day but, after looking online, I learned that it was this past Sunday, October 14th.  I also learned that some celebrate Pastor Appreciation all during the month of October, so maybe this card won't be a late one after all.  Since time was of the essence, I was in a bit of a rush to get creative.  I couldn't think of any stamps in my room that were religious (other than Christmas or Easter) and, truth be told, I just didn't have available space on my countertop to break out one of the electronic cutters to cut a cross or something else religious that I still had no idea how I would use.  Soooooo . . . I decided to make a sweet card with a Fall theme.  Not just any card.  This would be one of my favorites . . . a Surprise Diorama card . . . with a floating die-cut leaf.

Now I ask you . . . how FUN would it be to receive this card?  Yes, I know that the photo isn't great, and it may be difficult to see that sparkly die-cut leaf that I cut from Stampin' Up!'s Joyous Noel Glimmer Paper.  That glimmer paper is so gorgeous, and it cuts like a dream.  When I first cut the two leaves (the solid one from Mint Macaron cardstock and the glimmery detailed leaf on top), I didn't think about sandwiching the oh, so thin fishing line between the two cuts, so I ended up cutting another detailed glimmery leaf to hide the attachment of the fishing line on the back of the leaf.  This also gave more weight/stability to the floating leaf.  The "Blessings" fabric ribbon is something that I found in my stash, and I adhered that small cut to a torn piece of Vellum cardstock so it wouldn't get lost on that (retired) Petals & Paisleys designer paper.  On the opposite panel, you'll notice that it doesn't look very well attached.  I had planned to leave it removeable so it would be easy for my cousin to write a note/sign the card, but I later decided to go ahead and adhere that layer since the card opens and lays almost flat.

The front of the card is a low-key "looks-nice-but-wait-until-you-see-the-inside" with a Vellum leafy stem (Mayflowers Framelits), glimmery leaf (Seasonal Layers Thinlits), Linen Thread, and "grateful" die-cut sentiment (Seasonal Frame Thinlits, retired).  You'll notice that the front of the card isn't as wide as the inside diorama panel, but it worked out beautifully that when the card is closed, you only see the pretty designer paper along the right edge and none of the oval-shaped window (Stitched Shapes Framelits) on that panel.  Stroke of luck for me but, if you make one of these cards, make sure that the window will be covered by the card front.  ;-)  My card base was 5.5" x 12", and I scored it at 3.5", 7.25", 7.75", and 11.5".

The card lays nearly flat (depending on the bulk of embellishments) for mailing.  In the above photo, you can see that as the card opens, the back panel pops up to reveal the fun 3D diorama design.

I'm ready to make more of these fun cards but . . . first . . . I need to walk this one to the mailbox.

Saturday, October 13, 2018


There's no time like the present to start playing catch-up on sharing photos of my class swaps.  I hate it when I get behind, but I just kept procrastinating taking photos of these lovely cards.  Why?  Because I would need to take two photos of each card, which meant double the amount of time to edit.  I know, I know . . . what a lame excuse!  So instead of taking the photos right away and gettin' the job done, I had these lovelies neatly stacked in front of my keyboard.  For two months.  

Our swap theme for August was the oh, so fun Vertical Stretch card, and I think my stampin' friends did a fantastic job!  And here they are [cue the drum roll]:

Aren't the swaps great?  The Vertical Stretch card is truly a fun one--and very easy to make!

Tuesday, October 9, 2018


When the family was cleaning out my grandmother's house (written about in this post), we each found enough "treasures" to fill (or overfill) our own homes.  If you've been through this process, then you already know that it takes a lot of time to process and integrate those precious findings into your home--or change, purge, rearrange, etc. to make room for treasures that you want to see/enjoy on a daily basis.  I still have quite a lot to go through, but one item that has been sitting in my bedroom, waiting to get cleaned (now with extra dust)--an item that I walk past sooooooo many times during the day--is papaw's lunchbox.  

As we go through life, it's only natural that certain items trigger thoughts or memories of certain people in our lives.  Although there are several things that remind me of papaw, this lunchbox is near the top.  I can remember seeing him walk in or out the door with this silver box.  It shows scratches and wear even after I scrubbed it, but I love its rustic, industrial look.  And I love that it makes me think of papaw.  I can picture him with his denim overalls and plaid shirt, lunchbox in hand.  What has me a bit perplexed, though, is why I would remember him with this lunchbox.  He left for work before the sun came up, so maybe I remember him coming home from work.  If that's the case, then can you imagine that the last thing he'd want to deal with or entertain after working hard all day is a grandchild(ren)? 

I haven't decided yet how this lunchbox will be displayed or used in my home, but I'm grateful for this little treasure because of the special things, times, and the man that it reminds me of.  

Monday, October 8, 2018


Aunt Betty has a birthday next week, so I worked on a card for her today.  I wanted to do something really special, but I was lacking creative ideas.  I think that happens to everyone, so I'm not going to beat myself up about it.  Getting a birthday card on time--or before her special day--will probably seem miraculous enough.  

The card that I made features Stampin' Up!'s Bring on the Presents stamp set.  I first created the envelope, and using the Stamparatus was soooooooo very helpful!  It's difficult to tell in the photo, but I drew the shape of a tag appearing to be tucked under the bow, which is where I wrote the address.  Do you decorate your envelopes?  I think it's such a fun thing to do, although mine aren't always worth mentioning.

The photo is really awful, but just know that I tried so hard to get a better one.  I must have taken 25 photos with a variety of backgrounds and lighting, and they were all terrible.

Other Stampin' Up! products featured on this card include:
Cardstock:  Thick Whisper White, Pool Party, Basic Black
Stamp Sets:  Bring on the Presents, Dragonfly Dreams, Around the Corner
Ink:  Pool Party, Memento Tuxedo Black
Stampin' Blends:  Pool Party
Accessories:  Corrugated Elements, Glitter Enamel Dots, Watercolor Paper, retired washi tape, Aqua Painter

Saturday, October 6, 2018


A couple of weeks ago, I asked my husband if "we" had a scroll saw.  I was hoping that we had one that I could try but, since that didn't pan out, I asked him to buy one.  After he and my son gave some instruction and pointers on how to use it, I started practicing some cuts.  Mostly, I worked on cutting a straight line and some curves before going straight to the challenge of cutting a stocking.  I still need lots of practice--am a bit too skilled at breaking blades--but I have so many things that I want to cut!  I'm excited to share my decorated stocking . . . 

After sanding and staining the wood, I used the following Chalk Couture products to decorate it:

Garden Herb Chalkology Paste
Candy Apple Red Chalkology Paste
Shimmer Silver Couture Ink
The Adventure Begins Chalk Transfer
Mini Holiday Icons Chalk Transfer
Mistletoe Chalk Transfer (not currently available)

It's difficult to see the shimmer on the snowflake and the text, but the Shimmer Silver Couture Ink looks so nice!

Want to know more about the Chalk Couture products?  Check out the following links:

Monday, October 1, 2018


I don't get to visit aunt Betty as often as I'd like but, each time that I visit, she asks if I have finished my quilt yet.  It's getting embarrassing to tell her that I have not finished it since I started the (10 month) Block of the Month project almost four years ago.  In my defense, I have been taking my time (that's obvious) and using the contents of each month's kit but designing some of the blocks to something meaningful to me.  If I'm not mistaken, I only have one block left to complete.   

Anyway . . . it occurred to me that I should whip up a little wool appliqué project to send to aunt Betty as proof that I really do know how to use a needle and thread.  Following is a photo of the framed project and card that are going in the mail to her.  Won't she be surprised?

Sunday, September 30, 2018


In honor of World Card Making Day, Stampin' Up! has a week-long promotional offer of select discounted products.  

Don't forget to check out the fantastic products in the Clearance Rack HERE.  

And, of course, there are brand new accessories for the Stamparatus!

Don't forget to use my current Hostess Code on your online order:  4FS3VVSF.

If you have any questions or need assistance, email me at randari at hotmail dot com.

Tuesday, September 25, 2018


I've shared cotton/muslin bag projects in the past, but this time I am sharing one that features Chalk Couture's Couture Ink.  I recently needed a small gift for a coffee lover, and a bag filled with K-cups seemed like a great idea.  To make the bag more interesting, I decorated it with Chalk Couture products (shown below the photo):

Two bags are shown in the photo so you can see the images that I transferred on the front and back of each bag.  After the image was transferred with ink, I allowed time for the ink to dry and then heat set it with my EasyPress.  If you don't have an EasyPress, an iron will work just fine.  Could I have used Chalkology Paste instead of Couture Ink?  Absolutely!  For a project this small, the paste would have worked just fine--it wouldn't have been permanent, though.  A fabric project tends to absorb more paste than the amount of ink that it takes to transfer an image, and the paste couldn't have been heat-set.  This might not be a problem, though, since a small bag like the ones pictured will most likely not come in contact with water or get laundered.  If this is confusing or you have any questions about the process, just leave a comment.

If you would like to explore more of the fantastic Chalk Couture products, visit my web site HERE.  You are also invited to "like" and "follow" my Facebook Page HERE.

Thursday, August 30, 2018



That was my grandmother's house number, and her house is where I spent many happy times as a child, less time than I should have during my late teens/early adulthood, and more time than ever during the last couple of years that she resided at 198.

On many of my latter visits, I would walk around the house--now more quiet and dark than I ever knew it to be--and reminisce lots of good times.  Delicious meals, mamaw baking cookies, biscuits, etc., her stereo that used to play the kind of music that my sister and I enjoyed, mamaw in her favorite chair watching "Murder She Wrote" or the news, all the while working on some kind of project that fit on her lap.  The sun seemed so much more golden in those later years as it beamed into the dining room and kitchen, and I always enjoyed the peaceful view from any of mamaw's windows.  

I always enjoyed going to mamaw's basement, mostly because it was a cool getaway, but also because there were so many treasures for the eye to behold.  Any time she would ask me to go down there and get something, I was on it!  Of course, I always had to apologize for taking too long but was honest enough to explain that I took my eyes on a walkabout down there.  She would half chuckle and let me know that it was "mostly junk" and how she felt sorry for us or whomever had to carry "all that trash" out after she was gone.  

That day (weeks, really) finally came.  It was a lot to carry out, carry home, carry to my parents' house, etc., but I still enjoyed looking around--only this time I got a much more in-depth view.  My mother laughed at me because I kept going through what had been put in the trash pile, but you know there are treasures among the trash.  As you may have guessed, we were cleaning the house out for a new owner.  It was a huge job, but I enjoyed the time (but not the sweltering August heat) with my parents and sister.  I still walked through the house, but this time we were undressing the always-neat-and-tidy home that once was hers.  I tried to imagine not being able to come through the door again.  It's still bittersweet to reconcile that 198 is no longer in our family, but ohhhhhhhh . . . there are so many fantastic and loving memories.  

I will never enjoy mamaw's company or her beautiful and peaceful views.

I won't ever again check her mailbox.

I won't ever get to bake cheese biscuits for her (she taught me how).

I won't ring the doorbell and hear her footsteps rushing to get to me--or feel the warm embrace of her welcoming arms.

I haven't actually had any of that since 2014, but having her house in the family has been kind of like having a wee bit of her.

Sorry the prelude to this card was so long--I just needed to get some words out.  My mother asked me to make a card for the new owner, and I thought that it had to include "198".  And this is the card:

Tuesday, August 28, 2018


I try to (on a rather frequent basis) send cards to some special ladies that I have known for all or most of my life.  I can't imagine what kind of person wouldn't perk up when they pull a handmade greeting card out of the mailbox, so I just figure my cards are day-brighteners.  When I saw a photo of someone's  (gently used) "Turtlely Awesome" stamp set for sale in a Facebook group a few months ago, I thought it would make a perfect little "hello" card.  Just thought I'd share the design that is going in the mailbox today:

It's just a very simple card, but isn't it a cute one?

Stampin' Up! products featured on this card include:

Cardstock:  Pool Party, Whisper White
Ink:  Pool Party, Grapefruit Grove
Stampin' Blends:  Pool Party (light & dark), Pumpkin Pie (light & dark)
Punches:  1-3/8" Circle, 1-1/2" Circle
Accessories:  Stampin' Dimensionals