Mass-produced Birthday Cards, May 2017

No comments »

Me and No.2 Sis, on the couch, watching TV and playing on our phones.

No.2 Sis: I’m tired.

Me: Me, too. I found this shade garden on Pinterest.

Sis: I think it’s nap time.

Me: I could grow ferns and hostas.


Me: But, for color, I could add blue veronica.


Me: Day lilies would add color, too.


Me: I wonder if Tiger lilies grow in the shade.


Me: OMG! You’re tired, and I’m still sitting on the couch, which is your bed!

Sis: {snore}

I guess once Sis chants the magic words, “nap time”, nothing else is required.

I had a lot of birthday cards to make in May, so I wanted something I could mass-produce. I used Freshly Made Sketches #207.

I found three coordinating designer papers in a feminine pack, and three in a more gender neutral pack. All supplies are from Stampin’ Up.

I cut a 2 inch strip from each piece of paper, then cut each strip into three lengths. I shuffled the papers so each card had a variety of patterns, then glued it all down.



Added the sentiment and, kapow! shazam! Six cards in less than half an hour.



I can’t wait to get into my own apartment, and I’m sure No.2 Sis feels the same (although she’s been a very generous hostess).

The furniture’s been delivered, so it’ll be as soon as I can get off the pain-killers. Yay!

Stay tuned…



Birthday Cards, April 2017

No comments »

Yesterday was a good day. I was conscious and pain-free, two of my favorite things. Well, in the top 10 at least.

No.2 Sis took me to the orthopedic clinic, where I got a cortisone shot in the right knee, and finally got surgery scheduled with Dr. Jack for the left knee. You know, the knee I’ve been trying to get replaced for the last 9 months, the one I damaged even further in Costa Rica by falling hard in the road.

Then I took a mega-dose of pain pills, as per the recommendation of my general practitioner, Dr. Kitty. She had promised (apologetically) to hurt me during a procedure scheduled for later yesterday. After she got started though, she found out she didn’t need to do the hurty procedure after all. Suh-weeeet.

I treated No.2 Sis to a celebratory dinner at Baker’s Square. (Pie.)

She started reciting a nursery rhyme while I drinking water, and I damn near drowned, laughing. I may have been a little loopy from the pain-killers. It still was a very good day. (Pie. Definitely in the top 10.)

I have a niece and two grand-nieces with birthdays in April. I wanted to get back to making cards. I missed it so much while I was in Costa Rica.

The challenge was to use as little as possible of No.2’s stash, because my stuff is still all packed up.

I bought a paper pad, Fashionably Chic, by Recollections, at Michael’s. I just used some of Sis’s black and white paper, black ink, adhesive, and one stamp. The stamp is the owl from the Stampin’ Up set, Punch Bunch.

Ugh. Her paper trimmer is very dull, so I had trouble making clean, square cuts. Oh yeah, I used Sis’s paper trimmer, too.

I used 3 sketches from Pinterest for the layouts.

The first sketch is from Sweet Sunday Sketch Challenge #294.

The second is from Mojo Monday #396.

The third sketch is originally from Quintessentially Me. I couldn’t find this exact sketch, so this a link to all of her card sketches.

If you want to see my Pinterest board with the sketches I’ve collected, click here.

Stay tuned…

Fashionably Chic, Stampin' Up, Punch BunchFashionably Chic, Stampin' Up, Punch BunchFashionably Chic, Punch Bunch

4 Card Designs From 1 Stamp – Medallion

No comments »

I decided to challenge myself with my card-making by picking out a random stamp and making 4 different cards with it. Of course, I got LOTS of help from Pinterest.

I chose the “Medallion” stamp.

The first card was tweaked from a design by Tina White. I changed the colors slightly, used washi tape instead of ribbon, and added some rhinestone bling to “Dasher”.

The “noel” sentiment is from “Many Merry Messages”.

Medallion, Dasher, Christmas card


























Hmm, I can see I need some ink refills or new ink pads!

My second card design came from Mamaxsix at Split Coast Stampers. The flowers and the sentiment came from the “Asian Artistry” stamp set. Again, I added some bling, this time to the middle of the medallion.

Medallion, Aisan Artistry card


























I used triple-time stamping for the third card. There are a ton of tutorials for this technique on Pinterest and YouTube, so I just picked a random site to link to, Stamp With Brian.

The “happy” sentiment is from “Define Your Life”.

Medallion triple-time stamping


I got my fourth card idea from Inking Out of the Box. They made a Medallion Wedding card, but I turned it into a Christmas card. I should have stamped the white medallion after sponging the cherry cobbler ink, though. I thought the cherry ink would wipe off of the embossed medallion better.

The “silent night” sentiment is from “Jingle All The Way”.

Medallion, silent night card


























All the stamps, paper, ink and accessories are from Stampin’ Up.

I made 4 each of the Christmas cards and 2 each of the others. And no, I didn’t do it in one day; it took me four weekends!

Stay tuned…

p.s. I know the first words of some of the paragraphs are beside the picture instead of beneath it. I can’t figure that out. Grrrr.

Crazy Busy Week, and Cheese

No comments »

I had a crazy, busy week this week, with something scheduled every night after work. That kind of schedule makes me very, very crabby.


After working 9 hours, I attended the first half of an 8 hour class, “Driving Now That You’re an Old Fart”. Actually, I believe it was called “Safe Driving For 55 Plus”, but you get the drift. You know all the things that annoy you about encountering oldsters on the road, like driving too slowly, leaving too much space between cars, slowing down for green lights, leaving turn signals on for miles? Those things are actually taught in this class.


Second half of “Decrepit Driving” class.


I had a chiropractor appointment scheduled, but I canceled it due to fatigue. Plus, it’s costing me LOTS of money to go in twice a week, and it doesn’t feel like it’s helping. No.2 Sis suggested Courage Center for physical therapy.

Anyway, I ran errands on Wednesday, including a $87 grocery store run. I was out of cheese.


My Stampin’ Up pusher, sorry, distributor, came to my workplace, The Company, and put on a SAS (Stamp-a-Stack). Me, a half-dozen co-workers, and several guests each made 15 Christmas cards. We also had a pot-luck dinner. I was in charge of set-up, tear-down, and lunch meat.



Friday was my day off. No relief. I had an 8:30 lab appointment, for which I had to start fasting right after the Thursday potluck. No bedtime cheese snack. Harumph.

Then, at 10:30, I had a channeled reading from Chanda Parkinson. This was a gift from my BFF “G”, and it was very enlightening. Chanda told me I was spreading myself too thin. Oh wait, I knew that already. The rest of the info I got was truly enlightening. Thanks Chanda, and thanks “G”!

At 11:00, No.2 Sis came over to my house and helped me move all the small furniture into the kitchen, bathroom, and laundry room, so the carpet cleaners could have a clear path.

Ultimate Carpet Cleaners came at noon, and did a wonderful job of cleaning my dirty carpets. I had had Stanley Steamer in not too long ago, and the carpet looked good for a day afterwards, but then reverted right back to its previous dirty state. Ultimate was much more impressive (and less expensive).

Plus we got these awesome shoe-booties.


Sis and I put the small furniture back, with strips of plastic underneath to protect the wet carpet.

Then we gussied ourselves up, gassed up Gypsy Blue and drove across town to meet our Aunt and Uncle at No.3 Bro’s art show. We figured it would take us 45 minutes. In the rain and Friday night rush hour, it took us an hour-and-a-half. We missed Aunt and Uncle, but we got to see Bro, his girlfriend, his 2 sons, and his ex-wife. And, of course, Bro’s awesome paintings and the wonderful paintings of 2 other artists.

On the way home, I ran to the grocery store (cheese).

And now it’s Saturday. Now I can rest. And feast on cheese.

Stay tuned…

p.s. I shared this at Chic on a Shoestring.

252, and Googly Eyes

No comments »

I’ve told you my Mom taught me to ask things their names, and they will tell you. That’s why my car is named Gypsy Blue.

I first experimented with this technique on my houseplants. I had three plants, and I asked the first one its name. Mabel was the answer. I asked the second plant its name. Maybelle was the reply. I asked the third one. Maybelline. Come on guys, you’re just f*cking with me! I never knew houseplants had a sense of humor.

I thought of this while I was bagging my only current houseplant for the compost heap. It’s a very large, old, nearly leafless Golden Pothos that’s been very sickly for a long time. Frankly, I never asked it its name. I didn’t want to be the butt of its jokes.

How houseplants should look.

How houseplants should look.

I’m continuing to declutter and trying to focus on allowing new abundance into my life. I read an article on this blog, MindBodyGreen, that was inspirational. Out with the old, in with the new. I think that includes dying houseplants.

I packed up a donation box from the Studio, added a large lampshade to it, and bagged the plant for compost. That’s 3 more bags/boxes, which brings my count to 252.

I celebrated my success by ordering googly eyes (doesn’t everyone?) from Amazon. I think they would have improved the cards I made last weekend.

Stampin' Up Time to Celebrate

Stampin’ Up Time to Celebrate

Stampin' Up Cheerful Critters

Stampin’ Up Cheerful Critters


As God as my witness, I will never go without googly eyes again <shakes fist in air>!!!

Stay tuned…



249, or Last Minute Laurel

No comments »

I gave myself a month, A MONTH, to clean my dining room for my Stampin’ Up party and it’s not done yet. The party’s tomorrow. Here’s what I did all week.

Saturday: Did my taxes. Helped No.2 Sis shop for furniture for her new townhouse. Played cards with the City Sisters.

Sunday: Cooked Heroin Chicken Tenders, yum. Made a lot of progress on clearing the dining room table, then got distracted by making just a few more cards before getting the last of my stamp sets put away. (Ooh…look! Something shiny!)

Gorgeous Grunge cards

Monday: Was going to read a few pages of a novel. Got caught up in it and didn’t put it down until I’d read the whole thing. Compulsive much?

Tuesday: Got a call from an old friend who was feeling down. Talked to her for two hours until I had her laughing hysterically. Well, it was either my jokes or the wine she was drinking.

Wednesday: Started another novel. Don’t I ever learn? Read it through to the end.

Thursday: Called No.2 Sis to meet me for dinner at a local restaurant. We sat and talked for three hours. I should have left a bigger tip.

Friday: Got Gypsy Blue’s oil changed and wipers replaced. Gassed her up. Went to the bank. Went to the hair salon. Organized my underwear drawer (because THAT’S important).

No.2 Sis came over and helped me out by packing up 5 bags of recycling (I let go of a large swath of my magazine collection) so I could finish putting away my stamping supplies. Took Sis out to dinner to thank her for the help. Went to the grocery store for party food. And I’m ALMOST ready. Just a few (dozen) things to finish up tomorrow before the party.

Yes, my name is Laurel. Last Minute Laurel.

In high school at Our Lady of Sweet and Sour Perplexity, I would often go into the math study room the hour before advanced algebra class. Some nervous math geek would ask me what I got for an answer to one of the homework questions, and I say “Just a minute, I haven’t done that one yet”.

I’d start to calculate the homework problems until I came to the one that was causing them trouble, and then confirm whether or not they had the right answer. I realized later that their shock wasn’t because I had the right answer. It was because I was starting the assignment minutes before it was due.

I always thought that I did my best work under pressure. I know now that it’s not my best work. It’s just that I do the MOST work under pressure. It’s the adrenaline, you know. I’ll be ready for tomorrow, but I’ll be sure to do it in the most stressful, adrenaline-filled way possible.

And I wonder why I’m so tired most of the time? (Note to self: Google symptoms and treatment of adrenal fatigue.)

Stay tuned….

p.s. The cards were made with Stampin’ Up papers and inks in Pacific Point, Soft Suede and Whisper White. The stamps sets are Gorgeous Grunge and One In a Million, also from Stampin’ Up.

p.p.s. I found this cool website that articulates the lessons I’ve been trying to teach myself the past year. It’s www.TheTortoiseKnowsBest. Check it out.

p.p.p.s. I shared this at Chic on a Shoestring.



A Little Dining Room Progress, and Masculine Cards

No comments »

Here’s my thought process when trying to clear the dining room table:

  1. I should clear the dining room table.
  2. I’ll start by putting away my stamp sets.
  3. Before I put them away, I need to make Stamples of the newer sets for my book.
  4. But first, I have to assemble the stamp sets.
  5. And then make the Stamples.
  6. And then wash the stamp sets and lay them out to dry.
  7. I see I’m very short of masculine cards and I have nephew and brother-in-law birthdays coming up.
  8. I’ll make a few cards before I put away these stamps.
  9. Now I’ll rewash the stamp sets, let them dry, and put them back in their cases.
  10. NOW, I’ll put the sets away.
  11. The studio closet has bins packed with stamp sets with no room for more.
  12. To make more room, I have to pull out long unused sets and put them in my box of stamps to sell on e-bay.
  13. NOW, I’ll put the new stamp sets away.

By the end of all that, I’d pretty much spent the whole day on clearing one corner of the dining room table. However, I came up with 3 styles of masculine cards, for a total of  10 cards made. And I kept them all in the same colors, to minimize the paper and pads I had to put away. That’s a win-win, right? Or a win-tiny win, perhaps?

1 2

The paper and ink colors are Stampin’ Up Kraft, Pacific Point, Soft Suede and Whisper White. The Stampin’ Up stamp sets (from top to bottom) are Nature Walk, By the Tide, and The Open Sea.

Stay tuned…



Christmas Card Hack

No comments »

I was kind of slouched down in bed, reading, when Bella the cat climbed into my lap, as she often did. But this time, she used my soft belly as a trampoline and vaulted herself to the end of the bed. The force of her hind feet pushed the air out of me with a big “Oof”! Not cool, Bella. She came back and I thought she’d lie down now, but no, she vaulted again, trying to improve her distance. Then she came back again! No, no, no. Well, one more time and that’s it!

It’s a good thing I don’t read while laying on my stomach. If she had vaulted off of my full and generous bottom, she might have hit the wall and concussed herself.

I brought the “keeper” boxes, the things I thought I couldn’t live without, in from the garage. I’m going through them again with the goal of paring them down by half.

I found some little gift cards from many, many Christmases ago. I figured I’d donate them, since my family, friends and I don’t exchange gifts anymore. We’re all trying to live more simply and get rid of our clutter. But then No.2 Sis came up with a brilliant idea. Why not cut the backs off the little cards and mount them on a standard size card? Voila, easy peasy Christmas cards!

snowflake emboss Christmas cards GE DIGITAL CAMERA

I made a Stampin’ Up Very Vanilla base card. Then I embossed some Real Red card stock with a snowflake pattern and glued that onto the base card.  I mounted the little gift cards on the red card stock with SU dimensionals. I love how they turned out. I wish I was a better photographer, so you could love them too!

I’ll keep practicing 🙂

Stay tuned…

p.s. I linked this to Cozy Little House.

p.p.s. I also linked this to Tiny Sidekick.

p.p.s. I also linked this to Chic on a Shoestring.

p.p.p.s. I also linked this to Summer Scraps.