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This blog is dedicated to stamping, tips, musings, and whatever I want to post.

Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Bright Little Owl!



I love this Pink Cat owl set. The background paper is Mind's Eye, I think. I used the Nesties Label 1 set for the layers and stamped the second layer and sponged the first while it was still in the die. Colored with Copics.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Winter Bird



Image is Inkadinkado. The ribbon came from a box of chocolates I got for Christmas.

Little Leftover Owl!



Kim Hughes CHF Owl on Cosmo Cricket paper.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Thumbs Up

Thumbs up for Cut At Home. I used my 40% off VIP coupon late Friday night and they are here already! Unbelievable. Best price I have found on the Bird Dies and fastest service ever!

Snow is Glistening



Cuttlebug die cut flake covered with Stickles on Basic Grey Figgy cut with Nesties!

Let it Snow? Let it Stop!



Our several feet of snow is almost gone and it has been pouring rain all morning. I have had enough of the beautiful white stuff for this winter.

Sentiment is from Cosmo Cricket paper and it matches the SU ribbon exactly. I added Stickles to the premade snowflake. Background stamped in sage on vanilla.

Paper Source and Penguin



The red background is Paper Source. All images are Hero Arts including the flourish. The tag the penguin is on is a Nestability die that also embosses.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Gingerbread on Ticking



Ticking background by CHF. I did the "rick rack" with Nesties. Main image source unknown.

Something Came in My Mail Yesterday



I cannot get past Christmas because these Retro CD's arrived in my mail yesterday from Peggy Loves Vintage (click title to go to the site). This card is made from an image from the Vintage Santa CD and so far that is my favorite CD full of hundreds of great images. I can't wait to have time to go through the Valentine CD!

Peggy is amazing to work with, helps every step of the way (I a computer dummy), but honestly, anyone can use these! Check out her site and you will have so much fun seeing the possiblities!!

So--here I am back at Christmas again!

Saturday, December 27, 2008

This Was My Beautiful Christmas/Winter Scene Yesterday



Don't you just love the lights and the snow? Today we got a chinook with rain, wind, and much, much melting. Our 3-4 feet of snow will be gone in another day. This picture was just so Christmasy that I had to share!

This is too funny!

Click on the title of this post for one of Joan's funny stamping adventures and to hear what Kurtis (Stampin' Kub) did for her. My kind of guy!

I'm Melting----



Chinook here and rain on top of it. All our beautiful snow is going, going---

This is a CTMH Snowman and the words are done with my Just Rite Rectangle block.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Don't You Think This is a Good Day for a Card Like This?



We are pretty well snowed in here and this works for me!

Thursday, December 25, 2008

CASED Red Bird



I am pretty sure I CASED this but lost the source. If anyone knows it, please let me know and I will add that information here.
The bird is done with the Cricut.

Santa Collage



Santa Collage with Wassail Paper and CHF vintage sign stamp.

Cuttlebug Die Cut Ornaments

Hero Arts Christmas Owls.

SU Reindeer

Holiday Treasures



Love this paper. Image by Inkadinkado. Ribbon by Papertrey.

Vintage Christmas




Merry Christmas everyone!

Paper is Basic Grey and this wonderful retro ornament is from a retro stamp set by Firecracker Designs. Sentiment is done with Just Rite stamps.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

I'm Dreaming of a White Christmas



We have over 3 feet of snow and more coming. I have always loved white Christmas's and rarely get one here. I am enjoying it very much.

Merry Christmas!

Blogger or my Server! Arghhh!

I have been trying for hours to upload with no success. Will try more later. I think it is my server. It is so slow today.

Simple Santa Collage

Little Dying Child Wishes for Cards

This little girl wanted to see how many cards she could get for Christmas and I am sure a few days after will bring no less joy if we send her some now. She is 5 years old and is dying. Her mother died of cancer 2 years ago. This family has been through horrible things. If you cannot send a card, please send your prayers. Click the title of this link for the story and proof that this is not a hoax.

Adding Lots of Christmas Cards Today---



---- if blogger cooperates. I have about 15 to show you.

Merry Christmas Owl Trio



All stamps by Hero Arts.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

If You Love Glitter---



you need to pick up some of this self-adhesive pre-glittered Fun Foam at Walmart. You get many colors in one package. This ornament was done with a Cuttlebug die and attached to Kraft after using a foam stamp to emboss the "hanger" on top.

A Thumbs Up for Papertrey

I received my order today. It took forever due to the fact that they did not deliver mail here for the better part of a week due to our weather.

I was so pleased at their packaging of the Raspberry cardstock I bought. The wrapped the corners in corrugated cardboard protectors and it was perfect even though it slid around in the big box. Also, their adhesive sheets are much cheaper than the Avery sheets I have been purchasing to make labels for my CD cases. The acrylic blocks I ordered for a friend came in the cutest little drawstring bags.

Good job, Papertrey!

A Red and Gray Christmas



I love these colors together. Background is by Impress and the red image is by Inkadinkado. The embossed tag is done with a Nesties tag that I just love.

Retro 50's Santa



Santa is a stamp I got at Walmart as part of a Christmas set of clear stamps. The snowflake was done with a cuttlebug die and then embossed. The Jolly Bingo card was one I purchased at a stamp store. The background is one of my favorites. I think it is called Ticking and is from Cornish Heritage.

If anyone knows where to find that red ribbon, let me know. I would love to stock up on it.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Snow Shoveling, Card Making, and School Teaching

What do those 3 topics have to do with one another? Well, I just figured it out this morning while shoveling snow for 3 hours straight. Besides the fact that I love doing all 3 of the activities in the title of this post, I discovered a far more profound commonality that just may be the core of my basic philosophy of life. Bet you did not know shoveling was such a mentally stimulating activity!

I love to shovel. I grew up in Eastern Montana and the winters were ferocious in the 60's when I lived there. For some reason I developed a love of shoveling snow. There is something that really clears the cobwebs from your mind when you are out in 15 degree weather, crisp air, with snow falling all around while physically working up a sweat. Since moving to SE WA in the mid-70's I rarely get a chance to really indulge in this kind of fun. I work full time and we just don't often get much snow. Since my last day of school was Thursday and snow has been falling almost constantly since then, I am getting a real work out.

This morning after 3 straight hours of shoveling, my husband drove up with the tractor (we live out in the country) and began hauling away "my" snow. I was incredulous that he did this without asking. He just started leveling the driveway and hauling bucket loads. After I got over my shock I waved him down to stop messing with my snow. In true male fashion, he was just trying to help. After all, the goal was snow removal, was it not? Nope, not for me. I know our tractor can do in minutes what will take me hours and hours to do, but I want to do it myself. There is huge satisfaction in it and I get lots of thinking done with headphones with Christmas music playing as I shovel and shovel and shovel. It is a combination of physical sensations with the weather and the work, as well as satisfaction of seeing each shovel full of snow placed where I want it. This may make me seem like a simpleton who is very easily amused and should be working in some factory line doing the same thing over and over and if so, well---

The connection to cardmaking? With what I have put into my craft room and supplies I could probably buy a Hallmark store full of cards. Why would I go to so much work and effort? Why not just buy them and save all that work, planning, and organizing? Why not just get it done the most efficient way? Why not just buy the cards and for that matter, why not use the tractor in the driveway? If you haven't figure it out yet, give me just a bit more of your time.

Truly, I am an organized person who enjoys efficiency when that is the goal or when I really don't want to spend lots of time and energy on something that doesn't matter that much to me or that simply has to be done with time constraints.

When I was growing up, the neighbors had no dishwasher and I remember asking if I could wash their dishes after I had meals with them. The kids in the family, who hated this chore, thought I was crazy, but I loved talking to the mom as we washed dishes together. I loved the warm water, playing in the suds, getting the dishes all shiny, and just the feeling of slowly and methodically doing something while enjoying the peacefulness of the activity.

What does this all have to do with my teaching in a juvenile jail? I figured that out this morning. I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE being able to take my time and really immersing myself in activities with the kids to the point that we are simply loving the learning without worrying about anything else. We do not grade anything. Yes, we correct some things, but we keep no grades at all and for these children who have experienced little but school failure and red pen marks, it is a very freeing thing to learn simply because we enjoy the process. We are not frantically trying to make these children into products who can pass standardized tests for the purpose of keeping a district's percentages in a certain range. It is not about scores, grades, tests, money, or keeping people at the top happy. It is about learning. Learning for the pure joy of learning.

This week we read Jack London's "To Build a Fire". It is a story that cannot be rushed. It must be savored. You must allow yourself to be with the man and his dog to truly appreciate it. You could have heard a pin drop and seen the children shiver when the temperature in the story dropped to lower than 75 degrees below zero. We had no goal but to enjoy the story. We stopped every so often and talked about our own experiences with snow, cold, fear, and dogs in the winter. I heard audible sighs when it became clear how the story would end. I saw looks in faces who had been transported by a story, maybe for the first time. Many of my children are very poor readers and reading has been presented to many of them as a goal in order to pass tests and to earn credits. For many of them, being asked to open a book is a traumatic experience because they feel forced to produce. It is a very new concept for some of them that reading takes you places and gives richness to their lives. If I accomplish nothing else there but helping them get a taste of this, I have done my job.

Last week we did the same thing with O. Henry's "The Gift of the Magi". They then talked about what they would sacrifice for someone they loved. When we started, these kids with criminal histories, gang membership, behavioral disorders, mental health problems, and even mental retardation were not sure that a story written in 1906 was worth their time. The words looked big to them and certainly the language was not words they were familiar with, but before long they were immersed. The characters, James and Della, became real to them. Again I saw that look in the eyes of several as if a miracle had been opened up for them. As risky as it was in this tough peer group, several asked whether we could do some more "old-school" stories.

In my classroom, we do lots of art. We made Christmas gifts and cards and the most beautiful paper snowflakes you have ever seen. We decorated a tree. We listen to Christmas music and we learned the parts of a story by watching the animated Grinch cartoon and figuring out how the characters were developed and the parts of the plot that built to a climax and then a resolution. How could learning be this much fun? I get asked by kids all the time if this is "real school" and if so, can they stay and go to school in our classroom for the rest of the year.

Many schools these days no longer have time for exchanging Valentine's, singing Rudolph, being read to, having recess, or doing any types of activities that are not directly related to THE TEST! Some teachers are forbidden from decorating candles for gifts, painting Christmas ornaments for the pure joy, or from responding to restlessness by taking the whole class out for a game of tag. It is all about the most efficient way to get kids to pass tests, which many of the students don't even understand the relevance of. It appears that Piaget's discoveries about how children learn and how things need to be developmentally appropriate have been forgotten in the race to plug those facts into the little brains.

For me something is lost when we become about making everything look or perform the most efficient way in the shortest order possible. When we take the pleasure out and it becomes all business, only then do some believe academic time is being used properly. If there is too much laughing and smiling going on there must be just playing and wasting time going on.
When the goal is the end result we look at and the joy of getting there is not longer considered, I believe we have lost something very important as we indoctrinate children into the adult rat race from the moment they hit pre-school.

I have been watching old Walton episodes and I am reminded that much of character is built when doing things we enjoy or that make us feel creative as well as competent. Chopping wood can be healing and stringing popcorn for a tree can be educational. Social skills can be learned as we do these activities together. Our society has seemed to have forgotten that we are human beings and we do not have to spend every moment as human doings. Or that the "doing" can be pleasurable and not necessarily all about the best results in the most pressured amount of time possible.

I long for the days of Valentine exchanges, Teddy Bear picnics, classroom singing and Christmas pageants, and children being read to with no other goal but to impart a joy for learning for all children. It is sad that juvenile jail is one of the few places some kids can get this experience. What a wonder to have children look up and say "Isn't this just cozy and peaceful in here, teacher?"

So, I will continue to spend hours making hand made cards, not for the result, but for the process. I will continue to shovel and the tractor had better stay away. And---I will continue to teach the whole child for the pure joy of learning and not for numbers on a bubble test form.

Santa Collage



Santa Collage on Basic Grey papers. I used Nesties Label One set, also.

Wassail Trees



Paper by Basic Grey, stamps by CHF and SU.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Rudolph with Your Nose So Bright



Another Hero Arts stamp. This is a quick and easy card using Nestabilities, Cuttlebug borders, and Stickles.

One of My Favorite Christmas Cards



I just love pink and red together. The holly is Penny Black and the Santa is Papertrey.

The North Pole



Main image: A Muse
Swirls: Hero Arts
Red Candy Cane Paper: Paper Source

Just Rite and Hero Arts Penguin



Background is an Impress stamp that has become one of my favorites.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Cased Card--HA Froggie



Not sure where I saw a card similar to this, but I am pretty sure I saw something similar somewhere. All stamps by Hero Arts and ribbon by Papertrey.

Crafty Secrets Winter Card



I love this CS image. I used my Just Rite letters and my Nesties to do the circles. Stickles and Copics were used to decorate. The background stamp is one from Impress and is so popular they can hardly keep it in stock. I just love it and it will be one of my most used backgrounds.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Retro Christmas, Valentine's, etc.

Click on the title of this post to go to the most awesome vintage image CD's ever. I have been emailing with Sherri, Peggy's sister this morning and she has been so helpful.

As some of you know, I have been hot on the trail of vintage images from the 40's through the 60's and I hit the jackpot with this site. Check it out!!

Wooly Mitten Company Vintage Sign



The sign is from CHF Vintage Signs set. I just love that set. Not sure on the source of hat and mitten stamps. Background is Cuttlebugged on SU Close to Cocoa and then brayered with white. Ribbon is Papertrey. Background behind images is SU's Aida Cloth.

Scalloped Tree Tag



Background is by A Muse. The little tree is done by cutting up round scallop punched circles and layer. I added Liquid Pearls for ornaments and sponged the edges.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Unbelievable Paper Ornament

Click the title of this post and you will be blown away by a paper Christmas Ornament. That link also takes you to the directions to do one.

Valentine and Easter Cards on Blogs in Dec?

I am amazed to see so many Valentine and this morning even some Easter cards on blogs. I just want you to know that the cards you have seen on THIS blog for the last few weeks and for the coming couple of weeks are really NEXT year's Christmas and winter and snowflake cards, LOL!

Fuzzy Collared Christmas Robe



I sent these to my sisters last week. The colors of the MFT robe are done with white Fun Flock and I love the outcome. The robes are paper pieced. Sentiment by Papertrey.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Fried Snowflakes

Fold a large tortilla and cut like you would a paper snowflake. Fry in oil. Cool and sprinkle with powdered sugar.

Check Out This AMAZING Blog!

This woman really knows how to make dazzling things! Click the title of this post to see the goodies.

Wassail (Basic Grey) Trees



This is a quick and easy card. Just cut the trees from the paper and then choose a coordinating background paper. Sentiment is Papertrey. I just love the colors found in this series.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Holiday Treasures



Stamp and paper by SU. I just love this color combination and this paper is so easy to work with. Almost any combination looks great! Ribbon by Papertrey.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Make Your Own Clear Stickers!

Oh, Vicki, I love you! This is such a cool idea and the results are amazing. This is so easy anyone can do it. Click the title of this post and it will take you to Vicki Chrisman's blog where she shows how to do this.

Elegant Snowflake



This card is cased, from many similar ones like it I have seen in my blog surfing. There really is not one person to credit but I think I saw Sue Nelson's white on white Cuttlebug cards first. The snowflake die is also Cuttlebug.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Thumbs Up and a Wishy Washy One

Thumbs up for Firecracker Designs. I found some lovely very 50's retro stamps of Christmas Ornaments there. They are good quality stamps. I had them in just under 3 business days for only $2.50 for shipping. Communication was good. We had a little mix up but within a couple of hours of emailing Pamela had it all fixed and was so very nice about it. These stamps just thrill me because they are exact replicas of ornaments we had as children.

Thumbs---well, hmmmm, for Flourishes. I ordered the night before their sale as soon as they opened for selling. I forgot an item and emailed and they said no problem. They told me to order the other one and and they would combine the shipping and then refund me for the second shipping charge. I did not get the refund for close to 2 weeks and finally emailed. They then took care of it as they had "forgotten". They took care of it right away when I brought it to their attention. The package though, shipped parcel post (sigh) for $6 and took 2 weeks to arrive. For $6, they could have EASILY shipped this small package for flat rate priority for around $5, but they instead sent it the cheapest and slowest way even though I did not get free shipping (could kind of understand that but I think they should be up front if it is free shipping). I got really impatient and emailed them and asked very direct questions about the parcel post and why it came that way when I paid hefty shipping. They answered the part about my refund, but very carefully said not a word about their shipping issue. I was not happy. Stamps arrived in good shape and I am happy with that, but if you see my earlier post today you will see how I feel about the shipping issue.

A Little Vent About Shipping Charges/Methods

With shipping charges varying so much, I can see why it is hard for a company or a seller to accurately figure shipping. Additionally if you have to find a box, packing materials, or a bubble envelope, there is a cost over actual shipping and I don't resent that a bit.

When I sell items, I have a terrible time figuring out how much to charge for shipping, so I estimate to the best of my ability, allow a little for packaging materials and do the best I can. If you buy from me, I take the package directly to the post office and then send it the fastest way possible while still staying close to the price I charged you for shipping--about 50% of the time I lose a bit of my profit and about 50% of the time I make a little bit over--not much and not intentionally. Often they tell me at the Post Office that first class will get there in almost the same time as priority based on where it is going to. I only charge parcel post for packages that are much more expensive than I anticipated or for those I purposely charged low shipping because they were heavy and would have cost the buyer a lot. A buyer can always request faster shipping if they are willing to pay the additional difference.

My gripe is with companies that will charge $6 or $7 or higher to ship a small packet and then ship it via parcel post causing it to take 2-3 weeks to get to me particularly if I live across the US from them. When the packet is a small bubble envelope and they pay $1.17 to send it on the "slow boat" it tells me their goal is to make money off the shipping. I resent that. I would rather pay a reasonable price for the stamps than to have them present me with a "deal" and then make up the money by shipping it the slowest way possible.

I guess this irks me a bit more at holiday season when time can be of the essence. I don't think it is PMS, LOL!

I want to thank those companies that take this into account and at least are up front or offer options. I think if they were just honest and a person knew what to expect, there would be less of this feeling like they are trying to make a profit off the shipping while making it look like they are offering great sale prices.

A Sledding Penguin?



Main image from MFT. I used Dew Drops to embellish the top punched border.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Jacki's Glue Glider versus ATG Comparison

Click on the title of this thread to go to my friend Jacki's post on the comparison of these 2 products. Her conclusion is right on, if you ask me. While you are there, wander around this luscious blog for idea after idea.

Frosty Chapel in Blue and Silver



This is a favorite retired SU stamp done in blue and then embossed with Judikins Kaliedascope powder. The background is the new Ornate Swirl from Impress that I just love and am using on so many things. The flowers are tinted with Shimmerz.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Chilly Little Owl



Stamps from Pink Poison. The background is Bling paper run through the Cuttlebug. Ribbon by Papertrey.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Just Rite Snowman on Argyle



Snowman is CTMH, background is Cuttlebug Smoosh technique, and the sentiment is Just Rite.

Candy Window



I have been having fun with these Vintage Sign stamps from Cornish Heritage. I thought I had posted this one, but cannot find it so I guess I missed it. It is covered with acetate stamped with snowflakes in Stazon.

Personal Issue

I usually don't share personal issues on this blog but I am doing it today for a reason. 5 years ago when my husband was 49, he was diagnosed with Early Onset Parkinson's (what Michael J. Fox has). The disease has progressed to the point where he has a lot of pain--much more common in young people with PD. We have decided, with the urging of his doctor, to have the Deep Brain Surgery, possibly as early as next month.

The reason I am sharing this is that I am interested in any readers who have had family members or close friends who have had this surgery in the last 5-6 years (many changes have happened in the surgery since 2000) to share with me their experiences by emailing me at rubyslippers@neofast.net.

We have an outstanding doctor and an outstanding surgeon in Seattle and people to stay with while we undergo the 2 surgeries required and some of the follow up. We have been told the risk is around 5% but that our surgeon has never had a serious outcome with big problems. What has been your experience?

Also, prayers are greatly appreciated as we face this, get our affairs and will in order, and do what needs to be done in preparation. Our anxiety is at a reasonable level most of the time, but every now and then I get a real knot in my stomach and have a few moments of fear.

Gingerbread Man



Source unknown on the main image. The sentiment is Just Rite and the ribbon is from Papertrey. The background paper is some I bought years ago.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Happy Birthday, Diana, Happy Birthday to You!



Today is my baby sister's birthday and I am hoping she will see this!

Monday, December 8, 2008

Papertrey Blizzard in Blue

Nestie Label Card



Image is by Inkadinkado, tree from tree ribbon at Impress, red ribbon is Papertrey.

Directions for Pop-Up Cards

Click the title of this post for directions for pop-up cards.

50% off Just Rite Christmas Stamps

Click the link of this post and you will be at Joan's site where she is offering a limited number of Just Rite Christmas stamps at half price. I already have this set and it is a fun one!

Just About the Coolest Paper Site I Have Ever Seen

Click the title of this post to go to a place that is going to occupy you for a long time. SO many wonderful ideas!

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Gifts for Co-Workers



I will have it all covered by the end of the day! Here are a few samples.