Time to Stamp


I’ve been dying to stamp.  A new catalog was unveiled in January, but I didn’t order anything till March, which shows amazing restraint on my part (even if I have to say so myself!).  Most of the stuff I ordered is still in the box, which is absolutely shameful, but it’s the way things generally go when it comes to stamping.  There just is not enough time in a day.  Or should I say . . . I just don’t place stamping near enough to the top of my priority list (I recently did an inservice in which I emphasized how we are not victims of our environments – we have lives full of CHOICES – and we have to take responsibility for our choices and stop casting blame. . . . sigh).

Anyway, as mentioned in an earlier post, our church sends care packages to the kids of our church who are away at school (highschool or college) to let them know we’re thinking about them and care for them.  I invariably stamp cards for these packages (we generally send about 18 packages).  Here is the card I made for the March packages.

I send the card through my printer before I cut and embellish the front.  I generally include a Bible Verse and a message to the kids.  People who don’t donate package "stuff" sometimes donate money to put in the cards.  I think this might be one of the kids’ favorite part of the packages!

I wanted to stamp a memorable card for my daughter’s 13th birthday.  I worked on it some, but didn’t end up giving her any card (I’ll tell you about our celebration in a different post, if I get to it).  But I had fun playing and learning.  One new product that was introduced at SU convention last year was the "Big Shot" which is a sizzix product.  We have a very cool "pop-up" card helper (actually several, but I have only played with one).  It’s a cake die-cut.  Here are my attempts at a card.


When the card closes, the cake collapses, like this . . .


I ran out of time to do another card.  I din’t end up giving her this card because I got annoyed by the fact that the candles didn’t hide (I put 13 candles on the cake).  There are several things I could have done to make this card work, and I haven’t discarded it, I just haven’t gotten to it yet.  Here is what happened:

(this is the view from the back)


We did other birthday stamping, but I forgot to take pictures.  The girls (my daughter and her friend) made "name frames" where they stamped and embellished their names to put in a frame.  I’ll have to find an example to show.  They had lots of fun and they did a great job!

Another new product we got that I LOVE is a cuttle-bug-like folder that matches one of my favorite stamp sets.  I gave the card to a friend without taking a photo of it – but I’ll be making more because they are SIMPLE and quick – which is the best kind of stamping!  I love that I have the opportunity to create as an outlet.  I will make more time in my weeks for stamping – it helps me maintain balance and is an opportunity to share too.


Top ____ List . . .


I was going to make this a "Top Ten" list, but then I wasn’t sure how many things I’d end up with.  My next option was a "Top xx List" but then I worried about what kind of hits and nonsense that would produce.  So I’ll stick with a less conspicuous and more ambiguous option.

This is a list of things I could blog about but a) didn’t; b) won’t; c) can’t;  d) shouldn’t or e) might still

1)  The chickens’ first eggs

2)  Landscaping my yard – the strong desire and almost a vision of what should happen, but strong doubt that the inspiration will stick for longer than the rain.

3)  Grass planting and the agony of spreading hay over the seed all by myself because my kids went camping and Farming had to drive for 3 hours to get the fertilizer and then spread it so our farming day "together" ended up with me unrolling 3 huge bales of hay that I spent less painful hours last year putting into the bales.  And I’m not done.  But I am still sore.  ALL over.  (hey – that’s an entire blog entry right there)

4)  My precious daughter’s 13th birthday surprise

5)  Learning how to ride a dirt bike with a clutch (that would be me)

6)  My commitment to blog 10 times in the next 20 days with no whining, apologies, or fear/hang-ups

7)  The behindness of where I am with work and other assignments  (don’t tell anyone)

8)  A very fun trip to Charlotte to visit friends over Easter

9)  Stamping that I’ve done and still wish to do

10)  A stamp room that is photo-worthy for an "after" shot (I already have several "before" shots that could be recipient of some sort of "least inspiring of creativity" award).

11)  A link to a cousin’s site introducing his amazing work with "World Outside My Shoes" – look for a book in the near future

12)  Observations of Prince Farming’s 25th Highschool Reunion

13)  Book reports on my new pass-time (audiobooks – have to LOVE that invention (or discovery) coupled with iPhone)

14)  The chicken’s new house and their general life to date

15)  Spring time beauty on the farm

16) The death of a cow.  And a few chickens.

17)  A wonderful and stress-less weekend with Prince Farming while the kids were gone

18) The search for a boot jack or pattern for DIY

19) My kids’ "summer jobs"

20) More sky watch posts





Basket Fun


Once a year a women’s group at our church gets together for an exchange of sorts.  Everyone brings a basket and 12 items (preferably home-made, but not necessarily so).  We put all our items out, then go through and pick 12 miscellaneous items to put in our baskets.  Basket liners and bows are provided for decorating the baskets.  Then we get to take our basket and give it to whomever we please.  I love this idea – because there might be people who could use a little bit of cheer, and they might not ordinarily be in a specifically identified group of people (homeless, needy, poor, etc.) 

This year the organization of the event was a bit sketchy because our fearless leader was transferred out of state (or her husband was, and she followed).  But there were enough of us interested that we pulled it together sort of at the last minute.

Here are the things my daughter and I made:



You might remember this biscotti recipe from here.  I just cut the pieces a bit smaller for this event.





The English Toffee Cookies come together very easily too.   Here’s the recipe:

1 cup Butter                   2 cup Flour

1 cup Sugar                   1/2 cup chopped Nuts

1 egg (separated)          1 tsp Vanilla

Cream butter & sugar together.  Beat in egg yolk and vanilla.  Add flour.  Spread thinly over a cookie sheet (14 x 17") to 1/8" thick.  Spread egg white evently over mixture.  Sprinkle with nuts and press lightly.  Bake at 300 degrees for 30 minutes (until slightly brown).  But while hot into diamond (or desired) shape.


We have a friend who has had a rough week – too much going on at work and the death of a close family friend.  She was not around to get the announcment about the baskets but I knew she’d probably enjoy participating, so at the last minute I decided to pull something together for her to take as well. I have boxes FULL of card-makings.  These are cut and colated pieces for stamped cards that I usually offer at classes.  But I always over-prepare in case extra people show up.  After the class is over, these little card makings just sit around and rot.  So I dug out a bunch of them and created them in a hurry.  Enough so we could have three cards per basket (12 items x 3 cards each = 36 cards).  They weren’t all the same.  It was just a hodge-podge of stuff, but they came together well.  Here are the cards I found/made:























They were originally designed for total non-stampers to create, so they are the simplest stamping ever. . . but that’s what makes them quick, right?  We had varying numbers of each card, so the 3 packs were quite varied.






Putting the baskets together didn’t take very much time at all.  Here is the basket I ended up with.



My daughter’s basket was dropped off even before we got home.  She wanted to give hers to her teacher.  I’m not sure which neighbor we’ll give mine to.  We’ll probably take it to the corner neighbor (don’t think you’ve seen their house in a picture yet).  If they’re not home, we’ll take it to a down-the-street neighbor who lives alone (we won’t leave the basket on the doorstep of the first neighbors because we never know when they’ll be in – and they have a PACK of dogs who would tear it up before anyone could see it).  It would be fun to have a whole bunch of baskets to hand out.  Maybe next year, right!?

Stamping Days


Seems like I’m a stamping fool these days.  Not that I have more time or anything – just a higher need for stamped stuff around holidays, I suppose.  And I’ve signed up for some stamping – just so I’d have an excuse to do something I love, and in some cases get paid for it.  I’ll share a few of my recent projects:


October was Pastor Appreciation month.  We generally do something for the entire family.  This year we got the kids each a gift card.  Here is the card I made to hold the gift card.

This is just a little card – can’t remember the exact dimensions, but something like 3" wide and 4" tall.  It’s made from a single strip of cardstock, so when you open it, it looks like this:

I totally copied this idea from Amy.  She’s got way more time on her stamping hands than I do on mine – so it’s a fair trade :-)   The card (or money, in this case) slides in a little slot created with a word-window punch, and the bit of folded up card is kept in place with brads.  Very convenient.

Of course, the pastor has 5 kids, so this is what I ended up with:

That was a midnight project.  Luckily they didn’t take too much thought or time.  The fronts of them are decorated with Designer Series paper and ribbon – only one little stamped image.  And another on the inside.  As an afterthought.


Another project that had to be mass-produced was a batch of cards for Prince Farming and his brother to send to people who send them referrals.  I also copied this one – but not as shamefully.  I don’t remember where the original idea came from, but I think I changed it enough to call it mostly mine.  Nothing I stamp is ever my own original idea though.  Just for the record.

Here’s the card front:

The inside goes like this:

I printed the cards on my printer – except for that little "thank you" – it’s totally and completely hand stamped.  Thank you very much.

And of course, the pile shot:

I used another set of Designer Series paper for the card fronts.  And the fold-down part is punched with a spiral punch – to make it look like it was torn out of a notebook.  Sort of.  The window for the "thank you" was punched with small and large oval punches.  And the little tab thing on the white card was punched with the "round tab" punch.  Lots of punching, a bit of gluing.  And voila.  Done.  I had a friend help me with most of the process – stamping is always better with friends.  Thanks Rhylma!


The next project is not stamped.  Not at all.  And it went together in like 5 minutes flat.  The original idea was shown at St*mpin’Up! Convention in July.  Then my friend Louise posted a copy on her blog.  And so I jumped on the band wagon and made one too.  Very fun.  And seasonal.

Excuse the flash on the glass-  couldn’t figure out how to get a decent picture without the camera and ceiling reflecting in the glass – the flash was a better alternative.  This was created with a shadow box, miscellaneous fall findings (fake) and a vinyl "rub-on" otherwise known as "Decor Elements" created for Home-Decor purposes.  Way fun.  Now I need to create something similar for the other seasons so I can create a corner just for seasonal decor.  Fun.


My next stamping will show the cards we’re making at my "stamp-a-stack" next Monday evening. (For the record, when I last blogged about this event, I thought it was coming up imminently – as in tomorrow night.  Part way through the week I realized that I had an extra week to work with.  There is absolutely NOTHING like the gift of time – it’s a wonderful thing.)  And of course I need to design and stamp our Christmas Cards for the year.  AND I’ve signed up for the "Very Vintage Christmas Swap" over at Foxgloves, Fabric, and Folly.  So there’ll definitely be some stamping happening there.  I’m excited about that opportunity.


Here’s wishing a happy week to everyone.  Thanks for stopping by.


Stamping Fool


Actually, this is what I WANT to be – a stamping fool.  Nothing to do but stamp.  Wouldn’t life be grand?  My stamp room would be all orderly and neat.  A place for everything and everything in its place.  All adequately stocked and readily available.  And I could just create.  And create.  And create. 

The flaw in that little scenario is that the ability to create, like the ability to keep blogging, requires inspiration.  (and time).  Inspiration comes in the form of "life."  And if your life is stamping, the inspiration would no doubt dwindle.  At least it would for me.  So for now, I can just dream about a stamping life.  And in the crazy rush of the rest of my life, I can take some time to do some stamping.  It’s like a little oasis of therapy.  I LOVE it.

My friend Amber came to visit me last week.  It’s so much fun to stamp with fellow-stampers.  And Amber can inspire me (there are others who can too – they just don’t come over and visit. . . . Louise, Amy, . . . . etc.)  I have a list of stamping that I actually need to accomplish.  I got a great start on that when Amber was here.

I forgot to point out the stamping that occurred in preparation for the barn party.  Did you notice?  I stamped some invitations.  You can check that out here.  And then of course because I had so much help with that event, I stamped some thank you cards.  My newest toy tool is the "Big Shot"  It is a die-cutting machine.  One day I’ll do an entry on the "tools of stamping".  I actually need to do a little confession here.  Or two.  I purchased this "Big Shot" at convention in July.  And I’ve watched tutorials on how to use it.  But Amber had to come and do a little demonstration to get me going.  That, and inspiration, and time.  Okay.  That’s my first confession.  My next confession is worser.  I am using a non-St*mpinUp product with my Big Shot.  Ummm.  And I really like it.  It’s a C*ttlebug folder that embosses designs onto otherwise regular paper.  It used to really annoy me when I saw other people who claimed to be loyal company followers using these embossing folders.  And now I’ve gone and crossed over to their side.  I still have pangs of guilt over it, but that’s just until I see how fabulously cool it all goes together.  In my dream I imagine my company collaborating with their company and creating the ultimate – complimentary embossing folders.  That would be amazing.  But until then, I’ll just have to cheat a little (but do we HAVE to use that word?!!)

So here’s the thank you card I created.  It’s my first embossing folder creation:


My next project was to create invitations to Prince Farming’s Office Christmas party.  It’s a fairly formal affair, no kids and fully catered.  Over the years the invitations have varied in stamping-ness.  You’ll notice that this invitation has absolutely NO ink or stamped image.  It is a complete departure for me, but i loved the process.  I used a different embossing folder and the Big Shot with die-cut thingys for the bird (wings on both sides, thank you) and the word "peace"  I pre-printed the inside invite stuff to make it all "official" like.  Whatever.


While in the stamp room I just got on a roll.  Amber left.  But there was still inspiration left in me.  So I got a new "victim" who is perfectly enthusiastic.  Together, we created these little gifts – again, not a stamp in sight – for the kids in our church who are away at school (academy and college).

You can’t just make one.  You have to make a FLOCK of them (we have about 17 kids away from home).  Aren’t they cute?


Our church puts together packages to send to these kids – potluck style.  Everyone brings whatever they think of and we put it all in shoeboxes and wrap them up and address them.  Those kids have to know we love them!  It’s tradition to have a stamped card in there too.  Some people donate money to put in the card.  I had to rush through this job because of. . . life.  So these were done right before we put the packages together.

Here is the whole batch. . .


Next on my list. . . 50 cards for business referrals (for Prince Farming & his brother), and Christmas cards.  Haven’t done those in a few years (don’t act so shocked).  And a few gifts.  And the endless quest to a clear and organized stamp room.

BWD (Blog Withdrawal Disorder)

Scrolling down my recent blog entries has been a bit . . . telling.  There has been no farming.  (I’m not complaining here – I’m just stating what is).  There has been crazy busy-ness. (I know I’m not alone).  Blog entries have flown through my head at an alarming rate, but I’ve not had time (or energy) (or clarity of thought) to even jot them down.  And now I have BWD.  Because I have a quiet time (right before the next storm) and thought you might want to hear about what I was avoiding or, (truthfully) procrastinating on.  My mind has been operating in "list mode" for quite a while now, so that is all I have.  And it’s not pretty.  I’m going to spare you the details.  You must have lists of your own that can run circles around mine.

Some neighbors decorate our mailbox while we were gone one weekend :-)

My next list involves a Barn Party.  I mean, we live on a farm, and it’s fall.  Surely a Barn Party is in order.  Actually, we’re hosting the Church Barn Party on Sunday.  It used to be on a neighboring farm, but some property was sold and the venue was rearranged, and it just didn’t work out there anymore.  Last year was the first year with no Barn Party.  The kids nearly mutinied.  So this year, what  – with a new barn (read "no cow poop" yet) we have a great opportunity to initiate it. 

Problem is:  I’ve never hosted a barn party before (this is Year 1 on a farm for me).  I know it can be free-flowing and fun. But people will want stuff to do.  And things to see.  And food to eat.  And a fire to burn.  And . . . . what else?  Oh.  A hay ride.  And a pony ride.  So I can figure that out.  But what about the behind-the-scenes stuff.  A PA system at the barn requires power.  We have a generator but it is LOUD.    Prince Farming very kindly made a  L O N G  heavy duty extension chord so we could put the generator on the front side of the old barn between hay bales (for sound insulation).  Must borrow the PA system from the hospital.  Trash cans?  Money box? (Pathfinders are selling food for fundraiser, as are 8th graders with desserts and baked goods).  Who will "man" the jail? (you know – where you pay two tickets for someone to be thrown into jail, who then has to stay there for 15 minutes or do something embarrassing (drawn from a bag) to get out right away?).  And the games?  What games?

I have less than 3 days to pull this planning off. With no clue how many people will be here (we’ve invited neighbors and other community people, and the high school & college kids will be home on home-leave, but lots of local church people are traveling because of Fall Break). 

Today my daughter and I are traveling to the big city to do shopping,  We’ll add to/modify/clarify the list while we drive.  Hopefully there won’t be any glaring omissions.  Tomorrow Prince Farming gets to have "free labor" in cleaning up stuff that I think lends itself to the character of a barn (I’m not talking about manure here – that would need to be cleaned up.  There is old lumber and things I’m sure I haven’t even noticed yet that Prince Farming would like to have dealt with).  But that was part of the deal.   Luckily the kids are on Fall Break, so they get to participate in the Thursday drill.

My outrageous 3 weeks are almost over.  I’ll be able to report with sanity (at least the usual level) starting next week. 

Happy Wednesday ya’ll!



Gasp!! A Card


Stop it – I told you I was going to post some stamping.  Here’s a card I made for Prince Farming for our Anniversary – way back when I started blogging (okay,  not THAT far back – it was July of this year). 

This card is a departure from the norm because a) it’s fairly plain and simple, b) there’s no paper involved and c) there’s only one layer and NO ribbon.  I also don’t normally use metal hinges to create the spine of a card. It is within acceptable norms, because a) I used stamps and ink;  b) There is one layer;  c) it is embellished (hardware); and d) it is embossed (a process through which color crystals, adhered to a surface with embossing ink, are heated / melted, giving a "raised" impression of the stamped image).

This card was copied "verbatim" (as far as my memory serves) from a card I saw demonstrated by Brent Steele on the Stampin’Up! Bermuda cruise (April ’08).  So it also meets my normal criteria because it is "cased" (copied and shared) as are all of my creative endeavors. 

Cutting the sheet metal was a bit of a stretch because I was trying to keep it a surprise for Prince Farming, and I couldn’t find the right tool (it was way down in the shed – HE knew where it was, but I couldn’t find it in any of the tool boxes here at the house).  I ended up heating it up (with my heat-gun) and then trying to snip through it with something he brought home from the hospital (why they need industrial-looking snips, I’m not sure.  They definitely WEREN’T suited to what I was cutting, but they did work).  Then I had to file the edges so no fingers got sliced.   And I used a "Crop-a-dile" to make the holes for the hinges/brads and to make the "shot marks" through the road sign (that’s what signs look like around here – why do people shoot signs?).  I also distressed it with my little pliers – just for effect (and to copy Brent’s card).

I think this card was a good choice for my first real "card" share because I’m feeling rather manly with all the farm work I’ve been doing for the past week.  Hay is almost done (just needs to be hauled to the barn).  My life is going to settle down a bit now that it’s done.  Besides, my kids are leaving for Outdoor School for a week.  My plan is to dig out my stamp room.  If that happens, I’ll show you before/after shots next week. 

Happy Stamping Sunday!

Heads or Tails?

This entry is inspired by this Meme website.  The current challenge/topic is "Three Things from Any Category"

My Category:  Things I’d love to blog about but can’t yet because . . . .

1)  A few of my favorite things. . .

I had great pictures of several of my summer time favorite things that were the makings of a really good post.  My hard drive crash and the loss of my pictures postpones this really good post.  Hope you’re not suffering as much as I am over this loss.

2)  Stamping projects . . .

I keep threatening to stamp and share what I stamp.  I’m sure the anticipating is killing you.  It’s killing me.  Next week is looking better than this week for stamping.  Don’t hold your breath.

3)  My new Gredemeer Critter . . .

It isn’t here yet.  I haven’t convinced Prince Farming of the necessity of a new critter.  Actually, I can’t decide what the critter is.  Either a donkey (first choice), or (currently) a little dog.  Our house guests have a little Yorkie that doesn’t bark or stink or shed.  Nor is it high maintenance like I’ve understood Yorkies to be.  I think I might dog-nap the little rat and rename it "Gremlin" when they move out.  Don’t tell anyone.

You can play "Heads or Tails" every Tuesday.  Just visit this site for the rules and the games.


My First Blog Award

Wow – this is so cool.  I’ve seen things posted on people’s side-bars, but never questioned how they got there, or paid attention in any way beyond a casual observation.  Today I was awarded one of these little deals – and it blows me away.  My "dear" friend Louise awarded me with this:

That’s like a hug.  Which means even more to me, because Louise doesn’t really hug.  Well, we do – but only because it’s the "done thing."  I probably push her to hug because it’s good for her :-)  Louise is good for me because she is logical, and grounded, and practical.  All of that caught up in a Princess’s world (she has her own Prince Charming who does everything for her including ironing, shopping, taking notes, and making reservations).  Louise is the one who pushed me over the edge and into the blogging world.  Well, her and Amy.  Amy had been working on me for over a year already.  And Amy doesn’t hug either.  Unless it’s required or expected.  So I’m going to pass this hug on to her and give her the award that was so generously given to me.  Check out Amy’s cool blog -she is amazingly creative, and has great stamping tutorials.  If you’re not inspired to stamp with her work in front of you then . . . um. . . you don’t deserve to stamp.  Now Amy, can you please put this cool award in my side-bar?  On the opposite side from the links.  Is that possible?  Duh.  Of course it is – you just have to do it, so I don’t hurt myself.

Wanna Stamp

 Attending Stampin’Up! convention is always a great time for me.  I love to see people I haven’t seen in a while, and reconnect with ones (in person) that I generally speak to (or interact with in some way) during the year.  I also love to see the new stamps and accessories.  They lend themselves to a huge "blank slate" of Imagine what I can do with that!  Actually, who am I kidding.  It actually lends itself to Wow – I can’t wait to see what people come up with using that so I can copy them.  But anyway – it is fresh.  And fun.  And I always leave wishing I could stamp more.  And because stamping was a bit of a business for me, there’s always that possibility of putting the whole machine in gear and letting it work for me.  I’ve managed to studiously avoid that for several years now – and it’s proving hard to get back into it.  At convention 2007 I decided I was going to spend more time stamping.  Just for fun.  And when I got to convention 2008, I realized that stamping just hadn’t happened (other than 1 set of wedding invitations, 1 set of anniversary announcements, 1 set of baby announcements, and 2 sets of cards for gifts).  It’s not okay for a stamper to be able to make a list like that.  a) there’s very little creativity in that (lots of repetitive stamping) and b) when you can remember everything you’ve stamped, you haven’t stamped enough.  Not to mention the square footage in our house dedicated to stamping is completely being wasted under a pile of boxes.

With my new blog thing, Amy decided I could have a stamping page.  So simple.  It’s a no-brainer.  You blog.  You stamp.  You put the two together.  So here I am, letting you know, that in the very near future, I will, I might, I would like to, I have decided to, I think I’ll add a page to the blog dedicated to the enjoyment of stamping – mine and yours.  This will require an overhaul of some space.  But I’ll start small.  And my commitment is to fly-lady my stamp room.  Whatever it takes.

In the mean time, my farmchik life continues.  This week is corn week.  You’ll LOVE that post.  Thursday has been slated "corn day" for our family.  Last year I missed corn day because of stamp convention.  This year they kindly waited for my return by NOT picking the corn from the field.  Prince Farming’s dad said we could have the garden corn – it was planted later than the field, so it will be ready later.  Drat.

Site Hosted by