Tag Archives: DIY

Sunspiration – DIY rubber-stamp art greeting card {a pair of chickadees}

My favorite online site The Stampin Place had a end-of-year blow out sale last month, which I totally could not pass up. I love to buy the EZ-Cling mounted stamps. They are less expensive than the wood-block mounts and are easier to store.
One of the stamps I got, included this…
K-108 Chickadees
The first hand-stamped greeting card I had planned to make this New Year was for DD#2 and SIL’s 2nd anniversary. The pair of chickadees seemed perfect for such an occasion. In a matter of seconds inspiration popped on like a light bulb in my mind.
Here is the result of the my design creativity….



What will you need for this DIY project? I tend to look for inspiration with materials on hand and came up with these things.

Supplies I used:
baby blue linen card stock for card (folded card size: 4 ¼” x 5 ½”)
1-piece dark blue card stock (size: 3 ½” x 4 ¼”)
1-piece white card stock (size: 3 ” x 3 ”)
soft coral parchment paper for inside card (folded slightly smaller than baby blue linen card stock)
Brilliance graphite black pigment ink pad
Color Box cyan pigment stamp pad
Color Box royal blue pigment stamp pad
Tsukineko stipple brushes size 0 and 4
Prismacolor pencils
Sakura Gelly Roll copper star ink pen
glue stick
Stamps on front side from The Stampin’ Place:
K-108 Chickadees and F-348 Happy Anniversary

Stamp on backside:

C1120 One of a Kind Art by Stampabilities

Buy at Hobby Lobby
  1. Cut card stock to size per instruction.
  2. Ink K-108 Chickadees stamp with Brilliance Graphite Black pigment ink and stamp image in the center of pre-cut white card stock.
  3. Use stippled brushes to dab Color Box cyan & royal blue pigment inks on pre-cut white card stick to create sky background for the chickadees.
  4. Color image using Prismacolor pencils.
  5. Glue white card stock with image to center of dark blue card stock.
  6. Ink F-348 Happy Anniversary stamp with Color Box Royal Blue pigment ink and stamp image in the center bottom of the baby blue linen card stock, allow ink to dry, and then go over lettering with copper star pen.*
  7. Glue the two-piece card stock to the center of the baby blue linen card stock just above the Happy Anniversary phrase.
  8. Cut parchment paper to fit inside card, and then glue down only one side of card to inside. Preferably the right side, as it seems to work the best.
  9. Next, write your personal heart-felt sentiments on the parchment-lined card.
  10. Finally, add your own “hand stamp by” image to the backside of the card to mark the one of kind greetings.

*You may want to use a gold stamp pad with gold embossing powder (heat to melt with an embossing iron) to make the “Happy Anniversary” phrase pop out. This is one correction I will make for future anniversary cards using this design.

The thing I like about the chickadees is that you can use it for a variety of greetings such as for feminine birthday, get well, or sympathy cards. Feel free to improvise with what you have. I am sure your card will turn out beautifully. I hope this tutorial gives you Sunspiration!

Linking with Create With Joy tomorrow for…




Sunspiration – Gratitude jar

Over the past two weeks I have come across two or three bloggers excited over a little DIY project in which they put together a little thing called a gratitude jar.

What’s a gratitude jar? It’s simply a container that I will gradually fill with my blessings scribbled down on pieces of paper. There is no set time or day when I can add my thanksgivings to the gratitude jar. I can just do it when ever I feel especially happy about something in my life.

What do I need for a gratitude jar? All you need is a few basics, like a container, paper, and pen. I kept my DIY project simple using stuff I already had on hand, like an old 64 ounce jar my mother-in-law gave me . I decorated mine with a piece of purple polka dot ribbon. I am writing my happy moments on a small pad of colored stickies with whatever pen is handy. Some people get really creative with decorating their gratitude jar and doing more than just including written reminders such as adding small objects inside their gratitude jar. That’s cool. Just have fun with it!

What is the purpose of a gratitude jar? It is easy to loose sight of how good I have it. On December 31st, I will open my gratitude jar and begin to read all the grateful/happy moments that I wrote down throughout the year. Hopefully, my activity will bring a smile to my face, warm my heart, and fill me with a greater sense of gratitude whenam reminded of all the good things 2014 held for me.  As the New Year rings in, I’ll throw out the old blessings to make room for the new ones.

Putting a twist on the gratitude jar.  Is there someone in your life that’s difficult to buy for? I know I do. I thought why not use the gratitude jar principle and instead of writing down blessings from my life, but jot down reasons why I am thankful to have a certain person in my life periodically and then at a given time say like Christmas gift the gratitude jar to that person.

Visit www.thegratitudejar.com to bless others or be uplifted!


What are you grateful for today?

Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father… ~James 1:17
For Bible verses on gratitude, click here


Sunspiration: Mulled Apple Cider

Do you like apple cider? How about hot spiced apple cider?  For years, part of our Christmas tradition included making spiced apple cider with the children. This year is no different, except the children are no longer at home. That doesn’t mean we should stop doing customary holiday things.

To enjoy made from scratch mulled apple cider, I bet you already have most of the ingredients on hand. This is what you will need:

  • ½ gal. Apple juice
  • 1 c. orange juice
  • ½ c. brown sugar (or sweeten to suit taste)
  • ⅛ tsp. allspice
  • ¼ tsp. clove
  • 2 cinnamon sticks

Next, all you then need to do follow this follow these simple instructions.

Pour apple and orange juice into kettle. Add sugar, cinnamon sticks, and spices to liquids; bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 15-20 minutes. Serve hot and enjoy!

Doesn’t that sound cozy? What inspires you today?

Have an Sunspirational Sunday!


Courage to Lessons Learned to DiY Rubber Stamp Mounting

The NaBloPoMo November 2012 Prompt today is: What is the bravest thing you’ve ever done?

The bravest thing I’ve ever done is to be a Mommy. If you’re not a parent, then you may laugh at that statement, but for those who are mommies and daddies know exactly what I mean by this. Becoming a parent isn’t for the weak-minded. You have to have pretty grounding when you step into this role and even then you’re shaken by the many curves which come your way.

One thing I figured out is no matter what you do as a parent, your kids and others think you’re doing the wrong thing. What one set of parents do may be entirely different from another because of personal convictions of how best to handles situations.

I’ve always told my kids “doing nothing is easy, but keeping to one’s resolve or making a change requires a lot of effort.” If you don’t want to be a good parent, then do nothing and cave into every whim. You’ll be popular with your kids’ friends and all those outsiders, but you’ll lose the respect from your children. Okay, the truth is teenagers won’t get it until they are moms and dads that they must respect their parents. In short, sticking to one’s guns about parenting is a brave and scary thing.

This week’s prompt for Tuesday Coffee Chat  hosted by Les is: “Lessons Learned” What’s the most important lesson you have learned thus far in life? Did you “get it” straight away, or did it take a few tries?  

This is an easy prompt. The easiest lesson learned was about debt, but it came a little too late.  In the beginning of our marriage, we paid for everything pretty much in cash. Why we didn’t even have a checking account our first couple of years. DH pay all of our monthly obligations at that time. I was in school and didn’t worry about such things. I remember he had to get money orders at our bank to pay our bills. All I can say is we didn’t have too many to be concerned about.

I’m not sure when we got a checking account, but it may have occurred about the time we got our house loan or it could have been when we bought our first car together which our bank drafted our checking twice each month to pay our auto loan to lessen the burden of a big payment. That was nice and the sting wasn’t as noticeable.

Anyhow, once we crossed the threshold of using credit cards is when things fell apart. We…or I should say I spent more than I should have at times which landed us with some heavy credit card bills. For years, we struggled and struggled to pay them off, but you know how it is if you pay the minimum monthly payment to a credit card company then it’s pretty much like throwing your money out the window cause you’ll never get that card paid, especially if it’s being used and it was.

Children coming on to the scene, medical bills, repeated job loss, and general stuff compiled our debt. The weight of it all encroached upon my sleep and either angered or depressed me. As you may have guessed by this point I was in charge of paying all the bills. I knew precisely where every penny went and how much we had to work with. It was really scary some months.

In 2005, we consolidated every debt we owed into one sum at a lower interest rate for 7-years. I closed nearly every credit card we owned, except one. I took another look at the funds coming in and what is needed to spend, then just decided to do begin paying everything paying everything on time. No procrastination period. I faced reality and just did it. Whatever was left would be for grocery shopping, gas, and entertainment. Let me just say there wasn’t much to work with at this point.

When online banking and bill pay came along this made life more convenient and less frustrating for me. I was able to set up recurring payments toward our consolidated loan, as well as making sure our utilities, etc were not overlooked. It’s happened on occasion where something got overlooked and then we were hit with a late fee, which didn’t help matters. The Internet was/is a huge blessing to us in many ways.

Seven years have come and gone as of this fall. Our once large consolidated loan is now paid-in-full! Our humble quaint house is now ours NOT the banks. We still have the one credit card, but we pay it off every month. We still buy on credit at certain retailers, but again if it’s a regular purchase then it gets paid off once I receive my bill and for large purchases we only will buy it if we can get it interest free for a 12 or 18 months, then set it up on auto-draft of equal payments to make sure that obligation gets paid off with no interest to pay out at the end of that time.

We…I may have not always gotten this right in the beginning, but I can honestly say this has been a valuable lesson to learn which will follow us me throughout the rest of our my years. It’s a lesson we openly share with our kids on an ongoing basis of how to not to do the wrong things at the start of your life by making poor judgments especially concerning the misuse of credit cards. 

DS & DH began the tree removal project on Saturday. There’s a dead pine tree teetering dangerously close to the house and I’m certain it’ll come down at some point this winter IF we get some really nasty weather, like as in heavy snow or black ice.

The job proved to be tricky and requires more equipment that DH does not have. He appointed me to find a tree removal service to finish up the job. This is what I wanted all along just so it would be a ton easier on the boys, but…they wanted the learning experience and achy muscles. When will men ever listen?

Before I let you go, I wanted to share my recent DIY stamping project.

I prefer to buy unmounted rubber stamps. It’s far less expensive and easier to store. Let me describe the images beginning from top left moving right.

  •  Step one: Here you’ll see, one sheet of EZ Mount Stamp N’ Stor (this is sticky on one side where you will place your stamp and the other side is vinyl cling), Fiskars non-sticky scissors, and my two unmounted rubber stamps for this project.
  • Step two: As you’ll see here, I used the entire sheet of EZ Mount Stamp N’ Stor. I placed my two unmounted rubber stamps for this DIY card along with several others.
  • Step three: It may be difficult to see, but my now mounted rubber stamps are laying on top of clear acrylic stamping blocks. My newly mounted stamps can be peeled off for storage and reused at any time in the future.
  • Step four: This is my completed card. I stamped the phrase “Thank You” with Color Box Cyan and embossed with Ranger Turquoise glitter. I used my Marvy LePlume II markers for coloring the basket of flowers.

This card was made for some very special friends.

Thanks for joining me today. I hope you’ll take a few minutes to enjoy a cup of coffee and random conversation with a few of my bloggy friends this morning.

Stacy Seriously Shawn friendandfollow
I’ll be by your place soon. Have a terrific Tuesday!




DIY: Autumn Card

My blog bud, Kayla is hosting a new mid-week hop. Yeah, I know I’m late, but what can I say? I thought it would be fun to participate when I can and who knows maybe it’ll encourage me to do more of what I love – crafts!

This is my recent DIY project.

Autumn 2012 Card

I purchased the stamped image from stampin.com as an unmounted rubberstamp and I mounted it which is less expensive and easier to store. The elected to keep with the general color scheme suggested by the card idea sheet that came with my set. I used these extra do-dads to spice up my card.


The Flower Stuff Autumn is used on the tree and ground in my card. It gives a really cool effect to my card. It makes the fall leaves life-like, don’t you think? Note: This product flakes off kinda like glitter. There may be a product to spray on to seal it to keep it from shedding. All-in-all, it was a simple card that turned out rather nice.

What do you think?



I’m linking with Kayla today in this blog hop. 🙂







Wedding Wheel Quilt

When I was a little girl, it wasn’t uncommon for mothers and especially grandmothers to mind their spare time making keepsakes for their family. One very popular keepsake of those times was hand-sewn quilts.

This is an artwork, I very much admired and truly wanted to take a stab at. Life in a more complex and modern world has a way of pulling a young woman into many other directions – higher education and career. By the time family life begins or at least for me I was too overwhelmed tending to the children and keeping the home.

How on earth did our mothers or grandmothers find time to make such lovely quilts in their day? Think about it. Some of our parents and most of our grandmothers did not have the electrical whiz-bang conveniences like a microwave, washer & dryer, dishwasher, vacuum cleaner… and yet they made hand-sewn quilts such as these….

Vintage Sunbonnet Sue


Dutch Boy & Girl Quilt

The Dutch Boy and Dutch Girl or Sunbonnet Sue is perhaps one of my favorite designs. Maybe it’s because I saw my grandma making these. This pattern always captured my fancy.  Another design I was fond of is the basket quilt or tulip quilt…

How to Make a Basket Quilt


Applique Tulip Quilt Directions

There were many stars, flowers, patch, and block pattern quilts, too.  Each design has a story, a history to learn. Read Quilt Pattern History.

Eight Sided Star Quilt
Early Pieced Star Quilt
Vintage Dresden Plate Quilt


Antique One Patch Quilt
Vintage Handmade Grandmothers Fan Quilt

I never had the time to pursue my desire to quilt. To create my own keepsakes for my children and children’s children.  I do believe we’re never too old to learn new things. As I look ahead I foresee my family growing by exponentially, then perhaps it’s time this old dog puppy learns a new trick.

Quilting is truly an art form, a timeless keepsake to pass from generation to generation.

Learn the basics of quilting with  Beginning Quilt Series
Check out  Free Crib & Doll Quilt Patterns

Here’s a funny, interesting tidbit you may find amusing. My grandmother has ALWAYS spelled my name KATHY. I cannot for the life of me figure this one out. I sign every card, every letter Cathy. Oh, well it makes no difference to me. At least you don’t address me as, Hey You! I’ll always be KATHY to her.
For more ‘K’ posts, visit Miss Jenny at…

Jenny Matlock

Thanks Amanda for hosting!

What keepsakes did your family hand down to you?  My husband’s fraternal grandmother made my husband a full-size quilt when he was a boy and my maternal grandmother made me a twin size quilt after we got married. When I was expecting our first baby, DD#1, my good friend & co-worker, Melissa, made a darling hand-sewn baby blanket. Over the years, my precious MIL has made us quilts, too. All precious treasures to us and something we’ll have to remember her by someday.
Are you a keepsake creator?  I had never thought of myself as keepsake creator, but I suppose my hand-stamped cards can fall into this category. Family members have mentioned they keep every card I make. That’s such an honor. I guess keeping traditions are kinda like a keepsake because these do get passed from me to my children and hopefully one day to their children.









DIY: Jewelry Cleaner

About twice a year, I take my engagement ring to Jared for inspection.  This is something we faithfully do after I lost my original ring. My darling husband bought me a replacement in 2001.  You can read that story here. Don’t you just how your diamond sparkles after the jeweler steam clean it? It looks fabulous!

What do you in the in-between visits, though?  For years, I’ve used a home-made ammonia mixture for cleaning my engagement ring and works very well.  According to what I’ve read, ammonia can be used to clean all precious metals and hard stones such as diamonds, rubies, emeralds, sapphires, and topaz. NOTE: My experience is limited to use on a simple diamond and yellow gold engagement ring.

The recipe is easy!

Use 1 part ammonia to 1 part water. I squirt a tiny drop of Dawn into the solution for good measure. Drop my engagement into the cleaner for 30 seconds, remove rinse thoroughly with tap water, and if needed I will use a very soft toothbrush to buff debris that sticks around the prongs.  Dry with a soft cloth and place back on your finger. Wah-lah, like presto you have a beautiful shiny ring again!

Home-made is simple and more times than not, an inexpensive alternative!