Hello stampers and happy Monday to you. Last week I forgot to share my brilliant idea with you! It’s the product playground or “stempel speeltuin”. You might be thinking, what the heck are you talking about? Let me tell you.


Thinking in Two Languages


Now that I have been dating Gerard for three years and spending significant chunks of time in the Netherlands, I am now reading novels in Dutch! I sometimes wake up realizing that I just dreamed in Dutch. No surprise then that I first came up with a Dutch name for my idea and then an English one. This idea came to me after my first coffee and a card class here in Holland.


Product Playground or Stempel Speeltuin


Whenever I have taught my coffee and a card classes I have tried to strike a balance between hands on stamping, embossing and die-cutting and a relaxing morning. That means that the card bases and the layers are all pre-cut and sometimes some of the die-cutting is also done. The benefit of this is that there are no long lines at the Stampin’ Cut & Emboss machine or with the heat tool. There is also a drawback. When you don’t use the tools yourself you don’t realize how awesome they are.

My solution is that starting in the Netherlands I am going to add a component to my class. We always start with coffee or tea and something I have baked. Then we make one card. Yes, one. I used to make three cards with my Canadian girls but it sometimes started feeling like a marathon unless I had done a lot of the die cutting ahead of time. It is nicer to take the time to make one card together and enjoy the process with no pressure to hurry up.


The State of Affairs


Even with making only one card, you should have seen the state of affairs with my table! Such a lovely, creative mess. The reason for that is that I decided to let them play with an extra piece of cardstock that I had shown them how to emboss with a new embossing folder. Hence the idea of a product playground. You see, people want to play. Once they start creating, they develop a taste for it. Shyness and fear is overcome. I want to facilitate that.

Each week I like to focus on a certain stamp set, bundle or suite. The product playground or stempel speeltuin will be on a separate table. On this table there will be coordinating designer series paper, cardstock, ink ribbon and bits and bobs that I have made with that suite. Customers can create their own card or box using the supplies on the table. I will be close by to answer questions, but basically this is a place where they can do their own thing. I’m really excited about it!


Technical Issues


If you have been following my journey in the Netherlands you will know that I have battled many technical issues. I have learned some serious gratitude from this experience. You see, in Canada we think we have it pretty bad when it comes to internet and cell phone technology. It is expensive and sometime spotty. Well….

In the Netherlands, at least if you live outside the city, it can also be a challenge. On Saturday it took a serious turn for the worse. The cables were cut by a work crew next door. Internet providers were contacted but they claimed to be super busy and would not come until Monday. On Monday they sent someone to the house to confirm that we had no internet. We already knew that. No fix. No “monteur” as they call them here. We now have to wait till Wednesday!

I am writing this blog post because Gerard got me a Dutch phone and data plan so I am using the hot spot on my phone. He is wonderful for thinking of creative solutions.


Weekly YouTube Video


GIven the internet situation I will be prerecording my weekly virtual coffee and a card class. The nice thing is that I can release it as a “premiere” which means I can watch it live with you and chat as we watch. Will you join us? Here is the link to my YouTube channel. If you subscribe you will be notified when I post a video and it would also make me super happy!



Peaceful Cabin card with black and white gingham ribbon.



Tomorrow we will be making a beautiful Christmas card using the Peaceful Cabin suite. This is also the card that we will be making for coffee and a card class on Friday in the Netherlands at Bloemenlaan 6. If you want to come, please let me know!


Dutch version of Peaceful Cabin card


In Person Christmas Class


The in person class on Saturday October 30 is almost full. If you are local you can still order your supplies. I will be doing a smaller version of this class in the Netherlands as well on Friday October 15 at 9:30am.  Take a look here to see all the beautiful cards!

If you just want the pdf to make the projects, you can get it here.




I’m so glad you joined me today. Please share your stories with me, I love them so much. Have a super day and happy stamping. If you want any of the products that I used to make this card then please click the links below. Have a super day!

Product List





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