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

Sunday, August 26, 2018


I don't believe I've shared this card, but I know I've shared another card featuring this chubby bird from Stampin' Up!'s Better with You stamp set.  I really like this bird, and it is so much fun to color!  If you enjoy coloring, then this bird is for you!

The card base is from the kit offered when the Stampin' Blends came on the scene--sorry, I can't recall the name of that kit.  I didn't have the stamp set that coordinated with it, so I just used the components to create my own cards.  That's the thing about kits . . . it's fun to lay out all of the contents, and then toss in a bit of your own creativity.

Saturday, August 18, 2018


A few years ago, I noticed an old photograph at my parents' house that I'd never seen before.  During dinner, we were talking about the cute boy and girl in the photo, and my parents, grandmother, and sister convinced me that the boy and girl were twins that my grandmother put up for adoption.  Was this a family secret that was just now coming to light?  I had never heard anything about my mother having twin siblings!  I looked to mamaw to confirm or deny this tale, and she said that they had two small children at the time and just couldn't afford to keep the twins.  I looked from mamaw to the photo of those adorable twins, and I asked where they were today.  No one knew.  What shocked me the most is that no one at the dinner table seemed to care!  I studied each of their faces, trying to find a trace of the people that I had known all of my life, and they just looked back to me like I was crazy for being interested in the twins.  My sentimental sister surely had an interest, so I whipped around to study her face, and she just looked at me like I was nuts.  I became insistent that we HAD to find the twins!!!!  Now . . . as foreign as my family members seemed at that instant, I also seemed like a foreigner in my own skin.  It was not at all like me to spearhead (so emphatically) something like this, and yet there I was thinking of the world wide web searches that I would have to start and would I need to hire a private investigator, get on a plane (for the first time), see if Finder of Lost Loves was still on TV, etc.  My family let me leave that evening thinking that "we" had twins to find.  

The truth of the photograph is that no one knew those children.  I don't remember where my mother had found it, but she decided to put it in a frame to see what my sister and I would say about it.  It probably goes without saying that I was the last one to see it, and they had already concocted their funny story about mamaw's twins that she gave up for adoption.  The one and only selling point to their story was that mamaw went along with it, and I'm here to tell you that she SOLD that story to me hook, line, and sinker--not so much with her few words about it but in the way she didn't deny it!  I learned later that mamaw told my parents and sister to hurry and tell me the truth before I had time to get home and start some huge investigation and research to find twins that didn't exist.  LOL!!!!  We had a really good laugh about that--and I still laugh about it.  

While going through a box of greeting cards today that I brought home from mamaw's house (they were all cards that I had made and sent to her through the years), I found this one that just cracked me up!  By the way, the tale of accusing my sister of being a grudge-holder is a whole different story.

So . . . Happy Saturday!!!  I hope this post brings a smile to your face and that your family's dark secrets are just as non-existent as our twins.

Tuesday, August 14, 2018


Have I got something to show today?!?!  You bet, I do!  

These two cards feature the Country Home stamp set from Stampin' Up!'s upcoming Holiday catalog.  This set was on my second pre-order.  Life has gotten in the way of playing creating with most of the new products, but this stamp set didn't just keep calling my name . . . it was screaming!  Paired with the second assortment of Watercolor Pencils and an Aqua Painter, these two gems fell into place:

It's difficult to tell from the photo, but the "Hello" sentiment was heat-embossed with Copper Embossing Powder, and the die-cut leaf (from Seasonal Layers Thinlits) was cut from a gorgeous piece of Joyous Noel Glimmer Paper, also from the Holiday catalog.  Pencils were used to give a light color wash to the background, which actually shows up better in real life.

My second card features the Tin Tile Dynamic embossing folder, and you're gonna want this one near the top of your wish list.  It. is. gorgeous.  

The stamped images on both cards were colored with the Watercolor Pencils Assortment 2, and I think every stamper needs them!  When Stampin' Up! brought watercolor pencils back to the main catalog, I bought them and added them to the ones that I had from a few years ago.  The oldest ones work well, but the new pencils (the ones in the main catalog and the second assortment) seem to be even creamier and easier to blend.  They are fantastic!

It may sound a bit crazy but, if you zoom in on the cards, you might notice that I added a wee bit of a brown color to the puffs of cotton.  The cotton looked good when colored with a white pencil, but I think it looked more real once I added just a bit of Early Espresso to shadow around the edges of the cotton blooms.

So . . . are you already in love with the Country Home stamp set?  There's actually SO MUCH to love about the new Holiday catalog!  Just when I think that I've purchased all that I "need", I start wanting more!  As a matter of fact, I'll be entering my third pre-order tonight.  Ohhhhhh, my poor (literally) bank account!


The September Paper Pumpkin is the perfect kit to help you prepare for the ghosts and goblins who'll be ringing your doorbell in October!

I know it's still August, but I don't want YOU to miss out on the fun September kit . . . and that spooky-looking box!

Subscribing is easy!  Just CLICK HERE. And did you know that as a Paper Pumpkin subscriber, you can purchase kit refills and/or past kits (until supplies run out)?  You'll be able to manage your subscription and skip a month as needed.  It's really easy to do, and it's also very fun to receive projects in a box each month.  Give it a try!

Saturday, August 11, 2018


My mother requested a birthday card for one of her quilting friends recently and, since the friend recently moved into a new house, it would be nice if the card gave a little nod to that.  My mind immediately went to Stampin' Up!'s At Home with You stamp set!  I haven't actually used that set a lot and enjoyed figuring out some fun folds and details for the card.  It had to have a door that would open, don't you think?

But first . . . HUGE apologies for the poor quality of the photos!  Trust me when I say that the card looked so much nicer in person!

There were four slim panels making up this project.  The first panel, making up the front of the card, featured a porch and front door scene.

One fold away was the side of the house, which featured a window with birthday balloons flying by.  Notice the paper clip?  It didn't go with the card--I just placed it there so you could see the last panel that folds over to cover the handwritten message.

But when you remove the paper clip, there's a pretty paper ready for the handwritten greeting, followed by the final panel that is covered with another paper that just happened to go with the theme.

When I started working on this card, I had no real plan for the details.  Honestly, it got a bit busier and more detailed as I moved along but, in the end, it was a card that I could be proud to put my "stamp" on.

ETA:  The 5-1/2" x 12" cardstock was scored at 3", 6", and 9" to create the four panels.

Friday, August 10, 2018


Want to see a really FUN group of cards?  For my July class, the swap theme was to make a shaker card, and my stampin' friends held nothing back!  Just feast your eyes upon these fantastic creations:

All images are © Stampin' Up!

It took a few days for me to decide what kind of card to make because when I would think shaker card, my mind instantly went to something under the sea.  And then . . . ah ha!!!! . . . something patriotic kicked those thoughts of mermaids, fish, seashells, and the like right out of my head.

Have you enjoyed the swap cards that I've shared this week?  

Thursday, August 9, 2018


The swap theme for my June class was a sketch challenge (SC314) from splitcoaststampers that looked like this:

And following are the fantastic cards that my stampin' friends created:

This is kind of embarrassing . . . my swap wasn't in the bag with the other June swaps, and I don't remember if I didn't make enough to keep one or if mine got mailed to someone.  It's really bugging me that I can't recall what it looked like--or that I didn't even take a photo! I always love seeing the variety of sketch challenge creations, though.  It never ceases to amaze me how different one looks from another!

Monday, August 6, 2018


I got a wee bit behind on posting swaps from my monthly class, but I'll catch up this week.  The swap theme for my May class was the Impossible card, and I was so impressed with the variety of designs that were created!  I hope you enjoy them as much as I did!  

All images © Stampin' Up!

Thursday, August 2, 2018


Today is my parents' anniversary, and this is the card that I made for them:

"Better with You" is one of my favorite new stamp sets in Stampin' Up!'s catalog!  What's not to love about that bird?!?!  I am not ashamed to admit that a project in the catalog totally inspired the colors that I used on the bird.  I'm almost certain that it never would have occurred to me to use Balmy Blue, Lemon Lime Twist, and Poppy Parade.  Each time that I have worked with that little bird, I've used a similar bright color palette.  Those colored diamonds on the background?  Yes . . . they're included in the stamp set.  If you've fallen in love with this set, treat yourself to it (and other goodies, too) by clicking HERE.