Sunday, April 30, 2017

Embrace … and Mr. Dan Update

Happy Sunday!

I'm thrilled to report … I MADE IT!  I made it to April 29th and am (somewhat) still on one piece!  Seriously!  WHY, when I see a blank space on my calendar, do I feel this need to fill it?  WHY do I feel this need to fill it with something epic?  Not a half hour project, like cleaning the bathroom … no I need to say 'Hey!  I know!  Why don't I offer to make 210 cards in a two week period … in ADDITION to the other life things that take time??


Cause I kinda love it.

Oh sure … I'll bitch about it as I'm doing it … but I really do love the chaos, the stress and the focus that it brings.  I don't know why I have to have soul-breaking pressure to actually get things done but I do.  It truly does give me focus on what I need to do for the day (and a very good reason to put on pants! *lol*)

Just ONE of the things on my to-do-list for the last two weeks was, indeed, to make 210 cards.  Yes, this was purely of my own doing - no one asked me to.  No one expected me to.  No one even suggested it to me.  I just couldn't resist.

Have you ever heard of the documentary called "Embrace"?  I had.  Check out the trailer ...


I saw this trailer last year and wanted to see it.  I thought it was a regular movie in regular theatres but it isn't and wasn't.  Fast forward to a few weeks ago.  I saw in my Facebook feed that a local St. Albert business, Sweet Boutique, was sponsoring a movie screening of the documentary.  I immediately got tickets for myself and a few of my friends.  As a bonus I found out the ticket were only $10 ... and that the proceeds from the event are going to the Eating Disorder Support Network.  THEN I found out you could purchase a $25 ticket and get a swag bag that would include a pair of the lovely Sweet Legs leggings.  Well!  Given that the leggings sell for $25 I was all over THAT deal.

The event was an instant hit and the 90 available tickets sold out in just 40 hours.

I couldn't stop thinking about the event ... and my own body image issues ... and how fabulous it was that Laura (Sweet Boutique owner) was putting on this event to help other women.  When something like this touches me I want to DO something!  I immediately thought "I want to contribute".  I wanted to contribute handmade cards to the swag bags.  I didn't want to do it as a marketing ploy.  I didn't want to do it expecting anything in return.  I just wanted to contribute ... and cards are one of my favorite ways to do that.

Here are the cards I made ...
I just love them.

This Beautiful You set is not one that originally "wanted" to buy.  It's one I knew I "should" by.  I recognized the great art work and that it would appeal to many for a pretty, feminine card.  I bought it.  I used it.  I fell in love with it.  I dunno - it just seems to empower, somehow.  Who wouldn't like to receive a card that calls them beautiful?  Who doesn't feel "lighter" seeing the image of the lady in yellow?  Who doesn't relate to the feelings of the lady in blue?  I knew this was the set I wanted to use.

I contacted Laura and asked if I could contribute to the swag bags and I was over the MOON when she said yes!  70 people had purchased the swag bag tickets ... 7 bags x 3 cards per bag = 210 cards.  I ordered 10 packages of the Notecards and envelopes and I was good to go!

The whole process was really quite painless.  My back doesn't like when I stamp for more than a few hours at a time so I just broke it down.  I'd stamp all 70 ladies and sentiments for one design one session ... then stamp/color them the next and so on.  It only took 6 session to actually complete all of the cards ...
THAT was the easy part.  It took me a bit of brainstorming to figure out how I wanted to package them all.  Long story short I *may* have squealed when I stumbled across my stash of long retired cello bags.  I had about 85 of them.  PERFECT!  I wanted to jazz them up a bit ... and stumbled across my stash of paper doilies.  PERFECT!  Needed to secure them shut somehow ... and stumbled across my stash of binder clips.  PERECT!  Hmmmm one last thing ... I wanted the word "embrace".  I remembered I had a stamp set with the word ... alas ... I guess I sold it.  Sigh.  No worries!  I found my newest alphabet set and made my own word.  Here is the end result ...
Stamping on doilies is a little tricky.  They are slightly glossy and the stamp sometimes slides a bit.  Our classic inks don't dry very quickly but I found the Archival Basic Black does ... so that's what I used.  Some of the letters did bleed a little due to overinking but I do love the overall "organic" feel.

Here are all 70 done and ready to go ...
I was thrilled to have them completed and dropped off Friday morning.  It was a labour of love and I truly hope the recipients love them as much as I do.  We DO need to embrace our bodies more.  I can't WAIT for the event (next weekend).

Now ... speaking of wanting to DO something when a story touches me ... how about a Mr. Dan update?

Monday I went to the mailbox on the way to pick up Koda from the hospital (that's ANOTHER story and part of the *fun* that was the month of April!).  I was THRILLED to be getting my White Shadow back ... and then... when I opened my mailbox ... the day got 10 times BETTER ...
A letter from Mr. Dan!!!!  I knew right away it was one of the cards my friends and I made him .. you can see the hot air balloon through the envelope *lol*

A lovely, LOVELY note written to thank us for the cards and to assure us he would use them all.

Yes ... stories move me.  They move me to act.  Acting brings me so much joy.  I just love what I do.  It makes a difference and it matters.

That's all.

Have yourself an amazing, stampy day My Friends.



Monday, April 24, 2017

Life is getting in the way!

Happy Monday!

Seriously!  Almost 2 WEEKS since I posted??!!  If I had time I would tell you all about what's been going on around here lately … but I obviously DON'T have time or I would have been posting! *lol*.

I'll just hit a few hi-lights …

  • Craig loves his new car … and my Mom loves her new (our old) car
  • Calgary was great and I'm ITCHING to order all the sets in the new catalogue … but first have to purge all my old sets :(
  • No matter how old the kids are they still love decorating eggs … and Scavenger Hunts ...
  • I'm finding some great treasures cleaning out Dad's basement
  • Both girls inherited their mother's eyesight (or lack thereof)
  • West Edmonton Mall (2nd largest mall in the world) with (8) 14 years olds on a Saturday should never be attempted.  Ever.  EVER!
  • Koda is back from the doggie hospital and good-as-new
  • 210 cards are completed, just need to be packaged
Those are just the hi-lights!  Throw in the usual day-to-day stuff like laundry, groceries and feeding my people … science projects, volunteering, hockey games and … well … you get the picture!

I'll share a few pics … but no time for details!  For the up-to-the-minute projects (and shenanigans!) I'm up to you want to follow my business Facebook Page "Tamara's Paper Trail".  I post there much more frequently (as it's quick, easy and I can do it from my phone).  

Here are a few pics from the last few weeks to peak your interest.

Until I have time for a details post, have a stampy night!


Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Nailed It!

Happy Wednesday!

Holy COW has this week been a crazy CRAZY busy week!!!  Got up at 5:00 am just to try to squeeze a little more into the day!!

Why so busy?  Three words.  Retiring.  Product.  List.  Seriously.  It somehow got off my radar that the Retiring Product List was coming down the pipe and being posted Monday, April 10th.  In my head it was May 1st .. one month before the new catalogue goes into effect.  I also seem to have repressed the chaos that ensues every year when said list DOES get published.  Just so happens that the day the list is published is also the day Demonstrators all over North America are able to access the new catalogue on line.  Hmmmm so HOW many thousands of us are trying to access the list and/or the new catalogue at the exact same time?  HOW many of us are trying to place orders to scoop deals on retiring rhinestones, ribbon and reinkers?  Enough to throw the day into total "ACK!" mode resulting in toast (burnt at that!) for dinner *lol*.

What added to me PERSONAL chaos was the fact that I was in Calgary all weekend for the On Stage event.  That's a demonstrator event that brings hundreds of us from around the West together to get some training, some stamping, some laughs, and a peek at the new catalogue!!  As a perk for attending we also get to pre-order select items (which of course we all HAVE to have!) … but we had to order them by last night … so add in trying to juggle everything AND shop for new toys.  Well … you get the picture!  For the third time in 11 years I actually cancelled my class last night as I still haven't designed the projects yet!

It's "all good", though.  Keeps me from being bored and tolling through the pantry for snacks for sure!  *lol*.

Why am I rambling on instead of getting to work?  I REALLY wanted to keep you in the loop, share my Calgary Swap card and give you a quick Mr. Dan update!

First my card …
I.  Love.  This.  Bundle!

I'm sad (and quite surprised!) that it is one of the items on the retiring list!  It is a "keeper" for SURE!  As you can see from the sentiment "Thanks for always building me up" that it doesn't have to be used on a masculine card.  It's for anyone.  Just Google it and see all the varieties of cards made with it!

Quick aside … The retiring list can be accessed *** here *** and items are going FAST!  Faster than I've seen them go ever before!!  Stamp sets aren't going to sell out for a while (you will be guaranteed to get what you want up until about the third week of May) … but everything else (framelits, ribbon, embellishments, accessories) are ONLY WHILE SUPPLIES LAST!!  If there is something you want you need to order it NOW, if it isn't already too late!  Canadian shoppers can place your order *** here *** to be shipped directly to your door.  Use Hostess code 6A3AJVBD for orders under $200 and receive a Thank You gift in the mail from me :)

We now return you to our previously scheduled post ...

Back to our card …
This was SO fun to play with!  Lets see now … what dimensions did I use ...

Base - Very Vanilla 8 1/2" x 5 1/2"
Layer - Sahara Sand 4 3/4" x 3 1/2"
Layer - Very Vanilla 4 1/2" x 3 1/4"

Woodgrain Stamp (retiring!) - stamped with Sahara Sand and stamped on the vanilla layer
Nailed It Bundle (retiring!) - stamped the hammer and saw with Basic Black Ink on Smoky Slate card stock, punched out with the framelits then coloured the saw handle with Crumb Cake marker and the hammer handle with the Basic Gray and Basic Black water-colour pencils!  I then used my Clear Wink Of Stella to bling up the saw blade and hammer head.
The sentiments is stamped in black on Saraha Sand card stock and punched out with one of the framelits in the set (sentiment is also in the set).  I LOVE how the shape punches AND scores a little rim around the shape!!  I added one of the FAB Urban Underground Embellishments (retiring!!) as an accent and popped the whole thing up on dimensionals.

Now .. the little strip of wood behind the tools.  How fun is THAT!  Yes, it is a real strip of super small wood!  When I was purging my room a few weeks ago I found my stash of wood business cards that I bought at Lee Valley Tools a few years back.  They were PERFECT for this card!!  They are thin enough to cut with my Paper Trimmer (at 1" thick) and I cut a slit very easily with my paper snips for the saw to slide into.  Love love LOVE!  I stamped the nails on it in Basic Grey.  It stamps easily but the image does blur/bleed a little so be warned.

While I was creating my swap I wanted to be able to find something that would work to turn it into a Fathers Day card.  Mission accomplished ...
The "Father's Day" is from Thoughtful Banners ($44.50) …
… and the "Happy" is from Birthday Bright (retiring!) - and it's on sale for $22.10!
This set was designed to work with one of our kits.  I didn't buy the kit but I LOVE this set!  I'm sad it's retiring - it is one of my favourite birthday sets.  It's in the "keep" file!

Now …. a quick update on Mr. Dan.

If you have followed me for a while you will remember I posted the story of Mr. Dan March 14th.  Click here to see that post (have the Kleenex ready!)

Well!  Fast forward to last Friday.  My phone was dinging while I was driving.  Being a good girl I didn't check my messages until we pulled into the hotel parking lot in Calgary.  It was my friend Candice.  She was telling me to "GET ON FACEBOOK ALREADY".  I asked what the rush was … "MR. DAN GOT THE CARDS!!!" was her reply.  Well!  My co-pilot and I spent the next 10 minutes trolling through Facebook and the replies/comments everyone was making.  In fact hotel security *may* have driven by a few times to see what all the squealing was about *lol*.

Check.  It.  Out.

Lookie!  That box in front of little Marigold is the one we sent him!
 Well!  To say we were all thrilled is a gross understatement!

But WAIT!  It gets better!

So Monday I walk Koda and the whole day explodes due to the aforementioned Retiring Product List (look at ME using super big words on so little sleep!!) … and I notice about 2 hours later I have a phone message on my landline (yes, some of us DO still have landlines *lol*)  The caller ID is "unknown name" - I retrieve it and believe it is a telemarketer or fundraiser … until the voice says "This is Dan Peterson".  Oh.  Em.  Gee.  You would think I just had a phone call from ** insert name of your favourite actor or rock star here (Tom Hanks btw).  My jaw just fell open in total disbelief.  He thanked me and my "ladies" for the cards and blessed us.  Oh.  My.  Heart.  He is SUCH a gentleman.  I just can't get enough of the pure joy that surrounds this story.

Sigh.  Now I'm all smiley and warm inside (again).  That's the effect Mr. Dan has on this gal!

So off I go to prep 110 wedding invites … and design cards for class tomorrow … and walk the dog … and he'd to Mom and Dad's (for our scheduled weekly playdate … just like Mr. Dan and Norah do!) … and make dinner … and pick up the kids … and take Rebecca for new runners … and on and on and on …

All good.  I've got this!

Have yourself a stampy day!


Monday, April 10, 2017


Happy Monday!

No time to chat … see the list of retiring products from the 2017 Catalogue ****  here ****

Canadian customers - shop my online store *** here *** and enter hostess code 6A3AJVBD (for orders under $200) and receive a Thank You gift on the mail from me!

Remember TODAY is also the last day to order the EXCLUSIVE April Paper Pumpkin Kit - designed by CEO Sara Douglas and with a FREE GIFT INSIDE!!

Click *** here *** to get yours!  Only $26.95 plus tax.

Go!  Go NOW!


Sunday, April 2, 2017

The Great Card Purge of 2017

Happy Sunday!

What a BE-UUUUUU-tiful day out there!  Looking for ward to my morning stroll with my favourite pooch!  I could USE some fresh air.  I've spend the better part of the last two days in my Craft Cave and, apparently, it must be dusty in there because starting around 3:00 pm yesterday my allergies flared up and I have been a sneezy, puffy, drippy mess ever since!  What have I been DOING for the last two days?  PURGING!  Yes, Spring Cleaning Fever has struck and I couldn't take the clutter any longer!

Over 11 years I have been making cards.  I have a copy of every single card I've ever designed … plus swaps (cards made by other stampers … we all make a bunch then trade them) … plus cards I've made at Tamye's team get togethers.  Needless to say I have a LOT of cards.  Eight shoe boxes FULL … plus binders FULL!  I went down to make a card 2 days ago but had no table space.  I went to move the box of current cards made … alas I stood there holding the box, turned around about three times looking for somewhere to put it and couldn't find a spot.  Sigh.  The time had come to purge!

Mission ALMOST completed!  I now have a HUGE box overflowing with card front that I need to figure out what to do with.  My team will get a chance to go through them and take what they want for inspiration.  AFter that I'm not sure!  I want to find a school, church, military group or some other organization who can put them to goo use.  Ideally I'd love for them to finish them off (90% of them are  just card fronts that need to be mounted on bases .. and there are no envelopes .. but I know Hallmark will give you a big box for free if you ask!) and sell them to raise money for their cause.  We'll see. One step at a time!
 Yay for empty space in my cave!
 I DO still have a little more work to do.  I have two shoe boxes with cards for me to "finish" for my own stash.  Some of them just need an envelope - some were samples I love that I would like to give away myself.  That will be a fun project on a day when I want to craft but don't have any mojo flowing.  A great project to do when the kids are watching a movie that I've probably seen 19 times but still want to be part of the action so I can cut and tape whilst listening to it.  Still part of the action but multi-tasking.

Yes, it feel GREAT to shift some of the clutter.  I'd love to do more today but a) my allergies can't take another day of sneezing and face swelling and b) it's SO lovely out I don't want to be a mole in my dark basement cave … so maybe I move up to the bonus room and tackle the Barbie / Lego nightmare.

Yes - Spring has Sprung.  No clutter is safe!

Whatever you getup to today I hope you can fit in some family time and a bit of crafting.  Have a stampy day!