Monday, January 6, 2014


Happy Monday!!

ANY idea how thrilled I am that it's Monday??!!  Come on now ... you KNOW how I love my Mondays ... especially after 2 weeks of spending *quality time* with family!!!  I really do wish Hallmark would stop perpetuating the lie that is the pure love and joy of the Christmas Season *lol* - oh sure ... there ARE those times ... even DAYS where everyone is happy and feeling the love ... but there isn't a lot of mention of the reality of the REST of the time now, is there??  You moms out there know what I'm talking about ... the kids uttering "I'm bored ... can you take us to Toys R Us?" a mere 2 DAYS after Christmas (no lie ... they said that???!!!), or the fighting, the over sugared, underslept nastiness that ensues ... the cabin fever after being cooped up too long due to the -1,000,000 temperatures in Edmonton this month ... yep ... love my family to death ... but SOOOOOOOOO happy it's Monday!! 

So!  Although I've posted a few times here and there I really haven't had anything major to ramble about lately ... well, I HAVE ... I just haven't DONE it!  Why is that?  Because, as every January, I have been spending time kicking back, reflecting, trying to *get a grip* and to relax!  Relax.  A small word but a tough one for me.  Relax.  What does that even MEAN?  I haven't been what I would call relaxed in so long that I don't even recognize it anymore ... and I certainly don't know how to DO it very well ... until now.  I'm really going to examine this word and what it means for me over the next year.  Those of you who follow me ... and are my friend on FaceBook know what I'm talking about.  Each year I try to come up with ONE word that will drive my focus for the whole year.  It took me a week to come up with it this year ... and that word is "Relax".  I'm going to do my best to chill out ... not take everything so seriously ... have more fun ... enjoy the process ... smell the roses ... you get the idea.  I'm going to examine WHY I do the things I do and WHY I get so twisted about them ... and today's long rambling post is a good example of what I'm talking about.

I do a LOT of things because I have always done them.  I do a lot of things to compete with others.  I do a lot of things to compete with myself!! ... and it really is crazy ... and a lot of it has to stop or I will one day spontaneously combust.  There simply aren't enough hours in the day to keep doing everything I do .. and continue to do.  While I already know what my *Big Rocks* are ... and I've been much better at putting those Big Rocks in the jar first as the smaller rocks and sand always manage to fit in around them ... I want to (and WILL) start doing things more *on purpose* and *for fun* rather than *because I always have* or because I feel *I should*.

So!  Why do I blog ... and why do I post every project I have made in the last 3 years?  Because I like to share what I do with others, hoping to inspire them ... and I get a lot of fulfillment when others like what I share.  Now!  *They* say in order to have a successful blog you must blog consistently ... not necessarily every day but consistently.  OK ... I tried that ... but WHY?  Wht is a successful blog, anyway?  Have I ever made a dime off blogging?  Nope ... well ... I did sell (2) of my shoe tags for a grand total of $6.00 ... so I suppose I made $6 in 3 years ... oh sure, maybe one of my customers has seen a project I posted and purchased some of the items I used ... but has it propelled my business into outerspace?  No.  Do I want it to?  Sure! ... that would be nice ... but it's not why I do what I do ... so I'm going to let that go!  If course I will still blog ... but I won't stress if I haven't posted something in over a week ... it doesn't matter!!  And another thing!  I have to stop checking how many *hits* a project has received!  It drives me crazy!  Every day I check my stats ... and every month I hope to exceed my *hits* from the month before.  Why??  It adds rediculous pressure to my day for no reason!  I'm competing with myself and my own popularity.  WHAT??!!  Yep - I need to get a grip.

So!  Having said all that ... I DO have some projects to share ... to prove the above ramblings!!!

I hadn't REALLY made a card since November.  I hadn't spent any real *me* time in my craft room ... any project I worked on had a PURPOSE ... cards for the kids to give, treats for my club gals ... there was always a reason (and a deadline!) behind what I did.  So this weekend I went down to play with all my new toys from the new catty and SAB brochure.  I.  TOTALLY.  SUCKED.  I spent 6 HOURS down there and I just couldn't get anything going.  I sat, I played, I cursed, I threw away ... and I did it over and over and over ... and it was wonderful.  It took me 6 hours to unblock my blocks.  Do I like the projects.  Nope.  In fact I hate this one with a passion.  It took me 2 hours to come up with.  I'm sharing it because it made me realize something.  Here it is:
Yep - still hate it.  What I learned from it ... and after realizing I spent 2 HOURS on it (!!) was that I would have something I liked if I would have just done what I thought looked nice.  It was a white on white on white card ... the *hello* was stamped and cut into and arrow.  It was clean, simple and made me smile ... but I now realize I didn't think anyone ELSE would like it.  WHO CARES?  Why was I trying to make something someone ELSE would like??!!  WTH!!!  So I tried again ... and once again caught myself thinking others wouldn't like it ... but I kind of did ... it is kind of cool ... here it is:
 I used the funky paper that is from the free Sale-a-brations DSP (coming up January 28th) as my base.  It's a crazy busy pattern so I needed a clean and simple image.  I grabbed my new *Another Great Year* set from the catty, stamped it in Versamark, embossed it with white embossing powder and then colored the banner parts of the image with my black marker.  I used a mat of Pistachio Pudding and a strip of basic black to pull it together.  At first I wasn't sure it was *good enough* to use for my class tomorrow night.  I have since changed my mind.  I like this card and I think otherw will too.  Not every card has to have a million different components, embellishments and/or techniques ... sometimes simple is best - and EVERYONE needs a quick and easy card in their bag of tricks!

I was now inspired and felt like I was getting some of my mojo back to I pressed on.  I wanted to use my new "Blessed Easter" set from the new catty - the image is so bold I couldn't wait to ink it up in black Staz-on and color it.  Here is what I made:
 Yes!  Clean, simple and what I was in the mood for!  I only inked the flowers, careful not to ink the sentiment (that is all part of the same stamp).  I cut an oval out with my oval collection framelits and then colored the fowlers with my Real Red and Always Artichoke markers.  I used my finger dauber with black ink to shadow the edge of the oval and popped the whole thing up on dimensionals/  The sentiment is from "Four You" (page 22 of the main catty) - inked in black Staz-on and popped up on a demensional after making a dove tail.  Oh - and of course the background was made using the embossing folder Pretty Prints from the holiday catty that just retired (Oh dear ... just realized it wasn't carried over - so I guess that one is now retired :( )

Right!  I was now on a bit of a roll for creating (and had completely lost sight of my desk under the aftermath of 4 hours!!)  Next I WANTED to created a card for my Technique Class using the *Kissing Technique*.  Now this time I wasn't stressing about my technique.  MOST months I am scrambling to come up with some fabulous technique and project to WOW my gals with.  This time it was different.  I figured *if I don't have a specific technique per se we'll just do 3 projects that are fun!  Nobody dies; nobody loses a limb* (which, btw is the phrase I have used for many MANY years to help me decided if something is worth worrying about!).  I spent the next TWO hours just PLAYING ... and enjoying the PROCESS of playing - I wasn't worried that I didn't have *it* within 20 minutes ... I played and played and played and played ... and came up with something that I love ...

Now this isn't what I would call my usual *style* ... but to be honest I have no idea what my *style* is!  It really does depend on the day and my mood.  My *style* really is anything and everything - some days clean and simple - some days crazy busy and over-the-top (wait until you see one of my projects coming up!!!)  This one just totally fit how I was feeling ... on a Saturday night ... at 11:45 pm (WAAAAAY past my bedtime!)  I used my new set "Simple Stems" from the new catty - which coordinates with the Secret Garden Framelits (which I didn't think I had ... but I should have know better!!!)  The flower image is actually a SOLID image ... but I got the chevron pattern by inking the chevron stamp from "Oh Hello" (page 34 of the main catty) in Island Indigo ink and then *kissing* the stamps together ... the chevron pattern is transferred to the flower stamp ... which was then stamped on whisper white and punched out with the framelit.  The rest of the card took the 2 hours to come together.  I WANTED THAT FLOWER ... but it took a heck of a lot of playing to make it work.  I ended up on my Pinterest board and found a card made by  Mandy over at ... her is her card that inspired me:
I just loved the simplicity of it ... it reminded me of some of the cards I saw 8 years ago when I first started stamping ... I decided to follow her basic layout.  Here is mine again:
The Island Indigo background was embossed with the Chevron embossing folder.  I used some of the new yummy Chevron Ribbon, the new Petite Petals punch (with Crumb Cakse and whisper white card stock) and then aded one of the new Basic Metal buttons to the centre (using a glue dot to adhere).  I stamped the sentiment from the hostess set "Express Yourself" in crumb cake.  It needed just a little something more .. so I grabbed my Linen Thread and made 3 loops ... I attached them together with a glue dot and tucked it behind the flower.  Perfect!  I was giddy once again :)  I went to bed feeling good ... and refreshed ... and inspired ... and more grounded.  Yep.  It's going to be a good year - a more focused year - a more relaxed year :)

Thanks for reading my loooooong ramblings this afternoon.  I make no apologies for the length.  Again *they* say blog posts should be short .. and should have a picture near the top so people don't have to scroll down so you keep there interest.  I say *meh* read it or don't - scroll or don't.  Yes - I blog hop a lot and pop in and out quickly to check out projects ... but the blogs I enjoy the most are the ones where people share themselves, their lives and their thoughts with their readers.  That's what I do.  I *hope* you enjoy it - but really - I do it for me ... and that's what's important, right?

Pop in again soon to see some REALLY crazy stuff I came up with on Sunday.  Until then ... have a relaxed, stampy day :)


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