My Hero - May

Some months, I purchase the Hero Arts My Hero kit. A couple of months ago, it had a safari / African animals theme. I wasn't sure what I would do with it, but it was unlike any stamp sets I had, so I went ahead and ordered it.

Sometimes a kit proves to be a "really useful engine," and this one did. From it, I made several Fathers' Day cards and birthday cards.

Art by the Lake

Last week, I spent several days at Lakeside Chautauqua in Ohio for a Stewardship Conference. It was a beautiful place (flowers everywhere) with Lake Erie in the background and perfect weather. I was able to find some time to sit in the park near the water and do art.

This image is my practice work using the book Botanical Line Drawing by Peggy Dean. You see my iPad because I'm using a Kindle version of the book. The tablet is a Rhodia dot grid top stapled A5 notebook. The pens are Faber-Castell Pitt Artist pens in S and XS.

The next day I used my Zig Clean Color Real Brush markers to color two Suzy Plantamura's drawings (sold by Simon Says Stamp). They are taped with blue painters tape down to art boards to keep them from warping.

These were great breaks from the Conference.

Bullet Journal

Late last year, I started investigating the idea of keeping a bullet journal. If that phrase is new to you, check out the website of the person who coined the phrase and initiated the craze. (Ha, a poem).  His name is Ryder Carroll, and the site is

For me, a bullet journal serves three purposes: it helps me to record what has happened in the past, remind myself of what needs to be done today, and plan the future. I don't use it for work (I use a Franklin Planner for work), but I do use it for what I do outside of work.

Last December, I decided to give it a try for a month and see if it was something I wanted to devote time to. I grabbed a blank book off my shelf, and started. This is my first hint for you if you want to try it: grab a book that doesn't matter, any pen you have, and try the method. No pressure, no cost - just try it, and see if you like it.

Obviously, I did like it, so I ordered a Leuchtturm 1917 from Amazon. I ordered a lined, navy blue book. Most bullet journalists seem to be using the dotted version, but I thought I would like lines better. One January 1, I started using the book.

I haven't missed a day since then. Each evening, I spend a little time with the book. I write down what happened that day - quickly  - just a few lines, usually. And I plan the next day - what do I need to get done. I filled up that first book, and ordered a second one that I started using in July. This time I went with the dotted notebook, and I do like it better. There are tables and lines I draw in the book, and the dots are helpful.

I have also found that bullet journalling is a creative outlet for me. Mine is not as fancy as some you see, but each month has theme, and a couple of colors I use for headers. I fill empty spots with stickers and washi tape. For example, for this month (August), the colors are water colors - blue and aqua, and the theme is "things that swim."  I have fun.

Over the next few months, I add some posts about some of the spreads I use, and some of the other ways I use the bullet journal.

Oodles of Doodles - June and July

One of the items I do monthly in my bullet journal is a challenge from the.petit.planner on Instagram. It's a doodle a day, based on a theme she chooses. Each day has a promt - they are listed to the side of the images.

Below are my June and July pages from the Oodles of Doodles Challenge.

June 2017
July 2017

Anniversary Card

July 17 was our 30th Wedding Annivesary. I made three cards for Steve; this is one of them. It's watercolor, hand drawn, no stamps.

Sometimes I am just brave enough to paint. I hope you are, too.

What difference a Machine would make

I have a new toy. Steve got it for me for Mother's Day - it's a Brother Scan-N-Cut.  It's a luxury I wouldn't have purchased for myself, but he heard me saying how I would like to have one, so he bought it for me.  Yes, he's wonderful.

The great thing about a Scan-n-Cut is that it scans stamped images and then cuts them out. It can replace the need for matching dies for stamped images. I imagine, after a while, it will have paid for iteself. I don't purchase every die for the stamps I have - far from it - but I do purchase some. I buy them especially when I am planning on mass producing a particular card and to do that, I will need to cut out an image (or images). Instead, I buy the dies.

For Mother's Day, I used a set of stamps from My Favorite Things called Polynesian Paradise - it's a Birdie Brown design (I love Birdie Brown's work). Using that set, I made eight cards featuring the girl doing hula, a palm tree (from another set) and the parrot. I mounted the girl on an action wobbler, so she dances.  I made seven of these cards for friends for Mother's Day (and the other one became a birthday card). I don't own the dies, so I had to handcut all eight girls, eight palm trees and eight parrots. Imagine how much faster that would have been with the Scan-n-Cut.

Time to Destash

This is a box that contains yarn. It's stuffed full of yarn. This past weekend I decided that my yarn stash was too large and that it contained too much yarn that I would never use. I have a friend with connections to a ministry at a prison near where she lives. She (and others) collect yarn for the inmates to use to knit layettes, chemo caps and other items to give away. I facebook messaged her and asked if what I had would help. The answer was yes, so I packed it up and sent it off to her this morning.

I've had a lot of this yarn for a long time, keeping it, thinking I might use it. Almost everything I sent to her were complete, unused skeins of yarn. Waiting for a purpose that I was never going to provide.

Believe me, it's hard to destash. It's hard to let go of what we aren't going to use - to admit that we will never use it, and that what remains is enough. 

And it's hard to find the motivation to go through what we have to separate what we will use and what we won't. And yet, to me, as I took the box to the post office this morning, I realized that it was an example of stewardship. 

What am I holding on to that I should let go of? What material items? What grudges? What hurts? 

It's time to destash.